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Old 10/03/2014, 10:49 AM   #1
lonicrux
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Purigen or Phosguard killing coral? a bad day in the tank

Dear Reefers,

Recently I did my normal 15% water change & maintenance (from same supplier) and replaced purigen, charcoal and phosguard in my tank, which I have been doing regularly for over a year with no problem. Within 24 hours came home to find most corals very shrunken and my green slimers looking very unwell and quite pale.

I yanked out the purigen (thinking I possibly had regenerated it poorly though I follow the directions and use Seachem Prime as suggested) and pulled out the Phosguard thinking that there may have been some aluminum dust that I didn't wash off thoroughly. The water did look less clear than usual. Though I'm pretty meticulous, I could have made and error on one of these two. I can't imagine the problem is being caused by the charcoal.

To mitigate, last night I did two rather large water changes over the course of 8 hours and this am, the problem has not seemed to be abated. The slimers look worse and most else is shrinking.

Any other suggestions of what I should do other than keep up water changes and hope to minimize losses? Fish and inverts are doing absolutely fine, macro algae in refugium unaffected as well.

Thanks. Tank stats and picks of sad corals below.

29 gallon biocube, reef tank.
salinity: 1.024
Ph: 8.3
Ammonica, Nitrate, Phosphate 0.0 ppm
supplementing calcium, alk, iodine, trace elements and
Eheim canister filter + Lee's Protein Skimmer
running: Chemipure Elite, Charcoal, Phosguard, Purigen


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Old 10/03/2014, 12:12 PM   #2
Bryopsis
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Unless the regen wasn't fully complete (I dump extra dechlorinator and give it extra time) I would guess they might be having a reaction to the phosguard.

google 'phosguard releasing aluminum'


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Old 10/03/2014, 12:19 PM   #3
tmz
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Sorry about your troubles.
There are a number of reports of similar difficulties with regenerated purigen, particularly when dried but some even when it's kept wet.

Water changes seem prudent ;perhaps a polyfilter or extra GAC of good quality can help if it's a toxin from the regenerated purigen.

What type of GAC ? There were tank crashes without harm to fish tied to one type which was contaminated with what apeared to be heavy metals.

Don't know if the phosguard is pulling out too much PO4 too fast;I'd probably pull it with zero readings for PO4.

Maybe tune back the lighting to slow things down a little for the corals.

With 0 NO3 a nitrogen deficiency might also be possible but unlikely in a tank with fed fish.


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Tom

Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.

Last edited by tmz; 10/03/2014 at 12:48 PM.
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Old 10/03/2014, 12:23 PM   #4
MidwesternTexan
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Never had a Biocube.

It would seem simply doing WC's every 2 weeks- ~20% would be more than enough to sustain your reef. I'd get rid of the other stuff.
You do make your own replacement water, right?
If not, look at the water source first.
Good luck.


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180g Reef- 75+ different Corals; 14 fish; DIY Coast to Coast Overflow
3 x 120W Full Spectrum/Dimmable LED's
125g DIY sump- Reef Octopus nw200-6540B -
40B FT- ~320gallon system total
DIY Large ATS

Current Tank Info: 180g- C2C overflow- 125g sumpk 40B FT; Lots of Coral- mostly sps
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Old 10/03/2014, 03:40 PM   #5
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I'm not sure what's happening, either. I agree with keeping up with the water changes. I might check the ammonia level now and then, out of an abundance of caution.


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Old 10/03/2014, 09:15 PM   #6
lonicrux
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Thanks, bryopsis. 12 more hour laters some corals have seemed to recover slightly. the Green slimers and related corals are looking really bleached out which makes me think the Sea Chem Prime didn't do it's job or I didn't add enough or leave it long enough. Not sure those will make it, sadly. I added some more prime to the tank to hopefully dechlorinate whatever water was still in there and will continue with water changes and then see how I do. I've read up on the phosguard and would think that it was the culprit, except I've used it so many times before without fail. This was the first time I tried to regen the purigen and from now on will just buy new and toss it when done. Thanks for all. SO grateful for this forum.


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Old 10/03/2014, 09:17 PM   #7
lonicrux
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Thanks, Tom.

i'll pull back on lights for the corals. I use marineland brand charcoal and have from the same bin for a while, so I think my batch should be ok. Ugghh. bad day. But, thanks for all your help.


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Old 10/03/2014, 09:24 PM   #8
lonicrux
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Thanks, M Texan. Yeah, I use my own water and it was consistent with what was used before. Thanks for all your help. I'll take a run at leaving that stuff out but have been running it with success for so long.

Long live texas!


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Old 10/03/2014, 09:24 PM   #9
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thanks Bertoni. Yeah ammonia is all ok.


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Old 10/03/2014, 09:30 PM   #10
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You're welcome! Good luck!


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Old 10/04/2014, 02:20 AM   #11
tmz
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You are welcome. I haven't heard anything bad about the carbon you are using btw. Personallly, I prefer Rox 8.

Keep us posted on how it goes.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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Old 10/04/2014, 09:30 AM   #12
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If you want to be cautious, seems most of us use BRS ROX or Seachem Matrix (mostly ROX, as it's cheaper but still high purity). And most tend to use ferric oxide-based (GFO) phosphate removers rather than Phosguard.

If you've consistently used a phosphate remover, I'd rather doubt your troubles were caused by a precipitous drop in phosphate levels. Nevertheless, I'd pull any phosphate removers for a little while. Phosphate takes a while to build up in a system, and some amount of phosphate in the water is necessary for coral health. So taking out any phosphate remover for a few weeks isn't going to cause your tank to crash, and may help your corals to recover.

And, if it were my tank, and I was absolutely sure of the purity of my RODI source, I'd do several 30% water changes in a row on a daily frequency. That would help to dilute any potential toxin that might've been accidentally introduced.


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Old 10/05/2014, 01:24 PM   #13
boxfishpooalot
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Forget about the phosguard and purigen being the main concern. What is your alkalinity and calcium and magnesium at?

You'd be surprised what low alk can do to a reef tank!


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Its a good idea to have a refrence sample for alk test kits. 1.1350 grams of baking soda in 1gallon of distilled water=10dkh. Check your alkalinity test kit!
Algae is Mother Natures phosphate remover

Current Tank Info: 220 galon mixed reef.
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Old 10/05/2014, 08:08 PM   #14
MidwesternTexan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lonicrux View Post
Thanks, M Texan. Yeah, I use my own water and it was consistent with what was used before. Thanks for all your help. I'll take a run at leaving that stuff out but have been running it with success for so long.

Long live texas!
Thanks,

Then I'm not sure why you'd need Prime, or dechlorinator for that matter.
I never have used either one of these products.
As far as dechlorinator goes, many years ago when I had FW, I used tap for WC's and dechlorinator,
But RO, and/or RO/DI and SW mixs remove and/or buffer out any and all chlorine, etc.


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180g Reef- 75+ different Corals; 14 fish; DIY Coast to Coast Overflow
3 x 120W Full Spectrum/Dimmable LED's
125g DIY sump- Reef Octopus nw200-6540B -
40B FT- ~320gallon system total
DIY Large ATS

Current Tank Info: 180g- C2C overflow- 125g sumpk 40B FT; Lots of Coral- mostly sps
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Old 10/09/2014, 01:19 AM   #15
lonicrux
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Thanks MT.

The prime/dechlorinator is used to regenerate purigen after it gets used. I've always just tosssed the purigen and bought new, but this time I tried to regen as directed using bleach and the the prime. I'm not going to regen again. I'll just buy new.

For all else on this thread, who I am very grateful to, most of my corals have bounced back after a week or so of being very shrunk and cranky. The green slimers are just starting to show some life but are pretty pale right now. I'm gonna lay off purigen and Phosguard for now, take some of your recs on better products (iron based phosphate remover, not regenerating purigen, different charcoal, or try running without these and letting my macro algae and stuff in sump do the work. I only have 1 damsel in a 30 gallon tank so I think I can do it ok with water changes.

I've pretty much maxed out on water changes in the last week and will now just see if these corals recover. If not, I'll be bummed and will have to just keep plugging forward. Lesson learned. I hope.


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Old 10/09/2014, 01:21 AM   #16
tmz
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You are welcome, good luck.


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Current Tank Info: Tank of the Month , November 2011 : 600gal integrated system: 3 display tanks (120 g, 90g, 89g),several frag/grow out tanks, macroalgae refugia, cryptic zones. 40+ fish, seahorses, sps,lps,leathers, zoanthidae and non photosynthetic corals.
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