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Old 01/04/2017, 07:11 PM   #1
Skujio
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Help! My parameters are fine but everything seems to be dying!

So I just recently purchased a two head frag of frogspawn a few days ago and since I've had it it hasn't expanded. My parameters are perfect.
pH - 8.3
Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - Around 10 ppm
Phosphate - Close to undetectable
Cal - 440-450
Alk - 10 dKH
Salinity - From 1.023 - 1.026

I started to notice the tissue around the base of the skeleton also starting to peel in the last few days and the head hasn't fully expanded. For some reason even under pretty good conditions none of my coral have been looking happy. Even the GSP won't come out only showing the purple mat at all times of the day. Ironically the only thing I've seen with polyps extended and fairly colorful would be my birdsnest. Another problem I have is that my Monti caps are turning very light pink and putting out stringy slime often so that worries me. I can't think of anything that could be wrong with the water to cause this and am looking for a second opinion from more experienced reefers. I did just recently dose a small amount of Calc and Alk about a week ago and Magnesium at the same time. I've noticed that neither Cal or Alk are being consumed over the course of the whole week after the initial dose. Could this mean my Mag levels are still too low? I've been told that it could be a lighting issue so in my 6 bulb t5 fixture I took out 2 bulbs and left 2 ATI Actinics, 1 Geissman Actinic+, and One Coral Plus. Another thing I've been told is that only being up for a month my tank could be "too clean" as my Phosphates are almost 0. I'm very worried I'm close to a complete crash only a month in and really need help.


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Old 01/04/2017, 07:45 PM   #2
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Only a month old? How big is your tank? What's in it for fish? The salinity varies from 1.023 to 1.026?


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Old 01/04/2017, 08:00 PM   #3
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Corals like stability. Some more than others.

A salinity swing of 0.03 will upset a lot of types of corals.

It will sometimes take a while for newly added corals to acclimate to your tank water. A few days is not that long.

As for your parameters being perfect, they are close but phosphate is measured in the 0.0* ppm so it needs to be exact.

Alk of 10 is on the high side.

And salinity swing is not a sign of perfect parameters


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Old 01/04/2017, 08:14 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by vhuang168 View Post
Corals like stability. Some more than others.

A salinity swing of 0.03 will upset a lot of types of corals.

It will sometimes take a while for newly added corals to acclimate to your tank water. A few days is not that long.

As for your parameters being perfect, they are close but phosphate is measured in the 0.0* ppm so it needs to be exact.

Alk of 10 is on the high side.

And salinity swing is not a sign of perfect parameters


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completely agree with this and add in the fact if anything you would want to get 8 T5s not only use 4. You also want to make sure they arnt old, how old are your T5s?

What size tank? What fish? What filtration do you have?


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Old 01/04/2017, 09:43 PM   #5
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Agree with above. Alk a bit high.


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Old 01/04/2017, 09:56 PM   #6
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completely agree with this and add in the fact if anything you would want to get 8 T5s not only use 4. You also want to make sure they arnt old, how old are your T5s?

What size tank? What fish? What filtration do you have?
I'm looking at adding the two t5s I removed a month at a time to acclimate the coral. And 30 gal, 2 firefish, 2 clowns, Blue damsel, and a Mandarin Dragonet. (I have a rediculous amount of pods in the system so he definitely eats) Also for filtration I've got a normal filter sock and a skimmer I've been using for around half a year. I also have a refugium area that doesn't have chaeto in it just yet.


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Old 01/04/2017, 10:19 PM   #7
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That sure is a lot of fish for only a month old tank. You need to slowly add fish after the cycle as your bacteria will peak very high and then go low. So adding too much at one time will not be good. Are you sure the Ammonia is 0 also? What are the fish acting like? Labor breathing or any signs of stress?

Alk does seem high and the salinity swings aren't good.


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Old 01/04/2017, 10:33 PM   #8
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A mandarin needs a larger mature tank for long term success. Two firefish will become one in about 4-5 months..


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Old 01/04/2017, 11:10 PM   #9
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Hi! I am sorry you are having tank problems.....I also agree with all of the above responses....but yea my concern is your salinity of 1.023 to 1.026....stability is key...and salinity is no exception.....do you use a refractometer? How often do you check your salinity? Salinity that fluctuates like that can stress out corals...inverts....and fish.


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Old 01/05/2017, 02:10 AM   #10
Skujio
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That sure is a lot of fish for only a month old tank. You need to slowly add fish after the cycle as your bacteria will peak very high and then go low. So adding too much at one time will not be good. Are you sure the Ammonia is 0 also? What are the fish acting like? Labor breathing or any signs of stress?

Alk does seem high and the salinity swings aren't good.
My fish were actually a part of a tank move. Ammonia is definitely at 0 no problems whatsoever with the fish. The only thing I see not doing good are the corals.


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Old 01/05/2017, 02:14 AM   #11
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Hi! I am sorry you are having tank problems.....I also agree with all of the above responses....but yea my concern is your salinity of 1.023 to 1.026....stability is key...and salinity is no exception.....do you use a refractometer? How often do you check your salinity? Salinity that fluctuates like that can stress out corals...inverts....and fish.
My salinity is most likely staying at 1.025 as I've been watching it very tentatively the last few days. Sadly I have to settle for a hydrometer as I can't afford a refractometer at the moment. I'll take a test in tommorow to see exactly where it's at.


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Old 01/05/2017, 02:17 AM   #12
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A mandarin needs a larger mature tank for long term success. Two firefish will become one in about 4-5 months..
I'm honestly thinking of taking my fish to a LFS and see if I could get any credit for coral. I love the fish very much but think it would be better for me to just have a reef tank until I can upgrade to a larger system.


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Old 01/05/2017, 04:09 AM   #13
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My salinity is most likely staying at 1.025 as I've been watching it very tentatively the last few days. Sadly I have to settle for a hydrometer as I can't afford a refractometer at the moment. I'll take a test in tommorow to see exactly where it's at.
You do know you can get a refractometer on Ebay or Amazon for 20 bucks or less? Please don't take it the wrong way. Just letting you know. It could still be a salinity issue. Fish take the salinity changes better than corals do. I would get a for sure number on what the salinity is to be honest.


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Old 01/05/2017, 04:37 AM   #14
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You don't need to spend anything on a refractometer. They are only marginally better than a 'calibrated' hydrometer. Hydrometers are not accurate, but they are absolutely reliable IMHO. Find the error rate of your hydrometer, marking on the side and it will never change.

Refractometers can be calibrated and adjusted using a calibration fluid. Hydrometers have no adjustments at all. So take your hydrometer to the LFS or a friend with a refractometer. Have them calibrate their refractometer and then test the water with both tools. The refractometer should be quite accurate. The hydrometer could be high or low as they are not adjustable. But whatever that error is, 0.010 too low or 0.005 too high... whatever it is, label that on your hydrometer and use it to correct the readings you get from now on. You test your water and it's 1.023. Then add or subtract the error rate. Say your hydrometer reads 0.004 to low. Then add 0.004 to the 1.023 and the real level is 1.027. It's that simple.

I used to use a refractometer all the time. Then I started using both just to compare because a friend asked me to. The very first time I did, my hydrometer read 0.004 too low. So I get a reading and add 0.004. Every 3 months for the next couple of years I'd calibrate my refractometer and compare the two again. Every time the hydrometer was 0.004 too low. It never changes. Now I only check it when I'm helping somebody else 'calibrate' their hydrometer. And now, 6 years later, it's still 0.004 too low. My refractometer mostly just sits in it's case collecting dust. For me the hydrometer is just easier to use, I couldn't care less about the cost.


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Old 01/05/2017, 10:46 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Skujio View Post
I'm looking at adding the two t5s I removed a month at a time to acclimate the coral. And 30 gal, 2 firefish, 2 clowns, Blue damsel, and a Mandarin Dragonet. (I have a rediculous amount of pods in the system so he definitely eats) Also for filtration I've got a normal filter sock and a skimmer I've been using for around half a year. I also have a refugium area that doesn't have chaeto in it just yet.
I think this is your main problem, along with the salinity swings. Make sure you get an ATO when money allows.

I would make sure all new 6 bulbs are newer and add them in now. The par wont be that high to bleach the corals. I also would not add any alk supplement till it gets closer to 8 and then keep it at that level as stable as possible without a dosing pump.

Can you post some pictures? We would be able to help a lot more


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Old 01/05/2017, 06:19 PM   #16
Skujio
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I think this is your main problem, along with the salinity swings. Make sure you get an ATO when money allows.

I would make sure all new 6 bulbs are newer and add them in now. The par wont be that high to bleach the corals. I also would not add any alk supplement till it gets closer to 8 and then keep it at that level as stable as possible without a dosing pump.

Can you post some pictures? We would be able to help a lot more














I hope these will help.


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Old 01/06/2017, 05:59 AM   #17
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thanks for the pictures. youve got a good setup going along.

so as I stated above, I would have all 6 T5s running. How much flow do you have? Those look like some smaller powerheads, may have to add more flow.

The rock still looks very very new. Are you sure you had your cycle, like you had an algae break out, etc?


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Old 01/06/2017, 12:05 PM   #18
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thanks for the pictures. youve got a good setup going along.

so as I stated above, I would have all 6 T5s running. How much flow do you have? Those look like some smaller powerheads, may have to add more flow.

The rock still looks very very new. Are you sure you had your cycle, like you had an algae break out, etc?
Sounds good I'll add those back in. Theyre around 350 gph powerheads along with the return pump adds alot of movement. Do you think I'd need more? And for algae I definitely had an outbreak, everything was dark brown/black with diatoms for about two weeks.


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Old 01/06/2017, 12:26 PM   #19
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Sounds good I'll add those back in. Theyre around 350 gph powerheads along with the return pump adds alot of movement. Do you think I'd need more? And for algae I definitely had an outbreak, everything was dark brown/black with diatoms for about two weeks.
Does it seem like you have a lot of flow? How much flow are you getting from your return pump?

in my 180, granted it is all SPS with a couple anemones but I have 2 gyre 150s, 2 rw15s plus my return which is another 1000+ gph.

So all together I would say I have around 20,000 gph which is around a 100 turnover. So for you that would be around 3000 GPH. Again that is just something to think of and you have to make sure you have your powerheads placed good so theyre not blasting the corals straight on. (I had that problem and lost a big colony by accident)

There could be a whole bunch of things of why it isnt doing it. But first and foremost I would add those T5s', make sure you keep your salinity stable and let alk drop to around 8 and then keep it there. stable is the most important things for corals.


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Old 01/06/2017, 07:59 PM   #20
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Does it seem like you have a lot of flow? How much flow are you getting from your return pump?

in my 180, granted it is all SPS with a couple anemones but I have 2 gyre 150s, 2 rw15s plus my return which is another 1000+ gph.

So all together I would say I have around 20,000 gph which is around a 100 turnover. So for you that would be around 3000 GPH. Again that is just something to think of and you have to make sure you have your powerheads placed good so theyre not blasting the corals straight on. (I had that problem and lost a big colony by accident)

There could be a whole bunch of things of why it isnt doing it. But first and foremost I would add those T5s', make sure you keep your salinity stable and let alk drop to around 8 and then keep it there. stable is the most important things for corals.
I have it so the pumps kind of circulate around rhe tank faced at the glass and the return is putting out around 400 gph I would say.


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Old 01/06/2017, 10:13 PM   #21
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Welcome to the club


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Old 01/07/2017, 02:52 AM   #22
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I have it so the pumps kind of circulate around rhe tank faced at the glass and the return is putting out around 400 gph I would say.
How big is your tank? You'll need anywhere from 20-40 times turnover per hour depending on the corals you keep and some SPS need even higher. Like my tank which is a 75-gallon for 20x It would be 1500gph 40x would obviously mean 3000gph.


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Old 01/07/2017, 05:45 AM   #23
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How big is your tank? You'll need anywhere from 20-40 times turnover per hour depending on the corals you keep and some SPS need even higher. Like my tank which is a 75-gallon for 20x It would be 1500gph 40x would obviously mean 3000gph.
Are you talking turnover rate thru the sump? If so, this would scare many people away. You probably mean 20 to 40 times turnover total water movement. Just wanted to clarify that so he doesn't go out and get a massive energy hogging pump he doesn't need.

The main thing has already been said...stability. A reef tank will run better at poor parameters that are constant and steady better than one who has perfect, then not so perfect, then perfect, then not so perfect.

Salinity changes are by far the easiest of all the parameters to keep constant. So figure that out and your probably going to be good to go.

Keep your water changes spaced out evenly. Don't do one this week, 2 next week, then wait a month and do a big change because its been a while. Keep it scheduled. Not saying that's what you doing, but just a thought to keep in mind for the future.

Try taking your filter sock off if you remove your sump sand. Unless you change that out every other other day, it's not helping. Even then some will say not to use one.

Do you have a regular thermometer? If that sticker one is old, it could be off.

Take that sand out of your sump. Doesn't look clean. Trapping all kinds of junk down there. That will only help you situation. Use that space as a settling chamber to get rid of detritus. That sounded kind of mean...sorry. not trying to be. Just trying to help so you don't get frustrated and give up.



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Old 01/07/2017, 11:14 AM   #24
Skujio
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Are you talking turnover rate thru the sump? If so, this would scare many people away. You probably mean 20 to 40 times turnover total water movement. Just wanted to clarify that so he doesn't go out and get a massive energy hogging pump he doesn't need.

The main thing has already been said...stability. A reef tank will run better at poor parameters that are constant and steady better than one who has perfect, then not so perfect, then perfect, then not so perfect.

Salinity changes are by far the easiest of all the parameters to keep constant. So figure that out and your probably going to be good to go.

Keep your water changes spaced out evenly. Don't do one this week, 2 next week, then wait a month and do a big change because its been a while. Keep it scheduled. Not saying that's what you doing, but just a thought to keep in mind for the future.

Try taking your filter sock off if you remove your sump sand. Unless you change that out every other other day, it's not helping. Even then some will say not to use one.

Do you have a regular thermometer? If that sticker one is old, it could be off.

Take that sand out of your sump. Doesn't look clean. Trapping all kinds of junk down there. That will only help you situation. Use that space as a settling chamber to get rid of detritus. That sounded kind of mean...sorry. not trying to be. Just trying to help so you don't get frustrated and give up.
Haha its fine I don't even know where you sounded mean. That sand is actually this crappy refugium mineral mud since I couldn't find any Miracle Mud to save my life. Everything stuck in it is old chaeto.


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Old 01/08/2017, 03:27 AM   #25
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Are you talking turnover rate thru the sump? If so, this would scare many people away. You probably mean 20 to 40 times turnover total water movement. Just wanted to clarify that so he doesn't go out and get a massive energy hogging pump he doesn't need.
Clearly, I wasn't talking about sump turnover. I probably should have clarified that but most people that have been in the hobby know sump turnover and inside the tank circulation are two different things.


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