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Time to start dosing?


mrg02d

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Hey guys, I've been having issues with my sps corals lately. I figured it was due to neglect so I concentrated on cleanup and good pwc schedule. Well a month later, I'm still having issues so I checked alkalinity. I found it to be just barely 7dkh. Looking around, I see my red monti cap and Idaho grape montis have grown huge in my tank. (20g) they confuse to grow and show no signs of stress.

 

Could the montis be sucking up the alkalinity and causing trouble for my other sps corals? My new poker star turned half green and half brown the first week of having it. A few others are acting odd as in just refusing to heal. Imagine an extreme slow STN. Would low dkh cause this? I moved a super monti frag from another tank into this and it died in two days. The other tank has little sps and has a dkh of 10. My reef crystals salt water has a dkh of 11. This main tank is at 7dkh right now.

 

 

Thanks,

Matt

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altolamprologus

7 dkh is by no means too low. Seawater is usually 7-8 dkh.

 

Here's what I would do:

1. check calcium and magnesium and make sure all 3 are balanced.

2. test the alk of your water change water

3. test alk a few hours after your water change and just before the next water change and see what the difference is.

4. do as many water tests as possible (such as nitrate, phos, pH)

5. post the results here

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7 dkh is by no means too low. Seawater is usually 7-8 dkh.

 

Here's what I would do:

1. check calcium and magnesium and make sure all 3 are balanced.

2. test the alk of your water change water

3. test alk a few hours after your water change and just before the next water change and see what the difference is.

4. do as many water tests as possible (such as nitrate, phos, pH)

5. post the results here

 

Hello,

I will get some of those tests done, but I can say that the water change water is 11dkh. So something is bringing it down big time. After a small (10%) pwc, the dkh is up to 8dkh now. I'll test in a few days and see if it's dropped. I've been doing a 20%pwc each week, and always relied on the pwc for my dosing. But now that my montis have grown so big, I suspect they have become the cause for low dkh. They are so big that I cannot get them out of the tank. (euro bracing). All the zoas and mushrooms are nice and happy. There is very little algea left, so I suspect my nutrients are under control. The tank looks a little too clean actually.

 

I know all tanks and corals are different, but could my sps be happy with high dkh? My inverts seem fine, so I don't suspect any metals are in the water.

 

Edit: I should add that I had been running GFO for a few weeks. I noticed that as soon as I stopped, some montis showed better polyp extension with hours. Could just be my imagination, but who knows? Anyone here have bad experience with GFO and sps.? I stopped the GFO after looking at myo ther tank that is overgrown with red looking caullerpa macro. I noticed that despite the neglect, ally eh corals looked happy and there was nearly no oter algea in that tank. I decided that macro algea would do more than GFO would.

Matt

 

Matt

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altolamprologus

Too much GFO can irritate corals. Make sure you rinse it well before use and only use a small amount at a time. From your description is does seem like your montis are sucking up a lot of alk, so I would say it's ok to start dosing. Just make sure you test your water at least every other day for the first couple weeks until you learn how much alk your tank uses. It's probably not the reason for the STN though, so you should still do all the water tests you can

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Too much GFO can irritate corals. Make sure you rinse it well before use and only use a small amount at a time. From your description is does seem like your montis are sucking up a lot of alk, so I would say it's ok to start dosing. Just make sure you test your water at least every other day for the first couple weeks until you learn how much alk your tank uses. It's probably not the reason for the STN though, so you should still do all the water tests you can

 

Okay, I'll pick up some dkh buffer from my Lfs tommorrow. Also forgot to mention the I might have caused a mini cycle back when I went nuts cleaning. I had to remove half of my live rock because it was so infested with xenias. I realized weeks later that I could have caused a mini cycle due to the sudden reduction in live bacteria. No?

 

I'm now wondering if I should just frag up what is left of the living tissue of my sps rather than wait out this ultra slow stn? Maybe the reduction. In live rock caused a mini cycle that pissed off the corals and they never healed? I low that stn and rtn never seem to work themselves out without a full butcher job.

 

Matt

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I may be wrong, but you said your tank looks a little to clean. Maybe your in a ultra low nutrient system. I did this a couple years ago. Sps was starting to look a lil pale, slow growth, etc. I also had very few fish at the time. I increaseed my feedings and bought a couple more fish. And low and behold things started looking better. This may not be the case with yours bit its a thought.

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altolamprologus

I've fixed stn on corals by either fragging off the dead parts or putting coral glue over the dead parts. It's not a 100% cure, but it has helped me a few times.

 

As mentioned above, it could be from low nutrients. Try feeding your corals, it may help stop tissue loss and increase growth. I recommend oyster feast and rotifeast

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I may be wrong, but you said your tank looks a little to clean. Maybe your in a ultra low nutrient system. I did this a couple years ago. Sps was starting to look a lil pale, slow growth, etc. I also had very few fish at the time. I increaseed my feedings and bought a couple more fish. And low and behold things started looking better. This may not be the case with yours bit its a thought.

 

This is quite possible. I'd look into this for sure. How many fish and what types do you have? What size is the tank?

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Going back to your original question about low alk. As stated, 7 is not low. But is is at the bottom of OK. Also your test kit may not be accurate. It could be lower .

 

You are correct that Monti Caps do suck the alk right out of the tank. All stonies do but Caps grow fast and use alot. This is actually a good problem to have caused by growth. You just need to find your balance point by testing as already mentioned above.

 

I had the same experience. Caps growing fast. Encrusting montis like pokerstar, superman, and rainbow, all looked bad, browned and died. Alk was in the 5's and 6's. Raised alk and never had problems again.

 

In my tanks, low alk is the worst thing that can happen. High swings have not produced bad results, maybe because that is easy to catch and correct. Low alk is generally slow long term condition.

 

This is all assuming the rest of your parameters are in order.

 

Good Luck,

 

Kevin

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Hello,

I will get some of those tests done, but I can say that the water change water is 11dkh. So something is bringing it down big time. After a small (10%) pwc, the dkh is up to 8dkh now. I'll test in a few days and see if it's dropped. I've been doing a 20%pwc each week, and always relied on the pwc for my dosing. But now that my montis have grown so big, I suspect they have become the cause for low dkh. They are so big that I cannot get them out of the tank. (euro bracing). All the zoas and mushrooms are nice and happy. There is very little algea left, so I suspect my nutrients are under control. The tank looks a little too clean actually.

 

I know all tanks and corals are different, but could my sps be happy with high dkh? My inverts seem fine, so I don't suspect any metals are in the water.

 

Edit: I should add that I had been running GFO for a few weeks. I noticed that as soon as I stopped, some montis showed better polyp extension with hours. Could just be my imagination, but who knows? Anyone here have bad experience with GFO and sps.? I stopped the GFO after looking at myo ther tank that is overgrown with red looking caullerpa macro. I noticed that despite the neglect, ally eh corals looked happy and there was nearly no oter algea in that tank. I decided that macro algea would do more than GFO would.

Matt

 

Matt

 

 

Here you state that you will wait a few days to see if it drops. I think you need to test each day so you can see what your daily consumption is. Then you can learn your daily dosing.

 

Also, why not up your weekly WC from 20% to 30%? That is only from 4 up to 6g. This would help keep your tank params closer to the params of you salt mix. Less swings. Also greater export. Then you may not need the GFO. With greater export you can feed heavier. It is the fesh supply of food that living things want; not a good supply of nitrites or nitrates (wastes).

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Okay, so I got around to testing a few parameters.

Calcium: 460ppm

Phosphates: 0

Nitrates: 5ppm

DKH: 8

Salinity 1.026

 

My guess is the nitrates are too high for the sps corals. Several sps corals browned out. A few corals are slowly changing color back to their normal color.

 

My sunset montipora is near gone now from the STN. I cut a sliver off in hopes of it surviving. Is brown like fudge and shows no polyps at all.

 

Another random acro that used to be super neon green is still brown like fudge and slowly withering away. I also fragged it up today and said goodbye to the rest.

 

My new pokerstar montipora is half brown and half dull green. The polyps are brown.

 

My new Jedi mind trick hasnt changed at all. That's strange, huh? Must be using the force. ;)

 

A few other sps corals haven't changed at all either. They have their color and are growing massive.

 

I'm guessing the the crash caused a lot of dye off that resulted in nitrates and nutrients. A few more large PWC ought to see nitrates go to zero. Could nitrates be the cause of this crap rather than dKH? I noticed my LFS dKH is 8 and they have the most spectacular corals I've seen!!!!

 

Stopped the GFO and added some macro algea. I'm also running some carbon in case some junk got into my water.

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