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kelper

LPS corals exposing their skeletons with good parameters

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kelper

I've had my IM Nuvo 10 set up for around 8 months now, and I've never had a good experience growing corals. They will be fine for the first few weeks, then everything will go downhill.

Here are my current water parameters:

Ammonia: 0ppm

Nitrite: 0ppm

Nitrate: < 5ppm

Phosphate: 0

Salinity: 1.028 (my refractometer was off, I just calibrated it, and I am bringing the salinity down to 1.026)

Alkalinity: 9.1dkH

Ca: 400ppm

Mg: 1400ppm

 

I have a variety of corals, torches, hammers, and acans, and they seem to shrivel up more and more every day. As far as fish goes, I have 2 clown fish who are doing fine. I recently dosed fluconazole last week because I had a case of bryopsis. The fluconazole has helped a lot. But, even before I dosed the fluconazole, the corals were starting the recede. I started to feed reef roids today because I worry that the corals aren't getting enough nutrients from the light, since I only feed 3 times a week, and I don't feed a lot since my fish are very small.

 

Could there be anything else that could cause my corals to recede?

 

 

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mitten_reef

Those don’t look good. What kind of lighting and how much/ how long is it on everyday?  They could be unhappy with lighting, since parameters seem ok. 
Don’t know if fluco treatment also adversely affecting struggling corals as well? If I recall random reading, that corals tend to take a bit of a hit after treatment. 

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kelper

The light is the Hipargero light, and it's at 80% blue and 40% white.

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Ratvan

I had better luck with LPS corals when my Nitrates were about 10ppm and my Phosphate 0.1. They seem to prefer "dirtier" water

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
5 minutes ago, Ratvan said:

I had better luck with LPS corals when my Nitrates were about 10ppm and my Phosphate 0.1. They seem to prefer "dirtier" water

10ppm is really high for me. I like to keep my nitrates below 2ppm

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Ratvan
1 minute ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

10ppm is really high for me. I like to keep my nitrates below 2ppm

I actually kept them at 40ppm but know people freak out 😄

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mcarroll
On 2/29/2020 at 9:35 PM, kelper said:

Nitrate: < 5ppm

Phosphate: 0

Salinity: 1.028

Not a good combo.....zero phosphates is literally a killer.

 

The salinity spike is not helpful either.

 

On 2/29/2020 at 9:35 PM, kelper said:

I recently dosed fluconazole last week because I had a case of bryopsis.

This is unfortunate for your whole tank.

 

It seems like your tank is off on the wrong foot.....thankfully it's still VERY young at 8 months old.

 

Stay away from the medicine cabinet from now on though.  👍

 

 

Can you tell us about the tank and how it got to this point?

 

How did nutrients get so low?

 

What livestock do you have and when did they all go in?  (Pls be specific.)

 

Also, tell us anything interesting that's happened in the 8 months the tank has been running.

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kelper
7 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Not a good combo.....zero phosphates is literally a killer.

 

The salinity spike is not helpful either.

 

This is unfortunate for your whole tank.

 

It seems like your tank is off on the wrong foot.....thankfully it's still VERY young at 8 months old.

 

Stay away from the medicine cabinet from now on though.  👍

 

 

Can you tell us about the tank and how it got to this point?

 

How did nutrients get so low?

 

What livestock do you have and when did they all go in?  (Pls be specific.)

 

Also, tell us anything interesting that's happened in the 8 months the tank has been running.

 

In the first month, I added ammonia to kick start the cycle. I started with dry rock. After the fishless cycle ended, I added two clownfish after a month. I shortly added some corals, which also didn't do too well. They didn't recede as badly, but I did notice that they were brown and were completely colorless. I got my water tested at my LFS because my parameters looked right in my test kit. I learned that my refractometer was off by almost 0.008, so what I thought was 1.026 was actually 1.018. The fish were fine during this time. My alkalinity and calcium was extremely low, so I started to dose 2-part to raise them into the acceptable range. I was using Instant Ocean at the time. I did not want to dose anymore, so I switched to buying water from my LFS, and they use Red Sea, which was always in the acceptable range. That actually helped a lot. So, I started to only do weekly water changes to get my parameters in the right range.

 

I went through many bouts of different algae problems from that time to now. I had issues with cyanobacteria. At this time, I added Vibrant and some Chemipure, which fixed the issue. Then, I started to have this bout of bryopsis which started last December. It was so meticulous to pluck off of the rocks, so I decided to dose Fluconazole, which fixed the issue. During this time, I stopped dosing Vibrant, and I took out the Chemipure (since it contains carbon which the Fluconazole directions say to remove). Then, the cyanobacteria came back.

 

At night, when I turn on the lights, I see copepods and I saw a stomatella snail one night (if that's an indicator of any parameters).

 

As far as how the nutrients got so low, I have no idea. I only feed my fish every other day, and I feed them sparingly.

 

As of last week, I have completely stopped adding any Fluconazole, Vibrant, or Chemipure. I am basically running on water changes and filter floss, but the corals are still in bad shape.

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Tamberav

I have used fluconazole as a last resort without ill effects but if the corals were already upset, this may further irritate them.

 

Vibrant... this crap tends to 'clean' your tank so well can will starve your corals in the process. Because of this, its not uncommon to get dino once the cyano is gone. if you are trying to starve the algae, you will starve the corals too.

 

I personally feed my fish daily, switching to different foods. I like LRS nano frozen food a lot. My corals seem to love it too. Why do you only feed 3 times a week? I would feed them once a day, and not just pellets. 

 

Your corals are probably starving and all the medication is likely aiding to their demise. They need nutrients and stability to recover. 

 

 

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kelper

I feed 3-4 times each week to keep the nutrients low. I was under the misconception that less nutrients = better all around to lower stress because of a cleaner tank. I also thought that corals can survive on light only since the zooxanthelle can go through photosynthesis and provide them with nutrients (although with the lack of color on my corals, there may be no zooxanthelle). Should I start to provide reef roids every other day?

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mcarroll
2 hours ago, kelper said:

I added ammonia to kick start the cycle. I started with dry rock

That can work but hopefully you know it's not the best way.

 

Starting via the natural method would be better...or best of all start with actual live rock.

 

2 hours ago, kelper said:

I learned that my refractometer was off by almost 0.008, so what I thought was 1.026 was actually 1.018. The fish were fine during this time. My alkalinity and calcium was extremely low, so I started to dose 2-part to raise them into the acceptable range.

Adjusting your s.g. to 1.025 should have taken care of the individual levels.  Did you try that but you still had to dose?

 

2 hours ago, kelper said:

I went through many bouts of different algae problems from that time to now. I had issues with cyanobacteria. At this time, I added Vibrant and some Chemipure, which fixed the issue. Then, I started to have this bout of bryopsis which started last December.

😳

 

It would be closer to accurate to say those "magic bullets" caused the Bryopsis than it would be to say they helped anything.

 

2 hours ago, kelper said:

It was so meticulous to pluck off of the rocks, so I decided to dose Fluconazole, which fixed the issue. During this time, I stopped dosing Vibrant, and I took out the Chemipure (since it contains carbon which the Fluconazole directions say to remove). Then, the cyanobacteria came back.

😣

 

Instant Karma for trying the lazy shortcut every time.  (beware: it gets most of us that way)

 

Try hard to stay away from the medicine cabinet going forward.

 

2 hours ago, kelper said:

As far as how the nutrients got so low, I have no idea. I only feed my fish every other day, and I feed them sparingly.

So you are not filtering or cleaning the fish tank by anything other than water changes?

 

If that's all you were doing, then you just need to feed more and stop doing water changes for a while.

 

2 hours ago, kelper said:

As of last week, I have completely stopped adding any Fluconazole, Vibrant, or Chemipure. I am basically running on water changes and filter floss, but the corals are still in bad shape.

Well, you have kind of had them through the ringer at this point so I would lower any expectations that you had for them more or less permanently. I'm sure all of them are tweaked and will take a long time before they come around.

 

If you want to have a coral to watch in order to gauge the tanks current performance, you will probably have to add a fresh coral that has not been through what yours have.

 

In the short term you may want to dose phosphates to try and improve your existing corals health.  Try to maintain 0.10 ppm until things improve.

 

And definitely get a book to help guide you in the future.  Martin Moe Jr's "Marine Aquarium Handbook: Beginner to Breeder" is an excellent first book.

 

P.S. Since you took all those trips to the medicine cabinet, did you ever get a chance to build up a respectable cleanup crew?  What's in it now?

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kelper
On 3/8/2020 at 12:31 PM, mcarroll said:

That can work but hopefully you know it's not the best way.

 

Starting via the natural method would be better...or best of all start with actual live rock.

 

Adjusting your s.g. to 1.025 should have taken care of the individual levels.  Did you try that but you still had to dose?

 

😳

 

It would be closer to accurate to say those "magic bullets" caused the Bryopsis than it would be to say they helped anything.

 

😣

 

Instant Karma for trying the lazy shortcut every time.  (beware: it gets most of us that way)

 

Try hard to stay away from the medicine cabinet going forward.

 

So you are not filtering or cleaning the fish tank by anything other than water changes?

 

If that's all you were doing, then you just need to feed more and stop doing water changes for a while.

 

Well, you have kind of had them through the ringer at this point so I would lower any expectations that you had for them more or less permanently. I'm sure all of them are tweaked and will take a long time before they come around.

 

If you want to have a coral to watch in order to gauge the tanks current performance, you will probably have to add a fresh coral that has not been through what yours have.

 

In the short term you may want to dose phosphates to try and improve your existing corals health.  Try to maintain 0.10 ppm until things improve.

 

And definitely get a book to help guide you in the future.  Martin Moe Jr's "Marine Aquarium Handbook: Beginner to Breeder" is an excellent first book.

 

P.S. Since you took all those trips to the medicine cabinet, did you ever get a chance to build up a respectable cleanup crew?  What's in it now?

Thank you for investing all of the time to write that detailed response! And, I will hold off on the meds for the future. I've only been looking at my tank from the perspective of alk, ca, and mg, and I've thought that low nitrates and phosphates were great. Once I get my phosphates up, it sounds like I should get a "test" coral (maybe a GSP?) to check that all of my conditions are stable.

 

I do not have a cleanup crew that I know about. Only the stomatella snail that sneaked in as a hitchhiker. Do you recommend a cleanup crew? If so, what would be the ideal cleanup crew for a nano reef tank?

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This guy is extra salty
59 minutes ago, kelper said:

Thank you for investing all of the time to write that detailed response! And, I will hold off on the meds for the future. I've only been looking at my tank from the perspective of alk, ca, and mg, and I've thought that low nitrates and phosphates were great. Once I get my phosphates up, it sounds like I should get a "test" coral (maybe a GSP?) to check that all of my conditions are stable.

 

I do not have a cleanup crew that I know about. Only the stomatella snail that sneaked in as a hitchhiker. Do you recommend a cleanup crew? If so, what would be the ideal cleanup crew for a nano reef tank?

GSP is a weed and is extremely hardy I would literally make it in island lol 😂 

 

as for a clean up crew “CUC” I would recommend trochus snails (it’s a preference) 

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