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On 11/18/2021 at 7:26 PM, A.m.P said:

I don't know honestly, low Phosphate maybe?

I ordered new Ca test reagents. My RS kit tested freshly mixed RS Blue saltwater at pretty low levels so I think it's possibly the kit. Interested to find out. Did a ~15g water change in mean time. My phosphates have traditionally been high in the tank (e.g. 0.3-0.5) but have improved to more reasonable levels (~0.1). 

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Hooking up my large ATO vat before I leave town for a month. Both of my cheap float valves are leaking too much though (see stream in pic). Ordered a new one that has 1/4" barbed fitting instead of quick-connect. 


Test results with new reagents...

Ca: 380

KH: 9.1

PO4: 0.03 

pH: 8.4


I was using ULR PO4 packets with my Hannah checker so that explains the e.g. 0.5 values. Calcium is also higher, whether it was reagent or 15g water change. 


Strangely, still no coralline algae growing since they move. Had a lot of it before the move. 



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  • 1 month later...

One month later! Tank was visited once a week in my absence to top off the ATO, take some pics, clean the skimmer, check temp. I used an autofeeder and had the sitters drop in two media bags of GFO/carbon. I also had them dose some Brightwell Phosphate Remover (like 5mL twice). As you can maybe tell, I was worried about nutrients spiking with the autofeeder adding dry mysis daily...


The good: fish are fine, no corals bleached (yet), the ATO setup worked great (!), my dosing settings proved pretty perfect after tuning before trip

Caveats: With the small slit I used, food in the autofeeder settled to block the opening after some time, meaning very little actually went into tank...not a big deal for the angel (who picks at algae) or the cardinal (who starves for a month) but the filter media then proved to be overkill. Result: nutrients crashed to zero and I see some RTN on two corals. Angel got hungry and is picking some things...but he's too cute. Some crap algae on sand. 2nd RP-M broke (for third time) so little less flow in tank. 


January 2nd, 2022

Ca: 420 ppm

Alk: 9.1 dKH

Mg: 1400 ppm

pH: 8.6

PO4: 0.00 ppm 👎

NO3: 1 ppm 👎


Just reduced alk dosing slightly from 18mL, so now...

Alk: 3 x 5.8mL starting at 8:00am (17.4mL)

Ca: 3 x 7.0mL starting at 7:00am (21mL)


Feeding extra now. I think I'll order some reef roids now and some liquid phosphate. 


Top two corals suffered in my absence. Purple acro has thin tissue and gone very faint brown (most zooxanthellae dipped). Table had new growth (encrusting and started growing where it was fragged)...then started dying a week ago, probably due to crash. Table also darkened interestingly (counterintuitive). 


Bottom two corals don't care or are more efficient at grabbing nutrients, some clear growth. 


My porites (not shown) likes nutrients and is clearly has some malnutrition. 





My perfect float switch 😍  vertical barbed fitting vs. 90deg push-connect fitting like all the other cheap, small float switches, which failed/leaked (e.g. 5gal an hour, easy disaster if you don't see it on install). 

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  • 3 weeks later...

Took a while for ReefRoids and Acropower to arrive (just fed). NeoPhos on back-order. I turned T5 lights off for a few weeks to try and avoid stress on the STN corals. My big regret is having the tank sitters put in that second large bag of carbon/GFO when it evidently wasn't needed. Remarkably, the table stopped dying. Maybe it will come back. I turned my skimmer off recently as well. Maybe I'll run it only at night as a compromise. Annoying that this tank has had so many waves of problems - I get sick frags, they take time to acclimate, they finally encrust and look good, then some instability comes along and resets progress. It doesn't help knowing that I'm going to move the tank a second time in July. 1yr apartment leases are practically resets. Granted, I've progressively eliminated problems. 

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The ReefBreeder pumps are dog sh-t...I'lll finally admit.


The RP-M's are solid if they're working but I've had continuous issues. Controller replacement on one, wet side replacement on the other, one of them fails altogether, then recently the other one did as well. Meanwhile the skimmer from them also failed (replaced with Bubble Magnus).


I just have a tiny Hygger pump ($75) running right now with the return pump turned up. Sucked it up and ordered an MP10QD.


I have cyano from my PO4/NO3 being out of balance (I believe), just got the PO4 up to 0.04. 

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Just a quick, raw FTS along with some testing numbers. MP10 is up now. I think SPS is happy about it. We'll see if this cyano goes away. 


0.00 PO4 (I reduced skimmer from ten hours at night to six hours, dosed 3mL NeoPhos) 

8.9 dKH alk

8.5 pH 

470ppm Ca

~1ppm NO3


Dropped dosages... (mainly to avoid calcium deposits with that high pH)

12 --> 7.5mL KH /day

18 --> 12mL Ca /day


Tank is definitely neglected due to academic, relationship, athletic commitments but things are chill. Recovering from parameter flux at the end of december when I was on vacation. I think I'll send in a Triton test. And maybe order frags in like two weeks if things seem good. The corals want more nutrients. 


Edit: My goniopora responded immediately to the NeoPhos (~30mins). Poor guy had been starving/STN'ing. 



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  • 1 month later...
On 2/4/2022 at 12:38 PM, Spencer7 said:

0.00 PO4. --> 0.52 (lowering NeoPhos dosage)

8.9 dKH alk --> same 

8.5 pH  --> same

470ppm Ca --> 480ppm

~1ppm NO3 --> same (maybe increasing NeoNitro dosage)

^ Updated to include yesterday's test results. Mg is a little low at 1310. I've increased the tank temp from ~76.5F to ~78.5F 


February ICP test shows my silicates are exceedingly high (661.00 µg/l). They've consistently increased during my time in Pittsburgh. I thought it may be from the eluting from my artificial rock or accumulating from my Pittsburgh tap, however, I'm now fairly confident it's been eluting from my Miracle Mud


Look at this SeaChem Silicate test comparison between my tank water (left) and my RODI water (right)...



Dramatic results that seem to exonerate my RODI setup/tap water. I've removed the tupperware of mud and I will monitor changes. Might do an outside test on the mud.


Since dosing nutrients, my cyano has gone down and been replaced by dino's - likely taking advantage of the silicates. I feel like I'm closing in on a balance. Would like to see my nitrates at 5ppm and phosphates at about 0.05-0.1ppm. 


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18 hours ago, DevilDuck said:

Are you sure they are dinos and not diatoms? Dosing silicate to promote diatoms to outcompete dinos is one of the ways to get rid of dinos.

I think you're right, I get them mixed up, these have less bubbles.



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  • 4 weeks later...

Diatoms and cyano have improved. Haven't seen any negative repercussions after removing Miracle Mud. 


Dosing some Cyano Rx. 


I'd like to get another fish or two in here for the Pygmy angel. 

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  • 1 month later...

Nutrients are pretty well tuned. Dealing with some hair algae but corals have nice color and improved PE.


April 27th FTS.jpg

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Man Spencer,looking good. I'm glad to see this riding out the storm and making progression. I think this is the longest you have had a tank running in a few years if I'm not mistaken lol. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

May 21st (about to leave the tank alone for a week, testing before 10g WC)

Ca: 450ppm

KH: 9.1

NO3: ~12

PO4: 0.00


Changed light schedule today. Little more powerful. Little longer. More of a parabolic curve from sunrise to sunset. 


Feels a little funny doing a large water change as I dose nitrates to keep them at 10-15ppm and have my phosphates too low. I will dose 5mL of NeoPhos tomorrow morning on my way out.


Corals are doing well. Just waiting for them to grow more upwards!

I want to get a new fish and CUC when I get back. Want some help with this hair algae.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I think the new lighting program is too powerful. Going to move some corals and drop it a little.

I'll also probably start dosing PO4. Been waiting for a replacement union for my dosing pump so I can use the fourth channel. 


Picked up a TNT anacropora frag yesterday. 


No deaths, tank is stable. Growth is painfully slow on most of these pieces. If I find myself with some money, I'm hoping to buy a second MP10 to replace the Hygger I have in there. 


Tank has about six weeks before being moved to the new apartment. Really hope it goes well. 

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Man,when you uodate your thread I always wish it was positive lol always got something going on. 


 Glad to hear nothing has died though,thats always a plus. 

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4 hours ago, Reefkid88 said:

Man,when you uodate your thread I always wish it was positive lol always got something going on. 


 Glad to hear nothing has died though,thats always a plus. 

Just trying to log any changes I'm making or potential trends I'm starting to see. The tank is doing well. 


Ca: 420 ppm 

Alk: 8.2 dKH

NO3: 10 ppm

PO4: 0.00 ppm (added 10mL NeoPhos)

pH: 8.3


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 6/17/2022 at 7:07 AM, Ratvan said:

Looks great, especially like the plating corals at the base of the structure 

Thanks man. I've tried to avoid fast growers/filler corals for the most part...which will hopefully pay off in the log run but also makes things boring.


I placed the few exceptions/monti's on the bottom so they would at least not take up prime real estate. If they're happy down there, why not? 


Updated lighting settings (some corals were getting too pale). 4 x T5 bulbs turn on from 11am - 3pm. 



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