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JohnCena

Can't Keep SPS for more than a week or 2

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JohnCena

Hello Guys, 

 

I have a 40 gallon that is running almost 9 months, of which everything was transferred from a 20 g and 5 g which was running for a 2 years. The contents in the tank is almost approx 2 and half years old.

 

Got various LPS in the tank that are thriving but not a single SPS is going good. Got Hollywood stunner, one in few days. green slimer, slowly bleached from the bottom. Birdsnest, flesh came off slowly in span of 2 weeks and same with purple stylo. I dont know what wrong im doing. Right now only chip povona is doing good. 

 

Dosing Red Sea AB+ like 8 ml every 3 days and Tropic Marine All in Reef 3 ml per day. 

 

This is my current system:

 

40 gallon IM

Kessil A360X

Chemipure Elite media (changing every 2 months)

5 gallon water change every 2 weeks

Bare Bottom Tank

 

parameters are:

 

Po4 : 0.03PPM

Alk: 10.9dkh
Nirates: 5ppm

mag: 1500 (maxed out the salifert test)

Cal: 500
 

Please find some pictures of the Light schedule and current tank.

 

Please guide me what could be going bad and what to change to promote the growth

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.37.12.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.35.47.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.36.14.jpeg

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JohnCena

Also Running a UV (IM Medium) from last 6 months. 

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Tired

Well, your tank looks really nice, and your nutrients are good. I'm not sure if high magnesium could be a problem. 

 

Is there any chance you put them in stinging range of something? 

 

Have there ever been any SPS in the tank before? I wonder if one might have brought in a disease.

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JohnCena
Just now, Tired said:

Have there ever been any SPS in the tank before? I wonder if one might have brought in a disease.

Had few but either they lasted a month or less. Had purple stylo for 6 months and it grew into multiple branches but a black goby started hosting/eating it and by the time I tried to move him out of tank, the flesh started falling off. except this, nothing survived. Keeping this in mind, got another stylo which I still have it in tank (above picture has it) and the flesh is already falling off and most of the coral is bleached. 

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Nano_Addict

Your parameters all look to be good, though I would say Alk, Ca, and Mg are on the high end of all the acceptable ranges.  Might be worth slowly lowering them to something like 9dkH, 450 Ca, and 1400 Mg and giving sps another shot.

 

Also, what's your pH? Do you have a way to monitor it regularly?

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JohnCena
4 minutes ago, Nano_Addict said:

Also, what's your pH? Do you have a way to monitor it regularly?

I'm not monitering PH. its been years I tested PH. I was in assumption that once the tank is established, we don't need to worry about ph.

will test today and post the results here. Thanks for pointing out this. 

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Nano_Addict
6 minutes ago, JohnCena said:

I'm not monitering PH. its been years I tested PH. I was in assumption that once the tank is established, we don't need to worry about ph.

will test today and post the results here. Thanks for pointing out this. 

I would test it at maybe 3-4 points thoughout the day and see what if any trends you can find.  pH fluctuates naturally (more ppl in the house = more CO2 = lower pH).  A low pH can also cause calcification issues from what I understand.  Check out this video series from BRS about mastering reef chemistry.  It's super nerdy and in the weeds, but definitely contains some valuable information if you can get through them! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLBaMLrfToJyzaI6eWFgmMvtKlVbFKIaBX

 

Edit: Have you ever tested your PAR?  Maybe it's possible that you're bleaching them with too much light.  Though I do see a few other corals around the area of the SPS.  Just a thought.

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JohnCena

Thanks for helping me with this information. Yeah, we have 4 more people added in the house in last 6 months. will definitely check the ph through our the day at different intervals to see the variation.  

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jservedio
1 hour ago, Nano_Addict said:

Your parameters all look to be good, though I would say Alk, Ca, and Mg are on the high end of all the acceptable ranges.  Might be worth slowly lowering them to something like 9dkH, 450 Ca, and 1400 Mg and giving sps another shot.

 

Also, what's your pH? Do you have a way to monitor it regularly?

It's not the pH unless your oxygen levels in the house are obscenely low, you have extremely low flow, or you are using a piece of cling wrap as a tank lid. But it wouldn't even directly be the pH, it would be the pH's effect on Alkalinity. Your other corals would be suffering too.

 

2 hours ago, JohnCena said:

Po4 : 0.03PPM

Alk: 10.9dkh
Nirates: 5ppm

mag: 1500 (maxed out the salifert test)

Cal: 500

Your Alk is 10.9dkh now, but what was it on a daily basis after you added your SPS? If your alkalinity was changing by 1dkh or more in a day and is all over the place, that is 100% your culprit. What is you daily alkalinity usage if you are dosing 2-part?

 

If your alk is perfectly stable and your daily usage is constant you need to find a new place to buy your SPS from since SPS can take weeks or even months to respond negatively to an alkalinity spike. You are at the mercy of any spikes in the source tank for at least a month (though you do benefit from a huge burst in growth if the source tank is a very healthy tank!) Also, you want to be getting your SPS from places with fairly close alkalinity - going from a system like mine at 7.5dkh to 11dkh after the stress of being bagged is a recipe for disaster if you don't have a quarantine tank to slowly bring the alk up to match your tank.

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JohnCena
48 minutes ago, jservedio said:

It's not the pH unless your oxygen levels in the house are obscenely low, you have extremely low flow, or you are using a piece of cling wrap as a tank lid. But it wouldn't even directly be the pH, it would be the pH's effect on Alkalinity. Your other corals would be suffering too.

Definitely not O2 issues.

 

I think im sure its ALK swing. I tested them everyday like for a week at same time and all came out with just slight difference. 10.7-11 range. But the place where i bought corals said they have been using salt that has alk around 8 range. Mine is Red Sea Pro which has 12, so I try to keep mine at 11. decreasing the ALK might help i guess. around 8-9 so it would match with place where I buy my SPS.

 

Thanks for figuring this out.

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Tamberav

I would switch salts to get the alk lower. Small swings at higher alk are usually more of a problem then swings at a lower alk. I like 7-9 depending on the salt.

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JohnCena

Just checked the PH (4 times till now) and ALK and Phos and these are the parameters:

 

ALK: 10.8 dkh

Phos: 0.09 (May be I used some reef riods), will check again today to see if its down

Ph: 7.9 -8 (Salifert)

 

 

17 hours ago, Tamberav said:

I would switch salts to get the alk lower. Small swings at higher alk are usually more of a problem then swings at a lower alk. I like 7-9 depending on the salt.

 

Yes, im using Red Sea Salt, not pro. Was done with pro last month, just did 2 water changes with Regular salt which as 8 dkh.

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JohnCena

Since I can rule out the PH, I'll try to lower the alk by reducing the dosing. instead of doing daily, will change it to alternate days and see how my alk is dropping on the day when I'm not dosing. 

Will post once I have the results.

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mcarroll
On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

I have a 40 gallon that is running almost 9 months, of which everything was transferred from a 20 g and 5 g which was running for a 2 years. The contents in the tank is almost approx 2 and half years old.

A fairly young tank turned into a brand new tank.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

Got various LPS in the tank that are thriving but not a single SPS is going good. Got Hollywood stunner, one in few days. green slimer, slowly bleached from the bottom. Birdsnest, flesh came off slowly in span of 2 weeks and same with purple stylo.

Because...

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

Dosing Red Sea AB+ like 8 ml every 3 days and Tropic Marine All in Reef 3 ml per day.

...you're carbon dosing twice-over – both not needed in such a new/stressed tank that probably needs 100% of the nutrients you're giving it.  Stop using both of these products IMO.

 

If you are really seeing alkalinity decline in test results enough to justify the 3mL of AllForReef, then find another way to make up for it....E.g. Use a traditional 2- or 3-part, or kalkwasser.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

40 gallon IM

Kessil A360X

That's potentially quite a bit of light for such a small tank.

 

What are the tank's dimensions?

 

How high do you have the light mounted from the water line?

 

How high do you have the intensity setting?  (Measuring the actual lux, PAR or watts would be more idea, if you're able.)

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

Chemipure Elite media (changing every 2 months)

5 gallon water change every 2 weeks

...and because you're pulling dissolved nutrients out of the tank in these ways too.  

 

Stop the chemipure and cut back or stop the water changes until things stabilize.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

Po4 : 0.03PPM

Nirates: 5ppm

PO₄ is very low.  Depending on the kit you're testing with and its margin of error, you might actually be closer to zero than the number indicates.  Do what it takes to assure that it doesn't go lower....raising it to ≥0.10 ppm would be a good move.

 

NO₃ is low enough that I would take care not to let it go any lower.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

Alk: 10.9dkh

mag: 1500 (maxed out the salifert test)

Cal: 500

What is your salinity?   These numbers seem unbalanced.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.37.12.jpeg

Not sure I understand the pic, but it looks like you have a day that's only 2 or 3 hours long and which only ramps up to 50% intensity or so?

 

Try 12 hours.

 

Need to know how many lux, PAR or watts consumption those settings generate.   Not sure yet, but the tank could need more intensity as well as longer hours.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:41 PM, JohnCena said:

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.35.47.jpeg

WhatsApp Image 2021-01-13 at 13.36.14.jpeg

Honestly things in the pics look really good.

 

MAYBE we could be a little more critical with more white lights in the pic to show more details....but that's maybe.  Looks good to me.

 

On 1/13/2021 at 1:43 PM, JohnCena said:

Also Running a UV (IM Medium) from last 6 months. 

Why?  If there's no specific reason I would take the filter down for now to save the bulb.  They have a finite amount of run time before the bulb needs to be replaced.

 

16 hours ago, JohnCena said:

ALK: 10.8 dkh

Phos: 0.09 (May be I used some reef riods), will check again today to see if its down

Ph: 7.9 -8 (Salifert)

Seems like PO₄ is trending upwards, which is a good thing.  (Verify if there's any doubt.)

 

Still need a reading on salinity to know what to make of those alk, ca and mg levels.  👍

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JohnCena
7 hours ago, mcarroll said:

...you're carbon dosing twice-over – both not needed in such a new/stressed tank that probably needs 100% of the nutrients you're giving it.  Stop using both of these products IMO.

 

If you are really seeing alkalinity decline in test results enough to justify the 3mL of AllForReef, then find another way to make up for it....E.g. Use a traditional 2- or 3-part, or kalkwasser.

Thanks, I have stopped dosing AB+ (Thinking to do it once in a week) and slowly reducing the All in Reef dosing, after series of testing, will target the dosing for a contact 8 dkh ALK.

 

7 hours ago, mcarroll said:

That's potentially quite a bit of light for such a small tank.

 

What are the tank's dimensions?

 

How high do you have the light mounted from the water line?

 

How high do you have the intensity setting?  (Measuring the actual lux, PAR or watts would be more idea, if you're able.)

 

It at 12 inches High at 50% intensity for 2 hours, running for 10.5 hours a day. Its a NUVO 40 with Length 23.62” Width: 15.94” Height: 18.89”. I'm not running white at all, may be 5% color intensity, the picture i have uploaded was using 50% white and blue combination for visual appeal. 

 

Was using UV because I saw the tank was leading to Dinos when the nutrients were too low, bought few fishes and did few things also by adding UV was able to stop dinos, cynos. I turned it off when you mentioned about it though. 

 

7 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Seems like PO₄ is trending upwards, which is a good thing.  (Verify if there's any doubt.)

 

Still need a reading on salinity to know what to make of those alk, ca and mg levels.  👍

 

Salinity is at 1.026 flat. right now using Red Sea Salt, but tank was built with red sea pro salt. 

 

I hope I answered all the questions. Right now I feel at ALK was the issue since most of the reefers where i got my corals have their alk at 8-9 and mine at 11. thinking this could be culprit. trying to bring ALK to 8.5 to 9 range and will try to keep it there. 

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mcarroll
On 1/15/2021 at 9:49 AM, JohnCena said:

Salinity is at 1.026 flat. right now using Red Sea Salt, but tank was built with red sea pro salt.

Not sure that s.g. is high enough to explain those test numbers you had for ca and mg.

 

On 1/15/2021 at 9:49 AM, JohnCena said:

Right now I feel at ALK was the issue since most of the reefers where i got my corals have their alk at 8-9 and mine at 11. thinking this could be culprit. trying to bring ALK to 8.5 to 9 range and will try to keep it there.

If alkalinity spiked up along with everything else (ca, mg) then it could definitely be a problem.  Alk swings are a known problem.  (To me this seems likely in your case.)

 

"Most reefers..."

 

You know what they say about "most people" right???

 

Keeping alk at 11 dKH isn't a problem.  That's where I kept mine for years because it was a very standard target range among successful reefers – and I had rocking SPS, no issues.  But things were stable.

 

So to take it further, if ca, mg and alk all spiked together in your tank then it was almost certainly from the All-For-Reef dosing.  

 

Since the alk component depends on bacterial breakdown to "free up" the alkalinity, there is also likely a bacterial bloom associated with the startup of this product....which could impact nutrients in a negative way.  Having a nutrient crash is also a problem.

 

"High alk" as a problem per se is a dubious notion cooked up in recent years.  Coincidentally or not, (I think not) it arrived along with the popularity of carbon dosing and the sudden need to explain its negative side-effects.   Biological scapegoating.   LOL.  

 

Focusing on the basics is where it's at.

 

In my view, you most likely caused a mineral level spike (ca, alk, mg) which due to the nature of what was dosed, in turn caused a nutrient crash.

 

That's a double whammy.

 

IMO, don't make any drastic changes to alk or anything else.  You should be targeting the level that your salt provides, whether that's 8 dKH or 12 dKH.  That way dosing and water changes aren't causing spikes or crashes.  Changes are minimized.

 

I would also keep it simple across the board when it comes to what you put into the tank.  It should be fish food, dosing chemicals and water changes....and pretty much nothing else.  

 

No need to get fancy at this stage.  And in fact doing so can (and has) worked against many a-reefer.

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JohnCena

Thanks for your suggestions. 

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