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stephj03

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It may be more productive to change your expectations a bit based on how your tank is coming together.

Your tank is advancing on what looks like a 1yr path to a happy point.

Most reefers use to think this was right on track before all the internet heros built the fantasy that anyone with any tank can buy and optimize their way into a perfect reef in a few mo.

I mean, are you sure you want yo use vibrant on the level of alga in the pictures you posted? Why not be patient and let the snails eat at it for a month or two first?
 
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Apollo7235

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I mean sure you can go down the rabbit hole of perfect salinity, perfect Cu and knock down the Si a bit, but are you finding a lot of threads from others where this level of these issues is causing this much of a problem for others?

I'm not saying don't try to optimize. Im just saying I think some ppl like me mean a different thing when they use the word patience.

But by all means throw a poly pad in the sump and get some silica buster media in an extra stage on your RO. Check your magnets and anything metal around the tank for corrosion. That could explain the copper as well.
The only magnetic thing I have in the tank is my ATO sensor, so I will check that later tonight. Otherwise, there is literally nothing else I can think of that would be leaching the copper... Unless it's the MarinePure cubes or the dry rock? I truly can't think of anything else.

I am going to go ahead and order some poly pads, refractometer calibrating fluid, add a silicate cannister to my RODI system, and try to knock back the copper with Cuprisorb if I can. Otherwise, I really don't know what else to do aside from continuing with the biweekly 20% water changes. I am going to probably get another ICP test so I can track my progress; probably send that in a few weeks after I get the new equipment and implement the fixes.
 

stephj03

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Did you run an ICP on your QT rig? If so how do they compare. If not, I think that would be a worthwhile comparison.
 
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Apollo7235

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Did you run an ICP on your QT rig? If so how do they compare. If not, I think that would be a worthwhile comparison.
No, I didn’t. I just don’t really care to know what’s up with my QT because I feel like every system is different and successful in its own way.

Im more concerned with that the heck could possibly be so wrong with my display. It just amazes me.
 
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stephj03

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But that's the reason why the comparison is valuable.

Your QT is a "known good" system for the coral you have.

Seeing ICP test results of both tanks side by side will help you know how different salinity/Cu/Si I your display is from a level that can clearly isn't problematic for your corals.
 

Ashy

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So clearly, the silicon coming from my RODI water needs to be addressed and apparently RODI systems aren't the best thing for removing it from source water; any recommendations on the best way to do this? My TDS meter shows 0 on the output and my RODI cannisters are still fairly new, for reference.

Wouldnt that also show issues in your QT so I dont think its your RODI.
 
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Apollo7235

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But that's the reason why the comparison is valuable.

Your QT is a "known good" system for the coral you have.

Seeing ICP test results of both tanks side by side will help you know how different salinity/Cu/Si I your display is from a level that can clearly isn't problematic for your corals.
Well, that definitely could be.

If, after I correct the metals in my display and add some 10lbs of Garf Grubge +, it still won’t support corals, I will have the QT tested, but hopefully this solves it and I can stop spending money on tests and fixes and start spending money on livestock we can enjoy!
 

stephj03

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Where exactly did the dead and live rock in your display come from?

How "live" is the live rock?

Where was the dry rock before it was dry?

If you have ruled out pump impellars, magnets, metal fixtures near the tank that might get wet/damp, I would think about your rock potentially being a source of the metals.


Was there a third tank online that you were using to QT fish? Was there rock in that tank? What happened to it? where did it come from and go?

Where did the rock that is in your QT tank come from? Was it ever in any of your other tanks or just the QT tank.
 

FishyFishFish

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Have you ever used anything in your main tank that had been in the QT with the copper? Fish nets/tongs/water testing vials/rock/sand/cleaning pads etc?

I would say that I am personally attempting to run as 'chemical free' as possible. I did use copper and PraziPro in my QT, and I am dosing Kalk and baking soda in my DT, but so far I have avoided things like Chemiclean and Vibrant. I do have some cyano but I have left it a couple of weeks (other than increased cleaning/filter pad and carbon changes) and it looks, fingers crossed, to be getting better. I have no idea if I would be better off using bottle remedies but I am trying to keep my tank as stable (and natural) as possible.

From my reading it seems that stability is more important than other things. If I understand the salinity reading correctly it really doesn't look that low to me and I wouldn't panic to change anything. I might look at different calibration methods for my refractometer but I don't think you need to do anything immediately. I might put a bit of Cuprisorb in as that won't hurt.

I am not an expert but looking at your test results, it looks like your RODI water is ok, so those elevated metal levels must be coming from either your salt, something in your tank (or mixing system), something you are dosing, or contamination from somewhere/something else.

I also wouldn't shock the QT with the clean you propose if it was my tank. I would do a physical clean (with a brush and cleaning pad) and maybe a small water change. I would then change the filter pad/clean the sock. I would do that a couple of times until it is a bit cleaner. I then might vacuum little bits of the sand at a time with a couple of days break in between (with frequent filter cleans/changes and occasional small water changes if necessary). If you're still not happy with that in a couple of weeks then maybe you could consider either the Vibrant or a coral dip (if it really needs it). If after all of that you're still not happy then consider what next. If it's as bad as you suggest and you do that all in one go then you risk upsetting the balance again IMO.
 
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Unless you have a par meter to tell you otherwise, I think your lights are too high for them.
If you have them each set to 15% then everything that’s getting overlap (and it looks like most of them are) are actually getting 30%.

I have two reefled50s on my tank. I just added some new pieces and had to drop all the way down to 4% (combined 8) on blue channel and 1% on white. Currently they’re running at about 12% blue and 4% white. I had them in acclimation mode but when they got passed 15% (30 total) I saw some expelling and dropped them back down a bit.

I’m planing on just holding here for a month or so until I can get my hands on a meter.

edit: I missed the part about metals. My almost two year old has started to want to put things in the tank. He can’t reach, but I’ve seen that be a problem for people with kids. Pennies, toys, food.
 
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Apollo7235

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Where exactly did the dead and live rock in your display come from?

How "live" is the live rock?

Where was the dry rock before it was dry?

If you have ruled out pump impellars, magnets, metal fixtures near the tank that might get wet/damp, I would think about your rock potentially being a source of the metals.


Was there a third tank online that you were using to QT fish? Was there rock in that tank? What happened to it? where did it come from and go?

Where did the rock that is in your QT tank come from? Was it ever in any of your other tanks or just the QT tank.
The dry rock came from MarineDepot and the live rock came from one of my favorite LFS’s in Orlando.

I wouldn’t say the live rock was especially live.. no hitch hikers or critters in general, just a coral skeleton and maybe some dead algae? Not exactly sure. Maybe my tank killed it. Probably.

The dry rock is the ReefSaver kind, so I guess they mine it from ancient coral reefs or something like that somewhere in Florida. Maybe I’m wrong about the ancient reefs, but I know they mine it somewhere around here.

There was a third tank, but I tore it down after my fish died in QT. None of my QT stuff has ever touched my display, aside from livestock.

There is only one rock in my QT and it is a very small one that I moved from my display tank a while ago.
 
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Apollo7235

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Thank you all for the time you’ve spent with me and your advice.

At this point, I am thinking I am going to just eat it and do a tank reboot with 100% live rock and live sand.

I’m done messing with this thing and I am done dumping cash into a non-productive money pit that I can’t even enjoy.

If anybody has any suggestions for where I should get the new live rock and sand and also what I should do with the stuff I have, I would love the feedback.

As of right now, I am looking at Gulf Live Rock for the rock and sand and Garf for some of their Grunge +.

Thank you all again for all of your help.
 

Blumy

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I have a hunch it may be the rock. After 4 years, I changed my overgrown softy tank to SPS dominant. Pulled all the rock and softies out trading them to someone for 8 year old live rock he had in a sump. It had Vermitid snails, aptasia the lot. Got bumblebee snails, vermitids gone. Treated aptasia with Aptasia-X, gone. Started adding SPS in 30 days when I realized there was no cycle per se. One year later I have this. I have never tested my water. I do the same thing everyday, week etc. NoPox in the am, reef energy in the evening, manually dose Red Sea A, B, C in between water changes. Stability and mature ecosystem is where it’s at.
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JCM

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I think that's a great idea. I would buy the rock as soon as possible and hold off on corals/fish until after the move. This would give the rock a while to settle in and being in Florida, shipping should be fast with minimal die off. There will be so much interesting stuff on the rock for your family to enjoy, you won't miss the fish/corals.

Here's my tank, started with gulf live rock and KP live rock. It was started beginning of April. Not showing it to rub it in, just to show that with real live rock you can quickly have an interesting tank. Yes I have cyano and some macro algae growing but all my corals are thriving and my unQT'd fish are fat and happy. All this to say, it doesn't have to be complicated.

20210622_192815.jpg
 

FishyFishFish

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Was the live rock wet when you bought it? was it in their display tanks or a separate tank? Is there any chance your LFS had copper (and/or other nasties) in the water that it was in?

If you are moving the tank in a few months then I wouldn't buy any new rock yet, but I take the point of JCM.

I would use the next few months just to learn. Don't buy anything else other than salt and maybe any test kits you need, and just work on stability, ready to start afresh after the move.
 
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Apollo7235

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Was the live rock wet when you bought it? was it in their display tanks or a separate tank? Is there any chance your LFS had copper (and/or other nasties) in the water that it was in?

If you are moving the tank in a few months then I wouldn't buy any new rock yet, but I take the point of JCM.

I would use the next few months just to learn. Don't buy anything else other than salt and maybe any test kits you need, and just work on stability, ready to start afresh after the move.
I’m on board with this, but I need to get these corals moved from the 10-gallon they’re in. The bio load of the NPS is just too significant for such a tiny tank and I can’t keep up with the 2-3X per week water changes it would need for me to really be able to feed them the way I should.

I hate the idea of starting over just to start over again after we move, but it sounds like our move has been pushed back a bit, so I don’t think it would be that pointless to get things running well now.

Plus, if everyone is healthy and happy before we move, I feel like they’ll have better chance of survival when the time actually comes.
 
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