Acropora Crash?

dlambs

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Hey guys! My name is Davis, and I have a 20g Peninsula from Innovative marine. My 20g has been setup for two months but was a direct transfer from my 14g peninsula that had been running for 9 months prior to the move. total live rock age was about 11 months in my system. at the time in my previous system before the move, I maintained levels of

10 Nitrate
0 nitrite
0 ammonia
.07 phosphate
8.3ish DKH
440 calcium
1450 magnesium

HARDWARE:
Innovative marine 20g peninsula
ehiem jager heater on INKBIRD controller
Jebao SLW20 pump
Mighty jet Return pump with RFG (*BOTH PUMPS RUN AT 50% MIGHTYJET ON PULSE AND SLW ON RANDOMIZED)
GIESSMAN 24x4 T5HO with 2 reefbrite strips all blue
3ATI BLUE +
1ATI CORAL+

GFO FOR PHOSPHATES
CARBON once Per month for a week to help with clarity.

At the time, I Kept a single clownfish and a Midas Blenny. The reality of my Nitrate and Phosphate was that the tap water and my RO water had a decent amount of phosphates in it despite filtering and 0 TDS, so i would run a small amount of GFO in a bag and had to dose nitrate to keep them up. I would dose ATI nitrate, 2ml per day. I had a couple torches that looked absolutely amazing, full and happy PE and great color. the rest of my coral ventures were all SPS. i waited till the 6 month mark to try SPS and started with a forest fire digitata that took off like a freight train. once i knew things were stable enough for that, i continued on my path and gathered a few nice acropora from friends. Pink floyd, a pearl berry, and a green stag to start. Pink floyd took some time, i finally got it to encrust and color up amazingly. The green stag never grew surprisingly but the color got better and better. the pearl berry seemed to not like where it was, and just got slightly more pale but seemed to be encrusting ok on the plug. fast forward a few months after things retaining stability, I added a ORA chips, Walt Disney, Stylo, PC rainbow, and a few others. They all colored up very well, walt disney began encrusting pretty much immedietly and was doing outstanding he was acting as my barometer for the tanks well being. I knew my temprature was fluctuating poorly when he didnt PE as much.
the biggest struggle i had in this system at 14g was temp and phosphates. Once I got the phosphates managed, temp was all that was left. I put an inkbird controller on and that took care of the temp problem.

Fast forward to the tank shift. I spent a whole day making sure, testing, testing again, acclimating, testing both tanks, and the acclimation water. I wanted it to be as foolproof as possible. Got everything shifted, moved to the sandbed because i was switching from an AI prime to 4 bulb t5 and two reefbrite strips since my focus was ACRO. I started with them on the sand, slowly moved them up while only using the 2 blue plus bulbs at the time to keep from shocking everything. I wanted to maintain lower PAR till everything settled in. Par was the same all over the tank in the higher area as it was in the peak area under the prime. my par at half level in my tank was about 470 under the t5 and reefbrites. because i was only using the two Blue+ bulbs, I thought i had things acclimating well. within a week, i saw more encrusting and excitement from my corals. both the fish had found their homes and the whole tank seemed to be settling in.

three weeks goes by, I test my Phosphate, and i keep getting super low readings on my Hanna. This makes me want to change my battery on the reader and when i retest, I found my Phosphates to be .38. OUCH. I could tell something was off because i was getting a good bit of algea growing on my glass and frag plugs. to manage this, I dosed PHOSPHATE RX. 1 drop per day to slowly reduce the levels. once i got the level down to below .1, i threw in a new bag of GFO. and it seemed to be maintaining things. This whole time, i have been using ALL FOR REEF to maintain my elements in a single daily dose. works great every night.

i go on vacation for a week, leave the tank to a friend, come back, everything is still great! I test and the whole system seems to be doing outstanding.

weeks go by, i take an overnight trip to atlanta for work, get back, and every day since I have gotten back, atleast one acropora has stripped completely. i Retest my tank as of today. 4/5/2021 readings are as follows

nitrate 5ppm
phosphate .12
DKH 9.9
Calcium 460
Mag 1550
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
Temp 78.8

I did find that over the 48 hours i was gone, my TP LINK power strip failed and left all the lights on for atleast 24 hours straight. i have since lost.

ASD RAINBOW MILLE
ORANGE PASSION
BAHAMA MAMA MILLE
HAWKINS ECHINATA
GREEN STAG (Started to STN)
WALT DISNEY(started to STN)
ORA CHIPS

my torches look very unhappy, and so do my hammers. acans look great and so do my rockflower anemones. fish are happy and fat. everything that isnt an LPS looks crispy. no burnt tips but major fading in color on my monitpora and stylo. notmuch PE on the stylo now.

I have attempted to do a witchhazel did and dose to see if that can save the few that are left or maybe prolong this long enough to fix and treat.
what is most interesting to me is that most of the RTN/STN corals are flaking flesh off but there skeleton is green or brown like its covered in algea rather than white like normal. Makes me think there is somthing bacterial going on. I am severly dissapointed and disheartened. I wouldnt have put acros in if I wasnt confident in my tank and knowledge of the whole system, and after 9 years in the hobby, id like to say i am pretty versed. this is really hard to watch and super saddening. I hope to figure it out soon and if anyone has any knowledge that would be awesome.
 
Zoanthids

Aldrinlights

Reeth Huthbandry
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Your magnesium is a little high. I like to keep a 3:1 ratio. I would do a water change and let your tank find its equilibrium. Since you did an upgrade to the lighting I believe you may also be bleaching them as they need about a month to acclimate to new lighting. Maybe moving them into higher par happened a bit too quickly? You will also see lots of new algae growing due to the stronger lighting. You can manually remove this algae from the glass using those blue paper shop towels. This works wonders for removal. It's definitely going to find its way onto your corals if they have lost their zooxanthellae. Sadly in this hobby it's really easy to make a change for the worse quickly but it takes a lot of time to make a change for the better or recover.
 
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dlambs

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Your magnesium is a little high. I like to keep a 3:1 ratio. I would do a water change and let your tank find its equilibrium. Since you did an upgrade to the lighting I believe you may also be bleaching them as they need about a month to acclimate to new lighting. Maybe moving them into higher par happened a bit too quickly? You will also see lots of new algae growing due to the stronger lighting. You can manually remove this algae from the glass using those blue paper shop towels. This works wonders for removal. It's definitely going to find its way onto your corals if they have lost their zooxanthellae. Sadly in this hobby it's really easy to make a change for the worse quickly but it takes a lot of time to make a change for the better or recover.
do you believe that the raised par and light becoming stuck on could have caused the increased stress to cause RTN? ive seen bleaching from increased par but not RTN.
 
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dlambs

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Your magnesium is a little high. I like to keep a 3:1 ratio. I would do a water change and let your tank find its equilibrium. Since you did an upgrade to the lighting I believe you may also be bleaching them as they need about a month to acclimate to new lighting. Maybe moving them into higher par happened a bit too quickly? You will also see lots of new algae growing due to the stronger lighting. You can manually remove this algae from the glass using those blue paper shop towels. This works wonders for removal. It's definitely going to find its way onto your corals if they have lost their zooxanthellae. Sadly in this hobby it's really easy to make a change for the worse quickly but it takes a lot of time to make a change for the better or recover.
also on your note, i will say that the only peice that has survived without any signs of struggle is a millepora i left on the bottom of my tank in the front corner furthest from the light. he is actually colored up more than any of them
 

Aldrinlights

Reeth Huthbandry
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It definitely seems like the lighting is the issue. If you still have the old lights you could try putting them back up for a while and see what happens. I think you may just have a lot more than is needed for that small of an aquarium. Being that your upgrade didn't really add any water depth they are used to those older lights. Since you can't dim the T5 lights you could use some Neutral Density gel from a theatrical supply company in your area. Then slowly remove it over a couple months. Put it between the lights and the water. You can even stack the gel sheets to reduce the lighting further. It only changes intensity and not wavelength.

 
AS
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dlambs

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It definitely seems like the lighting is the issue. If you still have the old lights you could try putting them back up for a while and see what happens. I think you may just have a lot more than is needed for that small of an aquarium. Being that your upgrade didn't really add any water depth they are used to those older lights. Since you can't dim the T5 lights you could use some Neutral Density gel from a theatrical supply company in your area. Then slowly remove it over a couple months. Put it between the lights and the water. You can even stack the gel sheets to reduce the lighting further. It only changes intensity and not wavelength.

this sounds like a great idea, except i want to consider one point with you. my original lighting was single source (basically) and my new lighting is definitely more of a blanket affect. covers much much more of the tank. the mid point measured about 350 at the 7 inch mark. top of my rocks and pretty much remains the same all the way around the tank. i will go ahead and raise my light 6 inches and slowly lower it as the month goes on. but the old light hotspot was near 450 and the lowest lighting spot was around 80 on my sand bed with the ai prime HD. the sandbed in this tank is 250ish. drastic difference imo for overall. and the whole surrounds of the coral reiceve light. not just one side or majority of sides.
 

Aldrinlights

Reeth Huthbandry
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I've gone through something similar actually. I had 2 single source Kessils on my 75g and I upgraded them to 4 of the 48" NicoBARs Lucky for me they are LED and I can ramp them up gradually but the readings I had before were similar to yours. Hotspots and low lighting spots. Now its even all over the tank. You'll be happier with the even coverage once your corals adapt to the new lights. Just take it slow with intensity. If you think they are adapted then give them a couple more weeks before you change anything and ony change it a tiny bit.
 
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dlambs

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I've gone through something similar actually. I had 2 single source Kessils on my 75g and I upgraded them to 4 of the 48" NicoBARs Lucky for me they are LED and I can ramp them up gradually but the readings I had before were similar to yours. Hotspots and low lighting spots. Now its even all over the tank. You'll be happier with the even coverage once your corals adapt to the new lights. Just take it slow with intensity. If you think they are adapted then give them a couple more weeks before you change anything and ony change it a tiny bit.
Thank you for the seemingly sound advice. hoping a water change improves things here and doesnt cause too much change DL
 
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dlambs

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preformed a water change, pulled two more skeletons today after work. im so ready for this plague to end. ICP test goes out tomorrow. hoping for some knowledge
 
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dlambs

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Well, the water change didnt really show any signs of benefitting for the better, but now a few days later, my dragon soul torch is BJD and teh rest of my euphyllia look very ticked off


i guess this is the end
 
AS

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