All SPS turned purple

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cilyjr

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Over the last week, almost all of my acroporas, miliporas, and seriatopias have all turned purple and a few days later closed up. Now some are beginning to STN.

None of my long time reefing friends have heard of anything like this. I even had a giant green bird's nest that is now a muddy purple color and all closed up. Have any of you ever heard of anything similar?

Fish and inverts seem uneffected.

As of now I'm just doing water changes daily, I have put in a poly filter,
I've gone through all of my equipment to make sure nothing had any cracks or visual damage.

I've been in this game a long time now and I'm really baffled by this one.

Po4 .06
No3 undetectable.
Ca 430
Alk 8.3
Cu 0
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Did they stay purple? That sounds like what happens right before a big bleaching event but usually that does not become STN.

Sounds like some weird chemical got in there otherwise. I don't think there is a parameter or anything living that causes that.
 
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cilyjr

cilyjr

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Did they stay purple? That sounds like what happens right before a big bleaching event but usually that does not become STN.

Sounds like some weird chemical got in there otherwise. I don't think there is a parameter or anything living that causes that.
That's what I'm thinking. That's why I keep doing water changes daily.
It's perplexing for sure.
I should state that all of the larger Polyped stonies seem to be faring much better. None of them have changed color significantly but my Duncan has been pretty closed up. It's a 50ish head colony. And my medium sized pectina has had some color change but otherwise seems unaffected
 

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What's your temperature? Agreed that it sounds sort of like a bleaching event precursor and the typical primary stressor for those is temperature. Does the water feel warm? Do you have a heater stuck on?

Otherwise, have you done an ICP test recently?
 
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cilyjr

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What's your temperature? Agreed that it sounds sort of like a bleaching event precursor and the typical primary stressor for those is temperature. Does the water feel warm? Do you have a heater stuck on?

Otherwise, have you done an ICP test recently?
Temp is Apex controlled and sits between 77.5 and 78.5 and they are new heaters that I put in about 3 months previous. I try to change my heaters every year and a half or so.

I had thought them suspect as well so I gave him a pretty good inspection. About 10 years ago I had an incident where a cracked heater caused a electrolysis event that dumped copper into the water and killed most of my Coral. This event is reminiscent of that.
 
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While I, too, am inclined to believe the temp probe, I would still at least put my hand in it and see if it feels unusually warm, especially with a single measurement point, the possibility is there. Otherwise ICP could be a good diagnostic, but may not be fast enough without overnight shipping to be really useful in the event of a crash.

Do you have a second box of salt you could switch to for water changes? While again I think the chance of this is small, if there was something wrong with the salt batch, that could explain gradual degredation and then no recovery after water changes. Being able to mix from a different box could be a check on that potential problem even without being able to measure it.
 
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While I, too, am inclined to believe the temp probe, I would still at least put my hand in it and see if it feels unusually warm, especially with a single measurement point, the possibility is there. Otherwise ICP could be a good diagnostic, but may not be fast enough without overnight shipping to be really useful in the event of a crash.

Do you have a second box of salt you could switch to for water changes? While again I think the chance of this is small, if there was something wrong with the salt batch, that could explain gradual degredation and then no recovery after water changes. Being able to mix from a different box could be a check on that potential problem even without being able to measure it.
The temp haven't felt unusual. But I stuck another temperature probe just to check they're pretty close within degree of 78. I was midway through a 200 gallon box of salt. I switched to a different bag because I thought of that as well. I do have a entirely new box as well that I could try. I've been doing five gallon water changes every day for the last week but I think this weekend I may just have to do as close to 100% as possible.
 

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Well you've checked most of the things I can think of. Maybe if you've got a multimeter you could check for stray voltage and just try to eliminate any potential loose ends. Another potential loose end: have you checked the TDS of your RO?

What may be more useful is trying to take some pictures of effected corals and see if anyone else has seen the look - or maybe if there is a subset of corals that aren't effected... just basically trying to get as many data points out there to see if someone's run into a set of them that caused a problem for them in the past.

Good luck!
 
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bump up those nitrates as well, i use seachem flourish nitrogen for freshwater but brightwell makes neo nitro for saltwater tanks specifically. There are also medical grade products in powder form on amazon if you need bulk
 

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Nitrates being 0 long-term is never good. Many people who were on the ultra-low-nutrient tank movement years ago discovered that for us, even in SPS dominant tanks. Aim for 5-20ppm. Nitrate isn't just food for algae, corals use it as a source of nitrogen as well. No nitrates is also a good way to get a dinoflagellate bloom.
 
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cilyjr

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Well you've checked most of the things I can think of. Maybe if you've got a multimeter you could check for stray voltage and just try to eliminate any potential loose ends. Another potential loose end: have you checked the TDS of your RO?

What may be more useful is trying to take some pictures of effected corals and see if anyone else has seen the look - or maybe if there is a subset of corals that aren't effected... just basically trying to get as many data points out there to see if someone's run into a set of them that caused a problem for them in the past.

Good luck!
Goog idea that is exactly what happened to me many years ago. A heater had cracked and when it would turn on the two ends were creating electrolysis and putting copper into the water I will look for straight voltage this morning.
 
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Nitrates being 0 long-term is never good. Many people who were on the ultra-low-nutrient tank movement years ago discovered that for us, even in SPS dominant tanks. Aim for 5-20ppm. Nitrate isn't just food for algae, corals use it as a source of nitrogen as well. No nitrates is also a good way to get a dinoflagellate bloom.
I am aware of this. I was one of those people many years ago. I dose potassium nitrate (Kno3) to a barely detectable level and then it gets used up. I hover between 0 and .02 but I didn't think that it was pertinent to the discussion as I have been doing this for years.

I did sort of recently switch from a homemade recipe too the brightwell. Neo nitro maybe that is worth investigating
 
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The tips of mine went purple when I increased Alk too much. The tissue then died. Fortunately I knew what the cause was, me!
I appreciate the idea. I monitor Alk almost daily. And it is always between 7.8 and 8.4.

I am a firm believer that large alkalinity swings are big contributors to slow tissue necrosis events. That combined with small amounts of vibrio bacterias that can be present.
 
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Well you've checked most of the things I can think of. Maybe if you've got a multimeter you could check for stray voltage and just try to eliminate any potential loose ends. Another potential loose end: have you checked the TDS of your RO?

What may be more useful is trying to take some pictures of effected corals and see if anyone else has seen the look - or maybe if there is a subset of corals that aren't effected... just basically trying to get as many data points out there to see if someone's run into a set of them that caused a problem for them in the past.

Good luck!
Another point to this is I did have an electrician upgrade our electrical service to a 200 amp from 100 about a week before all this happened. I'm going to spend some time looking for stray voltage today
 
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