An ongoing extinction

Katze

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Hello everyone!

I'm really starting to have enough of corals, they constantly die in all of my tanks regardless of light/parameters/flow/livestock and so on.
I'm thinking that this is going to be the last batch of corals I bought - I have had grown tired of corals perishing.

Here are the details:
100g aquarium, age: nearly 7 months old
-Lighting: RB Photon V2+
-Livestock: 3x mollies acclimated to SW, 1x Fire Goby (decora), 1x Longnose Butterflyfish (F. Flavissimus)

Parameters: (I use either Hanna or Salifert to test these)
-Salinity: 1.025
-Temperature: 25-26°C
-NH3: 0 /undetectable
-NO3: <25
-PO4: 0.08
-KH: 7.6
-I checked the equipments for rusting, luckily everything is in perfect order
The mentioned parameters are all stable
+TDS of RODI water is 0
Pictures:

Everything from the hardiest softies...
IMG_20240704_125651.jpg

(atleast the hermit is alive and well)
IMG_20240704_125746.jpg

IMG_20240704_125754.jpg

...to gorgonian(s)...
IMG_20240704_125719.jpg

and other easy to keep LPS like a favites and an E. Ancora
IMG_20240704_125710.jpg

IMG_20240704_125735.jpg
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Can you show a full tank pic please? Yes, agree, the corals look bad, but we need to see the big picture.

Its all about light, flow and parameters. Your parameters seem fine so what is the par level of the corals, and how is the flow in the tank?

For a 7 month old tank, the sand and rocks are looking pretty clean and white. My first thought is low light and low flow.
 
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Katze

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Maybe try an ICP test. Might have something off parameter-wise that you can’t test for
Cheers
Well for my other tank (which can atleast support softies) I tried the same since that tank kills anything that is not a soft coral, the ICP showed no signs of issues there, so I don't think it would help in this tank's case.
 

Dbichler

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There’s no algae growth on your rock or in your crushed coral. You have to be doing something unusual for this to be possible at 7 months in to tank maturity. Your tank should really look covered in all different types at this point. Corals won’t survive in a sterile environment.
 

Glowurm

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Yeah agree with the above, my tanks younger than yours but my rocks covered in algae as is my sand bed. But at the same time i have got a copepod population which is thriving, a refugium which is growing etc etc... environment looks a little sterile!
 
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Katze

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There’s no algae growth on your rock or in your crushed coral. You have to be doing something unusual for this to be possible at 7 months in to tank maturity. Your tank should really look covered in all different types at this point. Corals won’t survive in a sterile environment.
Yes, this is very weird for me too I wanted to mention this as a possible clue.
Can you show a full tank pic please? Yes, agree, the corals look bad, but we need to see the big picture.

Its all about light, flow and parameters. Your parameters seem fine so what is the par level of the corals, and how is the flow in the tank?

For a 7 month old tank, the sand and rocks are looking pretty clean and white. My first thought is low light and low flow.
For flow I have a gyre which does most of the work and an SLW 10 as a bonus
Light should be around 100-150 where most corals are
Under white light: (this is not the regular everyday schedule that I use)
IMG_20240704_134527.jpg
 
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Katze

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Yeah agree with the above, my tanks younger than yours but my rocks covered in algae as is my sand bed. But at the same time i have got a copepod population which is thriving, a refugium which is growing etc etc... environment looks a little sterile!
Yes this is another fact that got my attention: no copepods !? -not even at night
The small tank I have, has massive amounts of these little crustaceans even at it's 1st month.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Just my 2 cents:

Need more flow, my 40 breeder has 2 gyres. A big tank like yours needs more flow.

Needs a lot more rock, should be close to a pound per gallon, your tank is empty.

Activated carbon should help, the water doesn't look very clear.

I'm still thinking you should turn the lights up, the rocks and sand are just too clean at 7 month, I suspect they are not getting enough light to grow algae.
 

Mr. Mojo Rising

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Just my 2 cents:

Need more flow, my 40 breeder has 2 gyres. A big tank like yours needs more flow.

Needs a lot more rock, should be close to a pound per gallon, your tank is empty.

Activated carbon should help, the water doesn't look very clear.

I'm still thinking you should turn the lights up, the rocks and sand are just too clean at 7 month, I suspect they are not getting enough light to grow algae.
Mainly, if algae can't grow, then corals can't grow either.
 
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Katze

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Did you use chemiclean or vibrant?
Neither of those.
Just my 2 cents:

Need more flow, my 40 breeder has 2 gyres. A big tank like yours needs more flow.

Needs a lot more rock, should be close to a pound per gallon, your tank is empty.

Activated carbon should help, the water doesn't look very clear.

I'm still thinking you should turn the lights up, the rocks and sand are just too clean at 7 month, I suspect they are not getting enough light to grow algae.
Yes indeed it does need more rock
The current structure's half is live rock
The water has phytoplankton in it, thus giving the aquarium a green hue.
I do use activated carbon but it won't do anything with the phyto (understandibly)
 

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Rent a par meter so you will know exactly where you stand with lighting. You said you’ve tried everything with lighting but idk if that means you tested par. How long did you try things before moving on?
As mentioned you need more rock and more flow. Why is your tank green with Phyto? Are you dosing it that often and if so, why or is your filtration insufficient? What filtration are you using?
Why are so many of your corals on the sand? Are they dying during acclimation or what’s up with that?
Zoas aren’t dead.
I followed other people’s light schedules for 3 months things just weren’t right. I bought a par meter and found out my screen top was shading way more than I ever thought it would. I never had an algae problem. Then I fixed my lights. Lol
 
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Katze

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Rent a par meter so you will know exactly where you stand with lighting. You said you’ve tried everything with lighting but idk if that means you tested par. How long did you try things before moving on?
As mentioned you need more rock and more flow. Why is your tank green with Phyto? Are you dosing it that often and if so, why or is your filtration insufficient? What filtration are you using?
Why are so many of your corals on the sand? Are they dying during acclimation or what’s up with that?
Zoas aren’t dead.
I followed other people’s light schedules for 3 months things just weren’t right. I bought a par meter and found out my screen top was shading way more than I ever thought it would. I never had an algae problem. Then I fixed my lights. Lol
I did not touch my lights since the tank was set up, there was no need for that, but just to be sure I'm going to test par levels. +I don't have anything between the tank and the fixture.
I wouldn't say that the filtration is insufficient, I have a skimmer rated for 140g tanks additionaly I run filter socks and a large sponge. And I'm not dosing phyto it's just growing sometimes it blooms a bit sometimes it can't even be noticed.
 
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Katze

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Have you ever observed that longnose butterfly for a few hours? Good chance it might be nipping at least some of the corals, Favia especially is quite tasty for long nose butterfly types IME.
Yes I have observed the fish, but never even came close to the corals. Also they are not known to eat softies, but as far as I know they may nip at fleshy lps like acans a cynarinas.
 

NanoNana

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If coral is under performing, the first thing you do is touch your lights.
You mentioned you adjusted flow what are you using for flow?
 
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Katze

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If coral is under performing, the first thing you do is touch your lights.
You mentioned you adjusted flow what are you using for flow?
For flow I have a Jebao SCP-90 which has 3300g/h flow rate at max, it is running at 60%
I also have a 2nd wavemaker which is a Jebao SLW-10, it is running at a 100% thus adding 1100g/h
So in total the tank has 4400g/h +the return pump
 

NanoNana

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My hammers go limp like that with too much flow and too much light. Mine seem happiest just barely wiggling and at around 80 par. My hammers are my barometer. Everything in my tank is flow picky. When I break everything down for cleaning, I know I’m back in the right spot if the hammers are plumped up.

It’s not only about gph it’s also about dead spots and high spots. Maybe a short video with your lights at peak and flow running would help some of the old timers here try to narrow it down for you.
UV would get rid of your phyto bloom.
Your tank is sparsely populated. Are you feeding corals anything besides phyto?
 

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