Back in again. 75g sps build thread

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DesertReefT4r

DesertReefT4r

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Haaaaa! Im at my wits end with my reef. Diatoms are coming back, all my montis are fading, most of my acros are loosing color again and some have a little stn, my hollywood stunner has stn and lost a few heads on one acan. My few mushroom, zoas, hammer and duncan are all doing great as are the fish. Everything was looking good a week ago and corals started to bounce back from the mini crash. Everything is in check and stable, only change has been I started to slowly feed coral food again, just the Red Sea A&B at a very low dose at 2ml of each and no Reef Roids. I threw out the A&B, done with that crap. Water test as of sunday 8-1-19:
Temp 79.5 Reef Keeper probe
Salinity 1.025 refractometer
Ph 7.98 Reef Keeper probe
Alk 8.8 dkh Hanna
Cal 415 ppm Red Sea Pro
Mag 1400 ppm Red Sea Pro
No3 5 ppm Red Sea Pro and API
Po4 0.05 ppm Hanna
Ph probe was calibrated 6-5-19, temp on 8-14-19 ane just check my refractometer with Brightwell calibration solution. Also had and ICP test done on 8-14-19 and all results where really good only iodine and iron was a little low. Last water change was on 8-14-19, 10g changed. Source water is 0 tds rodi, I make my own water, confirmed 0 tds in my ato res and source water. Fritz RPM is my current salt of choice. I dose Live Rock Enhance right now 2 times a week and just started dosing 5ml of MB7 a week, trying to keep good bacteria up so the cyano does not come back. Alk has been stable with about 0.7 increase over the last 2 weeks and stay at 8.7-8.8 over the last week, slight increase from water change and dialing in the doser. Feed the fish 3 times a day. Thats about it, sorry just trying to give as much info as possible on how I run my tank, whats going in ect.
Im really thinking about removing the sand at this point. Its where all the diatoms and cyano started and it is always getting blown around and all over my rock and corals from the flow. Wondering if its the sand causing the issue. The sand is not old or super nasty from it getting blown around a lot and I do vac it with water changes but maybe it being blown around is releasing waste. Lower nutrients in the tank dont really support the release of waste from the sand though. I dont know! Please read this and help if you can. End rant.
 
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DesertReefT4r

DesertReefT4r

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Try a blackout then dose some iodine?
I did a black out a couple weeks ago. It helped a lot but stressed out my sps. I dont think they will survive another black out in their current condition. Im guess iodine to help any bacterial issues with the corals. My iodine was low on my ICP test, I bet its still low since I dont dose it.

Before I wrote my long rant yesturday I blasted and shook off the rock and cleaned up the sand again. After I cranked up my skimmer and put a filter sock in the sump and added some carbon in case there is some unwanteds in the water. Changed the water flow as well to keep the sand in place.
 
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DesertReefT4r

DesertReefT4r

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Wish I had something good to report but I don't. No idea what's going on. Sps corals STN from the tips down on the acros and from the center out on the montipora, hollywood stunner chalice tissue is slowly peeling away. Diatoms took the place of the cyano issue. Starting to look to other possible issues. Going to bring a water sample to the LFS to tripple check all my tests plus test for ammonia and nitrite which I dont test for and have no test kits. Also going to pick up 2 ICP tests to check my tank water again and my RODI water. Starting to think I may have a problem with my local water. I have a good RODI unit with 2 BRS chloramine carbon filters and 2 DI stages making 0 tds water and keep up on needed filter replacement. All soft corals are doing fine along with the fleshy lps.l
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Chaswood79

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I believe your alk is too high for your ultra low to zero nutrient system. 7.0-7.5 would be a better range. My skimmer only runs for 12 hours a day at night while my lights are off and that keeps my no3 around 10-20 and po4 about 0.15-0.20. But if they started dropping below 5 and 0.10 I would first let my alk drop below 8 and turn my skimmer off completely.
 
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DesertReefT4r

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I believe your alk is too high for your ultra low to zero nutrient system. 7.0-7.5 would be a better range. My skimmer only runs for 12 hours a day at night while my lights are off and that keeps my no3 around 10-20 and po4 about 0.15-0.20. But if they started dropping below 5 and 0.10 I would first let my alk drop below 8 and turn my skimmer off completely.
No3 has been just over 5ppm for about a month and po4 is always around 0.03-0.05ppm. So not UNLS, I was never going for a ULNS. Alk was 8.5 dkh with my last test. I had my alk at 8.5-9dkh for several months with no detectable no3 with no issues, in fact that was when my sps were doing the best, color was not great but no death and decent growth. Alk came down to 7.6 dkh over a few months due to coral growth so I slowly brought it up to the mid 8 range again. That was a few months ago and these issues started before that. I can let alk come down some but my salt mix is 9dkh so thats what I shoot for in my tank.
 
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SeaDweller

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You ever try running carbon or poly filter or something like that? Perhaps there’s a contaminant in the water if they’re all still going south. Might not hurt at this point. I’m all for nutrients but I have buddies who run close to zero without issues, but that’s them.
 

Chaswood79

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No3 has been just over 5ppm for about a month and po4 is always around 0.03-0.05ppm. So not UNLS, I was never going for a ULNS. Alk was 8.5 dkh with my last test. I had my alk at 8.5-9dkh for several months with no detectable no3 with no issues, in fact that was when my sps were doing the best, color was not great but no death and decent growth. Alk came down to 7.6 dkh over a few months due to coral growth so I slowly brought it up to the mid 8 range again. That was a few months ago and these issues started before that.
0.03-0.05 is pretty low. If it’s not ultra low it’s pretty close considering all the posts that your tank bottomed out. Regardless, 0.03-0.05 and an alk above 8 is recipe for disaster.
 

tripdad

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Nothing wrong with po4 at .03 to .05, many consider that perfect. Yes, people run it higher but numerous SPS guys aim for that range. Alk around 8 to 9 is fine as long as you have some No3. Drop in on Gig-em's thread and maybe Farmer Ty's. They had issues too, different than yours, but issues. Sometimes going back to basics can help. A deep cleaning of the tank, seems you tried that, and lots of water changes to reset. You could also try adding good bacteria to out compete a bad one if something harmful happens to be present. Good luck.
 

Chaswood79

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You ever try running carbon or poly filter or something like that? Perhaps there’s a contaminant in the water if they’re all still going south. Might not hurt at this point. I’m all for nutrients but I have buddies who run close to zero without issues, but that’s them.
I agree with @jda when it comes to coral nutrition. That the sps are actually better at consuming ammonia/ammonium (fish waste) and bacteria than no3/po4, but we need some in our tanks for building blocks. So very heavy in and heavy out. Just heavy out doesn’t work. I’m not a skimmer, gfo, nopox etc hater, and none of these are a must to have success, but I am a hater of reefers that have been brain washed that we need these methods to keep no3 under 5 but above and po4 under 0.05 but detectable. I bet @SeaDweller buddies that run zero with success are feeding a lot at the same time. There are plenty of successful sps dominant tanks with +50 no3 and +1.0 po4 also.
 
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DesertReefT4r

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You ever try running carbon or poly filter or something like that? Perhaps there’s a contaminant in the water if they’re all still going south. Might not hurt at this point. I’m all for nutrients but I have buddies who run close to zero without issues, but that’s them.
Yeah i just ran some carbon for a week, had the same thought. No reactor so just ran passive in a high flow area of the sump.
0.03-0.05 is pretty low. If it’s not ultra low it’s pretty close considering all the posts that your tank bottomed out. Regardless, 0.03-0.05 and an alk above 8 is recipe for disaster.
Sorry but I dont agree with po4 at 0.03-0.05 being way low. Under 0.08 is a pretty common recommended ranhe for sps, but may people have no issues going higher. With my no3 at 8-5 ppm my no3 and po4 are pretty balanced. That was not the case for alomst a year having undetectable no3 and having no coral issues with alk at 8-9.
 

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I agree with @jda when it comes to coral nutrition. That the sps are actually better at consuming ammonia/ammonium (fish waste) and bacteria than no3/po4, but we need some in our tanks for building blocks. So very heavy in and heavy out. Just heavy out doesn’t work. I’m not a skimmer, gfo, nopox etc hater, and none of these are a must to have success, but I am a hater of reefers that have been brain washed that we need these methods to keep no3 under 5 but above and po4 under 0.05 but detectable. I bet @SeaDweller buddies that run zero with success are feeding a lot at the same time. There are plenty of successful sps dominant tanks with +50 no3 and +1.0 po4 also.
Now your way of thinking I like! :)
 
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DesertReefT4r

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Nothing wrong with po4 at .03 to .05, many consider that perfect. Yes, people run it higher but numerous SPS guys aim for that range. Alk around 8 to 9 is fine as long as you have some No3. Drop in on Gig-em's thread and maybe Farmer Ty's. They had issues too, different than yours, but issues. Sometimes going back to basics can help. A deep cleaning of the tank, seems you tried that, and lots of water changes to reset. You could also try adding good bacteria to out compete a bad one if something harmful happens to be present. Good luck.
Totally agree with you. I have been dosing MB7 and Live Rock Enhance to the tank to add good bacterial. I was thinking the same thing about a water reset. Since no3 and po4 stay low and in check I dont do as many water changes as I have in the past with other tanks. I did a 15g water change yesturday and I think I will go back to 5g weekly water changes and see if that helps anything.
 

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we all have to remember, each tank's chemistry is very different. No two tanks are ever the same; differences in live stock, microfauna, etc. So your "low" nutrients may very well work great for your tank, and Chaswood's method works well for his tank. No wrong way to approach this hobby as long as you know your tank, pretty intimately.

Get back to the basics to what worked before your troubles. Personally, if I were you, i'd run some carbon or the likes to remove any potential water contaminant, for a couple of days or so, and then get on some 30%+ WC if you can. I can tell you that when my tank was looking like that, when it was widespread, it was the water quality. My prefilters were being depleted before I was aware of it.
 

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I am a huge fan of NSW level N and P... but through heavy import and export while keeping residuals low. Mine happen to be .1n and .01p, but they stay there on their own. I do not know if I would chase them to this level, but I do not have to. Chasing can be worse than having higher residual levels, so there is a balance to be had along with you tank when also considering your husbandry skill level.

I get as fast of growth and as much color as anybody that I know... but some of this goes beyond the NSW level parameter and into the lights... but the parameters do matter a good piece.
 

Chaswood79

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Yeah i just ran some carbon for a week, had the same thought. No reactor so just ran passive in a high flow area of the sump.

Sorry but I dont agree with po4 at 0.03-0.05 being way low. Under 0.08 is a pretty common recommended ranhe for sps, but may people have no issues going higher. With my no3 at 8-5 ppm my no3 and po4 are pretty balanced. That was not the case for alomst a year having undetectable no3 and having no coral issues with alk at 8-9.
All good man
Just trying to help bc I assumed that’s why you started the thread.
IMO your sps look stressed
So if you want to stick to what’s “recommended” then many reefers will “recommend” a lower alk with nutrients in your range. That’s all I got. I hope you figure things out. Good luck bud
 

Chaswood79

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According to your posts, mar-June your alk was below 8.0 (7.5-7.7) when your tank was looking its best. After that your alk tested at 8.5 when it looks like you started getting burnt tips. Didn’t know if you noticed that or not. Hope it helps
 
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Corals are looking a bit better after I did the 15g water change on Monday. Coral tissue loose has stopped at least for now. Alk at 8.7 as of yesturday. I turned off my doser to let alk come down to 8.0. Diatoms have not changed, really annoying. Coraline algae is taking off again which is a good sign and the tank is getting green film algae on the glass again. Both had stopped for the last couple months. Hopefully its a sign that "good" algae is taking over again and will out compete the diatoms. Thinking about starting up the fuge again with some chaeto but I will need a new light. The LED light I had died and the spiral compact bulb was sub PAR.
 

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