Bleaching and browning

Alan M

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I am struggling with some sps bleaching and some browning out. I know a lot of factors go into this but I’m a bit at a loss as to what the cause is. Looking for some help. Some just turn white at the tips and work it’s way down the coral and some turn brown and do the same thing. I also have some sps doing well. Parameters have been steady other than alk climbing slowly each day, .1 rise or so. After water change my alk is 9.4 and slowly rises. Mostly frags in the system as its newer.

180 peninsula
System- 8 months old
No3- 5
Po4- .15
Alk- 9.94
Calc- 456
Mag- 1329
Salinity- 1.025
Temp- 78
Par at the top of my rocks at the highest is 360, 200 on sand bed. flow is good i believe. 2 mp 40’s on gyre mode for now. Growing coralline like crazy. Any help is greatly appreciated, thanks.
 
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T-J

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Some pictures would help. Not all SPS like high PAR levels. Depends on which SPS you are talking about. Also, what's your pH?
Some other factors are what kind of environment the frags came from. I've had corals do color shifts over time, since my systems aren't the same as where the frags came from.
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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Some pictures would help. Not all SPS like high PAR levels. Depends on which SPS you are talking about. Also, what's your pH?
Some other factors are what kind of environment the frags came from. I've had corals do color shifts over time, since my systems aren't the same as where the frags came from.
When I get home I can take a few pics. I’ve had staghorns turn white as well as a red planet. Bubble gum digi browning out as well as some stags. PH ranges from 7.95 at night to 8.15 during the day. I have some millie’s that are doing great.
 

T-J

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When I get home I can take a few pics. I’ve had staghorns turn white as well as a red planet. Bubble gum digi browning out as well as some stags. PH ranges from 7.95 at night to 8.15 during the day. I have some millie’s that are doing great.
Perhaps it's a spectrum issue? What lights are you running and what's the schedule/makeup?
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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Perhaps it's a spectrum issue? What lights are you running and what's the schedule/makeup?
I’m running 4 hydra 64’s. Blues at the highest are 85%. Whites at the highest are 32%.
 

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Alan M

Alan M

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Some pictures would help. Not all SPS like high PAR levels. Depends on which SPS you are talking about. Also, what's your pH?
Some other factors are what kind of environment the frags came from. I've had corals do color shifts over time, since my systems aren't the same as where the frags came from.
Few pics
 

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jda

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That is tissue necrosis, not browning or bleaching. Those look really bad. This is probably a wholesale issue and not just a tweak here or there. Sorry.

Get back to the basics - calibrate your refractometer, check your test kits to see if they are still good, check your temp with something with mercury in it, etc. Some photos of the whole tang might help. Change some water if you are not good about it already. ...just basics.

Once you get done with all of that, if you want to keep acropora, I suggest getting that alk down to about 7.0, getting the residual P down to about 1/3 of where you have it and having a good fish base that you can feed well to then feed the fish.
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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You said your alk starts at 9.4 and then slowly goes up. What does it get to before you do the next water change? Or do you know the total swing in alk, from it's lowest to its highest?
Usually around 10 in a two week period. In the last 24hrs, alk swung from 9.7-10.01.
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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That is tissue necrosis, not browning or bleaching. Those look really bad. This is probably a wholesale issue and not just a tweak here or there. Sorry.

Get back to the basics - calibrate your refractometer, check your test kits to see if they are still good, check your temp with something with mercury in it, etc. Some photos of the whole tang might help. Change some water if you are not good about it already. ...just basics.

Once you get done with all of that, if you want to keep acropora, I suggest getting that alk down to about 7.0, getting the residual P down to about 1/3 of where you have it and having a good fish base that you can feed well to then feed the fish
That is tissue necrosis, not browning or bleaching. Those look really bad. This is probably a wholesale issue and not just a tweak here or there. Sorry.

Get back to the basics - calibrate your refractometer, check your test kits to see if they are still good, check your temp with something with mercury in it, etc. Some photos of the whole tang might help. Change some water if you are not good about it already. ...just basics.

Once you get done with all of that, if you want to keep acropora, I suggest getting that alk down to about 7.0, getting the residual P down to about 1/3 of where you have it and having a good fish base that you can feed well to then feed the fish.
Don’t use a refractometer, all test kits are up to date, quality temp gauges, water changes every two weeks.
So out of all that, I’d like to know how to lower alk. Even with a large water change it only drops to 9.4. I’d love to have it 7-8.
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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I agree with JDA, that's not bleaching, those corals are either RTN'ing or STN'ing. I even see some algae growing on the dead skeleton. Remember, algae won't grow on living tissue.
Are you dosing anything? 2-part/kalk, etc.? If so, how often are you dosing? What salt are you using?
I’ve never dosed the tank. I want to get alk down and keep it around 8 but even with water changes I can’t get it down. I’m using fritz blue box.
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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I agree with JDA, that's not bleaching, those corals are either RTN'ing or STN'ing. I even see some algae growing on the dead skeleton. Remember, algae won't grow on living tissue.
What do you suggest doing to fix the problem?
 
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Alan M

Alan M

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Last thing I can think of--what rock did you use to start your tank?
Dry rock. Seeded the tank and let it run for 8 weeks without lights. Once levels were on track I added some fish and ramped up lights slowly. Didn’t add coral for 6 months until I got through some small algae problems and a little Dino. Everything cleared up and started adding some lps and hardier sps like a green slimer. That went well so I added some more things and now this is happening. Some corals doing well, sps and lps, and some sps with issues.
 

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Alright, related to Alkalinity levels in your tank (alk swings will absolutely cause some coral to RTN), nothing you have shared leads me to believe there is any reason your alk should be rising without your dosing something, and you are not. I think you should solve this before you do anything else. Your fritz salt should mix to ~8.5 dKH, and the fact that your water is 9-10, even after a water change, is a problem.

At super low pH, calcium carbonate structures could dissolve, which will raise alk, but your pH is well above where that would happen. And your fish would all likely be dead anyway in that case. Artificial rock that hasn't fully cured can also raise alk. This MAY be a factor in your case, but it should have resolved fairly quickly. It certainly shouldn't be an issue now. Another thing that can cause alk to increase is a precipitous drop in nitrates. Like huge. If you went from 80 to 20, that 50ppm drop can increase alk by about 5dKH (!). So if your nitrate has been dropping rapidly over the past several weeks, that could cause a steady increase in alk. The only other thing that could be causing it is the quality of your top-off water, the additives you're using to condition the water (chlorine removes, etc.), or medicines you may be using in the tank to treat fish. If you're using RO water, check the TDS of that and make sure it is 0. If none of that is the issue, you're going to need to keep looking.

Ultimately, you really need to solve the alk issue before you look at anything else.
 
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