Can't keep SPS

350owner

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Hi, I have a problem to keep my sps alive, all parameters in check no major fluctuations. Tested on 24th: alk 7.1 cal 413, mag 1340, nitrate 0.25, phos 0.03 salinity 1.025 ph 8.15, tested today: alk 6.8 I know a bit low just started dosing triton, cal 440, mag 1320, nitrate 0.25 phos 0.05, salinity 1.025 ph 8.15, both days tested 7PM. Tank is Red Sea reefer 350 flow 2x gyre 350, lights Red Sea led 90 just turned them up to 80% from 60%, bare bottom tank, usually I do 10% wc every week or every 2 weeks with red sea blue bucket salt tank is about 8 months old started with dry rock and dr Tim's bacteria. Most sps I have added some stn some rtn, red and green plating montipora went white after 2 days in the tank another entrusting monti was in the tank for about 2 weeks and just started whitening few days ago got 3 acros 1 started to go white few days ago as well. I have a milka stylo which is ok for now all other corals lps and zoas are fine nice colours and there is some growth as well. Live stock:
Pair of clowns
Pair of blue jaw triggerfish
Lawnmower blenny
Angel fish
 
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drawman

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Numbers look pretty good on paper other than nitrate is somewhat low. What size tank and how often are you feeding? Are you making your own RODI water and measuring TDS? Have you taken apart your pump recently? Just a few things to start with. I'm not very familiar with those lights so I won't be helpful there other than being curious about your PAR.
 

gilman

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Maybe buy and send out an ICP test to be sure of whats happening in the tank . Parameters seem well enough that you shouldn't be losing SPS . Stray voltage check for . Idk how strong those lights are but maybe rent a PAR meter to make sure they aren't to intense .
 
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Numbers look pretty good on paper other than nitrate is somewhat low. What size tank and how often are you feeding? Are you making your own RODI water and measuring TDS? Have you taken apart your pump recently? Just a few things to start with. I'm not very familiar with those lights so I won't be helpful there other than being curious about your PAR.
Numbers look pretty good on paper other than nitrate is somewhat low. What size tank and how often are you feeding? Are you making your own RODI water and measuring TDS? Have you taken apart your pump recently? Just a few things to start with. I'm not very familiar with those lights so I won't be helpful there other than being curious about your PAR.
Thanks for the reply, yes pump has been taken apart about a month and a half ago and cleaned, tank is 90 gal, feeding every 2 days I cut my feeding down as I have some algae, I'm buying the water from LFS at the moment as my unit broke and when I was making my water was 0.01-0.03 tds and same with LFS now
 
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Maybe buy and send out an ICP test to be sure of whats happening in the tank . Parameters seem well enough that you shouldn't be losing SPS . Stray voltage check for . Idk how strong those lights are but maybe rent a PAR meter to make sure they aren't to intense .
Thanks, I was thinking about ICP, and I don't think lights are the problem as I was moving them all over the tank and they just die anyway I think there is something else but just can't figure it out...
 

drawman

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Thanks for the reply, yes pump has been taken apart about a month and a half ago and cleaned, tank is 90 gal, feeding every 2 days I cut my feeding down as I have some algae, I'm buying the water from LFS at the moment as my unit broke and when I was making my water was 0.01-0.03 tds and same with LFS now
A lot of times in these situations it can be frustrating and almost a process of elimination. Come up with a list of possibilities and try to check that list off. Then go over it again if nothing has been found.

I personally would not trust LFS water. I think you would have much more quality control at home. Just one more thing to think about on that list. I think measuring PAR or at least comparing with someone else that runs the same lights would be helpful. I would resist the urge to constantly move them as well. An ICP test is another on the list as previously mentioned.
 
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350owner

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A lot of times in these situations it can be frustrating and almost a process of elimination. Come up with a list of possibilities and try to check that list off. Then go over it again if nothing has been found.

I personally would not trust LFS water. I think you would have much more quality control at home. Just one more thing to think about on that list. I think measuring PAR or at least comparing with someone else that runs the same lights would be helpful. I would resist the urge to constantly move them as well. An ICP test is another on the list as previously mentioned.
Thanks for your time, I will definitely get an icp and get my rodi running again asap only concern is waiting times for icp and deliveries of the new rodi due to corona chaos, what do you think about seneye reef to test par?
 
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Before you buy another SPS coral, find out what nutrient parameters your preferred vendor keeps the animals in. Most of the big online US vendors run MUCH higher nutrients than .25ppm nitrates. Like 30-50X higher.

Next: are you dipping the corals? If so, please describe. No judgement if you don't dip, just trying to help.

Lastly, it can take many months for a tank biome to be "settled" enough for SPS even with "perfect" numbers. Nutrients bounce around, bacterial colonies are still battling it out, all kinds of microorganism warfare going on.
 
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As I said I started dosing to get the alk up, algae I'm getting under the control definitely less on the rock and glass, what should I do about no3 and po4 as I've heard that you shouldn't dose them when you have algae? PAR I'm not sure as I don't have PAR meter. Thinking of getting seneye reef. Bleached corals are out of the tank
 

dwest

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I would feed your fish more often. I used to feed less to keep algae down, but learned algae is going to grow either way. So feed your fish what they need and your nutrients will increase. In a few months, try another sps. It is still young for a bare bottom and dead rock startup. Keep doing water changes with good rodi water.
 
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Before you buy another SPS coral, find out what nutrient parameters your preferred vendor keeps the animals in. Most of the big online US vendors run MUCH higher nutrients than .25ppm nitrates. Like 30-50X higher.

Next: are you dipping the corals? If so, please describe. No judgement if you don't dip, just trying to help.

Lastly, it can take many months for a tank biome to be "settled" enough for SPS even with "perfect" numbers. Nutrients bounce around, bacterial colonies are still battling it out, all kinds of microorganism warfare going on.
Thanks for the reply, I'll definitely find out about the parameters the guy is keeping his tanks at, i dip 80% of the corals I buy
 
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I would feed your fish more often. I used to feed less to keep algae down, but learned algae is going to grow either way. So feed your fish what they need and your nutrients will increase. In a few months, try another sps. It is still young for a bare bottom and dead rock startup. Keep doing water changes with good rodi water.
Thanks man, that's exactly what I'm doing now feed less to reduce algae, just one thing I'm concerned about is if i feed more am i not going to get the GHA back as I just got that under control? Should I keep dosing Triton to keep the major 3 in check?
 
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ScottB

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Yeah that is a tough spot to be in trying to starve out algae. They are better at feeding off limited supplies than SPS for sure.

I guess my advice might go something like this:
a) Skip SPS for a bit longer so the biome can settle into a solid groove.
b) Keep up with WCs and manual removal of algae
c) Get some super herbivores (zebrasoma tangs!) and an urchin or two
d) Keep feeding the fish.
e) Try again in a few months -- and be certain the SPS are coming from a system with similar parameters.
f) If you are using Coral Rx, it is VERY strong stuff. Baste it hard, but don't leave corals in there more than 2-3 minutes IMO. If the corals were shipped to you, delay your dip routine by a couple days. Let them destress first in soft lighting. After dip, back to soft light for a day or two. Then glue.
 
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Yeah that is a tough spot to be in trying to starve out algae. They are better at feeding off limited supplies than SPS for sure.

I guess my advice might go something like this:
a) Skip SPS for a bit longer so the biome can settle into a solid groove.
b) Keep up with WCs and manual removal of algae
c) Get some super herbivores (zebrasoma tangs!) and an urchin or two
d) Keep feeding the fish.
e) Try again in a few months -- and be certain the SPS are coming from a system with similar parameters.
f) If you are using Coral Rx, it is VERY strong stuff. Baste it hard, but don't leave corals in there more than 2-3 minutes IMO. If the corals were shipped to you, delay your dip routine by a couple days. Let them destress first in soft lighting. After dip, back to soft light for a day or two. Then glue.
Thanks for this, I will definitely try all this, already doing some of it. Only thing is if I'm ordering I doubt I'll get the response for their water parameters will the drip aclimation of about 40-60 min be enough to get them somewhat used to my parameters? I'm really rarely ordering as I have an awesome guy locally who's got some sick corals so I get like 90% of him.
 

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I say buy or rent a par meter. Without testing for par, you're just guessing at lighting levels. I'm not too familiar withe the Red Sea 90 lights but, I can't imagine you're getting very even lighting with w 'spotlights' over a 4 foot tank. You might be cooking things right under the puck and starving things for light a foot away. Consider supplementing with t5 or adding more fixtures, particularly for acros. I would think plating montis should be fine with those lights. Keep your alk (between 7-8) and calc (between 400-450), and very stable. Clean up crew for algae problems. If things are really bad, think about trying a sea hare. They're algae eating machines. Be prepared to rehome when the tank is clean. Personally, I wouldn't spend too much on acros until you get things like montis, birds nests, pocillopora and stylophoras growing well.

Matt
 

drawman

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As I said I started dosing to get the alk up, algae I'm getting under the control definitely less on the rock and glass, what should I do about no3 and po4 as I've heard that you shouldn't dose them when you have algae? PAR I'm not sure as I don't have PAR meter. Thinking of getting seneye reef. Bleached corals are out of the tank
I would not worry about raising the alkalinity (unless you plan to raise your nitrate as well). Alkalinity at 7dKh is just fine for SPS and some prefer it. You certainly can raise it if that's your end goal but I sure would get the NO3 up as well. Main thing here is stability keep it consistent wherever you plan to have it.

I think a seneye would be fine but I have never used it. Main thing is having ballpark numbers. I know very little about your lights so maybe others can chime in with their experiences.
Thanks for this, I will definitely try all this, already doing some of it. Only thing is if I'm ordering I doubt I'll get the response for their water parameters will the drip aclimation of about 40-60 min be enough to get them somewhat used to my parameters? I'm really rarely ordering as I have an awesome guy locally who's got some sick corals so I get like 90% of him.
Some really like a drip acclimation some just temp acclimate, then dip, then throw them in (either display or QT tank). I used to be super anal about a drip acclimation now I find myself just doing a more crude acclimation then strong dip. I think as long as you aren't on the way end of the spectrum in alkalinity then they tolerate it just fine.
 

Mike27t

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Some great posts in here. Just added my first sps pieces, will be following along for more pointers.
 
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