Corals are dying despite stable parameters?

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ams0509

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Agreed that based on numbers we are likely looking at 1.021-1.022 instead of 1.024.
I've been using a calibration liquid to tune my refractometer between uses and have received similar values from my LFS readings. I'd imagine you're probably right on my salinity but I guess I'm just wondering how I'm consistently getting the wrong readings.
 
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If this is a new/newer tank, hammer and Pavona may be too premature
Please post pics under white light intensity.
In relation, these all do best under moderate light and water flow and assure nitrate and phosphate not elevated. In addition calcium should be at least 400 for a couple of these corals. Mag best at 1300 and salinity is low and best at 1.025
Lol I agree with you on the corals. In retrospect our LFS was probably way too aggressive in saying we could support these corals as early as we added them to the tank. I'm looking at this more for lessons learned than anything at this point.
 

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I've been using a calibration liquid to tune my refractometer between uses and have received similar values from my LFS readings. I'd imagine you're probably right on my salinity but I guess I'm just wondering how I'm consistently getting the wrong readings.
Well, I’ll tell you how I was getting wrong readings to give you an example. I used calibration fluid that was off. Thought I was at 1.026. Turned out I was 1.033. Figured out what was happening when my LFS commented on how odd it was that my calcium and magnesium were so high. They gave me some new calibration fluid and then everything magically started to be okay. Well not magically but you get my point. If there’s a mistake out there that has been made… I’ve probably made it.
 

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If salinity is low it makes all your other readings much lower
 

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I've been using a calibration liquid to tune my refractometer between uses and have received similar values from my LFS readings. I'd imagine you're probably right on my salinity but I guess I'm just wondering how I'm consistently getting the wrong readings.
I would take the calibration fluid reading then an RODI water calibration then set that baby smack in the middle of the two. Then go out and buy the best thing you will every buy. A hydrometer. Trust me. Life saver. Then calibrate the refractometer to the hydrometer.
 
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ams0509

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Unfortunately with a 3 month old tank and poor parameters it will be difficult to sustain corals. What do you have for lights and flow?
I have the default Biocube lights and return pump. I have since added a Nero 3 powerhead to increase flow rate/try to simulate waves.
 
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Well, I’ll tell you how I was getting wrong readings to give you an example. I used calibration fluid that was off. Thought I was at 1.026. Turned out I was 1.033. Figured out what was happening when my LFS commented on how odd it was that my calcium and magnesium were so high. They gave me some new calibration fluid and then everything magically started to be okay. Well not magically but you get my point. If there’s a mistake out there that has been made… I’ve probably made it.
Do you have a preferred calibration fluid? Maybe I should buy a second bottle from a different brand and compare.
 

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Water change days can be a PITA to get the same SG as the tank. The easiest thing to do is make sure both tank temps are the same. Go out and buy a digital meat thermometer if you don’t have one. It’s not important that’s it’s accurate, it just matters that you match the temp in the fresh and tank water. That way, when you measure using your refractometer, the new water is the same SG. If the temp is different, the Sg is different, causing swings. That should help with swings on WC day. Shoot for 1.025. Measure salinity twice a day if not 3 times if you can. Keep it stable. .025 will give you a buffer if it accidentally goes high or low.

Yep you rushed the corals a bit, but you can pull it off with good salinity management and upping your nutrients.

You got this!
 

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I buy pre-mix saltwater from my LFS, they mix to 1.025-1.026 and use Instant Ocean salt.
Instant Ocean is known for low calcium and low magnesium. Have they mentioned that to you? My LFS also uses instant ocean but they readily tell you that you should raise calcium and magnesium.
 
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Water change days can be a PITA to get the same SG as the tank. The easiest thing to do is make sure both tank temps are the same. Go out and buy a digital meat thermometer if you don’t have one. It’s not important that’s it’s accurate, it just matters that you match the temp in the fresh and tank water. That way, when you measure using your refractometer, the new water is the same SG. If the temp is different, the Sg is different, causing swings. That should help with swings on WC day. Shoot for 1.025. Measure salinity twice a day if not 3 times if you can. Keep it stable. .025 will give you a buffer if it accidentally goes high or low.

Yep you rushed the corals a bit, but you can pull it off with good salinity management and upping your nutrients.

You got this!
Thank you Ziggy, crazyfishmom, and Cthulukelele!

I have my digital meat thermometer, I'll make sure to test the temperature in addition going forward. From memory the water from my LFS has generally been colder than my tank, but not significantly so. I don't test until the following morning though so normally the water temperature has stabilized by then. I'm also going to buy another calibration fluid to see if its an issue with my calibration.

Another reply recommended I up my feeding to try and raise my phosphates/nitrates from 0. Do you agree?
 
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Instant Ocean is known for low calcium and low magnesium. Have they mentioned that to you? My LFS also uses instant ocean but they readily tell you that you should raise calcium and magnesium.
They have not told that to me but thats good to know. How do you adjust?
 

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Instant Ocean is known for low calcium and low magnesium. Have they mentioned that to you? My LFS also uses instant ocean but they readily tell you that you should raise calcium and magnesium.
the orange lid or purple lid fish mom?

My LFS also uses just plain Jane purple lid salt, and he swears by it, and In fairness, his tanks looks very nIce, but he 100% doses his tanks with his apex. Because I have a smaller tank, 80g total volume, I went with expensive stuff (tropic Marin). I pay $150 a bucket but it lasts a long time and it keep me at 8.5 DKH, 440 cal and 1350 mag without dosing. And with 10% weekly WCs, I stay stable in those numbers. But until the OP mixes his own water, he will have to play the 2 part dosing game.
 
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ams0509

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Also just a general thought but maybe should I reduce my water changes to every other week for the time being? Might help slightly increase nitrate/phosphate and I can supplement my salinity/calcium/magnesium with just more water over the course of the two weeks.
 

Ziggy17

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Also just a general thought but maybe should I reduce my water changes to every other week for the time being? Might help slightly increase nitrate/phosphate and I can supplement my salinity/calcium/magnesium with just more water over the course of the two weeks.
Yep, let your water get dirtier. For mixed reef, N03 5-20ppm and PO4 .08-.2

Stick heads keep a tighter ship for sps. 5ppm and .03
 

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Do you have a preferred calibration fluid? Maybe I should buy a second bottle from a different brand and compare.
I have found the Brightwell over a few years accurate

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Cthulukelele

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Yep, let your water get dirtier. For mixed reef, N03 5-20ppm and PO4 .08-.2

Stick heads keep a tighter ship for sps. 5ppm and .03
Just be aware as your numbers go up you may start to fee like "Oh no there's algae" but remember that algae is growing because your tank now has enough nitrate and phosphate to support growth! It's part of the process.
 

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