Corals bleached overnight

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ShaneAugust

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Excuse the long post but I don’t understand what happened, I’ve been reefing for almost 2 years now. I research for hours daily to better my chances in this hobby. I have a waterbox frag 165.6 that’s been up for about 6 months now, I let it cycle for over a month before adding coral. A week ago I got a bad case of Dino’s, I tried every natural way to stop it. Turning off skimmer, taking out filter socks, siphoning out into a filter sock every other day and a small UV sterilizer in the main display while trying to get my nutrients up. It is slowly dissipating but yesterday I woke up to some of my SPS completely bleached. I quickly did a 15 gallon water change. This morning almost all my acros, SPS, millepora, gonis, large plate coral and frogspawn wall are all bleached or semi bleached. I would say over a thousand dollars worth of coral dying right before my eyes in the last 2 days. I’m depressed and so disappointed because I couldn’t fix i feel like giving up. I’ve worked hours daily to make the perfect environment for these corals. They were growing so well for months before this last week. Everything was encrusting and growing outward very well. I have another waterbox frag tank jam packed with corals, SPS, LPS with never having a problem so I don’t consider myself to be a beginner but I still am no expert. This tank is in the basement. What can I do? The only corals that aren’t affected are the zoas, monticap, Long Tentacle Anemone and stylos and two of the millepora frags. But everything seems closed up and not thriving like it used to. Fish are fine. I am semi new to the acro world and know they can be very finicky and stability is key but that’s what I’ve been doing. I check the water quality daily and the only thing wrong is I can’t get nitrates up.
Alk: 8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1
Phosphate: 0.4
Salinity: 0.025
Temp: 77
PH: 8.3
Mag 1450
Calcium: 500
I keep two windows open next to the tank for gas exchange. Are the corals doomed? I’ll attach a quick video of the tank so you can see what I’m working with but the video doesn’t show the bleaching on video very well but it’s definitely happening extremely quick. Since writing this half of a frag just turned white. Any advice or experiences I would really appreciate.
 

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prcardinal91

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If the Dinos you have are ostreopsis this can have a detrimental effect on livestock as they are highly toxic.

Do you have a microscope to take a sample and identify it? I had a pretty bad case of ostreopsis and lost some sps but it can be stopped.
 

prcardinal91

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Bumping up your nitrates a bit will probably help with both dinos and getting your corals away from being "starved"

Drastic changes should be avoided to keep the stress levels of the livestock down.

Add some carbon to help with any possible toxins/pollutants
 
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ShaneAugust

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If the Dinos you have are ostreopsis this can have a detrimental effect on livestock as they are highly toxic.

Do you have a microscope to take a sample and identify it? I had a pretty bad case of ostreopsis and lost some sps but it can be stopped.
I do not have a microscope, any other ways to identify? I’ll get one if needed though. What causes this? 2 weeks ago I used a large 25 gallon black storage container to do a water change so i didn’t have to use 5 buckets. Would that cause this? I never used it again though only because I was scared of plastics getting in the water because after the water change i smelled the container and it had a chemical smell and scared the crap out of me thinking I nuked the tank.
 

prcardinal91

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It can be tough to identify possible pollutants that enter the tank and the exact source. So if the container had something in it it's possible it had an effect on corals.

Definitely add some carbon and replace every 2-3 days. This will help with toxins and pollutants in the water.

If your nitrate is really at 1ppm or below, Add a source of nitrate. I use stump remover from the big box stores. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Spectracide-16-oz-Stump-Remover/4764059 It is powerful. Read up on how to use it. This will help your "good guys" on a microscopic level and help establish a balance. bacteria and microfauna need nitrate and a balance to thrive. Remember that the tank is still new and will go through maturation phases. Somedays you move forward some days you move back.

Take some close-up pictures of the dinos. Pictures will help, but a microscope will really be the only true identification of the type you have.

Many people recommend cutting lights back and dosing hydrogen peroxide to help knock the dinos back. UV helps ostreopsis also. there are forums on here about it. I also have a thread somewhere when I went through a dino situation you can read.
 
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ShaneAugust

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It can be tough to identify possible pollutants that enter the tank and the exact source. So if the container had something in it it's possible it had an effect on corals.

Definitely add some carbon and replace every 2-3 days. This will help with toxins and pollutants in the water.

If your nitrate is really at 1ppm or below, Add a source of nitrate. I use stump remover from the big box stores. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Spectracide-16-oz-Stump-Remover/4764059 It is powerful. Read up on how to use it. This will help your "good guys" on a microscopic level and help establish a balance. bacteria and microfauna need nitrate and a balance to thrive. Remember that the tank is still new and will go through maturation phases. Somedays you move forward some days you move back.

Take some close-up pictures of the dinos. Pictures will help, but a microscope will really be the only true identification of the type you have.

Many people recommend cutting lights back and dosing hydrogen peroxide to help knock the dinos back. UV helps ostreopsis also. there are forums on here about it. I also have a thread somewhere when I went through a dino situation you can read.
Wow, never heard of using stump remover but I will look into it right now. As long as it’s safe. I’m going to read your thread and possibly use some hydrogen peroxide. I always get nervous tinkering with the tank but this is necessary. Thanks a lot for your help, you put me at ease. I’ll take a close up picture.
 
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ShaneAugust

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It can be tough to identify possible pollutants that enter the tank and the exact source. So if the container had something in it it's possible it had an effect on corals.

Definitely add some carbon and replace every 2-3 days. This will help with toxins and pollutants in the water.

If your nitrate is really at 1ppm or below, Add a source of nitrate. I use stump remover from the big box stores. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Spectracide-16-oz-Stump-Remover/4764059 It is powerful. Read up on how to use it. This will help your "good guys" on a microscopic level and help establish a balance. bacteria and microfauna need nitrate and a balance to thrive. Remember that the tank is still new and will go through maturation phases. Somedays you move forward some days you move back.

Take some close-up pictures of the dinos. Pictures will help, but a microscope will really be the only true identification of the type you have.

Many people recommend cutting lights back and dosing hydrogen peroxide to help knock the dinos back. UV helps ostreopsis also. there are forums on here about it. I also have a thread somewhere when I went through a dino situation you can read.
 

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SlugSnorter

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Excuse the long post but I don’t understand what happened, I’ve been reefing for almost 2 years now. I research for hours daily to better my chances in this hobby. I have a waterbox frag 165.6 that’s been up for about 6 months now, I let it cycle for over a month before adding coral. A week ago I got a bad case of Dino’s, I tried every natural way to stop it. Turning off skimmer, taking out filter socks, siphoning out into a filter sock every other day and a small UV sterilizer in the main display while trying to get my nutrients up. It is slowly dissipating but yesterday I woke up to some of my SPS completely bleached. I quickly did a 15 gallon water change. This morning almost all my acros, SPS, millepora, gonis, large plate coral and frogspawn wall are all bleached or semi bleached. I would say over a thousand dollars worth of coral dying right before my eyes in the last 2 days. I’m depressed and so disappointed because I couldn’t fix i feel like giving up. I’ve worked hours daily to make the perfect environment for these corals. They were growing so well for months before this last week. Everything was encrusting and growing outward very well. I have another waterbox frag tank jam packed with corals, SPS, LPS with never having a problem so I don’t consider myself to be a beginner but I still am no expert. This tank is in the basement. What can I do? The only corals that aren’t affected are the zoas, monticap, Long Tentacle Anemone and stylos and two of the millepora frags. But everything seems closed up and not thriving like it used to. Fish are fine. I am semi new to the acro world and know they can be very finicky and stability is key but that’s what I’ve been doing. I check the water quality daily and the only thing wrong is I can’t get nitrates up.
Alk: 8
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 1
Phosphate: 0.4
Salinity: 0.025
Temp: 77
PH: 8.3
Mag 1450
Calcium: 500
I keep two windows open next to the tank for gas exchange. Are the corals doomed? I’ll attach a quick video of the tank so you can see what I’m working with but the video doesn’t show the bleaching on video very well but it’s definitely happening extremely quick. Since writing this half of a frag just turned white. Any advice or experiences I would really appreciate.
could there have been a sudden temp shift due to a cold night?
 
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Lavey29

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6 month old tank is probably not mature enough with biodiversity to be successful with SPS as you are discovering your parameters are off which lead to dinos. Stability is critical because even your LFS can decline also. Nitrates should be 10 for a mixed reef.
 
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ShaneAugust

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You got some pollutant in your tank. Nothing happens that fast in a reef tank .
That’s what I’m worried about. It’s 165 gallons and starting over would crush me. Will the pollutants eventually go away through skimming, biological filtration and water changes? I just wish I knew what it was. Hoping it wasn’t from the black plastic container I used for that one water change.
 
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ShaneAugust

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could there have been a sudden temp shift due to a cold night?
Not that I’m aware of. I have two heaters in the sump which are kind of annoying because I set them to 78 but they don’t get the tank to 78 so I have to set it at a higher temp and constantly check the temp daily
 
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ShaneAugust

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6 month old tank is probably not mature enough with biodiversity to be successful with SPS as you are discovering your parameters are off which lead to dinos. Stability is critical because even your LFS can decline also. Nitrates should be 10 for a mixed reef.
Can I put in some Dr Tims bacteria? I’m trying to feed more and benepets but my nitrates just will not budge. It’s basically zero
 
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Not that I’m aware of. I have two heaters in the sump which are kind of annoying because I set them to 78 but they don’t get the tank to 78 so I have to set it at a higher temp and constantly check the temp daily
Consider getting a controller to do that automatically. Anyways, even with those heaters a small tank can cool fast if theres a strong cold wind on it from windows.
 
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ShaneAugust

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Consider getting a controller to do that automatically. Anyways, even with those heaters a small tank can cool fast if theres a strong cold wind on it from windows.
Definitely looking into a controller now, thank you. I’ll keep that in mind with the windows plus the tank being in the basement which stays cooler.
 

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Can I put in some Dr Tims bacteria? I’m trying to feed more and benepets but my nitrates just will not budge. It’s basically zero
I went through similar situation at 6 months. Did not have SPS but my LPS struggled. I had to dose neophos and neonitro double dose for multiple weeks to finally get measurable numbers. Of course having a good bioload and feeding more helps also. Just watch phosphate number because coral foods will bump that high.
 
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crit21

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Wow, never heard of using stump remover but I will look into it right now. As long as it’s safe. I’m going to read your thread and possibly use some hydrogen peroxide. I always get nervous tinkering with the tank but this is necessary. Thanks a lot for your help, you put me at ease. I’ll take a close up picture.
Potassium nitrate? Really?
 
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