Crab's is about ready to throw in the towel.

Dkeller_nc

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
702
Reaction score
973
Another comment about electrode cleaning. You may see procedures that use contact-lens enzymatic cleaning fluid, or ones that use various concentrations of sodium hydroxide.

These do have a purpose in a laboratory; if you're using a pH electrode in a bioreactor, for example, then the junction gets clogged with protein and lipids over time. The contact-lens enzymatic cleaners are generally pepsin or trypsin in an acidic solution, and these enzymes break down protein. Sodium hydroxide will turn oily lipids/fats into water-soluble compounds, and will also break down proteins to some extent.

The reason that I didn't mention these two is that in a reef the typical material clogging the junction in a pH electrode is calcium carbonate, either abiotically precipitated or associated with small critters like micro tube worms. Dilute HCl will dissolve this away.

It's also possible that the electrode junction has become clogged with fats/lipids/proteins, so you can try these other solutions. However, and in my experience, I rarely find that a 30 minute soak in 0.1N HCl doesn't do the job. So I'd recommend trying enzymatic solutions and/or sodium hydroxide as a 2nd attempt. The enzyme solution can't damage the electrode, but I simply find that it's ineffective for pH probes used in a reef. Soaking a probe in sodium hydroxide can work, but be aware that sodium hydroxide will actually dissolve crush-glass junctions, so you want to be cautious - use the specified concentration of sodium hydroxide in the procedure, and only soak the pH probe for the time specified.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
20,132
Reaction score
49,274
Location
Decatur, AL
Hey Crabs, just read through the entire thread (took awhile) and am sorry you are going through this. Lots of great advice. Completely agree with adding the carbon and stopping water changes. I also like the advice of adding poly filters if you have them. They remove metals much more effectively than carbon.

A few random thoughts....
Polyp extension can both be a positive sign and a sign that coral is starving. That doesn't necessarily mean you need NO3 or PO4, but it could be missing something else. It could be low light, lack of amino acids, low levels of trace elements, or even low flow where it can't expel waste.

Completely agree with checking the source water. The cat pee smell means some organics were getting into your mixing tank that were decomposing. Even if ammonia wasn't directly present, it will break down into ammonia at some point before further decomposing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your coral may have been using this as a food source.

Don't get caught into the 0TDS trap. All it means is that nothing conductive is making it through your water. Chloramines aren't ionic/conductive so they can sneak by while still reading 0TDS. I know you aren't using your mixing station, but I'm guessing you are still using your RODI storage container. You may want to try using your Seachem ammonia badge in it and see if it shows anything. Chlorine strips for a pool would also be a good thing to try if you have them handy but wouldn't go out of my way to get them.


I think you are on the right path with just about everything. The only thing I would consider doing is adding some coral specific foods (Like BRS Reef Chili) and/or aminio acids. It may make your cyano worse short term but that can be fixed fairly easily imo. Otherwise, the ICP test could show a smoking gun.

Good luck!
 
OP
Crabs McJones

Crabs McJones

Mayor of R2R
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
21,987
Reaction score
98,596
Location
Wisconsin
Thanks again everyone for all the help, and kind words. I've left the tank alone other than skimmer cup cleaning and changing out filter socks. I noticed some polyp extension today on the troubled corals. The ICP lab test went in the mail yesterday. I'll update as soon as I see results. And will continue to keep you all posted.
Side question. If it is chlorine or chloramines, would it hurt anything to add prime to my water change water? It says it removes or detoxifies chlorine and chloramines so the biological filter can filter it out. Is this something I should just include in my routine maintenence? I'll obviously wait until the results come back, but just wanted to throw it out there.
 
OP
Crabs McJones

Crabs McJones

Mayor of R2R
View Badges
Joined
Jul 24, 2017
Messages
21,987
Reaction score
98,596
Location
Wisconsin
Hey Crabs, just read through the entire thread (took awhile) and am sorry you are going through this. Lots of great advice. Completely agree with adding the carbon and stopping water changes. I also like the advice of adding poly filters if you have them. They remove metals much more effectively than carbon.

A few random thoughts....
Polyp extension can both be a positive sign and a sign that coral is starving. That doesn't necessarily mean you need NO3 or PO4, but it could be missing something else. It could be low light, lack of amino acids, low levels of trace elements, or even low flow where it can't expel waste.

Completely agree with checking the source water. The cat pee smell means some organics were getting into your mixing tank that were decomposing. Even if ammonia wasn't directly present, it will break down into ammonia at some point before further decomposing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your coral may have been using this as a food source.

Don't get caught into the 0TDS trap. All it means is that nothing conductive is making it through your water. Chloramines aren't ionic/conductive so they can sneak by while still reading 0TDS. I know you aren't using your mixing station, but I'm guessing you are still using your RODI storage container. You may want to try using your Seachem ammonia badge in it and see if it shows anything. Chlorine strips for a pool would also be a good thing to try if you have them handy but wouldn't go out of my way to get them.


I think you are on the right path with just about everything. The only thing I would consider doing is adding some coral specific foods (Like BRS Reef Chili) and/or aminio acids. It may make your cyano worse short term but that can be fixed fairly easily imo. Otherwise, the ICP test could show a smoking gun.

Good luck!
Nope, ditched the ro/do storage container. Went completely back to my buckets. Stick with what you know works, right ;)
 

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
20,132
Reaction score
49,274
Location
Decatur, AL
Side question. If it is chlorine or chloramines, would it hurt anything to add prime to my water change water? It says it removes or detoxifies chlorine and chloramines so the biological filter can filter it out. Is this something I should just include in my routine maintenence?
Really good question and I don't know the answer. I know it would help with fish but have no idea if it would help with coral. It wouldn't hurt so I think it is a great idea even though it may not help. I've seen Randy comment that he doesn't know the exact method it detoxifies ammonia with so no idea if it would also detoxify it with coral. Absolutely worth a try imo.
 
Top Shelf Aquatics

pasquale petrovia

Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 4, 2018
Messages
44
Reaction score
40
Not wanting to step on your Thread Crabs, but to the guy who said Peroxide. I dosed 20 ml last night and this morning the whole tank was blood red. Who knew cyano loves peroxide. Please don't anyone go there. Another 50 gallon change tomorrow. Water test shows all same parameters my tanks has ran all year. RO water also clean. Good luck Crabs Hope everything works out
 

andyg1960

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 9, 2016
Messages
955
Reaction score
1,146
Location
NC
Hey Crabs, just read through the entire thread (took awhile) and am sorry you are going through this. Lots of great advice. Completely agree with adding the carbon and stopping water changes. I also like the advice of adding poly filters if you have them. They remove metals much more effectively than carbon.

A few random thoughts....
Polyp extension can both be a positive sign and a sign that coral is starving. That doesn't necessarily mean you need NO3 or PO4, but it could be missing something else. It could be low light, lack of amino acids, low levels of trace elements, or even low flow where it can't expel waste.

Completely agree with checking the source water. The cat pee smell means some organics were getting into your mixing tank that were decomposing. Even if ammonia wasn't directly present, it will break down into ammonia at some point before further decomposing. This isn't necessarily a bad thing. Your coral may have been using this as a food source.

Don't get caught into the 0TDS trap. All it means is that nothing conductive is making it through your water. Chloramines aren't ionic/conductive so they can sneak by while still reading 0TDS. I know you aren't using your mixing station, but I'm guessing you are still using your RODI storage container. You may want to try using your Seachem ammonia badge in it and see if it shows anything. Chlorine strips for a pool would also be a good thing to try if you have them handy but wouldn't go out of my way to get them.


I think you are on the right path with just about everything. The only thing I would consider doing is adding some coral specific foods (Like BRS Reef Chili) and/or aminio acids. It may make your cyano worse short term but that can be fixed fairly easily imo. Otherwise, the ICP test could show a smoking gun.

Good luck!
Curious- what is your easy fix method to control cyano? Are you talking Chemiclean?
 

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
20,132
Reaction score
49,274
Location
Decatur, AL
Curious- what is your easy fix method to control cyano? Are you talking Chemiclean?
Absolutely not. Chemiclean is a temporary fix at best imo. I've found that if you keep NO3 above 5ppm and use a small pump to blast the rock and stir the sand it goes away very quickly.
 

Brew12

Electrical Gru
View Badges
Joined
Aug 14, 2016
Messages
20,132
Reaction score
49,274
Location
Decatur, AL
Not wanting to step on your Thread Crabs, but to the guy who said Peroxide. I dosed 20 ml last night and this morning the whole tank was blood red. Who knew cyano loves peroxide. Please don't anyone go there. Another 50 gallon change tomorrow. Water test shows all same parameters my tanks has ran all year. RO water also clean. Good luck Crabs Hope everything works out
You raise a good point with H2O2. I consider it fairly safe but if you even think you may have metals in your system I wouldn't add it. I made the mistake of recommending H2O2 to @Robin Haselden and it pretty much wiped his tank. Oxydizers plus metal is a very bad ending!
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
18,213
Reaction score
30,599
Location
Sheboygan, WI
Thanks again everyone for all the help, and kind words. I've left the tank alone other than skimmer cup cleaning and changing out filter socks. I noticed some polyp extension today on the troubled corals. The ICP lab test went in the mail yesterday. I'll update as soon as I see results. And will continue to keep you all posted.
Side question. If it is chlorine or chloramines, would it hurt anything to add prime to my water change water? It says it removes or detoxifies chlorine and chloramines so the biological filter can filter it out. Is this something I should just include in my routine maintenence? I'll obviously wait until the results come back, but just wanted to throw it out there.
If you suspect chlorine/chloromines- you can add Prime NOW
 
Best reef aquarium LED lighting

MERKEY

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 5, 2019
Messages
539
Reaction score
1,126
Oh man good luck, I really hope you get this figured out.

I wish I had some advice but it seems it all has been covered or suggested. I am scratching my head and watching along with best wishes!
 

Robin Haselden

Turtle
View Badges
Joined
Feb 24, 2017
Messages
7,425
Reaction score
23,934
Location
South Carolina
You raise a good point with H2O2. I consider it fairly safe but if you even think you may have metals in your system I wouldn't add it. I made the mistake of recommending H2O2 to @Robin Haselden and it pretty much wiped his tank. Oxydizers plus metal is a very bad ending!
Shhh, dont remind me. :(

Lost every zoa overnight.
 

ReefParadox

Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 16, 2018
Messages
27
Reaction score
26
Location
Corpus Christi
Hey Crabs, I agree with Motortrendz in post #37 and Rick.45cal in post #176, .05 phosphates is too low. I had a very similar experience with STN on my Garf bonsai and one of my favorite milleporas when my phosphates got down to .02 and nitrates were less than 10. I fed heavily until the phosphates were back above .16 and nitrates were 25 and the slow tissue necrosis stopped on both (lost a third of the bonsai and almost half of the mille). I am new to keeping low nutrients and previously my nitrates would run between 80 and 100 and phosphates as high as 2 ppm. I also noticed excellent polyp extension when nitrates got down below 25 and phosphates at .2, but when the phosphates got down to .08 polyp extension on my acros decreased and the STN started. I started reading here on the forum and someone said (cant remember where I read it!) not to let phosphates get below .15 or the acros would start to starve and start to STN, I started feeding heavier and when the phosphates got back above .16 the stn slowed and stopped a few says later, still waiting anxiously for tissue to start regrowing. Also as a side note, I have learned that stability is THE most important factor in coral (meaning acros and montis in particular) growth. Even if my calcium may be slightly low for example or the alkalinity a little high, when all things are stable even just for say 10 days or 2 weeks, I experience an explosion in growth. Just my 2 cents worth as I'm certainly no expert but wanted to share my experience with getting my phosphates too low.
 

Dkeller_nc

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Mar 2, 2019
Messages
702
Reaction score
973
Side question. If it is chlorine or chloramines, would it hurt anything to add prime to my water change water? It says it removes or detoxifies chlorine and chloramines so the biological filter can filter it out. Is this something I should just include in my routine maintenence? I'll obviously wait until the results come back, but just wanted to throw it out there.
I wouldn't personally do this. A much better plan is to go to a local pool supply place (most cities have several) and buy a container of free and total chlorine test strips. Like these. Let your RODI system run for at least 15 minutes, then disconnect the tube coming out of your carbon/sediment filtration going to your RO membrane. Test the water. If it shows any chlorine/chloramine, you need to replace your carbon blocks, slow down the flow through your system, add additional carbon blocks, or some combination of these steps.
 

Urban

Member
View Badges
Joined
Dec 5, 2017
Messages
43
Reaction score
22
Location
California
I tend to browse more than post, but after having read through the whole thread, what I keep going back to is the salinity. I have been in this hobby for many years, took a brief hiatus, and after setting up my most recent system started running into problems on a scale that I had never seen within my systems in the past. My passion has always been the sticks, and I had what seemed to be a thriving SPS dominated tank before I started experiencing STN issues seemingly seemingly out of the blue, with a cause that I could not pinpoint regardless of what I did. I did like you, and went over every piece of equipment within, I was testing everything on a daily basis for weeks, and nothing seemed to make sense. In my mind, it had to be the lighting. I have four T5s over a Reefer 170 and was also using a Kessil A350W I had purchased years before that had never been removed from the box. I was convinced this was my issue despite renting two separate PAR meters and finding that there was nothing there that indicated the lighting was not doing the job, and despite many, many, people who I highly respect within the hobby saying that although that fixture was a bit dated they did not believe this was the problem (people who I probably ran crazy hoping that they would give me some confirmation that I had found the issue and tried to convince them that I had to be correct). Nothing seemed to check out.

What I found so odd was how the STN would occur in what seemed like phases. I would see it occurring, do a my bi-weekly water change, and then it would either continue or I would have weeks of improvement; this went on for months. Part of my routine is making sure that I checked my refractometers (I use two. OCD) with a calibration solution prior to doing water. I had two brand new bottles of Refracto Juice that were purchased one month apart. When I would calibrate I would just grab one of the bottles at random and use it, and always found it odd that they seemed to need adjusting more than what I would have ever expected, but in my mind, the refracto juice had to be correct, and it was something I must have been doing wrong. I know the things that can have an effect on causing these solutions to be off, but I was also convinced that I had never failed to tighten the lids immediately after using them, and stored them in a dark place. The lids were removed just long enough for me to do my calibrations, and both bottles expired in 2022. On a hunch, I tested both bottles before using the refractometer, and found that when I calibrated to 35ppt using one bottle, 32ppt was what I saw when I used the other immediately after. For many months each time I did my water change I relied on the calibration, and depending on which bottle of calibration fluid was used - and whether it was the one that was actually accurate - I was doing massive water changes with a salinity that was constantly fluctuating. I ordered two additional bottles of a different brand that was also supposed to be calibrated at 35 ppt, and found that sure enough one of those original bottles was off. It was suggested to me by an individual who had been in the hobby with many more decades of experience than I had to purchase a certified SG Hydrometer such as this one. Thankfully, its measurements DID match up with the two new bottles of calibration fluid I ordered, and one of the original bottles of refracto juice, and will be my go to from here forward. I think the angle may be something worth looking into a bit more... Just my $.02.

Dustin
 

vetteguy53081

Well known Member
View Badges
Joined
Aug 11, 2013
Messages
18,213
Reaction score
30,599
Location
Sheboygan, WI
Ive suspected high salinity and calcium all along. Crabs should be getting an ICP breakdown any day now
 

Do you think you too much water testing takes a toll on you and your aquarium?

  • Yes

    Votes: 210 43.2%
  • No

    Votes: 218 44.9%
  • Not Sure

    Votes: 58 11.9%

Online statistics

Members online
915
Guests online
2,698
Total visitors
3,613
Underwater Creations, Inc.
Live Fish Food Combo Packs - AlgaeBarn.com
Top