Do lots of water changes or leave tank alone?

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by Trevor40, Oct 11, 2018.

  1. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    240 gallon tank, 1 year old started with dead rock and live sand. Chaeto, protein skimmer,.8 bulb Sunpower 8" above water run 7 hours all bulbs. I feed 4 times/day frozen and some pellets. 4 large fish and 10 smaller ones.

    I have been losing sps recenlty to STN and RTN. Things start to look okay and then i will lose another acro. In the past I have run much lower alk, around 8-9. Should I do a series of water changes to get it down along with my PO4 to help or should I leave this be? It seems that the frags I have had for 10 months are the ones that die and not any new additions.

    Also, when I do not dose anything the levels seem to not move at all. I tried dosing Kalk to bump my pH to increase growth and it just increases my alk levels since the corals don't seem to be growing.

    Alk= 11dkh
    Calcium= 470
    Mg=1470
    Nitrate =2.5
    PO4= .18

    I am on the end of battling cyano and dinos. Dinos are gone but cyano still comes back in the sand between water changes. My PO4 has been high for about 2 months now. I am wondering if the changes in PO4 have been the problem?

    PO4.png
     
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  2. reacclimating 2 the hobby

    reacclimating 2 the hobby Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2019

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    What bulbs are you running in your ATI and have they been in there for the entire year?
     
  3. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I run 2 actinic, 4 blue plus, 1 purple plus and 1 coral plus. Yes, they have been the same since setting up the tank late October 2017.
     
  4. reacclimating 2 the hobby

    reacclimating 2 the hobby Active Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2019

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    I know when I was running my ATI I would start to notice algae growth towards the end of the bulb life. This could also be the cause of your coral loss. But if you normally run 8-9alk and are at 11, that increase could also be an issue.

    I'd do small water changes and reduce the alk and phos to where you were keeping it while the corals were thriving.
     
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  5. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Sounds like a good plan. I will do that. It take a lot of water changes to reduce it on this large tank. If I do 40 gallon changes weekly it could take a few months to drop to 8 using Fritz salt which is around 8-9.
     
  6. Elegance Coral

    Elegance Coral Active Member

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    Can you post pic's of the tank and filtration?
     
  7. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Here is an old picture of the sump. I have since raised the Kessil over the refugium and the macro algae is pretty full at the moment. My PO4 was reading 0 before I added PO4 a few months back but overdosed and had to bring it back down.
    IMG_5290.jpg

    Tank.jpg
     
  8. Elegance Coral

    Elegance Coral Active Member

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    That's the way it looks today????????

    If so, I'd start with a couple of large water changes.
    Judging by the photo, I'd also pull the chaeto. It's falling apart and leaving pieces all over the bottom, that are just going to rot. When chaeto is doing this, it typically isn't growing, so it's not helping. It can be difficult to get nutrient levels high enough to support chaeto, while at the same time, keeping them low enough to keep SPS happy.

    The water changes will probably turn things around. Especially, if you clean the sand in the process.

    Peace
    EC
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2018
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  9. bhuyett

    bhuyett Active Member

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    ...... I wouldn't do this just yet. Do you know what your Alk level is when mixing up a new batch of Salt or are you going off of what is on the box saying it mixes at 8-9? If you have a salt that mixes Alk really high, something like Coral Sea Pro. Then you dont want to mix salt and add. If you do this you are only exacerbating the issue and causing your Alk to spike even further. If on the other hand your new salt mix, does mix Alk lower then you will help dilute that current Alk of 11.

    You are better off just leaving it at 11, because this isn't bad. My suggesting would be to pull your Kalk drip offline and lower your Alk slowly over the next 30-45 days or longer. Since your tank is mainly SPS with Acro frags it may take you awhile before your Alk starts coming down on its own.

    As for Kalk dosing, this is more than likely what has caused your spike in Alk. My suggestion would be to not use Kalk until your parameters are more in line and just showing a swing in the downward trend. Since you have frags you dont need to chase PH. You want to keep your Alk stable month over month for Acro's and they will start growing. You have taken them out of a system they were acustomed to. Then plopped them into your system that more than likely has different flow, different parameters in water and lights. Not until those Acros get settled in and have stability once again will they start growing.

    When you say in the past you used to run Alk 8-9, how long ago was this? This spike, in your Alk, how long has it been running 11dkh?

    It looks like your Phosphates have gone from Zero up to 2.5ppm starting in August. Then was high for almost 30 days. Then has dropped pretty rapidly down to almost Zero again. What changed during this time to cause the SPIKE? Then what did you do to get it to drop so quickly?
     
  10. Breadman03

    Breadman03 Valuable Member Catskill Reef Member

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    I've read that one can use muriatic acid to lower DKH. You might read up on it and see if you might want to knock down the DKH of your new saltwater a little bit more.
     
  11. jda

    jda Valuable Member

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    Gallons * desired dKh drop * .123 = the mls of Muratic Acid to use on freshly mixed saltwater. It can take a day, or two, of strong aeration to get the pH back up. DO NOT use it instantly. DO NOT use Muratic in a tank.
     
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  12. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    [​IMG][​IMG]
     
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  13. TheHarold

    TheHarold Valuable Member

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    Whenever a stable tank encounters an issue like that, I would recommend investing into and sending in an ICP test. Perhaps Triton. Threre are a million possible disgnosis, but a triton test can eliminate a lot of them for you. Metal contamination, bad test kits, bad RODI, etc.

    I lost too many colonies before I discovered metal contamination from a razor I unknowingly lost in my sand bed.
     
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  14. spartanomega21

    spartanomega21 Member

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    Im kinda in a similar boat right now without the alk swing. Battled dino for a while. Lost some acros. Now have detextable po4 and no3 which cut back the dino. Tank just isnt recovering too well.
    A lot of older acros im losing to rtn and stn still and same as you the newest additions are for the most part doing well still. so frustrating to just keep things stable and ride it out but still losing things in the mean time...
     
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  15. 29bonsaireef

    29bonsaireef Well-Known Member

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    I would do a big WC, personally. If you can't pinpoint the issue, or think you will lose corals in the time it takes to fix. Change 50-100% water. I've done this many times with larger systems that I didn't want to waste time and risk losing corals, always had positive results.
     
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  16. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I took my Kalk out of the ATO. I am prepping for a large water change. I don't have enough bins to do a 50% water change but I will ask around because I like that idea. Would the corals suffer from a drop in dkH or is it just the spikes that are more harmful?
     
  17. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I have tested in the past but I will do another on the new batch of salt water. When I do a water change of 40 gallons it lowers about 0.5 dkh. I will stop dosing Kalk.

    PO4 raised by me dosing which I misread the dosage and overdid it. I brought it back down by Phosphate-E which works extremely well. Since then I have been lowering it from water changes and chaeto. I dosed Chemiclean and PO4 shot up about .1 overnight. There was a lot of PO4 bound by the cyano. I think the PO4 spikes and drops have stunted the growth which is why new frags look great and the older ones are still stressed.
     
  18. 29bonsaireef

    29bonsaireef Well-Known Member

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    I've done full WC on a 220 I used to have, multiple times. Sometimes a significant drop in some parameters. Never had a negative effect on the corals. I always collect NSW for this, but I think a good salt mix would be just as helpful.
     
  19. Nburg

    Nburg Active Member Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2019

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    Acros dont like high phos and nitrates but also dont like low concentrations either. Maybe the up and down of nutrients stressed them
     
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  20. Trevor40

    Trevor40 Active Member Build Thread Contributor

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    Yes, i have learned a valuable lesson. In the past GFO has upset my acros by the sudden drop in PO4. I thought that if they were still above .1 that the drop wouldn't be too bad. I was wrong.
     
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