Goodbye SPS

bblumberg

Active Member
R2R Supporter
R2R Excellence Award
Expert Contributor
Joined
Apr 19, 2016
Messages
404
Reaction score
419
Location
Irvine, CA
What salt are you using such that a 10% water change gives you a 0.6 DKH change in alk? I'd consider changing that first. Also add a chloramine remover to your top off water and your freshly mixed salt water. I like plain sodium thiosulfate but many products will do the job (most of which are thiosulfate anyway).
 

milehighpilot

Member
Joined
Apr 18, 2012
Messages
7
Reaction score
1
Location
new jersey
I can't stress the "know your water" aspect everyone here is telling you about.
I've been dabbling with corals for the last 10 years because my wife said oh I know how much you love tanks, here's a tank.

I used to stop on the way home from work and get 10 gallons of water for nothing because I became friends with the LFS. Then they sold me on buying my own RO/DI system.

My township has random "flushings" of the old piping in the town, every 6 to 8 months, which backslides huge amounts of iron, copper and other random heavy metals and bacteria into the water system. According to government testing, that's all safe for human consumption, but not corals. They don't announce it, so if I'm not paying attention it nukes both my RO/DI unit and unfortunately any sps in my tank. Took me 2 full years after buying my RO system to figure this out.

My plus size is I figured it out, just in time to put an offer on a house this week and I'm entirely looking forward to getting my tank back to where it needs to be with clean water. And maybe starting a few new tanks.

Hang in there, and listen to the people on forums, they usually are good hearted and are offering helpful advice.
 

bar|none

Member
R2R Supporter
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
27
Hello, what kind of alk swings in your opinion might cause havoc? I'm actually getting my first SPS tmmrw. Terrified actually but my alk is fairly solid +-.5 dkh. But I did swing 1 and a bit after a 1 week vacation. I feel like the challenge is going to be not to F'up over months.

edit..And by SPS I mean acros
 

Javamahn

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Messages
326
Reaction score
147
I was also wondering what salt you are using to jack alkalinity from 9+ to over 10+ with only a 10% WC
 

bar|none

Member
R2R Supporter
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Apr 15, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
27
I just realized this thread is "bye sps" and I am "hello sps". Counter thread?
 

Frazer17

Member
Joined
Mar 8, 2019
Messages
10
Reaction score
5
Location
Fairport NY
I
Hello R2R. Just wanted to whine a bit to my fellow reefers that “know the feeling”. I’m done with SPS. I’ve been loosing corals over the last several months. Once I think I have it fixed another coral bleaches. I just can’t keep acros and birds nests alive. I don’t get it and I’ve had enough! I don’t have the patience for these types of corals I guess. I just want to say for those of you that have great looking acros....I’m so jealous.
m new to the hobby but feel very fortunate to have a great LFS. These guys helped me set up an awesome aquarium and have given me great advice on what corals to buy, where to put them, and what not to buy at my tanks stage. I have them come out once a month to check the system and do water changes for me. I know this may seem like cheating, but I consider it money well spent to protect my investment. I will eventually take it over myself but wanted to get a solid foundation. In 5 months I’ve lost one snail only, but they say I’m not ready for SPS yet so I trust they know best. I love this new hobby, but I still need to keep myself in check for disappointment such as what you’re experiencing. Hope you stay with it
 

Reef_Obsessed

Active Member
Joined
Mar 18, 2014
Messages
188
Reaction score
49
Location
New Jersey
Hello R2R. Just wanted to whine a bit to my fellow reefers that “know the feeling”. I’m done with SPS. I’ve been loosing corals over the last several months. Once I think I have it fixed another coral bleaches. I just can’t keep acros and birds nests alive. I don’t get it and I’ve had enough! I don’t have the patience for these types of corals I guess. I just want to say for those of you that have great looking acros....I’m so jealous.
I’m dealing with the same situation, but I think it’s because my tank is still very new (6 months). At this point, LPS is my speciality. SPS is truly a difficult coral to keep and can frustrate a person who loves it really easy. I would wait until your tank is really mature and then maybe give it another chance.
 

ycnibrc

ZEOVIT STAG HORN DOMINATE REEF
R2R Supporter
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Oct 6, 2014
Messages
1,125
Reaction score
1,225
Location
Irvine, CA
F1DAE4CE-4F31-4572-AE81-BC5220648253.jpeg

Tell u the truth Sps is over rated. Reef tank suppose to be an enjoyable hobby don't make it a stressful burden. I have a successful Sps tank but I have no problem if I have to do a mix reef as far as if it enjoyable to me.
 

WallyB

Valuable Member
R2R Supporter
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jan 24, 2017
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
3,228
Location
GTA Toronto, CANADA
Hey Brian,

I hesitated replying, then I read all your reply to other posters.
Seems to me you would like to succeed in Salt Water Reef Setup...including Maybe SPS in the long run.

I've been in the Tank Hobby for over 2 decades. All kinds of up and downs (No SPS). I really enjoyed the UPs.
I'm pretty sure everyone has had challenges/DOWNS, but not everyone admits it. You always get the best of times photos.
And like you, I'm envious of those that succeed in a Long Term Success (it ain't easy, since Closed System Tanks by Nature, or Lack of Nature want to self destruct)

Then I tried SPS and I've been killing SPS last 3-4 years. Only Frags.
For sure they are sensitive and want Stability. Each time learn something to get better. Killed two deep water acros just yesterday (oops too much light).
The one thing I would say I've learned....is keeping my hands out of tank and constantly making Change to fix/improve. And nothing too drastic with hope to Crank Up Success.

Not sure what your goal is. Flip a switch and have instant success.
Or maybe accept that you have to get some experience. Learn first hand the basics on easy to keep SPS ($lower cost), and Slowly ramp up on better/more SPS).

I think of it this way. "I would rather learn for the long term" with some hand slapping experience on small scale.
Much better than building up a large Reef tank of SPS Colonies, to have it all vaporize in one day (which has happened to even the best hobbyists).

So I encourage you not to give up. Take a step back. Let the tank age (which is key to a stable tank needed for SPS).
Plenty of Knowlegeble folks on the Forums are more than willing to help you out. (not me for SPS since I only pass on knowledge I know is good. Need some Automation tips...That I can help with).

However if you want some advice on things to avoid. I posted a thread with every mistake/accident I had over last 15+ years. (not up to date...I had more :( )
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/90-gallon-mixed-lps-tank-15-year-journey-to-%E2%98%85success%E2%98%85-every-accident-disaster-problem.326397/
Maybe this thread will help you understand...One Setback isn't the end of the world....So don't give up, unless you really want to.

All the best, on whatever you decide.
Wally
 
OP
B

Brian Saxby

Active Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2019
Messages
216
Reaction score
196
So a lot of replies last night. In one short post I’ll try to reply to some.

First no way I’m shutting it down.

Second. I use IORC. Measures 10.5 dKH after about 24 hours of mixing. Defiantly need to lower alk next WC to match the tank

Third. I use a 7 stage RODI. I do test my carbon blocks once a month and keep a close eye on TDS out of my resins.
 

sandra smith

New Member
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
3
Reaction score
1
Hello R2R. Just wanted to whine a bit to my fellow reefers that “know the feeling”. I’m done with SPS. I’ve been loosing corals over the last several months. Once I think I have it fixed another coral bleaches. I just can’t keep acros and birds nests alive. I don’t get it and I’ve had enough! I don’t have the patience for these types of corals I guess. I just want to say for those of you that have great looking acros....I’m so jealous.
Don’t feel bad! I kill monti’s!!! I can’t keep any of them alive & I so badly want one. Zoa’s I grow like crazy! Softies; no problem.
 

BOWHUNTER4250

Active Member
Joined
Jul 14, 2014
Messages
215
Reaction score
95
Location
ILLINOIS
Well I guess I could post parameters and problems. Maybe we as a group could narrow it down. I really just wanted to whine a bit to some folks that feel my pain.

I do 10% WC weekly. Total system volume is 220g

9.6 dKH before WC. 10.2 after. 10.2 has been a pretty steady number after WC.

1350 MG

450 Ca

Nitrates hang steady at 8

.02-.04 phos

No dosing only run GAC. 1 cup of BRS rox. Change once a month. I do have kalk but don’t run it yet.

Equipment is top class. Ati sunpower 6x80. Cheap led bar for ramp up and down. Lifereef skimmer. Tunze ATO. Apex controller. 2x mp40s set at 80% reefcrest on antisync

Lighting schedule is 8 hr full bright. 12 full cycle.

Refugium in sump by the weekend. Just waiting on my chaeto. Set to opposite light cycle.

Tank is an upgrade from a 75. So some rock was from it. New sand and more rock cycled back in October.

Powder Blue tang
Purple tang
Kole tang
3x banggai
3x dartfish
2x oct clowns
Yellow prawn goby
Midas blenny
4x chromis
Blood red shrimp
Peppermint shrimp
Skunk shrimp

Normal hermit and snail cleanup.

Several hammer corals
Couple of Zoa frags
15 or so sps frags now. Lost maybe 5-6.

I think my problem now is the WC spikes causing instability. I really don’t know. Open to any suggestions!
I would put money on your entire problem with losing SPS based on your parameters you've stated is your Alk swings from water changes or whatever else you might be doing to cause the swings .

I set up a 180 6 years ago and for the first year i had a beautiful thriving SPS tank , after that it was a downhill chase for the next few years , i lost every stick in my tank , went to softies but wasn't happy and got really frustrated ...... i was always changing this or that , tinkering , hands in the tank etc..... fast forward .... i got rid of EVERYTHING inside my tank and started over with a 300 gallon system , HOWEVER while i was preparing for the new tank i set up a frag tank and told myself that if i cant keep SPS alive and growing in a small tank i cant do it in a big tank !

My son taught me to stop chasing everything and concentrate on STABILITY STABILITY STABILITY !! especially the key 3 ..... ALK , Calc. , Mag. and don't worry about anything else for now , i kept my Alk solid with very little swing , kept the others where they needed to be and within 2 weeks of those being stable i noticed the frags i had started looking better , poylp extension , slowly looking like they were encrusting which showed me what i was doing was working , i kept following that same process and after 4 months i had some nice pieces to put in my display when ready .

Now a lot depends on how your checking your parameters ( test kit brands ) how are you supplementing your
Alk ? dosing pump , manually etc.... How often are you checking ? i would suggest checking every day around the same time if possible and try to keep that as stable as you can , do that for 2 weeks and see if you see a difference ?
I do know that it is harder to keep stability in a smaller tank because their is less room for error , but this taught me to be patient ( still fighting this ) watch the big 3 and STABILITY !! March of this year my 300 was filled and today i have over 50 pieces of some really nice SPS that im keeping my fingers crossed that i don't fall backwards into old habits , but so far im following EXACTLY what i was doing in my frag tank and its holding true for my
300 !

So pull yourself up from your boot straps and don't give up ! remember STABILITY IS KEY with SPS !
 

Ms. Mermaid

Active Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2012
Messages
331
Reaction score
14
Location
Spring Branch, Houston, TX
Hello R2R. Just wanted to whine a bit to my fellow reefers that “know the feeling”. I’m done with SPS. I’ve been loosing corals over the last several months. Once I think I have it fixed another coral bleaches. I just can’t keep acros and birds nests alive. I don’t get it and I’ve had enough! I don’t have the patience for these types of corals I guess. I just want to say for those of you that have great looking acros....I’m so jealous.
I too cant keep Birdsnest for anything. Same for other acro's but I can grow Hollywood Stunner chalice, Duncan's and I think it is called Trumpet. Along with red Montipora growing very well.. And one meat coral probably not the correct name which is the first one to last as long as it has over a year now.
 

t blackwell

Active Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2019
Messages
145
Reaction score
59
Location
near aiken sc
Well I guess I could post parameters and problems. Maybe we as a group could narrow it down. I really just wanted to whine a bit to some folks that feel my pain.

I do 10% WC weekly. Total system volume is 220g

9.6 dKH before WC. 10.2 after. 10.2 has been a pretty steady number after WC.

1350 MG

450 Ca

Nitrates hang steady at 8

.02-.04 phos

No dosing only run GAC. 1 cup of BRS rox. Change once a month. I do have kalk but don’t run it yet.

Equipment is top class. Ati sunpower 6x80. Cheap led bar for ramp up and down. Lifereef skimmer. Tunze ATO. Apex controller. 2x mp40s set at 80% reefcrest on antisync

Lighting schedule is 8 hr full bright. 12 full cycle.

Refugium in sump by the weekend. Just waiting on my chaeto. Set to opposite light cycle.

Tank is an upgrade from a 75. So some rock was from it. New sand and more rock cycled back in October.

Powder Blue tang
Purple tang
Kole tang
3x banggai
3x dartfish
2x oct clowns
Yellow prawn goby
Midas blenny
4x chromis
Blood red shrimp
Peppermint shrimp
Skunk shrimp

Normal hermit and snail cleanup.

Several hammer corals
Couple of Zoa frags
15 or so sps frags now. Lost maybe 5-6.

I think my problem now is the WC spikes causing instability. I really don’t know. Open to any suggestions!
well..while i totally understand...dont give up! take it as a challenge..step back..and make a new plan. One thing I did..and I think many people who are somewhat new and also read all kinds of diff things and people tell them diff things..anyhow..I got a coral or two and they did ok for a while (not acros sps or anything) and so then i thought..I got this! and i bought larger or more expensive pieces including some sps ..you get that coral fever and go blow some money..then over time I realized that I didnt "have this" lol..as I preceeded to kill corals some slowly and some rapidly...I have finally decided to back off and get better at chemistry /husbandry/knowledge..and then much more slowly..get one coral at a time..this is extremely difficult for someone who has bad issues with patience at times..its teaching me some more patience..Im embracing that now..let me tell you a few of the diff corals I have killed...lol...1st coral was long tentacle plate..killed it in about 3 months...then lets see..killed some favia frags in weeks...was cautious then but after I had some success for a few months and thought I "had it" I killed a gorgeous lobo in about 3-4 months....I killed an elegance coral...some candy cane..yes really...although i think i had some help from a diamond goby on the elegance..oh yeh..killed a birdsnest in a matter of I would say 6 weeks...lol relax and forget the money you spent ( dont buy massive hauls-bad idea but very fun) people spend money on all kinds of things that dont last..video games...concerts...whatever..so I would say relax...and get more into studying stability...what can you do to keep things "the same" as much as possible...I would be cautious about running alk that high ..sounds like maybe you are using red sea coral pro? yes? so..back off and look at everything that might be unstable..for an animal like coral..im just talking here im no epert so take it with a grain if salt but you get the idea and you can figure it out...I would start with zeroing in on temp and salinity...are they as constant as you can make them? Ive heard you dont have to run alk high to have success..as a matter of fact..swings when its high might be an issue...pick a number..in the middle..and just try to stay in there...PH was something I ignored...but if you have a closed up house with lots of occupants....and chronic low ph..that can cause issues as well..I would go back and just comb over all these basics...its almost alaways something basic out of line that you dont realize..these critters are used to very constant chemistry temp ph and so on..light is important too ..if you are like me..you might overreact to things making things worse...I think with chemistry and stability...the hare wins the race...react slowly..as far as implementing changes..etc..dont try to make big corrections...just try to keep it in a range..the more constant these things are..I bet you will suddenly "really get it..and it will be that much more satisfying" just some long rambling thhoughts..but..dont give up..back off a little..think on it...
 

wkd4b11

Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2019
Messages
35
Reaction score
32
@Brian Saxby

Don't give up!! I struggled with SPS and I've been through every stage you could possibly imagine!
Lost a lot of high dollar coral but it was all just a learning curve.

Some suggestions and key things to keep in mind..
1. Stability is key.. meaning STOP changing/adding things because you read this is better for tank and corals. If you do decide to add stuff, do it very slowly. Ex. If a bottle of trace elements gives you a prescribed amount to add daily. Cut that in half for the first month before doing full doses.
2. Change your salt to regular Instant Ocean. Reef Crystals mixes at too high of an Alkalinity. Regular IO still mixes around 10 dkh but lower than RC.
3. Try using less carbon or changing it out less often. Carbon can be harmful in large amounts if your tank doesn't need it.
4. Keep doing the same thing for a couple months before you decide it doesn't work because you're not seeing results. (unless it's killing corals obviously)
5. Check your equipment for rust. Inside powerheads, skimmer pump, magnetic probe holders, frag racks, etc

If you want help feel free to message me. I know I don't have a ton of posts on here for street cred but I do have a healthy SPS reef.
 

Mark Gray

Valuable Member
R2R Supporter
Partner Member 2019
Build Thread Contributor
Joined
Jul 13, 2015
Messages
2,361
Reaction score
2,148
Location
Athens GA
I hope this will make you feel better In my newest tank. Dinoflagates have killed everything except for the fish. Cleanup crews SPS LPS zoos many have died. I think I am on the down hill side now after a year. Good luck
 

Online statistics

Members online
774
Guests online
2,071
Total visitors
2,845
Top