Help me understand my SPS crash

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Llorgon

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If all the major parameters have been stable for a while and corals are still dying, I'd send out water for an ICP test. (I use ATI).
I have an ICP test on order. Hopefully it will come tomorrow then I can send it out tomorrow as well.
 
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Sounds like you're speaking from experience. I've gone back through my notes on the tank and been trying to come up with anything a month or two ago that could have caused it and I can't think of anything.

I did another water change today, albeit a smaller one. Params before water change:
Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.025
Alk: 8.8
Cal: 460
Mag: 1245
Nitrate: 20? Hard to tell between the shades of pink. I have a Hanna checker coming next week.
Phosphate: 0.037

After water change:
Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.025
Alk: 8.5
Cal: 450
Mag: 1320(dosed to bring up)
Nitrate: 10-20
Phosphate: 0.03
Just an observation, you phosphates gone from 0.07 down to 0.03 quite quickly. I observed some time ago that SPS do not respond well to rapidly sinking phosphates levels and the outcome tended to be dead SPS especially at the 0.03 levels. Now I try to keep PO4 at 0.1-0.2 just to be on the safe side and it seems to be lot less stressful for me and the SPS.
Good luck.
 
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Pod_01

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That's good to know. It dropped because of a water change. I was curious how much params change from what I was assuming was a small water change and you're probably right that it's too much.

I'm going to see how things go without water changes for awhile.
In general water change has minimal impact on PO4, reason is that PO4 tends to be bound in the substrate and the rocks so it should leach right back to the original level. On the other hand water change can reduce NO3.
I tend to measure PO4 long after feeding or before any food or other additives are added to the tank. To remove any interference and to get actual PO4 level. I hope this helps.
 
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Llorgon

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Dumb question, but gotta ask... How are you checking salinity?
Hanna salinity checker. Been a couple months since calibration so I will check that.
In general water change has minimal impact on PO4, reason is that PO4 tends to be bound in the substrate and the rocks so it should leach right back to the original level. On the other hand water change can reduce NO3.
I tend to measure PO4 long after feeding or before any food or other additives are added to the tank. To remove any interference and to get actual PO4 level. I hope this helps.
Interesting. I didn't know that. I do vacuum the sand when I do my water changes and blow off the rocks.

I did a water change and then tested the tank water maybe an hour later.

My ICP test kit came today so I am going to mail that off tonight.
 
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Llorgon

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I'd get the alk down to 7.5 to 8, and the phosphate up to .05 to .10
Good call. My original goal was to keep alk at 8. It's been going up since all this started. I dropped my dosing from 15ml/day to 12ml.

I will up my feeding to see if I can bring phosphates up a bit. They went up a bit this week so I should be able to slowly bring it up.
 
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Tested water before going on vacation again tomorrow. Nitrate and phosphate have dropped which I wasn't expecting since I upped my feeding amount. Some of the corals are looking a bit better. There.is some green again on my one montipora. It's light and only a bit, but it's there!

Should I dose some phosphates to try and bring it back up? I am seeing more gha growth in the display and macro algae growth in the sump.

Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 8.9
Cal: 460
Mag: 1260
Nitrate: 6.7
Phosphate: 0
 
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Pod_01

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Tested water before going on vacation again tomorrow. Nitrate and phosphate have dropped which I wasn't expecting since I upped my feeding amount. Some of the corals are looking a bit better. There.is some green again on my one montipora. It's light and only a bit, but it's there!

Should I dose some phosphates to try and bring it back up? I am seeing more gha growth in the display and macro algae growth in the sump.

Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 8.9
Cal: 460
Mag: 1260
Nitrate: 6.7
Phosphate: 0
I would try to get phosphate up slowly to 0.1, maybe slow your macro algae in the sump. I suspect the intention is to grow corrals not macro algae. I observed some time ago GHL likes low phosphates, based on my reading the reason is it can get what it needs from the rock and it will outcompete corals in low phosphate environment.
Good luck.
 
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I would try to get phosphate up slowly to 0.1, maybe slow your macro algae in the sump. I suspect the intention is to grow corrals not macro algae. I observed some time ago GHL likes low phosphates, based on my reading the reason is it can get what it needs from the rock and it will outcompete corals in low phosphate environment.
Good luck.
I dosed some nitrate and phosphate last night (don't want nitrate to bottom out again). I'll add a bit of both to the ATO for while I'm away.

And yes I hope on day to grow more coral than algae!
 

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What I’m confused about is Browning corals especially SPS is 99% of the time due to high nutrients yet OP is claiming they keep going low so what is really happening my guess is his nutrients are swinging all over the place way high and Way low
Browning does not mean high nutrients. That's a myth. Browning or pale SPS just means they are stressed. Can be high nutrients low nutrients not enough light too much light etc.
 
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Back from vacation... Not by choice mind you. It started off well and then went to ****. The agency my wife was working at lost a big contract and laid everyone off. Then the car died, had to have it towed to the dealership and the 64kw battery is dead and needs to be replaced. That was Wednesday and we are still waiting for them to find us a loaner. So there went the other half of our vacation...

Now for the tank. Fish are still alive, so that's good. Still dealing with cyano on the sand on the left side of the tank. Stirring the sand seems to kick some of it up and help remove it into the filter socks.

The LPS corals seem to be doing alright, but most of the SPS are either dead or missing large chunks of tissue. The Elkhorn is looking more green though so I guess that's a plus?

Since coming home, there is tons of gha on the rocks. I've been trying to scrub them with a toothbrush and let the filter sock catch the pieces. I'm hoping once I have a car again I can find someone with chaeto since the caulerpa isn't doing much.

To add to the fun, apex seems to be refusing to connect to fusion. I unplugged and plugged in the apex, reset it, reset the wifi and still won't connect.

It's been a couple weeks and still no results from Triton on the ICP test. I'm hoping it comes soon.

Tested my water today

Temp: 78
Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 8.9
Cal: 460
Mag: 1230
Nitrate: 11.5
Phosphate: 0.264

Really having issues with the mag. I'm dosing more of it than calcium and it still drops each week.
 

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Llorgon

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So, I am starting to wonder if these issues have something to do with the salt?

I'm now seeing similar things in my 25g as I am in the 75g. 25g didn't have any nitrate or phosphate swings though.

My one big SPS is looking pretty rough a couple days after a water change.
 

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Llorgon

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I would get the salinity double checked by something else than your Hanna checker, like a floater (if using a floater remember to calculate the result to get the actual salinity eg. https://reefapp.net/da/salinity-calculator)
I don't have a floater, but I have a refractometer which I calibrated and tested my water with. Both tanks read 1.026 for salinity.
 
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