I can’t figure out where I’m going wrong

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Brandon.helvie

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I apologize if this gets to be a long post, but I’ve been scratching my head for months. Some corals are closed up, others are doing well and a few have died. I’m looking for some advice. I’ve done research and can’t pin down exactly what I’m dealing with or the solution. Here’s what I’ve got going on.

I run a 40 gallon nuvo that has been up and running for a year. I have had a brown algae that’s is on spots of my rocks. It’s not slimy and can be easily brushed off. I’ve attached a photo for reference. But, this isn’t my only issue. I used reef crystals for a year and used a cheap api testing kit, which was my fault. I knew better but used what I had. Not a mistake I’ll make again. I noticed once using salifert kit that my alk was 13.7. Immediately I changed salts to fritz and have slowly been doing water changes bringing it down to 12.1 currently. I’m on week three of water changes. As always, I do 5-10 gallons each Sunday. My nitrates are at 10 and I’m reading 0 phos. But the algae is still an unsightly problem and my corals, specifically my Duncan, refuses to open fully.

I’m running chaeto in the back chamber and run the light for 8-10 hours and my main lights for 11.

I don’t know where to go from here. I enjoy my tank and spend hours reading. I don’t mess with it often and only make small changes over time. But, it’s frustrating to see corals unhappy and not knowing how to resolve it. I’m not going to give up on it by any means. But could use some help figuring this out.

E6201BD3-14B5-4770-BA58-9BBBF073266F.jpeg A45EC89D-A90D-42F5-B941-23172F6E9FD3.jpeg BA482FD9-C610-46A2-9F01-EA28BC1F0976.jpeg 4A3B848B-B5B5-4272-B110-E1198F604136.jpeg
 
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boacvh

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+1. Answering all the questions above will help. One quick observation is in your picture it looks like the corals at the bottom of the tank seem open and just the ones toward the top are closed? Could be a case of too much light? Do you know PAR levels?
Also, at 1 yr old maybe not as mature yet, I would say be patient, it actually looks great if you ask me.
 

DeniseAndy

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Besides the questions above, what clean up crew do you have? Any fish besides the pair of clowns? The corals on the bottom half do look happy. The rock anemone looks to be doing well too. My guess is currently your tank set up is not supporting the duncans. Could be light, flow, parameters, algae, etc.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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a non chemistry way of fixing a nano. two of em.

two options exist
1. common approaches, using chemistry and waits and offsets and animals and adsorbing media to effect all changes

2. to not
 

DeniseAndy

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I would say a rip too, but wanted to know more about the tank first. I do this often enough in my 40g and 20g, that it is easy to say do, but if his salt is that significantly different, could be an issue. You want come consistently in the numbers. Salt differences was my main concern.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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that's an interesting growth too, not chrysophytes, have not seen that aggregate / cannot id


can still flush it away though once other methods have been tried. two happy campers above that's for sure. *Gator didn't fix his algae in one pass. he still has to work against gha, he's using rocks that don't have any coralline/new white rocks being cured out, so it makes sense.

but to start from the physical low mass condition, vs full mass, means any preventatives are now amplified in ability. the tank can be fed better, not worse, as a starvation mode requisite with option 1

nanos have this fascinating workaround option, it should be illegal. It was- at reefcentral lolz x10.
 
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Brandon.helvie

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Here are the numbers (after the most recent water change)
Salinity-1.026
Nitrate-10
Mag- high (1600)
Cal -480
All- 12.1
Temp- 78

i use rodi water, O tds. Was running chemi blue but recently removed about a week ago. Current tank mates are two clowns, ywg, pistol and cleaner shrimp. Have about 10 hermits and two turbos.
I only purchase corals from a friend that runs same lights as I do and schedule. Unforunately I don’t know par numbers. While the pic looks well on the bottom, a few zoas starting melting and just recently are making a comeback after the water changes.

I run two slw 20 on each side in sine mode about 30 percent. Light is AI 32.
 
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MichaelReefer

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Here are the numbers (after the most recent water change)
Salinity-1.026
Nitrate-10
Mag- high (1600)
Cal -480
All- 12.1
Temp- 78

i use rodi water, O tds. Was running chemi blue but recently removed about a week ago. Current tank mates are two clowns, ywg, pistol and cleaner shrimp. Have about 10 hermits and two turbos.
I only purchase corals from a friend that runs same lights as I do and schedule. Unforunately I don’t know par numbers. While the pic looks well on the bottom, a few zoas starting melting and just recently are making a comeback after the water changes.

I run two slw 20 on each side in sine mode about 30 percent. Light is AI 32.

How high are your lights turned up? maybe you have TOO MUCH light. Or TOO MUCH flow? Have you tried turning the lights on acclimate mode for a few days and see if the coral react? Some can be very sensitive and need the light slowly increased by moving them around the tank.
 

Oldcoder

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Well for what its worth I had same issue on year old tank. I cut back my refugium light to about six hours. Tried to get phosphates to be above zero. Even added some neophos. The key thing I think was starting to use Red Sea Reef Nutrition zoanthids love the stuff not sure about ducans. I now no longer use neophos my fuge is on 12 hours, but still add Reef Nutrition. Nitrate and phosphate remain detectable and stable.
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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check that thread above in post #6 Brandon its a roadmap to cleanliness overnite. when they said nothing good happens fast in reefing, they didn't mean rip cleans :)

the rules applies to everything but deep cleans.

it also does not apply to cycling anymore but that's diff set of posts and links

by ejecting the mass vs degrading it in tank, we attain unique timeframes and outcomes back to the uninvaded condition. most tanks have to wait 3 mos, and then it still doesn't look that good.
 
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Brandon.helvie

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How high are your lights turned up? maybe you have TOO MUCH light. Or TOO MUCH flow? Have you tried turning the lights on acclimate mode for a few days and see if the coral react? Some can be very sensitive and need the light slowly increased by moving them around the tank.
 

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DeniseAndy

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What is a new batch of salt parameters? You can do a full 100% water change, but I am worried you had an alk spike. The animals you have should recover all but maybe the duncans. The zoas could fade, but hopefully some will bounce back.
I would not want to do a 100% water change until you get the parameters down to the similar level as new salt.
Love the fish you have. Great options for that tank!
 
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Brandon.helvie

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How high are your lights turned up? maybe you have TOO MUCH light. Or TOO MUCH flow? Have you tried turning the lights on acclimate mode for a few days and see if the coral react? Some can be very sensitive and need the light slowly increased by moving them around the tank.
I have not tried acclimation mode.
 
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Brandon.helvie

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What is a new batch of salt parameters? You can do a full 100% water change, but I am worried you had an alk spike. The animals you have should recover all but maybe the duncans. The zoas could fade, but hopefully some will bounce back.
I would not want to do a 100% water change until you get the parameters down to the similar level as new salt.
Love the fish you have. Great options for that tank!
New salt parameter are
All 8.2
Cal-450
Mag-1400
 

brandon429

why did you put a reef in that
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remember creative combos too

if you are concerned about params, then draw off 80% of your current water for re use vs all new, and still hammer it out. endless creative = uninvaded.
 

DeniseAndy

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WIth that drastic alk difference, I would hold off 100% change. You can do a large change maybe 30% and then run all your water through a 1micron filter. Do another in a few days, then another. This will get the alk down and parameters right. Then if you are still having issues with algae, do a full change and scrub the rocks.

When I scrub rocks, I take out, scrub with toothbrush or a metal brush, or scrape bad areas with knife. Then rinse in saltwater and put back in. Your rocks do not look bad, just the brown gunk.

It took me a quite a few months to get my 210g free of the horrible gha. With my smaller 40g/20g, I will do the rip clean no problems. All my tanks are doing much better now that the algae scrubbers are finally working. (Takes time to build the algae population.)

I would not do too much immediately. If you begin losing all corals, act, but if just the duncan looking rough, it could have been alk as the issue. Same with many zoas.

Good luck and keep us updated to how it goes.
 
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