Clownphish

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This is going to be a lot to read:

My aquarium is suffering horrendously and I'm embarrassed to call it my own. It's probably the ugliest saltwater aquarium I've ever seen and probably one of the worst ones you've seen. I've been holding off on posting but finally thought it was time to share.

For starters, I have a 20 gallon tank and peform a 25% water change every week and change some filter media, like the filter floss or carbon pads, every month. I have a canister filter and a protein skimmer.
I would have loved to get a bigger tank but I was only 16 when I bought it and didn't have that much money at the time but was excited to finally buy one. I started this all in January and am 17 now. The aquascape is also ugly because I bought rocks online that were way too bulky for my tank (if you have any advice on how to change the aquascape without impacting beneficial bacteria populations please let me know). I have bought numerous corals that have died, including galaxea, xenia, and pavona and looks like some corals will soon join them.

I have two clownfish who are exhibiting normal behavior and look healthy. However, all of my corals, besides my GSP, are dying or just look awful. My duncan has been closed for weeks, as well as my leather. Zoas used to be a lot more lush but are now very thin. The frogspawn are all transparent and are showing their mouths. Taro tree coral looks like it has shrunk.

My aquarium has had its lows but this is for sure the lowest its ever been. Green algae covers my aquascape, filters and glass. I also have some corraline algae growing on the glass, but not on the rocks. My paremeters are surprisingly somewhat in check, which makes no sense considering the state of my tank.

BEFORE the water change:
Alkalinity: 9.9dKH (HANNA)
Magnesium: 1230<x<1260 (SALIFERT)
pH: 7.8 (API)
Ammonia: 0 ppm (API)
Nitrite: 0 ppm (API)
Nitrate: 0 ppm (API)
Phosphate: 0 ppm (API)
Calcium: 380 ppm (API)
Temperature: 77°F
Salinity: 34 PPT or about 1.025 (Hydrometer)
Lights: Current Loop LEDs, lights come on at 11 AM and turn off at 4 PM and moon light will stay on until about 10 PM. I reduced the amount of time in the light cycle to hopefully combat the algae but to no avail.

For water changes, I use RO water from my LPS and use Coral Pro Salt from Red Sea every week. I heat the water first and allow it to reach gas equilibrium before perorming the change. For additives, I use Reef Fusion 1 (calcium) and 2 (carbonate alkalinity). However, when I added 2 recently, the liquid instantly turned into small white clumps, refusing to dissolve in the water. I also add Reef Trace every week. Strangely, ever since I started overdosing Vibrant in my tank (thinking it was safe considering it's just beneficial bacteria), my tank started to decline rapdily so I stopped adding it. Although, that probably wasn't the root cause.

Before water change (issues with algae):
20201116_1707117185427251398961702.jpg

After:
20201116_221757.jpg

Duncans:
20201116_221807.jpg

Zoas:
20201116_221812.jpg

Leather:
20201116_221817.jpg

Frogspawn (confused because it looks fine in bottom photo but not in the top one?):
20201116_221804.jpg
20201116_221942.jpg


Any help would be appreciated! Also, here are some photos from about 2-3 months ago, corals were in different spots and moved to what I thought were better locations for them.
Zoas look super lush and healthy, duncans (tentacles were much thicker when I first got them) and leather open, and frogspawn looked a lot better
20200625_133357.jpg

20200707_155323.jpg
Screenshot_20201116-224031_Instagram.jpg
Screenshot_20201116-224043_Instagram.jpg

Don't remember what this one was called but it died :(
20200707_155315.jpg
 
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laverda

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Your algae doesn’t look that bad. I have defiantly seen worse! Where to start? How often to you clean your canister filter? Canister filters work great at removing excess food and waste from the water. The problem is it is still in your system until you clean it out. The same applies to filter floss or any other mechanical filtration. I would start rinsing you filter media out with old tank water every 5 days until you algae gets under control.
Your corals are not getting enough light. Slowly increase your light schedule to 10-12 hours a day. Going a couple days without light will affect the corals less than a lot less light than they need over the long term. That is a better way to deal with limiting the light algae gets, but not really needed in my opinion. I would create reflectors for you light to block the light from hitting the sides of your tank and reflecting more light to the rocks and corals. No reason to light the glass and grow algae there.
Several of your parameters are less than ideal for corals. But they are not horrible if the numbers are accurate. Doubtful! Get yourself some decent test kits. You need to have good test results you can rely on. Salifert is my recommendation. That said your still my not show nitrate or phosphate and that is being taken up by the algae as food. Do not dose anything your not testing for.
You can add 5 ml of hydrogen peroxide to the tank daily to help control the algae. You can also poor a little directly over the rocks out side the tank to kill the algae instantly.
You can use a hammer and chissel to break the rocks in to smaller pieces or reshape it. Often it will not break where you want it to though. You can also use. Carbide tipped concrete drills to drill holes in your rocks.
 
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Clownphish

Clownphish

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Your algae doesn’t look that bad. I have defiantly seen worse! Where to start? How often to you clean your canister filter? Canister filters work great at removing excess food and waste from the water. The problem is it is still in your system until you clean it out. The same applies to filter floss or any other mechanical filtration. I would start rinsing you filter media out with old tank water every 5 days until you algae gets under control.
Your corals are not getting enough light. Slowly increase your light schedule to 10-12 hours a day. Going a couple days without light will affect the corals less than a lot less light than they need over the long term. That is a better way to deal with limiting the light algae gets, but not really needed in my opinion. I would create reflectors for you light to block the light from hitting the sides of your tank and reflecting more light to the rocks and corals. No reason to light the glass and grow algae there.
Several of your parameters are less than ideal for corals. But they are not horrible if the numbers are accurate. Doubtful! Get yourself some decent test kits. You need to have good test results you can rely on. Salifert is my recommendation. That said your still my not show nitrate or phosphate and that is being taken up by the algae as food. Do not dose anything your not testing for.
You can add 5 ml of hydrogen peroxide to the tank daily to help control the algae. You can also poor a little directly over the rocks out side the tank to kill the algae instantly.
You can use a hammer and chissel to break the rocks in to smaller pieces or reshape it. Often it will not break where you want it to though. You can also use. Carbide tipped concrete drills to drill holes in your rocks.
Thank you for the advice. I realized I typed out way too much information and should've just stuck with one topic at a time. I can increase the lighting schedule over time no problem and can save up for some better quality test kits, but again, I'm only 17 so it'll take a while. I'll also stop dosing trace elements. As for the filter media, I change out the filter floss and/or the carbon pads every four weeks, but I can definitely rinse them out every week or so.
 

Anubisxii

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I think the 2 biggest things from what I can see.

1. is light those zoas a stretching Soo far looking for more light. Get that fixed and will be a big help.

2. What salt mix are you using and are you using tap water rodi or buying premade saltwater / natural salt water?

I would also clean our the canister once a week at least. I've never used one but I've heard tons of people on here talk about how they're traps for organic compounds.

I wish you the best of luck, tank looks like it has great potential. Here's a pik of my zoas you can see they're getting enough light and they're not extremely extended looking for more.

PXL_20201116_192236141.jpg
 
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Clownphish

Clownphish

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Your algae doesn’t look that bad. I have defiantly seen worse! Where to start? How often to you clean your canister filter? Canister filters work great at removing excess food and waste from the water. The problem is it is still in your system until you clean it out. The same applies to filter floss or any other mechanical filtration. I would start rinsing you filter media out with old tank water every 5 days until you algae gets under control.
Your corals are not getting enough light. Slowly increase your light schedule to 10-12 hours a day. Going a couple days without light will affect the corals less than a lot less light than they need over the long term. That is a better way to deal with limiting the light algae gets, but not really needed in my opinion. I would create reflectors for you light to block the light from hitting the sides of your tank and reflecting more light to the rocks and corals. No reason to light the glass and grow algae there.
Several of your parameters are less than ideal for corals. But they are not horrible if the numbers are accurate. Doubtful! Get yourself some decent test kits. You need to have good test results you can rely on. Salifert is my recommendation. That said your still my not show nitrate or phosphate and that is being taken up by the algae as food. Do not dose anything your not testing for.
You can add 5 ml of hydrogen peroxide to the tank daily to help control the algae. You can also poor a little directly over the rocks out side the tank to kill the algae instantly.
You can use a hammer and chissel to break the rocks in to smaller pieces or reshape it. Often it will not break where you want it to though. You can also use. Carbide tipped concrete drills to drill holes in your rocks.
Thank you for the advice. I realized I typed out way too much information and should've just stuck with one topic at a time. I can increase the lighting schedule over time no problem and can save up for some better quality test kits, but again, I'm only 17 so it'll take a while. I'll also stop dosing trace elements. As for the filter media, I change out the filter floss and/or the carbon pads every four weeks, but I can definitely rinse them out eevry
I think the 2 biggest things from what I can see.

1. is light those zoas a stretching Soo far looking for more light. Get that fixed and will be a big help.

2. What salt mix are you using and are you using tap water rodi or buying premade saltwater / natural salt water?

I would also clean our the canister once a week at least. I've never used one but I've heard tons of people on here talk about how they're traps for organic compounds.

I wish you the best of luck, tank looks like it has great potential. Here's a pik of my zoas you can see they're getting enough light and they're not extremely extended looking for more.

PXL_20201116_192236141.jpg
Beautiful tank, and I said in my post that I use RO water from my LPS and Coral Pro Salt from Red Sea, but it's okay if you didn't read it all because It's WAY too much information at once. I heat the water and let the gas reach equilibrium before adding the salt and then let it heat up some more before adding it to the tank
 
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Anubisxii

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Ok cool sorry it's 3 am my time so I'm a little out of it.

Also I see you have 2 wave makers that's good make sure your getting good flow that always helps.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Ive had tons of issues in my tank. My nitrates are between 40-80 can never get them lower than 40

I have green hair algae all over some new rocks that I put in during a tank upgrade.

I have a snail that has a 3 inch ponytail of algae growing on it. But somehow the corals are happy. Each tank has it's pitfalls but the best thing you can do is try to keep it clean and keep your head up and keep working on it. Remember no two tanks are ever the same.

It's funny you saw beautiful tank. I look at it and think it's so ugly compared almost all the tank I see on here. But I'm new and still learning I started the hobby in June and learning a lot as I go.

PXL_20201116_192230163.MP.jpg PXL_20201116_192241248.jpg PXL_20201116_192236141.jpg
 

Topekoms

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I see a few issues some have been said but the one biggie other than your lights aren't strong enough for coral from the looks of it what are you using? Brand and specs pls. Also ditch the hydrometer get a refractometer. When I first started out I too had a hydrometer and come to find out it was 5 points low. There isn't a way to calibrate them so to me they are trash. Also how old is your tank?
 

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