Lots of little things going wrong, is it a domino effect?

New&no clue

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I have a Red Sea Reefer that has been up and running for 9 months. All has been fairly good, little bumps here and there, your typical issues with new tanks coming up, but at the end of the day progressing along nicely. However, in the last month there has been one problem after another. I'm not sure if they are all related, if they are caused by each other, or if it's just bad lucky with a lot going wrong at once. Let start at the beginning;

Issue 1
I have a diamond goby, who I call the demon goby. He moves sand and buries corals, but for the past 6 months I have had sparkly white sand and for that reason I love him. 3 weeks ago for no apparent reason he moved almost all the sand from one side of the tank to the other. The next week I notice Diatoms (I think... or maybe Cyano) on the side with very little sand. I assumed when the goby moved everything he released some trapped nitrates in the sand. I've been siphoning my sand at water changes and I added two new power heads to the back of my tank to add some extra flow.
diatom.jpg
di.jpg


Issue 2
I have a hammer garden at the back of my tank. The hammers have always been very open and full, however, now they don't extend as they use to. My initial thought is they don't like the increase flow at the back of the tank. The power head is not pointed at them, it's actually on the overflow next to them pointed in the opposite direction so I wouldn't think they were getting that much additional flow. It makes me wonder if something else is going one. The first picture is how they looked a couple weeks ago, the second picture is how they look today.
hammer garden3.28.20.jpg
sad hammer.jpg


Issue 3
On my Zoa garden I had a colony of Zoas that have always been doing very well and have spread the most out of the rest. I noticed last week that there seemed to be a group that were closed. I didn't think much of it when I saw it. There are always snails or hermits up there picking around. However, a week later they still haven't opened back up. It almost looks like a path from the back to the front.
sad zoa.jpg


Issue 4
I have an encrusting coral (I've forgotten the name of it) that was spreading nicely, but when I was looking the other day it appears that parts of the rock that had been encrusted is now cleared, it the coral die, did something eat it? Here is a picture for last month and today.
middle rock 4.27.20 (2).jpg
uncrusting (2).jpg


Issue 5
Just to add some chaos with everything else. I added a new floating rock in. I have a Hydnophora that wasn't doing great. I thought it might need some more light so I put it on the floating rock higher up to get better PAR. The rock (which was dry macro rock) is now covered in brown algae, to be expected, but it would appear the tips of the Hydnophora are as well. I'm not sure if this is okay or if it is an issue.
Dirty Hydro.jpg


Issue 6
Last, but certainly not least, the weirdest of all. My snails have been falling off the glass all at the same time. Last week when I was checking on my tank before bed I had maybe 5-8 Nerite Snail all on their back struggling to flip over. I flipped them all over and they all started to climb up the glass again, expect for one or two who the crabs got to before I could. This morning when I woke up my very large Turbo Snail is on his back next to my elegance who loves to eat snails. The way he looked I thought he was a goner, but I flipped him over and he started back up the glass again. No idea what would make the snails all fall over.

Here is a FTS and my parameters. I guess at the end of the day my initial thought is to wait it out; the Diatom will clear on its own, hopefully the hammers get use to the increase flow, the zoas will open back up, the encrusting coral will encrust again, the Hydno is just dirty but will be fine, and the snails found some fermented food and got a little tipsy. But with one thing after the other I thought I might as well ask, just in case I was missing something bigger at play here. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

FTS8 5.21.20.jpg


Parameters
Nitrate: 20
Phosphate: .21
Calcium: 410
Alk: 8.2
Mag: 1330
Salinity: 1.026
Temp:79-80
 

Copingwithpods

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It might all be tied to the goby, if a large portion of the sand was disturbed it could have kicked up alot of nutrient (po4 is high) and silicates (diatom bloom) and the other corals are possible stressed from the constant sandstorm that I'm sure ensued. Just a theory.
 
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New&no clue

New&no clue

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It might all be tied to the goby, if a large portion of the sand was disturbed it could have kicked up alot of nutrient (po4 is high) and silicates (diatom bloom) and the other corals are possible stressed from the constant sandstorm that I'm sure ensued. Just a theory.
that’s kind of what I thought. The goby moving things around is the catalyst that started it all. While my Nitrates and phosphates are higher, they actually have come down a lot from several months ago when phosphates were maxed out on my Hanna ULR. Would you recommend just waiting it out?
 

keywestreefer

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Thank you so much for sharing your candid experience. It is certainly helping me to understand potential issues and what may/may not have caused them and plans to fix. Special thanks to those who take the time to reply and share your thoughts on solutions. Keep your head up, and for what it's worth, tank still looks great. :)
 
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najer

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You have basically had a mini cycle, I bought a cave goby last year it cycled my 550 litre water volume, I have never seen such a destructive fish!
Water looks fine, as above maybe a couple of small water changes.
I would dip that zoa rock just in case.
It will be flow with the hammers, crush some flake and put it in to watch your flow, remember the water they push is pulled from somewhere.
Encrusting cyphastrea, what is that bottom right, looks hairy?
Good luck. :)
 

Reefing_Engineer

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I would also consider running some carbon in your filtration if you aren’t already, all that stress on the corals could release some things you don’t want on top of this. Also the brown algae on the tips of the hydnophora is not good, if that new growth is growing algae on it I would move that down a bit to let it acclimate to the higher light. Love your tank and hope all this blows over for you!
 
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New&no clue

New&no clue

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I would also consider running some carbon in your filtration if you aren’t already, all that stress on the corals could release some things you don’t want on top of this. Also the brown algae on the tips of the hydnophora is not good, if that new growth is growing algae on it I would move that down a bit to let it acclimate to the higher light. Love your tank and hope all this blows over for you!
Yes, I always run carbon in a bag.Softies seem to like to engage in chemical warfare with each other. I’ll try moving the Hydnophora down.
 

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