Months of struggles (high res pictures, sorry long)

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javisaman

javisaman

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I’d agree with the culprit still being the splashless bleach. I believe that stuff has detergent in it,
and it may have other organic toxins. If it’s gotten into your rock you may have to keep on working to get that out.

You mentioned you ran carbon in a bag in the sump? That may not be efficient enough. You probably want to invest in a proper carbon reactor and make sure you push good flow through and also change it out frequently until you see improvement. I’d say perhaps daily at first, and then weekly.

You might also want to try Purigen alongside the carbon, which could potentially bind other organics.
Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, the tank seems to be doing progressively worse every day. I'm going to try the carbon reactor as a last-ditch effort.
 
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Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, the tank seems to be doing progressively worse every day. I'm going to try the carbon reactor as a last-ditch effort.

Hopefully I've read everything correctly, apologies if I'm suggesting something you've covered.

Might be worth going down the route of twice weekly 25 or 30% water changes for maybe a month and see what happens (whilst keeping the main parameters stable) . If things improve then you know it's a water issue. If you're nutrients start to nosedive, dose nitrates and feed more to bring phosphates up.

I suggest this because I had a year of issues that only lots of water changes helped to sort out - if things get better you can track parameters (Inc. ICP testing) and if the issues come back you can then see what has changed.
 
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javisaman

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I'll try the water changes again. I did an ATI-ICP test and it didn't find anything unusual other than low iodine.

Do you recommend lower lighting. I noticed that a lot of my corals open up a bit more when the T5s turn off.
 

MattW33

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If I read correctly you did one or two large water changes? I think to rule out anything waterborne you need keep it up for a few weeks minimum. The ICP is just to track trends, it may not prove useful but at least it allows you to rule things out. There are a lot of organic contaminants and biological factors that we can't test for (or rather we can test some but the analysis wrt reef tanks isn't there yet) which may also be affected by lots of water changes so the ICP isn't everything.

Imo whilst you're doing the water changes, test alk and salinity every other day, maybe nitrate, phos and calcium twice a week at the same time of day.

With regards to lighting, I'd leave it as is for now, you've had success previously with it (?) and only change do thing at once.
 
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Today I did a relatively large water change, roughly 20% and I vacuumed out about 1.5 clogged 14" 10 micron filter socks of detritus. Hoping at least the STN will stop or zoas opening.
 
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javisaman

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This morning the rest of the SPS basically died... seems like the water change was too traumatic. Matched salinity (1.026 S.G) and alk (7 dkH) with Tropic Marin pro.
 
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javisaman

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Tank parameters just measured:

Nitrate (Red Sea Pro): < 0.25 -- could be an issue
Phosphate (Hanna ULR 774) : 0.03 ppm
Alkalinity (Hanna HI755): 125ppm/7.0 dKH
Ammonia (Salifert) : 0 ppm
Calcium (Salifert) : 440ppm
Magnesium (Salifert) : 1275 ppm

Is there anything outside of another ICP test that I can measure or show that will help anyone with diagnosing what's wrong?

Just to reiterate the SPS are visibility losing/lost their flesh and zoas haven't opened in months. LPS doing okay, but some candy coral heads exhibit polyp bailout.
 

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My opinion is that your phosphate is too low and your SPS are starving to death. A safer, minimum level of phosphate is 0.1 ppm. If you had a mature tank with high import and high export, then running at your near-zero level may be fine.

My other opinion is that we should keep at least 1-2ppm of nitrate in our tanks. It has been suggested on here that this minimum level prevents the creation of sulfide gas (toxic to fish and us).

FWIW, my target levels are 0.15-0.25 ppm phosphate and 15-25ppm of nitrate. I have a mixed reef with mostly SPS and a few LPS. I've only ever lost SPS (after having them for more than 2 weeks) from too low level of nutrients. I've never lost SPS by feeding/dosing too much (high nutrients). My current tank is just over two years old.
 

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Sorry to hear! Sps death is the worst feeling, so helpless.

I was battling lots of Instability for a few months, and constant correction only exacerbated the problem for me. What worked for me was just forming a routine (alk/calc supplementation daily even if small, consistent feeding regiment, consistent water changing Both size and frequency) and then over time the tank will stabilize to this routine.
Sounds like you def had a routine that worked but the bleach event has thrown this off bc your alk and nitrate is falling. Maybe try to get supplementation and feeding back to a cyclical motion and then give the tank some more time.
 
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javisaman

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Actually reading this thread gave me some insight into what I might be experiencing. Especially the mention of blowing the rocks off causing all of my corals to be ticked off. It still happens, even after my SPS have been all killed off. I think I have dinoflagellates. I want to avoid doing total blackouts until I'm certain with the correct ID and I know that the remaining corals can take it. My nutrients have been low for months and I guess I always assumed the dino to be algae.
 
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It seems like BRS has back off on their stance on barebottom/dry rock. Welp...18 months ago is when I started this tank and that's exactly what I did. It seems like this tank might be a lost cause...
 
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Using a hobby-grade microscope the best diagnosis I could give is potentially having dinoflagellate ostreopsis. However, to be honest, at 300X mag the shape looked similar but the focus was impossible to get matched.

Symptoms of my tank are:

0.25 nitrate (red sea pro), 0.02 phosphate (hanna)

All of my die-off tended to occur overnight. So I was losing SPS day after day and usually overnight.

Blowing the rock ticked off the corals like no other. They all close up and slime.

Fish breadth heavier in the morning and hide much longer.

When my carbon reactor has been up for a few days the first few days things look less irritated, but today everything was angry again.

Small trochus snails dying. Even when I flip them back over (usually they can right themselves), they flip over on their own on their backs.

Two weeks ago I tried doing a mass siphon and waterchange-ended up killing all of my SPS. Since then I haven't done any waterchanges, turned let skimmer run while draining back into tank. It's getting progressively worse every morning. Nutrients not going up.

At this point I'm pretty desperate for a solution. I'd like to remove the fish and remaining coral and black out the tank for a few days. But I'm not sure if that's the best option. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

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My opinion is that your phosphate is too low and your SPS are starving to death. A safer, minimum level of phosphate is 0.1 ppm. If you had a mature tank with high import and high export, then running at your near-zero level may be fine.

My other opinion is that we should keep at least 1-2ppm of nitrate in our tanks. It has been suggested on here that this minimum level prevents the creation of sulfide gas (toxic to fish and us).

FWIW, my target levels are 0.15-0.25 ppm phosphate and 15-25ppm of nitrate. I have a mixed reef with mostly SPS and a few LPS. I've only ever lost SPS (after having them for more than 2 weeks) from too low level of nutrients. I've never lost SPS by feeding/dosing too much (high nutrients). My current tank is just over two years old.
I'm staying with my initial post. Everything is starving due to zero/near-zero phosphate and nitrate.

For fish's labored-breathing, immediately increase aeration with a skimmer or an air-stone. Ensure there is flow in tank to circulate aerated water to all levels of tank.
 
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javisaman

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I'm staying with my initial post. Everything is starving due to zero/near-zero phosphate and nitrate.

For fish's labored-breathing, immediately increase aeration with a skimmer or an air-stone. Ensure there is flow in tank to circulate aerated water to all levels of tank.

So I've also tried to feed more. Seems like I need to feed a lot more. I do have hair algae in the tank too so maybe that's eating up the nutrients or even my refugium.
 

terraincognita

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I'll try the water changes again. I did an ATI-ICP test and it didn't find anything unusual other than low iodine.

Do you recommend lower lighting. I noticed that a lot of my corals open up a bit more when the T5s turn off.

This seems 100% like a water quality situation rather than anything else.

At some point something happened.

Can you give us a FTS please?

Also current params and which tests you're using for that.

I'm surprised your ICP test came back with nothing out of the ordinary.

Zoa's are so hardy, when they close up like that it means something is really wrong with the water, way beyond just low nitrates or phosphates. The only other time I've seen them so ticked off is when there's pests, but with what's going on with your other corals I doubt it's simply just zoa pests.

I left a single zoa frag in a tank I emptied one time on accident, no heater no flow for 6 days about 3 inches of water.

I pulled them out and put them in my DT And they recovered in 2 days.

Very possible that you don't have enough nutrients as well, but that's not the main/only thing that's been killing your corals off. There's something else.

Please post FTS, shots of your sump and filtration media as well.

What's your source water? You're mixing at home? What's your TDS reading on just your RODI Water?

Do you have a 4 stage system 5 stage? 7 stage?
 

terraincognita

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Reading your initial ICP posts there are somethings off for sure.


stumbled across this, those rocks may be toxic from BRS another reefer had similar situation.

Either your Water Source is not pure enough, or something in your tank is leeching something into the water, or you've somehow added something else one time or before that just isn't coming out. But big water changes should always make that better.

It's a BB so no sand, so we can rule that out. I'm interested in seeing if we can figure this out.
 
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This seems 100% like a water quality situation rather than anything else.

At some point something happened.

Can you give us a FTS please?

Also current params and which tests you're using for that.

I'm surprised your ICP test came back with nothing out of the ordinary.

Zoa's are so hardy, when they close up like that it means something is really wrong with the water, way beyond just low nitrates or phosphates. The only other time I've seen them so ticked off is when there's pests, but with what's going on with your other corals I doubt it's simply just zoa pests.

I left a single zoa frag in a tank I emptied one time on accident, no heater no flow for 6 days about 3 inches of water.

I pulled them out and put them in my DT And they recovered in 2 days.

Very possible that you don't have enough nutrients as well, but that's not the main/only thing that's been killing your corals off. There's something else.

Please post FTS, shots of your sump and filtration media as well.

What's your source water? You're mixing at home? What's your TDS reading on just your RODI Water?

Do you have a 4 stage system 5 stage? 7 stage?

I have a 5 stage BRS System 100GPD. Three prefilters with chloramine treatment and 1 canister of DI resin. I've never reported more than 0 TDS from the outlet and I only register about 3 TDS entering the RI. I replaced all prefilters and resin in January.

I believe the toxins in the dinos are killing everything.

Reading your initial ICP posts there are somethings off for sure.


stumbled across this, those rocks may be toxic from BRS another reefer had similar situation.

Either your Water Source is not pure enough, or something in your tank is leeching something into the water, or you've somehow added something else one time or before that just isn't coming out. But big water changes should always make that better.

It's a BB so no sand, so we can rule that out. I'm interested in seeing if we can figure this out.


The ICP test is also attached. Keep in mind it's from early Feb. I've been using Tropic Marin pro salt for over a year.
 

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terraincognita

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I have a 5 stage BRS System 100GPD. Three prefilters with chloramine treatment and 1 canister of DI resin. I've never reported more than 0 TDS from the outlet and I only register about 3 TDS entering the RI. I replaced all prefilters and resin in January.

I believe the toxins in the dinos are killing everything.




The ICP test is also attached. Keep in mind it's from early Feb. I've been using Tropic Marin pro salt for over a year.
Very interesting.

Your iodine is low for sure, and have 1PPM of Lithium, I don't know enough about Lithium to know if it would be causing this. Maybe I'm wrong. But per this https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/high-lithium-in-icp-results.329634/ Doesn't seem to matter.

Interesting why your Cal lvls are so high in regards to your Mag and Alk. what two part are you using? Maybe there's something wrong with your 2 Part.

My suggestion at this point would be to turn off your doser completely. Dosing + W/C's is a bit duplicative while not entirely.

I'd do 15% Water changes every day over 7 days and cut out all dosing. Doing W/C's with fresh, clean and good param saltwater is NOT the cause of making things worse for sure.

Go to your LFS and get a bag of Chemi-Pure Elite or Blue to have on hand.

take out all your other carbon/GFO media and keep the chemipure on hand, dont add it yet. I'd just say add it if your NO3 and Phos start spiking out of control. But I doubt that will happen. Chemipure is someone I trust, I'm not sure of your current carbon or other GFO Manufacturer/Source.

This way we're stripping it back down to basics and going from there.

Your water source seems to be pure based on what you've supplied. So something in your tank is adding something that's making everything un-happy.

It's either coming from your Rocks, Filter Media, or Bio Media, dosing.

I forget if you're running any reactors, but if so cut those off too.

Just keep it tank, and Sump/Fuge, basic Bio Media besides your Protein Skimmer for now.

Keep feeding schedule the same and measure your: Alk, Cal, Mag, Phos and NO3

As we get the readings I may suggest to increase feeding to raise Phos and NO3.

If you can do your test at the same time everyday 2-3 hours after a feeding.

Dinos can kill stuff, and they can release toxins, but seeing your tank it's not OVERRUN entirely, I personally doubt that's the cause.

While I'm not saying rule that out, I think that's just a symptom rather than the source.

Dinos generally come from 1. Too clean a tank and or 2. lack of bio diversity/filtration. (Meaning too little, or too much filtration lol)

If you have the patience to go through with this we 100% will figure it out I promise.


--------

Around 6 months do you remember what you changed? did you start dosing then? Change filter media?
 
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What percentage of blue versus white lighting do you think makes the best coral growth combo?

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