Months of struggles (high res pictures, sorry long)

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hart24601

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Your experience is not all that unusual really.

Likely you will find that once your aragonite (rock, sand) finally get loaded up with PO4, your need to dose will go down/away. It will then serve as a nice buffer (or battery) of stored PO4 that will release back into the water as it gets used up. I dosed 3 liters of DIY (trisodium phosphate) before I could keep a residual amount in the water. That doser has not run in almost a year now, because I feed about 4X more than back then. My fish can lay some impressive pipe. Every time I feed the tang turds go flying.

Oh I have to keep dosing, perhaps the part of my story that is more unusual is that my 70g waterbox is hooked to a 150g rubbmermaid sump where I keep clams. I have ammonia and phosphate on a doser.

Right now I have 2 maxima, 1 teardrop, 1 crocea, 3 derasa, 2 squammy, 2 hippo....

They suck up the phosphate and ammonia.
 
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ScottB

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Oh I have to keep dosing, perhaps the part of my story that is more unusual is that my 70g waterbox is hooked to a 150g rubbmermaid sump where I keep clams. I have ammonia and phosphate on a doser.

Right now I have 2 maxima, 1 teardrop, 1 crocea, 3 derasa, 2 squammy, 2 hippo....

They suck up the phosphate and ammonia.
Thanks for sharing that insight. Very cool observation about clam uptake.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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Today I installed my lifegard promax amalgam 55w sterilizer. I'm using an ecotech vectra s2 pump to drive it and I have it running as a separate closed-loop from my display tank (i.e. not going through sump at all). When started within 2 hours all of the coral closed up a bit. I thought that was a result of the extra flow/maybe clarity. I l left it running for most of the day. I saw that the corals completely closed after about 7 hrs and the clownfish was freaking out. It was darting around and its fins were kind of pinched. The anthias seem fine. I turned off both the pump and the uv light for tonight until I can figure out what's going on.

I did test for stray voltage. But I realized I've been doing it wrong for all this time. I was using DC instead of AC to measure. My multimeter only supports 200V or 600V AC measurements. Nonetheless with the UV and pump on my tank's stray voltage was measured at 0.1V, but I think this is inaccurate. I've ordered another multimeter, which should be more precise to see what is going on. Any other ideas?
 

ChrisOFL

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I'd recommend two things for you to try. The first is Brightwell Purit for removing toxins from your water. It is supposed to be a better activated carbon/chemical media that removes more toxins/heavy metals than other varieties. For your dinos, I found Microbacter Clean and Microbacter7 used together worked really well for me. I made a thread about it here and how I was able to remove dinos from my tank fairly easily with just siphoning and dosing bacteria.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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I'd recommend two things for you to try. The first is Brightwell Purit for removing toxins from your water. It is supposed to be a better activated carbon/chemical media that removes more toxins/heavy metals than other varieties. For your dinos, I found Microbacter Clean and Microbacter7 used together worked really well for me. I made a thread about it here and how I was able to remove dinos from my tank fairly easily with just siphoning and dosing bacteria.

Did any of your corals seem very irritated when adding microbacter7 to the tank? That's the main issue I have with it right now. I believe I need to add a digestive bacteria product (like microbacter clean or vibrant) like you did to have success. I'm starting with UV, once I make sure it's not leaking voltage.
 
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ChrisOFL

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Did any of your corals seem very irritated when adding microbacter7 to the tank? That's the main issue I have with it right now. I believe I need to add a digestive bacteria product (like microbacter clean or vibrant) like you did to have success. I'm starting with UV, once I make sure it's not leaking voltage.
I dose 40mL of MB Clean and 20mL of MB7 every week to my 75 gallon. I have 5 acros, 2 montipora, and a hydnophora. I have 2 nitrates and no testable phosphates on my Hannah low range. Nothing is bothered by the dosing. It also keeps cyanobacteria under control with no intervention needed by me. I do dose phosphates and coral aminos. I feed reef frenzy 3x a day and algae sheets for my tang every day.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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I dose 40mL of MB Clean and 20mL of MB7 every week to my 75 gallon. I have 5 acros, 2 montipora, and a hydnophora. I have 2 nitrates and no testable phosphates on my Hannah low range. Nothing is bothered by the dosing. It also keeps cyanobacteria under control with no intervention needed by me. I do dose phosphates and coral aminos. I feed reef frenzy 3x a day and algae sheets for my tang every day.

Was this 20mL all at once every week or spread across (3mL a day)?
 

ChrisOFL

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Was this 20mL all at once every week or spread across (3mL a day)?
All at once. I just take a cup of tank water, mix in the 40mL of MB Clean and 20mL of MB7 and just dump it in the tank in front of my gyre. You need to use MB Clean too in my opinion, it's much different from the MB7 and I don't think you will get the same results without it. I don't turn off my skimmer either but you can turn it off like the directions say if you want.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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Have you checked for stray voltage when the grounding probe is not in the aquarium/sump?

I have, but I realized I was doing it wrong with my multimeter. I was reading DC voltage and only read about 0.2V. Apparently, I was supposed to read AC; however, my multimeter only reads 200V/600V AC. When I used it (set to 200V) I read 0.1V AC, however, I think this is imprecise. I've ordered another multimeter that should allow for more granular AC readings, but it won't be here until Friday. For now, I've stopped using my UV, in case it is leaking current somehow.
 
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saltwaterjunkie12

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I never had good experience with grounding probes. I havent tried one in about ten years; due to issues with health of the fish, corals etc. I am not sure if the quality is better nowadays or not.

IMO even if some of your levels are a little off (phosphate, nitrate etc) they aren't to levels that would cause the fish to act like you are stating. I have a feeling it is something more direct than just water levels.

Have you tested your new RO water/new saltwater before completing a water change? Chlorine in the water? ICP test of your freshly made saltwater.
 
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javisaman

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karamreef117

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I started facing the same issue as what you are right now. It is a nitrates and phosphates problem. Becareful high ALK and low nitrates is a red flag. Another thing I looked into was ALK and CAL. ALK being a bit low and cal high could be another problem. My corals were doing perfect for months then just one day it started doing this and haven't found a solution so I moved them to one of my tanks that are well stocked fish wise with nitrates at 25ppm which is high but nothing at the moment for me.
 
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javisaman

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I tried running the UV sterilizer again. The UV sterilizer seems to cause all of the corals to close up. I'm going to remove the corals and put them into a new 10-gallon tank.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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Is the UV leaking inside of the compartment with the light?
I don't quite follow. I'm using this UV sterilizer:

And it's being driven by an Ecotech Vectra s2 pump.
 
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javisaman

javisaman

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Today I measured the stray voltage with my new multimeter. I first tested the outlet and got the 124.1V then I measured the tank to the mV and got 0V with the ground probe removed as well as with the UV sterilizer on.

I'm at a loss on why the corals close up with the sterilizer turned on.
 
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javisaman

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Well, the corals yesterday didn't completely close yesterday when I ran the sterilizer. So I ran it for the duration of the day and night. The fish were eating like normal. Today, when I woke up I saw the corals completely closed (as in dead looking). The clownfish was also listless (pumps pushing it around) and breathing very heavy (5 breaths per second) and the anthias out but refusing food. I immediately turned off the UV and feed pump and measured the ammonia in the tank as potentially 0.15 - 0.5 (hard to read salifert)

Is it possible that the UV killed so much stuff that the tank had a mini cycle?
Right now I put a tiny bit of Seachem Prime and added polyfilter to cut the ammonia down. I plan on doing a large water change later today once I make enough water.
 
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