Nothing "Hard" Survives in my Tank!!!

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paulgriffin971

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What test kits do you use? (Apologies if you already mentioned it)
For ALK and Phos I use hannah checkers. The Phosphate checker is the green ultra low version. For Calcium I use an API reef master kit, and confirm with a red sea kit. For nitrates, I rely solely on the API master reef kit and it's only about 3 weeks old being the "new" version that';s easier to read the colors. For PH I use the Apex probe readout, but confirm with a handheld. Temp I use the Apex and confirm with a handheld. The salinity is with the Apex probe in the sump and also with a handheld refractometer. The Apex shows like 34.7, and the handheld is 35, so it's not off by much. For Magnesium I use a Salifert. for the ICP test I did a while back, I used one of those ATI mail-in packets like you get at most every LFS.

Brings up a point though. When I use the hannah checker for the alkalinity, I don't use the plastic pipette on the end of the syringe--I rely solely on the syringe itself. When I draw the reagent, I pull it all the way up into the syringe, then push it back out until the little rubber nub is right at the 1.0ml line. Then I push the syringe so the little rubber nub pushes all of the reagent out into the test vile and the nub protrudes from the end of the hole in the syringe.

If you take a look at the hannah checker you'll see what I'm talking about. It's that little point on the end of the rubber "pusher" inside the syringe that is about .05ml longer than the main black rubber. I use that little rubber nub/tip as the level for the reagent. I tried using the syringe both ways, with and without using the nub for the fill level, and the change in results was only like .5 alk.
 

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For ALK and Phos I use hannah checkers. The Phosphate checker is the green ultra low version. For Calcium I use an API reef master kit, and confirm with a red sea kit. For nitrates, I rely solely on the API master reef kit and it's only about 3 weeks old being the "new" version that';s easier to read the colors. For PH I use the Apex probe readout, but confirm with a handheld. Temp I use the Apex and confirm with a handheld. The salinity is with the Apex probe in the sump and also with a handheld refractometer. The Apex shows like 34.7, and the handheld is 35, so it's not off by much. For Magnesium I use a Salifert. for the ICP test I did a while back, I used one of those ATI mail-in packets like you get at most every LFS.

Brings up a point though. When I use the hannah checker for the alkalinity, I don't use the plastic pipette on the end of the syringe--I rely solely on the syringe itself. When I draw the reagent, I pull it all the way up into the syringe, then push it back out until the little rubber nub is right at the 1.0ml line. Then I push the syringe so the little rubber nub pushes all of the reagent out into the test vile and the nub protrudes from the end of the hole in the syringe.

If you take a look at the hannah checker you'll see what I'm talking about. It's that little point on the end of the rubber "pusher" inside the syringe that is about .05ml longer than the main black rubber. I use that little rubber nub/tip as the level for the reagent. I tried using the syringe both ways, with and without using the nub for the fill level, and the change in results was only like .5 alk.


Hmm, I wonder if you have too little nitrates. I'd double check with another kit as the api gets a bit difficult/impossible when you have between 0 and 5ppm. I personally would continue some amino dosing (reef energy by red sea works) daily in a decent amount
 
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Dav2996

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Thanks all. Here's the answers to your questions thus far:

Fish stocking list. Yeah I have alot of fish, but my nitrates are always below .5 and phosphates below .20 max. Everyone gets along and the skimmer takes about 1.5 weeks to fill at a max air/water tune (bubbles at the neck)
1 Neso tang--2 years old
1 BiColor Angel
1 Copperband
6 Chromis
6 blue/yellow tail Damsels
4 Azure Damsels
1 pajama cardinal
1 foxface--3 years old
1 hippo tang (a Dory) 3 years old
3 Tamato clowns
3 bristle urchins--those ones that take the dead snail shells and wear them on their head
1 brittle starfish
1 red fiji starfish
1 lawnmower blenny
1 flame angel
1 6-line wrasse
6 turbo snails
About 50 hermit crabs
Not sure how many Astraea snails
4 three-stripe damsels

As far as the as mixing, yes I use a cobalt heater in a brute tub when I mix the salt--set temp at 80 degrees so is balances the tank right at 78-79. I have NOT tired zero water changes. My thought is that if something was buidling up in the tank, it would be removed by the water changes. I ALWAYS use RODI water I make via a filter with new cartridges every year.

PAR levels--yes borrowed a PAR meter and found 70-150 at the bottom of the tank depending on what level the light was set at. The LED's have a blue/white adjustment only, and before them I had a huge 400 watt maxspect light. I thought for sure it was lighting, but nope, put the Reef LED's on and same issue--regardless of the spectrum/intensity.
First off I don’t believe in water changes and have gotten way more growth without them . I dose everything
 

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For ALK and Phos I use hannah checkers. The Phosphate checker is the green ultra low version. For Calcium I use an API reef master kit, and confirm with a red sea kit. For nitrates, I rely solely on the API master reef kit and it's only about 3 weeks old being the "new" version that';s easier to read the colors. For PH I use the Apex probe readout, but confirm with a handheld. Temp I use the Apex and confirm with a handheld. The salinity is with the Apex probe in the sump and also with a handheld refractometer. The Apex shows like 34.7, and the handheld is 35, so it's not off by much. For Magnesium I use a Salifert. for the ICP test I did a while back, I used one of those ATI mail-in packets like you get at most every LFS.

Brings up a point though. When I use the hannah checker for the alkalinity, I don't use the plastic pipette on the end of the syringe--I rely solely on the syringe itself. When I draw the reagent, I pull it all the way up into the syringe, then push it back out until the little rubber nub is right at the 1.0ml line. Then I push the syringe so the little rubber nub pushes all of the reagent out into the test vile and the nub protrudes from the end of the hole in the syringe.

If you take a look at the hannah checker you'll see what I'm talking about. It's that little point on the end of the rubber "pusher" inside the syringe that is about .05ml longer than the main black rubber. I use that little rubber nub/tip as the level for the reagent. I tried using the syringe both ways, with and without using the nub for the fill level, and the change in results was only like .5 alk.
I think water changes just causes too many issues. Change your temperature which messes with corals, changes to alk, calcium in the water, corals love stability.
 
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paulgriffin971

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I've thought about doing no water changes but haven't bit the bullet. I would figure that fresh water is getting in there via the top-off system anyway, so what's the point right? I use a 50 gallon RV tank in an upstairs closet and ran RO tubing to a float in the sump. Fill the tank about once every 2 weeks with fresh RODI water. Adjsut the salinity with a cup or two of salt in a pitcher of RODI and then slowy put inot the sump near the overflow.

Maybe I'll stop the water change this month--I haven;t done one since July 3rd.
 
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Dav2996

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I've thought about doing no water changes but haven't bit the bullet. I would figure that fresh water is getting in there via the top-off system anyway, so what's the point right? I use a 50 gallon RV tank in an upstairs closet and ran RO tubing to a float in the sump. Fill the tank about once every 2 weeks with fresh RODI water. Adjsut the salinity with a cup or two of salt in a pitcher of RODI and then slowy put inot the sump near the overflow.

Maybe I'll stop the water change this month--I haven;t done one since July 3rd.
Here’s my best advice to you. If you make a change don’t make a change for months. Stick with that change. Tweaking is fun but it is not good for the coral. I have a nano tank so I don’t get SPS because they are hard in general to keep stable. Rodi water slowly going into your tank will not create a big difference. Maybe do extremely water changes. I am on 5 months without water change. I dose trace elements, calcium, magnesium, alk, you name it
 

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I've thought about doing no water changes but haven't bit the bullet. I would figure that fresh water is getting in there via the top-off system anyway, so what's the point right? I use a 50 gallon RV tank in an upstairs closet and ran RO tubing to a float in the sump. Fill the tank about once every 2 weeks with fresh RODI water. Adjsut the salinity with a cup or two of salt in a pitcher of RODI and then slowy put inot the sump near the overflow.

Maybe I'll stop the water change this month--I haven;t done one since July 3rd.
Extremely “small”
 

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For ALK and Phos I use hannah checkers. The Phosphate checker is the green ultra low version. For Calcium I use an API reef master kit, and confirm with a red sea kit. For nitrates, I rely solely on the API master reef kit and it's only about 3 weeks old being the "new" version that';s easier to read the colors. For PH I use the Apex probe readout, but confirm with a handheld. Temp I use the Apex and confirm with a handheld. The salinity is with the Apex probe in the sump and also with a handheld refractometer. The Apex shows like 34.7, and the handheld is 35, so it's not off by much. For Magnesium I use a Salifert. for the ICP test I did a while back, I used one of those ATI mail-in packets like you get at most every LFS.

Brings up a point though. When I use the hannah checker for the alkalinity, I don't use the plastic pipette on the end of the syringe--I rely solely on the syringe itself. When I draw the reagent, I pull it all the way up into the syringe, then push it back out until the little rubber nub is right at the 1.0ml line. Then I push the syringe so the little rubber nub pushes all of the reagent out into the test vile and the nub protrudes from the end of the hole in the syringe.

If you take a look at the hannah checker you'll see what I'm talking about. It's that little point on the end of the rubber "pusher" inside the syringe that is about .05ml longer than the main black rubber. I use that little rubber nub/tip as the level for the reagent. I tried using the syringe both ways, with and without using the nub for the fill level, and the change in results was only like .5 alk.

this process with the Hanna alk checker is not only unnecessary, it is wrong.
Syringe volume is controlled solely by the movement of the plunger. It doesn’t matter if there is a tip on the syringe or not. If the plunger moves 1 mL, then it has drawn 1 mL. Even if the fluid hasn’t actually made it into the syringe because a tip. Even if the syringe plunger has a nipple on it. Even if there’s an air bubble in the syringe.

1 mL of plunger movement = 1 mL of fluid drawn.
 
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paulgriffin971

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this process with the Hanna alk checker is not only unnecessary, it is wrong.
Syringe volume is controlled solely by the movement of the plunger. It doesn’t matter if there is a tip on the syringe or not. If the plunger moves 1 mL, then it has drawn 1 mL. Even if the fluid hasn’t actually made it into the syringe because a tip. Even if the syringe plunger has a nipple on it. Even if there’s an air bubble in the syringe.

1 mL of plunger movement = 1 mL of fluid drawn.
No I get that, I was just saying the amount of reagent in the syringe is 1ml when looking at the tip of the little nub and the measurement lines. If I pulled the plunger all the way back, it would have 1.8ml of reagent. Here's a picture of what I'm doing. You can see the little nub is right at the .1ml line, but the main part of the plunger is up past the top line. If I do it the other way, the plunger is way up at the top of the syringe like in the bottom picture.

Doing it either way I get the same reading--11.6 dkh

IMG_5167.jpg


IMG_5168.jpg
 
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Tamberav

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I find it wayyy easier to keep SPS closer to NSW levels… 7-8.5.. generally just aim for 8 alk.

If your nutrients ever swing lower you can burn the crap out of them.

I think you are just giving yourself an extra challenge running it that high.
 

gbru316

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No I get that, I was just saying the amount of reagent in the syringe is 1ml when looking at the tip of the little nub and the measurement lines. If I pulled the plunger all the way back, it would have 1.8ml of reagent. Here's a picture of what I'm doing. You can see the little nub is right at the .1ml line, but the main part of the plunger is up past the top line. If I do it the other way, the plunger is way up at the top of the syringe like in the bottom picture.

Doing it either way I get the same reading--11.6 dkh

IMG_5167.jpg


IMG_5168.jpg

The edge of the plunger (the seal closest to the open end) should be at 0.0. Ignore the nub/nipple.
 
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CrunchyBananas

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Another person ringing in that alk is the smoking gun here, phosphates are rising above what I like for sps, but nowhere near the danger level I’d consider for killing sps.

Solidify your testing method, the plunger has 2 black rings , the lower black ring closer to the tip of the syringe is what you utilize for measuring, and should line up with 0.0 for testing. Perhaps use a second test kit like Salifert, to double check your alkalinity, especially as you adjust it.

I always keep my own and customer tanks alkalinity 7-8.5, anything above 8.5 tends to start stressing things and opening doors to bigger consequences in instability events.
 

Chris Spaulding

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As others have said All is too high for SPS.
Lighting is not the issue .
For SPS
Ditch the API test kits
ALK around 8 DKH +/- a point or two.
Calcium 420 or so
Mag1350- 14000
Keep these stable as close as posable.
NO3 < 10 ppm you will se fluctuation ad not a critical
PO4 0.10 - 0.04 closer to the .04 preferred.
Keep these stable as best you can and do not do any other changes to light or anything else. once this has been going on for 2 too 3 months then try a easy SPS frag (Bubblegum digital is a good one Cheep easy great colors and grows well and looks good )
NO extra dosing of Aminos , Coral Foods , Trace Elements. This will be taken care of with you water changes. You fish Poop will feed the corals.
Patience is the key go SLOW. You have made it to the 3 year mark so you are past the point where most people give up.
 
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paulgriffin971

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As others have said All is too high for SPS.
Lighting is not the issue .
For SPS
Ditch the API test kits
ALK around 8 DKH +/- a point or two.
Calcium 420 or so
Mag1350- 14000
Keep these stable as close as posable.
NO3 < 10 ppm you will se fluctuation ad not a critical
PO4 0.10 - 0.04 closer to the .04 preferred.
Keep these stable as best you can and do not do any other changes to light or anything else. once this has been going on for 2 too 3 months then try a easy SPS frag (Bubblegum digital is a good one Cheep easy great colors and grows well and looks good )
NO extra dosing of Aminos , Coral Foods , Trace Elements. This will be taken care of with you water changes. You fish Poop will feed the corals.Patience is the key go SLOW. You have made it to the 3 year mark so you are past the point where most people give up.

think I'll turn off my dosing pump and let things balance out for a while. See what happens. If I see the phosphates get above about .30, then I'll try phos RX or something. Nitrates have never been an issue with the nopox and biopellets. Never been above 20--ever.

Yeah I haven;t given up yet barbecue my softies are doing so good. I started this game with a little RS 170. I had no idea he cost of coral afterr the big tank was set up, so I stuck with small frags. So far everything has grown like 100% beyond what it was as a frag. Leather coral was like 2" when I got it, and now she's about 10" across. The coolest one I have is that green one in the left corner. Its some sort of vase coral that flattens out during the day and then turns into a bowl right before the lights go out. I feed it reef frenzy about once a month. The Acans have grown so fast I thought I put them in the right place. Now I might need to move them.

I guess the question I should ask then is what alkalinity is like the kill zone. I've seen people runing 13-14 before. Now most are saying keep it around 8-9?
 
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mermaid_life

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think I'll turn off my dosing pump and let things balance out for a while. See what happens. If I see the phosphates get above about .30, then I'll try phos RX or something. Nitrates have never been an issue with the nopox and biopellets. Never been above 20--ever.

Yeah I haven;t given up yet barbecue my softies are doing so good. I started this game with a little RS 170. I had no idea he cost of coral afterr the big tank was set up, so I stuck with small frags. So far everything has grown like 100% beyond what it was as a frag. Leather coral was like 2" when I got it, and now she's about 10" across. The coolest one I have is that green one in the left corner. Its some sort of vase coral that flattens out during the day and then turns into a bowl right before the lights go out. I feed it reef frenzy about once a month. The Acans have grown so fast I thought I put them in the right place. Now I might need to move them.

I guess the question I should ask then is what alkalinity is like the kill zone. I've seen people runing 13-14 before. Now most are saying keep it around 8-9?
It's not that you can't keep alk high. It's just much more challenging and you have to adjust other things like phos and nitrates. I believe the ppl who keep alk high and still maintain uln systems just have really dialed in import export and are not truly starving their systems. But that's for experts (not me). I'm good with my sps growing at a rate that I only need to trim every few months.
 

mermaid_life

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It's not that you can't keep alk high. It's just much more challenging and you have to adjust other things like phos and nitrates. I believe the ppl who keep alk high and still maintain uln systems just have really dialed in import export and are not truly starving their systems. But that's for experts (not me). I'm good with my sps growing at a rate that I only need to trim every few months.
One more thing. I also don't like to take on the high alk challenge because it makes acclimating new coral that much more difficult as well. LFS will never run their alk that high. Too expensive.
 

gbru316

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Michael Paletta wrote an article about the water parameters of some of the industry's forerunners (Calfo, Sprung, Joshi, Fox).

It's worth checking out.

The highlight is this:
When I averaged out all of the numbers the values were pretty close to those of NSW. Alk was 8.19, Ca 419. Mg 1361, NO3 18.77, PO4 .18, Sr 8.6 and temp 77


Also, the one tank running higher alk is Sanjay Joshi's, but take a look at his Po4 and No3:
I know many of you are familiar with the low nutrient method for growing corals. Sanjay runs the opposite of this as his system is anything but low on nutrients and in energy. His parameters are Alk 9-11, Ca 400, Mg 1350-1440, No3 20-40, PO4 .12-.22, Sr 9 and temp 77-81.
 
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CrunchyBananas

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Michael Paletta wrote an article about the water parameters of some of the industry's forerunners (Calfo, Sprung, Joshi, Fox).

It's worth checking out.

The highlight is this:
Also a good point, I’ve helped jf out a couple times at his place and talked with quite a few other coral farmers. Him and others whose entire livelihood depends on coral growth and coloration, yet they all tend to keep all at ~8.
If higher alk were truly advantageous and truly made corals grow faster, would these coral farms not all be running 12?

I feel like this high alkalinity method that I often see with newer/less experienced reefers is fed to them through some sort of product/advertising and is never really utilized by the leads in the industry. I have yet to come across anyone of note running an all that high, despite running other “iffy” methods such as monthly chemiclean dosing.
 
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