Pale SPS almost no color.

NickyReefs

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Hey all, new to the site so hi! also not sure I'm posting in the right spot I apologize in advanced of I am. So here's my problem... A month ago I purchased 2 of my very first sps corals. They were beautifully colored when I fist got them and now they barely have any color at all and are very pale. Polyp extension is minimal during the day and full blown at night when lights are out.

BACKGROUND on tank... waterbox 135.4 up and running for 6 months now. Started with live annd and dead rock, ELOS PS2000 skimmer, icekap 4k running at 60% (far as I can go without sand blowing around) 2 kessill a360x tuna blues, mounted 9 inches above water line. 12hr phot period.

1hr ramp up to 100% uv 80% intensity 10%color 10%red

5h slow ramp up to 90% intensity %40 percent color

5hr slow ramp down to 80% intensity 10% color

Followed by 1 hour of blues /uv and then an hour of ramp down to dark.

1 kole tang
1 midas blenny
1anthias
1tomato clown
1chromis

4 snails
4 nefarious
1 cleaner shrimp
10 hermits
Fighting Conch

Feeding 1/2 cube a Missis shrimp and day and nori 2x a week. Last month I had a bad case of gha and cyano.. phos was .35, added a GFO reactor and now phos is 0.00, spot fed corals on Saturday reef riods and within 12hrs cyano is blooming on sand bed.

Temp. 80
Salt 1.024
Ph 8.2
Nitrate 0.0
Phosphate 0.00
Dkh 8.1
Cal 438


So sorry for long post, just getting asmuch information to you guys as possible. Could my sps be pale because of the low nutrients... and also how can I raise nutrients without the explosion of cyano?

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t5Nitro

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Mine looked pale and had difficulty keeping them until I increased fish load and fed more as well as dosed phosphate to keep at least measurable 0.02-0.03. Comes with the negative adverse effect of extra GHA growth, which I mostly have just learned to live with. It's a lot better than it was when the tank was <1 yr old. Part of it may just be maturing.
 

watchguy123

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Dont know if your lights are possibly causing bleaching or not--just unfamiliar with what you have. But your nitrates and phosphates at zero are worrisome. There should be some measurable level of those two nutrients and if you're test kits are accurate, then you likely need to feed more.

GFO reactors are great at removing phosphate but going from 0.35 to zero in a short time is a significant stressor to your coral. You would prefer to have your gfo reactor slowly but surely remove phosphate but most definitely not too quick. SPS in particular will often RTN in response to overly quick phosphate drops. Plus pathogens like cyano seem to take advantage when nutrients are out of whack. Its a challenge getting your nutrient level to increase without encouraging gha and cyano to continue to blossom. You are going to be battling those two pathogens until your tank reaches balance with nutrient load, absorption and export. It is going to require patience, manually removing the gha and cyano and if you feel it necessary trying chemical additives to deal with gha and cyano. I have used chemiclean for cyano but unless and until your tank gets its nutrient levels in some type of balance, it will return. Personally, I have never tried additives to treat gha, I prefer lit refugiums with chaeto. Good luck with your reefing adventures.
 
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NickyReefs

NickyReefs

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Thanks for the information, much appreciated! I think tommorow I'm going to pull the GFO reactor and slightly up the feedings slow. My other lps and softies are thriving like crazy. It's mainly just the sps. My first time trying them. I have also never used a par metter so maybe should of done that aswell. Well let's see I can raise some nutrients! Haha
 
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NickyReefs

NickyReefs

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UPDATE: Pulled the GFO reactor last night, 12hours later cyano is starting to form all over my sand and glass, attached pics but so very hard to see. Took some readings to get a baseline and both Nitrate/phosphates are flat 0s... decided to up my feedings to a full cube of mysis a day and Nori every other day. I'll keep you guys updated!
 

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t5Nitro

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I would start by adding more fish and feeding more. In the immediate period, start dosing phospahte and nitrates. Make your own using Loudwolf product, can be found easily searching nitrate and phosphate dosing on here, or using a premixed solution like brightwell's neonitrate and phos supplements. I had a compeltely dry startup tank and had the most difficult time getting SPS to survive when the tank was even up to 1 year old. Now it's working on 2 yrs and much better, although my tank is 75 gallons and has way more fish than you do. Need more poop.
 

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If your corals are pale and your nutrients are low I very highly recommend RedSea Energy AB+. I used to be a “feed the fish more and they will feed the corals” and I “don’t believe in any snake oil in a bottle” type of guy but AB+ has really changed my mind. I would definitely give it a try.
 

Pete_the_Puma

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I was just looking into RedSea AB+, do you prefer it over reef roids? Currently spot feeding roids once a week.
In one word: yes. It really colored up my corals back when my nutrients were low. My nutrients are now much better (I only run the protein skimmer a few hours at night) but still dose the AB plus.
 

elorablue

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I would venture that the cyano and algae are somewhat separate issues from the pale sps, but 1/2 cube per day was nowhere near enough food for those fish. Glad you increased but even 1 cube is light imo.
Edit. The easiest and cheapest way I’ve found to raise phosphate is to feed pellets. They’re like little bombs.
 
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jda

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Dont chase N or P especially if you don't have good tools to test for them, like Hannah Ultra Low Phosphorous. Your acropora want to use ammonia more than nitrate anyway to get nitrogen - so feed more. Residual levels are fools gold. I have residual levels of about .005-.01P and .1N and my stuff thrives - availability is the real prize, so heavy import/feeding and also heavy export.

I have never been a fan of Kessils for acropora. They are just so underpowered for me. Any idea of PAR?

Pellets don't have water in them, so they pack more punch... more protein, more ash, more fat, more vitamins, more everything. They also can get more of all of this to your fish. I feed a lot of pellets to my fish.
 
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NickyReefs

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Dont chase N or P especially if you don't have good tools to test for them, like Hannah Ultra Low Phosphorous. Your acropora want to use ammonia more than nitrate anyway to get nitrogen - so feed more. Residual levels are fools gold. I have residual levels of about .005-.01P and .1N and my stuff thrives - availability is the real prize, so heavy import/feeding and also heavy export.

I have never been a fan of Kessils for acropora. They are just so underpowered for me. Any idea of PAR?

Pellets don't have water in them, so they pack more punch... more protein, more ash, more fat, more vitamins, more everything. They also can get more of all of this to your fish. I feed a lot of pellets to my fish.
Thanks so much for the input! Yes I do use hanna testers And No I am guilty of not using a Par meter. These 2 frags are a test run to see if I am able to run sps. My nutrients run 0.00 softies and lps all are growing nicely and very colorful. But whenever I spot feed reef roids I almost immediately breakout in cyano / gha. While par could definitely be my issue with my sps I also have read I do need some nutrients in the watter in general for coral health. I just started feeding more so ill give it a week by week and see if it raises and if sps seem happier. Just also worried that of nutrients rise of my cyano/gha will just explode. Maybee I just need to see if it balances out itself? I hear patience is key! Haha
 

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The stuff that your corals need is output from your fish. Feed the fish more. It is really this easy. Don't worry about target feeding or dosing N and P on the backend. Remember that N and P numbers on a test kit are fools gold. Just test that N and P to make sure that they are climbing too high... which can happen and then you need to export more.
 
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NickyReefs

NickyReefs

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I would venture that the cyano and algae are somewhat separate issues from the pale sps, but 1/2 cube per day was nowhere near enough food for those fish. Glad you increased but even 1 cube is light imo.
Edit. The easiest and cheapest way I’ve found to raise phosphate is to feed pellets. They’re like little bombs.
Thanks for the imput! So my Fish have been around for a year and a half now (they came from my old 65) I've only been feeding 1/2 a cube because the usually don't want more. I swap between 2 diffrent types of mysis and some reef frenzy. They are super healthy and very active all day. But I'm definitely gonna up to 1 cube and let's see if they get nice a plump haha
 
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