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Pale SPS High Nutrients?

spsick

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So here’s a zinger. All of my sps have been trending towards more pale colors and I’m at a loss. One would think too much light and/or starving for N+P but they are there and I do have algae albeit under control. LPS living but not thriving. Everything else is growing just pale. Tank is 2 years old with most of inhabitants and rock being closer to 6.

Just tested PAR with MQ200 and I’m only getting 370 (corrected w Apogee calculator) on top rocks w/ fixture 7” above water and some acros only getting 120 (hawkins, actually growing crazy) even if the sensor is reading low it can’t be too much light.

Ca- 400
Alk- 8.3
Mag- 1350
N03- 10
P04- .05
K- 400
pH- 8.2-8.6
Temp- 78°
SG- 1.026

All probes calibrated recently and test kits Salifert (P04 is Hanna ULR)

Tank is 40bdr +20 sump

ATI 6x24 all B+ and C+ running [email protected] and other [email protected]

Deltec Sc1351 skimmer

5g WC weekly w RS Blue

Feed NLS pellets daily, Reef Frenzy and nori alternated days. Tried feeding more frozen and that just landed me with more algae.

I’m open to thoughts/ideas.

Pics to come.
 

jda

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High levels of building blocks can inhibit calcification and zoox growth, BUT those residual values are not high enough to cause issues, IMO. There are two things to remember: 1). you need some, but not too many, and 2). throughput is more important than what a test kit can get in the water. It seems like you are feeding the fish enough and the test kit residual values are OK. I would look beyond this unless you feel that the algae is sufficient enough in size to be soaking up a LARGE amount that is escaping the test kit.

If I had to guess from just that first post, you need more light. I would run all 6 of those bulbs for 10 hours. 370 at the top for 10 hours is about right.

FWIW - Hawkins does not need a lot of light. You probably found the sweet spot. Mine is completely in the shadows with no direct light... I have a colony of WT Tierra del Fuego and a Gold Mille directly above it that love the light.
 

29bonsaireef

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I'd agree, more light.. I have the same fixture and have always run all bulbs w/10hr photoperiod.
 

jda

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Here is the way that you might consider thinking about this... Nitrate and Phosphate are NOT nutrients... they do not "feed" coral. They are building blocks needed to grow new tissue and new make zoox (they can recycle just to maintain a population). If you coral is growing, then you have enough building blocks, but if they are not growing, then it still might not be because the building blocks are too low and could be because of a few different things. The real nutrients come from sugars made by the zoox photosynthesis that the coral needs in constant supply. You do not need a lot of building blocks, but not having any is certainly growth limiting. You have enough building blocks. Focus on truly feeding the coral, which is with the light, IMO.
 

phixman

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How often do you feed? I was gone for 2 months, and my family member who took care of my tank maybe overfeed. Phosphates levels were .26. I did notice they were a bit pale, it's also possible they were pale because they hadn't been fed reef roids in a while. I doubt yours are pale due to high Po4, I wouldn't consider your level high.
 
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spsick

spsick

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Thank you for the input folks, makes me feel better about giving them more light figuring the par meter I borrowed was just off. All the talk about ATI units putting out high numbers are on 36”+ units so perhaps 24” just has too narrow a spread.
 
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spsick

spsick

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How often do you feed? I was gone for 2 months, and my family member who took care of my tank maybe overfeed. Phosphates levels were .26. I did notice they were a bit pale, it's also possible they were pale because they hadn't been fed reef roids in a while. I doubt yours are pale due to high Po4, I wouldn't consider your level high.
I have an Ehiem auto feeder that sprinkles probably a teaspoon a day into a feeding ring so it doesn’t all go right into the overflow, then I alternate days a cube of frozen and a square of nori.
 

Dennis Cartier

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I would try dosing a bit of iron. If your corals darken within a day or two, then you have found your limitation. Just be careful as too much iron can be almost as bad as too little. I had a similar situation where my frag tank became iron limited because the AWC water in my holding tank was precipitating iron sediment. I dosed a bit of Kent's Iron and Manganese and things turned around in a couple of days. I also went on to dose iron too often and encouraged a bacteria that caused RTN in montipora corals to flourish. A single modest dose should be enough to help you to get feedback if it is related to the pale corals.

Dennis
 

dave57

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You didn’t mention anything regarding flow in your tank, often times insufficient flow can be a culprit to slow growth, pale colors. Just something to consider. Also, you did mention alkalinity was around 8 has that been stable 8 or has it been going up and down in the last couple weeks to days. Did you recently change lighting? Spectrum, duration, type of lights, intensities..
 
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spsick

spsick

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I would try dosing a bit of iron. If your corals darken within a day or two, then you have found your limitation. Just be careful as too much iron can be almost as bad as too little. I had a similar situation where my frag tank became iron limited because the AWC water in my holding tank was precipitating iron sediment. I dosed a bit of Kent's Iron and Manganese and things turned around in a couple of days. I also went on to dose iron too often and encouraged a bacteria that caused RTN in montipora corals to flourish. A single modest dose should be enough to help you to get feedback if it is related to the pale corals.

Dennis
Thanks, I can easily try that with the Iron portion of my Red Sea Colors kit I used for a month and has sat since!
 
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spsick

spsick

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You didn’t mention anything regarding flow in your tank, often times insufficient flow can be a culprit to slow growth, pale colors. Just something to consider. Also, you did mention alkalinity was around 8 has that been stable 8 or has it been going up and down in the last couple weeks to days. Did you recently change lighting? Spectrum, duration, type of lights, intensities..
Running 2 Jebao PP4 and return is a Tunze Silence putting out about 500gph so a total turnover in the tank of ~70x

Alk has always been stable. A few months ago I moved up to 8 from 7 to match WC water and remove fluctuations from that.

Been using the same fixture and bulb type since inception. All changed at regular intervals.
 

phixman

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Make sure you increase your lights slowly, I increased mine from 200 ish par to 350 over 4 months or so. Also, cubes tend make your levels get out of control if you feed them to often. I often let the cube melt on a napkin, then try to get most of the liquid off them. Try feeding reefroids sometime , works well for my 20 gallon I do 1/4 teaspoon mixed with 10 ml of tank water, mix it well and and you will get a toothpaste consistency. Feed your lps the thicker part, and sps the not so thick. Great color and polyp extension, I do it once a week.

Since no one has mention this, always remember to try one thing at a time, and give it time, change takes time.
 
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spsick

spsick

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Make sure you increase your lights slowly, I increased mine from 200 ish par to 350 over 4 months or so. Also, cubes tend make your levels get out of control if you feed them to often. I often let the cube melt on a napkin, then try to get most of the liquid off them. Try feeding reefroids sometime , works well for my 20 gallon I do 1/4 teaspoon mixed with 10 ml of tank water, mix it well and and you will get a toothpaste consistency. Feed your lps the thicker part, and sps the not so thick. Great color and polyp extension, I do it once a week.

Since no one has mention this, always remember to try one thing at a time, and give it time, change takes time.

Good points there for anyone!

I do soak frozen in tank water then pour through a net before feeding. Absolutely only one change at a time.
 
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spsick

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Here’s a good example, this is a starburst cap. Note the minor tissue loss. That happens occasionally and I’m baffled why.
Could overskimming be a culprit (if that’s even a thing)?

 
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spsick

spsick

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Fun resolution here!

Tested Potassium- tank came in at 360!
Tested NSW (Red Sea blue)- 370

Been bringing it up 10ppm daily and seeing better PE and happier looking corals. I’ll report back in a few weeks for search bar users in the future.
 
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Ling_Thing

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Fun resolution here!

Tested Potassium- tank came in at 360!
Tested NSW (Red Sea blue)- 370

Been bringing it up 10ppm daily and seeing better PE and happier looking corals. I’ll report back in a few weeks for search bar users in the future.
How did you ever make out?
 
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spsick

spsick

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How did you ever make out?
It was just that one bucket of salt that had low K. Haven’t had to add any since. Between that and a drop of lugol’s twice a week things look much better. Went through dinos from upgrading and adding a fuge that zapped nutrients but that’s a whole ‘nother story.
 

Perry

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Here’s a good example, this is a starburst cap. Note the minor tissue loss. That happens occasionally and I’m baffled why.
Could overskimming be a culprit (if that’s even a thing)?

Sometimes salt creep, when scraped, can land and dissolve on top of corals, especially plate corals.
Cheers :)
 

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