Please Help - Corals are not looking well - All Parameters are normal

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h2oh2o

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Good afternoon everyone,

Sorry, but just to warn you, I might be all over the place...LOL. I just recently joined and I love all the support. I recently got back into the hobby after taking 8 years off. I wanted to start off small and I went with a 55 Gallon. I used to have a 150 Gallon in the kitchen which my Wife really enjoyed. Sarcasm, :)

The tank is about 2 months old. Originally I only had (1) head of Torch Coral, (1) Condy Anenome, and (2) Chromis and (1) Maroon Clown. I had these in the tank for a couple weeks. I recently purchased the following a week ago, (1) Yellow Tang, (3) heads of Frogspawn, (1) Open Brain, (1) closed Brain, (1) beautiful Elegance Coral!, and (1) frag of GSP and (1) Duncan head.

My Torch doesn't look that great. It used to extend about an inch or so. Now all arms are short and kinda shriveled. I had the Elegance Coral placed on the left side of the tank. It had minimal flow and I think the Tang wouldn't leave it alone and was eating food around it. The Elegance starting looking bad a couple days after putting it in the tank. I moved the Elegance to the middle under some shade and away from the Tang spot. I fed the Elegance some Mysis (2) days ago and it is starting to look better. The Condy Anenome isn't as big and full like before. I fed the Anenome some Mysis at the same time. Both the Coral and Anenome are sticky and instantly took the food so I know they're not on their last leg. My Frogspawn has always been open until yesterday. Out of nowhere, all heads closed up.

I tested my water last night and everything tested good. Please see parameters below,

Temp - 76 - 78
PH - 8-8.2
KH - 9 dkh - 161.1 ppm
Ammonia - 0 ppm
Nitrite - 0 ppm
Nitrate - 0 ppm
Phosphate - 0 ppm
CA - 440 ppm
MG - 1500 ppm

I used to have my lighting setup with 2x54w T5 HO 420 and 460 bulbs and 1x250w 14k Metal Halide in the middle. I switched about 2 weeks ago with the same T5's. However, I moved the halide from the middle to the side and added another 250w to the other side. I changed the bulbs to 20k. I installed this light setup in a canopy I built for the tank. The temperature was getting a little hot so I added a fan to blow through the canopy which cools it enough to kick the heater on.

I was thinking this was too much light so I added some digital timers and changed up my lighting schedule. I have my Actinics come on 1 hour before and after the halides. I have the right halide come on for 3 hours and then the left one comes on for 3 hours. A total of 6 hours between the two. Both halides only come on together for an hour. The halides are about 6-8 inches off the water. I am thinking about raising the lights to about 10-12 inches because I think it is to intense??

I was starting to think the flow was also too much so I turned the powerheads off and just used the returns for flow. Everything looks really distressed so I am starting to run out of ideas.

Sorry for the long-winded post. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks, everyone!
 

HB AL

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1st thing that comes to mind is that for a two month old tank you've added quite a few fish and a good amount of corals. Along with an immature system the system is probably not able to keep up with the bioload thus water quality is not optimal and parameters are constantly fluctuating. The fish might be ok under those conditions but the corals are definetly gonna suffer as you describe.
 

JoshH

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Quick start aside, what test kit are you using? And your parameters aren't ideal for corals, nitrates and phosphate are one of the many things corals need to thrive, having both at 0 I'm willing to bet they are starving to some degree.

And I agree with salty below, lights probably too much for most of them...
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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Yea. That’s a lot of light for for a number of those corals I think

I’d shorten mh to 3 hrs total and see what happens. Raising it would be good too.

I’d also be adding dr Tim’s one and only. Right now I’d assume the food build up could be catching up to you.
 

JoshH

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Aside from possibly nitrate and phosphate on the low side (depends on what test said 0), there's no apparent problem with the reported parameters. :)
Only reason why I mentioned it is he's showing both nitrates and phos are both 0. Seems a little low on both fronts, everything else seems great though.
 
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h2oh2o

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WOW...quick and great responses. I agree with it being too early. I know I jumped the gun as most do because they want to see corals in their tank. I did give it a couple weeks and monitored parameters and water changes weekly during the cycle before adding corals.

I have read that I really shouldn't have the Phosphates and Nitrates at 0. I am using the API Saltwater and Reef kits(I know these aren't the best) and a Red Sea MG kit. How should or should I raise these a little?

Would this be a good idea? Change one of the Actinic lights to a 10k T5 and put them on separate timers. I could have the Actinic come on before and after for an hour, then let the 10k kick on a couple hours so I can view and give the corals something. Then let the right halide kick on for an hour, then both come on for an hour, then just the left for an hour? Should I try this first before raising the canopy or raise it as well?
 

Randy Holmes-Farley

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WOW...quick and great responses. I agree with it being too early. I know I jumped the gun as most do because they want to see corals in their tank. I did give it a couple weeks and monitored parameters and water changes weekly during the cycle before adding corals.

I have read that I really shouldn't have the Phosphates and Nitrates at 0. I am using the API Saltwater and Reef kits(I know these aren't the best) and a Red Sea MG kit. How should or should I raise these a little?

Would this be a good idea? Change one of the Actinic lights to a 10k T5 and put them on separate timers. I could have the Actinic come on before and after for an hour, then let the 10k kick on a couple hours so I can view and give the corals something. Then let the right halide kick on for an hour, then both come on for an hour, then just the left for an hour? Should I try this first before raising the canopy or raise it as well?
With API and a new tank with fish, nutrients being too low isn't especially likely.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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I wouldn’t go so far to chew tubes and such.
I’d start with the t5 you have and run them all day.
Have the MH come on at the same time , but for less time.
Also raising the MH will reduce the intensity.

Par is kinda cumulative in a way. Short and bright or long and dim is close to the same. Sorta, lol
Basically it’s how many photons hit them. A lot fast , or the same amount slow.

In my view, whatever is simple and makes the tank look nice.
Actinic first , Acting +10k , MH, actinic 10k , actinic.
With that set up, I’d guess a 10-12 hr total viewing time. The MH time you’ll have to play with. But it’s a very intense light , so I’d start short out of caution.

The fixture I assume you have is designed for a much larger and deeper tank . And for more light loving corals.

Does the fixture have glass over the MH bulbs? You do need those. It’s cuts harmful UV.

As for Api, it’s kind of a some to none to too much. It’s lacks the low end sensitivity. When I use api , I’d i have some (only slight color change) I’m happy. If it says none , but the corals are pretty much fine , I’m happy too.
I’m my house or usually says too much. Lol.
 
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h2oh2o

h2oh2o

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I wouldn’t go so far to chew tubes and such.
I’d start with the t5 you have and run them all day.
Have the MH come on at the same time , but for less time.
Also raising the MH will reduce the intensity.

Par is kinda cumulative in a way. Short and bright or long and dim is close to the same. Sorta, lol
Basically it’s how many photons hit them. A lot fast , or the same amount slow.

In my view, whatever is simple and makes the tank look nice.
Actinic first , Acting +10k , MH, actinic 10k , actinic.
With that set up, I’d guess a 10-12 hr total viewing time. The MH time you’ll have to play with. But it’s a very intense light , so I’d start short out of caution.

The fixture I assume you have is designed for a much larger and deeper tank . And for more light loving corals.

Does the fixture have glass over the MH bulbs? You do need those. It’s cuts harmful UV.

As for Api, it’s kind of a some to none to too much. It’s lacks the low end sensitivity. When I use api , I’d i have some (only slight color change) I’m happy. If it says none , but the corals are pretty much fine , I’m happy too.
I’m my house or usually says too much. Lol.
Sounds good. I am going to go with that same schedule
Actinic first , Actinic +10k , MH, actinic 10k , actinic.

I am using Single End Mogul style bulbs. I thought the glass around the bulb helped with the UV light whereas the Double end needed the protection? I hope not otherwise I need to check for skin cancer.

Will the Nitrates and Phosphates raise over time or is there anything I can do to try and stimulate this? Or should I?
 

Maacc

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Basically I agree with everyone above. Lots of changes in a fairly new tank. Also once you adjust the lighting leave it for a while. All of these adjustments so fast has everything back on it's heels. Corals can adapt to lots of conditions, but what they really crave is stability. Get the flow set, the light set and then leave it alone even if things look unhappy. It can take weeks - months for things to acclimate to new conditions.
 

saltyfilmfolks

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I prefer to feed the fish healthy, somtimes spot feed the corals some leftovers. Then observe.

The outer coating question I’m not actually sure on that. I would look to see if that model Light came with them.

IMO , some naturally disnagree, you can use very precise measurements of nutints and Light intensity and duration to guide you or just observe and make gradual changes.
Both methods work.

The caveat being , alkalinity. Lol. Don’t dose blind.
 
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h2oh2o

h2oh2o

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Sounds good. I am going to go with that same schedule
Actinic first , Actinic +10k , MH, actinic 10k , actinic.

I am using Single End Mogul style bulbs. I thought the glass around the bulb helped with the UV light whereas the Double end needed the protection? I hope not otherwise I need to check for skin cancer.

Will the Nitrates and Phosphates raise over time or is there anything I can do to try and stimulate this? Or should I?
Why doesn't this hobby have quick results....LOL
 
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h2oh2o

h2oh2o

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The corals are not looking great. I just moved the canopy up. Please see pictures. The Anemone, Torch, and Frogspawn look horrible.

It is just frustrating when there isn't a problem jumping out at me to let me know what's going on....
 

saltyfilmfolks

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It can be a challenging hobby , to say the least. IMO. Really about the learning curve and patience.

On the bright side , looks like coralline coming in. The nem doesn’t look bad. The torches don’t look beyond saving.

Really neat aquascape btw.
 
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h2oh2o

h2oh2o

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It can be a challenging hobby , to say the least. IMO. Really about the learning curve and patience.

On the bright side , looks like coralline coming in. The nem doesn’t look bad. The torches don’t look beyond saving.

Really neat aquascape btw.
Appreciate it. The nem is about 2.5 times that size when happy. Also the torch used to be about 2 inches, waiving, and happy.

Just don't know what to do at this point.

Do you think the skimmer might be an issue? I have been pulling out a lot of green goodness. Do you think I might be pulling out to much?
 
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