!!!REEF 911 with Adam at Battlecorals!!!

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Battlecorals

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No, its not my new podcast lol. Not yet at least...

But anyway, I know this entire forum basically serves this exact purpose collectively. But, I'd like to create a space with a direct line where I can publicly help people with the most dire of tank issues. And by that I mean the "head scratcher". Those problems where you've been throwing solutions at the wall for some time and not getting anywhere. That rare instance when the simplest or most obvious solution isn't the answer. You're at the end of your rope and about ready to call it a day even.

I have been there all too many times and it is enough to make you go bonkers. In fact, I believe I am, in some form or another in constant state of this myself. Comes with the job. Be it major or minor. The good news however, is that I do believe there is always a solution and I have developed a relatively simple protocol for troubleshooting these kinds of problems. You are going to hear me talk about source water a lot, because that always where I start but wherever we end up, a healthy tank and happy brainwaves are the ultimate goal.

So, I guess what I am saying, is that I am making myself as available as I can be in an effort to help personally put this accumulated wisdom I've managed to collect and hoard over the years to good use. And with any luck, help you solve your own tank "head scratcher". So we'll see how it goes. Obviously my primary expertise is sps, but I'm not limiting myself at all here. I will do the best I can whatever your inhabitants are. Now I promise I will also do my best to stay active and keep this thread as up to date as possible. But I may only be able to address a few individuals at a time.

My hope is that this will kind of document my general system of blind troubleshooting in realtime, and ultimately serve as a resource once it's built up a fair amount of info. again, not unlike this entire site lol.




Reef 911.png
 

1mbrews8

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Great idea!
I’m still personally working on high nitrates that haven’t been able to figure out for years

actually, it’s why I’m still having you hold my order lol, although the coral itself doesn’t look horrible and most all stuff isn’t dying anymore, just doesn’t look super happy and
my nitrates are still pretty high.

ALK at 8.3
Sal at 1.026
Temp at 78
Cal at 420
Mg at 1435
Nitrates say around 75-100 on salifert and freaking 533 from ATI Germany one

don’t feed more than 2x a day with dried mysis and seaweed 1/2 piece maybe 1x week

Just did a full rip clean and have done multiple 200g+ WC on 330g system
 
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Battlecorals

Battlecorals

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Great idea!
I’m still personally working on high nitrates that haven’t been able to figure out for years

actually, it’s why I’m still having you hold my order lol, although the coral itself doesn’t look horrible and most all stuff isn’t dying anymore, just doesn’t look super happy and
my nitrates are still pretty high.

ALK at 8.3
Sal at 1.026
Temp at 78
Cal at 420
Mg at 1435
Nitrates say around 75-100 on salifert and freaking 533 from ATI Germany one

don’t feed more than 2x a day with dried mysis and seaweed 1/2 piece maybe 1x week

Just did a full rip clean and have done multiple 200g+ WC on 330g system
Ok I think we got one!
do you feel that the nitrate is the primary culprit or is there more avenues to go down here?
 

pandaparties

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Oh me me!! I am struggling with sps and some LPS, all my euphillia grow well same with softies. I have a 550g tank, 5 reefi duos and an xr30, 2 mp60s, 2 mp40s and an maxspec350.

1.025 salt
8 nitrates pretty much always
550 calcium
8.8 alk
1450 magph 8.35-8.4 daily

Phosphates range but I are .3 and I just can't keep them down. I run GFO and just started trying carbon
I have a 5000sss skimmer and surf8 scrubber. I feed around 3 sliders a day and a cube. I have a stingray/marble shark and 2 tangs.
I change socks every few days.
Outside of phosphates everything is super stable

All my acros (and even birds, digits etc) start off fluffy and happy, the tips start bleaching, PE goes south and they all get super light colored (brown at night) and then the tips get covered in algae and start dying top down. I've tried different flow, different lights but I'm at 300par right now 11 hours a day. No gha in the tank and only a bit of light film algae. I have thousands of colonista snails.

I change di/carbon blocks every 2 weeks and it never goes above zero tds. I change the membrane monthly. I do auto water changes of 5 gallons a day and 10 percent changes every other week.

I started my tank on TMP (possibly Turkish)but switched to blue bucket for changes and my auto water change is red sea black bucket. No dosing anything

Could really use some of your expertise!!
 
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1mbrews8

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Ok I think we got one!
do you feel that the nitrate is the primary culprit or is there more avenues to go down here?
I’d say it’s the most out of whack “obvious through testing” part of the system?

The only other strange thing is my Milwaukee salinity meter supposedly now reads high. When I took my water to 2 LFS, they said my salinity was like at 1.03 when my salinity meter was saying 1.027 at most… even after I recalibrated it again.
So after that, I slowly dropped it, so it reads at 1.024 on the Milwauke as kind of a happy medium. I also double checked it with a refractometer too

again, I’m not trying to be like a number, chaser perfection, kind of reefer, but when the ATI test said 533 (obviously could’ve been contaminated, but not really sure how other than a random food particle) and even 2 LFS said it looked like it was over 200, kind of got me worried and thinking that things could look way better
 

1mbrews8

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Great idea!
I’m still personally working on high nitrates that haven’t been able to figure out for years

actually, it’s why I’m still having you hold my order lol, although the coral itself doesn’t look horrible and most all stuff isn’t dying anymore, just doesn’t look super happy and
my nitrates are still pretty high.

ALK at 8.3
Sal at 1.026
Temp at 78
Cal at 420
Mg at 1435
Nitrates say around 75-100 on salifert and freaking 533 from ATI Germany one

don’t feed more than 2x a day with dried mysis and seaweed 1/2 piece maybe 1x week

Just did a full rip clean and have done multiple 200g+ WC on 330g system
And phosphates consistently read at .06.

i’ve tried dosing TSP to get to .1 because I heard that helped somehow bond with nitrates, or get them to go down more, at least during water changes, but I started getting a bit more algae and the coral didn’t look great, so I figured I would wait on that just in case I was creating phosphate issues
 

beesnreefs

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A lot of my sticks are turning green. Like all green. Good polyp extension. Slowly growing. But turning green.

Alk: 7.7
Mag: 1350
Cal: 420
Nitrates: 8-10
Phosphates: 0.07-0.1
PAR: 200-250 on these pieces
Lights ramp up from 6-9:30, at peak PAR from 9:30-5, ramp down 5-6:30 (I have ATI Stratons on the SPS/LPS program but with the UV channel cut in half)

FWIW tank is only 6 months old.

Thoughts?
 

yan2pr

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How do you kill [email protected]^&$ng stupid apstasia without messing up your acro colonies? My apstasia eating file fish is not apstasia eating, my peppermint shrimp hasnt showed up in weeks, the apstasia made herself comfortable in a place i cannot remove it by hand and deal with it outside the tank.

Thanks in advance
 

BirdFish5000

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How do you kill [email protected]^&$ng stupid apstasia without messing up your acro colonies? My apstasia eating file fish is not apstasia eating, my peppermint shrimp hasnt showed up in weeks, the apstasia made herself comfortable in a place i cannot remove it by hand and deal with it outside the tank.

Thanks in advance
Can you cover it with epoxy?
 
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Battlecorals

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How do you kill [email protected]^&$ng stupid apstasia without messing up your acro colonies? My apstasia eating file fish is not apstasia eating, my peppermint shrimp hasnt showed up in weeks, the apstasia made herself comfortable in a place i cannot remove it by hand and deal with it outside the tank.

Thanks in advance

Ok this is a pretty easy one. sort of. For me peppermint shrimp have always done the trick. not sure if I'm just lucky, but they work great in tanks without wrasses. tanks with wrasses on the other hand is a little more challenging because the wrasses tend to eat the eyeballs off the shrimp, if not the whole thing.


A lot of my sticks are turning green. Like all green. Good polyp extension. Slowly growing. But turning green.

Alk: 7.7
Mag: 1350
Cal: 420
Nitrates: 8-10
Phosphates: 0.07-0.1
PAR: 200-250 on these pieces
Lights ramp up from 6-9:30, at peak PAR from 9:30-5, ramp down 5-6:30 (I have ATI Stratons on the SPS/LPS program but with the UV channel cut in half)

FWIW tank is only 6 months old.

Thoughts?
HI there,

green (that aren't necessarily supposed to be green) sps is often considered a transitional stage usually due to insufficient lighting or a combo of nutrients and not enough light. this is the general wisdom at least. if you can kick par up to 200-350 you may see some improvement in coloration. this is the first thing id do in this case for, sure if it seems like everything is kind of doing they same thing color wise.

in short. more light I think. and if you see some coloration paling a little don't panic and turn them back down. In my experience sps will adapt rather quickly if at first they seem to struggle a little when it comes to turning up light intensity. Please let us know how it goes. 6 months is still a really young tank as well so there is a bit of a wildcard there as well.
 
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Oh me me!! I am struggling with sps and some LPS, all my euphillia grow well same with softies. I have a 550g tank, 5 reefi duos and an xr30, 2 mp60s, 2 mp40s and an maxspec350.

1.025 salt
8 nitrates pretty much always
550 calcium
8.8 alk
1450 magph 8.35-8.4 daily

Phosphates range but I are .3 and I just can't keep them down. I run GFO and just started trying carbon
I have a 5000sss skimmer and surf8 scrubber. I feed around 3 sliders a day and a cube. I have a stingray/marble shark and 2 tangs.
I change socks every few days.
Outside of phosphates everything is super stable

All my acros (and even birds, digits etc) start off fluffy and happy, the tips start bleaching, PE goes south and they all get super light colored (brown at night) and then the tips get covered in algae and start dying top down. I've tried different flow, different lights but I'm at 300par right now 11 hours a day. No gha in the tank and only a bit of light film algae. I have thousands of colonista snails.

I change di/carbon blocks every 2 weeks and it never goes above zero tds. I change the membrane monthly. I do auto water changes of 5 gallons a day and 10 percent changes every other week.

I started my tank on TMP (possibly Turkish)but switched to blue bucket for changes and my auto water change is red sea black bucket. No dosing anything

Could really use some of your expertise!!
hi there,

sorry to hear about the troubles . Definitely sounds like a bit of a head scratcher ands to me, a chemistry issue of some sort at first notion.

so as always id definitely start with your water,

couple quick questions, to rule out some easy stuff.

  • do you know the waste ratio?
  • is it a single membrane unit
  • do you have a water softener
  • assuming you feed it with cold water then?
  • lastly, well water or Municipal?
  • any copper treatments done in the tank or with that tank at all?


also. a good tfc membrane should last at least a year or two, or three even if pre filters are maintained and waste ratio is sufficient 3:4 or 4:1 is even better. Curious why you are changing that membrane out so often? TDS spiking quickly or something? I am wondering if there is a quirk with the actual hardware set up of your ro if so?
 

OrchidMiss

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How do you kill [email protected]^&$ng stupid apstasia without messing up your acro colonies? My apstasia eating file fish is not apstasia eating, my peppermint shrimp hasnt showed up in weeks, the apstasia made herself comfortable in a place i cannot remove it by hand and deal with it outside the tank.

Thanks in advance
I'm looking into berghia nudis. Peppermints get gobbled up like candy & too many tasty LPS for file fish (been there, evicted the jerks).
F-Aiptasia & Aiptasia X both worked for me (FA had better results for me), but neither worked long-term.
I'm going to get a couple to hopefully breed in my 20g. then transfer to the 55 & 110 as needed. Hoping to find a local reefer that has some. If not, I found a place I will be ordering from.
 

Whiskeyboy84

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hi there,

sorry to hear about the troubles . Definitely sounds like a bit of a head scratcher ands to me, a chemistry issue of some sort at first notion.

so as always id definitely start with your water,

couple quick questions, to rule out some easy stuff.

  • do you know the waste ratio?
  • is it a single membrane unit
  • do you have a water softener
  • assuming you feed it with cold water then?
  • lastly, well water or Municipal?
  • any copper treatments done in the tank or with that tank at all?


also. a good tfc membrane should last at least a year or two, or three even if pre filters are maintained and waste ratio is sufficient 3:4 or 4:1 is even better. Curious why you are changing that membrane out so often? TDS spiking quickly or something? I am wondering if there is a quirk with the actual hardware set up of your ro if so?
Wondering why you asked if they have a wonder softener? I am in the process of setting up a SPS dominant tank completely new build but I recently had to have my entire house replumbed and we had an entire home treatment unit installed it’s has a 4 ft tall sediment filter and then a 4ft tall carbon block as well as a softener, i plan on running my 6 stage RO unit off of the washing machine connection should I put a spout in before the unit and run my RODI off of that before the softener?
 

pandaparties

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hi there,

sorry to hear about the troubles . Definitely sounds like a bit of a head scratcher ands to me, a chemistry issue of some sort at first notion.

so as always id definitely start with your water,

couple quick questions, to rule out some easy stuff.

  • do you know the waste ratio?
  • is it a single membrane unit
  • do you have a water softener
  • assuming you feed it with cold water then?
  • lastly, well water or Municipal?
  • any copper treatments done in the tank or with that tank at all?


also. a good tfc membrane should last at least a year or two, or three even if pre filters are maintained and waste ratio is sufficient 3:4 or 4:1 is even better. Curious why you are changing that membrane out so often? TDS spiking quickly or something? I am wondering if there is a quirk with the actual hardware set up of your ro if so?
Not sure on the waste, but I do a series setup with two membranes and I don't have a softener. TDS comes in at about 380, muni water. I've never done copper in this tank either.
Changing them this often is a new thing, Shane over at SBB does it like that and seems to think that the water coming in is one of the most important factors for acro so I've tried to be super on top of that but no changes in tank so far.
I'm beginning to feel like I have some sort of contaminant or something like that (and me starting my tank on turkish TMP salt is contributing to that paranoia). I do have a ICP coming in hopefully this week.

I'm also wondering if my washing of filter socks could be causing problems and leaching bleach or leftover detergent or something like that. Just not sure what else to really try to fix at this point
 

chipmunkofdoom2

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I change di/carbon blocks every 2 weeks and it never goes above zero tds. I change the membrane monthly.

Wh... why? My current membrane is over 5 years old (the one it replaced was over 10 years old). My prefilters (including carbon blocks) are coming up on 3 years old.
 

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