Reef Tank Recovery Help !

BRS

reefer1

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Hi
My reef tank is about 7 years old. Up until 2-3 months ago it was thriving. There were several SPS, blasto, monti, chalice, favia, and micro goni colonies. I was trimming things to keep them from growing into each other. Life in the tank was good...
I was dosing Nitrates and feeding the corals nightly to keep nutrients (NO3) up between 5-10 ppm. The skimmer was only running at most 8 hours a day.
Tanks parameters:
100 gals
Alk 8-8.2dKh
Ca 450
Mag 1450
NO3 5-10ppm
PO4 0.05ppm
pH 8.1-8.4 (dose kalkwasser)
Temp 78
Salinity 1.026
PAR 400-450 for SPS
Then it all went south. It started with dinos. I was able to suck out most of it over a 2 week period. I lost a few blasto's, most favia's, monti's, and most chalices during this time. I also lost the chaeto in the refugium so I shut it down.

Next, there started to appear a fine stringy substance that was everywhere in the tank. (Similar to that which is released when acro's are initially fragged. But 100x more. I think it was due to some of my acro's dying.) Several acro colonies were covered with the stuff. I used a turkey baster to keep it moving and into my overflow. The amount seemed to increase whenever the flow increased. I lost multiple acro colonies in different locations of the tank. Adjacent colonies showed different responses - one died while the other survived.

This was followed by red turf algae. It exploded and eventually covered SPS and the remaining LPS colonies. I started to does Vibrant once a week as directed. It didn't help initially and the red slime spread to the coraline algae on the tank back wall. I manually removed all the algae/coraline on the back wall. A couple weeks later I added a UV sterilizer (40W running at about 400gph turnover) and surgically removed any acro colonies covered with the algae. I scraped off what I could off the rocks and covered any holes (in the rock) with the red turf algae with 2-part Tunze epoxy. After a month of assaulting the red turf algae it seems that it's gone or is minimal. I also noticed that the copedpod population in my tank has been devastated.

The problem now is my remaining acros have faded and there's no poly extension. Alk consumption is way down. I do have some coraline forming on the tank glass. So that's a plus.

I believe some bad bacteria was the root of my problem.

About 2 weeks ago, I started to dose Microbacter-7 to help reseed good bacteria. (I turn off the UV sterilizer and skimmer for about 6 hours when I add the Microbacter-7.) I also started to feed oyster feast a few times a week. I also dose Red Sea colors as directed.

Lastly, about a month ago (right before the UV sterilizer was added), I submitted the tank water for a Triton ICP test. All parameters came in within the proper range.

Sorry for the long post. I tried to include anything I thought could describe the situation.

Any ideas about how to get the tank back up to normal with the acros colored up and polyps extended?

Thanks!
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

zoa what

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This is what happens when you start dosing no3 then bacteria.

Much like a person dieting who starves themselves M, W, F and then gorges themselves T, Th and Sats.

Your tank is swinging back and forth

I'd go back to basics by doing consistent WCs to control and stabilize your tank.

I'd quit playing Marine Biologist / Chemist


.
 
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reefer1

reefer1

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I don't believe the tank is swinging back and forth.
I monitor nitrates regularly and target 5-10ppm. I only dose Nitrates to keep them in this range. This has been my practice for over 5 years with great success.

I actually stopped dosing Nitrates since the dino's started 3 months ago. And, I only started dosing bacteria two weeks ago thinking that the good bacteria may have been depleted (as evidence by the copepod population reduction).

So, I don't believe the tank is swinging back and forth.

Are the reduction in copepods a sign of a specific issue?
Any other ideas?
Thanks
 
BRS

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