So...I can't keep SPS!

Barnabie Mejia

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 10, 2019
Messages
550
Reaction score
1,016
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
El Paso, Texas/ Chamberino, New Mexico
As for you using Tropic Marin Pro Salt: I use it too, and I dose the mixing container to match my tank Alkalinity so there isn't any deviation from where the tank is at. it helps keep the stability in it. I am also dosing Tropic Marin All-For-Reef. the AFR is working really well for the tank.

I would recommend picking up a couple of Komer dosers from BRS. they work well and hold calibration well too. I have been running them for 2 years now. I have 3 of them but I am only running 1 since changing to the AFR. the doser will help you keep you tank stable as you can dose small amounts throughout the day instead of "shocking" the tank with a full dose at night.

my thought process on you doing one big dose at night is this: you tank is taking up Alkalinity causing it to drop during the day, and then you are hitting it at night with the "replacement ALK" this can be causing big swings (in respect to ALK). My tank consumption is about 1.5 - 2dKH a day and you don't want to be swinging more than 1 dKH per day even when making adjustments in a tank (in my opinion). who knows, you might be the one causing the swings and not even know it. try the dosing system that I talked about, its affordable and reliable, you don't need to go out and buy an APEX and DOS. $120 for two dosers and youre done.
 
OP
Kingston

Kingston

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
203
Reaction score
99
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
As for you using Tropic Marin Pro Salt: I use it too, and I dose the mixing container to match my tank Alkalinity so there isn't any deviation from where the tank is at. it helps keep the stability in it. I am also dosing Tropic Marin All-For-Reef. the AFR is working really well for the tank.

I would recommend picking up a couple of Komer dosers from BRS. they work well and hold calibration well too. I have been running them for 2 years now. I have 3 of them but I am only running 1 since changing to the AFR. the doser will help you keep you tank stable as you can dose small amounts throughout the day instead of "shocking" the tank with a full dose at night.

my thought process on you doing one big dose at night is this: you tank is taking up Alkalinity causing it to drop during the day, and then you are hitting it at night with the "replacement ALK" this can be causing big swings (in respect to ALK). My tank consumption is about 1.5 - 2dKH a day and you don't want to be swinging more than 1 dKH per day even when making adjustments in a tank (in my opinion). who knows, you might be the one causing the swings and not even know it. try the dosing system that I talked about, its affordable and reliable, you don't need to go out and buy an APEX and DOS. $120 for two dosers and youre done.
Thank you very much. I am doing to look into the doser. I was reluctant initially to by a doser because based on the size of the tank I knew ultimately, I will need a calcium reactor, but I think I will get the doser. I can always use it on another tank on the future.
 

Viva'sReef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
1,614
Reaction score
538
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brighton
I'm having some similar issues with burnt tips and ran 4 DKH tests today and a 5th on my Tropic Marin pro reef mix.
Hanna dKH checker


9am before lights on 7.9,
12:30pm 7.7
3:30pm 7.8
5pm 8.0

When I just tested 2 day old fresh mixed Tropic Marin Pro reef at 34ppm it tested at 9.8. Can that be accurate? I just rain it again and it tested at 9.9.
 
Avast
OP
Kingston

Kingston

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
203
Reaction score
99
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
My reciepe to keeping sps in a 50 gallon waterbox with 1 xr15 and 2 orphex strip light, and 1 in tank ws skimmer.Started with 40 pounds hatian live rock, w\c a least every 2 weeks, dose brightwells code a and b make from powder,also a hang on refuge with miracle mud and cheato,Alot of flow, in the current market there is alot of different pumps you can get.Dont chase numbers try to keep it basic exp heatersand salinity.aslo get fish in there and feed.Dont chase numbers and i contribute my sucess is to use ro\di water and make sure reading 0 tds.
I try note to use phosphate remover
also i use a low phospherous meter
Carbon occasionaly just to polish water
Test alk frequently
Took about 14 months to alk to settle in, now i test alk once a week sometimes twice,also make sure your calcium is at least 400
Sps like w\c especially every 2 weeks in a mature system about 20 percent
I dose 2 part twice , once in morning around 10 and at night around 10
I noticed my sps where healthiest around 1 . 5 years, they are and encrusting where they are fighting now
Note: good indiciation which most people keeping sps is coraline algae incrusting alot.
Also start ur corals low get a frag rack and move up especially if you are using halides.
Dont add to many chemicals at once , i try note to add any.
Note: i do add oyster feast, reef roids , phyto,but feeding fish is the most important, just watch your phosphates, but phospahates are ok corals need it not too high
Sps are verysensitive but if your system is mature they will thrive
Good luck keep it basic and dont sweat it out,



1/2/2021

Reef to Reef
Sounds like live rock is very important when it comes to SPS at least in the initial 1-2 years. I think I was getting too environmentally conscious when I started setting up the tank and didn't go with live rock and at that time you couldn't even find it. My LFS guy sold me into marco and the moani dry rocks and even that was not easy to come by late 2019.
 

Conrad Noto

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 28, 2020
Messages
239
Reaction score
218
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
West Palm Beach, FL
So I know this topic has been addressed in the past by different people. Well it's my turn now and yes, I am going to slowly comb through the other threads but I will also appreciate any additions here....

Equipment:
My tank is 96'' x 30'' x 30''
Just a little over a year old
Marco and Moani dry rock
Caribsea sand bed about 3'' deep
Custom aquarium seamless sumps (3 tubs and a 4th for ATO)
Filter socks
Reef Octopus 300Ext skimmer at 3 power level currently
40W pentair UV sterilizer
2 gyre pumps set to random and 2 tunze pwerheads.
4 kessil 360s and Aquatic life hybrid with 8 T5s

I have about 15 fish: 7 tangs, 2 sand sifter gobies, a few small wrasses, 1 foxface, 2 clowns, copperband butterfly, pyramind.

Tank Parameters:
7 stage BRS RODI with TDS meter reading 0 TDS
Sal: 1.026 Hanna
Temp 77-77.5
Alk: 8.5-8.9 Hanna
Cal: 420-450 Hanna
Mg: 1395-1425 salifert
Phos: 0.13 ( was in the 0.03-0.08 range for a while but over the past 2 or so months its been up). Hanna ULR
Nitrate 10-25 salifert
Salt mix: Tropic Marine pro reef , 2 weekly 20% water changes
Doing Reef pro part A and B for ALK and Calcium

The problem:

First set of coral added 6 months ago, mostly LPS , Zoas with one Acro...Acro died. Turn brown. LPS are still alive, not growing impressively but may be normal, except fifth element blasto that has 3 extra heads already.
4 months ago added a pack of beginner corals. All slowly died. some turn bleached white and then eventually brown. Others just start turning brown from the tips. I last surviving one has just started turning brown 3 days ago and dying very fast.
I placed them at different levels on the rocks to cover different Par levels.
Another pack of beginner corals added about 3 months ago have all died.
Only surviving SPS at the moment is a green birdnest and monti cap from my 3 months ago beginner pack.

I did a PAR testing before introducing coral and my range is 150 at the bottom on the tank to 450 at the highest rock scape.

I just bought Ophek LED bars, planning to add to supplement but not sure if that is the problem.
Also planning on adding a refugium. just waiting for chaeto

I am open to advice and recommendations....Thank
So I know this topic has been addressed in the past by different people. Well it's my turn now and yes, I am going to slowly comb through the other threads but I will also appreciate any additions here....

Equipment:
My tank is 96'' x 30'' x 30''
Just a little over a year old
Marco and Moani dry rock
Caribsea sand bed about 3'' deep
Custom aquarium seamless sumps (3 tubs and a 4th for ATO)
Filter socks
Reef Octopus 300Ext skimmer at 3 power level currently
40W pentair UV sterilizer
2 gyre pumps set to random and 2 tunze pwerheads.
4 kessil 360s and Aquatic life hybrid with 8 T5s

I have about 15 fish: 7 tangs, 2 sand sifter gobies, a few small wrasses, 1 foxface, 2 clowns, copperband butterfly, pyramind.

Tank Parameters:
7 stage BRS RODI with TDS meter reading 0 TDS
Sal: 1.026 Hanna
Temp 77-77.5
Alk: 8.5-8.9 Hanna
Cal: 420-450 Hanna
Mg: 1395-1425 salifert
Phos: 0.13 ( was in the 0.03-0.08 range for a while but over the past 2 or so months its been up). Hanna ULR
Nitrate 10-25 salifert
Salt mix: Tropic Marine pro reef , 2 weekly 20% water changes
Doing Reef pro part A and B for ALK and Calcium

The problem:

First set of coral added 6 months ago, mostly LPS , Zoas with one Acro...Acro died. Turn brown. LPS are still alive, not growing impressively but may be normal, except fifth element blasto that has 3 extra heads already.
4 months ago added a pack of beginner corals. All slowly died. some turn bleached white and then eventually brown. Others just start turning brown from the tips. I last surviving one has just started turning brown 3 days ago and dying very fast.
I placed them at different levels on the rocks to cover different Par levels.
Another pack of beginner corals added about 3 months ago have all died.
Only surviving SPS at the moment is a green birdnest and monti cap from my 3 months ago beginner pack.

I did a PAR testing before introducing coral and my range is 150 at the bottom on the tank to 450 at the highest rock scape.

I just bought Ophek LED bars, planning to add to supplement but not sure if that is the problem.
Also planning on adding a refugium. just waiting for chaeto

I am open to advice and recommendations....Thanks
What is your ph? is it stable?
 

Loosechangereef

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
32
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Dry rock will,work, try adding a grunge pack, or some live rock to it a lot of sps reefers use dry rock, but sometimes you have to deal with dinos in beginning,
Benefit of dry rock no pests.
Note; Try lowering your alk slowly, around 7, if you cant keep sps at 8.5
Also put sps like green bali stag, myagi tort, red planet, pc pro colors, forestfire digi, setosa,
For me the miracle mud of a reverse cycle with cheato provides minerals,sps like it
 

LegendaryCG

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 22, 2019
Messages
1,886
Reaction score
2,450
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Fond Du Lac, WI
Here is the issue. Once my tank hit about 2 years, SPS just took off. It's really about biodiversity. Young tanks that are started with sterile dry rock, just cannot support SPS life regardless of what the parameter of the water are.

Do an @AquaBiomics test and you'll see the difference between a young tank that was started with dry rock, and one that can support SPS.
SPS definitely benefit from a well established ecosystem, they eat things you can’t generally see vs LPS which eat larger stuff.
 

Loosechangereef

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
32
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Also, remember every system is different, I use KISS and works for me,
So if the parameters you have dont work try something different,
It all comes down to passion, years ago we did not have the info reef2reef provides alot of really experience reefers share it.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting

blasterman

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 14, 2019
Messages
1,730
Reaction score
1,923
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
This one is easy.

The OP has a very high nutrient tank. His phosphate and nitrate levels are fairly elevated.

Most coral frags come from very low nutrient grow out tanks. Acropora frags will likely brown out and die fast when introduced to this tank.

SPS corals can acclimate and thrive under high nutrient levels but they need to acclimate to those levels as they mature and grow. You cannot just put frags that come from low nutrient commercial tanks in there and expect them to thrive. They will RTN.

The fact the monti and birdsnest are doing ok is proof. Both like elevated phosphate and dont mind nitrate.

I would get the nutrients back into a more normal range like 5-10 for nitrate and .05 ish for phosphate. Until you do you will keep losing new coral.

And quit with the Acropora. Even a bali slimer will struggle under those nutrient levels unless it comes from a tank with the same params. Stick to blue or green digis, pocs, etc. Until they thrive dont mess with anything like acros. There is no law or regulation that requires reef keepers to waste money on finicky acropora.

FYI I haven't done a water change in almost a year and my alk levels range from 8-10 and calcium from 350 to 450. All my SPS grow like weeds. Keeping nutrient levels in range and stable is 99% of the magic.
 
OP
Kingston

Kingston

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
May 29, 2019
Messages
203
Reaction score
99
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
This one is easy.

The OP has a very high nutrient tank. His phosphate and nitrate levels are fairly elevated.

Most coral frags come from very low nutrient grow out tanks. Acropora frags will likely brown out and die fast when introduced to this tank.

SPS corals can acclimate and thrive under high nutrient levels but they need to acclimate to those levels as they mature and grow. You cannot just put frags that come from low nutrient commercial tanks in there and expect them to thrive. They will RTN.

The fact the monti and birdsnest are doing ok is proof. Both like elevated phosphate and dont mind nitrate.

I would get the nutrients back into a more normal range like 5-10 for nitrate and .05 ish for phosphate. Until you do you will keep losing new coral.

And quit with the Acropora. Even a bali slimer will struggle under those nutrient levels unless it comes from a tank with the same params. Stick to blue or green digis, pocs, etc. Until they thrive dont mess with anything like acros. There is no law or regulation that requires reef keepers to waste money on finicky acropora.

FYI I haven't done a water change in almost a year and my alk levels range from 8-10 and calcium from 350 to 450. All my SPS grow like weeds. Keeping nutrient levels in range and stable is 99% of the magic.
What do you do to keep you nutrients down? I am going to add a fuge as soon as I get chaeto.
 

CuzzA

Well-Known Member
View Badges
Joined
Jul 23, 2014
Messages
611
Reaction score
698
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
To add some insight here. With such a young tank and the lack of real live rock, there's simply not enough of the small life to take up the nutrients. You have to feed the fish or they'll starve, yet there's not enough filter feeders to process the waste and so many resort to expensive water changes to keep up. Hitting the one to two year mark will make all the difference for harder to keep sps because the system has reached an equilibrium. In very mature tanks some guys run into too low of nutrient issues because the reef processes it so fast. Stick to dirtier water corals for now.

And secondly, I see no reason to be dosing using pumps or a reactor. You can't possibly have the consumption necessary given the amount of coral and your water change schedule, which I believe in less more often. An auto water changer is a nice addition to any reef tank, IMO. Nevertheless, dripping kalk is typically where most will start and for good reason. You can dial in a good drip to keep it stable 24/7 - gravity fed with a RO valve is my preference and you'll eliminate the swings. Keep your alkalinity closer to what your preferred salt mix is and you'll eliminate swings and the increased possibility of a mistake. Doing that also has the benefit of in a tank emergency where you need to do some big water changes you won't be compounding the problem by shocking the tank with a big alk swing. Once you have some coral bio mass really sucking up the calcium and alkalinity then upgrade to a dosing pump or reactor.

I would also look really hard at filter rollers. Best product to be introduced in this hobby since I got into years ago. There's simply not a better product for mechanical filtration as you don't have waste breaking down in filter bags (should be changed every couple days) and you're not adding extra laundry to the tank chores.
 
Last edited:

NotASpammerDude

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 25, 2018
Messages
2,042
Reaction score
2,258
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Georgia OTP
It's possible that your testing instruments are out of calibration and giving you false readings, specifically salinity.

Also, it's normal for some corals to die in tanks, it happens. If you have a few that are growing a thriving then you know your tank can support corals. In that scenario it's more than likely either your acclimation process or some problem between buying the coral and introducing it to your tank.
 

Loosechangereef

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
32
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
2.5 yr tank struggled in beginning 1.5 years do’s started to take .just measured 19 on a Hanna phosphors meter,15 nitrates
 
BRS

Loosechangereef

Community Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 8, 2019
Messages
75
Reaction score
32
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Sorry guys video doesn’t work when uploaded,but patient is key
 

Attachments

  • 91B399C2-00B0-48EB-955B-5D7780FB971F.jpeg
    91B399C2-00B0-48EB-955B-5D7780FB971F.jpeg
    175.5 KB · Views: 38

Viva'sReef

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2009
Messages
1,614
Reaction score
538
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Brighton
As for you using Tropic Marin Pro Salt: I use it too, and I dose the mixing container to match my tank Alkalinity so there isn't any deviation from where the tank is at. it helps keep the stability in it. I am also dosing Tropic Marin All-For-Reef. the AFR is working really well for the tank.

I would recommend picking up a couple of Komer dosers from BRS. they work well and hold calibration well too. I have been running them for 2 years now. I have 3 of them but I am only running 1 since changing to the AFR. the doser will help you keep you tank stable as you can dose small amounts throughout the day instead of "shocking" the tank with a full dose at night.

my thought process on you doing one big dose at night is this: you tank is taking up Alkalinity causing it to drop during the day, and then you are hitting it at night with the "replacement ALK" this can be causing big swings (in respect to ALK). My tank consumption is about 1.5 - 2dKH a day and you don't want to be swinging more than 1 dKH per day even when making adjustments in a tank (in my opinion). who knows, you might be the one causing the swings and not even know it. try the dosing system that I talked about, its affordable and reliable, you don't need to go out and buy an APEX and DOS. $120 for two dosers and youre done.
What are you dosing to bring the mixing container to your desired dKH? You wouldnt use the AFR for that would you?
 
AS

PICK the Most Tested & Least Tested Parameters of your Tank (Pick 2)

  • Calcium (most)

    Votes: 48 6.1%
  • Alkalinity (most)

    Votes: 546 68.9%
  • Magnesium (most)

    Votes: 6 0.8%
  • Phosphate (most)

    Votes: 75 9.5%
  • PH (most)

    Votes: 75 9.5%
  • Nitrate (most)

    Votes: 86 10.8%
  • Nitrite (most)

    Votes: 7 0.9%
  • Ammonia (most)

    Votes: 24 3.0%
  • (least) Calcium

    Votes: 14 1.8%
  • (least) Alkalinity

    Votes: 4 0.5%
  • (least) Magnesium

    Votes: 77 9.7%
  • (least) Phosphate

    Votes: 16 2.0%
  • (least) PH

    Votes: 42 5.3%
  • (least) Nitrate

    Votes: 14 1.8%
  • (least) Nitrite

    Votes: 219 27.6%
  • (least) Ammonia

    Votes: 297 37.5%
Battlecorals
Top