SPS and other corals slowly dying

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by Jo P White, Mar 20, 2018.

  1. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Hi everyone,
    I have several montiporas, a pocillipora, two bizarro, and an a can that seem to be slowly withering away on me. They were doing well for awhile and had growth, but now they’re tissue seems to be receding starting primarily at their bases and then working up. I have a hair algae problem I’ve been battling and it doesn’t seem to want to die. I’m not sure if that’s a factor and now the GHA is showing up on the white spots of the hard corals.

    My parameters as of tonight:
    Salinity: 1.026
    Alk: 9.9 Hanna
    Cal: 500
    Phosphate: 0.05
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 5-10
    Mag: 1480-1500
    Temp: 78.4-78.6

    I have a 90 gallon with a wet dry system/sump, changed 15 gallons last weekend and about another 15 gallons this weekend - using reef crystals salt with RODI water. I have a small amount of cheato in a reactor off my sump. I’m using current USA loop leds (I have two bars running). No carbon or gfo right now. My tank has been running since August 2017 using mostly dry rock, but brought some live from a nano I’ve been running about 8 years. I’m open to suggestions. It’s been depressing watching my corals losing color, withering, and bleaching.

    Any insight would be amazing.
     
    Adele likes this.

  2. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,501
    Likes Received:
    936
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Any swings in alk or calcium? How often do you test and how often do you dose?

    GHA will kill your corals, I lost many corals when my GHA was out of hand. BUT, in my case, only when it was touching the corals. Fluconazole works quite well and is dirt cheap, especially for a system your size. It's easy to find online, there are a couple good threads about it here too...

    I would also check for stray voltage, do you have a ground probe and run on GFCI outlets?
     
  3. WWIII

    WWIII Valuable Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Build Thread Contributor LMAS Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2016
    Messages:
    3,520
    Likes Received:
    7,013
    Location:
    Louisville, KY
    What kind of flow is in the tank? Do you dose anything for alk?
     
  4. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Got to get rid of the wet dry filter unless your using it as a sump only.

    Seems there is a problem with your water. You need to test it throughly and start changing water right away. Running good carbon can help. Find out what is wrong with your water with tests. Do all your at home test and order a Triton test. Change water and run carbon.

    Do you have a skimmer? Might be a good idea to get one.
     
  5. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Algae blooms can happen but keeping your water clean and well they will pass. Make sure not to feed too much, fish do not need lots of food and in fact when you have an algae problem can go with less food no problem. How is flow in your tank? What about gas exchange? PH?
     
  6. mitch91175

    mitch91175 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2014
    Messages:
    1,913
    Likes Received:
    1,050
    Location:
    Rowlett, TX
    With everything starting to die on you there is either something in your water, not enough flow, or you need more lighting. No one can pinpoint the exact issue without being in front of your tank, and even then you will be hard pressed to figure out the actual solution. I would go changing a lot of water because you could actually do more harm than good (definitely if there is something in your RO water).

    Are you able to measure your PAR from your fixtures? Maybee move them up higher in better flow areas of the tank? Just all shots in the dark. I like many others have had coral die without knowing the true reason while others are thriving. Go figure.
     
  7. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    Do you make your own RO/DI water? Are you certain that it is ok? TDS? DI not exhausted? If you are making your own water and the filter is working I feel that water changes will help. As long as you are starting with good water, water changes are singly the best thing you can do to quickly correct problems. Still need to find the problem.
     
  8. Skynyrd Fish

    Skynyrd Fish Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    555
    Likes Received:
    823
    Location:
    Beverly Hills MI
    I'd try a ATI or Triton test. Check for stray voltage or rusted/leaching pump and or equipment.
     
  9. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Thanks for all the ideas. I’ve been thinking of doing a triton test. We make our own rodi at home, but we are on a well system so I don’t know if maybe something could be getting past the DI, it doesn’t appear to be depleted. My tds is at 14 in our storage brute can, but that could be from placing the pump into the can to transfer water. Since I use the same pump for mixing batches. I top off my tank with water from this bin every few days to make up for evaporation.

    I have an eflux current USA pump in the tank situated about 8 inches from the bottom of the tank, even without it I have slow flow going through. The algae seems to be primarily in the pump’s flow pattern and I typically have it set to surge mode.

    My ph yesterday was at 8.1 and I feed once a day at night, I switch between half to a full cube of mysis or brine. I also feed a small piece of nori a few times a week for my 3 dart fish.

    As of right now I have no way of checking for par output. I do have a glass top on my tank so perhaps that is limiting the light exposure? I’m worried about jumping fish.

    I’ve been using seachem reef fusion part 1 & 2 for dosing, but I’m having a hard time getting the right dose I think. I test about once every week and every time I test my alk is never the same. Last night was at 9.9, last test was 10.7, and the time before that at 11.7.

    Also I do have a skimmer running and I’ve been trying to treat/rig my wet dry system into a sump until I build a proper one. The water flows onto a filter pad, then drops onto some bio balls and a bag of marine pure. Before it hits a baffle to the return pump the water is hitting the skimmer pump and a pump to my cheato reactor and/or carbon/gfo if I’m running it.

    I’ve had a nano for almost 8 years and it’s never given me trouble and been pretty low maintenance. This 90 gallon is kicking my butt especially since I’ve tried getting into things other than softies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2018
  10. MccReefer

    MccReefer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2017
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    163
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Low nitrate and high alkalinity don’t mix well. I had the same problems and my stylo died after doing so well.
     
    dricc likes this.
  11. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I understood a low nirate would be at almost 0 and high alk at or above 12? What I’ve been reading could be totally wrong in practice and the exact details of what works eluding me.
     
    MccReefer likes this.
  12. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    Everything is plugged into a GFCI or surge protector UPC. I just ordered Fluconazole to help me get ahead on some of this algae, but definitely trying to root out the sorce and nip it in the process.

    What number is considered a “swing” in Alk? My calcium always seems high near the 500+ range and my alk never the same twice and I’m having issues getting that one nailed down. Although I can’t get the alk stablized to a specific number every time it always seems within what I thought was the “safe zone” between 8-12.
     
  13. Finhead

    Finhead Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2017
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    328
    Opps sorry the first 9 posts weren't showing when I posted. lol
     
  14. MccReefer

    MccReefer Active Member

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2017
    Messages:
    444
    Likes Received:
    163
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    If you’re keeping nitrates at 0 then an alkalinity of 8 or lower is preferred. I wouldn’t go any higher. My alk was at 9.3 and nitrates/phosphates were undetectable. and my acros were dying from the base and tips.
     
    Mangelotta1 likes this.
  15. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,501
    Likes Received:
    936
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    I would consider a swing to be anything that needs more than a 1 dkh correction. My 220 hit a critical mass where it just started sucking back the alk and I had to correct on top of my dosing... Either way, what are you dosing and how often?

    This is really interesting, I'm going to lower my alk and see if that helps me...
     
  16. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I
    ive been using the sea chem reef fusion parts 1 & 2, which is supposed to include trace elements and such, but I’m having a hard time correctly dosing it. I don’t have too many corals, mostly frags, so I think the directions are dosing too high for my tank needs. I just ordered the brs 2 part with mag since it seems a bit simplified and they have a calculator to help correctly dose.

    I’m going to try adjusting my lighting intensity too. I think maybe it’s not bright enough for the sps, current USA loop leds aren’t as intense as others so I think it’s not providing enough par especially since I have a glass top. I’m running them from 1-7 with an hour ramp up and down.
     
  17. sbash

    sbash Not Just a Potato R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2014
    Messages:
    1,501
    Likes Received:
    936
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Unless the corals are bleaching before dying back, I would leave the lighting...

    I'm also not a fan of the 'parted' systems. Although BRS has a decent calculator, so hopefully that system works better for you.
     
  18. bif24701

    bif24701 Valuable Member Build Thread Contributor

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2016
    Messages:
    3,019
    Likes Received:
    2,163
    What is your waters TDS directly out of the DI stage? Should be zero if using an inline tester, if you don’t have one get one. That’s the only way to know for sure your DI isn’t exhausted.
     
    Adele likes this.
  19. Mike810

    Mike810 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2017
    Messages:
    50
    Likes Received:
    21
    Your TDS should be zero. That is probably what is fueling your algae bloom. Your nutrients are low and your ALK being at 11+ and then fluctuating is most likely why your SPS is dying. Low nutrients normally has alk around 6-8 dkh. You should be testing your ALK everyday at the same time of day until you get your dosing dialed in. You can't be testing ALK once a week when you're trying to get your dosing correct. You should check the output of your RODI water and make sure the TDS is zero to rule out a TDS bump in your holding bin due to the pump transfer as you stated.

    Correct your TDS, get your dosing dialed in and keep the ALK stable throughout the day/week and your corals will turn around.

    EDIT: I'd also lose the glass top and make a mesh screen to keep fish in. Buy a window screen frame kit of Amazon and the clear mesh from BRS and you got yourself a top to keep fish in without hindering your lights. It will also help with gas exchange.
     
    dricc, Adele and Jo P White like this.
  20. Jo P White

    Jo P White Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    Messages:
    104
    Likes Received:
    61
    Location:
    Fort Lauderdale, FL
    I’ll run it tonight when I get back from work to test some fresh water, I have a handheld tds meter.
     
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page