SPS Colors are faded, polyps are retracted, growth is non existent

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by Rickyrooz, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    I am having trouble with about 40% of my acropora's, they are faded in color, the skin looks thin, the polyps are retracted and some have no growth in the past 7 months.

    Battle Corals Banana Caroliniana
    February 27, 2017
    Feb 27 2017.JPG

    September 9, 2017
    September 9 2017.jpg

    ATL Shades of Fall
    February 27, 2017
    DSC_0159.JPG

    September 9, 2017
    CZ5A0670.JPG

    I sent a water sample from August 21st to ATI ICP and the results are below.
    Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 11.46.31 PM.png
    Screen Shot 2017-09-09 at 11.46.46 PM.png

    Tank Specs:
    120 Gallon reef ready Perfecto Glass Aquarium (48”x24”x24”)
    30 gallon breeder sump/small refugium with chaetomorpha algae (36”x12”x16”)

    Water Movement Equipment
    One Jebao DCT-6000 Pump (1,056 - 1,585 GPH, 42 watts)
    Two Jebao PP-15 Powerhead (317-3,962 GPH, 12-35 watts)
    Loc-Line return hose (0.75”)

    Lighting Equipment
    Two Lumenarc III mini Stealth Pendants (14.5”x14.5”x7”)
    Two 250 watt 20K Hamilton DE Metal Halide Bulbs (8 hour light cycle)
    Two 250 watt LuXcore Dimmable Electronic Ballast
    One LET Miro-4 retrofit T-5 48” lighting 2x54watt (12 hour light cycle)
    Two ATI Actinic 54 watt T-5 Bulb
    Two SB Reef Lights Actinic LED Light Bar (7 hour light cycle)

    Water Quality Equipment
    Neptune Apex Aquacontroller Gold (pH, ORP, Temperature & Conductivity)
    6 Stage Bulk Reef Supply Reverse Osmosis with Two DI Filters (75 GPD) & booster pump
    SKIMZ SM-163 Protein Skimmer (19 watts)
    AutoAqua Smart ATO Micro Auto Top Off System
    Jebao Stand Alone Dosing System (4 Pump)
    Two Eheim Jager 150 watt Heater (13”)
    One Eheim Jager 200 watt Heater (15”)
    100 lbs. of Live Rock (Fiji, Tonga Fusion, Kaelini & Pukani)
    Chaetomorpha algae


    Additives
    Aquaforest Reef Salt Mix
    Calcium Chloride (Randy's Two-Part)
    BRS Soda Ash (Alkalinity Buffer) (Randy's Two-Part)
    Mag Pellet (Magnesium Chloride) (Randy's Two-Part)
    CVS Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) (Randy's Two-Part)
    Potassium Chloride when needed
    Seachem Strontium Chloride when needed
    Seachem Reef Trace when needed
    Seachem Reef Plus when needed
    Seachem Flourish Phosphorous when needed
    Seachem Flourish Iron when needed
    Kent Marine Lugol’s Iodide when needed
    Bulk Reef Supply ROX 0.8 Activated Carbon ran in a mesh media bag
     

  2. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    Nitrates were around 25 to 50 ppm according to Salifert so I was dosing vinegar to lower my nitrates. ICP shows 19 ppm my latest Salifert test shows 10 ppm. Could dropping my nitrates from such a high value within a month to a month and a half period cause the polyps to retract?
     
  3. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    One thought is I added the LED strips in March, now that we are in the summer and longer daylight hours maybe the corals were overexposed with light as my tank is next to two windows. During the winter months the colors look better during the shorter sunlight periods. Also, the tank is bare bottom.
     
  4. Reefcowboy

    Reefcowboy Well-Known Member

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    Some might call me crazy, but Ive ran Hamilton 20ks and had small growth compared to Phoenix 14k's. I really cant see an issue with your tank, would try lower kelvin bulbs and see if that does it
     
  5. Donovan Joannes

    Donovan Joannes Well-Known Member Build Thread Contributor

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    I might be crazy, but the amount of light you have is kind of too much. Get a par reading just to be sure.
     
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  6. Fumanchu

    Fumanchu Well-Known Member

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    Try boosting up the flow
     
  7. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    I started Aquaforest Reef salt in September of 2016. I had success in the past with Instant Ocean but I stopped using it because the alkalinity is very high and when I would perform a water change I would have to turn off my dosing pumps for a day or two to allow the alkalinity to drop back down to 7.5dKH. I do like Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt but I stopped because the price was twice as much as Instant Ocean, I now have a local fish store that offers an affordable option. I'll pick up a bucket this week and start slow with the changes.


    Previously my phosphate levels were limited which is why I added the Seachem Flourish Phosphorous to my arsenal but I stopped dosing that a month ago as my P04 levels are stable at the moment. Cheato growth has been stalled for a good three months, I even took a cheato reactor offline because that stopped growing after a few weeks of use. Possibly competing with the algae in the refugium but I assumed the iron was limited and dosed Seachem Flourish Iron for a few weeks. The ICP test shows iron is higher than NSW so I stopped dosing iron. I do notice the green corals are more of a metallic green after the iron additions.


    I agree with you that the LED's may be too bright for the time being since the corals are stressed and I will turn them off and just use the metal halides and T5's for the time being.


    ATI also tested my RO/DI water which came back high in silicon (202.3 ug/L) and zinc (1.88 ug/L). I replaced my RO pre filters and both of my DI resins for the next ICP test hoping the silicon and zinc will not show up again in the source water. I am assuming the lanthanum is from the salt mix or still remaining in the tank from 6 to 8 months ago when I dosed lanthanum chloride to lower my phosphates; possibly some of it was never removed via the portion skimmer and water changes. I will add a filter sock today and retest the water in two weeks to see if anything is making a difference.


    Should I try TLF's Metasorb to reduce the heavy metals? It is one of the few medias that removes Aluminum, Cadmium, Cerium, Cobalt, Copper, Dysprosium, Erbium, Europium, Gadolinium, Gold, Holmium, Iron, Lanthanum, Lead, Lutetium, Manganese, Mercury, Neodymium, Nickel, Samarium, Scandium, Selenium, Silver, Terbium, Ytterbium, and Zinc from saltwater.
    [​IMG]


    I also looked into the poly-Filter but it does not removed as many trace elements as the Metasorb claims to do.
    From their website:
    Does Poly-Filter® remove "Trace Elements" from freshwater or marinewater?
    NO!! In synthetic seawater the American Society of Testing & Materials states "Barium, Manganese, Copper, Zinc, Lead, Silver are the only added trace elements occurring in substitute ocean water" Standard D 1141. ASTM further states "Trace element occurring naturally in concentrations below 0.005 mg/L are not included". In other words naturally occurring impurities are not considered. The sodium chloride adds iron at 0.255 - 0.398 mg/L concentration to synthetic seawater mixes. Ref. Morton Salt's Purex Analysis. Many of the other listed trace elements concentrations are below the part-per-billion detection range via Atomic Absorption w/Graphite Furnace. Simply, those other 40_ trace elements presence can't be detected or proven under modern EPA Methods of Analysis. Poly-Bio-Marine, Inc.® published a study showing Poly-Filter's® effect upon Copper , Zinc, Iron, Lead, Mercury, Cadmium + Trihalomethanes Sept. 97 FAMA.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    I am not sure where the Tin is coming from. Possibly metal from the sliding drawers inside my wood stand are rusting and chipping into my sump? Could it be from the pellet food? The Jebao pumps are relatively new within the past year the return pump was replaced and the powerbeads are 6 months old. Maybe the heater is leaching tin as I do feel a shock when I have an open cut on my finger while working inside the tank. I did a CoralVue (ICP-Analysis) test on August 15th and it also showed elevated levels of tin but much higher than the ATI results. CoralVue's readings are in PPM not BBP. 0.03ppm of Tin converts to 30 ug/L.

    120 Gallon Tank Report 8-15-2017 Part 1.jpg
    120 Gallon Tank Report 8-15-2017 Part 2.jpg
     
  9. jda

    jda Well-Known Member

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    If tin is an issue, it is in your salt mix. Slight possibility that they came from the Chinese pumps - saw a few other posts with traces of white dust coming in on them and it was metals in it... but there has not been enough of these accounts to really worry about this. It is probably the salt mix.

    Lights are fine.

    50 nitrate, or even 25, is not going to work with that much light. IMO, with super high amounts of quality light, you need to be as close to seawater as you can get... don't obsess about it, but N lower than 5 and P around .01-.02 would be good. I would get a good, solid reef salt like IO and change water until N are at 5-10, or so - learn how to use Muratic Acid to lower the alk in the salt mix (gallons x dkh drop x.123 = mls of Muratic Acid to use).
     
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  10. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    Thanks, if I switch back to Instant Ocean I will stop carbon dosing and allow the alkalinity to slowly raise to 9 dKH and let it stay there. I will read up on the muriatic dosing to new saltwater to lower the alkalinity, do you happen to have a link? I believe fresh IO mixes at 11 dKH. I also read that with higher amounts of light corals need lower alkalinity values (7 dKH) as well as nitrates under 5 and phosphates under 0.06.
     
  11. Flippers4pups

    Flippers4pups Flipping it since 93 R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    I would definitely get some par readings on your lights.
     
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  12. Sabellafella

    Sabellafella Well-Known Member R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Reef Squad Build Thread Contributor

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    A buddy just bought 20 of these test. Couldnt pass up on that 4 pack. It took 4 business days for results? Btw ive used metasorb took down my manganese and nickle to 0. Manganese was around 60ugl i believe for me at the time. Tin is something you should watch out for
     
  13. jda

    jda Well-Known Member

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    I gave you the formula. All that you have to do is aerate the mix for a few days to get the PH back up and then test it to see if it is where you want it to be... if not, more Muratic or more baking soda. Don't add muratic to your tank and don't add the mix until the CO2 is all blown off and the mix PH is near the tank PH.
     
  14. jda

    jda Well-Known Member

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    I looked the photos again and the Banana Caro looks like textbook high nutrient growth stunting. You cannot have high nutrients with lights like that... they don't have to be ULN, either, but get the N down below 5 (under 2 would be better) and P under .04 (.01 to .02 would be better) and you should see calcification again. I would stop all other additives and systems and just change water and let the bacteria and lights work.
     
  15. maroun.c

    maroun.c Moderator Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor

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    Might be the combination of stronger lights and less nutrients that's causing this.
     
  16. James Johnson

    James Johnson Active Member

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    What is your feeding regiment for corals? Do you have a heavy or light fish load? Fish poop makes awesome coral food. Remember corals are living creatures and need food to grow.
     
  17. Hans-Werner

    Hans-Werner Well-Known Member

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    You are low in phosphate and try to reduce calcium and alkalinity addition. At low phosphate high additions of calcium and carbonate are counterproductive. Believe it or not, if you have not very much corals and little growth you can add calcium and alkalinity by just doing normal water changes. You will see that your corals are much more relaxed, show better polyps and better growth.
     
  18. Piranhapat

    Piranhapat Well-Known Member

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    Like Jake Adams would say. Go back to basic and go from there. Than get par meter. Sounds like your chasing numbers. Nitrates are fine where they at. Plenty of people have get colors with high nitrates". Phosphate keep at .02. Alk is good. Ph is best kept 8.2-8.4. Just keep Alk, nitrate, Po4, Mag, stable. Check par......
     
  19. Rickyrooz

    Rickyrooz Acropora Nut

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    I have a heavy fish load for a 120. I feed mostly pellet food and occasionally I will feed frozen foods.
     
  20. James Johnson

    James Johnson Active Member

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    You could also try spot feeding to encourage growth, shut off all flow and dust each coral with a small cloud of coral food. After about 15-20 minutes turn the flow back on and let your filtration take care of the rest. I have always noticed much better growth with feeding like that twice a week.
     
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