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SPS Coral Quarantine Problems

MichaelsReef

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I have a 20 gallon quarantine setup which has been up and running for 3 months. I have a hang on the back filter, live rock, sand and a powerhead with a heater with temp controller and AI hyrda lights. Every time I dip corals then place in quarantine, they start to RTN within a few days. I'll dip in Revive or Coral RX for 5 minutes, then rinse for 5 minutes, then into quarantine. Whether they are new corals, or existing corals in my tank, they always RTN. I have tried water changes and mostly everything else. I was told that all the dip is never removed completely from the coral and that it is causing alk swings which are stressing the coral. LPS that are in quarantine are fine since they are a little hardier. Its been 3 months now and the same thing is happening. How is everyone is who is quarantining not have the same problem?
 
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MichaelsReef

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I had not tested it before. I used the water from my 300 gallon display tank which is 8 dkh. When I would do a small water change, I would use the water from the display which I figured had some nutrients in it for the corals. If the left over coral dip is causing alk swings, how could I ever dip corals and place in quarantine? It seems so easy when everyone else is doing it.
 
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MichaelsReef

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I forgot to mention, if the newly dipped corals are place in the display tank, they are fine. I even had the 20 gallon quarantine triton tested in case there were some metals in there or something, even though everything was brand new.
 

ReeferRoo

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I remove the plugs as often as possible, before the dip then add a new plug after, that, so I have read can help with limiting leaching of the used dip. That being said I just bought 13 corals, ranging from Zoas to SPS, and even a sun coral from Reef-a-palooza this past weekend and all are in a 20 gallon QT and all seem to be doing well.

Couple of questions...

1. What are the parameters in the QT?...Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, Phosphate...I would say also Alk and PH but my AlK is in the 6.5 range in my QT and 6.7 in the DT, I am working to address that but as my build thread indicates it is currently having no impact on the health of my few SPS (2 Birds Nest's & 5 Monti's across the DT and QT) as the parameters are stable.

2. When you put the new corals in the QT, do you ramp up light intensity? If they were shipped they could be shocked from the light and die or have some bleaching, something I have read about but never experienced because I intentionally work with new corals in low light and always ramp up the lighting based on those readings when I was figuring out my dip and qt procedures.

3. When you rinse the corals do you use a syringe or turkey baster to flush the corals after the dip? I usually dip for 5-7 minutes, sometimes longer if the base rock the frag is on looks nasty, then I swish the coral in one bin of DT water, and use a turkey baster to blast the piece, to help get rid of pocketed nasties. Then set the new piece in a second bin of DT water as I work though other purchases. Usually before I put into QT I swish the coral a few more times in that bin of DT water. However, I don't think your issue with SPS is because of dipping, the dip from what I understand would really only affect inverts (crabs, snails, shrimp, etc) if you had them in your QT, the trace amount from your frags going into you QT shouldn't be enough to have a long term impact on SPS, I am no expert but that has been my experience in the 4 months I have been doing this.

4. Finally...what SPS are you trying to QT?
 

ReeferRoo

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I forgot to mention, if the newly dipped corals are place in the display tank, they are fine. I even had the 20 gallon quarantine triton tested in case there were some metals in there or something, even though everything was brand new.
2 other thoughts...

1. for the SPS how high is the flow from the power head?
2. Is there surface agitation for gas exchange beyond the overflow from the HOB filter? (not sure how that impacts SPS)
 
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MichaelsReef

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All levels in the quarantine are within parameters tested by both me and Triton. The powerhead is pointed at the back glass to give me some circular flow which is not too strong. As far as the lights, I run them very low in my quarantine where the corals are never getting anything above 250- 300 PAR.
 

ReeferRoo

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okay, so on the Par levels..that should be fine, but are you taking the corals from the shipping box (assuming you are getting them from an online vendor) dipping them and then putting them straight into the 250-300 Par levels? Or are you dropping the light intensity so you get like 50-100 par then increasing every couple of days to hit your 250-300 number?

I found when I run my G4 Pro @ 25% when adding new corals then increase to 60% over the course of the month I don't have any bleaching or die off...yet

I will also note, that even if it is a LFS they may not have the light intensity set for growth, my LFS lighting is set for selling corals, low intensity high fluorescence, enough for them to stay alive but no real growth, so going into a tank with 300 Par could be a shock. I will say that when they get a delivery in from Australia, they are typically sold out in a couple of days.

Before my coral/invert QT, My small birds nest in my DT started to bleach when I bumped my lights up one day by when I accidentally bumped the lights by 10% from 50% to 60%. I made the adjustment over my apex and came home and noticed the start of bleaching on the tips. So I dialed back immediately and now only so 3-5% increases now every 3 days, I run the lights. I actually plan to move the G4's to Reef Link because it has better acclimation software increasing by a fraction of a percent per day over several range options.
 
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MichaelsReef

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I really do not think it is the lighting. They are not bleaching, they are RTN'ing (is that even a word). The same thing will happen if I dip a coral from my display tank and place it into my quarantine.
 
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saltyfilmfolks

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what is the ph in the QT?
No3 and Po4?
RTN'ing (is that even a word).
lol, it is in my house.

how much live rock is in the QT and how old is it?
. I was told that all the dip is never removed completely from the coral and that it is causing alk swings which are stressing the coral.
I don't believe this.
 

Torqued

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This is the downside of QTs, but it seems your danged if you do and danged if you don't.
 
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MichaelsReef

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I've tried (2) different bottles of revive, one old and one new. The I bought a bottle of Coral RX....same result on all. I probably need to test for the other parameters you guys are mentioning. I just never though it would be an issue. It seems so simple when people are doing it online. The sand, and dry rock have only been in the tank for 2 months.
 

runjmb

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I've tried (2) different bottles of revive, one old and one new. The I bought a bottle of Coral RX....same result on all. I probably need to test for the other parameters you guys are mentioning. I just never though it would be an issue. It seems so simple when people are doing it online. The sand, and dry rock have only been in the tank for 2 months.
Hi mate, new to the forum. I am interested in the outcome of your problems with quarantining sps corals. Did you ever determine what was causing your RTN issue in your quarantine tank?
 

Dr. Jim

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-The fact that the frags do poorly when moved from your main tank suggests that something is wrong with your Q-tank, obviously. I doubt the dip has anything to do with it, but why are you dipping corals coming from your main tank? (If they have parasites then that can explain why they don't do well; if they don't, I wouldn't stress them by dipping).
-With new corals, I don't think you need to reduce the light dramatically...just put them low in the tank initially. They are in the dark every night anyway, and that is when they are being shipped! :) I think putting them in too low a light and taking too long to raise the intensity can be harmful. (I'd raise them up over about 5 days).
-Is there a protein skimmer on the Q-tank? If nothing else, this will keep the pH up (especially if you can pipe in outside air to the skimmer).
-If you haven't checked pH, alk, ca, mg, no3, po4 and temp....I would start with that. I bet one or more of those parameters are off. (If all that is normal, then generally you won't have a problem and don't even have to go crazy with acclimating. I acclimate and dip within about 45 min for new SPS.

-Oh...just read your last post again: Sand and dry rock for only 2 months? That could be a problem. Can you take some established rock from your main tank instead?

(FWIW....I've been fussing with SPS for over 20 yrs and have been an SPS vendor for 10).

Hope this helps
 

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