Sps dying help

Reefer5640

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Hey guys I’ve had crappy last 6 months. I have lost about 75% of my acro colonies and when I finally get things stable now I’m seeing this new issue that seems to be attacking all sps. My original problem that led to loosing all the acros was a combination of things. My 3 year old daughter likes to stand on a bucket and watch while I work on the tanks and knocked some cheap cutters into the tank that I had resting in the edge I found them after doing an Icp test and running a magnet through the tank. Also I had a few big alk swings due to being busy with work and neglecting the tank. But things have been stable now other than some cyano. I usually use chemical clean without issue and this time I used ultra life red slime stain remover. It took care of the cyano but about a week later I’m seeing this on all my sps. Think this is the issue or could it be something else? My zoas have been ticked as well but that might be due to recovering from the cyano not sure. My UV bulb is ready to be changed as well. Lighting and flow have been the same for the last two years. Water parameters are all pretty stable aside from NO3. I have a hard time keeping it elevated.
Alk- 9-9.5
Ca- 450-480
Mg-1200-1300
pH- pretty steady at 8.3
SG- 35 ppt
PO4- .01
NO3-.01-.05
Temp- 75-77 (75 too low?)
I’m apprehensive to dose nitrates right now because I’ve got this weird growth in my mixed jug. Looks like possible precipitant or bacteria or something. I use green leaf aquarium products. The potassium nitrate for nitrates. I’ll post a pic of the mixing jug as well. All my other tanks seem to be doing fine except this one. They are not connected.
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ScottB

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Unless you are frequently feeding fish (like +4 times a day or more) I am going to guess the corals are starving. I don't see any algae anywhere even on the dead skeleton. I would be loading up on fish poo.

I would not dose nitrates until you get some more PO4 in there-- .1 is a safer place than .01. Adding nitrates to a nitrate limited system will bottom out your phosphates. Your acros will be the first to go when PO4 runs out.

As to the jug, it looks like a bacterial bloom to me. Whatever is in there I would throw out.
 

CorallineKid

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I had basically the same issue. And now im a firm believer of heavy in/ heavy out! Feeding just frozen hikari brine/ coral cuisine. Also ive really been interested in the "roller matts"
 
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Reefer5640

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Thanks guys I’ll do some adjustments to the setup. But before I do I want to mention a couple other things. As for feeding I feed spirulina pellets, new life spectrum pellets, and frozen food (mysis, gut loaded brine, and plankton). I feed once a day. As for the phosphate it may be due to an algae issue on other tanks that are attached. I’ve got two 50 gal bins and a 50 gal low boy all connected. One I keep mostly zoas and sps, the other I keep mostly lps, mushrooms, and softies, and the low boy is pretty much empty right now aside from some frags and fish and algae. I’ve been keeping some algae in the low boy because I have a bunch of snails and crabs in there for my new build. I used vibrant to get rid of the algae but only resolved the sps tank, for some reason It’s taking longer in the lps tank. They both have the exact equipment and turn over aside from lights. The sps has 3 AI 26 HD’s and the lps and low boy both have two AI 52 non HD’s (must be the spectrum difference...?) I’m lucky to get a phosphate reading these days with all this algae. But even still. If phosphates are the issue then the algae will be out competing the sps for nutrients. It’s a viscous cycle I can’t break free of. Why do you think the vibrant worked in one tank and not the other? Lights? I have phosphate I can dose but I’ll just give me an algae break out worse than what I’ve got. One other thing to mention. I do have one acro (frog skin) in the lps tank and it has always done good. But it’s suffering in the sps tank...?
 
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Reefer5640

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I had basically the same issue. And now im a firm believer of heavy in/ heavy out! Feeding just frozen hikari brine/ coral cuisine. Also ive really been interested in the "roller matts"
Did you just start a R2R account? And I’m one of your first posts! I appreciate the help man (I appreciate everyone else’s help as well). Welcome to R2R. Judging by the tanks in your profile pic you’ve got some pretty decent sized colonies. How long have you been reefing? You should do a build thread when you get time. I’d like to see more of your setup.
 

1guydude

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I am not an sps pro. I am also a fan of heavy in heavy out export. If u feed heavy 1 or 2 times a day. Run the skimmer 24/7. U can not over skim a tank. The skimate should rise up the neck as the heavy compounds build up in the foam. Or head foam. Your running carbon? Gfo? Zeoit method? Something. Ozone. I like biopellets.
D
 

Kfactor

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Unless you are frequently feeding fish (like +4 times a day or more) I am going to guess the corals are starving. I don't see any algae anywhere even on the dead skeleton. I would be loading up on fish poo.

I would not dose nitrates until you get some more PO4 in there-- .1 is a safer place than .01. Adding nitrates to a nitrate limited system will bottom out your phosphates. Your acros will be the first to go when PO4 runs out.

As to the jug, it looks like a bacterial bloom to me. Whatever is in there I would throw out.
i have been dosing to get my no3 up and also does po4 and my no3 is always below 1 and po4 is always 0 and i dose for it could this be my problem ? my sps always struggle
 
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coralbeauties

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My corals were faded and pale with not much color. My phos and nitrates were both very low. .02phos and 2-5 nitrates. I increased my phos using neophos and nitrates using stump remover. Within about 3 weeks and my colors were back and corals growing good.
Jeff
 
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Reefer5640

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I am not an sps pro. I am also a fan of heavy in heavy out export. If u feed heavy 1 or 2 times a day. Run the skimmer 24/7. U can not over skim a tank. The skimate should rise up the neck as the heavy compounds build up in the foam. Or head foam. Your running carbon? Gfo? Zeoit method? Something. Ozone. I like biopellets.
D
I run carbon and phosban in reactors
 

RunStopRestore

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This looks pretty much like a nutrient limitation issue (retraceted polyps, fading colors, tissue retraction and patchy loss from base up). Assuming your measured parameters are right, I would try to slowly raise both NO3 (2-5ppm) and PO4 (0.02-0.05ppm) and simutaniously letting your alkalinity drop a little to 8-8.5 dkh and see what happens. Maybe its enough to cut back on the filtration and dosing that you are doing.

I was going through a similar problem with my SPS tank (26g) just a week ago, while also battling multiple other stressors (concurrent outbreaks of Asterina sp, vermetid snails and dinoflagellates). What did the trick for me was to increase my PO4 to 0.02 - 0.03 ppm by steering up sediment and dosing, while having NO3 around 4-6ppm. Although STN stopped and some of my corals now show slight signs of recovery, the starvation period seems to have imposed longer lasting consequences for most of my colonies.

I'm currently looking into a way to naturally enhance the nutrient supply to my tank with e.g. sump with fresh live rock, since I'm also having trouble to keep my PO4 up by dosing - even without skimmer and multiple fish in my tank.
 
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Reefer5640

Reefer5640

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This looks pretty much like a nutrient limitation issue (retraceted polyps, fading colors, tissue retraction and patchy loss from base up). Assuming your measured parameters are right, I would try to slowly raise both NO3 (2-5ppm) and PO4 (0.02-0.05ppm) and simutaniously letting your alkalinity drop a little to 8-8.5 dkh and see what happens. Maybe its enough to cut back on the filtration and dosing that you are doing.

I was going through a similar problem with my SPS tank (26g) just a week ago, while also battling multiple other stressors (concurrent outbreaks of Asterina sp, vermetid snails and dinoflagellates). What did the trick for me was to increase my PO4 to 0.02 - 0.03 ppm by steering up sediment and dosing, while having NO3 around 4-6ppm. Although STN stopped and some of my corals now show slight signs of recovery, the starvation period seems to have imposed longer lasting consequences for most of my colonies.

I'm currently looking into a way to naturally enhance the nutrient supply to my tank with e.g. sump with fresh live rock, since I'm also having trouble to keep my PO4 up by dosing - even without skimmer and multiple fish in my tank.
Thanks for the reply. One big problem I’m having is that I’ve got an algae breakout in one tank and nothing in the other. Any NO3 / PO4 additives I put in there just make the algae explode. I’ve been dosing vibrant as well twice a week. Hopefully with manual removal and vibrant will keep the algae at bay while dosing the additives to keep the nutrients up will be the way it has to go unless you or anyone else has another suggestion..?
 
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I run my tank between 77 and 78. Natural reefs avg 81 I think
After I wrote that I was thinking that was weird because my apex is set to run between 77-78 like all my other tanks. Turns out at some point I must have changed it because it was actually set to 75-77. Must have been a wild drunken night for me to go changing things around in my apex without remembering it... anyway it’s back to 77-78 with all the others.
 

RunStopRestore

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I guess the dosing of vibrant might not be ideal here, because all the nutrient additives will be taken up by these bacterial cultures that you add. Of course it helps to keep algae (and other unwanted things) in check by taking up nutrients, but these are also needed by your corals. Kind of a vicious cycle as long your system doesn't reach a stable state.

Were you dosing this before? And any idea with what kind of algae you are dealing? Are there animals that might feed on it?

Well my suggestion would be to start with the alkalinity to let it drop a little to around 8dkh. This will ensure that the corals use less resources for skeletal growth, since nutrients are scarce. Simultaneously I would provide more food to the polyp animal by for example using phytoplankton (I used it day and night when dinos were present), which has also beneficial effects on tissue growth and recovery. Dose your nutrient supplements to a level that you can control daily algea growth (dosing something over night might also help since corals can take up nutrients at night aswell). In my case also a reduction of the photoperiod from 12 to 8h helped.
 
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Reefer5640

Reefer5640

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I guess the dosing of vibrant might not be ideal here, because all the nutrient additives will be taken up by these bacterial cultures that you add. Of course it helps to keep algae (and other unwanted things) in check by taking up nutrients, but these are also needed by your corals. Kind of a vicious cycle as long your system doesn't reach a stable state.

Were you dosing this before? And any idea with what kind of algae you are dealing? Are there animals that might feed on it?

Well my suggestion would be to start with the alkalinity to let it drop a little to around 8dkh. This will ensure that the corals use less resources for skeletal growth, since nutrients are scarce. Simultaneously I would provide more food to the polyp animal by for example using phytoplankton (I used it day and night when dinos were present), which has also beneficial effects on tissue growth and recovery. Dose your nutrient supplements to a level that you can control daily algea growth (dosing something over night might also help since corals can take up nutrients at night aswell). In my case also a reduction of the photoperiod from 12 to 8h helped.
Thanks for your advice and your time. I’ll give it a try. I’m dealing with some kind of hair algae and crysophytes. The hair algae is a reddish brown and is somewhat easy to remove by hand. The color and weak root could be due to the vibrant though because I started out with green hair in the sps tank. So I’m really not sure.
 
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