SPS dying off. Losing tissue

Discussion in 'General SPS Discussion' started by Opley, Oct 24, 2017.

  1. Opley

    Opley Member

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    Hey R2R members,
    I am wondering if you can help me figure out what is going on with a number of my SPS. Tank has been up for over 2 years and have kept all my SPS frags and mini colonies alive and well for that period of time. Over the course of about 4 weeks I have lost a few SPS but a number of other SPS are showing similar signs of tissue necrosis. Parameters are

    35ppm- salt
    ph 8.1-8.3
    alk 8.6
    mag-1400-1440
    calcium- 435
    Nitrate undetectable

    I have been trying over the last few months to raise my nitrates to a detectable level by using an automatic feeder to feed consistently 2x a day.

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  2. reefndude

    reefndude Well-Known Member

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    Any rapid swings in alk or temp?
     
  3. hybridazn

    hybridazn Acro killer..... Staff Member Team R2R R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Photo of the Month Award PMAS Member Showcase Editor Build Thread Contributor Partner Member 2018

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    Looks and sounds like they are being starved. Feed fish heavier or if you don't have a lot of fish I would target feed more
     
  4. Opley

    Opley Member

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    Alk is usually kept pretty stable but I did have a swing from about 8.5 to 7 then back up again. Some corals started a week or two after the dip in alk so I don’t know if that is necessarily to blame
     
  5. Opley

    Opley Member

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    I also think my corals are starved of nutrients but before this was really an issue I at least doubled my feedings. I don’t think over feeding is at all the issue and there is no visible algae. I am just trying to figure out if maybe there is something I am missing.
     
  6. reefndude

    reefndude Well-Known Member

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    it's a possibility.
     
  7. reefndude

    reefndude Well-Known Member

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    How did they look before they started losing tissue? Good color, pale or bleached, any pe?
     
  8. Opley

    Opley Member

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    Ya to be honest some were pale and PE was not great. On others some had great color an PE. I still thought at that time that my feeding could be increased at least until nitrates measure.
     
  9. Opley

    Opley Member

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    For example the Pikachu from the picture above had great color, same with the red planet although I could never get the green to come through very well. The other 2 were never as brightly colored as when I bought them.
     
  10. reefndude

    reefndude Well-Known Member

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    if they looked healthy in a short amount of time before losing flesh I would rule out starvation
     
  11. markalot

    markalot Comic Relief R2R Supporter

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    Parameters must be unstable, they look very unhealthy so at this point the final nail int he coffin could be a lot of things. You say you are feeding heavier but that's not usually something that will fix the issue. What does your export look like? Skimmer, GFO, etc? Dosing Nitrate, if you were nitrate limited, could have further lowered PO4, though that's a long shot unless you were also carbon dosing.

    For SPS health the best food is a very small particle food they can eat directly. BRS Reef Chili, Reef Roids, etc. Alk needs to be very stable at this point as you try and get the acros healthy again. Monitor PO4 but don't do anything unless it really starts to climb up high, then do something very small IMO. Sometimes it's too late and you have to start over, especially if the acros are under a lot of stress. Also keep in mind that when acros die it can be very fast, even though it may have taken months to get to that point. Sometimes you have slow necrosis giving you a heads up something is wrong, other times it just looks bad for a while, then poof.
     
  12. Opley

    Opley Member

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    Hey thanks for the response! I do feed reef rapids about 2 a week and have an over sized skimmer. I have used gfo in the past but not consistently or recently. I measure alk 2-3x a week and calc 1 a week. Both have been relatively stable for months ( always +\- .25 of 8.5) and if there were changes they were relatively slow. My 2 part dosing has decreased by about 60% over the last 3-4 weeks which would make sense.

    One thing I didn’t mention is I did dose vibrant around this time and it was during this period I noticed my alk dropped significantly. Thought it was a water change that did it but next batch of water was where it has always tested. Could vibrant have dropped my nutrients so low that it caused the corals to appear as they are?
     
  13. reefrf

    reefrf Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    Have you looked for pests? Possibly AEFW??
     
  14. markalot

    markalot Comic Relief R2R Supporter

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    Vibrant is not bad but like any additive that kills something it is a stressor to the acros. Best advice I can give is to think of the water params as a bar chart with a lot of bars and try to keep everything as stable as possible for as long as possible. I am not familiar with Vibrant to know if it could change KH or not, for all we know it actually improved things for a short time causing a growth spike which led to the low KH ... really not sure.

    The healthier the acros are the more they can take, which is why you see so many people claiming this or that did not harm acros. It all depends on the original health as to how much stress they can take. When you add a product like Vibrant you are adding a stressor that may or may not effect the corals. I don't think Vibrant uses copper but I will compare it to copper dosing to enhance SPS colors. In a healthy tank this can work well to bring out colors in acros, however if the acros are stressed it can be a killer. So what we end up with is some people claiming this is awesome and others claiming it killed their tanks.

    As far as your export ... I am not a fan of oversize skimmers but I have no data or experience to back that up. What I can say is that my acros are generally healthier in dirty water than they are if the water is too clean. Color is lacking for sure, and I continue to have constant issues with reds since red + nutrients too high = brown ... but they grow well. :D
     
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2017
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  15. saltnic

    saltnic New Member

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    I had the same problem until I raised my No3,
    also N03 needs to be higher than p04 or else here comes the cyano.
     
  16. bontrager

    bontrager Active Member

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    just getting started . What is No3 and po4

    Thank you
     
  17. saltnic

    saltnic New Member

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    Nitrate/phosphate
     
  18. Mark Derail

    Mark Derail Well-Known Member

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    I had similar going on, nitrite, nitrates and ammonia were not measurable, ph & salinity all ok. But bleaching & die-off was occuring. So something was wrong.
    Then I got a phosphate test kit, and I was over 1ppm.
    "Critical" is at 0.10 ppm !!

    There was lots of algae & cyanno too.

    I was not using RODI water, just tap + SW mix + aeration. When the problems began, Kijiji had a leaver hobbyist liquidating everything he had, including RODI and all his live rocks.

    Daily 50% WCs for ten days, with RODI (had to buy some RO at grocery store), until levels are sustaining at around 0.10, and I added Phosban in filter pouches in the sump, between baffles. One in the overflow box.
    (went through a full Instant Ocean box and a 5g bucket, as the WCs were 40g daily)

    The last 4 days, the phosphate kit is lightly blue - like between nothing and 0.03, and oh boy! corals are lively and beautiful again.
    I also isolated all the fish in a QT tank, a couple had white spots in flukes / fins.

    Hope this helps.
     
  19. Peng

    Peng Well-Known Member R2R Supporter

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    I would try to fix the paling issues first. Increase feeding, increase stock, and remove things like GFO/carbon/carbon dosing.
     
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