SPS keep bleaching. Help!

aaron186

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I have been trying to grow SPS without success and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

My tank is 4 ft 90 gal (RSR 425). I have 3 Reefi Uno Pro 2.0 over the tank 13 in from water. I’m using Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt (35ppt stable with ato). I have 2 MP40s on back wall, 2 Maxsepct 350s on the overflows, and 2 Maxspect 330s on the side walls. I know it’s a lot of powerheads but they are all turned down to 20-30% and there seems to be decent flow. My torches and hammers are growing and flow seems ok.

I have an Apogee SQ 420x par meter (the black head one without the reader that plugs into computer). I believe this sensor is off by about 10% but that shouldn’t matter? My par is about 350 at top of rocks and 150-200 at the sand bed and pretty even across the tank.

Alk is 8.4, Ca 460, Mag 1450 (Hanna checkers/Red Sea/AF test kits all confirmed).
Nitrate is 5. Phos is 0.08 (Hanna). Ammonia and nitrite 0.

My rocks were in water for 6 months and the tank has been running for 7 months (so in water for 13 months). It Marco rock

I have bleached numerous frags and can’t for the life of me figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve purchased from WWC and Battle Corals as well as a trusted LFS. I dip per instructions with Reef Primer. I have even tried not dipping from Battle Corals which I believe has pretty strict quarantine/dipping practices and I have not noticed any parasites. I also haven’t noticed any fish picking on anything.

I’ve bleached montiporas and birdsnests stylos and numerous acros. Probably have wasted about 500-600 bucks which hurts. I’ve grown acros before in previous tanks so I have no clue what I’m doing wrong this time. I have a couple frags that are pale and one or two that have browned out too. After I killed the first ones I’ve been using a frag rack. My latest ones (a red monti cap, blue stylo) both bleached white on in the bottom corner of my tank on a rack and the green slimer is starting to pale but looks good so far.

I’m dosing Triton Flex and my ICP from them was spot on.

Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.
 
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braaap

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Im not really sure the difference to be honest

Bleaching will still have tissue. Just all white. So you will have polyps etc. Necrosis they will lose EVERYTHING. No polyps. No flesh. Just gone.

Honestly without seeing pictures or maybe even video it would be hard to tell what is happening. Everything sounds decent. Flow might be an issue. Could even be PAR. Just can't tell without more info.
 
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aaron186

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Bleaching will still have tissue. Just all white. So you will have polyps etc. Necrosis they will lose EVERYTHING. No polyps. No flesh. Just gone.

Honestly without seeing pictures or maybe even video it would be hard to tell what is happening. Everything sounds decent. Flow might be an issue. Could even be PAR. Just can't tell without more info.
The two frags that are white right now have no polyps. The stylo sort of lost its color in spots and was gone in 1-2 days. I think prior corals had some tissue before but I don’t recall.

Would the cause/solution be different for either?

I’m considering turning my lights down. My reefis are running the default SPS program tuned down to 52%.
 
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aaron186

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littlefoxx

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Any fish with a heavier bioload or anything that might pick at them? I cant keep SPS either but my friend can and this is what he told me was his “secret” to keeping them LOL. Just in case its helpful at all…

He has little to no fish in his tank and says that when he had any perching fish or any heavier bioload fish his SPS became unhappy and removed them and it got better. Just a thought since these guys need everything to be perfect to keep! I hope you figure it out, these are so beautiful corals!
 
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aaron186

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A couple more from a few days ago. The monti cap looks like the stylo now. Green slimer is doing ok but a little paler
 

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aaron186

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Any fish with a heavier bioload or anything that might pick at them? I cant keep SPS either but my friend can and this is what he told me was his “secret” to keeping them LOL. Just in case its helpful at all…

He has little to no fish in his tank and says that when he had any perching fish or any heavier bioload fish his SPS became unhappy and removed them and it got better. Just a thought since these guys need everything to be perfect to keep! I hope you figure it out, these are so beautiful corals!
Yea I have 2 tangs and foxface that are bigger fish. Theres also a coral beauty but I haven’t seen him pick on anything. I feed heavily
 

littlefoxx

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Yea I have 2 tangs and foxface that are bigger fish. Theres also a coral beauty but I haven’t seen him pick on anything. I feed heavily
Hum not sure if that is why but its good info to give the others who are good with SPS! Any detail even the smallest is important with SPS corals since they are difficult
 

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I have been trying to grow SPS without success and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

My tank is 4 ft 90 gal (RSR 425). I have 3 Reefi Uno Pro 2.0 over the tank 13 in from water. I’m using Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt (35ppt stable with ato). I have 2 MP40s on back wall, 2 Maxsepct 350s on the overflows, and 2 Maxspect 330s on the side walls. I know it’s a lot of powerheads but they are all turned down to 20-30% and there seems to be decent flow. My torches and hammers are growing and flow seems ok.

I have an Apogee SQ 420x par meter (the black head one without the reader that plugs into computer). I believe this sensor is off by about 10% but that shouldn’t matter? My par is about 350 at top of rocks and 150-200 at the sand bed and pretty even across the tank.

Alk is 8.4, Ca 460, Mag 1450 (Hanna checkers/Red Sea/AF test kits all confirmed).
Nitrate is 5. Phos is 0.08 (Hanna). Ammonia and nitrite 0.

My rocks were in water for 6 months and the tank has been running for 7 months (so in water for 13 months). It Marco rock

I have bleached numerous frags and can’t for the life of me figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve purchased from WWC and Battle Corals as well as a trusted LFS. I dip per instructions with Reef Primer. I have even tried not dipping from Battle Corals which I believe has pretty strict quarantine/dipping practices and I have not noticed any parasites. I also haven’t noticed any fish picking on anything.

I’ve bleached montiporas and birdsnests stylos and numerous acros. Probably have wasted about 500-600 bucks which hurts. I’ve grown acros before in previous tanks so I have no clue what I’m doing wrong this time. I have a couple frags that are pale and one or two that have browned out too. After I killed the first ones I’ve been using a frag rack. My latest ones (a red monti cap, blue stylo) both bleached white on in the bottom corner of my tank on a rack and the green slimer is starting to pale but looks good so far.

I’m dosing Triton Flex and my ICP from them was spot on.

Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.

Tell us about your lights. What do you run? Also, what is the footprint of the tank?

You may be dealing with a lighting issue.
 

braaap

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The two frags that are white right now have no polyps. The stylo sort of lost its color in spots and was gone in 1-2 days. I think prior corals had some tissue before but I don’t recall.

Would the cause/solution be different for either?

I’m considering turning my lights down. My reefis are running the default SPS program tuned down to 52%.

Bleaching would be caused by lights.

Tissue loss could be a ton of different issues. Honestly your pics look more like STN or RTN than anything. Usually when it is necrosis mine just go from healthy to GONE. I had one do that last night. Looked awesome. Great color. Great extension. This morning it was just GONE.
 

crazyfishmom

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The stylo looks like it’s undergoing STN not bleaching. If this si happening consistently then there may be pathogenic bacteria in your tank that has become the dominant strain and as soon as Coral that are stressed like from shipping or just going into different tank conditions than where they were being kept comes in it colonizes the tissue and kills the coral. I would encourage you to spend a few weeks dosing beneficial bacteria to try to rebalance the system and perhaps introduce a piece of live rock from someone with a really good balanced biome in their tank. This will give the good bacteria a chance to outgrow the bad bacteria and hopefully rebalance your tank. Good luck!
 
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aaron186

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Tell us about your lights. What do you run? Also, what is the footprint of the tank?

You may be dealing with a lighting issue.
It’s all above in original post. It’s 4 ft x 22in x 22 in Red Sea 425. I have 3 Reefi Uno Pro 2.0s

I’m running the SPS default setting on them tuned down to 52% which is giving me par of 350 at top of rocks and 150-200 at sand bed. That’s all measured with the black apogee sensor which isn’t the most accurate sensor but it’s close.

I was worried I was giving too much light which is why I’m starting them in corner in frag rack (was getting about 160 par).
 
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aaron186

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The stylo looks like it’s undergoing STN not bleaching. If this si happening consistently then there may be pathogenic bacteria in your tank that has become the dominant strain and as soon as Coral that are stressed like from shipping or just going into different tank conditions than where they were being kept comes in it colonizes the tissue and kills the coral. I would encourage you to spend a few weeks dosing beneficial bacteria to try to rebalance the system and perhaps introduce a piece of live rock from someone with a really good balanced biome in their tank. This will give the good bacteria a chance to outgrow the bad bacteria and hopefully rebalance your tank. Good luck!
Thank you this is really helpful. I don’t know anyone in my area with rocks I can take other than my LFS. I have been super cautious with what I put into my tank so I’m reluctant to get something from LFS

Do you have a bacteria you reccomend?
 

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I have been trying to grow SPS without success and I’m not sure what I’m doing wrong.

My tank is 4 ft 90 gal (RSR 425). I have 3 Reefi Uno Pro 2.0 over the tank 13 in from water. I’m using Tropic Marin Pro Reef salt (35ppt stable with ato). I have 2 MP40s on back wall, 2 Maxsepct 350s on the overflows, and 2 Maxspect 330s on the side walls. I know it’s a lot of powerheads but they are all turned down to 20-30% and there seems to be decent flow. My torches and hammers are growing and flow seems ok.

I have an Apogee SQ 420x par meter (the black head one without the reader that plugs into computer). I believe this sensor is off by about 10% but that shouldn’t matter? My par is about 350 at top of rocks and 150-200 at the sand bed and pretty even across the tank.

Alk is 8.4, Ca 460, Mag 1450 (Hanna checkers/Red Sea/AF test kits all confirmed).
Nitrate is 5. Phos is 0.08 (Hanna). Ammonia and nitrite 0.

My rocks were in water for 6 months and the tank has been running for 7 months (so in water for 13 months). It Marco rock

I have bleached numerous frags and can’t for the life of me figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’ve purchased from WWC and Battle Corals as well as a trusted LFS. I dip per instructions with Reef Primer. I have even tried not dipping from Battle Corals which I believe has pretty strict quarantine/dipping practices and I have not noticed any parasites. I also haven’t noticed any fish picking on anything.

I’ve bleached montiporas and birdsnests stylos and numerous acros. Probably have wasted about 500-600 bucks which hurts. I’ve grown acros before in previous tanks so I have no clue what I’m doing wrong this time. I have a couple frags that are pale and one or two that have browned out too. After I killed the first ones I’ve been using a frag rack. My latest ones (a red monti cap, blue stylo) both bleached white on in the bottom corner of my tank on a rack and the green slimer is starting to pale but looks good so far.

I’m dosing Triton Flex and my ICP from them was spot on.

Please help me figure out what I’m doing wrong.

All your technical parameters are fine, however it is quite likely that the tank is just not yet biologically mature enough for SPS coral.

This is not something that can easily be measured, but until the bacterial strains are mature and robust enough you will have problem with SPS coral.

There is no magic bottle or fix, however each coral you add that does not survive is adding to the biome and will help to stabilise the tank.

I'd suggest giving it a break for a couple of months and then trying again.

FWIW, I've never had much luck with tanks less than 12 months old but I know some folks who have been okay at 6 months.
It's a bit like tossing a coin.
 

braaap

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All your technical parameters are fine, however it is quite likely that the tank is just not yet biologically mature enough for SPS coral.

That couldn't be further from the truth. My tank is 4 months old this go around. Already stocked with SPS showing big growth.

That said it is advised to let your tank mature 6+ months before trying SPS. It makes it easier. I have tons of experience and am confident in my ability to provide a good environment. Mine are thriving and I have only had one loss which I believe was because of a blenny that hung out on this coral constantly.
 
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aaron186

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All your technical parameters are fine, however it is quite likely that the tank is just not yet biologically mature enough for SPS coral.

This is not something that can easily be measured, but until the bacterial strains are mature and robust enough you will have problem with SPS coral.

There is no magic bottle or fix, however each coral you add that does not survive is adding to the biome and will help to stabilise the tank.

I'd suggest giving it a break for a couple of months and then trying again.

FWIW, I've never had much luck with tanks less than 12 months old but I know some folks who have been okay at 6 months.
It's a bit like tossing a coin.
Yea this sounds like good advice. Looking back my old tanks where I had success with SPS they were older and used live rock. I was hoping to do SPS dominant tank as my end game tank. I think I’ll put some more LPS/softies in the lower parts of tank and let it grow out for a few more months.
 
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aaron186

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That couldn't be further from the truth. My tank is 4 months old this go around. Already stocked with SPS showing big growth.

That said it is advised to let your tank mature 6+ months before trying SPS. It makes it easier. I have tons of experience and am confident in my ability to provide a good environment. Mine are thriving and I have only had one loss which I believe was because of a blenny that hung out on this coral constantly.
FWIW my rock has been in water for about 13 months (tank cycled for 7 months). I’ve had success with SPS in past but I’ve never done an SPS dominated tank and I’m using Marco dry rock this time. I think you guys are probably right that tank needs to settle longer
 

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