SPS Murder Mystery



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Nov 1, 2020
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This is my first post. I've been reefing since the 90's off and on and lurking on this site for a long time. I can't seem to keep SPS alive in my latest reef for more than and month or two and I'm baffled. Examination via magnifying glass reveals no parasites. SPS gradually fade in color, recede from the base, and then STN.

SPS Victims
1. Green Moti Cap 3 months-Mostly Dead except for a few small polyps that seem to hang on. 250 Par
2. Forest Fire Digi 3 months-Good color, polyps extended , slow tissue recession. 200 Par
3. Green Bali Slimer Test (1) 1 month- Skin Color fades slow, PE the entire time, base recession, then RTN 300 Par
4. Green Bali Slimer Test (2) 1 month- Skin Color fades slow, PE the entire time, base recession, then RTN 200 Par
5. Birdsnest Frag Test (1) -Coral faded over 2 weeks, PE the entire time, RTN 300 Par.
6. Green Slimeball Anacropora-Slowly faded away over 3 months.
7. Pink Milli-RTN after 3 months, lots of PE

Slimer 2.jpg

Green Cap.jpg

SPS Hanging On
1. Green Birds Nest Colony Baseball size-2 weeks in, good PE. Only in tank for 2 weeks, to early to tell. 150-200 Par
2. Pink Birdsnest Frag-Doing OK so far. Only in tank 2 weeks, To early to tell 300 Par
3. Multicolor monti-Hanging on but not thriving 3 months


Green Birdsnest Colony.jpg

Tank History
180 Gallon Water Box 7225
Bare Bottom
Tank is 11months old
Established using Marco dry rock seeded with Microbacter7 run for 5 months before fish were added, ghost fed.
Added about 20lbs KP Aquatics Mari-cultured live rock at 9 months
Open Rock Structure to 1/2-1/3 depth of tank

Filtration Equipment-added day 1
1. Filter Socks
2. Reef Octopus 250 Int Skimmer-Runs 24/7 (I cup of dark nasty skimmed per week)
3. Refugium Running Chaeto. Kessil H380 running reverse cycle
4. 2x marine pure blocks in Refugium.
5. Media Reactor running carbon
6. 4x Filter Socks

Lighting-Started Running at 2 months
1. (4) Gen 4 Radions Blues running World Wide Corals modified AB+ Schedule from their website. 10hrs, 40% Intensity
2. (1) 60" T5 Aquatic Life Fixture Running 2x blue plus, and 2x coral plus bulbs, Runs 8hrs
3. Par tests show 150-200 at bottom of tank and 300's at top of rock at peak time.

Flow-Started day 1
1. (2) MP60-same side of tank
2. (2) Gyre 350 opposite end of tank
3. Hyrdros Wave Engine to alternate flow, programed for lots of varied flow.
4. Vectra L2 return running at 70%

Water Change and Evap
1. Auto Water Change System Using Versa Pumps, Programmed for continuous 10% water change, only runs at night.
2. Tunze Auto-top off. Source is 4 Stage RO, 0TDS water.

1. KH Director on adaptive control mode on. Periodic checks with Hannah dkH
2. Equal parts of BRS (2) Part controlled via KH director
3. Kalk stirrer with continuous drip from versa pump. Stirred 2x per day 15 mins.

Current Stock list-Added at 5 months, slowly after QT, all fat and happy.
1. (4) Lyretail Anthias
2. (1) Yellow Tang
3. (1) Fox Face
4. (1) Regal Blue Tang
5. (1) Powder Blue Tang
7. (1) Yellow Eye Kole Tang
8. (1) Lawn Mower Blenny
9. (1) Onyx snowflake clown
8. (1) Pyramid Butterfly
9. (1) Onyx Snowflake Clown
10. (1) Cleaner Shrimp
11. (2) brittle stars

1. (1) Indo Gold Torch low flow area of tank-Happy
2. (1) Purple Touch low flow area of tank-Happy
3. (1) Green Indo Torch low flow area of tank-Newish but happy
4. (1) Branching green hammer low flow area of tank-Happy
5. (1) several zoanthids slowly growing, but Happy
6. (3) photosynthetic gorgonians in high flow-Happy
7. (1) Space Invader Pectina-So So Only in tank 2 weeks

1. (3) times daily, 1 Tbs mix of Reef Frenzy, mysis, formula 1, Reef Roids, and Selcon
2. (1) 1/3 sheet of Nori on a clip per day.
3. 1/2 tsb of small TDO pellets per day.
4. Target Feed LPS Reef Roids & Mysis 1x per week.

Pull Skimmer cup & clean weekly
Scrape Glass Several Times a Week
Change Filter Socks 1-2 per week.
Clean Pumps as they get dirty
Refill carbon every several months. Use BRS ROX.8 carbon dosed using BRS calculator.
Harvest large handful softball size of Chaeto each week.

Resulting Chemistry
1. dKH 8.2-9.3 max monthly swing, no more than .5 in a day, usually in the range of .1 per day. Usage about 70mL two part per day. mixed per two part directions using a digital scale.
2. PO4 .20 on Hannah, .073 from Triton Test.
3. Nitrate 10ppm Salifert
3. Mg 1317 Triton Test
4. pH 8.1-8.3 Apex Probe
5. Triton test, no warning lights. Says Mg and I is low.

6. Salinity 1.025 Consistent, tested via ice cap pinpoint monitor daily. Same instrument used to test incoming coral shipment water 1.026. Device appears accurate.

General Observations
1. Coraline growth is present. Appears on the glass bottom, rocks, pumps, and in refugium.
2. Rocks have coraline growth
3. Lots of copepods and isopods running around
4. A few Pineapple sponges in sump.



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Jun 3, 2016
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How much water flow do your corals receive? Do their polyps sway in the current or are they mostly stationary?
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting


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Nov 1, 2020
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Done, nothing visible, no sloshing, and nothing shows on ICP. Grrrrr, just noticed green birdsnest colony is now starting to lose small amounts of tissue at tips.


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Feb 5, 2015
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Covina ca
po4 of .2 and no3 of 10 is pretty high for a fairly new tank. I would bring that po4 down a to .03 - .06 and no3 down to around 5 or so...

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