SPS Problems in mature LPS/Softie Tank

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ekandler

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I need some help with SPS, my issues have stumped every reef friend I have... I've had a successful LPS/Softie tank up and running for 2.5 years and been trying to get into SPS. I've lost montis (caps and digis), leptos, stylos, and of course acros. I recently had two jack o lantern leptos turn pale white and I have a birdsnest right now with polyps out but was turning pale white, started at the tips of each branch and ended up turning the whole colony completely white. Here's the full situation:

For lighting, I switched (about 3 months ago) to gen 5 radion XR30 blues at 50% intensity. This is one question I have, as I had been running all the blue spectrums at 100% with green, red, and white at 16%. I've known a lot of people who have run similar on Gen 4 Radions, but I wasn't sure if it applied also to the Gen 5 blues since it has less white LEDs and BRS recommended 100% of everything (which looks terrible in my opinion). I downloaded WWC Radion profiles which are <=20% whites on their tanks and customer service told me their running Gen 5 blues, not pros. I thought maybe the SPS weren't getting enough of the white, red, or green spectrum but I suppose that isn't the case... Another concern of mine was PAR, so I rented a PAR meter and it was around 120-140 PAR where the leptos were placed, around 140 at the birsdnest. Everyone suspected my issue was bleaching from too much light, but that doesn't seem to be the case either...

For flow I have 3 gyres running lower power to make sure I have (what I believe to be) good, even flow around the rockwork. Some people said my SPS issues could be from flow that was too direct, but I don't think this is my issue either... Here's a video of the flow during feeding:

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For parameters, I have a Trident keeping a steady 8.6 alk, 440 calc, 1400 mag. I daily dose 2ml of Brightwell aminos also. I've done several ICP tests in the past, most recent said I was low in Iodine, Manganese, and Vanadium, so I bought some bottles of that from ATI and dose those manually with 2-3 drops per week which I've recently slowed down on since I'm questioning it's value. Nutrients are pretty consistent at 5-10 nitrate, 0.05 phosphate, which I keep in check with a well performing refugium and skimmer. Only other filtration is filter floss and carbon in a reactor. Temp is always between 76-78 (surprised I can't keep it more precise but I guess that's the best my Inkbird controller can do). My pH is usually bouncing between 7.9-8.1 which I thought might be a serious issue, but I've seen differing opinions on R2R as to whether that's low enough to cause issues. Regardless, to help with this I just recently got a CO2 scrubber but it hasn't been installed long enough to do much as of yet. I feed only frozen, LRS reef frenzy, and do a 10 gallon bi-weekly water changes with Fritz using RODI water from BRS RODI unit with 0 TDS.

Does anyone see anything that jumps out at them as wrong? I don't know what my issue is... Am I not doing enough coral food? I do reefroids vary rarely, I thought there would be enough smaller foods in the LRS reef frenzy to not require much additional feeding.

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ekandler

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Think your par is way too low. Top of my tank where acros are happiest have pars close to 300.

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Okay, so I'm trying to cover that too. While I had a PAR meter I did a bunch of testing at different intensities up to 50% and decided to run an acclimation because I was surprised at how high the PAR was at lower parts of the tank when I turned up the lights enough to have high PAR at the top. I have 2 XR30s on a 4 ft tank which gives great coverage but it's basically the same intensity at the bottom as it is at the top somehow... I guess reflection from the glass. So right now I'm in the middle of a 30 day acclimation turn up the lights to 60% at peak which will hopefully acclimate the LPS to the higher light and allow me to have SPS at the top.

But I will say, I did some research on effects of too low light on corals and I couldn't find anything. The white-bleaching I'm seeing seems to be a result of too much light, but that's definitely not happening.
 

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reefinatl

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PAR seems low but typically things brown out, not bleach/rtn/die. Increasing par to at least 200 if not 250 would be beneficial. Flow looks a little weak, sps can take ridiculous flow and need a lot just to stay healthy. You should see the polyps ripple and move from the flow every second or 3.

Adjust those two things and then toss in a stick of digitata or similar hardy stick and see what happens with it. Temperature swing of 2° is nothing for the run of the mill monti, stylo, etc. Plenty of monster sps tanks have been done under halides with bigger swings and higher median temps. FWIW 250 PAR is a bit on the low end compared to what most people run but its plenty on a long photoperiod and keeps you from needing long periods of light adaptation.
 
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ekandler

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PAR seems low but typically things brown out, not bleach/rtn/die. Increasing par to at least 200 if not 250 would be beneficial. Flow looks a little weak, sps can take ridiculous flow and need a lot just to stay healthy. You should see the polyps ripple and move from the flow every second or 3.

Adjust those two things and then toss in a stick of digitata or similar hardy stick and see what happens with it. Temperature swing of 2° is nothing for the run of the mill monti, stylo, etc. Plenty of monster sps tanks have been done under halides with bigger swings and higher median temps. FWIW 250 PAR is a bit on the low end compared to what most people run but its plenty on a long photoperiod and keeps you from needing long periods of light adaptation.
Yeah I’m working right now on a 30 day acclimation to get the lights to 50% intensity to make sure my LPS doesn’t get *****. I’ll work on turning up the flow, unfortunately if I turn up my gyres much more it causes the LPS to go insane.
 

reefinatl

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Yeah I’m working right now on a 30 day acclimation to get the lights to 50% intensity to make sure my LPS doesn’t get *****. I’ll work on turning up the flow, unfortunately if I turn up my gyres much more it causes the LPS to go insane.
Welcome to the original issue of a mixed reef, it's flow problems not light issues.
 
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ekandler

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Welcome to the original issue of a mixed reef, it's flow problems not light issues.
Ha first world problems, I’ll work on it. I think I can help by changing the direction of the gyres but I’m afraid to have anything pointing directly at the corals. I’ll see what I can come up with. Thanks for the help!
 
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