SPS STN — Parameters or a Pest?

DanyL

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Capitulation!!!! Abandonment of science, I win again!
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Honestly, I was already writing a long response to you, but I scratched it.
I changed my mind.

For me this discussion is over once you show this kind of disrespect to others.
This attitude, no matter who you think you are is unacceptable.

And no, other than blowing your self sense of importance you did not disprove our points, nor is yours make any sense in practice in the way you approached it.
 

RockBox13

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Honestly, I was already writing a long response to you, but I scratched it.
I changed my mind.

For me this discussion is over once you show this kind of disrespect to others.
This attitude, no matter who you think you are is unacceptable.

And no, other than blowing your self sense of importance you did not disprove our points, nor is yours make any sense in practice in the way you approached it.
I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings by responding to another person’s gif with a gif. If that person was offended, I would probably apologize. Another person put down their number of years experience as well. If a sense of humor or a little fun and playfully responding isn’t acceptable, I missed that. I would disagree with the need to maintain some sort of rule that puts being nice over the ability to clearly and honestly state what your personal experience is and how that leads your individual response to a question someone else with dying corals has.
 

RockBox13

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I stand by my statement which was you aren't wrong, just people have found success at different alkalinity and I don't think that is the OP's issue. Stability definitely was an issue.

As for the whole alk/ph argument, you are probably right and have many more years of reefing than I. But if we are going to drop some science, I'd love to invite @Randy Holmes-Farley into the conversation as to whether higher alk always equates to higher ph and is all that important.
Excellent! That’s exactly who I am quoting in a previous post.
“The acceptable pH range for reef aquaria is an opinion rather than a clearly defined fact, and will certainly vary based on who is providing the opinion. This range may also be quite different from the "optimal" range. Justifying what is optimal,”
 

RockBox13

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If I may take a moment and say that I also disagree with this current trend of dosing Nitrate & Phosphate in reef aquariums and the supplementary carbon dosing that is not really beneficial to 99% of people using this method.
If you’ve got Cyano/Dinos/Hair Algae, you should definitely be gravel vacuuming.
Blow that detritus off your rocks before you gravel vac and if you want to feed your corals and some invertebrates like your reef safe starfish too.
Do you have a difficult time with clams and LPS like Euphyllia that start dying and don’t recover? Why does one book on breeding aquacultured Tridacna clams with filtered seawater state the importance of maintaining a pH 8.3-8.4 and they note raising dKH up to 16 with no ill effects?
 

Kasrift

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I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings by responding to another person’s gif with a gif. If that person was offended, I would probably apologize. Another person put down their number of years experience as well. If a sense of humor or a little fun and playfully responding isn’t acceptable, I missed that. I would disagree with the need to maintain some sort of rule that puts being nice over the ability to clearly and honestly state what your personal experience is and how that leads your individual response to a question someone else with dying corals has.
I wasn't offended and laughed at your response. Agree a little playfulness is fine, mostly people accept it with a little context and understanding that good will is intended. You kind of came into the thread hot.

@DanyL no hard feelings on my side, but appreciate your willingness to defend a rational conversation.
 

DanyL

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There are certain behavioral traits shown here that makes me believe his intents aren’t coming from a good will, those who can recognize it, see it for what it is.
I chose to distance myself from it.

This only serves OP with confusion unfortunately, and he’ll now need to do his own research to be able to navigate through this mess.
 
OP
OP
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AlaskaMatt

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Nutrients can be a little tricky to master at first, but once you get the idea it gets easier.

What you need to remember is that nutrient levels are reactive to many parallel processes that involve them, wether it being consumed by corals, algae, bacteria or by equilibrium processes happening with your rocks and sand.

It is often the case where you dose N/P and it disappears the day after, or significantly dips, and naturally you’ll think that it isn’t enough so you may also increase the dose, but the culprit here is that once you cover the consumption portion, equilibrium steps into place and at certain moment the amount of phosphates bound into your rocks will be enough and from there on it’ll start accumulating and raising in the water column.

For this reason, it is important to keep a close eye on both Nitrates and Phosphates when changing one or the two.
Personally I test every 2 days when I introduce a new change to the system, and keep testing until it stabilizes then move to weekly tests.


This was already addressed by @Kasrift, and I agree with him.

While Alk fluctuations can indeed cause STN/RTN, they weren’t significant nor fast enough here to be concerned about.
PH isn’t a good indicator here too, he had a single dip, which can be caused due to many other reasons like dosing anything acidic near the test, testing at night or even as plain as a user error. So nothing here to attribute to the RTN/STN neither.

As for higher vs lower Alk - if that was true, corals wouldn’t exist at all, because the Alk at the sea is around 7dKH, not to mention the many reefers that keep their tanks at these and even lower levels for decades.

Personally I keep my alkalinity between 8.0 to 8.5 dKH and been doing so for 16 years on 2 separate SPS dominant tanks and RTN/STN are rare and unusual events with an explanable reason in my experience.

Moreover, and like many other reefers observed- I’d argue that keeping a high Alk is in fact degrading structural growth of the skeleton, resulting in an abnormally thing and brittle branches, require high nutrients to compensate for the higher skeleton growth rate, which in turn result with poor coloring of the coral.

@DanyL Thank you for taking the time to write this up — that makes complete sense and now I understand why it’s important to test so frequently when dosing nitrate and phosphate. I haven’t been so I never found the equillibrium so when I see myself getting where I need to be I keep dosing the same and by the time the week hits and I test again I’ve surpassed the consumption and it just keeps accumulating. That makes me a little more hopeful that it is possible to dial it in and then back off on the testing and continue to test once a week once it’s solid.

My tank is approaching the 1 year mark and I’ve had acropora in my tank since month 3 — it’s been an awesome journey, and frankly getting into this hobby I didn’t think it’d be possible to keep it alive given how much I’ve heard about how hard it is to be successful. Bought a cheapo no name acro at my LFS and while I’ve hardly made monumental progress I’ve managed to keep it alive this last year and I suspect once I get my nutrients stabilized I’ll start seeing some real growth. Certainly a difference between “success” and “keeping them alive” but it’s a good first step nonetheless.

Thank you guys for all your feedback.

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Algae invading algae: Have you had unwanted algae in your good macroalgae?

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