SPS Troubles in a happy LPS/Softie Tank

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
I'm on my 2nd tank now (Reefer 350, about 4 months old) but I've been in the hobby for 2 years now and I'm still not able to keep SPS well, even when everything seems the way it should be. I have some friends in the hobby who have great SPS tanks and I do everything they say and it's still not working... I have a purple stylo and one digi that is okay, but the digi has not grown any in months and I have other plating montis and acros that are turning brown or just pale out and die.

My parameters are listed below, I'm running a DOS with a Trident for Alk/Calc so it's pretty stable. I also dose Mag and Aminos daily. I'm using Fritz salt and BRS 4 stage RODI with 0 TDS so I don't think that's the problem. I have two AI Hydra 26s over the tank running a BRS recommended setting (UV 99%, Violet 99%, Royal 104%, Blue 104%, Green 10%, Red 10%, Cool White 5%) from 12-7, ramp-up 9-12 and ramp-down from 7-10. I don't think the lights are the problem because some SPS is okay... I have 3 gyres, two in the back vertical doing some mixed flow pulsing between the rocks and a gyre up top with flow across the surface. Everything has good movement so I don't think flow is the issue... I don't feed reefroids much, maybe once every couple weeks, and I feed LRS reef frenzy daily.

PH: 8.18-8.00
Temp: 76.8-78
Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 8.78 (set to 8.6)
Calc: 436 (set to 440)
Mag: 1411
Nitrate: 10
Phosphate: 0.08

I did an ICP test back in October and the only issue it raised was low Iodine (tested 19.51 µg / l and should be 62.31 µg / l according to ATI), but looking around the interweb it seems consensus amongst reefers is that Iodine isn't a big deal. I'm also afraid to dose Iodine too much since there are no reliable test kits for it. A link to my full ICP test is here for those interested: //lab.atiaquaristik.com/share/0a967652c5a33ab7f7e6

WHY CAN'T I KEEP SPS HAPPY..... so frustrating.

File_000 (4).jpeg File_001 (3).jpeg
 
First Choice

DeniseAndy

5000 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 12, 2011
Messages
5,497
Reaction score
6,766
Location
Milford, Ohio
Easy answer is because you keep all those other corals so happy. Looking at your tank, I would not expect you to grow much sps. Just a different system.

I know people do it. I have always had better success keeping to general type of coral. Softies, sps, lps (types). Sometimes, they just do not go together.

If monti caps are not growing, you will have difficulty with others.

Maybe try to set up a smaller tank with just sps. Some easier ones like cap, encrusting montis, maybe porites, stylophora.
 
OP
E

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
So far what come to mind first is your salt.
Many problems reported with this brand.
+1, sps tend to thrive most in a dominated sps tank, run carbon to help.
What salt brand do you recommend? my friend and I switched in the last 6 months, he switched to Red Sea blue bucket and I switched to Fritz. I read some good reviews of Fritz so I wanted to try it. I also have read not to switch salts all the time and to try to keep things consistent. Would you recommend I switch now or just stick with Fritz even though it's not best?

Also I got a BRS Reactor for Christmas and I've been running Carbon, but I doubt i've seen the results of that since it's only been a week or two.
 
OP
E

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
Easy answer is because you keep all those other corals so happy. Looking at your tank, I would not expect you to grow much sps. Just a different system.

I know people do it. I have always had better success keeping to general type of coral. Softies, sps, lps (types). Sometimes, they just do not go together.

If monti caps are not growing, you will have difficulty with others.

Maybe try to set up a smaller tank with just sps. Some easier ones like cap, encrusting montis, maybe porites, stylophora.
The most frustrating thing for me is that I love burning banana and jack o lantern leptos. Over the past year i've tried to keep them 5 or 6 times after trying to make things better and better but it just never has panned out. The jack o lantern lepto will be nice and vibrant and then just get white spots around it until the whole thing just pales out.

I wish mixed reefs were easier ha you see them on YouTube and I just want some nice SPS at the top of the rock with LPS and mushrooms on the bottom... sad day.
 
Orphek OR3 reef aquarium LED lighting
OP
E

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
I think it's probably due to tank age. The more mature the tank, the easier it is. Did you start with dry rock? The tank just might not be old enough yet.
My new tank was setup with the live rock from my old tank, so it’s 2 years old now. I did clean my sand and had to add new sand as I was going up in size, so I did have a mini cycle which took place after the new tank was set up with a small cyano outbreak. Everything seems to be fine now though. I was hoping by using all of my old rock and only my old rock that everything would just continue where it left off and not reset back to a new tank.
 

George81

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
227
Reaction score
265
Location
Southern Ontario
So far what come to mind first is your salt.
Many problems reported with this brand.
+1, sps tend to thrive most in a dominated sps tank, run carbon to help.
I’ve been using fritz blue box and have no issues keeping sps...
what problems are reported with this salt?

+1 on tank age being a potential problem
 
Corals.com

Crustaceon

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
1,556
Reaction score
2,276
I'm on my 2nd tank now (Reefer 350, about 4 months old) but I've been in the hobby for 2 years now and I'm still not able to keep SPS well, even when everything seems the way it should be. I have some friends in the hobby who have great SPS tanks and I do everything they say and it's still not working... I have a purple stylo and one digi that is okay, but the digi has not grown any in months and I have other plating montis and acros that are turning brown or just pale out and die.

My parameters are listed below, I'm running a DOS with a Trident for Alk/Calc so it's pretty stable. I also dose Mag and Aminos daily. I'm using Fritz salt and BRS 4 stage RODI with 0 TDS so I don't think that's the problem. I have two AI Hydra 26s over the tank running a BRS recommended setting (UV 99%, Violet 99%, Royal 104%, Blue 104%, Green 10%, Red 10%, Cool White 5%) from 12-7, ramp-up 9-12 and ramp-down from 7-10. I don't think the lights are the problem because some SPS is okay... I have 3 gyres, two in the back vertical doing some mixed flow pulsing between the rocks and a gyre up top with flow across the surface. Everything has good movement so I don't think flow is the issue... I don't feed reefroids much, maybe once every couple weeks, and I feed LRS reef frenzy daily.

PH: 8.18-8.00
Temp: 76.8-78
Salinity: 1.026
Alk: 8.78 (set to 8.6)
Calc: 436 (set to 440)
Mag: 1411
Nitrate: 10
Phosphate: 0.08

I did an ICP test back in October and the only issue it raised was low Iodine (tested 19.51 µg / l and should be 62.31 µg / l according to ATI), but looking around the interweb it seems consensus amongst reefers is that Iodine isn't a big deal. I'm also afraid to dose Iodine too much since there are no reliable test kits for it. A link to my full ICP test is here for those interested: //lab.atiaquaristik.com/share/0a967652c5a33ab7f7e6

WHY CAN'T I KEEP SPS HAPPY..... so frustrating.

File_000 (4).jpeg File_001 (3).jpeg
What’s your water change schedule and amount?
 
OP
E

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
Hmm, that was a good idea using the old live rock. It still might be too young as a system? What do you use to test your TDS for your RODI water?
I have the BRS 4 Stage+ system, so it came with the TDS meter and the plumbing to flush the DI before running it. So I flush the DI for 10 seconds or so before making water and the TDS meter says it’s 0 TDS. I’m on city water, so it’s not that high to begin with, 120 or so I think. I have some friends on well water with 300-400 TDS ha but a 4 stage I thought would be overkill but was worth doing for peace of mind.
 

Crustaceon

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 15, 2019
Messages
1,556
Reaction score
2,276
I’m getting the sense that maybe your nitrates are too high for your system at this stage and while it’s a good number for lps and softies, sps of that size might not enjoy it as much, hence the color change (potential sign of stress). Every tank is a little different and that “sweet spot” might be 5ppm nitrates and .05ppm phosphates. And since you actively feed your corals, I’d be less concerned with maintained elevated N&P anyways. It’s worth a try and isn’t radically changing tank chemistry. Give it a week or two and see if you notice any new growth.
 
OP
E

ekandler

New Member
View Badges
Joined
Oct 10, 2020
Messages
7
Reaction score
4
Location
California MD
I’m getting the sense that maybe your nitrates are too high for your system at this stage and while it’s a good number for lps and softies, sps of that size might not enjoy it as much, hence the color change (potential sign of stress). Every tank is a little different and that “sweet spot” might be 5ppm nitrates and .05ppm phosphates. And since you actively feed your corals, I’d be less concerned with maintained elevated N&P anyways. It’s worth a try and isn’t radically changing tank chemistry. Give it a week or two and see if you notice any new growth.
Yeah I can give that a try. I’ll have to find a way to lower my nitrates, it’s consistently 10 and has been for a couple months. I have a pretty big refugium and I don’t feel like I feed that much but I can try feeding a little less to get it lower.
 
First Choice

DaneGer21

Valuable Member
View Badges
Joined
Jun 18, 2018
Messages
1,350
Reaction score
1,914
Location
Creston, 44217
If it were me, and it’s what I do on my 220gal mixed reef. Change a few parameters, slowly, would be my recommendation, and see what happens to those SPS.

From yours to these...
Alk - 7.0-7.3
Nitrate - 5
PO3 - .05

The rest look good. Again, this is my opinion.
 

sam.veilleux30

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
478
Reaction score
959
Location
Otterburn park, Qc
I’ve been using fritz blue box and have no issues keeping sps...
what problems are reported with this salt?

+1 on tank age being a potential problem
Read a few times people reporting problems with this brand.
Also my lfs had troubles when they were using it.
Mostly lacking consistency from what i understand.
But at the same time people report having success with it... go figure
 

sam.veilleux30

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Apr 7, 2018
Messages
478
Reaction score
959
Location
Otterburn park, Qc
What salt brand do you recommend? my friend and I switched in the last 6 months, he switched to Red Sea blue bucket and I switched to Fritz. I read some good reviews of Fritz so I wanted to try it. I also have read not to switch salts all the time and to try to keep things consistent. Would you recommend I switch now or just stick with Fritz even though it's not best?

Also I got a BRS Reactor for Christmas and I've been running Carbon, but I doubt i've seen the results of that since it's only been a week or two.
Personally i use tropic marin with good results, but normal instant ocean seem to work fine.
Also are you able to grow coraline algae?
We often read that it's really difficult to keep sps until your system is able to grow it.
Good luck
 
Zoanthids.com

What types of R2R interview articles are you most excited about?

  • Specific reef topics! (List the ones you'd like to see us cover in the thread.)

    Votes: 67 38.5%
  • Specific reef personalities! (List the people you'd like us to interview in the thread.)

    Votes: 10 5.7%
  • Not that concerned about the topics...I just wanna see the awesome PICTURES!

    Votes: 34 19.5%
  • All of the above!! ...and yes, I'll list some in the thread. :-)

    Votes: 63 36.2%

Online statistics

Members online
2,497
Guests online
6,954
Total visitors
9,451
Reef Brite the professionals choice
Top