Struggling nephtheas / sinularias

Adrian87

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Hi i was hoping for a little advice or guidance here with an issue ive been having for a couple years. I have an 850 gallon predator tank (couple sharks, an eel and a few tangs) in which i have a few rock structures i "grow" leather and soft corals. My heliopora, sarcophyton, pink devils hand and neon green sinularia are all doing well especially the sarcophyton. The problem im having is most of my nephtheas and sinularias (aside from the neon green one) will not grow and spend most of their life shriveled up if the slightest thing upsets them they close for at least a month. If anything id say they are slowly shrinking due to everytime they close up for a month they drop some tips.
I run rox carbon at the recommend amount at least once a month to help fight chemical warefare but i dont see a difference. I tried ozone but they hated it. I admit i have high nutrients though everything i read suggests that shouldnt be a problem for soft/leathers
My parameters are:
Phosphate 0.5 ppm
Nitrate 75 ppm
Alkalinity 7.2 dkh
Calcium 480 ppm
Magnesium 1550 ppm

I also have an icp attached.

I am currently working on lowering nitrates with carbon dosing into a reactor i built loaded with matrix and other media. The max water change i can do at once is 75 gal and it doesnt seem to affect the nitrate at all which i found odd. Testing with a hanna nitrate high range checker

Any help or suggestions much appreciated!

Screenshot_20220813_100108.jpg Screenshot_20220813_100045.jpg Screenshot_20220813_100023.jpg
 
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Adrian87

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Nutrients are high due to the type of food required for a predator tank but how much light and flow are the soft corals getting?
Basically each coral has its own kessil a360x above it. I rented a par meter one day and found they were all getting roughly between 100-160 par. They do get blasted with flow by my closed loops and oceans motion. The only coral that id say needs more flow is the heliopora though its doing ok for now.
 

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Basically each coral has its own kessil a360x above it. I rented a par meter one day and found they were all getting roughly between 100-160 par. They do get blasted with flow by my closed loops and oceans motion. The only coral that id say needs more flow is the heliopora though its doing ok for now.
Well perhaps you identified the source of your problem with getting blasted with flow.
 
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Adrian87

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With an 800g predator tank. It's hard to suggest things. Lol.
Ud need a gigantic diy bio pellet reactor and feed it into a giant skimmer. Lol.
I have a gigantic diy nitrate reactor which is fed into a 7' tall skimmer rated for 1500 gallons. The reactor is 4x the size of my old one which i just upgraded to a month ago so im still hoping to see better results once the bacteria has more time to colonize. Its basically 10' of 4" pipe packed with matrix and other media with slow flow through it and carbon dosing. I based it of another's design called the "donovan nitrate destroyer". I will say the corals didnt like it when i upgraded the reactor it could have been from a sudden spike of nitrate from removing the old reactor.. though this isnt the first time ive been having issues with these corals its been on and off for a couple years
 
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Adrian87

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Well perhaps you identified the source of your problem with getting blasted with flow.
I say blasted but its still less flow than youd see in an sps tank or in the wild. I have tried turning the flow off though out of curiosity and saw no difference.
Also i have different colonies in different areas of the tank with different light and flow though they have the same symptoms
 
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Adrian87

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My phone takes terrible tank pictures so these are a little pointless but here they are. I tried panoramic mode for the full tank shot becuase its 10' long id have to stand too far back to get the whole thing
 

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Adrian87

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Looks healthy. Puffy. Full of water. You say they've been bothered like this for awhile. Could one of your fish be rubbing against them or eating/picking at them?
D
I havent seen any fish picking on them nor do i have any suspicions as its just tangs sharks and an eel. I have looked for nudis etc but dont see anything.. Some corals are very healthy (sarcophytons and heliopora) its just a couple colonies of nephthea that i cant keep happy for the life of me.
 
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My phone takes terrible tank pictures so these are a little pointless but here they are. I tried panoramic mode for the full tank shot becuase its 10' long id have to stand too far back to get the whole thing
Hard to believe that is 850 gallons by the pictures. You should have a little more white light to get a better look at the whole of the tank. You could use a little more rocks I think, don't know the weight of the rocks you have now. I would guess that you need the extra room for your large fish. It is never pointless to take photos of your tank. Some of us love to look at other's reefs.
 
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Adrian87

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Hard to believe that is 850 gallons by the pictures. You should have a little more white light to get a better look at the whole of the tank. You could use a little more rocks I think, don't know the weight of the rocks you have now. I would guess that you need the extra room for your large fish. It is never pointless to take photos of your tank. Some of us love to look at other's reefs.
The "panoramic" camera setting distorts the width if i take a photo its longer. The dimensions are a little bigger than 10' x 4' and yes with sharks you want minimal rock work just enough to give em a couple "hiding" spots.
 
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I would add more rock to that right structure or possibly make a long wall along the back wall or a large cave structure.
Wish I knew what to tell you here sorry.
Lot of people dosing liquids to the tank. E.g. chemicals to reduce phosphates and nitrates. I don't know what it is though.
D
 
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Adrian87

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I would add more rock to that right structure or possibly make a long wall along the back wall or a large cave structure.
Wish I knew what to tell you here sorry.
Lot of people dosing liquids to the tank. E.g. chemicals to reduce phosphates and nitrates. I don't know what it is though.
D
I appreciate your input but doing that isnt in the best interest of the main reason i have this tank (sharks). The corals come second.

What is the reason you suggest that though? Biological filtration? I am trying to achieve that with my pounds of matrix and my bio balls. If i were to add any more live rock it would be externally in a large reservior or something
 

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