Struggling with SPS - I think

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neotactical

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I've had a mixed reef going for well over a year now.

Tank - Waterbox Frag 105.4
Reef Octopus Skimmer
Full APEX system including Trident

Alk, CA, and Mg all stay pretty consistent through my Trident output:

Alk - 8.48
CA - 402
MG - 1332

Lighting up until recently consisted of 2 XR15 Blues. I recently added a Aquatic Life T5HO Hybrid and I'm now running the XR15's and 2 T5 Blue Plus and 2 T5 Coral Plus

I was struggling with having 0 nitrates for a long time - I recently started dosing Nitrate and it's been around 15ppm via Hanna Nitrate HR. That may be a bit high? Phosphates have been pretty consistently under .05 via Hanna Checker Phosphate ULR.

I picked up a small SPS frag from my LFS and it was doing great when I added it. Recently the tips started to brown a bit and then lower parts of the frag started to bleach out and lose tissue, so I did move it down as it was getting around 320 par where it was. LFS had no idea what SPS it was? I have zero issues with mushrooms, zoanthids and LPS. They all thrive in my tank. I've attached my PAR log over the past 7 days - the par meter has been placed where the SPS coral is.

Where should I start looking first, as I really want to keep SPS? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Screen Shot 2022-11-10 at 11.59.42 PM.png
 
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mdb_talon

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Try to get a pic on here under shorter lights or use a filter. As far as par it can make a difference if we talking acros or digi for example. In general I would say start them at lower par than what you did unless you know they came out of a high par tank.


15 nitrate and .05 phosphate won't be causing death like that. You mention it was zero for awhile was that when u had the coral in there?

This won't help, but just as encouragement I would say if you wanting sps don't let this hold you back. It is not uncommon for new sps frags to die. Especially if you are new to them you may have bought a unhealthy one without even knowing. If the store don't even know what type of sps it is then I doubt they have the best husbandry(maybe an unfair assumption but I sticking with it). If this one dies try again make sure you get an "easy" variety that you like. One of the bright neon green tenius I find nearly unkillable, digis are usually pretty hardy. "Green slimer" is another really hardy one.
 
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neotactical

neotactical

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Try to get a pic on here under shorter lights or use a filter. As far as par it can make a difference if we talking acros or digi for example. In general I would say start them at lower par than what you did unless you know they came out of a high par tank.


15 nitrate and .05 phosphate won't be causing death like that. You mention it was zero for awhile was that when u had the coral in there?

This won't help, but just as encouragement I would say if you wanting sps don't let this hold you back. It is not uncommon for new sps frags to die. Especially if you are new to them you may have bought a unhealthy one without even knowing. If the store don't even know what type of sps it is then I doubt they have the best husbandry(maybe an unfair assumption but I sticking with it). If this one dies try again make sure you get an "easy" variety that you like. One of the bright neon green tenius I find nearly unkillable, digis are usually pretty hardy. "Green slimer" is another really hardy one.
Yes - the coral was in there when it was zero. I do have some other frags that I won on ebay and they are on a rack currently that I've been moving up and down to get them adjusted. They are as follows:

Mile Hile Latistella
CB Purple Planet
Grape Juice Acro
PC Rainbow Acro
Rommel's Rainbow Acro
Jason Fox Beach Bum
CB Flaming Phoenix Monti
Confusa Monti

I picked these all up a couple weeks ago when I thought I added more light. So far these are all doing well, but I haven't found their home yet so frag racks it is for now.
 
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I am also a newbie to SPS but I think the coral was stressed when 1st added to the tank (and u only starting to see the issues now).
Based on my experiences, I always have new frags way down in the bottom (around 150 PAR). They would stay down there for at least 6-8 weeks before I moved them up. Yes, most of them browned or turned greenish but I haven't lost a single frag by doing this.
 

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I am also a newbie to SPS but I think the coral was stressed when 1st added to the tank (and u only starting to see the issues now).
Based on my experiences, I always have new frags way down in the bottom (around 150 PAR). They would stay down there for at least 6-8 weeks before I moved them up. Yes, most of them browned or turned greenish but I haven't lost a single frag by doing this.
I respectfully disagree. Alk of 8.5 with those NO3 and PO4 numbers is perfect. 6 is too low under any circumstance.
 
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thatmanMIKEson

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Oops meant to quote @sculpin01
7dkh is natural seawater. But yes I wouldn't run 7 and under unless your really ontop of testing and dosing to maintain 7dkh

Nothing wrong with op's#'s
 

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Oops meant to quote @sculpin01
No worries, thank you for clarifying!
To the OP, be patient and don't give up. Stability is your best friend.
Here are my SPS collection. All of them started out as tiny 1"-2" frags
My numbers are
N= 30-40
P= 0.09-0.18
Alk= 8.2-8.6
I don't test for anything esle.
 

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ScottB

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Nothing wrong with your parameters. Those are some nice specimen frags you picked up there and a nice setup as well.

Lets see how that next set come along; the first might just be a fluke. Even of the new set, one or two just might not take.

Assuming you keep those parameters (along with temp, salinity) and have fish providing a steady dribble of ammonia you should be fine. If none of the new ones take, then the biome is just not mature enough. With dead rock starts, somewhere around the 12-18 month mark the microbiome tends to stabilize assuming no major upsets to it (Vibrant, Chemiclean, 0/0 nutrient).
 
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neotactical

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I figured it out - I burned it. I also burned a Yuma and a few other sps that came in just after I had decided this frag was doing awesome, and assuming it might be starving from light. All the new frags are now on the bottom and appear to be doing so so - there's definitely some stress, but I think they might be alright. The OG SPS is now toast. I've it laying in the sand as there's some small amounts of tissue left, but I doubt it will make it.
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sculpin01

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So tip burn or light burn?

As an aside, I keep all of my new corals in ~100-150 PAR for 1-3 weeks (depending on if they are aquacultured or wild) in my high phosphate tank prior to putting them in higher light. I find this decreases my losses significantly.
 

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I figured it out - I burned it. I also burned a Yuma and a few other sps that came in just after I had decided this frag was doing awesome, and assuming it might be starving from light. All the new frags are now on the bottom and appear to be doing so so - there's definitely some stress, but I think they might be alright. The OG SPS is now toast. I've it laying in the sand as there's some small amounts of tissue left, but I doubt it will make it.
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Got a pic of the OG problem child?
I've had near death experiences that come back. Don't lose hope.
 
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neotactical

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Nothing wrong with your parameters. Those are some nice specimen frags you picked up there and a nice setup as well.

Lets see how that next set come along; the first might just be a fluke. Even of the new set, one or two just might not take.

Assuming you keep those parameters (along with temp, salinity) and have fish providing a steady dribble of ammonia you should be fine. If none of the new ones take, then the biome is just not mature enough. With dead rock starts, somewhere around the 12-18 month mark the microbiome tends to stabilize assuming no major upsets to it (Vibrant, Chemiclean, 0/0 nutrient

So tip burn or light burn?

As an aside, I keep all of my new corals in ~100-150 PAR for 1-3 weeks (depending on if they are aquacultured or wild) in my high phosphate tank prior to putting them in higher light. I find this decreases my losses significantly.

I'd say light burn, since most of the coral was affected. I've never acclimated SPS to my lights - I just assumed they were used to high light and put them there. Maybe that explains why I've been unsuccessful. With this new light setup - I am struggling a bit to find the perfect balance. I did move everything onto racks that are now on the bottom of the tank, so hopefully the new ones will make it. They had some nice polyp extension last night. One thing that I would like to point out though - in the past when I just had the two XR-15's I'd get an SPS frag (mostly green slimer as my LFS always has those and he sells them for like $10) they would do awesome at the top - i'd start to get new growth and then all of a sudden they'd start to die off. I was always thinking it was because I didn't have enough light.
 
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Most SPS do come from high par so I am surprised you have to leave them in low light for so long...
I don't, I stick them right under high light from day 1. I have 35 frags and mini colonies growing like that with no losses.
 
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I don't, I stick them right under high light from day 1. I have 35 frags and mini colonies growing like that with no losses.
Regardless of your source for frags? Meaning - you will give them high light even if you don't know the parameters they were receiving?
 
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Regardless of your source for frags? Meaning - you will give them high light even if you don't know the parameters they were receiving?
No one growing or selling acros will have them under low light....cuz they prefer high light....
 

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Regardless of your source for frags? Meaning - you will give them high light even if you don't know the parameters they were receiving?
Yea, I just place them where I think will look good growing out. No light acclimation period. They are coming from high par frag tanks. I don't dip SPS either. I turkey baste them good and check the water for any potential pests. Shipping stresses them then throw them in a dip, their immune system might collapse and then they die off.
 
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