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Tank crashing, losing stonies

Brockly

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Help, losing sps sticks, favias, chalices etc. tank is just over 3 years old. Have had happy sps for over 2 years. Levels and logs in the photos. Tank is 100 gallons, have Protine skimmer and marine pure bricks for filtration. Random carbon from time to time. Calcium reactor, radion gen 4 pros on modified but mostly AB+.

Story. Around end of March everything was very happy. I started dosing brightwell coral amino for about 3 weeeks or so to try and feed/boost colors. It had the opposite effect. And without the refugium (been offline for a year) it was raising my nitrate and phosphate and muted out colors on a few corals. So I stopped.

Then April/May I noticed the hellrider favia and green slimer sps started peeling tissue. They acted like when I had a larger alk spike to high 8s. Last year. My tank has always been happy in the 7s Then in June almost everything started declining rapidly. That was around the time I swapped salts from reef crystals to Red Sea blue bucket as it’s closer to my target levels.

I did a few water changes and ran some carbon and a small hit of feric oxide to remove phosphates. Things weren’t improving. So I did more water changes. Then realized my refractometer was out of calibration and the tank was up to 41 salinity. That was just over a week ago. I don’t know if has been off for months or just in the last month because of the water changes. Things were unhappy before the waterchanges. But did get worse after them. The salinity has been corrected for a week.

At this point things are looking pretty desperate. I know I need time. But I hoped correcting salinity would be it and at least stabilize. Then wait for the corals to heal up over the next Months but they are still declining. Any advise other then (more time) there is an icp test in the mail. And I have a hard time thinking it’s the salt, but would potentially swap back to reef crystals.

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vetteguy53081

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You said time to time on CA Reactor?
It should be running at constant. I wonder what your Alk And calcium levels are at as well as Ph ??
Did your salinity get high?
Also have you checked for stray voltage?
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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You said time to time on CA Reactor?
It should be running at constant. I wonder what your Alk And calcium levels are at as well as Ph ??
Did your salinity get high?
Also have you checked for stray voltage?
Time to time on carbon. All levels are in the post graphic for last few months. Dkh is mid 7 at the moment. Pretty good spot for my tank historically. Calcium is at 500 so it’s high, ph is 7.7 - 7.9. I did have a salinity spike. It’s been corrected. And I have a grounding probe in the tank ( I thought for stray voltage) but if not how should I test for stray voltage?
 

Chaswood79

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41 salinity means all of your major, minor, and trace elements were probably elevated. I’d run some brightwells purit or polyfilter. Hopefully everything will recover now that you have corrected your salinity.
 

olidaniels

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have you tried an ICP test?

I’ve seen a few people having problems with marine pure blocks releasing Aluminium
 

SeaDweller

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I’m gonna catch flack for this, but your period of time with the elevated n and p (25+ ppm, 0.20+ ppm) might have done them in. There’ll be ones who will quote me and say “well I or so and so shop runs 25 NO3 and 0.15+ PO4 and they’re fine”, but I’ve (and others I know) had issues with elevated N and P, and have experimented at home with different levels too. Things would peel as you described with elevated P, simple as that.
 

Chaswood79

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I’m gonna catch flack for this, but your period of time with the elevated n and p (25+ ppm, 0.20+ ppm) might have done them in. There’ll be ones who will quote me and say “well I or so and so shop runs 25 NO3 and 0.15+ PO4 and they’re fine”, but I’ve (and others I know) had issues with elevated N and P, and have experimented at home with different levels too. Things would peel as you described with elevated P, simple as that.
You think 0.15 po4 and 25 no3 could of caused the issues over 41 salinity, 550 cal and lord knows what else was elevated?


Po4 went from 0.15 to 0 as well in June. Probably over did the gfo. I’m just guessing though
 

SeaDweller

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You think 0.15 po4 and 25 no3 could of caused the issues over 41 salinity, 550 cal and lord knows what else was elevated?
Me no reading 41 salinity, too long. Me skip to logs, me likey. I ran 550 Ca (not on purpose) remember? Can’t say elevated Ca was a problem for me, 41 salt may be.

I still don’t like elevated P in his equation.
 

Chaswood79

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Me no reading 41 salinity, too long. Me skip to logs, me likey. I ran 550 Ca (not on purpose) remember? Can’t say elevated Ca was a problem for me, 41 salt may be.

I still don’t like elevated P in his equation.
Huh?????
Did you just have a mini stroke?? Should we call an ambulance??
 
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MichaelE

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You correcting the salinity won’t show immediate effects, there’s always a bit of delay in both positive and negative effects (provided you don’t dump battery acid in the tank or something, then it will be instant hehe) but it will definitely help.

In this situation I would absolutely do an ICP test just to make sure that this isn’t a case of some contaminant making its way in to your tank.

In the meantime I would do frequent but small water changes to help get rid of any possible problem without shocking the corals (and keep an eye on N and P so that they don’t bottom out).
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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41 salinity means all of your major, minor, and trace elements were probably elevated. I’d run some brightwells purit or polyfilter. Hopefully everything will recover now that you have corrected your salinity.
I have been running purit to try and suck anything out that might be in there.
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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have you tried an ICP test?

I’ve seen a few people having problems with marine pure blocks releasing Aluminium
I have a icp test in the mail now. I’ve had the blocks for 3 years. My last test was in November and there was nothing out of wack at that time
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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You think 0.15 po4 and 25 no3 could of caused the issues over 41 salinity, 550 cal and lord knows what else was elevated?


Po4 went from 0.15 to 0 as well in June. Probably over did the gfo. I’m just guessing though
If I had to guess it’s not a high calcium issue as that is pretty common for my tank. My corals and coraline seem to take up alk more then calcium. From the reactor it tends to run high. I’ve corrected it and it just swings back that way in time.
I hope it’s just the salt. Time will tell. I just hoped things would at Least stabilize in the last week. The favias, and chalices have me stumped as being effected . And things like wwc slimeball anacropora, garf Bosnia, and incredibly hardy sps and they are being effected. So I am again, stuck on salinity as the only real abnormal outlier.
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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You correcting the salinity won’t show immediate effects, there’s always a bit of delay in both positive and negative effects (provided you don’t dump battery acid in the tank or something, then it will be instant hehe) but it will definitely help.

In this situation I would absolutely do an ICP test just to make sure that this isn’t a case of some contaminant making its way in to your tank.

In the meantime I would do frequent but small water changes to help get rid of any possible problem without shocking the corals (and keep an eye on N and P so that they don’t bottom out).
Thanks. My tank historically has been happiest as an ultra low nutrient tank. 0-5 nitrate 0 - .8 phosphate with an all around 7.

but they have had the elevated numbers now for many months. I did drop the phosphate to zero quickly with some ferric oxide 2 months ago. I’m sure they were unhappy about that. But it being elevated at the time was an abnormality.
 
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maroun.c

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Sorry to hear.
looks like as series of mishaps that weakened up your corals so now the smallest change is causing losses.
The nutrients spike and even more the fast drop of Po4 is known to kill corals.
the salinity spike which I believe you mention was dsicovered last week needs to be fixed very very slow (as your corals are already weakened and can't tolerate shocks anymore.
take the time to bring it back slowly to normal and then make few water changes, run Carbon and maybe a polyfilter just in case there was a contamination you missed.
You mention Marine pure bricks, I'd watch out for Aluminum levels, your coming ICP should tell.
for each time I had a mishap in my tank over the years I continued to see corals unhappy and have losses for 6-8 weeks at times, yet when the tank starts to recover it'll quickly let you know with colors improving and growth.
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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Yeah, it’s a waiting game now. Not much else I can think of to do but wait. It’s hard watching things die I’ve been growing for 3 years. I have some big colonies and it’s my first time with sps. Welcome to the dark side I guess.
Is there any validity to fragging some of the sticks to see if the small frags can recover compared to the mother colonies?
 

maroun.c

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In such a scenario where its not typical RTN, stressed colonies frags are mostly not able to handle fragging stress, but its nonharm trying on a few.
 
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Brockly

Brockly

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Got back my ICP test. I don’t see anything way out of the norm. My tank is still declining it’s been just over 2 weeks since the salinity was corrected. I can only sit at watch at this point. What’s your experience with stray voltage. I tested the tank and it has about 30 volts accumulated in it. There is no faulty pump or anything that is doing it. It’s just the natural accumulation of all the pumps and heaters we have in a modern tank. I get about 2-6 volts per device that add up to the total. so I would believe it’s pretty normal.

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