The Fluval Evo where all things soft die

ajxackt

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Hi guys!

I have had a fluval Evo for nearly a year. My plan was Xenia hell, because who doesn't love a tank with Xenia on every surface and a couple clowns to play in it?

Apparently this tank had other ideas.

If it is soft, it dies. Soft corals, mushroom coral, xenia, zoas, seahares, anemones, etc. It does fine for a couple days, maybe a couple weeks, then melts or deflates or both.

The snails, hermits, clowns, urchin, and hard coral? Doing amazing. The lobo lost a little color when I had to reduce the light for a couple weeks because of an algae problem, but it's bouncing back. The hammer is always fully extended and both hard coral eat like champs.

I do have a hair algae problem that I'm working with right now.

But now that you know the predicament, here's some info:

Fluval Evo 13
Fluval PS2 skimmer
Stock return pump
Carbon, phosguard, purigen
1in sand bed
Started with live and dry rock. There is very little coralline growth.
2 clowns and a molly
Snails: nerite, cerith, nass, super nass, olive sandsifter, trochus, turbo
Tuxedo urchin
Hermits: red leg, blue leg, zebra.

Salt: OmegaSea

Some params (API liquid tests)
Ammonia: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <5ppm
Phosphate: ~1.0ppm
pH: 8.3
ALK: 9-10
Calcium: 400
Mag (salifert, tested 2 weeks ago): 1000
Copper: 0

Foods:
Corals get BRS reef chili mixed into a paste with Hikari Coralific Delite and baby brine. The fish get marine pellets and the inverts get everything left over and algae wafers

Working on increasing Mag with supplements.

The thing that gets me the most is I've never been able to keep softs, not even when the tank was new.

Any tips? Ideas?
 
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Randy Holmes-Farley

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Nitrate may be too low for them.

What do you use for top off water?

How long have the other inverts been in the tank, like snails or hermit crabs? Do they die?

Do you get all the soft corals from the same vendor?
 

davidcalgary29

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I'd get rid of the phosguard and the skimmer. The PS2 skimmer is only mediocre at best, in any case, and won't do much for your bioload.

How much do you feed? I feed pretty heavily, and my softies and the LPS love it. The SPS on the other hand...
 
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ajxackt

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Thanks for all the tips so far!
Did you try leathers? Those are near impossible to kill.
I’d bet it’s nitrates also. Most softies like a fair amount of nitrates in the water for feeding and pretty strong light.
What’s the salinity and temp, maybe it’s as simple as that?
I have had long polyp leathers and yeah, they eventually went limp and melted. Would the lack of nitrates also kill nems?

Salinity sits between 1.024-1.026 and temp sits at a steady 78.
I'd get rid of the phosguard and the skimmer. The PS2 skimmer is only mediocre at best, in any case, and won't do much for your bioload.

How much do you feed? I feed pretty heavily, and my softies and the LPS love it. The SPS on the other hand...
I have noticed the skimmer picking up a lot, which I did not expect. I get a nice dark skim most of the time. I got it to help with the hair algae problem and keep the dissolved oxygen high.

I feel like I feed a lot. I feed the pellets and wafers daily and every other day I give the corals their paste and put in some reef chili

Nitrate may be too low for them.

What do you use for top off water?

How long have the other inverts been in the tank, like snails or hermit crabs? Do they die?

Do you get all the soft corals from the same vendor?
I top off with RODI water I get from my LFS.

The inverts have all been in the tank since the tank finished cycling. I've only had a couple snail deaths, but I blame the hermits for that because I quickly saw their shells being used.

I've gotten softies from several shops around the area, but I know they have come from at least Biota and Quality Marine. All of my nems have come from the same vendor though.
 
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davidcalgary29

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I feel like I feed a lot. I feed the pellets and wafers daily and every other day I give the corals their paste and put in some reef chili
I feed my tanks three times a day! I admit that I feed too much, though.

Xenia seems to enjoy quite a bit of current, even though its keepers probably would prefer it to move slowly and gently. I've got a bunch next to a MP40 in my RSM250, and it's thriving in the current. In fact, I can say the same for the softies in my Evo after I upgraded my return pump to a Sicce 1.0: I've got it pointed straight at some gorgonians, which have at least doubled in size this past year. I think softies like a lot more water flow than people seem to think that they need.

I'd skip the leather and go with a Grube's gorgonian if you're looking for a striking-yet-indestructible coral. They seem to thrive in any condition.
 

Sharkbait19

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I can’t keep shrooms happy, so I won’t comment there.
I can see a leather getting unhappy, but when one dies there has to be something seriously up imo. I only lost one due to poorly rubber banding it and strangling it.
Nems don’t do well in new tanks, 6 months to a year is the earliest.
 

davidcalgary29

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I can’t keep shrooms happy, so I won’t comment there.
I can see a leather getting unhappy, but when one dies there has to be something seriously up imo. I only lost one due to poorly rubber banding it and strangling it.
Nems don’t do well in new tanks, 6 months to a year is the earliest.
Exception: rock flower anemones, which are tough little creatures. And beautiful!
 
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ajxackt

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Exception: rock flower anemones, which are tough little creatures. And beautiful!
I love rockflowers!
Once I for sure have this algae problem out of control and I can keep some kind of soft thing in the tank alive I'm going to try those instead of BTAs.
 
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