Time to start over? Ask BRSTV, thought I'd ask my friends here, as well.

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Greybeard

Greybeard

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Have you considered that some of your soft corals may be releasing toxins, etc- ?
Your Ph - though its not terrible - and I dont usually concentrate on pH - Does it or your alk fluctuate when you are doing 'so much water changing'? Honestly - it may be that you are doing 'too much'. 40 gallons of water changes - 2 times a week (or did I misunderstand and you meant every other week - biweekly can mean both)
Lastly - where are you sourcing yoru corals, etc - Some from friends like you said - is it possible you have some coral damaging pests (AEFW, ETC) that could be causing some of yoru problems?
Is your PAR meter accurate (and your other tests)? Is the color spectrum 'correct'?

Sorry to ask so many questions - just some things I thought of.
Don't be sorry... I'm the one asking!

Yes... I've considered it. I've run carbon, doesn't seem to make any difference. With the volume of water changes I'm doing, I don't think it's softy toxins, but yeah, it's on my list.

Bi-weekly, in my case, means every other week. Basically, 25% every other week.

Coral sources, local. I'm taking frags from tanks that I look at all the time, and have been healthy for years. I don't buy online. Could I have a pest? Sure... but if so, I can't find it. I've done spotlight inspections, magnifier lens, etc. Once again, it's on my list... can't rule it out, but it's nothing obvious, and I've dealt with flatworms and such on several occasions.

Kessel spectrum AB+... it's fairly specific. Borrowed two different par meters now, both read the same.

Keep the suggestions coming... even though I haven't seen anything new yet, it's nice to know that many of you have the same suspicions that have been keeping me awake nights :)
 
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Mark

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Regarding the marine pure bricks, my opinion is they aren't helping. For these kind of mysteries, I feel like it's also a process of elimination. You have a ton of biological surface area already, alongside a refugium. ICP tests may say one thing, but I would just simplify and not carry the risk. You might be right about too little light if softies are doing well.

As for water changes, I've never seen corals change appearance due to no water changes. In fact I run my tanks on very few water changes or none. Sounds crazy, but my corals do better with a little bit of organic build up.
 
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Greybeard

Greybeard

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Regarding the marine pure bricks, my opinion is they aren't helping. For these kind of mysteries, I feel like it's also a process of elimination. You have a ton of biological surface area already, alongside a refugium. ICP tests may say one thing, but I would just simplify and not carry the risk. You might be right about too little light if softies are doing well.

As for water changes, I've never seen corals change appearance due to no water changes. In fact I run my tanks on very few water changes or none.
Removing the marine pure blocks is a move I haven't tried... easy enough to do. Might try it.

As for corals not changing appearances when you MISS a water change? I'd just say that my experiences differ from yours. When things aren't going well, I increase frequency and volume of water changes. I'd _love_ to do away with them entirely... was going to go Triton on this tank, but it did not work out for me.
 

MnFish1

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Don't be sorry... I'm the one asking!

Yes... I've considered it. I've run carbon, doesn't seem to make any difference. With the volume of water changes I'm doing, I don't think it's softy toxins, but yeah, it's on my list.

Bi-weekly, in my case, means every other week. Basically, 25% every other week.

Coral sources, local. I'm taking frags from tanks that I look at all the time, and have been healthy for years. I don't buy online. Could I have a pest? Sure... but if so, I can't find it. I've done spotlight inspections, magnifier lens, etc. Once again, it's on my list... can't rule it out, but it's nothing obvious, and I've dealt with flatworms and such on several occasions.

Kessel spectrum AB+... it's fairly specific. Borrowed two different par meters now, both read the same.

Keep the suggestions coming... even though I haven't seen anything new yet, it's nice to know that many of you have the same suspicions that have been keeping me awake nights :)
Have you matched the parameters in your tank - vs the parameters in the tanks you're taking the stuff from? Alk, pH, Lighting, etc.
 

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I've had bad experience in the past with dry mined rock. A lot of it is loaded with phosphates that leach out over time. Part of the issue is that it's also leaching out around the surface of the rock where the corals are, so concentrations right around the coral might even be higher than what you measure in the water... and those levels will shut off coral growth.

The only way I'd consider using dry rock is running the rock for at least six months in a bucket with a GFO reactor. Also a muratic acid bath can help in some instances remove high levels that might be in the surface.

As another poster mentioned, Tampa Bay saltwater is sustainable, and makes for a super stable tank... can't recommend them enough.
 

maevepotter

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Based on what you're saying, your pH is too low, and if you only have a 6 hour day on your lights, that's way too little light. I leave mine on 12-14 hours a day generally.

Do you use a gas stove? If so, try opening windows and using a fan to pull air into the house. I was boiling water for tea many times a day and was making the air quality in my house really bad which was keeping my pH artificially low. I also think the water changes sound excessive.
 

brandon429

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Two points to ponder

1. Reduce your lighting 30% -40% off current and continue trying, see if they still bleach as fast or slower. That reduction won’t hurt current doing well corals. You need to know how bleaching rates compare vs 30-40% lower for a while as a new evaluation.


2. Don’t blend methods from tank tuners. Pick one method here, run it solely for two months, then move on. Nobody ever does this, they pick what they think is best from the palette but give the wheel over instead for two months as a remote pilot excluding anyone’s offer, don’t blend. Pick your mechanic drop car off don’t hover :) remotely piloted of course but figuratively speaking. That’s the best way to regenerate the tank for reef building corals/hermatypics are your only challenge. Better than an invasion or dinos challenge. Reef looks nice in pics
 
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sarcophytonIndy

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Regarding the marine pure bricks, my opinion is they aren't helping. For these kind of mysteries, I feel like it's also a process of elimination. You have a ton of biological surface area already, alongside a refugium. ICP tests may say one thing, but I would just simplify and not carry the risk. You might be right about too little light if softies are doing well.

As for water changes, I've never seen corals change appearance due to no water changes. In fact I run my tanks on very few water changes or none. Sounds crazy, but my corals do better with a little bit of organic build up.
I have not done a water change in 9 months and my stuff looks great. Something must be leaching into the water if you have to change it that often.
 
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sarcophytonIndy

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Your tank seems a bit on the sterile side. Do you have pods and worms and other sump creatures? If not, you might try trading a scoop of sand with a fellow mature reef owner.
 

ADAM

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Do you have sponges growing anywhere noticeable? Could be silicate passing thru in the RO/DI from the water source. If there are sponges noticeably growing they may consume the silicate before it would show in a test, ICP or home kit. Also the sponges themself are harmful, based on reefbuilders article, as they release some pretty strong toxins in the water which also wouldn’t show on ICP or home test kits. I saw a tremendous difference once I switched to the BRS pro-resin for deionization, this was due to silicate and nitrate passing thru the standard blue resin.
Second thing that stands out is the amount of biofiltration. Between the cheato, MarinePure, and Xenia is there any nutrients in the water for the corals to have?

OMG, remember years back when folks were using Xenia based refugiums and complained when the tank got taken over with little pumping wavy hands!? That stuff could be worse than grape calupera when it stared to spread.
 
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Maacc

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1) Why? Aluminum is not high... that's the only downside I've ever heard with marinepure. Something else I'm missing?
2) Even my softies start looking bad if I miss a water change.
3) Not a bad idea... might end up going that way... Tank is currently free of aptasia, and I dearly like it that way...
4) T5's in photo are gone. 2x Kessel AP700's are current lighting, running AB+ color, at 40% intensity, for a 6 hour day. Softies (low light) corals are growing great... SPS and LPS, even in shaded areas, are not. Might be too little light, certainly not too much.
5) Have done so, and I'm running 2x temp probes on my Apex, but yeah... always good advice.
Just saw this, and whether it shows on icp or not, it appears there must be some kind of toxicity issue or maybe if the xenia are out of control, a specific trace deficit issue.
I love the dimensions of the tank, I have the exact same one except 24" tall. I only do 1 or 2 water changes per year of about 100 gallons.
Your setup and mine are pretty close except I use a calcium reactor and I have a turbo aquatics algae scrubber.
I have had this tank up almost 4 years and it has gone as long as 14 months without a water change and looked no worse for wear.
I would consider changing out all your ro filter stages along with the membrane, then do an 80%-100% massive water change for a reset. It sounds superstitious but whenever someone gets really off the wall stuff changing out the ro components can have a positive impact.
 

Sailfinguy21

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I use plain city tap water.. chloramines and all.. i doubt its his water filter missing something lol but everyones water is different.

I would chane salts.. what kind of salt are you using.. id drain half the tank or more and go with instant oceon reef crystals... I would have also kept the T5s... i hate LEDS personally.. (turn em up.. turn em down... burn corals.. not enough light.. too much light... they use almost the same amount of power.. and thr light isnt uniform..

T5s the light is uniform.. is closer to natural light then LEDS ever will be.. but thats just me.. i know alot of growers who switch back to t5s.

I would take all the leathers out of the tank. Do a huge water change with different salt like i mentioned. And see what happens then. 6 hrs isnt long enough either.. i keep my lights on 10-12 hours a day.

Ive also seen first hand what leathers can do to sps.. one time petco (yes i know but they have a 60g frag tank its nice) had this massive bigger then fist toadstool leather... It was unhappy and with 2 days of getting it.. they lost 400$ in sps.. litterally the sps died in 2 days i kid you not.
 

Mr. Brooks

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Your issues sound similar to something I ran into a while back. Have you ever sent your water change water in for testing?

This is why I ask, I had a RODI water mixing station with a pump that had a bad seal. It was leaching metal into my new saltwater. Every time I would do a water change, I was adding heavy metals. The heavy metals were mostly being sucked up by the algae before they could show up on a test. But not before killing off my coral. Every time I did a water change thinking I was helping, I was actually making things worse. Just something to think about to help narrow it down a little more.
 

23Andy23

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Lower your light intensity, that's all I've got after reading everything, lower your light intensity, get some test corals and see how it goes
 

chefjpaul

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Your tank seems a bit on the sterile side. Do you have pods and worms and other sump creatures? If not, you might try trading a scoop of sand with a fellow mature reef owner.
I had many issues as well, I have started a few tanks with Marco Rock. Until I added a rather large diversity of bacteria's, "gunk" from likes of GARF, sponges, abundant amount of pods, LIFE and various creatures, the Ecosystem didn't function healthy.

I am currently happy since upping the system with various life forms and bacteria's, that I can maintain it with simple macros now. I still dump random bottle bacteria or "ocean dirt" every 6 months or so. Hasn't hert yet.

Stay voltage was a good question, but wouldn't fish be affected?
 

Sailfinguy21

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I had many issues as well, I have started a few tanks with Marco Rock. Until I added a rather large diversity of bacteria's, "gunk" from likes of GARF, sponges, abundant amount of pods, LIFE and various creatures, the Ecosystem didn't function healthy.

I am currently happy since upping the system with various life forms and bacteria's, that I can maintain it with simple macros now. I still dump random bottle bacteria or "ocean dirt" every 6 months or so. Hasn't hert yet.

Stay voltage was a good question, but wouldn't fish be affected?

Fish are naturally grounded to the water.. so no they wouldnt.. at least i think they wouldnt
 

ca1ore

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Even my softies start looking bad if I miss a water change.
That, to me, suggests something’s missing. I can go many months without doing a WC before I notice anything amiss. You’ve done triton tests, and use two part, but perhaps there’s something that those don’t detect or don’t add. I’m loath to advice anybody to spend $1K on kit, and maybe you’re right that a CaRx wouldn’t help, but I really don’t see anything amiss otherwise .
 

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