What’s your thoughts reef tank help

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Danielv508

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Hello all it’s been a while since I’ve needed some advice I have had a reef tank now probably for about nine years. I have had what I would consider a pretty successful low maintenance reef tank which was 120 gallon oceanic tec tank. I had a very simple sump system that was pump down at my basement which was very undersized I know the sample is probably only about 10 gallons with a E shops protein skimmer read it at 125 gallon I believe I did very minimal water changes and minimal maintenance and everything always seem to do pretty dang good. Lighting on the tank was one eco-tech marine GEN to pro place directly in the center. I had probably 12 rose Bubble tip anemones which were absolutely beautiful and huge. Now for my problem that I would like some advice on. I need to downsize and ended up picking up a beautiful used red sea refer 170 which is a total of I believe 50 gallons 34 gallons in the display and the rest is in the sump I am running my same eco-tech Jen to light over the tank 10” +- over the water and in this tank I lowered the out put to I believe 50 % and my same E shops protein skimmer read that 120 gallons my water chemistry is pretty spot on according to the last Time I had it tested. The tank has been up and running pretty successfully now for about six months the problem is my RBT’s are now all the size of half dollars and some smaller they were doing great when the tank was first started and filled almost the entire tank the clown fish that I’ve had for 10 years still try to go with them still try to feed them but they just don’t seem very happy. I don’t know what’s wrong I almost forgot to mention I have a max spec Gyre pump in the back of the tank facing front which has an unbelievable amount of flow for tank that size obviously it’s not turned all the way up because it wouldn’t be any water left in the tank. I just don’t get it I have a little tank set up in my kitchen for my wife I think it’s a 6 gallon bio cube which I am sad to say is very neglected it has two clown fish in it and a cleaner shrimp and the RBT’s in her tank fill the entire tank and always have. Her tank is pretty much covered in red algae and green hair LG that I try to clean all the time but I believe it’s just in the rock and I leave it as is because of the RBT’s looks so good so I don’t wanna mess with it any info on maybe lighting. The last photo is of the tank now you can see how small the RBT’s are . Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated thanks

EFF98093-C408-4367-B45A-562172DDF8E9.jpeg 8210C4A9-B7E5-4DD5-A9C2-3FA8A1ED22F1.jpeg image.jpg
 
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Danielv508

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Also forgot to mention my green zoas that I’m nothing special I have always done fantastic now are all closed up they were pretty high in the tank and also have gotten worse and I did measure the light and I’m about 9 inches off the water.
 

iamacat

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I read through that. You might have more luck making it more reader friendly.

Regarding your issue, what I gathered is that you had an established tank and you recent transferred to a smaller tank 6 months ago. I have a couple questions.

-When you did this, did you use new rock and sand?
- what are your parameters?
 
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Danielv508

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Sorry I used my iPhone it it just doesn’t come out right. Yes this week is been set up for about 5 to 6 month parameters last time I checked which was about three weeks ago we’re fine but everything‘s been kind of slow we going down the tubes
 
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iamacat

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Sorry I used my iPhone it it just doesn’t come out right. Yes this week is been set up for about 5 to 6 month parameters last time I checked which was about three weeks ago we’re fine but everything‘s been kind of slow we going down the tubes
WHAT ARE THE PARAMETERS

did you use old sand and rock
 
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Danielv508

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OK just came back from my reef store. Everything is good but the pH is low so I bought some buffer powder and the fish store also recommended using some amino acids to feed the tank
 
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Danielv508

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I keep the salinity at .022
Temp is around 80+-
And I don’t know the numbers for the ammonia or nitrate he just said that they were good . And yes my old rock just a lot less of it and yes my old sand just thoroughly cleaned with our water till clear
 

iamacat

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I’m not sure how to direct you with the sand or rock but I am sure that is playing an effect somehow. I used all new sand a rock because I was worried about my new tank cycle being unpredictable. I also would never rinse sand. It’s safer just to buy new.

However I do not think that is what is really problematic for you right now. Your parameters are off and I’m assuming you don’t monitor regularly so I doubt the tank has consistently been kept at the numbers you listed. If I were you I would focus on swinging your parameters back in check and keep it consistent. Focus on salinity and temp. Then move to keeping the alk stable. The pH will swing with the alk so be careful with your buffer.
 

Uncle99

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Nitrates are good, ok, but are they in balance to phosphate which is not listed.
If you don’t know these numbers, that will not be a good thing.
Salinity 1.022, that’s to low.
Always rule out water chemistry first as it has the most impact.
Rule out flux of salinity or alk.
If any of these are not on point and remain on point, the chemistry is not stable.
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GeoSquid

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It sounds like you don't monitor parameters weekly. You had a larger tank before which probably had more stable water chemistry. Now, you are in a much smaller tank and the parameters may be swinging around a lot more..........Just a thought.
 

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So just looking at your tank I'm gonna comment on something you may not have thought or known of and something that has been controversial. I completely stay away from black sand. I had it before in my tank, got the Hawaiian Black live sand from CaribSea and it slowly leeched metals in my tank. Might not be an issue for others, was for me as it is a smaller system, 45g tank. I was having corals that were being very slow with growth, things dying unexplainably, etc. Just something to think and consider. If you've tried it all and can't figure it out, maybe send out an ICP test and see if metals show up. Did for me, swapped my sand, haven't had issues since.
 
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