What is eating my SPS?

ibondy

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SPS was doing fine for last 3 months and this morning this is what I found. I did Coral RX dip and nothing came out. Any ideas?

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Highgrade

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Is tissue sloughing off or do the spots appear to be bare with no loose tissue? Major culprits are AEFW or RTN/STN usually stemming from parameter issues, nutrients, trace metals, stray voltage, checmical treatments,etc...
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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It appears spots are bare with no loose tissue, but also there is one spot which appears as a loose piece. I am keeping my ALK at 11.5 but last week it got up to 12.5. Could that be a cause? All other SPS/corals in the tank are doing good.
Thank you!
 

Highgrade

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It appears spots are bare with no loose tissue, but also there is one spot which appears as a loose piece. I am keeping my ALK at 11.5 but last week it got up to 12.5. Could that be a cause? All other SPS/corals in the tank are doing good.
Thank you!
Its very well possible it didn't like the ALK jump and is now RTN/STN. I know most acros can tolerate elevated ALK as long as it is ramped up gradually, seems most people prefer 8.5-9 range for Acro's. My past experience with high ALK I would have explosive growth but the growth patterns were odd, such as thin branches. Not to mention the nutrient uptake was higher as well so it was tough to keep a happy medium in order to keep things stable.
 

Hemmdog

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What are your nitrate and phosphate levels.
Did you have any temp swings recently? Power outage?
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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What are your nitrate and phosphate levels.
Did you have any temp swings recently? Power outage?
My temp is running within 1 F, No issues there. Nitrates and phosphates steady for last few months at 20 and 0.20, little on the higher side, but steady. Only recent change was running air line from outdoor to skimmer to raise Ph in the tank. Went from average of 7.86 to 8.14 over about week or so now. Now steady with range between 8.05-8.25.
 

Silver14SS

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Has it stayed bare white all day or has anything collected on the skeleton?
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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Its very well possible it didn't like the ALK jump and is now RTN/STN. I know most acros can tolerate elevated ALK as long as it is ramped up gradually, seems most people prefer 8.5-9 range for Acro's. My past experience with high ALK I would have explosive growth but the growth patterns were odd, such as thin branches. Not to mention the nutrient uptake was higher as well so it was tough to keep a happy medium in order to keep things stable.
I am following Red Sea program and 11.5 dKH is their target for mixed reef. I am thinking about dropping to 9-10 dKH range and gain more stability. Thanks for sharing your experience.
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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Has it stayed bare white all day or has anything collected on the skeleton?
Staying white and looks like I can see outline of polyps, or just my wishful thinking. ;)
 

Hemmdog

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I am following Red Sea program and 11.5 dKH is their target for mixed reef. I am thinking about dropping to 9-10 dKH range and gain more stability. Thanks for sharing your experience.
The same thing happened to my first round of acros. I was running my alk that high and similar nutrient levels as you. I dropped my alk to 8.6 over 2 weeks and nothing as rtn’d since. My nutrients have become lower over time to near trace, things are still doing great.
 

SawCJack00

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Your PO4 is quite high at .2 it should be closer to the range of .03-.1. I would also consider lowering your Alk to closer to 8-9 DKH.
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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Your PO4 is quite high at .2 it should be closer to the range of .03-.1. I would also consider lowering your Alk to closer to 8-9 DKH.
Bill, I agree it is on higher side, RedSea recommends .08-.12 so I am higher than that. I am trying not to chase the numbers but focus on stability and 0.2 ppm is steady for me for some time. I feed heavily, which likely contributes to this level, and I will eventually try to push it lower, but right now I want to focus on the problem with SPS and I am pretty confident it was not caused by Phosphates. Thank you for sharing your experience and providing a guidance.
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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The same thing happened to my first round of acros. I was running my alk that high and similar nutrient levels as you. I dropped my alk to 8.6 over 2 weeks and nothing as rtn’d since. My nutrients have become lower over time to near trace, things are still doing great.
Great feedback and thank you for confirming my strategy. I will do additional research, but may readjust my target to 8-9 dkh.
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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I actually moved it to lower shelf with less flow and less light to get a break, recharge and heal itself. Power of positive thinking. :)
 

vetteguy53081

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Seems like a couple little swings have occurred and I would S L O W L Y get the alk down to around 9-9.5
 
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ibondy

ibondy

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Agreed on lowering your alk - most shops keep it between 8-9 IME and it would be a rough transition to go from like 8.3 to 11.5 for any coral.
Yes, make a sense. I had this coral for some time and it handled transition from LFS with now issue, as all my other corals. I think, the current problem is something else, likely spike in ALK, maybe in combination with higher pH. I will let ALK go slowly down to about 10 dkh, wait a week or so and drop it to 9 dkh. That will be my new target for the tank. I do not see any progression in white area, and hopefully coral will start healing in a few days.
 

vetteguy53081

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Thanks for your guidance, how slow would you recommend?
Simply stop doing alk allowing coral to absorb it and test each 24 hrs until it drops to safe level. After that adjust the ml a little lower that's added so you maintain the new lower level
 

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