What's going on with my tank?

InvaderJim

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After hours of endless research I'm at a complete loss as to what could be going on with my tank so I'm seeking help. A little background, the tank is a Fluval evo 13.5 that's been up since Jan 18th. I'm running an AI Prime HD, Sicce 1.0 return with RFG, Hydor Koralia, and a InTank basket with just filter floss. The tank has always used Red Sea Coral Pro salt with 0 TDS water, but i'm slowly transitioning it to Red Sea blue bucket. Two fish, a yellow coris wrasse, and a cherub angel.

Now my issue is I feel like most of my corals are hanging on for dear life at this point. I have two acan's that are almost completely receded 90% of the time, a candy cane coral that's receded, a chalice that was one of my first corals in the tank has lost a bunch of tissue recently, another that was growing like a weed has suddenly stopped and started to recede. A frag of bubblegum digi that looked awesome and was growing like crazy suddenly stopped and lost almost all of it's polyps. It seems like things grow then one day decide to die. The only things that seem to be enjoying the tank are my two torches and frogspawn (both of which are not touching any other corals) and several clusters of zoa's. I even recently added a kenya tree and in about a week it's basically melted away. I'm out of ideas at this point so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Parameters as of about an hour ago:
Salinity: 34.9
Temp: 80
pH: 8.1
Alk: 9.6
Ca: 460
Nitrates: 5
Phos: (I hate the Hanna checker) somewhere between .02 & .05. I tested 3x.

Other than that I dose about 2mL of Red Sea AB+ every day, and Vibrant about once a week.
 

susan ingram

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After hours of endless research I'm at a complete loss as to what could be going on with my tank so I'm seeking help. A little background, the tank is a Fluval evo 13.5 that's been up since Jan 18th. I'm running an AI Prime HD, Sicce 1.0 return with RFG, Hydor Koralia, and a InTank basket with just filter floss. The tank has always used Red Sea Coral Pro salt with 0 TDS water, but i'm slowly transitioning it to Red Sea blue bucket. Two fish, a yellow coris wrasse, and a cherub angel.

Now my issue is I feel like most of my corals are hanging on for dear life at this point. I have two acan's that are almost completely receded 90% of the time, a candy cane coral that's receded, a chalice that was one of my first corals in the tank has lost a bunch of tissue recently, another that was growing like a weed has suddenly stopped and started to recede. A frag of bubblegum digi that looked awesome and was growing like crazy suddenly stopped and lost almost all of it's polyps. It seems like things grow then one day decide to die. The only things that seem to be enjoying the tank are my two torches and frogspawn (both of which are not touching any other corals) and several clusters of zoa's. I even recently added a kenya tree and in about a week it's basically melted away. I'm out of ideas at this point so any help would be greatly appreciated.

Parameters as of about an hour ago:
Salinity: 34.9
Temp: 80
pH: 8.1
Alk: 9.6
Ca: 460
Nitrates: 5
Phos: (I hate the Hanna checker) somewhere between .02 & .05. I tested 3x.

Other than that I dose about 2mL of Red Sea AB+ every day, and Vibrant about once a week.
Is your Salinity 34.9?
 

Oscar47f

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I hope your salinity is 34.9 ppm? All your other parameters are fine. I would look at your angel fish... they can nip and cause smaller corals to not do so well... another thing is par... how much light, so what do you run your lights at? You could easily be overdoing it in such a small system
 

vetteguy53081

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Alk getting a tad high, nitrates at 5 is very high
What lighting do you use and type of water flow provided?
Age of tank ?
 

bmbrad

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I agree above. Your parameters are fine. What percentage is your light at? and like mentioned above your angel could be nipping at it while your not watching your tank.
 

vetteguy53081

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You really think 5 nitrates is very high? I would say that ideal even for SPS. You want some nutrients in your water.
Some. I keep mine at 2 and many sps collectors at same
 
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InvaderJim

InvaderJim

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I hope your salinity is 34.9 ppm? All your other parameters are fine. I would look at your angel fish... they can nip and cause smaller corals to not do so well... another thing is par... how much light, so what do you run your lights at? You could easily be overdoing it in such a small system
Yes sorry it’s 34.9 ppm. I switched to ppm to keep my salinity more accurate. I’ve watched my angel very closely after reading that it could be nipping and it pays none of my corals any attention.

what lighting schedule is your ai set to? why are you dosing vibrant weekly? do the corals look damaged like te angel has been nipping them?
I initially started dosing Vibrant because I had a really bad turf algae outbreak that is mostly under control. I am continuing to get rid of little patches of bubble algae I have left.

Other than what I previously mentioned have you dipped your corals ?
I haven’t dipped anything in a while but when I do it’s Coral RX.

It sounds like a case of corals being shocked by your water change process. Rapid death is typically indicative of parameter swings.
I was also curious about this but I always match salinity and temperature when doing water changes. I’ve recently started checking Alk as well.

I agree above. Your parameters are fine. What percentage is your light at? and like mentioned above your angel could be nipping at it while your not watching your tank.
I try not to let my nutrients drop too low because I don’t want to starve anything. I keep nitrates between 2-5.

I will get a picture of my lighting schedule later tonight.

Does you city treat the water with chloramines? You can check your product water for ammonia using an ammonia test kit
Not sure. I will test tonight but wouldn’t it show up as ammonia in the tank as well?

Alk getting a tad high, nitrates at 5 is very high
What lighting do you use and type of water flow provided?
Age of tank ?
In the process of lowering the Alk with new salt mix. I have a sicce 1.0 with RFG and a hydor koralia for flow. Tank is almost 7 months old.
 

Thespammailaccount

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Yes sorry it’s 34.9 ppm. I switched to ppm to keep my salinity more accurate. I’ve watched my angel very closely after reading that it could be nipping and it pays none of my corals any attention.



I initially started dosing Vibrant because I had a really bad turf algae outbreak that is mostly under control. I am continuing to get rid of little patches of bubble algae I have left.



I haven’t dipped anything in a while but when I do it’s Coral RX.



I was also curious about this but I always match salinity and temperature when doing water changes. I’ve recently started checking Alk as well.



I try not to let my nutrients drop too low because I don’t want to starve anything. I keep nitrates between 2-5.

I will get a picture of my lighting schedule later tonight.



Not sure. I will test tonight but wouldn’t it show up as ammonia in the tank as well?



In the process of lowering the Alk with new salt mix. I have a sicce 1.0 with RFG and a hydor koralia for flow. Tank is almost 7 months old.
Depends on how long between water change and testing and how much water you are changing out
 

TheDuude

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What are you using to check salinity? Has it been calibrated?

Also how often / large are your water changes?

It does seem like this could be a stability issue since your parms seem pretty spot on for a mixed reef.
 
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InvaderJim

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What are you using to check salinity? Has it been calibrated?

Also how often / large are your water changes?

It does seem like this could be a stability issue since your parms seem pretty spot on for a mixed reef.
I do a 2.5g water change weekly. I’m using the Hanna digital salinity tester. I calibrated it I want to say less than 2 months ago.

To everyone, 13.5 Gallons / 52 Litres, I run one of these, your fish need to be out of there in my opinion.
The fish will be moving to an 80g once it’s done cycling.
 

Crustaceon

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A 20% weekly water change is a fairly large amount and would definitely be the source of your issue, especially with differences in tank alkalinity vs. new salt water alkalinity. It sounds like you’re causing a weekly alk swing. In all honesty, I would reduce the water change amount to 1 gallon per week. Just make sure to siphon your sand when you do it in order to remove excess detritus. It’ll probably stabilize your nitrates around 5-10ppm which is fine even for sps.
 
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InvaderJim

InvaderJim

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A 20% weekly water change is a fairly large amount and would definitely be the source of your issue, especially with differences in tank alkalinity vs. new salt water alkalinity. It sounds like you’re causing a weekly alk swing. In all honesty, I would reduce the water change amount to 1 gallon per week. Just make sure to siphon your sand when you do it in order to remove excess detritus. It’ll probably stabilize your nitrates around 5-10ppm which is fine even for sps.
I never thought about it that way but that would make perfect sense. I will do 1g from now on and see if that helps.

Lighting schedule also in case this shines anymore light on my problem...pun intended.

D2EEB7FA-8C31-4003-82DB-9A44CBB09EFA.png
 

Crustaceon

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I never thought about it that way but that would make perfect sense. I will do 1g from now on and see if that helps.

Lighting schedule also in case this shines anymore light on my problem...pun intended.

D2EEB7FA-8C31-4003-82DB-9A44CBB09EFA.png
I highly doubt your lights are the culprit seeing you had decent growth with some of your corals. A good approach here is to have as little impact on your tank as possible. Your corals want to be left alone and it’s best to act like a naturalist hiding out in a blind and making the tiniest changes that the critters don’t notice to get what you want.
 

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