Why can I not keep SPS alive?

Rmckoy

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I have just started getting more Coraline growth in the last month, mostly on the rocks, very little on the back glass. Water changes are not very often. Should I be doing more? With all my levels being what I thought with in parameters I did not think I needed to do any.
There are other essential elements that water changes help replenish .
That being said there are many here with fully stocked and amazing reef tanks that do very little or no water changes .

some 2 part dosing products also have other trace and essential elements in them .
 
Lazy's Coral House

Rmckoy

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So 1 post says to lower lights, and 1 says I need more, I will need some more discussion on which way to go here.

I will start doing weekly water changes, 10 %, as that would be cheaper then dosing trace elements/ ICP testing.
I missed the 96” long part ...
I’m not familiar with leds at all .
but I know there is a rating or number suggesting each unit covers 18”-24” or tank length
This also depends on the width and depth
Leds are said to penetrate deeper tanks better but the spread of lighting at the bottom is less compared to mh or t5 ?

I believe low nutrients , system age and lighting could be the issue
 

JWsticks

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There are other essential elements that water changes help replenish .
That being said there are many here with fully stocked and amazing reef tanks that do very little or no water changes .

some 2 part dosing products also have other trace and essential elements in them .
Agree.

BRS 2 part does not have any trace elemets.
System age? With a dead rock start you need 12-18 months or so for the biome to age.

Double your feedings to get some nitrate. I would also knock down the PO4 to .1 or so with a few careful doses of lanthanum chloride. Elimi-Phos is good. You could also dose some sodium nitrate, but fish poo is better.

3 Radions over that footprint is less than half the number of lights you need for SPS. At the bottom, you are likely averaging about 50 PAR. You need 200 at the bottom minimum.

This is what SPS lighting looks like on my 5 foot tank.
51580.jpg
I think the OP can get away with having SPS towards the top 1/3rd of the tank.

Can also crank up all channels to 100pct provided you test with PAR meter.

Do agree the need for more lights if full blown SPS tank.
 

CrunchyBananas

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So 1 post says to lower lights, and 1 says I need more, I will need some more discussion on which way to go here.

I will start doing weekly water changes, 10 %, as that would be cheaper then dosing trace elements/ ICP testing.
light adjustment will not fix this issue, I feel lights are often given too much stock. If theyre not too bright, they wont straight up kill SPS frags, it seems to be water quality. The easiest way to keep an sps tank ime is just stick to 15-20% wc with GOOD quality water. make sure its low to zero TDS and test for phosphates before adding.
 
AS

Rmckoy

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Agree.

BRS 2 part does not have any trace elemets.

I think the OP can get away with having SPS towards the top 1/3rd of the tank.

Can also crank up all channels to 100pct provided you test with PAR meter.

Do agree the need for more lights if full blown SPS tank.
I’ve been using esv 2 part .
it has other elements and the reason I haven’t switched to diy soda ash and cal chloride Dow flakes .
 

ScottB

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So 1 post says to lower lights, and 1 says I need more, I will need some more discussion on which way to go here.

I will start doing weekly water changes, 10 %, as that would be cheaper then dosing trace elements/ ICP testing.
Ask 10 people their opinions on something and you will get 12 different answers. :)

Spending some time in the lighting thread is never a bad idea. Dana Riddle is a professional.

You can dumb it down a little with a BRS video or two like this one. Skip to 2:35 where Ryan suggests 250-250 PAR for SPS.


Here is a close up of what about 400 PAR looks like:

Right side.JPG
 

JWsticks

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Ask 10 people their opinions on something and you will get 12 different answers. :)

Spending some time in the lighting thread is never a bad idea. Dana Riddle is a professional.

You can dumb it down a little with a BRS video or two like this one. Skip to 2:35 where Ryan suggests 250-250 PAR for SPS.


Here is a close up of what about 400 PAR looks like:

Right side.JPG
I'm getting blind looking at it.

Nice tank!
 

ScottB

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light adjustment will not fix this issue, I feel lights are often given too much stock. If theyre not too bright, they wont straight up kill SPS frags, it seems to be water quality. The easiest way to keep an sps tank ime is just stick to 15-20% wc with GOOD quality water. make sure its low to zero TDS and test for phosphates before adding.
Crunchy! You are running more light over your 60 than the OP has over an 8 foot long tank 375G tank. :)

It may not be the only problem, but it is a problem.
 

CrunchyBananas

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Crunchy! You are running more light over your 60 than the OP has over an 8 foot long tank 375G tank. :)

It may not be the only problem, but it is a problem.
Lol that tank had more light than a whole lot of larger tanks. Such is reef hoarder life, but that tank could have easily had one and been fine. I'm just saying, if frags are being added and going up in smoke, its almost definitely not light. if they were browning out, not growing, or just looking *****, then I'd look to light no doubt. But, if we're looking for a culprit here, too little light isnt worth putting much stock into and distracts from the true root cause, which I believe to be water quality: Lack of water changes (probably trace elements) and high phosphates. These are issues that would creep up, and is supported by how the frags would live for longer in the beginning than they do now, things have just kept walking out of whack. Hit weekly 20% water changes and monitor phosphates, perhaps running some gfo to walk them down, and I bet SPS will start doing better with no other changes. Just what I would do with my tank. Once they start living, then I'd invest in another light.
 

ScottB

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No nitrates, high phosphates and not nearly enough light. 96*36??? That's 8 Radion XR30s at a minimum. 2 rows of 4. 3 would be fine for a FOWLR but not a reef.

The most important aspects of a reef are chemistry, flow, and then light.
Copycat!
:p
 

rtparty

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So 1 post says to lower lights, and 1 says I need more, I will need some more discussion on which way to go here.

I will start doing weekly water changes, 10 %, as that would be cheaper then dosing trace elements/ ICP testing.
Water changes don't actually replenish trace elements unless your new water has elevated trace elements. Very few, if any, salts have this. I don't know of one that advertises extra trace.

Weekly water changes help though. In a tank as young as this, trace elements aren't the issue.
 

Conrad Noto

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Details first:

Tank Size: 375 gallons (96x37.5x24.5)
Sump: 75 gallons
Fuge: 40 gallons
Nitrates: 0
Phosphates: .30
PH: 7.98
Akalinity: 9.54
Calcium: 427
Magnesium: 1362
Salinity: 35.5
Temp: 78-79
Lights: 3 Ecotech G5 Pro, had them approximately 2 months, sitting at 90 percent
Flow: 2 MP60 1 MP 40, I have tried turning the flow up and it is currently turned down

Issue:

No matter what SPS I put in there, it dies. Sometimes after a week. In the beginning some would last a month to 6 weeks. I feel there is a pest of some sort in there. I have taken corals out and dipped and nothing but pods have come off the coral, So I am confused there. All corals when placed in the tank start at the very bottom of the tank, to acclimate to the lights. Here lately corals have not made it off the bottom before they die, so they do not even make it to the rock. My next assumption would be maybe the livestock, I have Emerald crabs, 7 tangs, a yellow coris wrasse, xmas wrasse, black leopard wrasse, and a Fairy Wrasse, 3 damsels and 2 cardinal fish. I really dont think the fish would kill stuff as I never see them picking at the coral. The emeralds only come out at night, so they are suspect. Any soft coral I have is safe, I have a pretty good success rate with those.

Does anyone have any ideas for me? If you need more info on anything please let me know, I have tried to list all the normal stuff that people ask for.


Thanks in advance,

-Juice
Ph seems a little low for SPS, how long is tank running? Is it matured and stable?
 
OP
am3gross

am3gross

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Ok, so here is the plan, and let me know if I am off here. I know nothing good happens fast, so patience will be key.

I will start today by doing a 10% water change and continue to do every Sunday.

If I want more light then my current option is to hook up my 3 Viparsectra 300 watt lights that was on there before I got the G5 lights. Spending another 3k on lights currently will need some time for me to work over the wife a bit.

But... Before I do that, I may try and get my hands on a par meter, so I am not guessing on the fact that I need more light. Marc on his I believe 7ft long tank has 3 Sky lights, which I think is comparable to the G5 lights. Am I wrong in thinking that?
 

wallylee0311

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I was going to say 3 Radion X30 is no where enough for that tank. I would not turn your lights down at all. I didn’t even acclimate mine when switch from ATI to radion. But I did notice I wasn’t getting enough par from radion so I had to add more. In your case I would add 3-4 more radion x30. As for nutrients they are low but just feed more and add more fish depending on what you have. Fish poop is the . Are your sps dying from top to bottom or bottom to top?
 

botheboss

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In my experience, STN happens more regularly when corals aren’t happy but parameters are stable. Like maybe low nutrient, high alk, exctra..... RTN happens more regularly when you parameters aren’t stable. Alk sings of any kind can affect sps. I was having a 0.1 swing daily on my new tank and some of my sps didn’t like it. That small of a swing didn’t kill them but I could tell a difference in color and polyp extension. Your tank also looks kind of young. You can run carbon and check for contaminants. Try to keep parameters stable and get nitrate up a little or feed aminos and oyster feast. Good luck I hope this helps.
 

Ancient Mariner

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Ok, so here is the plan, and let me know if I am off here. I know nothing good happens fast, so patience will be key.

I will start today by doing a 10% water change and continue to do every Sunday.

If I want more light then my current option is to hook up my 3 Viparsectra 300 watt lights that was on there before I got the G5 lights. Spending another 3k on lights currently will need some time for me to work over the wife a bit.

But... Before I do that, I may try and get my hands on a par meter, so I am not guessing on the fact that I need more light. Marc on his I believe 7ft long tank has 3 Sky lights, which I think is comparable to the G5 lights. Am I wrong in thinking that?
I like the water change plan. Maybe place a green stylophora as a test frag. They can tolerate lower light but also thrive in high light. So it can be an indicator of water quality for SPS sustainability.
My guess you’ll need another 6 months of maturation. I restarted my tank 1 1/2 years ago with 1/2 old live rock and 1/2 new non-live rock. It’s only taken off the past 2 months. In September I stopped all supplements (Iodine, strontium and magnesium), did regular biweekly water changes, and took a break from buying coral. I did have stylophoras, pocillaporas, and montiporas to maintain some interest and they were doing Ok. But the acroporas did not start thriving until this past February which was the time the coralline algae also took off.
 
AS

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