Zoas are reaching still and other corals are closing.... (long read but noob is in need of help)

DrewM8

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I am getting super disappointed and feeling defeated with my tank I set up in June... Sooo long story short I setup a redsea reefer nano max 20g aio this last June. Set it up and added corals and got fish with marine velvet so went fallow for 60 days and just left the corals in. During that time period the corals especially the zoas were doing AMAZING!!!!! Everything was growing and looking so nice and pretty, about a week after I added fish the corals began closing up and randomly zoas started reaching, now I did rescape my tank but after rescaping my zoas are getting actually more light now.... after rescaping my tank I got a big bloom of diatoms and brownish hair looking algea, my LFS told me the algae was from the rescape causing leeching and that should dial back... I did leave with an emerald crab but he hasnt touched any corals and the issue was happenign long before I got him, my plan is to use him to eat the algea with my snails then return him.... but it still makes me wonder why my zoas are stretching, I was told for the corals closed up I needed more flow and needed to move the powerhead to the back of my tank instead of the side, So I did that and saw a SLIGHT SLIGHT improvement on my torches but they are still really closed and small. Next I was told the Karen Vazquez light schedule was bad and to change so I did research and am 2 weeks into my acclimation mode switching to the AB+ (ai prime) and its been in full effect for a few days now and everything is still closed and stretching and its now getting tons of light so I am feeling defeated, I have been through now velvet, algae blooms, losing fish and now my corals not looking good gives me very little satisfaction from my tank and I do not know where else to turn... So far this forum is pretty much the only thing keeping me from ripping my tank apart and selling everything...


Ammonia is 0
Nitrate 0
Phosphate 0.03
Calcium 500
Alk was 2.7 but I think I messed up doing this on my Hanna and can redo if needed...

Ai Prime running AB+ from BRS Running from 9-5 with 1.5 hour ramp up and down with 2 hours of blue light for what was my enjoyement of corals at night.
Nero 5 running at Pulsing 1.5 seconds on and 1.8 seconds off at 50% ( I think but can double check when I get home)
 
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DrewM8

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Don’t get down we can turn this around!

corny maybe but ya know


You can really see them reaching in this one.

20201001_192931.jpg
 
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Bleigh

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Some zoas also have longer stalks. When I first started nearly 2 years ago, I was told that my zoas weren't getting enough light because of their stalks. They're still growing and have great colors, but just have longer stalks than the ones right next to them.

But if they weren't that long before.... Are they slightly shaded? I can't tell if they are under that ledge or not. If so, they'll likely grow down that rock a bit.

It is interesting that they were doing great before you added the fish. Were you feeding the same amount before you put fish back in? How long ago you added the fish back? That just may be a coincidence though.

Also, how often do you do water changes? My zoas are the first to show it if I don't do a water change. I assume because I don't dose trace elements yet and that they need something that is only provided through water changes.

In my own experience, it has never gone smoothly when I have re-scaped. If I need to do it, I expect to lose something now, and if I don't then I am pleasantly surprised. That being said, those zoas done look close to death to me.

Plus all the previous questions. Sorry for the interrogation.
 
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DrewM8

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Some zoas also have longer stalks. When I first started nearly 2 years ago, I was told that my zoas weren't getting enough light because of their stalks. They're still growing and have great colors, but just have longer stalks than the ones right next to them.

But if they weren't that long before.... Are they slightly shaded? I can't tell if they are under that ledge or not. If so, they'll likely grow down that rock a bit.

It is interesting that they were doing great before you added the fish. Were you feeding the same amount before you put fish back in? How long ago you added the fish back? That just may be a coincidence though.

Also, how often do you do water changes? My zoas are the first to show it if I don't do a water change. I assume because I don't dose trace elements yet and that they need something that is only provided through water changes.

In my own experience, it has never gone smoothly when I have re-scaped. If I need to do it, I expect to lose something now, and if I don't then I am pleasantly surprised. That being said, those zoas done look close to death to me.

Plus all the previous questions. Sorry for the interrogation.

I am going to retest everything here shortly and will report back, as for the other questions
They are not getting any shade.
There was less feeding ebfore re adding fish but there was still feeding for my snails and shrimp.
I added fish about 3 weeks ago.
I do water changes of about 3-5 gallons 1 time a week, sometimes 2 times every 10 days.
Never scaping again for me lol....
 
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Bleigh

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I am going to retest everything here shortly and will report back, as for the other questions
They are not getting any shade.
There was less feeding ebfore re adding fish but there was still feeding for my snails and shrimp.
I added fish about 3 weeks ago.
I do water changes of about 3-5 gallons 1 time a week, sometimes 2 times every 10 days.
Never scaping again for me lol....

What are you feeding? I guess I would have expected the nitrates and phosphates to have increased with the addition of fish and more feeding. It makes me wonder about the accuracy of those tests too. Is there an expiration date on them? I only think of that because I had a similar issue with my nitrate test. I was doing all kinds of things to bring my nitrates down, but it wasn't budging. I realized it was expired and bought a new test and it turned out the nitrates had been coming down, but the test was faulty. I also had the same issue with salt early on. I couldn't get my alk up high enough. Turned out I wasn't mixing enough salt because my refractometer wasn't calibrated. Everything was much lower than I thought it was.

When the numbers are "good" but you're still having issues, I always start to question the instruments giving me the numbers. Doesn't mean it couldn't be something else, but definitely something to rule out.
 

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