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Old 10/28/2018, 11:51 AM   #1
Nanook
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SPS And N&P Levels

I started my 470 gallon reef in January 2018 and have struggled with N&P. I initially used vinegar dosing and while my levels of phosphate were around.03-.05, I did get my Nitrate down to zero for a short time. During that phase, I lost a lot of beautiful frags I bought from the successful hobbyists here. I decided to nix vinegar dosing because I didnít like how things looked while dosing.

Now Iím trying basic water changes and calcium reactor. My current levels are a bit high, but Iím currently seeing about 8-9 frags dying off, possibly due to metal in my carbon bag, but possibly due to GFO usage which up until a week ago I had been using religiously in a Geo reactor. My phosphate levels rarely got lower than .03-.05, but I suspect that my Corals werenít liking it. Iím kind of at a loss because growing acropora used to be easy for me. Iíve been told by some experienced Acro friends to try an ICP or Triton test to see if something else is out of whack. Not sure which of those tests is better.

Filtration is about 400 pounds of live rock from Fiji in my display (the last of the real deal LR flown in before Fiji went down), and another 200 pounds of live rock in my sump. Deep sand bed with a damsel digging every day that Iíve been unable to catch with traps, nets and BB guns. Octopus Regal 300 EXT skimmer and nice Geo 8x18 Calcium reactor.

Lights are four 400 watt Ushio 14K halides, four 110 watt vho and two Kessil Tuna Blue on the outskirts that needed a bit more light.

Fishload is about 20 fish, most small.

Current chemistry:



Iíve added calcium and magnesium today to bolster those levels to 450 and 1350, respectively. Any suggestions on how to handle current nutrients and if Iím missing something. Many SPS(40 plus frags) look okay still, just no growth and Iím worried they might go south.


Thanks Nook


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Old 10/28/2018, 11:54 AM   #2
Nanook
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My SG is usually 1.026 but the last water changes I did brought it down a point each time. I’ve since remedied that miscalculation.


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Old 10/28/2018, 01:02 PM   #3
sfdan
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Frankly I don't think nitrates of 12 is anything to worry about at all, and your phosphates are a little high but I've certainly had my phosphates are those levels before without any horrible results to my SPS.

I think the ICP test advice is a good one just to sanity check a wide range of parameters and see if something that you don't realize is out of whack. ICP is the acronym for the type of water test, and Triton is a company that sells that type of test. There are at least a couple other companies that sell ICP testing to aquarists.


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Old 10/28/2018, 01:23 PM   #4
Nanook
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Thanks. I’m not too concerned with my nitrate at 13 either to be honest. It was probably 15-17 before my last 180 gallon water change. The phosphate is higher than what I think is a better level of .03-.07ish, and my way of controlling P with GFO is something I think has been killing off my frags? Just not sure GFO usage hasn’t been killing off my frags.

I was hoping a series of water changes might help reset the current funky water chemistry I can’t see, plus running a sample for ICP to see if something else is really out of whack. Losing spendy, beautiful frags sucks.


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Old 10/28/2018, 04:26 PM   #5
Piper27
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What happens to the frags when you loose them? Overnight death or color changes or what?

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Old 10/28/2018, 05:17 PM   #6
Nanook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper27 View Post
What happens to the frags when you loose them? Overnight death or color changes or what?

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It happens over a couple weeks. First that dry, lack of vibrancy, then parts of the frag brown out, tips sometimes, base others, middle of frag other times. Then eventually they bleach and lose tissue completely.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Old 10/28/2018, 10:42 PM   #7
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This pretty well decribes my metal contamination in my tank. Id look into ICP if its an option. Other than SG a bit low parmeters look good.


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Old 10/28/2018, 10:45 PM   #8
Nanook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdown1 View Post
This pretty well decribes my metal contamination in my tank. Id look into ICP if its an option. Other than SG a bit low parmeters look good.
What were you able to detect? Were you able to fix it?


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Old 10/28/2018, 10:51 PM   #9
Diverdown1
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In Canada so ICP is extremely delayed, decided wasnt worth it. Dound a corroded piece of metal in my sump. Did 2 doses of Triton Detox and been running cuprisorb/carbon full time. Issues dramatically got better after the 2nd dose.


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Old 10/28/2018, 10:56 PM   #10
Nanook
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Thanks. I found metal in my carbon rusting the bag.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Old 10/28/2018, 10:59 PM   #11
Diverdown1
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Id look at getting some Triton Detox from BRS. Pretty cheap and no harm if metals isnt your problem. if they are, should see results by the 4th or 5th day.


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Old 10/29/2018, 09:59 AM   #12
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What are your temp and alk swings like? I have found that those two parameters are what always affect my SPS negatively. If your having issues with SPS those would be the first two to get stable then see what an ICP test tells you, but start with crossing those two off your list.


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Old 10/29/2018, 10:53 AM   #13
Nanook
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Calcium reactor alkalinity is 8.2-8.3 consistently. Temp verified monthly with lab grade thermometer, 79-81. Room controller for temp with split system AC and redundant heaters.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Old 10/29/2018, 11:08 AM   #14
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I have sometimes seen a rusty look to the gfo bag sometimes, did you find something large that was rusting in there or did you just see some brown on the bag? I think a lot of people are quick to blame metals on issues because they are looking for something definite to blame. Most of the time it's something simple.
I have seen new frags do the same thing your describing when added to a newer tank that has had a nutrient swing and hasn't settled in yet, seemed to be a bacterial thing. I would think a tank with metals would show bleaching or lightening of the flesh first, from what I understand.
Are the frags you had issues with aquacultured or wild? Do you have any corals in the tank that were added before all this and are doing well?

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Old 10/29/2018, 12:03 PM   #15
Nanook
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Piper27 View Post
I have sometimes seen a rusty look to the gfo bag sometimes, did you find something large that was rusting in there or did you just see some brown on the bag? I think a lot of people are quick to blame metals on issues because they are looking for something definite to blame. Most of the time it's something simple.
I have seen new frags do the same thing your describing when added to a newer tank that has had a nutrient swing and hasn't settled in yet, seemed to be a bacterial thing. I would think a tank with metals would show bleaching or lightening of the flesh first, from what I understand.
Are the frags you had issues with aquacultured or wild? Do you have any corals in the tank that were added before all this and are doing well?

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All of my frags were grown by successful hobbyists here. Granted, their skills far exceed mine, but the fact that things keep dying is why Iím perplexed.

My parameters seem decent enough and maybe in a couple months things will just even out. Iím sending an ICP test this week or next when I have time. Many of my older Corals look okay, just not growing or looking wonderful.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Current Tank Info: 375g Tanganyikan Tank & 470g mixed reef
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Old 10/29/2018, 01:08 PM   #16
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Are you using kalkwasser or just the calcium reactor? What is the pH in the tank like? I ask because I have read some studies that show lower pH benefits the bad bacteria that causes rtn and stn in acropora. When I was seeing similar issues as you are in a tank that I set up, even though it was attached to a old system the corals kept having issues. I switched to using only kalkwasser hoping a small pH boost would help, soon after things started looking a little bit better and the problems slowly stopped. Can't say it was just the kalk but I think it helped slow things down.

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Old 10/29/2018, 01:25 PM   #17
Nanook
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Appreciate all of your ideas! My ph is 8.2-8.4. I don’t dose kalkwasser as I’ve seen too many disasters over the years. It would help bind some phosphate.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Current Tank Info: 375g Tanganyikan Tank & 470g mixed reef
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Old 10/29/2018, 01:50 PM   #18
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Wow that's crazy good pH for only running a reactor! Maybe the test will show something, let us know.

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Old 10/29/2018, 02:15 PM   #19
Nanook
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My equipment room has a 6” air inlet and a large Panasonic fan that runs non stop to keep humidity down and air fresh. Plus a split AC unit that runs 24/7.


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Current Tank Info: 375g Tanganyikan Tank & 470g mixed reef
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Old 10/29/2018, 07:42 PM   #20
Nanook
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Iíll have my icp test and send it Thursday.


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Current Tank Info: 375g Tanganyikan Tank & 470g mixed reef
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Old 10/31/2018, 07:15 PM   #21
Nanook
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Phosphate is slowly rising without GFO.

0.21 today.


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The wind blew, the chit flew, and then they came two by two.
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Current Tank Info: 375g Tanganyikan Tank & 470g mixed reef
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Old 11/01/2018, 09:27 AM   #22
mrg02d
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My nitrates stay around 10ppm and phosphate stays under 0.1ppm. Everything seems fine. I just use a skimmer.


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Old 11/02/2018, 08:46 PM   #23
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I tend to follow these guidelines




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Old 11/03/2018, 02:15 AM   #24
carlosmos
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This table looks high phosphates values, isnít it?
No3: 1
PO4: 0.1



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Old 11/03/2018, 06:51 AM   #25
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Sounds so familiar. Old tanks grow sps like weeds, new tank i have had nothing but issues. ICP showed nothing was wrong, but Iodine was 0 (which they didnt even suggest to correct). I just added some iodide for the first time ever.... hoping to see a turn around. If this doesnt work then im about to say F it and let the corals that arent doing well die and add more softies....which seem to be OK.

My po4 was like .03, nitrate is hard to keep above zero without dosing. Odd thing is i still have Hair Algae....so frustrating

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