All corals are dying! Fish are fine

Discussion in 'ASAP' started by reefFry, Oct 26, 2011.

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  1. wastemanagement

    wastemanagement Eyelash Blennie

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    LOL maybee, but the simple answers are often the hardest to give.
     
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  3. reefFry

    reefFry Plankton

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    Well I feel awfully foolish. I was waiting for an email letting me know someone responded to my emergency and when I never recieved one I gave up! Sheesh, I am obviously new to this forum. I apologize to everyone who had the courtesy to answer my questions and wondered why I didn't respond back. Thank you for your help.
    So, in answer to your questions, I think lighting is my problem. It was the only thing left. I have some hermit crabs left alive, though I lost an emerald crab. Could it still be copper? Is there a test for that?
    I could not afford to buy a six foot T5 set up. Right now I only have two actinic white VHO 48 inch bulbs offset and paired with two blue super actinic VHO of the same length. I'm guessing this isn't enough?
    So since I could not afford a better quality light fixture for a six foot long tank, I set up a whole new 55 gal tank. (believe it or not, that was still less expensive with the light fixture than a six foot lighting set up!)
    I moved my newest coral frags to the new tank after testing parameters and getting:
    spec. grav. 1.024
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 0
    kH 8
    ph: 8.2
    Calcium 400
    phosphate: 0
    By the way, the new tank is crawling with amphipods, i haven't added the fish to it yet

    So, my coral frags look pitiful, barely any tissue remaining on the hard corals and the polyps haven't opened since I bought them. Does anyone think that they will recover? If so, is there anything I can do to help them along.
    I am dosing with magnesium, strontium and trace elements every ten days, and doing a ten percent water change twice a month on the new tank.
    I guess I was hoping it was something cheaper than the lighting. :( It just seemed like they deterioted so quickly, overnight actually, that made me think it wasn't the lighting.
    Thank you again for your responses and this time, I will keep an eye on the thread itself rather than wait for an email alert.
     
  4. wastemanagement

    wastemanagement Eyelash Blennie

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    SPS are a finiky coral that realy need to have very stable params. It can be very hard to pin point one thing to say is the soul problem often its a multitude of things the best thing I can recomend is to hold off on the SPS until you have coraline growing on the glass this will give you a good idea of when the tank is ready for hard corals.
    As for the ones you have my guess would be they will probly not make it but you never know.

    ALK,CAL & MAG are your big 3get em stable, all the others are equaly relivent and important along with flow and lighting

    Good luck
     
  5. reefFry

    reefFry Plankton

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    Thank you for your response. I will keep an eye on my parameters.
     
  6. mm2002

    mm2002 Feather Duster

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    I definitely agree with wastemanagement, don't try to keep sps quite yet. I've been doing this for over 25 years, and recently got back into the hobby. In all those years, I've never tried keeping sps. A few weeks ago I found this beautiful (rather large 4" or so) bright green acropora. I just had to have it! I keep my parameters perfect, and have good t5 lighting, so I figured I'd have no problems. Now, that acro has turned brown, and has a large chunk of tissue gone off of one of the branches. I'm convinced that my tank just isn't mature enough yet (5-6 months old)

    I have lps, lots of softies, and a beautiful Crocea, and they are all thriving (not merely existing, but growing and flourishing). Stick with those for now, and just be patient. You don't have to have sps to have a beautiful reef.

    edit: Also, I've found that the fewer fish the better. I have 8 tiny fish in my 55, and that's more than plenty to give it life, but not enough to create a huge bio load.
     
  7. reefFry

    reefFry Plankton

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    My parameters on the 125gal had been perfect when I added the coral. The deterioation was immediate. Within hours, healthy corals were showing skeleton and two very pricey clams were pulling away from their shell. I mention that the parameters were perfect because I literally checked them all moments before adding the corals and clams. I was seriously at a loss because as I said, the fish seem to be just fine. That is why I set up the second tank.
    Here is what I believe it might be, though until I get my test kit for copper I cannot be sure. I purchased the tank setup from someone else. I have no idea what the history of the tank was before I got it. When I purchased it, the person had healthy looking colt corals and a couple of mushrooms but no SPS or LPS, his fish (all inexpensive) were healthy in appearance, lively but small. However, moving the tank required disturbing the two inch sand substrate and the rock. The move killed the tank and I had to cycle it before I could add anything alive. I suspect that the previous owner maybe used a copper based medication and it got into the LR, then when I moved the tank and disturbed the sand and rearranged the LR it leached out to lethal amounts and is probably still leaching out everytime I vacuum the substrate or brush cyano off the rocks. This makes sense since keeping snails has been impossible and my emerald mithrax crabs died. The hermit crabs still live but no other invert does. Of course, it could also be lighting but I am not talking about a slow decline brought on by starvation of coral. The decline is immediate.
    So, my new tank has nothing carried over from the big tank. I am going to order a few snails and a mithrax crab. I put a cuprisorb filter in their just in case. Eventually, I will try a healthy piece of coral in the new tank and see what happens.
    This has been a long and very expensive journey, I have spent thousands on livestock, supplements, coral food, water changes, test kits, etc. The lesson learned here is to always set up your own tank. It would have been significantly cheaper in the long run. :( I will keep you posted on what happens with the new tank and maybe someday it will look nice enough for photos.
     
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  9. reefFry

    reefFry Plankton

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    Here is an update. I have three coral frags and a small collection of inverts in my new 55gal tank. So far, they all seem healthy. I began to remove the LR from the old 125gal, preparatory to dismantling it and moving the fish into my new QT until I am certain they won't be bringing whatever was killing the corals from the big tank into the smaller tank. When I was lifting out some of the LR I noticed black slimy staining on the parts of the rock that had been in the substrate. It didn't look like regular algae and it certainly didn't grow with the help of lighting since it had been buried. I am pretty much done with that LR, I am now convinced that either the LR or the substrate was killing my corals and inverts. I disposed of it and only used new LR precured in another healthy aquarium for the small tank. In fact, I have not used a single thing from the big tank to set up the smaller one. Does anyone know what that slimy black stain could be? Is it some sort of bacteria or fungus that grows in the absence of oxygen and light? Has anyone had a similar experience? My theory is that something happened when I moved the tank and everything died.
     
  10. TSPJ

    TSPJ Plankton

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    I'm having same problem last night did a water change this morning I noticed their looking bad put them into a 55 that been cycling now for 3 weeks they look great, maybe good it be your water? I'm going to do at least a 10% daily for a week hopefully it will help? Only thing I can think of...I appreciate some advice please thanks.
     
  11. DSC reef

    DSC reef Giant Squid

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    This thread is from 2011. To receive quicker answers you might want to start a new thread.