Help me get ready for SPS - 3 Big problems.

Discussion in 'SPS Corals' started by Ryan Duchatel, Jun 12, 2013.

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  1. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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    Hey all,

    I have been longing for some SPS lovin' but every time I bring a frag or two home they bleach/go nasty and end up dying in two or so weeks.

    Abit about my tank, (more can be found in my build thread), its a 55g. Lights are 150Ws of 3W Cree LED's. 30g sump, with skimmer (Hydor Performer 450), refugium (Calerpa + Alternate light cycle), carbon reactor and GFO reactor. 1/6 HP Chiller. Flow is provided by 2x MP10s.

    The tank currently houses a bristletooth tang, flame angel, two oscellaris clowns, a cleaner wrasse and a court jester goby (Please discuss my stocking choices on my build thread).

    Coral wise, its mainly LPS (Hammers, Torches, Elegances), Softies (Singularia, Toadstool, Kenya tree), zoanthids and NPS (Gorgs and Sun Coral) + a BTA or two. I have had a few problems with the LPS over recent weeks with a few hammers and torches experiencing polyp bailout, but so far seem to be on top of that now.

    SPS that I have tried have really only included wild acro colonies, I have also tried a few acro frags (unknown species), a dallas acro, and some smooth skin acros. In the tank at the moment I have a green montipora that I have had for about a week.

    My current big 3 are:
    Calc: 350
    Alk: 9.8
    Mg: 1400
    SG: 1.025-1.026
    Temp: 25 Degrees Celcius. (77 degrees Fahrenheit)

    I will take these reading every day for the next week to see if maybe dosing might be the go?

    Salt used is Red Sea Coral Pro. I do 10% water changes every 2 weeks. I dose nothing into the tank except for Microbacter 7, Prodibio Digest and Coral food etc. I did at one stage used to add a little bit of Red Sea Ca/Mg/Alk solutions, but haven't for a while.

    But please. Tear me apart, help me out. I really want to get on top of these issues so I can get into some SPS.

    I will take a video sometime tomorrow specifically on this issue and attempt to post it (but my nets slow so may take a while).
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2013
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Ryan can you please provide SG and Temp as well.

    What types of sps you have tried and lost?

    Saltmix, dosing regime .......

    Thank you
     
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  4. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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  5. Aaron.Herk

    Aaron.Herk Sea Dragon

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    You will probably have more luck with tank propogated corals. See if you can get some from local reefers or a local store that frags some of their colonies. I have had many less problems with these than maricultured sps. Also try to keep your parameters as stable as possible and keep the SPS in higher flow areas of the tank.
     
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  6. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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    Sound advice. I learned after the first wild acro disaster, i am fairly sure the few frags I have got have been aquacultured and I will make sure I only get aquacultured corals from now on.

    The more flow the better? What about lighting? As much as possible?
     
  7. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    It looks like you are on the right track.

    There are a couple of things I noticed that could at least be a factor in your SPS problems.

    First, I would be sure that you're light acclimating all the corals you add. LEDs put out deceptive amounts of power in proportion to visible light which can make it really hard to tell where to place corals. I've found it's easier to be safe than sorry when it comes to SPS under LEDs.

    I would also pay close attention to your alk. In my experience, it's definitely the most common problem when it comes to SPS or LPS. With your water changes being spaced out every two weeks, it may be dropping between changes, and you may need to dose to make up for it.

    On one last note, wild caught SPS can be axtremely hard to adapt to captive life depending on species. I would get started with some cultured species to get your husbandry and confidence up before diving back into those ones.
     
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  9. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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    How do you actually light acclimate an SPS coral properly? Should I put it in the middle of the tank fairly high in strong flow then dim the LEDs (would this harm my other coral?), or should I put it down the bottom of the tank in the same flow and leave the LEDs?

    The week test should be able to get a sense of that, but I can extend the testing out to two weeks to see what it really is between water changes (I did a water change two days ago).
     
  10. oldfishkeeper

    oldfishkeeper Giant Squid

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    Ryan, I'm by far not an expert in any way. I do notice that your calcium seems a bit low. At least from my reading, calcium is very important for SPS.
     
  11. Ryan Duchatel

    Ryan Duchatel Millepora

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    I thought the same thing when I tested today. But come to think of it, I don't really know what the recommended range these values should be for SPS?
     
  12. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !