New to hobby, frustrated!

Discussion in 'Coral' started by Josh1215, Feb 6, 2015.

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  1. Josh1215

    Josh1215 Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2015
    Messages:
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    Hey everyone, I am new here, and to saltwater. Had a freshwater cichlid tank for 7 years and made the switch in October! So my tank is around 3-4 months old.

    55 gallons. Eheim 2217 canister filter with GAC, purigen, chemipure elite. Two powerheads creating lots of flow. about 35 pounds of LR. Heater. JNS VS-1 HOB skimmer.

    Salinity 1.025, pH 8.2,
    dKH 8.5
    Calcium 450
    Phosphate - 0.25 ish
    Nitrate - 0
    Ammonia - 0

    Lights I have four LED reefbars, and a CurrentUSA Orbit Marine LED. Up until today I had a T5 that I replaced with the LED. Four more reefbars on the way. Lights on from 8 am to 5 pm. Live sand.

    Inhabitants:
    Black and white clown, Ocellaris clown, Six line Wrasse, Yellow fang blenny, high-fin red banded goby and a powder blue tang. All fishies get along and are super happy appearing.

    Corals:
    Candy cane
    Finger leather
    Bubble tip anemone
    Long tentacle plate
    Short tentacle plate
    Open brain coral
    Feather Duster
    Coco worm
    Xenia
    Torch
    Few hammer frags
    Zoa frag
    And a blue clam

    CUC: Nassarius snails, hermit crabs, mexican turbos, and a conch

    Anyway, the tank was great as of Monday. Corals huge, great colour, except the open brain which has been receded and retracting for weeks now no matter what I do.

    Came home from work yesterday and finger leather was sulking, anemone had disappeared into the rocks, Xenia was white and shriveled, my coco worm doesnt come out anymore. The torch had shriveled. etc...

    This happened literally within the day. I was not home. No one else was.

    So I added the carbon, did about a 20% WC. The anemone came back out today, but not the way he normally does. The leather is still sulking, the coco worm never comes out anymore (he used to be out every day all day), the xenias are still sorta shriveley.

    Is this chemical warfare? To happen so suddenly out of nowhere?

    Of note, I feed pellets to the fish every day. I dose with Aquavitro fuel every couple of days and reef roids. I supplement the alk with aquavitro 8.4, and a seachem 2 part system.

    Im so frustrated. I work so hard on this tank. Nothing seemed to have changed, and all the corals just crashed more or less between the hours of 8 am and 4 pm in one day...!?
     
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  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Hi Josh and welcome to 3reef.

    I am not feeling the chemical warfare explanation. Those corals should be fine together, running routine charcoal and doing water changes should take care of any possibles issues.
    I would double check chemistry values against another test kit., please post a mag if able, temp. Are you using a refractometer or hydrometer?
    Leathers deflate, shrivel, droop and after a week or several days they recover.
    Coco worms need fine suspended particles, has the coco worm been getting enough food?
    The brain coral maybe over illuminated and need target feedings.
    I would back off the supplements, you should not need a buffer and be using the 2 part system at the same time.

    Check all pumps and heaters for malfunction.

    Post an image if able. Xenia is moody, so are leathers. Anemones move and retreat sometimes.
     
    AnotherMike likes this.
  4. AnotherMike

    AnotherMike Fire Worm

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    Couldn't have said it better myself. :D

    I'll just add, The main Parameter I monitor is alk. I probably test it every 3 or 4 days. Alk swings cause me the most issues. Most of the others I hardly test anymore unless something looks off.

    Welcome to the forum and don't get frustrated.
     
  5. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    My first thought was the anemone but since he has come back out I don't think it made the water bad. Do you have a Nitrite value? How long ago did you remove the T5? Not sure what the lighting really is, are you able to find a link to the fixtures you have? Are the effected corals very close to any other corals? sometimes tentacles can be very long.
     
  6. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    Corailline made me think, Check for stray voltage as well. That is definitely something normal tests won't show you.
     
    AnotherMike likes this.
  7. Josh1215

    Josh1215 Astrea Snail

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    Thanks guys!

    I am wondering if something is wrong with the test kits I have. I use API and my LFS said that they're crappy for saltwater. I dont have a mag test kit - should I get one? I use salifert for my alkalinity. Temp varies from around 76-79...depending on time of day...I am using a hydrometer not a refractometer...bad?

    I have been reading about this stray voltage issue...is this really a thing? people say it isnt unless there is a path for current to run through...? Seems to be so controversial haha.

    The coral issue preceded the lighting change by quite a few days so it's definitely not that...and they had been thriving under that light for months...

    The affected corals arent nearby one another...the leather is near the torch (which is fine), the anemone is in the middle next to nothing....the xenia is up high...and the brain is down low under a rock on the sand to avoid too much light, and I have tried target feeding him and he just wont take it (this has been going on for weeks and weeks)...

    All pumps and heaters seem to be functioning...the one thing I have noticed is that the skimmer isnt really skimming...I took it apart and cleaned it and set it to skim very watery and it did....and it still bubbles...but it doesnt collect anything...its brand new so is it that my tank just doesnt have much waste to collect? I dont feed very often....I will take some pics this morning and upload them...thanks everyone
     
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  9. Josh1215

    Josh1215 Astrea Snail

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    Here are some pics of the various corals in my tank...specifically you can see the leather and brain unhappy and the bubble tip sorta receded into the rock
     

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  10. AnotherMike

    AnotherMike Fire Worm

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    I still agree with Corailline. The brain is over exposed. I have a hard time with those because my lights are to strong. I'm 0 for 4 with them in 2 years. I have one dying now and sadly its the last one I will ever buy. Leathers are just touchy. When I had them, they would pout all the time.

    But since you also have trouble with the xenia and torch something is amiss. The water change helped so it's likely water related. I still go back to alk. The number is in range now, but what was it the previous couple of days? I know you can't answer that, but when did you last test?

    I would highly recommend a refractometer. I have zero faith in those swing arm jobbies.

    Api tests are fine. I have Api and red sea and when I first stated I used to use both and they almost always were in sync. That said, I would suggest getting salifert or red sea for your reef foundation (alk, call, mg).

    Mg is not your issue. Mg being off can cause slow coral growth, calc to precip and foul pumps, access Corailline algae etc, but not the issues you are seeing. Same with calc really. Alk is the one that's going to mess with your corals health the most.

    I'm not certain, but I thought stray voltage impacts fish, lateral line. Not coral.
     
    Corailline likes this.
  11. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    You should have a well calibrated refractometer to check your hydrometer results against. I am not anti-hydrometer, but the plastic can warp over time, having a second instrument to check against, a refractometer is essential in this hobby. Spot check with a hydrometer for ease, if corals looked stressed double check with the refractometer.

    Mag is not commonly the issue, but you can see swings in Alk if the mag is not in check, swings in Alk lead to a lot of problems with the LPS and SPS.

    Stay voltage is not a common issue either. Stray voltage if severe enough can adversely harm and kill corals. I do not think that is your issue, but I could be wrong.

    I suspect you are seeing the perfect storm, a brain over exposed (they need a lot less light then people think), Xenia and Sacrcophyton (leather) being weird and moody and an Anemone trying your last nerve.

    Water changes and charcoal (not too much charcoal) should pretty much take of most common issue. Always double check test results when able especially with API.

    Less is more, we as hobbyist tend to over think issues, again the perfect storm.
     
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2015
  12. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Thank you for providing images and details to your postings, it makes things so much easier for those trying to assist.

    ;)