Problems with my SPS

Discussion in 'SPS Corals' started by mdbostwick, Dec 12, 2014.

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  1. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    Been having some trouble recently with my sps. A few are starting to look quite sad and seems like i am about to lose one and one is already lost.

    Basically, most of them don't have as vibrant color as they had in the past and the flesh has started to come off of the one and that is basically what happened to the dead one.

    Tank parameters today:
    pH 8.5 Hanna probe
    salinity 1.026 Refractometer
    Mg 1620 Salifert
    Calcium 440 Salifert
    Alkalinity 10 dkh Salifert
    Phosphate 0 Salifert
    Nitrate 0 Salifert

    Have had some issues recently. RODI was giving me ~20 tds which did not make it into the tank. Replaced all the filters: sed, carbon, ro membrane, and di canister, all spectrepure except for sediment, but while i was waiting for funds for the replacements the water level traveled a lot. So Salinity has not been stable for about 2 weeks but has been for the last week.

    This also put a halt on WC for that time period which I have switched back to Red Sea Coral Pro since all my levels were great and I was getting great growth from it before. I had switched to Seachem Reef Salt because i am a cheap bastard but will never make that mistake again. So I had to get salt as well which i received a day or so ago which i did a WC yesterday. So the parameters are what I have since the WC but i know the alkalinity was as low as 7 before the WC. Not sure if that has anything to do with the SPS issues or not.

    I do not dose Magnesium so I don't know how it is as high as it is. Also don't know if that has any bearing on the sps issues. The salt i was using never gave me levels of Mg Ca or Alk that i appreciated out of reef salt, hence the change, and the Mg would lower when using it so i don't know why it is high right now.

    The pH was steadily below 8 usually around 7.8 and 7.9 for the past several months and when I changed my rodi filters is when it decided it wanted to sit at 8.4. My Hanna probe may be off on its calibration on this. The only test i have to go by other than it is an ATI test kit which i don't even know if it is worth using. So, unfortunately I don't know how reliable that is at this point.

    I did start using lime water from my ato yesterday which probably is why the pH is up .1 today and I think this will help with keeping the calcium and alk at steady levels which they have not really been at in the past.

    So I am just trying to get some ideas as to if something I have listed here is the problem or if i should look into something else to fix the issue. Even my zoas aren't doing very well at this point, So I am open to any advice you guys can give me.
     
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  3. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    It sounds like you have made reasonable changes. You can check your pH probe by checking it with distilled water. That should read 7.0 before it mixes with co2 in the air. After exposure to sit it can drop into the 5's. I once tested the pH of a new gallon and came up with 7. Bear in mind you've made alot of changes and it may take a while to see the results. Are you also using an algae scrubber? That can also have an effect on pH depending on what time of day you light it.
     
  4. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I do run a scrubber and it is lit opposite my DT. I am hoping the changes I've made are going to turn the corner here, my opinion is that my tanks stability was compromised when i couldn't provide water right when i needed to have it but wanted to get feedback from here. I think i will give the distilled water a shot or see if one of the hardware stores has calibration fluid tomorrow since the pH seems high.
     
  5. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    Keep in mind that once any fluid is exposed to co2, the pH will begin to drop. Not sure how long it takes to drop though. Agreed that the stability alone should help out.
     
  6. Dyonopses1

    Dyonopses1 Skunk Shrimp

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    What are you feeding your corals? and Lighting (the bulbs are not too old?)
     
  7. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I feed them Oyster feast and reef bugs about every other day. I have a 4 t5 setup the bulbs are on the old side just over 6 months.
     
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  9. civiccars2003

    civiccars2003 Great Blue Whale

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    Sounds like you've had quite the roller-coaster on all sorts of levels. Sps need consistency.
     
  10. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    Yeah that is what i believe the issue has been. LPS is all doing just fine. I probably need new bulbs next but will have to wait till next month.
     
  11. Av8Bluewater

    Av8Bluewater Giant Squid

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    Are you doing any type of carbon dosing?
    What method of adding calcium , alk and mag?

    Got any photos?
    How long have you been running the scrubber?
    Scrubbers can do more harm than good if not cleaned off regularly.
    Glad youre getting those calibration fluids.
    If I get behind on my water changes I can tell my corals go down hill.
    Maybe do a series of small water changes. I would start with 3 10 % water changes. One every 2-3 days.
    Try to clean out as much detritus as possible.
     
  12. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    I am not carbon dosing. I am actually a bit intimidated by carbon dosing.

    I have just started using limewater to keep my calcium and alk steady and my mag stays good with WCs.

    I will have to post pictures tomorrow when my lights come on and i am not at work.

    Have been running the scrubber for about 2 months. It just started really growing and i do have a fuge with chaeto as well.

    Didn't get a chance to get calibration fluid but it is on the top of my list along with new bulbs.

    I have been behind in the WCs due to my rodi being down but i will take your advice on the increased WCs and will do one tomorrow and a few days after that. Should i vacuum the sand bed to work on the detritus?