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Jeramy

Please Help Me

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Biocube 14 Stock Lights.

I went on vacation for the last 4 days and my wife was looking after the tank while i was gone. When I got back one of my green birds nests was completely dead no skin lrft nothing but a white skeleton and the other one is starting to do the same thing. My lighting is on the low side for sps but I do have them near the top of the tank about 3inches from 2 24w pc bulbs one 10k the other actinic. I had just done a water change right befor I left and every thing was happy and healthy the other sps is doing great not sure wht kind it is. My pepermint shrimp which my wife saw alive yesterday was dead in my tank this morning. and there is brown algea thick in the tank, like it had when it cycled only way more, the tank is 2 months old. I tested the water and here is what I found. With API test kits

amonia 0

nitrite 0

Nitrate 0

phosphates 0

ph 7.8

temp 80.3

KH 6

calcium 700

salinity 1.024

All of my other corals are doing great the tank and all components are brand new and I dont dose any thing and have never used any copper I dont have any fish I do have another small birds nest a small sps of unkown variety, gsp one zoa 2 mushrooms and a couple of leather corals toadstools i believe, I have 5 hermits and 2 snails. Any help would realy be appreciated. I dont know whats wrong and dont want to loose any mor stuff thanks a million.

 

Oh yeah I have a fuge on the back that runs opposite of the display the light on it is a 13 watt cfl bulb 2700k and a ball of cheato =)

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Right off the bat, you calcium is way high and the KH is a little low. Where is you water coming from for your WC? I know that Tigard/ Portland area doses chlorinamines ( I hate that word, too hard to spell) and w/ out that specific filter you can't get them out of the water. Do you use a RO/DI unit?

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I buy ro water in one gallon jugs and mix it in a bucket under the tank I keep if circulated witha 135 gph pump so I can keep a steady supply of water for changes the tub is sealed to keep dust and debris out and it is dark no light, also I am using reef crystals salt

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no i rana thread a while back about it but I was told water changes are what I need to bring it down I have been doing 2 10% changes a week and it has not gone down yet when I test the make up water the calcium is around 420 and the kh is 8

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I would of said do another WC, but that sounds like it isn't doing and good. Have you thought about a different salt. Also could something have fallen into the tank?

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How long have you had the birds nests? and the bulbs? I don't know a lot about the pc bulbs, but I've heard that they are just not enough for sps even low light ones like birds nest. Oh and new to helping over hear so any 1 else feel free to chime in.

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I do have a three year old......Is there a limit to how often I can do water changes can i do them once a day if i switch ro kent salt will the shock the system I am not realy holding out much hope for the birds nests but an wanting to get every thing stable ized. Thanks every one for the quick replies and being willing to work through it with me =) Every one here has been sucha big help to me =)

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WC can be done more often than you would think. I would do them every other day, and do smaller ones if your going to change salt. I use Kent and like it a lot. I find my KH sits around 7, but you can raise that as soon as the tank is stable and everything else w/ Kent measures out just fine. And 3 year old don't go well w/ tanks, I would make sure there isn't any place for little fingers to drop things in. Even the stuff that's on their hand can hurt the tank. Being through the 3 year old stage myself I know it only takes a split sec for them to get into something you never thought of.

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Mix your water 24hrs before the WC. Stores have mixed water that you could pick up while you wait for yours to mix. A lot of them use Kent, but ask what brand they use so your not going from 1 salt brand to another constantly.

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I think your lights are not enough for an sps, even a low demanding one as a seriatopora sp.

Also your tank is, as some like to say "cycled", but for sure it is not mature enough to accept difficult corals like sps.

I think it was gonna happen with or without you at home. I had a couple of sps going into RTN and my tank was not mature (it was 8 months old at that time). After that episode, and with the tank mature and appropriate lighting I never had another seriatopora RTN episode.

Don't go crazy with water changes or trying to figure out what the cause was. Just give your tank some time (and better lights!).

Hope this helps

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I agree with grassi. Stock PCs wouldn't be ideal for SPS. I had 2 T5HOs on a 55 gallon and my sps did not do well. I have since upgraded my lighting with two 250MHs(14K) and four T5HOs. Since then the SPS has taken off; wild growth and much better color then before. However, this tank is 4 months old and i'm still battling STN. Your calcium is indeed high, but if you're not getting a snow-like effect, WCs should be fine to get that to even out. The next time you go to a LFS, bring some tank water and compare the tests. I use API too and they can have some decent variance. And you may consider dropping your temp a degree or two. Can you confirm that the brown algae you speak of are diatoms? I'm also interested about your dead shrimp: How long have you had it? Were you feeding it? Was it an adult?

 

It would be cool to see a picture of your cube if you can manage it. Pictures help a lot.

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As for the Shrimp had him about 2 weeks he ate all my little apistaisa nems in a few days then i gave him some small amounts of frozen brine shrimp spirulina mix I was target feeding in the little cave cause he was realy shy about coming out ot eat.

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yeah I just did not want to try and add any thing to raise it cause i did not want to end up having it swing to the other end of the pendulum

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I have no Idea how my calcium levels got so high or why they wont go down

 

What type of salt are you using again? And how are you testing all of this? Have you tried to match these reading up with another kit to verify the readings? Not saying that they are wrong but sometimes kits can go bad as well.

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I am using reef crystals and api test kits when I test my make up water I get a reading around 420 but when i test my tank water I get a reading of 700, I think I will take some into upscales tomarrow and see if I can get them to test it for me.

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I have dual 40 watt pc over my 8 gallon cube and I don't think I could keep a birdsnest alive for long, maybe a Monti... Your better off sticking with the Softies IMO, there are some really great ones out there. :)

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Yeah they were given to me as freebies when I bought some other corals, I did not hold out much hope ..........was more concerned about the dead shrimpn and the uber high calcium not sure about the algea either but yeah thanks for all of the feed back its much appreciated

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How is everything doing Jeramy? The shrimp could have been coincidental. They can die sometimes when they molt. I was told to dose with iodine. I also typically when I leave town find something dies. I don't know why. Usually it is an sps which is why we decided to downsize with all the travel. They seem to be the most sensitive to any change so your other softies should be okay. They are much heartier. You have to watch overfeeding when someone else is watching your tank which could be the increase in algae.

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The high calcium is very strange. I would lower it through water changes and verify that your kits are reading correctly.

 

Go to the Chemistry section and find the sticky. It will link you to a calculator that will allow you to safely raise your ALK. Your ALK is not in a safe range if your test is accurate.

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I wouldn't rule out a foreign contaminant. I'm thinking soap or lotion on someone's hands when feeding or reaching in the tank. Carbon, heavy skimming and water changes should catch up to this.

 

Another thought (though I know nothing about this really), is that mixed reefs have the downside of soft coral mucous...the softies (leathers esp) are known to distribute hormones/toxins/etc that can really piss off their neighboors...it's a survival thing. if some of the softies seem happy but you're losing some others...that could be?

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