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danlu_gt

235gal rimless build

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Only sps I think I managed to save from black bugs attack. Looks like the flash boarder to the skeleton is recovering...(fingers crossed).

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Ouch. Glad you were at least able to save one of them. Looks like a nice piece. Hope it continues to heal up for you.

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I was doing some coding and heard some chop chop chop sound. I look over at my tank, my triggers got my last chromis.

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Just when I thought I got everything figured out, this happened...

 

So at the beginning of May, all my sps started to look stressed and my gonioporas were not expanding as much as they did.  My routine water tests showed Alk=8dkh, Ca=400ppm, Mg=1325ppm, NO4=0ppm.  pH and Temp swings were within expectation, and salinity was around 35 to 36ppt.   My ATS was still striping out 2 quarts of algae every 2 weeks and skimmer cup cleaned every 1-2 weeks.  As a couple weeks passed, things started to turn for the worse.  I suspected it might be the sandbed is over saturated and started to release "stuff" or promoting too much bacteria growth.  My sps started to STN then RTN.  My reef was turning to white skeletons.  :(  With May being a real rough month for my wife and I as our baby was super fussy and wasn't sleeping well.  Unable to allocate the time required, I keep pushing off removing the sandbed with major water change.  Few weeks gone by to early June and only 2 or 3 of my sps colonies were still hanging on, LPS such as hammer corals are still doing ok but not expending as big.  Gonioporas are suffering with only 1 big red one doing well.  I also realized I haven't changed the carbon filters on my RO unit for a little over a year.  I ended up replacing all the filters to my RO unit (micro filter, 2 carbon filters, and RO membrane) just in case the chlorine have damaged the RO membrane.   I made about 100gal of fresh saltwater with the new filters.  I ended up sucking out 90+% of the sandbed with a flexible 1.25" hose along with about 100gal of water and leaving enough sand at a corner for my leopard wrasses.  There were lots of detritus in the sandbed as expected but the sandbed wasn't "dead".  There wasn't any black sulfur smelly sand patches.  I tried to sift through the sand and find all the snails then toss them back in the tank.  3 weeks after the sand removal and water change (25% total volume), surviving sps are still alive, hammers are expanding bigger, and gonioporas have recovered. 

My system is heavy stocked with fish and I feed generous amount to keep everyone happy.  Even though my ATS was about to keep NO4 at immeasurable amount, I think the sandbed have accumulated too much detritus and started to have negative impact.  Because the sand bed was still loose and wasn't black dead sand, I really don't know what is the exact trigger that caused the SPS to all RTN.  Maybe the sandbed promoted too much of the bacteria that infects sps and caused RTN?  Since removal of most of the sand, film algae that coats my glass have slowed and ATS is still pulling out 2 quarts of algae every 2 weeks.

 

Some good news... after 2.5 months, baby's 4 months present, a regal angel, from my brother is ready to be introduced to the DT.  It was in 50gal cube frag tank being fatten up on flakes and various frozen food.  Now, it's in the social box with a regal tang.  I'm hoping to release them by end of the week.

 

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Sorry to hear about your struggles Daniel but glad things seem to be turning around.  Not sure if you saw the thread from PDXmonkeyboy about his water related issues but he chased it down to an ammonia spike caused by increased chloramine in the water supply overwhelming his RODI and resulting in measurable ammonia getting added to his tank during water changes.  Not sure if something like that could have happened to you (over a longer time frame) but the dates seem like they might align.

Sounds like you have some nice new fish lined up to join the DT crowd!

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I remember losing my whole acropora collection and never finding exactly what caused it. Sorry to hear you lost so many of your sps. Hope the worse is behind you. 

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So funny that my powder blue tang ignores the blue tang while it was in the social box. I let the Regal and Blue Tang out last night and when the lights can on this morning, powder blue have been bullying the blue tang. At least the bullying have calm down a tad bit instead of constant non stop. No damage have been done, powder blue just swim super fast in tight circles around him.

The Regal Angel got bullied by the sailfin tang for a bit. Now sailfin leaves him along.

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Yay, after a day or so, everyone is getting along, no more bullying.
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I've always wonder if the detritus that have built-up in the sump (I don't use filter socks), will release nitrate. It's been about 6 months since I last siphon out the detritus in the sump. I've turned off all my return pumps and siphoned out as much detritus as possible. Before I top off with fresh saltwater with return pumps still off, I tested tank vs sump for nitrates.

The results:
Tank nitrate at ~5ppm.
Sump nitrate at ~10ppm.

Conclusion:
1) Layer of caked detritus have higher concentration of nitrate than the rest of the water.
2) Stirring up thick layer of detritus releases nitrate into the water.

Still unanswered:
If layer of detritus is not stirred, would it still release nitrates at slower rate?

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Hard to tell that there are 34 fishes in the DT. 8 tangs are getting along great.

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Just saw this thread sorry to hear about your loss. I think Albertareef is on the right track. Several other members with sps dominated tanks had the same thing happen and it appears it stemmed from the change in city water quality.

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1 hour ago, danlu_gt said:

Hard to tell that there are 34 fishes in the DT. 8 tangs are getting along great.

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All I can see are two healthy looking triggers j/k. Glad to hear the tangs are getting along well - I'm afraid to add to the two I already have but seems you have had good luck with your socializing box. 

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Wow, I think I might be over feeding my fishes a bit too much. :)

What I've feed since Jan 2017:

  • New 16oz of Cobalt flakes now empty
  • on 2nd jar of 2.2lb of frozen krill
  • plus some homemade frozen shrimps and oysters minced
  • plus various of pellets

Need to cut back on feeding... but they always look so hungry.  hehe

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Wow, I just noticed that my oldest female Blue Star Leopard Wrasse (had for 2 years) is turning into a male.  The other one which I had for 1.5 year is still a female.  It's hard to get a good pic of both of them together with my phone.

 

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That's a nice looking setup!  Love the look of the pendents. 
Thanks... They are my creation. :)

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Got a couple new additions as baby's upcoming 9th month presents. Now I have an excuse to buy something every month. Haha

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36 minutes ago, danlu_gt said:

Got a couple new additions as baby's upcoming 9th month presents. Now I have an excuse to buy something every month. Haha

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Too funny, our 5 month old little guy was the excuse for my tank upgrade!

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