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SkimmyPete

Can GFO negatively affect corals?

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A few months ago I started running carbon and GFO on my tank. It's a fairly new setup and I was having trouble with hair algae. Phosphates were reading pretty low, but I assumed that was because the algae was affecting my readings. Anyway, the algae is under control now, but a few of my corals seemed to stall or regress at the same time. A Duncan, star polyp colony and torch have all seemed to limp along since then. I'm running the amount recommended by BRS, and the tank is still producing some algae. I even have a bit of coralline beginning to grow. Just wondering what people think ought to be the next step to help the corals out. Thanks, all!

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How are your other stats? Mag, Ca, Alk?

 

Coralline is a good sign though. GSP does well in some folks tanks and others can't seem to grow it. I have noticed on all swings my LPS will have some tissue recession and tearing.

 

 

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A few months ago I started running carbon and GFO on my tank. It's a fairly new setup and I was having trouble with hair algae. Phosphates were reading pretty low, but I assumed that was because the algae was affecting my readings. Anyway, the algae is under control now, but a few of my corals seemed to stall or regress at the same time. A Duncan, star polyp colony and torch have all seemed to limp along since then. I'm running the amount recommended by BRS, and the tank is still producing some algae. I even have a bit of coralline beginning to grow. Just wondering what people think ought to be the next step to help the corals out. Thanks, all!

 

Yes, if it lowers your phosphate too quickly or takes it too low, it can cause your corals to react like you describe. Check your phosphate levels with a good kit, like Salifert. If phosphate is undetectable, I would make a change. I personally don't like GFO because it takes my phosphate too low. Instead, I have a Tomini Tang, a Foxface, and money cowries to eat hair algae. I control phosphate and nitrate with an algae scrubber.

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I about destroyed my main tank a couple years back with a little too much GFO, SPS will be the first to go from the sudden nutrient stripping. Start with half the recommended dosage then go up from there is what I now know. And always test before you add/dose anything and then test again after to help prevent sudden fluctuations...Stability is key.

 

Nothing good happens fast in this hobby thats for sure. 

 

Here are a couple pics of even some of my LPS retracting and losing color from the sudden phosphate removal. Several of my acroporas at the time simply started losing skin. Going from 1. to almost 0.0 can really mess things up.

 

IMGP1734.JPG

 

IMGP1742.JPG

 

 

I might reduce the amount of GFO and look into what your nitrates are like too, the algae can use either for fuel.

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I tried running GFO a while back and within an hour every clam (I have 4) had closed up completely. I took it out and replaced it with carbon again. I've never seen my clams do that again and didn't have it in long enough to affect corals.

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Good info. Thanks everyone! I'm going to try reducing the amount of GFO a lot and see if I can put together an algae scrubber. Maybe I can remove the GFO altogether if I get something like that going. I don't have much in the tank yet, but after I can get some corals filling out there will hopefully be clams in my future. Always a process!

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Has anyone tried feeding corals in combination with GFO. It seems like without feeding you could starve them an it, but still I would think it is the shock and not the low phosphate that is killing them.

 

 

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