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Elmorenicholas

SPS Issues

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Good afternoon everyone. Need some help. I am having issues with SPS as the forum title implies. First parameters

ALK 8.9-9.1 swing through out the day

Calcium 480

Mag 1500

Nitrates 20

Phos .15

Temp 76.5 -78

Amonia 0

Nitrites 0

My issues is when first adding any sps thwy look great. However they are slowly dying off after 2 to 3 weeks. No tissue loss. They just gradually lose polyp extension and color and die off. My par levels are good and nothing is burning either.  LPS corals look great. Zoas look ok but dont open all the way. Thw one possibility I'm thinking is that I have a metal clamp in the water on my return pump. I'm wondering if this is leaching and causing my issues. Could anyone help with some ideas. I'm kind of lost for probable causes. 

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A few questions come to mind:

1. What kind of flow are you giving the SPS?

2. Do you know the Alk parameters the new frags came from?  If it was really low maybe they're shocked by your higher alk.

3. Have you considered lowering your NO3 and PO4 levels?  I try to keep my NO3 around 4 ppm and PO4 around 0.05 ppm.  My SPS seem pretty happy with those levels.

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The dreaded sps problem!! So while I am no expert but have been know to grow a stick or two if it were me I would do s few things but do them SLOWLY! Btw how old is tank, what lights are you using and what kind of flow? 

i would get your nitrates down to around 5 and phosphates to .03-.05. 

Alk 8.5

ca 450

Mg 1250-1400

not that these are your issues but with nutrients that high I would suspect that’s possibly the culprit. 

Could the metal clamp be an issue? Yes  I would probably throw a poly pad in and see if it changes color  Hope this helps 

 

 

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47 minutes ago, Elmorenicholas said:

Good afternoon everyone. Need some help. I am having issues with SPS as the forum title implies. First parameters

ALK 8.9-9.1 swing through out the day

Calcium 480

Mag 1500

Nitrates 20

Phos .15

Temp 76.5 -78

Amonia 0

Nitrites 0

My issues is when first adding any sps thwy look great. However they are slowly dying off after 2 to 3 weeks. No tissue loss. They just gradually lose polyp extension and color and die off. My par levels are good and nothing is burning either.  LPS corals look great. Zoas look ok but dont open all the way. Thw one possibility I'm thinking is that I have a metal clamp in the water on my return pump. I'm wondering if this is leaching and causing my issues. Could anyone help with some ideas. I'm kind of lost for probable causes. 

Just depends on the metal. If you can identify the metal, we can probably tell you if it is a problem. Iron really isn't an issue, along with many other metals. Copper is an issue.

Also, how often do you do water changes?

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Ok so gonna try to reply without missing any questions lol. 

A few questions come to mind:

1. What kind of flow are you giving the SPS? High flow from one end of the tank.

Will be adding a second powerhead to the other end to vary the flow.

2. Do you know the Alk parameters the new frags came from?  If it was really low maybe they're shocked by your higher alk.  

All of them came from between 8.3 to 9.5 alk.

 

3. Have you considered lowering your NO3 and PO4 levels?  I try to keep my NO3 around 4 ppm and PO4 around 0.05 ppm.  My SPS seem pretty happy with those levels.

I am currently working on lowering both. 

4.How old is the tank? 

6 months

5. How often do you do water changes?

Around 7% once a week. Contemplating doing 5 gallons a day for a week for possible leaching issues from the clamp.

6. Did you start with live rock?

Started with carribsea life rock that had been cycled. Also cycled the tank for over a month and monitored.  Went through diatoms and everything. I do have algea however which is slowly going away due to carbon dosing to get the nitrates down. 

7. Clamp metal type?

Not sure. It's just a metal hose clamp from home depot.

Also I am using red sea coral pro salt. I have yet to be able to get magnesium below 1500 due to the water changes. I was dosing 2.5ml alk a day to hold 9 and recently had to bump up to 3ml a day. Calcium has not declined probably also due to water changes. Lighting is 2 hydra 26. Just used the club par meter and have the lights at about 380 par at the water line. 320 to 350 at the top of the rocks where the sps is mounted.

 

 
Edited by Elmorenicholas

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I don't believe the clamp would cause any issues. I bet it's stainless steel, which might leech iron.

One thing I was having issues with when I started was how consistent the SPS was getting alkalinity and calcium. I had very similar stats when I started my aquarium, but didn't realize that water changes make it fluctuate a lot. The stats of Red Sea Coral Pro is a lot higher than your aquarium.

Maybe try a doser or calcium reactor. You could do hand dosing, but nothing was even close to when I got a doser.

I have a strong feeling it's consistency.

Edited by milesmiles902

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So now that we have a little more info. I’m leaning towards two issues.  Your tank needs to mature and your nutrients are a little too high 

Are you doing anything to export nutrients such as GFO. Vodka dosing or just relying on water changes?

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I was relying on water changes but three days ago started dosing sugar 1/4 tsp a day which seems to be working. Nitrates are slowly going down and algea is slowly going away also. The clamp does have rust spots which is what made me think of it. 

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3 minutes ago, Elmorenicholas said:

I was relying on water changes but three days ago started dosing sugar 1/4 tsp a day which seems to be working. Nitrates are slowly going down and algea is slowly going away also. The clamp does have rust spots which is what made me think of it. 

They rust. Don't worry. It wouldn't hurt to use a zip tie, but I had one for years and it didn't cause issues. 

To each their own.

Save up, try a doser. Maybe go an check the calcium and alkalinity of your salt. See what you think.

Consistency is key and once I got a doser. My life changed. Never had to dose and honestly never cared about nitrates and phosphates. I went months without testing my aquarium. No water changes either. Just baking soda and de-icer.

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Plan on getting a dose pump soon. I checked my mix and it has all of 9.5. Mag 1500 calcium 480. I usually do a water change and dont dose all that day and it keeps it steady. I work nights and dose when I get home in the morning. It drops over night to 8.8 and the dose takes it to 9. Same on water change days. The water change takes it back to 9. However the dose pump will be coming soon

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Rules that out. Lots of good info here. Maybe try getting your water tested by another source. Most lfs’s will test your water at no charge. What kits are you using?

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That's not bad. You got it. Personally, I said it before and I'll say it again. There has only been one person in my entire life and that's @badxgillen who can hand dose and do it to a T. Every other professional, has a calcium reactor or doser. We're whimps.

Check this out and dose your current amounts divided throughout the day: https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2004/4/chemistry

Best of luck!

 

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Get rid of that metal clamp would be a good start. There are a lot of different alloys in anything metal and if it's rusting it's not a good quality stainless clamp. Even if it was I wouldn't want it in my tank. Stainless has chromium which can kill a tank. Probably also has zinc, copper and aluminum in unknown concentrations that are leaching let alone iron. They make nifty little ratchet style clamps to use in place of hose clamps. Start there and a poly pad and big bag of hq carbon. Some sps I can't keep, some grow too much. But I can't keep zoa's.

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I would definitely agree with getting rid of the clamp, surgical stainless is really the only type of "stainless" steel you want in a tank, and that's only if you have too. I'm sure that hose clamp is zinc and chromium based, both of those are as toxic to marine life as copper is, being that they have similar characteristics with each other. One thing I noticed was that I don't see what your total water volume is. Unless I'm just missing that... but if you have 400 gallons total, a small clamp won't do anything really, but if you only have 50, the concentration of heavy metals will be increased, causing more of an issue. I keep my nitrates at 15+ and grow sticks like crazy! I do 5 gallon changes every other week and when I did notice some sps getting poor health, I got an ati water test done, which showed I had high zinc and low bromine, did I 10 gallon water change (on a 45 gallon) and everything went back to normal after a week.

Basically, I would for sure get rid of the clamp. If you can spend some money on it, get a lab water test done, (that's what helped me figure out my issue) and check your source water as well, what are you using for your source water?

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So total volume is around 70 gallons. It's a red sea 250. Using rodi water.  Sounds like I have a couple things to handle. The clamp being one and high nitrates being two. I think I'm going to remove that clamp and do a few water changes. Maybe 3 over the next few days. That should handle the nitrates and if anything has leached in the tank and go from that point. All the advice definitely helps. A lab test sounds like a good idea too.  It's just odd that the sps are dying the way they are. It's so slowly without any tissue loss. So something is just off but only just enough to slowly choke them out. I'll add updates and see where it goes. Thank you for all of the information..

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6 hours ago, Elmorenicholas said:

So total volume is around 70 gallons. It's a red sea 250. Using rodi water.  Sounds like I have a couple things to handle. The clamp being one and high nitrates being two. I think I'm going to remove that clamp and do a few water changes. Maybe 3 over the next few days. That should handle the nitrates and if anything has leached in the tank and go from that point. All the advice definitely helps. A lab test sounds like a good idea too.  It's just odd that the sps are dying the way they are. It's so slowly without any tissue loss. So something is just off but only just enough to slowly choke them out. I'll add updates and see where it goes. Thank you for all of the information..

I am not a SPS guy but...

If your looking to remove nitrates and or possible contaminates one large water change would be more effective than a few smaller ones.  Assuming your new water has similar parameters to your tank water

 

Edited by Derbird

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Why are your nitrates so high? Do you have a crazy high  fish loading? Is your testing accurate?

I would strongly advise against carbon dosing on a tank that new and small in volume, been there done that.

Do you have a build thread, can you post a picture of your tank and sump?

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I would try no to change anything rapidly--your parameters are not too far off.

Consider more water changes until the nitrates come down. In the meantime, I would consider sending of an ICP test to see if there is something strange like heavy metal buildup. What is your water source? RO/DI?

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As you can see the clamp didnt look too bad. However the screq in it was rusting pretty bad. 

Nitrates are down to 10

Edited by Elmorenicholas

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