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I have a 75g tank with two 250w 20k pulsrite mogul bulbs as well as 2 URI Aqua D-light vho actinic. The halides are about 2 months old, and the vho bulbs are about a month old. Since adding the new bulbs, I have notices that my anchor coral and bubble tip are not as big or as open as they use to be. Also, only a few of my zoas have been opening. However, my dersa clam seems to be doing well. The zoas are mid to high in my tank. The clam, bubble and anchor are all low. Before replacing my bulbs, I was starting to get a carpet of cynobacteria. I changed the bulbs hoping it would help that issue. Since changing bulbs, it has gone from velvet carpet to a stringy mess on my rocks. I have the dip test strips and my nitrate and nitrite are both at 0. Alk looks to be 180ppm and ph between 8.2-8.4. I use ro/di water, my filters are about 7 months old. I do 20gal changes once a month and go through about 7 gal a week in top off. Are there other tests I should be doing, or something I might be missing? I'd hate to lose my bubble tip or anchor.

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A couple of things you may want to consider:


1. I would think about getting some nicer metal halide bulbs. SPS, Radium, XM, Pheonix, etc. Plusrite brand bulbs have always been very inconsistant for me and I have noticed alot of time corals just don't like them, especially after a couple of months and sometimes right off the bat(probably something to do with their manufacturing spectrum). A good quality bulb is definitely worth every penny.


2. I would get some new test kits to compare with. The dip in strips tend to be a bit less accurate at best than test kits like API, Seachem, Salifert, and Elos. I like to have 2 of each kind available to test with so that I can compare the two.


3. I would consider grabbing a phospate test kit or two. High phosphates may be part of the issue.


4. Maybe bump the water changes up a bit more. What salt are you using to do them? Are salinity readings taken with a hydrometer or a refractometer? A well calibrated refractometer is usually the most acurate option IME.


5. Come down to the shop and chat, bring a water sample, and we will see what we can dial the problem down to :)

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FWIW-once you determine whats going on-throw those strips away, they are garbage-Reminds me of a reefer that used to use them, he told me how he had zero nitrates, I tested his water with my Salifert kit and the Nitrates were closer to 40.


A little history and more info is needed to help trying to figure whats up-


Being its your first post nobody knows the tanks age or anything for that matter, its impossible to trouble shoot the problem.


Garrett had some good advise in going to see him-


Good luck, and welcome to the site, I hope you get it figured out

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This is my second tank. It has been running for about 3 years. The anchor coral has been in my tank for about 1.5 years and had been growing nicely. I've had the BTA since April this year and looked to be getting larger. I had the cynobacteria before changing bulbs. I thought they might have been the root of the problem. Before changing bulbs, both the anchor and BTA were doing good. The new halides I put in are the same as what I took out. The vho's I had before did not have a name brand on them, so I know the vho's I have now are different. I've been using instant ocean salt. I have the 48lb bucket and am down to about 5-10lbs left. I use a hydrometer. I see your shop is on Commercial, what are you close to? If I brought in water samples, about how much would be needed?

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