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The product that saved my reef


Manny Tavan
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So I decided to share this story because I still can’t quite figure it out

so my reef is a 190g system that I set up April 2019. Most have seen it but don’t know the issues I have had with it. Everything was going for the first 6 months and then one day the acros/montis started slowly dying. I couldn’t figure out why. The only thing I could do to make things better was frequent water changes. For the last year I have been doing 40gallon water changes weekly and if I didn’t do that the acros started dying (tips and base would lose tissue). I tried every thing else and nothing else would help. I changed the food I would feed, I removed the two blocks of marine pure in the sump because my icp showed high aluminum. I dosed all kinds of aminos and trace elements. I switched 2 part to a calcium reactor. I replaced all the heaters, I replaced the skimmer pump, I replaced the return pump, I changed the type of filter roll paper in my clarisea, I changed the brand of nori I was feeding. I tried five different brands of carbon. I changed all my rodi filter/media, I lowered my phosphate using lanthanum chloride. I gave away half of my acropora frags particularly the ones that were always struggling.

 

Anyway I was going to tear down my reef because I thought maybe it was the caribsea rocks or the  starboard I have on the bottom. I was obsessing about it. I was getting tired of doing water changes. Some corals were doing extremely well like the torches. The anemone was growing really well. But something wasn’t right and it just didn’t feel good.

Then one day I found this YouTube video from coraleuphoria.com  he said his sps were looking bad after he took off his rowaphos offline because his phosphate was 0. Then after a couple months when he decided to run rowaphos despite 0 phosphate his sps did better.

So I went to Amazon right away and ordered 1000ml of rowaphos and a phosban reactor

three days later I received my order and hooked it up. Literally overnight my acros were showing polyp extension like I’ve never seen before. Over a week they all colored up. My JF  altered ego frag was grey for a year and in the last month has colored up. My acros are growing at the base like crazy. I am still doing water changes weekly cause I’m paranoid but I probably don’t need to do that anymore 
 

my phos didn’t change. It’s still 0.05 but rowaphos is removing something from the water, I just don’t know what it is or where it comes from...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Manny Tavan
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13 minutes ago, ocboat said:

That's interesting and I'm glad things have turned around for you.  How much are you using and how does it compare to the recommended amount to reduce phosphate? 

I started with one cup and after a month I bumped that up to two cups. 
 

my phos has not changed. It stays at 0.05 

im not using it to remove phosphate

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It does sound like the Rowaphos is removing something that doesn't show up in the ICP analysis. Be careful that you don't take the phosphate levels too low, you may have to add phosphate in that case.

Good luck in solving your problem. Salt isn't cheap but it sounds like it is keeping your tank going.

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I don’t get AWC honestly. If you change water slowly, you remove things slowly (or not at all if it’s accumulating faster than you’re removing it)
 

when I do 20% water change at once, I effectively reduce what’s killing my acros by 20% 

honestly I don’t think it was the aluminum doing it  even with the marine pure block out for a year i was still having the same issues

 

 

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8 minutes ago, Manny Tavan said:

I don’t get AWC honestly. If you change water slowly, you remove things slowly (or not at all if it’s accumulating faster than you’re removing it)

My AWC is done by DOS pumps.   I could set it up to ignore ATO sensors, turn off Main Tank return pump, extract 20% of tank volume, refill 20% tank volume, restart everything.    (I don't have it setup that way right now, but it's easy to switch the programming.)    I lugged buckets/hoses for YEARS.  I'm now <1yr wtih AWC (and a dedicated mixing station).   Amazing difference in quality of reefkeeping for me.

In fairness, I have manually changed 5-10 gallons a couple of times.  But I did it to manually syphoning out some junk in the frag tank bottoms/corners.  And then just used the mixing station to fill an equiv volume of 5 gallon bucket water and dump it into the sump.   

My original setup did not have a bulkhead&water tap that allowed gravity to pull new salt water into a 5gallon bucket.   So I had a pump and a hose do it.  That was slow and painful.  New setup has new saltwater container off the floor, room for 5 gallon bucket under the tap.   Fills the bucket soo fast I don't mind doing it.    But this is still infrequent.

 

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Just now, Bicyclebill said:

Very interesting, and thanks for sharing. Have you posted up on larger forums? I'd be interested to see what the bigger audience has seen and experienced with this. Sounds like it could be a good prophylactic or a good first step to try when nothing else jumps out. 

I haven’t. Mostly because I still don’t have a good idea why this is working for me

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With DOS AWC, you can theoretically change up to 31 gals a day. I think most found that doing 1% a day was effective. I only do 2 gals/day with mine. I suppose I look at it as a gradual rebalance toward a target. With all the “bad” metals and other elements, at least you will be slowly correcting daily towards the 0 target. If something is building, you can identify and modify from there.

 

In my past experience with doing no water changes as many try to do, something would get slowly out of whack and AWC was an easy way to avoid it. Just my thoughts.

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My nitrates are 2.5-5 and I actually have to dose nitrate to get it up there because I have a well functioning refugium

right now the color of my sps is continually improving. Not sure I’ll will need anything else

Im not saying rowaphos is what everyone needs to be using. I think our reefs are all different. Mine for some reason needed it badly. Everything else was not working. 

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1 hour ago, Blue Z Reef said:

With DOS AWC, you can theoretically change up to 31 gals a day. I think most found that doing 1% a day was effective. I only do 2 gals/day with mine. I suppose I look at it as a gradual rebalance toward a target. With all the “bad” metals and other elements, at least you will be slowly correcting daily towards the 0 target. If something is building, you can identify and modify from there.

 

In my past experience with doing no water changes as many try to do, something would get slowly out of whack and AWC was an easy way to avoid it. Just my thoughts.

I think AWC is probably best for balancing out a mild issue. 
 

for removal of a problem it’s not going to be as effective as a bigger water change

if you take something that has a concentration of 100ppm for instance and you do a 50% water change. You’ve reduced to 50ppm

if you spread that water change and do 10% x 5 ( same volume) you’ve only reduced it to 60ppm

 

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7 minutes ago, Manny Tavan said:

I think AWC is probably best for balancing out a mild issue. 
 

for removal of a problem it’s not going to be as effective as a bigger water change

if you take something that has a concentration of 100ppm for instance and you do a 50% water change. You’ve reduced to 50ppm

if you spread that water change and do 10% x 5 ( same volume) you’ve only reduced it to 60ppm

 

I think that's a fair perspective.   Agreed.

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Now that things are looking up how about another icp test?

 

Oh and blue z mentioned the reef moonshiners program, it is very interesting and I have stongly considered it but I wouldn't recommend just buying all of their supplements as from what I've read a few of them may be useless

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