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HELP! 1.5yr old tank, parameters perfect, why do stony corals just die?!


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My suggestion is to make thing simple and back to basic.

Carbon 24/7 and GFO 24/7 offline and let the skimmer do the job

If you are afraid nutrient level climbing up then cut down on feeding

Go back to basic salt like IO or you can do 50/50 IO & RC

I run 20-30 NO3 and 0.08-0.1 PO4, I can assure you coral will not loose color and no nuisance algae issue

 

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After reading through your information twice and reading all the comments, I believe that Higher Thinking may have hit on the problem which is a piece of your equipment leaching something into your water. I have read about this on another website where others had this problem. Of course that’s just my opinion but if it was my tank that’s where I would start. To me it makes perfect sense since you had a lot of success running your tank before this occurred. 

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One more question - Have you sent your water out to be tested, for the broader spectrum stuff?  

I sent mine out last month via Eli's Oceamo test service.   Got it back last Monday, with a couple of surprises.

  1. Completely out of Iodine (Zero, Nada)
  2. Low on Manganese and Molybdenum
  3. High on Zinc  (maybe something leaching)

I appreciate how clear it read, and the extra interpretation comments written at the end.  (not pasted) Might be worth it, looking for pollutants.  (there are other testing services out there too)

image.png

https://www.pnwmas.org/forums/topic/49073-introducing-oceamo-seawater-analysis-now-available-in-the-us/?tab=comments#comment-475843

 

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19 hours ago, obrien.david.j said:

One more question - Have you sent your water out to be tested, for the broader spectrum stuff?  

I sent mine out last month via Eli's Oceamo test service.   Got it back last Monday, with a couple of surprises.

  1. Completely out of Iodine (Zero, Nada)
  2. Low on Manganese and Molybdenum
  3. High on Zinc  (maybe something leaching)

I appreciate how clear it read, and the extra interpretation comments written at the end.  (not pasted) Might be worth it, looking for pollutants.  (there are other testing services out there too)

image.png

https://www.pnwmas.org/forums/topic/49073-introducing-oceamo-seawater-analysis-now-available-in-the-us/?tab=comments#comment-475843

 

Zinc could be from a lotion, deodorant,shampoo if your sweating into the tank it could be those. Low Iodine wow,lol I randomly hand dose Iodine in my system glad I do now. Also check if you have metal framing for hood/lights that might be flaking into the tank? Idk just some thoughts. Hope it helps,also sunscreen has zinc

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1 hour ago, islandVib3s said:

Zinc could be from a lotion, deodorant,shampoo if your sweating into the tank it could be those. Low Iodine wow,lol I randomly hand dose Iodine in my system glad I do now. Also check if you have metal framing for hood/lights that might be flaking into the tank? Idk just some thoughts. Hope it helps,also sunscreen has zinc

Good insights.  I don't think I'm sweating into the tank, and no lotion.  I'll check my favorite soap I use before putting my hands into the tank.

All glass tank, no metal framing.  Aluminum 8020 bar holds lights over the tank...  So It's time for a hunt in the equipment room.  Zinc COULD be from galvanized screws I've used to build the equipment stands/etc.  I'll go looking for an older one, corroding, without pain on it, and dripping into the sump.

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On 8/13/2021 at 1:51 PM, obrien.david.j said:

Good insights.  I don't think I'm sweating into the tank, and no lotion.  I'll check my favorite soap I use before putting my hands into the tank.

All glass tank, no metal framing.  Aluminum 8020 bar holds lights over the tank...  So It's time for a hunt in the equipment room.  Zinc COULD be from galvanized screws I've used to build the equipment stands/etc.  I'll go looking for an older one, corroding, without pain on it, and dripping into the sump.

You find it yet? Just wondering in case I run into problems later

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1 hour ago, islandVib3s said:

You find it yet? Just wondering in case I run into problems later

No.   nothing obvious.    

  • Tank, hood, light rack/etc are all new, as of August last year.
  • Equipment room setup was mostly re-done May last year.  
  • A couple of painted shelves are original from many years ago.
  • Equipment reused, which has age.    GenX pumps (all plastic impellers), 1/3hp Chiller.   Any chance chiller "coils" aren't 100% titanium and have zinc in the middle?   Chiller has been in service since the mid 90's.   Has been removed and descaled a couple of times.  (and serviced, recharged, etc)

But I have found nothing obvious.

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Zinc target level is 5 microgram/L and usually when you have higher level could come from salt and trace elements additive

If you don't add it is usually will drop down to about 1-3 microgram/L level, at that 9 microgram/L wont affect the coral

Redsea ABCD additive are loaded with Zinc, Redsea Iodine has 12mcrgram/L, ESV Calcium has 9 mcrgram/L, Tropic Marine Salt has 1.0 mcrgram/L,

Redsea Potassium has 6mcrgram/L, Redsea Iron has 16900 mcrgram/L (loaded), and Redsea Bioactive has 36 mcrgram/L

So does many other metal as minor trace elements will be in this type of additive

This is why if we are not aware and just adding additive by following other people success with it multiply that with multiple brands use, possible of overdosing is high possibility. We are setting ourselves for tank crash without us knowing it.

I just gave examples above on the brand that I have done ICP to know what in it before I use the additive in my system

Boron my target level is 7 mcrgram/L, Strontium my target level at 10, and Molybdenum level at 15, these minor trace elements help with healing and growth for all corals and zoa

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Quick update - I turned off the nopox, removed the carbon, GFO, and UV around 2 weeks ago, and started lowering the alk. Parameters seem okay (alk still a little high at 8.3 on the hannah, 7.6 on the triton) except Phosphate is 0.43. Do I really over-feed that much, or is there something else going on here?

No apparent change to coral growth.

I need to get this phosphate under control, then I'll do some Oceamo testing.

One more note - it's running ~3gal/day auto water change...

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Saw this thread and i just restarted my 312 gallon tank that had the same issue.  All my soft corals zoas, anemones fish etc etc are fine, but anything with a hard skeleton died slowly over 2-3 months.  I did have a discussion with another reefer with the same issue and  he thought it might be a dinoflagellate called ostreopsis ovata.  It is toxic to hard corals and will kill them over time.  I am not sure if that was teh issue or not.  I did end up shutting my tank down.

Here is what i did

Acid washed all the rocks and let sit in fresh water for 2 weeks.

Cleaned the tank and sump out and checked for any rust or signs of metal contamination  (none found)

Replaced my mp 40 wetsides

Replaced my main return pump with a spare i had (hammerhead rated at 6,000 gph)

Cleaned my calcium reactor.

Added a dos dosing system to my apex and tied that in with the trident and calcium reactor to minimize the amount of alk, ca and mg swings

Added a salinity monitor to the apex

Changing over my radion gen ones to radion gen5 blues

Cleaned skimmer and pump throughly, inspected for any type of rust on screws on the pump.

Started tank back up filled with ro/di water (new filters on rodi)  Let tank set for 2 weeks

Added salt and put in rocks again and let sit a week

Then i added a couple pieces of live rock that i saved to repopulate the system with coraline.

So far system has show great health again.  All old corals and fish are back in system and thriving.  I have added a few tester hard corals and they have been doing great for 3 weeks now.

In the end do i know what caused the issue?  No, but doing a complete reboot of the tank seems to have helped.  Ill try and keep some updates posted as things go along.

I do plan on adding a reef octopus biopellet reactor in the near future to help with the nitrates.  

Currently the parameters are

salinity 1.025

Temp 77 deg f

alk 8.5

ca 462

mg 1289

ph 8.24

 

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My last tank I had up and running for several years. With exception of monti caps and one birds nest, all sps I would add would survive for 2-3 months. They would hold colors decent, but no growth or PE. At the 2-3 month mark they would either RTN or STN. Upgraded to a new tank  and have had great success with sticks. Was never able to figure out the direct cause, but do have a few theories. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

I had an ah-hah/face-palm moment when I realized that I've been neglecting my over-complicated refugium.  I removed all the rubble and vacuumed out TONS of detritus.  I'm hoping this constant source of organics breaking down was causing the problems. I'm giving the tank time to run stable for a while to see how things respond, so far I have no further coral losses.

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  • 4 weeks later...

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