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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been running my 180G for a year and I still can't get the hang of keeping sps. All frags look good initially when purchased from LFS but some will eventually die off after couple of weeks. Water parameters are stable with good water flow.

Water parameters
Ph 8.05
Alk 7.7
Ca 480
No3 3ppm
PO4 0
Mg 1400

Hope the experts here can give me some advice as to what I am doing wrong.

Pic 1: Brown tip and PE starts to retract
Pic 2: Good colour and seeing growth
Pic 3: Looking good.
 

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Your Alk is too low and your brown out is due to your lighting in my opinion. Also your ph could be a bit higher.

SPS isn't really something you should intend to do great with if you have a young tank like you have. I would have started out with something easier like euphellia and other soft corals. This way you can really see if the coral are doing well or not. With SPS it's a bit harder to tell since the polyp extension isn't something that is notice by a novice.

Also, what are you running with your tank to reduce PO4 and No3? A reactor of some type or are you just doing water changes.

Good luck with this and I hope you keep plugging along
 

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i'm no expert but what are you testing No3 and p04 with? is there any algae in the tank? for sps, you should figure out your true readings and go from there, sounds to me like the system is a bit too neutrient poor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the quick reply.

I'm using the 4 ' vertex illumina 260 and light intensity is set low at RB, B 65%, W 35%, UV 20%. My ph used to stay around 8.2 but declined to around 8.00 during the winter months.

All water parameters are tested by Salifert and not running anything to reduce NO3 and PO4. I feed my fish (12 in total including 3 tangs) 3 times a day and it's hard to believe that my NO3 and Po4 are still low. I run my sump with a 6" DSB with a huge cluster of chaeto (10" x 10"), would that be the reason of low No3 and Po4. Also, I am running bubble king external 200 as my skimmer.

I do 10 to 15% W/C every 2 weeks.

Your Alk is too low and your brown out is due to your lighting in my opinion. Also your ph could be a bit higher.

SPS isn't really something you should intend to do great with if you have a young tank like you have. I would have started out with something easier like euphellia and other soft corals. This way you can really see if the coral are doing well or not. With SPS it's a bit harder to tell since the polyp extension isn't something that is notice by a novice.

Also, what are you running with your tank to reduce PO4 and No3? A reactor of some type or are you just doing water changes.

Good luck with this and I hope you keep plugging along
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I think my system is nutrient poor as well and I started dosing Zeovit amino acid and coral vitalizer. 4 drops twice a week.

Some sps actually show better coloration but my monti cap got worst.

i'm no expert but what are you testing No3 and p04 with? is there any algae in the tank? for sps, you should figure out your true readings and go from there, sounds to me like the system is a bit too neutrient poor.
 

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I think my system is nutrient poor as well and I started dosing Zeovit amino acid and coral vitalizer. 4 drops twice a week.

Some sps actually show better coloration but my monti cap got worst.
any algae? perhaps a new breakout with the zeovit?

i was in the same boat, pale sps from a nutrient poor system; i started dosing the zeovit phols extra and that's helped alot. i also started feeding alot more (oyster feast and reef roids)

what and how often are you feeding?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Not much algae. I swipe the glass every 4-5 days.

Other than Zeovit AACH and CV, I feed coral snow at half dose once a week.
 

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hrm....you could try feeding a bit more.


from my research, you want to keep p04 @ .01-.03 and No3 around the .2 area.

at the same time, if you find that your sps is browing, then maybe moving them up in the tank closer to the light might work or raising the intensity up slowly.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you!

Hope I can figure this out soon.

Guess
hrm....you could try feeding a bit more.

from my research, you want to keep p04 @ .01-.03 and No3 around the .2 area.

at the same time, if you find that your sps is browing, then maybe moving them up in the tank closer to the light might work or raising the intensity up slowly.
 

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what salt are you using? (re low alk). I know some salts are lower in alk more than others. Check your salt and switch to a brand that's got higher alk. Lots of discussions on RC on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I was using DD H2O but switched to reef crystal couple months ago. I have been reading RC a lot and lots of people have great success using reef crystal
 

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I'm going to give the Milwaukee Low Range Phosphate Colorimeter(MI412) a try. The
Hanna 736 is good, but the consistency of the reagents is dicy.

I buy them 3 boxes at a time so I don't run out and have to keep ordering. The first
box was good and gave consistent results. The second box was garbage and I
haven't used the third yet.

If the Milwaukee has consistent reagents, I'll toss the Hanna:).

SUM recommends the DD phosphate test kit over Hanna for more accurate reading in the low range. Which test kit would you prefer.
 

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I think he's running a Zeovit ULNS system, in which case you want your alkalinity between 7 - 7.5dkh, ideally.

what salt are you using? (re low alk). I know some salts are lower in alk more than others. Check your salt and switch to a brand that's got higher alk. Lots of discussions on RC on that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I think he's running a Zeovit ULNS system, in which case you want your alkalinity between 7 - 7.5dkh, ideally.
I'm just using the Zeovit AACH and CV only and not running the whole Zeovit system. I want to figure out what exactly are my issuesssss before trying something new.
 
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