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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey Guys, I have few concerns for 55g reef. My tank is about a year old this month!, and I can say it looks pretty good. Heres a little background info, I have a hang off the back filter, for media : carbon,ammonia reducing pads, and normal filter pads. I don't have a protein skimmer ( stuck between the debate if its needed for not ). For lights I have a 4 bulb Florissant fixture ) With about 50lbs of rocks I have 1 head of frogspawn ( that is growing fast! ), A small branch of 3 heads of hammer coral, which is nearly dead, A large branch of 4 heads of hammer coral ( these were huge when purchased, after about 3 months in my tank they rarely open and when they do its very small ) 3 kenya trees, a devils hand and toadstool, I had a bubble coral and torch, but they died I guess. Cup coral, and Lastly, xenias ( which always open :) ) My concern is that at one point all of these corals thrived and were great, but now half don't open or get as big as they used too. Mainly its the hammer coral, but my frogspawn is doing great so I'm confused. I consider my self still new to this hobby ( I am 15 ), so most of chemisrty references go over my head, but Ive maintained a generally heathy reef for a year ( plus my 12g fluvial which is doing great :) ). The water parameters are NO3 40 / NO2 0.5 /PH 8.0 / KH 180 /GH 180, this was taken with test strips so not the most accurate. I just switched over to reef crystals for salt thinking that I was lacking essential nutrients. I dosed the tank with calcium, iodine , and Strontium and Molybdenum, back in December, when I ran out I never really picked it up again cause it was a " reef starter " and I think my tank is established. Thats the only real difference in my tank over time, my water temp is about 75, and powerhead is for a 75g tank, so its facing the glass, so flow is steady but not too much. My fish have always been healthy ( Yellow tang, 3 clowns, six line wrase, lawnmower blenny, sand sifting star, and a few hermits. Looking back at old pics the corals were looking great but now everything is kinda sad looking, and its been like this for a while. Any ideas or help? Heres a picture IMG_0032.JPG , IMG_0019.JPG , the pics don't do the lighting justice, but the hammer corals in the pic haven't opened in a month or 2.:confused::confused:
 

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You should never see ammonia or nitrite in a tank after it's cycled. That you have a reading of .5 nitrite is definitely a concern and would for sure make your corals angry and can cause harm to your fish as well. A nitrate reading of 40 is also slightly high for corals to be happy consistently. I would suggest removing the HOB filter as it can trap waste if not cleaned extremely often and cause water quality issues. Replacing it with a skimmer would help.

I would also suggest buying quality test kits as strips are notoriously inaccurate. And don't dose anything until you have proper test kits. Alk, Calcium, Mag and pH are all tied up in each other and dosing one can throw everything off.

What is your maintenance like? What kind of water do you use? What kind of lighting do you have? A single powerhead is likely not enough for a 75g tank. You want roughly 25-40x turnover so that would be about 1900-3000gph - do you know the GPH rating of your powerhead? Flow is extremely important. A proper amount is needed for gas exchange in the tank and for corals to respirate and release waste properly. It also is important to keep waste suspended. With low flow waste settles on rocks and sand and soaks in, causing water quality and algae issues. If it breaks down in the water it can be removed more easily with water changes and skimming.
 

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Hi Bafumi! Agree with Chi:agree: You shouldn't need to dose anything yet in your tank, since you have a fairly small load in there so far. I do get a laugh out of most of the on-line coral sources say to dose such things.....they must make a fortune off of selling it. :) I would also add that since you're running florescent lights, and if not done so already, I'd consider changing the bulbs. I change mine out 2X a year......during bonus time! I'm thinking if you up grade your test kit, your levels may be O.K. All the best, and congratulations hitting the one year mark.....THAT'S A BIGGY!:blob:
Hack
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Yes I was planning on changing bulbs in august since that marks one year, but if 2x a year is better than I will change them more frequently. Never gave the lights a thought but its been about a year so that could be it, but that only affect select corals, cause like right now my xenias, cup coral, frogspawn, and kenyas are doing great and look good for a surprise, its the hammers, and toadstool that just won't open all the way
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hey, I clean the filter about once a month and take out about gallon of waste water out and exchange it for clean water , the tank is 55g but the power head is for a 75g tank, it's a aqueon and packaging days 950 gph, it has been positioned facing outward and is just way to strong it has face the glass. What should I do about the nitrates?
I do a water change once a month, of just 5 gallons. I do use tap water but it's not like I switched , I've always used it. My lights are T5s, and I have 4 bulbs. I think I don't have a issue with waste settling into rocks and sand cause but how would I tell? Thank you for replying with with much useful information too!
 

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Water changes to bring the Nitrates down.
You might consider doing more frequent water changes to keep the nitrates down.
 
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