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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Reefers,

I have a 75g reef tank up and running. The filters and protein skimmer are functioning fine. I have 60lbs of live rock, sand substrate, and all my parameters are fine. My Nitrates/and Ammonia levels were O. My PH is 8.4 and my water temp is 83 to 85. Water flow is achieved by two SEIO 1100s and I have an outer orbit with MH's

I have two clowns, a hawkfish, a sand star, 4 emerald crabs, 20 snails, 2 sea lettuce, 1 big Trocea clam, 2 bubble tips, 1 toadstool, a small brain, and a couple other things I am forgetting.


My problem is that all my corals are losing color. They are turning white, retracting, and just look like crap in general. I noticed my salinity leves dropped below 1.020. I hate to say this but it probably has been that low for at least 2 months. I have been gradually changing out 5 g's a day with a stronger salt concentrate and i am trying to bring it up .001 a day.

My question to the more experienced folks out there is, Was my salt levels too low for my tank? Can this be the reason that all my corals are looking like garbage? 3RD, do think its too late to turn things back around for the current corals in there?

THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE.
 

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probally not the SG.

The only corals you list are a toadstool and a brain. Those are low light corals. how long is your photo period? Where are they in the tank? try putting them on the bottom for a fre weeks. They could also be loosing their zooax. a few feedings a week for a while might help.

Also are you checking CA, ALK, and MAG???

How old is the tank and how long have you had the corals? how are the anemones doing?
 

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Just some guy, you know?
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The salinity levels could cause stress,.. but IME low salinity levels provided they dropped slowly normally don't cause big problems.

That Temp however could IMHO. When my temp has climed above 81 I've noticed issues,.. and at 85 your getting really close to bleaching territory which is said to be 87 FWIR.

HTH,
Whiskey
 

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bring the temp down
 

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It could be so many things... but yes, your temp is high, try to keep it below 80.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
probally not the SG.

The only corals you list are a toadstool and a brain. Those are low light corals. how long is your photo period? Where are they in the tank? try putting them on the bottom for a fre weeks. They could also be loosing their zooax. a few feedings a week for a while might help.

Also are you checking CA, ALK, and MAG???

How old is the tank and how long have you had the corals? how are the anemones doing?
the anenome is doing good, he was a roamer forever until he found a place in the sand and dug in.

my light cycle has been 9 to 10 hours since day one. the toad has been on the bottom where he almost tripled in size before falling ill. he also was getting black spots on him that when shot off with a turkey baster would leave a hole in the toadstool. that subsided recently but is starting to come back, just smaller black spots this time. no one has been able to tell me what this problem is.

The other corralbesides the brain and the toad is a coral with purple tentacles which come from hard stalks with white almost transparant bubbles on the end. When I bought it at my LFS its tentacles were all extended and it was vibrant in color. It was gorgeous and I paid 60 bucks for it. Over the last two 1/2 months all the tentals have retracted into the hard stalks(this is why i am calling this a coral) and just the tips are showing, it looks like its dying now.

Calcium:
Based on what I told my LFS they said calcium levels should really not be an issue because so little in the tank is dependent on it. I still bought a two part alk buffer, calcium additive that i have added every few weeks. Because of their lack of concern I never bought a calcium kit.

Alk was fine, never tested for MAG, whats that?


Tank Time Line:
the tank was started in march of 2007, the cured rock was put in two weeks later, and it sat for 3 months before i added the clowns , the star, a pin cushion, and the snails. I had and still have an algae problem that i am constantly fighting. its mostly hair algae and bubble algae. the hair algae is slowly going away with the addition of the sea lettuce and a lawn mower blenny(he is so fat he rolls is practically rolling around the tank).
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
It is very dangerous to dose somthing and not test for it(ca)
MAG Magnesium.
i agree. I have stopped this and will not use it until I get a CA test kit. I have second thermometer in the tank and its high, I have my glass covers off and I think this discussion actually brought to light a heater problem. It seems to be coming on when it should not-good thing I have a lifetime warranty. I am going to see how this advice does over the next week or so.Any other idea?

Thanks again ALL of you for your help.
 

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lets start with just the temp for now. changing to many things at once can stress things out even more. with the temp so high your bacteria are cranking anyway, so any small change can lead to quick problems due to the metabolism of the bacteria. just lower the temp as slow as you can. if you can get it down a degree per day that would be great.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
lets start with just the temp for now. changing to many things at once can stress things out even more. with the temp so high your bacteria are cranking anyway, so any small change can lead to quick problems due to the metabolism of the bacteria. just lower the temp as slow as you can. if you can get it down a degree per day that would be great.

G~
Here we are a few days later and I have lowered the tep gradually. I am ay 81 now with salinity levels at 1.021.

I know that results good or bad are not going to show up over night so I will keep you posted. Thanks for the help guys in identifying the obvious. I am so wrapped up in monitoring all these other key indicators that i forgot about the basics and didnt see the heater was defunk. :read:

cHRIS
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I wanted to start bringing everything up(salinity) and down(temp) gradually. Now the temp is at 79 to 80. and the salinity is between 1.021 and 1.022. I am shooting for a steady 78 by next week and a salinity of 1.24. is everyone reading this reccommending a 1.026 salinity?

I think I really got lucky. Everything in the tank has done a turnaround in a matter of days. Little improvements can be seen in all of the corals. Colors are coming back, everything. I hope it all pulls through . I will post some pics soon.
 

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NSW is 1.026, so that is why most of us prefer this. low salinities is a throwback to the early days of reefing when they thought keeping a lower salinity would help with parasites. does not make a difference. it actually makes it harder for corals to live.

G~
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Update

Hi Reefers,

I have a 75g reef tank up and running. The filters and protein skimmer are functioning fine. I have 60lbs of live rock, sand substrate, and all my parameters are fine. My Nitrates/and Ammonia levels were O. My PH is 8.4 and my water temp is 83 to 85. Water flow is achieved by two SEIO 1100s and I have an outer orbit with MH's

I have two clowns, a hawkfish, a sand star, 4 emerald crabs, 20 snails, 2 sea lettuce, 1 big Trocea clam, 2 bubble tips, 1 toadstool, a small brain, and a couple other things I am forgetting.


My problem is that all my corals are losing color. They are turning white, retracting, and just look like crap in general. I noticed my salinity leves dropped below 1.020. I hate to say this but it probably has been that low for at least 2 months. I have been gradually changing out 5 g's a day with a stronger salt concentrate and i am trying to bring it up .001 a day.

My question to the more experienced folks out there is, Was my salt levels too low for my tank? Can this be the reason that all my corals are looking like garbage? 3RD, do think its too late to turn things back around for the current corals in there?

THANKS SO MUCH IN ADVANCE.
OK, well some time has passed as I work past my issues ;). The leather started falling over shortly after i posted and I immedietely removed it from the tank. I got two frags from the original mess and they have surrvied and attached to my lr. Growing steadily and no sign of the previous ones symtoms. My purple torch has started to recover slowly and its great to see everything bouncing back with the params finally in check. The most positive news as of late is my clowns finally hosted in a green bubble anenome. They have been 'homeless' by choice since March 07. This was a really cool thing to see for the first time!
 

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this is late in the post, but i would suspect you have a lot of salt creep if your specific gravity was dropping. chances are that some salt was dropping back on the leather and causing burns. i would also bet that the high temp was a factor too. i keep my tank around 81 with no problems. i need to go back to the books but i think the average reef temp around the world hovers above 80 but can't swear to that. i need to pull out my bourneman book and check that again.
 

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Congrats on having the clowns start hosting. That doesnt always happen, as I've yet to convince mine to find their way to that part of the tank!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Pics attached

Glad to hear your tank is doing better. How about some pictures?
pics attached. I picked up the two tangs this weekend from somethingfishy, my LFS. They were reccommende as part of the algae control I am working on fixiing.

correction, two tangs , the one pictured and the other is a fox faced tang. The purple torch is no longer purple but it is showing signs of improvement , i.e. the coral heads are showing growth and they are slowly extending more and more each day. The clam is center stage in the tank.

My algae problem is a mix of hair and bubble algae. both the round bubble type and the long tubular stuff you see pictured. i was new to the hobby and this was my first tank. i didnt realize the algae was BAD until it was already out of control. Recent efforts to curb it have been working. The Phosphates are now in check(well water no longer used), the emerald crabs,tangs, and sea lettuce have been pruning it back dramatically, and the last phase will be a one by one removal of the LR to remove the Bubble algae. Any ideas, concerns, suggestions?
 

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