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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am having problems with my BB tank and I cant figure out what is going wrong. About two months ago, all my corals started lightening up and several died. Ive lost A. Tenius (sp), bonsai and a green cap. Nothing has changed.

Calcium-420-440
Alk-10.2
Ph. 7.98-8.09
Mag. 1400
Nit-0
PO4-?


Question 1: Do barebottom tanks need less light/ is my light too much for my tank? I have dual Bluewave HQI 250w, Reef Optix III reflectors about six inches off the water on my standard 75g. My photoperiod is about 5 hours with BLV 20k bulbs.

Question 2: Is my system too sterile? Ive been feedin what I consider heavy for the last month and have seen nothing positive for the corals, only more algea. When I make water changes, the water coming out is clearer than the water I put back in.


With all this frustration, I am considering going back to a sand bed that I ran successfully before BB. Any insight that will help correct my problem is appreciated.
 

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Nemo's Chamber Boy
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you need to test phosphates.

and yes, water can get so clean that you will eventually give your tank too much light. you may have read threads about many bb reefkeepers dropping their halides back to 6 hours or less per day. not much proof on if it works or not, but it would be something to investigate.

there is now a bb forum on this site, you may try asking there if you have not already.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My photoperiod is about 5 hours with BLV 20k bulbs
I just bumped the photoperiod up from 4 hours.

WHy would I test for phosphates when there is evidene that the test kits are worthless. I have the Salifert P04 test kit and it does nothing for me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Miles, I have had zero problems with nitrates from the start. I dont even test anymore. Last test by LFS-about two weeks ago, they were undectable.


I think you are misunderstand how I understand BB methadology. Mine says, for all detritus and crap, provide enough flow to blast it into little peices. Then the little dissolved poo poo peices, get skimmed out by my over sized skimmer.

no place for detrius to settle and be eaten
Precisely....it doesnt settle...stays in suspension...gets skimmed out.

I do water changed about every month. I change 30g at a time. Most weeks I also do a small water change.
 

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I think you are misunderstand how I understand BB methadology
Possibly. I've done quite a bit of reading on it since i plan to go that route on my next tank. From the threads i've read, the ppl that do not cook their rock (i don't recall if you did, but i think you skipped this part) have their flow so that the bulk of the detrius and other crap coming out of the rock settles to one area and they syphon it out very frequently. This continues for several months, sometimes up to 6 months or more. You first have to clear the hurdle of your rock sloughing off all that stuff that has built up inside it for hundres of years. Then the bacteria takes over, colonizing the areas that it previously could not because of all that crap built up. After you get over that hurdle, the goal is to keep the detrius (since there is far less now than in the beginning) suspended for your skimmer.

Of the ppl on RC i've read that went BB they do weekly or more frequest WCs for a sold 3-6 months.

If you want some additional help than here at this site, i'd suggest PM'ing Bomber or at RC. He seems to be the resident expert on BB.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I did cook my rock...kind of. I just set up the tank and cyphoned detritus for months before adding anything exciting. The tank has been up for almost two years now.

Im going back to sand.
 

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I would say that if algae is growing then something is wrong somewhere. Don't expect the skimmer to take all phosphates out of your water. You need to do the test. the algae is eating something. it can also be a sign of PH fluctuations. have you noticed anything there?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
YOu are telling me that if there is a little bit of algea on the glass after three or four days, I have serious problems? hmmm....

I did the phosphate test-0

My pH fluctuated from 7.98-8.09 or so.
 

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Are your comfortable that your heaters are working properly ... I suspect the two most common causes of bleaching are water temp and new/high lighting. Lightings is often easier to diagnose since thats pretty obvious .. some aquarist like me only look at temp when things start to go south ... worth a look.
 

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Bob Lablaw
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I doubt its your lighting, I know my tank isn't bare bottom but I have 2x 250w HQI 14K over a 50G tank and I run them for 6 hours a day with no bleaching.

Are these new corals in your tank?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Temp swing is 78-80 tops. Kevin100, my corals are not necessarily bleaching, just lightening up in color.

The green cap I had for the duration of the tank...2years. The other two were bought in december.

I didnt think it was lighting either, but the more I think about it and the more I read about BB tanks needing less light, I think it might be a possibility.

Regardless, I need to figure this out before I feel comfortable placing any new creatures in the tank.
 

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Its not the lighting and sand is not the anwser,something else is stressing the corals out,if it was mine I would double check everything and look at the corals close up with a magnifying glass,but it sounds to me like you just miss your sand and if that is the cause then just go back to it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I need to make something clear i think. This problem has been persistant. I have searched and searched the forums. THere are others having this problem and none have come to a resolution. I would like to be the one who does.

Not trying to be rude but please dont treat me like I am a newb that doesnt ever check my levels and doesnt take care his tank. All of the levels have been constant throughout this ordeal and all the test levels are recent, as of yesterday with exception of PO4 that was done today.

So, they are not so much bleaching as they are just getting lighter then?
The ones that died, bleached big time. The other corals have been turning a pastel color over a long period of time...3-4 months.

Its not the lighting and sand is not the anwser,something else is stressing the corals out,if it was mine I would double check everything but it sounds to me like you just miss your sand and if that is the cause then just go back to it.
How does this have anything to do with my problem. Isnt this just common sense. If everything is stable and all my levels are good it must be "something" else. Duh, now the question is what is that something else?

I will bust out the magnifying glass again, just to quadruple check.

If you think im being snitty, sorry, just frustrated with this prolonged problem.
 

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I've got the REEF rash!
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What test kits are you using and do they have a date code on them?Because you say you have 0 phoshate,I never saw a tank with zero.The lowest I get is .007 and run mine at .011.How about Nitrates?0 also?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Salifert, no date, and it only goes down to .03ppm.

No nitrates, read the top of the post. Just had it tested.
 

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drock59 said:
Question 1: Do barebottom tanks need less light/ is my light too much for my tank? I have dual Bluewave HQI 250w, Reef Optix III reflectors about six inches off the water on my standard 75g. My photoperiod is about 5 hours with BLV 20k bulbs.
I don't think so. I have a BB 90 gallon with 2 400 20K XMs. Photoperiod is 6 hours a day. My corals started to lighten up, but that is a good thing. They were brown before. Corals look healthy.

drock59 said:
Question 2: Is my system too sterile? Ive been feedin what I consider heavy for the last month and have seen nothing positive for the corals, only more algea. When I make water changes, the water coming out is clearer than the water I put back in.
Not for sure about this one, but I don't think so. If you are heavy feeding and algea growing I would think you water is not too sterile.

I have some amount of algea growing and my phosphates measure 0 also.

Are you sure nothing has changed at all? New closed loop pump or anything? Your current levels look good, but could something have spiked two months ago that you did not notice that caused stress on some corals.

I don't know if adding sand back would be better. Maybe another change to the system would not be good right now. If nothing is dieing right now maybe you don't have a serious problem. Just corals changing color.

Theron
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Theron, i added a dart about a month ago, but the problem was happening before this change.

The only reason I have been feeding heavy is becuase some folks think that helps with low nutrient tanks. IE, more food=more nutrients. So that is a new thing.


Your current levels look good, but could something have spiked two months ago that you did not notice that caused stress on some corals.
This could be but I dont know what it would be. I added my reactor and my alk spiked for one day. Perhaps that is what caused the few corals to bite the bisquit, but again, the overall pale problem persisted before/after that change.
 

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I think Izzypop is having the same trouble with his, all his lps and softies are doing great, but his sps are doing the same thing yours are doing. Maybe he has some input on this problem that may help
 
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