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ReefKeeper
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A little while back, I posted a thread on the build of my frag tank. I'm having some problems that I did not ever experience with my main tank that are new to me. If you can offer any troubleshooting advice I would definitely appreciate it.

First, if you have time ... here is the build thread. http://www.thereeftank.com/forums/f6/75-gallon-frag-tank-build-115145.html It will give you an idea of the frag tank. Short version is that it's 75g, BB, ~70lbs LR with 2, 250 MHs at 20k.

As far as parameters: Temp = 77, pH = 8.3, Salinity=35ppt, Phosphate = 0, Nitrate ~2.5ppm, Mg = 1230, Alk = 8, Ca = 320.

The Mg and Ca are a little low but I have seen these levels in my main tank many times and never had a problem (although i'm going to bring both up a little)

So, on to the problem. It is that some of the frags are doing great and other are growing some brown (almost diatom looking) stuff and/or beginning to lose some tissue. The tank is not really that old (only about 3 months now. But the LR is looking great and getting some coraline going. I have no hair algae to speak of at all. All the inverts in the tank (including 3 shrimp, 2 anenomes, 1 clam, snails are looking perfect.

What I also don't understand is the corals that are struggling. In particular, I have acros that look good and are coloring up well, yet the birdsnest (as seen in the pic) does not have good polyp extension.

I can keep describing but take a look at the pics and let me know thoughts and questions that I could answer that might help describe this better....

Thank you...

Dan

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Pic shows birdsnest that is beginning to lose tissue. One little tip also shows some of the algae growth that I was referring to.


Pic shows purple cap that has some of the same brown growth. Ths looks great not too long ago. You can actually see where it began growing to the plug.


This is more purple cap... clearly in woorse condition. I need to pull this from the tank.


Pic is another birdsnest that is just doing barely ok. It's on the opposite side of the frag tank.


This is a monti kiwi confusa. Obviously doing very well. When in the water, it has very good PE.


Pic is a turquoise acro. It's doing super. I know the pic does not tell the whole story because there are no lights but it's pretty happy and encrusting to the plug.


Purple monti (different that the one above that is (or seems) fine)


Orange cap that is doing very well. You can see the growth.
 

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1 more flow.
2 add more fish that are there to work but also provide some nutrients for the corals (haliochoeres wrasse, rabbitfish, tang, blenny, six line wrasse- I'd add one of each of these over a few months)

all your params are fine this is all i can see as possible problems from the information provided.
 

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ReefKeeper
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks. Today I have 2 Koralia 4's and 2 Seio 620's. The return pump is relatively small at about 500 GPH.

That would total about 1200 + 1200 + 620 + 620 + 500 GPH (~4100 GPH) for current flow in the 75g.

Do you think if I bought 2 more Korlia 4's and added 2400 GPH more that would do it?

I do think that having all the egg crate in the tank really disrupts the overall flow.... so I think that you may be right on.

Dan
 

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I think you have enough flow.. it may be a lack of nutrients.... add fish or food or both.
or another tank param might be wrong... maybe something weird like iodine (protects from radiation of lights). how long have you been set up with this frag tank? maybe the water is just not ready to handle sps... what is your wc schedule... need some more info.
imo you probably already have enough flow i just ddin't see it listed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I currently have 1 six line wrasse, 2 chromis and 4 firefish. Not a big load but a few fish.

I do W/C's about every 3 weeks (20 - 25%)

The tank has been up for 3 months... not long but my rock was fully cycled when I set up the tank initially.

Thanks
 

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To me it looks like a lighting issue. How many hours are you running your lights for? Some people may disagree but two 250 HQI's over a 75 is a bit much in my experience. With that much light I would run maybe 6 or 8 hours at the most. For comparison, here are some pics of my 4ftx4ft frag tank with a single 250w SE bulb.
 

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i think with the twenty k and ab fixtures he should have the correct amt of lighting for sps... if there is a difference from his main tank there could be shock though.
 

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umm on another note... taking them and moving them a lot... taking pics out of water is not going to help things. I find the more my frags stay still the better they do. i used to stress and move them to check them, and now i never move them and they do a lot better.
 

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ReefKeeper
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
The lights are on about 7 hours a day...

In terms of a shock. I know that I shocked a few when I first put them in. Now, I am putting them around the perimeter for 1-2 weeks and then moving them in (assuming they need it/can handle it (i.e. acros))

Regarding pulling the frags from the water and moving them around. I agree. I don't mess with them any more than required. In this case, I needed some good pics to show what was happening clearly.

Any other thoughts???
 

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i'm stumped... this stuff used to happen to me at about the same age as your tank... now i am just more careful i think? it doesn't happen anymore.
 

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Could you post a full tank shot? The reason why I'm asking is in your build thread I see only rocks and then in the new pics you posted I see eggcrate. How close is the eggcrate to the top? My post about the lighting being the possible problem is based on how your corals look.
 

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ReefKeeper
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Full tank pics

Here are some more pics of the setup. Also, I did bring the Mg up to 1320 yesterday. The reading was from about 10min ago (salifert test kits FWIW)

I also put a few other pics in there that might help? I just don't understand how some of these corals are as happy as can be and others are not. You will see some examples .... I especially don't get the birdsnest. Of all my corals (except maybe GSP) that stuff is usually bullet proof.

Thanks for the help in looking at this. If I can provide any more info please let me know...

Dan















 

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yeah... i would probably lower your crate 6 inches and notice if it is the corals in the middle of the rack having problems you are probably very bright in the center of that rack. I also would direct at least one korallia to flow directly over the rack instead of being below it.
 

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The racks are too high in my opinion for the light you are using. 250w HQI's over a 75 should allow you to keep sps all the way to the bottom of the tank. Why not place your frags on the live rock and lose the racks completely. A few minutes with a drill will give you plenty of holes for sticking plugs in. It will look more natural and still be functional as a frag tank.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Phosphates and Silicates are zero by the Salifert test kits I have. I use DI/RO water for makeup. TDS for that water is zero so I believe the membranes are still ok.

I want to keep the racks for now. I know it looks un-natural but I set it up as a frag tank ... not my display. I will take a look at lowering them. I suppose I could also raise my lights too.

Thanks
 

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I had the same problem a few months back. A bare bottomed system allows much more light to penetrate the water than a comparable system with sand. I agree that you have too much light on the corals. I would not decrease the photoperiod, but I would definitly lower the eggcrate a few inches as suggested. Another thing you can do is to take advantage of the fact that halides are a point source of light. Move the frags to the edges of the eggcrate so that the frags with the most tissue loss are receiving even less light. As they recover and acclimate, then you can slowly move them towards the center to get more light.
 
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