LPS happy but SPS and Softies not doing well.

SteveZz

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Hello, reefs.com, this is my first post! I saw the topic and thought I could weigh in since I had something similar happen to me recently.



Have you considered that your soft corals may have started emitting toxins into the water that is irritating your corals? This is a self defence mechanism that most (or all??) soft corals have, I believe. I too have kenya trees and some other softies mixed in with my LPS, but I don't have any SPS. One day I noticed that all of my corals were suddenly irritated by something, and most of them were all sucked in completely for a few days. After testing and retesting I found nothing wrong, so I decided to move my kenya trees and toadstools to another tank, since I read that these can be the most likely to emit toxins. I also replaced my carbon and did a big (30%) water change. I did another water change 2 days later. After about another day my corals perked up and things were be back to normal. I too noticed that my LPS (trumpet corals and frogspawn) were the least affected by whatever was in my water. This still doesn't prove that it was my soft corals emitting toxins, it could have been a total coincidence, but its something you could look into. I had recently fragged my toad stools, and had moved some corals around, which could have triggered this defense mechanism, who knows.



Happy reefing!


Welcome to MR.

It's definitely something else to consider. But then the question would be why would it be releasing toxins. Irritated by something I would assume would lead to that. Which might lead me back to something wrong with the water. Thanks for the input though I'll definitely keep it in mind if iodine doesn't help.
 

SteveZz

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Brought my water to my LFS for some tests.

PH 8.0
Nitrate 0
Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0

I tested calcium at home and got 350 (low I know) which means Alk would be somewhat high if I understand this all correctly. But neither of these would effect softies much would they?

I have an iodine test kit coming soon and will be testing that when it comes.

All of that being said I'm starting to think I may simply not be feeding enough to sustain all of my coral.
 

theMeat

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Maybe the case ^. There should be a low level of phosphate too.
Sustained low ca will have an effect, as well as constant swings, even if within range.
Lowering ca will make alk go up, but depending on where it was to start with still might not be hi enough. With your ca at 350, and ph at 8, would guess your alk is within range, but just a guess from where i'm sitting.
 

SteveZz

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Thanks for the input. I know I don't feed much and I like to keep a clean tank but maybe I went too clean. For now I'm going to wait for my iodine test and hopefully learn something but if that doesn't point to a problem I may start feeding more. I do wonder however about my leathers. Bleached white but still a decent size with polyp extension every once in a while makes me wonder if starvation would be the problem.


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theMeat

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theMeat

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Another thing you can try is to run some carbon. Maybe like stated it's another coral's toxins, or some other means that the carbon will help with. Every once in a while my biggest leather closes up, for no apparent reason. Don't know of it's helpful, a coincidence or what, but i blow off my rocks and everything with a turkey baster, and the next day it's opening up again.
 

SteveZz

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My iodine test kit came in early. I tested the water in the tank (that I had been dosing all week, I know don't dose what you can't test, don't bite my head off. ;) ) but I tested and it's now sitting around a 0.06. I tested water that hadn't been dosed but came from my tank and it was a dead 0. No color change at all when testing. I think I've finally pinpointed the problem. Hopefully a few weeks of dosing my overstocked tank will bring things back.

For all those trying to find out how to kill GSP. Looks like low iodine would do the trick since mine has basically completely melted away and is covered in algae now.
 
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theMeat

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Don't shoot the messenger for bearing bad news but.....
Testing iodine with a store bought test kit is problematic at best. There are different forms of iodine that are needed to work together to be useful. Test kits usually only check one type, and on top of that are often wrong. Which then can lead you to add store bought iodine, but of which type are you adding?
Do you have a fuge? Because macros consume iodine. Do you have copepod population or shrimp in the tank? Because with iodine levels too low they won't be able to molt and over time will not survive. Think it's better to use a quality salt, do regular water changes with it, and monitor things like stated above to determine.
With that said there are many elements that need to be in the mix to have a thriving reef, and short of having a lab professionally test your water there's not an accurate way to test for many, if not most of them. Furthermore, unless you have a unique situation that only depletes iodine you likely are lacking other elements as well.
Another reason why i don't believe when i hear or read that salt mixes are all the same, and the cheap ones are just as good. And why i recommend ppl switch between quality salt mixes so what one is lacking another is not. There is no such thing as the best salt mix, only what's best for certain corals, while others are better for other corals. Also don't get spending big money on livestock, then trying to save a few cents on using whatever salt saves you
 

bonomo53

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Please don't take this the wrong way but this is really pointless without alk, cal and phos readings from a good test kit (Salifert, Redsea, NYOS). I would really make sure those are all in check before jumping to iodine.
 

theMeat

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Yup, and to further drive home the point of how everything works together, and how one element is likely not the only cause, let's talk cal, alk and mag. Without enough mag not only will alk and cal swing around, but more importantly livestock won't be able to effectively consume cal, so it's just as bad or worse than ca that's too low.

Not to mention testing for something like po4 can get you in the ball park but even with the most accurate test kit the lights come on, macros consume po4, and levels go down so what are you really testing.
 
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SteveZz

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Had already tested cal which was a little low at 350.

Yes I have a fuge so po4 tests would likely show nothing even if some existed bc of my macro. I do have pods and shrimp both doing well for now it seems.

Is ESV salt not quality salt?

I appreciate the feedback thanks for providing more ideas.


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theMeat

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Yes imo esv is very good. Althou... Have found time and time again that colts and kenyas droop a lil, for a few weeks or so till thy adjust, whenever i switch back to esv. There is also more margin for error since it's a 4 part solution. Have also found it to be a bit on the low side as far as elements, which may speak to your issue.
While any brand can vary a bit batch to batch have found instant ocean reef crystals some good stuff a bit above average as far as elements. Pets aquatics in new hyde park sells it regularly for $40 for the 200gal box.

To see how much brands can vary, Check this out

Here is a list of what they measured for the big three in a number of the salt mixes we use today. This is intended as a guideline only. These numbers should be what you can expect from these salts mixed at 35 ppt or SG 1.0264 @ 25 C.

Salt Product
Calcium
Alkalinity
Magnesium
Aquatic Gardens
430
8
1240
Brightwell Neomarine
370
11
1140
CoraLife
560
9
1380
Crystal Sea Marinemix
340
9
1050
Crystal Sea Marinemix Bio-Assay
340
9
1050
D-D H2Ocean
450
10
1380
Instant Ocean
400
11
1350
Kent
540
11
1200
Marine Environment
480
7.5
1450
Oceanic
580
8.5
1650
OceanPure
510
10
1320
Red Sea
400
8
1300
Red Sea Coral Pro
470
12.5
1400
Reef Crystals
490
13
1440
Reefer's Best
420
11
1200
SeaChem aquavitro salinity
422
9.8
1336
SeaChem Marine Salt
500
10
1400
SeaChem Reef Salt
540
10
1450
Tropic Marin
375
10
1230
Tropic Marin Pro Reef
450
8.5
1380
Tunze Reef Salt
420
9.5
1350
 
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SteveZz

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Well, may as well update. No true change, any soft coral (outside of one green mushroom) is extremely annoyed in this tank. Haven't tried different mixes yet but I'm considering the fact that my tank may be over stocked and probably needs to lose some coral. Iodine didn't seem to make any noticeable change and has been stopped.
 

tttony

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I have a mixed 26 gallon tank, no sump all corals are doing wel for years .
I have a huge elagance, bubble, Duncan , gold torch and hammer and red gonnipora, also a green sps slimer grown from 1" to the size of a small hand, also recently I acquired gsp and pulsing Xenia also doing well,

Tank has a few fish , no clean up crew and green algae and gost anemones .
Point is I do 5 gallons a month water change, clean the skimmer weekly, and add a cap full of dry calcium weekly, alk buffer bi weekly and have not checked parameters in years,
 

SteveZz

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I've been doing 5 gallon water changes weekly on a 30 gallon setup. I would think this would keep any trace elements in check. I do have a lot of coral in the tank though.
 

SteveZz

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Been using RODI for about two months now. Most recent SPS addition (monti cap) isn't dying (but I wouldn't say its thriving yet either). Put cespitularia in from my fathers tank (which was doing incredibly well by him and slowly but surely it's fading away in my tank). I'm beginning to wonder, now that I have RODI and can eliminate water contaminates (in theory) that it might be as simple as not having enough phosphate to sustain the life of soft coral. Is there a "best practice" for bringing the tank to a point where it can sustain soft coral life without bringing out a massive algae bloom?
 

theMeat

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some food for thought

some corals like the water on the nutrient heavy side, and some don't. As an example have seen zenia thriving in tanks with phosphate and nitrate way to high for many other corals to live.

Have also seen many tanks with way low nitrate and phosphate filled with lingering algae problems, while others with high levels with virtually no algae to speak of. Depends on lighting, what other nutrients are present, and what you have in the tank that is eating it or competing with it.

It may take some time before you notice a dif when using ro/di. Depending on what you were putting in the tank from your tap water. It may have soaked into your rock and sand.

There's so many variables. Like how much co2 is in your house, if any cleaning products or bug sprays you may use are effecting chemistry. Are there any contaminants on your hands, rock, nets, rock, etc. Are there any objects, like metals, in contact with the water that shouldn't be. Pests, stray voltage, the list goes on and on.
 
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