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Old 10/04/2018, 02:53 PM   #1
dubmaneh
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Help needed please.

I have all but abandoned my tank. Every time I think I am on the right track and add some new frags, they slowly start to die. I have lost 90% of my corals over the past couple of years. The only corals left (that seem to simply exist) are mushrooms, xenia and some GSP. Super frustrated to say the least.

Every time I add some SPS to the tank they look great at first, then within a week the flesh starts looking dry/thin (not STN or bleaching). Eventually they just diminish and die.

I recently put a few monti frags in the tank as a test and sure enough they are doing the same thing. (I don't have any pictures right now but will post some when I get a chance later tonight.)

Not sure it it is related but I have a severe vermetid snail infestation.

Any advice is appreciated. System specs are below.

65gal DISPLAY
40gal Breeder for sump
60 gal net system volume

WATER PARAMETERS:
SG: 1.026
Temp: 78.0F
PH: 8.2 Ė 8.4
dKH: 6.5 (swings by +/- 0.5dkh/7days)
Phosphate: 0.04 (Hanna ULR)
Calcium: 400-420 ppm
Magnesium: 1200-1300 ppm
Nitrate: 10


DOSING:
Kalk
Vinegar (3ml/day)

DISPLAY CIRCULATION:
(1) Tunze Nano Wave Box
(3) Tunze Powerheads

EQUIPMENT:
Vertex Omega 150 skimmer
Tunze ATO
Kamoer Dosing pump
10L Siporax in sump

FEEDING:
1/8 sheet Nori daily
Pinch of NLS pellets 2x day

LIGHTING:
36Ē ATI 8 bulb T5

PHOTO PERIOD:
9hrs with 2hrs of just actinic

FISH:
- Occellaris clowns x2
- Royal gramma
- Six Line Wrasse
- Chromis viridis x 2
- Yellow tang
- Hippo Tang (juvenile)
- Midas Blenny

CORALS:
Softies:
- Orange & blue mushrooms
- Green Star Polyp
- Pulsing Xenia

SPS:
-Montipora frags
- Red Dragon Frag

MAINTENANCE:
10% weekly water changes


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Old 10/04/2018, 03:47 PM   #2
miralami
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Have you ever done an ICP test?
Best tool for these situations and not too expensive.


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Old 10/04/2018, 04:16 PM   #3
dubmaneh
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Havenít done an ICP test. Will see if I can get a kit tonight.


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Old 10/05/2018, 07:20 AM   #4
dubmaneh
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Some pictures.


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Old 10/05/2018, 07:45 AM   #5
Diverdown1
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I would say ICP test, all parameters look great. My guess would be something leaching metals. Take apart and clean all your pumps/equipment and look for rust.


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Old 10/05/2018, 08:30 AM   #6
dubmaneh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Diverdown1 View Post
I would say ICP test, all parameters look great. My guess would be something leaching metals. Take apart and clean all your pumps/equipment and look for rust.


Been down that road. All equipment has been checked. Anything that looked rusted was changed out. Picking up an ICP kit from LFS today.

Read another thread where symptoms were similar and I believe the cause was bacterial. They fixed it using metroplex. Will wait for ICP results before going that route.

Also reading about chloramines. My RODI filters should be fine, but does anyone add a water conditioner to their new salt water for water changes?




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Old 10/05/2018, 08:39 AM   #7
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Using any cleaners/air fresheners in the room? Bleach/windex?


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Old 10/05/2018, 09:03 AM   #8
dubmaneh
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Using any cleaners/air fresheners in the room? Bleach/windex?

Not near the display but the sump is in the basement furnace room. Donít use any chemicals in there but it is next to the laundry room so bleach is a possibility. Donít really use air fresheners.


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Old 10/05/2018, 02:48 PM   #9
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IF it were me I would raise Alk to 8-8.5 dkh I would bet your sps arent happy due to your really low Alk. Anytime my alk gets below 7.5 my sps let me know.

Nitrates are high too IMO....

I would try to keep MG between 1300-1400 and bump your salinity down to 1.024-1.025 on the high end.

Why are you dosing vinegar? I don't dose anything other than missing elements...

Lastly vermetid snails aren't a for deal breaker but they are not good for sps either with all their webs that irritate the corals.


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Old 10/05/2018, 04:38 PM   #10
dubmaneh
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IF it were me I would raise Alk to 8-8.5 dkh I would bet your sps arent happy due to your really low Alk. Anytime my alk gets below 7.5 my sps let me know.

Nitrates are high too IMO....

I would try to keep MG between 1300-1400 and bump your salinity down to 1.024-1.025 on the high end.

Why are you dosing vinegar? I don't dose anything other than missing elements...

Lastly vermetid snails aren't a for deal breaker but they are not good for sps either with all their webs that irritate the corals.


Dosing vinegar to control nitrates. They are a little high but I really donít think itís that. Have had them higher in the past and things were doing fine. Too low and everything dies off.

Alk is a little on the low side right now. Typically runs more around 7.5.ml-recalibrated the doser as it was under dosing. I can try to raise it over the next few days and see if that helps.



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Old 10/05/2018, 04:41 PM   #11
dubmaneh
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Purchased ICP test kit today. Gonna get it mailed out tomorrow.

10% water change this morning and changed out carbon. Came home to receding flesh from the edges/tips of my monti frags. Frustrating.


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Old 10/06/2018, 12:03 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by dubmaneh View Post
Dosing vinegar to control nitrates. They are a little high but I really donít think itís that. Have had them higher in the past and things were doing fine. Too low and everything dies off.

Alk is a little on the low side right now. Typically runs more around 7.5.ml-recalibrated the doser as it was under dosing. I can try to raise it over the next few days and see if that helps.



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Their are only so many things it can be. IMO its gotta be the Alk or the vinegar dosing / nitrates issue. If I were you I would make sure I have good clean RODI water with a good salt. I use Tropic Marin Pro and make sure my RODI filters are running perfect.... Good water @ 1.024-5 and alk at 8.5dkh you really should be good..... I have only had problems when my alk gets low typically under 7.5 or high over 9.5 and or my RODI filters are bad. You should not need to dose Vinegar with a proper skimmer and routine water changes.

Everything else you have looks fine IMO besides Veremid snails those are just a huge annoyance.


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Old 10/21/2018, 07:34 PM   #13
dubmaneh
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So I sent out for an ICP test and got the results. The only anomalies were as follows:

P04 & P - High at 0.144ppm and 0.047ppm
Iodine - Low at 0.0242ppm
Potassium - Low at 350ppm

I was truly at my wits end with this tank and figured it was one of three things:

a) A buildup of something to toxic levels in the tank that I wasn't testing for.
b) A lack of something that I wasn't dosing for & water changes weren't replenishing
c) Some type of pathogen attacking the corals.


So in the past two weeks I made two changes to my routine and two overall changes:

- Began dosing Red Sea Trace Elements (Iodine+, Potassium, Iron+, Bioactive Elements) - I figured that if there was something missing from the tank this might help.
- Began dosing Mictobacter7 at the "new setup" dose to help with any potential bacterial imbalance etc.
- Stopped dosing vinegar
- Rased Alk to 8.5dkh

Since then things have been generally trending in a positive direction. My red dragon acro colour has deepened and is starting to encrust. - No real thinning of flesh. One of the monti frags that were showing tissue loss has almost fully recovered. Two of the other monti frags have shown similar changes - deepening of colour, thickening of the flesh and recovery of some tissue loss.

Still trying to figure out what the issue is/was, but at this point I believe it was the Iodine deficiency. When I received the ICP results I dosed Iodine to raise the level to 0.065ppm and potassium to 390ppm. A day after dosing, the affected corals showed visible improvement with some recovery of lost tissue and smooth looking tissue. Looked good for a couple of days.

Yesterday one of the montis (also first to exhibit symptoms initially) started looking poor again - tissue looked dry and receding at the tips. So I went out and bought Iodine and Potassium test kits (Salifert). Tested both and came up with the following results:

- potassium 380 ppm: still low but roughly at the target I had previously dosed for
- Iodine undetectable (<0.03ppm)

I have read that one of the functions of iodine is for soft tissue health. If so, this might explain the symptoms I am seeing - thinning of tissue. I have dosed more of the Red Sea Iodine+ product and hopefully will see some positive results tomorrow.

Has anyone had experience with low Iodine and similar symptoms? Do certain corals consume more iodine than others?


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Old 10/22/2018, 08:59 AM   #14
Piper27
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Iodine is depleted from the water very fast, and hard to accurately test for. Adding a drop every few days should be enough to take care of any problems related to it if there are any.
What are you using to test SG and how are you calibrating it? I have seen issues like that with SG swings or is off.
The pest snail problem looks to be all over your rocks am I right? If they are I would find a solution to them because they can cause irritation and slowly kill off corals in their general area if they aren't flourishing. Small tanks with a large population of them will have a hard time growing sps because of all the webs. I think that could be your main issue. Although the low alk and high nutrients could have been irritating corals as well. I would have kept the very small dose of vinegar you were using but that's just me, I doubt that small dose would hurt anything.

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Old 10/22/2018, 02:17 PM   #15
dubmaneh
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Originally Posted by Piper27 View Post
What are you using to test SG and how are you calibrating it? I have seen issues like that with SG swings or is off.
I'm using a Milwaukee Digital refractometer. Calibrating it with a 0TDS RO/DI water as per the instructions. My ICP results for SG matched those taken using the Milwaukee. Tunze Osmolator for ATO. Now I am using an open 40gal breeder as a sump. I wonder if salinity fluctuates that much because of the large volume that needs to drop before the osmolator kicks in. Going to take some before and after readings.

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The pest snail problem looks to be all over your rocks am I right? If they are I would find a solution to them because they can cause irritation and slowly kill off corals in their general area if they aren't flourishing. Small tanks with a large population of them will have a hard time growing sps because of all the webs. I think that could be your main issue.
Yep, the buggers are everywhere - glass, overflow, even the cord of the circulation pump! Seriously considering a tank reboot because of them. Cant syphon the little sand bed I have without the rocks getting entirely covered in mucous nets. That said, the monti's exhibited the tissue thinning even when I placed them on the sand bed, away from any vermetids.

As for the vinegar. I figured if it was some sort of pathogen, the extra carbon might be feeding it as well. Helping it to outcompete the beneficial stuff. Might start it again in future as almost all bacterial supplements recommend some form of carbon dosing.


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Old 10/22/2018, 05:33 PM   #16
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Man sorry about the snail population, they must be feeding on something though. Salanity should be good if your doing what you said.

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Old 10/22/2018, 07:18 PM   #17
dubmaneh
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Oh I have a very good idea as to where I went wrong. Lol! Been over feeding the tank for a while and never knew these guys were such a pest until someone pointed them out.

Itís been a strictly pellet and nori diet for my fish for months in an effort to reduce the vermetids food supply. No dice so far.

As for the coral problems, Iím really leaning towards lack of iodine. I know the benefit of dosing iodine is a contested topic but I canít ignore what Iím seeing.

Came home today and one monti still looked terrible. Tested for iodine and it can up undetectable. Doses to raise iodine by .04 ppm. We will see how the corals look tomorrow.



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Old 10/29/2018, 06:47 PM   #18
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My problems were solved by dramatically upping my par. I thought it was around 200 until my LFS sent me home with their apogee. Turns out I was around 80. I also have been dosing a drop of lugols once a week.


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Old Yesterday, 09:18 PM   #19
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I’m kind of leaning towards the vermitid snails. You are doing everything else right.
Their digestive web is really irritating to sps. And if you are totally infested, maybe the webs are too much for the corals or maybe there is enough of the web and its chemicals in the water that the sps just don’t or can’t tolerate it..
I have heard that either KZ coral snow or Aqua Forest Build will kill off thenvermitod snails because the chalky substance in those products gets trapped in the web and the worms
Can’t proces it properly and they die off..
Not a super expensive experiment...
but really, I go very seriously out of my way to keep those snails out of my system, they are no good.


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Old Today, 09:11 AM   #20
dubmaneh
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The vermitids are definitely a problem but I firmly believe the symptoms I was experiencing was due to lack or iodine in the system.

Have been dosing iodide to get consistent measurable levels and have seen drastic results. Was the only thing I changed. Corals have recovered and Iím seeing growth which is great.

Going to tackle the vermitids next. Following another thread on here and success with in tank treatments at these proportions seems slim to none at best. Will try the coral snow though as it canít hurt.




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Old Today, 09:16 AM   #21
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The pics previously posted really donít do justice as to how poor the corals were doing, but here are some pictures from last week as a comparison.




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Old Today, 12:24 PM   #22
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They certainly don’t look bad in those shots.
Ive always been under the assumption that iodine, like iron is used up extremely quickly in the reef. Most often test result come back with low iodine unless you dose very regularly.


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Old Today, 05:36 PM   #23
dubmaneh
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Thatís what I thought as well. Everything I read and everyone I spoke with said the same thing.

I never would have thought it was lack of iodine in my system. The only reason I tired dosing was because I was at my wits end and it was the only deficiency from my ICP results.

Looking back now I can see how I went wrong and I believe that it was a chronic deficiency of iodine. All starting with..... lack of water changes.

It does kind of make sense that something getting depleted so quickly would need to be replenished or maintained via dosing or WC.





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