RedStickReefer

RedStickReefer's Dream Build

253 posts in this topic

Thanks, it's okay though Eric.  Those corals died a month or two ago.  Other than the two fish deaths recently the tank has been on the upswing, so I'm happy.  Forgot to mention above that I also added some green acans from AquaHut.  He had some nice looking rainbow acans at the time for a great price, same as the green ones I bought, but I went for the green ones.  They were just looking particularly stunning that day and outshined the rainbows to me.

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Glad to hear it's starting to turn around for you. You gotta get it turned around so I can get some frags😋

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Sorry it's been so long enough since I've done an update.  I just can't get into the swing of things with this reef.  It's the easiest setup I've ever had to deal with and I've had nothing but issue after issue.  Some of it my fault, some of it not.  The tank will make 1 year old in December and I've already managed to lose fish and coral, I'm on my 4th return pump (Eheim 3000+, 2 CA Aquarium pumps, and a Sicce Syncra), and one of my Jebao power heads just crapped out.  Tank was on an upswing as mentioned above and then I ran out of salt.  I went 3 weeks without doing a water change and when I checked on the tank last weekend my purple bonsai and Miami Orchid had RTN'd.  My Darth maul zoas were melted/gone as well.  I tested my tank and my CA/Alk had dropped to 380/6.5 (Hanna Checkers).  I only have a small piece of maze brain, a few heads of an acan on a plug, and a tiny piece of raptor's peace favia.  Other than that, most of my SPS is dead/dying.  The purple bonsai only has a few polyps left on end of its top branch; the Miami Orchid still has quite a few polyps around the base where it's encrusting but most of the branching part of the frag is RTN'd; the rainbow doom mille only has about 1/4-1/2 inch worth of polyps/growth on it's two tips; and the WWC Yoda is browned out, but still alive.  I guess my point is, I don't understand where all this BRS 2 part is going?  I've tripled the amount of 2 part I was dosing when all my corals were healthy...Now I'm dosing 140ml/day to keep my parameters decent with only a few tiny pieces of coral? Why the sudden and drastic increase in two part?  I'm mixing according to the instructions on the back of the package.  I'm not going to let it discourage me though.  Just going to keep moving forward and hopefully once I get over the 1 year hump things will turn around.  Oh, one other thing, my sand bed is about as hard as concrete.  The Carribsea special grade I used for this build did the same thing to me the tropic eden sand did to me years ago, so I need to go ahead and totally replace my sand bed or just go bare bottom for now.  Good grief, sometimes being a reefer sucks! lol

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Sucks to hear about your tank troubles man.   

 

I noticed that my Caribsea special grade doing something similar on the backside of my rock scape when I went to vac it on Saturday. Which is weird since the only difference there is it doesn't get direct light, and the front of the rocks was fine, except for the cyano....  I guess its only been 2-3 weeks since I went to vacuum the sand bed, so it wasn't bad enough were I couldn't break it up quickly with the vac tube, I just still have some clumps back there.   I wonder if that is where your CA/ALK has been going...  I've been dosing 200ml + per day for weeks, on top of a gallon or more of kalkwasser...  Could it be that the sand is sucking it up?  I literally have no visible coraline in my tank, but if I stop dosing I will drop from 8.5 to 7.0 in less than 2 days.   

I only have 5-6 smallish frags of stuff that would have any sort of CA/ALK demand, and that stuff isn't really growing yet.  

 

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I don't know man, I don't think I've heard of the sand soaking it up before, but at this point I would believe it.  I'm at the point of upping my dosing to what I feel is an insane amount to keep my levels right and risk nuking everything.  My corals seem to be stable again for now.  I still can't account for all the equipment issues.  I was thinking maybe overdosing caused calcification in my pumps and may be contributing to why I can't keep my levels right, but after inspecting all the pumps that've crapped out there's zero calcification or even any gunk for that matter.  They all look as new as the day I bought them on all the rotating parts...I tested again today and my calcium is fine now, but my alk is still just below 8.0...IDK what the hell, just keep dosing, just keep dosing...LOL.

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3 hours ago, RedStickReefer said:

I don't know man, I don't think I've heard of the sand soaking it up before, but at this point I would believe it.  I'm at the point of upping my dosing to what I feel is an insane amount to keep my levels right and risk nuking everything.  My corals seem to be stable again for now.  I still can't account for all the equipment issues.  I was thinking maybe overdosing caused calcification in my pumps and may be contributing to why I can't keep my levels right, but after inspecting all the pumps that've crapped out there's zero calcification or even any gunk for that matter.  They all look as new as the day I bought them on all the rotating parts...I tested again today and my calcium is fine now, but my alk is still just below 8.0...IDK what the hell, just keep dosing, just keep dosing...LOL.

 

I did a couple of searches and found a few threads that mention that happening.  Usually with people dosing kalk along with 2 part...  As I'm doing.  Definitely seemed to be concentrated around the base of the rocks.  Oh well, I'll have to keep an eye on it.  I don't want to contemplate going bare bottom.  I don't like the look.

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So, I still have a sand bed for now.  Luckily my sand bed was 2" deep and only the top 1" was hard as a rock.  The underlying 1" was good.  I was able to chisel out around 2/3 of it this afternoon with a small flathead screwdriver and I'll get the remaining 3rd tomorrow hopefully.  It's nice to see a white sand bed in the tank again!  Hopefully I didn't just kill off what remains of my SPS by stirring up all that detritus and nasty gunk in the sand bed.  We'll see what happens.  I'll probably do a water change tomorrow after I pull out that last bit of hard sand.  BTW, my other Jebao SW-8 crapped out on me.  So now I've officially purchased 4 return pumps and 4 powerheads in the last year for this reef...ugh.

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I was able to get all of the hard sand out of the tank and everything seems to be doing fine so far.  Parameters have restablized and the tank is looking better than it has in a long time.  I think I'm going to go for round two with SPS and place an order with Battle Corals this week.  I wanted to place another order with Fraghouse Corals, but I guess he does so many auctions, live sales, etc his corals always seem to be all sold out.

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Thanks Eric. I placed an order with Battlecorals this afternoon thinking Adam wouldn't get back to me until tomorrow.  Well, he ended up emailing me back right away and he's shipping out my corals tomorrow.  Pretty awesome!  The frags had already been cut for a while now and have had time to heal.  Here are some pics from his website of what I ordered.  I'll post some pics of the new corals when they come in.  BTW, if any mods want to delete the extra PC Rainbow pics please feel free.  I couldn't figure out how to remove the links from my phone. Lol

 

2018-11-11_11-05-40

 

 

 

 

 

2018-11-11_11-02-02

 

2018-11-11_11-02-21

 

2018-11-11_11-02-42

 

 

 

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Nice grabs.  The pop of yellow in that Teen Wolf looks extra nice.  

Hopefully one day I can snag a frag from you.  If I ever order directly from BC I'll likely go overboard and need to take out a loan... :P

 

Took care of the duplicates for you.

 

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I did a couple of searches and found a few threads that mention that happening.  Usually with people dosing kalk along with 2 part...  As I'm doing.  Definitely seemed to be concentrated around the base of the rocks.  Oh well, I'll have to keep an eye on it.  I don't want to contemplate going bare bottom.  I don't like the look.


I use same sand, don’t dose kalk. Have no clumps. Honestly like this sand the best of the past ones I’ve had.


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Battlecorals is definitely the best in the business when it comes to customer service and sps selection. In the past I would pickup a few things here and there from other online vendors but after dealing with Adam on many orders I became a customer for life.

 

 

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On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:57 AM, Smtwinn said:

 


I use same sand, don’t dose kalk. Have no clumps. Honestly like this sand the best of the past ones I’ve had.


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I've always heard it was good stuff and I'd probably use it again.  I have no idea why it did it, it just did. I don't dose kalk either.🤷‍♀️

 

On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 8:59 AM, Smtwinn said:

Need to come my way Jenson, have tons of acros. Trying this theory, vendors claim cutting induces growth.


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I've heard that same theory of micro fragging or whatever.  A guy at a coral farm supposedly accidentally broke a staghorn (I think) into a bunch of pieces and the small pieces grew into small colonies before the actual frags he cut did.  They're using the technique to rebuild the reefs at an increased rate now, so maybe there's hope.

 

On ‎11‎/‎12‎/‎2018 at 1:56 PM, Grey Ghost said:

Battlecorals is definitely the best in the business when it comes to customer service and sps selection. In the past I would pickup a few things here and there from other online vendors but after dealing with Adam on many orders I became a customer for life.

 

 

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I agree, I placed the order on a Sunday afternoon. Adam got back to me immediately and the frags were ready to ship out Monday afternoon.  It was 19 degrees in Wisconsin when he shipped them and it's in the 40's here.  I was worried the cold would get them, but WOW, these corals are healthy and popping!  He even threw in free PC Superman and Garf Purple Bonsai frags.  Wow, what a hookup!  That PC Superman all the way to the right and the teen wolf all the way to the left look redonkulous in person!  The Sanjay's Leprechaun's Beard is going to look really nice when it grows out too.  I had no idea it was such a delicate coral.  The pics online don't do it justice.  Seems very pearlberry like, but more colorful.  Praying my issues are over from here on out and I can keep them all healthy.  On a side note, I switched my lighting last night to the SPS AB+ schedule.  Radions are dialed down to 45%.  Been using my own custom schedule for years and it has worked well, but I'm trying something new.

 

Pictured below from left to right: Teen Wolf, Sanjay's Leprechaun's Beard, Garf Purple Bonsai, Soda Popinski, PC Rainbow, PC Superman.

 

2018-11-13_02-46-36

 

Edited by RedStickReefer
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The frags are still looking pretty good today.  I can tell the teen wolf is stressed from shipping as a small amount of the brown skin between the branches/corallites has sloughed off, but I don't think it's anything to worry about at this point.  The polyps are still out and it looks happy overall.  I'm definitely feeling the pressure of keeping these corals alive. 

 

I tested all my parameters today and I'm still befuddled as to WTF is going on....So, I thought maybe my reef had started uptaking Mg/Alk instead of Ca/Alk, which would contribute to the constant low Alk (BTW, BRS reactor is off so GFO is not a factor).  I knew I had overdosed Mg early on with my first batch of corals so I thought it was feasible, but I haven't dosed Mg since March and my level is still over 1600.  I know elevated levels of Mg can help elevate calcium levels, but it is also supposed to help regulate the balance of Ca and Alk.  With that said, my Ca is now sitting at 600 and my Alk is at 7.9.  I checked the levels in my 2 part jugs and the dosing pump appears to be dosing equal parts of Ca/Alk, however, I recalibrated my dosing pumps today just in case.  So, at this point my guess is my dosing pumps aren't dosing equal parts in spite of appearance, or it's this Fritz salt I'm currently using.   Every time I test my water change water the levels are fine though.  I gave the Alk a boost today and increased my 2 part dosing to 160mL/day.  I ordered two extra bottles of Alk reagent for my hanna checker and I'll be testing Alk levels daily from here on out until I'm 100% certain my parameters and dosing are where they need to be.

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So, I added a boost of alk earlier right? My alk was at 7.9.  I just tested my alk out of curiosity and it read 6.9!! What the hell?  This reef tank has me stumped.  I've never encountered this in almost a decade of reefing.  To add to the mystery, the alk level in my water change water typically reads in the mid 9s with the Fritz salt.  I tested it today and it was 9.6. However, every time I do a water change my alk drops from the around 8 to the 6s...I give up at this point.  I add Alk and it just has a negative effect.  Hopefully these SPS survive.

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Do you know what the mag, alk, and cal levels of a new batch of mixed water register at? If the new batch water is registering high cal and mag I wonder if that's the biggest driver affecting the alk level by causing precipitation in your reef. Some swear by the Fritz salt and others claim to have issues with it on other forums, I have never used it personally but it might be something to look into. 

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I tested the fritz today, admittantly only alk, and it was at 9.6. however, I've repeatedly tested the fritz previously in the past and the Ca and Mg was elevated, but not to this extent.  I will test Ca and Mg tomorrow and report back to see what's up.

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What are you using for phosphate control if any? I know some media will drop all a bit. Curious if it could be stripping some out?

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Nothing ATM, I have the BRS reactor plumbed in but it has been blocked off. I only have one fish. A single yellow Tang...Tang police arrest me...lol.  My tank is about as simple as it gets right now.  Literally just running a skimmer and the jebao powerhead.

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I brought it back to the basics to try to figure out the parameter issue and I'm stumped.  There's nothing left to eliminate in my opinion accept the salt or the pumps.  Tomorrow's a new day.   I'm going to test and see what's up.  Getting chicken to turn off the pumps like i said earlier. Don't want my alk to get rediculoualy low.

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I guess I'm conducting my own micro-fragging experiment. I came home for lunch and most of the Teen Wolf frag has RTN'd.  I clipped a few polyps off that appeared to be unaffected.  Maybe one of these lil guys will survive. Grow lil buddies grow! LOL.  I'm sure my parameters didn't help, but I think the Teen Wolf just didn't ship well.  Everything else is still looking fine.  My alk is at 7.4.  Raising my dosing to 180mL and testing again tomorrow.  No more alk boosts...

 

2018-11-15_12-48-12

 

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