Mobilecal

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Everything posted by Mobilecal

  1. Mobilecal

    Rapid Growth of SPS using pH as a tool

    Thanks Eric... Lets just say I went through ALOT of Reef Foundation testing... I forgot to add when my red planet tenuis starting bleaching it got to almost 1.5 inches from the tips of one side of all branches. Within about 2 weeks I had my tank basically pH balanced, not tweaked and the bleaching actually stopped with no change in light schedule or relocating the coral. As of today it has recovered completely except about 1/4" and I now can see red polyps on the tips. Just thought I'd throw that in there to.. Also I may have to run a line from outside to my skimmer to get the pH a little higher since everyone breaths so much hot air in the office the volume of hair increases with CO2. Simple enough test for you to try yourself....,1. turn your skimmer on and off(if its in the sump and your probes are downstream of it), or 2. add a line from outside to your skimmer, or 3. open an O2 tank slightly above the skimmer line and you can watch for yourself pH change over just 10 minutes. Some good reads if your interested for you lurkers: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-05/rhf/index.htm https://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/6/chemistry
  2. Mobilecal

    Rapid Growth of SPS using pH as a tool

    Yes, I have been out for a while and I am sure everyone will give me grief for it, but I found a few things in the last few months I wanted to bring to light in case it helps someone in the future with a more stable reef tank and prevent them from losing frags. So..... This is a lot to read but I couldn't help but share my findings of what caused part of my tank crash when I though everything was great. So first question is.....Who here has the most stable pH because I believe I may have stumbled over something that has really changed my SPS growth over the last 2 months when I had my crash and burn? I mean how stable can you keep your pH in a 24 hour period daily? Supplements-Food: Fussion 1 CA Fussion 2 ALK IONS- for Mg FUEL - Carbs Flarworm Stop- SPS vitamin, precautionary RG Complete weekly Tigger Feast weekly Sea Veggies Vita Chem bi weekly in SV Mysis Feast - weekly Coral Colors ABCD weekly Strotium every other week NOPOX whenever needed Skimmer 24/7 Some signs my tank was going downhill quick, keep in mind Ca was 500 and Alk was solid 8.2: Corals receding Corals dying Coraline growth disolving Gorgonian holes, lack of opening up, polyps not extending Leather retracting Polyps not extending No SPS growth Colors were not as brilliant So heres what I found... First of all, I had issues with good circulation and nitrates. It was very hard to keep nitrate in my tank and was having to dose with Flourish Nitrogen. So to resolve the issue, "which I should've did a long time ago going all the way back to MACNA", I went out and bought a pair of APEX Wave Makers and a lot of fish. ALOT... Then, I started over by making a chart of my dosing schedule and started plotting pH curves, Ca, Alk, Mg, NO2, NO3, and PO4 almost daily again. I was coming in 2 hours early to work and testing some parameters daily, bi weekly and weekly.. Now most of us don't watch the pH but it can tell us a lot about our tank which I ignored for a long time. There are some fundamental processes that take place that are impacted by changes in pH. I found this out when I had my tank almost crash so I spent a lot..... of time rereading trying to figure out what happened. Some of this was due too lack of nitrates from not enough fish, some was from high phosphates, unbalanced water chemistry, unknown precipitation that was taking place, unbalanced loads of O2 vs CO2, etc. etc. etc., and another was lack of calcification due to wide pH swings and too high of Ca with unstable Alk which caused unstable pH and inversely unstable ORP. I can't say I know what the perfect pH is but I can say the most stable pH is more important than I thought and we take it for granted with what it tells us behind the scenes. I went from swings of 7.9 to 8.4 daily and paid no attention to now a pH range of 8.07 to 8.12(8.3 being the goal) almost daily. Before I am asked, no pH up/down was ever used or supplemented to stabilized the tank. I originally saw the most swing simply due from night and day due to simple photosynthesis and respiration where organisms in the tank were converting CO2 to water, carbs and O2. Biggest swing you typical see is when the lights cycle on or off. wink, wink... During photosynthesis the process is consuming CO2, and pH rises due to the water becoming more alkaline. Then during respiration, the pH drops and carbs are converted into energy or as we know it lipids and proteins within our SPS. Okay, to break it down in simple terms so I don't lose the newbies, corals have what’s called photosynthetic algae, or zooxanthellae, that live in their tissues. This "ZOO"(just less to type) and the coral are married in a since where the coral protects the "ZOO" with somewhere to live and in return the "ZOO" provides bi products the corals use to make up their skeletons. Going back to my above paragraph, the "ZOO" supply’s the coral with glycerol, amino acids, glucose, and others which in turn the coral uses to make its proteins, fats, carbs in order to make its skeleton or " calcium carbonate". Now think of the polyps you see on the corals, these corals take the food you feed them in addition to the energy from the ZOO and secretes calcium carbonate on its skeleton which in turn grows the coral.... With that being said, if your alk swings a lot, which in turn is seen by your monitoring of the pH(if you tank chemistry isn't properly balanced) this can cause undue stress on your tank as a whole. If the corals become too stressed, the polyps can expel their algal cells and then turns a bright white appearance which is called bleaching. So it doesn't necessarily mean you burnt your corals from too much light which is the most common answer given to bleaching. This bleaching just means "something" stressed it out so bad, it started expelling its "ZOO" and its your job to figure out why.. Breaking down just a bit more, the "ZOO" is the pigmentation that gives our SPS colors and can darken up when it consumes to much phosphate and is why you tend to see your colors loose color or turn a brownish color. The dinoflagellates inside the corals are already slightly yellow but with more phosphates, it cause them to turn a more brownish color by nature. This I was also noticing in my tank but as it turned out my nitrates were low but the phosphates were high. The nitrates weren’t initially high enough for the SPS needs, however because I don’t have a refugium there was no consumption in phosphates in my tank. When you look at higher alkalinity levels in your tank, this means there is more bicarbonate and carbonate in the water, and these also work together as a buffer in the water against larger pH swings meaning they resist pH swings when additional acids or bases are added. So if your running ULN in the tank, your naturally at a lower alk, which leaves you open to the possibility of possible stress to the coral in the event something catastrophic happens with your water chemistry. So basically, the higher the pH is along with stable ALK, the more effective buffering the bicarbonate and carbonate has within the tank. What I didn’t realize was my Ca was almost always 480 or higher which drifted away because I didn’t check it as often. I used to think 500 Ca was always good but what I didn’t know with Ca so high, this also cause precipitation with the alk which I couldn’t ever get a stable ALK in the tank. With that all said, I’m not here to say pH swings will make or break your tank. I am simply saying I understand more now of what causes the pH swings and because it is a bit more complicated may be part of the reason some of us never paid it much attention before other than monitoring it from a Calcium reactor. When in actuality the same effect is happening in the tank on a larger scale but harder to determine what exactly is causing it. One thing that is a fact, a huge swing in pH can cause corals and other organisms in you tank to become very stressed. Even a low pH can make it harder to obtain sufficient carbonate to deposit onto their skeletons and if too low pH will cause their skeletons to start dissolving. I’m sure we have all heard to slowly add alk or Ca in a tank to keep from stressing and part of the reason is because of the amount of pH change in a tank. Easiest way to think of pH(power of hydrogen) is this, pH is based on a scale of 0-14, with 7 being neutral. 0 being acidic like battery acid and 14 being very alkaline like lye, potassium carbonate or like drain cleaner. So why do we usually see the pH typically drop along with low ALK? The normal trend for pH in a reef tank is typically downward, or more acidic from the addition of acids to the aquarium. These acids could come from either excess (CO2) f from inside your home or office from respiration caused by lack of sufficient gas exchange, nitric acid from biological filtration (nitrification), and organic acids from metabolic wastes, dirty socks, waste sitting in the sump or improper dosing of ALK from the corals conversion of calcium carbonate onto their skeletons. When the pH in a saltwater system starts to drop, it is an indication that the buffers are getting worn out, and the increase in acidity needs to be corrected. With it being 2 months into this and basically baby sitting my tanks water chemistry, all of my parameters have stabilized better than ever before. I now see my Gorgonian opening up like never before, full polyps on my SPS, stable alk, and actually seeing improved growth on the corals that survive the crash. Items that were changed: Separated F1 and F2 by 15 minutes if dosing on the same hour Moved alk dosing times around on schedule to balance daily Alk levels and 24 hr pH levels Reduced Ca dosing to 440 Maintain ALK to 8.5 through out the day Use ORP as a sign to change socks or clean sump Follow documented schedule to the tee for addition of supplements and refrigerated food Back to direct coral feeding schedules I know this was a lot to read, but it helps anyone from going through what I went through and preventing loss of prized corals, time and money spent then it was worth it to write what I found in my testing over the last 2 months. I'm not out of the woods just yet due to my tank having cyano but the corals and my tank seem to be back on track.... Hope this helps someone out there not make the same mistake.. One last thing I forgot to add in my original post, once my pH was stable across the board, I was able to raise my pH by adding a CO2 scrubber to the skimmer. After 2 weeks on the scrubber @ 8.3 pH, I am finally starting to notice a slight drop in Ca and Alk which means calcium carbonate is forming faster within the SPS. Now the challenge will be to find where CA and Alk dosing level stops and to make certain the CO2 media gets changed before it exhaust itself. Another maintenance to keep up with now..lol
  3. Mobilecal

    Rapid Growth of SPS using pH as a tool

    I only use the ORP to tune my skimmer in relation to looking at the pH. Ive always notice when doing a water change my entire range of ORP, both low and high levels will be naturally low in range of each other. During feeding I can see it go low, during skimming I see it go high. Both of which are opposite to each other when the lights are on or off and based on the level of pH. I just used it to give me more of an indication or trend to watch in the event I have an upset to determine whats wrong... simply, its a relationship between oxidizers and reducers and the volume of your tanks ability to break down decaying organisms or dying things in your tank.
  4. Mobilecal

    SPS

    Soooo. .. Since I lost more than half my corals, I'm a lil depressed for Christmas... Does any of my brotha's out there have a decent lil package of SPS frags for sale I could buy from ya for a reasonable price? I'm pretty much open to anything especially since I lost everything but my pocillaporas, montis, bubblegum digi, setosa, and lps... If so, pm me, I'm open to just about anything at this point no matter the size..... thanks again..
  5. Mobilecal

    SPS

    thanks guys for all the comments. I obviously didn't make it to FN but trying to make the best out of my tank. Found a few problem areas and have them "almost" fixed "for now".
  6. Mobilecal

    Need help

    you nitrates and phosphate levels will greatly depend on your Ca Alk levels. First you need to determine what level of Alk you want to run and if true 0 nitrates is where you want to be, hopefully not. You need nitrates as fuel for your corals to grow. The level at which you keep the nitrates at determines where you want your Alk to be.
  7. So since I've been out for over 15 years from my old 180 so I figured I would small scale in my office and see if I wanted to get back in the hobby again! Well let me tell ya, the more I keep researching the more Im getting ate up all over again!! So I figured to keep track and stay in line I would start a build of the BC 29 I got. Im sure no one prob cares about my BC29 but we will see anyway. Since many of you don't know me, my back ground is in oil and gas petro analysis for wet and gas analyzers. So yes, once I get the set up up to speed I will be testing daily. All suggestions are welcome. So here goes.
  8. Mobilecal

    Palmers blue milli for sale

    Thank you!!!
  9. Mobilecal

    Palmers blue milli for sale

    I'll take it
  10. Mobilecal

    GFO Rinsing

    So I just had a brain fart but not sure how much I have effected this. I have recently rinsed out my GFO with tap water to get the fines out of it. By using tap water, and I exhausting the GFO before it even reached the tank?
  11. Mobilecal

    GFO Rinsing

    10-4!! thanks
  12. Mobilecal

    GNA vs RHA

    Anyone have any idea what causes red hair algae to grow over green? All I am getting is red hair algae...
  13. Has anyone heard any updates as to when the Trident is coming out other than maybe 2nd QTR 2018?
  14. Mobilecal

    WTB Chaeto Reactor

    Sounds like neither of us can catch a break..
  15. Mobilecal

    WTB Chaeto Reactor

    Anyone have a new Chaeto Reactor they want to sell? Don't need a pump, Just the reactor. Increasing fish load, want to run a reactor to reduce phosphates for SPS....
  16. Mobilecal

    WTB Chaeto Reactor

    phosphates are at .08 and nitrates are around 8ppm
  17. Mobilecal

    Im Back!! OLD NEW Rebuild of BC 29 Reef

    yes, Its been a while.. Just a little update, more than half my corals due to my alkalinity raising which caused my corals to take off. In the mean time it sucked my Nitrates down to nothing for 2 weeks while I was out of town and you can imagine my reaction when I came home. So today I solved that problem. Went to Aqua Hut and bought the following: 1 Exquisite Wrasse 1 Yellow Wrasse 1 Swallow Tail Angel 1 Wannabe Angel 12 Blue Chromis 5 Pajama Cardinals 1 Twin Spot Goby 1 Starry Blenny 25 Scarlet Crabs Hopefully this will solve my Nitrates problem now.. lol I'll post some pictures hopefully tomorrow..
  18. I guess its time I replace my fuel dosing with Nitrates dosing..
  19. I am constantly loosing my SPS, and have no idea whats wrong. Have done multiple water changes and it seems like I am loosing a coral or 2 a week. This is a freaking nightmare!!!
  20. Dam I hate finding this out!!! So my alk has been increasing and nitrates have been reducing... I hate finding this out this late!!!! 23 FREAKING FRAGS AND COLONIES gone due to this!!!! Thats over half of my MACNA gone!!! I need to buy some frags from my brothers out there!! Im so disappointed... I literally watched all of their branches grow....... Thanks for the article Stoned.. Bumped up Nitrates to almost 5 ppm today..
  21. Thanks Stoned, just read everything so I need to go back and look at my log history to see what has changed.
  22. nitrates today are at 1ppm. down from 2 ppm...
  23. 78 +/- .5 degree. Using APEX