lars

So upset right now!

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So the story begins like this. Right after macna I was doing some testing on my system and found the phosphate had risen to around .1. No big deal. I just upped the flow on my phosphate minus and over a little time it should drop. Well after a few weeks it really didn't drop much even though everything in the tank looked great with great polyp exstention and color. Of course I just couldn't keep my hands out of it and started coming up with ideas to drop it to .04 where I normally keep it. Knowing phosphate levels can get stuck where they are without nitrates available for the bacteria to feed on I checked it. It was pretty close to 1 so I added a little potassium nitrate.  I've added stump remover before with no problems but this time I went with a food grade p.n purchased off line. After a few doses I noticed a few corals weren't happy but still ok. By doing this I managed to bring my nitrates up to 2 and my phosphate down to about .05. Close to where I want it so I leave it. Everything seems good except I start getting cyno on the sand in spots. I check the levels and the nitrates are back to 0. I add p.n three days in a row and each time by the next day it's 0 again. Here's where it all went wrong. I noticed some of my sps were looking a little pale and not as happy so I decided I'm not going to add p.n this time but actually just feed heavy and add a little aminos to the tank at night. I'm assuming it was a bad mistake. After feeding heavy for a few days I notice things are looking worse. I checked my nitates and they're back to 0. Absolutely no pink. I check the phosphate and they're at just about 0. .005 to be exact using a Hanna low range checker. I killed my reactor with the phosphate minus in it and backed off of the feedings a bit. Unfortunately I was too late for probably over a thousand dollars worth of sps. Literally lost colonies and some high end frags over night. In just a few days I probably lost 80% of my sps and the others look like there trying to hold on. All other parameters are spot on including alk. My belief is that I stripped the phosphate down too fast and it burnt my corals. I'm thinking even though I was adding nitrates to the tank it wasn't really fueling the bacteria enough to make a huge difference. Feeding heavy however must have let the bacteria grow pretty rapidly ( probably because I've been starving them for years now) thus stripping my water clean. There's nothing wrong with really clean water if that's what the corals are use to. Unfortunately most of my sps weren't and they paid the ultimate price. I'm now trying to balance things back out and save the 20-30 sps I have left. Cyno is still present but I'm not concerning myself with that for now. Just goes to show no matter how much experience you have in this hobby failure is always just around the corner. The tank is still full and will look great to most but I'm pretty depressed about what I've lost. Hopefully everything is back in order for the parade of tanks or my sump may be the most interesting thing when people come. 

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Sorry Jerry. Sucks to hear this. Just like you stated, seems no matter how experienced reefer you are, some day, something will go wrong. Similar thing happen to me.

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:angry: sucks to have read that bruh! That's terrible! It's crazy how finicky these things can be. I know you'll get it turned around, and hopefully you'll be able to replace those colonies in time. 

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Thanks everyone. I appreciate it. I'm not sure where the phosphate came from.  I wonder if it's my rocks sometimes but it usually stays in control. It was probably fine and I should have just left everything but you know how that goes. 

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I feel your pain. There are days when I just can't keep my hands out of the tank and it ends up being better when I started than when I finished.

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