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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok so i have had my tank set up for a few years now and i seem to be having some problems.

basics:
75g disp. 29g sump
1.025
80*
~400 ca
>20 nitrate
0 nitrite

my problems are that the corals dont seem to be doing so great. i have placed a before and some after pics for description purposes. the before pics were with pc lighting two white two blue 65w bulbs. then i went to a dual t5 with dual pc actinic. then i got a dual 400w metal halide setup. i started the mh on low time like 1 hr then moved up about an hour every week to two weeks. up to about 6hrs. i started noticing that the corals were retracting and the orange cap was turning white (bleaching). i pulled one of the bulbs and now running only one plus the actinic pcs. the mh is on for 4 hrs and is roughly 20" above the water.

questions:

what is going on with the orange cap (what are the dark growths) they are hard not like a soft algie.

why did the toadstool shrink so much? it almost looks like it is dead. this used to be my showpiece now it is like moosh. it seems that it maybe coming back to life but i cant tell for sure.

any help you can provide me is greatly appreciated.

before:



and now:









 

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is the 400 watt MH hqi? and if so do you have a UV shield on it?
 

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Looks like you re-aquascaped your tank.

Did it cycle again?

What are your phosphate levels?

Nice looking tank - I hope you get it back to normal again.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
phosphate i havent checked in a while but the algae levels have gone down tremendously since the before picture as you can see.

it is possible that it recycled after the move but i never thought to check levels during the first couple weeks. everything still seemed to be doing good.

it all started when i switched to t5 lighting. then after about a month the tank went back to normal. then about a year later i got the mh setup ( they are single ended bulbs by the way.) one is an xm15000k and the other is another brand 15000k. the xm is now about a mnth old the other is about 8. i turned the old one off for the time being so i only have one going trying to get everythign back to health
 

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it looks like a chemical problem, not like i can say that just from the pics, but what all do you add, how often do you add it and what do you test for personally? i didn't see a magnesium level, alk level, ammonium. also a rockscape move if you tank hasnt been sitting long i noticed your name was newer, so i'm not sure how long the tank has been up and running, but it can definetly crash your tank. The reason i say it looks chemical is cause of your toad stool... norma,lly they are VERY hearty and make it thhrough almost anything, but they can't survive if the chemicals are off long. the reaction to me looks like Low alk. but who knows.
 

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The toadstool and the orange cap both are medium or even lower light corals. 2 400 watt lights on that tank are a lot. It's good you cut back to just one. And yeah we need some more numbers, ph, ammonia, alk. And 20 is on the high side for your nitrates, you might want to check the nitrites again to see if they've come up. Without the rest of the numbers I'm just guessing what happened but it is possible you shocked the corals with that much light.
 

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you could have done that by not acclimating th elights to your tank, if you upped your power that much, the nitrites really wouldn't have caused that, 20 isn't very high.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
ill get some more readings in the morning or later tonight if possible. ill get back to you all later. any other ideas would be great. i think its the light
 

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With those lights, once you get your water quality back you might consider going to an sps dominated tank. They would be happy with that much light. Let us know on the rest of the numbers and good luck.
 

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Make sure all your conditions are in the proper ranges. To properly acclimate the tank to the new light you really need to use screens or raise the light. If you were to raise the light and lower it weekly you would probably have had much better luck. An hour of burning light is still an hour of burning light. If the light would have been high off the tank it would have been only an hour of more intense light. Then you could have worked it down. Something to keep in mind when acclimating to new lights.
 

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I don't think it is the lights. Did you guys catch the part that he is using 15K XMs that are *20* inches off the water? At that distance, it's not a ton of light.

I would run a full set of tests and double check whatever you're using to test salinity. Do you run carbon?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
im gonna go do some more tests in a moment.

i have been using one of the swing arm testers for the salinity. i just put in an order for a refractometer from drs foster and smith. so hopefully that will be here by the weekend. my swing arm tester is showing the same reading that i have always had the tank set up with. i supppose it could have gone bad and is giving false readings but i will post up some new readings here shortly
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
ok

calcium salifert 410
ammonia 0
nitrate less than 20
nitrite 0


that is all i have supplies left for to test ii need to order some more i suppose. as stated above i ordered a refractometer maybe my salt level is too high or too low.
 

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You definitely need to get your alkalinity checked and your salinity verified. I know that VI Pets can test them for you (not sure if there is a charge).

Also, what type of salt are you using? Have you changed salts at all?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
im now using reef crystals. i just changed two water changes ago. i did small water changes like 8-10 gallons as to not shock the system too much. it seems to have helped raise the calcium. maybe i can run a sample to vipets tomorrow and have them check it out for me. this all started before i changed salt i was using instant ocean
 

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Just checking in Kevin, hows things going? Did you take your water in to the lfs to have everything checked?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
i havent had the oppurtunity to get there yet but hopefully tomorrow my day is a lot less hectic and i can get there
 
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