sps bleaching help

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sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 7th August 2012, 1:58 pm

The last two days my reef tank has suffered coral bleaching.
I wanted to give sps a try,they have only been in there new home for 3 weeks and out of the 4 from the lfs 1 has bleached and there is another turning white from deep in the centre.
My parameters are
no ammonia or nitrites.
ph is 8.1
kh is 11
saliniy 1.021
Temps 27c
Am I missing something??
Crying or Very sad

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  mat8383 on 7th August 2012, 2:12 pm

Temp may be a little high and salinity's a little low, it should be 1.023 - 1.025, but besides that it could be high phosphates, nitrates, or insufficient lighting or water flow. What type of lights are you running?, where are the corals positioned (top, middle, or bottom)?, how much water flow are they receiving?, and how are your phosphates and nitrates?
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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 7th August 2012, 3:30 pm

mat8383 wrote: and how are your phosphates and nitrates?

Hi mat8383,so I should drop the temp,raise the salinity check phosphates,nitrates,okay,good as done.
The lfs dude told me to keep the sps close to the lighting,its a Vertex Illumina SR1200,so the lights are awsome for my 4+2 +2 reef tank,cost me a ton of money.
The flow is from 4 vortechs on timers and from the aquarium to sump back to aquarium flow is over 3 thousand litres per hour.
I run a large deltec skimmer 24/7.
Thatís about it.
I will get the testing done as soon as possible,if it is phosphates or nitrate,whats the way to go with them Question

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 7th August 2012, 3:46 pm

Phosphates are 0.09,nitrates are 30ppm,i hope those parameters are okay
the heater is changed 25c now.
I got red sea salt mix with the aquarium so I will use it to bring the salinity up to 1.025 tonight and before work.
Thanks,I will see how it all goes. Very Happy

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  mat8383 on 7th August 2012, 4:13 pm

Yeah mate, high nitrates and phosphates will kill sps in no time. Temp should be about 24-25. Lighting and water flow sounds like it should be ok. As far as getting your phosphates and nitrates down, the best advice is probably gonna come from liquidg, he knows heaps about nutrient exporting etc, but a phosphate reactor coupled with macro algae is the most popular way. Nitrates can be reduced through water changes but in my opinion you still need to combat them with a more consistent system such as a nitrate reactor and macro. Again I think that liquidg is going to give you the best advice on how to control phosphates and nitrates. With sps, as with lps, you should be testing calcium levels and dosing calcium, strontium, and magnesium (I doubt the lack of these is the cause of the bleaching) however to get good growth out of sps these are essential. I imagine the sps you have is acro? If you want to move into sps it might be better to try an sps that's a little easier to care for, maybe something like a plating monti, in saying that, there are no "easy" sps and all require a fair amount of care. Unfortunately due to the rapid bleaching in sps, it's unlikely that a. it will survive once its started bleaching even if the conditions were perfect, and b. that you could get the conditions required quick enough before it bleached out completely. I am certainly no expert, however the only suggestion I could offer is to a. transport either the entire coral to another persons tank that is set up for sps, or b. frag off the pieces that still have colour and attach them to frag plugs or coral rubble and transfer them to an established tank suitable for sps, thats if you know anyone with a reef tank that would allow you to do that. Also, if your phosphate and nitrites are high, and your keeping lps corals, they too will eventually suffer and die off, they just die off slower with less obvious signs the sps.

Hope this helps and makes sense
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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  liquidg on 8th August 2012, 2:45 am

All of what mat has typed is very true and to understand phosphates a little better check out this link if you like.
http://southeastqueenslandm.aforumfree.com/t1403-phosphatewhat-is-ithow-to-get-rid-of-it-and-what-does-it-mean-to-a-marine-aquarium

The things that bother corals, especially small polyp species are low intensity lighting with minimal imbedded colours, low oxygen and slow moving waters, inorganic and organic substances including all of the nitrite cycle gases, over feeding, added toxins and disruptive gases either by physical means or normally from the air,high temps causing everything to become more toxic and disrupt Ph,low salinity enabling bacteria to flourish and attack your corals.

Have you had anything of late done or used that you can smell at all anywhere near the aquarium, also check your PH just before the aquariums lights come on.

You need to get those phosphates down and find what is causing this

The PO4-phosphates are a little high for delicate algae dependant life forms which are the sps,their algae clades with in the cells are extremely important to the corals existence and the types they take up can turn acidic quite quickly and need to be expelled, thatís your bleaching.

As Mat has indicated you need to attend to your phosphates and to a lesser extent, your nitrates.

Your waters have a few issues that will slowly kill the more delicate species of acropora corals such as small polyp types; though it doesnít overly sound like they are the main reasons your corals are suffering, there is something else going on there!

For longevity of mainly sps corals and you entire tanks life forms,if you donít have this already, set up dual reasonable sized algae environments at the sump, it will stop this from happening ever again.

If each one is on for 20 hours per day off set to each other, you will never have these issues again.

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 8th August 2012, 7:50 am

Learning lots guys, thank you so much.
Just got home and checked the aquarium Very Happy
The sps bleaching may have stopped and one fish i was worried about wants food Surprised , I will keep watching the sps, no advance on yesterday so far.
The only thing that has happened at home that stunk the house out is the timber floor was sanded and recoated, nothing else and that Ph test I will do that in the morning before work. cheers


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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  liquidg on 8th August 2012, 11:32 am

There you go mate, the floor sealing, thatís your main problem, the toxic gases given off by that type of thing, you are lucky there wasnít a complete tank crash!

Everything to some degree, that is in the air around your aquarium, especially if you have a skimmer,it will enter your water and enter your fish and corals via drinking, eating and breathing, thatís how these gases get into the blood system as well.

The algae with in the corals would have imported these toxins and photosynthesised them into who knows what, there would have been acidic production for sure, then the algae is expelled,caulerpa can handle this type of thing easily, no worries at all, not symbiotic algaeís though, they are inside some one!

Cyano bacteria/algae combo can handle it, not corals though.

Then you would have had PH issues at the time, which would have done some internal and external damage to life forms.

I would get some phosphate sponge or look through that thread on phosphates for your own choice for the time being and some activated carbon or similar to get rid of left over toxins possibly still in your water.

There is a newish product that turns phosphates to a gas and the skimmer or dry section gets rid of it, its not cheap though, I will include it in the phosphate thread soon.

Good luck.

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 9th August 2012, 12:48 am

Why didnít I know that Embarassed Evil or Very Mad
I did the ph test this morning over breakfast and it was sitting on 7.9,did it 4 times and each time the same test result?
How is that possible when I had 8.1 and then this??
At lunch today the lfs gets a visit for what you recommend cheers
Do you think this is the end of this crap?

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  mat8383 on 9th August 2012, 2:38 am

Your PH will drop at night. If you test it before you turn your lights on in the morning, then test it later in the day while the lights are running, the ph will have changed. This is due to the changes in gas exchange that occurs that causes an increase in carbon dioxide which in turn lowers the ph when the lights are off. This is why if your keeping algae in your sump, the light over your sump should be offset with your display tank lighting, meaning when your tank lights are on, the sump light is off, and when your tank lights are off, the sump light should be on. This will help keep your ph more stable. I would suggest putting a plan together to achieve the optimal results for your system, look at what equipment you will need and what sort of maintenance the system will require to maintain those parameters. The most important thing is stability, fluctuations in the reef aquarium is one the biggest causes of lost and unhealthy life in the tank. This includes, salinity, ph, temp, etc.

The key parameters you should be trying to achieve are,

SG 1.025
PH 8.1-8.4
DKH 8-12
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate Less than 1ppm (should be as low as you can possibly get it)
Phosphate Less than 0.2ppm (should be as low as you can possibly get it)
Calcium 350 -450ppm
Strontium 8 -14ppm
Iodine 0.06 - 1.0ppm
Magnesium 1250-1350ppm

To control your nitrates and phosphates, look at combining a reactor for each with effective macro algae. Calcium can be dosed manually from a bottle or you could look at using a calcium reactor or dosing pump. Strontium, Iodine, and magnesium again can be dosed manually, or by using an automatic dosing system, although dosing pumps are generally quite expensive, the advantage of dosing pumps however are that they dose small amounts at a constant rate, which keeps the levels stable.

Also, after the floor sanding you had done, you should do a major water change, and then another in a few days.

Hope this helps Very Happy
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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  liquidg on 9th August 2012, 7:00 am

Read all that Mat has typed hester,is all good advice.

That two pack or polyurethane, if thatís what was put on the floor, as it goes off the catalyst stinks to high heaven hey,but what a high,lol.

You seem like there could be some money to be thrown at the hobby from you so I would go with dosing and a cal reactor and at the moment ignobolis is putting together a nitrate reactor build so you could look at that as well.

Personally I donít use any of these anymore, I rely on clean surface area and natural means to keep perfect water conditions with no water changes and it never falters.

I use to make my own cal reactor after speaking to the GIG top guy on gas and skimmers from akks advice and a nitrate reactor when clear acrylic was actually cheap from coopers plains,I got a price at a place in the Capalaba industrial area for the clear acrylic tube and the guy there always gives me a good price on plastics and its still far to dear these days for me, the last one was just out of storm pipe,that was a long time ago.

Its not easy to understand the natural ways or build,if it is not completely understood,this way can fail badly if no settling pre filters are in play!!

Two things that are in the same environment, that you could put in is dual algae environments, whether you want to call them the term refuge or not, it means nothing really, just the refuge term was meant in the past for a place to house suffering tank life.

The algae,if done right, the attaching surface for the algae will oxidise most of your nitrite and nitrate plus retain CO 2 balance-PH and KH when the two lighting cycles are off set to each other.

To tell you the truth, these two alone will do all of your water needs!!

That water change Mat typed about,thatís always a good quick way to remove unwanted substances.

Keep us up to date on how things go.

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 9th August 2012, 3:03 pm

Got the phosphates by the tail guys, halved the original test results its looking good Cool .
Did a fifty percent water change and nitrates are down as well
Could you do a diagram of the dual refuge your are referring to liquidg,I like the sound of that.
Had a look around and cramming all the opinions on the net on calcium reactors and dosing pumps, they are somethingís I will get, where do you suggest buying from guys?

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  liquidg on 9th August 2012, 3:50 pm

Sounds good hester,give me a couple of days to wip up a drawing.
Another thing,i would go with a water filter as well, an auto top up reverse osmosis filter if you have the money, it would be of help, thatís for sure.

I have an old one and our original carbon cartridge dual carbon filter as well, neither are auto top up, just standards, not used in 7 years now,my brother has the RO, my dad always had a water filer to get rid of the make up from town water going into us, they help keep away kidney and Gaul bladder stones, plus the alum in town water is a health risk to brain cells, maybe thatís what happened to me,lol.

The only advice I can give on buying is guppies are very cheap but not the best quality gear at times, age of aquariums will compete on prices and the gear quality is normally good, pet city have a good range of every thing marine.

Have a look on the net and get some prices and an over all understanding first,that would be best.

With your corals I can send you a map of where the Auz coral leases are so you can get an idea of what types of conditions our ones sold in the shops here grow in, it may help in keeping them for you and look up the species you are buying and see what it normally lives in.

Most of our corals come from argument areas at the moment all around Auz,the coral guys and the dive operators use the same areas as they are near still waters and safe dive sites, there is a lot of sót hitting the fan over it and the dive shops, groups and conservation groups want the coral leases stopped, that would make corals in the shops rare and expensive for sure,no inverts are allowed imported into Auz,we can only buy Auz locally collected corals.

Some will try to tell you fragging is going well to support the hobby, they used to say that in the eighties as well, it amounts to a very small amount of support to the hobby and just a few species.

Keep up the good work. cheers

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Re: sps bleaching help

Post  hester on 12th August 2012, 12:18 am

Just wanted to say thanks for the help guys all parameters are perfect and consistent now and the tips you guys have pass on have been invaluable and thanks for the plans liquidg.
With all these new toys and help from here how could it go wrong?
Just like before I will be lurking here from now on Cool
cheers

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