SPS STNing, any ideas?

Discussion in 'Reef Chemistry' started by HiFidelity, Apr 8, 2015.

  1. JAR

    JAR Supporting Member

    My ph swing is like 10x yours (8.25-8.50)
    my corals don't seem to mind
    jonmos75 and iCon like this.
  2. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    did a water change

    Alk is at 9 now
  3. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Chasing numbers is silly...Target stability.

    Low mag can be an issue and a significant mag swing will be a certain issue. Been there, done that.

    If you're even noting a ph "swing" of 8.4-8.44, you're being ridiculous ;)
    jonmos75 and Enderturtle like this.
  4. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    haha what you are talking about is me grasping at straws, my parameters are insanely stable, there is no measurable swing of any kind. I knew the Mag was going to be low because it was a slow progressive drop that took 2-3 months simply because my Mag drops very little hence why I just finally added it to the doser, in fact it's so little I'm dosing 1ml/day mag now. Same story w/ kh it's been 8 for over 6 months and even before then it would hover between 7 & 8.

    I'm really still at a loss as to why I'm seeing STN, I've had growth & healthy corals with outright questionable parameter measurements, the tank has never been this stable since I set it up in this particular house. Kind of annoying when you do everything right and still get the opposite outcome :confused:
  5. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Since you are dosing kalk instead of two-part and you were carbon dosing and skimming, I'd guess that your water has been depleted of essential elements like iodide and potassium. Unless you've been dosing essential elements on a regular basis, you're probably missing something. A large percentage water change is probably in order and I'd start dosing some essential elements. Also, feed your corals with a massive dose of coral food for a few days.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  6. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Good point Philip, I thought about dosing essential elements the only issue I have is I tend to be against dosing anything I can't test for but I might have to bend that rule and at least give it a shot. I have rotifers & other coral foods that I haven't been feeding lately, I'll begin to add those to the daily feeding regiment.

    By the way the skimmer I'm using is way overkill for a 50G tank;

    I've got to do some reading on dosing essential elements, never done it before.
  7. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    If you really feel the need to test for trace elements, you actually can:

    IME, if your calcium and alkalinity are being depleted faster than water changes can correct, then your trace elements are being depleted too. You can somewhat correct it with a large percentage water change, but water changes won't be adequate long term solution.

    Also, you can usually gauge your dosing of trace elements by coral response. I dose more heavily when my Ponape Bidsnest starts to look whiter and I slow down when the pink tips come back.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2015
  8. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    What is your Alk source? that may be raising your Ph.

    Sorry to hear!!!

    edit: oops, commented late. alk is from your kalk !!
  9. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    wow that is quite amazing for $50, I wasn't actually aware of that kit very informative I appreciate you sharing that Philip :)

    now with essential/trace elements, what's a good product to use? some things I noticed are labeled trace elements, kent has essential elements! also with the terminology I'm assuming it's marketing lingo? essential elements & trace elements is referring to the same thing?
  10. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hey Alfred, that's why I said earlier that I am limited in the amount I can raise my Alk because it's done via kalkwasser which raises PH as well. I went ahead and raised it to 9 dkh anyway so I can eliminate Alk from being the issue since I know I can maintain 9 dkh & 8.5 PH consistently.
    neuro likes this.
  11. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    If you go with Kent, I think you are going to want the Coral-Vitae and Essential Elements.
    If you go with Fuana Marin you'll want Trace Elements 1, 2 & 3
    If you go with Zeovit: You'll want to pick and choose a few: K-Balance, Iodide, B-Balance and Pohl's Extra Special are usually the base.
    Red Sea has a coral colors package that includes four bottles of trace elements.

    I'd stick with one manufacturer and dose as directed. Fauna Marin seems like it's the simplest to me.
    HiFidelity likes this.
  12. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    So in my instance, mag ended up being extremely low even though the test kit said I was just a little low.
    Do you have pictures of the corals? Which types are in the tank? Are all affected? (Sorry if I missed your notes in here but I didn't see any pictures of the issue. A pic is worth 5 forum pages)

    I would change water frequently before trying to dose your way out of it - 10%/day for as long as the issue persists.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  13. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    I'm not going to knock products I haven't used but I would say that some of the most gorgeous SPS tanks (true colonies, not frags or 3" colonies) I have seen in person existed well before these products came out.
  14. Nav

    Nav Director of Marketing & Photography

    Side question: I know RSCP salt has some good elements in the mix. So if you use a normal salt is it very beneficial/necessary to dose these essential elements? Also would they cause any algae/cyano problems? (like I try dosing Fuel and get a bloom!)
  15. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Essential elements/trace elements are being depleted from the water at the same rate as calcium/alkalinity due to coral growth/uptake. If you aren't able to keep calcium and alkalinity in check with your water changes, then you can't possibly be keeping essential elements balanced with only water changes.

    The tanks that I've seen in person and online that use true zeovit/balling method generally have depth and color in the corals that I've not seen in more traditionally kept tanks - almost to the point of looking fake. It's probably a matter of preference of which look you like best.

    If you are using a two part solution, then you're probably already replenishing trace elements since most two part manufacturers have included many trace elements in their mixes for years. The trace element supplements like Fauna Marin Balling Method and Zeovit are just the next evolution to what has become standard practice for most reefers over the years (I'd guess that a majority of us have switched to two part solutions over kalk).
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2015
  16. BAYMAC

    BAYMAC Guest

    How did you arrive at the last statement? I travel a ton, done over 120 reef events in 10 years across the US... the bulk of what I see is NOT zeovit or balling. Kalk is still a MAJOR player, where as Zeovit is a very minor player. Talk to any coral researcher, show them a zeovit tank, and they'll typically respond that those corals look starved/malnourished. They lack depth of color, that is why they look pastel, etc.

    @HiFidelity .... simply mix Kalk and vinegar to combat higher pH of the kalk. 8.3-.8.5 is the recommended pH. RHF has a great article on the subject from years ago.
  17. bluprntguy

    bluprntguy Webmaster

    Oh geez, I almost have to assume this is trolling because I didn't say that kalk isn't a "major player" or that the "bulk" of systems used zeovit or balling method. I said that a majority of people are now using two part solution instead of kalkwasser and therefore they are already supplementing their tanks with trace elements.
    Enderturtle likes this.
  18. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    Hello folks, glad my thread is getting all this attention :)

    Turns out my PH probe was out of whack, I calibrated it last night & PH reading dropped to 8.43, this morning it was about 8.4 and I'll wait a week and check the calibration again if it's out it's going in the trash, I have a back up probe.

    Gresh, I'm doing 50ml vinegar + 3 spoons lime / gallon of water and dosing almost 1 liter a day.

    Going to keep stable alk of 9-10 over the next week or two and continue to bring magnesium up till it reaches 1350 and then maintain it at 1300-1350 if I see no changes I will give Red Sea Reef Lab a trial for a week or two and see if things change.

    While I was banging my head against my tank yesterday thinking "what could it be, what could it be, what could it be" I noticed that my tank has been pretty much stripped of algae, even the algae I introduced to the tank (because I haven't cared due to a long stubborn infestation) is now isolated to the frags it grows on, one rock that I acquired which was covered in HA & zoas is losing its zoas now because the algae is melting off quite rapidly.
    This leads me to suspect that my tank is becoming an ultra low nutrient system as of recently, this isn't by magic or chance. Over the past several months I've replaced/refilled all cartridges & carbon in my RO/DI and I get 2 or 1 tds pre DI (kind of impressive) also I added a stand alone refugium (I live by stand alone fuges now :D) which has been growing chaeto like crazy and i employed the iTech skimmer which in my opinion is one of the most efficient best designed skimmers out there.
    So it's just a theory that the tank is now too clean, LPS is thriving, softies are doing "OK" and oddly enough SPS is showing great color and PE but STNing.... if perfect parameters and water changes don't do it i'll start dosing some essential elements. I get the feeling that Coralife salt is not the greatest when it comes to this department and that could be contributing to the problem as well if the problem is in fact stripped water. We shall see.

    As to water changes, there is no way I can do daily water changes with my current schedule but I'm trying to do 2-3 a week, I did one earlier this week, another tonight and hopefully again into the weekend then testing parameters, I'm also going to try different test kits.

    I'm still working on getting pics of the affected corals, bear with me :)
    Last edited: Apr 16, 2015
    neuro likes this.
  19. HiFidelity

    HiFidelity Guest

    finally took some quick photos

  20. neuro

    neuro Webmaster

    looking good!

    I think there's some merit to a "too clean" system, but I honestly don't think for the majority of reefers out there that this applies to us.

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