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MMM33732 01/11/2008 03:49 PM

For some reason, any time I've added pulsating xenia, kenya, colt, or toadstools to my tank, they've melted away within a few days. I have no problems at all keeping rics, various shrooms, gsp, zoas, sea mats, button polyps, pagoda cup, sun coral, candy cane. The tank is a 55g with 2 175w mh's and 80w of normal output actinics. Parameters are:
Temp: 76-80
SG: 1.025
Ph: 8.2-8.3
Alk: 9 dkh
Cal: 460
Amm: 0
Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: 0-5
Phos: (Test kit is not readable, but there is hair algae in the tank. Cheato is being grown as well as the recent addition of phosban)

Any ideas?

DanInSD 01/11/2008 04:52 PM

I had a "death tank" that I tracked down to a cracked heater leaching heavy metals into the water. My results were very much like yours. All tests were fine, even tried a copper test, which didn't register at all. However, it takes very, very little metal contamination to kill soft corals!

You're not going to like my solution. I did a complete (and expensive!) teardown, throwing away all rock, powerheads, heater, media, sediment... I kept the tank, lights, skimmer body, HOT filter, and that's about it. Started clean over. Now everything grows like a weed (especially Bryopsis; wait, that *is* a weed...).


MMM33732 01/11/2008 06:09 PM

I have also done a copper test as well, and results are 0. I've been dosing iron for about 3 weeks now to help get the cheato growing more. I had this issue before that was started though. I run carbon 24/7 and change it every 2 weeks. Shouldn't that help absorb any possible metal in the water? I also use RODI water too by the way.

lancer99 01/11/2008 06:55 PM

How much flow do you have in your tank? All of the species you've had success with like (or will tolerate) low flow.

Another possibility is that the ones you're not having luck with might need higher nutrients....maybe over-skimming?

Having said that, Colt and Kenya are pretty bullet-proof....


MMM33732 01/11/2008 09:54 PM

I doubt I'm over skimming. Its only a Jebo skimmer I modified. Either way, it only pulls about 1/2-3/4 or so of wet skimmate a week. I also feed micro vert and feel sometimes I overfeed as I'm slightly overstocked. Flow is actually on the low end throughout most of the tank. I tried them all in various flow areas though, and all failed even in medium and high flow. The colts and toadstools that died were shipped 2-3 day with a heat pack in the cold, but the pack was not warm upon arrival, so that may have been the issue with them perhaps. The kenyas and xenias, I have no idea.

Sk8r 01/11/2008 09:57 PM

I would not dose any metal into a reef.

All the corals you name as dying are softies: your lights and calcium are friendly to stony corals like your candycane, but many softies don't like mh light.

MMM33732 01/11/2008 11:42 PM

I know its not the lights because I only recently switched to the halides. I had pc's and I still had this issue. Same with the iron dosing. I had this problem before and after. The iron I'm using is Kent Marine super chelated iron. It says "Macro-algae supplement with manganese for reef type marine aquariums" "Provides bio-available iron, manganese and other micronutrients to spur macro-algae growth. Useful for caulerpa and all calcareous algae. Benefits symbiotic algae in coral tissue."

DanInSD 01/12/2008 02:07 AM

Funny that you say Kenya trees are "bulletproof". I can't grow them. Everything else (xenia, mushrooms, leathers, LPS, you name it). I've owned two Kenya trees and they have "melted" within weeks.

"To each their own" I guess :)


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