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Old 02/11/2018, 02:23 PM   #1
mdgilles
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Coral Help/ Coral Growth

Hello Reef Central! First post and new to the community!

I need help with my Coral Growth!!

I have a 90 gallon reef tank that I have had established for 5 years. I have had success keeping fish, but have never seen good coral growth in my tank. Some of the corals have been in the tank for several years and remain the same size as they where when I put them in. I seldom see corals split/ divide to populate. I have not added any new corals to the tank in probably 2 years as I have been waiting to get the existing ones healthy first. There are 3 types of zoanthids, blue and red mushrooms, green finger leather, ricordea, xenia, star polyps, two torch corals. Keeping the tank at 1.024-1.025 salinity. Currently have 4 fish( Queen Anthias, 6 lined wrasse, and two clowns. I have 10 hermits, 2 peppermint shrimp, 5 emerald crabs. The tank has 6 T5 bulbs(4 white and 2 blue). I change 2 of the 6 bulbs every 4 months. Keeping the temp 77-78 deg F. I change 10 gallons of water twice per month with Seachem vibrant sea salt. I also dose B-Ionic two part solution. I add 40 Ml every night to the tank of each part.
Took a sample of water to my LFS a few weeks back:
Nitrates 0
Alk 10.9
Cal 480
Mag 1350

We both used salifert test kits, and on the same sample of water I tested it at:
Alk 9.6
Cal 440

I lost motivation about a year ago for several months of time. Even before this stage I never saw good coral growth. I feel I have been committed this past 12 months to get the tank going in the right direction. I very seldom miss a two part dose and have been sticking to the water changes. A result of me ignoring the tank has been a the tank is populated with a lot of aiptasia and bubble algae. The peppermint shrimp and emerald crabs have only been there for about 6 weeks. Bubble algae is definitely decreasing. About 4-5 months ago the corraline algae growth definitely has increased.
Any advice would be appreciated!!!!!


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Old 02/11/2018, 02:25 PM   #2
rvareef
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post some pics!


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Old 02/11/2018, 02:34 PM   #3
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Well considering it's been 5 years, I would target your current lighting, T-5's would be my actinic supplement, I know some people have had better success with them but in my experience, nothing is better than 20K Radium metal halides....these days LED fixtures have taken over but are they better than halides, that hasn't been proven, do they work....yes are they equal...maybe but since I already have the set up, I'm sticking with them, as far as coral growth goes, my tank is mainly sps acropora, I do have a few softies, green finger, zoanthids, mushrooms....GRRRRR which have literally taken over the tank, I have recently added a true falcula butterfly which has reduced my mushroom invasion quite a bit. I have tremendous growth and color from all of my corals and I attribute that success to lighting, mainly, I am strict about husbandry and some testing, some supplementing but lighting is ultimately THE most important element in reef keeping, in my opinion and experience...since 1992.


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Old 02/11/2018, 03:50 PM   #4
mdgilles
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Thanks for the fast response!


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Old 02/11/2018, 03:50 PM   #5
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more


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Old 02/11/2018, 03:52 PM   #6
mdgilles
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all the pictures were just right after a water change, so the corals are slightly restricted more than normal.


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Old 02/11/2018, 06:55 PM   #7
ant123mon
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I too am having problems with growth, I started adding nitrates to water a couple days ago and saw growth and better color within a day. I think the low nitrates starve the corals. I did a lot of research on topic and found a lot of people having problems at 0 nitrates


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:09 AM   #8
rvareef
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try feeding the tank more and stop dosing, stick with water changes every 2 weeks and siphon out the crud on the rocks


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:17 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rvareef View Post
try feeding the tank more and stop dosing, stick with water changes every 2 weeks and siphon out the crud on the rocks
um...no
Look at the pictures..
The extensive amount of hair algae shows that nutrients aren't a problem... The algae is clearly getting plenty of food..

And stopping dosing if its needed isn't really smart either.. Corals need stability.. How do you know a 2 week water change is sufficient to maintain stable parameters?


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:18 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ant123mon View Post
I too am having problems with growth, I started adding nitrates to water a couple days ago and saw growth and better color within a day. I think the low nitrates starve the corals. I did a lot of research on topic and found a lot of people having problems at 0 nitrates
This is certainly true the algae could be consuming it faster than the corals are benefiting from it.
Both nitrates and phosphates are "nutrients" that are required by all marine organisms for growth..

Just like fertilizer for your grass.. Too much and you burn out the grass.. Too little and you don't have a lush/green lawn..


For them I would recommend tackling their bad algae problem first.. Then worry about maintaining stable/healthy parameters..


I'd also recommend turning blue channel lights off/way down when posting pictures for identification/growth help,etc... proper color rendition can be important and an acid trip blue will NOT render colors properly at all..
May look cool to you/some but its not helpful in these types of posts..


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:32 AM   #11
rvareef
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um...no
Look at the pictures..
The extensive amount of hair algae shows that nutrients aren't a problem... The algae is clearly getting plenty of food..

And stopping dosing if its needed isn't really smart either.. Corals need stability.. How do you know a 2 week water change is sufficient to maintain stable parameters?
umm yes lol, I dont see a hair algae problem, mostly brown/green cyano, not enough good bacteria present, tank needs to be fed and cleaned more (stir up/siphon sandbed, blow off rocks, siphon cyano off rocks and in between corals during water change, dosing is hindering coral growth no need to dose for a few softies and lps barely hanging on, 90 gallons with 2 week water changes will definitely provide stable support for the demand of corals in the tank.


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:46 AM   #12
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umm yes lol, I dont see a hair algae problem,
Look again..
I agree that it can be difficult with the acid blue pictures posted but nearly all show a serious algae issue.. Those pictures being as blue as they are also just about negate ones ability to judge any color so I'm not sure how you are seeing "red/browns" at all there..

I'm also not sure how you are judging a bacterial population from pictures..
Nor how you are judging their daily consumption of alk/mag/cal too based on the information provided..


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Old 02/12/2018, 10:58 AM   #13
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the tank speaks to me lol, still dont see a hair algae problem (this will come after he takes care of the bacteria), cyano isnt just red... hes always been dosing and always had problems... stop dosing and see if things improve


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Old 02/12/2018, 11:23 AM   #14
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still dont see a hair algae problem (this will come after he takes care of the bacteria),
Here is just picture 1..
Note that the area in red is overgrown algae..
Its like that in every picture for the most part..


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Old 02/12/2018, 11:34 AM   #15
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It's all over the second post of pics with the anthelia as well. Half the picture is green...not sure how you can't see that...


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Old 02/12/2018, 11:54 AM   #16
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not sure how you can't see that...
maybe they should try using their good eye.. or schedule a doctors appointment..

But yet they can see the microscopic bacterial population?


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Old 02/14/2018, 04:42 PM   #17
mdgilles
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thanks for the responses!!


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Old 04/16/2018, 07:20 PM   #18
mdgilles
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I've made a few changes....
The 6 T5 bulbs had the wrong bulb type in them. I had 4 whites and 2 blues. Have since slowly changed out to have 1 white, 1 purple, and 4 blues. The display tank lights were reduced from their factory setting to just 9 hours per day as well. I also purchased a hydroponic growth led light par 38 for the refugium. I've started doing 15 gallon water changes twice per month instead of the 10.
I have room in the refugium and have considered purchasing a hang on glass algae scrubber. They sound like they work amazing. One of the posters mentioned feeding more. I actually would love to, but only feed about every other night. I was making a frozen cube last a week. Curious if you think I have done enough changes, or is there more? What do you think on the algae scrubber?


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