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I give up, anyone wanna rescue some sps?


catdoc
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I'm so frustrated, near tears honestly. I've lost many sps in the past 2 days: my blue tort, hispida, slimer, monti danae. I just finished fragging 2 monti caps, another cap is so far gone there's nothing left big enough to frag, fragged a mille...I've got RTN running rampant. I have theories on what started it, but not certain. Everything looked fine Sunday night, Monday morning when I left for work the lights were still out so who knows, when I got home Monday afternoon, the tort and hispida were long-gone, the others were starting to rtn.

 

Things that are different:

Added 2 tablespoons of phosban to my sump Saturday morning, also changed out the carbon that day and put fresh in. (Been trying to get on top of a bit of hair algae, not a lot, but trying to stop it from becoming a lot)

 

Added 1/2 cup of the third component of Randy's 3-part, the magnesium sulfate. That was Sunday night.

 

In the past 2 mos, been using Randy's two-part for alk and ca. I had been dripping kalk but since my surgery I can't lift the kalk bucket to set up the drip. I notice when I mix up the calcium portion, there's a pink precipitate. It's supposedly Dowflake, but since I bought it from someone else it's been repackaged (Buckeye Supply). Should it have the pink precipitate? I try to let it settle out, but some is sure to get in.

 

The Tunze. The wonderful Tunze I won at the raffle. I mounted it on the overflow box at a 45 degree angle so that it hits the front glass and then is deflected back to the rockwork. Turned it on Sunday afternoon. It's in the 125. The one leather in the display tank, a 3" fuzzy leather (sinularia?), was fairly close to the flow after the deflection and it closed up for a few hours, then opened up again. Maybe it released its nastiness that's started the RTN? The two remaining green-polyped sarcos were downstairs in the frag tank and looked crumpled. I pulled them out this afternoon and stuck them in the mantis tank for now. The sinularia, I cut it off of the rock it was on and threw it in the trash.

 

So, I'm losing all of my sps. I'm going to do a 50gal water change, I've pulled the carbon and phosban this afternoon. Is there anything else I can do? Should I leave the MH off? I will test the water params but right now I have to run to pick up the kids from daycare and the testing will have to wait.

 

I'm so ready to just quit and make it an lps tank. I have had such sporadic luck with sps, they thrive, color up, then die b/c I screw up unknown variables. The sps at my tank at work are just as healthy as can be and I practically ignore them. (They are getting the same 2-part additive as at home, btw.)

 

Seriously, if anyone wants to take the chance and get the remaining sps out of the tank to try to save them, I'm up for it. Maybe it's too late already, maybe it'll poison your tank if you try. I just don't know what to do. :(

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thats to bad christy! :( as usual try a water change. and as far as keeping the ligghts on...IMO, yes but you could reduce the photoperiod. They need light to photosynthisize (sp?) so if you take that away, it could cause more harm. I cant imagin it was the carbon or phosphte remover directly....

 

perhaps the chemical reaction polished your water enough to quickly change some parameter....??....

 

IE: if the nitrates were a bit high and the carbon brought it down very quickly...

 

thats about all I can really think of. Increased water flow should have made the sps even more happy....

 

and as for the 2part alk supp.....I have no idea, nver tried and have havent read up on it.

 

well...hope things get back on track for you. You know where to get some of the yellow cap with blue polyps if you need to replace some :)

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I'm sorry to hear that Christy! The one thing that I wonder about is that Leather, if it did let out a toxin, your system is big enough that it would take a long time to get filtered out with the carbon. That would be my best guess. I've got a little room if you want me to take some frags until you can get your tank back in order. I can't promise I can keep them alive but I can try.

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On the carbon: was it rinsed (in tank water preferably) before being changed out? Fresh, non-rinsed carbon is also capable of drastically lowering oxygen saturations. Anything else happening from last week special or wierd?

 

Very sorry to hear about your losses so far Christy and hope you're able to stop the RTN.

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Carbon was rinsed before going in the tank, rinsed in RO water. I run carbon most of the time since I had a couple small leathers in the tank. I was always a little leery of the leathers, but they were small--just the green-polyped sarco (mother colony is about 3 or 4 inches tall) and the sinularia I mentioned. I don't think the carbon would have polished the water enough to cause a change in clarity since I usually have carbon in there anyway. The water just flows through the carbon passively, it's not in an area where water is forced through it, if that makes any difference. I change it every 2 weeks. I'm reading now that maybe I should only have it in there a couple of days out of the month?

 

I have a pH meter on the tank, pH runs 8.05 in the am to 8.1-8.15 in the afternoon/evening. I add my 2-part in halves, part in the morning before the lights come on and part in the evening when I get home from work. I see a 0.05 to 0.1 increase right after I add it.

 

Lighting hasn't been changed for 3 months, VHO's on for 10 hrs, MH on for 6-7.

 

No fish losses, but I have noticed a couple of very large amphipods floating in the fuge. (I scooped them up and fed them to my plate corals.) That was actually last week, Wed or Thurs? That's an unusual thing for me to see, but I figured they have to die sometime and since they were HUGE I figured they were just old. Maybe something was starting up then.

 

I did remember something else that's different and could be relevant. I am trying to train my mandarins to eat mysis. They are living in the frag tank (immediately downstream of the fuge) and I'm putting a cube of mysis in a jar every other evening. Sunday morning, there was no mysis left so I thought they'd eaten it all. Then, Sunday evening I found that it had just floated (or been dragged by the mandarins) out of the jar and the pile of mysis was behind some rubble. I siphoned the stinky mess out but I imagine it was releasing ammonia by that time.

 

Ok, I'm going to pull some water out (to test later), do a siphoning/water change, and then come back and do the water tests on before and after. I'll update you if there's anything of interest.

 

Kyle, thanks for the offer on the cap, that's actually from my other tank which has 2 nice big colonies in it--I'm set on blue-polyped cap! :D

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Water change done. The SW had only aged for 3 days, but I felt like I had to do something right away. Here's the results on the water before/after the change. I siphoned 10 gallons out of the display to get detritus out, then 40 gallons from the sump getting out the detritus from there too. The filter socks are in the washer, wish I'd thought to get them washed before the water change so they could have cleaned out the crap that gets dislodged when I rev the return pump back up.

 

t=78.6/79

s.g.=1.025/1.025

Alk 3.3/2.9 (mEq/L)

Dissolved O2 7/7 (mg/L)

NH4 0.25/0.25 (I use Salifert tests and I have NEVER seen NH4 of zero with this kit--anyone else use it and have feedback on that???)

Nitrite 0/0

Nitrate 10/7 (I'm thinking this may be a big part of the problem)

Calcium (only tested after the water change) 350

Mg 1200/1080

PO4 0.015/0.010

 

Testing didn't really give me much info but hopefully the water change will help. I'm not sure whether to put fresh carbon in or not. Also, it wasn't phosban that I put in, but rowaphos. I very rarely use it and only used a teensy bit, but maybe that was disruptive??

 

Sitting here trying not to look at the tank and not get stressed about what I can't fix yet. Going to get some more RODI filtered tonight so I can get another 50 gal of SW brewing for another change later in the week. Fingers crossed. I may move the remaining healthy sps to my tank at work and just hope that I'm not transmitting something to it too. It's got to be a water quality issue and not a pathogen, right??

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Two more montis are starting to go...

 

Plate coral is sliming a lot

 

 

I even asked the kids if there was ANY chance that they threw something in the tank. It's high enough that they can't reach it but if they got rowdy and were throwing things, it's an open top and maybe?? I can't see anything in there though.

 

Maybe FOWLR wouldn't be so bad.

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Maybe FOWLR wouldn't be so bad.

 

 

ok joke time is over! :wink:

 

 

what about temp? I know easy but often times us Experts forget the little easy things. :)

 

 

hmmm....(putting thinking cap on...).....all I got is the excess nutrients from feeding the mandarin......maybe the tank wasnt used to it and hasnt yet built up the proper bacteria levels to eat the nitrates & trites??????

 

Press this and it will make everything better!

71_2.JPG

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Aw, nuts! That's what happened--I left my Easy Button at work! (Seriously, we have one. One of my coworkers thought it would make our job run more smoothly, LOL.)

 

Temp is usually 77-78, something I've been really working at to get higher. The basement sump has kept it super cool and I've been really pushing the heaters to achieve that much. I also had the pvc wrapped in thin layer of foam insulation to help. I did bump the heaters up a notch again yesterday, to minimal effect. As of this afternoon, the temp was 78.6. I see it's now at 79.8 but I just turned the MH off for the night (usually they go off at 10 but I thought I'd turn them off a bit early tonight). I have a digital thermometer so I check the temp several times a day, just habit. A couple of times when I had brief power outages this winter, it'd go down to 76. Could the prolonged cool (77-78) temps have stressed them to this point?

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Guest Willy

Wow, Im no expert by any means but I would guess something got in the water. Being that it is affecting everything, I would doubt its a pathogen. I wish I were closer, you could come put all you wanted into my tank till things got better. I doubt it was the temp. lost power for 9 hours the other night temp was down to 76. I slowly raised the temp back to normal and all was ok. Let me know if there is anything I can do. The blue polyped monti and the green polyped sacro are doing well. When/ if you are ready you'll have a frag waiting.

 

Scott

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have you done any cleaning recently? Did any air freshener get into the air close to the tank? Just trying to think of something that got into the tank...especially since you said it was an open top.

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Don't use any sprays in the air, swept and mopped earlier in the week with a Swiffer but not in that room. Maybe I need to tear down the tank and look for a penny or something.

 

I'm glad to hear that the frags I brought to the swap are doing ok, I was wondering. The tank lights are still off so I can't check to see how things fared through the night. I plan to take the healthiest looking of the sps to work today and get them in that tank. I pulled several RTN'ing colonies last night, figured I didn't need them further fouling the tank if they were going to die anyway. Fragged what I could off of them, the mille I fragged was starting to rtn again, although the part that had encrusted onto the LR was looking ok still (when the colony came off the rock, it left behind about an inch of encrustation.)

 

Haven't fed the tank since this started (Monday). I'll let you know how it's going when I know.

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I turned the lights on the tank so I could get an evaluation before heading to work. It looks like nothing new was affected overnight, but the mille that had started to rtn is gone. I've collected everything (or a piece of it) that I can and will get it into the other tank. I've lost several colonies completely (including some favorites that I never had fragged) but hopefully the rest will be ok.

 

I need to call my lowly LFS and see if they have SW I can buy. After getting these corals out of the display (and the rocks there were growing on) and allowing for enough water to cover them, my return pump is making microbubbles b/c the water level is just a tad too low in the sump.

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Not really sure if this could cause what you are experiencing but is your tank grounded. Could it have started receiving any type of electric shock.

 

Do you use a Ca reactor? Any problems with it. I noticed your Alk and calc were ok but how is your C02 container. Bubbles coming out ok.

 

I'm just throwing things out there.

 

BTW the green sarco......beautiful.....thanks for the frag....once it drops a frag you'll be first in line if you need it.

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RTN is a mysterious thing. Even the experts don't know the real cause is. I have incidents in my system that I thought would have been certain death to my sps, but they survived. Then I have had some RTN when everything seemed fine. I guess I'm saying you may never know what happened and don't beat yourself up over it.

 

Nikki recently lost nearly all her sps to RTN. It happens. Get yourself some frags and start over.

 

Of everything you mentioned, I would remove the leathers. I think you're asking for trouble with those mixed with sps. The nitrates could be a problem and your magnesium really needs to be higher in an sps tank. I try to keep mine above 1350; you're really not going to get optimal growth at the lower levels.

 

Hang in there--unfortunately these things happen to all of us.

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No kalk or calcium reactor (yet), partially b/c I'm so afraid of something getting stuck in the "on" position. It seems more reliable to dose by hand, but then I'm putting the tank through swings in between the dosing.

 

I can dose some more magnesium, although it makes me nervous since the first time I dosed magnesium was Saturday! I'll probably use a different supplement.

 

The leathers are already gone, pulled them all out yesterday.

 

Tank isn't grounded, guess that's an easy enough thing for me to fix--should have done that long time ago.

 

I turned the Tunze completely off yesterday. Maybe I'll start it up again after things settle down.

 

The corals I moved to work look ok for now. I am home for my dinner break and find that the two montis that were starting to go are pretty much gone and another cap is sloughing. That cap is so encrusted to its rock that I can't get it out except in small pieces.

 

Plate coral isn't sliming anymore. Fish are begging for food, but I told them not today.

 

I called the LFS to see if they had some SW for sale. They said yes, even that it was made from RO and that it was aged a few days. I immediately drove over to find that they were actually mixing it right then! Had I been a bit later, I could have bought some freshly mixed SW and had it presented as stable/aged. I told them I didn't need it as I had 50 gal of my own at home that had already been mixed, I specifically wanted it aged. They tried to tell me fresh-mixed is fine--what are your thoughts? I was going to let this circulate for a couple of days before doing another water change. Or, I could do daily water changes if freshly mixed IS ok.

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Guest Willy

As far as the aging of your water, I usually let mine stir with a powerhead over night and use it next day with no problems. What salt are you using? I recently found out that there is a bad batch of Kent out there. The bad batch mixes with a dkh of 0. Have you ever tested a fresh batch of saltwater to see what it mixes up at?? Just some thoughts. And for the grounding of your tank, I think if it were "leaking" enough electricity youd be shocked by now.< just my opinion

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Christy - sorry to hear about the RTN. First off, like Katrina posted, don't beat yourself up about it. Alot of times RTN is triggered from a parameter shift of some kind. Adding carbon can increase water clarity and more light intensity gets to the corals. Running carbon 24/7 isn't an issue - alot of people do it. Sometimes changing it can cause problems, though. This may have been a contributor, or it may have had no effect what-so-ever. Question....did you rinse your ROWAphos? Also, you said you added 2 tablespoons of ROWAphos...was it in a filter bag, fluidized reactor, etc...basically, how was it dosed? Sometimes when new phosphate remover media is used, it needs to be a gradual addition (i.e. in a fluidized reactor, trickled in, or not on for 24/7 at first). You can get a pH shift when the media is first put on, which can trigger an event...especially if there are other changes going on at the same time. The pH shift isn't something you'd likely see, as it can happen quickly. I'll have to find the info on that for you. Has your pH monitor been calibrated recently? Might want to do that if its been more than 6 weeks or so. Just to double check what your pH is. Temperature spikes are another RTN trigger, as are upward shifts in alkalinity. SPS will release an enzyme when they RTN, so sometimes there is no stopping it, and the best thing to do is remove the affected corals if fragging and super glueing around the base tissue isn't working.

 

I'm not a fan of mixed reef systems, but my gut is telling me it probably wasn't the leathers that fueled this (could have been a contributor). I would guess you had some type of shift take place, whether it was 4 weeks ago, or 3 days prior. If it happened awhile back, the corals may have done the best they could to hang in there, and something else changed more recently, and they just crapped out. My corals didn't RTN until 4 weeks after an event, so they stuck with me for some time, but eventually died off.

 

I'm not sure if you're a member over at RF, but here are a couple of threads I thought would give you some extra information about RTN. The second link is to a discussion on phosphate removers, but more importantly there is discussion specifically related to phosphate removers and RTN:

 

http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12386

 

http://www.reeffrontiers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=3187

 

Hang in there...it happens to the best of 'em....even the colonies that people grow 12-16 inches across.

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The rowaphos was in a filter sock. I don't remember if I rinsed it or not. I put it in at the same time as the carbon change, the carbon was rinsed. I think I rinsed the rowaphos too, but ????

 

The pH monitor was calibrated just 2 weeks ago, trying to do that once a month b/c it does tend to drift a bit.

 

Things are looking no better. The coralline algae is bleaching. My frogspawn isn't expanding fully, I've never seen it NOT open fully. The fungia are looking better, no slime. My new derasa is gaping and I think a goner. I actually started to pull it out to toss it today, but noticed it closed up when I picked it up. I can see through the incurrent siphon and out the other side though--that sounds pretty grim to me. Pulled out a dead scarlet hermit, looks like one of my big turbos isn't too happy either--it's not dead, but it's not happy either. The sps in the tank are a total loss, except for one (my blue-tip stag) and it's starting to rtn at the base. I'll pull what's left of it and see if I can save it. I did already move a frag of it to my other tank, so I still have a start of it.

 

My plan, if I can make it work, is to get all the fish and salvagable corals out tomorrow. I'm hoping that Inland might be able to hold onto them for me, I've seen them "boarding" fish there from time to time. Does anyone know if they'll do this? Or any other reputable LFS? Then, I'll pull out the LR and look for anything that doesn't belong in the tank (penny? rust? other metallic objects??) and then put it back together and let the cycle run its course. I'm seriously debating making it FOWLR, maybe I'll keep my rbta since my maroons love them.

 

I got several sps frags moved to the tank at work, they're looking ok with one exception. One cap that wasn't looking too good at home is bleaching in the center and I think it's beginning to rtn. If I find that it is rtn, I'll pull the whole thing and toss it tomorrow--don't need to lose a 2nd tank!

 

It's just sickening to see all the time and money going down the drain. It'd be one thing if I could pinpoint it and say exactly what went wrong, but I'm thinking maybe it's my whole husbandry that's bad. I'm very very discouraged right now. :cry: I'll start back at square one with the LR and cycle it again. I'm debating adding the dsb back again since I probably won't be doing sps in the reincarnation.

 

In hindsight, this whole mess probably did start a few weeks ago. I lost a crocea and 2 other sps (the sps died right after I moved them from work to the tank at home). I also noticed my mandarins getting skinny, but figured it was that they had cleaned out all the pods. Now I'm wondering if there was a pod die-off.

 

If anyone's interested in baby-sitting, here's what I have (I will hopefully be able to get them back if I can get my tank healthy!)

pair of maroons/2 rbta

swallowtail angel

lawnmower blenny

yellow tang

pair of mandarins

purple firefish

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Well you can't give up now, because I need to buy more things from you, plus I am feeding my BTA like crazy to get her to split for you :D

 

I have only had my tank 2 and a half months and have been discouraged tons of time. I am not sure if I keep going because I have so much invested and I don't want to throw it all away, or maybe it is the fact people are always willing to help anyway they can in this hobby to help get you back on your feet day/night.

 

 

 

I think the the latter of the 2 is probably what picks me up when I get down.

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