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Old 12-21-2015, 4:25 PM   #1
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Looking for help with 500 gallon system

Hi guys,

Thought I'd try and reach out here. I have a 400 gallon display as part of a 500 gallon system. It has all the bells and glitter, but I'm having a terrible time keeping things alive. I just need some experienced help from someone who has a successful system.

I'm trying to make this an all sps tank:

400 gallon display and 100 gallon sump
3 400 w halides
4 4ft blue les strips
Installing t5 lights this week
2 mp 60s 2 mp 40
Calcium reactor
Run by apex with numerous modules
Chiller
Uv sterilizer

Parameters:

Phos and nitrate near zero
Calcium 420
Mg 800 ( working on that)
Alk 11

I keep dumping hundreds and hundreds of dollars into corals and they keep dying.

I would love to have someone I can befriend and lean on.

I'm out in Oxford


Thanks for any help !

Michael.

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Old 12-21-2015, 6:28 PM   #2
JBDreefs JBDreefs is offline
 
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If we were closer, I would swing by.

Maybe I can help remotely. Could you give us More detail on your tank, including pictures:

What skimmer?
What is your salinity and how is it measured?
Any algae issues?
What temperature is the water? Does it stay consistent?
What are you feeding?
What fish do you keep?
What is your maintenance routine?
Can you describe how the corals are dying? Bleaching? Tissue loss? Etc.
Have you asked a LFS for a second opinion on the water chemistry? Sometimes the test kits go bad. I am sure someone will ask what test kits you use.

I sure there will be others.

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Old 12-21-2015, 8:03 PM   #3
Camellia Camellia is offline
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How long has your system been up and running?

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Old 12-21-2015, 8:16 PM   #4
reeferman reeferman is offline
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ill see you on the 3rd and we will give the system a good run down.

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Old 12-21-2015, 10:56 PM   #5
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Thanks everyone - I'll post some pics and more details and answers to questions tomorrow.

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Old 12-23-2015, 9:43 AM   #6
skyking skyking is offline
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Hey Michael,
I'm also in Oxford. I have a 150 plumbed through my floor to a sump down in basement. By no means do I consider myself an expert but my system seems to be doing just fine. Maybe you can swing by and make a comparison and we can troubleshoot together. Again, I'm learning as I go so don't expect much "expert" advice. It sure would be nice to meet a fellow reefer in my neck of the woods.

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Old 12-23-2015, 9:50 AM   #7
skyking skyking is offline
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If you decide to come by, bring your testing equipment to see how your results compare to mine. Could be faulty tests.

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:07 AM   #8
joseayes joseayes is offline
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Greedings Michael!!!! Long time!
Same here, not an expert giving opinion but want to add this, I believe no system is the same but I also don't see much difference between a 50 gallons tank and a 500 gallons tank, other than one it would polute fast than the other, guessing that both comparison have same components and filtration. What I'm trying to say is that the problem you might experiencing with your tank might just be the same, or almost same, to a smaller system, they both might have problems from water coming from RoDi (time to swap filters? Water quality?)
Fish food (adding just PhoS instead of quality food,<not saying you do it intentionally, sometimes fish food companies uses not so good ingredients>, wasted? Uncontrolled wasting<cleanup crew with the good critters, variety of critters>
Your mixing containers have been leaching or transferring any contaminants to your display.
I guess you already know much of the things I've just mentioned, and you might find them just on the bottom of priorities, both hope they help some, and I'm sure some of the other members will chime to help.
This is the time when I hope people like Dave (RIP) would be here
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Old 12-23-2015, 10:33 AM   #9
Ricky5415 Ricky5415 is offline
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Also look for something else in the tank as well ( toys, metal clamp , copper ....). 0netime I found the some kid toy on the bottom of my sump when I took it down. Also, have your carpet been deep cleaned recently? There is a lot of things. Did u run other test for chemical?

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Old 12-23-2015, 5:58 PM   #10
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Hi Guys...Here are the answers to the questions:


What skimmer? Skimz 251 internal
What is your salinity and how is it measured? by apex probe and checked with refract.
Any algae issues? occasional hair...but not too bad
What temperature is the water? Does it stay consistent? 78...very consistent
What are you feeding? frozen brine once or twice a day
What fish do you keep? about 20 small green chromis, two clowns
What is your maintenance routine? 10% change once a month
Can you describe how the corals are dying? Bleaching? Tissue loss? Etc. - sometimes the sps just dies over two or three days (new additions), and sometimes they do well for a month and then die rapidly. I don't think they are bleaching out
Have you asked a LFS for a second opinion on the water chemistry? Sometimes the test kits go bad. I am sure someone will ask what test kits you use. Yes. Also, using red sea kits
The system has been up and running for 10 months.

I'm wondering if it wmay be a combination of too much halide light and thn not enough light the rest of the day. I had 19" MH reflectors, so there was no much room for anything else. I just replaced them with smaller relectors and added t5 lights ( still waiting on two more reflectors).

I will try and post pics in a second...

Thanks so much everyone!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Michael

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Old 12-23-2015, 6:08 PM   #11
michael grady michael grady is offline
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some system pics....
Attached Pictures
File Type: jpg IMG_2290.JPG (25.8 KB, 142 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2291.JPG (40.9 KB, 93 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2292.JPG (48.5 KB, 99 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2293.JPG (38.0 KB, 75 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2294.JPG (32.2 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2295.JPG (32.3 KB, 80 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_2301.JPG (35.0 KB, 72 views)

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Old 12-23-2015, 9:49 PM   #12
w_hartyjr w_hartyjr is offline
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What does your skimmer look like after a few days?dark or nothing at all? Could it be that the system is too clean?with no more bio load then you have you may be over skimming. What is your salinity?with no more bio load than you have I don't think your water changes are making that big of a deal( I would change to every 2 weeks though). What are the "real" numbers for your parameters? Even with a small amount of hair algae I would say something is off. Although it may not be the cause of coral dying off. What types of sps corals have you lost?

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Old 12-23-2015, 9:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael grady View Post
Hi Guys...Here are the answers to the questions:


What skimmer? Skimz 251 internal
What is your salinity and how is it measured? by apex probe and checked with refract.
Any algae issues? occasional hair...but not too bad
What temperature is the water? Does it stay consistent? 78...very consistent
What are you feeding? frozen brine once or twice a day
What fish do you keep? about 20 small green chromis, two clowns
What is your maintenance routine? 10% change once a month
Can you describe how the corals are dying? Bleaching? Tissue loss? Etc. - sometimes the sps just dies over two or three days (new additions), and sometimes they do well for a month and then die rapidly. I don't think they are bleaching out
Have you asked a LFS for a second opinion on the water chemistry? Sometimes the test kits go bad. I am sure someone will ask what test kits you use. Yes. Also, using red sea kits
The system has been up and running for 10 months.

I'm wondering if it wmay be a combination of too much halide light and thn not enough light the rest of the day. I had 19" MH reflectors, so there was no much room for anything else. I just replaced them with smaller relectors and added t5 lights ( still waiting on two more reflectors).

I will try and post pics in a second...

Thanks so much everyone!!!!

Merry Christmas!

Michael
Sounds like your SPS are RTNing which is caused by unstable alk levels. What do you dose and how often? Personally I think 11 dkh is to high. I personally run my levels around 7-8 dkh.
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Old 12-23-2015, 9:55 PM   #14
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Salinity is 35 ppm. Measured by an Apex probe and backed up by a refractometer - all checked w calibration fluid

I am adjusting the skimmer these days , but there is not a lot of that think dark sludge I was used to. I have been wet skimming, but I'm turning it back a bit.

I have the avast marine Davy Jones and a auto neck cleaner. Not convinced I like them.

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:02 PM   #15
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Sounds like your SPS are RTNing which is caused by unstable alk levels. What do you dose and how often? Personally I think 11 dkh is to high. I personally run my levels around 7-8 dkh.
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Hmmm.....possibly. I'm not dosing much ( now that I have the calcium where I want it ). except trying to bring up the mag level. My alk is high right out of the gate. I have wondered about the salt mix - Red Sea. I have some reef crystals I am going to switch to. I think the alk is in the 11 range when it is mixed.
What are you using for salt?

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:07 PM   #16
w_hartyjr w_hartyjr is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by michael grady View Post
Salinity is 35 ppm. Measured by an Apex probe and backed up by a refractometer - all checked w calibration fluid

I am adjusting the skimmer these days , but there is not a lot of that think dark sludge I was used to. I have been wet skimming, but I'm turning it back a bit.

I have the avast marine Davy Jones and a auto neck cleaner. Not convinced I like them.
The skim mate doesn't surprise me with the light bio load. I would concentrate on all parameters. Something has to off. Are you dosing anything yet(I don't see many corals from the pictures)?

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:12 PM   #17
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Not dosing anything on a regular basis yet. Are you in Covington ??

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Old 12-23-2015, 10:28 PM   #18
w_hartyjr w_hartyjr is offline
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Not dosing anything on a regular basis yet. Are you in Covington ??
Yes off of 212 and Bethany rd towards Henry county. I would not dose anything until you get the alkalinity down to maybe 8 or 9 and can keep it there consistently. Are you keeping any other corals? Softies-how are they doing

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Old 12-24-2015, 12:41 AM   #19
LSU_fishFan LSU_fishFan is offline
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Sounds like your SPS are RTNing which is caused by unstable alk levels. What do you dose and how often? Personally I think 11 dkh is to high. I personally run my levels around 7-8 dkh.
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Hmmm.....possibly. I'm not dosing much ( now that I have the calcium where I want it ). except trying to bring up the mag level. My alk is high right out of the gate. I have wondered about the salt mix - Red Sea. I have some reef crystals I am going to switch to. I think the alk is in the 11 range when it is mixed.
What are you using for salt?
I use Red Sea coral pro salt. I've never had high alk levels when using it, but it can have high levels of magnesium.

Also, what size containers are those? I'm looking into buying some and am interested where you bought yours?
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Old 12-24-2015, 6:39 AM   #20
michael grady michael grady is offline
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Here is The link to those water containers. I HIGHLY recommend them. There is about a 6 week delivery time, so plan to order ahead.

http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/ite...3178&catid=871

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