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  1. #1
    Senior Member Spartanman22's Avatar
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    Calling All SPS Experts

    Alright I'm at my wits end with this one. I have some SPS that have been STNing lately, and others that are showing good growth. I have been testing almost daily to determine if my parameters were shifting and the most recent results were as follows:

    Ca: 440 (salifert)
    Mg: 1300
    Alk: 7.9 (salifert)
    pH: 8.3 (probe)
    Salinity: 1.027 (very consistent)
    Temp: 78.0
    PO4: Undetectable (salifert)
    NO3: <1 (salifert)

    I have had some small temp swings lately (2 degrees at most). For some reason my heaters aren't working through my RKE. I'm looking into a mew heater currently. But in my experience 2 degree temperature swings aren't the worst thing.

    What's confusing me is if it were a parameter issue such as Ca, Alk, pH I would expect to see fairly uniform response amongst all my SPS not just a handful. I have not changed anything other than water changes and monthly carbon/GFO replacement. RODI effluent tds is 0 (filters were replaces about 4 months ago).

    My system is a 25 gallon display, 20L sump (~12 gallons), and a 12 gallon frag tank. There are currently 6 fish in the tank. DT lighting is am OR-T247 and frag tank lighting is a Kessil a350. Flow is a MP10WES and skimmer is a SCA 303.

    My latest hypothesis is lack of nutrients. I have not been able to detect and PO4 or NO3 for quite some time, despite 3-4 feedings a day of dry and a homemade frozen blend. I have recently shut off my gfo and carbon reactor and begun dosing acropower to see if I can increase nutrient levels. I have found that the STNing is slightly less prominent in the frag tank and I believe this to be because of a much reduced flow through the frag tank, therefore nutrients are maintained longer.

    Does it sound like an issue of a poorly managed ULNS system or is there something I may be missing? Any and all suggestions are welcome!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Spartanman22's Avatar
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    I forgot to mention that all pieces STNing are still showing good growth vertically. They are just STNing from the base up.

  3. #3
    Premium member jayjerk's Avatar
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    Undetectable po4 is a good place to start imo. That's to clean his often and what do u feed the tank
    they're all going to laugh at u

  4. #4
    Senior Member ColaAddict's Avatar
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    Your corals would look pale if nutrients very low. Hows their color


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    48x24x16 shallow reef tank. Radium 400watt Metal Halides

  5. #5
    Premium member madjoe's Avatar
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    R u sure only 2 degree i had this happen and during day temp swing 2 degrre but night temp dropped 7 degree lost two colonies rest recovered once i figired it out.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member ColaAddict's Avatar
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    Calling All SPS Experts

    +1 to madjoe. Your tank is too small and easily swings. Get a better heater


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    48x24x16 shallow reef tank. Radium 400watt Metal Halides

  7. #7
    Premium member jrpark22000's Avatar
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    Try dropping your alk to 6.5 - 7 and keep it there for a few weeks and see if it stops.

    Very long story short, very similar if not identical problem with the same parameters both ended up being traced back to alk being at 8-8.5. Only after having it happen twice did I make the connection. Keeping it at 7.5 and below stop the base up STN on the few pieces. Just like yours others thrived when some STN'd.

    The issue is many low nutrient systems can't handle higher alk. Either tip burning or base up STN start.
    Visit Japan

  8. #8
    Team CR maidia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jrpark22000 View Post
    Try dropping your alk to 6.5 - 7 and keep it there for a few weeks and see if it stops.

    Very long story short, very similar if not identical problem with the same parameters both ended up being traced back to alk being at 8-8.5. Only after having it happen twice did I make the connection. Keeping it at 7.5 and below stop the base up STN on the few pieces. Just like yours others thrived when some STN'd.

    The issue is many low nutrient systems can't handle higher alk. Either tip burning or base up STN start.
    Very good thought...

  9. #9
    Senior Member Bommie's Avatar
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    I agree with jrpark22000, im actually now recovering from RTN my self....my problem was high alk (12) my tank is used to 7 ....i have no idea what caused my spike...but it took about a week or two for it to drop back to 7 on its own...all my sps came SUPER close to a whipe out...

  10. #10
    Senior Member vucious's Avatar
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    I've also experienced two cases of RTN on two different SPS. In the first case of RTN, my alk was about 11. I've since brought it down to 8.7 but I still got RTN on another SPS yesterday. All other params with the exception of phosphate are fairly stable. Phosphate has been fluxing between .04 and .09. I know I've only lost two pieces which is nothing comparing to other people, but the fact that I don't know why is very frustrating.
    Last edited by vucious; 12-01-2014 at 07:00 PM.

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