Scooby Doo and the case of the RTNing acros

Discussion in 'Advanced Topics' started by cheezybuda, Sep 27, 2016.

  1. cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
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    I have been battling periodic RTNing of my acros for quite some time now. It has not been isolated to a single tank, rather both of my tanks with them. I have had many problems (low light, stuck auto-feeder, power outages….etc), so other factors that impact health have been lost in the weeds. I am down to just my 210g with acros now. It is just finally to settle in with most starting to cover grow over the plug.
    The past probably 3-4 water changes I’ve noticed a couple frags RTNing each time, but was only able to trace it when I looked back on my notes.
    I don’t do big changes as I’m “a lazy”, between 10-20 gallons. It seems that something during the water change process is likely to blame.

    Investigation so far:
    I have been using an old Rio submersible to mix up my salt. Thinking that there maybe a seal was bad and getting some contact with copper or other heavy metals, I switched out the pump. I tested the water for copper. Nothing but even if there was some there, it would prob be below detectable range.

    Vinegar washing the Brute container. I use I/O so I do get the brown scum that tends to accumulate and which I neglect.
    Switched out the sediment/carbon/DI on my RO. I was still reading 3 ppm to the DI and 0 ppm out, but I do live in Minneapolis, so there is chloramine. I used one of the dip tests, but didn’t see chlorine or chloramine in the water change water. I ordered a stick TDS meter, but based on the DI resin not depleting very quickly, I wouldn’t think this is it.

    I don’t always check the parameters of my change water other than obviously SG, but I did test alk on this last batch. 10.1 dkh. Maybe a little higher than I would like, but it didn’t budge my tank alk. N/D on phosphate or nitrate. I suppose I could look at ammonia, but I don't know where it would be coming from.

    The heater is getting up to the proper temp, and there aren’t any visible signs of wear or damage. I let the salt agitate at least overnight and will turn it back on for 30 minutes before doing the w/c.


    Current tank parameters:
    Ca 440
    Alk 8.6 dkh
    Mg 1300
    Nitrate N/D per Red Sea kit (trying to dose some aminos to get that up)
    Phosphate N/D per Hanna low range phosphate
    pH 8.0-8.15

    Nutrient export/filtration:
    RO Regal 300 int
    ATS
    Carbon/ GFO 1 cup of ROX carbon- ¾ cup GFO in dual reactor changed out every 3 or so weeks.

    Anything else you would investigate if this was happening to you?
     
  2. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Anecdotal I'm sure. But ever since my slow rtn ( where it would take 3-4 months to slowly receed from the bottom up ) back in March 2015. My best guess to my root cause was salinity was higher than I thought at 1.028-1.029 for many months.

    One of the things I swear by now is I keep my alk now no higher than 7. Sometimes it might drift up to 7.5 and make dosing adjustment to get it back down. Most times its at or even slightly below 7dkh. Haven't had an issue with Acros since.
     
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  3. Reefking

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    Keep an eye on the temp swings during the day. I recently added a chiller and have not had RTN since. My temp is constant regardless of the time of day.
     
  4. csb123

    csb123 Senior Member
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    Interesting, David. With the ALK running at 7.0 are there any extra things to watch out for? With this level I would expect the buffering capacity of the tank would be lessened. So if something dies in the tank, it would be at risk of pH drops. Would you recommend this alk for most SPS systems?
     
  5. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    :bln-ruhroh:

    I noticed that you're still running GFO even with the ATS.
    Does your phosphate level go up if you discontinue the GFO?
    Could you be starving the corals by stripping those nutrients from the water?

    I found that my corals also do best with the alkalinity level near 7.0dKH.
    But... my acropora corals are still not doing as well as I would like; some RTN or no growth. But all of the montipora corals are growing like crazy!
    Now that my nutrient levels are more reasonable, I hope to see some positive signs going forward.

    Good luck!
     
  6. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    Is this directed at me or Dustin ?


    I ran 2 teaspons of GFO in with 1 cup or rox .8 carbon changing it out weekly for about 3-4 weeks to try it out. It really messed with my algae production and started getting more brown slime coating over top of my green algae. Don't know why or could be a coincendence. But anyways, I have the GFO on hand and can add with the carbon if needed but I can control phosphates down to anwhere in the .02-.06ppm range by simply changing the food amount ( not in any way starving still equates to way above average for a reef tank ). My ATS is much happier now so I don't plan to run any GFO. GFO is just in the tool box in case something it's needed or ats screen would crash for some where ( like power outage I suppose or something along the out of ordinary ).
     
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  7. jlanger

    jlanger "The North Remembers"
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    Dustin.
    But "Thanks!" for the added info and clarification.
     
  8. OP
    cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
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    There is a little bit of cyano that I am trying to outcompete. You could have a point though, maybe they are stressed by the low nutrients and enough that the quick shock in parameters could put them over the edge.
     
  9. OP
    cheezybuda

    cheezybuda I contributed!
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    For some reason I thought you alway ran gfo.
     
  10. David Grigor

    David Grigor TCMAS Old Timer
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    I was never much of a gfo because of the recurring costs. I tried the lanthanum chloride stuff a year or more back. Prior to that water changes was the primary way. Once I figured out that I was simply feeding more than ats could keep up that's when I started changing food amounts to control. Now it's no problem without gfo. Just 1 cup carbon per week , ats harvest, siphon substrate into filter sock every 2 weeks or so is my only exports.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    #10 David Grigor, Sep 27, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2016
  11. souk

    souk Life's too short, don't buy frags!

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    if I were to keep my alk at 8.6 I would up my n03 and p04 or if I were to keep my n03 and p04 at N\D then I would drop my alk down to 7.
     

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