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UPDATE - almost all LPS slowly receeding!!!!!!

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    Posted: October 25 2015 at 11:53pm
About 3 weeks ago I noticed that one of my acans was starting to receed from the bottom up.  I checked parameters and itwas low on kH.  The paramaters as I recall were:
kH: 6.7 
Mg: 1300
Cal: 380 or 400

I have a 34 gal Red sea with 10 gal sump, skimmer, LED lightling retro kit.  I have it heavily stocked with 16 different SPS (which are really starting to take off) and 10 or so LPS along with several softies including a green toadstool that is 3" in diam.   I had been dosing every other day primarily Ca and kH and occasionally Mg but the higher demand was dropping kh from 8.5 or 9 to 7.5 every other day until I noticed it dropped to 6.7 when I noticed the acan was receeding.  I assumed it was the low kH so started bumping up my kH to 8.5 to 9.5.  and have been dosing every day for the past couple of weeks to keep it from fluctuating as much.

Ive now noticed recession in most of my LPS (chalices, acans and candy cane) and yet everything else is doing great! Sps growing quickly, polyp extension is excellent, evereything open up nicely.  Even the acans that are receeding and the candy cane have good feeding response and are plump and full all day.  The LPS are spread throughout my tank, bottom, middle, right, left and most have recession with the exception of a couple of acans (s0 far) I have been keeping kH at 8.5 to 9.5 and Ca 380 - 420. Mag was down to 12802 days ago but have bumped it up to 1320 as of yesterday.  But yesterday I noticed i now have another chalice (green mummy eye) that is started to receed on one side. Its about 2+" in diameter and has been growing at a good steady pace.

I have found online several people having the same issue so it sounds like im not the first and have read several different theories and fixes: 
Low parameters, primarily kH and Mag 
Black bugs, similar to red bugs, treat with interceptor
Chemical warfare, possibly with the leather 
crabs or something else eating them at night
Water too clean

Oh and I checked nitrates, nitrites and PO a week ago and they were all at 0 according to my APi kit.  Also, I have iodine dipped a few of the corals, some more than once and showed no improvement.  I did use a dremel on the original acan and removed the dead recessed area, so far it seems to have possibly stopped it or at least slowed it down considerably (I cant see any obvious recession).  I have also done 4 15% water changes in the last 2 weeks but that doesnt seem to have helped.

Has anyone had this issue and corrected the problem?  Any advice for what I need to do to stop the slow death???? CryCry

Here is a pic of what my tank looks like (as of 4 weeks ago)


Thanks,  Kevn


Edited by kevski - November 03 2015 at 9:27pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote phys Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 2:50am
How's the flow at the bottom of the tank?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 7:17am
It's very good. I have an mp10 that is on the opposite side of the tank from the Acans. All of these corals have been in my tank for several months to a year now and have been doing great up until recently.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 7:44am
How fast did you bring up your Alk? Going from 6.7 to 8.6-9 should be done over about a weeks time. Bringing it up quickly is just as bad as having it too low. I would keep it as constant as possible and give them some time. I suspect they are suffering from alk shock.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 8:52am
Thanks for the input. I brought alk up over 3 or 4 days. That could be a possibility but this latest mummy eye chalice just started receeding only a couple of days ago and I have had alk higher for at least a week now. I was thinking the recession should have stopped by now if it was alk related??? Do u think it could still be an alk issue?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 8:56am
I agree with Krazie and with your first guess, that the coral are eating up Alk, Ca and Mg faster than it was being replaced by dosing and water changes. This "parameter balance" fell off the edge of adequate nutrition. It has been slowly declining ever since the addition of more coral, especially SPS. The coral are hanging on as long as possible but eventually those that needed higher levels of food(Alk & Ca) started to die. If the very low Alk condition were allowed to continue, most of the SPS would have been gone in a day or two.

It is extremely important to maintain Alk and Ca by checking and logging, frequently at first until a dosing pattern is established that will allow less frequent testing. Depending on the substrate used, Mg does not usually fall so quickly so monthly monitoring is usually sufficient.

Zero Nitrogen compounds is not a good thing for a mixed reef. Nitrate above zero but not much above 15ppm will allow all the coral to do better. Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 9:33am
Originally posted by kevski kevski wrote:

Thanks for the input. I brought alk up over 3 or 4 days. That could be a possibility but this latest mummy eye chalice just started receeding only a couple of days ago and I have had alk higher for at least a week now. I was thinking the recession should have stopped by now if it was alk related??? Do u think it could still be an alk issue?


If your Alk is up and staying up then I would say your now dealing with a lack of nutrient issue. If your levels are actually at 0 then that will continue to contribute to the problem. Corals (mainly Softies and LPS) need Nitrates and Phosphates (both in small amounts) in order to Grow and heal. So fixing the Alk level is one issue now you need to feed your system to enable the corals to recover from the damage that was caused during the low Alk period.

Feed Feed Feed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 9:48am
I have been feeding benepets coral food twice a week since I saw the first recession. Any other thing I should feed? I have also been spot feeding the Acans and candy cane a couple of times a week with mysis since this started. Thanks for the input!! I have 7 fish in my tank and feed them generously once a day. Any Other suggestions?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 9:58am
Should I skim less (I run it 24/7)? I also run chemo pure blue. I had a small outbreak of hair algae start 6 or more months ago and have been slowly getting rid of it... Mainly by pulling what I could with my fingers and a couple of turbos. It is mostly gone now.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 10:22am
Keep skimming but I would pull the Chemipure. Watch your hair algae for any change in growth. Change up what you feed. I have lots of different foods that I feed. Coral Frenzy, tons of different frozen, pellets, and some home made food that I switch between. I haven't tried the Benepets food yet but I did buy some at MWRF this year.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 9:18pm
I would also agree that the Chemipure Blue should be removed ASAP. I have a real problem with all the unique products sold in this hobby. The way I have come to look at it is, Mother Nature doesn't need them. She needs the stability of the basics so that she can care for herself. I believe that Nature can easily provide for it's own health and nutrition if we provide simply for Nature. 

This is just one instance, but I know a hobbyist that saw positive results after using Benepets new food but then lost an entire colony of LPS. It was Euphyllia, but by the time I saw it, I could not tell if it was Frogspawn or Hammer. I used the same food a few times but saw no change in coral. I believe that's because, like Krazie4acans, I was already providing a very natural environment where live food was prevalent and a large variety of mostly frozen foods, including algae and algae paste was offered. Night feedings of powdered Golden Pearls was also offered which ensured a large live food population of invertebrate spawn and larvae available for feeding coral.

Krazie offered good advice. If followed, I would say that in time these coral will stop receding and will recover. It just takes a while for coral animals to recover after an incident like this.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug


Edited by Mark Peterson - October 26 2015 at 9:20pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 26 2015 at 11:42pm
Thanks mark and Jeff I appreciate your input!! I removed the chemi pure tonight and checked parameters again ...
Alk 9.0
Ca 410
Mg 1310
I dosed all 3 after testing. Incidentally I'm continuing to see recession on the emerald mummy it looks like one of my two last acan holdouts is now starting to recess also 😥😥
Out of curiosity I checked my tank and sump for stay voltage, sump was 0.2 but tank was 14.0 v. Could this be the culprit? Is 14 v too much? Is any acceptable? Determined it's coming from my eheim heater.
Mark, where do u get the golden pearls at? Any LFS? By the mark we've met in case you didn't know. I bought my green and purlpe hammer from you (the one that bleached out like crazy when I first put it under my LED's, I also bought my green toadstool from you when you were getting ready to move.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote badfinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 6:31am
Yep stray voltage would be it
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 27 2015 at 9:02am
Seems to me like SPS would be the first to go with stray voltage. There is always some voltage though. Not sure what the threshold is for killing corals. In fact, some coral farms have been experimenting with adding voltage for years. I have not seen any hard numbers on growth, but rumors has it that it can actually help grow corals quicker. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2015 at 6:07am
I agree with Marcoss. I've heard the same thing about low voltage electricity actually helping growth. On one occasion our guest speaker showed us an open ocean coral farm in the South Pacific where they had stuck bare electrical leads in the water on opposite sides of a section of the farm. The electricity spread out so that the voltage passing by each individual coral colony was low. I believe the increased growth was negligible so the idea was eventually abandoned.
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Regarding stray voltage, assuming there is no Grounding Probe or that it was removed from the water when the readings were taken, a voltage level of 14 is normal (though .2 is unusually low). It's called "ground voltage". It can be as high as 40 Volts but when it's above 40 it means there is a bare wire coming in contact with the water. That's when the defective electrical item should be found and and removed. The Eheim Jager heater in this case is safe, not a problem. All electrical components add inductively produced voltage to the water. Over the years, I've noticed that some tanks do better with a Grounding Probe even when the ground voltage level is below the tolerance limit.

I'm glad we've met. I remember that incident. To add to my data base regarding LED's, a few months ago I saw a big old Frogspawn in an old established tank die off completely when it was moved just ~10" closer to the Radion Gen 1 lights.

Regarding dosing, at those satisfactory levels, Alk 9, Ca 410, and Mg 1310, I would not have dosed. I'm starting to wonder if the new attention to these parameters is actually causing stress, since the water had been running at lower numbers for a while?, the coral were somewhat accustomed to it and only started to have issues when it dropped below a low threshold level, like Alk <7. 

There's so much that can be different, yet can be okay from one tank to the next, I'm always cautious when it comes to what I call "chasing numbers". I found it's good to let each tank system find it's own best equilibrium of parameters, creating a dosing schedule only as needed to keep coral healthy and thriving. It's a balancing act. Smile

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2015 at 6:12am
Golden Pearls is a really good dry food made by BrineShrimpDirect.com The company is a WMAS supporter located in Ogden.
I may have half a bottle of Golden Pearls I could sell for cheap. I'll look later this morning.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 28 2015 at 8:25am
When I said dosing I was referring only to Mg which I was wanting to raise to 1400. I actually work in Ogden so I'll check out that website and see if I can pick some up while at work. Thanks for everyone's input. I'll post an update in a few days. As of this morning it looks like the mummy eye is still receeding, but with lights off it was hard to tell with the others. Hopefully this recession will stop with the raised and more stable alk. If there are any other ideas I would welcome the input. Thanks!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2015 at 9:43pm
UPDATE!!! Its been 9 days since my last post...  and the recession continues!! Unhappy  NOt only that but an acan that hadnt started recessing now is also... along with everything else that was recessing is still moving toward a slow death.  
Parameters tonight:  Alk - 9.2, Ca - 420, Mag - 1400.  

I performed a 25% water change yesterday and have kept alk between 8'6 and 10.0, Ca range 400 - 440.

I removed the Chemi pure blue as recommended a week ago.  Checked PO and still at 0.  I realized however, that my API test kit is quite old... 2011.  So I need to get a new one.  Suggestions on raising PO?  I feed my fish once a day and have been feeding benepets coral food every other day.  

If any one has any further suggestions please chime in... Im starting to pull my hair out... what l have left that is!! 

Chemical warfare? I have a green toadstool that is now 4" in diameter.  Its growing like crazy.  All other corals continue to thrive!  SPS polyps out all day long! Heres a pic of my Toadstool, below it you can see the mummy eye chalice that is slowing receeding on the right side. 


Im starting to second guess the 100 gal starfire tank Im going to be setting up as soon as my stand is ready... This is frustrating!


Edited by kevski - November 03 2015 at 9:50pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 03 2015 at 9:49pm
Sorry to hear. I personally don't think it's the leather. I have so many right now next to SPS without any issue. But you never know.

The recession looks more like a sting. At least to me. That leather has long sweepers. Can it reach the chalice?

What happens if you take something that is receding and place it far away from everything else that could possible touch it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kevski Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 04 2015 at 1:30pm
Marcos thanks for the input.  I dont think its gettting stung because it is a couple of inches below the leather and if it is being stung  that wouldnt explain why all my other LPS are receeding also... 6 acans, 4 chalices and candy cane.  All of the other LPS are located in areas where there is nothing close to them that could sting them (my acans are all in the front corner of my tank away from everything else).  And the mummy eye started receeding about two weeks after most of my other acans had already started to receed.  So Im not sure what to think at this point???  
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