Why Is It Doing This?

Chris Osborne

Member
Hey all,
I have a 150 gallon tank I'm working on. Water specs are....salinity is 1.023. Calcium is 420. Temp is 78-80 depending on the day. Nitrates are 0, ammonia are 0, phosphates are .1ish. Nitrites are 0. I have a 8 bulb 4ft t5 fixture with 6500k flourecents, and a 2 bulb 4ft t8 fixture with actinic bulbs. I also have three 3500 gph wave makers, and a 150 gallon protien skimmer in my sump. I have multiple Angel's, gobys, blennys, tangs, hermit crabs, and emeralds doing fantastic. I don't know what is happening. 2 cleaner shrimp that I got died within a few hours, and a few snails as well. Now this coral is shrinking up doing this, it is usually 4" tall. What could be the issue? Thanks in advance.
photo0.jpg
 

Sarah73

Member
I would love to help you, but I know very little about salt water. I'm sorry.
 

Rtessy

Member
I, too, know next to nothing about salt water, but maybe I can help narrow it down for the person who does.
Since coral and shrimp are more sensitive to fish, to me this points to some sort of toxin or something in the water.
Has anything changed in the past 48 hours? Any water changes or aerosols sprayed near the tank?
Sorry, I'm probably not going to be able to figure it all out for you
Edit: Lorekeeper you have a salt tank, right?
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Rtessy said:
I, too, know next to nothing about salt water, but maybe I can help narrow it down for the person who does.
Since coral and shrimp are more sensitive to fish, to me this points to some sort of toxin or something in the water.
Has anything changed in the past 48 hours? Any water changes or aerosols sprayed near the tank?
Sorry, I'm probably not going to be able to figure it all out for you
Edit: Lorekeeper you have a salt tank, right?
Nothing has changed that I know of.
 

Rtessy

Member
And no anemones, right? I've just heard stories of those dying and crashing tanks.
Sorry I can't be of more help, Lorekeeper should be able to help or at least know someone who can
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Rtessy said:
And no anemones, right? I've just heard stories of those dying and crashing tanks.
Sorry I can't be of more help, Lorekeeper should be able to help or at least know someone who can
Correct, no anemones. This is the only coral in the tank.
 

Lorekeeper

Member
Sorry, I didn't get that mention... weird!

So, what inverts do you have? Any other coral? If you're having issues with inverts and corals simultaneously, it makes me think of something like copper, or maybe another heavy metal.

If you look around the tank, do you see any corrosion? Not salt creep, but true corrosion. I've heard of some metal fittings corroding over time, and eventually causing some issues with leaching stuff back into the water.

What's your PH? Possible that it's swung for some reason over the past little while? And your KH? Those can swing and cause issues with sensitive creatures.

It sounds as if the cleaner shrimp were new. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the most likely. Is it possible that those shrimp died due to the stress of being brought home, and that the coral is another issue entirely?

If you have more coral, look for signs of stress or abnormalities there too. It could be chemical warfare. Do you run carbon? If not, I'd pop some carbon into your sump. It'd eliminate that possibility.
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Lorekeeper said:
Sorry, I didn't get that mention... weird!

So, what inverts do you have? Any other coral? If you're having issues with inverts and corals simultaneously, it makes me think of something like copper, or maybe another heavy metal.

If you look around the tank, do you see any corrosion? Not salt creep, but true corrosion. I've heard of some metal fittings corroding over time, and eventually causing some issues with leaching stuff back into the water.

What's your PH? Possible that it's swung for some reason over the past little while? And your KH? Those can swing and cause issues with sensitive creatures.

It sounds as if the cleaner shrimp were new. Sometimes, the simplest answer is the most likely. Is it possible that those shrimp died due to the stress of being brought home, and that the coral is another issue entirely?

If you have more coral, look for signs of stress or abnormalities there too. It could be chemical warfare. Do you run carbon? If not, I'd pop some carbon into your sump. It'd eliminate that possibility.
I have no other corals, this was the first one. My KH is at 10 and and my ph is at 7.8. A bit low, but bringing it back up slowly. I am not running carbon, I'll add that right now, good call.
 

Lorekeeper

Member
What are you using it to bring up your PH?
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Lorekeeper said:
What are you using it to bring up your PH?
API Propper ph 8.2
1531960346491.jpg
 

Lorekeeper

Member
I think that might be the issue.

Any product that claims to alter your PH is usually bogus. If they DO work, then they usually cause more harm than good. A stable PH that's too low or too high is much better than a PH that swings back and forth in the "correct" range. A PH of 7.8 is fine, IMO, as long as it's stable. I wouldn't try to adjust it. The things we keep in our aquariums are way more adaptable than we give them credit for, and sometimes when we try to help them, we hurt them instead.
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Lorekeeper said:
I think that might be the issue.

Any product that claims to alter your PH is usually bogus. If they DO work, then they usually cause more harm than good. A stable PH that's too low or too high is much better than a PH that swings back and forth in the "correct" range. A PH of 7.8 is fine, IMO, as long as it's stable. I wouldn't try to adjust it. The things we keep in our aquariums are way more adaptable than we give them credit for, and sometimes when we try to help them, we hurt them instead.
Is there any way to safely alter the ph?
 

Lorekeeper

Member
Generally, you can use crushed coral or aragonite to raise your PH. But I'd imagine you're already using one of those for your substrate.

Believe me. 7.8 is absolutely fine, and you'll do more harm than good by trying to mess with it.
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Lorekeeper said:
Generally, you can use crushed coral or aragonite to raise your PH. But I'd imagine you're already using one of those for your substrate.

Believe me. 7.8 is absolutely fine, and you'll do more harm than good by trying to mess with it.
Oh, okay. Thanks! So do I just wait it out and hope it makes it? It sounds like I can't really do anything except the carbon?
 

Lorekeeper

Member
Take a look around the coral, just to make sure there are no visible parasites on it. But other than that, I wouldn't worry. Give it a few days, and if it's still not opening, we can look for solutions then. It could be something as simple as a fish nipping at while chasing some food, or the cleaner shrimp causing a bit of ammonia when they died.
 

stella1979

Member
HI Okay, so you're getting good help from Lorekeeper already. I will also add that unexpected contaminants can sometimes make their way in. Lotions, colognes and so on can also be an issue. There is a story here where the aquarist had used plain, unscented lotion, just for dry skin in winter, and then as he always did, he washed his hands before putting them in the tank. He didn't think to wash above the wrist and suddenly all his corals were very angry. It must have been the lotion, so do take care with things like that.

7.8 is absolutely fine for a reef tank. I ran my own little reef tank at 7.8 successfully for over a year. You definitely don't want to go chasing a pH number, but it can change if you were to change salt brands, or if you ever need to dose for major elements. Neither of these things are something you need to worry about now. Salinity could be a hair or two higher though. 1.025 to 1.026 seems to be the sweet spot for corals.

Carbon is an excellent idea, and when in doubt, it never hurts to do a water change.
 
  • Thread Starter

Chris Osborne

Member
Thank you all! Great advice and puts me at ease a bit.
 

LyssahBlue

Member
You listed your phosphates as .1, if you meant .01 that would not be a big deal if .1 phos is correct that could be a problem. From what I've read anything more than .03 can bring problems. If I am wrong someone feel free to correct me.
If you think this could be it, seachem phosgard is a great help, and make sure you get the seachem media bag to put it in, called "the bag", the little beads will not stay inside a standard media bag (I learned the hard way).
Good luck!
 

Jimmie93

Member
It sounds like a PH/ammonia issue also you could just have a bad snail supplier maybe try a different pet store? Snails and shrimp will die if they don't have a food source you need to let the tank establish before adding stuff like that.
 

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