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Old 03-16-2005, 02:20 PM   #1
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Newbie Issue with Killing / Bleaching Corals. Help!

Ok, some assistance would be welcomed. I am having trouble with a lot of my corals, mainly SPS of course. The main problem is bleaching, usually within 24 hours of adding to the tank. At this point I am assuming it to be my lighting, but not completely sure. Here is my setup:

500 gallon reef : 936X36
5 X 250W MH 20K
4 X 6' VH0 (2Xfull 2X 50/50)

one set of VHO and 2 of the MH I run from 12 noon until 10 pm (one circuit)
The other three VHO I have come on from 2-7pm

Nitrates : 0
Nitritres : 0
Calcium : 360-370
KH : 11.5-12
Temp : 78-80
sp grav 1.024

I have a 150 gallon sump with in-sump euro reef skimmer (CS-8? the things huge ), above the sump I ahve a 55 gallon refugium. Also running a calcium reactor and 2X 40watt UV lights.

The tank is not very old yet, which may be an issue although not sure why. It was started up in Mid December 04. I have about 35 fish in the tank which are all doing great. The include firefish, purple tang, chevron tang, crosshatch trigger, royal gramas, blue stripe jawfish, a few damsels, pair of ocellaris clowns, 6-stripe rass, etc.

I have a green tip anemone and a rose bulb which are also doing great.

Not sure the name of all of these, but I have several corals that are doing excellent : open brain, flower pot, Xenia (up top in the light has more than increased 5X it's size in three months). I also have some button polyps and Blastomussa coral, along with 4 tridacna clams that are thriving.

lastly I have 2 small colonied of SPS that are growing and seem to be doing well : Montipora Branched and a green cap.

Seems everything else I have tried adding to the tank, aka acropora, Stylophora, etc never survive long at all.

The only ones that seem to survive, or at least last longer than the rest, are ones I put at t he bottom of the tank, 3' deep. Everything else seems to bleach out.

I also seemed to ahve trouble with my frogspawn and hammer corals. They usually do not extend much and keep closed up, although they have been in the tank for about three months now. Not dead, but not thriving either.

Any ideas what I should be trying or looking for? Does the tank need to age for some reason? It's already cycled through the algae stages and looks good. I have quit a bit of coraline algae growth, but not a ton. Is the lighting too much, or intense? Help!
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:24 PM   #2
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Are you putting new arrivals on the bottom first? Then after a week or two you gradually move them up over a few weeks untill you get them where you want them to be. Even high light corals need to acclimate. They have probably not been under intense lighting in the store and when you bring them home and throw them in under all that light they bleach. Your ca is kinda low but I don't think that's it. I think it's the lighting.
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:29 PM   #3
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I thought that also, so I have been putting everything down low. Problem is, they don;t live long enough to acclimate. Seem to bleach out within 1-2 days even at the bottom of the tank. I checked with my pet stores and theya re using 250w MH also, but are probably a bit weak due to age. However, theya re only a few inches under the water, my tank is 3' deep. Should I try shading the lighting with screen or something for a while? I can't do that everytime I add a new coral though down the line.
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Old 03-16-2005, 02:37 PM   #4
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I have read of people doing that. Maybe you could put them all on one end and only shade that end and see how it works. Maybe also cut down on the number of hours a day for a couple of days and see then .
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:41 PM   #5
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Electricat brings up a good point of photoacclimation but it sounds like you are taking care of that. How many watts/gal do you have? What is your water acclimation proceedure?
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Old 03-16-2005, 08:43 PM   #6
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What are your current water parameters? Ammonis, nitrate, nitrite, Ph, SG, temp, calcium, and ALK?
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Old 03-17-2005, 12:47 PM   #7
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I have approx 3.78 watts/gallon counting the VHO and MH.

For acclimating I usually either float the bags in the sump and add water (from the tank) to the bags every 15 minutes for about 3 hours. Or I like to put the fish into a small tank and drip water into it for 3-4 hours.
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Old 03-20-2005, 11:20 PM   #8
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Calcium needs to be higher also. Around 400 - 450
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