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Old 03-16-2012, 10:05 PM   #1
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No Coral Growth in Months and Months

Hello to all,
I have a 65 gallon w/ 20 gallon sump reef that has been up and running for over a year now. I have had good luck with everything so far(knock on wood), no coral or fish deaths, but just haven't seen any growth to speak of with any of my corals. They just live and that's it. Some are not nearly as colorful as when purchased. This has been dissapointing especially in the last couple months because I have been trying everything. I have replaced my original t5 bulbs w/ giessman brand. I have built a custom canopy that has housed two par38 rapid led bulbs since christmas, along w/ the retro 156 watt t5's. I have ruitinely done 5 gallon water changes weekly and I target feed once a week. Is there something I should try doing?
Everytime I get my water parameters checked they are spot on.
My corals are xenia(has shown the only growth since purchased), gsp, frogspawn, fox tale, zoas, trumpets, open brain and a red cap.
Any ideas or questions about my system would be appreciated.
Thanks,
Kyle

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Old 03-16-2012, 11:46 PM   #2
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What is your cal and alk at?
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:47 PM   #3
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Don't worry. This happens. After everything settles in really good, they will take off. Just give it time time..
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:55 PM   #4
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Gvillenative are you from Gainesville?
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:51 PM   #5
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Cal and Alk might be a little low, I add fuel by aquavitro a couple times a week, it really makes my coral pop with color and growth
40 gal reef
90 gal reef
just setting up 270 reef
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:54 PM   #6
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I would bring up cal and alk. Also check magnesium.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:05 PM   #7
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Before adding cal and alk, you need to CHECK and see where you stank on your parameters. You don't want to add anything if it's already stable at a high range.
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Old 03-17-2012, 03:32 PM   #8
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My 300 is LOADED with corals. If I run into a growth problem it is usually because a nearby coral is fighting back. Xenia is especially sensitive to some other types of corals in the tank. It would not grow in my display reef, but when I moved it to my algae scrubber a few years ago, I have been harvesting it and selling it to my LFS. Soft corals are pretty notorious for affecting the growth of hard corals around it, at least that is what I have seen.
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Old 03-17-2012, 05:51 PM   #9
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Nobody seems to have mentioned phosphates.... Don't forget that if they are above an acceptable level they will inhibit or possibly completely prevent calcification/growth.

You could have perfect cal/mag/alk levels and the best lights in the world, but if your phosphates are high it won't make a blind bit of difference.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leighton79
Nobody seems to have mentioned phosphates.... Don't forget that if they are above an acceptable level they will inhibit or possibly completely prevent calcification/growth.

You could have perfect cal/mag/alk levels and the best lights in the world, but if your phosphates are high it won't make a blind bit of difference.
I thought he reported water quality was okay...will re-read, but you are right.
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Old 03-17-2012, 07:27 PM   #11
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I'm not very good with led lights but I don't think you have enough
you should be around 265 watts
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Old 03-18-2012, 01:32 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gregcoyote

I thought he reported water quality was okay...will re-read, but you are right.
Spot on was reported, maybe it is, but without numbers, that's hard to quantify.

Just saying.....
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Old 03-18-2012, 02:20 PM   #13
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Hello again,
Thanks for everyone's input so far. I dont have testing kits, so tank only gets tested about once a month or whenever I make it to the lfs. Two weeks ago I had Ca of 520, 0 phosphates, 0 nitrates. I have two big bottles of Oceans blend 1 and 2, but never use it with fear of over dosing and no way to check measures. I'll get it checked in the next few days and report back. I do the weekly 5 gallon water changes and figured that had me covered.
I was under the assumption that I had plenty of light for these particular corals. Do I have that wrong? The par bulbs are only 6 inch above the water due to being mounted inside the canopy. Aesthetically very pleasing but always wondered if this was effecting their output?
Yes I am from Gainesville, Home of the Gators..

Heres a pick of the DT as it is right now.

Thanks in advace to any input.
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:13 PM   #14
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The calcium seems a bit high. But that rarely causes much problem because calcium will drop out of solution if it gets much higher.
The PAR38 LED bulbs may not be strong enough to deliver the PAR you need for strong coral growth. I tend to go with about +2 watts of LED for every gallon when using just LED in a tank as deep as mine is (36").
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Old 03-18-2012, 03:53 PM   #15
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I installed the par bulbs with the idea of spotlighting certain corals with higher light demands. These coupled with the 4 t5 bulbs i thought would be plenty for corals I'm interested in, mainly soft and lps, with a couple montipora being spotlighted.
Im begining to wonder, the red cap ive had for two months hasnt done a thing but become a less bright red.

The Ca reading I posted was measured right after a water change, so maybe that is why it was a little high?
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Old 03-18-2012, 08:04 PM   #16
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Sounds like you are on the right path. Sometimes it just takes time and fiddling with your flow patterns.
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Old 03-19-2012, 01:40 PM   #17
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I changed my flow up last night and am going to up my water change volume to 10 gallons per week and see if that helps..any other ideas?
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Old 03-19-2012, 02:18 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gvillenative
I changed my flow up last night and am going to up my water change volume to 10 gallons per week and see if that helps..any other ideas?
Just try to be sure you get the water parameters in order as best you can.
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Old 03-19-2012, 03:23 PM   #19
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Do you ever feed your coral? Once I started feeding they took off.
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Old 03-19-2012, 04:01 PM   #20
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I don't feed mine...they grow like weeds. They get some supplemental food from the fish food, but I don't do anything special.
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