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BCOrchidGuy
02-22-2018, 07:26 PM
Gone for 5 days, and I find a large portion of my corals have turned almost to skeletons. I've been battling high nitrates and using nopox, I've done days worth of large water changes and the nitrates drop for the day and then back over 100 the next day. Bare bottom tank, lots of live rock...

What's happening
Ca 400
Alk 7
Mg 1140
Nitrates 100ish... no missing livestock.

tang daddy
02-22-2018, 07:33 PM
Canít tell from the pic but usually asterina unless the red center target Coral, when Coral dies the skeleton can grow a light film of algae which is possible thatís what the amasterina wasnít feeding on?

BCOrchidGuy
02-22-2018, 07:46 PM
Tang Daddy, there is no algae growing on the skeleton, I'm just lost as to what's happening in this tank.

Craigdillman
02-22-2018, 08:43 PM
at nitrates over 100 little no no coral will be able to survive for any length of time, I'm surprised your fish are alive

You need to do a few big % wc and figure out where that nitrate is coming from ? pellets spilled ? something dead?

scoobs
02-23-2018, 12:35 AM
whats you phosphate level? if nopox is stripping phosphate to 0 ppm your corals will be hurting.

CHEAPREEF
02-23-2018, 12:52 AM
whats you phosphate level? if nopox is stripping phosphate to 0 ppm your corals will be hurting.

Nopox is for NO3 more so than PO4, your thinking about GFO.

Dt204
02-23-2018, 01:20 AM
Nopox is usually used for no3, but it does reduce po4 as well. It is possible to strip too much if used in conjunction with GFO, macros, etc.

What is the age of the tank? Pictures? What type of corals? Lights?

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Dt204
02-23-2018, 01:22 AM
And how much nopox are you dosing?

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BCOrchidGuy
02-23-2018, 03:48 AM
Dosing Nopox at the recommended dose 4mls per day. There is no dead livestock, not running gfo, I've done a bunch of 75% water changes and again the Nitrates drop for the day and then are back at 100 the next day or two. Bare bottom tank, decent coraline algae growth, 4 clown fish and some snails.

In a desperate attempt to fix things I cleaned all the live rock and moved everything into a 75 gallon tank with new water. I did transfer about 20 gallons of the old water to the new tank. I'll check the levels tomorrow.

Dt204
02-23-2018, 04:36 AM
Shouldn't be anything the asterina is doing. They'll just be slurping the dead/decaying coral tissue probably.

My nopox bottle says highest dose is 3 ml per 25g per day above 10. Is it recommended to use 4 ml when they are so high?

You mentioned you were gone for 5 days. Do you have a dosing pump or did someone do it manually for you?

Have you tested for nitrites, ammonia?

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DKoKoMan
02-23-2018, 04:41 AM
I would be careful transferring too much as if essential bacteria die off this may cause an ammonia spike. If you are aggressively dosing NOPOX, you will literally run in to zero nitrates (have dosed Nopox in the past).

What nitrate test kit are you using? I feel as if your reading may be inaccurate based on your livestock amount. 100ppm is very high, I am overstocked and currently have 25ppm which I’m trying to reduce down with more natural methods.

Frogger
02-23-2018, 05:35 AM
I would first double check your test kit with a completely different brand of test kit. Some test kits are good for high range some are good for low range and some are just crap or from a bad batch.

I would check the phosphate as well (use the hanna ULR for this). Sometimes when the nitrate is high the phosphate is extremely low. More importantly than high nitrates is you have to have the nitrate phosphates in balance. If low phosphates is the problem it can cause serious problems with your corals. You may be inadvertently adding nitrates to your tank which have crashed your phosphates. What additives are you putting in your tanks?

I crashed my phosphates by adding nitrates last year and within a couple days fried about half of my sps.

If you nitrates are high and your phosphates are equally high you need to ask yourself what have you done (husbandry) to get your nitrates that high? What are you feeding?

Myka
02-23-2018, 01:11 PM
How old is this tank? If it's less than a year old, what type of rock did you use to start it?

These guys are right about the phosphate. The key element they haven't mentioned is that if the PO4 is "zero", then the NOPOX will not work (nor any other type of carbon dosing). The bacteria that feed off the NOPOX use organic carbon (the NOPOX), nitrate, and phosphate. If any of these nutrients are missing then the bacteria will not be able to do their job. If you've stripped the PO4 out, then the nitrate will continue to rise.

The rock, sand (for those who have it), and the water always want to be at equilibrium - so when you do a big water change, the water will be cleaner than the rock and sand. The rock and sand will then leach both nitrate (and phosphate if available) until they are back at equilibrium. That's why you're seeing no reduction in nitrate the next day. For this reason, using water changes to reduce nitrate is not a good long-term solution. The NOPOX or biopellets or something is a good option, just stick to 10-15% water changes, and you may need to ADD phosphate to your system in order for the NOPOX to be able to reduce nitrate.

So first order of business, get a phosphate reading. I also agree the phosphare checkers are a good option. I don't think you need the ULR (ultra low range) one since you want phosphate to be high end to get a reading on the ULR and the regular, so it really doesn't matter which one you buy.

takeastabatit22
02-24-2018, 01:42 AM
Gone for 5 days, and I find a large portion of my corals have turned almost to skeletons. I've been battling high nitrates and using nopox, I've done days worth of large water changes and the nitrates drop for the day and then back over 100 the next day. Bare bottom tank, lots of live rock...

What's happening
Ca 400
Alk 7
Mg 1140
Nitrates 100ish... no missing livestock.Yes I had that problem of unbalanced nutreances. I had to raise po4 to drop my no3.
I also had some Maida rock that turned to mush. After I took that out my nitrates dropped. I am now off the nopo-x. What through a spick because of nopox bactira dieing. I had to much going on. Nopox and vibrant and gfo. All unstablizing eachouther
I'm still perty new though. Just my exsperance. Nopox worked too good. I want from no3 50+ in a couple weeks to 0. And didn't effect po4 at all.

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Craigdillman
02-24-2018, 01:44 AM
YOu got to do some big water changes to get that nitrate down man

BCOrchidGuy
02-25-2018, 05:21 AM
Thanks for all the advice, like I said I did a bunch of large water changes 50% to 75% a couple of times and 25% 4 or 5 times.

Tank is about 2 years old, all other paramaters being maintained fairly steady.

Regarding checking the test kit, I would test my new mixed water just incase I had nitrates coming in with the tap water but nitrates were zero. After a large water change my nitrates would be on par with what percentage of water I changed but within a day or two the nitrates were over 100 again.

I have not checked phosphates but I will purchase a test kit tomorrow.

Thanks for all the input

DKoKoMan
02-25-2018, 03:58 PM
Thanks for all the advice, like I said I did a bunch of large water changes 50% to 75% a couple of times and 25% 4 or 5 times.

Tank is about 2 years old, all other paramaters being maintained fairly steady.

Regarding checking the test kit, I would test my new mixed water just incase I had nitrates coming in with the tap water but nitrates were zero. After a large water change my nitrates would be on par with what percentage of water I changed but within a day or two the nitrates were over 100 again.

I have not checked phosphates but I will purchase a test kit tomorrow.

Thanks for all the input

The phosphate number will give a better look in to the balance of nitrates and phosphates. Once this is determined you should be able to correct the issue.

BCOrchidGuy
02-25-2018, 09:59 PM
PO4 is unreadable, effectively 0
NO3 25
pH 8.03
Salinity 1.024
Ca 400
Mg 1300
Alk 8dKH

This is after I moved everything into a new tank almost 3 times the volume of the old system. I went from a 25 gallon with a sump to a 75 gallon with the same sump that I calculate to hold about 15 gallons. I moved about 10 - 15 gallons of the old water and all the live rock to the new system after it was all rinsed.

Coral isn't getting worse, LPS is all open and actively feeding, SPS is ... to be determined. Zoas are all happy except for one colony so it may be light or some irritant, I'm going to move that colony. My three rbta seem happy, one moved to a more happy location.
Seeing a few pods skittering in the rock too.

Frogger
02-26-2018, 03:09 AM
Your corals that photosynthesize require both nitrogen and phosphorus at a specific ratio to complete the process. If one is limiting the process is stopped or reduced. This will cause the other one to artificially increase because the zooxanthellae, algae and other photosynthesizing organisms don't have enough of the other to continue. Your tank may not have 0 phosphates however any new phosphates that are added via food, additives or fish poop is quickly used up.

This sounds like it is a distinct possibility in your tank. You have enough phosphates to keep the corals alive but not enough to use up the nitrogen or to make your corals happy.

SPS are the most affected because zooxanthellae are their primary source of food.

tang daddy
02-26-2018, 04:26 PM
I would try to feed more to get the Po4 up. Last I checked my po4was .11 and sps are thriving....

My success is mainly due to the heavy feedings with a ton of fish.
I havenít tested nitrates for awhile but I assume that itís over 10.
I may do a large wc this week to reset the Po4 to half but reluctant to touch anything while the tank is thriving.

Try feeding more and see if that helps your sps!