View Full Version : Alkalinity Burn or something else?

04-13-2010, 03:11 AM
Picture from January with Full Color and Good growth

Taken Today with Browned out Color and tips burnt


Another Acro that is being affected


I want to make sure that it isn't something like AEFW that could be causing this.

My parameters are as follows 430 cal, 9 dkH, 1360MG, (salifert test) Nitrates, nitrites, ammonia and phosphates all undectable. (API test kits)
pH 7.9-8.2

I am right now adding 6g of reefbuilder alkalinity buffer in the am over the course of a 30 minutes and in the evening I dose 12 mL of calcium Kent's PartA. I know this isn't alot of additions but it seems to have stabled things out. I lost the color a little bit ago in alot of my corals because I added a few more corals (probably too many at a time) and my calc and alk levels got out of whack. I am now trying to stabalize everything and have been doing this addition for the past month.

Any info would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance

04-13-2010, 03:27 AM
I may be wrong here, but it doesn't look burned and because there is polyp extension on the pics, I would assume just alot of nutrients in your system and the burn is just coral growth.

IMO, if there was burn, it wouldn't just be on the tips, but on more of the coral colony.

04-13-2010, 03:38 AM
I would agree but with the first coral the white parts don't look like growth. It is more loss of tissue and isn't just on tips some of the tips actually have a little algae growth on them which would be dead tissue.

On the second one the tips all used to be really purple and now they are turning white on some of them that is why I am thinking it is a burn.

I know that you use the reefbuilder as well do you think that is too quick to add the reefbuilder which would maybe burn the corals??

I am also working to get the coral color back and would like any info on how to achieve that...

Thanks again

04-13-2010, 03:41 AM
Hmmm, I would agree then, if there is algae forming then death...

With Alk, you shouldn't have any problems, as long as you are not raising it more than one point per day. If raising more than 2 or more points, I would think there could be a problem. Alk should be done in some increments over time, like any other parameter.

What is your light? Maybe your lighting isn't enough.

Anything else you added lately, that is not normally done, or have you changed quantity or how things are added?

How are your other corals?

04-13-2010, 03:59 AM
Looks like tip burn to me. Where are you pouring the buffer into the tank? Ideally you would dose it in a "high" flow area of the sump (if you have one). If dosing in the tank, dose very slowly in front of a powerhead so it gives it a chance to mix before it hits the corals.

How long have you been dosing the alk buffer?

04-13-2010, 04:02 AM
We had a really bad brown turf algae all over the sand and glass to begin with and then it changed to a bad cyano outbreak so we started by reducing the lighting schedule and reducing our additions of Pohl's Xtra, CV and AA. For a few weeks we added none of these to try and bring the cyano under control. Nothing seemed to work so we started using Zeobak with Coral Snow for two weeks straight and we changed out our Fiji Purple Light with a Geissman Actinitic Blue+. The addition of the Zeobak with frequent water changes and sucking out of the cyano seemed to work. We also had red bugs so we treated with Interceptor so we started adding ROX 0.8 Carbon at that time aswell. (We took this out yesterday just to see if that was possibly the culprit as it may have been leaching stuff back into the system). We then bought proper calc and alk test kits and found them to be rather low so we started adding calc and alk to keep the levels in check. During this time we have also added an ATO system to ensure we have constant salinity.

So to say the least there have been alot of changes going on which I know is really not good for coral at all!!

Some of the other corals are doing very well. Some of the others are growing but have lost their color. We've lost some frags.

We've also noticed during the last couple of water changes that the corals throw out their long stinging tentacles at this time. They never used to do that.

Oh and did I mention we got an RO unit as well? Which has 0 TDS vs the 7TDS water we used to use.

So there have been a lot of changes but we thought most should have improved things.


04-13-2010, 04:08 AM
I pour the alk buffer in the left compartment of the sump (where the water from the DT comes in), so then it has to go over some baffles into the return compartment. I mix the alk with about 2-3 cups of RO water and put it in about 5 sloshes over 30 min.

Oh and we've been dosing alk for about a month. We were suspicious that it was alk burn so we changed from Kent Part B to Reef builder because we thought it would keep the pH more constant.

04-13-2010, 04:13 AM
Hmm, I wonder if the dosing of all that stuff cleared up your water and the tips burned from increased clarity (ie "stronger" lighting). When you decreased your photoperiod did you ramp it back up or just turn the lights back on to their previous "normal" photoperiod?

How fast have you been raising your alkalinity? Ie. what was it at when you started dosing alk and when did you start dosing it?

04-13-2010, 04:24 AM
Hmmm...we've always had pretty clear water but these corals are higher up so could be. We used to have it 10-8pm, than we did a couple day black out, than we would black out during the morning and have the lights on 4pm-10pm-ish for probably like 2 weeks and then now we're on 3-10pm but no longer black out during the morning. So not sure what you think about that.

We raise the dkh about 0.2-0.3 a day. We started at 6.7 on March 13th and now we're about at 9. We want to keep it at about 9.

Thanks so much for the input!

04-13-2010, 05:17 AM
Hmm, I don't know what else to think of. Funny thing about tip burn, either it will correct itself or it won't. If you really want to baby them, I'd try your lights at an hour on, hour off schedule for a week or two (then do 2hrs on 1hr off and keep stretching it like that) just to see if that is the case. You might see things turn around.

04-13-2010, 05:49 AM
If the burnt tips begin to collect algae, i find it best to cut off the tips and hopefully they will re-grow for you.