bleaching maybe due to cheato outcompeting

jbardwel

New member
I used to have a huge collection of healthy GBTA in my 90 gal tank but high nitrate levels because of my huge fish load, I put in a well lit HOB fuge (96W 6700k CF lit 18hours) filled with Cheato and the nitrate levels went to very low, but the GBTA started to turn white and over the last 5 months have shrunk to tiny lumps. now my xenia and RBTA are also shrinking and going away. I am thinking that the cheato is out competing with the photosynthetic apparatus of these guys. I am pretty sure it is not buildup of something bad because I can do huge water changes and they dont come back. Any advice? Should I pull the plug on the fuge, decrease the hours ( I already cut back to 12 hours) it is lit or try supplementing with something? If so what?
 

philipph

New member
I think it would be difficult to strip ALL the nitrogen and phosphorus from your water with a fuge,in other words there will always some that is needed for coral growth
 

bertoni

Premium Member
Hard to say. I might trim back the hours a bit more, to 8 or so, and watch carefully for signs of trouble, like nitrate or phosphate spiking. After that, you could trim back the Chaetomorpha more regularly. Also, running a lot of fresh carbon might help, if the alga is putting out toxins.
 

jbardwel

New member
Rbta

Rbta

I think it would be difficult to strip ALL the nitrogen and phosphorus from your water with a fuge,in other words there will always some that is needed for coral growth
I agree, indeed the nitrate was still at 1mg/l, when I checked a while back phosphorus my salifert kit doesnt seem that linear, but will check. I was thinking maybe some trace nutrient, but that doesnt fit with the fact I did a 80% water change last week without good or bad effect. the LFS said maybe molybdenum as it gets depleted fast by cheato and anenenomies need it
 

jbardwel

New member
Rbta

Rbta

Hard to say. I might trim back the hours a bit more, to 8 or so, and watch carefully for signs of trouble, like nitrate or phosphate spiking. After that, you could trim back the Chaetomorpha more regularly. Also, running a lot of fresh carbon might help, if the alga is putting out toxins.
Thanks for the suggestions, I will take them,I hadnt thought of toxins, but I did a 80% water change without good or bad effect. Somehow that you would think would rule out a lot of things, except lighting
 

philipph

New member
If you are concerned that trace elements are missing,smaller and regular water changes like 10% will eliminate that 'risk' rather than large ones that might shock your system
 

mikezalewski

New member
philipph you are so true!! so many people think that doing one large water change is a solution to a bunch of different things and are sooooooo wrong! if you look at a magizine called CORAL they are very helpful with the reefkeeping! they have articals on just about anything associated with this hobby! check out a few of them they will help. In short do a smaller water change more often and that will be a better solution to your problem than one large one less often!
 

philipph

New member
philipph you are so true!! so many people think that doing one large water change is a solution to a bunch of different things and are sooooooo wrong! if you look at a magizine called CORAL they are very helpful with the reefkeeping! they have articals on just about anything associated with this hobby! check out a few of them they will help. In short do a smaller water change more often and that will be a better solution to your problem than one large one less often!

it's not just me,you will see that the majority of people here who perform regular water changes they change only 10-15% of the water
 

elegance coral

They call me EC
I agree, indeed the nitrate was still at 1mg/l, when I checked a while back phosphorus my salifert kit doesnt seem that linear, but will check. I was thinking maybe some trace nutrient, but that doesnt fit with the fact I did a 80% water change last week without good or bad effect. the LFS said maybe molybdenum as it gets depleted fast by cheato and anenenomies need it

I think the 80% water change was a great idea. You can't expect the animals to recover overnight though. Think of it like this. When people experience a prolonged nutritional deficiency, it takes time to recover once they have access to those nutrients again. The people from the concentration camps of WWII didn't recover after their first good meal. It took time to replace the mass that was lost, rebuild their immune systems, and make a full recovery. If your animals are/were suffering from a depletion of trace elements/nutrients, it will take time for them to recover. Even if the nutrients are now abundant in the water.

Small 10% water changes are good for routine maintenance, but do very little to correct a problem. If a nutrient has been depleted, and you do a 10% water change, the system is still 90% low. Then a week passes before your next water change, and the organisms have stripped that 10% of nutrients you added. You're right back at square one, and not getting ahead. With us not knowing what elements may be in short supply, or what substances may be accumulating, the best way to fix a problem like this is with one large water change. It's like running system restore on your computer. It resets all your parameters to the proper levels.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
I would avoid large water changes. In addition to possible shock, exposing live rock to air can kill animals on it, and lead to an ammonia spike. A series of small changes will do the same job with much less risk.
 

jbardwel

New member
water changes

water changes

For me large water changes work well- up to 90%. I am very careful to keep the temperature of the water change within 0.05 degrees C (I have a thermometer that is accurate to 0.01) and the salinity within .0002 using a super accurate hydrometer I have http://www.tropic-marin.com/web/english/produkte/araeo.htm which I find to be more accurate than the refractometers available for aquarium use. I also have access to super pure water 18 megaohm resistivity water (I run a lab) I also always use the same brand of salt.
If I am careful to do all things I have never seen any trace of shock on my corals or fish. It is true that you can accomplish the same dilution with multiple 10% water changes but if you do the math it sure takes a huge number of changes 20 or so to dilute things out 90% (I had seen a website somewhere that went through the math).
I think people may not be careful enough to keep the temperature and salinity spot on and if they use less than super pure water one might introduce things that the corals need some time to adapt to, so I am not sure I can advocate this for everybody, but it works well for me. In terms of air shock Tropicorium found that if you keep things splashed corals can take a fair bit of time out of water (they claim up to an hour)
http://www.tropicorium.com/low_tide.html Since my water changes take about 10 minutes that is well within the time limit.
I would avoid large water changes. In addition to possible shock, exposing live rock to air can kill animals on it, and lead to an ammonia spike. A series of small changes will do the same job with much less risk.
 

bertoni

Premium Member
It does take about 20 10% changes to equal 1 90% change, but that assumes that a 90% change is needed, which I'm skeptical about. Matching the SG can help reduce shock, and keeping the temperature change fairly small probably helps, but a rapid change in water conditions does seem to cause problems for some corals, as is seen when some tanks get a large initial GFO dose, for example.

Corals can take some time out of water, but some sponges die immediately.
 
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