Sparse sps success in a mixed tank.


New member
Guys has anyone been able to run a mixed tank with sps Lps softies etc? My tank is over 2 years old.

55 gallon dt 20 gallon sump
1 x hydra 52 for lighting
Giant skimmer
Carbon and gfo reactor (1 cup media each)
Cheato in sump
All parameters are stable.
Alk 8.0
N 0.75
P 0.02
Mg 1400
Ca 450
Ph 7.8 (morning 8.1 day)
Salt 1.026
Temp super stable 79.8

Water change 10% once a week (just started this routine used to be once a month)

My Lps are doing great. Zoas doing great. My elegance is massive. Mushrooms everywhere (inherited them. Can't get rid of them.)


I have one sps that has never died. It's growing. Fragged it and still growing. Over 1 year old.


But that's it. No other sps frag has ever made it through. Got a birds nest about a month ago and thought it was doing well but this morning I'm seeing tissue loss at the base! I'm about to give up. Polyps are tiny but they are all out. Looks very healthy except of course the tissue loss.

What am I missing???? I upped the number of fish to 7. Feed twice a day. Have a small cleanup crew, rocks are spotless! Have coralline algae everywhere. Even in the sump.

I'm losing my mind trying to figure this out. Please help!



New member
I'd recommend switching to something like a calcium reactor or dosing pump if you're doing that manually, with SPS you want your cal/kh ideally to not move at all during a day period, and daily dosing can often not keep up. I suspect from what you've said it's a kh issue, pocillopora can survive these when acropora cannot, and I see you've got a healthy pocillopora colony.


New member
Assume water params are fine... What else could it be. I sat in front of my tank for hours today (work from home day) and noticed my foxface nippin at the nest. I decided to dip the nest and see what comes out. Stuff came out but it was too small to see. I also raised it after being on the bottom for 4 weeks.


New member
It's only 3 months old just got to full power today. Been acclimatizing for 6 weeks. But you could be right. Would low light cause tissue loss? I would just expect darker sps not tissue loss.


New member
It's a 3 footer 28inches deep. Sps are centered with the light. I would put lighting aside as a variable.

Flow is a single jebao 40. I have two other large power heads that are off. Maybe they should be turned on again. Although the nest is now in a high flow area. Humm come to think of it the only sps that is doing well is in a high flow area. Might be on to something here.


New member
not only water movement through the water column (through rocks and coral) but also consider surface agitation. very important for co2/ o2 exchange to take place. also consider temp and ph swings from lights on to lights off.


New member
All I have on my sps tank is a skimmer. That's it. No chaeto, no carbon, no gfo. I have 3 fish that eats twice a day on a food doser and I dose. It's a 20g sps tank packed to the top and no sump.

I do weekly 1 gallon water changes and clean the glass weekly. I have no idea what the pH is and don't care.

Maybe you should take off the carbon and gfo. Keep everything natural. Isint that the point as a advance reefer?


New member
I'd love to take gfo and carbon offline. Doing water changes far more frequently now (10% weekly). Guess my need for a reactor is less required.


Acros & wieners, oh my!
I think you need more coverage than one Hydra. Don't listen to the MFG ratings for how many you need, its just not enough for a 3 foot tank. That being said, I've grown birds nests in every amount of light imaginable and they aren't too demanding typically. The only parameter you don't have listed is Potassium. If its low you will see issues in SPS corals. Some salt mixes are vey low in Potassium.

Mushrooms and leathers can also compete with SPS using chemical warfare, its how they can get a foothold on the reef. Using carbon can mitigate this somewhat, but you do have a lot of shrooms, if all else fails that may be the source of the problem.

Reef Bass

colors and textures
IMHO, a cup of each carbon and gfo is a lot for a 55. I run 1/2 cup carbon and 200 grams (way less than a cup) gfo on my 100g.

You might try a frag of Montipora digitata. One of the hardiest sps and available in several colors.
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New member
Really eh. Wow. Guess I've been stripping the water. I'll turn it off for now. Clean it. Reset it. Continue with the water changes and see how hangs react. I had a digita it went the way of the rest. I had way more gfo and carbon then. How soon after i remove the rector should I try with more sticks? Good advise btw. Thanks.