ULNS, SPS, & Color Confusion

krzyphsygy

New member
I picked up a ORA Red Digitata from Petco of all places and in there tank they had two, one I purchased and the other remains there. It was a beautiful red color, very dark and deeply colored. When I got it home just like most of my sps corals, it turned very pale over a few weeks time. Now it is tan colored and lost its beauty.
I went back a month later to look at the other one and it is still very dark colored and beautiful. There tank is very dirty, lots of hair algae, glass is filthy ect. They run 4 bulb t5s and a weak skimmer. They have two tangs in the tank and it looks about 40gallons. The light is high on the tank about 18inches above. There is no supplimental flow, just the return pump and zero Live rock.
My system is 125gl 40 gl sump, ATI 6 bulb 60 inch t5s, H&S skimmer, 6105 and 6095 tunze's on controller, MP40, Tunze ATO, 130lbs of LIve rock, 30 carribean, 100 Marco cured for 6 months. Tank been up for 9 months.
Cal 430
Alk 7.4
Mag 1400
NO3 Undetectable
PO4 Undetectable
PH 8.2 Avg
Salinity 1.025
I dont get it. I am having issues retaining color. Is my tank to clean? I was not changing water so much, about 15gl every 3 weeks. I changed that to 10 gl weekly now to see if it help. I do not run carbon, or GFO, I only dose Kalk in the morning to keep cal alk stable. It never really fluctuates. I have been reading mixed opinions on sps color some say you need nitrates at like .04 and others say you need ULNS. Zeovit system runs zero on both no3 and po4 so how are they doing it. I have no idea how to change this. My skimmer is now running dry because I ran it wet for several months because I do not pull much out. I feed 1-2 a day and have only 5 fish. 3 chromis and 2 picasso clowns.I also feed Reef Chile or Cyclopeez once a week. I have a midas blenny in qt now that will hit the tank next week. I am at a loss.
Are my corals starving or is my light to bright. I just got a Vermiculata that is totally purple, it is on the sand bed. Now it is turning pale blue. Light is 13inches off the water.

I dont get it, petco can have great color with no maintenance, and I get pale corals....lol
 

Vanquishxxxx

New member
Hey, def sounds like low nutrients. Ur light is def not too bright. Feed,feed,feed. And as far as ur bioload, I have more fish in my 40g and have a hard time keeping my nutrients up. Zeo systems work under ulns because they supplement with amino acids and different reef boosting products (at least that's my understanding). I had the same problem as u in thbiggining. I started feeding 2-3 times a day. A mix of mysis, brine, clam. I also dose seachem a and b once a day, oyster feast once a day, a coral vitalizer, and reef chili once a day. Along with reef booster 2 times a month at night. I only do 5gallin water changes once every 10 days. And my corals are vibrant now along with finally starting to grow at a good rate. If u have a good skimmer, don't stop skimming, just tweak ur tank by feeding a lot more.
 

krzyphsygy

New member
thanks for the reply! You know I cut back on the feeding because when I do feed alot I get a white hairy film on all my rocks and I chalked this up to high nutrients, I guess its not that. It seems to only come when I feed heavy.
 

biggles

Premium Member
I run nothing but a skimmer and no fish or food except for a small dose of reef roids every 3 days to the tank. Zero nitrates and phos and there is nothing wrong with my colors so feeding fish more is no guarantee to better colors but you might as well give it a try as measurable nitrates and phos is apparently required for success - my SPS missed that lesson and don't know they're supposed to be lacking color.
 

ssscuz

New member
zeo systems run alot of other blue bottles of additives to give the corals something to feed on.
have you tried any amino acids or reef roids or similar?
or you could get some more fish which you will have ot feed more and will make your water dirtier.
 

sahin

Ultimate Reefer
This is a very interesting thread. OP, are you able to take some of the water from the store you bought the coral from and test that water for parameters such as: Alk, Ca, Mg, PO4, NO3 etc?

That may provide some answer.
 

MHG

Active member
I picked up a ORA Red Digitata from Petco of all places and in there tank they had two, one I purchased and the other remains there. It was a beautiful red color, very dark and deeply colored. When I got it home just like most of my sps corals, it turned very pale over a few weeks time. Now it is tan colored and lost its beauty.
I went back a month later to look at the other one and it is still very dark colored and beautiful. There tank is very dirty, lots of hair algae, glass is filthy ect. They run 4 bulb t5s and a weak skimmer. They have two tangs in the tank and it looks about 40gallons. The light is high on the tank about 18inches above. There is no supplimental flow, just the return pump and zero Live rock.
My system is 125gl 40 gl sump, ATI 6 bulb 60 inch t5s, H&S skimmer, 6105 and 6095 tunze's on controller, MP40, Tunze ATO, 130lbs of LIve rock, 30 carribean, 100 Marco cured for 6 months. Tank been up for 9 months.
Cal 430
Alk 7.4
Mag 1400
NO3 Undetectable
PO4 Undetectable
PH 8.2 Avg
Salinity 1.025
I dont get it. I am having issues retaining color. Is my tank to clean? I was not changing water so much, about 15gl every 3 weeks. I changed that to 10 gl weekly now to see if it help. I do not run carbon, or GFO, I only dose Kalk in the morning to keep cal alk stable. It never really fluctuates. I have been reading mixed opinions on sps color some say you need nitrates at like .04 and others say you need ULNS. Zeovit system runs zero on both no3 and po4 so how are they doing it. I have no idea how to change this. My skimmer is now running dry because I ran it wet for several months because I do not pull much out. I feed 1-2 a day and have only 5 fish. 3 chromis and 2 picasso clowns.I also feed Reef Chile or Cyclopeez once a week. I have a midas blenny in qt now that will hit the tank next week. I am at a loss.
Are my corals starving or is my light to bright. I just got a Vermiculata that is totally purple, it is on the sand bed. Now it is turning pale blue. Light is 13inches off the water.

I dont get it, petco can have great color with no maintenance, and I get pale corals....lol

Sounds like my tank.... I started feeding 5 times a day and once my nitrates hit detectable levels my growth took off and color returned to the tan frags.... I did have good color on some but I supplemented a lot of Zeo stuff.... Nitrates fixed the rest
 

krzyphsygy

New member
zeo systems run alot of other blue bottles of additives to give the corals something to feed on.
have you tried any amino acids or reef roids or similar?
or you could get some more fish which you will have ot feed more and will make your water dirtier.

I just ordered Pohl's Extra Special , I am going to try it out. I am UNLS I guess and this has pretty good results for sps color. Its a food or amino.
 

krzyphsygy

New member
This is a very interesting thread. OP, are you able to take some of the water from the store you bought the coral from and test that water for parameters such as: Alk, Ca, Mg, PO4, NO3 etc?

That may provide some answer.

Thats a very good idea, I know the manager there and I am pretty sure he wont have a problem with it. I will look into this tomorrow.
 

MHG

Active member
I just ordered Pohl's Extra Special , I am going to try it out. I am UNLS I guess and this has pretty good results for sps color. Its a food or amino.

XTRA is a great product. If I had to pick one that could not be called snake oil, that would be it.... Most of the other ones do nothing.... However I really only notice xtras effect on bird nest and stylos.... I think it worked on some others but it took months.... Still a good problem....
 

krzyphsygy

New member
XTRA is a great product. If I had to pick one that could not be called snake oil, that would be it.... Most of the other ones do nothing.... However I really only notice xtras effect on bird nest and stylos.... I think it worked on some others but it took months.... Still a good problem....

Yea, thats what I'v been saying...snake oil is on its way! LOL, what could it hurt I guess. It gets great reviews and many people have said it works. I have seen some tanks that only use this to does with the other zeo products and get good results.
 

krzyphsygy

New member
Maybe get some more fish, poop is the best food ever.

Yes, that is part of my plan. I have been having issues wth fish. I buy what I think are good choices and then when they go in to QT, then end up with ich. I have had a bad run of this lately. I just bought 4 fish from an online vendor and they all died within 36 hrs. 3 yellow streak cardinals before that had ich and I put them through hypo but they never recovered.

I just got a new fish in QT now that appreas to be doing well. so we will see how the next week or two turns out. But yes, I know I need fish. Ich is such a complicated thing it seems. I was in my LFS yesterday and have been looking for a couple Bartlett Anthias, well there they were. I got excited and started taking a good look and they seemed fine. There is 6 tanks all hooked up together and when I started looking at the other fish in the same system I noticed two Purple Tangs with ich so I backed out. Its like an epidemic. Its been hard to find any healthy fish around here.
 

danil

New member
Agree with everyone here. Lack of nutrients is the problem. Unfortunately it's a thin line of providing enough food and keep your tank reasonably clean. All aminos I tried provoke cyano outbreaks (have not tried Zeo one). I've got good result from using seachem "fuel".
 

allsps40

New member
Petco cant test for that stuff only the basics line ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and Ph. I would say feed more sounds like you water is too clean. I had color issues when I was keeping my tank too clean and was running it as a ULNS. Once I stopped carbon dosing and weekly water changes and just left the tank be color and growth took off all on their own. Keep things stable is key to of course.
 

Prince916

New member
Most people goes ulns so they can feed corals and fish more than usual. Feed more and try doing WC bi-weekly. You will see great changes quick but keep track of ur water param.
 

RFLKPTR

New member
krzyphsygy, did you ever find resolution? I'm in a similar situation as you, and would like to see if you had positive results, seeing as a fair amount of time has lapsed.
 

krzyphsygy

New member
krzyphsygy, did you ever find resolution? I'm in a similar situation as you, and would like to see if you had positive results, seeing as a fair amount of time has lapsed.

Actually, it was spot on. I added about 8 fish and fed 3x daily and in no time at all color came back to my corals. They look as good as when I bought them.
I needed more fish to increase bioload and fish poop in the tank. After a few carpet surfing and aggression issues with some of the fish I currently have 8 fish in my 125 and 1 in QT right now. I am trying to get to 12 fish. I do not feed the corals as that was causing algae blooms. I just feed my fish and I still feed them 2x daily. But a little bit less than before.

PO4 0.1-.03
NO3 .00-.02

I could not even keep zoos alive before. Now, they are doing well. SPS has decent color, not perfect but def better than before. I might have really harmed some of them. But some like my Montiporas have all gained exceptional color back.
 
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