What am I doing wrong here?


New member
Ok, the Superman Montipora Danae has been loosing color over the last month.
What could I be doing wrong?

Over the past month, it went from this

To this -- it appears that some areas have gotten darker purple, while other areas have lightened.


Current tank parameters.
Tank size: 75g 48x18x20 Bare bottom. Light grid elevated 3/4" off bottom.
130Lb live rock.
Skimmer: Reef Octopus XS 160
Chiller 1/10HP.
Circ: 2x Tunze 6055 (1500GPH ea.) + 400Gph Return from sump.
Flow is a set as a wave and alternating in strength from 0%/80% pulses to 0%/100% pulses every 2 hours.
Sump: Crystal sump 30 w/DSB, Chaeto, Ulva, and Caulerpa in the fuge section.
Ammonia: 0 - API
Nitrite: 0 - API
Nitrate: between 0 & 2.5 but closer to 0. - API
Po4: 0.02 - Hanna
pH 8.02 - Apex
Temp 78 - Apex
pH 8.03 - Apex
Calcium 460 - Tropic Marin
Mag 1400 - Tropic Marin
Alk 203ppm - Hanna
Lighting DIY 42 Royal Blue Cree LEDs, 18 Warm white CREE LEDs from RapidLED elevated 10" from water surface and using a 50-50 mix of 60 and 80 degree optics. Royal Blue set at 65% of 1000mAh and Warm white set at 55% of 1300mAh.

Montipora position: Center of tank vertically and at 1/3 of the way from the right tank wall.

Maintenance Performed in last month:
Daily dosing of KentTechC.B. Parts A & B. 30ml of B and the occasional 5-10ml of part A to keep the calcium up.
20% water change.
Monday & Friday feedings of 1ml oyster feast mixed in 4ml water from tank and target fed to the coral. It is always followed by good PE.

No fish and 1 peppermint shrimp in the tank.

phish guy

New member
what lighting did the previous owner of the frag have? i used to have sps bleach and become discolored when i would buy ANY frags from someone who didnt have LEDs like i have. even if they were inches away from a halide, i still had bleaching problems. now i start with every frag i get, in the sandbed and move it up a few inches per week. i have not had another sps bleach since ive been doing that. also, im not sure if its a typo but is your pH 8.2 or 8.02? 8.02 isnt too big of a deal, but you never know, each coral may react diferently over something as simple as a little bit of low pH.


New member
Doesn't look like your doing anything wrong. That coral still looks healthy and some corals will change colors according to light intensities and/or spectrum. Your tank is not super tall so halfway up might still be getting lots of light from LED's. If your not happy with the color try something a little lower perhaps. Or just leave it and see how it goes/grows!


New member
It is 8.02 with diversions down to 7.9 on occasion.
I have not figured out how to stabilize the pH yet. I have the fuge on 24hrs per day.

I forget exactly what light they had, but I am pretty sure that the frag was under LEDs. I bought it from That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA.

So, that Montipora may be receiving too much light where it is?
As it is currently my only coral right now, I will try dimming the LEDs down in 10% increments.
How long until I should notice a change?

phish guy

New member
i wouldnt decrease the intensity of your lights if all your other corals are doing well. i would just try to "light acclimate" it to what you have for lights. try to put it low in the tank or even the sand bed. i just recently had a acro starting to bleach out at the tips about a week ago so i moved it to the sand and the tips are coloring back up. so it really varies depending on the coral. but it definately sounds like the lighting. also, with sps you want all your levels to be consistent as possible. i recently starting using the bulkreefsupply 2 part dosing and ever since i started using that, my corals took off on growth and everything has been as stable as possible. this 2 part will also help with your ph fluctuation. do you have fluctuations with you DkH, calcium, and or Magnesium?

as for the fuge, i have had pretty good success with running the light opposite as the tank lights. what the idea is supposed to do is keep the ph fluctuation at night, to a minimum. when i started doing this, the ph was much more stable at night. although in the ocean the ph will lower at night, the way i see it, the less change, the better:/


New member
The one montipora is the only coral in the tank.

I have a daily fluctuation of about 10ppm max with alkalinity.

I have an automatic dosing device, however, I have not set it up.
The minimum it can dose is more than what I am dosing, and it does not have an on/off switch that I can put on a controller. Plus, it will also keep dosing after power is removed, due to battery backup..


Saltwater Addict
I have the same issue with a Monti I have with bleaching look with my LEDs but my acro loves them, my monti is 6 or more inches below where the acro is

phish guy

New member
thats not too bad with the alk. in my tank, i need to dose 30 ml of two part each day to keep my levels where they need to be. if the monti is the only coral, i would bring down the intensity of the lights a little and try to get a different type of coral in there, a more of a beginner coral, to see how it reacts to your tank. if they both react strange, its your lights or water but if only one doesnt do too well, its a good chance its the specific coral.


Looks like M. Mollis and not Danae. I have one very similar to the 2nd picture.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2


New member
P04 issues IMO. Look at the algae growth in the second pic. The algae can take the P04 out of the water to grow leaving you with a false low test in the water column. Take your Hanna meter and check your top off water as the source for starters.

phish guy

New member
try some red monti or green monti. they are one of the easiest SPS to care for and if something is going on with them, its got to be your light or params. as for other corals, you can do any type of euphyllia, duncans, or even chalice are pretty easy. but chalice does enjoy being in low light and even a shaddowed area


New member
I vote lights. I have plating monti ATL green w/pink polyps that in my MH tank is standard color and LEDs it turned purple where it was green. All from the same colony. One in DT and others in frag tank.


New member
P04 issues IMO. Look at the algae growth in the second pic. The algae can take the P04 out of the water to grow leaving you with a false low test in the water column. Take your Hanna meter and check your top off water as the source for starters.

+1. Try running some GFO and bump up your water changes. I would stop feeding the oyster feast at this point. Just a waste of money until you have a lot of acros. Also adding a lot of waste to the system. If you don't have any fish, you shouldn't need to feed anything.

The Hanna should read higher than .02 ppm, even if the algae is consuming the phosphates. Are you using the Hanna meter correctly?


New member
Just checked the top-off water and it was 0.10ppm pO4.
I really expected more than 3 weeks from that DI resin.


New member
Sounds like problem solved. Next is to figure out if your fresh ro is the issue or the storage container is leaching.


New member
I think it is a combination of both, as I was getting .10 from stored water, and 0.07 from water that did not go into storage.

I slowed the flow of water through the DI way down, and I am now getting 0.00 top off water. I had the valve on my pressurized storage container opened all the way, apparently allowing water to go through the DI too quickly.
Now, I have the valve on the pressurized storage container cracked open just enough for water to make it from the pressurized storage container to my tank at barely a trickle.

RO/DI was set up as home water, RO, pressurized storage container, then DI at the factory. I think I will try adding another DI chamber before the pressurized storage container and using the factory one to "polish" the water.

Ok, what should I do I to help the coral recover?


New member
You may want to invest in a duel inline tds meter for before and after DI. This will help you determine when to replace DI and also let you know how effective the membrane is at any given time. The duel inlines only run around $35ish.

10% weekly water changes with the lower phosphate water and possible GFO. Just don't do anything too quickly to remove nutrients. It will come down quicker than before using GFO now that your not adding more phosphate.

Just take your time, nothing good happens in this hobby when your in a rush.


New member
Odd thing is that I have a dual in-line TDS meter, and it was reading 0 on the output water.

I have this one

I have it set up a little differently than you suggested though --before RO/DI and after RO/DI, instead of after RO and after DI. I plan on putting the one leg before the DI in the very near future.

I just purchased a new dual DI filter from BRS.
Hopefully I will get better results from this one than I was getting from the simple sealed in-line pass through PVC container type DI filter I was previously using.

I also figured that this would be a good time to change from a 100GPD membrane, to a 75GPD membrane, so I bought a new membrane, a new 75GPD restrictor/flush valve, and will be replacing all water lines. I understand that the 75GPD RO units are a little better at cleaning the water than the 100GPD units.