What happened with my reef?


New member
Upon waking up today, I noticed that the water appears cloudy and white with a new and odd odor --not able to accurately describe the odor.
What is happening with my reef?


Display size 75G.
Bare bottom.
100Lb live rock.
Photoperiod: 3 Hr ramp up from 0%-80% starting at 12P all three channels, then 80% 6 Hrs all three channels, and finally 3Hr ramp down 80% - 0%. Moonlights on Apex moon schedule.
Inhabitants 1x 1" frag of purple superman montipora danae. 2x peppermint shrimp. All appear healthy.
The montipora is turning back form brown to purple, has good PE, and appears to almost be liking the cloudy water. It is located at bottom of reef right now, but will be moving it up so that I can dim the LEDs from 80%.
Target feeding oyster feast to montipora. 0.5 ml 2x week.
Feeding Hikari algae wafer to shrimp 1x 1 or 2 small wafers per week. Little to no algae in display.
Time since start: Running for 2 months in current tank using all live rock from an established reef -- last reef at least 1 year old. No cycle.

Top off water: RO/DI.
Salt: Reef Crystals.
pH: 7.9 - 8.01.
Temp 77.8F - 78.2F.
ORP: 320.
Ammonia: 0 API.
Nitrite: 0 API.
Nitrate: > 0 ppm < 5 ppm API. Has decreased from >5ppm <10ppm over last week.
Phosphate: 0.05 Hanna. Has risen from 0 over past week.
Alkalinity: 185ppm Hanna.
Calcium: 424 Tropic Marin.
Magnesium: 1420 Tropic Marin.
SG: 1.025 Milwaukee digital refractometer -- properly calibrated with RO/DI.

Not currently supplementing anything, but plan to start 2 part calcium as the calcium is a little low. Will monitor Alk, and when they are both in spec I will begin adding Alk.

75G Display.
Crystal Sump 30.
2x Tunze 6055.
400Gph return pump from refugeium.
Phosban reactor 150 with phosban -- 2 week old media.
Reef Octopus Extreme XS 160 Skimmer. Air input plumbed outside home.
Display Lighting: DIY. 9 Cool white, 9 Neutral white, 42 Royal Blue, 6 moonlight LEDs from RapidLED.
Refugeium lighting: 2x Cool white, 1x Royal Blue LEDs.
Aquacontroller Apex, EB8, ORP probe, pH probe, Display, VDM.
Have but not using: 100mg ozone generator, 36w UV.

Photoperiod: Reverse photoperiod from display.
Inhabitants: Chaeto, Ulva, and Caulerpa -- Does not appear to have gone sexual. No transparent runners or color change.
4" DSB in refugeium -- same chamber as macro.
Last edited:


They Call me "RifRaf"
I'm thinking a simple bacterial bloom (maybe somthing died)?

....If so, no need to trip, just lay back; do nothing

(just from your equip description it appears your are well versed & equiped and able to monitor the situation closely)


New member
Thank you, what exactly should I watch for?
I have been away from reefs for a few years, and I am basically relearning everything.


New member
A water change would go a long way to help. The only time my tank went cloudy was when my anemone got a haircut in an MP40...


New member
I changed 15% a day before the cloudy water, and I performed an additional 15% tonight.
Before the change, I performed a series of tests and observed that my phosphate was back to 0.03 and my nitrate has dropped to 0.
The levels of these two parameters before the cloudy water were both 0.

Water is clearer but still slightly cloudy.

Michigan Mike

Freedom costs a buckofive
Do another water change in a few days. It's most likely a bacteria bloom. Chemi pure elite can't hurt...