HELP! Overwhelmed beginner. Dinos and coral not looking good.

Discussion in 'General Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by Nroddot, May 5, 2020.

  1. Nroddot

    Nroddot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2019
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Saginaw
    Hi,

    My Reefer 350 is approaching four months of age (3 months since livestock first added)

    I have a handful of soft corals, and a few fish. My tank was in its "ugly" phases but it was still exciting to me to see my corals growing and visibly spreading to nearby rock.

    My nitrates were pretty high at around 30 ppm and I had a large bloom of green algae covering the sand,rock, and even the glass.

    I tried vibrant and it did wonders at eliminating the algae over the course of a few weeks. But dosing vibrant also caused my nutrients to bottom out. Phosphates are undetectable on my Red Sea test kit and I believe I have dinos now. I'm seeing stringy/snotty brownish colored algae growing along the sand, rocks, and even coral. Although, it seems to lack the micro bubbles I see in pictures of dinos.

    My corals are also not doing well. About half of them look unhappy and/or closed. Even my xenia which was growing rapidly has withered and shriveled -- it doesn't even pulse now. Feeling sad and overwhelmed right now. Experienced reefers struggle at beating dinos, and here I am taking it on as a beginner.

    What I'm doing now, I've started dosing Dino-X last night. Turned off my skimmer, removed chemi-pure elite, and started overfeeding in an attempt to raise nutrients. I'm also target feeding coral daily with Red Sea AB+ because I know they're probably starved of nutrients.

    Here are my parameters from when I tested merely an hour ago. All tests besides salinity and PH are done by Red Sea test kits.

    Salinity: 35.7

    PH: 7.8

    Magnesium: 1600 ppm

    Alkalinity: 9.5 dKH

    Calcium: 320 ppm

    Nitrite: 0

    Ammonia: 0

    Nitrate: Nearly undetectable but looks like it's about 1 ppm

    Phosphates: Undetectable


    I don't know why calcium is low and magnesium is high. I don't dose anything and have only been using the Red Sea Coral pro salt. The handful of soft corals I have shouldn't be consuming calcium very fast at all, right? I do a 10% water change every week to replenish any lost trace elements. Does Dino-X lower nitrates or something? Nitrates were at about 5 ppm when I tested last night and now they're nearly 0.

    I really don't know what to even do right now besides try and raise phosphates and nitrates. I was on the verge of setting up a refugium for chaeto, but I stopped because I feel like the chaeto is just going to take what little nutrients there are left in the water from my corals. Would really appreciate any guidance. I have some Brightwell Neophos on the way. Going to dose it and try to raise my phosphate levels, but I don't know if this is the best course of action.
     
    #1
  2. DaveK

    DaveK Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2003
    Messages:
    9,078
    Likes Received:
    3,104
    Location:
    Philadelpahia, PA
    Could you post a picture or two of your tank?

    A 4 month old tank is still very new and going through various phases.

    I suspect a lot of your problems had do do with using vibrant and Dino-X for algae control and other additives, but I can't be sure.

    Without more information, I would discontinue the use of all additives. I would also make several large partial water changes about a week apart. By large, change about 1/3 to 1/2 the water each time.

    I do not recommend the use of any of the algae control products ever. Yes, they do kill algae, but they can also cause a host of other issues. The big reason not to use them is that unless you fix the root cause of the problem, all you will is replace one algae problem with another algae that is even harder to control.

    As for water parameters, the calcium at 320 is a bit low, but may not be an issue. Check a newly mixed batch of SW and see if the new water is a lot different. Also, very few tanks need a phosphorus or phosphate supplement. Usually you want that as low as possible.
     
    #2
  3. Nroddot

    Nroddot New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2019
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Saginaw
    Hi,


    I appreciate the response. I decided to stop dosing Dino-X and I haven't dosed Vibrant in over a week. I've learned my lesson about "magic in a bottle" products. Ultimately it's my fault for not keeping track of nutrient levels while dosing, but I think these products did more harm than good for my system. I

    As for pictures, I just took a couple of pictures of the algae with my whites turned up. You can kind of make out the stringy/snotty formations of algae along the sand. But it's a lot more visible in person.
     

    Attached Files:

    • al.jpg
      al.jpg
      File size:
      108.4 KB
      Views:
      12
    • al2.jpg
      al2.jpg
      File size:
      119.7 KB
      Views:
      11
    #3
    Last edited: May 5, 2020
Loading...
Similar Threads Forum Date
Just started a sump and a little overwhelmed Meet & Greet Forum Jun 17, 2013
Bubble algae, injured coral... Overwhelmed.... General Reef Aquarium Discussion Dec 17, 2010
Overwhelmed! Just starting out (SW Beginners) Jul 28, 2010
Feeling overwhelmed Reef Chronicles Mar 24, 2009
overwhelmed! Meet & Greet Forum Apr 19, 2008

Share This Page