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Thread: help with monti...

  1. #1
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    Exclamation help with monti...

    i cant quite figure this out and havent had any luck on other forums.

    i've been having problems with the montis' in my tank. it started with my cap and then a digi frag i had bleached over the period of two days.



    quick rundown: 125 gallon, 40 gallon sump, 3 X 250 MH, 4 X 80 T5HO, two korallia 4's, one korallia 3, return pump is a mag 18 w/ SCWD, use kati/ ani for w/c and top off, ATO, use reef crystals

    i thought it could be because i've been having pH swings from 7.8 (a.m.) to 8.4 (p.m.) secondary to low alk, but none of my other corals (sps, lps, softies), inverts, or fish are showing any signs of distress.

    my ca usually runs around 440, but today when i tested it was a bit low.
    ammonia: undetectable
    nitrite: undetectable
    nitrate: undetectable
    pH: 8.4
    ca: 380
    dkH: 7
    SG: 1.025
    temp: 80.2

    so since it's only affecting my monti's i'm wondering maybe montipora eating nudibranch? i havent seen any, and havent added any new corals in a while. i realize that eggs could have come in with a monti a while ago, but like i said i havent seen any nudi's.

    i'm going to start dosing two-part in the morning. i've never had calcium problems before, so this is the first time having to dose. what are your thoughts on this? i know this was a long post, and there's a lot that could be going on. i'm wondering if i ought to just frag off the living parts of the monti cap and dip them in (?) before putting them back in the tank. thanks in advance for your suggestions.

  2. #2
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    Those are pretty big ph swings. In my experience, one of the first signs of water quality issues are colors fading on montiporas. Montiporas generally are less hardy than acropora, I have experienced montipora crashes with no sign of stress on other sps corals. Do you have a fuge to light when the main tank light is off? That helps stabilize your ph. You might want to reduce how long you light your tank, leave a few bulbs off, do a 20 - 30 % water change, and make sure the montiporas aren't getting pounded with direct flow while your experiencing this issue.

  3. #3
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    Have you made any changes? think back - lighting, power head, added fish, moved corals, ect? also - what is your magnesium? holding mag. steady will help hold alk & cal. steady.
    when did your pH start the large swing? Has it always been this way?

    Not much help - just some thoughts. I'm sure others will chime in -

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    i do have a light over my fuge, lighting chaeto (that doesnt seem to be growing anymore) on an opposite schedule than my display lights.

    there actually have been huge changes to my system, right before this started to happen. the reason i didnt mention this before is because people on several other forums wanted me to have these nudibranch's so bad that they totally discounted these changes and have subsequently convinced me i have them.

    i have a 6' 125. i used to have two 36" fixtures (one 250 MH, two 96 PC in each). i wanted to upgrade the lights to a 6' fixture w/ three 250 MH and four 80 watt T5HO. this was a problem because my tank had a single cross brace. i broke the tank down, took everything out, and tried to fit a double cross braced trim on it, but it didnt fit. so i had to go back to the single cross brace. during this whole ordeal i had all photosynthetic animals in a 36" breeder tank with one of the old 36" fixtures on it. i ended up using the three halide fixture over the center brace by building a canopy and raising the light 12" from the trim. i also made a triangular heat shield over the cross brace with a reflector from an old fixture given to me by a good buddy. (this ended up working really well. the brace takes on no heat and the center halide still lights the shadow that was there when i was running the two 36" fixtures).

    the monti's were fine in the temporary breeder tank. it didnt start taking a dumper until i had the 125 back up and running. this is also when i started noticing pH swings. kati/ani deionizers (the type of water filter i use) inherently can lower pH, but i've never had this problem before and when i test my freshly mixed saltwater the pH is 8.4.

    i've been told on other forums that the reason people are so stuck on me having a montipora eating nudibranch is that the whole coral would be bleached, not just certain areas. but again, i have inspected said corals closely and have yet to see any nudibranch or cluster of eggs on the coral or around it's base.

    you reckon i ought to break off the dead parts and hope that the tissue regression stops there? maybe give the newly fragged pieces in a (?) dip.

  5. #5
    Definitely frag off at least a few healthy pieces and give them a dip. A few months ago my montis all took a similar turn for the worse (patches dying, colours fading). I saved what I could, dipped, and did a few water changes and they turned around. Sorry I can't be more specific about the problem and solution.

  6. #6
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    that's what figured i'd have to do. there's just too much death for me to expect this thing to really turn around. i've never dipped corals before. what should i use? lugols?

    i still have to figure out the pH swings, though. there is plenty of surface agitation in the display so i tend to think this isnt a matter of C02. if this had started after i put the canopy on the tank then i would consider C02, but it started before i built the canopy and i was just using MH #1 & 3 on the new fixture.

    could this be a magnesium deficit? i havent tested for Mg yet, i'll have to pick up a test kit later today. it just occured to me that with my Ca being a tad low, which is something i've never had problems with, maybe the calcium is bonding with the free carbonates in the water column. what are your thoughts on this?

    again, i really appreciate the help folks. i've had this tank up for over two years without any problems and i just cant, for the life of me, figure this out.

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    Hi, I have struggled with low pH for a few years. Our problem is co2. To find out
    Take a glass of aquarium water, test this water. Then set it outside agitating it.
    I used an air stone. Let it sit outside for an hour or so and retest the pH. If the
    PH raises then you have a co2 issue. We combat it by pumping fresh outside air
    To the skimmer & to the surface level of th DT. Some just open s window to get fresh outside air. as far as parameters - everybody's tank &
    Personal Preferences differ. I like to keep the mag around 1400-1450, alk 9-10 dkh
    & cal 420-440. Normally I adjust the parameters in the listed order. As most, our pH is
    Worse in the evening or if we have company. About 1g of kalk is auto dosed during the evening
    To 1-Add makeup water & 2- add alk & cal. 3 - helps with the pH .

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    Eric I have a small bottle of coral Rx I got from one of the meetings you could have if you want to pick up, i had zoa eating nudi's. and it did a good job at killing them if that is your problem. But either way its yours if you want it.

  9. #9
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    mike, that's a good idea. should i do this in the morning when pH is low? because if i test it now, it will be 8.4.
    rostr02, thank you very much for the offer. i might take you up on that. i will let you know by the next meeting if i'm interested. that's awesome.

    i guess my game plan will be to test the mag tonight. i will post the latest parameters later today to see what the consensus is. thanks again for all your help

  10. #10
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    Where are you located? I have samples of coralrx

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