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  • My Zeo tank seems to be in trouble...

    Hello Everyone. I've been on the Zeovit system since October 2 and initially things were going great. Over the last 6+ weeks however things have gone down hill. Initially I though the problems were due to my change in lighting, but now I'm not so sure. Here are the readings for the last few weeks.

    December 4, 2004 Swapped out 3 x XM 250W icecap setup for 2 x 400W CoralVue Setup.Ran Mh for 2 hours unscreened, oops!. Moved Sea Swirls to the front of tank, plugged CL holes and removed squid (Finally!!)
    December 5, 2004 Added eggcrate and 3 screens.
    December 7, 2004 6.40 0.05 Went back to mechanical timers for the MH lights due to interference. Using seachem phosphate test.
    December 8, 2004 AquaController readings off, I need rs232 ground loop isolator. MD has it back ordered.
    December 9, 2004 7.52 0.05
    December 11, 2004 7.52
    December 14, 2004 8.96 0.14 Bubble count measured in small bubbles. Phosphate form hannah meter
    December 15, 2004 8.48 0.05 Reduced bubble count. Seams to have trouble staying put.
    December 16, 2004 7.84 0.10 Phosphate test done with salifert
    December 17, 2004 7.20 0.03 .05 on the seachem kit.
    December 18, 2004 7.52 0.05 Salifert 2x phosphate test (Arthur reported .14)
    December 20, 2004 EuroReef installed.
    December 21, 2004 7.84 0.05 Seachem phosphate kit
    December 22, 2004 7.68 Upped effluent flow rate a bit.
    December 27, 2004 Installed new $35! Effluent needle valve
    December 28, 2004 7.36 0.03 Seachem phosphate kit, haven't dosed zeo in 4 days. Going back to normal dosing. 2x/week
    December 30, 2004 7.04 Replaced CoralVue Bulbs with Radiums.
    January 2, 2005 7.20 Off to the Snow!
    January 6, 2005 6.88 Added 3 heaping teaspoons of baking soda to boost alk.
    January 8, 2005 8.48 Changed seconds stage DI cartridge and flushed out all existing water. Put reserve tank back into system.
    January 9, 2005 Removed refugium light from system. Performed weekly 10G water change.
    January 10, 2005 2.5 8.48
    January 11, 2005 5 8.48 Dialed up skimmer 1/8 turn
    January 12, 2005 2.5 8.00 More crap out of skimmer this morning.
    January 13, 2005 2.5 7.84 Upping dose of zeostart to 2ml
    January 14, 2005 5 8.00 Changed out ZeoRocks and drilled a lot more holes in the zeoreactor basket.
    January 15, 2005 5 7.52

    The first number is the nitrate number and the second is the alkalinity of the tank. I don't really measuse calcium anymore since I use oceanic and it's usually pretty high. I tested my mag a few months ago and it was 1300 or so. The temp/ph/orp info is located here: http://arabian.am/fish

    Basically what has happened is that all of my corals have pretty much bleached to a certian extent (some annoyed, some dead) and I don't really know what to do. I have been dosing 2ml of zeostart instead of one for the last few days hoping to reduce nitrates and they just seem to be going up. Did I overdose them?

    In a word. HELP?!?!?!

    --Rick

    Posted by Aged Salt on 01/15/2005 01:56 PM:

    Hi Rick, sorry to hear about your corals.As you are aware there are many possibilities & some of these may be intertwined. We can straighten this out with some adjustments But 1st, you need to understand that your Ca/Mg/KH/salinity/temp are all important & must be monitored. While your Ca levels may be OK, they also maybe too high or too low. When using ZEOvit, it's important to adjust & KEEP the parameters within NSW levels. Increase in lighting on lowering zoox. density corals is stressful, as you mentioned. Did you also increase the photo-period? Ok--I need your exact net water vol/ all your zeo-dosing thus far, including the quantity of zeolite used each time/ it's flow rate thru the filter; quantity of carbon use & where located in your system. Can you tell me at what point your corals began to bleach & where--tops or base or both & their color before this ocurred--light/dark/ tissue=tip thinning or just bleached tops. Thnx. Bob

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 02:34 PM:

    Thanks Bob.

    I understand that testing things are important and after doing this for a while, some things are very stable. I test salinity once a month since my auto-topoff keeps the level constant. I am at 1.023/4. I'm slowly trying to raise that to 1.025/6. My Temp fluctuates >= 2 degrees and ph is within +/- .2.

    I understand now that I probably should have added more screens and that changing to radiums after 4 weeks with the CV 14K's probably wasn't the best idea.

    The reason I bring this up here is that no other parameters have changed and my dosing has been very regular but nitrates/phosphates are headed in the wrong direction.

    I normally dose 4 drops zeobak, 4 drops zeofood two times a week and 1ml of zeostart every day. I use 1 liter of zeoliths since I have about 100G of total water volume. After each rock change, I keep about 15 to 20% of the rocks from the last change and add them to the 1 liter of new rocks. I rinse the new rocks in RO/DI water before putting in the tank. I pump the rocks 2x per day and they are on a 3 hour on/off timer. The reactor is fed by a maxijet 600 with is a 160gph pump. I just added that about three weeks ago and before that I was using a minijet 404.

    The bleaching started on the tips and base and some corals are completely white, but still have polyps.






    Posted by Ger on 01/15/2005 02:58 PM:

    Rick, I couldn't find how much activated carbon you are using. Are you using AC passively? Any changes with AC during this time frame? What brand do you use?

    __________________
    Fish eat poop - tastes just like chicken.

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 03:49 PM:

    I have been using 1 cup of ESV Gac, changed monthly. I recently ran out and purchased a large container of black diamond but I haven't started using it yet.

    --Rick

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 03:52 PM:

    What really gets me is that I didn't think it would be THAT big of a deal. I went from 750W of MH light to 800W. Granted I changed color, from 10, to 14 to 20K but I did add the screens as recommended by someone I found who switched from 250W to 400W.

    --Rick

    Posted by Ger on 01/15/2005 03:53 PM:

    quote:
    I have been using 1 cup of ESV Gac, changed monthly


    Passively or in a filter?
    __________________
    Fish eat poop - tastes just like chicken.

    Posted by Ger on 01/15/2005 03:55 PM:

    Rick, what salt brand are you using? Do you do random parameter checks on your freshly made salt?

    __________________
    Fish eat poop - tastes just like chicken.

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 03:56 PM:

    Sorry about that, passively in a bag, in the sump, just before the return pump.

    --Rick

    Posted by Ger on 01/15/2005 03:58 PM:

    quote:
    Sorry about that, passively in a bag, in the sump, just before the return pump.


    Thanks, Rick, I think we can rule out the carbon as the culprit...
    __________________
    Fish eat poop - tastes just like chicken.

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 03:58 PM:

    I have been using the same container of Oceanic since I started Zeovit (200G). I normally check Salinity and the TDS of my RO/DI water but don't check the water parameters of the salt until I open a new container.

    --Rick

    Posted by Ger on 01/15/2005 04:02 PM:

    quote:
    I have been using the same container of Oceanic since I started Zeovit (200G).


    Could you make a small amount of fresh salt water and check alk, Ca, Mg etc.?
    __________________
    Fish eat poop - tastes just like chicken.

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 04:05 PM:

    Sure thing. BRB... I have water mixing for this weeks change already. I'll just test that.

    I can test alk, Ca, phosphate, nitrate, and nitrite. I don't actually own an MG test kit. I had booboo test it for me last time.

    --Rick

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 04:39 PM:

    Test Results:

    RO/DI TDS - 0ppm
    Salinity 1.030 - refractormeter
    Nitrate 0.2ppm or less (salifert)
    Calcium 570 (Salifert)
    Alkalinity 9.6 dKH
    Phosphate .05 or less (seachem)

    The CA and alk numbers are a bit elevated due to the salinity being higher. Normally I knock that down to 1.027 before I put it in the tank but I didn't want to wait for it water to mix before reporting the results.

    --Rick

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 04:41 PM:

    Also, I should report that I haven't cleaned my front glass in over a month and the only thing built up on it is coraline algae.

    --Rick

    Posted by Aged Salt on 01/15/2005 05:27 PM:

    Hi Rick, what is the appearance of the other corals in your tank--light or dark, tips light or thinning or tissue-loss, any tip browning?If the bleached corals were mainly on the uppermost of your reef, then new, lower K, higher W lighting is the problem, especially if this began in the upper part of the coral. With your nutrients increasing, after you comment on the other corals condition, I'll recommend some adjustments in your zeo-dosing. Thnx. Bob

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 06:10 PM:

    Thanks again Bob, anything you can suggest I'm sure will be helpful. I have been pulling my hair out over this for weeks. I have thought, more than once, about going back to a FO tank these last few weeks

    All of the corals have lightened up. The growth I was experiencing in december was thinner than before and their hasn't really been any growth since I put the radiums in.

    When I started this process, I moved most of the corals down to the bottom of the tank, they bleached anyways. The bleaching pattern is definitely based on the light source.
    Zeovit user since October 2, 2004

  • #2
    Posted by Aged Salt on 01/15/2005 06:31 PM:

    Rick, sorry, I was confused about your lighting--it is possible that SPS placed on the bottom with Radiums undergo TN from not enough PAR, especially in bb/ at the periphery of the reflector/ ht. above the water. Again, with rising nutrients, an increase in dosages would seem to be in order, but your corals have become lighter which is what we expect. Therefore, hold all zeo's for 3-5 days. Observe your corals-- if they recover, then dose all zeo's at 50% the previous quantities for the remainder of this cycle. Remember, Rick, your corals will tell you how much to dose, not your tests If there's no improvement or tissue lost continues, then it's not a zeo-related problem. Bob

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 06:43 PM:

    Thanks Bob. Three questions:

    1. My zeolites are about 24 hours old, are you sure you want me to pull all dosing for 3 to 5 days?

    2. Should I pull the last screen off and let the corals get full lighting, and should I increase the photoperiod if indeed my corals are not getting enough par?

    3. What about the greening of the flesh? Is it good or bad?

    --Rick

    Posted by OUinLA on 01/15/2005 06:54 PM:

    Rick, the green concerns me a bit. can you take a pic?

    did you add any new corals at all recently?

    Posted by Aged Salt on 01/15/2005 07:00 PM:

    Rick, if you're in the 1st few days of new zeolite, then proceed with zeo-dosing at 50% quantities in order to seed & feed your filter, & dose these amounts at every other day for a total of 7 doses, then bak/food 2x's/wk & dose Start every other day for the remainder of this cycle. I would recommend taking the screen away & gradually moving your corals upward. Green coloration on bleached areas generally without obvious algae accumulation is a good thing Bob

    Posted by ricka on 01/15/2005 08:03 PM:

    Madison,

    Here's a shot of one of my nana colonies:



    I added a new piece of nana yesterday from Arthur, but that's it!

    Bob,

    So half doses for the next 7 doses, then normal dosing after that, right?

    As for the lighting, how would you recommend I get back to my 9 hr/day Mh schedule from 6 hrs? I was thinking of increasing the photoperiod 1 hour per week.

    --Rick

    Posted by Aged Salt on 01/15/2005 08:15 PM:

    Rick, tissue loss at the base, can happen very quickly in low KH situations, slower with low Ca levels[<400]. Be careful with your salinity, I'd keep it ~1.024-5. Higher salinity can cause basal loss as can excess of Bak or Food7 & in very hi excess of Start. yes, proceed to normal 2x's/wk after the 7 seed & feed doses. Your photo increment is fine. Bob

    Posted by OUinLA on 01/15/2005 11:07 PM:

    That coral looks pretty good to me. Was it not green before?

    I was concerned at first that you might have that "boring algae" that bores into the skeleten of the coral turning it green.

    Posted by ricka on 01/16/2005 08:57 AM:

    The green parts used to be purple.

    --Rick
    Zeovit user since October 2, 2004

    Comment


    • #3
      Hello everyone,

      Here's an update on my tank 1 week after implementing Aged Salt's recommendations. (1/2 dosage of all ingredients and removal of the screening material.

      My nitrates are still 5ppm, but phosphates have dropped to 0.04 (Hannah colorimeter).

      I have also noticed that some of my Monti Digitatla are starting to look a little better. The nana colony pictured earlier has receeded further so I moved it up closer to the light.

      --Rick
      Zeovit user since October 2, 2004

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by ricka
        Hello everyone,

        Here's an update on my tank 1 week after implementing Aged Salt's recommendations. (1/2 dosage of all ingredients and removal of the screening material.

        My nitrates are still 5ppm, but phosphates have dropped to 0.04 (Hannah colorimeter).

        I have also noticed that some of my Monti Digitatla are starting to look a little better. The nana colony pictured earlier has receeded further so I moved it up closer to the light.

        --Rick
        Bob knows his stuff thats for sure .. nitrates will go down soon enough.

        Good to see you with the chlorometer, they are nice to have, esp when going as low as .04 .

        Keep us up to date, pics are nice too

        Comment


        • #5
          Thnx. Rick for the update. Just be patient, as those N's will gradually become undetectable. Bob
          "There might be something to this ZEOvit"

          Comment


          • #6
            Rick,

            My tank has been up and running for almost 4 months now, and has been ZEO since day one. What I have found is that ZEO (with the reactor on a 3 hour on/off interval) has lowered my P04 to undetectable levels with Salifert low end test, but my nitrates have hovered at around .5ppm for about 6 weeks now...

            This doesn't seem to be a big deal, as all problematic algaes have disappeared, and the tank looks great. But I think this is because of phosphate limiting, as a N03 level of .5ppm is more than enough to fuel algae with P04 available...

            If you're real concerened about N03 levels, you might consider some water changes... But rest assured ZEO can handle the P04...!
            Last edited by Todd March; 01-23-2005, 04:52 AM.
            Rimless Starfire 85g SPS
            (36" x 26" x 21")
            ATI Powermodule 10 x 39W
            ATB Small Cone
            RK2
            Vortech MP40W
            6025 Stream modded
            Vertex Zeo Reactor
            Balling

            Comment


            • #7
              Update:

              The coral that I got from Arthur last week isn't doing so good. The tissue is recessing from the tips. Arthur advised me to stop dosing Zeostart yesterday so I won't dose today.

              --Rick
              Zeovit user since October 2, 2004

              Comment

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