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Third Time Is NOT The Charm: ZeoVit System Issues

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  • Third Time Is NOT The Charm: ZeoVit System Issues


    This is my third zeovit tank to setup, but this time I'm really struggling to get things going properly. I have a few issues all at once:
    1) Tank has ich problems. This is obviously not the fault of ZeoVit, but I've had to pull the fish from the DT to treat them in a QT system, so right now the only animals in the DT are cleanup crew and corals.
    2) My Nitrates and phosphates are too high. I just tested and am NO3 at 4.5 and PO4 at 0.14 (both tests with hanna checkers).
    3) I have brown / red algae slime on the rocks and sometimes the sand. It's diatoms, not cyano.
    4) I have thick mulm covering some of the live rock. I can blow it off, and it'll be back the next day. I attribute #3 and #4 to #2.

    For background, this tank is "new" but it's actually an upgrade from a smaller system that I was running successfully with Zeo for the past year. I cycled the new tank using the 14 day cycle with pre-cured live rock. I also took some of the LR from the old system and transferred it. When the water parameters had stabilized and matched the old system, I moved all of the corals and livestock. After a week, I added some additional fish. One of those almost certainly brought Ich with him to the tank and then started killing other fish. I fed proportional to the amount of fish I had, but now that the livestock (except coral) is out of the tank, I'm not feeding the system. I do a weekly 5 gallon water change and siphon the sand to remove any detritus in the process.

    I have lots of other Zeo additives that I have used before in my other tank, but I stopped dosing them and am focusing on the core elements to try and get things stable. Unfortunately, it's not going well. I have lost a few SPS to RTN, which I assume is the result of the higher nitrates and phosphates.

    I have already done the first exchange of ZeoVit media. When I did the exchange, I kept about 20% of the original media.

    1. Gross water volume of your complete system (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter. 55 gal DT, 10 gal sump = 65 gal total water volume
    2. Net water volume (incl. sump etc.) - US gallons / UK gallons / liter See above
    3. Are you using a CaCO2 reactor or other technique No
    4. Are you using a PO4 reactor (how long, how long ago, etc.) Tried adding some GFO to help put a dent into the P04. Have it in a bag in the sump. Seems to have no effect.
    5. Are you using Ozone No
    6. Are you using UV No
    7. What skimmer are you using (type, rated water volume) Royal Exclusive Slim 160. Rated for 60-150 gallons
    8. What are your actual PO4 and NO3 levels NO3 = 4.53 and PO4 = 0.18 Both tested with Hannah Checker
    9. What are your actual Ca, Alk and Mg levels ALK 9.16, CAL 462, MAG 1373 -- tested with Neptune Trident. I realize these levels are higher than what ZeoVit recommends, but I've run them for years at this level to promote growth. Don't think this is part of the problem?
    10. What filtration method do you use (refugium, DSB, Miracle Mud, etc.) Skimmer + Filter Roller system for mechanical filtration. Also run KZ brand carbon, per instructions in a bag in the sump
    11. Type of light (Watt, color temp, how old, etc.) Kessil AP9X. Brand New LED.
    12. What corals do you keep Mostly SPS, some LPS
    13. Tissue color (light or dark) Pissed off. Some RTN and tissue loss
    14. How long has the tank been running Previous system (that this one transferred into) was up for a year. This system was started late December 2020 (just shy of 2 months)
    15. Why do you want to use the ZEOvit system Stability, ULNS, Coral growth and color
    16. Any supplemental dosing (type, amount, why, etc.) Soda Bicarbonate, Calcium Carbonate
    17. Live rock (how much, how old, etc.) Roughly 40lbs branch and ocean rock. The branch is the Real Reef artificial branch, and the ocean rock is from a prior system. Very mature on the ocean rock. The mulm issue mentioned appears mostly on the artificial rock
    18. Any present problems See above
    19. Problem description (tissue loss tips, tissue loss base, diatom bloom, algae, etc.) See above
    20. What test kit do you use (how old, recently switched, etc.) Hannah checkers & Neptune Trident. New reagents.
    21. Present dosing, amounts and intervals (ZEOvit, ZEObak, ZEOfood, ZEOstart, ZEOspur2, etc.)
    ZeoVit: 1/2L in a Vertex reactor. Approx 100gph through reactor in sump. Pumped at least 1x per day. ZeoBak: 2 drops every 4 days. ZeoFood: 4 drops every 3 days. ZeoStart: 0.5ml daily
    Not currently dosing, but I have at my disposal: Amino Acid Concentrate, Coral Snow, MacroElements, Pohls Xtra, Iodine, Coral Vitalizer.
    22. Other water parameters and water stability (salinity, temp, etc.) Temp between 79-80, Salinity 35ppm.
    23. Which salt brand do you use Tropic Marin

    Appreciate any help y'all can offer.... very frustrated with how it's going this time.

    Thanks in advance!

  • #2
    The third point is that it is recommended to use resin material as the last channel of the filter, which is very good. (I don’t know if your water is good)

    ZeoVit system environment, KH recommended <8.kh6.5~7.5, Ca400~420, Mg1250~1300, K+~380 mg.

    Please remember ZeoBacx for 10 days after each zeolite material change.

    Supplements: sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate. Not sure if this is ok

    What do you think about higher levels of nutrients? Regarding the coral RTN, it is difficult for me to give you a correct answer. Maybe the coral is adapting to a new environment, such as the biology is not yet stable, or the nutrient salt is rapidly swinging, such as the rapid use of GFO, such as the radical reactor Flow, such as radical carbon, etc. A certain condition swings quickly while RTN.

    Is it a phenomenon that all corals have RTN or only some individual corals. Check the flow rate of the zeolite reactor at this time and adjust it to half of the recommended flow rate. 30~50 flow per hour

    In addition, the potassium level, whether you have tested it, get a potassium test kit and slowly increase it to 380 mg. If potassium is severely insufficient, it will affect coral health and growth, which may also lead to coral RTN


    • #3
      I have no experience with the kind of rock you have used but might it be a possibility that the material does still leach something ? As fish are also affected my first idea would be something like this, also some other kind of materials used in your new system could be the reason. The brown / red film could be another sign in conjunction with the elevated nutrient concentrations. I do not think the TN you experience has something to do with the elevated nutrients are those levels are not good but will also not cause such drastic issues.



      • #4
        Originally posted by jacky View Post
        Supplements: sodium bicarbonate, calcium carbonate. Not sure if this is ok
        Those are pretty standard additives used to maintain calcium and alkaline levels. I’ve used them with Zeo system before without issue.


        • #5
          Originally posted by G.Alexander View Post
          I have no experience with the kind of rock you have used but might it be a possibility that the material does still leach something ? As fish are also affected my first idea would be something like this, also some other kind of materials used in your new system could be the reason. The brown / red film could be another sign in conjunction with the elevated nutrient concentrations. I do not think the TN you experience has something to do with the elevated nutrients are those levels are not good but will also not cause such drastic issues.

          Other than having high nitrates, the fish disease issue isn’t attributed to ZeoVit.

          I don’t know about the rock leaching material. It’s manufactured and then cured in water for a few weeks to colonize with bacteria. The shop I purchased it from then further cured it.

          I have only had TN on a few corals - I am guessing the more sensitive ones.

          Does my dosing sound reasonable? Any other suggestions to lower NO3/ PO4?


          • #6
            Have you tested the potassium level first


            • #7
              Hello there.

              Hey, it awesome you’ve got the fish into quartine, and hope all goes well for ya.

              1/ is it possible to post pic of ur tank, and sump that you transfered tank.

              2/ Your new tank, sump and lighting. Algae, rock, and the mulm and corals you have mentioned.

              3/ how many fish did you have in then transfer tank,
              how many fish have been added to the new tank. ( you mentioned you had a fish die- how many)

              Nick b


              • #8

                I don’t think the issue is potassium, and I don’t have a test kit for it. My nitrates and phosphate levels are high, and that’s not caused by potassium. Plus the tank is a fairly new setup, and it’s improbable that the potassium from the salt mix has depleted already.

                here is a pic of the sump:


                • #9
                  The ZeoVit reactor is behind the skimmer. Don’t have good pic of the algae, but you can see it some here:

                  Right now the only fish in the tank is a small purple tang and a Yasha goby. Before the stocking also included a pair of clownfish and an anthias.

                  Phosphate and Nitrate levels barely moving. I’ve continued to do water changes and tested the source water. Is my dosing listed above good? Anything else I can add to help?


                  • #10

                    My experience is not very good. My personal idea is to keep the water parameter inline as stable as possible at the NSW level. kh6.5~7.5. Ca400~420. Mg1250~1380. K+~380 mg

                    Zeo CoralSnow is another option. Use a toothbrush to clean the affected area and vacuum the sand.

                    Stop Zeo Food temporarily, use Zeo Sponge Power, 2 drops every other day.

                    Collect the water outlet of the reactor for 30 seconds, volume x120, to obtain the exact actual flow

                    Adjust skimmer to moist


                    • #11
                      The flow through your ZeoVit reactor is to high, it should be ~ 50 US gallons per hour as you use 0.5 liters of ZeoVit.

                      Main water parameters are relative high also, KH is to high for sure it should be stabile in the range of 6.5 to 7.5. Please also cross check salinity with a different, accurate instrument to make sure the salinity is not to high as all the main parameters are high already.

                      Otherwise what Jacky said is what I would do additional.



                      • #12
                        Hi there.

                        Thanks for sharing the pics,

                        What intrigued me was your comment about the mulm- which returns the next day.

                        You tanks, old and new are very new. And will take time to settle. Mature. Stabilise.
                        Yaah you have diatom, which all new tanks go through as they mature.
                        I add 20kg of new sand into my replacement tank back in September and it just finish burning out the diatom late December. All with mature rock from the failed tank.

                        So I don’t think your doing anything wrong
                        You will have slightly higher NO3 and Pho on a new system and they will click into place in due time. As the rock matures.

                        I would add a power head at ur mulm issue and keep in spention so you’re filter and skimmer can remove it.

                        one of those up water test might be a good idea see it anything is leaching out of ur rock.
                        BRS says it has trace elements (??) maybe they are leaching out and bacteria cannot be absorbed??

                        Keep the tank stable, especially akl. Do your normal water changes,
                        I would NOT be doing water changes to lower ur numbers.
                        Only if water test show leaching toxin.

                        I would also turn ur skimmer around. Nozzle facing flow from fleece. If possible.

                        Like Jacky mentioned Zeosponge help detox coral snow for pho’s.


                        • #13
                          Thank you for the comments, everyone. I will test flow through the reactor later today and report back when I have it at 50gph.

                          G Alexander - I test salinity with a recently calibrated refractometer. Do you think 35ppm is too high?

                          Nick- I actually flipped the skimmer intake pump like you mentioned the other day during my last WC, but my pic was taken before that. Good thought! Can you help explain more what you mean about ZeoSponge helping to detox coral snow?

                          Would something like BioMate help?


                          • #14
                            Some of the above suggestions, and if you are willing, BioMate is also a good choice. I would like you to add it to the medication plan (Sponge power, CoralSnow, BioMate). As G. said, because the basic water parameters are higher, let We ensure that the salinity is correct. Before measuring the salinity, we must calibrate the equipment to ensure the correct salinity. Personally, I would also like you to change the water 10% x 3 times within 10 days. This refreshes the elements in a balanced way, makes the coral comfortable and relieves the pressure on the coral.

                            It is difficult for me to describe the TN of coral appearance, but it seems that the part that occurs is related to the basic water parameters. Of course, it also includes the shortage of potassium. Plus the type of skimmer you use, it may be related. In any case, Obtain the potassium test kit to get the actual accurate level, it is definitely good, try to keep the water parameters in NSW

                            At present, all of the above suggestions (including water replacement and balance methods) are in a good direction. Positive development is the biggest and greatest improvement to the health of corals. Let us look at the follow-up development.

                            @BioMate-4 drops every other day

                            Sponge Power
                            Intended use: Increased sponge growth
                            Positive results: Enhanced coral growth, thicker tissue, increased sponge growth

                            Intended use: Increase coral and bacteria growth.
                            Positive results: Nitrate and nitrite are reduced
                            OD Symptoms: [[Nuisance algae, cyano, darkening, brown film]]
                            Last edited by jacky; 02-17-2021, 10:32 AM.


                            • #15
                              Hi ya.

                              im very new, relating to ZEOvit products.

                              others here have far more experience relating to them

                              It is recommended on the korallenzucht web page “14 day cycle” the use of sponge power.

                              Seem to support ur filter feeding critters who clean and detox the waters. Sponges clams etc the building blocks of reefs.

                              it’s been recommended to me to use coral snow plus to help lower phosphate.

                              Nick b