HELP my softies want tap water ??

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by GoSlowJoe, 31 Mar 2014.

  1. GoSlowJoe

    GoSlowJoe

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    Hi Guys

    I have had my tank up and running since mid November.

    Parameters are as follows:

    Nitrate : 0
    Phosphate : 0 or as close to it as possible (No colour with test kit.)
    Calcium : 420 give or take 1 or 2
    Salinity : 1024/1025 depends on temp
    Kh : 8, using bicarbonate of soda to buff it every couple of days

    I seem to have the weirdest softies in the world :(

    Since starting my tank I have mostly used RO water to top up my tank but had problems with my corals not opening up nicely and losing colour. I ran out of RO a while back and topped up with tap water and to my surprise noticed the corals all started opening up, mostly my elegance, torch and frog spawns . So, I carried on adding a little tap water with the RO when topping up and the corals keep growing and growing :)

    Problem is with the tap water came the hair algae on the side of my tank and on my substrate. I know this is in response to the Phosphates but why is it when I test I cannot detect any phosphates. I also stopped adding tap water but when I did this, all my softies decided they wouldn't open up any more.

    So in short, adding tap water makes everything in my tank happy and grows great but using RO and everything goes on strike :confused1:

    Any advise would be appreciated as I think I am doing it wrong :015:
     
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  3. Bflynn

    Bflynn

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    I could not find a thread on your tank. So im just guessing here.

    Your water might be to clean for some of your corals. When adding tap water you are adding nutrients to your system stimulating your corals.

    Try using RO only again and feed your corals. See what the response is. Try switching of skimmer for a day or two and see what happens.

    Another possibility is that when adding tap water you are changing your PH in the tank?

    As I said......im just shooting at a cat in the dark;) Im sure others could help.
     
    Last edited: 31 Mar 2014
  4. jclaas

    jclaas

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    Yeah drop some pellets onto the corals. Mine love it.
     
  5. GoSlowJoe

    GoSlowJoe Thread Starter

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    Ah, that's what I forgot...

    I have a 900 X 900 X 600 Cube with a natural crushed shell/coral base. I have a couple of 10W LED's with mixed intensities ie. Royal Blue, 10k white 16K white and 22K white. I have a small sump with a filter, some coral fragments, refugium type area, Carbon section and some algae or another that just started growing down there recently followed by another pods refuge area and then into my pump section

    I have a Copper Band, 2 Percular Clowns, a Cleaner Wrasse, 6 Line Wrass, Bi-colour Blenney, Mower Blenny and a Regal Tang. I also have a couple of shrimp and a crab or 2

    I never though that I could have too little nutrients and as for Ph, will have to buy a test kit and check it out. I do try feeding my softies every now and then but mostly just drop a Ocean Nutrition Rotifers block into some water and pour that into the tank with the skimmer off for a couple of hours once a week. I do feed the tank 2 X a day. I feed a small block of brine shrimp and a little bit of flakes every feeding. The softies have whatever brine shrimp falls onto them when I feed the fish. I make a habit of not overfeeding.

    I do target feed the copper band and an anemone Polychaetes every 3 days.

    The sump has had a lot of growth in it over the past 3 months so maybe it is working too well? I have a small old Berlin skimmer that has also not been performing like it used to now that I think of it. Like you said, maybe a lack of nutrients..... Hmmmmm

    On a side note, whenever I dose FUEL, my softies seem to hate it as well.... I have tried doing from 2ml to 1ml a day and still the same results.
     
  6. JohanB

    JohanB

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    I am quite surprised your Nitrates and Phosphates are zero with that much feeding and since the tank is not that old. But I guess the algae is using it before you can measure it. It is typical timing for a GHA outbreak (after 4-5 months). You will probably see the nutrient spike after it dies off.

    I guess checking the pH will be the best first test since bicarbonate can have an affect on pH. Maybe try dosing the bicarbonate slower, but I guess you dont really dose that much anyways with just softies.
     
  7. GoSlowJoe

    GoSlowJoe Thread Starter

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    Hi Guys

    It has been more than a month since the last update.

    I have continued topping up with tap water and found that the hair algae has subdued a lot. There are trace amounts on the glass and the substrate has cleared up completely. I am going to ask a friend to test my tap water for me. It would be interesting to know what the parameters of the tap water are.

    As for water changes, it has now been 2 months without a change at all.

    I will be doing water tests tonight to check the basic parameters and will get back to you guys. Who knows, maybe I am just really lucky.
     
  8. dallasg

    dallasg Moderator MASA Contributor

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    sounds like the water is too clean, soft corals like a little "dirty" water, some nutrients, there is a simple solution.
    Switch back to RO water so GHA goes and look at dosing some Phos and Nitrates, there are many sources once can DIY or use Brightwells NeoNitrate or NeoPhos
     
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