55 Gallon Reef Tank
dtum ‐ Nice tank!
vovans82 ‐ Thanks :)
vovans82 ‐ Hey I have a question. I've seen some of your tanks and you have a bunch of hard corals living just fine. I've been running my tank for 4 years now but for some reason I can't keep any hard corals. like SPS acroporas or milepora corals. I don't understand why. I have a perfect system with good equipment and excellent readings. What am I missing ? Any ideas ?
vovans82 ‐ I buy the big ones or the little ones but within about a month they all seem to calcify and then just die. I don't understand what I'm doing wrong. I even added a dosing pump that keeps my cal/alk/ph/mag at steady levels but still no luck.... I really want some SPS hard corals but I'm afraid to buy any expensive ones cause they just die within a month or two.
dtum ‐ I can think of three possible reasons.
1. Your nitrates and phosphate are zero. Ideally they should be slightly above zero, just enough to register on the test - corals need them to be healthy. Your LPS are doing great, so maybe this is not really a viable reason.
2. Second possible reason is lighting - you have a reefbrite and then 2 150 Kessils, I don't think that those Kessils are powerful enough for an SPS tank, also they have a very strong spotlight effect - so if you put something right underneath it, it will get a different PAR than something that's off to one side. To me this is the most likely reason.
3. Heavy metal poisoning. Something could be toxic in your tank - let's say a piece of cord or metal that is corroding, in theory it could affect the corals.

Can you describe how they die? How quickly do they lose color? Do they bleach or brown out? What is your PAR measurement if you have done it?
vovans82 ‐ 1. Hey, nitrates and phosphates are 0 because I didn't measure them this time. Usually nitrates are about 10, phosphates though I think are 0 or I can't see the color difference.

2. My reefbrite is lit only for about 4 hours a day night time as I use it as my night light and Kessils are on for 7 hours per day. So Kessils are on 5PM-12PM and Reefbrite is 11PM-2AM. I have never measured the PAR of my lights and usually when I got the SPS I put them right underneath the light all the way at the top of the rock.
3. I doubt it. All corals would be affected then I think. I don't have any metal things in the tank either. All my plumbing is plastic and all the equipment is close to top brands or close.

This is how they die. I buy it. Put it in my tank. They seem to do fine for about a month or two and then they start becoming brown until they die. They brown out for about another 2 weeks approximately.
dtum ‐ So it does sound like a lighting issue to me (although Nitrates of 10 are slightly on the high side, 2-5 would be better).
But yes, I'm pretty sure it is the lighting, especially if you only have 2 Kessils, they are not even close to be enough for a good SPS garden.
vovans82 ‐ Do you think that Kessil A360 would work ? Or maybe adding 1 more A150 Kessil light ?
dtum ‐ That's a tough one. You don't have a shallow tank - 20'' is a good height, but I think it is too high for a small Kessil. A360 would definitely be good, but you have to keep in mind that it is a spotlight - right underneath it you will have great PAR, but even 5'' out you will lose a lot of PAR and 10'' from the centre it will be non-existent. So that is the problem - how do you place your acros so that to use these dimensions properly.

I really like Kessil for their color rendition, I think it is superb and the closest thing to MH, but I dislike their shimmer personally. If this was my tank, I would hold on to the two Kessils that you have and use them as accents, but would supplement the whole setup with either 2-4 T5s or perhaps a single MH fixture positioned high. Basically go with something tried and true if you want to go after acros, only after you have success with acros and sufficient experience (I'm not quite their personally) it makes sense to go for something more difficult. And LEDs, especially spotlights are difficult.
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