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Soo lately my SPS have seem to become more and more pale. Even my montipora spongeodes is losing some of its green

Overall, everything else seems fine in terms of growth and polyp extension, nothing is dying.

i haven't made any really significant changes to my tank tank recently

Currently running 2, T5 and a AI prime on a 32 biocube. With skimmer in chamber 1. And in chamber 2, phosguard, carbon, and macroalgae.

Parameters

Kh 9.5

Ca 450

Mg 1500

Nitrate 0

Phosphate 0

I'm doing no water changes. And instead dosing 2 part, vinegar, trace elements, and aminos.

Everything I read online seems to be either too much light or not enough nutrients. Starting to think about wheening off the vinegar, maybe my Nitrates are too low?

20180714_073218.jpg

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I'm just getting into sps and learning the ins and outs of them. My phos had been reading around .08. I'd taken my algae reactor offline and over about a month period the phos crept up to .13 and I noticed my bonsai went from a nice dark purple to a very light purple. The phos was the only thing that had changed. I added some chaeto to my fuge and the phos slowly came back down and it colored back up. For me I think that's the sweet spot. My nitrates are somewhere between 5-10...I can never tell exactly with trying to match the colors on the chart!

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You've stripped out too many nutrients especially phosphates.  You're supplementing nitrogen adding amino acids but running phosguard, dosing vinegar and using macroalgae you've created a phosphate defeciency.  (Adding nitrogen sources like amino acids can create or  excerbate a PO4 deficiency issue.) Carefully increase PO4 to >.03 mg/l and I would suggest around .1 mg/l.  Keep in mind photobiology is not only species unique but also will vary at the genotype level and by species of simbionts of each colony.   Don't be surprised by varying responses in your corals.

 

Long term research done in Southampton University with coral maintained on a closed system found phosphate deficiency can severely upset the photobiology of corals making them very sensitive to light and temperature changes.  Adding nitrogen to a system that is phosphate deficient may only exacerbate the problem.  Their research found a minimum threshold level for PO4 of .03 mg/l.  Other research has shown increasing phosphate increases corals growth and nitrogen uptake by corals is phosphate limited.  
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022098111004588
http://www.indiaenvironmentportal.org.in/files/file/Nutrient%20enrichment.pdf
https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fmars.2015.00103/full
https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X17301601?via%3Dihub
http://jeb.biologists.org/content/214/16/2749.full
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZRIKW-9d2xI

 

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I went through the same issue you're having...not knowing that my lack of nutrients were causing the SPS to bleach/look pale. I've been dosing phosphates/nitrates regularly, and everything has colored back up and looks great. 

Stop running phosgaurd and trim back your macroalgae. Not sure how big your tank is and how many fish you have...but if you have a heavy bio-load...you can try overfeeding to see if that naturally brings your nutrients back up. If not, just dose.

I use Swanson monosodium phosphate and Spectracide stump remover (nitrates). 

I aim for .04ppm phosphates and 5ppm nitrates. 

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5 minutes ago, ReefingRelapse said:

Do any of yall use a hanna checker for phosphate I've been trying to figure out which model to get. Currently using salifert but don't know how much i trust it

I use Red Sea Phosphate Pro. Pretty easy test. No experience with hanna but from what I've heard Hanna works well. 

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54 minutes ago, ReefingRelapse said:

Do any of yall use a hanna checker for phosphate I've been trying to figure out which model to get. Currently using salifert but don't know how much i trust it

Yes  The Ultra Low model. Works great for our needs.  Hints; Clean your vials. Use a timer or watch. Open the packet and have it ready before you start.

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i concur w/ the above.. nitrates 5-10 and phosphates aim for 0.1-0.2 range should be the general goal on SPS.  However each tank is diff.... I put an algea scrubber online, it stripped a bunch out, i had to overfeed and reduce flow on the scrubber over time... seems like 2-3NO3 and 0.3 PO4 is the sweet spot on my tank lately.  adjust in slow intervals, watch for growth, keep adjusting, watch when things stop growing as fast.  take notes, your sweet spot in in the "upper" middle there somewhere.  I have the "low" hanna, wish i had the ULR... but if you are settling for 0.1-0.2... both are actually accurate  enough in that range (brs has a video on these two checkers)

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i concur w/ the above.. nitrates 5-10 and phosphates aim for 0.1-0.2 range should be the general goal on SPS.  However each tank is diff.... I put an algea scrubber online, it stripped a bunch out, i had to overfeed and reduce flow on the scrubber over time... seems like 2-3NO3 and 0.3 PO4 is the sweet spot on my tank lately.  adjust in slow intervals, watch for growth, keep adjusting, watch when things stop growing as fast.  take notes, your sweet spot in in the "upper" middle there somewhere.  I have the "low" hanna, wish i had the ULR... but if you are settling for 0.1-0.2... both are actually accurate  enough in that range (brs has a video on these two checkers)
I aim for 0.03 ppm phosphate, with daily feedings in the tank. Just my own tank personally, anything above 0.18 ppm phosphate and I start to lose color and certain species sensitive to higher phosphates start STNing on me.
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Should I slowly stop vinegar entirely or would I be able to maintain higher nitrates by using a lower amount?
I feed a lot, I'm shocked that I have zero
A little carbon dosing goes a long way. I would slowly lower the amount you use and monitor nitrates as you do it. Nothing good happens fast in this hobby... And everything bad happens in a flash! [emoji16]
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