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Old 02-05-2005, 07:32 PM   #1
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SPS Frags: Please help!! Polyps retracted?

I have a single type of SPS coral, couple of frags from my LFS. When I first got them, they had bright orange polyps out the ends of each branch. Its been about 5 weeks and I'm not sure if it is doing well or not? The tips seem like they are a little whiter and the polyps only come out a tiny bit and have little color now? Any suggestions.. Do the attached pictures (particularly the one now) seem look like it is healthy??


I have a 33G tank with Coralife 2x96W PC lighting. Powerheads for circulation, 25lbs live rock, 3in DSB, and an oversized berlin classic HOB skimmer.

All the typical parameters are normal and have been very stable for a few months (the tank is 5 months since setup). Calcium had usually been around 380 and I'm trying to keep it just above 400 now. Alkalinity in check with calcium levels around 10-10.5. Salinity 1.024, 80degC.

Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:10 PM   #2
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You lighting is a bit on the low side for SPS, but that second picture the polyps look fine. I have some acros that took months to get happy. Mostly wild colonies. The white can either be new growth or it could be bleaching (it looks like the whole branch is turn white, which would indicate bleaching). What is you flow GPH in the tank. Is it in a indirect high flow area?
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Old 02-05-2005, 08:21 PM   #3
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Tanks CBRGuy. Actually the second picture is when I got it. The attachments went in the wrong order. The first picture is what it looks like now. The whole things looks a slightly bit whiter to me, but the picture makes it look obvious...

Anyway, the flow is using an 802 powerhead, a 402 powerhead, the skimmer circulation and a aquaclear HOB just for extra flow. I assume this is plenty, at least 400gph anyway. I have the frag in the direct path about 10 inches from the small 402 powerhead. Its near the bottom of the tank as well, would it help to move it up for more intense light?

What about feeding, I've read so many different arguments, does it need anything other than light and high calcium levels? Can you overskim a tank as far as the frag is concerned for nutrients. I also change water, 10% every 2 weeks.
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Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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Old 02-05-2005, 10:22 PM   #4
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SPS are very picky about flow and nutrients. Your lighting a flow is a bit on the low side, but I think it should be ok if it is not a SPS only tank. I would put the Coral as high as posible. Also you should put the coral in a indirect flow path. Meaning bounce the flow off of a wall etc. Many corals like a alternating flow and they don't like getting blasted.

For the feeding, you should look at any of the following. DT's Phyto plankton,Cyclop-eez, or my new favorite DT's Oyster eggs(this is the best stuff that i've ever used.

With SPS it is important that you don't strip anything too fast or change anything too fast. You can extract nutients too fast and harm SPS same goes for trace elements such as PO4. But to get the best color you should have little nutrients in the water so it is good to overskim.
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Old 02-06-2005, 12:19 AM   #5
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Your ca is 400, alk is 10 - 10.5dKH. Please post mg levels and KI levels. mg should be roughly 3 times your ca levels with KI around .03 - .06ppm (NSW being arounbd .01 - .03). If you have the test kit, dissolved organics would be interesting to see. Also, jack your skimmer up, as previously posted corals in general require (if not appreciate) very high levels of water quality. Shoot for a cup or so of skimmate a day. Again as posted, your lighting may need some looking at. If the LFS had the coral under mh lighting and your using pc lighting then you can expect that there will be some issues acclimating to the lighting, that coupled with the usual acclimation blues may cause your bleaching. As suggested, place it higher/nearer to the light. Also, I am assuming triple zeros for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates. If not, again water quality needs attention. No matter what the params, I wouldn't start dosing willie nillie as you can bleach it further. In any case, 5 days is not very long but the bleaching worries me as that indicates some die off of the needed zooanthellae which, if not mitigated, will obviously result in the corals demise : ( Consider http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm )

GL..
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Old 02-06-2005, 12:44 PM   #6
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CBRGuy and PC:

Sorry, I don't have test kits for MG or KI. My LFS that sells these frags told me I wouldn't need them if I'm doing water changes in such a small tank with little SPS. They grow there frags in 30-40G tanks with the same lights as me (Coralife 2x96) so they have very similar environment. I had it near the bottom of the tank though and in direct water flow, so I have moved this to the top with indirect water flow like you guys suggested.

And yes, zeros for ammonia, nitrites and nitrates.

Its been 5 weeks actaully, but as this is my first SPS, I am just looking to help correct the problem before it gets worse or dies. I think my tank is better suited for other corals and inverts (which I am starting) but I thought I would try the SPS as well since the similar environments worked at my LFS when they grow out their frags.

I will check locally for the feeding you suggested (DT's Phyto plankton,Cyclop-eez, or my new favorite DT's Oyster eggs) since I was originally convinced (scammed by the LFS) to buy marine snow which is real expensive water and algae in a bottle from what I've read,

So, thanks for all the help, I'll see if things improve over the next couple of weeks...
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Equipment: 33G SW Reef tank (pic), 192W Coralife PC lighting, PHs for H2O circulation, Red Sea Berlin Classic Skimmer
Aquascaping: 3" DSB, 50lb live rock (~35 lbs home made Cement Base Rock)
Clean Up Crew: Blue Leg hermits, Cerith snails, Astrea Snails, Stomatella snails, Brittlestar, banded brittles.
Critters: Hawaiian feather duster, Coral Banded Shrimp, Emerald Crab
Corals: Open Brain Coral, Cabbage coral, 4 RBTAs, Melon mushrooms, green Zoos, yellow polyps, finger Leather, orange Zoos, Brown Zoos, Chocolate Zoos, Xenia, GSP, Kenya Tree Coral, 2 acropora SPS, blue sponge, candy cane
Fish/Inverts: Maroon Clownfish, Scooter Blenny, Coral Beauty dwarf angel, Sea Hare
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