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Old 01-23-2014, 10:07 PM   #1
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corals not looking so great

My tank has been set up for two years and have had great success with fish just added my first coral, pom pom Xenia which for the first two weeks looked amazing even began to spread but yesterday started to look a little shriveled and today it all looks bad. A cat paw coral but very few of the polyps are out. And dragons eye but he looks amazing so far.
Checked my water and things are off: calcium 560 / hardness 161.1 / phosphate 0.25 / nitrate 20 could any of these be the problem?!?!?! I did a water change tonite will that help and will the coral come back???? Please help need advice !!!!!!!!
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:35 PM   #2
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Can you tell us more about your system? Besides seeing the phosphate and nitrate too high for hard corals in my opinion, without knowing anything about the lighting, size...so on, it is hard to provide much assistance.
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Old 01-23-2014, 10:46 PM   #3
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Sorry I feel like I am still very new to this and I really want to do everything right that's why I waited so long to try coral, I have a 40gal tank, fluval 70 filter system and Timer controlled T5 HO 4 lamps with lunar LED's
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Old 01-23-2014, 11:26 PM   #4
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I don't think it is a parameter issue, though I think the phosphates and nitrates are too high for any system with SPS in it. Stylophora coral, your cats paw, is a more moderate light SPS, so a 4 bulb should be enough light for it if it is in the upper half of the tank. Get the phosphates and nitrates down and the polyps will come back out. If I make a mistake in my tank and these levels rise, the polyps on my SPS retract as well.
In terms of your xenia, in all honesty sometimes they do great in systems and other times they just won't grow. Normally, I point to alkalinity for the decline of soft coral such as this, but with it being just above 9 if my calculation is right there it is fine and the calcium is higher than average...but this shouldn't effect a soft coral as such. I'd point to the phosphate and nitrates again.
A general rule of thumb for reef tanks is to keep these as close to 0 as possible. 20 is doable for nitrate, but aim for 0. Same with phosphate.
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Old 01-24-2014, 07:34 AM   #5
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I purchased a rock filled with Xenia, when I put it in my tank, then Xenia looked like it "melted" and is now coming all back to life perfectly fine! I don't think you should worry about the Xenia. A water change or two wouldn't hurt tho
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Old 01-24-2014, 09:00 AM   #6
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Thank you sniperhank and massimo, I did a water change last night and I moved my cat paw up!!!! Fingers crossed!!!
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