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Old 01-14-2010, 08:25 PM   #1
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2 plates and fox coral not looking good at all

Hi, a few days ago I noticed my orange plate was starting to look stiff. Now it and my green plate are definitely looking somewhat light colored. It appears the center of the orange plate is full of white something.

My fox coral is also looking pretty grim, but it still has some expansion to it. On the other hand, I have a healthy looking brain coral, very full ricordea's and a huge green mushroom.

I have checked PH, Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite, and salinity - checked out good. Temp is around 77 F and just did a 10% water change on Sunday.

Any ideas? complete bummer.....


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Old 01-15-2010, 07:48 AM   #2
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Do m e a favor and post the numbers as what`s fine to one might not be fine to others. Also we need calcium, alkalinity and what type lighting?

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Old 01-15-2010, 03:15 PM   #3
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The descriptions leave a little too much to the imagination on the plate and fox corals. Any chance of pictures?
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:11 AM   #4
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Sorry it has been so long to update, I have had many things happening all at the same time lately.


Orange plate was looking pretty bad, mostly appeared to be stiff. But once in a while the tentacles would appear, but very small. The green one didn't show much change at all. About 2 weeks prior, I had moved the plates to the corners of the tank. There certainly is less light there, but not obstructed completely. I have target fed them with zoo plankton and they started to respond very slowly. Then I moved them back to the center of the tank and have been improving since then. The orange is not back to normal by any means, but starting to soften up. The green plate ate last night, and I saw the food moving toward the center as it should.

Now for the fox coral.. this one seems to be doing better. But I believe this one could be victim of a few new peppermint shrimp that I recently added. These are the most outgoing pep shrimp I have had. They are all over the place, and one likes to camp out upside down, just at the bottom of the coral. I believe the shrimp is irritating the coral and that is why it didn't look good.

In terms of tank readings, my PH registered 8-8.2, my salinity 1.025, temp 77F, Ammonia, Nitrate and Nitrite were at 0, and calcium was registering at 450 or so. (Calcium test kit is very involved). I do not have a test kit for alkalinity, and not sure of the significance there.

Something else that I noticed, and not sure but believe it started when I added the pep shrimp. I have a small rock of purple mushrooms that are starting to look bad. They are not open and vibrant like they used to be and they have small white areas on top of them.

I believe there is something going on within my system, just can't figure it out.

Is it possible that the peppermint shrimp can cause something like this?

I am posting what my orange plate used to look like, before this dilemma.
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Old 01-20-2010, 09:27 AM   #5
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My reading (Borneman) tells me that the plate (Fungia) doesn't need strong water movement. Small bits of rock or a short cut pvc should be placed underneath of them to avoid sand contact as much as possible. Don't place it near another coral either as it can "...cause unilateral damage to over 94% of other corals by depositing a thick mucos on them causing necrosis". They also need good light and low to moderate water movement. Need to be fed too. You'll notice starvation by any tissue regression. Don't move to lower light again.

Good luck

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Old 01-20-2010, 10:42 AM   #6
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When I was asking for pictures, I meant pictures of them looking "stiff" and not good. The healthy "before" picture doesn't help us much in trying to figure out what's wrong with them now.
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Old 02-04-2010, 07:48 PM   #7
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status update:

Just about a week prior to my discovery of corals showing signs of issues, I had moved some things around in my tank. Without knowing too much, call it trail and error discovery, I found that certain pieces have serious conditions of placement.

My orange plate was located near a corner of the tank, on the sand. It started to harden up, and didn't look anything like it did weeks prior. In fact, from the time I got it, it would eat weekly and do it quickly. It took about a week after moving it to the corner did I realize something was going wrong.

A point to understand about my setup is that my tank is 36" wide, yet I only have a powercompact that is 30" wide. So there is a difference in my tank based on being directly under the light and not. I placed not only the orange plate out from direct light, but also my green plate. Both took a toll and I have moved them back toward the middle of the tank on the sand and are making excellent recoveries. I moved them about 10 days ago.

Another observation I made was when I moved the orange plate near a large fluorescent mushroom. Within a few days, I noticed the mushroom was getting as large as normal. I researched in the forums to find out that there is a possible mucus that can come off of the orange plates and affect nearby corals. A few days of moving the orange plate away, the mushroom is back to it's large self.

My fox coral is still a mystery. I has not moved, yet there was some macro algea that was growing near it. I believe it was bothering the coral, and I have since removed some of the overgrowth. The coral is starting to appear better, but has not been the same since the altercation about a month ago. I can begin to suspect that the peppermint shrimp I added just over a month ago could also be bothering the fox coral. One of them will hang out upside down on the calcium of the fox. And then once in a while the shrimp will touch the tissue.

I have pretty much lost several violet colored mushrooms. Prior to this, these mushrooms were excellent. They were sharing a rock with some green zoos. They have had their guts out for almost a month now. One thing to consider as well, these were right next to the spot I moved the orange plate to when there wasn't enough lighting. I wonder if the plate created an unpleasant area and these mushrooms took it personally. One of them is still healthy, but the rest seem to be goners.

One benefit that came out of this move was that my chili pepper started to come out to feed. I have had this for months now, and I got it from the LFS when they had it hanging from the base. So I continued to hang it as well. When I was rearranging from my disaster, I decided to place the base into the sand and lean it up against a rock. Within 2 days I noticed the polyps starting to raise. Then a day later they were out in full stretch. Has been over a week now that my chili has activity.

One last move that I did was I put my brain coral onto a shelf rock from the sand bed. Ever since then, it is even bigger than before. A much better spot, and I enjoy not having 3 sand corals. They were always getting knocked around and pinched by the conch and hermit crabs.

All in all, things are very good again. I am a little concerned about putting anything new in my tank for a while. I have gone with several corals in the last month, so maybe this was a sign of a few things.

Thanks to those that contributed with some feedback while I was going through this.

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