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Old 02-15-2015, 12:09 PM   #1
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Coral bleaching - broken heater

Hello all,
I woke up today to bleaching corals, and a broken heater. My temp was at 87 f.

I took out the heater and will let the tank cool slowly, but my question is: how permanent is the damage to my SPS colonies? I've never had corals bleach and I'm hoping to hear that with normal temps and good params they will stop bleaching quickly, and begin recovery. Thanks for your help!



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Old 02-15-2015, 12:16 PM   #2
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Also, my params are stable and safe, with regular WCs.

Ammonia - 0
Nitrite - 0
Nitrate - <5
Alk - 9
Phosphate - 0.02
Calcium - 440
SG - 1.026
No testing for strontium/magnesium
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Old 02-15-2015, 12:29 PM   #3
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It depends. It is totally survivable. If my orange monti could come back from being totally bleached out after a 3 day power outage where temps got to similar temps then it is possible. It all depends on the stability of the recovery and the individual colony and how sensitive they are.
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Old 02-15-2015, 01:03 PM   #4
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Ok, thanks sniper. For better or worse the temp is back down to 78, after cooling down for an hour and a half.

Everybody seems ok for now, and I'll pick up a new heater at my lfs in a couple of hours.
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Old 02-16-2015, 12:32 AM   #5
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I'm very worried at this point - my large acro colony is continuing to bleach and things are not looking good on any of my sps. My hammer's skeleton has started to recede.

Update: my refractometer picked a great time to stop working - I found out today that mine had been reading 0.004 below the actual SG (meaning my recent water changes had brought the tank up to 1.031.) The salinity is now back near 1.026.

If anyone has any ideas on how to help some of the ailing Sps I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks for your help!
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Old 02-16-2015, 07:08 AM   #6
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I would frag off the living parts and remount them. I doubt that dead skeleton will come back, and you may be able to arrest recession by cutting off the living flesh leaving some living flesh on the dead stump. You don't want to bring any exposed skeleton with you.
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Old 02-16-2015, 03:50 PM   #7
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Thanks MrX, I just fragged off the bleached portion of my large acro colony, hoping it helps.
It's very disappointing to see most of my corals suffering, after a year of hard work on this tank.

I bought a new heater, refractometer, and am doing 40% water changes daily. I am also running carbon, since nothing I've done so far has slowed the bleaching.
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Old 02-19-2015, 02:59 AM   #8
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I had a case of hyper salinity and it really hurt my pagoda. I was cleaning the tank and knocked a large chuck of salt crust into the tank off the cross brace. It landed on the pagoda. I basted the salt off but the damage was done. It went completely grey and the polyps retracted for weeks or months. Not all of it, but the area where the salt landed. However, it has completely recovered and there is only a wrinkle where it was hurt.


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