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Old 11-19-2005, 04:40 PM   #1
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Coral problems: help! Fireworm! (edited)

I've had very poor luck with the first few small corals I added to my tank. So far I've lost a yellow polyp and a green star polyp (they just seemed to lose more and more polyps each day). I thought it might be too high nitrates, which were up around 15. Too much for these corals? I've gotten the nitrates down to under 10, something over 5, still working on it.

Another thought: are the hitchhiker purple spiny urchins that came on my live rock safe for corals? I love the urchins, but if they eat corals I won't want to keep them. (I did a search on this here, and came up with conflicting opinions).

I also had a small unattached ricordia disappear into the depths somewhere. That may be a different problem!

I guess I'll hold off on trying any more corals until I get this figured out.

Oh, yes:
75 gal. (cycled since April '05)
ammonia 0
nitrite 0
nitrate 5-10
pH 8.1
temp 81
sg 1.027 (just got a refractometer, am in the process of lowering the sg)
Residents:
4 blue-green reef chromis
2 true percula clowns
1 yellow tang
1 royal gramma
2 serpent stars
1CB shrimp (king of the tank)
5 peppermint shrimp
1 cleaner shrimp
3 hitchhiker urchins
many hermits and snails

Can anyone help?
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:08 PM   #2
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well first off i do believe that the high nitrates are what killed off the coral any trace of trates will effect them. Umm tell me a little about the hardware on your tank. Filter, skimmer, lighting, power heads. I really cant help you with the urchins i have never housed any of them. They are toxic though. I definitely wouldnt put anymore coral in there you can control your trates
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:09 PM   #3
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Also your temp should not be that high It should stay around 75
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Old 11-19-2005, 05:23 PM   #4
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Also your temp should not be that high It should stay around 75
Never heard that before.
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Filter, skimmer, lighting, power heads
I am running a skimmer and an empty canister (fluval 304), 2 maxijet 1200's and one profile 601 for power heads. Lighting is coralife lunar 4 x 65: 10,000 and actinic.
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Old 11-19-2005, 07:42 PM   #5
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What was your acclimation proceedure?
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:32 PM   #6
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Most tanks with lighting will have temps over 78 or 80. I really dont believe that that is the problem. Mine has been at 78 for eight years now with no ill effects but that is IMO
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Old 11-19-2005, 08:34 PM   #7
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Temp 75?? .... Your temp is fine around 78-81. How long were they in the tank before they died? Nitrates don't seem that bad, I have had mine higher then that when i first set up the tank with no Ill effects to the corals. I set up a fuge and have been 0 ever scense. Do you have room for a fuge?
Those are PC lights??
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Old 11-20-2005, 05:26 AM   #8
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Urchins aren't known to graze coral. They're exclusively algae eating critters. They will knock over corals though

I keep my tank at 79-81. Upper bounded by a 1/4HP chiller and lower bounded by the heater. I'm just adding 2x250W MH, so hopefuly won't need the ciller much... 75 is considered a low temperature, although stability is far more important.

How high up were the polyps to the light? May not be enough light on the sandbed.

Ditto on the aclimation procedure question
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Old 11-20-2005, 08:23 AM   #9
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How long were they in the tank before they died?

They lasted a couple of weeks, just gradually kept losing a few polyps at at time.
Quote:
Do you have room for a fuge?

I forgot to add that I have a HOB aquafuge. It was empty for a while, but two weeks ago I put in two baseball-sized clumps of chaeto, trying to lower the trates.
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Those are PC lights??

Yes.
Quote:
How high up were the polyps to the light? May not be enough light on the sandbed.

They were on the sandbed. That's where they were in the store, and that's where the coral guy said they'd be fine with my lights. Bad advice? He seems to know his corals. He would only sell me polyps or mushrooms to start, or maybe some other softies, I don't recall which.
Quote:
Ditto on the aclimation procedure question

I hang the bags in my tank and add 1 tablespoon of tank water to the bag every 10 minutes over 3-4 hours. I empty the excess water down the sink as the bag fills. Takes too long!
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Old 11-20-2005, 10:18 AM   #10
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yea, your temp is ok and i dont think you nitrates would do that.ive been fighting mine down from 30 for 3 months and my corals are fine.i dont have stars though. i dont know. how many watts of pc are you running.
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