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Old 10-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #1
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Help Please? Sick Coral in 12 gallon nano

Hi,

I have what I would consider a healthy 12 gal nano reef tank. I was away at work for a few days and came home to find one of my corals appearing to be ill?

I believe it to be a "Green Star-burst" coral, being a purple base with small individual "Tubes" where the star-burst contract during evening and then come out with light. This coral is relatively large and the colony covered a large rock. On the top it appears to be lifeless with many copepods seeming to be cleaning and eating the dead purple base of the coral. On the sides and lower portions of the rocks, I can see the very tips of the star-burst, but they have not come out at all over the past two days. It appears almost as if the purple base is peeling away from the rock.

I change water, 10 - 20% weekly and religiously, and test frequently. Parameters this morning are:

pH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate 0

Importantly, the rest of my coral and fish appear to be doing fine. I have a fan sponge, another type of star-burst located in a different area of the tank doing great, mushrooms and various polyps, again, all seemingly doing well?

12 gal. Nano at 10 weeks

The above link is a picture of my tank, and the effected coral is middle right. It no longer shows any green.

Sand and rocks look good so I'm confused at what may be going on. If the coral is indeed dying, I would expect a spike in my nitrates?

Since my water levels appear to be fine, I don't know really what I should do except let nature take its course. Any information, suggestions, comments or answers are always appreciated.

Thanks for your time!

Mike
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:30 PM   #2
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i think you loaded that tank up with coral too fast. that said, what lighting are you keeping them under. start polyps won't live under the lighting sps do well under, and vice versa. if you have star polyps doing well at a different location, that's your answer. it does not like that location. those white bugs are isopods or amphipods (at the age of this tank i'm guessing isopods) capitalizing on a free meal. they are helping clean up the problem.
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Old 10-23-2011, 08:59 PM   #3
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Thanks Mr. X!

I appreciate your thoughts. I'd agree that I was too eager to add too many corals to my tank. It's an addicitng habit! Today, being Sunday, I did my weekly water change and tested my water. Again it seems to be ideal water conditions. So at least that is good! As for lighting, they are the blue white flourescent bulbs which came with the JBJ Nano DX tank. Are there better alternatives that can plug into this tank?

I've decided to let the tank be for now and what happens, happens. I ddi have one of the crowns of my torch tip coral die during the week, but the other three heads seem to be healthy and active. I used my turykey baster to clean out the crevice of the dead troch tip head during todays water change in hopes of keeping the water chemistry stable.

My three fish still seem to be happy. Mr. X? are isopods or amphipods a bad thing? I apreciate that they are cleaning up the problem and some of my CUC seem to think they are free game for a meal, but will they result in any long term problems?

I am fascinated by my tank, and still spend more time watching it than T.V.!

Thanks again for your input,

Mike
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Old 10-23-2011, 10:37 PM   #4
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well, you haven't let whatever happens, happens, because you've introduced living creatures from all over the place, and put them in all different lightings and parameters. you have essentially uprooted all sorts of creatures and have exposed them to your lighting and parameters. i don't see how you are going to keep the birdsnest alive under stock lighting. i appreciate your interest, but i'm also concerned about your lack of research on the livestock you purchased. please don't get defensive. i've done the same thing in the past.
no. the pods won't hurt anything. they are only helping. they will never hurt the system.
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:16 PM   #5
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LOL. Mr. X! I won't get defensive, but have to say that I have done extensive research here within these forums looking for advice from those who have been there before, the local fish store and other sources to try to insure that I don't too much, too soon!

Having said this, I understand that in my excitement I may have overtepped the acceptable boundaries for my 12 gal. reef tank, but wow, sorta harsh in my honest opinion. If you look at all my posts, they have solicited honest input from all available sources including many "Experts" here on the site, so having said this, I will keep plugging away.

As water parameters and the "Cycling" of the tank have seem of uptmost importance, I still believe that I have achieved what a lot fo folks consider to be important. My water levels seem to be ideal, and as far as keeping the "Birdnest (sorry, I guess you mean variety?)," alive under stock lighting, I have made it an important point to represent my tank and lighting to those store owners of which I have purchased my stock and coral. What? They may be only interested in selling product and not actually sustainability? For shame!

Anyway, I do appreciate your honesty and forthrightness. I do however hope that my coral and fish remain alive. Since my water parameters seem to be ideal, at least from what I have learned on the site, what other steps might be taken to insure success? I did my regular water change this morning and tested this evening and have again found ideal water parameters using a liquid drop test. Are there lighting recommendations you might make to help assist is future viablity of my nano tank? Any suggestions or recommendations are truly appreciated!

Thanks again for your honest input, it is truly appreciated! Any honest help or advice would also be appreciated!

Mike
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Old 10-23-2011, 11:27 PM   #6
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no i mean birdsnest, as in birdsnest coral. the brown sps up top. it's not going to do well under stock power compact lighting. it doesn't matter what your parameters are. it should not be brown. i would upgrade lighting and probably start a phytoplankton drip for the coco worm.
look to nano tuners.com for lighting options.
harsh? na. just informative.
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Old 10-24-2011, 12:44 AM   #7
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Mr. X.

I do appreciate you taking your time to advise. I don't mean to sound unappreciative, because I turly am thankful for your advice. This reef tank thing is a tricky thing!? I go to the fish stores and they tell me one thing, others on this site tell me yes or no, and I have to try to make an educated guess based on the rest of the information. I.E. Live Aquaria specs, etc.

I am doing a phyto plankton food for the corals per the instructions on the bottle and the Bird's Nest (Thanks) seems to be green on the top half, but remains brown on wthe bottom half. I wish these **** Fish Store owners would just give the straight scoop instead of giving you wishful thinking!

Do you know of any lights that might be plug and play for my type of aquarium? I have seen some hybrid LED technology lights, but again, would prefer to hear from those more experienced than myself.... or it seems, the local experts at the fish store?

Again, I do appreciate your help and I am trying to do my best given the cirucmstances. A little reality always helps and I will learn from these experiences, so please keep the advice coming!

Best Regards,

Mike
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Old 10-24-2011, 05:39 AM   #8
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That's good that its retaining color on top, but if it lost any color since you got it, lighting is the reason. Sps (small polyp scleractinian) corals require strong lighting. I've never seen anyone keep sps colored up under power compacts. LED lighting is an excellent choice, but quite expensive. Did you check out nano tuners.com?
Of course the LFS has selling you livestock on their minds. More times than not, they give advice that's in their best interest.
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:16 PM   #9
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Thanks for the tip on nanotuners, I have been by there before and am now researching how to provide better light for my livestock. I just wish the fish stores would realize that honesty is why customers return. As it is, I'll be finding another LFS.

I hate to keep bothering you, but do you think it would be a viable option, if only temporary, to get a clamp on lighting system that I can focus from the side of the tank? I'm only thinking that it can add light, but am unsure of how everything would react to a bright light coming from the side?

Anyway, thanks again for your patience and your advice. It isn't being wasted.

Mike
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Old 10-24-2011, 01:37 PM   #10
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I would not focus a light through the side. I would figure out what lighting you are going to eventually go with and get it. You could completely remove the stock hood and put a fixture/pendant over it.
This is not a "if you don't get it tomorrow your corals will die" type of thing. The only high light coral I see is the birdsnest, and it's just gonna go brown, it probably won't die.
The rest of the corals I see will be fine with the power compacts.
I also wouldn't not go to a store simply because they don't care about anything but making money, especially if they carried nice livestock. Just continue to do your homework.
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