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Old 03-12-2004, 12:43 AM   #1
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Plate Coral not doing so well :(

Hi Folks,
I put this guy in my tank about 12 days ago and he started deteriorating a few days later. At first he looked great (see final picture) but then slowly started shrinking and it seemed like pits were forming on the surface and then the flesh would fold over the pits, like the whole thing was shrivelling up. Sorry I can't describe it better than that.
First off he was on the sand bottom in a reasonable calm water flow area - there was some movement but not much. Just yesterday I called by a good LFS near me and he told me he has found that his plates do much better on the rock a little higher in the tank. I know that is contrary to what everyone says should be done with these guys but the store owner did have 6 plates in his tanks, the 2 on the substrate did not look good but the 4 up higher on the rocks looked fantastic. So I figured it was worth a shot and moved mine. I may be imagining things but I think it MAY be beginning to look a little better but I could use some good advice. This morning I noticed what appeared to be strings of a slimy substance coming off it but that has now stopped mostly - you can still a small suggestion of that in the later pics below.

My water chems are pretty good :

Ammonia : 0
Nitrite : 0
Nitrate : 0
PH : 8.3
Temp : 80
Ca : 335 (Not good I know - I'm trying to raise it)
Alk : 9.3
SG : 1.025

Lighting : CSL 48" PowerCompact Moonlight Hood
2x65W Ultra-Actinic , 2x65W 10,000K

All advice greatly appreciated !!

Piccies :
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Old 03-12-2004, 12:48 AM   #2
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Here's a shot of the full tank in case you have placement suggestions. That's an AquaClear 301 PH in the back left, the return from the Fluval 404 is on the back wall and I have an AquaClear 201 PH down low behind the heater at the back right for flow behind the rocks. Thanks again gang.
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Old 03-12-2004, 09:47 AM   #3
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Quote:
I called by a good LFS near me and he told me he has found that his plates do much better on the rock a little higher in the tank.
The plate i had for a few years always was on the sand. And only died due to an evil pistol shrip that insisted on covering the coral up with sand...

Make sure there is no air traped under the corals plate. Tip the plate up verticle to make sure no air is traped. Then place it back down on the sand where it can expand and not have its flesh rub up aganst any sharp surfaces.

How old is this tank? I see your nitriate is listed as 0. This seems strange to me as most tanks will have at least some reading of nitrate. The tank is 4' long so you have basicly two 55W bulbs on either side of the tank. If its fairing better higher up then it could be in need for more light.

The stringy stuff comming off could be the flesh comming off the coral. The photos show a very promonite bleached area in the center area around wher the oral slit would be.
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Old 03-12-2004, 12:47 PM   #4
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Thanks fishfreek. The tank is just 2.5 months old. The nitrate reading is as close as I can tell with my test kit. If there is any nitrate then it's very very low. The low reading could also be due to how low the stocking level is right now :

1 Maroon Clown
2 Cleaner Shrimp
Various snails
1 Striped Mushroom rock
1 Green Ricordia
1 Green Star Polyp Rock
1 Plate Coral

Thanks for the tip about the trapped air. I'll be sure of that before I replace the plate on the sand. About the lighting - if the plate is placed in the center of the tank is that as good as having all bulbs directly above it ? I can understand that towards the outer edges of the tank the effective wattage will tend towards half what's in the fixture but in the center won't the inhabitants get the benefit of all 260W ?
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Old 03-13-2004, 07:14 AM   #5
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Guys - nothing I try is working - am I being too impatient ?? I do not want to be responsible for the death of such a beatiful creature.

PLEASE HELP !

This hobby is both the best and worst thing I have ever done :|
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Old 03-14-2004, 01:11 AM   #6
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I don't mean to be a ney sayer but judging by the pics above, I highly doubt the plate will ever recover. I have personally seen them recover from less injury but that has far too much tissue loss

Cheers
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Old 03-14-2004, 02:12 PM   #7
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Yeah - I guess you're right Steve. At what point does it become a danger to the rest of the tank ? Should I just go ahead remove it now ?

Brendan.
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Old 03-14-2004, 02:32 PM   #8
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If the water parameters are not affected and you feel there may yet be hope it can stay put. There has already been a fair amount of die off and if the water was going to be effected it would have done so by now.

I know these kinds of issues are hard but if it where me, I would remove the coral. As I said though, that is a descision you must be comfortable with...

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Old 03-14-2004, 07:22 PM   #9
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will corals release toxins when they die that your cant test for? or just the normal spike in NO2 and NO3 and ammonia.
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Old 03-14-2004, 09:38 PM   #10
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Thus far there has been no toxin spike but also unfortunately no improvement in the plate. Now the mouth looks quite deformed so I'm afraid I have to take the decision to remove it from the tank. Oh well, this kind of thing is bound to happen from time to time I guess - I just hate to lose what appeared to be a perfectly good specimen in what I had thought was a good environment. At least the other inhabitants are doing well. Thanks for your advice folks.
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