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Old 05-10-2005, 04:39 PM   #1
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Sick Ricordea? Help!

Hi guys.
Tank info:
10 gallon
16# lr
18# livesand/cc
ammonia - 0
nitrites - 0
Nitrates - <5
Temp varies usually keep around 78 but during the day it might get to 80 or 81
lighting - 40 watt pc 50/50
sg: 1.024

Blue damsel, pink psudochromis, coral banded shrimp, hermit, 2 turbo snails
yellow polyps, star polpys, ricordea frag

The frag was/is splitting i'm assuming. It came with 1 mouth and grew 2 more. It has always been open until the other day. Part of it seems to be shriveling.
I've ran to many variables (i know, i know) to determine what the possible cause it, but i'm wondering what you guys think.

Variables:
I started to run a lee's skimmer a week ago, i'll let it run for 3 days and then shut it off for a few. Its probably ran total of about 4 days so far.
Lighting: its sitting near the top of the tank. Could the lights be not enough, too much, or should it be placed lower in the tank? They are on for 11 hrs a day.
flow: I was only running a 60 gph ph until today when i added a 170 gph ph. could it have been the lack of flow?
I also feed microvert in the tank once a week or so. Just a few drops over each of my corals (only have 3 specieces, so its not that much feeding. Could I be feeding too little or could the skimmer be removing its food?
I dose calcium and strontium/molybdenum small amounts once weekly as well.

The problem with it is on the one side of it, it seems to be shriveling alot. the one mouth (not the side that was shrinking) seemed to be puking some almost clear white substance out of its mouth. I know there are alot of variables to which could be affecting it, but i'm sort of new to the sw hobby, and haven't had to deal with this yet. Where should I start and what is most likely the culprit, and what can be done to nurse it back to health?
TIA
-Stewie

P.s. I'll get some pics later tonight and post em.
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Old 05-10-2005, 05:19 PM   #2
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Re: Sick Ricordea? Help!

Quote:
Originally Posted by stewie
Variables:
I started to run a lee's skimmer a week ago, i'll let it run for 3 days and then shut it off for a few. Its probably ran total of about 4 days so far.
Running the skimmer's not an issue but be sure you do not leave "dead water" sitting in it for days. Dead water = ammonia/nitrite problem. Most likely it is not part of the problem but something to watch. Lee's is an internal skimmer, yes? Instead of shutting it down, simpley unplug the air pump to the airstone. Running it 27/7 won't be a problem either unless noise is an issue.

Quote:
Lighting: its sitting near the top of the tank. Could the lights be not enough, too much, or should it be placed lower in the tank? They are on for 11 hrs a day.
A decent amount of light for that tank size/depth. A ricordia would do better placed nearer the substrate. They don't need a great amount of intensity to thrive.

Quote:
flow: I was only running a 60 gph ph until today when i added a 170 gph ph. could it have been the lack of flow?
Lack of flow is just as bad as too much when it comes to soft corals. Overall though more is better than less. Best suggestion is being sure the flow is "difused" and not linear. Caotic or random flow being the goal. As long as there is no sustained or direct flow aimed at a coral, it should be fine. They do adapt.

Quote:
Could I be feeding too little or could the skimmer be removing its food?
Feeding these kinds of corals will not make or break your success with them. They can just as easily thrive without added nutrients. Proper water quality and light (which you have) are often enough. Feeding will definately increase their growth rate but they will still do fine without it.

Quote:
I dose calcium and strontium/molybdenum small amounts once weekly as well.
Why are you adding these elements and are you testing the levels before dosing? Do you know the alk level?

Quote:
The problem with it is on the one side of it, it seems to be shriveling alot. the one mouth (not the side that was shrinking) seemed to be puking some almost clear white substance out of its mouth. I know there are alot of variables to which could be affecting it, but i'm sort of new to the sw hobby, and haven't had to deal with this yet. Where should I start and what is most likely the culprit, and what can be done to nurse it back to health?
This is a sure sign of what may be causing it, or I should say the lack of response for the other two. The coral extruding mesenterial filaments is usually a feeding response or a result of stress/defence. In this case I'm willing do bet defense. What is the closest coral species to the ric and how far away is it?

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-10-2005, 06:47 PM   #3
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Steve,
I'll answer your questions later on when I get home as i'm leaving work here in a few minutes, but the other species are yellow polyps and star polyps. The ric is at the leftmost part of the tank, yellow polpys in the center, and star polyps at the far right, there's at least a good 4+ inches inbetween them. I have a alk test kit, but it doesn't give the numbers, just a low/good/high, and it is testing good. I'll post pics later on tonight as well as answering the rest of the q's you had asked. Thanks alot for taking time to give me your ideas/opinions.
I do dump the skimmer cup daily even tho there isn't much in it. I just didn't want to "overskim".
Anyways, check back tonight/tomorrow for pics and the rest of the answers.
Thanks
-Stewie
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Old 05-12-2005, 12:16 PM   #4
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Update:
The ric has stopped shrinking, and is back to its old buldging self, however it seems to be bleaching now. Its not completely white, but a light peach color as before it was a purplish/blue color. Any ideas?
-Stewie
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Old 05-12-2005, 06:58 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stewie
Its not completely white, but a light peach color as before it was a purplish/blue color. Any ideas?
Same reason, stress but a different cause mabye. Corals respond this way more commonly as a reaction to too much light. Losing color means the coral is expelling zooxanthellae. Typically from too much light but can be from other sources.

Considering the elevation in the tank described in your previous post, I'd move the rics down towards the substrate. It will still take it awhile to recover, some never do but you will be able to ensure the other two polyps are not affected the same way.

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-12-2005, 11:16 PM   #6
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All the polyps seem fine now, just the severe fading/bleeching look to it. The pic is somewhat crappy, I just got a new digicam and i know its more than capable of taking very high quality pics, just don't know how to use it in manual mode yet. here's the pic of it, it is usually a deep dark blue/purple when it was normal.
http://users.zoominternet.net/~stewie/ric.JPG

Edit: Here's another pic, its a full tank shot, but you can see it bleached better in this pic. http://users.zoominternet.net/~stewie/fts.JPG

Check it out and let me know. Like you said, its probably stress. Hopefully, it will recover.
-Stewie
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:56 AM   #7
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Without a "before" pic, it's hard to tell if it's belaching or not. The color in that pic is actually a common one. I don't see the extra mouths either. The elevation seems okay for the height of the tank. Could be something unseen was irritating it. The only thing I can suggest is watch and see. It also wouldn't hurt to check on it after lights out. You'd be suprised what you can find in the dark...

Cheers
Steve
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Old 05-13-2005, 11:41 PM   #8
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Thanks Steve.. The other 2 mouths are on the other side of it.. Trust me on that one. It seems to be growing like overnight.. only thing is still the color. It was a deep blue/purple and now its like a peach color. Maybe my camera is just picking up too much of its coloration.
I'll have to pull the red light trick tonight to see if something is messing with it.
Thanks alot for all your help.
-Stewie
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Old 05-14-2005, 02:47 PM   #9
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Not doubting you on the other mouths at all, it is actually sounding more and more like the stress of dividing is what's causing the the changes your seeing. As I said, color loss is a sign of stress. More often than not by too much light but can also be the result of other stresses, splitting can definately be up there.

It may not make alot of difference but I would suggest swapping these two rocks. It will lower the ric a bit and move it further from the glass which water flow could be irritating it as well.

I would also suggest adding some carbon or changing what you have if already in use. A few good sized wtare changes wouldn't hurt either (well aged/aerated). It will help reduce any organic/chemical pollutants that may be working against you.

Cheers
Steve
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