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Old 09-19-2012, 06:31 PM   #1
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OK everyone, I need some input on an ongoing problem...
I've been steadily seeing the degradation of my LPS corals. Over the course of about 6-8 months, I watched a huge Hydnophora deteriorate. There is now about 5% of the original coral left. Now I am seeing the same thing take place on my Wall Hammer, Torch, and the start of it on my Pagoda. It seems that the tissue surrounding the top of the stony part, is slowly receding. All the poyps are still out, until the recession gets to them.
I've had all of these corals approximately 7 years, with little issue. The Hydnophora was its own seperate issue for a long time, and now just recently is becoming apparent on the others.
Nothing has changed in my routine, as far as maintanence. Weekly pwc's of 15 g, on an approximate 180g total volume. Only 4 fish, has been that way for 1 1/2 years. Livestock has been together for 8+ years, in this tank (180), for 1 3/4 years. SPS are doing great, 4 varieties of Monti, Acro Valida, growing well. This is a mixed reef, with 2 very large Leathers and many smaller Leather frags, plus mushrooms, and Zoos. Some mushrooms do very well, Ricordia and Zoos live, but don't really thrive.
I run a undersized skimmer , have a decent sized refugium, run phosphate pads (because I don't have a reactor....yet,plenty of live rock, and have 780w of T5 lighting. I dose BRS 2-part daily to keep my Ca at 420, Alk at 10. Mag is at 1380, Salinity at 1.0245, Ammo, Nitrite=0, Nitrate at <5. Tests are all Red Sea Pro, except Phosphate which is API, and shows 0. Temp is 81.
I do use vending machine water, but have done so for the entire 8+ years, I realize this is a variable into the mix, but it hasn't caused any problems in the past. The machine is serviced at least every 2 weeks.
My 3 trains of thought are 1-tank is too clean for LPS (only having 4 fish, and doing weekly pwc's. 2-too much light for the LPS (they are all approx. 6-8 inches under the water), slowly killing them off. And 3-chemical warfare from the Leathers.
Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated, as this is really bringing me down... It's killing me to see these corals die off, they were the largest I've ever seen, at any LFS, in the past 8 years. None have even come close...
I also feed this tank every 4 days, a mix of live Phyto, frozen rotifers, frozen coral food, and PE Mysis.
And as of now, have not run carbon in the past 2 years. I am looking into a GFO/Carbon reactor now...
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Old 09-19-2012, 09:22 PM   #2
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I am interested to see this, I have no idea on the cause, but I had a hammer do the same thing. Hope to hear an answer.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:07 PM   #3
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My prediction would he lighting is either off spectrum or they have grown to close to the light. Either way it sounds like something with your lighting is the issue other then the 1 unknown...what's happening to the water from the start... You said this started months ago so maybe get a TDS meter and test your source water. Maybe they switched brands of filter or something resulting in lower quality water for cheaper that people would never even notice. Just our corals lol
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:29 PM   #4
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Thanks for the input Mrc. Yeah, the actinics were past their prime by a couple months. I changed 7 out of the 10, on Saturday. Hoping to see a turn around. Daylights are still within their range. I know it will take some time, if this was it, but nothing yet.
Really need to get a RO/DI unit to eliminate that possibility too. Maybe this week, I'm on the current group buy!
Thanks for the help.
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:31 PM   #5
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That's a lot of New bulbs at once. Did you do that right before all the others started to decline? Maybe trying to help one you hurt them all : /
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Old 09-19-2012, 10:49 PM   #6
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I hear you, but no... Last bulb change was the daylights, this past December. I just changed out the 7 actinics this past Saturday, after seeing the decline in the Hammer, Torch and Pagoda.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:42 PM   #7
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With receeding from the top like that I want to agree with lighting being the culprit. I have a scroll coral that I had moved here a couple months ago that started to do this. In this case, it was from the light being too strong for it. After moving it back to the old spot, which is more shaded, it appears to be doing better in terms of extending its polyps. I can't recall if the color has come back or not as I am currently at work.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:24 AM   #8
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The only reason I question it being a lighting issue, besides maybe old bulbs (which has been rectified), is that all corals have been in the same place for 1 3/4 years. Unless it is that they were getting too much light, and it could be that slow of a progression. All polyps have been, and still are expanded. Only when the recession of the white lip of the coral, gets right up to the polyps, do they start to retract...
Thanks for the input Hank.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:35 AM   #9
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Np man. I might be wrong, but I can only compare how this was happening to corals in my tank. I don't think that it is because of the lighting being too strong, since they had been under the same lighting for so long. I'd say it probably came from being under bulbs that changed spectrum due to age. Having all of those bulbs changed at once might also be effecting them, giving them quite a shock IMO. But I'm quite limited in my knowledge with using actual bulbs.
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Old 09-20-2012, 10:08 AM   #10
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I agree that shocking them needs to be avoided. My last bulb change was in December, and when I did this is I reduced the photoperiod drastically, slowly increasing it over the course of about a month. I know this probably wasn't the best way to do it, and should have replaced them in pairs or so, but that ends up being a real pita. Nothing appeared to be adversely effected, at the time. Even the now destroyed Hydnophora appeared to be making a comeback. Now 8 months later, the others have started to turn.
I will def be more conscious of this in the future, though. I'll just have to make a map of the bulbs, to track age and space out the replacement schedule. Unless I can jump into LED, like I've been wanting too...
Thanks for the input, losing these corals after having them about 7 years, is really breaking me...:'-(...
Have a good day, Hank.
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