I've finally decided to register with this site after many months of browsing as I've been trying to learn as much as I can after just setting up a saltwater tank a few months ago. I am a member of another forum that has helped me in my saltwater venture but there isn't much focus on corals, which I've began getting into as of late. One of my main reasons for registering at this time is because I need help with a coral I have recently acquired.
I purchased a sun coral online and it arrived just this past Friday. I had been researching sun corals for quite some time and was looking forward to finally being able to get one. I knew that I would need to feed this coral as its NPS.
This sun coral appears to be branching, which isn't something I had really seen much of while doing my research on their care. Because of this, I'm even more uncertain.
I guess my biggest problem is that I did not know what to expect upon the corals arrival. I knew it had to be fed but did not know just how hard it may be to get it to feed initially. However, I have been researching constantly since I have acquired the coral, especially now that time has passed and it has not opened to feed.
I've been told (and read) that because it still has color it is still alive. It is mainly orange still, with just some white at its base. It is in a shaded area of my tank, with the light blocked by rockwork. I'm honestly beginning to wonder if the coral is even alive, regardless of color, because I have not seen any 'flesh' of the coral. The polyps/tentacles have not made an experience.
I've read bout different methods of feeding and I've chosen to try feeding (or rather enticing) by placing a bottle (cut in half) over the coral. This will keep the food at and around the coral and keeping other members in my tank from stealing the food. I attempted this last night but never saw any movement. I punched a small whole in the cap of the bottle that I used to cover the coral, larger enough for the syringe to fit through. I started by blasting the 'liquid' from foods into the bottle to hopefully trigger a feeding response. I had soaked brine and mysis in tank water along with garlic and vitamins. I repeated this process over a time frame of at least an hour to no avail. I'll be picking up some cycops on wednesday, when my LFS
gets their shipment. I've read good things about cycops in terms of getting a sun coral to open.
So first off, can someone tell me if this coral is even alive?
Any more suggestions on what I'm doing currently or what else I need to do?
Some tank specs.
I have a 60 gallon tank.
I started with 50lbs of live rock and 25lbs of base rock. I have an additional 10lbs of rock that is curing that I will add once my levels are safe.
Reef Octopus BH 2000 protein skimmer (running about a week or so)
Two maxijet pro powerheads (one 900, one 1200)
Lighting is a 4 54 watt bulb T5HO, two 10k and two actinics
2 Ocellaris clown (one is b&w)
various snails (2 turbos, some cerith, nassarius, and some netrite)
various hermits (redleg, one blueleg, and one scarlet)
peppermint shrimp (2)
Purple Mushrooms (2-3 on one rock)
Sinularia Leather (1)
Snowflakes Polyps (small colony located on one small rock)
Zoa (small colony located on one small rock)
All of the corals appear to be doing great.
Nitrate is higher than I'd like. I've got 15-20 gallons of water mixing and will be home to do a water change in a few hours.
I use Instant Ocean salt and RO
water that I filter at home.
The corals are all relatively new and still of small size. The newest fish is the wrasse that was added Friday.
I believe I've covered everything, I'll happily answer any questions I can that anyone may have. I just want to save this coral, if it is indeed alive.
This is a picture (if I managed to upload correctly) I took of the sun coral on Saturday (I believe) I have since attached the coral so a small piece of rock rubble to keep it out of the sand in case that was causing any issues. Also, just in case I will need to remove the coral to feed in a separate container. I have not done that yet as I fear to stress the coral even more.
Thank in advance for any help and for reading my long post.