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Old 12-15-2011, 10:35 PM   #1
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Open brain - no tentacles?

So my open brain was kinda withered all day today according to my wife, so when I got home after the lights went out I attempted to feed it with some frozen mysis (this was only the second time it was being fed here) - well, the mouth went WIDE open, however the tentacles never actually came out - so basically unless some shrimp landed directly IN the mouth, it wasn't gettin anything.

Pulled out the test kit - trates and trites are both zero, phosphates zero, ph is a touch low, but calcium is quite low (in the 240 range). Could that be causing the tentacle issue?

I'm going to do a large PWC tomorrow, and also start a kalk drip - how long will this thing survive like this, and do you think the calcium could cause the above described issue?

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Old 12-15-2011, 11:41 PM   #2
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Added bonus - looks like there's a featherduster living in the rock the brain is growing on. Its tiny though - can't get anywhere near it to remove it.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:02 AM   #3
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Wish I could help, but I do wish you luck!
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:16 AM   #4
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I personally would not feed it. I have had my green brain coral for almost thirteen yrs now and have never fed it. I have a Purple brain for 8 yrs now and never fed it. They get all they need from the water column and lighting.
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Do we think that the shrinkage could be caused by the low calcium? And no, the shrinkage is not being caused by cold temperatures (ha ha)
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Old 12-16-2011, 10:49 AM   #6
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240 is pretty low for calcium. How often are you doing PWC`s.
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Old 12-16-2011, 11:11 AM   #7
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Mel - doing a 10 gallon change once a week. I also have not been adding any kind of supplements however - so it looks like it may be time to start working that in.

What do you folks suggest for calc - one of those "two part" deals (I have a couple of old bottles of that from the last time I gave this whole thing a whirl), or would a kalk drip be more efficient?
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:06 PM   #8
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Those would work also Oceanic Salt mix is higher calcium which is what I use but the drawback is lower alk. Any of those you mentioned will work.
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Old 12-16-2011, 12:18 PM   #9
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Those would work also Oceanic Salt mix is higher calcium which is what I use but the drawback is lower alk. Any of those you mentioned will work.
Alrightie. I unfortunately have some zoanthids being delivered today (internet order) - I'd normally love to get the calc straight before adding anything more, but hoping they'll do okay since my palythoa is doing fine. I'm going to be setting up whatever calcium solution my LFS suggests tonight...

Is there a benefit to a kalk drip as opposed to the 2 part, or the other way? I know that the kalk is also supposed to help with PH, which couldn't hurt, right? I'm just very nervous about over-kalking.
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Old 12-16-2011, 06:38 PM   #10
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So. After all that, I get home today and the open brain is in its normal, floppy, open state. Went to the LFS for some advice, and with a water sample to make sure I wasn't screwing things up somehow.

Calcium? 400. Right on the button. Guess that's what happen when you use a 4 year old test kit. Dur. Bought a new one.

My theory, and the LFS guy concurs - I tried to feed it when it didn't want to eat. I kept at it for a little while and sufficiently pissed it off that it got stressed (hence the wide open gaping mouth). His advice? Stop futzing and leave the thing alone - let it do its thing. He, like several here, has said feeding is nice, but not necessary, and to do it occasionally, but only when those tentacles are out...and if it doesn't eat, don't push the issue.

So that's what I'm going to do.

I'm OCD. This is clearly not the right hobby for someone like me. I sat around at work all day today going "wow, wonder if the open brain is ok...I hope its ok, wonder if its open...hrm...that open mouth thing was creepy...I hope its ok, do you think its ok? Hey guy I'm in a meeting with, I have coral that I think might be dying, do you think it'll be okay?"

Yea. I need help.
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Old 12-16-2011, 07:10 PM   #11
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Don't worry, you're not the only one who talks to themselves while at work. I operate a power plant, and I'm constantly looking at numbers and stuff trying to make sure the unit stays online, but while I'm looking at the numbers, I'm scribbling stuff on post it notes and thinking bout my tank, then looking at the clock and only 5 minutes have passed cause I wanna go home but then I realize I still have 11 hours left to go LOL (am 12 hour rotating shift worker). I look at the screen for levels in various tanks at work and all I can think is I gotta remember to top off when I get home. LOL
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:06 PM   #12
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Glad I'm not the only one - while we're on the topic of the brain however, I tried to snap a photo of what appears to be a featherduster that has made its home on the coral's skeleton - I think that may be what's really irritating it, as each time I've seen it really recessed, the little feathery lookin' bit has been extended. Not a clue how to get rid of it, however.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:12 PM   #13
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I have a feather duster on my moon brain and it doesn't really seem to care to much... but it might be the issue in your case? Yank it off and put it somewhere else.
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:14 PM   #14
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I have a feather duster on my moon brain and it doesn't really seem to care to much... but it might be the issue in your case? Yank it off and put it somewhere else.
Can you just pull the little buggers off? Never had a FD before (I'm new enough to the reef side of things that for awhile I thought that my massive aiptasia outbreak was a group of featherdusters of some kind, and I was delighted to see them.

Boy do I know better now.

So how does one move a featherduster?
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Old 12-16-2011, 08:28 PM   #15
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Got a photo of it sticking out
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:31 PM   #16
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Just take a pair of tweezers and try to gently pull it out.


Sorry but I laughed about your aiptasia comments only because I'm pretty new at this also and am thinking the exact same thing is gonna happen to me and I won't know it. lol
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Old 12-22-2011, 10:36 PM   #17
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Just take a pair of tweezers and try to gently pull it out.


Sorry but I laughed about your aiptasia comments only because I'm pretty new at this also and am thinking the exact same thing is gonna happen to me and I won't know it. lol
Yep - amazing amount of stuff to learn. When I first got this tank started I remember calling the guy at my LFS freaking out because I saw what, to me, looked like a gigantic blue centipede. Now I KNEW I hadn't put the **** thing in there. Of course it was a bristle worm and it hitch hiked in on the rock...but at the time I had no idea that sort of thing could happen and it really did scare the be-jeezus outta me!
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Old 12-22-2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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LOL, you should look at the beginning of my thread when I came across my first worm. Yep I freaked out too and ended up smashing the live rock and throwing it in the yard (in a milk crate so it could get out by itself which it didn't) and left it there for a week.

Now I'm trying to figure out if the 3 orange centipede looking things are good or not. They look like the fire worm that is NOT good but at the same time they don't.
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Old 12-23-2011, 12:23 AM   #19
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I wouldn't feed it. If you want to enjoy sw you are going to have to let it do its thing. Fd's happen in nature and things live. I don't even bother my aptaisia and majonos. I stopped worrying about things and it is a lot more enjoyable. Things die and come and go. Just have to stick with it. Its hard to swallow but if you relax, you will enjoy this a lot more.
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