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Old 04-04-2012, 06:18 PM   #1
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Hammer & Frogspawn Corals Not Opening

First off, I am very new to coral & SW tanks in general - this is my first reef tank/SW tank. I bought a nice hammer coral from my LFS yesterday and it opened up somewhat yesterday after acclimation but never as full as it was in the LFS. Today I came home from work and it is not open at all.

Tank specs:
57 gal tank, 20 gal sump. Newly established (running for about 3-4 weeks). Stock is only 2 small percula clowns at the moment and some tiny hermit crabs.

Lighting: 2 AI SOL pods, set to 50% white 65% blue intensity. 3 hour ramp up from 0 to that, 4 hours at that intensity setting, 3 hour ramp down to 4% blue (moonlights).

Flow: eheim 1262 return and 2 Vortech MP10s running on ECOSmart mode during the day, night mode at lights out. Powerheads are each 4-6" under the surface, pointing roughly at each other, and set to ~70% of max speed.

Skimmer: BG NAC 3, collecting about 1/3 cup a day

All other corals seem to be doing fine and are all open: several zoa colonies, some daisy polyps, and a frogspawn.

Water Parameters:
0 NH4
0 NO2
10-20ppm NO3
0.12ppm PO4
9.8dKH
1.025 SG
460 ppm Calcium

So any thoughts? Too much flow? Not enough light? Too much light?

Thanks all!
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:24 PM   #2
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If they are getting too much flow they will stay closed up. Mine like a little calmer area. The flow should be just enough to sway them a little.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
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Hmm ok, maybe that is it. It is moving around quite a bit - sometimes kind of violently. LOL Unfortunately I am not sure I have an area of lower flow. Maybe I didn't need 2 MP10s...

Given the way my PHs are setup, where should I find the lowest area of flow in the tank (for all you fluid dynamics gurus out there...)
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:29 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fort384
Hmm ok, maybe that is it. It is moving around quite a bit - sometimes kind of violently. LOL Unfortunately I am not sure I have an area of lower flow. Maybe I didn't need 2 MP10s...

Given the way my PHs are setup, where should I find the lowest area of flow in the tank (for all you fluid dynamics gurus out there...)
Im not sure how your PH's are setup, so i cant help that. What i would do, is point one up a bit more so you can place the hammer underneath. Maybe give it rock cover too
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #5
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They don't point up, they are vortechs... my initial post explains their setup, setting, speed, and the pic shows the location...
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:32 PM   #6
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+1 gboy, I have my lower flow stuff under the powerheads.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
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Yeah, I think unfortunately with vortechs, there is a good amount of flow even under the ph's (maybe even more flow?). I turned them both down to 40%. It is definitely moving around less now, but still not "swaying". Maybe I need to set them up in a different mode, as the short pulse makes some great waves, but might be too much for LPS?
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:38 PM   #8
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Maybe when you feed, watch where the food goes and try to find a spot where it settles to the sand. That would be the spot for the hammer in my opinion.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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ahh, good idea.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:53 PM   #10
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It could also be that it is still a tad stressed from the move. Changing the flow, if possible, will probably help though. In terms of LPS not liking alot of flow, that isn't always the case. My duncans weren't doing well until they had a 750 pointed almost directly at them.
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Old 04-05-2012, 06:25 PM   #11
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I'm thinking too much light too soon.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #12
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Thanks Doug - any ballpark on some good lighting settings that I should start with? Shortened photoperiod? Lower intensity? Both?
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:17 PM   #13
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LPS coral - YouTube

Here is a quick video of both of my LPS corals. They are looking if anything worse today than before, even after 36 hours or so of reduced flow. The frogspawn which was doing great for a couple of days actually looks worse than the hammer.

Anyone think based on the movement in the vid, that the flow is still too high? I have the MP10s set pretty low, and I moved them back a bit towards the rear wall of the tank, and up a couple of inches.

Also in the vid, you can see the hammer's stinging tentacle is extended, first time I have seen that. Holy cow is it long, good to know it's reach so I can keep other corals away. Should it be extended like that with the lights on? It is retracted now...

The other thing I observed last night was both of clowns have taken an extreme liking to both of these corals. They were laying in them and going nuts for hours last night. Do you think they are just too aggressive and that is a contributing factor?

Or do I just need to follow Doug's advice and try reducing lighting some?

...or do I just need to chill out and wait? Both specimens have only been in the tank for less than a week.
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Old 04-06-2012, 01:40 PM   #14
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they contract when they are irritated. Could be the clowns doing the damage.
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Old 04-06-2012, 02:53 PM   #15
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It's definitely not a flow issue. Lower intensity would be my advice. The clowns could have possibly irritated them, but I don't see them bothering the corals in the vid. Are they on them non-stop when you aren't directly in front of the tank?
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:16 PM   #16
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No, and in fact not much at all with the lights on but after lights out they were going nuts on the frogspawn and hammer.
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Old 04-06-2012, 08:38 PM   #17
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Well, one of the clown is more and more obsessed with the hammer. He has been in it almost nonstop now since I have been home for the past 40 minutes or so. Neither the hammer nor the frogspawn look any better this evening. They aren't much different than they way the looked in the vid I posted.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:31 PM   #18
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Shield them from light and see if they come out. that will rule out lighting at least.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:48 PM   #19
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I turned the lights down to 30% wh/35% blue for today's photoperiod. I will give it a couple hours and see what happens as the lights have just reached peak intensity in the last hour or so. I have a pretty long ramp down and ramp up (3 hours each) and haven't seen them open up at any intensity, however. Meanwhile the clown harassment of both corals has continued, even in the day now, so I am leaning towards that as a probable cause. I will see if I can eliminate lighting intensity as a cause today however.

Meanwhile all the zoas and daisies are opened up and look happy.
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Old 04-07-2012, 03:52 PM   #20
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I know my hammer has done well over the years with just VHO lighting which is not that intense.
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