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Growth Issues


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Hey everyone.


So, I have an issue that is kind of stumping me. First thing's first, some quick tank specs.


1 1/2 year old 10g, 24" Fishneedit T5 fixture (current bulbs are about 8months and due to be changed), about 8lbs of live rock. 1 Koralia Nano, One Maxi-jet (smallest one. i guess the 400?) with one of the auto rotating deflectors on it (added March2012)


Had a long bout with a brownish hair algea that would NOT go away from April 2011 to March 2012. I removed the HOB filter and Chemi-pure. Then in March 2012, i made a move to a new apartment 2 hours away. re-set up tank and haven't had the algea since.


i haven't had an issue keeping fish (except a sick clown that was a gift and died the next day and my firefish that abandoned ship) but i've had some really strange coral growth patterns. I will list my corals and how they've grown up until today.


MARCH 2011:

Green Ricordea: bought with 2 mouths. STILL has 2 mouths. I target feed maybe once a month. inflates HUGE sometimes.


random brown zoas: about 10 polyps. slowly died out and were gone by august 2011


3 small mushrooms: each was about the size of a 1 dollar coin. one split within a few weeks. then they shrank to the size of a dime. Since the move in March 2012 they have been expanding to about the size of a nickle. still only 4 of them.


JULY 2011:

Trumpet Coral: 4 heads. one had 2 mouths. Today, this coral has about 16-18 heads and maybe 22 mouths?


Green and Red Acan: 4 heads, Today, this coral has 15 or so heads.


* Around Janurary 2012 these 2 LPS corals only added a few new heads. Then i started paying attention to my KH level. Since, these have done nicely.*


FEB 2012:

GSP frag: about the size of a quarter. Spread to about the size of a business card. Today, there are about 4 tiny polyps hanging out on the edge of a rock.


MARCH 2012:

Xenia: started with a clump covering a golf ball sized rock. extended nicely. it doubled in size after about 2 months. Then stopped growing. Now it's still the same size, but it does not extend at all. I split it in 2. Put one piece on the bottom out of the current. another half way up the tank in random current. still getting no growth or extension on either piece.


Green Monti. Digi frag: 3 skinny branches that met at the base. looked like a 1 inch long t-rex hand. added MAYBE 1/4 inch to each branch. then the white growth spots went away on the tips. They turned green adn rounded off. and the base is encrusting like crazy over the rock.


JUNE 2012:

Zoa frag: light green mouths, purple disks, orangeish red skirts.not sure what they are called. Started with 20 polyps. 2 smaller ones died. (perhaps eaten by amphipods that have populated my tank in the passed 8 months) I see maybe 2 baby polyps growing. but it's been sbout a week and a half and they havent shown any sign of growing full.


Sorry for my long winded report. I guess i should have kept a tank profile going. Anyways, Can somebody tell me what gives!? How come my sps is encrusting and not growing out, my LPS are flourishing, and i cant grow softies to save my life?



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Nano sapiens

Ok, I'll take a stab at your issues:


SPS will encrust to gain surface area for more zoanthellae to manufacture the substances that the coral uses for energy. If the lighting and flow isn't strong enough, they may not grow upwards at all. I had a Bali Slimer under lower light/lower flow that did exactly what you are describing.


LPS, in general, can make due with less lighting so that's why they are getting along fine. They also tend to get fed big food stuffs that give them the energy they need to thrive.


Recent research has shown that certain stony corals can release chemicals into the water that can negatively effect soft corals (it was thought that only soft corals did this). You may have such a situation in your tank. If you don't already, try using a good quality GAC (Granulated Activated Carbon) and change it out fairly.


Zoas and especially Palys can be on the menu for large, adult Amphipods. I've seen perfectly healthy specimens attacked (usually at night) by near 1/2" 'Pods. At that size they are nasty little varmits!

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Well, the sps is at the top of my rock. Only about 4 inches from the waterline and the light only sits about 3-4 inches above the water. The sps gets really good flow across it as well.


I think the amphipods may be the culprit for the zoas.


Any idea on why the other soft corals are not growing and/or dying?

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Bump for some more input.


youve got a large variety of coral, but ill chime in on the xenia for what ive seen.


I've ordered frags online 3 times for 2 different vendors...they all melted away within a month or so. Finally bought a large rock full of xenia from a semi-local fish store. i broke that rock up into about 5 different pieces. Literally 4 of them withered away and the single frag in pretty high light/high flow has turned into a colony im starting to hate. My point is that xenia is finicky..the fact its not flourishing may not necessarily be a problem with your tank.

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My gut feeling is that the flow may not be adequate over much of the coral. Xenia like very stable temps, from my experience, and no physical irritation. I've a large colony of mushrooms in very low flow shrink into nearly nothing. Then when I upped the flow they all flourished. The same for zoas, xenia..., leathers, definitely GSP's. They love high flow.


That's just my experience. When I see certain corals not doing well it's a flow problem 90% of the time in my tank


Edit: The other 10% of the time its my clownfish hosting in random coral that makes them angry -_-

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