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Strat1127

Zoas not opening fully...

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Strat1127

Hi all,

 

     Just added my first corals three weeks ago..a Zoa colony. The  tank (an Evo 13.5) has been set up since November and is equipped with the stock lighting. ReefGlass skimmer in the first chamber with ChemiPure Blue and floss in the second chamber. Stock pump with an additional Koralia 240 power head. 

 

pH: 8.4

Amm, Nitrite, Nitrate all reading zero

Phosphate 0

Calcium 380 (this dropped recently from around 440. Getting a lot of corralline growth but I'm not sure if that's why.)

Alk 8dkh

1.025

78 degrees

9 hour light cycle

10 to 20% water changes weekly (Reef Crystals).

 

I have some hermits and a mithrax. 1 Turbo and 2 trochus snails. 1 small 6-line wrasse.

 

Since adding the Zoas three weeks ago, they do not open  up all the way and some polyps do not open at all. I've attached two photos showing a cose up of the colony and a shot of it's placement in the tank,

 

Any help and/or advice appreciated.

20180227_165945.jpg

20180227_165950.jpg

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Oldsalt01

They're not happy. Mine have done better since I've allowed the nutrients to go up a bit. Ur tank may be too clean for them. What test kits are you using, jfmi?

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Strat1127

I'm  using API test kits. 

 

Since adding the colony and the wrasse I have noticed more surface scum and well as darker smellier skimmate with some more hair algae in between some outcropping that teh snails can;t get too so I think my nutrients might be going up a bit. Maybe the Chemi-Pure is pulling out too much?

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Clown79

Did you plug the hole in the bottom of the wall of the tank? There is a hole in the wall that divides the tank, it needs to be filled with epoxy so the overflow properly surface skims.

 

If not, your surface will stay scummy because the water is not only being pulled by the wall hole but the overflow.

 

Therefore no surface skimming (different from the skimmer)

 

Plus you need good surface water movement.

 

The zoas aren't happy. Either due to lighting, too much flow, or 0 nutrients in the tank.

 

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jahnje

I've got to agree with the others, let your parameters creep up a bit. You're probably too clean.  You could probably drop in some reef chili or even better; some copepods and a little ocean magik.  That way you can raise the nutrient level while still keeping the waste parameters fairly low.  I've been pumping pods into my pico for a few weeks now, and it's really made a difference in coral growth and happiness.  The pods will also help keep nuisance algae down a bit. 

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Oldsalt01

2 things: API kits are good for starting tanks, but in my experience once the tank begins to mature (4 month old tank is by no means mature, but is settling down) better kits are a requisite, IMHO. Salifert and Red Sea make excellent kits, Hanna makes excellent, if pricey, testers. I'm sure others have preferences or recommendations, but those are what I have experience with.

What light are you running? Some zoas can be pretty picky about their light levels. I have some Red People Eaters that just hung on, looking brownish, sitting on their frag on the sand for about a year. In January I moved them about 1/2 way up the tank to a spot directly under the light. 3 new polyps have formed in the last 3 weeks, and the heads themselves are getting their red color back and looking better than ever.

From ur pics, I'm thinking it has to do with water parameters. Insufficient light usually results in them stretching and that's obviously not the case here.

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Oldsalt01

I just took a look at your pics again. The tank has very little algae growth (usually an indicator of very low nutrients), and almost looks sterile. Algae is a part of normal biological systems and often are a good indicator of the health of that system. Too much algae = too many nutrients, too little algae = too few nutrients. Strive towards a balance but keep in mind you need to check your nutrients often, esp Nitrate & Phosphate to ensure they don't go too high. Not checking, like I didn't, results in excessive algae which doesn't necessarily show on the test because the algae is up-taking the nutrients BEFORE they become testable in the water column. It drove me crazy! The result was a horrendous outbreak of GHA and the dreaded Bubble Algae, culminating in a complete tank teardown and sterilization, rock and sand replacement. Fortunately I avoided a cycle because my replacement rock was live, but I learned my lesson: stay on top of your parameters and listen to what your tank is telling you.

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LogicalReefs

I think it might be too much flow. That 240 looks like it is bouncing off the glass right at the zoas. Maybe put the koralia at the opposite side of the return nozzle and aim at the surface. Would probably be the easiest thing to test and see if that works. 

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Strat1127

Thanks for the replies everyone! 

 

I do believe I do have some nutrients in the tank due to the surface scum along with some new hair algae growth. As far as the tank "looking" too clean...I'm pretty diligent with cleaning the glass and my clean-up crew does a bang up job. 

 

I'm going to start with changing the flow first to see if that does anything. If not, I will attempt to let my nutrient level go up and go from there. On  that note, how does one do that? Coming from freshwater all these years it seems alien to me. Do I just back off on water changes for a bit? Take out my skimmer and chemical media? Add more food? All of the above?

 

 

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LogicalReefs

More food. I’d actually just feed reef roids or coral frenzy. And what ever your fish eat.

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Clown79
16 minutes ago, Strat1127 said:

Thanks for the replies everyone! 

 

I do believe I do have some nutrients in the tank due to the surface scum along with some new hair algae growth. As far as the tank "looking" too clean...I'm pretty diligent with cleaning the glass and my clean-up crew does a bang up job. 

 

I'm going to start with changing the flow first to see if that does anything. If not, I will attempt to let my nutrient level go up and go from there. On  that note, how does one do that? Coming from freshwater all these years it seems alien to me. Do I just back off on water changes for a bit? Take out my skimmer and chemical media? Add more food? All of the above?

 

 

No. Skimping on waterchanges will just cause more issues.

 

The powerhead placement needs changing it bounces off the glass directly to the zoas, the surface scum needs correcting ( cause of it listed previously) it will block the light to the corals.

 

Start feeding the tank coral food 1 time a week.

 

If you neglect waterchanges/maintenance and over feed, you will end up with the opposite problem

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Strat1127

Hello all,

 

    Thought I'd post an update....following everyone's advice, I moved the powerhead so it would bounce off the glass. Pointed it and the two return nozzles up. That helped with the surface scum which is now significantly reduced. The flow over the zoas has been reduced. I dosed the tank twice with Coral Frenzy over a week period.

 

   After all of this, I have seen little change in the zoas. Only a few on this large colony are fully opened. About a half to 3/4 are partially open and the rest are not opened at all.

 

So it's been a week with this regimen. Should I be looking at something else or just stay the course and see what happens. They don;t look like they're dying. They are just not happy and open.

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CSreefer

Check magnesium if all else fails

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LogicalReefs

Have you changed the light schedule or intensity at all during the time you’ve had them trying to get them to open up? Might be acclimating? Also zoas don’t do well under intense lighting unless properly acclimated. 

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Pjanssen

IDK, your Zoas don't look all that bad to me.  I see no tissue damage or signs of melting. It's an impressive sized colony! As far as getting your nutrients up a little, you could try eliminating either your skimmer or carbon, I'd probably lean towards the carbon if your skimmer is pulling out gunk. Once a week I feed my Zoas and Acans Oyster Feast.

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jvi

Any update here? The only thing I could think of is reef crystals because I'm also using reef crystals and my zoas also have the same problem right now 

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cft916

its a nutrient issue for sure.

 

just because you see algae or some type of issue, it could be using up all the nitrates and phosphates. it isn't magnesium if your tank is has regular water changes.

 

you want a high nutrient system with high import/export for zoanthids.

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mmbaba

I have a very similar set up (switched to an AI Prime 16HD Reef instead) but otherwise, very similar, parameters are almost identical and saw the same problem. Following...

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Tired

Zoas not opening is a problem that can have many, many different things causing it. You might want to make your own thread with your own pictures, and ask there. 

 

For starters, get phosphate at a bare minimum of 0.03ppm, and nitrates at 5ppm. If you don't see improvement, up it past that, many zoas like a lot of nutrients. Nutrients reading 0 is a problem for almost all corals, and having algae doesn't mean the nutrients aren't too low- many pest algaes can grow fine in very low nutrients, and will suck up the remaining nutrients as they do.

 

Also, check for pests. Consider a dip in a light iodine solution, to check for pests and also because zoas like iodine. 

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