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Lognor

Zoa's and Blue Star Polyps Dying/Receding

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Lognor

My zoa's and Blue Star Polyps have both been receding for the past month or two, and I can't figure out why.  In the pictures below you can see the change over time.  The Blue Star polyps most notably have been closed up and receding for almost 2 months.  The zoas are mostly open, but they have been receding, all be it more slowly, but still noticeably during the same time frame. 

 

I have a biocube 29 AIO.  I use stock bioballs and carbon cartridge, with filter floss, and chemipure blue for filtration.  I do weekly water changes (4g), replace my floss weekly, rinse the cartridge weekly replacing it every other week and rinse the chemipure weekly changing it every 3 months.  Lighting hasn't changed, location of the corals hasn't changed.  I've adjusted flow amount/direction without any result for them.  I don't dose anything.

 

The only significant issue I have had recently was in early July when the fake silicone anemone I had in the tank started breaking down.  It was releasing some level of silicate into the water.  All of the corals were unhappy.  I was able to quickly correct it by adding Phosguard to my filtration for a week along with an extra mid-week water change.  All of my LPS recovered within days, but the zoas and BSP have continued to decline. 

 

In talking to my LFS he suggested it could be an iodide deficiency.  On his advice I dosed Kent Iodide for a week, 5 drops per day per the instructions, but there has been no noticeable change.  I've researched both zoas and bsp/gsp and can't find anything definitive to try.  The only noteworthy comment is that they like "dirtier" water.  I have no idea what that means, and given how well all of LPS is doing, I'd don't want to do anything that would negatively affect them.

 

Looking for any suggestions. 

 

Pictures below: Full tank as of now, before and after pics of each coral in question.

 

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Clown79

I wouldn't ever dose anything you aren't testing regularly. Especially iodide. It's very easy to over dose and the test kits are not reliable.

 

That element gets replenished with waterchanges.

 

 

Chemipure doesn't last 3 mnths. 1 mnth the longest before it should be replaced. It's just carbon with added media.

 

What are your nitrate and phos levels at? 

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Euphylin me

dirty water is a misnomer for water with higher nutrients (nitrate in particular) i agree with clown, check nitrate and phosphate. especially with your tank being lps mainly, if you nitrates are lower than 5ppm you can increase it 8-10ppm. i noticed when my nitrates were low my zoas were receeding. also, test salinity,dkh, and ph as well

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Lognor
15 minutes ago, Clown79 said:

I wouldn't ever dose anything you aren't testing regularly. Especially iodide. It's very easy to over dose and the test kits are not reliable.

 

That element gets replenished with waterchanges.

 

 

Chemipure doesn't last 3 mnths. 1 mnth the longest before it should be replaced. It's just carbon with added media.

 

What are your nitrate and phos levels at? 

 

6 minutes ago, Euphylin me said:

dirty water is a misnomer for water with higher nutrients (nitrate in particular) i agree with clown, check nitrate and phosphate. especially with your tank being lps mainly, if you nitrates are lower than 5ppm you can increase it 8-10ppm. i noticed when my nitrates were low my zoas were receeding. also, test salinity,dkh, and ph as well

Thanks for the feedback. 

 

My nitrates are pretty consistently in the 5-10 range, and the same with phosphates at .5.  Salinity is at 1.024-1.025.I'm at work so I don't have the most recent test numbers in front of me.  How do I increase nitrates?

 

Earlier this week I ordered the intank media basket, chemipure blue, and some carbon bags.  I planned on replacing the current filtration system of bioballs, carbon filter cartidge, floss, and chemipure, to save some money on supplies by cutting out the expensive proprietary coralife cartridges since they're just carbon and floss anyway.  Based on the comments, I'm doubling up on the carbon, which obviously isn't necessary.  Am I better off with Chemipure, floss and something else (purigen?) or carbon bag, floss and something else?

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Euphylin me

ultimately, its trying to find what works for your system. and i wouldnt take the bioballs out. you would be removing some good biological filtration. and yes running carbon and chemipure isnt necessary...tbh chemipure is overpriced. i use kent marine carbon pellets and they do a great job for the price. i run filter floss, kent carbon and seachem biomax. if your nitrates are near 10ish-that is fine for an lps softy tank. do you feed your corals anything? maybe feeding will help them to stay opened up. i have also noticed thatsome varieties of zoas like higher light medium flow and some like mild light and low flow

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Euphylin me

another weird thing...i have blue star polyps which are open and happy and spreading and my star polyps are dying.....soft corals can be finicky and work well in one spot but if you move them a half inch they will die.....weird

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Aurortpa

Perhaps alleopathy?  Corals can shed mucous and the build up can affect corals not in the same family without a skimmer running, periodic-significant water changes, or chem filtrants being changed regularly—could potentially pose an issue.

 

Another possibility is some kind of nocturnal predator...just make sure you regularly surprise suspect areas with a flashlight well after lights are out now and then.

 

Ahhh...GSP is very sensitive to iodine, I’d stop that or adjust the dose immediately. I dose a mere 2 drops a week, half of the weekly recommended dose—and I put the two drops in another container then mix into tank (long ago, one time I squirted an entire syringe accidentally so lesson learned). This is for my shrimp who have molt issues periodically. 

 

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Lognor
1 minute ago, Euphylin me said:

ultimately, its trying to find what works for your system. and i wouldnt take the bioballs out. you would be removing some good biological filtration. and yes running carbon and chemipure isnt necessary...tbh chemipure is overpriced. i use kent marine carbon pellets and they do a great job for the price. i run filter floss, kent carbon and seachem biomax. if your nitrates are near 10ish-that is fine for an lps softy tank. do you feed your corals anything? maybe feeding will help them to stay opened up. i have also noticed thatsome varieties of zoas like higher light medium flow and some like mild light and low flow

I spot feed all of the corals 2-3 times per week.  The LPS are doing great, lots of growth in the past few months.  It took some time to get them all happy between placement, flow, and feeding.  It's just driving me nuts with these other guys.  I agree that zoas respond differently.  I have a couple that have actually grown onto the live rock, some that are just hanging out, and others that have receded.

 

I'm trying not to get crazy with modifications to the AIO because I like the simplicity.  I pulled the trigger on the filtration change to save money in the long run.  The other two upgrades I'm considering are the hydor wave maker to alternate the two powerheads.  At the moment I only have one running because the flow is a bit too much for the torch.  The upgrade I'm considering is swapping the stock lighting for Steve's LED's.  Under the daylights, I feel like everything is turning pink even though they weren't pink when I got them, and under the blues they don't pop as much as I see in other tanks.  Not 100% on that one though.  Still researching and contemplating.

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Euphylin me
Just now, Lognor said:

I spot feed all of the corals 2-3 times per week.  The LPS are doing great, lots of growth in the past few months.  It took some time to get them all happy between placement, flow, and feeding.  It's just driving me nuts with these other guys.  I agree that zoas respond differently.  I have a couple that have actually grown onto the live rock, some that are just hanging out, and others that have receded.

 

I'm trying not to get crazy with modifications to the AIO because I like the simplicity.  I pulled the trigger on the filtration change to save money in the long run.  The other two upgrades I'm considering are the hydor wave maker to alternate the two powerheads.  At the moment I only have one running because the flow is a bit too much for the torch.  The upgrade I'm considering is swapping the stock lighting for Steve's LED's.  Under the daylights, I feel like everything is turning pink even though they weren't pink when I got them, and under the blues they don't pop as much as I see in other tanks.  Not 100% on that one though.  Still researching and contemplating.

personally, i wouldnt try to change too many variables at once. maybe move the zoas to a different spot and definitely stop with the iodine. i don't dose iodine and if you use a good reef salt, youll be fine. in the picture, that torch looks a little too close to the zoas that you noticed are receeding, may want to move them. also, your star polyps are pretty close to those hammers...that could be the issue and would explain why other zoas in your tank are doing fine

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Lognor
2 minutes ago, Aurortpa said:

Perhaps alleopathy?  Corals can shed mucous and the build up can affect corals not in the same family without a skimmer running, periodic-significant water changes, or chem filtrants being changed regularly—could potentially pose an issue.

 

Another possibility is some kind of nocturnal predator...just make sure you regularly surprise suspect areas with a flashlight well after lights are out now and then.

 

Ahhh...GSP is very sensitive to iodine, I’d stop that or adjust the dose immediately. I dose a mere 2 drops a week, half of the weekly recommended dose—and I put the two drops in another container then mix into tank (long ago, one time I squirted an entire syringe accidentally so lesson learned). This is for my shrimp who have molt issues periodically. 

 

Interesting....The LPS always secrete a mucous after feeding, but I have never read anything about that being an issue for others since it wasn't the result of proximity/battling.  I'll try changing the floss and rinsing the media more often and see how things go.  

 

I've done the predator check a few times and never found anything.  My son spotted a single nudibranch on the glass once a while ago, removed it, but nothing since.

 

As for dosing, I stopped dosing after 7 days when I noticed no changes.  Decided to bring my issues here to the community for some other suggestions.  Glad I did.

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Lognor
4 minutes ago, Euphylin me said:

personally, i wouldnt try to change too many variables at once. maybe move the zoas to a different spot and definitely stop with the iodine. i don't dose iodine and if you use a good reef salt, youll be fine. in the picture, that torch looks a little too close to the zoas that you noticed are receeding, may want to move them. also, your star polyps are pretty close to those hammers...that could be the issue and would explain why other zoas in your tank are doing fine

Totally agree on small changes.  

 

The zoas receding started before the torch, but yes you are correct, the sweepers are getting close, I've already moved the torch more in the corner and shifted the LR away from it, but it's still reaching.  lol.   The hammer isn't close to the blue stars, but they may be close enough, especially if Aurortpa is right about mucous.  They're right there.

 

Again.  Great feedback.  Thanks!

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Clown79
1 hour ago, Lognor said:

 

Thanks for the feedback. 

 

My nitrates are pretty consistently in the 5-10 range, and the same with phosphates at .5.  Salinity is at 1.024-1.025.I'm at work so I don't have the most recent test numbers in front of me.  How do I increase nitrates?

 

Earlier this week I ordered the intank media basket, chemipure blue, and some carbon bags.  I planned on replacing the current filtration system of bioballs, carbon filter cartidge, floss, and chemipure, to save some money on supplies by cutting out the expensive proprietary coralife cartridges since they're just carbon and floss anyway.  Based on the comments, I'm doubling up on the carbon, which obviously isn't necessary.  Am I better off with Chemipure, floss and something else (purigen?) or carbon bag, floss and something else?

Changing your current filtration is a good idea but do it slowly. Bioballs over time can become a problem if not cleaned regularly.

 

When removing the bioballs, remove 1/3 of them every week so you don't cause issues. Removing them slowly is not an issue.

 

If you are using some sort of sponge, same thing, cut the sponge and remove a portion each week.

 

For myself, I prefer buying my carbon, purigen, and phosguard in bulk.

 

I love the Kent marine carbon. The lowest dust content of any carbon I've used.

 

I bag my own so I have control on how much I use and I change it more often.

 

Carbon is changed every 2-3 weeks

Purigen when brown

Phosguard is used as necessary and in very small amounts.

 

Some prefer chemipure because its convenient but I find it costly for what it is 

 

 

If you make changes do it slowly and not everything all at once.

 

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luckie1966

What you call Blue Starpolp's  actually  are Blue Sympodium . They like lots of Light and flow and grow very slow.   I have mine about 6 to 8'' from a ai prime at 100% and it finally doubled in 7 months..

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Lognor
21 minutes ago, luckie1966 said:

What you call Blue Starpolp's  actually  are Blue Sympodium . They like lots of Light and flow and grow very slow.   I have mine about 6 to 8'' from a ai prime at 100% and it finally doubled in 7 months..

Awesome info!!  I've always wondered if that was the right name for them.  I also was concerned I had them too close to the powerheads, so I'm glad to hear that you've had good success with them in high flow and high light.  I would like to get them to grow more on the back wall, so good to know.

 

Thanks again.

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Euphylin me
20 minutes ago, luckie1966 said:

What you call Blue Starpolp's  actually  are Blue Sympodium . They like lots of Light and flow and grow very slow.   I have mine about 6 to 8'' from a ai prime at 100% and it finally doubled in 7 months..

good catch lol! i wasnt even paying attention

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Lognor

Having the correct name for the Blue Sympodium, I did some more research and found a few articles talking about nutrients, specifically that the blue sympodium will require micro-plankton foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.  I have been spot feeding my corals powdered Coral Frenzy and Reef Roids (alternating between the two) for months.  I feed my Duncans and Acans frozen mysis and a frozen Coral food.  The Euphilias are doing awesome, as is my chalice and mushrooms, but the other two aren't responding, I think primarily because there isn't enough or any plankton in any of those items.  I read in a few spots the recommended use of Marine Snow food specifically for these two corals. 

 

So on Sunday I started feeding Two Little Fishes Marine Snow.  It doesn't give a recommended feeding schedule only an amount, so for the next few weeks I'm going to feed this daily.  I'm using a cap and a half based on the directions.  The only pain in the ass part is removing the filtration media for an hour after feeding.  It doesn't seem like much on a per feeding basis, but we'll see what happens after a couple of weeks with this additional feeding.  It will be interesting to see what happens with both corals.  I really like the blue sympodium, but if this doesn't work I may just add some gsp instead.

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paneubert

Have you thought about culturing phytoplankton and using that as the "water" when you make your powder/frozen slurry? That's what I do. Then target feed it. 

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Lognor
3 minutes ago, paneubert said:

Have you thought about culturing phytoplankton and using that as the "water" when you make your powder/frozen slurry? That's what I do. Then target feed it. 

I'm still in the newbie stage of reefing, so no, that was not something I had read or seen anything on before.  I'll take look.  thanks for the suggestion.

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paneubert
36 minutes ago, Lognor said:

I'm still in the newbie stage of reefing, so no, that was not something I had read or seen anything on before.  I'll take look.  thanks for the suggestion.

It is pretty easy.

 

 

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