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HingleMcCringleberry

ADVICE NEEDED. New SPS. Will they make it? (with pictures)

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HingleMcCringleberry

(I posted this same post in the corals forum)

 

Hi. I'M new to the forum and was hoping some experienced reefers could offer some advice on my coral health!

 

 I have a 20 gallon DIY mixed reef tank that has been running for about 6 months. I have about 1 year experience running a 75 gallon reef tank that I took down about 6 years ago when I left for college. Everything I have added (soft corals, LPS, fish, inverts, nem) seems healthy and has been a pleasure to watch. Up until now I have never tried any SPS corals. 5 days ago I decided to venture into some "beginner" SPS. I don't have very accurate water testing kits so I am not looking to advance any further with difficult corals until I can at least better monitor my water parameters. I have a very large amount of live rock for the tank size and two hang-off-the-back filters (in case one ever fails). My heater is a decently stable and my digital thermometer always reads 78.4-78.8. My lighting is not very strong: Marineland LEDs rated at about 100 par at 12 inches and 6000K. It is also not diffuse at all and has almost spotlights of higher intensity throughout the tank. (yes, I plan to upgrade my lighting when I have the funds in about a month).  

 

I bought two montipora frags 5 days ago, one large orange monti cap and one small sunset monti. Both came from my LFS and were not shipped (at least not any time recently). To compensate for my low lighting I placed them about 5 inches down in the water directly under the "spotlights" from my LEDs. 

 

I really don't know enough to tell if they're doing ok or not. given that my situation is atypical bordering on stupid (I know it sounds bad) I want to make sure Im not killing the frags. I have a friend with a very successful SPS tank who will take them if I'm hurting them and I just don't want to see them die! I think they might be doing ok. I'll be watching for long term signs of health but I just wanted to ask if there are any issues visibly indicating immediate shock from new/bad tank conditions.

 

Please don't be too hard on me. I know you'll want to know my water parameters and more details than I can probably measure. I don't want advice on keeping them alive as much as advice on how to tell if they're healthy (although all input is appreciated). If they aren't healthy I will rehome them at the first clear sign they're declining.

 

IMG_0863.thumb.JPG.3fcb1797a715263a052e75c9542de86c.JPGIMG_0864.thumb.JPG.d7da2617dabde3af34a9b41224dc7c6f.JPGIMG_0859.thumb.JPG.672d223879e5f1889ad423945f1d1ae3.JPGIMG_0862.thumb.JPG.2e74f00a4b3e678db7eebabda472ea23.JPGI have attached pictures.IMG_0866.thumb.JPG.d6f09f2841c86c339a6df4dfc1755ae5.JPG

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

They look fine right now, a few might be slightly bleached, but they look like they are doing ok. If I was you, I wouldn’t of added any sps until after a year of the tank running. I would’ve stuck to lps and softies for now. But what do I know, all I have is one pocillopora frag that’s seems to be doing great. That’s my only sps. Hope someone else can back me up here. 

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak

Is that torch down in the corner on the first picture a little bleached? It’s hard to tell with that lighting?

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HingleMcCringleberry

1 Photo lights on and one photo lights off. I don't think its' bleached. or I hope not. the hammers are some green and some purple but the purple ones barely show under my lights the second I placed it in there. Let me know if this is a problem!

 

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HingleMcCringleberry
6 minutes ago, EthanPhillyCheesesteak said:

Is that torch down in the corner on the first picture a little bleached? It’s hard to tell with that lighting?

I attached photos. Also, its a hammer to avoid long sweeper tentacles I've heard torches have. Let me know what you think.

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Tamberav

They look fine for now, color just sucks because the lighting spectrum is blah. That lighting is probably garbage for corals though, some of your other corals are normally fast growers but do not appear to really be doing so. Corals can survive a long time under poor lighting but will not grow much.

 

If the monti's start to pale in color, start worrying. After being in your tank, if you add them to your friends, the sudden shock of better lights could bleach them as well. If you upgrade, start your lights low and slowly ramp up over weeks. 

 

I would not spend $ on corals, just save it for a decent light. There are plenty of budget options like chinese black boxes. I see used ones go locally for 30-50 bucks and they can grow anything on a 20g. 

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HingleMcCringleberry
4 minutes ago, Tamberav said:

They look fine for now, color just sucks because the lighting spectrum is blah. That lighting is probably garbage for corals though, some of your other corals are normally fast growers but do not appear to really be doing so. Corals can survive a long time under poor lighting but will not grow much.

 

If the monti's start to pale in color, start worrying. After being in your tank, if you add them to your friends, the sudden shock of better lights could bleach them as well. If you upgrade, start your lights low and slowly ramp up over weeks. 

 

I would not spend $ on corals, just save it for a decent light. There are plenty of budget options like chinese black boxes. I see used ones go locally for 30-50 bucks and they can grow anything on a 20g. 

Wow! Thanks. I had no idea that strong lights came that cheap these days. Also, I had assumed that if it wasn't dying that meant it would be ok in that spot forever. You're saying that a coral will eventually run out of food in low light after a long time and start to die? or just that they won't grow much but will live? The xenia and green star polyps are growing fast but I guess they're a bad test group. Either way Ill be upgrading my lights but good to know for the future in case I assume a coral is happy with its placement but really isn't getting enough light.

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EthanPhillyCheesesteak
5 hours ago, HingleMcCringleberry said:

Wow! Thanks. I had no idea that strong lights came that cheap these days. Also, I had assumed that if it wasn't dying that meant it would be ok in that spot forever. You're saying that a coral will eventually run out of food in low light after a long time and start to die? or just that they won't grow much but will live? The xenia and green star polyps are growing fast but I guess they're a bad test group. Either way Ill be upgrading my lights but good to know for the future in case I assume a coral is happy with its placement but really isn't getting enough light.

They will die eventually if you do not have sufficient lighting. I learned the hard way☹️. Just buy a cheap Chinese black box, that should be fine for now.

Placement seems fine

Like Tamberav said, if they start to pale, start getting worried.

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NuisanceAlgaeCultivator

I think you can make it the month until you upgrade. Yes lighting is a factor that will need addressing for the long term well being of your tank, but if you stay on top of the water quality factor I don’t see why they wouldn’t pull through a few weeks. 

 

In the past I’ve acclimated soft corals at the bottom of the tank in lower lit places for 2-3 weeks with no noticeable impact.

 

Maybe hold off on getting anything else until you get the lighting situation exactly how you want it. 

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