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dnadrifter

Calling Duncan Experts (mine aren't doing well)

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Clown79
48 minutes ago, dnadrifter said:

Guess I was thinking about the the photosynthetic zooxanthellae.  So it is actually worse I would be killing a plant/plants and an animal.   Is each polyp considered an animal or the collection of polys considered an animal...or maybe it depends on if we are talking about LPS, SPS, etc.

 

Regardless, thanks for the correction and education.

They are all animals for a variety of reasons.

 

Its really in depth but a quick google search and lots of reading can explain it far better than i 😊

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Tired

A coral is an animal, albeit a very simple, brainless one, that has tiny single-celled plant relatives living inside it. Almost all corals are like that, as are anemones and gorgonians. A few non-photosynthetic members of those groups don't have algae. They're animals instead of plants because they consume things, and don't produce their own energy. The algae inside them produces sugars, which they use, because the algae is photosynthetic and DOES produce its own energy. 

In the simplest terms, that's what makes something an animal. An animal is a multi-cellular organism that has to consume other things for energy, instead of directly making energy from the sun or some sort of chemical reaction.

 

Each individual polyp is a single animal. The colony is a colonial organism, which just means it's an organism made up of smaller organisms. Some jellyfish-relatives are like that. It's a little like if your organs were actually separate animals, that would have a shot at surviving on their own if the rest of you was somehow removed.

 

In terms of guilt when it dies, though, it's pretty much a plant. There's no indication that they feel pain, or are any more aware of their surroundings than a lot of plants are. Speaking of, plants are more aware than a lot of people think- they just tend to move more slowly, and have fewer options for reaction than most things do. 

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dnadrifter

So back to the low nutrient issue....

 

If I don't get a fish or something to add "waste" to the tank, will I have to dose phosphate and nitrate?

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Clown79
1 hour ago, dnadrifter said:

So back to the low nutrient issue....

 

If I don't get a fish or something to add "waste" to the tank, will I have to dose phosphate and nitrate?

If you don't get fish, you will need to feed the corals.

 

 

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dnadrifter

Since the corals are photosynthetic, this would be to keep phosphate and nitrate levels up?

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aclman88
4 minutes ago, dnadrifter said:

Since the corals are photosynthetic, this would be to keep phosphate and nitrate levels up?

Sort of. The coral get energy in the form of sugar but they need nitrogen and phosphates to survive, grow and reproduce. They absorb it from the water column and food they eat. 

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Tired

Corals aren't entirely photosynthetic. All organisms need to intake materials to build themselves with- including plants. Plants get it through their roots, corals get it with their mouths and by absorbing it from the water. Think of it as them needing fertilizer, and also you can give them food directly. 

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mcarroll

Corals can be pretty independent of feeding, at least the ways we define it...totally independent under excellent conditions.

 

But they are probably extremely dependent on those excellent conditions to the same magnitude.

 

Corals compete very well all along that spectrum of "dependence/indepenence" on feeding per se, according to those other conditions.

 

These are just some of the things that matter for "excellent":

Obviously that's a nusthell summary...but also a lot of links to expand it.  🙂

 

Even with that dependency on PO4 and the ocean's reputed ultra-low average level of PO4, "somehow" corals still manage, sometimes on the scale of the Great Barrier Reef.  ("somehow"... Just to name one example resource of many that doesn't necessarily even exist in a home reef....particulate PO4 is way more common in a wild reef...every minute sand particle that lands on them carries PO4 molecules adsorbed to it that they can use.)

 

So to the extent your tank's conditions are ideal, your corals won't mind being without food.  The opposite is also true....the less ideal the conditions are, the more dependent corals will have to be on their inherent feeding capabilities.  The state of being bleached is one extreme of this spectrum of dependency....the coral is almost 100% dependent on traditional/particulate feeding methods (ie eating things) in this state.

 

Long story short, your corals will appreciate regular, occasional feedings...but they are not like fish that will require frequent feedings.  At most once a week...but once a month or even quarterly (or even less) might be fully sufficient...eventually even zero feedings might work for long periods of time.  (This has been my experience.)

 

Once the tank's ecosystem is more established, not only won't food be very required, but even the dissolved nutrient level won't be as important since there will be so much more (and more-efficient) nutrient recycling going on in the tank.

 

In the short run, dissolved nutrients will continue to be important, but not just for your corals...for the development of anything and everything that can use dissolved nutrients.

 

Remember that it's easy to over-do feedings with corals.  Less is usually more where they are concerned.

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Clown79
12 hours ago, dnadrifter said:

Since the corals are photosynthetic, this would be to keep phosphate and nitrate levels up?

Yes and to feed the corals. They need food and fish poop/pee is food so without the fish they will need to be fed.

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dnadrifter

Been keeping phosphate and alk up. Phosphate between 0.05-0.1.   I've had a copepod resurgence which is nice, but seem to also have a huge dino outbreak now.

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Tired

Dinos usually crop up when one nutrient or the other is low, or when biodiversity is low. The copepods are a great sign. How's your nitrates?

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Nano sapiens
1 hour ago, dnadrifter said:

Been keeping phosphate and alk up. Phosphate between 0.05-0.1.   I've had a copepod resurgence which is nice, but seem to also have a huge dino outbreak now.

Dinos will surely test your patience and perseverance.  What started off as a Duncan problem has now blossomed into a system-wide problem, unfortunately.

 

At 4 months your system is still immature so having some issues is not unexpected.  Was your system started off with dry rock only?  If so, system maturity will take quite a bit longer (over a year or quite possibly longer) unless you have added some live rock/live sand from the ocean or from a healthy captive reef system (the multitude of bacterial/archaea species in/on live rock and sand are essential for reef aquarium optimal functioning, not just the few species available in the 'Bacteria in a bottle' products).

 

Making sure that nutrients are in the water column for the corals and other organisms to feed on is essential to your young system.  Most dino blooms are reduced and/or eliminated by the active growth and reproduction of other small macro and microscopic organisms that use the nourishment provided (many/most Dinos, as well as some Cyano species, tend to be masters of taking advantage of very low nutrient conditions).  Products exist for trying to eliminate them, and while opinions may vary, I personally prefer not to use chemicals in a reef system if at all possible and try to use natural biological means of control.

 

But in addition to the target nutrient numbers, you'll need to concentrate on keeping all parameters as STABLE and REGULAR as possible.  Corals are adapted to relatively stable conditions and large swings in parameters are relatively rare in their natural reef environment, so they just don't do well with wildly fluctuating conditions.  This applies not just to the water chemistry, but also temperature, lighting and feeding.

 

Once you have a stabilized system, Duncans should be easy to keep.  They are highly adaptable to various lighting (IME, better in medium to medium-lower lighting vs. very high lighting and should be fed once or twice a week).

 

 

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dnadrifter

Yeah, I think they Ive had them for awhile, but they bloomed when I added PO4.   Originally I thought they were diatoms back a few months ago, but I think it was actually dinos.  Hopefully they aren't those bad palytoxin producing Ostreopsis dinos.

 

Yes, started with bare rock, so biodiversity is definitely scant.  Need to check nitrates again, but they were super low about a week ago, less than 1 ppm.

 

I need to either start dosing nitrate I think or get a fish.

 

Update:  Just checked Nitrate.....5 ppm

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pokerdobe
3 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

4 months your system is still immature

This

3 hours ago, Nano sapiens said:

keeping all parameters as STABLE and REGULAR

And this. 

 

People worry too much about hitting specific numbers rather than keeping stability and consistency. Your corals will do fine in .01 or .1 or .2, so long as you keep it there. 

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dnadrifter

I appreciate all the feedback.   I know the tank is very "young".   It had been stable for a bit 2-3 months, but I changed things too fast and keep track of phosphate and nitrate I think.

 

Guess, I am just running into the fact that with a new system, no real live rock and biodiversity, and only 6 gallons of water....stability is pretty hard.   I need to figure something out though cause I won't be able to keep up with daily testing and daily manual dosing much longer.   (as of last week doing for both 2 part and PO4)

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Tired

Can you get some live rock? Even a pound, or half a pound, would help the biodiversity. 

 

Directly feeding your corals is ideal. Try to find a food they'll take easily, and get those nutrients into them.

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