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Murphych

War coral receding

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Murphych

So I have no luck with encrusting LPS ever. Tried a few things but all end up going pale followed by receding flesh then ultimately dieing most recently a Leptastrea. 

 

The same is happening to my war coral. Had it 3 months and it's been slowly receding away. The colour is still good on this piece however. 

 

Recently my alkalinity Mag and calcium did rise slowly since June but has begun to drop again to what I consider normal. Current numbers: 

 

Temp (Inkbird): 25 °C

NO3 (Salifert): 5.0 ppm

PO4 (Hanna): 0.03 ppm 

SG (TMC): 1.026 SG

Alk (Salifert): 10.3 dKH

Ca (Salifert): 480 ppm

Mag (Salifert): 1440 ppm

 

All other LSP are great, growing well and always extended. 

 

The war coral is on the sandbed glued to a small piece or rubble, indirect flow and light. I have tried many encrusting LPS but don't seem to be able to keep them happy let alone grow, I'm fairly happy that the water parameters okay although have moved, they have not swung quickly. I'm interested to see if any one has placement tips?  

PXL_20210913_175916535.MP.jpg

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jservedio

You've got a 24" deep tank with 2 AI Prime 16HDs right? Are they running at 100%? Even if they are, that's not a lot of light and LPS do enjoy more light than most people give them credit for. I'd get that sucker in direct light on the sandbed and then over the next couple weeks move it higher up. Slowly receding like that while maintaining color is a classic sign of not enough light. LPS without really puffy polyps (like acans or blastos) can't really stretch for light, so they just look normal as they slowly die when not getting enough light. I saw the exact same thing with one of my echinatas when it was being heavily shaded by acros and it died back the exact same way while being fully colored up. Once I got it in the light, it totally turned around and regrew.

 

Besides cyphastrea and chalices, I keep all of my LPS in direct light with a much shallower tank than yours with the exact same lights as you plus an XR30Pro and still keep them all in direct light!

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Murphych

Excellent thanks 

 

Yeah understand with lighting, it is only 4 inch from the surface and up at just around 85% white, 100 on blues and 110 on UV. With red and green almost off. Everything else is happy and growing well so won't make anymore adjustments to the lighting but yes I will try and get the war coral up into the light over a couple weeks. 

 

 Thanks for the assist  @jservedio

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jservedio
32 minutes ago, Murphych said:

Excellent thanks 

 

Yeah understand with lighting, it is only 4 inch from the surface and up at just around 85% white, 100 on blues and 110 on UV. With red and green almost off. Everything else is happy and growing well so won't make anymore adjustments to the lighting but yes I will try and get the war coral up into the light over a couple weeks. 

 

 Thanks for the assist  @jservedio

No problem at all, hopefully it helps!

 

I just tested and set my primes to the same settings and it looks like ~45w per light. At 24", even directly under the puck with all channels maxed at 55w it's putting down less than 100 PAR in like a 6x6" area. You are higher up and using less power, so I bet even right underneath at the sand you have maybe 75 PAR and probably like 20-30 PAR around the edge. You can probably just pop that war coral like 1/3 the way up maybe 6" away from the center of the puck and have absolutely no issues with acclimating.

 

While I have lowered my lights a bit when I added the Primes since I have less nutrients in my 50g, I was right at 200 PAR on the sand directly below the fixture when I used a PAR meter on my 20g, so I would imagine the vast majority of my LPS are probably sitting between 120-200 PAR now. Definitely no bleaching worries for you.

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Murphych

Very useful indeed. Thanks for taking the time to do that testing. 

The par numbers closer to the sand bed in the main don't concern me as I have what's turning out to be a zoa addiction 🤣 coupled with a mushroom garden so it works well. My torch's, duncans and hammer all enjoy their spaces in the tank as well though they are mid level so likely getting the lower end of what they are happy with. 

 

Though I'd I want that encrusting LPS closer to the sandbed absolutely will have to consider more light. 👍🏼

PXL_20210912_152214074.MP.jpg

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Murphych

Ok @jservedio the war has been moved up by a 3rd. I have added a few % on white light as well. Let's see how that works out in a week or 2 👍🏼

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Murphych

So I've been playing with a few ideas and looking at finance and availablity of product. 

 

@jservedio I'm thinking of swapping out on of the prime HD16s for a Hydra 32hd. And for now at least keeping the other prime HD16. Do you think this would provide any notable benefit? 

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jambon

I am running a  biocube with the stock led lighting. My war coral is thriving 12 cm below waterline. I dont think it is a light problem but a placement issue... I am no expert on them lights you have but i think they could be dialed up to be quite intense for sps corals. Btw the war coral has an amazing orange color on the edges as they grow.

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Murphych
3 minutes ago, jambon said:

I am running a  biocube with the stock led lighting. My war coral is thriving 12 cm below waterline. I dont think it is a light problem but a placement issue... I am no expert on them lights you have but i think they could be dialed up to be quite intense for sps corals. Btw the war coral has an amazing orange color on the edges as they grow.

Interesting thanks. Do you have yours in higher flow?

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jambon

Not high flow. The only flow is what comes from the return pump on the biocube in the top corner.. the  coral is close to the center of the tank. It is a hardy coral when you find the sweet spot for it. Give it a couple weeks when you move it... if it looks happy leave it be.

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jservedio
7 hours ago, Murphych said:

So I've been playing with a few ideas and looking at finance and availablity of product. 

 

@jservedio I'm thinking of swapping out on of the prime HD16s for a Hydra 32hd. And for now at least keeping the other prime HD16. Do you think this would provide any notable benefit? 

 

I don't think you need to. With your stocking I think your lights are perfectly fine.

 

If you plan on keeping corals that require more than 50-60 PAR on the sand, then yeah, you need more power. But, if you are just careful about placement there is no need for more lights unless you plan on keeping acros in the lower 2/3 of your tank - the war coral just couldn't be in the shade at the bottom of the tank, but it'd be totally fine on the sand right below one of the primes and even better a little further up. Chalices, acans, blastos, sun coral, mushrooms, cyphastrea, etc. would all absolutely love the lighting that you have now down on the sand so it's not like you are really limited with your current lights. Plus, your primes would have no problem keeping acros in the upper 1/3 of your tank below the fixtures if you wanted to get into sticks.

 

Keep in mind that when adding more PAR on the sand bed in a deep tank you are seriously cranking up the power higher up on your rockwork - especially with your lights so close to the surface. Instead of being limited with placements on the sand, you'd now be limited on placement in the upper 1/3 of the tank. Unless you want a bunch of sticks, it's definitely not "better".

 

If you do decide to change things up and add more power, I wouldn't just replace one of the Primes with a Hydra. I'd either just add the hydra to the middle of the tank (like the configuration I use) or add a couple of more Primes. That would give you more flexibility and better and more even coverage, but it certainly isn't needed.

 

Here's the configuration I am using:

 

20210521_094840.thumb.jpg.ad6d016fab8ecd4a64a26fff84ca4394.jpg

 

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mcarroll
On 9/13/2021 at 2:15 PM, Murphych said:

NO3 (Salifert): 5.0 ppm

PO4 (Hanna): 0.03 ppm 

PO4 and NO3 are on the low side for this coral IMO.  

 

How much does the tank get fed?  

 

Do you have to dose to keep those "perfect" nutrient levels, or is "5" and "0.03" just pure coincidence?  Dosing is fine, but it's a data point that suggests the tank is somewhat starved.

 

On 9/13/2021 at 2:15 PM, Murphych said:

Temp (Inkbird): 25 °C

Temperature (77F/25C) is a little on the cool side as well...consider using a set point closer to 80F/26.5C.  (I have almost always run closer to 82F/27.8C and a war coral is one of my oldest.)

 

Low light should not be an issue for it....my war coral spent most of its life in a tank that got no more than 14,000 lux at the surface, and he was around 10" down, as well as off-peak where he was mounted.  (14,000 lux is about 200-300 PAR.)

 

It's true that war corals grow pretty slowly though....or at least it's hard to see their growth vs seeing it on a branching coral.  (I suspect they are capable of putting on about the same amount of mass per month as any other coral, it's just spread evenly over a large surface so isn't very apparent.)

 

FYI, I started with a piece that was about the size of yours.  In ten years it has grown to about softball size.  It has also had a baby colony 3-4 years ago (I think?), which has grown flat vs ball shaped and is currently about saucer sized.  It also had an accident with a piece of my Hydnophora a year or so ago (I made a post on it) where it lost almost half its polyps....so sad....but it's re-grown polyps over most of that area by now.   All just for reference.  🙂 

 

BTW, could you post a full tank shot so we can see the coral in its context?

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Murphych

Thanks for the reply 

6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

PO4 and NO3 are on the low side for this coral IMO.  

 

How much does the tank get fed?  

Other that trying to remain stable, I don't try and keep any numbers at any particular level to be honest. 

I do however dose phosphate so that it targets 0.03, but it will drift upwards a touch sometimes but never seen it exceed 0.07 (I think was the highest?). If I stop dosing, phosphate will bottom out within 24hrs and Hanna will give me the old 'blinking zero' results. 

 

I feed my tank a mix of 0.5 cube BRINE SHRIMP SPIRULINA ENRICHED and 0

0.5 cube MYSIS split twice a day morning and night and at around midday I feed a few pinched of Calanus Marine Food Pellets. Once a week I will also add some reef snow. Not sure if that's a lot or not.?! 

 

6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Temperature (77F/25C) is a little on the cool side as well...consider using a set point closer to 80F/26.5C.  (I have almost always run closer to 82F/27.8C and a war coral is one of my oldest.)

Ok this is new news to me. I don't think I've ever run a tank higher than 25.5°c. but yes it's a consideration. Thanks 

 

6 hours ago, mcarroll said:

BTW, could you post a full tank shot so we can see the coral in its context?

Sure, yellow ring is where the coral is now after moving it up a little and white arrows are the light locations.

 

PXL_20210917_195555999~2.jpg

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mcarroll
On 9/22/2021 at 10:16 AM, Murphych said:

Other that trying to remain stable, I don't try and keep any numbers at any particular level to be honest. 

I do however dose phosphate so that it targets 0.03, but it will drift upwards a touch sometimes but never seen it exceed 0.07 (I think was the highest?). If I stop dosing, phosphate will bottom out within 24hrs and Hanna will give me the old 'blinking zero' results. 

 

I feed my tank a mix of 0.5 cube BRINE SHRIMP SPIRULINA ENRICHED and 0

0.5 cube MYSIS split twice a day morning and night and at around midday I feed a few pinched of Calanus Marine Food Pellets. Once a week I will also add some reef snow. Not sure if that's a lot or not.?! 

If you're PO4 can really bottom out that quickly without your dosing support, then IMO you have room to feed more (and ought to).

 

I think reef snow might qualify more as carbon dosing than as feeding....I would discontinue that for the time being (until you have "too much" po4 rather than too little).

 

Take your pick, IMO, on which food to increase, how and when....just be measured about it.  E.g.  try more pellets OR an additional 0.5 cube of frozen food for a month and see what things are like after that.

 

Looks nice, BTW!!!  Keep up the good work!

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DevilDuck

I have two favia colonies but growth really didn't take off until I moved them from my Fluval to the new tank under Radions. In the Fluval I would see parts along the edges where the tissue was receding and the skeleton would be visible. This all stopped with the addition of more light, both are now "puffier" than before and there is visible growth at the edges. 

 

I also noticed that the feeding tentacles were out more with more in a spot with more flow.

 

 

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Murphych

Rec

On 9/30/2021 at 5:35 PM, mcarroll said:

If you're PO4 can really bottom out that quickly without your dosing support, then IMO you have room to feed more (and ought to).

 

I think reef snow might qualify more as carbon dosing than as feeding....I would discontinue that for the time being (until you have "too much" po4 rather than too little).

 

Take your pick, IMO, on which food to increase, how and when....just be measured about it.  E.g.  try more pellets OR an additional 0.5 cube of frozen food for a month and see what things are like after that.

 

Looks nice, BTW!!!  Keep up the good work!

So over the last week, I have been feeding a lot more (full cube extra a day). The po4 numbers are up in the 0.2n space but do drop sharply, maybe that's because the reef was running so low in phosphate for so long everything is consuming it so quickly and in time it will level out

To add the war coral is not receding anymore but it lost have it's original size so might take a good bit of time to recover.

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mcarroll

I agree....keep up with the feeding.  You should see the consumption level off tho, so be ready to cut back a little.  (Not back to prior levels tho.)

 

Good news that the recession has stopped! 

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