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LPS Leather compatibility


Dave MN Nano

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Look at my hammer coral in the bottom center of tank. Withdrawing. Was much bigger. Is this a potential problem with too much leather corals near my LPS? It's been going down hill for a week or 2.

 

Parameters:

Nitrates = 5 ppm

Phosphate = 0.03 ppm

Calcium = 460

dkh hardness = 8

ph = 8.2

Salinity = 1.025

Temp 78

 

This is a 20 gallon long tank. The tank is about 1 year old. If not lps/leather incompatibility, what could it be???

Thanks much for you help.

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IMG_7728.jpg

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Is your alk stable? Meaning it doesn't drop or rise on a regular basis?

 

Do you run carbon to reduce coral toxins. 

 

Leathers are known to possibly bother sps corals but with carbon use thats reduced. 

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I use a hang on back filter with carbon in cartridges (Aqueon). I change the cartridge every 2 weeks. I don't test alkalinity as often as nitrate or phosphates but I have always measured 8 or 9. I was having an algae problem and I used Vibrant for the past couple of months. The algae is almost entirely gone now and I am down to one dose every 2 weeks, which is the maintenance dose. I am almost ready to go down to 0 doses. I know that is a hot topic but can that be hard on LPS??? My hammer and frog spawn don't look that happy. The rest of my corals all seem great.

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On 10/27/2021 at 6:43 PM, Dave MN Nano said:

Nitrates = 5 ppm

Phosphate = 0.03 ppm

Calcium = 460

dkh hardness = 8

ph = 8.2

Salinity = 1.025

Temp 78

N and P are about as low as I'd be comfortable seeing them....if they ever go lower (especially P), such as from a water change, it could be enough to hurt your corals.

 

Compare your Euphyllias with the pics in the grid below from this article and see if the conditions (see below pic) with the best-matching pic also match the conditions in your tank:

1-s2-0-s0025326x17301601-gr1.jpg 

(H=high; L=low; P=phosphate; N=nitrate)

 

For that reason (which is illustrated in those pics and discussed in the article) I would suggest keeping a wider margin of safety.....

  • N is less significant, so if 5 ppm is the lowest yours goes (test a little while after a water change), then that's an OK low mark.  Higher is OK.
  • P is more significant.  I would do what's necessary to establish and maintain a level of at least 0.05 or even 0.10 ppm.  Again higher is OK.

If you need to dose some liquid phosphate in the short term to establish a higher level, I would do it.  (It may only take a single dose.)

 

On 10/27/2021 at 9:54 PM, Dave MN Nano said:

I use a hang on back filter with carbon in cartridges (Aqueon). I change the cartridge every 2 weeks. I don't test alkalinity as often as nitrate or phosphates but I have always measured 8 or 9. I was having an algae problem and I used Vibrant for the past couple of months. The algae is almost entirely gone now and I am down to one dose every 2 weeks, which is the maintenance dose. I am almost ready to go down to 0 doses. I know that is a hot topic but can that be hard on LPS??? My hammer and frog spawn don't look that happy. The rest of my corals all seem great.

But sounds like you could stop using the filter cartridge for a while.  Stop doing anything like Vibrant.  (If you have to ask...)

 

Try just not doing anything that removes nutrients from the system for a while.  Water changes, filtering...anything.

 

And if you have algae to get rid of, use the old fashioned way...with elbow grease, and a lot of help from your cleanup crew.  If you need help with your technique (most of us do at some point) then I highly recommend this video....the removal method and snail recommendations apply to most of the common nuisance algae....(the other measures he talks about are more specific to his tank's needs and don't apply to yours.):

 

I'm curious: What pH reading you get if you measure before lights-on in the morning?   Is the 8.2 reading from significantly AFTER lights-on?

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Thanks much. Great suggestions!!! I can feed more and do less filtering and water changes and raise my nitrates and phosphates. What I haven't figured out how to do is just raise phosphate. 10 is my upper limit for N right? What type of liquid phosphate could i dose with?

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20 hours ago, mcarroll said:

f you need to dose some liquid phosphate in the short term to establish a higher level, I would do it.  (It may only take a single dose.)

mcarroll, what should I use to does liquid phosphate should I use??

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I actually do recall reading about sinularia being particularly nasty when touching other coral somewhere before. It's possible that I'm confusing it with another animal though.

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Move the LPS away so the leather doesn't brush on it or shed on it. Otherwise I have had no problems keeping them together (just not touching, the LPS would lose when touched). I agree the tank is pretty clean and they may enjoy a bit more nutrients. 

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No, that’s just marketing. NeoPhos will raise your phosphate when you dose per directions. I have to admit their directions aren’t very straight forward.

 

<Your tank total water volume in gallons> X <ppm you want to increase> X 3.758 = ml of NeoPhos to add

 

so if you have a 20 gal tank and want to increase phosphate an additional .04 ppm then it would be

 

20 x .04 x 3.758 = 3 ml of NeoPhos 

1 hour ago, Dave MN Nano said:

@DevilDuck Can I just dose Neophos? The, somewhat complicated, directiontalk about dosing a few other Brightwell products as well??

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@mcarroll That is a great video. Thanks much!!! After you dose the Phosphate x and after you pull the algae, then what? How to get phosphate back up? Do you just do a partial water change and wait for feeding to bring the phosphate back up to an acceptable level? How long does that take?

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14 hours ago, Dave MN Nano said:

@mcarroll What do you recommend I dose? to increase phosphates? Sorry just learning to use the forum correctly!

In addition to the current good recommendation, Seachem is also popular....possibly more available at retail too.  Look for Seachem Flourish Phosphate.  (They have apps and online calculators to help you calculate your dose.  It's considered a "planted tank" product.)

 

14 hours ago, Dave MN Nano said:

@DevilDuck Can I just dose Neophos? The, somewhat complicated, directions talk about dosing a few other Brightwell products as well??

I'm not sure why, but NeoPhos seems to be targeted exclusively to people that are trying to implement some kind of carbon dosing regimen in their system – which seems like a terrible idea in almost all common circumstances.  (Carbon dosing has cause SO MANY dino outbreaks it's very unfunny actually.).  🤷‍♂️

 

All you need from the video is the dosing concentration so you can calculate how much product is needed to raise a gallon of water by so many ppm of phosphate – you just need to be able to calculate a correct dose.

 

1 hour ago, Dave MN Nano said:

@mcarroll That is a great video. Thanks much!!! After you dose the Phosphate x and after you pull the algae, then what? How to get phosphate back up? Do you just do a partial water change and wait for feeding to bring the phosphate back up to an acceptable level? How long does that take?

Phosphate X isn't for you – it's a phosphate remover.  (The video author is working on a very mature tank in the video with very different "problems" from yours. Arguably even he doesn't really need the Phosphate X...but that's a whole other discussion.) 

 

The algae in the connected frag tank in the vid is the only thing in common with your tank.

 

He's mostly showing you his technique for removing the algae.  (Which is simple genius – I love it!)  (Dosesn't look like you have much/any hair algae from your pics tho.  The rocks I can see clearly still look quite new/naked.)

 

His advice on snails is interesting too....I would only add that they need to be added carefully (slowly) so you don't end up with too many snails for the amount of algae your tank is growing.  Adding too many can cause snail die-off as they "starve down" to the correct population size.  A waste (and kinda mean) to overshoot.

 

👍So dose up your phosphates to proper levels.  Eliminate the rest of the "unneeded" things that are being dosed or used for cleaning/filtratration.  See how things go from there. 👍

 

One more thought for the leather corals.  It has been a common practice to use a little activated carbon (and definitely protein skimming) on leather tanks.  They're known to exude terpenes into the water which are somehow supposed to repress stony corals....not sure of the mechanism how those chemicals work tho.  (Tunze makes a nice small skimmer, for a starter suggestion on that front.)

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29 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

 

One more thought for the leather corals.  It has been a common practice to use a little activated carbon (and definitely protein skimming) on leather tanks.  They're known to exude terpenes into the water which are somehow supposed to repress stony corals....not sure of the mechanism how those chemicals work tho.  (Tunze makes a nice small skimmer, for a starter suggestion on that front.)

My nutrients have been mostly on the low side so I have never added a skimmer. Wouldn't a skimmer make my nutrient problem worse, quickly? Does skimming remove the terpenes? Thanks much.

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1 hour ago, Dave MN Nano said:

My nutrients have been mostly on the low side so I have never added a skimmer. Wouldn't a skimmer make my nutrient problem worse, quickly? Does skimming remove the terpenes? Thanks much.

Skimmers barely do anything to the major dissolved nutrients that we're concerned with here.

 

The hesitation (on top of the basic situation) makes me wonder if you're feeding the tank enough?

 

Can you describe what is your feeding regime like?  And what foods are you feeding?

 

For what it's worth, the skimmer is mostly just basic equipment for the tank...for ongoing things like this.  

 

I don't think there's been a test to prove whether terpenes specifically are removed by a skimmer, but you can sniff the skimmate and tell SOMETHING like terpenes (a fairly common component of some essential oils and perfumes, BTW) are in there.  

 

A little activated carbon is probably going to do the "heavy lifting" on this.  Poly-Filter would be a decent compliment or alternative to activated carbon.    Whatever you choose, use it in proportion to your small tank size (ie use a small amount)....no reason for overkill on any of it.  👍

 

(I still see the lack of phosphates as the main issue, FYI....the leather/terpenoids is just another potential issue I think.)

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Gonna have to 2nd Tamberav's comment.  👍

 

Check out this article from 1983... 😊

"Competitive strategies of soft corals (Coelenterata: Octocorallia): Allelopathic effects on selected scleractinian corals"

(PDF link)

 

Sinularia isn't the "worst offender" among leathers, but I'd say based on the non-lethal effects they observed in their experiment to give 6-12" of space between leathers and stony corals in any tank without excellent, strong flow AND some filtration as already mentioned.

 

Strong flow and good filtration would definitely limit this effect.  

 

Touching should definitely be prevented😵 ...which would also suggest dilligently enforcing that 6"+ boundary between leather and hard coral.  (A good strategy for Euphyllia anyway as they can develop NASTY sweeper tentacles up to 12" long or so.)

On 10/27/2021 at 6:43 PM, Dave MN Nano said:

IMG_7728.jpg

'Em guys definitely look like they would be "shaking hands" if the Euphyllia would/could inflate.

 

BACK 'EM UP!!

Edited by mcarroll
PDF link added.
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13 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Gonna have to 2nd Tamberav's comment.  👍

 

Check out this article from 1983... 😊

"Competitive strategies of soft corals (Coelenterata: Octocorallia): Allelopathic effects on selected scleractinian corals"

(PDF link)

 

Sinularia isn't the "worst offender" among leathers, but I'd say based on the non-lethal effects they observed in their experiment to give 6-12" of space between leathers and stony corals in any tank without excellent, strong flow AND some filtration as already mentioned.

 

Strong flow and good filtration would definitely limit this effect.  

 

Touching should definitely be prevented😵 ...which would also suggest dilligently enforcing that 6"+ boundary between leather and hard coral.  (A good strategy for Euphyllia anyway as they can develop NASTY sweeper tentacles up to 12" long or so.)

'Em guys definitely look like they would be "shaking hands" if the Euphyllia would/could inflate.

 

BACK 'EM UP!!

That makes me want to re-think having any soft coral in the tank!

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Thanks everyone. Going to feed more (I feed mysis or pellets once a day now), Dose Neophos and separate the softies and LPS as much as possible. Sinulara is a Kenya Leather tree right? I may need to get a bigger tank!!!😀

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14 hours ago, Dave MN Nano said:

Thanks everyone. Going to feed more (I feed mysis or pellets once a day now), Dose Neophos and separate the softies and LPS as much as possible. Sinulara is a Kenya Leather tree right? I may need to get a bigger tank!!!😀

Good plan.  

 

Some folks chop frozen cubes into halves or quarters...you can add smaller amounts of frozen that way....move up in stages, first to 1.25 cubes, then 1.5 cubes if that wasn't enough, etc.  Try to keep the amount of pellets going into the tank around the same as it is today IMO.

 

Keep your nitrate levels in mind – if there is any pent up demand for phosphates, the result might be (should be) an increase in demand for N.   Nitrates going to zero doesn't carry the same consequences as when po4 does since it's only one of many forms of dissolved nitrogen in the system, but it's still a good idea to avoid the condition...especially while the tank is newish.

 

Of course the hope is that increased feeding levels will result in slightly higher no3 and po4 levels....and that dosing po4 is only in the short term to maintain at least 0.05-0.10 ppm.  (No point shooting higher than that at this stage.  Nothing wrong if it goes higher tho.)

 

If no3 does happen to creep down then increase feeding more and/or just easy up on (or temporarily stop) water changes.

 

13 hours ago, Dave MN Nano said:

Plus: I always thought I had to worry about my hammer and torch stinging and hurting other corals. Not vice versa!

It goes *every way*..  🙂 

 

Leathers, stonies, free polyps, colonial polyps, sponges...everything from microbes to cetaceans vying for reef space with all the tools they can bear.

 

(Check out why this is what makes "a reef" as resilient as it is:  The Nature and Consequences of Indirect Effects in Ecological Communities)

 

Combined leather+stony tanks used to be a lot more common....and nano tanks used to be a lot more rare.  Make sure you post often!  🙂 

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Moved some coral around for much more apartheid and got my phosphates up to 0.06. I will watch nitrates and phosphate closely and hopefully my hammer can recover. 

69B40722-6649-47CF-B6BD-4D54B94CCED6.jpeg

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