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Torch advice please


noobiereef

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noobiereef

I can't figure out what I'm doing wrong with my torch. I have two next to each other and one is decent while the other looks like it's going to die any day 😭

 

Anyone have suggestions?

 

 

Tank parameters:

25G w/AI prime

Salinity (ppt) Alkalinity (dkH) Calcium (ppm) Magnesium (ppm) Phosphate (ppm) Nitrate   
35 8.9 440 1380 0.08 20  

20240404_204505.jpg

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mcarroll

Impossible to know for sure, but coulda been damaged before, during or after acquisition.

 

My only suggestion is to move him a little further away from the other torch.  Consider a spot with a bit less flow, if possible.  Keep your fingers crossed.  🤞

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TheKleinReef

I had a torch do this too, I ended up moving it almost in the shade and it bounced back over a few weeks. At the time I had 3 happy torches and one mad one. Sometimes there's something out of your control that irritated it and it needs time to recover from it.

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noobiereef

I haven't moved it yet (currently printing a stand to put in the sand for it) but it's not looking terrible today after a few WC and babying. Do you think this flow is ok?

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MrObscura

After getting into reefing 5 years ago or so and experiencing an annoying amount of ups and downs I can say that after lightning and flow feeding is the next important thing. 

 

If you think you're feeding enough. Feed more. If you think you're feeding to much... you're probably feeding just enough. 

 

Feeding heavy, and doing regular water changes will lead to success. I also started running carbon 24\7 as a safe gaurd against impurities. in our home\business environments who knows what gets introduced into our tanks. Crystal clear water is nice too. 

 

Also when adding corals I've had the best results with no acclimatization and putting them in their permanent home within couple days.

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geekreef_05

Two things ive learned about torches:

 

Some will sting each other. Hard to tell which tolerate which. In this case I would move them away from each other, so tentacles cant touch. 

 

Torches love high Mg. 1500 is ideal. You Mg is low. 

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  • 2 weeks later...
MrObscura

Don't star chasing specific numbers like 1500 mag.

 

Stick to your salts levels... a specific parameter number  is not the answer.   For every  guy who says you need such and such you'll find another doing the opposite with equal success. 

 

As long as you know your numbers are around sea water levels and relativley stable basic parameters arent the problem.

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mcarroll

Maybe someone can help with a theory on why elevated Mg (eg. >1350 ppm) would be beneficial?

 

The only analogy I can think of is higher-concentration seawater, such as in the Mediterranean and Red Sea, up to 1.026 s.g.  But with most salt mixes, even 1.026 s.g. doesn't take Ca/Mg/alk parameters up that high.  Looking at an online seawater calculator, you'd need 1.031 s.g. 😳in order to have balanced seawater with Mg @ 1500 ppm...so doesn't seem like the analogy is supportive of 1500 ppm Mg.

 

Another thing is that folks have always had their preferences on keeping their reefs at the "normal" seawater concentrations, or keeping them at higher concentrations (e.g. 1.026 s.g. like some of the Red Sea).  But I generally don't see folks being dogmatic and claiming that one salinity is "better".  And one doesn't have to do much looking around to notice successful reef tanks at various seawater concentrations AND various Mg, Ca and alkalinity levels.  (More or less within the nature range of reefs in the wild....😉

 

I'm not yet aware of any potentenial/theoretical benefits to specifically increasing only Mg though.  Seawater has TONS of magnesium in it, so to me at least it seems like there "shouldn't be" be any Mg-limited processes happening that would benefit from "even higher" Mg levels.  Am I missing something tho?  Any theories?

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geekreef_05

There's no need for theories. 

 

This is a well known and studied concept that torch corals and generally LPS, do well in high Mg. 

 

Frankly you cant keep a torch alive, long term, with 1200 Mg levels. 

 

Dont take my word for it. Do your research. There are alot of facets to learn about this.

 

Here's a good place to start. One of Canada's good reefing vendors and youtubers, taking torch corals. 

 

At about 3min:50sec into the video he mentions that all the aquariums in his shop are at 1500 Mg and that torches and LPS really thrive at that level.

 

 

 

Gotta dial in that Mg people! 

 

 

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noobiereef

Thanks all! I pulled my MG up from 1380 to 1470 and spit the torches apart. They seem to be doing OK depending on the day. It comes out more but still ends up scrunched later in the day!

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geekreef_05

Its natural for many corals to retract at night. Its also natural for them to occasionally do that to expell fluids from inside. 

 

But if its happening every couple days look for something that might be disturbing it. Other corals, an aggressive shrimp or crab, red bugs, fireworms, etc. 

 

 

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mcarroll
On 4/22/2024 at 3:03 PM, geekreef_05 said:

There's no need for theories. 

LOL 😂 OK.

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mitten_reef
1 hour ago, mcarroll said:

LOL 😂 OK.

LOL, at least @geekreef_05 has tank journal to prove that he does what he says......  if everything is working so well in "your way to reef" - theories or otherwise - then show it and share it.  There are more than one way to be successful in this hobby, pretty sure everyone agrees on that - but there are also ways to blend different approaches so long as it works for the individual reef keeper themselves.

LOL, theories...

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MrObscura

Someone should tell those house size torches and euphyllia colonies in the wild that they should start struggling  with natural sea waters measly 1250 mag average. 

 

Just because a dude has a thriving tank keeping mag at 1500 that doesnt mean thats  WHY he has success.  And it definitely doesn't mean you need 1500 mag to have success. Will it hurt? No...but its not some secret ingredient to keeping certain corals. 

 

Digging down these rabbit holes chasing arbitrary answers to supposed problems simply causes more issues. 

 

Aim for the numbers your salt if choices mixes at. 

 

 

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Kev1n

I have only ever kept 2 torches. My first was a complete failure and its demise was totally my fault. The torch perished in a very young setup where alk was all over the place. I did not give the aquarium time to stabilise and mature. I think a torch coral needs a stable alk. The second attempt was with a much more mature aquarium with all parameters close to natural sea water levels, most importantly the alk was relatively stable. The torch survived 4 years with me until I gave it away to another reefer after stripping the aquarium down. This was just my experience.

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noobiereef

Update! The 24k still only has a small flesh line but it's starting to pinch and has a 2nd mouth! I'm still having a hard time getting the other one on track. Feeding seems to help a lot but constantly looks like it's on the brink of death. 

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20240512_004308.jpg

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noobiereef

I haven't had much change! Alk is consistently 9-10. It Dips a little to 9ish and back up to 10 after a water change. Mag was at 1320 at the beginning of the year and I've slowly dosed it up to 1400-1450. Calc has stayed around 420. The main variation I have is in my nitrates and phosphates. I have a bad ratio of high nitrates but low phosphates. Been carbon dosing and adding in neophos to keep the phos from zeroing out but my nitrates have stayed between 25 and 50. I did an IPC a few weeks ago and it said 40 😞 

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mcarroll
1 hour ago, noobiereef said:

Been carbon dosing and adding in neophos to keep the phos from zeroing out but my nitrates have stayed between 25 and 50. I did an IPC a few weeks ago and it said 40 😞 

Carbon dosing is the opposite of what your coral wants.  Stop worrying about the nitrate number and just address phosphates, as needed.  

 

Try to maintain PO4 levels with a daily dose just like you would do for alkalinity.  Target ≥0.10 ppm at least until things finish turning around.  👍  Dosing just weekly or even less often might not be enough....try to test and dose daily until things are normalized.

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noobiereef
9 hours ago, mcarroll said:

Carbon dosing is the opposite of what your coral wants.  Stop worrying about the nitrate number and just address phosphates, as needed.  

 

Try to maintain PO4 levels with a daily dose just like you would do for alkalinity.  Target ≥0.10 ppm at least until things finish turning around.  👍  Dosing just weekly or even less often might not be enough....try to test and dose daily until things are normalized.

It's the opposite of what my coral want? The carbon dosing brings down the phos and nitrates but because it's so imbalanced the phos mainly sees it. It's been mostly consistent around 0.05 with dosing it with the carbon. Will keeping it above 0.1 bring back my hair algae?

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mcarroll
5 hours ago, noobiereef said:

It's the opposite of what my coral want? The carbon dosing brings down the phos and nitrates but because it's so imbalanced the phos mainly sees it. It's been mostly consistent around 0.05 with dosing it with the carbon. Will keeping it above 0.1 bring back my hair algae?

Corals photosynthesize continuously when the lights are on, releasing their own carbon-sugars into the water all the time, which in turn grow a specific set of microbes in the water/around the coral.  

 

When foreign carbon sources are dosed, it's not a help to them or their microbes, it's competition.  (Corals doing that also means the water and system are not carbon-limited, so there should be no need for carbon dosing from that perspective either.)

 

Algae and corals like the same nutrients and the same general conditions – and algae can be a stronger competitors than coral when they have to face off 1-on-1.

 

What lets corals dominate over algae is herbivores.   Seemingly EVERYTHING likes to eat algae.  Advantage: Corals.

 

In our tanks, we are the #1 "herbivore" since most larger herbivores (Parrotfish, Damselfish, Tangs, et al) are excluded from our reefs.  Algae removal usually falls to us for any algae already grown out and our snails, such as Turbo, Astrea, Trochus, Cerith, et al., for whole tank cleaning and algae patrol to keep new growth trimmed to zero.

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noobiereef

Interesting! I had no clue, thanks for the detailed explanation! Do do have any suggestions for bringing down my nitrates a different way? I have bioballs in my tank, but do I need something larger like a brick to allow for more anaerobic bacteria?

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noobiereef

I've been. Fighting high nitrates basically the whole time the tank has been up from right after I cycled. I may have done too long/too much ammonia or too long ghost feeding. But since then haven't been able to get them lower. I only have two small clowns so not over stocked and have pulled my feeding back that may have been an issue earlier on

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