View Full Version : Soft coral concerns

06/27/2017, 05:57 PM
Hey all,

First of all, though I've been using RC for research for years I've never posted a single thing until today. I've been able to learn enough from others questions that I haven't needed to! But after an extensive amount of incessant research, I finally have a few questions that I just can't seem to find an exact instance of. Hopefully I can gain some insight into my softies that can help me turn things around.

First of all, my tank:
55g and a 10g sump. Skimmer is a Eshopps PSK-100. I also run a GFO/Carbon mix reactor and am experimenting with growing cheato in a small HOB refugium. The refugium is having no impact on my nutrients thus far, I'm sure, but it's a work in progress.
Not sure exactly the poundage of LR but it's quite a bit. I've attached a picture of my full tank.

I've had this 55g up for 3 years and it's the upgrade of a 36g, for 6 years total on the tank. So it's quite mature.
Livestock: 2 ocellaris, 1 royal gramma, 1 splendid dottyback, 1 firefish, 1 blue green chromis and 2 neon blue gobies.
Ammonia/Nitrite: 0
Nitrate: <5
Phosphate: <.25 (the lowest my test kit will read above 0)
pH: 7.8
SG: 1.026
Ca: 420
dKH: 10
Mg: 1040
Iodine/Iodide: 0.05

I have 2 LED fixtures that are both on their lowest setting for both white and blue lighting. I recently added some new dry rock a few weeks ago and it's very white, so I didn't want an outbreak of diatoms.

As far a corals, I have a sizeable mat of GSP, 4 colonies of 100+ zoas spread throughout, a few smaller patches of different zoas sprinkled around, a dozen or so paly's in one small colony, 3 mushroom heads, a small frogspawn frag, a small chalice coral frag, a small-ish frag of kenya, a small devil's hand and a very small finger leather. Everything seems fairly happy and well colored except the last 3. It's these which I'm hoping you folks can help with.

First of all, the Kenya and the DH are new. I traded in some of my many zoas and paly's to my LFS. I've never traded before so brought in 5 plugs and asked for these 2 in return. Before I could say anything, the gentleman said sure and tossed the Kenya and DH from his tank into my container of water that I brought my plugs over in... So I didn't get a chance to acclimate them at all. I inspected them when I got home as both were shriveled up (of course) but seeing no other problems and worrying about their temp, I shut the lights off in my tank and put them in.

Everything I've read indicates that both DH and Kenya are very hardy, to the point that many people consider Kenya a pest. I want to give them time to adjust, but at the same time want to make sure I don't let them die from neglect just because I wanted to give them time. So I'll share a pic and hopefully can get some second opinions on how they look and perhaps some tips on what to do (or not do) to give them the best chance for recovery in my tank.
This is the DH:

This is the Kenya:

Both are droopy and have looked exactly like this for 3 days, lights on or off. Right above and to the left of the DH (but not aimed directly at it) is my strongest PH which blows 800 gph and which shuts off at night. I creates sort of a ring of flow in that area. Since I hear the DH likes high flow due to shedding, I put it up higher and the Kenya towards the end of the ring to get less flow.

Anyhow, any advice would be much appreciated as these guys both haven't really gotten the best start. I don't think it's too late by any means for either so I'd love to get them back on track.

My other question is about the other piece you can see in the pic of above with the Kenya. As far as I can tell, it's a small finger leather coral. It has been closed up like this for at least 6 months, since I got it. Looked fine in the store, and my research indicated it was a simple coral to keep. I acclimated it and everything. Since it's always been so unhappy, I didn't want to move it around a bunch and end up pushing it off the edge. At this point though, I need to do something. Most recently, about 2 weeks ago, I moved it over from the low flow right side of my tank to the higher flow left side. Before that, it was on the sand for a while. I was looking for any sign that it was adjusted to my tank before moving it up into stronger light or flow but that never came. Rarely, I can see just the tiniest bit of it's polyps peeking out, mostly after I put a cap of marine snow in the tank. But just barely, and very briefly. At night, it gets a bit smaller than you see in the pic.

My questions for this guy:
First: is this actually probably a finger leather? It's white coloration may just be due to how unhappy it is. It's tiny polyps, when I can see them, are brown.

Second: It's only been next to the Kenya for a few days. Is that too close or should they be fine? I can't seem to find any info about either one waging chemical warfare. The flow direction hits the Kenya first and then the FL. I feel that both have similar flow requirements which is why I put them on the same rock, but either can certainly be moved.

Third: Is it worth it to try moving it around to see if I can find a better spot for it? Or should I wait it out? It's been like this for months and honestly I have no idea how it's still alive. Unless white is their natural coloration, I can't see any zooxanthellae that would be feeding it and it never fully extends it's polyps to catch particulate food.

Again, I want to give this guy the best chance for success but I'm also worried about making things worse.

Sorry for such a long post (especially for my first one!) but as I said, I'm really at my wits end for these 3 guys having gone through everything I could find on google and still coming up short. Any insight would be very much appreciated. Thanks!