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Unread 08/14/2009, 10:25 PM   #1
redfishsc
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Causes of montipora bleaching or RTN?

I am having a bear of a time with my montipora species. PICS TO COME when lights come on next...

They are ALL losing tissue and leaving a bare white skeleton in seemingly random places. This has gone on for about a month and a half, starting just before I upgraded a tank from a 10g to a 25g. I noticed it in the 10g and it's continued.

This is affecting standard orange monti cap, Tyree Idaho grape, orange digitata, brown digitata, and an SPS that I have seen described as "elkhorn montipora"-- it has tiny polyps that look just like the Idaho grape polyps but is shaped more like a hydnophora. Has been growing fine until all this bleaching started.

The bleaching starts as a small patch of white near a middle area (not growth tip), which spreads outward.



Anyhow, no other SPS is suffering and are growing nicely: millepora is fine, as is two colors of birdsnest frag and cactus pavona.


I have almost ruled out monti nudies--- I keep a VERY close eye out for them and never see one.

I have ruled out light; it happens in every place in the tank and also in my frag tank (similar light but better reflectors and more intense... same water system).


I have ruled out low alk and calcium; alk stays around 10 and calcium stays over 400. I seldom need to do much more than water changes for alk and calc in this tank since the SPS frags are small. I check weekly.


I don't think it's chemical warfare. I run a good bit of activated carbon and skim pretty wet.

I have NOT ruled out magnesium but have serious doubts that this is a problem. I do not have a test kit, but the slow rate which my tank uses alk and CA, I very seriously doubt it's the magnesium. I had the LFS check it a month or two ago, just before the bleaching, and it was fine (1300)

Here are the other water parameters:

Nitrate- undetectable

Phosphate, "kinda" detectable on the Seachem kit, if I had to guess, I'd say 0.1ppm or less. Other SPS colors and growth is good.

Temp--- 79-80

Salinity--- 35ppm.


Lights: 4X24 T5HO over a 25g tall. Montis are high and middle in this tank, and high in the 20g frag tank (also 4X24).

All lights are 2-8 months old.

Tank fed fairly heavily.

I do dose carbon; specifically I was dosing glucose (1/8 tsp per day in the evening) and have changed to dosing Vitamin C instead (soft coral and LPS response has been very good). VC is 1/8 tsp per day. No change in the monti, though.



Other corals-- small frags of hammer, torch, and frogspawn. Various corralimorphs and zoanthids, and one red goniopora colony.


I don't get it.... any ideas?


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Unread 08/14/2009, 10:40 PM   #2
minhvu
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Have u check them out after the lights went off? Monti nudi usually comes out at night. I really think it might be nudi since nothing else is affected and the fact that you're getting patches of it.


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Unread 08/14/2009, 10:52 PM   #3
ReefWreak
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Could also be high alk. I lost an entire rock covered in Superman Montipora Danae from my alk being at 10-11. Now I try to keep my alk at 8-9, especially since I'm doing vodka dosing as well. Now that I've gotten my Ca and Alk on track, my montipora are growing back like madmen, including that same colony that 90% of the tissue died away on from the high alk. It's already back to about 33% of what it once was in 2 months.


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Unread 08/15/2009, 07:41 AM   #4
redfishsc
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Quote:
Originally posted by minhvu
Have u check them out after the lights went off? Monti nudi usually comes out at night. I really think it might be nudi since nothing else is affected and the fact that you're getting patches of it.
I have checked it at night, frequently. I've seen nothing on them. Although I agree with you that the missing patches of tissue certainly make it look like nudis.


Quote:
Originally posted by ReefWreak
Could also be high alk. I lost an entire rock covered in Superman Montipora Danae from my alk being at 10-11. Now I try to keep my alk at 8-9, especially since I'm doing vodka dosing as well. Now that I've gotten my Ca and Alk on track, my montipora are growing back like madmen, including that same colony that 90% of the tissue died away on from the high alk. It's already back to about 33% of what it once was in 2 months.

Thank you for sharing that! Glad to see your monti coming back!! I may need to pick up some low-alk salt mix (can anyone recommend a brand?). I have Reef Crystals right now, and my monthly 20% water change keeps my kH around 10.

I am getting suspicious of the alk level.

Any suggestions for bringing it down other than diluting with a low-alk salt mix?


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Unread 08/15/2009, 08:08 AM   #5
ReefWreak
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There really aren't tricks for lowering alk other than water changes unfortunately. Vinegar ruins the pH and dissolves Ca, but it doesn't do very for the buffering capacity of the water to my knowledge.


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Unread 08/15/2009, 08:10 AM   #6
Genetics
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Out of curiosity how much sugar and vitamin C are you dosing?


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Unread 08/15/2009, 09:01 AM   #7
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I have a local LFS that specializes in coral. He has 1000s of gorgeous, healthy frags and colonies. He has 1000s of gallons of interconnected tanks. He is a stern believer in "high" dkh. He keeps his whole system at 12. I have never seen a more beautiful, healthy array of corals in captivity.
I think the operative word there is 'keeps'. You dont want changes. His philosophy is a solid, high Dkh makes the dkh,ca,mag triangle much more stable and managable.

I dont believe your dkh is the culprit


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Unread 08/15/2009, 11:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Genetics
Out of curiosity how much sugar and vitamin C are you dosing?

1/8 tsp per day of the glucose. When I started the vitamin C I was doing 1/8 of the VC twice a day and 1/8 of the glucose.

I stopped the glucose altogether after a week and a half.

Total system water is around 45 gallons.

I may have to stop all carbon dosing until I can get the kH down.

Anyone recommend a good salt that is lower in kH (ie, 7 or 8)?


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Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/15/2009, 11:02 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by jbird69
I have a local LFS that specializes in coral. He has 1000s of gorgeous, healthy frags and colonies. He has 1000s of gallons of interconnected tanks. He is a stern believer in "high" dkh. He keeps his whole system at 12. I have never seen a more beautiful, healthy array of corals in captivity.
I think the operative word there is 'keeps'. You dont want changes. His philosophy is a solid, high Dkh makes the dkh,ca,mag triangle much more stable and managable.

I dont believe your dkh is the culprit


While I'm inclined to believe you, does this LFS dose any form of carbon in their tank (vinger, sugar, vodka, etc...)?

There is a definite correlation to coral damage and kH over ~9 when dosing carbon.


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“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins” -- Søren Kierkegaard

Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/15/2009, 11:58 AM   #10
RobbyVonAwesome
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Have you looked UNDER the dead spots? I had a monti do something exactly like this, and I couldn't figure it out. Turns out there was an aiptasia underneath that was stinging the underside, right on the dead spot.


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Unread 08/15/2009, 12:27 PM   #11
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Robby, there is an aiptasia on one of the orange monti colonies, but this is affecting every monti in the tank the same way-- (6 frags and one hand sized cap colony in the main tank, and ~10 on frag plugs in my frag tank)


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Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/15/2009, 03:51 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by redfishsc
While I'm inclined to believe you, does this LFS dose any form of carbon in their tank (vinger, sugar, vodka, etc...)?

There is a definite correlation to coral damage and kH over ~9 when dosing carbon.

No. I overlooked that you are dosing carbon. The tricky thing about this is its only your montis being effected. Which still makes me skeptical that its a dkh issue. I understood that the common effect of high dkh+carbon dosing=burnt tips.


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Unread 08/15/2009, 04:03 PM   #13
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+1 on this being an odd situation, jbird.

I'm going by the alk hypothesis only out of desperation! Gotta try something!



Would anyone suspect a potassium defficiency? I've heard of this happening with systems that have carbon dosing. I do not have a potassium kit and haven't priced them.


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Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/15/2009, 05:31 PM   #14
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have you tried dipping any of the frags in a medicated solution?...or fragging some healthy branches to see if the issue continues on the frags? You might consider doing some fragging to try to save some corals????


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Unread 08/16/2009, 05:12 AM   #15
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jbird, I haven't tried dipping yet, as I don't know what to dip with. I've had Coral Revive recommended to me in the past day or two, I haven't been to the LFS to see if they have it though.

Do you recommend a good dip?


As for fragging, I am afraid that would accelerate the problem and not solve it. The tissue necrosis is happening on every single frag I already have of monti species, so it would most likely continue on any new frags I make.

I am afraid there's something causing this, in the water or other conditions/factors that needs to be solved.

My last ditch effort will be to give the Idaho grape and orange monti to a buddy to see if they recover, but I wanted to rule out any communicable parasites before I did that.


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“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins” -- Søren Kierkegaard

Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/16/2009, 07:35 AM   #16
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I am having much the same problem, just monti, most other things do fine. I am experimenting with ZEO now, maybe that will help. Vodka dosing worked some, but not quite to level i would like.


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Unread 08/16/2009, 10:15 AM   #17
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I am having the same problem. I was dosing vodka and mb7 and Potassium. I have stopped since my montis started to go down hill. Mine is not nudis, I have battled them about a year ago so I know what to look for. This is almost like something was burning them or they had a bacterea infection or something.

I have now just been doing lots of water changes to get the nutrients down and it seems to be helping a little.


A low alk salt mix is Instant Ocean. I will be switching to that once I run out of my 7 buckets of Reef Crystals.
I want to adjust the alk,mag and calcium to match my levels in my tank with the new water change water.


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Unread 08/16/2009, 06:50 PM   #18
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OK, I just checked my tank for stray voltage. I'm getting 6-10 volts on an old multimeter.


When I turn off the switch that runs all my pumps (total of 5 or 6 maxi-jets, various sizes) the voltage drops to 0.

Turn them on one by one, the voltage comes up a little at a time.


Is this stray voltage coming from the maxijets, or is it potential energy generated by the motion of the seawater that is actually being measured?

I guess I'll start a new thread in the General forum but I thought I'd post it in this thread since I suspect it may have something to do with the montis.


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Unread 08/17/2009, 07:09 AM   #19
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Guaranteed that carbon dosing with such unnaturally high alk levels is your problem. Monties and Bird's nest seem to be the most sensitive to those conditions. In my opinion running alk that high is an archaic philosophy. Back when it was diffacult to maintain stable parameters guys would overshoot in an effort to stay in a "safe zone". Now we have many tools to keep stable parameters. Why would you keep levels so much higher than NSW?



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Unread 08/17/2009, 07:10 AM   #20
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IO is a high alk salt.

Quote:
Originally posted by reefer334
I am having the same problem. I was dosing vodka and mb7 and Potassium. I have stopped since my montis started to go down hill. Mine is not nudis, I have battled them about a year ago so I know what to look for. This is almost like something was burning them or they had a bacterea infection or something.

I have now just been doing lots of water changes to get the nutrients down and it seems to be helping a little.


A low alk salt mix is Instant Ocean. I will be switching to that once I run out of my 7 buckets of Reef Crystals.
I want to adjust the alk,mag and calcium to match my levels in my tank with the new water change water.



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Unread 08/17/2009, 07:45 AM   #21
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How often do you perform water changes and what percentage do you change at a time? Also, what do you feed and how much?

From my experience with this same issue I would say to check to make sure it is not a combo of too low nutrients and alk shock from the water changes.

If possible, quickly removing susceptible pieces to a stable tank is the best option until you get things stable and figured out with your tank.

Good luck with it..


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Unread 08/17/2009, 08:05 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by schminksbro
Guaranteed that carbon dosing with such unnaturally high alk levels is your problem. Monties and Bird's nest seem to be the most sensitive to those conditions. In my opinion running alk that high is an archaic philosophy. Back when it was diffacult to maintain stable parameters guys would overshoot in an effort to stay in a "safe zone". Now we have many tools to keep stable parameters. Why would you keep levels so much higher than NSW?
Great - thanks for post.

Does your job, looking at tank, pay much?


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Unread 08/17/2009, 08:09 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by schminksbro
Why would you keep levels so much higher than NSW?

In my case actually it's because of the Reef Crystals I am using. I haven't had to dose much alk or calcium in this system, as I don't have a lot of SPS "mass" or corraline right now.


Quote:
Originally posted by stratos21ss
How often do you perform water changes and what percentage do you change at a time? Also, what do you feed and how much?

From my experience with this same issue I would say to check to make sure it is not a combo of too low nutrients and alk shock from the water changes.

If possible, quickly removing susceptible pieces to a stable tank is the best option until you get things stable and figured out with your tank.

Good luck with it..

Water change is 10% every two weeks. Skimmer cleaned monthly. I do skim fairly wet.


As for feeding, I believe I am feeding fairly heavily... based on my experience (and the big patch of brypsis/GHA I can't get rid of!)


I feed one or two cubes of mysis, one "light" teaspoon of flake food, one kidney-bean sized piece of cyclop-eeze (for the corals), and I alternate Kent Coral Accel and Seachem Reef Complete aminos daily.

I also feed either two silversides or a few krill, or some frozen glass shrimp to my fuzzy dwarf lion every other day or so.


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“The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins” -- Søren Kierkegaard

Current Tank Info: ghetto grad school reef.....11g rimless tank, 36X9X9, lit by Cree and Rebels scobbled together. Stocked mostly with free stuff I got from panhandling my fellow reefers.
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Unread 08/17/2009, 08:27 AM   #24
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Good Lord! Thats a lot of food in a 25!


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Unread 08/17/2009, 08:27 AM   #25
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Is it possible there is an accumilation of trace elements to toxic level from daily kent/seachem? (maybe i read too much on RC and internet!)


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