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Unread 04/30/2011, 06:19 PM   #1
myfast
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Please help: mushrooms are goo, frogspawn & leather polyps not extended, zoas closed

Hello,

I had a FOWLR aquarium, but started adding corals about a year and a half ago. I have a rock of green rhodactis mushrooms and I have a superman rhodactis mushroom. These have been looking pretty withered for the last six months, but I was hoping they'd improve if I maintained good water quality and kept up with my weekly water changes.

My other corals are a couple leather corals, a couple candy cane corals, a blasto, a frogspawn, an acan, some zoas, a ricordia, and some green star polyps. These were all doing great.

I changed my actinic bulbs in my PC fixture two weeks ago. My old bulbs were one year old. I was looking for a bluer look, so the bulbs I switched to are 454nm instead of the standard actinics I was using previously. As I have done in the past, I was planning to switch my 10,000k bulbs a week after I changed the actinics so I didn't stress my tank. I still haven't changed the 10,000k since I've been having issues with the corals and didn't want to stress them further.

Everything looked great under the new actinics for the first 3 or 4 days. I kept my photoperiod the same as what it was before (actinics 3pm to 11pm, actinics and 10,000k 3:30pm to 10:30pm, moonlights when the actinics are off). Then, my frogspawn started looking a little pale and wasn't extending its polyps much, my leather (finger?) was slumped over and was growing more algae than usual on its stem, and the zoas were all closed). The acan, blastos, and candycanes continued to do great, as did my red mushrooms.

This past Wednesday, my superman rhodactis rotted before my eyes and yesterday and today two green mushrooms expelled a slimy brown substance out of their mouths and then disintegrated. The mouths on some of them look wider open than usual and I can see directly through the mouth to the other side of the coral.

I have a 125 gallon tank and change 15 gallons every week using 0 TDS RO/DI water and Tropic Marin salt. Here are my parameters from yesterday (and some for today)

Temp 77 with a chiller
Specific gravity 1.025 (calibrated refractor)
pH 8.0 yesterday so added Seachem buffer, 8.3 today (API)
Ammonia 0 (API)
Nitrite 0 (API)
Nitrate 5 to 10 (hard to tell on API test)
Phosphate 0 to 0.25 (hard to tell on API test)
Alkalinity 8.0 yesterday, 9.9 today after adding buffer (salifert)
Calcium 385 (salifert)
Magnesium 1385 (salifert)
Iodide 0.1 or less (salifert)

I moved the frogspawn down in the tank last week, reduced the photoperiod on Thursday (actinics 4:30pm to 11pm, 10,000k and actinics 5pm to 11pm), and dipped the green mushroom rock and frogspawn in coral Rx today.

I've included pictures of my corals. Please let me know what suggestions you have for me. Thank you!










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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 04/30/2011, 06:34 PM   #2
bertoni
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Well, since corals seem to be dying, I'd probably try a number of things. A PolyFilter might tell you if copper or some toxic metal is a problem. Some fresh carbon might help, as well.

What's being dosed into the tank? Which SeaChem buffer are you using? What was used to calibrate the refractometer?


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Unread 04/30/2011, 06:47 PM   #3
myfast
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That's a good idea. I have a polyfilter on hand. I forgot to mention I changed the purigen (using new, not regenerated) this morning. I have some new ChemiPure Elite on hand. I'm not due to change it for another month, but I'll do it if you think that would help in addition to the new Purigen.

For the last month, I've been dosing Seachem AquaVitro Vibrance twice a week for iodide. I didn't dose it at all this week. The buffer is SeaChem marine buffer (the powder). I usually need to add in every two weeks to a month if pH and alkalinity fall. Those are the only things i dose. I calibrate my refractometer with Pinpoint Salinity Monitor 53.0 mS calibration fluid.

My fish and inverts seem to be doing OK, just the corals are having issues.

What do you recommend doing to start? PolyFilter or new ChemiPure Elite?

Thanks!


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 04/30/2011, 07:08 PM   #4
bertoni
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I would stop dosing the iodine. It can be toxic, and our test kits are a bit iffy. I'd definitely change the Chemi-Pure and add the PolyFilter, actually. It's a bit of a shotgun approach, but losing corals is painful.

The Marine Buffer is intended more for fish-only tanks. It has a lot of borate, which can make measuring carbonate alkalinity (the kind that stony corals and coralline need) difficult. I'd switch to baking soda, and perhaps do a couple of 10% water changes.


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Unread 04/30/2011, 07:49 PM   #5
myfast
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Thanks, Jonathan.

I will stop dosing the iodide. I just added the PolyFilter and changed the ChemiPure Elite. It's ok to leave my skimmer on, right?

I'll switch to baking soda. I also have the SeaChem AquaVitro eight.four and the balance for pH (I won a full set at a swap). Would you still recommend baking soda over these?

What should I target for alkalinity? Is there something I should dose or just do water changes?

My next water change is Wednesday. Should I do one before then? I could do it tomorrow night in addition to Wednesday if you think that would help.

Do you think changing the bulbs has anything to do with my issues?

Thanks again for your help. I'll let you know how things go.


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 04/30/2011, 08:12 PM   #6
bertoni
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I would leave the skimmer on.

I'd skip the eight.four and the balance. They are both alkalinity supplements. eight.four likely is just baking soda and some baked baking soda, which would be fine, but it might have more borate in it. The balance is sodium and potassium hydroxide, which are very high pH alkalinity supplements. Your tank shouldn't need more supplementation. If the pH is running a bit low, a kalk drip might help. It'd be fair similar to the balance, but it'd supply calcium along with the alkalinity.


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Unread 04/30/2011, 08:13 PM   #7
bertoni
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Oops, meant to add that I might do a 10% change or two over the next few days. Hard to judge. I don't know what's happening in your tank yet.


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Unread 04/30/2011, 11:15 PM   #8
myfast
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Thanks for the additional information. I'll do a 10% water change tomorrow. Could it be chemical warfare between corals? They're all spaced out pretty far, but it sounds like that doesn't matter if they release chemicals to kill other corals.

For the baking soda, what's the dosage per gallon of water? Is it 1 tsp per 20 gallons like it is for the buffer or something different? Thanks!


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 05/01/2011, 12:41 AM   #9
Percula9
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If it is coral warfare, then run a good grade of carbon to remove toxins. Leathers and mushrooms are known to produce toxins.


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Unread 05/01/2011, 06:35 AM   #10
Randy Holmes-Farley
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Do you have any copper sensitive creatures like crabs, snails or shrimp?


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Unread 05/01/2011, 09:48 AM   #11
myfast
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Hi Randy,

I have all three- two cleaner shrimp, one fire shrimp, and various crabs and snails. I haven't seen any issues with them at all.


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 05/01/2011, 10:25 AM   #12
myfast
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Hi Jonathan,

Everything looks the same this morning. There's no dramatic color change on the polyfilter. Just looks slightly brown from organics. I tested combined iodate and iodine with my salifert test this morning (wondering about iodine poisoning somehow even though I dosed iodide) and the results were colorless, so less than 0.03ppm. I know you said the iodide/iodate/iodine tests may not be too reliable, but I figured it was worth a shot. Any other ideas?

Thanks!


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 05/01/2011, 11:34 AM   #13
Randy Holmes-Farley
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I have all three- two cleaner shrimp, one fire shrimp, and various crabs and snails. I haven't seen any issues with them at all.

I think it is less likely to be copper if those things are fine.


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Unread 05/01/2011, 12:41 PM   #14
myfast
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That's good it's not copper, at least.

Please let me know you have any other ideas.


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 05/01/2011, 04:06 PM   #15
bertoni
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I might try to get a measurement from a more sensitive phosphate kit. Phosphate shouldn't cause much trouble for soft corals, though.


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Unread 05/02/2011, 08:28 AM   #16
myfast
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Thanks for the advice, everyone. Things are looking pretty much the same today, but I'm just happy my fish and shrimp are all OK. I'll keep you posted on my progress and I'll purchase a better phosphate test later this week. Thanks again.


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Erica

Current Tank Info: 125 gal - Blonde Naso Tang, Yellow Tang, Coral Beauty, Royal Gramma, ORA Blue Fin Watchman Goby, Pair of Pink Skunk Clowns, Green Clown Goby, Pajama Cardinal, Pair of Fire Shrimp, Pincushion Urchin, Black Longspine Urchin, various corals
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Unread 05/02/2011, 11:29 AM   #17
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To be on the safe side i would do a major water change like 25 gallons and try some different salt... I have heard people say that tropic marine crashed their tank.. I have used it and i didnt really like it .. I switched to aqua vitro and i like it .. Dont use to many additives this might be your problem.. And read the lables on what you add almost all the additives have copper in them even salt


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Unread 05/02/2011, 04:45 PM   #18
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The problem with large water changes is that they can cause a lot of harm, by exposing live rock to air and other mayhem. A few smaller changes are as effective, with a lot less risk. I'd save large water changes for emergencies involving high levels of ammonia.


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Unread 04/11/2012, 07:44 PM   #19
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Would the polyfilter tint orange if copper was exposed?


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Unread 04/11/2012, 10:06 PM   #20
bertoni
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They turn blue in the presence of copper.


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