Brain coral dying

Discussion in 'Corals' started by Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011.

  1. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    I purchased a green/orange brain coral about 3-4 months ago. It was placed in the top 1/3 of the tank, low to moderate flow. The tank is a 47g tall with a 150w MH up top with a 10k bulb.

    After about a month, the coral started looking starved. I could see some of the skeleton when it was deflated. I just kinda kept an eye on it and it never really changed. About a month ago it started to lose some of it's color. Losing almost all of its orange.

    2 Weeks ago, I pulled it and started moving it closer to the top. Right now it's about 4" from the top of the tank. It looks the same though. At night it inflates up and it looks fine aside from the color loss, During the day you can see the skeleton of it.

    Any advice?

    Nitrates are 0-10. Nitrites/Ammonia 0. Salinity is 1.026, Ca/Alk I still need to check.

    Tankmates include: button polyps, zoas, xenia, clove polyps, variety of mushrooms, a clam, frogspawn, and a goniopora. I've seen increase growths on everything and haven't had any losses in at least 6-8months.

    PS, I run skimmerless. Do water changes weekly-biweekly. Top off/water changes with RO/DI water.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  2. Gdbyrd

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    I think they like lower light than that. I have mine on the sandbed with med. flow. I know they prefer a soft surface as compared to being on a hard surface.

    I copied this for you, I hope it helps.

    Habitat:
    Ideally, a full-blown reef set-up with either boosted fluorescents and/or MH if more than a couple of feet deep. Finer substrates are better, but I've seen these animals kept on bare bottoms, gravel, mud (in public aquariums around the world). In the wild they utilize their fleshy expansion to lift themselves (including their carbonate skeleton) to cleaner, sunnier conditions upward.
    Placement:
    Open Brain Coral are best just placed (gently) on the aquarium substrate, though they can be positioned on a flat area arranged in your rockwork. Take care (of course) to not tear the animals tissues. By waving your hand near an open specimen, it will retract its polyps facilitating its moving.
    Types and amounts of lighting are not ultimately too important with this species. They will/do adapt, even change color readily to suit the circumstances afforded them. Do however guard against photo-shock in the case of placing new specimens and changing aged lamps.
     
    SeaBee, May 1, 2011
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  3. Gdbyrd

    guarda

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    +1 I would keep it close to the bottom. I keep all my brains/favia on the sandbed. Is it close to any other corals?
     
    guarda, May 1, 2011
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  4. Gdbyrd

    little_fish Moderator

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    +1 on the lighting

    Another thing to check is your alk, they are very sensitive to that. But i think too much light is a bigger issue
     
    little_fish, May 1, 2011
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  5. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    Thanks for the advice, I'll bring it down towards the bottom. Since it's kinda low light for this size of tank, I figured it wasn't getting enough light where it was at. I'll drop it down though!

    I don't have enough sandbed space, so I'm gonna have to lay it on a rocky outcrop.

    If it's a lighting issue in about how much time should elapse before I'll see an improvement?
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  6. Gdbyrd

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    A few days, maybe a week. Is it in a good flow area?
     
    SeaBee, May 1, 2011
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  7. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    Probably low to moderate. I just moved it...How well do these things recover? There is an area on the back I wasn't able to see due to it's location. It looks like it's all skeleton. I know some of the LPS can recover with just a tiny bit of alive tissue, but I'm not sure if brain coral is one of those!
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  8. Gdbyrd

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    it depends on how bad it is. Remember, Corals are made up of millions of little creatures, so they should grow back. Place it as low as you can, but not in a shadow. Give it good flow, you should see the water moving past it. Do you feed it? Wha are you feeding the corals in general? You have what in the fuge? Ever consider a skimmer?
     
    SeaBee, May 1, 2011
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  9. Gdbyrd

    Bifferwine I am a girl

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    In my experience, they are very sensitive to pH and alk changes, as Hannah said. I would check those out and let us know what they are.
     
    Bifferwine, May 1, 2011
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  10. Gdbyrd

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    I would say if he is doing the water changes like he said the ph should be ok, depends on the mix, we shall see. Thats why I was talking about the lighting. I think a brain directly under a MH is going to bleach out and die.

    Do test you pH and alk and post those results, please.
     
    SeaBee, May 1, 2011
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  11. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    A fuge/skimmer are not practical due to the location of the tank so I haven't been able to run either. I don't really feed the corals anything. Them or the fish honestly. I feed maybe a half a cube of the frozen stuff once every 2 weeks. I do have a lot of marine plants in the tank though and there are tons of pods scurrying around.

    I'll get those results here asap.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  12. Gdbyrd

    sen5241b

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    DEFINITELY THE LIGHTING IS TOO MUCH! I know because I made the same mistake! I moved my green brain about 6 or 7 inches under a 150 watt MH and it started to melt. Ever since I moved it lower it has started to grow back.
     
    sen5241b, May 1, 2011
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  13. Gdbyrd

    guarda

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    What kind of fish do you have? Most fish need food more frequently than that. They have some pretty nice autofeeders for like 20 bucks.
     
    guarda, May 1, 2011
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  14. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    OK. pH 8.3ish(was between .2-.4.

    Ca is through the roof. I'm not sure how long these kits last or if they're heat sensitive. But it was over 500.

    Kh was 3 : /

    This is the first time I've really checked my kH since resetting up the tank. So I definitely need to work on that.

    I'm using coralife salt.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  15. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    Coral beauty, clown, and a sixline. All are about 1-2" in length. They're all nice and plump so they must be eating something. When I do drop food in there they don't go at it like crazy, I tried doing a whole cube at first but it wasn't getting eaten. I think the 3+lbs of rock/gallon helps with the pods maybe? I dunno but they've been doing fine.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  16. Gdbyrd

    SeaBee Ha Ha Thats Funny!

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    I think its more a light issue. Do lower it in the tank and see how it does. Got a picture?
     
    SeaBee, May 1, 2011
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  17. Gdbyrd

    little_fish Moderator

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    I would double check your alk and calcium reading with a different test, if those are the correct readings that is a huge part of your issue and need to fixed. I think that was your original issue, and moving it up higher just added another issue.
     
    little_fish, May 1, 2011
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  18. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    Double checked: Same results. I don't have another test and I will have to order more. They are not stocked locally.

    My clam, frogspawn, and goniopora have been doing perfect. The rest of the corals are all soft stuff. Not sure how much they are affected by the results.

    Should I try to slowly correct the Ca/Kh problems or wait for another test to verify?

    Do you guys have a salt recommendation that is more balanced? I don't want to have to get into dosing daily, hence the choice in my corals.

    Thank you guys again for the help.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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  19. Gdbyrd

    little_fish Moderator

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    I would double check those results with another testing kit before you start dosing. I would drop by your lfs tomorrow and have them double check your results.

    I have been using the red sea coral reef pro mix to excellent results. I have lots of fast growing SPS and water changes have made it so i have never had to dose anything
     
    little_fish, May 1, 2011
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  20. Gdbyrd

    Gdbyrd life's a beach

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    I'll give that salt a look. LFS doesn't offer free water testing for SW :*(

    For now I'll leave it on the lower end and up the water changes to twice a week.

    Thanks again.
     
    Gdbyrd, May 1, 2011
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