Montipora turning brown

Discussion in 'Corals' started by Kizmar, Jan 27, 2013.

  1. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    What would cause a Montipora to start turning brown? This coral is one of the first in my tank and has been fine all this time, but started turning tanish a couple weeks ago. I see there are a couple small dead spots too.

    The only thing that's different now is the light might be stronger, and I'm using GFO. Everything else in the tank seems to be doing fine.

    When these start declining like this, are they the type that will almost certainly die, or can they be revived should its environment improve?
     
    Kizmar, Jan 27, 2013
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  2. Kizmar

    Treezer8

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    I've seen some montiporas at a LFS that had almost no color, and looked really bad, almost all a nasty brown color. Over the period of a month it started getting its color back, then it was back to full health 2 months later.

    I'm pretty sure I remember him telling me that it was caused by stress from fragging and temperature problems. Apparently they're VERY sensitive to temp. changes

    How much stronger is the light? Is it possible you may have shocked it?
     
    Treezer8, Jan 27, 2013
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  3. Kizmar

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    From what I have read, browning usually means it is absorbing phosphate. Have you tested for phosphate recently or having any algae issues?
     
    chichimom79, Jan 27, 2013
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  4. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Hmm... I haven't tested that one, but I'm running GFO and haven't had algae issues. I have a giant ball of chaeto and about the only algae in the display is coralline.

    I do have one food that I've recently been using that makes my skimmer go nuts even after its off for 20 minutes during feeding. Maybe that's causing issues. I probably need to feed a lot less of it, just trying to plump up my filter feeders.
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  5. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    So here's a question back: how do you tell if its too much light or not enough? Same signs?
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  6. Kizmar

    Treezer8

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    I thought you meant you bought new lights or something. Was wondering if it had a lot more output
     
    Treezer8, Jan 28, 2013
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  7. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    No I have Radions and have changed the settings a few times.
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  8. Kizmar

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    Hmm, I was going to ask how old your bulbs are, but if you have the radions its not the age of the bulbs. How much red/warm white/neutral white do you have in the mix with your radions right now? Brown in corals is usually related to lights being on the 10000-6500K end of the spectrum - the part that has more red in it. I'd try to adjust your light mix to include more deep blues/purples and see if things change for you. I think monti's are pretty hardy. My purple cap bleached after a carpet cleaner incident several months ago, and has recolored fully and is happy and growing now. It should recolor for you.
     
    FishyReef, Jan 28, 2013
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  9. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    The current schedule plateaus at 10k to 12k back to 10k over about 6 hours. Maybe I need to look at the color levels on this new program. It's one of the presets on the EcoLive web site.

    I'm still catching on with this while light stuff. So you think the main part of the day should be mostly blues and purples? Is that like 12k?
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  10. Kizmar

    FishyReef Broke Reefer!

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    I'd shift to a setting that is closer to 15k or even higher and see if it colors up for you. 10k is going to result in more browns.
     
    FishyReef, Jan 28, 2013
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  11. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    Thanks. I'll try that.
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  12. Kizmar

    noy

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    what type of montiporas do you have - i assume its the plating kind (capricornis) instead of digitatas? i have quite a few plates in different colors and 10k light is fine. The "k" rating refers to the spectrum of light and not the intensity (nor the color).
    Browing usually related to inadequate light or water quality (phosphates). The easy fix is to move your coral closer to the top of the aquarium so they get more intense light (sounds like your phosphates are fine). The dead spots - i assume these are bleach (white) spots. This can be due to a whole variety of reason (salt/alkaline burns, stung by other corals etc...) usually these grow back in a few days.
    Not sure i understand your lighting schedule but i run blue actinics from 7am to 10pm and have the more intense white actinics from 12pm to 6pm.
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
    noy, Jan 28, 2013
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  13. Kizmar

    Kizmar #derpface

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    This could very well be a phosphate thing. I'm going to start draining the food again (got lazy) and make sure I'm not dumping phosphate-packed water in with the food.

    I'm less inclined to think it's light at this point because my other SPS seem OK. If the monti is more intolerant of phosphates that would make sense that it's the only one that seems to be affected.

    If it the adjustment works, how soon should I start seeing the browning go back to green again? Are we talking days or weeks?
     
    Kizmar, Jan 28, 2013
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  14. Kizmar

    chichimom79 reef junkie

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    Weeks, I have been bringing back a purple monti cap from brown for several months. Bough a frag of it from a fellow local reefer who had phosphate issues. Got a good deal on it though LOL
     
    chichimom79, Jan 28, 2013
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  15. Kizmar

    noy

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    You should be able to see whether phosphates are your problem without guessing. Either get a meter or take to to a fellow reefer/LFS to get it tested. If you are running a GFO reactor - you shouldn't really have much of a problem with phosphates. Check to make sure you have the right flow through your reactor (test the outflow from your reactor against your tank phosphates - if the reactor is doing anything it should be lower). I think a meter is a good investment. Both the Hanna and the Milwaukee are good meters. I also used the API kit for phosphates - crap.
    If all your other param (esp. Calcium) are right your monti's will grow at good pace. You will see the edges are white and when you get growth - the section closest to the edge will reflect the true color of the plate. In the photo i put in - the pink plate always have really bright colors for the new growth (closest to the edge).
     

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    noy, Jan 29, 2013
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