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Sissy36

Sick birdsnest and chalice

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+Sissy36    110

I have uckie brown stuff on my birdsnest and chalice. The coral is dying where the brown stuff is. At first I thought it may be dinos but I fixed that problem. Not sure if it should be noted but they sit relatively close to each other. 36b05ff4a52b85651cf7176d2eb40564.jpg

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+Woods    164

I would say that the coral is dying and the already dead parts are growing algae on them, not that the brown algae is killing your coral.  So what is causing your coral to die and expose the Stoney portion for the algae to grow on is the main question... 

What are your water parameters like?  For a chalice and Birds Nest to be dying I suspect poor water conditions.   Can you provide your parameters here please so we can tell you what is off?

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+Sissy36    110

I knew y'all would want to know LOL. I did a water change and dosed yesterday. It has been slightly neglected though. I'm pretty sure alk is low and nitrates are high... so yeah. I'm going to the LFS to get accurate readings hopefully today. I'll post as soon as I know.

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+Timfish    568

Did you recently increase the light levels of increase the amount of time they are on?  Because it looks to me like just the areas that get the most intense light are damaged.  The brown algae looks like Lungbia cyano so your nitrates are probably pretty low.  You do want to keep siphoning it off, daily if neccessar.  Let us know what the parameters are including PO4.

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+Sissy36    110

Still no parameters, can't make it out today. I did increase the light but I noticed my superman monti was bleaching so i turned them down a week or two ago. The monti is recovered.

I went 3 weeks without a water change because my nitrates are always so low. I'm trying to find the right system to keep them at 5-10.
I keep trying to use my skimmer, Tim. I think I'm going to have to give in finally and take it out for good. Lol

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Sascha D.    673

Low dKH wouldn't cause the dead tips. You said that you had dosed. How much do you raise your Alk at one time?

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+Timfish    568

Personally I would not worry about nitrates.   We can't test for organic nitrogen, amino acids and urea, and the corals and algae are using those up along with ammonia as fast as they can.  Nitrates will go up if the corals are disrupted so they are not feeding or if there's not enough phosphate for them to utilize nitrogen (and if a tank is being overfed but if you haven't changed the amount being fed in weeks you shouldn't change now).  If there's enough phosphate the nitrate levels won't have any effect on the coloration of the corals.  If there's not enough phosphate it's not the nitrates in the water but the internal imbalance that makes corals very sensitive to light and temperature changes.. 

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+Sissy36    110
Low dKH wouldn't cause the dead tips. You said that you had dosed. How much do you raise your Alk at one time?

I dose once a week to keep it at around 9. Not sure how low it drops between doses but it's never been a problem. I have a horrible time trying to do water tests at home so I have to go to the fish store, in Austin. I live out in the boonies of Georgetown so it can be hard to get there. Any who, I usually test after dosing and water change. On the occasions I've tested prior alk was never lower than 8 or so. I have an auto doser I've never set up because I don't know where to start and I can't get to the store everyday to test levels.

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+Sissy36    110
Personally I would not worry about nitrates.   We can't test for organic nitrogen, amino acids and urea, and the corals and algae are using those up along with ammonia as fast as they can.  Nitrates will go up if the corals are disrupted so they are not feeding or if there's not enough phosphate for them to utilize nitrogen (and if a tank is being overfed but if you haven't changed the amount being fed in weeks you shouldn't change now).  If there's enough phosphate the nitrate levels won't have any effect on the coloration of the corals.  If there's not enough phosphate it's not the nitrates in the water but the internal imbalance that makes corals very sensitive to light and temperature changes.. 

As far as feeding I'm much more efficient. Not overfeeding anymore, for the most part. But it's been like that for weeks. I got an urchin and he cleaned my algae right up. I still have some on my back glass, but nothing like it it was before [emoji4] . After what you said I think it's lack of nutrients combined with too much light, if I understand you correctly. I already adjusted the lights, like I said, but I'd like to get a reading on them. I'll at least go the store tomorrow and get my water tested.

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Sascha D.    673
8 hours ago, Sissy36 said:


I dose once a week to keep it at around 9. Not sure how low it drops between doses but it's never been a problem. I have a horrible time trying to do water tests at home so I have to go to the fish store, in Austin. I live out in the boonies of Georgetown so it can be hard to get there. Any who, I usually test after dosing and water change. On the occasions I've tested prior alk was never lower than 8 or so. I have an auto doser I've never set up because I don't know where to start and I can't get to the store everyday to test levels.

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The reason that we keep our Alk, Ca, and Mg steady at natural seawater or higher is to speed up the growth rate of the corals. With everything else equal, two frags of the same coral will look exactly the same at 6 dKH and 9 dKH. The difference will be in their growth rates. The corals can sometimes have problems when the levels have risen or fallen too rapidly. Hobbyists use dosing equipment to add small increments of additives to the aquarium to avoid a sharp rise in the parameters. Raising your dKH from 8 to 9 is enough to cause the damage from your original post. The brown stuff that you're seeing is where algae has grown over the exposed skeleton after the coral has receded. 

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+Sissy36    110

It's the lights. I upped the lights a while back. I've turned them down since. I started noticing where and which corals were bleaching. But here's my parameters anyway. My salinity is never this low though. I'm good about keeping it at .024. Like I said, it's been neglected a bit. Nitrates: 20-30 (I said they'd be high) Alk:8; Ca: 450; salinity:.021



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+Sissy36    110
The reason that we keep our Alk, Ca, and Mg steady at natural seawater or higher is to speed up the growth rate of the corals. With everything else equal, two frags of the same coral will look exactly the same at 6 dKH and 9 dKH. The difference will be in their growth rates. The corals can sometimes have problems when the levels have risen or fallen too rapidly. Hobbyists use dosing equipment to add small increments of additives to the aquarium to avoid a sharp rise in the parameters. Raising your dKH from 8 to 9 is enough to cause the damage from your original post. The brown stuff that you're seeing is where algae has grown over the exposed skeleton after the coral has receded. 

I knew all that [emoji4] except the fact that was algae and not illness. I've been hand dosing for 9 months. I would think after that long I'd see some of this before. I actually have an auto doser I've never set up. It's going to have to wait though. At least for 5 more weeks.

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Sascha D.    673

A big increase to lighting intensity or length could cause a reaction in the coral. Sometimes going from MH or T-5 to LED can be stressful. I have increased my PAR by 30% at one time and didn't see any negative effects. On a separate occasion I left my lights on all night by accident. Some of the corals were really pale for a few days, but that was all. It could also be that the corals had a period of increased uptake. You should see a steady increase in the amount you dose as the corals grow, but we'll sometimes see spikes of increased (or decreased) consumption. Most of the time it will occur as a result of environmental conditions, but may occur after periods of stress or fragging. If you left your lights on all night like I did, then you would see a decrease in uptake for 2-7 days as the corals recovered. 

There are a lot of pests that plague corals, but not very many other afflictions. Bacterial disease is the only one that I can think of at the moment. This is often called brown jelly and affects the fleshy portions of LPS corals. The other things that happen to corals, like bleaching, are reactions to environmental conditions and not really diseases. Someone else might have more input on diseases.

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+Sissy36    110
A big increase to lighting intensity or length could cause a reaction in the coral. Sometimes going from MH or T-5 to LED can be stressful. I have increased my PAR by 30% at one time and didn't see any negative effects. On a separate occasion I left my lights on all night by accident. Some of the corals were really pale for a few days, but that was all. It could also be that the corals had a period of increased uptake. You should see a steady increase in the amount you dose as the corals grow, but we'll sometimes see spikes of increased (or decreased) consumption. Most of the time it will occur as a result of environmental conditions, but may occur after periods of stress or fragging. If you left your lights on all night like I did, then you would see a decrease in uptake for 2-7 days as the corals recovered. 
There are a lot of pests that plague corals, but not very many other afflictions. Bacterial disease is the only one that I can think of at the moment. This is often called brown jelly and affects the fleshy portions of LPS corals. The other things that happen to corals, like bleaching, are reactions to environmental conditions and not really diseases. Someone else might have more input on diseases.

Thanks for all your wisdom and help on this matter! It helps a lot. I cleaned the algae off a few days ago and the damage isn't as bad as I originally thought, so yay! I bleached my setosa as well and I knew that was due to light increase but the algae on the other 2 threw me off. I'm pretty sure I lost my setosa but we'll see. I did leave my lights on all night on accidentally as well. I'm sure that was a big contributor too. Thanks again for helping

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+Timfish    568
On 4/25/2017 at 8:10 AM, Sascha D. said:

. . . There are a lot of pests that plague corals, but not very many other afflictions. Bacterial disease is the only one that I can think of at the moment. This is often called brown jelly and affects the fleshy portions of LPS corals. The other things that happen to corals, like bleaching, are reactions to environmental conditions and not really diseases. Someone else might have more input on diseases.

Actually bleaching can be caused by bacterial infections also, just because the zooxanthellae is living inside a coral does not make it immune to pathogenic bacteria. 

 

As far as corals diseases as I've studied  more about them I've been overwhelmed by trying to figure out how to identify the different diseases.  What helped put things in perspective was in his book "Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas", Rohwer relates having his graduate students do surveys at a symposium on coral diseases and the researchers who are studying corals diseases could not correctly identify a coral disease from pictures.   

 

Basicly we can say four things bacterial infections on corals.   It's got white slime killing it.   It's got brown "jelly" killing it.   It's has rapid tissue loss (necrosis, aka RTN).   It has slow tissue loss (necrosis, aka STN).   The distinction between rapid and slow tissue loss isl vague and the stress level of the coral is a factor.  It may very well be the same bacteria or group of bacteria and the difference may entirely be the condition of the corals immune system (I think it's important to note here a coral's zooxanthellae are an important part of the corals immune response and using methodologies that reduce their numbers to improve certain colors does weaken them).   Beside making sure there has not been significant changes to environmental conditions dipping is about all we can do.

 

A note about "brown jelly".  What has interested by over the years is there seems to be a relationship between how fast it attacks a coral and the mass of the polyps and the typ of colony.  For example with frogspawn I've seen it take out one polyp and stop since there's no physical connection to others; in some cases my clients comments suggest it may have taken 4,5 or more days.  With a maze brain that has a lot less tissue mass and all the polyps are connected it can progress fairly quickly and dipping everyday may be needed although this also a source of stress.  With corals that have just a very thin tissue layer over the skeleton like some of the chalices or montis acros, etc, brown jelly can decimate large colonies very quickly. 

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+Timfish    568
On 4/24/2017 at 9:47 PM, Sissy36 said:

It's the lights. I upped the lights a while back. I've turned them down since. I started noticing where and which corals were bleaching. But here's my parameters anyway. My salinity is never this low though. I'm good about keeping it at .024. Like I said, it's been neglected a bit. Nitrates: 20-30 (I said they'd be high) Alk:8; Ca: 450; salinity:.021

Good to know it was the lights.  I've seen some corals do fine with 200% or 300% jump in light levels but even just a 30% change can cause issues in some cases.   Leaving them on 24 hours can cause some to be upset but the only times I've seen long term issues are 72 hours or more.

You were right, nitrates were higher than I thought they would be.  However nitrates have to be way off the scale to cause problems unless, like I pointed out in my first post,  there's not enough phosphate in which case even small amounts can cause corals to be very sensitive to changes in both temperature and light.

In contrast to Sasha D's observations changes in your Alk, Ca and salinity  would not cause the dieoff you saw.   Since for the most part I see my systems just once a week I'm not surprised to see any of those parameters change by 10%.  (and I've been surprised to see very good coral growth with Alk as low as 3, but for the record keep it at natural levels or above >5.5 dKH).  FYI the protein content, which includes the fluorescing and chromo proteins, of corals is highest at 1.026,  having it at 1.021 does not affect the corals internal physiology but as Sasha D pointed out it does affect the calcification process (which is external to the coral polyp).

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