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What Do You Do When Acros Grow Together and Fight

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Hi all. Just want to hear what everyone does when your acros eventually grow into one another and start chemical warfare. Do you start trimming and keep them separated? Or do you just let them go at it?

On the one hand, I hate to see the dead spots on the front line, where they're doing damage to eachother. On the other hand, it's a process that happens in nature. Besides, I'm not relishing the idea of doing all that constant trimming. What are the risks of just letting them fight?

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It really doesn't matter the genus, species or genotype, if there's kill off the animals should be separated.  While the risk infection will depend in part on the immune system of the animal involved, which can vary significantly at the genotype level¹˴²,  there's still going to be an increased risk.   Depending on the environmental stressers the animals are also exposed to  (increased nitrates or phosphate defiency are two obvious ones) once an infection gets started in a colony it can not only kill off the entire colony quickly it can also spread to apparently healthy animals whose immune systems have also been compromised.  It's also a mistake to assume a corals microbiome is comparable to a wild coral's, one of the surprising discoveries is a coral colony's microbiome is significantly altered just by placing it in an aquarium³. 

 

1) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-017-02685-1

2) https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_stuetd/467/

3) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/epdf/10.1111/j.1462-2920.2009.01935.x

 

 

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Thanks Timfish. It's a real head scratcher to me. Seems like a strong case against the SPS density of all the dream tanks we see with dozens of SPS colonies overlapping into what are basically "canopies." I personally find it hard to believe that all these aquarists are trimming 360 degrees of each colony to keep them separated. Or am I just naive to the amount of work they're putting in? Or, are they instead just accepting the risks you outlined?

My tank is just entering the overlap phase in some places. I need to figure this out.

Sent from my SM-N960U using Tapatalk

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It is a very complex picture.   Many species are tolerant of each other.  Many are not.  What's missing is long term data, as in decades, of the successes and failures. What is the mix of species being kept?  There are different microbial processes at every taxonomic level, Kingdom, Phylum. Class, Order, Family, Genus, SPecise and even Genotype and many of these microbialial processes are antagonistic.  What are the long term ramifications of these processes especially in light of aquarists, often questionably, manipulating environmental conditions accentuate colors of corals?     Unfortunately what is apparent is a very high failure rate and reports of supposedly healthy systems going down hill, many very suddenly with significant dieoff in a very short time.   It's very rare to find an aquarist that's maintained the same system with the same animals for decades.

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Makes sense, Timfish. The logic is sound. Just wondering what people are, and are not, getting away with.. What do you do in your tank? Do you trim to keep everyone separated?

Anyone else want to weigh in with your personal experiences/approaches?

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