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  #1  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:00 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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Unhappy Help plz....w/ coral

Hi, i think one of my corals is dying, im fairly new to SW, can anyone tell me why my corals is dying? My salinity is 1.021 and ph is around 7.6 and im raising it right now with a buffer, temp. is 78-80....and to make matters worse...i dont know what the coral is called....ill describe it the best i can....it has a soft body under dozens of tubes that have five "finger" tentacles sort of things, opening and closing...originally the body was white, now its purpleish....anyone know whats wrong????ill try looking for an identification for now.
  #2  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:02 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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i have found out it is xenia...
  #3  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:11 PM
tubeworm_54 tubeworm_54 is offline
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when you bought it it was probably bleached its a good thing if its turnning purple means its healthy.
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  #4  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:14 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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....hmmmm...but i dont think its supposed to be dragging is it.....?and its not doing the closing and opening thing it was doing when i bought it two days ago...
  #5  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:26 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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i dont know if this means anything, but i was just looking at my xenia and noticed it was letting out some brown luquid...anyone know what it might be???thanks for any help
  #6  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:31 PM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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Xenia will start to die below pH 7.8 or so, and is happiest with high pH and alkalinity. Low pH is often a symptom of bigger problems, like too high of a bioload. How big of a tank, and what's in it? What about other water parameters?

Xenia will die very quickly if unhappy. Sometimes it will die very quickly for no apparent reason, for that matter.
  #7  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:33 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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but do you think from what i described, that my xenia can still make it??? i have it in a 5 gallon, a nano tank, with one feather duster...is that too much?
  #8  
Old 12/10/2007, 08:36 PM
erbio erbio is offline
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Xenia is delicate.

Xenia like higher alkalinity.
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  #9  
Old 12/11/2007, 12:53 AM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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Ah. A (tiny) nano as a first SW aquarium? This explains a lot.

Nanos are tough to keep because they are inherently unstable. If anything dies there is very little water volume to dilute the toxins. Same with anything added to the tank. You've got to be vigilant.

To answer your question: yes, your xenia can potentially be saved. If put in proper conditions, they can recover very quickly. Please post the following:

- Tank setup including filtration, rock, light, substrate, powerheads
- Tank inhabitants
- Water parameters (Ca/Alk/NH3/NO2/NO3/PO4/salinity)
- Feeding and supplementation schedule
- Water source for changes (RO/DI, I hope?)

Thanks,
Dan
  #10  
Old 12/11/2007, 04:08 PM
Toygrr Toygrr is offline
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if starting with nanos at all, you should have maybe done like a 29 or a 20. Its a little more stable but still as Dan said nanos are very sensitive to change.

ever think of upgrading to a larger volume of a tank?
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  #11  
Old 12/11/2007, 04:18 PM
renogaw renogaw is offline
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your sg should be a lot higher for corals, 1.025-1.026 i believe
  #12  
Old 12/11/2007, 08:46 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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-ill try raising the sg to 1.025 renogaw

-toygrr, i probably will get a bigger SW tank if my nano isnt a complete failure, but ive heard the bigger the better.

-Daninsd-i have a builtin bio filter,fully cured live rock,pc lighting(i think this is the same thing as compact flourescent right?,live carribean sand,no powerheads.
-the only tank inhabitants are feather dusters,only one fully grown one, i used to have a red legged crab, but got rid of it
-all i know about the water parameters are alk which is at 8,nh3 is 0, nO3 is 0 and nO 2 is almost zero, havent check PO4, salinity is now at 1.022
-i give my tank live phytoplankton and a minerals froma Kent bottle called coral-vite
- i dont use RO/DI, i thought it was bad, b/c it contained no minerals or anything, how is RO/DI water better???
  #13  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:02 PM
renogaw renogaw is offline
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i use RO water, ro/di is better.

that way the only thing going into into your water is salt mix.

if you're using tap or distilled water, get a copper test asap and see if any dissolved copper has made it into your tank. that could also be killing your corals.
  #14  
Old 12/11/2007, 09:04 PM
renogaw renogaw is offline
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just read you have no powerheads, you should have about 20-30 gph x gallons of your tank. so you may want to put in a small powerhead if you don't hav eenough flow.
  #15  
Old 12/11/2007, 10:28 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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well my bio filter seems to be making a good flow in the water

and ill try to get a copper test ASAP, and how do i get rid of copper that mightve dissolved in my tank??
  #16  
Old 12/12/2007, 02:45 AM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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"PC" refers to "Power Compact", a form of high-intensity fluorescent lighting characterized by a thin, U-shaped tube. Until T5 "hit the scene" recently, PC was the "standard" fluorescent lighting for aquaria; now I'd say it's 50/50 PC and T5.

If you were making your saltwater from tap water, did you add a dechlorinator or some other preparation? If not I'd say that's a big part of your problem! I wouldn't bother with the copper test kit, BTW -- if you've got measurable copper your xenia would be flat dead in hours, along with your worms. Whatever is going on, it's not copper.

Your water parameters look fine, except -- did you confuse NO2 and NO3? NO2 *must* be zero, NO3 *should* be zero but values up to about 10ppm are OK in reef aquaria. PO4 won't affect the xenia but is a good thing to keep under control, mostly in terms of nuisance algae growth.

Chances are you should have a small powerhead in there -- most corals appreciate a lot of flow, and it doesn't look like you're providing that.

Here's what I would do in your situation:
- Get some RO or RO/DI water from somewhere (fish store, neighbor with an undersink unit, workplace, etc), mix up some salt at 1.025 sg, and do about 1 gal/day water changes for a week
- Add a small powerhead; make sure it's circulating the water but not "blasting" anything directly
- Think about increasing mechanical/chemical filtration, e.g. an AquaClear filter with PolyFilter and activated carbon. I'm not sure what this "built in bio-filter" is, but I doubt it's providing adequate mechanical and biological filtration
- HIGHLY consider getting a nano-sized protein skimmer. I consider them essential for marine aquaria. You should see the crud they pull out of my tanks!
- Monitor pH and alkalinity in particular -- xenia likes 8.1 or higher pH and relatively high alkalinity (although your 8 dkH is fine)

After having said all of that, xenia is not a good "beginner" coral. It's finicky and fickle. Some "expert" aquarists have a hard time keeping it alive; or thriving colonies suddenly collapse. I recommend something like mushrooms and green star polyps. Keep them happy and healthy, keep your system stable for some time, then try xenia.

I really, really recommend a larger tank, and a willingness to sink some $'s into good equipment. My "ideal" starter setup would look something like:

- 30 gal tank
- 30 lbs live rock
- 60 lbs live sand (I'm a fan of DSB, YMMV)
- Oversized AquaClear filter
- 2x MaxiJet 1200 powerheads
- AquaC Remora protein skimmer
- Stealth heater
- At least 100W lighting -- I like 4x39 W T5's

Regards,
Dan
  #17  
Old 12/13/2007, 05:59 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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wow thats alot of info daninsd, thanks, i was planning on getting te green star polyps in a week or so along with a mini powerhead, plus im about to do a 1gal pwc with ROwater, turns out i got no copper in my tank, and my pH is now 8.0 maybe higher

i though a small tank like mine wouldnt really need a protein skimmer...am i wrong??

do powerheads really matter that much in a SW tank??Does it mean life or death for a coral?

yes, i added dechlorinator to the SW
  #18  
Old 12/13/2007, 07:05 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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wow thats alot of info daninsd, thanks, i was planning on getting te green star polyps in a week or so along with a mini powerhead, plus im about to do a 1gal pwc with ROwater, turns out i got no copper in my tank, and my pH is now 8.0 maybe higher

i though a small tank like mine wouldnt really need a protein skimmer...am i wrong??

do powerheads really matter that much in a SW tank??Does it mean life or death for a coral?

yes, i added dechlorinator to the SW
  #19  
Old 12/13/2007, 08:51 PM
kau_cinta_ku kau_cinta_ku is offline
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powerheads do alot in a SW tank. IMO they are a must in a SW tank. at least having 10-20x turnover in the tank is a good start. and for some corals it really can mean life or death.

I wouldn't add buffer to raise the pH. I would check to see what your alk, cal, and mag reading are. if those are off then that will prob. be the reason your pH is low. adding pH buffer will raise the alk. to where it is very high and prob. won't keep the pH in that range very long.
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  #20  
Old 12/14/2007, 03:21 AM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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I have found that SeaChem's Marine Buffer does a pretty good job of stabilizing and maintaining high pH in a system between water changes, under the assumption that things are not too out of whack to begin with. This is a big assumption!

On a system of this size, I would personally do 1 gal/day water changes and add small amounts of half-strength buffer, monitoring water parameters, for about a week. At the current 8 dkh, I don't thing that the addition of some buffer is going to cause a "dangerous" alk spike. YMMV, of course.

On skimmers -- unless you are religious about large water changes, I consider them absolutely essential in all marine aquaria. Again, it's an opinion backed by a moderate, but certainly not professional, level of experience.

Dan
  #21  
Old 12/14/2007, 03:23 AM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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Oh, and one more thing -- although magnesium levels are important, I don't believe that magnesium contributes to alkalinity. It's much more a measure of carbonate/bicarbonate reserves in the water.
  #22  
Old 12/14/2007, 09:41 PM
chunkylover817 chunkylover817 is offline
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carbonate is god for the water right???

and what does ymmv mean???..lol
  #23  
Old 12/17/2007, 01:30 PM
Morel Morel is offline
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I honestly wouldn't even consider adding anything else to your tank until you get your water params correct..

Water quality, water quality water quailty..
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  #24  
Old 12/17/2007, 01:37 PM
DanInSD DanInSD is offline
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"Your Mileage May Vary". In other words, this has worked for me, but I make no guarantees.

By "carbonate" I assume you mean baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)? As a single chemical, it is a worthy way of increasing alkalinity and pH. It must be used judiciously, as with all additives, and you should have an accurate test kit for both pH and alkalinity.

For a tank of this size, I cannot over-stress the importance, and value, of frequent, significant water changes as a means of stabilizing water parameters. Supplementing in this small of a volume is likely to hurt a lot more than help, as a tiny amount of chemical can cause significant changes in parameters.

Dan
 

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