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Old 05/21/2007, 05:59 AM   #51
elegance coral
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Quote:
Originally posted by graveyardworm
I did read your theory I may need to read it again. I tried to find some sort of conclusion to Erics Elegance project here and on another site, but couldnt find any posting of end results. I'm sure I read something a little while back just cant seem to find it now.

What I did find was some info like you said that he had very few healthy specimens to examine and then he was having trouble finding a lab to do the histology. So there were many complications.
The last thing I read on this was that he was trying to get experts to examen these protazoans and give him thier thoughts. I have found no outcome to this. It seems he is busy working on other issues, including other corals that are showing similar symtoms to Elegance corals. He said that he was having difficulty comming up with the time for this project. I haven't checked into this in several weeks so I'm not sure if anything has changed or not.


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Old 05/21/2007, 11:39 AM   #52
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kelly
The "maximum depth" theory is a good one, but then the corals would be coming out of the water saturated with zooxanthellae and very brown. As soon as they were placed in any decently lit tank, they would lose some zoox. If they were placed in a heavily lit tank, they could easily burn. So as you are saying, you can't place them in any lower light than they already come from because they will bleach and you can't place them in any higher lighting than they come from because they will be burned. I have seen Goniopora "puff up" many times before where the tentacles/polyps are pulled in, but the body is filled and huge. It usually occurs more frequently when they are new to the tank and under stronger lighting than they were previously. Bleached ones will often "puff up" more frequently too, so I believe there is a correlation between puffiness, zooxanthellae regulation, and lighting. Over a period of months, and once the coral has had time to adjust the zooxanthellae and fluorescent proteins to the lighting, the puff up behavior decreases and stops. The loss of zooxanthellae by itself will cause the tentacle extension to be much less than normal, even if the coral is receiving plenty of target fed food. I would guess that the less zooxanthellae an Elegance has the more it would puff up or remain puffy and the more it's tentacles would remain retracted. It takes months to for a bleached Goniopora to recover, and like you said, it takes months for Elegance to recover, so it sounds like there is a possible close relationship of the symptoms between the two types of corals.

From what you are describing, it sounds like there are Shallow Water Elegance and Deep Water Elegance that come into the hobby. The purchaser wouldn't necessarily know the difference though. If a person purchased an Elegance from deeper water, it would be more brown from the increased zooxanthellae density; unless it had already lost some of it and/or was "sick" (burned). The tentacle extension would already be affected on a "sick" Elegance, due to some lost zooxanthellae, so that would be the first clue to look for when judging the overall health.

If a person was wanting to purchase an Elegance, it sounds like they would want to start off with a specimen that was saturated with zooxanthellae and extending it's tentacles nicely, place them under medium lighting, target feed them heavily (in case they are under too low of light), watch for them to "puff up" (in case they are under too high of light), and be ready to move them according to their behavior if need be.
I am so glad you understand what I was trying to say and were able to put it into much better words than I. While I hate to hear that you have had similar problems with your Goniopora, it is nice to know that someone else has witnessed these symtoms. This only strengthens my belief that I am on the right path to saving as many of these corals as I can. I already believe that people reading this will be much better equipped to care for thier Elegance corals than they were before we wrote this.
I just wanted to add one thing to what you said above. I believe you are correct in assuming that these corals are a dark brown color when first collected. The problem, at least in my area, is that by the time these corals make it to our LFS they have lost a great deal of thier algae. I believe that this compounds the problem. If we could get Elegance corals that still had a large population of algae it would be much easier to acclimate them to our systems.
Thanks for your help with this. I am truly grateful.


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Old 05/21/2007, 03:48 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally posted by graveyardworm
Here is how understand zooxanthallae in coral tissues. There are different colored zooxanthallae. The different colors are have different roles under different light intensities. Under low light the browns move closer to the surface to collect as much available light as possible. True under extremely low light or no light conditions the animal will either expell its zoos, or the zoos die, either way the coral becomes bleached, but under low light ( barely sufficient ) the browns move closer to the surface. As light intensities increase the brown zoos move farther into the tissue revealing other tissue colors which help to reflect light so the browns dont overwork and pollute their environment.
What I am writing here in this post is not ment to be argumentative at all. I am truly trying to educate myself. If there is one constant with all the studying and research I have done it would be that I don't know it all.
With that said, I don't completely agree with your understanding of zooxanthallae (algae, for the rest of this)and the way they function. I only know of one color of algae. That is shades of brown. There are different species of these algae that are better suited to different environments, but to the best of my knowledge they are all brown. I have never read, or saw for my self, where these algae move around inside the coral. The only time I know of them moving is when the coral ejects them. I believe that the coral has the ability to regulate the numbers and to some extent the species of algae in its tissue. However I don't know of them changing their placement inside the coral in an attempt to adjust to different light levels. The secondary pigments are on the outer layers of the coral. They are used to filter the light that penitrates deeper into the animal. The reason that they apear more abundantly in bright light situations is that the coral has the ability to produce these pigments. I don't believe that these pigments are hidden underneath the algae and show up as the algae retreats deeper into the coral.
If you can point me to any articals on this that describes this the way you did I would greatly appreciate it. Honestly not trying to start an argument. I just want to make sure that my facts are correct.


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Old 05/21/2007, 10:07 PM   #54
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Here's an article which may be of some use.

Coral Photoacclimation
by Trevor-Jones, Andrew


and found this but havent read it yet

The Elegance Coral Project
by Borneman, Eric


and this seemed interesting

Asexual Reproduction of Catalaphyllia jardinei (Elegance coral)
by Durso, Richard



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Old 05/22/2007, 06:29 PM   #55
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Thanks for the articales. The second and third one I have allready read. The first one was one that I hadn't read. Thanks again.


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Old 05/24/2007, 04:02 AM   #56
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Quote:
I kept a shallow water elegance under 250w 5500K MH and it out grew a standard 55gl aquarium.
When I had my elegance back around '90 it was kept under 175w
5500k lights & two 40w antinics. This is when they were easy to keep. I never fed the coral & doubled in size in a years time.

I would say the water was more nutrient rich than how we keep reefs now as most skimmers were junk back then.


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Old 05/29/2007, 09:24 AM   #57
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This is very intresting.

I am glad someone is trying to figure out WHY these corals are not doing well in many tanks, and HOW we can have better luck with them.


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Old 05/29/2007, 10:20 AM   #58
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Originally posted by Klownfish
This is very intresting.

I am glad someone is trying to figure out WHY these corals are not doing well in many tanks, and HOW we can have better luck with them.
Thanks for kind words. I have recieved some negitive attention because of what I am doing. Its nice to hear some encouraging words every now and then.


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Old 05/29/2007, 11:02 AM   #59
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I understand you haven't fully finished your project. That's OK, IMO. Any advice or assistance is a very welcome idea.

There may be other reefers who have had simmular experience to what you're talking about. They may be able to help you, or you help them....

I was thinking perhaps a virus was infecting the corals. Most other meds have been tried, and failed. Anti-virals are a newer set of meds, and not easily purchased at your local Wal-Mart. A virus isn't easily identified, either. Special microscopes are necessary. I haven't done ANY research, just a lame thought of mine...

I will be reading this thread, and I do hope some new *light* will be shed on this subject.




(Sorry- Bad pun intended!)


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Old 05/29/2007, 01:38 PM   #60
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Quote:
Originally posted by elegance coral
While I hate to hear that you have had similar problems with your Goniopora, it is nice to know that someone else has witnessed these symtoms.
There has been a bleaching problem or "syndrome" associated with captive Goniopora for years; especially the common green ones. The reason it was such a mystery is because there can be several primary causes for the bleaching. Each cause can initiate its own individual pathway of decline, both quickly and slowly, but the end result has the same effect on the coral (loss of zooxanthellae, shrunken polyps/tentacles, receding, and tissue damage), which makes it difficult to figure out what the primary cause is. With most problems there is an initial cause, then depending on the degree that the coral is affected other "causes" join in to create a compound problem; which is probably what is happening with Elegance.

Quote:
Originally posted by elegance coral
I believe you are correct in assuming that these corals are a dark brown color when first collected. The problem, at least in my area, is that by the time these corals make it to our LFS they have lost a great deal of thier algae. I believe that this compounds the problem. If we could get Elegance corals that still had a large population of algae it would be much easier to acclimate them to our systems.
Exactly. The same thing happens with Goniopora. They often come into local fish stores bleached and even have tissue damage on top from being "burned". Somewhere along the path into the hobby they are exposed to higher lighting; perhaps sunlight in shallow holding tanks ( ). I know from experience that it doesn't take long to burn them. Since Elegance has such large individual polyps, if even one polyp was damaged it could cause an internal mess. That is why I said earlier "The situation could be that once an Elegance is affected or damaged by light it develops some type of infection which eventually becomes contagious to healthy Elegance corals". Along the same lines of thinking, a damaged polyp may also affect other healthy polyps within the same colony, kind of like an internal brown jelly infection. If that were true, then another symptom to look for would be an uneven die off of the polyps within the same colony. If the initial cause of the problem was from the coral getting burned, then the large individual polyps might die off at close but separate times. In other words, the whole coral wouldn't necessarily die off equally, but in sections beginning with the most damaged polyp(s) and progress toward the most healthy polyps. In the photos that I've seen of "sick" Elegance, this is kind of how they die. In Goniopora that have been burned, there may only be a few polyps die off (since they are much smaller and the colonies are usually hemispherical), but the whole colony usually loses much or all of it's zooxanthellae and the polyp/tentacle extension is affected all over.

Burnt Goniopora. This coral used to be green and brown with long polyps and was burned by intense lighting.


Dying Elegance coral. It is now mostly bleached. The tentacles down around the lower perimeter contain a little more zooxanthellae than the tentacles on top. This is usually associated with too intense of lighting.


Dying Goniopora coral. The top slowly bleached from too intense of lighting. Notice the lower polyps still contain zooxanthellae and the top bleached polyps/tentacles don't extend as far.



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Old 05/29/2007, 04:40 PM   #61
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elegance

Hi
Hers a pic of mine ive had now for two years , it under
two 400 wtt 14k Mh . ive got it at the top of the tank . The MH
are 18" from the top of the water ,its placed hafe way under
the tanks brase . I feed it very finely chopped up squid , octpus
i get at walmarts in the seafood depatment.





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Old 05/29/2007, 08:54 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally posted by elegance coral
The problem, at least in my area, is that by the time these corals make it to our LFS they have lost a great deal of thier algae. I believe that this compounds the problem. If we could get Elegance corals that still had a large poulation of algae it would be much easier to acclimate them to our systems.
A lot of the elegances I've seen melt in the stores in my area (Seattle) were not bleached.
They looked fine except for the sections covered in mucus or the shrucken tentacles.
If it was only bleached elegances that were dying, it'd be easier to isolate a cause.


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Old 05/30/2007, 04:44 AM   #63
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Darrell (elegance coral) is the only person I've seen that is researching living specimens and drawing up other potential hypothesis and actually testing them. Since he focuses on lighting as a potential cause of the "sickness", I posted some photos showing some effects of what lighting can do and described some of the similarities between the symptoms (loss of zoox, shrunken tentacles, damaged tissue).

Of the 4 or 5 sick ones that I have witnessed, they were all discolored like mine or like in the photo below (taken from RK Mag). They didn't start out that way, but I think the majority of the sick ones eventually end up looking similar. That doesn't mean it is primarily a bleaching problem though. They could still be getting "burned" and internally damaged without bleaching first.

Personally, I think one of the most important questions is, is it actually something that is transmitted from a "sick" Elegance to a healthy Elegance or is that a widespread belief that has very little foundation; like so many other beliefs circulating through the hobby?




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Old 05/30/2007, 06:24 AM   #64
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I'm to assume your theroy on light is correct, how would someone correct the lighting if the Elegance coral starts to show signs of "light intoxication" or too much light?

If the polyps start to puff up, and the tentacles shrink, what next? Remove it from the light for 3 days? Jusk keep it under actinics for a few days?

How have you assisted your Elegance in recovery?

If the Elegance will bleach with too little light, get puffed polyps with too much light, what would you recogmend for an Elegance just starting to show "puffed polyp stress"?

What type of lighting do you suggest? At what PAR? How about color? 14k, 20K?? MH,T-5's, PC???



-And thanks!


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Old 05/30/2007, 06:44 AM   #65
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kelly

Personally, I think one of the most important questions is, is it actually something that is transmitted from a "sick" Elegance to a healthy Elegance or is that a widespread belief that has very little foundation; like so many other beliefs circulating through the hobby?

Tough question...
Many different treatments have been tried, from Lugol's, to anti-fungal dips, and antibotics. None yet to my knowledge have proven sucessful.

It could be a virus...
That would explain quite a lot actually, about transmission. And perhaps why it isn't seen in the ocean much. A virus is difficult to identify, and unlike bacteria, often difficult to treat with meds... Often only the symptoms are given treatment.

Just an idea...
If someone had a sick Elegance coral, they could try feeding it an anti-viral like Interferon. I don't think any anti-virals have been tried yet, that I'm aware of.


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Old 05/30/2007, 01:33 PM   #66
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http://www.fishpalace.org/C_jardinei.html


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Old 05/30/2007, 04:16 PM   #67
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Quote:
Originally posted by redFishblue
A lot of the elegances I've seen melt in the stores in my area (Seattle) were not bleached.
They looked fine except for the sections covered in mucus or the shrucken tentacles.
If it was only bleached elegances that were dying, it'd be easier to isolate a cause.
These corals can be damaged by bright light faster than they can bleach. The last one I killed died from exposure to a 175W 10K MH. It never looked bleached. It died from its injuries from being burnt. It was doing fine and looked great. I placed it under this light to test its reaction. It began to swell up in seconds. I removed it immediately but the damage had been done. It never opened up again and was dead in 2 days.


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Old 05/30/2007, 06:31 PM   #68
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kelly
Darrell (elegance coral) is the only person I've seen that is researching living specimens and drawing up other potential hypothesis and actually testing them. Since he focuses on lighting as a potential cause of the "sickness", I posted some photos showing some effects of what lighting can do and described some of the similarities between the symptoms (loss of zoox, shrunken tentacles, damaged tissue).

Of the 4 or 5 sick ones that I have witnessed, they were all discolored like mine or like in the photo below (taken from RK Mag). They didn't start out that way, but I think the majority of the sick ones eventually end up looking similar. That doesn't mean it is primarily a bleaching problem though. They could still be getting "burned" and internally damaged without bleaching first.

Personally, I think one of the most important questions is, is it actually something that is transmitted from a "sick" Elegance to a healthy Elegance or is that a widespread belief that has very little foundation; like so many other beliefs circulating through the hobby?

Thanks again John Kelly.

In the past week I have bought and killed 2 more Elegance corals. That makes 3 during this study. They didn't die from a strange disease or killer protazoans. I killed them by placing them in light that was to bright for them. I really don't want to do that anymore. From now on if I buy an Elegance it will be to keep it alive and not to test a theory. I have been doing much more thinking about this problem. I have changed my viewpoint just a little. One thing that just keeps sticking in my mind is the lady that was on a boat while they were collecting Elegance corals. She said that by the time the corals made it to the boat they would be showing the over inflated oral disk and shrunken tentacles. I know this to be a reaction to bright light. I also believe the professionals when they say that they found protazoans living in dead or dieing coral tissue. In any salt water environment there are many organisms that feed on weakened animals. If these corals are being damaged by sunlight durring colletion then they will be more supseptable to these organisms. When these corals are placed into the collecters holding tanks these organisms could multiply and feed on these injured corals compounding the problem. The only problem I have with this is that after a coral shows these symtoms they begin to go down hill quickly. Even after being removed from the light that caused the problem in the first place. I don't believe such a coral could mask its problem long enough to make it from the ocean to our aquariums. Especially if you add in parisitic protazoans. After all that, I still believe that if you find an Elegance coral with long flowing tentacles and a deep rich color that the coral is healthy. As long as this coral is protected from bright light and nasty tank mates it should remain healthy. I would not advise anyone to buy an Elegance with short tentacles. This is a dead giveaway that the coral has a problem.


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Old 05/30/2007, 11:00 PM   #69
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Quote:
Originally posted by elegance coral
These corals can be damaged by bright light faster than they can bleach. The last one I killed died from exposure to a 175W 10K MH. It never looked bleached. It died from its injuries from being burnt. It was doing fine and looked great. I placed it under this light to test its reaction. It began to swell up in seconds. I removed it immediately but the damage had been done. It never opened up again and was dead in 2 days.
I'm surprised it got burned so quickly. But then it could just be a sign of how sensitive they are to bright lighting.
If it is the light, I would have assumed the the part of the elegance to show damage first/most
would be the part exposed to the most light. A lot of the elegances I've seen die seem to show damage first at the ends though for some reason, even if one end is facing away from the light.


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Old 05/31/2007, 05:19 PM   #70
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Quote:
Originally posted by redFishblue
I'm surprised it got burned so quickly. But then it could just be a sign of how sensitive they are to bright lighting.
If it is the light, I would have assumed the the part of the elegance to show damage first/most
would be the part exposed to the most light. A lot of the elegances I've seen die seem to show damage first at the ends though for some reason, even if one end is facing away from the light.
I was surprised too.
All the Elegance corals I have see die, do it in the same way you described. No matter what the problem was that killed the coral it seems to always start decomposing from the edges on the skeleton in. I saved one of my corals that started this by cutting it in half. This is a pic of the little guy about a week after I did it. He looks more like and Elegance now, but not my much.




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Old 05/31/2007, 05:42 PM   #71
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Quote:
Originally posted by elegance coral
In the past week I have bought and killed 2 more Elegance corals. That makes 3 during this study. They didn't die from a strange disease or killer protazoans. I killed them by placing them in light that was to bright for them.
Did they bleach, then retract tentacles, then die
or
Did they retract tentacles, bleach, then die
or
Did they retract tentacles then die

Was there any
Puffing up behavior?
Mucous shedding?
Were the tentacles on the specimens pink or purple?
Were the oral areas surrounding the mouths saturated with fluorescent proteins and colorful or were they more clear and less colorful?

I hope you are photo-documenting everything . If only you could examine the zooxanthellae species and/or fluorescent protein crystallizations of each specimen to see if there is a common denominator. The type of zoox and the FP would help determine their sensitivity to light. I wonder if Eric B. has ever thought to have that done . I would bet that there is at least a difference between the zooxanthellae type and probably the FP structure in the deep water vs. shallow water elegance.

PS. That looks like a Goni next to your Elegance.


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Old 05/31/2007, 06:07 PM   #72
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No, but this was my Goni next to my Elegance.

Sorry about the quality. No didgital cameras back then.


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Old 06/01/2007, 06:00 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally posted by John Kelly
Did they bleach, then retract tentacles, then die
or
Did they retract tentacles, bleach, then die
or
Did they retract tentacles then die

Was there any
Puffing up behavior?
Mucous shedding?
Were the tentacles on the specimens pink or purple?
Were the oral areas surrounding the mouths saturated with fluorescent proteins and colorful or were they more clear and less colorful?

I hope you are photo-documenting everything . If only you could examine the zooxanthellae species and/or fluorescent protein crystallizations of each specimen to see if there is a common denominator. The type of zoox and the FP would help determine their sensitivity to light. I wonder if Eric B. has ever thought to have that done . I would bet that there is at least a difference between the zooxanthellae type and probably the FP structure in the deep water vs. shallow water elegance.

PS. That looks like a Goni next to your Elegance.
WOW! Thats allot of questions.
The first Elegance was ill in the LFS. It had lost most of its algae and was somewhat withdrawn but still had a great deal of its secondary pigments (FP). I assumed that it could withstand more light because of the lack of alge in its tissues. I was wrong. It puffed up and withdrew its tentacles under a 250W 10K MH. After removing it from the light it withdrew deeper into its skeleton and never came back. The second one was beautiful! It was bright green with a dark brown color to its tissues. It was fully expanded with tentacles that were almost 2 inches ling. I placed it under a 175W 10K MH. It began discharging something very quickly. It looked like it was smoking. I quickly moved it to PC lighting. It began to puff up and withdraw its tentacles. All of this took about 30 seconds. Within minutes it began withdrawing and was dead in 2 days. I tried iodine dips and cutting it in half, but it was to far gone.
I believe you are right about the different species of zooxanthellae. (algae, for short) Some scientest believe that corals not only have the ability to discharge their algae, but to retain algae from the water. This is why I have several different SPS frags, GSP, a clam, a red brain, many species of shrooms, and 2 species of anemones. My hopes are to have a wide range of algae species in the tank. If this is true it would explain the purpose for bleaching in the first place. If a coral is shaded by a coral above, and that coral becomes dislodged in a storm, the bottom coral would now be exposed to brighter light. Bleaching would expell the algae species that is not suited for this bright light environment and free up space for an algae species that is better suited to this new environment. The top coral landing in a dimmer area of the reef would be able to benefit from the same process. This is all speculation. I can't prove a word of it. If this is true an Elegance coral trying to make the leap from deep water to shallow water lighting could be in big trouble if there isn't an acceptable species of algae in the aquarium.


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Old 06/01/2007, 06:08 AM   #74
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PS. That looks like a Goni next to your Elegance.

The pic makes things look much larger than they are. The coral on the left is a sps frag. The Elegance is maybe an inch and a half long. The coral on the right is another Elegance.


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Old 06/02/2007, 05:16 AM   #75
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Quote:
Originally posted by Klownfish
I'm to assume your theroy on light is correct, how would someone correct the lighting if the Elegance coral starts to show signs of "light intoxication" or too much light?

If the polyps start to puff up, and the tentacles shrink, what next? Remove it from the light for 3 days? Jusk keep it under actinics for a few days?

How have you assisted your Elegance in recovery?

If the Elegance will bleach with too little light, get puffed polyps with too much light, what would you recogmend for an Elegance just starting to show "puffed polyp stress"?

What type of lighting do you suggest? At what PAR? How about color? 14k, 20K?? MH,T-5's, PC???
-And thanks!
I wouldn't remove it from light alltogether for any amount of time, other that normal night time darkness. After being exposed to light that is to strong, the coral has been weakened. It will need all the energy it can get to heal. It can't recieve this energy in the dark. There are many light combinations that will work. I don't own a PAR meter and I don't believe most hobiest do eather, so knowing the PAR value would not help most of us. Lighting with a spectrum of 50/50 or maybe a little heavier on the actinic side seems to work best. In my experience these corals show this puffed up response in the presence of bright light or for a short time after being removed from this light. They may also begin to show these signs near the end of a photoperiod that is to long. A coral showing these symptoms should be moved to a dimmer location fast. The amount of damage the coral recieves depends on the intensity and time of exposure to this light. It will take more than a few days for a coral to heal after showing these signs. Anyone placing one of these corals into their tank would need to observe it very closely for these symptoms and adjust its placement or the lighting accordingly. Once the coral is in an environment that is bright enough for photosynthesis but not so bright as to cause it to expell algae from its mouths or swell up and withdraw its tentacles, all we can do is wait. Given time the coral should heal. In extreme cases the coral may begin to die off. Dips in combination with physically cutting through the skeleton to remove the infected area is the only way I have been able to stop this progression.


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