How To Keep All The Corals You Didn't Think You Could

Discussion in 'Coral' started by mikejrice, Dec 27, 2013.

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  1. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

    Joined:
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    Colorado
    I tried some big, really healthy specimens, and every one of them went strait down hill. That's one tough coral to keep.
     
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  3. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
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    That's what I was afraid of. What was your feeding process? same as you describe in your first post?

    I've done a lot of research and it seems the only people who successfully keep them are either super lucky or devote their whole tank to this one coral.

    I'll just post what I've found here in case you're interested, or someone else reads this.

    I've found that generally flow and food are the two main requirements not met, but even when they are met, lighting and water parameters can lead to death.

    Most people measure flow by turnover, (Gallons per hour / (over) total tank volume) however those that have been successful (not the lucky ones) report that turnover is not merely enough, you can have 200X turnover or 10X, unless the water flowing past the coral is a certain speed, it can't properly feed. This speed has been finely tuned to either 8-9cm/second or 14-15cm/second, BOTH produce best results. Even once this proper speed has been met, it must flow a certain way over the polyps, otherwise they wont be able to properly eat. I'm gonna show a crude diagram to illustrate what I mean.

    X-- is the polyp and way it is facing, -----> is the direction of flow.

    Commonly, the coral is placed into flow as so:

    -----> X--

    However those that report most success find that flow should be as so:

    -----> --X

    For whatever reason, flow moving in the direction the polyps open, provides the best feeding.

    Next is food. Besides the fact that they need to be fed almost constantly throughout the day there is the actual food itself. Typically food that is 50 microns is best, and in order to ensure the best chances of digestion flow should be turned off after all polyps have food. Just because the polyp closes around the food doesn't mean its digesting it, the polyp must withdraw into the skeleton in order for digestion to occur.

    Turns out that strong lighting is actually detrimental to these corals, unlike other NPS which can be acclimated to strong lighting.

    These Gorgs are VERY sensitive to swings in alkalinity and the general presence of nitrates and phosphates, both of which can occur from the feedings required to sustain these and other NPS corals.

    Side note: some have reported success running their tank at a lower temp, simulating where these corals are collected and because the lower temp slows down metabolism, leading to the coral requiring less feedings, albeit still constant.