I read something that is troubling me

Discussion in 'Coral Health' started by Jay, Aug 13, 2005.

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  1. Jay

    Jay Teardrop Maxima Clam

    Joined:
    Aug 20, 2004
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    Hello everyone:

    Well tonight I read something that has me worried. Its a message to Bob Fenner at the Wetwebmedia.com crew who helps people with their saltwater questions. This guy had all these corals in his tank and they most all die off. Well it was attributed to chemical warfare between his corals. He lists his corals and his are almost identicle to what I have in my 55 gallon VHO tank.
    I have 2 tanks, 1 with 250 watt halides and the other with 110 watt VHO for my LPS/Soft corals. Well I have mixed it up a little and have some sps in my lps tank and have almost every other coral this guy lists. My corals are growing pretty fast and I find myself having to move them around so they dont touch. It has me worried. I dont want this to happen to me. I would like to think that I research before I buy but had not taken this warefare into account. I usually look at the requirements to keep them and then try to imagine a place for them in my tank.

    Heres the article: Its on this page:

    http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cniddisfaqs.htm

    Corals dying
    I was referred here from a member of MichiganReefers.com, told that you may be able to offer some advice or help. Please feel free to email me back any helpful suggestions, I am about to the point of giving up any hope.....thank you.
    <Mmm...>
    OK, about a month and 1/2 ago, I started to notice the SPS in my tank going downhill. Polyps no longer extending to max, some die-off of tips, and general unhappiness. Everything else was fine. Within 2 weeks, ALL SPS except my orange cap and green milli were showing serious distress, as well as some complete bleaching and die-off. Throw a sudden burst of hair-algae growth into this messy mix, and I am ready to beat my head against a wall!!
    I tested the water....more on that later....
    Since then, (the last 3-4 weeks) I have lost all my SPS, except for the cap and milli, and they are now showing signs of stress. Even my mushrooms are starting to die! I had 8-10 green hairys, and dozens of beautiful blues and reds, as well as green stripes by the dozens all over the tank. I now have NO green hairys left, the blues are 1/4 their usual size, as are the stripes and reds. Even my green rics are shrinking in size. My hammer and frogspawn are barely opening now, and mouths are usually gaped when they do open up, and the torch is almost non-existent. I also lost 3 feather dusters, a large amount of my cleanup crew is MIA, and my yellow tang croaked over the weekend. RIP.....
    Now here is the funny part though: crocea clam, xenia, green Yumas, green flower anemone, Kenya tree and yellow elegans leather, along with 2 different types of pipe organ, and potato-chip coral are just fine. Full extension of polyps, growth even with the xenia. And Cerith snails galore every night, all else is dying....WHY????
    <Mmm, conditions favor the live group, they are successfully biologically poisoning the others...>
    Water params are as follows as of 4-10-05:
    55g tank w/20g refugium, LR and DSB, sand in fuge also.
    Temp: 79-80 F
    SG: 1.024-1.025
    pH: 8.1-8.2
    PO: <.50
    Ammonia: 0
    Nitrite: 0
    Nitrate: 10-20
    Calcium: 420-440 ppm
    KH: 8.3-8.5
    ALK: 2.97-2.99
    I add every other day: 1 15ml ea. dose B-Ionic 2 part alk/calcium
    I add weekly: 1 5ml dose iodine supplement
    Water changes have been 12-15 gal every week for 4 weeks now, IO salt used, 1.025 SG@ 80F.
    Please help me here.....I am at a total loss as to what may be causing this meltdown to occur. I changed nothing in my normal tank routine other than stepping up my water changes in the last 6 months, and everything was the picture of health until 1 1/2 months ago. I do not want to lose anything else, and I want my pretty tank back!!
    OK, an update to the dilemma that has become my reef tank. (or should I say, what USED to be my reef tank....I will politely refer to it as my coral graveyard!)
    As I stated in the last post, all SPS are gone. Totally. Even the hardy little Pocillopora is a goner. All the mushrooms are shriveled to the point of almost not being there. Reds, blues, green stripes and blue stripes, even the green rics are starting to shrivel. The hammers and frogspawn have "fused" their tentacles into one mass at each head, and a few heads have vanished.\ altogether. The button polyps are still closed as are the last red zoos and the yellow colony polyps. The Yumas have not been looking very happy lately either. These will be the last straw, as they were our first corals, and I do not want to lose them. (nor does Kristie!)
    What I'd like to know is, how can the remaining corals be so happy and healthy and seemingly be unaffected throughout this WHOLE ordeal while the others all die? Mushrooms are supposed to be one of the easiest and hardiest of all corals to keep, yet they die while my clam and yellow elegans leather are thriving!
    So here is what is in the tank right now:
    Dead/dying:
    Hammers, frogspawn, button polyps, mushrooms, rics, feather dusters, and ALL SPS. (invert MIA: emeralds, shrimp, porcelain crab), yellow tang.
    Alive and well: Crocea clam, xenia, clove polyps, pipe organs (2 types) potato chip, encrusting gargo, fish, tiger-tail cuke, anthelia, and flower anemone.
    I have done 2 20g, 2 30g, and now 2 40g+ water changes which seem to have NO effect, I haven't changed the lighting schedule, feeding, or anything else other than charcoal now for the last month. All water parameters are unchanged, all within safe limits.
    What the heck is going on in my once beautiful tank?!?!?!?!?
    I am about to the end of my rope, breaking EVERYTHING down, and starting all over again. Please help me to NOT have to do this.
    <What you are observing, experiencing is an extreme but common case of "mixed garden reefing"... the mis-blending of incompatible marine life, particularly cnidarians... Know that the various stinging-celled life groups have a few mechanisms to "prevent crowding", resource partition... stinging, overshading, producing (sometimes in great quantity) chemicals that are toxic to other species (allelopathy)... Anemones in particular are not a good idea to mix with other Cnidarian groups... You are encouraged to read re these animals care, compatibility (much archived on WWM re this)... but the long and short of your situation is that you can hope to achieve some stasis with what you have left... by careful water changing, use of chemical filtrants, pruning... Or, get a larger (perhaps separate) tank for SPS, et al. less able to compete animals... Please do read... on WWM, elsewhere... the situation, results of allelopathic relations are all about us (common amongst plants for instance)... just more pronounced and dear in our controlled aquatic worlds. I wish you well. Bob Fenner>

    Jay :confused: :confused:
     
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  3. kb.bear

    kb.bear Peppermint Shrimp

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    Leathers are Deadly if they get upset
     
  4. Jason McKenzie

    Jason McKenzie Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is happening in everyones Tank to some degree or another. It is very common. As a matter of fact I had to remove all of my leathers before I could keep an SPS alive.

    J
     
  5. Jay

    Jay Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    Yea well I have a devils hand leather. The lady that I bought it from said do not put in a tank with sps corals but I didnt listen to her. So far so good. I only have a few caps and some small acroporas in with them. They are doing fine so far. I have the most problem with my Torshes and frogspawns. They have these sweepers that are long. My torches car reach out 10 inches on a good day. I will look at my tank and see a nemocyst stuck to a mushroom or a zoonathid polyp. Almost makes me want to prune the sweepers back but of course that wouldnt be right either. They are just trying to make a living like everything else.
    Look at the overcrowding I have. I hope that big leather doesnt get irritated.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I just learned how to insert pictures inside posts yesterday so I am still kina testing...though I do like to share my pictures.



    Jay
     

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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2005
  6. srqcaroline

    srqcaroline Plankton

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    Sarasota, FL
    I have a leather in my tank as well (rose leather) and I have a question. My leather always produces large amounts of mucus when I do a water change. Is this mucus poisonous? Should I scoop it out. I also have a frogspawn, coco worm, feather duster, ricordia florida, star polyps, bta, unidentified ricordia, clarkii clown, algae blennie, neon goby, mithrax crab, hermits, snails, sand sifting star, and a yellow tang. All of this in a 25 gallon tank! I am crowded and concerned!
     
  7. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

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    Running a mixed reef is a good reason to run lots and lots of fresh carbon! Whereas your LPS corals put out sweepers, the softies put out chemical toxins...

    The environment necessary for SPS corals is much different than one needed to grow LPS corals. LPS can tolerate 'nutrient rich' (er) water than SPS, which require nutrient poor water. Softies can live in less clean water still. You provide an environment that most closely matches one of those groups, so other groups will not fare as well in the same environment. Add in allelopathy, and wow. it is confusing! I have mostly lps, but folks keep giving me softies, and sps's...I try and find a trade for what I like in the lps ;D
     
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  9. Jay

    Jay Teardrop Maxima Clam

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    Nobody ever GIVES me anything. I am forced to buy on the internet or drive 100 miles to a store that has only marginal livestock. So instead of buying lots of expensive corals I find myself fragging the ones I have to keep me busy. You can only have so many shrooms,leathers and zoonathids in one tank....so I move them to the sps tank.
    Someday I will join that reef club in Spokane or Kennewick and trade all these clones I have for some new intresting stock.

    I change my carbon in my Magnum 350 canister every 2 weeks. I also run poly phosphate pads in this that get changed every two wks also. I usually run just carbon for 2 weeks then on water change day I replace the carbon and add a poly pad then remove it in two weeks and go with just carbon...

    J
     
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  10. Birdlady

    Birdlady Finback Whale

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    Club is where I get all my stuff! Do yourself a favor and go join one! ;D ;)
     
  11. DaxAlbrecht

    DaxAlbrecht Plankton

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    if your corals are doing fine I would'nt worry about it. If you do suspect detrimental chemical warfare, use extra carbon, protein skimming, water changes, etc.
     
  12. GraviT

    GraviT Coral Banded Shrimp

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    My local MAS recently had a frag swap and all of my leathers were traded for LPS, SPS or cash! :) Since my tank has become SPS dominated, I wanted to make sure that there wasn't any warfare between inhabitants.