Sun coral questions

Discussion in 'NPS Corals' started by Amethyst, Sep 3, 2014.

to remove this notice and enjoy 3reef content with less ads. 3reef membership is free.

  1. Amethyst

    Amethyst Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Seattle area
    I have a small sun coral in my reef aquarium that has been there for 2 or 3 months. I was told when I purchased it that it needed to be target fed. The person at the store was using "Fuel" (aquavitro) as a "teaser" then feeding with a combination of meaty and non-meaty stuff after the polyps opened, which she said should be about 1/2 hour later. I already had MicroVert (Kent Marine) and PhytoPlan (Two Little Fishies), and I bought the Fuel with the coral. I have been using the Fuel first and then mixing the other two and feeding 20 - 30 minutes later. However, it didn't seem to be doing very well, so I started investigating more and discovered that I had never seen any of the polyps open. I was unaware of what they should look like open - not good, I know. I should have investigated more either before or when I purchased the coral. I've tried feeding at night with only "moonlight" LEDs, as I've heard they tend to be nocturnal, but that has made no difference.

    My other concern is that it was all a fairly uniform peachy pink-orange color when I bought it and it mostly still is, but it also has white spots on it, and the number of the spots is increasing. I have also seen snails on it more recently than when I first got it, including snails down in the tops of the closed polyps. I think there may be algae growing in some of the polyps that is attracting the snails.

    Any ideas on what the white spots are, and what to do at this point to get the polyps to open up and eat?

    By the way, the tank has no fish, but it does have other filter feeders in the form of white calcareous tube worms. These are in the same general area as the sun coral, and I usually give them a squirt of the same food when I feed the sun coral, so there should be enough for everybody.

    I'll try to get a picture up later this evening.
     
  2. Click Here!

  3. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Messages:
    19,652
    Location:
    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Yup really really need an image. White areas are usually areas where the tissue has receded and now you see skeleton.

    Are you just squirting food at the coral once, are you turning off pumps, covering the coral to contain food around the coral?

    Need an image or very good description of those snails as well.
     
  4. SaltyClown

    SaltyClown Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    A pic would be great. Sun corals come out after the lights go out. Mine open within minutes of lights out. I only feed mine meaty foods. Some sun coral don't come out for some reasons. Since this seems to be like yours, I'd suggest you take time with feeding the coral.

    You may need to take it out of your tank twice a week at night, put it in a container of tank water and put meaty food on top of the polyps, to try and coax them out. This may take an hour, but once they start eating, they come out every night.

    As for the white spots, I can only think that their flesh is starting to decay, due to starvation.
     
  5. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Va
    The fact that you aren't seeing a feeding response after basting it with multiple food sources means something is up. I'd get a feeding response under full LEDs during the day just by putting my hand in the tank.

    I would turn off ALL flow in the tank and deposit Mysis shrimp directly onto the polyps. hopefully it isn't too late.
     
  6. Amethyst

    Amethyst Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Seattle area
    Thanks for the input. I'll try taking them out of the tank (in tank water, of course) and feeding them in still water, with low light. The white spots don't look anything like the tissue damage I've seen online. I don't have a picture yet, but will still try to gat one.
     
  7. Amethyst

    Amethyst Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Seattle area
    Last night I took the sun coral out of the tank in a cup of tank water, and fed some live brine shrimp and MicroVert. I still never saw the polyps open up, but I didn't sit there looking at it the whole time, either, and I understand they close again when done feeding. It was in the cup in low light for a couple of hours. I put it back in the tank, and today it looks better, so I think maybe it did eat. Also, one indication that it is still alive is that the upright parts of the coral are standing straighter today than yesterday. I had noticed before that after I got them these parts seemed to be leaning somewhat. It reminded me of a plant stem leaning toward available light, and I thought that may have been what this thing was doing. Now I'm wondering if it was leaning in the direction of where the food was in the current.

    By the way, the white spots are obviously on the outside, as I can see that they are sticking up from the surface of the coral. They look a little fluffy, and there are more spots over time, but the spots are not connecting into wider areas of white, and they really don't look like the pix of dead tissue I've seen.
     
  8. Click Here!

  9. SaltyClown

    SaltyClown Sea Dragon

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Messages:
    549
    Keep it up twice a week. Maybe they did eat. When they get really healthy, they'll stay out after they eat. Once you get them to start eating to the point where they come out every night. You won't have to take them out of the tank to feed them.
     
  10. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Va
    I would still like to see an image. I fed mine every day, sometimes twice or three times a day. Depending on the size of the heads, you may want to try something meatier, like Mysis or squid. Mine was in extremely good health with about 50+ heads and I noticed exceptional growth on it.

    If you feed them at a certain time every day, they'll eventually come out on their own at that time. They don't have to be fed solely at night. In the wild, they eat when ever they sense food. How is your flow to this coral? Most times people put them in caves/ overhangs because that's where they are in nature, but forget that they need high flow. After all, flow brings them food in the wild.
     
  11. Amethyst

    Amethyst Astrea Snail

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2014
    Messages:
    43
    Location:
    Seattle area
    I think it's getting decent flow, but I will soon be moving the whole reef to a larger tank and changing the filtration and flow, so that should help. From what I've read about placement for sun corals, they don't NEED a lot of light, but it also doesn't particularly hurt them to get it, but they do need moderate to high flow. Would you say that is correct?

    Where do you get Mysis shrimp?
     
  12. Va Reef

    Va Reef Giant Squid

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2010
    Messages:
    3,627
    Location:
    Chesapeake, Va
    sun corals don't NEED light at all. But people interpret this as meaning they cant HAVE light, so they put them in a cave or under and over hang which typically gets 0 flow, thus leading to their demise. Mysis shrimp can be purchased at any LFS or online. For best chances of survival they need HIGH intermittent flow.