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  1. #1
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    Bubble coral trouble

    I have a pearl bubble coral that ive had for close to 3 years. About a year ago half of the polyp just detatched from the rock and floated away to be lost somewhere behind the rocks. The remaining polyp seemed okk and after a couple weeks started opening up fully again. It sucked that the coral was now 1/2 the size but it seemed ok other than that. Now the other half is almost completely detatched from the roch and floating around kind of hanging by a string. Im wondering if anyone has any ideas or knows of this happening. The only problems with my tank are a bit of phosphate and somewhat high nitrate. I admit to being lazy with water changes and havent invested in an RO unit yet. So the only suspicion I have is possibly that is causing it? The thing is all the other corals seem to be fine, and I have another bubble coral thats fine. Any other ideas would be welcome.


    *edit forgot to ask, any ideas on how to save it? Im afraid ill lose it if it comes completely off the rock.

  2. #2
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    what fish do you have?

    any chance another of your corals is stinging the bubble?

    how lazy are you with the water changes?

    have you checked your other params? ( Ca and Alk ) and can you post them all?

    are you dosing any supplements?, have you started anything recently?

    have you upgraded or changed your lighting? or flow?

    do you target feed the coral?


    it's best to use RO/DI water if you're keeping corals, but you already know that. there is something we can try to save the coral but without isolating the problem first we may cause more harm than good. if you could try to answer as many of the questions and possibly post a pic of the coral, maybe we can figure out what is going on.

    but the first thing we have to do is .....



    to Aquaria Canada
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  3. #3
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    OK was in a 90g setup with clowns angles tangs etc, nothing that bothered it, never really tested or did water changes on the tank...at all. It ran like that for 4 years. After about 3 years it detatched the first half of the polyp. No other changes in the tank. Id always had some minor algae issues, nothing out of control, but always there. a few weeks ago it started comming away from the rock again. Again, nothing else seemed affected. at the time system was 90 gal main tank, 35gal sump/refug, huge homemade skimmer, lights were 8 x 40 watt t-12s (4x6500k and 4x actinic) on and off in 3 stages (2 actinic, 2 actinic+2daylight, and finally last 2 daylight, and off in reverse) and a pond pump running it (around 1000gph) never tested anything really, and never did water changes. didnt see any problems so didnt mess with it, bad practice i know, but no problems in 4 years, and the linger it worked the lazier i got.

    Livestock: 2 bubble coral
    numerous mushrooms
    clove polyps
    2 condylactus anemonies
    large carpet anemonie
    umbrella leather
    coral beauty angel
    brown tang
    unicorn tang
    sailfin tang
    pair of false percs
    engineer goby
    royal gramma
    2 blood shrimp
    3 brittle stars
    2 serpent stars
    2 longspine urchins
    4 shortspine urchins
    2 pencil urchins
    and the usual hermits etc

    Notice at this point the problem with the bubble is starting again.

    2 weeks ago i upgraded to a larger tank. However the problem was occuring before any changes were made.

    Before i did the move i did test nitrate, about 50ish ppm. The test kit i have is a bit hard to read, Ph 8.2-8.3, calcium has always been a little on the high side when i did test it as all topoff water is added with kalk.

    New setup is 120 gal with 2 VHO actinics, 2 t-5 daylight, and 2 250watt MH, also added second pump (coralife 1090). Have added a few corals and a couple fish, other than that same stuff.

    added livestock:

    pair of black saddle clowns
    regal angel
    crocea clam
    numerous zoos
    bubble tip anemonie
    candycane coral
    turban coral
    nore hermits and some snails

    last test results from the new tank:

    nitrate 15ppm
    phosphate 1.5 ppm
    ph 8.2-8.3 kind of reads between
    calcium 520 ppm
    KH ~ 230ppm (13dKH)
    temp 22C

    Ill try to add a pic later but i cant find my camera atm.
    Hope this gives you enough to go on, but like i said, tank was unchanged for 3 years before initial problem and another year before it started again.

    P.S. Thanks for the welcome! although ive been hangin around here for a couple years and not posting, just reading

  4. #4
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    a few things i see:

    both those angels ( coral beauty and regal ) are known to nip at corals, including LPS. you should try sitting well back from the aquarium and watch to make sure they are not the problem. these angels are also very well known for being well behaved one day then as they mature, just snapping. i see you have also added a crocea clam, again both of those angels are known to have a taste for clams.

    as well as resulting in an increase in Nitrates and an phosphates, by not doing water changes you are allowing the trace elements to become depleted. strontium is another element utilized by LPS corals and if you are not replenishing it ( by water changes or other means ) your corals can / will suffer.

    you have also increased your lighting and flow recently. this coral prefers lower light and flow levels. even though you were having the problem before the upgrade, it is possible the new light and extra flow ( depending on where the coral is ) is having a negative effect.

    you have quite a few corals and anemones most of which can sting or fight by chemical warfare. Several LPS species put out sweeper tentacles at night that increase their range.



    my best advice would be to start doing water changes ( preferably with RO/DI ) to help replenish trace elements and reduce nitrates ( 50 is getting pretty high for inverts ). you have just added a bunch of new SW so you shouldn't need to do one now but start doing water changes. take a very close look at the angels, they are really little devils. check ( both during the day and at night ) to make sure no other corals or anemones are close enough to cause any damage.


    hope some of this helps, and please do post a pic when you get a chance.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  5. #5
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    let me be blunt, you have TO MANY FISH LOL. no wonder you have water issues. good thing you upgraded but then you added a big angel! you'll fight water quality forever. your corals are starting to tell you this.
    also, urchins and bubbles are not a very good mix. spins tend to puncture the polyps.
    you also have 3 anenomes which need feeding adding to the bad water quality.
    leathers also add to the chemical fight.
    make sure your running carbon 24/7
    TAP WATER, is not good

  6. #6
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    found some pictures from about a week ago, if you kinda squint you can see the bubble lifted up off the rock.

    Is there a way to help the coral?

    Too many fish? How many fish would be "allowed" in this size tank? I didnt think 11 fish was a lot, the only ones that get large are unicorn tang and regal angel, maybe the sailfin tang could get a little large, but the clowns, royal gramma, coral beauty all stay small.

    As to fish nipping at the corals, so far ive been lucky, neither of the angles have bothered anything. I did see what may have been a bite mark on the edge of the clam's mantle right after i put it in the tank about a month ago, but nothing since, may have been there when i bought it. The coral beauty has been in the tank almost 4 years and always well behaved. The regal is new, fingers crossed, hasent bothered anything yet. Its one fish that ive always wanted to have in my tank and i waited 4 years to find one locally.

    I also have set up my sump a little better to make water changes easier, I have a pipe teed off from the return line to my drain, and a small pump to put the new salt water back in. Pouring pails in always stirs up the sump and makes a mess. As I said above the nitrates are down to 15ppm now and im hoping to maintain or lower this even more, if after 4 years the 90 only got to 50ppm, i dont think ill have too much trouble keeping this down.

    Hagan makes a resin to remove phosphate called clearmax (used to be galled green-x) and although it says its safe it cautions about using with corals "extra caution should be used when dosing saltwater aquariums that include invertebrates and live corals" the only thing i could find is because being a resin it can alter the water chemistry. Being that it removes phosphate i would think thats desireable in this case? Just looking for an opinion as to wether i shuld use this stuff or not. Im pretty much tapped out for cashflow right now so cant get an RO unit right away, although i will be getting one in the future. Alternatively, if i treat the tapwater with the clearmax, how long would i need to leave it before it would be free of phosphate? anyone have expirence with this?

    Thanks for your patience
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bubble coral trouble-hpim3095-1.jpg   Bubble coral trouble-hpim3098-1.jpg  

  7. #7
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dozerman View Post
    Too many fish? How many fish would be "allowed" in this size tank? I didnt think 11 fish was a lot, the only ones that get large are unicorn tang and regal angel, maybe the sailfin tang could get a little large, but the clowns, royal gramma, coral beauty all stay small.
    3 tangs and a large angel in a 120 could lead to some serious problems.

    i notice a lot of empty snail shells, where are they from? ( did they die in the tank or are they extras for your hermits )

    to be honest i can't really see it in the pics, could you take one straight on through the glass?


    if you have eliminated all these other options it is possible that it is a bacteria / protozoan / parasite problem. if the coral is losing tissue you may have to resort to an iodine dip, but without a clear picture.....

    i use lugol's solution, another popular one is made by tropic marin either one should be available at any LFS. there will be instructions on the bottle ( or box ) of how to perform the dip and don't hesitate to ask us if you have any questions.


    almost forgot, i'm not familiar with the PO4 remover you are asking about. i use rowaphos, and i know it works very well. using a remover will help get rid of the PO4 ( what macro do you grow in your fuge ) but you need to address where they are coming from to win the fight.

    good luck
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


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  8. #8
    Member Dozerman's Avatar
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    most of the shells are the result of a DISASTEROUS expirement with periwinkle snails about 3 years ago, dont ask...seriously do not ask. Others are collected on vacations and such for the hermits.

    Here's a couple pics just after the lights came on, you can see it just starting to inflate and hanging down, ill take another a bit later when its fully open, the polyp itself looks healthy.


    *edit* i know where the phosphates are comming from, but like i said i cant get an RO unit just yet so i was wondering about using the phosphate remover as a short term solution. And im growing cheato? the wire like stuff that grows like one of those plastic shower sponge things
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Bubble coral trouble-hpim3105-1.jpg  
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  9. #9
    Former Moderator a4twenty's Avatar
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    it looks like he's getting a lot of light? ( or is it a flash )

    like i sad, if he is losing tissue you may have to do a dip. this can be dangerous depending on the health of the coral. if he doesn't appear to be losing any tissue, i would move him to an area with lowish light and low flow and just keep watching and start doing regular water changes to replenish trace elements.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dozerman View Post
    *edit* i know where the phosphates are comming from, but like i said i cant get an RO unit just yet so i was wondering about using the phosphate remover as a short term solution. And im growing cheato? the wire like stuff that grows like one of those plastic shower sponge things

    i knew where they were coming from too :b13: i wanted to make sure you were growing chaeto because it can remove nitrates and phosphates.
    `

    120S RR tank with 60G basement sump / fuge

    Return Pump: Little Giant 4-MDQX SC
    Water Movement: MP40W, Seio 1500, (2) Hydor K4's
    Lighting: 400W SE MH with 10K Venture
    Skimmer: Euro-Reef RS250 with gate valve
    Other: RODI, RDSB, PO4/AC reactor


    My Gallery

  10. #10
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    It's possible it just did not like where you put it and moved itself my 2 cents.:b7:

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