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  1. #1
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    thriving vs. surviving

    OK, there is a current thread where there is a "friendly" discussion about corals that thrive vs corals that look like they're doing fine (to the newbie) vs corals that are simply just barely surviving. My question is: How do you know your corals are thriving?? If it looks like it is growing, does that mean it is thriving?
    I've seen what an unhappy coral looks like, but would love it if someone can enlightening me on this. Perhaps point me to some resource where there is before and after pictures?

    Does my question make sense? Be nice, I'm just rying to learn this stuff. :
    thanks.
    thien

  2. #2
    Senior Member nbreau's Avatar
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    good question, in my experience (less than a year) my SPS frags seems to be thriving as i can tell that they are growing however I've never seen any growth in my LPS corals, and most of them detiorated over a period of 2-3 months.

    I find this odd since i only have 400w of VHO on my 77 gallon and all params have always been fine with the exception of a occasional increase os salinity to 1.028 or increase in temp to 82-83F... Would LPS more sensitive when it comes to temperature fluctuations ?
    ======================
    sold the 77gallon back in 2005, looking to setup a nano

  3. #3
    Senior Member CableGuy's Avatar
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    I think if your coral is growing it is doing very well. on the other hand if you have had a coral for a long time and has shown no new growth it is just surviving. You should take into consideration that some corals grow faster than others.

    I had a purple gorgonia that did'nt show any new growth for about 3 months, I noticed a new branch the other day and it has been growng rather quickly. sometimes it takes a while for a new coral to settle into your tanks conditions.
    "DREAM LIKE YOU'LL LIVE FOREVER, LIVE LIKE YOU'LL DIE TOMMOROW"

  4. #4
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Long answer - This is a really tough question. You probably read about my experience in the aforementioned thread. I thought my corals were thriving before but apparently they could have been doing better.

    There are so many factors to consider - lighting, nutrition, chemical warfare from neighbors, general water quality, predators, etc. There is a lot of ground between surviving and thriving. This is not a black and white thing, many shades of grey here. I'd just learn as much about the requirements of the animals in your care and then strive to meet them as best you can.

    Short answer - if your buddy's corals look better than yours then his are thriving more than yours
    Susan

  5. #5
    Senior Member thien's Avatar
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    Ahhh....I was afraid I might get an answer like that FlameAngel. So a coral could be growing, but not necessarily thriving, right?

    The colour has to be just right, the growth rate, the "look", etc...I guess it would be impossible to know exactly what the perfect, thriving, super healthy coral would look like unless you're on a real reef.
    thanks.
    thien

  6. #6
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Even on a real reef corals don't necessarily thrive. If they happen to be located next to a more aggressive coral they will get stung or overgrown and die. If water conditions change or the temperature gets too hot one summer or a storm comes ... lots of reasons.

    I'm a healthy happy person but give me a million bucks and I'll be happier Corals are the same. They can be healthy, growing and have great colour but put them in a tank with conditions more to their liking and maybe they'll grow faster, the colour be even brighter and the polyps extend even more. Doesn't mean they weren't thriving before. And not all corals will be the perfect specimen in the perfect conditions. Not all people are either. Some are just prettier, healthier, stronger than others.

    I wouldn't get too caught up in it. Just provide the best environment you can based on earnest research and your corals will be happy.
    Susan

  7. #7
    Senior Member slykat's Avatar
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    Well said Flame Angel

  8. #8
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    Flame Angel couldn't have said it any better!!
    I just want to add a couple things to it though.
    Take an LPS for example.., many people think that if the fleshy area is expanding very well and getting bigger over time, then it is growing well. The exact opposite can be happening however. On a LPS, you basically measure "growth" by either actual new skeletal tissue growing or new heads forming ( which will mean new skelton too). The expansion of the fleshy areas can very well be simply because it is actually starving for light and instinct tells it to expand even more to have a bigger surface area to absorb more light.

    As for softies, well that is a no brainer because in a healthy tank where they are happy, they will basically grow like weeds!!

    SPS on the otherhand, there is no straight answer as Susan mentioned. It will only come from experience. Even though you see some growth, this might mean it's growing but not necessarily "thriving". Every tank is different with lighting, current, temp, food, "floc" ( all suspended particles floating around) clarity all playing a part and will vary the look of a coral in each tank. So often it happens that a coral growing one way in one tank will look completely different in another to the point of the original owner not recognizing it!

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    Very good points. Also, we shouldn't assume we can even recognize a thriving coral when we see one. For example, it's "common knowledge" that in SPS polyp extension is a good sign. However, Eric Borneman has on several occasions hypothesized that perhaps the opposite is true. I know from experience that a well fed tubastrea won't open as much as a hungry one.
    Susan

  10. #10
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    Ah yes..., I forgot the polyp thingy. Susan.., do you mean all day or at night for the extension? I think it would be "safe" to assume everything is kosher if they are expanding during the night when they normally feed, but if they did all day then that is perhaps because they are hungry. What do you think?

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