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Thread: SPS Colouration

  1. #1
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    SPS Colouration

    Hi guys

    Maybe someone will be able to help me out here. Whenever I buy richly coloured sps, I notice a drastic change in colour in them over the course of the next few months. Its not always for the worse. One common trend is that they tend to lighten up rather dramatically. Polyps and new growth generally maintains it same colour but the tissue between the polyps generally becomes light green, tan or a lighter variation of the original colour. This occurs in both my 280 gallon display tank and my 65 gallon growout tank. These 2 systems are completely separate. The 280 gallon tank is lit by 3 400 watt radiums and the 65 gallon tank is lit by 4 48" VHOs. I'm starting to think that it might have something to do with my water parameters. Anyone have any ideas what I should be testing for that might help solve this mystery.

    Here is a link to a web page showing comparison pics of various sps corals on arrival and at present.

    http://reefmania.homestead.com/Comparison.html


    Regards,

    Andy

  2. #2
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    what are all of your chemical parameters in each tank? any additives? and what do you feed the fish as well as corals. Also, what are the photoperiods and do you use any flourescent on the radium tank? Calcium reactor? Kw? Are you experimenting with anything, or do you have a system that has not changed for a while.
    How long has this been happening to the new arrivals and have you noticed the same thing happening to any older colonies? Does it happen if you move a frag from one system to another?
    Radiums will do whacky things to the colour of frags, but the fact that it happens in the vho tank too is a little strange...
    If I can think of any MORE question, I'll let you know!!
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  3. #3
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    reefmutt. Have a look at this link for my system setup details and water parameters.

    http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2004-06/totm/index.htm

    As for the 65 growout tank, I light it with 4 48" VHOs (Ice Cap ballast), skim with Deltec MCE600 hangon skimmer, 4 MJ1200 powerheads on Natural wave power bar, HOT Magnum for carbon filtration. Ca at 400 ppm, Alk at 8-9 dKH. Use Seachem Reef Complete and Reef Carbonate. Feed Golden Pearls, Reef Crew Rotifers and phyto, mysis, krill,...

    HTH

    Andy

  4. #4
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    I checked the totm page. The only thing I could think of is that possibly the filter floss you have for mechanical filtration could be taking out too much. Otherwise you seem to be doing everything possible to provide for your corals.

    If you suspect a water problem that your test kits aren't picking up I'd try running some Chemi-Pure by Boyd Enterprises. It has solved many a mysterious problem in my tank over the years.
    Susan

  5. #5
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Yeah, I remember your VERY nice tank, Andy. I don't have an explanation for your grow out tank. i'd be interested to see if two new frags acted the same way after being placed in each set up. As for the big tank, I remember thinking that while most of your corals were/are spactacular, a few of them look bleachy and stressed. All of the parameters and equipment are perfect- obviously, you know what you are doing. The only thing that bothers me is the overdriven radiums. I used to run 4x250Iwasaki on my sps tank- the corals looked great. Then when radiums came along, I added 4x400 as well- on Ice cap ballasts. I noticed great colouration in the tank but i also saw some crazy colours happen in some corals. Like poccillopora turning flaming wild pink or acros changing to less rich and saturated and more pastel, pale colouration. Still nice and interesting and cool colours-just not healthy looking, or not RIGHT looking...
    I personally think that radiums stress out corals to some degree and the crazy colours are the result of that stress. Most adapt, some don't and some just stay whacky colours. I've seen a few tanks running radiums and usually they look fine, but on the odd tank where the radiums are being overdriven, I've seem that funny, not quite right colour to some sps.
    And in one case where the guy had a ca. reactor he didn't moniter, the corals had that bleachy look and were receeding from the base as well.
    My only guess would be that by using 430 watt ballasts-( I don't know what the actual wattage the radiums are running at- it could be more...or less, I guess- I don't know) you are producing a light that some corals are having trouble getting used to.
    Everything else in your system is stupendous...I'm sure there are a million people using the same ballasts with the radiums and ALL swear that their tanks are perfect, perfect, perfect..
    This is my only guess. Have you ever tried different bulbs or ballasts?
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  6. #6
    Senior Member reefmutt's Avatar
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    Poly Filter or Chemipure are great products for pulling out accumulated metals and other weird stuff...definetly.
    Matt.

    Old system torn down to make a playroom.. planning a 62x42x28 high

  7. #7
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    Well..., I'll add my little input here. Matt has covered pretty much most questions however..., and Andy, I don't think you'll want to hear me saying this again, but.., When we were speaking of lighting a while ago in PM's, I mentioned that a certain someone is giving wrong advice about running those bulbs. Have you changed them since we last spoke? If not, then they are Waaaay overdue. From my experience and reading many other peoples experience with these bulbs, they are basically dead already at only around 4 or 5 months!!

    While it might sound overly simple, I think your main tank simply needs "better"..., not more..., lighting ( change the bulbs and perhaps even get another type... 10,000k 400w XM's seem to be promising recently), and your smaller tank just doesn't have "enough" light for the frags while they are in there. I looked at your comparison pics, and while they do look like they are bleaching or paleing up, they also look like they are turning colors that would make more zoox because of a lack of light.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Andy's Avatar
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    Hi Greg

    Thanks for your input. I changed out the radiums at six months and, with a few exceptions, haven't seen any change for the better in sps colouration. I haven't tried any other bulbs but may give it a try on my next bulb switch if I don't go to DE before then. As for the growout tank, the frags are in 3-4 inches of water and the VHOs are about 6 inches above the water. When I ran my 280 with VHOs only, I had some pretty nice colours up high in the tank. I was hoping for similar results here. I was wondering if you might be able to clarify your last point Greg. What exactly are you seeing in the colouration.

    Reefmutt... are you saying polyfilter and Chemipure are a good thing.

    Thanks.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Flame*Angel's Avatar
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    I've used Chemipure a few times over the years when something seemed not quite right but I couldn't find anything wrong. Worked great and no nasty side effects.
    Susan

  10. #10
    ijo
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    Andy... if your looking for a lamp switch in the near future and cost is not a factor... I recommend the PFO 13k's... I have yet to see a lamp that can match their quality.

    IJO

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