Montipora Cap going grey, brown, dark...any ideas?

Z Burn's Reefing

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Hey All, looking for some advice. I have a Starburst Montipora Cap that is doing just okay, but have noticed part of the coral is looking a little odd. On the left side I have less polyp extension and growth, and the color is muted, looking darker, almost has a grey kind of appearance to it. Hard to capture in pictures; its clearly there in person. No necrosis quite yet, but if I don't nip it in the bud, it will likely progress there.

IMG_6812.jpeg


IMG_6811.jpeg




Ran the gamut of my at home test kits:

Alk - 8.4
CA - 460
Nitrate - 5
Phosphate - 0.05
Mag - 1450
Salinity - 1.026
Temp - 77.8
Par - 320

Yea...was hoping I would find something wrong with my test results....was really hoping my phosphate would be high and bingo, ugh... Any ideas on what I should try? Maybe time for an ICP I suppose.

Thanks All!
 
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MnFish1

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Hey All, looking for some advice. I have a Starburst Montipora Cap that is doing just okay, but have noticed part of the coral is looking a little odd. On the left side I have less polyp extension and growth, and the color is muted, looking darker, almost has a grey kind of appearance to it. Hard to capture in pictures; its clearly there in person. No necrosis quite yet, but if I don't nip it in the bud, it will likely progress there.

IMG_6812.jpeg


IMG_6811.jpeg




Ran the gamut of my at home test kits:

Alk - 8.4
CA - 460
Nitrate - 5
Phosphate - 0.05
Mag - 1450
Salinity - 1.026
Temp - 77.8
Par - 220

Yea...was hoping I would find something wrong with my test results....was really hoping my phosphate would be high and bingo, ugh... Any ideas on what I should try? Maybe time for an ICP I suppose.

Thanks All!
I would consider an ICP. Do you use activated carbon? Do you do water changes? Any new coral added recently? Any other changes? There are many things we don't measure in tanks that could be affecting it - any other corals with problems? How long have you had this one?
 
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Z Burn's Reefing

Z Burn's Reefing

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I would consider an ICP. Do you use activated carbon? Do you do water changes? Any new coral added recently? Any other changes? There are many things we don't measure in tanks that could be affecting it - any other corals with problems? How long have you had this one?
I don’t use activated carbon but have some on hand that I could run. I do 10% weekly water changes with IO. No other changes really. I’ve had the coral for about 3 months. All other corals, mostly sps, doing well.
 

MnFish1

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So - one option - disease introduced by something (that affects the coral) - second option your corals are 'fighting' (google allelopathy) - which activated carbon can help. A high quality carbon.
 

MnFish1

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I don’t use activated carbon but have some on hand that I could run. I do 10% weekly water changes with IO. No other changes really. I’ve had the coral for about 3 months. All other corals, mostly sps, doing well.
PS. you would be surprised - a 10% water change if you look at it with math - is not a huge difference if there is a toxin involved. Can you mention what else is in your tank coral wise:
 
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Z Burn's Reefing

Z Burn's Reefing

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I've got a couple euphyllia (torch, hammer, frog) and rest sps. No softies. WD, various millis, and many classics (Red Planet, Slimer, Pearlberry, etc). I haven't run carbon in years as it always cleans up clarity too well and corals get a sudden boost in par causing more issues. I can try to run some Rox passively in the sump to see if that helps and maybe do a series of water changes over the next few days.
 

Alazo1

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I've read that low potassium levels can gray out caps.
 
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Z Burn's Reefing

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Update: I've ran some fresh Rox carbon for a week and did daily 10% water changes every day for 6 days now to see if I could help do a gentle "reset" on the tank...the starburst monti cap continues to go down hill. Less polyp extension, rest of coral taking on same muted, dark, grayish color. Tissue looks really thin, but no necrosis yet. I thought about raising my lights and decreasing PAR, but the coral doesn't look bleached to me, so not sure I am convinced to try that. Anything else to try while I wait for my ICP results? Oh, and I've looked for pests at night with a flash light and have found nothing. This is a really odd experience for me as rest of corals doing well and usually I can't slow my monti's down...I'm flummoxed!
 

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I had rainbow monti that was dark brown, but it was up at the top of my tank. Moved it to the bottom and it totally changed to bright blue. Which does not make sense as you would think if it was getting to much light it would get lighter but that was not the case for me.
 

jda

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IMO, ICP is going to give you more questions than answers.

What kind of light do you have that under? If heavy blue, then this could be the issue. Red corals need some red to keep their red. Green too. More daylight is a good idea.
 

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Definitely ICP, id be curious about it being a trace element issue. Or just a large waterchange :) dunno how big your tank is. Will take awhile for it to bounce back so dont immediately think your efforts did nothing.
 

Yanir34

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Monti cap?
Caps generally do better in a lower par but they are all over the place.

I'm sure you went up slowly to this par.

Every tank is different in all parameters.

This stylo for example, is getting 700 PAR . I don't like the 200-350 par rule for sps.
there is a lot of parameters in our system that should be in check ,bedside PAR levels.
IMG-20231117-WA0259.jpg
 

Dburr1014

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This stylo for example, is getting 700 PAR . I don't like the 200-350 par rule for sps.
there is a lot of parameters in our system that should be in check ,bedside PAR levels.
IMG-20231117-WA0259.jpg
I understand high par.

I guess my point is you don't take it from 250 par tank and place it in a 700 par tank. They will have to adapt over time. Surely it will fry if not acclimated no matter what any other parameter is.

I was suggesting to the OP to lower it, give it time away from the intense light and heal possibly. Even if it is just a frag. You never know, it might color up just doing that one thing.

It could absolutely be something else and not the light. But, I my experience, caps grow flat collecting more light than say a Staghorn. So growing that way, they don't need that high par value.
 

Yanir34

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I understand high par.

I guess my point is you don't take it from 250 par tank and place it in a 700 par tank. They will have to adapt over time. Surely it will fry if not acclimated no matter what any other parameter is.

I was suggesting to the OP to lower it, give it time away from the intense light and heal possibly. Even if it is just a frag. You never know, it might color up just doing that one thing.

It could absolutely be something else and not the light. But, I my experience, caps grow flat collecting more light than say a Staghorn. So growing that way, they don't need that high par value.

I agree , but this coral specifically got the same PAR since day 1
 
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