Montipora dying with seemingly good parameters, flow, and lighting.

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ekandler

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I would not leave it on your sandbed too long. Unhappy corals don't like to be blasted with light, but weak corals will starve if you keep them in too little light for too long.

You have lots of LPS and a few other SPS, so I don't think the issue is with your tank. You may have just got some bad frags of monti's or the tank's where they came from had some odd parameters and they were not able to adjust to your tank quick enough.

I would try another frag, perhaps from a different source. Just be careful about pests. Montipora eating nudibranches are easy to catch and very hard to get out of a tank. Monticaps are notorious for having them (none of your photos show any damage that resemble nudis).

Dennis
Yeah, I don’t have an acclimation box so I’m going to move it to my frag tank, which I didn’t want to do because it’s less controlled than my display but maybe it’ll rule out the fish as I only have a clown, scopas tang, and six line wrasse in there.

not sure about this being a bad batch, I’ve been having this issue over the past year probably and this behavior has been seen with several orders of coral from at least 3 different suppliers that I can think of right now, keeps happening to all new acropora, montipora, leptoseris, and until recently cyphastrea although I have a happy frag right now that’s going strong.

over the time I’ve been trying these SPS I’ve changed lighting (AI to Radion), salt (Fritz to Red Sea) added flow, reduced flow, lots of ICP testing… one constant has been the fish, so I guess that’s possible, but I always tried to keep away from fish which would cause me problems, wasn’t expecting the coral beauty to be an issue. But, after some research, it seems I’m not the only one who’s had a coral beauty nip at stuff.
 
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Madonia

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Maybe try running carbon and doing a series of water changes. Perhaps there’s some toxin in your water from
The leather coral or something else. I too am having similar problems. I currently have a sinularia leather coral that I will likely remove today vs. tomorrow.
 
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ekandler

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Maybe try running carbon and doing a series of water changes. Perhaps there’s some toxin in your water from
The leather coral or something else. I too am having similar problems. I currently have a sinularia leather coral that I will likely remove today vs. tomorrow.
Yeah I recently removed some leathers from my tank after this thread suggested that. I’ve been running carbon in a reactor 24/7 for probably the last 6 months. The tank does seem much happier after a water change, not really sure why that is.
 

Madonia

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Yeah I recently removed some leathers from my tank after this thread suggested that. I’ve been running carbon in a reactor 24/7 for probably the last 6 months. The tank does seem much happier after a water change, not really sure why that is.
You may have repleted some low elements and/or the carbon removed some
Toxins. I’ll do the same
 

Dennis Cartier

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The ICP test may well be inaccurate, but the ICP phosphate is very high. About 1 ppm.

Did everyone miss Randy's observation? 1 ppm is a huge amount of phosphate and could be responsible for shocking the coral and leading to it's slow demise. You can run tanks at these phosphate levels, but corals need time for their zooxanthellae to adapt and going from 'normal' phosphate to a tank with 1 ppm would not be an easy transition.

High phosphate can sneek under the radar if your nitrate is low or if you are iron limited. The corals will still show ok colour as long as other elements are limiting the growth of the zooxanthellae and the subsequent browning out.

Dennis
 
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ekandler

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So I have another update which confuses the situation. I've setup a small tank I'm using to store frags from my display. I use the same salt (red sea blue bucket), same RO water, same light (g5 XR-15 blue insteaf of g5 XR-30 blues on my display) on the same spectrum. When the montipora started dying off I moved it downstairs and it started healing, showing great color. I also had an acan which was receding, which I thought was algae so I dipped in hydrogen peroxide and didn't help, so I decided to move to the frag tank and now it's happier than ever. The frag tank parameters are controlled by water changes only, my display has a Trident/DOS. Nutrients are tested on both weekly and approximately the same. The frag tank has no filtration other than a sponge, my display has a skimmer, refugium, CO2 scrubber and carbon in a reactor. Somehow, my frag tank is better suited for coral than my display....

I was thinking this might rule out water chemistry and started looking at inhabitants. I have hermits, snails of various kinds, emerald crabs, a strawberry crab, and several fish (mandarin goby, 2 clowns, 3 tangs, coral beauty angelfish, copperband butterfly, and sixline wrasse). After some research, I saw the strawberry and coral beauty could be culprits, so I got rid of the strawberry first, put my monti back in the tank, and over night it got some ~1mm white circular spots on it and started looking unhealthy again, so I can rule him out. I moved the monti back to the frag tank and I just caught my coral beauty 10 minutes ago and moved it to my frag tank to see if I see the same behavior with the acan/monti.

I'll check back in on that, but otherwise what else could my issue be? I'm able to keep healthy SPS in a tank with 0 filtration but can't keep it alive in a tank with the high tech equipment ha it's driving me crazy.
 

hllb

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So I have another update which confuses the situation. I've setup a small tank I'm using to store frags from my display. I use the same salt (red sea blue bucket), same RO water, same light (g5 XR-15 blue insteaf of g5 XR-30 blues on my display) on the same spectrum. When the montipora started dying off I moved it downstairs and it started healing, showing great color. I also had an acan which was receding, which I thought was algae so I dipped in hydrogen peroxide and didn't help, so I decided to move to the frag tank and now it's happier than ever. The frag tank parameters are controlled by water changes only, my display has a Trident/DOS. Nutrients are tested on both weekly and approximately the same. The frag tank has no filtration other than a sponge, my display has a skimmer, refugium, CO2 scrubber and carbon in a reactor. Somehow, my frag tank is better suited for coral than my display....

I was thinking this might rule out water chemistry and started looking at inhabitants. I have hermits, snails of various kinds, emerald crabs, a strawberry crab, and several fish (mandarin goby, 2 clowns, 3 tangs, coral beauty angelfish, copperband butterfly, and sixline wrasse). After some research, I saw the strawberry and coral beauty could be culprits, so I got rid of the strawberry first, put my monti back in the tank, and over night it got some ~1mm white circular spots on it and started looking unhealthy again, so I can rule him out. I moved the monti back to the frag tank and I just caught my coral beauty 10 minutes ago and moved it to my frag tank to see if I see the same behavior with the acan/monti.

I'll check back in on that, but otherwise what else could my issue be? I'm able to keep healthy SPS in a tank with 0 filtration but can't keep it alive in a tank with the high tech equipment ha it's driving me crazy.
My strawberry crab is a model citizen so that doesn't surprise me (how did you catch it though - mine is very shy). I'm 100% still voting for the coral beauty. The emerald is also a possibility (moreso than the strawberry I think). I've also heard of tangs turning rouge, though the angel is much more likely - especially with the acan being targeted.
 
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ekandler

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My strawberry crab is a model citizen so that doesn't surprise me (how did you catch it though - mine is very shy). I'm 100% still voting for the coral beauty. The emerald is also a possibility (moreso than the strawberry I think). I've also heard of tangs turning rouge, though the angel is much more likely - especially with the acan being targeted.
I got him by coming downstairs at midnight and scared him off the rock. Surprisingly instead of going into a hole he ran to the sandbed and up against my back glass, so I just got him with a net. I’m hoping it’s the coral beauty but I’m holding onto him for now. I rushed to get rid of the strawberry crab but I’m sad now that I know it wasn’t him. Hopefully I’ll see the same behavior in the frag tank and it’ll be the smoking gun and I can get rid of him, but who knows.

thinking back, previously I’ve had really healthy space invader pectina that the tips started to show. It was very puffy at the base but the tips were receding showing skeleton. Same happened with some lobos, and Acans. I always ended up getting rid of them, being sad and assumed I had some bad water parameter meaty corals and SPS didn’t like. but now thinking about it, that all could have been the coral beauty….
 

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I got him by coming downstairs at midnight and scared him off the rock. Surprisingly instead of going into a hole he ran to the sandbed and up against my back glass, so I just got him with a net. I’m hoping it’s the coral beauty but I’m holding onto him for now. I rushed to get rid of the strawberry crab but I’m sad now that I know it wasn’t him. Hopefully I’ll see the same behavior in the frag tank and it’ll be the smoking gun and I can get rid of him, but who knows.

thinking back, previously I’ve had really healthy space invader pectina that the tips started to show. It was very puffy at the base but the tips were receding showing skeleton. Same happened with some lobos, and Acans. I always ended up getting rid of them, being sad and assumed I had some bad water parameter meaty corals and SPS didn’t like. but now thinking about it, that all could have been the coral beauty….
Oh, I missed that you got rid of the strawberry. I'd definitely wait and see before rehoming someone (if you have somewhere you can hold them of course). I have a shroom box that I've put fish in before for a couple of days.

My beloved flameback angel definitely had a taste for meaty corals like trachy and acans. I dealt with that, but once he started eating my zoas, it was time for him to move on. Because I'm a slow learner LOL, I put a flame angel in there. Knock on wood, so far he's good with just occasional picking at my monti (but the thing is unkillable so I'm not too concerned).
 
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Oh, I missed that you got rid of the strawberry. I'd definitely wait and see before rehoming someone (if you have somewhere you can hold them of course). I have a shroom box that I've put fish in before for a couple of days.

My beloved flameback angel definitely had a taste for meaty corals like trachy and acans. I dealt with that, but once he started eating my zoas, it was time for him to move on. Because I'm a slow learner LOL, I put a flame angel in there. Knock on wood, so far he's good with just occasional picking at my monti (but the thing is unkillable so I'm not too concerned).
Yeah I moved him to my frag tank but that’s also where my other corals are healing. So if they start to look bad again I assume it’s him causing problems. We will see ha but given how I never catch them doing it in the act I don’t know how people are ever sure their fish are eating coral. It’s the only logical explanation at this point but I’ve never seen him doing it. Good luck with your flame angel ha
 
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hllb

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Yeah I moved him to my frag tank but that’s also where my other corals are healing. So if they start to look bad again I assume it’s him causing problems. We will see ha but given how I never catch them doing it in the act I don’t know how people are ever sure their fish are eating coral. It’s the only logical explanation at this point but I’ve never seen him doing it. Good luck with your flame angel ha
My flameback was doing it constantly - it was super obvious. Whoever the jerk is in your tank is super sly LOL
 

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