New acro frag additions - how to keep them all alive - possible?

Kongar

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I could use some help with expectations. Is it normal when adding new acros, that some of them just melt away? For example, I got a battlebox - 6 frags. I added them to the tank a week ago. One of them (a red tabling acro) just melted away in less than 24 hours. No polyp extension, flesh started turning white at the base right away, and hour by hour the flesh was peeling off and floating away. The other 5 are still kicking a week later. 4 of them immediately showed polyp extension and it's like they never skipped a beat. One of the surviving ones still has no polyp extension, but no other visible signs of issues. All my parameters are good, phosphates are a little bit high (0.06), but otherwise everything was on point (assuming all my test kits are reading correctly). In the past when I lost new coral additions, I could look myself in the mirror and go "you could have done a better job with xyz" Not so much this time. It's like the shock of shipping, a new tank, lights, environment, whatever - just makes the frag go "enough - I'm out" :)

Anyways - I'm assuming this is considered normal, that no matter how careful and perfect you try to make things, you're going to lose a frag or two. But let's be honest, it was alive before, and it died of something. Any good reads on this topic to maximize success for adding new frags you guys/gals can point me towards? Any advice to share? I'd like to keep refining my practices to keep these guys alive during a stressful transition. 5 out of 6 isn't bad - but next time I'd like to keep all 6 alive... ;)
 
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revhtree

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I could use some help with expectations. Is it normal when adding new acros, that some of them just melt away? For example, I got a battlebox - 6 frags. I added them to the tank a week ago. One of them (a red tabling acro) just melted away in less than 24 hours. No polyp extension, flesh started turning white at the base right away, and hour by hour the flesh was peeling off and floating away. The other 5 are still kicking a week later. 4 of them immediately showed polyp extension and it's like they never skipped a beat. One of the surviving ones still has no polyp extension, but no other visible signs of issues. All my parameters are good, phosphates are a little bit high (0.06), but otherwise everything was on point (assuming all my test kits are reading correctly). In the past when I lost new coral additions, I could look myself in the mirror and go "you could have done a better job with xyz" Not so much this time. It's like the shock of shipping, a new tank, lights, environment, whatever - just makes the frag go "enough - I'm out" :)

Anyways - I'm assuming this is considered normal, that no matter how careful and perfect you try to make things, you're going to lose a frag or two. But let's be honest, it was alive before, and it died of something. Any good reads on this topic to maximize success for adding new frags you guys/gals can point me towards? Any advice to share? I'd like to keep refining my practices to keep these guys alive during a stressful transition. 5 out of 6 isn't bad - but next time I'd like to keep all 6 alive... ;)

Sorry about the loss of the frag but like you said...it happens. Different types of corals respond differently to a host of reasons at to why it could have died. I wish I could point to exactly why but maybe others can offer more details for you.
 

guylaga

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For what its worth he only time I had an Acro RTN right after adding to a tank was likely due to overdosing on Coral RX dip after acclimating.

If that wasnt the case then possibly there was just one parameter in your tank that that particular species really did not agree with.
 

SawCJack00

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I could use some help with expectations. Is it normal when adding new acros, that some of them just melt away? For example, I got a battlebox - 6 frags. I added them to the tank a week ago. One of them (a red tabling acro) just melted away in less than 24 hours. No polyp extension, flesh started turning white at the base right away, and hour by hour the flesh was peeling off and floating away. The other 5 are still kicking a week later. 4 of them immediately showed polyp extension and it's like they never skipped a beat. One of the surviving ones still has no polyp extension, but no other visible signs of issues. All my parameters are good, phosphates are a little bit high (0.06), but otherwise everything was on point (assuming all my test kits are reading correctly). In the past when I lost new coral additions, I could look myself in the mirror and go "you could have done a better job with xyz" Not so much this time. It's like the shock of shipping, a new tank, lights, environment, whatever - just makes the frag go "enough - I'm out" :)

Anyways - I'm assuming this is considered normal, that no matter how careful and perfect you try to make things, you're going to lose a frag or two. But let's be honest, it was alive before, and it died of something. Any good reads on this topic to maximize success for adding new frags you guys/gals can point me towards? Any advice to share? I'd like to keep refining my practices to keep these guys alive during a stressful transition. 5 out of 6 isn't bad - but next time I'd like to keep all 6 alive... ;)
No it's not "normal." it does happen of course, but I would estimate that 90% of the frags that I ship and/or receive have no issues. That being said, Adam is one of the best in the business so I would contact him regarding your losses. It very well could have been shipping stress on those two pieces. Each coral reacts differently to changes...
 
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Kongar

Kongar

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Can you be more specific on parameters? Fine doesn’t help us out. Then we can dive deeper :)
salinity 35
alk 9.2
mg 1360
CA 460
PAR (on the sand day 1) 190
nitrates 2
nitrites and ammonia undetectable
ph 8.1
phosphates 0.06

No it's not "normal." it does happen of course, but I would estimate that 90% of the frags that I ship and/or receive have no issues. That being said, Adam is one of the best in the business so I would contact him regarding your losses. It very well could have been shipping stress on those two pieces. Each coral reacts differently to changes...
So, under no circumstances am I suggesting this is Adam's fault. Packaged perfectly, arrived very early the next morning (in the box less than 24 hrs). In fact, the frag was perfect when I opened it up.

I'm not like bent out of shape over it, but I'm torn between "I nuked it" and "stuff happens"

I read a thread on here about success rate with new frags and it looks like most of the responses were around 75%. But some people say they have near 100% success rate (or at least any failures are directly a result of something they did). I'm trying to figure out how they do that - because that's not my experience to date. Just trying to get better - that's all :)
 
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ScottB

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I believe Adam runs a little lower ALK and a little higher nutrients, but there isn't enough of a difference to make something shed flesh.

The only time I had flesh loss from a shipped piece was an obvious packing shipping fail. A bag leaked and the shipping box got completely soaked. It road around in a FedEx van all day long. In February. In the Northeast. Heat pack could not come close to keeping up. Only one frag survived that; vendor replaced all of them.

I ALWAYS:
a) Buy from vendors that run similar nutrients and ALK
b) Temp acclimate in sump for hours
c) Keep the lights low/off for that day
d) T5 light for a couple days before dipping.

Just trying to reduce shocks.
 

Smite

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I believe Adam runs a little lower ALK and a little higher nutrients, but there isn't enough of a difference to make something shed flesh.

The only time I had flesh loss from a shipped piece was an obvious packing shipping fail. A bag leaked and the shipping box got completely soaked. It road around in a FedEx van all day long. In February. In the Northeast. Heat pack could not come close to keeping up. Only one frag survived that; vendor replaced all of them.

I ALWAYS:
a) Buy from vendors that run similar nutrients and ALK
b) Temp acclimate in sump for hours
c) Keep the lights low/off for that day
d) T5 light for a couple days before dipping.

Just trying to reduce shocks.
For clarification on d) I’m guessing you are running a coral QT to not dip until a few days after adjusting?
 

ScottB

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For clarification on d) I’m guessing you are running a coral QT to not dip until a few days after adjusting?
Good question. It is actually an LPS tank with its own filtration/sump. Technically though, it is NOT a coral quarantine as that sump is connected to the other sumps.

I should've also mentioned the usual visual inspection under a lit magnifying glass (always) and the removal of the plug (sometimes).
 
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Kongar

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I believe Adam runs a little lower ALK and a little higher nutrients, but there isn't enough of a difference to make something shed flesh.

The only time I had flesh loss from a shipped piece was an obvious packing shipping fail. A bag leaked and the shipping box got completely soaked. It road around in a FedEx van all day long. In February. In the Northeast. Heat pack could not come close to keeping up. Only one frag survived that; vendor replaced all of them.

I ALWAYS:
a) Buy from vendors that run similar nutrients and ALK
b) Temp acclimate in sump for hours
c) Keep the lights low/off for that day
d) T5 light for a couple days before dipping.

Just trying to reduce shocks.
Interesting. I know it's anecdotal, but it's replies like this that still make me feel like I'm doing something wrong. on b) - a few hours? I did like 10 min. I didn't measure, but I'm fairly sure the temps were close to begin with. on d), I didn't dip them this time. I know it's a risk, but the last time I did dip, and they were absolutely clean - not even a spec of dirt fell off them. I bit the bullet and didn't dip in the name of less stress for the frags.

It was so fast, literal flesh peeling off and waving in the current. Overnight = complete bone white. SOMETHING really wasn't right for that acro.

The others look great though! He sent me some really cool blue ones. I needed more blue.
 
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Smite

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Interesting. I know it's anecdotal, but it's replies like this that still make me feel like I'm doing something wrong. on b) - a few hours? I did like 10 min. I didn't measure, but I'm fairly sure the temps were close to begin with. on d), I didn't dip them this time. I know it's a risk, but the last time I did dip, and they were absolutely clean - not even a spec of dirt fell off them. I bit the bullet and didn't dip in the name of less stress for the frags.

It was so fast, literal flesh peeling off and waving in the current. Overnight = complete bone white. SOMETHING really wasn't right for that acro.

The others look great though! He sent me some really cool blue ones. I needed more blue.
Are you drip acclimating? I have pretty good success with acclimating sps. I haven't done a whole bunch of online orders but I've only lost one that was showing stress in the bag.
*TURN ATO OFF
1. Visually inspect in bag under daylight/bright light
2. Depending on how many frags I have from the same tank or vendor I'll cut the top off a water bottle, or gallon jug and rinse out with tank water.
3. I place all frags in the bottle with their own water and test DKH/salinity. This gives me an idea of how long I need to drip acclimate
4. I take a mag cleaner and use it to hold the jug/bottle in my sump. Top of the jug heigh enough to not let water in but low enough so the water in the jug temp acclimates and stays stable while I drip. This allows me to drip for hours if I need to.
5. Drip for as long as it takes to match salinity and alkalinity. *If you are way off with a gallon jug it helps to regularly dump some water out. The more volume in the jug the more tank water its going to take to change parameters.
6. Don't let the new coral water into your system. So don't let it overflow. Check on it often.
7. Parameters matched, onto the dip. A must no matter what for me. I got AEFW a while back from a vendor who's coral was so colorful I never thought he'd have pests.

I like to use disposable container for the drip because this allows me to dip in that container as well. So from here I simply move the container to a workspace (usually outside since I'm in SoCal and use bayers).
1. With gloved hands I mix bayers into the jug with a disposable plastic fork.
2. I let it sit for 10 minutes.
3. While it's soaking in dip I get my bone cutters, new frag plugs or rock and super glue. I also get a second disposable container and cut the top off.
4. Fill second container with tank water.
5. With a gloved hand, swish coral one final time in Bayers solution and transfer to container with tank water and swoosh for 20-30 seconds again. Looking for anything to fall off. I also hold dip container up to a light source and view from the bottom looking for any pests AEFW or bugs that fell off.
6.Cut existing plugs off to eliminate any chance of eggs and glue to new frag plug. I place them back into the clean container and allow glue to harden.
7. Final inspection and into tank!
8. Replace water from drip and dip in display and turn ATO back on.

It sounds like a lot but after doing it for years its almost mindless work now. I can't remember a time I lost anything in or soon after a bayers dip. I've been using it for the last 5 years like this.

This isn't to say I've only lost 1 acro in my reef keeping time, I've lost lots. But I've never really lost one I could attribute strictly to acclimation and/or dipping.

I hope that helps or confirms your acclimation dipping protocol. Sorry to hear about the loss! BC has some awesome pieces and I hope to get a battle box once my upgrade is complete.
 

SawCJack00

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Interesting. I know it's anecdotal, but it's replies like this that still make me feel like I'm doing something wrong. on b) - a few hours? I did like 10 min. I didn't measure, but I'm fairly sure the temps were close to begin with. on d), I didn't dip them this time. I know it's a risk, but the last time I did dip, and they were absolutely clean - not even a spec of dirt fell off them. I bit the bullet and didn't dip in the name of less stress for the frags.

It was so fast, literal flesh peeling off and waving in the current. Overnight = complete bone white. SOMETHING really wasn't right for that acro.

The others look great though! He sent me some really cool blue ones. I needed more blue.
The temp acclimation portion depends completely on what the water temps in the bags are. If you don't have one already, get a laser thermometer so you can check the temp inside the bag without opening it. You only need to temp acclimate until the temps in the bags and the temp in the tank are equal.

Ideally it's best to have a QT tank but I know most do not. As a vendor it's imperative that I not get pests into my systems so I have a large QT tank for colonies that I import, and a IM 10 gallon AOI tank for frags. I place the frags into the QT for a week to let them settle. During that period I run Interceptor in the tank to kill any red, white, or black bugs. I then dip in Melafix and return the frags to the QT. I wait another week and continue dosing Interceptor then dip in Potassium Chloride and return the frags to the QT for another week at which point I consider them clean and ready for introduction to my systems.
 

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What's your temp? I've only had an overnight RTN once, and it was 82 degree water... I agree with longer acclamation times. All my corals now float for temp for an hour, then drip for an hour.
 

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After reading what the OP has said--I'm going with it was nothing he did-the acro just didn't ship well and was most likely on deaths door when it arrived. I temp accumulate my acros, remove from the frag plug and glue them on to the rock in my tank. Don't lose but one every now and then. I buy from vendors that have been growing their corals for years(Battlecorals, Boomcorals, Cherry Corals,etc.) and not one's that are importing new corals(WWC,SD Aqua,Live Aquaria,etc.) all the time. Cuts way down on the possibility of getting a pest.
 

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