New reefer with hitch hikers

Saucymmonroe

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I am very new to reefing. I have had a tank for 4 months. All is or was good. I had cyano bacteria and used chemi clean 2 days ago. Worked pretty well as far as I know. Using carbon instead of 20% water change. Just don’t have time to do it. I wanted to introduce something cool. Probably shouldn’t have as it was more an impulse. I should have researched first. Realized after putting them in the tank that I should have dipped them. Got two corals. Noticed worms on one tonight. Only got one off with tweezers as coral closed and little guys went back inside. So small not sure what they are or if they are bad? So concerned because they were so small..this coral is pale pink with a tree like branch look a small frag I got from Petco. My very first ones. I have another (the second one that is green but purple when closed and looks like flowers when open? Not sure of the name. I can’t tell if that one has anything wrong with it..

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Welcome to Reef2Reef!

That looks like a micro brittle starfish (good guys) arm rather than a worm.
Using carbon instead of 20% water change. Just don’t have time to do it.
To clarify here, carbon doesn't replace the purpose of water changes:
Water changes (new saltwater replacing old saltwater) serve two main purposes:

1 - removal of unwanted things in the old water
2 - addition of some depleted elements in the old water

Because (stony) corals consume calcium and alkalinity to grow, those are depleted more quickly than reasonable water changes can replace (at least for large tanks) - as a result, dosing these is recommended regardless of if water changes are being done or not.

Other elements that are depleted are generally not used so rapidly, and will require less new saltwater to renew - these are viable to replenish via water changes.

Doing a 50% water change daily on a 1 gallon tank is reasonable; doing a 50% water change on a 300 gallon tank is less reasonable in most cases.



So, to replace trace elements (not major parameters/elements that are being used rapidly like calcium), water changes (with new saltwater) or dosing are the options.

To replenish major elements without doing huge water changes, you need to dose.


Water changes may not be necessary if:

-You're dosing to replace used elements in the water

-Your filtration is sufficient to remove unwanted elements, chemicals, etc. in the water
 
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Saucymmonroe

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Tha
Welcome to Reef2Reef!

That looks like a micro brittle starfish (good guys) arm rather than a worm.

To clarify here, carbon doesn't replace the purpose of water changes:
Thank you! I feel bad for pulling it out. I think there are three more in there I wasn’t able to pull. Should I leave them? Going out of town for a week.. and so worried some big worm would grow when I got back.lol it was moving on its own, until I put it in a bucket outside the tank. I’m just so afraid of anything else since we had the red cyano for about 3 months out of the four until I found the chemi clean. We have a 14 gallon cube tank. We only have two clown fish, one goby fire fish, two hermits and two turbo snails. I have just spent sooo much money. I am buying that water in a box from Petco now at $19.99 for 5 gallons and I don’t have Rhodi near me. So I was told I could use tap initially. Fish and everything were fine with it, but the red cyano took over my tank. This is the tank now. The coral in question was that little pale pink one. You think I should change the water again? Will it hurt the corals? I only got them 2 days ago. Put carbon back in last night. Only purpose of the water change in this case was to get rid of residual chemi clean I believe. As I did a 50% water change the day I put the chemi clean in so about 3 days ago ( I did it this last Sunday).
 

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ISpeakForTheSeas

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I think there are three more in there I wasn’t able to pull. Should I leave them?
Yeah, micro brittle starfish are good to have in a tank, and they'd probably appreciate keeping their arms, so I'd leave them there.
it was moving on its own, until I put it in a bucket outside the tank.
Yeah, the dropped arms (which are dropped to distract predators/perceived predators - in this case, you - from eating the star) can sometimes continue moving for days:
For clarification, there are two different concepts you're thinking of here:

1 - Autotomy (not to be confused with autonomy) - this is where an animal drops a limb (like an arm or a tail), typically to distract a predator.

2 - Fissiparity/Fissiparous Reproduction - this is where an animal splits into parts (typically, but not always, in half), and those parts both regrow into whole, separate animals.

(Aquilonastra starfish - known in the hobby as Asterina starfish - are great examples of fissiparity, sometimes splitting in half, and other times just dropping a single leg; in either case, the dropped parts grow into new starfish).

Brittle/Serpent Stars (Ophiuroids) of various species may exhibit one or both of these behaviors.

If just the arm is detached and there's no part of the central disc attached to that arm as well, then I expect the arm will eventually stop moving and decay, but I don't know for sure. Personally, I'd keep it to see for sure what happens to it over time.

Either way, cool to see, but possibly cause for concern if you don't know why the arm autotomized:

"experimental studies revealed that autotomized arms continue to function several days after they have been dropped from the organism. Not only do they continue to move, they appear to have the capability to find their way under habitat and shade just like the whole organism would do in the wild if it was fully intact. Although not a lot of research has been done on the fate of the arms after they have been dropped, one potential reason they can still move days after being released from the organism may be to confuse predators into thinking that it is the actual organism itself giving the brittle star time to successfully escape."*

*Source:

So I was told I could use tap initially.
With regards to tap vs. RO/DI water - in some places, tap water is fine to use, in others it's not; it really just depends on the quality of the water (i.e. what the water has in it) coming out of the tap.

So, RO/DI may or may not be necessary for you, but it's a good way to ensure that the water doesn't cause problems in your tank.
You think I should change the water again? Will it hurt the corals? I only got them 2 days ago. Put carbon back in last night. Only purpose of the water change in this case was to get rid of residual chemi clean I believe. As I did a 50% water change the day I put the chemi clean in so about 3 days ago ( I did it this last Sunday).
Most people do weekly water changes - how often and how large of water changes you decide to do is up to you, but most people recommend 10-20% weekly.

A water change generally should not cause problems for corals (in fact, most people report their corals typically perking up with water changes). Whether you should change the water again now or not depends on a number of factors, but - barring doing one for the continued removal of chemiclean (I'm not familiar with how long it lingers in the water) - I wouldn't bother doing one today.
 
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Saucymmonroe

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Thank you! I won’t today I will add more water since tank isn’t full, but now I think I harmed the coral too. The one I messed with to grab the arm. Its stalks look like someone sat in bath water too long.
 

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Saucymmonroe

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Thank you! I won’t today I will add more water since tank isn’t full, but now I think I harmed the coral too. The one I messed with to grab the arm. Its stalks look like someone sat in bath water too long.
 

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ISpeakForTheSeas

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Thank you! I won’t today I will add more water since tank isn’t full, but now I think I harmed the coral too. The one I messed with to grab the arm. Its stalks look like someone sat in bath water too long.
Some corals take a few days to open back up, but some things to look at if it doesn't:

-What are your parameters testing at?
(Alk, calcium, pH, nitrate, phosphate, salinity, and temperature specifically - as well as any other parameters you may be testing for.)

-What is your lighting PAR and spectrum?

-How is the flow for the coral?

-Is anything (fish, inverts, etc.) in the tank bothering the coral?

-Is anything else is the tank doing poorly? If so, might they both be doing poorly for the same reason?
 
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Saucymmonroe

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Some corals take a few days to open back up, but some things to look at if it doesn't:

-What are your parameters testing at?
(Alk, calcium, pH, nitrate, phosphate, salinity, and temperature specifically - as well as any other parameters you may be testing for.)

-What is your lighting PAR and spectrum?

-How is the flow for the coral?

-Is anything (fish, inverts, etc.) in the tank bothering the coral?

-Is anything else is the tank doing poorly? If so, might they both be doing poorly for the same reason?
 
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Saucymmonroe

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Thanks! I will keep an eye out. It looks to be opening ok. Just the stalks looked a little pruney. I believe all my parameters are zero although never tested for alkalinity. As I used that boxed water. But oh, nitrates, ammonia are all zero
 

ISpeakForTheSeas

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Thanks! I will keep an eye out. It looks to be opening ok. Just the stalks looked a little pruney. I believe all my parameters are zero although never tested for alkalinity. As I used that boxed water. But oh, nitrates, ammonia are all zero
Glad to hear it's opening up.

Aside from Ammonia, your parameters (including Nitrate, which corals need in some form) shouldn't be zero - the tables in the quote below show generally what your parameters should be:
The quote below is from the mod of the Chemistry forum here on Reef2Reef; it has recommended ranges for parameters (the only thing typically considered important from table 2 is Nitrate). Most people I’ve seen just suggest getting your numbers in these ranges and then keeping them as stable as possible:
Table 1. Parameters critical to control in reef aquaria.

1653832206307.png


Table 2. Other parameters in reef aquaria that aquarists may want to control.

1653832215704.png
 
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