What’s a normal day for a typical coral ?

Idech

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
209
Reaction score
172
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
Please describe to me how typical corals behave in a day when they are happy and settled.

I’m obviously new to saltwater and I have an Evo 13.5 with green rodactis, pulsing zenias, duncans, red discosomas, a GSP and a kenya tree. There are also 2 oscellaris clown fish, 1 spot tail blenny, 1 trochus snail, 1 nassarius snail and 3 cerith snails.

The tank has been cycled since march, then fish added and about 6 weeks later, the corals, in 3-4 batches. So it’s been running 4 months since cycling.

I’m still trying to find my perfect light schedule and powerhead setting, but no matter what I do, and even if I don’t change anything for many days, it seems the corals are taking turns not being happy about something (and I have no idea what). When the light go on, one of my two duncans will shrink. Then a few hours later he will open about half of what he used to when I bought him. The other one doesn’t do any of that. The other that’s bothered opens up more at night (I’ve lowered the lights and it seems to have no effect). The GSP was very full at first, then seemed to lose fullness 2-3 weeks ago, then in2 days it was completely closed. It hasn’t opened at all the past 2-3 days. Never mind the acropora, it was my first coral and a test and it’s probably dead, I need to remove it.

The xenias will also sometimes shrink when the lights go on, but not always. Sometimes just one of the three do it. During the day, sometimes one will close for no apparent reason.

The kenya tree has shrunk a little bit since I got him. During the day it will sometimes close as well, then reopen, halfway or completely.

The only ones that never seem bothered are the mushrooms. The zenias also look very happy and full when they are not closing for whatever reason. All three of them have made many new polyps (not sure if the new growth are called polyps or not).

What’s going on ? Is this normal in a new tank or are one of the cuc members disturbing the corals (I have very seldom see them do it, but sometimes they are close to them) or is something else missing ?

I started dosing phytoplankton a few days ago and I’ve also added a bottle of copepods and tiger pods at the same time.

I make my own RO/Di water (0 TDS), I use red sea salt (blue bucket) and my parameters are :

PH : 7.8
Alk : 1.025
Nitrates : 0-5 ppm
KH : 8
Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0

Mag, calcium and phosphate I haven’t tested yet. I will buy some tests in the next few weeks.

So, tell me, how do typical corals behave in a stable tank ?

Here is a video taken 5 minutes ago. The lights were out and I turned them on just for the purpose of the video.

 

andiesreef

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 1, 2021
Messages
477
Reaction score
457
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
New Jersey
sorry you've been having so many issues. i've had a tank set up for a similar amount of time to yours so maybe i can give some advice.

first, i would stick to one lighting schedule. corals don't really like change. and what kind of light are you using?

additionally, it is good to have some nutrients in the tank. if your nitrates are at 0, i would definitely feed more, add a fish, etc. anything around 5 is good.

and it could just be that the tank hasn't found a balance yet. coralline algae is usually a good indicator of an establishing tank, and i'm not seeing much in yours. it could just be a waiting game until everything finds a balance. i would recommend just leaving the lights alone, keep testing parameters, and maybe add a fish to help keep the nutrients up. good luck.
 

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
2,508
Reaction score
1,899
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
Please describe to me how typical corals behave in a day when they are happy and settled.

I’m obviously new to saltwater and I have an Evo 13.5 with green rodactis, pulsing zenias, duncans, red discosomas, a GSP and a kenya tree. There are also 2 oscellaris clown fish, 1 spot tail blenny, 1 trochus snail, 1 nassarius snail and 3 cerith snails.

The tank has been cycled since march, then fish added and about 6 weeks later, the corals, in 3-4 batches. So it’s been running 4 months since cycling.

I’m still trying to find my perfect light schedule and powerhead setting, but no matter what I do, and even if I don’t change anything for many days, it seems the corals are taking turns not being happy about something (and I have no idea what). When the light go on, one of my two duncans will shrink. Then a few hours later he will open about half of what he used to when I bought him. The other one doesn’t do any of that. The other that’s bothered opens up more at night (I’ve lowered the lights and it seems to have no effect). The GSP was very full at first, then seemed to lose fullness 2-3 weeks ago, then in2 days it was completely closed. It hasn’t opened at all the past 2-3 days. Never mind the acropora, it was my first coral and a test and it’s probably dead, I need to remove it.

The xenias will also sometimes shrink when the lights go on, but not always. Sometimes just one of the three do it. During the day, sometimes one will close for no apparent reason.

The kenya tree has shrunk a little bit since I got him. During the day it will sometimes close as well, then reopen, halfway or completely.

The only ones that never seem bothered are the mushrooms. The zenias also look very happy and full when they are not closing for whatever reason. All three of them have made many new polyps (not sure if the new growth are called polyps or not).

What’s going on ? Is this normal in a new tank or are one of the cuc members disturbing the corals (I have very seldom see them do it, but sometimes they are close to them) or is something else missing ?

I started dosing phytoplankton a few days ago and I’ve also added a bottle of copepods and tiger pods at the same time.

I make my own RO/Di water (0 TDS), I use red sea salt (blue bucket) and my parameters are :

PH : 7.8
Alk : 1.025
Nitrates : 0-5 ppm
KH : 8
Ammonia : 0
Nitrites : 0

Mag, calcium and phosphate I haven’t tested yet. I will buy some tests in the next few weeks.

So, tell me, how do typical corals behave in a stable tank ?

Here is a video taken 5 minutes ago. The lights were out and I turned them on just for the purpose of the video.

All the corals you have in your tank are either softies or lps which require higher nutrients then what most people new to hobby think. I will assume the test equipment you are using is not of the best quality so that 0-5 maybe 0 nitrates. For softies best to have over 10-15 nitrates don’t let people tell you 5 is ok unless you like starving your corals. Also phosphates is important so you need to measure that also to make sure it’s not 0 aswell . I recommend if you plan to stay in this hobby invest in some quality testers like Hanna ulr phosphate and Hanna hr nitrate testers so you can accurately Assess the situation
 
OP
Idech

Idech

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
209
Reaction score
172
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
first, i would stick to one lighting schedule. corals don't really like change. and what kind of light are you using?
I am only using one schedule, but I’ve been fiddling with the light intensity a bit, trying to find what the corals like. I bought an AI Prime 16 HD and I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks.

The information about light is all over the place and it’s hard to know what’s right. I’m using BRS preset, with acclimation starting at 45% for 20 days. I lowered it a few days ago, it had gotten up to 65% and the corals didn’t seem to agree.

I’ve also made a longer ramp-up in the morning 2-3 days ago and they seem to have appreciated that. Now it takes about 2.5 hours for the light to reach it’s full intensity (45% of it).

coralline algae is usually a good indicator of an establishing tank, and i'm not seeing much in yours
That’s true, I don’t have much of it, if any at all. Maybe because I used dry rocks ?

I will assume the test equipment you are using is not of the best quality so that 0-5 maybe 0 nitrates.
Yeah, I’ve spent so much money on this small tank I’ve had to make choices. Next on my list are the tests. Right now I’m using API, which I know only gives a ball park figure.

I recommend if you plan to stay in this hobby invest in some quality testers like Hanna ulr phosphate and Hanna hr nitrate testers so you can accurately Assess the situation
Yes, that’s the plan. Thank you for the recommendation, I will look into those right away.

For softies best to have over 10-15 nitrates don’t let people tell you 5 is ok unless you like starving your corals.
Oh, I didn’t know that, thank you ! What do I do if I don’t have enough nitrates and my fish load is full ? I already have 2 oscellaris clowns and 1 tail spot blenny + 5 snails.
 
Last edited:

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
2,508
Reaction score
1,899
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
I am only using one schedule, but I’ve been fiddling with the light intensity a bit, trying to find what the corals like. I bought an AI Prime 16 HD and I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks.

The information about light is all over the place and it’s hard to know what’s right. I’m using BRS preset, with acclimation starting at 45% for 20 days. I lowered it a few days ago, it had gotten up to 65% and the corals didn’t seem to agree.

I’ve also made a longer ramp-up in the morning 2-3 days ago and they seem to have appreciated that. Now it takes about 2.5 hours for the light to reach it’s full intensity (45% of it).


That’s true, I don’t have much of it, if any at all. Maybe because I used dry rocks ?


Yeah, I’ve spent so much money on this small tank I’ve had to make choices. Next on my list are the tests. Right now I’m using API, which I know only gives a ball park figure.


Yes, that’s the plan. Thank you for the recommendation, I will look into those right away.


Oh, I didn’t know that, thank you ! What so I do if I don’t have enough nitrates and my fish load is full ? I already have 2 oscellaris clowns and 1 tail spot
I believe if you turn the lights up to a normal level with low nutrients this can be bad for the corals they won’t be happy. So till you get alk steady and nitrate and phosphates higher I’d keep lights at the lower end then when time is right start to raise light intensity. Until you have the proper nitrates and phosphates along with elk you’re just going to kill Corals with highlight intensity
 
Reef Chasers Aquaculture

((FORDTECH))

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Jan 23, 2020
Messages
2,508
Reaction score
1,899
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Chicago
I am only using one schedule, but I’ve been fiddling with the light intensity a bit, trying to find what the corals like. I bought an AI Prime 16 HD and I’ve been using it for about 3 weeks.

The information about light is all over the place and it’s hard to know what’s right. I’m using BRS preset, with acclimation starting at 45% for 20 days. I lowered it a few days ago, it had gotten up to 65% and the corals didn’t seem to agree.

I’ve also made a longer ramp-up in the morning 2-3 days ago and they seem to have appreciated that. Now it takes about 2.5 hours for the light to reach it’s full intensity (45% of it).


That’s true, I don’t have much of it, if any at all. Maybe because I used dry rocks ?


Yeah, I’ve spent so much money on this small tank I’ve had to make choices. Next on my list are the tests. Right now I’m using API, which I know only gives a ball park figure.


Yes, that’s the plan. Thank you for the recommendation, I will look into those right away.


Oh, I didn’t know that, thank you ! What do I do if I don’t have enough nitrates and my fish load is full ? I already have 2 oscellaris clowns and 1 tail spot blenny + 5 snails.
You can turn skimmer down skim less or limit the time it runs , dose nitrate and or phosphate, do less or no water changes, turn light cycle down on refugium, feed fish more I feed frozen 3x a day and auto feeder pellets 3x a day, add more fish, are a few things but without quality test kits those api are junk you won’t know exactly how well something is working in a positive direction
 
OP
Idech

Idech

Active Member
View Badges
Joined
Feb 21, 2021
Messages
209
Reaction score
172
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
Canada
So till you get alk steady and nitrate and phosphates higher I’d keep lights at the lower end then when time is right start to raise light intensity. Until you have the proper nitrates and phosphates along with elk you’re just going to kill Corals with highlight intensity

Ok, I will keep the lights at my lower 45% intensity for now.

So 10-15 ppm for nitrates. How much for phosphates ? And by alkalinity you mean KH ? Mine is 8, that’s okay, right?

I’ve looked at the Hanna testers and with the reagents, it’s very expensive (200$ +). So for now would Salifert tests do the job, even if not perfect or is Red Sea better?
 

ChiCity

2500 Club Member
View Badges
Joined
Sep 18, 2016
Messages
3,795
Reaction score
3,668
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
funky town
Please describe to me how typical corals behave in a day when they are happy and settled.
5323438A-32E4-4D47-B373-6E4A6BEE4697.gif
 

Is your aquarium water as CLEAR as you would like?

  • YES

    Votes: 79 71.8%
  • NO

    Votes: 27 24.5%
  • Don't care that much

    Votes: 4 3.6%
  • Other

    Votes: 0 0.0%
Coral-vault.com
Top