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What's up with these hammers (and mushroom)?

Bars

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Bit of background info: most of my liverock is about 1.5 years old. September last year I moved, bascially resetting the tank (with new sandbed). Moved my tank again 2 months ago across the room, removing all the liverock, fish and corals. My liverock lies on top of the sandbed, so it didn't disturb much. The tank was running for about 10 months at that point.

So I've got 2 problems sort of.
Problem 1: the oldest hammer in my tank. Used to be pretty and extended really well. Over the past couple of months it has slowly shrank and I don't know why. I've tried several different spots in the tank: low flow, slightly higher flow, even higher flow, low light, higher light etc. It's currently pretty much at the bottom in low flow, which it seems to like best. Picture 1: top is 1.5 years ago, bottom is today.

Problem 2a: even since moving the tank across the room my second oldest hammer is half the size it used to be. More worryingly (I think), there's a very clear, rough skeleton edge. My other hammers, frogspawns and torches aren't showing that rough edge and I know this one didn't look like that before the move. I thought it could've been stress and just left it alone, but nothing's changed. Hasn't gotten worse or better. This one is also near the sandbed in med-low flow. Pretty much in the same area as before the move, with the same amount of light and flow. Pic 2: left is today, right is 4 months ago.

Problem 2b: a softy, but I don't want to open a different thread for this one and it's related to 2a. One of my mushrooms looks miserable. Again, this happened after the move, before that no problems at all. It doesn't inflate or deflate, always looks the same. Every now and then it's mouth is wide open for a day or so, but it won't eat. I tried a bunch of different spots, but none of them seem to be 'the' spot. It did open up slightly for a day or so after I moved it to its current spot, but then looked miserable again. Pic 3: left is 4 months ago, right is today.

All my Euphyllia are together on some rockwork, like they always have been. Hammers and frogspawns all get pretty much the same amount of flow and lighting, torches a bit more flow. All of them look absolutely fine. I actually added a new torch just a week after the move and another frogspawn a little over 2 weeks ago. They're looking great and extending properly. Other corals are doing fine as well, except for some browning sps due to exploding phosphates.

I've got some wrasses (flasher, fairy and H. chrysus), a tailspot and a flametail blenny, 4 cleaner shrimp, bunch of hermits and snails. Nothing that I know of that'll bother them. I never dip corals, but these problems occured before adding the frogspawn and torch. I run activated carbon 24/7 and gfo since 2 weeks.

Ok, the mess that is parameters. As of last week:
KH: 9.7
Calc: 490
Mag: 1900
NO3: 20
PO4: 0.5
Salinity: 1.024
Temp: 24.2

2 weeks ago I did a 30% water change with a brand new bag of my go to salt brand. Turns out, it was a bad mix or something. Alk went from 8.3 to 9.7, calc 440 to 500, magnesium was already extremely high, probably something like 1700. Alk and calcium have been pretty stable before that though, no major swings. Tested a bucket of freshly made salt water after that, with alk at 15!

Phosphates and nitrates in my tank have always been high, around 0.8, with nitrates around 20. 2 weeks ago I found out they were at 2.0! Immediately put a bag of gfo in the sump, which is doing its thing. I suspect the move caused a spike because of detritus trapped inside the liverock came loose or something.

I think that's about it. Hopefully you've made it through so far.
I'm still suspecting my sky high phosphates are (part of) the problem, so I'm thinking about just waiting things out. However, I don't want to just sit here and do nothing, while these corals are slowly dying because there's a different cause. This doesn't however explain problem 1. That hammer has always been in high phosphate water and started declining wayyyyy before sliding the tank across the room. I've only now realized this, because I compared pictures of last year to now. It changed so slowly that I never noticed.

20200916_145757.jpg 20200916_145815.jpg 20200916_145040.jpg
 
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Pntbll687

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What salt are you using? The swing in alk can cause some irritation and corals will recede for a while. Also the magnesium is WAY high. Do you have inverts in your tank? Have any of them died off?

Phosphates aren't too bad, but you could always try to lower them slightly to see if it helps.

How close are all the euphylia to each other? It could simply be the hammer is being touched by something else in that area, not necessarily stung but just irritated a little.
 
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I used Aquaforest Reefsalt ever since I started the tank. One of my torches really doesn't like the alk swing and looks absolutely awful, but it'll pull through. That alk swing only happened 2 weeks ago though, haven't had such big swings in months.

None of my inverts have died (4 cleaner shrimp, bunch of hermits and tons of snails). My magnesium has been something like 1700 for months as well. Eventually just stopped testing it because it wouldn't go down and from what I gathered it wouldn't hurt the tank.

These 2 hammers are about 2 inches away from a large frogspawn and 2 other hammers. None of them touch. Is the exposed skeleton a sign of illness or something else? Would it help if I moved it to a different spot (perhaps a more shaded area)?
 

Pntbll687

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I used Aquaforest Reefsalt ever since I started the tank. One of my torches really doesn't like the alk swing and looks absolutely awful, but it'll pull through. That alk swing only happened 2 weeks ago though, haven't had such big swings in months.

None of my inverts have died (4 cleaner shrimp, bunch of hermits and tons of snails). My magnesium has been something like 1700 for months as well. Eventually just stopped testing it because it wouldn't go down and from what I gathered it wouldn't hurt the tank.

These 2 hammers are about 2 inches away from a large frogspawn and 2 other hammers. None of them touch. Is the exposed skeleton a sign of illness or something else? Would it help if I moved it to a different spot (perhaps a more shaded area)?
Is that area getting shaded by another coral? it could be as simple as that.

I would move the one you are worried about away from other coral if you can. This way you can isolate it and rule out irritation from others.
 
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They're not being shaded right now. I'll move them somewhere else and see how that will go.
 
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MERKEY

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Bit of background info: most of my liverock is about 1.5 years old. September last year I moved, bascially resetting the tank (with new sandbed). Moved my tank again 2 months ago across the room, removing all the liverock, fish and corals. My liverock lies on top of the sandbed, so it didn't disturb much. The tank was running for about 10 months at that point.

So I've got 2 problems sort of.
Problem 1: the oldest hammer in my tank. Used to be pretty and extended really well. Over the past couple of months it has slowly shrank and I don't know why. I've tried several different spots in the tank: low flow, slightly higher flow, even higher flow, low light, higher light etc. It's currently pretty much at the bottom in low flow, which it seems to like best. Picture 1: top is 1.5 years ago, bottom is today.

Problem 2a: even since moving the tank across the room my second oldest hammer is half the size it used to be. More worryingly (I think), there's a very clear, rough skeleton edge. My other hammers, frogspawns and torches aren't showing that rough edge and I know this one didn't look like that before the move. I thought it could've been stress and just left it alone, but nothing's changed. Hasn't gotten worse or better. This one is also near the sandbed in med-low flow. Pretty much in the same area as before the move, with the same amount of light and flow. Pic 2: left is today, right is 4 months ago.

Problem 2b: a softy, but I don't want to open a different thread for this one and it's related to 2a. One of my mushrooms looks miserable. Again, this happened after the move, before that no problems at all. It doesn't inflate or deflate, always looks the same. Every now and then it's mouth is wide open for a day or so, but it won't eat. I tried a bunch of different spots, but none of them seem to be 'the' spot. It did open up slightly for a day or so after I moved it to its current spot, but then looked miserable again. Pic 3: left is 4 months ago, right is today.

All my Euphyllia are together on some rockwork, like they always have been. Hammers and frogspawns all get pretty much the same amount of flow and lighting, torches a bit more flow. All of them look absolutely fine. I actually added a new torch just a week after the move and another frogspawn a little over 2 weeks ago. They're looking great and extending properly. Other corals are doing fine as well, except for some browning sps due to exploding phosphates.

I've got some wrasses (flasher, fairy and H. chrysus), a tailspot and a flametail blenny, 4 cleaner shrimp, bunch of hermits and snails. Nothing that I know of that'll bother them. I never dip corals, but these problems occured before adding the frogspawn and torch. I run activated carbon 24/7 and gfo since 2 weeks.

Ok, the mess that is parameters. As of last week:
KH: 9.7
Calc: 490
Mag: 1900
NO3: 20
PO4: 0.5
Salinity: 1.024
Temp: 24.2

2 weeks ago I did a 30% water change with a brand new bag of my go to salt brand. Turns out, it was a bad mix or something. Alk went from 8.3 to 9.7, calc 440 to 500, magnesium was already extremely high, probably something like 1700. Alk and calcium have been pretty stable before that though, no major swings. Tested a bucket of freshly made salt water after that, with alk at 15!

Phosphates and nitrates in my tank have always been high, around 0.8, with nitrates around 20. 2 weeks ago I found out they were at 2.0! Immediately put a bag of gfo in the sump, which is doing its thing. I suspect the move caused a spike because of detritus trapped inside the liverock came loose or something.

I think that's about it. Hopefully you've made it through so far.
I'm still suspecting my sky high phosphates are (part of) the problem, so I'm thinking about just waiting things out. However, I don't want to just sit here and do nothing, while these corals are slowly dying because there's a different cause. This doesn't however explain problem 1. That hammer has always been in high phosphate water and started declining wayyyyy before sliding the tank across the room. I've only now realized this, because I compared pictures of last year to now. It changed so slowly that I never noticed.

20200916_145757.jpg 20200916_145815.jpg 20200916_145040.jpg
The second pic is polyp bailout. Mostlikely the head will soon detach from the skeleton and float off.

Swings in phos, alk and salinity can cause this.

Usually a little swing won't do any damage but a big drop in any of those and if its happened multiple times, definitely could be the issue.

What salt are you using and what test kits?

What are you runnimg carbon for 24/7? It is depleted pretty fast...some cases in hours.
 

reefluvrr

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I have had retracted hammer and frogspawn corals also. I thought it was phosphates and nitrates being too low or their was a swing up and down with the nutrients. Recently, I sent out my water to ati for an icp test. It turns out I had a rusty equipment that spewed toxic metals and too high levels of trave elements. Your new salt mix may have had higher levels of trace elements as well in addition to high levels of all.
Look for anything that may have possibly rusted.
 

MERKEY

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I have had retracted hammer and frogspawn corals also. I thought it was phosphates and nitrates being too low or their was a swing up and down with the nutrients. Recently, I sent out my water to ati for an icp test. It turns out I had a rusty equipment that spewed toxic metals and too high levels of trave elements. Your new salt mix may have had higher levels of trace elements as well in addition to high levels of all.
Look for anything that may have possibly rusted.
Ah yes rusty equipment causes lots of issues.
 
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Bars

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The second pic is polyp bailout. Mostlikely the head will soon detach from the skeleton and float off.

Swings in phos, alk and salinity can cause this.

Usually a little swing won't do any damage but a big drop in any of those and if its happened multiple times, definitely could be the issue.
I have no experience with polyp bailout. Is there anything I can do or will it simply die?

What salt are you using and what test kits?
Using Aquaforest reef salt, seachem phosphate test kit and salifert for the others.

What are you runnimg carbon for 24/7? It is depleted pretty fast...some cases in hours.
I believe I started using carbon when I had some struggling zoas and couldn't figure out why. This was many months ago and just simply continued using it, changing it every month. I can't say I noticed anything different, so perhaps it's worth removing the carbon?
 
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I have had retracted hammer and frogspawn corals also. I thought it was phosphates and nitrates being too low or their was a swing up and down with the nutrients. Recently, I sent out my water to ati for an icp test. It turns out I had a rusty equipment that spewed toxic metals and too high levels of trave elements. Your new salt mix may have had higher levels of trace elements as well in addition to high levels of all.
Look for anything that may have possibly rusted.
Haven't thought of that!
I do have a very rusted hose clamp above water in the sump area. Got this tank from another reefer and it was already rusted. Could it leach into the water with condensation?

I'll check other equipment for rust as well.
 

reefluvrr

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do have a very rusted hose clamp above water in the sump area
Here are a couple youtube videos that helped me with higher levels of metals in my reeftank
--- he had high levels of tin due to rust not even in his sump water....
 

MERKEY

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we also had high elevated metals and found our sand had more than it should have.
Yes thats a magnet with black caribsea sand sticking to it.
Screenshot_20200903-190502_Gallery.jpg
 
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Hmm, it seems like part of my torch is bailing as well :(
Thought it just looked rough because of the alk swing, but I just noticed a large part of it is barely attached to the skeleton. I guess the parameter swing combined with the moving stress and high phosphates were just too much.
 
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This is what my torch looks like. The front part of it died off in about a week. Bailout as well? I know this torch hates alk swings.

The green one is still doing fine fortunately.

Just got the icp test and am about to bring it to the post office.

20200917_151743.jpg 20200917_151746.jpg 20200917_151819.jpg
 
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So 4 days was too optimistic
Delivery was expected within 4 days and test results another 4 days. So hopefully in a few days.

Unfortunately my torch is gone. I saw part of it floating around yesterday. The remaining part has declined rapidly and is pretty much gone.

Both hammers still look the same. How long can it take for a coral to bail? Considering my torch went from ok looking to bailing in just 2 weeks. Could the hammers maybe recover once everything stabilizes again?

20200924_134521.jpg 20200924_134528.jpg 20200924_134531.jpg
 
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Results are in!

Nitrates are way higher than I thought. I started vodka dosing 2 weeks ago, so that's slowly going down already. Phosphates high as well, just a bit lower than my test showed, so that's positive at least.

Now, I can see some stuff is either too high or too low, but I'm too inexperienced to say one of these things is a clear sign why my corals are struggling. I'm guessing either phosphorus or copper? I know copper is used for QT'ing fish, have never used it and so do not know if this is a high enough level to cause problems. Could the copper have come from the salt mix?

Also something I don't understand, is why this test shows my alk at 8.6, while my own test read 9.7 at the time I took the sample. I thought salifert alk tests were generally fine? The calcium test result is the same as mine, I measured a bit higher magnesium.

I always run alk around 8.0 on my salifert test. Have been doing so for months. The test kit is about a year old now and expires in 2024 (unopened I assume). Could it be that my alk was at 7 all this time? Though that's not shockingly low either, is it?

1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.png 5.png 6.png
 
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