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Old 05-19-2011, 11:30 AM   #1
shutterfish
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hammer coral turning 'white'


I dont know how else to describe it... it isnt really turning white but it used to be a richer green color and the tentacles are really starting to become whitish and the green tips fading green as well. Everything in the tank is thriving and the hammer coral is still acting normal and fluffing out beautifully each day, as you can see in the picture. The color in the pic is not dead on- it is actually a bit more faded than the picture shows.

Any ideas on what I can look for to see why this is happening? My lighting may be an issue... I have a 46 gallon tank and my hood is 2x250 watts DE halide, phoenix 14k. I have actinic lighting for 10 hours a day and the halides run for only 4 1/2 hours a day because I feel the hood is so bright I dont want to overdo the lighting. Changing to 20k bulbs soon but I had no other option on halide hoods for a bowfront bc of the brace int he middle.

Ideas? I dont think this is bleaching, but maybe it is? If you see the other coral nearby they look great... everything else in the tank is happy though the color of some things could be a little stronger. I do not like my lighting (maristar hood)
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:44 AM   #2
fsureefer
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thats a lot of light, it sounds like its bleaching from too much light. i would move it lower and see how it responds, id start it around the middle of the water column and see if it gets its color back. if not, move it to the bottom and see how it does.

that light at the top is fantastic for sps but many lps will bleach and eventually die from too much light
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:08 PM   #3
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yeah that's my fear... Maybe I need to get lower lighting for now because I agree I think these are getting way too much light, and I only have one SPS coral. Thanks for the help though, I think you are right and I need to do something about it. Would 20k bulbs make any different or is it still going to be too much light?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:09 PM   #4
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oh and if you click my picture under my username you'll see the coral on the far right and it is already very low :-/ Maybe I will go with just the two T5HO's for a while and turn off the halides all together...
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:59 PM   #5
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ok... I just went home and i am really concerned about that hammer coral... I know they are easily replaceable but I obviously have another issue on my hands in that this tank has too much light for some of my coral. So, I am going to have fun with this- buy a small aquarium with low light and get some live rock, a little sand, and while I recouperate these coral I can use this tank as my QT tank for my new goby. Of course this will only qwork as an observation tank because if the goby shows signs of needing treatment I will have to move him to a true QT tank, but this will make him much happier and my coral much happier.

Thanks for shedding some light on the situation for me
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Old 05-19-2011, 01:30 PM   #6
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sorry i was in class and had to get home. i would move it to the very bottom of the tank, that should be fine for it and see how it does. you might want to try only running one of the pennants too, 500w of halide light over a 46bow is a mssive amount of light, its good dont get me wrong but for keeping lps you might have to have them all at the bottom. i think i 250 would be good over that tank, depending on the light dispersion, i.e. if the light will reach the ends of the tank. i would mess around with it and see, your setup would make an absolutely perfect sps tank depending on the other equipment you have
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Old 05-19-2011, 02:56 PM   #7
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Timeout!

I have had hammers come back to full color from being basically clear several times. Almost always it was because of a LACK of light, not too much. If the hammer is in the bottom corner, it might be getting too little light. Depending on the type of reflectors, the spread of the bulbs might not be great, so the PAR in the lower corner could be little low. I have had euphilia (frogs, torches, and hammers) under 400w MH (65g) without a problem (they love it actually, but some need acclimation). If it has slowly lost its color, I will bet on not enough light but if it lost it's color rapidly then it will likely be too much light. If the hammer is healthy but light, it should still eat. Try feeding it small bits of krill and mysis. That should help if it is excepting food. I have had worse-off euphillia come back and yours does not look too bad. In addition, excess green colors can be a result of too much phosphates, so if you have a ultra-low nutrient tank, then a slightly "lighter" euphillia is not uncommon.
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:00 PM   #8
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good call doc, i didnt look at the pic to see where it is located i just assumed it was at the top. thats why making assumptions is bad. good catch
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Old 05-19-2011, 03:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fsureefer View Post
good call doc, i didnt look at the pic to see where it is located i just assumed it was at the top. thats why making assumptions is bad. good catch
NP. I assumed it was high up too until I read the back-and-forth. It kinda just dawned on me.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:26 PM   #10
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aaaah ok... welll... maybe you can help me out a bit here This coral used to be in my 28 gallon tank (along with all the rest) in the middle under a 250 watt 20k mogul halide, 8 hours a day. When I got this new tank I was concerned about burning out my coral since this is a 2x250 over 46 gallons and 14k. So I cut the halide down to 4 1/2 hours and have 420-460nm actinics on for 10 hours (including the 4 1/2 the halides are on).

In the attached picture you can see I have minimal rock work and the coral is fairly low but also is on the corner. And yes it has slowly gotten whiter over time. This picture was over a month ago and it is way greener in this pic than it is right now... looks almost ghostly now. It is a low low nutrient load in the tank as well (so low the little bit of macro algae is shriveling away, though with the introduction of new fish recently some has perked back up).

1) Should I INCREASE my photo period for my halides to a longer time?
2) I will move the coral more toward the center and see how it does. You can see in the pic there is pretty good coverage though. But you are dead on- the coral has slowly whitened up over the period of a couple months.
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Old 05-19-2011, 05:29 PM   #11
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oh and yes, it still opens its mouths when I am feeding the fish but I will target feed is some mysis. Also, you mention the heavier green with more phosphates.... the purple/green frogspawn on the lower left of the tank has also lightened up (but not nearly as noticeable) so this might be the same issue.
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Old 05-19-2011, 08:22 PM   #12
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What type of fixture are you running (ballast, reflector) ? In addition, are your DE bulb in a shielded fixture? Ballast/unshielded bulbs can cause a UV issues... just trying to cover all the bases.
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:32 PM   #13
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Not that I know much about coral, only a few shrooms, but what are you feeding? You should really get Coral Frenzy. Someone recommended it to me and I think it's amazing for my corals and nem's, it helped bring my bleached anemone's colors and health back...
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Old 05-19-2011, 11:37 PM   #14
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I would avoid the smaller food particles (coral foods) as they just add unwanted nutrients to the tank. Mysis or krill will be fine and then let the fish clean up what gets lifted into the water column. (So feed the corals first)
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Old 05-20-2011, 12:19 PM   #15
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I am running a maristar 36" dual 250 watt with 2 T5HO. It is DE bulbs and yes it has a glass shield. Running off a galaxy E ballast
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