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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week, I had noticed a few of my sps corals are bleaching. I have a blue tip staghorn and a green acropora, both show heavy bleaching. I thought it had something to do with the water, so I tested it. Everything is normal. None of the other corals show any signs of bleaching. Then I noticed my colt coral had died, so I quickly removed that before it had released, if any, toxins in the water. I already did a 20% water change. This is the first troubles I had with SPS in the last year and a half. I cant remember how old my metal halide bulbs are, but could that have an affect on it? Like could the temperature color have an major affect like that? I dont know whats going on. Its frustrating too.
 

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if you can't remember how old your mh bulbs are, might be time to replace them.
esp. w/ your acros losing their color.
 

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Temperature can be a factor. Check to make sure your thermometer is accurate.
 

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Unless that's the only light over the tank, I doubt the light would make them bleach like that. I think you'd see a gradual loss in color (toward brown) as the bulbs lose intensity. Over enough time, they'd probably bleach, but I don't think a color shift (old bulbs) would do it...not like that. JMO.

Any idea when the colt started going downhill? I would look to that as a top contender. Also, are they really bleached or did they RTN? Just want to make sure... Also, could any contaminants have gotten into the tank? (metal, household cleaning products/fumes, etc)
 

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Graham said:
Over enough time, they'd probably bleach, but I don't think a color shift (old bulbs) would do it...not like that.
gotta agree with that statement.

what was the time period of the bleaching? overnight?
 

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I'm NOT an sps expert at all. My question is whether the bleaching started at the tips or the base. Reason I'm asking is those **** lil starfish, which seem to start around the base as opposed to the tips.

Sue
 

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What ballast is running the halides? Maybe it burned them out early, and now they are putting out some bad light.
What bulbs? Probably time for a new pair. I don't know of a bulb that'll last over 14 months without negative effects on the corals, but they'll go brown gradually and stay that way for a while before they bleach, as Graham mentioned.
I once pushed some old Radiums from month 10 thru 15 over a prop tank with just a few corals to see what the deal is, because at the time I didn't like replacing Radiums after 6-7 months. The bulbs went white to whitish yellow(8500k), and the corals stopped growning and turned a little brown. No bleaching, except for orange plating Montipora, and no recession.

How about the softies... How many? What kinds, and sizes? How close are they to SPS?
These are the problem. I like softies as much as anyone, zoas, rics, finger leathers, etc. But with the exception of zoanthids and ricrodia, I realized that they are just not compatable with SPS in a tiny amount of water that are our tanks, even with heavy skimming and fresh carbon weekly. Tried it... with two ER skimmers on a 90g to try to stop it. The SPS don't grow and they don't look as good as they could and should. Basically, I think you should ditch the toadsttols and Sinularia, etc, if you want to grow colorful SPS.
What I was thinking, is that the death of one Colt would cause the other trees and toadstools, if any, to release some defenses. I had this happen unexpectedly once, and it bleached the two SPS pieces nearest to the Colt and big green Sinularia which was the most dangerous one.

Read into terpenes, the poison, and allelopathy, the action.


Joe
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I make very sure not household chemicals get into the tank. I dont spray any chemical near the tank at all, nor do I spray any "neutralizers" into the air to make the room smell nicer. I did find a "twist tie" you knwo the ones you use for garbage bags in my sump. IT is all rusted so I had removed it, could that have a major affect? The bleaching seemed to happen in a period of a few days. I noticed it Saturday morning when I turned on the lights. Everything seemed normal last Wednesday, which was the last time I had checked out how everyone was doing. Right now I just noticed I am missing my niger triggerfish, my fairy wrasse, and a peppermint shrimp. And my pink birds nest is completely gone, bone white along with my green slimer. Right now my bubble tip anemone is all of a sudden small. I fed it some pieces of frozen brine shrimp, the good thing is that it was still sticky and it seems to be eating it. I have two different metal halide ballast, I have an M57 and an M58. As far as the Colt coral, I am not sure how it died. I have had it for over two years. then all of a sudden it didn't expand and it was leaning on its side. Then I looked at the base and it was tearing apart, small chunks come off from the water movement. So I took that out right away as soon as I had noticed it. I did a water change the next day because I waited for the pre mixed salt to match the tanks salinity and temperature and to stabalize before I put it in. I have my euro reef running non stop, and it has pulled out a very rotten smelling foam. The only softies I have is some green mushrooms and button polyps, but they have been in there along with the SPS corals for over a year in harmony. I am so worried that my tank is experiencing a tank melt down. All signs lead up to it.
 

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clownfishcrazy said:
Scott, he is talking about color temp. of the bulbs, not the temp of the tank.
I know, but overheating the tank is a very common cause for coral bleaching.
Thermometers can become inaccurate in time and heaters can stick on (if you use one).
 

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Im not sure whats going on.

IIRC, you mentioned some odd type of sand you were using a while back. Whats kind do you have? How old? Black algae problems, or diatoms on the glass? Wear some latex and pull out a handfull of sand, and smell it. Rotten SBs are pretty bad.

The temp issue may be of concern, but the fish can handle tank temps that would waste all the corals, so I don't think thats the case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I did use some silica sand last year. I had a DSB at the time, and it smelled like rotton eggs. I purchased some reef grade sand, there was group buy here. Cant remember how many lbs. I only have about two inches of sand this time compared to the 5" I had last year, all of that sand was removed.. I took a handful and smelled it, nothing out of the ordinary. Doesn't smell rotten. The only things that are being affect are the acropora species I have. I've lost four completely, my pink birds nest, green slimer, green acropora and my beautiful blue tip staghorn. My anemone is healthy. Something really weird is happening. I'm lost. I kind of think it was due to my colt coral, perhaps I didn't notice it was dead and it released toxins into the water. I do remember my skimmer pulling out tons of crap last week because I cleaned it out two times.
 

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When in doubt do water changes...alot and often.
 
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