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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got frags of a monti cap and a monti dig about two weeks ago and haven't noticed any growth. So how do I tell if they are happy? The monti dig has it's polyps extended all the time, but has two white tips (had them since I got them). Are the tips necrosis or is it an area of active growth? The monti cap has some polyps extended, more on it's bottom side than it's top side. The tips of it have remained white as well. The frags or just under the surface under VHO lamps and get med to high flow.

 

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The specimen will spend most of its extra energy for a bit encrusting a base to increase the amount of horizontal surface area exposed to lighting and establishing a firm attachment. After that, vertical growth will take off. This may take anywhere from 4 to 12 weeks for a frag, depending on conditions in your tank. Good current, adequate photoperiod and color of lighting, high water quality, and adequate calcium and alkainity will enhance this encrustation process.


HTH.
 

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Great post Tom, I agree.

Pylop extention is one real indacation that a coral is happy, so is color. The white areas are spots of active growth, they mean that the coral is working on getting bigger. Untill the coral encrusts, and gets stabalized those white areas may go away, but they will come back as it starts to grow again.

HTH,
Whiskey
 

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Fish Killin' Reef Keeper
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Looks good for now, give it time. It might take longer to really start to take off, since the system is still young. What are you supplementing Ca/alk with?

Have any pics of the cap?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ReelFreak said:
Looks good for now, give it time. It might take longer to really start to take off, since the system is still young. What are you supplementing Ca/alk with?

Have any pics of the cap?
I drip kalk with my topoff, evaporation is about 2/3 gal per day. I use ro/di water to mix my kalk. Here is a pic of my cap. You can't see the polyps very well, they are kinda small and don't seem to cover the frag. There are more polyps on the underside of the frag. I went to a LFS today, and their caps were totally fuzzy with polyps and a bright green, mine is kinda a dull green (they had theirs under a 15K MH I think, it was very blue).

 

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Looks like a healthy frag to me, give it a few months and you probably won't recognize it anymore.

Green montis actually wind up white in my tank lit by T5s....my red monti caps look great, but the green purple look white unless they are on the bottom. Yours looks nice, I bet it will be beautiful soon.

Looks like a good setup you've got going, I'm sure in 6 months it will be great! Nice work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks Reelfreak, Whiskey, and Casey. I'll keep on with the frags and hope that they do well. It's just so tempting to add more to the tank but I wanted to wait until I could see that my current frgas were doing well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK, I lowered the lights to about 4 inches over the water surface - down from about 7 inches. I went over to Autochek's house today and looked at the parent colonies that the frags came from. The dig is an orange color under his MH lamps and mine is brownish :( . His cap is also a bit greener but it seems like my polyps are more extended. Not sure what that means. I'm hoping the lower lights will help the color of my montis and I'm thinking of adding a 4th lamp next month after the corals adjust to the new light levels :banana:
 

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hng said:
OK, I lowered the lights to about 4 inches over the water surface - down from about 7 inches.
Did you drop the lights INSTANTLY from 7" to 4"?

If so...might want to reconsider. That's a drastic increase in light intensity for the corals. And they may not react well (i.e. bleach).

Not sure why you'd drop them down to 4", but if you really want to,
I'd do it 1" per week.
 

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Looks like your doing just fine with them. It hasn't been long since you picked them up. Give it time like Tom said.It took both of the parent colonies at least 8 weeks to encrust and start growing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
skeety said:
Did you drop the lights INSTANTLY from 7" to 4"?

If so...might want to reconsider. That's a drastic increase in light intensity for the corals. And they may not react well (i.e. bleach).

Not sure why you'd drop them down to 4", but if you really want to,
I'd do it 1" per week.
Well, yes, I did drop them down overnight so to speak :rolleyes: . On another thread, I asked about keeping sps with VHO lamps and was told that keeping the lamps 7 inches above the water surface was way too high. Most ppl recommended dropping the lights to 2-4 inches above the water. I shortened the light duration to try to keep the corals from frying. Honestly, I could not tell the difference after I had the lights lower. I guess the coral can though. How long before bleaching will occur (if it does occur)?
 

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okay...with VHO's, might not be that drastic. Thought they were MH's.

If they are stressed by the instant increas, you'll see bleaching probably in 2 days or so from when you dropped the lights.

But with VHO's...might not be that much of an increase. sorry.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
No problem Skeety :thumbup: . I'm glad I didn't do something to stress my little aquatic friends. It's already been a couple of days since I dropped the lights and I haven't noticed any bleaching so I'm guessing they will be OK :banana:
 

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Dropping the lights to 4" WITH VHO's is prolly not that big an issue so long as you cut the photoperiod as well. Just gradually over a few weeks come back to your full photoperiod. There will not be much of a problem with this scenario, although if you DO notice any bleaching, cut the photoperiod in half and raise the lights as before, then start the slow acclimitization for the lighting over again.

Remember that the specimens you have now are going through a response to colony trauma: they've been cut off from a good bit of their normal shared nutrition (the encrusted base); they've been literally traumatized by handling, cutting/fragging, bagging and transport; they have new lighting and water in a new system; and they must now direct a good portion of their biosynthetic energy to forming a new encrusted base while attempting to still maintain normal biological processes of photosynthesis, translocation, calcification, and nutrient and gas exchange, most of which require energy expenditure on the part of the coral holobiont. Darwinian selection has chosen those individuals over the eons that are most successful at dealing with surviving trauma and still mainaining viability, so for the most part the specimens that historically cut unnecessary functions to survive are the ones we see today. This usually means that upward growth and coloration may not be the functions that enhance the recovery from these types of trauma, rather increases in zooxanthellae populations and density of those populations to provide synthetates to the host while it is expending the energy for repairs and processes that enhance the recovery (e.g., "browning" of the specimen).


You should expect this to occur in most frags for up to 12 weeks, depending on the size of the frag, its placement positioning, and the tank parameters in the new system. Remember that vertical placement of the specimen exposes the least amount of surface area to PAR, you would be better off to place your new frags horizontally, with the bottom of the specimen suspended over open water with a reflective white substrate... Not only would this give your new frag more exposure to photosynthetically active radiation, but by having more of the radial corallites exposed to PAR, you stimulate more of them to convert to axial corallites, increasing the eventual number of branches that branching or corymbose morphologies will develop.


HTH
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Wow, very informative - I think you've answered just about all the questions I had and some more that I think I would have. Thanks Tom :beer: . I think I'll take everyone's advise and just relax for a while with these frags and see what happens. I'm seeing really good polyp extension now on both frags and the digitata's white growing tips are visably larger now :banana: . Hope it's not an optical illusion of some sort.

I broke down and bought a couple more monti cap frags from the LFS the other day (they were just too beautiful) and they have their polyps out as well. I would post a pic but my camera is broken :bawling:
 
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