homegrowncichlid

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Hi all,
So we've all heard about the "difficult" LPS, like torches, which are hard to keep, sensitive, "melts" right after they get home. People try to break them down into the Aussie vs Indo strains, how the higher prices are justified, due to them being harder to raise. Other factors people consider is whether or not they were raised in an aquarium (hardier) vs wild or maricultured (more fragile).
So I recently picked up a generic wild (or maricultured) frogspawn, nice colors, not expensive, it looked good when I first placed it, fully opened, but then two week later, it started to detach from the skeleton. At first just a bit, then more and more. I tried to save it using coral Revive ( having had experience with fragging previous colony heads right down the middle, dipping and both halves growing back), but now, 2 days later, I don't think it's going to make it.
So then I stated wondering, about possible errors I may have made and thinking about other LPS, that seem to have weakened, then detach and die off.

1. I didn't bother light acclimating it to my LEDs, like I would SPS (the symptoms look very similar now that I think about it, SPS bleach, then the tissue peels off). Perhaps this is what's happening with LPS also? simply on a "larger" scale on a bigger polyp?

2. I don't water acclimate corals at all I just drop them in since literature says that's all that's needed, since one can freshwater dip them. In nature, corals species get exposed to air during low tide, or to freshwater, during rain. But then can other "long term" changes changes shock LPS? Let's say it's maricultured and the sea water Mg is 1285. The distributer held it at 1250 (temporary holding goods after all, not too concerned about water quality or even salinity). Follow the chain all the way to the shop, where Mg levels are kept at 1350, then into my system at 1300. Wouldn't this all "reasonably" shock the LPS?

3. Is this really LPS experiencing "shock" to changes in water conditions? or secondary infections? though I don't see the need to use a product like Revive on what appears to be a healed head, but perhaps it wasn't healed at all, but had multiple micro abrasions all around it, just waiting for infection and tissue necrosis. Even having it bounce around in a bag of water may be enough to tear a wound, which may be invisible to the naked eye?

Thoughts?
 

Jaydontlag_

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Seems like the coral was doing fine in your aquarium initially. Had the coral not even open from the beginning then I would blame it on the “shock” of just dumping it in.
Did you check your parameters when you started noticing that the coral was detaching?
What other corals do you have in your tank, maybe coral warfare?
Did you at least try a water change?

Just playing devils advocate here to see what could’ve caused it
 

homegrowncichlid

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hmm, lets see, I'm trying to be able to get as close to 100% survival rate on my hammers and frogspawns, before I start buying higher end heads. Also trying to figure out why there are easier or more difficult LPS in general.

So, for the one in question that died 2 weeks after introduction, it was fully open when I got it, then a few days later, it closed up and starting tissue loss, not a polyp bail out, but necrosis, which expanded slowly. (I'm going to assume I burned it with my LEDs, with secondary tissue necrosis, though just a theory.)

Let me back up a bit. I had 11 individual frogspawn heads, and 5 branching hammers and in the past month before this event, 2 of my hammers and 2 frogspawn heads closed up and wasted away. This could be due to a reduced feeding schedule. I also did a little digging on the forums and found poster's listing these corals liked Mg levels in the 1350 to 1400 zone. so I increased my from 1285 to 1350 over the last 2 weeks. The new frogspawn went in while it was at 1300.
With the increase feeding and Mg level, I did save another frogspawn that about wasting away, and that one has recovered and is open now, though its tentacles are half the size as before, and looks like a stubby torch rather than a frogspawn. (I'm going to assume I was underfeeding them)

My observation/question is, why did these corals die out whereas the SPS and the other LPS not?
I hypothesize that (wild or maricultued) hammers are more sensitive to water/lighting parameters and feeding, as opposed to the (aquacultured or tame) hammer head I acquired from local reefers or online vendors with named corals.

Sample size of 4 wild branching hammers heads and 1 tame:
2 wild ones died and 2 are still alive. Of the 2 wild ones that died they are both still single heads and didn't flourish. the 3th remains a single head today, and the 4 has split and is flourishing.
The 1 tame hammer has also split and is florishing.
This sort of suggest that the one tame hammer has 100% survival rate, whereas the wild ones is at 50% (of which only half that is flourishing).

Sample size of about 11 frogspawn heads.
7 are tamed of which all are alive, (including the one that recovered)
2 maricultured domestically for the past season, but could be wild or maricultured sourced (1 is doing well, 1 died).
2 are definitely wild, including the one in question ( 1 doing well and the 1 in question is dead).
This has more statistical strength, given the larger sample size, and one could conclude that the tame frogspawns again have 100% rate of survival, whereas the wild or questionably sourced are at 50%.

As I type this out as to why... I guess I could hypothesis, it's also possible that:
1. tamed corals that have grown under powerful lighting are less dependent on feedings and not going to light shock, whereas wild corals haven't adjusted to high intensity lighting and need slow acclimation. (The 2 that were domestically maricultured, may have already been adapted to lighting, but still needed feedings.)
2. Wild corals are dependent on feedings and have to be acclimated to lighting.
3. you tell me
 

reefman

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what are the alk, ca, no3, po4 and how often test and what brand u use
as for light shock i usually either use put new frags on sand or use acclimation mode on lights
most lps will just not open up as much to defend itself if light is too strong
 

homegrowncichlid

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Thanks for getting back to me.
I use the basic API chemistry kit, alk is 9, Ca is 480-520. I don't bother measuring NO3 or PO4, as my algae scubber is working well, so assume near or at zero.
Mg test kit is the salfert chemistry kit.

I've begun testing weekly for the past month trying to figure out what's going on, which is why I was surprised the Mg level drifted down to 1285 (natural levels). My corals are mostly new and have started to grow in this summer, so I wasn't monitoring the parameters beforehand.
I dose manually, as needed between 1 or 3 weeks apart, a tablespoon of baking soda or powdered Ca mixed into a gallon of freshwater, which I dump in.
Since my SPS and other LPS are doing fine, I can assume water parameters are fine. I can also assume my infrequent dosing wasn't causing an issue, as opposed to micro dosing on a daily basis.
(As stated before, the only variables would be the reduced feedings or the lower Mg levels at 1285).

hmm, let me add this to the list:
3. wild or exotic bacterial/parasitic infections maybe more prevalent on wild corals leading to tissue necrosis

As opposed to SPS, if I had necrosis, I can frag the SPS and discard the jelly or peeled parts, containing the infection, which is not possible with a single LPS head.
 

reefman

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I find api kits are not as accurate as some others like hanna. Certain test like alk and ca I consider the most important when it comes to slow recession in lps n sps. I would not feel confident using api.
I dont think mag is much of concern. If your mag is too low, your ca would be low as well assuming your test kits are accurate.
It would be a logical assumption that if your other lps/sps are doing well, your water is good. However, this is what may make the diff between adding a new coral from wild vs tank raised.
I believe wild corals has a lower survival rate in the long term due to their tolerance level of stability in your water parameters.
 

homegrowncichlid

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Ah, good to see we've come to the same conclusion.
As for test kits, all I can do is shoot for an average reading, and simply know that it goes up or down over time.
I can now conclude, that once a wild coral has been acclimated and propagated in a home system, going forward, it would become hardy and resistant for future fragging, much like a "named" coral, or a display colony that's been growing at the local shop, which they frag occasionally for sale.
As to solutions, what can be done during acclimation to increase the survival rates of wild corals?
 

reefman

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My best advise would be keeping an eye on your water par more frequent to provide a more stable environment. But sometimes even that may not be enough because we just can't replicate the same conditions where that coral is from. I guess that's why some says wild is hit or miss.
 


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