Hello, reefs.com, this is my first post! I saw the topic and thought I could weigh in since I had something similar happen to me recently.
Have you considered that your soft corals may have started emitting toxins into the water that is irritating your corals? This is a self defence mechanism that most (or all??) soft corals have, I believe. I too have kenya trees and some other softies mixed in with my LPS, but I don't have any SPS. One day I noticed that all of my corals were suddenly irritated by something, and most of them were all sucked in completely for a few days. After testing and retesting I found nothing wrong, so I decided to move my kenya trees and toadstools to another tank, since I read that these can be the most likely to emit toxins. I also replaced my carbon and did a big (30%) water change. I did another water change 2 days later. After about another day my corals perked up and things were be back to normal. I too noticed that my LPS (trumpet corals and frogspawn) were the least affected by whatever was in my water. This still doesn't prove that it was my soft corals emitting toxins, it could have been a total coincidence, but its something you could look into. I had recently fragged my toad stools, and had moved some corals around, which could have triggered this defense mechanism, who knows.
Welcome to MR.
It's definitely something else to consider. But then the question would be why would it be releasing toxins. Irritated by something I would assume would lead to that. Which might lead me back to something wrong with the water. Thanks for the input though I'll definitely keep it in mind if iodine doesn't help.
Maybe the case ^. There should be a low level of phosphate too.
Sustained low ca will have an effect, as well as constant swings, even if within range.
Lowering ca will make alk go up, but depending on where it was to start with still might not be hi enough. With your ca at 350, and ph at 8, would guess your alk is within range, but just a guess from where i'm sitting.
Thanks for the input. I know I don't feed much and I like to keep a clean tank but maybe I went too clean. For now I'm going to wait for my iodine test and hopefully learn something but if that doesn't point to a problem I may start feeding more. I do wonder however about my leathers. Bleached white but still a decent size with polyp extension every once in a while makes me wonder if starvation would be the problem.
It was also used in some testing by an unbiased source, Hawaii institute of marine biology. Which found it one of the best, and oyster eggs and marine snow that everyone raves about pretty useless. Which I'd have to agree with. http://www.academia.edu/1647139/Cora...tificial_foods
Another thing you can try is to run some carbon. Maybe like stated it's another coral's toxins, or some other means that the carbon will help with. Every once in a while my biggest leather closes up, for no apparent reason. Don't know of it's helpful, a coincidence or what, but i blow off my rocks and everything with a turkey baster, and the next day it's opening up again.
My iodine test kit came in early. I tested the water in the tank (that I had been dosing all week, I know don't dose what you can't test, don't bite my head off. ) but I tested and it's now sitting around a 0.06. I tested water that hadn't been dosed but came from my tank and it was a dead 0. No color change at all when testing. I think I've finally pinpointed the problem. Hopefully a few weeks of dosing my overstocked tank will bring things back.
For all those trying to find out how to kill GSP. Looks like low iodine would do the trick since mine has basically completely melted away and is covered in algae now.
Don't shoot the messenger for bearing bad news but.....
Testing iodine with a store bought test kit is problematic at best. There are different forms of iodine that are needed to work together to be useful. Test kits usually only check one type, and on top of that are often wrong. Which then can lead you to add store bought iodine, but of which type are you adding?
Do you have a fuge? Because macros consume iodine. Do you have copepod population or shrimp in the tank? Because with iodine levels too low they won't be able to molt and over time will not survive. Think it's better to use a quality salt, do regular water changes with it, and monitor things like stated above to determine.
With that said there are many elements that need to be in the mix to have a thriving reef, and short of having a lab professionally test your water there's not an accurate way to test for many, if not most of them. Furthermore, unless you have a unique situation that only depletes iodine you likely are lacking other elements as well.
Another reason why i don't believe when i hear or read that salt mixes are all the same, and the cheap ones are just as good. And why i recommend ppl switch between quality salt mixes so what one is lacking another is not. There is no such thing as the best salt mix, only what's best for certain corals, while others are better for other corals. Also don't get spending big money on livestock, then trying to save a few cents on using whatever salt saves you
Please don't take this the wrong way but this is really pointless without alk, cal and phos readings from a good test kit (Salifert, Redsea, NYOS). I would really make sure those are all in check before jumping to iodine.
Yup, and to further drive home the point of how everything works together, and how one element is likely not the only cause, let's talk cal, alk and mag. Without enough mag not only will alk and cal swing around, but more importantly livestock won't be able to effectively consume cal, so it's just as bad or worse than ca that's too low.
Not to mention testing for something like po4 can get you in the ball park but even with the most accurate test kit the lights come on, macros consume po4, and levels go down so what are you really testing.