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Plating Rainbow Montipora??

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    Posted: May 26 2014 at 1:39pm
Ok...this is a new one on me.

I've had your standard, run-of-the-mill pink plating Montipora cap for about 3 years now. Last year, something happened (never figured out what), and it almost entirely died. It's growing back, but on one part of it...the polyps are rainbow colored. So, most of the polyps are still pink, but on a little dime-sized area, the polyps are green, orange, yellow, and red.

Any idea what's going on? Anyone else seen this happen?

(Yes, I'm going to get a photo. No, it's not for sale.)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2014 at 3:11pm
Is it possible that some of the photosynthetic algae from other SPS's migrated to the regrowth area?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2014 at 3:31pm
I've heard that's possible, but I've never seen any obvious examples of it. I'd have expected the base color to change as well, but it's still pink. Even then, I'd expect maybe one new color...not for individual polyps to be all different colors. So bizarre!! I just hope it stays like this!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lewy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2014 at 7:05pm
I'm excited to see pics and progress of this piece.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 26 2014 at 8:59pm
Me too! I'm hoping it's not just a fluke.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bryce Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 06 2014 at 10:19am
I have rainbow encrusting monti that started to plate off a rock, it now has a good 2 inch rim growing straight off rock ledge to open water, never had a pink turn to rainbow though, could just be going through a new growth color stage.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 08 2014 at 10:01am
I've not seen it happen quite like that. That's really cool. I would love to see a pic.

I have had some healthy coral, not just SPS, that took on a single color of other coral in the same system. Of course, we've seen colors change under different lighting, but I believe, and I read it a long time ago, where coral absorb Zooxanthellae Algae from the water column. Come to think of it, this might have been an article by Adam Blundell. He studied zooxanthellae quite extensively.

Especially after a stressful event bringing the SPS coral close to death, the coral may expel its zooxanthellae and then be more prone to absorb new/different symbiotic algae. Unfortunately, most often in my experience the recovering SPS first take on a drab brown algae. It can take up to 6 months for the coral to return to its original nice coloration.

I may be way off here, but I assume this has something to do with Zooxanthellae population densities possibly caused by the corals affinity for one algae over another as its health improves. It appears to me that a bleached coral does not expel all its original zooxanthellae, but that it takes some time for the original population to overtake the brown zooxanthellae.

I believe this may be a definite contrast to your LPS rescue experience. In the pics you post, original colors appear to brighten as quickly as the LPS grows new flesh.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 22 2014 at 10:00pm
I couldn't find my camera, so here are some horrid camera phone shots:



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matthew Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2014 at 4:32pm
I had a red encrusting montipora turn colors, it looked almost like a pokerstar when it was done.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2014 at 8:27pm
Did it have any stress or something you noticed to trigger the change?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ReefdUp Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 26 2014 at 8:35pm
And how long did you have it before it changed?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pete Moss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 27 2015 at 12:59pm
Gonna necropost on this one.

This has actually happened to me before. A montipora almost died then came back a different color. In my experience it eventually returned to it's original color. It actually went from orange to green, then back to orange. The montipora was stung by a neighboring coral in my case. Torch to be specific. Hard to believe vertical transmission would be a possibility during an attack. Especially from a more potent coral to a less potent one. I had green montipora in the tank as well, and assumed zooxanthellae were gathered from that coral somehow.

I've used vertical transmission before to create interesting colors on zoanthids, but the colors faded when direct contact with the colony containing the introduced zooxanthellae was removed. Some hybrid polyps were able to survive and retain zooxanthellae if mats were grafted, but new growth would always be one color pattern or another.

Interestingly enough, the coenosarc and the outer epidermis of my montipora turned green. I don't see any green in the coenosarc of your montipora.

What are the corals closest to it? It is scientific fact that coral larvae can form symbiosis with zooxanthellae. It is an extremely fascinating hypothesis that a regenerating coral could form symbiosis in such a fragile state.

I wish we lived closer to the ocean. Then we could more accurately do research of our own on zooxanthellae transfer.

Edited by Pete Moss - January 27 2015 at 1:14pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Krazie4Acans Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 27 2015 at 1:14pm
Grafted montis are created by exposing sections of tissue to specific bacterial strains to cause the mutation of color. This can cause polyp color to mutate as well as skin color. I wonder if the bacteria that cause these mutations are naturally occurring in our tanks and that the stress of damage to the coral allows the bacteria to enter the specimen where when healthy it cannot? Just a thought. Krazie
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