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Torch Coral not doing so well

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aaronwolson View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 06 2014 at 4:40pm
Hello, 

I am new to the reef tanks. I have a torch coral that is not doing so well. It appears to be slowly dying. I have attached a photo of the coral and my tank. My tank has been running since May. It is a 90 gallon tank. I replace 6-8 gallons of water per week. I have 9 fish and a cleaning crew. (I can't get the photos to appear right side up). Any help would be very much appreciated.

Thanks





(Admin Note: rotated the pic for ya)


 


Edited by Upload2 - September 06 2014 at 9:15pm
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Mark Peterson View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 8:31pm

Glad to have you here.
Thanks for the pics. They help a lot. To be sure that we don't miss something, what are the Salinity, Temperature, Alkalinity and Calcium levels. Actual numbers, please.

Do I see a Flame Angel and a Powder Blue Tang?
Assuming those four levels are within range, and by the look of the other coral, my guess is that they are in range, it's likely that one of those fish are picking on the coral. The Angel especially spends most of the day grazing on soft algae growing on surfaces. There isn't enough of that in the tank so the Torch Coral, with it's tissue full of symbiotic Zooxanthellae algae, is a good source of nutrition. 

Compare the environment there to this below where a Coral Beauty Angel has never picked at any of the coral.


What's the difference?
Algae. Yep, algae. It is allowed to grow on the glass surfaces. Also, Blade Caulerpa is available in 3 or 4 places(see it behind the Blue Damsel). The CB Angel picks on the soft algae on the glass, on the rocks, on the sand, on the Caulerpa leaves and it also eats the Caulerpa. 
The Snail population is kept at a level where more soft algae is left for the CB. The side panes of glass are never scraped and the back glass is scraped only occasionally to remove Coralline so the sunlight can come through. The front glass is scraped 2-3x/week so the accumulated algae floats off in ribbons for the fish to eat.

I know this set up is not what most hobbyists like or want, but I hope the principle is clear. Provide natural algae and herbivorous fish will ignore the coral. There is also algae food available for purchase. Unfortunately, Angels don't always accept lettuce and Nori the way Tangs do, but the FA may be more likely to go for it, if it sees the Tang eating it. I also feed Emerald Entree and Bobs fish food formula that we received at the August club meeting. Both have good algae mixed in with the meaty foods.

In case you would like some, I have tons of Caulerpa here at MarksReef Coral Farm. Feel free to call and drop by to "talk fish" and get some free Caulerpa.

Aloha,
Mark  Hug
808-345-1049
750 E Lakepoint Dr. (~5550 So.) #4V  Murray
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 8:44pm
By the way, nice looking tank. The aquascaping is great. 
Wink Reminds me of the floating mountains of Pandora in one of my favorite movies.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BobC63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 9:32pm
I flipped your full tank photo around for you, looking good!
 
I think Mark has raised a good possibility. I do think you could substitute Nori and certainly 'Emerald Entr√ɬ©e' frozen food for growing a lot of algae in the tank.
 
I would also look at your tank water's nO3 (nitrate) level.
In my experience Torch Corals are more nitrate - sensitive than other Euphylliia corals. 
 
And they like a lot of water flow. Not directly 'blasting' the coral; but a brisk circulation around the vicinity. I only see the 1 powerhead in the upper right corner... are  there any others?
 


Edited by BobC63 - September 06 2014 at 9:35pm
- My Current Tank: 150g Mixed Reef -

* Marine & Reef tanks since 1977 *
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Matt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 06 2014 at 10:18pm
I got some brown slime infection in a torch years ago. Can't tell if you have any of that going on.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 07 2014 at 8:46am
I'm pretty hopeful it's not the brown slime infection and I don't see evidence of disease or injury, but Bob's comment about water flow is very valid in my opinion.

The following Reefkeeping Tip is something that I believe will improve the health of the entire system. The amount of flow coming out of the two return nozzles is very slow. I would remove the "Y" and make it just one nozzle. That will more than double the water flow speed. A nice jet of water can get the water flowing faster around the entire tank. Rather than point it down, I'd gooseneck the lockline to point it back up slightly across the water surface towards the front right side. Then I would place a Maxijet 1200 stream powerhead (1300 gph and just $20 online) at the back right corner midway up the glass. I would point it to shoot up toward the top center water surface. The Penguin powerhead could then be removed altogether. (You may think this sounds a little crazy but just try it. I've spent 20 years figuring out powerhead placement to get the most beneficial water movement for the lowest cost.)

You are invited to come over and get some free Caulerpa for your fish to munch on. Live algae is extremely healthy. Hobbyists helping hobbyists is what this club is all about. Smile

Aloha  Hug
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