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Are my zoas melting?

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Indu View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 21 2015 at 11:12am
I had this colony for the past 7-8 months, they are slow (only had 3 new heads in this period making a total of 11), but they had been healthy with big and colorful polyps so far. But for the past few days they open only intermittently, and I see them getting smaller and smaller in size and some of them do not open at all. I am afraid they are melting and want to save them. 

Just checked my parameters this morning:

Salinity: 1.025
PH: 8.2
dKH : 9.1
Ca : high (will discuss this further)
Mg: 1400
Nitrate < 5

I have two RedSea test kits (both came with the tank I presently have) and they show different results. I wasn't aware of it for a long time and the first kit showed Ca 330-350 and I kept adding calcium to bring it up. Eventually I got suspicious and tested with other kit, and 1ml of titrant won't change the color. So, I don't know what my calcium level is at present, it must be really high. However, other corals and fish are fine and actually thriving. 

I am doing weekly water changes (just did 20% change last night) to bring the calcium down. I don't have dosers or ATO. Everything is manual. 

What should I do to save this colony? Are my zaos actually melting or am I unnecessarily worrying? 

This is just one colony that is showing this behavior. All other zoas are doing very well. 

Here are pictures for comparison before and after:







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mike Savage Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2015 at 3:52pm
I'd blast them good with a turkey baster. I would also try testing your newly made salt water to see if you get a good CA number. If not then maybe the test kits are too old to give an accurate measurement.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2015 at 5:12pm
Thank you Mike. I will blast them in a bit. In the meantime, I did the tests again, with the below results.

Using test kit 1
-------------------
Tank water           Titrant used : 0.5 (I am surprised by this)
Salt water leftover from WC last night         Titrant used: 0.55
Newly mixed salt water        Titrant used: 0.55

Using test kit 2
------------------
1 ml of titrant won't change color for all three above.

I know what time it is now. Time for new test kit. Hope my zoas stay alive. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 21 2015 at 6:34pm
LFS tested the water for me and calcium is at 370. 

So, what may be causing the polyps unhappy? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2015 at 9:58am
The known parameters, the ones you have tested for are not the cause. There are so many things(not just chemical levels) that we cannot test for that are important for reef aquarium health. In some ways, keeping a reef aquarium is still an art not a science.

Also, if all other coral are doing well, then this one coral colony has some difference, perhaps even genetic that is causing it problems which may lead to it's demise.

There have been some very recent threads here about Zoa Pox and other possible pests. I assume you saw those threads.

Also, there are other organisms not typically thought of when we talk about coral pests, like a particular invasive Sponge, a bacteria, or a virus which can selectively kill one coral species or individual and not affect another.

I recently had to toss out a colony of bright orange Zoas that had grown very well for a year but then went downhill for months. This colony had been moved to another hobbyists tank while it looked gorgeous but then came back to me in an attempt to save it. Cloned colonies of the same Zoanthid had faded away in my system so I didn't hold out much hope. Despite all the treatments it received, a white fungus started to decompose it. I only hope I didn't toss the colony too late, such that a problem spread to other colonies of Zoas and Palys in my system.

It's strange, but sometimes a coral does good in one system but fades in another and vice versa. Feel free to bring the colony to MarksReef Coral Farm to see if I may be willing to take it in to see if it may recover.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2015 at 4:06pm
Hi Mark,

Thank you for your inputs. Yes, I read some of those threads about zoapox and pests. I did not see any indication of zoapox or pests on this coral though. I am going to give it a dip, just in case.

Also, I am running GFO-Carbon reactor. Is it worth turning it off temporarily?

What else can I try? It has been sitting in the same location in the tank for a while (so no change in light). Temperature has been stable. But we have added several corals in the recent weeks. Wonder if this zoa has a dislike for any of the new additions.

Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reefer4Ever Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 23 2015 at 8:42pm
Indu, the toad stool you got from me like many leathers gives off some nasty stuff, if your zoas are down water to it I would try moving the toadstool. Just my .02 but I know that coral.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote suiso man Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2015 at 8:42am
Indu,
I have a lot of zoas in my tank and from my experience sometimes they just melt for because they become sensitive to the environment. Mark is right there are tons of reasons that this can happen. I have seen it happen with livestock constantly nipping at them too so watch that. At this point, I would recommend taking them and dipping them in iodine. I usually use about 4-5 drops of iodine in a pee cup of tank water that should be plenty. I usually dip the zoas for about 3-5 minutes and they open up during the dip. I would also consider doing a coral dip like revive or Bayer just in case there are pests. Do you have any other zoas in your tank? If so how are they doing?Watch them closely as well. good luck and keep us posted.


Edited by suiso man - March 24 2015 at 8:51am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2015 at 8:46am
Thanks Dennis for the input. The zoa is sitting at mid-height in the tank, toadstool is in the sand. I will try moving the toadstool anyway. None of the polyps had opened in the last two days. I gave it a freshwater dip and then a dip in lugols. Will see if that changes anything. I had also noticed an asterina in the base of the coral. 

Thanks


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Softplan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 24 2015 at 10:41am
One thing I have found is sometimes I get a brownish film that will grow on zoas that are closed up for a bit.  I get a q-tip and wipe it off to clean it.  The zoa will then open up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2015 at 8:35pm
I temporarily moved them into a another tank and they are slowly starting to open up.

Qn: Can someone ID it? Is it armor of god or something else?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 03 2015 at 9:10pm
This should help:

http://www.zoaid.com/index.php?module=Gallery2&g2_itemId=15
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tealgirl Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 12:45pm
Created a thread that is similar. Can these methods work for a tank with high magnesium (trying to kill bryopsis)? Having a few colonies melt
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Indu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 1:31pm
I still haven't figured out what went wrong or what fixed the problem. But the zoas have come back up. I moved them temporarily into another tank and it started to open up slowly. I moved it back to the main tank after a few days and they are doing fine now. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 14 2015 at 4:37pm
They had a bad case of the Flu. Smile
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