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High Mag bleaching corals

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Chevmaro View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 23 2016 at 9:29am
I recently had some bad hair algae and/or Bryopsis.  I believe I had both.  While keeping my nitrates at undetectable levels and phosphate around .04 I couldn't get it under control.  I tried raising mag 1600+ with Kent Tech M, that's as high as my test kit will read.  If I calculated correctly it should be around 1650.  Before doing so I scrubbed the rocks with a tooth brush cleaning off any algae, kept them submerged the entire time.  After putting the tank back together everything is looking really good.  No algae at all.  My snails had some issues the first couple days, they would fall off rocks often and I had to flip them back over.  The snails weren't moving much.  It took them a week or so to acclimate and now they are doing fine.  Corals appear great except my zoas they are looking bleached, but still opened up and alive.  I am going to bring mag down with water changes, slowly.  I was just curious if high mag is bleaching my zoa's?  I have been running the tank like this for about 3 weeks with no side effects except the zoa's.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 11:07am
Was the algae scrubbed off the rocks in the tank itself? If so, toxins from the algae have most likely bothered the Zoanthids. Even if scrubbed off elsewhere, if LR is not rinsed off residual toxins can exist. Also, toxins from the Bryopis, if present and being killed by Mg, are having an effect. Be sure to run a good amount of AC changed weekly for the next 2 weeks or so. 

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Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 1:14pm
I scrubbed the rocks in old water when I did a water change.  They weren't rinsed, but put back in the tank.  I typically run 2 cups of carbon, it's a 55 gallon, but only change monthly.  I'll try freshening that up.

I feel like the last 9 months since setting up this tank have been more troublesome than most reefers go through.  Where i'm at right now, is the first time I haven't felt like giving it up.  Things are looking good compared to where I have been.  I don't have a lot of corals, I stopped adding things when I had problems.  I'm going to start stuffing it as soon as I get this bleaching problem fixed.

Here is a pic of what it looks like today for reference.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marcoss Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 1:31pm
Where did the rock originate from? Was it dead or alive? Or dead/live.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 1:36pm
Originally posted by Marcoss Marcoss wrote:

Where did the rock originate from? Was it dead or alive? Or dead/live.

Dry rock, we know it was a culprit to a lot of issue.  We had a lengthy discussion here:

http://utahreefs.com/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=77994&title=what-kind-of-algae-is-this


The rock is appearing healthy now.  Hard to see in the pic but it has came to life.  I also took some rock out and spread them out a bit more for better flow around the rocks.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 2:20pm
Ahh yes, I remember that. 
Here are some random possibilities.

Has Poly-Filter been used continuously since then? or when was the last time? The pollution exuded from this LR can slowly build up to toxic levels.

My next thought was lighting. What comes to mind is the yellow-green pigments that algae releases into the water. The reduction of algae probably reduced the pigments. The AC then could more easily clarify the water and more light reaching them could have caused the coral to bleach.

Couple this with the change to the environment when nuisance algae, even zooxanthellae algae, dies and then disappears, just about anything could happen. 

What a challenging hobby. Smile

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Mark  Hug
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 2:46pm
I just recently did the same thing with Kent tech m and I would say yes that could be the reason. My rainbow anemone lightened in color and so did a couple of my euphyllia. Zoas didn't but other things did.
Jackie Stuver

"wait these aren't the happy Hawaiians oompa doompa godly heaven on your face zoas?   I dont want them then. lol!" Ksmart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 3:56pm
Yup, still using poly filter.  Don't know when or if I will quit using it.  It doesn't help that some of my T5 bulbs started flickering, not starting, 9 month old bulbs.  I had to replace 4 of 6 bulbs at the same time, put in some ATI bulbs.  I'm sure this isn't helping, but the bleaching started before that.  I'll start frequent carbon changes and bring mag back down slowly since all the algae is gone.  See if that fixes it.  If it is light related, the leather certainly loves it, it's getting bigger by the day.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 3:58pm
Originally posted by bstuver bstuver wrote:

I just recently did the same thing with Kent tech m and I would say yes that could be the reason. My rainbow anemone lightened in color and so did a couple of my euphyllia. Zoas didn't but other things did.

Did you do it to combat an algae problem?  How did it work out?  I was impressed with the results, although it did require manual removal, but never grew back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote bstuver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2016 at 11:22pm
Originally posted by Chevmaro Chevmaro wrote:

Originally posted by bstuver bstuver wrote:

I just recently did the same thing with Kent tech m and I would say yes that could be the reason. My rainbow anemone lightened in color and so did a couple of my euphyllia. Zoas didn't but other things did.


Did you do it to combat an algae problem?  How did it work out?  I was impressed with the results, although it did require manual removal, but never grew back.


Yeah I had bryopsis or some form of it on a couple frags. I had to remove all that I could and then it stayed away. Although now that I'm bringing the mag back down I have seen a few things again so I think I will just manually remove it instead. I didn't have a ton or anything just didn't want it to get out of control.
Jackie Stuver

"wait these aren't the happy Hawaiians oompa doompa godly heaven on your face zoas?   I dont want them then. lol!" Ksmart
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Mark Peterson Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2016 at 7:39am
Thanks, that's good to know the effect that high Mg levels can possibly have on coral. 

I believe I have seen Pacific Turbo Snails sometimes eat young Bryopsis. Smaller PT snails are sometimes available that don't move rock like their jumbo size parents. 

I have no personal experience but someone might also chime in saying that Trochus Snails eat Bryopsis.

What I know for sure is that when there are "sufficient numbers" of Snails (Astrea, Margarita, Cerith, etc.), nuisance algae never gets out of control. It may grow in a tiny patch but that's where some individual attention from Hermits can help, or where the hobbyist re-positions the rock so herbivores can find it easier.

The question might be asked, What is meant by "sufficient numbers" of snails? 
-  For a new tank, one per gallon might be the number as the algae eats the extra nutrients available when the biofiltration is not yet fully balanced leaving opportunistic algae to grow like crazy. 
-  For a tank with an algae bloom already in progress, the number might be three or more Snails per gallon. See this story of the Long Green Haired Mermaid.
-  For an established mature tank over a year in age, the number of Snails needed may lessen to below one per gallon.

Aloha,
Mark


Edited by Mark Peterson - May 24 2016 at 7:59am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Chevmaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2016 at 9:30am
My snails didn't touch bryopsis.  I have Astrea, a couple mexican turbo's, Nerite, cerith.  My snail population was depleted after housing a puffer for the last few months.  When I started seeing the algae bloom I added more quickly.  I think you need the snails before it takes form, they keep the rocks clean so it has no place to grow.  I got rid of my puffer and replenished snails.  I have plenty of snails now, but they have nothing to eat.

I think high mag definitely keeps the tank looking cleaner.  I wonder how high we can run without having an effect on corals, i'll find out.  If it didn't bleach coral I would run it this high all the time.
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