Increased polyp extension = decrease in color?

tmb22

New member
I moved my reef from Grand Rapids, MI to Chicago in early March (about 3 months ago) from a 55 gallon tank to a 90 gallon tank.

This is obviously a huge change and would explain why colors aren't as vibrant as they were in Grand Rapids. But the strange thing is that the polyp extension has improved greatly. They have extended so much that I've been thinking the light is being somewhat blocked from reaching the tissue of the coral, causing a decrease in color. Is this a possibility, or am I way off base?

Some details from the tank:

Light: 6 bulb ATI Sunpower
Flow: 2 MP10's and 1 MP40
Skimmer: Reef Octopus XS160
Alk: 7
Calcium: 420
Magnesium: 1400
Phosphate: 0.03
Salinity: 1.025

Here are a few things that have changed from the previous tank:

New sand bed
Lost two fish in transit (Diamond Goby & Flame Angel... I never saw the flame angel nip at anything, ever)
Chicago water source as opposed to Grand Rapids water source (Still using BRS 5 stage RO/DI unit with booster pump)
Alk changed from 10 to 7 over the course of 3 months

My own experience tells me that moving a tank is a tremendously stressful experience for the corals, and that colors will bounce back with time. I'm seeing an alk change from 10 to 7 over time as a prime indicator.

BUT, I'm still curious about massive polyp extension blocking light from reaching SPS tissue. Why would polyp extension suddenly increase while colors get less vibrant?
 

dowtish

New member
Its sounds to me like your corals are hungry. You have increased your water volume and have less fish. You need to feed the tank more.
 

seashark

New member
Its sounds to me like your corals are hungry. You have increased your water volume and have less fish. You need to feed the tank more.
+1
Had similar problem when I upgraded , then started feeding more and increased bioload everything bounced back in 2 weeks .
 

tmb22

New member
Its sounds to me like your corals are hungry. You have increased your water volume and have less fish. You need to feed the tank more.

+1
Had similar problem when I upgraded , then started feeding more and increased bioload everything bounced back in 2 weeks .

Sounds like you guys nailed it. Thank you. It makes sense that the polyps are extended fully... the corals are hungry. My phosphate reading of 0.03 was from a month or so ago, and I just assumed it hadn't changed. I checked again tonight with my Hanna phosphate checker and sure enough; it read 0.00

I put in an order for a few new fish tonight. I'm hoping the increased bio load will help things flourish a bit more.
 

trueblackpercula

New member
As stated above the reduction in nutrients is causing your problems. Add more nutrients slowly until you achieve your desired level.
Michael
 

madadi

ReefOG
what do you mean by less color? lighter in color generally or browned out coral? I suspect thank stability for loss of color and angel fish passing for increased polyp extension. I don't care if you transfer all your rock and water and sand. you will have a cycle and some months till everything stabilize again. have patience and don't do too many things at once and you will be alright.
 

tmb22

New member
As stated above the reduction in nutrients is causing your problems. Add more nutrients slowly until you achieve your desired level.
Michael

what do you mean by less color? lighter in color generally or browned out coral? I suspect thank stability for loss of color and angel fish passing for increased polyp extension. I don't care if you transfer all your rock and water and sand. you will have a cycle and some months till everything stabilize again. have patience and don't do too many things at once and you will be alright.

I believe it's a combination of nutrient imbalance, and loss of stability. By less color I mean that some colors are more pale, and others have browned a bit.

Here are a couple examples of what things looked like in the 55, and now in the 90.

Before:
fJrBH1Vl.jpg


After:
pSnTiBSl.jpg


Before:
hoopjAll.jpg


After:
oLCwV9El.jpg
 

madadi

ReefOG
first pic looks like too much nutrient, second pic looks like not enough nutrient. it will take some time to get things stable again. keep doing what you know works and don't change too much too often and if you have to change anything, do one thing.
 
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