New 90 gallon, month old. Questions

Cwilly

New member
Hi All!
Fairly new to the hobby and have just about a month old salt water set up going. Any help or guidance is greatly appreciated! Here's a little background and details.

90 g Marineland Tank
about 70 lbs of live rock
40 lbs of live sand* roundabout
Aqueon Sump model 4
Vertex Alpha Royal 200 Protein Skimmer
Acan A102AC LED Lighting
Vortech mp40 (2)
* Calcium reactor not setup yet.
Also waiting on our Neptune Systems Apex.

Water Per.
SG 1.024
Mag. 1230
Ammonia 0ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Nitrate 0ppm
PH 8.1-8.2
Calcium 420 ppm
KH 143 ppm
Phos <.24 ppm
Temp 78.9

2 different palys
1 pink octo frogspawn
devils hand toadstool
yellow hornets
red hornets
green and pink zoa plugs
4 turbo snails
10 smaller snails
tons-o-crabs
2 shrimp


So basically we just added a few frags recently about a week or so ago and i had placed them in the sand bed to acclimate to our lights. Everything looked great and happy. A few days later i decided to move somethings around and this is when I saw my Magicians(palythoas) and some hot pink palythoas looking quite different. The magicians are folding their skirts in and not as plump as they once were. The hot pink palys had been opening on and off before the move except one had looked constricted towards the opening and the skirt was squirting out of the top? (pics to follow.) i tried to brush off some of the diatoms with a toothbrush very gently and moved them to try another spot. Still no change with the magicians and it has been a few days, i tried to dip them in coral Rx. Hot pink have not opened up yet, i'm assuming they are still ticked off from me brushing them but the one that HAS decided to try and push out is the odd ball i described above. There are no signs of nudibranchs as far as i know. Just wondering if this is a common thing or if there are suggestions on what i can do for either of these lil guys?

Here is the link to the pics..
http://www.flickr.com/photos/62425577@N03/


sorry so txt and picture heavy, don't want to lose my palys so any help would be great! thank you!
Corey
 
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rperez915

New member
Im not 100% sure as im no expert with only 8 months under my belt but 1 months seems a little early to add Corals. Your parameters look good but but how are you keeping your Nitrates at 0. Are you running a Fuge with a deep sand bed and Macro?
 

Dono

New member
Just give them some time, it might take a few days for them to adjust and open up. Make sure they arent placed too far back and just give em a few days. Your tank is looking great, best of luck! :)
 

Cwilly

New member
thanks for the feedback guys! i have a fuge with a pretty deep sand bed probably 3-4 inches, some live rock and cheato (spelling?) my lfs has been working closely with our setup and they said with our equipment and water per. we should be good to test a few corals out. hope it's not too early!
 

rperez915

New member
thanks for the feedback guys! i have a fuge with a pretty deep sand bed probably 3-4 inches, some live rock and cheato (spelling?) my lfs has been working closely with our setup and they said with our equipment and water per. we should be good to test a few corals out. hope it's not too early!

sounds good. Keep us updated. Hopefully everything works out. More pics are always welcome!!
 

duncantse

Fish Advisor
Your zoas have some pretty awesome color. If your ammonia and nitrite is 0, nitrate is <10ppm then I think their be okay.
 

Dr. Reef

Dr. Reef at ur service
RC Sponsor
zoos are hardy but 1 month is still early to add corals. i would wait it out for about another 4-6 months.
 

clarky11

New member
sounds good, those corals aren't very demanding, but one month is still fairly early to add corals.

I would try to lower your phosphates as much as possible even below .24.
 

Cwilly

New member
noted! as for phosphates.. honestly i did the test today and it is very vague. it could have been zero actually but the color chart is not very accurate either it was yellow or a yellowy green. it aired more towards all yellow but to be safe i just assumed that it wasn't completely cleared up.
 

Cwilly

New member
also as for my other corals, everything is GREAT. so i don't think it's water quality but.. who knows!
 

rperez915

New member
noted! as for phosphates.. honestly i did the test today and it is very vague. it could have been zero actually but the color chart is not very accurate either it was yellow or a yellowy green. it aired more towards all yellow but to be safe i just assumed that it wasn't completely cleared up.

I would invest in a Digital Hanna phosphate Checker from BRS. Way more acurrate than the color test. Its $50 well spent.
 

Lynnmw1208

New member
Give them some time as others have said. plus you brushed them which probably made them a little mad. try using a turkey baster next time to blow off diatoms. my new zoas are still adjusting to my light schedule and they will close up at night right now while my other ones that have been in there around 2 weeks stay open.

one month isn't necessarily too soon to add corals. I added my first corals a little over a month: ricordea frag, green stylophora frag, zoa frag and frogspawn frag and they are all doing great and growing like crazy. Just all depends on the water quality :) maybe add some GFO in a reactor to get your phosphates down and you should be good. keep us updated on your corals!
 

hollister

New member
Yea your adding to much to fast. If you have problems it will be harder to control. You want to add 1 new item every week or 2.

Then your already dipping corals , not good. From the picks your way to new and going way to fast. Just my opinion ....
 

Cwilly

New member
I would invest in a Digital Hanna phosphate Checker from BRS. Way more acurrate than the color test. Its $50 well spent.

i will have to get my hands on one of these! i'm sure it will be handy when down the long road I decide on putting fish in. thank you for the tip!
 

Angel*Fish

cats and large squashes
thanks for the feedback guys! i have a fuge with a pretty deep sand bed probably 3-4 inches, some live rock and cheato (spelling?) my lfs has been working closely with our setup and they said with our equipment and water per. we should be good to test a few corals out. hope it's not too early!
There are good reasons to hold off on corals for 6 months. Yes, water quality is the reason, but during the first 6 months lots is happening. Populations are stabilizing and as they do so die off is happening. There is stuff in the water you can not measure for.

Here's an excerpt from Eric Borneman's article in RC's Reefkeeping Magazine (Myth 15)

"Now, if things are decomposing, they are releasing more than ammonia. Guess what dead sponges release? All of their sequestered toxic metabolites. Guess what else? All their natural antibiotic compounds and these will prevent some beneficial microbes from doing very well. The same occurs with the algae, many other invertebrates, the cyanobacteria, the dinoflagellates, and others. Suffice to say that this death and decomposition is going to take a while to complete.

Through the initial periods, there will be a tank packed with some kinds of bacteria, probably not much of others. Eventually, the massive death slows and stops. Now, what happens to all that biomass of bacteria without a food source? They die. So, another cycle of decomposition begins, and this back and forth process will continue for a while until equilibrium is reached. I say equilibrium, but that is a relative term since reproduction and mortality is a constant process in our tanks, as are "mishaps" and the relative size of the pendulum swing will depend on the reproduction and mortality rates, and biomass of the organisms involved. Still, the new swing of dying bacteria also has antibiotics, toxins, and other substances released when they die. But, the die-off is relatively slow, and is relative to the loss of nutrients, and there is already a huge population present. The result to the aquarist is that they never test positive for significant levels of ammonia. "The water tests fine."
 

sczlars

New member
Waiting 4-6 months to add any corals seems *very* conservative to me. In my case, the live rock I got came with all sorts of inverts from the get-go (mini brittle-stars, mini starfish (ejected), bristle worms, etc. etc. .. maybe I just got lucky), so since they all seemed to be doing well, I added a LR with a capnella (Kenya tree) on it a week after the LR went in, then a few days later got a frag-disk with some paly's. 4 months later, everything is still happy and has grown a lot.

After 2 months, I added a duncan and a green birdsnest frag (both growing), and recently added a couple of other LPS frags, plus some more zoanthids.

Maybe it depends on the LR you get.. mine was certainly well "cycled"; I think it may have come from another customer's broken down tank. I never saw much of an ammonia increase, but I also went very slow in adding inhabitants. 3.5 months later, we finally got a fish! :)

just my experience.. --Lars
 

Angel*Fish

cats and large squashes
It depends greatly on where the rock came from and the condition of the rock. My point is you'll hear people give varying amounts of advice about length of time with little or no information about the tank. Making decisions based on some kind of understanding of what's going on your tank will serve you better.

I wasn't trying to make a case for always waiting 6 mo.
 

Cwilly

New member
hi guys,
totally hear what you're saying but wasn't looking for a slap on the wrist but rather some input, based on my tank and photos as to what may be going on with my palys.

Indeed, i may have been lead in the wrong direction when my LFS told me it was okay to add coral. for now, we have the only option of figuring out what we can do rather than keep kicking myself repeatedly for adding corals too soon.

if it is the case that i have added too soon, then why are all of my other corals, ie. devils hand toadstool and pink octopus frogspawn thriving and very much happy? i thought palys were supposed to be some of the hardiest corals. So this is what i guess i am trying to get some info on. if it were my water quality and the die off affecting these guys then how come the others aren't showing signs? Also, i understand that my tank will still be cycling well into the first two months of its life but these unseen things going on.. i guess it was to my understanding that the palys would be able to weather this. my skimmer is made for a tank well over the size i have and i have a ton of flow going on. are there other ways of helping the water move so that the die off doesn't disturb my palys as much? listed my equip. above if you missed it.

the picture i have of my hot pink palys is not so great so i will try and get a better one.. any ideas on whether there is a pest other than nudis or not to the naked eye that may cause them to be fussy and halfway peaking their skirts out? maybe i am just being a worry wart and have to give them time to acclimate.

on the other hand, time will only tell. i'm going to take the advice of giving them a few days and maybe at that point see where i'm at. will keep you posted and more pics to come.

Update- re-tested my phos. and they are indeed much lower than my first test. probably close to zero. i'm using API and i don't like these test kits much.. on a lighter note my magicians are looking plumper and i'd say better each day.
thanks guys:wavehand:
Corey
 

Mark 75g

New member
Cwilly, you might be having some ammonia spikes and you dont know it. You should test ammonia often and you might want to do some small water changes. I had a qt tank that I set up and everything was good for about a month and then added 2 fish and the ammonia shot up within a day and the fish died.

Also, what kind of salt are you using. I use Reef Crystals and my zoas look great compared to when I was using Tropic Marin.
 
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