New Corals and Color

mchammer

New member
I purchased some new corals from Divers Den last week and I was wondering how long it would take to see colors come back. In the interest of full disclosure my tank is a 120 with a 40 sump and is 5 months old. My lighting system is two 54 watt Actinic blue T5 and two 250 watt 15K
XM bulbs powered by Lumatek 250/400 ballast inside a lumenMax fixture. My current water parameters are AlK- 8.6, Calcium-440, Mag-1350, SG-1.025 and temp 78-79 degree. The corals I purchased are Aussie Scrolling Monti, Bushy Acropora, Kaleidoscope Brain, Reverse Superman Monti, Blue Gomezi Acropora, and Blue Polyp Acropora. All the corals have color but they are very dull. I was just wondering how long on average new corals take to adapt to their surroundings. If I get a chance I would post pictures so you can see what I am talking about.
 

sanababit

New member
It will take weeks, maybe months, patience is the key and good parameters along with good lighting

Sana
 

biggles

Premium Member
As Sana said, it can take some time as your corals are now in different water with different lighting so they will acclimate to the new environment and over the coming weeks or months you should see the colors return, there is no guarantee they will be exactly as the parent colony displayed due to the changed environment. The age of your tank is irrelevant as long as you keep the levels you posted stable. :)
 

mchammer

New member
Thank you for the response sanababit and biggles. I thought one week would be enough time to see the polyps come out on some of the Acro's and some of the color come out. The first picture of the monti was blue when I purchased it from Divers Den and now it is a rust color. I'll wait and see how they turn out.

Thanks again for your response
 

Reef Bass

colors and textures
I've seen some corals color up in a week and others go for a year being brown before coloring. With yours still not extending their polyps after a week, it sounds to me like it's going to take more like months than weeks.

Your tank is very young and your rocks very new looking. While the parameters you posted are in range, I suspect the immaturity of your system may have something to do with it. I would not add any more stony corals until you see improved polyp extension and then growth and color in your existing frags.

The next month will be very telling. I'd be happy if they simply did not decline in that time. If they start taking off, then I'd be especially pleased.
 

jasimek

New member
How old is your tank? The rocks look fairly new. That could be an issue if your tank isn't mature enough
 

biggles

Premium Member
If he is keeping the parameters stable daily what is the negative effect of the tank not being 'mature' that may be causing an issue. I see this trotted out regularly on RC and i'd like to hear the science behind a clean, parameter stable tank not being mature enough for SPS. If nitrates and phos are zero and alk, cal etc kept stable daily can someone please explain to me why the age of the tank can negatively impact on SPS corals. Not having a go at you guys at all btw, i merely want to understand the reasoning behind why so many reefers feel this can be a reason for problems with PE, growth etc in an SPS tank that is otherwise stable.
 

Reef Bass

colors and textures
The thorough and complete and balanced population of microbes on the substrate in the tank takes a while. Sure, after the initial cycle, the waste from a moderate bioload can be digested, but IMHO and IME it takes longer than the initial cycle for the tank to reach a resilient, balanced, mature condition. You're setting up an small, isolated biome and it takes time for the life contained therein to flourish and then stabilize at population levels that work in that specific biome / tank. 6 months is often used as a starting point, and you're close to that.
 

reefmutt

Active member
Mchammer, you don't mention your po4 and no3 levels. In a new system with few fish, they could be low enough to be making the corals a little pale as well.
But regardless of that, I'd say you need at least 2 to 4 weeks for an acro in a new tank to become acclimated and that's assuming it doesn't get touched or moved around during that time.
You have a little while yet to see results..
Patience, patience, patience... And testing.. :)
 

biggles

Premium Member
The thorough and complete and balanced population of microbes on the substrate in the tank takes a while. Sure, after the initial cycle, the waste from a moderate bioload can be digested, but IMHO and IME it takes longer than the initial cycle for the tank to reach a resilient, balanced, mature condition. You're setting up an small, isolated biome and it takes time for the life contained therein to flourish and then stabilize at population levels that work in that specific biome / tank. 6 months is often used as a starting point, and you're close to that.

I agree with you entirely here Reef Bass, if a reefer is unable to keep rock solid parameters even after 6 months i would urge them to wait in regards to SPS, but if they are capable enough to maintain locked in water quality at an earlier stage i don't think this advice should be offered as a solution to coral health problems as it is likely the real issue is being overlooked and neglected. As everyone has said, patience is the key even though it's frustrating - i just browned out 6 different acro frags testing them under a blue/white 120W LED in about 3 weeks and i know that it's going to take a lot longer to get their colors back now that i've returned them to the radium lit display - no more SPS are going under that thing :hammer:
 

sanababit

New member
Wow so many different views and opinions, which one to choose, hmmmmm, i'll stick with my first post

Sana
 

mchammer

New member
Reefmutt my PO4 and NO3 readings are 0. My fish are in QT so the only live stock in the tank at the moment are 3 snails and a hermit crab. I've had a mixed reef tank for 6 years so I understand what you are saying about rock solid water perimeters. I do a 10 percent water change every month and I use BRS dosing pumps for ALK & Calcium and add Mag when needed. I also run GFO and Carbon as well as cheto in my refugium (which isn't growing very much due to low bio load) When I first purchased SPS corals for my old tank it had been running for 3 years and the corals colored up pretty fast so I was expecting the same. I have 4 more weeks until I put my fish back in the tank so I was wondering if I should be feeding the corals since there are no fish in the tank.
 

reefmutt

Active member
Wel,l based on all your good info in this thread, I suspect the new corals may be a bit hungry..
Your tank is perfectly stable, you have great lighting, great husbandry.
The corals will probably do perfectly well, but a slight addition nutrients may give them a boost..
 

Reef Bass

colors and textures
Wow so many different views and opinions, which one to choose

:lol:

Let's look at it another way. What are the common elements in all the various opinions?

Dialed in, stable water parameters
Good lighting
Patience

i don't think this advice should be offered as a solution to coral health problems as it is likely the real issue is being overlooked and neglected.

I agree that overlooking and neglecting any real issues would be bad, and offering up something that is hard to objectively quantify (like tank maturity) is not entirely helpful to those who seek more concrete answers. However, when other factors have been examined and eliminated as likely causes, I believe there can be a maturity threshold to cross with new setups.

Thanks for your rational discussion of the topic. :)

mchammer, FWIW, I feed my sps corals zooplankton in various forms.
 

Reef Bass

colors and textures
I use fresh products like Reef Nutrition's Roti Feast and Oyster Feast, as well as freeze dried (Reef Chili, Coral Frenzy) and frozen rotifers. I get them at my LFS and online.
 
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