Soft Coral / Leather Coral pigmentation?

tank41

New member
Hello. I have a 75g tank with a Nova extreme pro t5 fixture with bulb type and arangement as follows.
Back
ATI AquaBlue Plus
UVL Super Actinic
ATI AquaBlue Plus
Geisemann Midday
Koralen Zucht Fiji Purple
ATI AquaBlue Plus
Front
The tank has been up and running very well for 10 months with alk=9dkh, calcium=420 and ph=8.2 these params stay pretty consistant. I get no nitrate reading and zero phosphate and run skimmer and cheato in sump. My question is some of my corals are very light in pigmentation. For example my kenya tree which I have had since the start of this tank and prior is very light pink and not a brown color like when I first recieved it. Also I have a very larg colony of anthelia that is also very light pink to white and the same with a devils hand coral which is a very light color also. All of these corals were quite a bit darker when I received them. They are all multiplying like crazy and otherwise look very healthy but trying to figure out why the difference in color. I have a friend that has the same corals that I gave him and he also gave me that are very much darker in his tank. He uses MH plus VHO for lighting. I also run carbon and gfo 24/7. Should I have any concerns of is this just a product of my lighting.
Thanks for your time.
 

Peter Eichler

New member
It's most likely the T5's. They have a tendency to bring out more pastel colors in corals and will often lighten LPS and soft corals. How long is your photo period? Also, you may want to swap out some of the higher par bulbs such as one of the aquablues and one of midday for something a little less intense. Lastly, lower nutrients may be playing a part as well.
 

tank41

New member
My photo period is 1:00 pm -11:00 pm blue only and have other bulbs come on at 2:00 pm-10:00 pm.
I was thinking about adding a 2 bulb t5 retro fit with 2 more aqua blues to give it a darker look. You think that would help with the coloring?
 

Frick-n-Frags

New member
zoox may be playing a part too. if they dont need it in a more brightly lit environment, they get rid of it and lighten up.
 

fishnut321

New member
My experiences have been that they are reducing the zooanthelle levels due to increased light. Dont underestimate the t-5's they can easy bleach even the most light loving sps. I have several frags of the same species of leather in my tank. The first one is pale like yours and is placed about 8 inches from the surface directly under a 250 watt radium. Another piece that i had was kinda tucked under a ledge and was much darker... i placed the second frag directly under the first, but on the sand bed. It too is now lightening up

Hope this helps, there is nothing wrong with them lightening up, if you want them darker, move them somewhere with less direct light or change your bulb configuration.

Also on a side note, did you notice this happening after starting gfo? If you strip you nutrients too fast, you will notice colors fading... it happened to me.
 

tank41

New member
Hey guys thanks for the input. As far as gfo i seen no difference in color. They have allways looked like this in this tank prior to gfo.
Thanks again.
John
 

Peter Eichler

New member
My photo period is 1:00 pm -11:00 pm blue only and have other bulbs come on at 2:00 pm-10:00 pm.
I was thinking about adding a 2 bulb t5 retro fit with 2 more aqua blues to give it a darker look. You think that would help with the coloring?

I'd cut down on that a bit and maybe do 8 houts for the blue and 7 hours for all lights. Also, the last thing you need is more light and two more aquablues. Those bulbs seem to be about the worst when it comes to bleaching and lightening up lower light corals.
 
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