something killing my xenia!

Prometheus

New member
My xenia has been in the tank for about 6 months now. It started to look unhappy a few nights ago and has grown progressively worse. See pic below. Help!

P2200023.jpg
 

sir_dudeguy

New member
and what are all of your water params? And i mean actual numbers, not just "fine" like most people put ;)

And what are the surrounding corals?
 

saltycreefer

New member
Sometimes youll find a parasitic crab embedded in the base of the stalk. Pull the piece out and closely examine it to see if thats your problem.
 

jdieck

New member
Xenia is very sensitive to dissolved organics in the water. Have you started adding any special supplement, vitamins or such?
Have any potential contaminants were used around the tank like air spray, candles, pesticides, cleaners or such? Has any equipment malfunction that may have released any chemicals, usually heaters or powerheads that burn out?
 

Prometheus

New member
I just ran all my tests kits:

pH 8.0
Nitrates 2.5
Ca 320
Alk 6.4
SG 1.024
Temp 79.5
Phosphates 0
Nitrites 0
Ammonia 0
Copper 0

Alkalinity is definitely low. I'm going to add some kalk to my topoff water and correct over the next day or two. SG is also a touch low...apparently i've been slacking off on my tests.

The only tank mate that could've been touching is my RBTA - I moved the Xenia colony yesterday in case he was being stung. Nearby tank mates are a couple of leathers, zoanthids, feather duster, brain. New tank mates include a Merulina and a Galaxea, both on the opposite side (galaxea tucked away by himself). Everyone else in the tank looks great. The primary Xenia colony is all but destroyed. There are two other groups of offshoots, one is suffering similarly, the other one looks perfect.

I pulled out the main Xenia colony to check for crabs and several of the main stalks floated away, severed. I did not find anything visible to my eyes. At this point my Xenia is all but gone in a matter of days... :(

I have not been adding any special supplements to the water. I feed mysis, cyclopeeze, and phytoplankton. No equipment malfunctions and I have not intentionally used any cleaning products nearby. I do tend to stick my hands / arms in the tank occasionally, but I normally rinse in the sink before and after. I did recently go through a large amount of underwater epoxy (HoldFast by Marineland) as the addition of the Galaxea caused me to move numerous corals to make space. Also, I moved my float switch in the sump to get it out of my way and used Weld On #16. I've used both products before without incident.

So I've got a few loose stalks floating around the tank. Think I should pull them out and cut my losses?
 

Prometheus

New member
I went ahead and pulled all but the one healthy colony out... :( They're sitting in a tub next to the tank right now - we'll see if I can find any critters in there tomorrow.

Any other ideas?

If anyone had asked me a week ago which coral in my tank was the most robust...it would've been the xenia.
 

mikeandjenn99

New member
I think your calcium is too low as well. Natural seawater is usually between 400 and 420ppm. Maybe the other corals are hogging all the Ca? Just a thought
 

jdieck

New member
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=9304321#post9304321 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Prometheus
I went ahead and pulled all but the one healthy colony out... :( They're sitting in a tub next to the tank right now - we'll see if I can find any critters in there tomorrow.

Any other ideas?

If anyone had asked me a week ago which coral in my tank was the most robust...it would've been the xenia.
Sorry for the loss. From all the factors seems that the only culprits might have been the epoxi and/or weldon combo.
 

labatt

New member
Don't brains have tentacles that extend at night for feeding that can sting? I could be wrong but if I'm right that ight be it.
 

rustybucket145

New member
My xenia did kinda what yours is doing one time. I didn't really think much of it but a week or two went by and some other corals started to look a little 'down'. Come to find out, my hydrometer was no longer reading correctly. Got another one, corrected my SG over a couple of days and almost instantly everything, including the xenia, started looking great.

The xenia was trying to tell me something was wrong, I just didn't listen. I would suggest getting your SG checked by a refractometer somewhere.
 

Frick-n-Frags

New member
xenia is the "canary in the coalmine"
it is very sensitive to bogus water chemistry or stray electricity and often will be the harbinger of impending doom if you don't get to the bottom of the problem.


when in doubt: do a nice waterchange at the very least
 

cristhiam

New member
If it was close to your BTA that's probably what did it, any flesh left on the xenia will re-grow given the right conditions, don't take it out.
 

Prometheus

New member
The coral to the left is actually the brain - the picture was taken after I moved the xenia away from the BTA (who, of course, started wandering immediately after I used all the epoxy to secure everyone in the *perfect* location). Prior to that the xenia was a good 8 in away from the brain.

I'm going to go ahead and restore the xenia to the tank and work on correcting my chemistry. SG is low, but should be accurate as I do use a refractometer. Alk, CA and pH are all a bit low so I will correct that over the next day or two.

Thanks for all the advice! Time to reinstate my regular water checks...
 

gottahaveaDori

New member
I read somewhere that those swing arm refractometers only work for so long--and then they read wrong.
I bought 2 salt testers--the kind that floats in the tank and the more expensive refractometer--so I can always have 2 readings and make sure they coincide. Hopefully you don't use the swing arm type.
 
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