Any ideas on coral behavior?
I seem to have somewhat of a problem. Here's what happened last Thursday:
My 29 gal was in need of a water change (it had been 2 weeks) and I was going on a long weekend vacation on Friday. Now normally I would mix the saltwater about 2 days in advance, but I didn't have the time, so I mixed it and allowed it to set for about 2 hours. I used my remaining RO/DI water and filled the other half with tap water (which I have done many times before with absolutely no ill-effects and I treat it with a chlorine/chloramine remover that I've used many times) and let it sit for about 2 hours. Then I topped it off with a cup of boiling water to match the temp (and match the S.G.).
I added it to the tank and all seemed well, but I came back a few hours later and my Blastomussa polyps had retracted. I thought it was strange and they were still retracted on Friday afternoon! I came back today (Sunday) and 3 days later they are still retracted! I haven't noticed any color changes, but they're definitely retracted tightly. Everything else seems fine.
Does anyone have any resources, help, or suggestions? This is my first ever issue with corals, I didn't buy the corals, they were hitchhikers, but seemed to be doing well! I haven't done anything yet because I don't want to screw anything up, but i've spent a little while doing some research on the internet but there's not much on this species.
Here's the tech stuff:
fluval cannister filter (I rinse the sponge weekly, at the same time as the water changes)
2 percula clowns (doing great)
Coralife Aqualight T-5 lighting
650 total GPH flowing through the tank
82 degrees (i'll probably be lowering that though)
a few small aptasia near the polyps
possibly a peanut worm
I'm not familiar with the exact species, but it is not at all uncommon for a coral to close for several days, especially when exposed to some stress factor. It is possible that contact was made with the aptasia, which has a very strong sting, and this caused the polyps to close. The exact reason for the polyps closing will probably never be known. Personally, i would do a complete set of tests and continue to observe the aquarium carefully. The polyps will probably open in a few days.
Sounds like it was upset by a temperature change, or even just by having water dumped on it (they like low flow). It should open up within the next few days...
They both answered with what i was going to say, but to add to it, what's your dkh at?
Oh and can we get a pic to see if there are any tell tell signs in it?
Thanks everyone for your thoughts. They made me feel much better. As of yesterday they seemed to be opening up a little bit (not as much as what they were before the water change, but more than they were on Sunday). Also, I would love to tell you my Dkh, but I don't fully understand that term yet, or how to measure it. I can tell you that my pH is 8.3 and my alkalinity is high.
As for a picture, I will be sure to post a before/after tonight.
Alkalinity is often measured in DKH. It would be useful for you to convert your reading to DKH for the purpose of using the common unit of measure.
I agree with the others. My GSP often close up for a few days, at random. It is usually caused by some sort of change in their enviroment.
Thanks for the update...
I use a Red sea basic test kit and it only says "low", "Medium", or "High" alkalinity... On a positive note mine has always been "High". I'll do some more research to find out what the translations into DHK are though.
Okay, here is a pic of the Blasto from about 5 minutes ago...
They don't look too bad, and i'd change kits for at least alk if i where you. you need a better mesurement if you plan on being more exact and knowing when you begin to get borderline.
They seem to be doing a little better now... Many of them have opened up to the point where the little tentacle-ish things are coming out... (Sorry I don't know coral anatomy, but the purple outer edges are "puffier" and open, and then these skinny little short tentacle thingies wriggle around.)
I did notice this morning a little green speck next to one of them, could they be budding? Would that be a reason why they would close up for a week?
Also, does anyone know anything about the care and feeding of the Blastomussa? Any tips on how to make this coral flourish would be greatly appreciated. A good web link would be nice at least.
So far I only know that they are a moderate light, low to moderate flow species. I have it about 1.6 ft away from a 300gph powerhead, but at an indirect path. Do you think this is too much flow? I've tried stopping the pumps and feeding it some mysis, but nothing really happened. I also have it at the top of my tank about 6" away from my dual T5 aqualight. I plan on getting a 175 watt MH sometime, so I can move it down a little.
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