Why Does My Coral Look So Sad?

cheapcouches

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I've had a piece of coral in my saltwater tank for a while, and It's always looked very sad. I thought it would eventually work itself out (I know, that was a stupid decision), but it didn't. What's wrong with the coral, and how can I make it look happier?

Here's a picture of my tank + fish stocks:

20170409_170739.jpg


Sorry for the poor picture quality, the original picture was too big, and I had to resize it.

And no, I don't remember on what kind of coral it is.
 
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cheapcouches

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Do you follow OP?

OP, what are your parameters? Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate?

Did you let the coral acclimate to the light? IE start it on the sandbed and move it up to where you want it?

What light do you have?

Do you dose supplements (calc, iodine, etc.)?

Do you feed the coral?
1. Ammonia: 0 (checked a week ago, after water change) Nitrites/Nitrate: I do not have a test kit for these, I'm planning to buy some soon
2. The coral is currently in a slightly shaded area at the bottom of the tank, but it was originally on a rock that was not close to the seabed. No, this coral was not light acclimated (unfortunately).
3. I have a standard LED light. It is the light that came with the tank when I bought it from its previous owners (which was quite the steal for only $400!)
4. I do not add chemicals directly, but the salt powder I use for my tanks claims to be "pro coral", and has calcium, magnesium, and "carbonates" mixed up with NaCl "harvested from the waters of the exotic Red Sea." Here is the product -
5. I do not directly feed the coral, but I do put in brine shrimp in the tank about 5 times a week.

Bonus: The tank has a salinity of 1.25 (checked about 5 minutes ago)
Extra bonus: I cut up some tupperware and put the coral on that because the crabs in our tank kept knocking it over. They still do occasionally.
 
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Lorekeeper

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Nitrite and Nitrate tests are essential for reef aquariums, as any nitrite at all will prevent a tank from flourishing, and Nitrates much over 20-40 can be detrimental to corals and inverts.

What is the brand of your light? Can you give a link to it?

I don't have any experience with Red Sea salt, and most of the people I know use Instant Ocean. I don't think it's the problem, but you may want to switch over in the future.

Part of the issue could be that the coral was damaged when it was knocked over, however it's pretty unlikely.

Try moving it into an area with more light and more flow.
 
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cheapcouches

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I really don't know the brand of the light. I searched all over the internet, and I could not find the exact brand. The closest I got to it is this: . Should I consider getting a bluer/darker light?
 
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cheapcouches

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Another thing to note: We had a filefish that died about 2 weeks ago. If that helps.
 

Lorekeeper

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You can't really use light's like that for good reef tanks.

I actually assume that your light is the issue... Here's my recommendation.

Get 1 of these:

and use this for a fixture:

This light won't let you grow the higher light corals, but its much better than what you have, and you can always add a second for better coverage.
 
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cheapcouches

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Thanks, I'll see what I can do.

Should I be worried about the fish going into shock from the sudden light change or something? You never know with aquariums...

Also, since the light you recommended seems to be more for nano aquariums, should I purchase more than one/find a more powerful bulb from the same brand?
 
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cheapcouches

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Also, is the fixture required? Is it a safety hazard (for the top glass and the fish) to not have the fixture?

Edit: Never mind, I'm a dummy
 

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You might want to try moving the coral up more towards the light. I have **** lights in my 20 gal for right now and mine are doing "okay" closer to the light. You also want to get those tests
 

Lorekeeper

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Thanks, I'll see what I can do.

Should I be worried about the fish going into shock from the sudden light change or something? You never know with aquariums...

Also, since the light you recommended seems to be more for nano aquariums, should I purchase more than one/find a more powerful bulb from the same brand?
Well, it looks like you have a cube sized tank (kinda), so I think with the 24W bulb, and the light close to the water, low light corals will do okay at the top of the tank.
 
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cheapcouches

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Well, it looks like you have a cube sized tank (kinda), so I think with the 24W bulb, and the light close to the water, low light corals will do okay at the top of the tank.
While I respect your opinion Lorekeeper, I don't think that that small bulb would be enough for the tank; I don't think that the bulb would be enough light for the entire tank, for it might be too dim for the bottom. Plus, I like where the coral is now. I've been looking at other LED lights, and I've found one that's a little brighter (but still blue) and still somewhat affordable. How's this?
 

Lorekeeper

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That's a much better option!

I was just trying to keep it cheap, as it seems like you were more into fish than coral.

If you want to have some good corals, that's a good option.
 

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It looks like it's not getting enough light.

I have heard good things about those china LED lights for reef tanks. It gets the job done for a basic set-up.
 

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How is your coral doing now? Those look like partially opened zoas that have definitely not gotten enough light.

Also, good tests to have are:
Refractometer (SG should be 1.025 not 1.25)
PH meter or test kit
KH
Calcium
Magnesium
Phosphates (or phosphorus- Hanna is sensitive enough to test for the numbers you actually need like 0.02-0.05)
Nitrates
And until you are well established, ammonia and nitrites. (Or for those times when something seems off and you are trying to pinpoint the problem)
 
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cheapcouches

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The corals are getting better - they are opening up more and look healthier, but they haven't returned to their former glory yet. I've done more research, and I think I need to start feeding it coral food

Just yesterday I turned down the brightness in the tank because there has been an algae explosion, along with shortening the timer on the light. I plan on doing a water change this weekend, to help even things out a little. If I see any signs of a struggling coral, though, I will turn the brightness back up.
 

LJC6780

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The corals are getting better - they are opening up more and look healthier, but they haven't returned to their former glory yet. I've done more research, and I think I need to start feeding it coral food

Just yesterday I turned down the brightness in the tank because there has been an algae explosion, along with shortening the timer on the light. I plan on doing a water change this weekend, to help even things out a little. If I see any signs of a struggling coral, though, I will turn the brightness back up.
I like reef roids because it is a fine powder. I mix it in a tiny condiment bowl with a little tank water and target feed. Zoas have zooxanthellae, a symbiotic algae, that they usually get their nutrients from but in my experience will usually accept the occasional target feed. I will also sometimes just use the "juice" from a frozen cube when feeding the fish. I turn off the pumps for about 30 minutes during a feed so the fish, shrimp and corals all get a good meal before the filter sucks it all up.
 

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If you're having algae issues. I wouldn't try feeding zoas. You don't really need to feed them at all. Flow and lighting is more important in keeping them thriving as well as a stable water parameter.
 

LJC6780

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If you're having algae issues. I wouldn't try feeding zoas. You don't really need to feed them at all. Flow and lighting is more important in keeping them thriving as well as a stable water parameter.
Totally missed the algae part of that! Lol and I was thinking there were other corals also. I guess I should re read!
 
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