Acropora Colour

Discussion in 'SPS Corals' started by Mewik, 26 Mar 2012.

  1. Mewik

    Mewik

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    I am wondering how I can get my acros to colour up? When I first got the frag it was completely blue with green tips and at the time my tank was not exactly that stable and so it turned brown. Since then I have brought all the params under control and its got some colour back in it but nothing like what originally had. It is growing well enough & does have a blue hue to it on all the areas of new growth, no lumo green tips though :(

    My tank is being dosed with Brightwells Microbacter7 (4ml a day), I was dosing reef fuel in conjunction with the mb7 (2ml daily), but I stopped with it a while back as it seemed to be causing horrid algae outbreaks. Since stopping the reef fuel the algae has been brought under control, so i seem to on the right track there. Other than that I do a 20% weekly wc using aqua v salinity salt and only really add Seachem Reef Builder to the daily RO top ups keep the KH stable.

    Am i missing something here? I was adding calcium, mg etc but cut it out in favor of the weekly wc, since then the params have remained the same so not sure that the lack of colour is being caused by that.

    Here are some pics, they dont really capture the colour exactly as it looks to the eye. It looks more blue real life

    Here is a pic of the piece in Dec last year:
    [​IMG]

    And here it is this weekend:
    [​IMG]

    Closer pic from the week before:
    [​IMG]

    Will the colour ever fully return or will I be stuck with the brown forever? Also since dosing the mb7 the polyps only extend at night. They used to be rather large 24/7, I assume due to the water being kind of dirty. The piece is growing pretty well so Im a bit lost with regards of how to solve this issue.

    Any help or advice would be appreciated :)
     
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  3. butcherman

    butcherman Moderator MASA Contributor

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    Personally i had the same algea problem with the Microbacter7 and reef fuel

    Do you test NO3, PO4?

    Also what is your Mg Kh and Ca?

    If those are fine, look at I and K

    Also what lights do you have and how old are they?
     
    Last edited: 26 Mar 2012
  4. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    no you are not stuck with the colour reduction. it is just an indication that nutrient levels are a bit high resulting in an excess of photosynthetic bacteria in surface of acros this is also possibly caused by photosynthetic bacteria absorbing and utilising carbon source to fatten up. imo
     
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  5. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    With sps you need to control your nutrients. With low nutrients you will get colour. There are many methods to get low nutrients such as zeovit, np pellets etc.

    Then you need to keep your ALk, ca and mg rock solid

    You need a lot of random flow. I found when my sps did not get enough flow I even got STN

    You also need enough light. Acros love light.

    Rather not use MB7, there is just too much negative feedback on it. Once you have low nutrients then you can look at dosing other things. I remember I used to use prodibio reefbooster and that coloured up my montis but now with zeovit I dont dose anything specifically for colour
     
  6. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    I have a 150w 14k Giessman bulb, it should be sufficient, I have wondered if i maybe need something more blue to get the corals to colour up due to the uv? The bulb is definitely giving good results in growth, i have had it since August so it is reaching the point where it must be replaced....but damn its pricey lol

    As for the flow I am running an mp10 so that should be sufficient for the random side of things.

    I think I might toss the mb7 and move over to microbelift or zeovit. I am a bit skeptical about using prodibio as my tank doesnt really fit the recommended sizes and I would feel kind of cheated wasting money overdosing double the amount that I need. Maybe I really am messing up by not using zeolith media? Despite being told its not essential by Brightwells :whistling: damn sales ppl, I wont lie even my lfs tried to steer me away from it but no no I knew better.

    The odd thing is that everything seems to be happy, I have a small green monti frag which has doubled in size and seems to be growing faster all the time, some orange finger leather which also is growing like mad but not extending polyps in the day as it originally was. When I first started dosing the mb7 my weed like xenia took a knock, which made me happy, but now its just spreading like the plague. I thought it wont last in a lns system?? Damn stuff is annoying me now I have it all over the place. All my lps is happy as can be as well.

    I think maybe my first steps should be to bin the mb7. Then maybe try move the piece a bit higher up in the tank? After that maybe look at moving over to a diff lns system and adding zeolith media.

    Has anyone gone with the full aquavitro method? When I spoke to them originally they pretty much explained that a ulns system will be the end result of using the entire range, but without using zeo stones.....not sure how true that is, but I think they might be onto something as the fuel in their range did seem to give some good results and gets some pretty good reviews from those who have used it. Just not sure what the result of deploying the entire range would be.

    It just really bugs me that I have struggled so much with one frikken frag......it was a damn nice frag though and even though its a bit rough at the moment my main goal is to bring it up to a level that I am happy with.....if I can manage that then I will feel accomplished lol
     
  7. Tremayn

    Tremayn

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    How big is your tank? I dont think a mp10 is enough as @Loki has a mp10 and two seios in his 60x60x60 cube and he does not have enough flow..

    Im sure the aquavitro stuff will work. What skimmer do you have? If I were you I would rather go with zeovit over the brightwells stuff.. Just research properly before hand
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  8. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    its an Boyu HS60 so its the same size as a TL550. 128l, plus I drilled the back and added a sump so it has extra flow from the 2 returns, the sump holds another 40l. The skimmer is a ts2 so my concern would be overskimming the tank. I think I am going to start running the skimmer on a timer and only having it run at night. Least that should let some dirt build up in the daytime to feed the corals at night while its being skimmed out.

    [​IMG]
    Its a little silly in there but it humors me.

    I think I am going to look into the aquavitro range a bit more, I am a bit stuck for space to add zeo stones so some shifting around will be needed if I got that route.
     
  9. Michael B

    Michael B

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    Can't add more to what has already been said, just want to compliment you on a great looking tank
     
  10. Tony

    Tony

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    Your lighting also plays a factor. I have personally found that blue coloured lights have very little benefit for acro colours. I have put a 14000K light over my acros from a blend of various T5's and the colouration has vastly improved. When I was in Mauritius all the acros I saw were in waters from about a metre up to about three metres deep which is white/yellow light. All the acros were coloured up and none were brown despite there being a lot of algae which indicated nitrates and phosphates. The corals develop their accesory pigments, which are their bright colours with yellow light.

    Yes, nutrients do play a part, as high nutrients will cause the corals to take on extra zooxanthellae and brown, but I personally think that bright, low kelvin light causes them to colour up.
     
  11. mandarinman

    mandarinman

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    if you are concerned about overskimming turn skimmer off for an hour after feeding inverts and dose all chems during this period. also if you dose bacteria leave skimmer off for three or so hours to enable bacteria to manifest themselves. same goes for carbon dosing.
     
  12. Mewik

    Mewik Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the input everyone.

    I think I am going to try a few different things, starting with the simple things such as flow & raising the piece a bit higher then see what yields results. I will look into stabilizing my Kh, Mg and Ca a bit more in the near future as well.

    I am a bit hesitant to try anything too drastic as that will possibly cause issues with my other corals which are currently happy. Perhaps its best not to rock the boat too much at the moment.

    If I shine one of those cheap blue leds on a cigarette lighter at the coral it lights up like a lumo xmas tree...maybe I should just cheat for now and gypo some of them into my tank :blush:
     
  13. archiecrain

    archiecrain

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    Your onto something here.....any changes are best left slow and cautious.....I would 1st monitor parametesr for a week....possibly monitor KH twice daily before altering anything.
     
  14. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Dunno how I missed this one.........
    Agreed with most of the information posted above....... to a certain degree.... guess the how is covered, but letme try and figure out the why........

    Remember that an acroporid is an animal that lives in close association with their symbiotic algae...... Symbiotic algae provide a portion of the corals energy budget, byproducts of photosynthesis...... For lack of a better term, the coral farms zooxanthellae within its tissue, but at the same time, it is an extremely agressive predator..... Its all about the balance between being a farmer and a hunter.......with a bit of elements / mineral salts, amino acids and their availability thrown into the mix....... Or should I say you as aquarist manipulating the balance between hunter, farmer and availability of tissue buiding material....

    Correct, light is probably the most important factor in sps coral coloration, as it is what the symbiotic zooxanthellae use to photosynthesize and consequently provide the host with a portion of its energy budget, and light is also what emits UV rays which are deadly to the coral, causing it to produce photoprotective pigments, the blues, the pinks and other non flourescent pigments......... (Although the scientific jury is still out on that one, with no definitive verdict reached to my knowlege)

    So again, its about the balance between the amount of zooxanthellae needed to provide food and the need to protect itself from UV rays....

    As mentioned, too high nutrient levels will cause a browned out colour, due to the nutrients acting in two ways:
    - fertilizer for algae (zooxanthellae is an algae, YES)
    - in a lesser way, decreased light penetration (> increased phytoplancton > more light refracted > absorbed > available)
    I guess it is easier to farm than to hunt, especially when your crops are growing like crazy>>>>>>>
    BUT one has to bear in mind that there is a danger in too much zooxathellae photosynthesizing within the host...... oxygen radicals, leading to a viscious cycle of overproduction in the meadows, plucking and throwing out plants to avoid this > energy budget wasted, but the farm will survive in its brown state...... Sorry getting off topic........sort of......

    Now, with increased light, available food and decreased nutrients, the coral needs to decrease the amount of zooxanthellae to avoid the danger of excess O2 within the tissue.
    At the same time it needs to protect itself from the intensity of light, therefor shifting its energy usage towards production of its colourful photoprotective layer.
    Remember, within the zoox, as per any (most?) plants we find Chlorophyll. Zooxanthellae is a yellowish colour and chlorophyll is green. Yellow + green = ?????
    Its all about balance again, the brown appearance of zoox over the underlying tissue colour.

    Another part of coral colouration is theproduction of flourescent chromaprotein / pigments, which are mostly exicted (become visible) under light what we refer to as actinic, i.e. around 400nm.
    The function of the flourescent pigments is not completely understood, whether it is:
    - Light regulation, OR
    - To provide an "extra light source" for the zoox, i.e. light optimization for a lower zoox population (ever noticed how much more a coral flouresces the less brown it is), OR
    - To filter out UV A rays (blue colour of the spectrum) again interesting, as mentioned, excited around 400nm which is rather blueish.....
    -or as shown in a recent study by Palmer, Modi and Mydlarz (Coral Fluorescent Proteins as Antioxidants) showing it to act as a vital antioxidant assisting in protection from cellular destruction is not all that relevant, but damn interesting none the less!!!!
    What does matter is that if you want to see flourescent photopigments, put in some strong blue tubes......

    Again the word balance comes to mind, balance between white / yellow / blue tubes.......
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2012
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  15. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Left out one........ How dare I.....

    Flow, the influence flow dynamics has on colour coloration........

    It is well known that flow has a significant impact on coral morphology, but to what degree it influences colouration would be a mighty interesting topic.......
     
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  16. Rhyn

    Rhyn

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    very interesting stuff... Keen to see if this advice has an affect on you sps @Mewic
     
  17. brentch

    brentch

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    I enjoyed reading this! SHOT!!!
    One more thing to add... The stronger the light, the more accessory pigments are used (pheophyton, Chlorophyll B etc). These pigments act not only as Sunscreen as @irie ivan stated but are used to tone down any excess/short wave light entering the photosystem 1and 2 molecules so as not to damage them. Picture it as speed bumps for light (bad analogy, light is constant LOL) coming in to the chloroplast, so it is not wasted.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: 26 Nov 2015
  18. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    irie.

    Enjoyed your synopsis.

    Think I would enjoy whatever you're smoking:p.

    Refreshing to read some integrated, thought-through advice.
     
  19. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Thanx rob and brent.... Lets hope for some more....
     
  20. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    lol..... Gotta stick with the local herb, as our friend with the sunlit sps garden ignored my hint at Some of the green he is farming in his scrubber.....;)
     
    Last edited: 10 Jul 2012
  21. Bob the (reef)builder

    Bob the (reef)builder

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    Extra special salted hydroponic stuff.
     
    Last edited: 11 Jul 2012
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