Leather coral expansion

Discussion in 'Soft Corals' started by Reef Maniac, 23 Sep 2007.

  1. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi All,

    I spent this weekend working on what I thought was a simple tank project, adding a manifold loop in my return pipeline, and attaching my pH and ORP probes to the manifold. The only practical place to mount this manifold was in the pipe running from the sump outlet to the main return pump inlet. I somehow miscalculated the design, and the probes protruded into the actual return pipe, thus slightly reducing the diameter of the pipe. This had the undesirable effect of causing some cavitation in the return pump, resulting in a large amount of very small bubbles being "blown" into my tank. Due to time constraints, I'm not able to remove the manifold until next weekend, and the tank will just have to live with the bubbles.

    Now, what does this have to do with leather coral expansion, you may rightly ask...

    Well, after an hour or two of this highly aerated tank water, both my large leather corals have expanded to a size which I've never seen before. I would guess they both expanded at least 15% larger than normal.

    Although I normally have good water flow in my tank, I can only guess that the small bubbles caused more surface agitation, resulting in an increased oxygen level in the water, which the leathers obviously enjoy... Any other theories of guesstimates ??

    Anyway, here is a photo showing my one leather actually touching the water surface - the tank is 700mm deep, and the coral is nearly 450mm in height, and about 350mm in width...

    [​IMG]

    Any comments ???

    Hennie
     
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  3. Shaun

    Shaun Retired Moderator

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    I don't know if it is good or bad, but I do know they hold alot of water my pin c got so bit I decide to frag it this weekend and as I cut it a hek of water came out. they have veins in them that store water.
     
  4. DragonReef

    DragonReef

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    Great Pic Hennie, that's some wild PE.

    Very interesting. Are they still extended or have they returned to normal ?
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    One thing I have learnt on the ReefCentral site (from Eric Borneman writings) are that even though we try an simulate reef conditions, we never really get it right.... If you look at the sea and the original locations (reefs) where these creatures come from, you will see that the sea there is not 100% crystal clear. EVERYWHERE where I have SCUBA dived before, had a huge percentage of tiny tiny air bubbles in them. Due to waves crashing onto the reefs (both from the top-side, as well as from the resulting rolling current that's formed by the waves) causes the reefs to be SUPER saturated with tiny air-bubbles. This said - I actually find it quite believable that having the tiny air-bubbles in one's marine tank, more closely simulates the real sea/reef environment, than having crystal clear water..... So, most likely the cause for the softies to expand to their fullest potential - also, now you most likely have a slightly reduced water clarity, which means your lighting does not shine as harsh onto your softies anymore..... less light, the more the would most likely be expanding to get more light......

    My theories in anyways....

    Cheers!
    Jacques
     
  6. Alan

    Alan Admin MASA Contributor

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    Only comment i got is, that is one really happy leather, very nice pic.
     
  7. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Nope, the water is still full of bubbles, and the leathers are as extended as they could be.

    I have Friday and Monday off, and will be doing some serious plumbing to sort out the bubble problem...

    Hennie
     
  8. Galibore

    Galibore Retired Moderator

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    That's amazing PE. I can't think of anything other than increased O2.
     
  9. tyson_1

    tyson_1

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    nice ill try that..
     
  10. Falcon

    Falcon

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    hey hennie i noticed in this pic that your leather and euphilia are very close shouldnt this in theory be war as the euphilia has sweeper tentacles?

    or did they get used to each other from when still little?i would have thought that there would be war....like maybe the leather releasing chemicals into the water also.
     
  11. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    I can only guess that this specific euphillia specie is less aggressive than most - in the ±7-8 years that I've had it, I have never seen any sweeper tentacles being deployed. During the last 6 months or so the two corals have both grown to such an extent that they actually started to touch each other, and the leather did receive some damage - to such an extent that I was forced to break off some branches of the euphillia closest to the leather (If I remember correctly I gave these "frags" to Raven and Cybervic some months ago...) After that, the leather has fully recovered, and they remained good neighbours untill I finally fragged the whole euphillia.

    I have never observed any "chemical warfare" from the leathers, but think that this might be due to the following:
    • I skim rather aggressively, having a Deltec AP902 directly coupled to my tank's overflow.
    • I run Ozone which breaks down organic compounds in the water.
    • I use activated carbon 24/7, replacing it every 2 weeks or so.
    Hennie
     
  12. Falcon

    Falcon

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    hmm when you say the leather received some damage what exactly did you note?like was it shriveled or sliming or changing colour where it was stung....i'm trying to figure this out as my tree coral has some mushrooms that hav moved and are touching its base.do you think will become a problem or should i just leave it? so far cant i see any negative effects as the tree is still recovering well from a "bleaching event".
     
  13. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Hennie

    Any idea why I cannot get full PE with my leathers. I have tried everything and they just extend halfway and no more.

    When I fist got them they extended fully.

    It has almost got to a stage where I want to turf them as they are taking up space :p
     
  14. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac Thread Starter MASA Contributor

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    Yes, the affected area had a darker yellow colour, the polyps retracted and some scars were visible. The affected area healed within 10 days after removing the euphyllia branch doing the damage.

    I would just leave it until I noticed serious damage - IME leathers and 'shrooms can co-exist touching each other without causing any harm.

    Warr, It could be one of a few factors (or combination of them...)

    - Too much or too little water flow.
    - Direct flow aimed at the coral.
    - Nutrient poor water - leathers don't do well in tanks optimised for SPS corals.
    - Possible predation (some nudibranchs, worms and an especially damaging snail can actually eat their way into the coral, and hollow it out from the inside. The leathers still appear to do well for quite some time, but eventually they will shrivel up and die if the predation continue.

    Hennie
     
  15. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Thanks for the explanation. Possibly the snail idea, as I have moved the leather into my Mantis tank and still don't get full PE.

    It's brother died a couple of months ago, as you described - shrivelling up
     
  16. Falcon

    Falcon

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    dam thats frustrating warr!!!so theres no way to get these snails out even?its like a lose/lose situation:(
     
  17. Warr7207

    Warr7207

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    Yeah and I have been pulling my hair out trying to get them to be happy.

    But nature has it's beauties and uglies :p
     
  18. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    talking about uglies, i pulled this massive pitch black slug out of my DT, was on the glass and i immediately thought nudi. never seen this oak before. My one pin cushion was grumpy as you guys have described, think he fits the bill?
     
  19. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Can you put up a pic - it sounds like one i had - a dendrodoris negra (nudibranch)
     
  20. Falcon

    Falcon

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    raven has one living peacefully in his tank...pitch black thing gave nme a shock as it tried to climb my hand
     
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