Any advice for Birds Nest Coral

Discussion in 'Aquarium Corals' started by daddio, Feb 22, 2007.

  1. daddio

    daddio New Member

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    I have the chance to trade in some xenia at my LFS. He has some nice frags of pink birds nest that he will trade me. Before I do, I would like some practical advice. My set up is:

    75 gallon, about 70lbs Live rock
    2x150w 10,000k HQI
    2x130w actinic PCs
    sump, refugium, powerhead
    I drip kalkwasser in my RO/DI makeup water
    I change out a 5 gallon bucket of water per week

    My water quality has been great
    NH: 0
    Nitrates/nitrites: 0
    PH: 8.3
    Alk: Normal (I need to get a test that gives me a better reading than low, normal, high - damn Red Sea test)
    Ca: 520
    Salinity: 1.023
    Temp: 76

    I have a plating montipora that I have been using as a guinea pig, and it is growing great. I know my temp is a little low but it had been so cold here that I was getting temp swings at night. I could keep it at 76 as a constant.

    Any tips or anything I would need to tinker with to be able to successfully keep birds nest. What food have you had the most success with.
     
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  2. Jorgens

    Jorgens New Member

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    Well I picked up a few frags a few weeks ago. 2 plating montis' an acro and a pink birdsnest. I do not have halides (yet). The most hardy of the bunch seems to be the birdsnest as it's growing already. I drip calc as well and paramters are

    0/0/25 trats
    11alk
    430cal
    sal 1.025
    temp 79

    As I said it seems to be the most hardy and I don't have a super amount of flow either. I lost 1 plating monti it bleached on me.

    Not sure if that helps but I'd be confident if i were you...

    Good luck!
     
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  3. john

    john New Member

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    the higher up on your rock,the better it will grow.mine seems to do great with medium current and strong light.good luck
     
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  4. daddio

    daddio New Member

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    Thanks. It has been a long time since I lost anything and I want to be sure that I can support what I introduce. I just get nervous. What do you feed? Cyclopeeze? Marine Snow?

    I dose my tank right now with DTs mainly for my clam (I know that once they get larger, you really don't have to feed them, but better safe than sorry). I also notice that (it may just be my imagination) my live rock seems more "alive". More critters visible more often. If I switch to a different invert food, should I stop the DTs? My water quality has been great for a long time and I would hate to overdose on unnecessary biological matter
     
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  5. Jorgens

    Jorgens New Member

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    I always cringe at that DT"s stuff. It seems to be a headache for alot of people. I use a homeade mush. and all my filter guys are fat and happy. Sponges everywhere.
     
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  6. john

    john New Member

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    you can spot feed with cyclopeeze every few days.
     
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  7. cheeks69

    cheeks69 Wannabe Guru
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    There should be plenty of food for it if you have fish {dissolved organics, detritus, bacteria etc.} maybe once or twice a week cyclop-eeze IMHO. AFA the DT's phyto that's more for the Clam and fauna, your corals are carnivorous and will not benefit directly from phyto.
     
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  8. daddio

    daddio New Member

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    Thanks! If I switch to cyclop-eeze, would it even be necessary to to feed the DT's?

    On a totally unrelated subject, the little fish store up the street (Gateway Aquatics) has a tank full of "pieces" of polyps, mushrooms, etc for $8 a piece. I just bought some beautiful bright orange and lime green polyps on a tiny little rock, a chunk of totally pink star polyps and a couple pounds of rubble for $18. In the tank are blue, purple and irridescent green mushrooms (all the expensive stuff) but with this stuff, you don't need much. I hate to spend a ton of money on stuff that grows like a weed. I'm very excited. My wife is ok with me going and spending $8, and I get a new coral to watch.
     
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  9. cheeks69

    cheeks69 Wannabe Guru
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    That's a real controversial subject. Many believe that by feeding phyto to your filter feeders eventually in turn you increase the amount of zooplankton which corals will eat.
     
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  10. daddio

    daddio New Member

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    Woah, thats deep. I see what you are saying. Kind of like (sounding like a teenager), if you feed a lionfish live food, it will make them more aggressive, right.
     
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  11. SueT

    SueT New Member

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    daddio, I would try to lower your calcium to around 420ppm-ish. Over 500 and it's in the high range. Birdsnest should do great with your lighting. They do like a bit more flow that the usual acropora/montipora. This keeps them from getting algae started on the sharp branch tips which is a mess to get rid of. I wouldn't worry about feeding them, like Robert said if you have some fish then they will generate enough waste to feed your sps corals. I don't feed mine any of the over the counter type stuff and they do great.
     
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  12. daddio

    daddio New Member

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    Thanks for your input...
     
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  13. DaddyJax

    DaddyJax New Member

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    Smaller birdsnest coral are very hardy and can do well with medium light and flow. The trick to them and when they become difficult is when the size gets on the larger end(softball, melon) they need more flow. Alot of people lose their colonies for what seems no reason after growing it out from frags. Keep this in mind as it gets bigger.

    I love birdsnest! Here are a few of mine.
    This is now the size of a tennis ball after I tried to frag it. It was the size of a melon!!!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
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  14. SueT

    SueT New Member

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    sweet pics!! I also have both the hystrix and caliendrum species. Just love this sps coral. I am waiting on my ORA green polyp birdsnest. Also heard that ORA has a new color morph too. Sounds great too. There is also a pohnepe color morph that has a really cool color and colored tip thing going on.
     
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  15. mps9506

    mps9506 New Member

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    Ditto to what DaddyJax said. The colonies tend to grow pretty thick and it is difficult to get flow all the way through the colony without ripping the tissue off the outside branches. I have seen them RTN very rapidly, usually full colonies. Although it can be difficult to tell exactly what caused it. But frags and smaller colonies seem hardy providing the correct tank conditions.

    But before you introduce any other SPS I would really recomend getting your Ca down to 400-450 (depends who you ask). Get a quality alk test and find out where that is sitting. This will help you out a lot with getting your sps to grow quickly and minimize your future losses.
     
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  16. Reefanatic

    Reefanatic New Member

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    DaddyJax - I lost 2 colonies after it had grown about the size you mentioned. It had become loose from the rock it was attached to and fell. A lot of the end needles were broken. I trimmed it back, but it started bleaching. I was able to salvage some of it, but the main colony died. I'm not sure if the fall killed it or if it was a flow thing.
     
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  17. fishmama67

    fishmama67 New Member

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    :sblush: I have been reading up a bit on corals as well as talking to my LFD about hard vs soft corals, anemonies and so on. At present I have fluorescent lights (full spectrum) but don't have the $ to purchase halides or compact fluorescents. I probably need to wait for any corals at all or anemonies or even clams either. Am I right?
     
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  18. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    fishmama67 yeah you're right. Birds Nest needs some VERY strong lights, GREAT water quality and some coral "experience" for your best long term success.

    When you DO decide to get corals let us know and we can help you pick out which lights might work best for your tank and your budget. Just keep in mind that your LFS may not have your best interest at heart.

    Go slow and let it grow :)
     
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  19. fishmama67

    fishmama67 New Member

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    Thanks BigAl!
    I am indeed discovering that I cannot always count on the "best" solutions from my LFD! I had the idea of a salt water tank and was planning on reading up on it a LOT before jumping in the sea (so to speak). However my sweet and loving husband jumped for me and purchased our 55gal. tank which was waiting for me one fine Saturday afternoon when I got home. Later I discover that a 75 would have been better for growing corlas and such as it is wider and shallower or even a bigger tank.
    Turns out that the LFS just wanted to sell us a tank and hubby did not explain that my deepest "fish wish" was a reef tank. He thought just any ole tank would do. I am now beginning to think that I will just stick with a FO for now until I get my feet salty and later, as budget and space allow, change over to a larger reef tank.
    It is true (as my LFS is saying) that a 55 is too deep and narrow to really be a good hard coral, anemone, soft coral tank? He said that if I put enough rock in to get my corals and such high enough, then my fish will have too little space to swim. I am not interested in making my fish friends cramped or otherwise unhappy and am perfectly willing to wait for the "pretties" until I can get a large, more occupant-friendly tank.
    Help me out guys!
     
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  20. BigAl07

    BigAl07 Administrator
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    fishmama a 55 can indeed be a GREAT "Reef" tank. Actually it's a good size to "get your feet wet" and the one many of us suggest as the minimim first SW tank. Don't discount the 55 just yet because a LOT of what makes the tank "Just Right" is what comes next..... Light and Filtration.

    I think you're on the right track with going FO or FOWLR for now. Start simple and then let's build on it as we go along and learn. The one thing I'd like to suggest is to go ahead and "think REEFY" for the rest of your equipment. When you buy lights and filtration (skimmer) think REEF and this way you only buy it once (or twice LOL).

    Now let's touch base on the "Rock verses fish swimming room". This all depends on your aquascaping and the type of rock you decide to use. If you just simply fill the tank with rock then you'll limit some swim room but that's not usually how this works. Actually the nooks & caves are GOOD for your fish (and other live stock). It allows you to be creative and actually make something that looks and acts "Reefy". Also you can try to incorporate a remote Sump and or Refugium which will hold some Live Rock and such and will leave more room in your display tank.

    Just enjoy your system and learn as you go. This is a GREAT hobby and one that can bring you lots of joy, happiness and family projects for a long time to come :)
     
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