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Saltwater Aquarium/New coral not opening


David,how are you? I just added two new frags one is a green hammer which is on the sand bed and a frag of green star which is mid level out of direct current. I got these guys Saturday night and I can't get them to open at all. The GSP opened a little bit but closed within hours. My zoas that I have in my tank look good. My levels are all where there supposed to be but nitrates are at 10 or less. I added bio pellets 2 weeks ago to bring down my nitrates as they were sky high. I called two LFS and they both said give it time and the bio pellets were not the problem. What do you think? I've read that bio pellets could bleach corral and deprive them of food. But my zoas are fine and all my fish are fine. Do these coral take a few days to open? My zoas and Xenia opened within hours when I got them a years ago. Thank you so much for your help!

Hi Taylor:

Yes, I would give it more time. Corals can take anywhere from 24 hrs to a week to fully open, when introduced to a new aquarium.

In regard to the bio pellets, if your sump filter will allow, replace some of the synthetic bio material with live rock.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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