My experience with Elegance Coral

Abel Law

Reefing newb
I want to share my experience with elegance corals that I've had since August, and my thoughts on acclimating, and how it reacts to supplements such as essential trace elements and calcium supplements and feeding.

So I've always been fascinated about elegance corals, and I might add that it's because of this particular beautiful corals that kept me going on reef keeping. Since starting my tank with a 29 gallon HQI biocube three years ago I have been persistent in trying to get elegance coral to survive more than two weeks in my tank.

What I found out that the HQI biocube's lighting is way too intense for elegance. No matter how hard I try to hide elegance under shades and indirect water flow, I never have any success with it. Like many aquarists and enthusiasts documented in numerous forum posts, none have survived past two weeks and at most a month at best before it withered and died.

I have since upgraded to a 66 gallon red sea max tank and been running it since July 2013. As usual I started with a pretty light bio load, then slowly adding one coral at a time in a two week increment, now to the point that my tank is completely full, with some fish.

I started with an indo elegance coral in last week of July in the partially shaded area. When it showed signs of "somewhat" happy, I would move it into a fully lighted area. Three weeks later I got an aussie elegance coral, again acclimating it in the same partially shaded area. See attachment 1. The one in the front of the tank is an indo elegance, and the one in the back is an aussie. Appearance wise, there was no difference. Both skeletons were pretty clean, although some aquarists have mentioned that indo elegance coral's skeleton tends to be darker.

The indo elegance never fully expand to its fullest. As you can see in attachment 1, this was two hours after I introduced the aussie, and it was OK, not completely happy, but nonetheless, somewhat expanded. The same day I offered both of them chopped fresh shrimp, and both readily took food and digested them.

However, a week later, the indo elegance started to retract and stop taking food altogether. But the aussie elegance have fully expanded in the shaded area and was very happy. Its tentacles were long and flowing. See attachment 2.

When the indo elegance finally gave out and died, and the aussie elegance had expanded to the point where its flesh was pressing against my tank glass, I moved it into an area where I hope it would grow into. See attachment 3, where the photo was taken right after I moved it into an fully lighted area. The same day I offered it more chopped shrimp and the next day, it expanded even more. See attachment 4.

Two days later, I left for a 9 day vacation, and something unfortunate happened while I was away. My carpet anemone decided to move into the area where I had placed my aussie elegance coral. When I returned, I found it distraught and had been stung by the potent carpet anemone. It was unhappy, but none the less still readily to take food from me. I decided to move it away from the anemone. And from then on, I prayed that it would continue to survive after it has been stung the crap out of it by the anemone, but it was an up hill battle. Day after day, it started to retract, and began losing its color. See attachment 5.

Then I was plagued by the red slime cyno bacteria, resorting me to chemically treating my tank and constantly doing water change every 48 hours. And within 8 days, my carpet anemone died. Once my anemone was out of the tank, I moved the coral back to where it was. It was not happy due to the constant change in water change. My guess is each time I changed water, I also removed the beneficial bacteria as well...

Once my water parameters were stable again, but saw no improvement in the health of the aussie elegance coral, I decided to try to dose my tank with a drop of Lugol's solution everyday. I saw some improvement, but the results were not consistent.

Each week after my water change, I only saw a small improvement in its appearance. Feeling helpless, I decided to start dosing my tank with calcium, 5ml each day. I saw improvement right away. So it was happy with additional calcium in the water that I provide, but it was not the same glorious beauty that I saw right before my 9-day vacation.

Then I began researching all-in-one trace elements supplements: strontium, barium, magnesium, indium, bromium, fluorine, manganese, chromium, copper, nickel, potassium,, zinc, lithium, boron, cobalt, rubidium. That's where I found's Meerwasser Komplex Concentrate. This product is expensive, but I decided to give it a shot. I also got from the same manufacturer Pohl's Xtra Special Colour enhancement for hard corals.

Within two days of using these two products, the elegance coral fully expanded, and its colors were glowing like I had never seen before. However, the Meerwasser Komplex Concentrate does state that do not use this product and ZEOvit system together. I failed to see that. See, ZEOvit Coral vitalizer really brings out the color and expansion in SPS. The first day I use the ZEOvit coral food concentrate, my elegance coral complained to me that it wasn't happy. Its tentacles retracted, and its flesh swelled. Seeing the side effects, I stopped using the ZEOvit coral food concentrate immediately. Within 24 hours, my elegance coral was happy again, fully expanded, it's tentacles swaying in the water like an anemone.

Around this time, I introduce several more aussie elegance corals and another indo elegance coral. The large neon green aussie on the sand bed, and the other smaller one I glued to the rock, they were happy. See attachment 6.

But then, strange as it may seem, the large neon green elegance, who was happy for about a month began to bleach. After it bleached to the point where its flesh is now completely transparent, it still alive and its tentacles still long and flowing, readily to take food from me, its color never returned, and I have decided to move it into a more shaded area in hopes it will recover to its former glory. The small neon green, however, continues to do well. So is the indo elegance coral.

The first aussie elegance I introduced into the tank four months ago continues to grow, now the space it occupies barely has enough room for its flesh when it's fully expanded.

Why one elegance excels under the same condition where the other bleaches, I have no explanation whatsoever.

I started dosing's LPS Amino Acid concentrate and Sponge power, ZEOfood and ZEObak four days ago, because I have clams and other filter feeders in my tank. The dosing of four additional products have no adverse effects on my elegance coral, rather, the ZEObak clears my water.

Is aussie elegance corals much superior to their indo elegance cousins? Time will tell. But one thing is for certain, the indo elegance I introduced a week after I introduced the large neon aussie elegance didn't bleach but rather continues to do well in the tank. Its tentacles are not as long and flowing like its aussie's cousin, it didn't wither and shrink and die. At least not yet, so I keep my fingers crossed.

One thing is for sure, elegance corals like mild water flow. The milder the water flow the longer their tentacles extend. And having stable amount of calcium and essential trace elements make them happy. Feeding is important, too. They like chopped fresh shrimp or scollops. If you get your shrimp and scollops from the grocery store, make sure you soak them for 20 minutes, chopped them, then rinse the chopped meat several more times to remove as much phosphate from the food as possible.

Attachment 7 was taken tonight to show you how big the first aussue elegance coral I introduced into the tank four months has grown 3 times larger since then. I have since moved it back to its original resting place to give it room to grow. I believe it's a keeper, so are the other numerous smaller ones.


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Here is my tank at a glance. The elegance (lower right corner) is now 6 inches wide and 9 inches long, totally out grown its space I gave it for.


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