Do coral reef aquariums intrigue you? The green star polyps (GSP) are hardy and a good coral for beginners.
The GSP has eight delicate tentacles of dark green, neon, and/or yellow. The white mouth is located in the center. Each polyp is about 0.5 inches across.
A common problem aquarists face is their green star polyps not opening. Keep reading to find out what steps to take.
Proper Placement of Green Star Polyps
The green star polyps (GSP) is a rapidly growing aquarium coral. Thus, select a spot that gives it room to spread. For example, on a large rock set apart on a sand bed.
Make sure it doesn’t begin overrunning its neighbors. Keep it pruned and find fellow aquarists to share the frags with.
Reasons for Your Green Star Polyps Not Opening
It’s exciting when you put a new GSP in your aquarium. You can’t wait to see it open.
But, whenever they’re moved, it takes several days for them to acclimate. If it’s closed longer, start running through this checklist.
Check Water Parameters and Quality
Keep water parameters and quality within acceptable ranges. The ideal water temperature is between 72- and 82-degrees Fahrenheit. Water hardness is optimal at eight to twelve dKH.
GSP thrive in alkaline environments with a pH between 8.2 to 8.4. A specific gravity of 1.023 to 1.025 is also optimal. Keep calcium levels between 400 to 500 ppm and magnesium from 1250 to 1350 ppm.
Poor water quality can contribute to your GSP not opening. Examples include too many nitrates, ammonia, or phosphates. Oil, soap, or lotion from your hands can also contaminate the water.
Ensure Proper Lighting
Not enough light can cause deterioration and death. Too much can lead to toxic photosynthetic active radiation.
The green star polyps need proper light for photosynthesis which provides nutrients. LED lighting with extra actinic promotes growth and enhances the green color.
When it’s dark, the GSP corals will close such as during the night. When the light hits them again in the morning, they’ll open.
Are They Under Attack?
Creatures, fungus, flatworms, nudibranchs, and infections may result in the polyps not opening. Look for signs of bite marks or copepods on them. GSPs close when stressed by shrimp, hermit crabs, or other animals crawling on them.
Angel, Butterfly, and Yellow Tang fish like to snack on algae and the GSPs. Mandarin Dragonet Goby fish eat copepods and will stress the GSP causing them to close.
Ensure They Have Food
The GSP filters its nutrients from the water column when you regularly feed your fish. With immature tanks or new coral, you may need to put coral food in several times a week. This will give your growing coral the extra support it needs.
Check the Tank Water Flow
GSP corals naturally live in areas with slightly high water movement. Thus, adjust your filtration pumps and powerheads to a moderate to high water flow. Avoid too much direct pressure on the coral as this can cause tissue damage and closure.
Is There Too Much Algae?
An overgrowth of algae can overwhelm your GSP. Keeping the proper water flow will limit the algae growth and prevent this issue.
If you’ve corrected all these issues and the GSP still doesn’t open, it might be damaged from transport. Contact your provider to discuss the problem.
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