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FAQs about Pathogenic (Infectious, parasitic), Disease of Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae  

FAQs on Alcyoniid Disease: Alcyoniid Health 1, Alcyoniid Disease 2, Alcyoniid Disease 3, Alcyoniid Disease 4, Alcyoniid Disease 5, Alcyoniid Disease 6, Alcyoniid Disease 7, Alcyoniid Disease 8, Alcyoniid Disease 9, Alcyoniid Health 10, Alcyoniid Disease 11, Alcyoniid Health 12, Alcyoniid Disease 13, Alcyoniid Disease 14, Alcyoniid Disease 15,
FAQs on Alcyoniid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutritional, Predator/Pests, Social, Trauma, Treatments

Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae

Related FAQs: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae, Alcyoniids 2, Alcyoniids 3, Alcyoniids 4, Alcyoniid ID, Alcyoniid Selection, Alcyoniid Compatibility, Alcyoniid Systems, Alcyoniid Behavior, Alcyoniid Feeding, Alcyoniid Propagation, Soft Coral PropagationSoft Coral HealthDyed CoralsSoft Coral Propagation, Nephtheids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids, Xeniids, Dyed Corals


Toadstool necrosis and healthful timing 3/21/07 Hi GrahamT, <Hello, Daniel.> I am sorry for the misspellings and other errors in the previous e-mail. <I understand the constraints on your time, and thank you for your consideration. I will do my best to reciprocate.> I have a question about my toadstool that I have in my 135 gallon Reef tank. I bought it about 3 weeks ago at a LFS. It fully extends during the day with all polyps out. <Excellent.> But at the base of the coral it seems to be deteriorating or going necrotic. <Ahh...I see.> I have read through the website and found some helpful ideas. My question is when I cut the head of the coral off and toss the stem out have I already infected the rest of the tank even though I have no other leathers? <Hmm, *I* can't answer that directly. I am not sure about the pathogen, if any. I will tell you that this is usually a chain-reaction on the cellular level, where contact is a requisite 90% of the time; meaning that if you cut off the affected part well into the "good" tissue, you can curb its spread.> Where does this infection usually come from miss handling in transit? <It can start from a physical trauma, or injury. Sometimes, it seems as though the specimen has had it with its location and oozes away.> Will coral dipping help to control the infection? <Doubtful. It *may* have done something useful previous to this condition, but probably not. I would say that the possible benefits don't outweigh the risk of extra stress at this point.> The tank parameters are:          Salinity: 1.025        Nitrate: 0 ppm        Nitrite: 0 ppm        Ammonia:  0ppm        Calcium:  450 ppm        Temperature: 81 degrees F <All good...> The inhabitants are:         160 pounds of live Caribbean rock         120 pounds of live aragonite sand         Fairy Wrasse 2"         Carpenter Wrasse 2"         Blue bar Pseudochromis 2"         Blue Devil Damsel 1"         South Seas Devil 1"         2x Blood Shrimp 2"         Assortment of snails and hermits. Equipment is:         2x Mags 9.5         2x Aqua clear 701's power heads         Dual 400W Double ended 14k MH         SeaClone 150 protein skimmer <Do you like this skimmer?> Water changes are done once a week at 10% Here is a pic of it the first day I brought it home. http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m46/blackhemi35003/DSCF0443.jpg <Looks normal there. I think that all in all, you've got the right idea. I want to thank you again for taking the time to repost your query, and for taking the initiative to help your charge(s) by researching. (It makes me feel... well, vindicated) Daniel Carrel  

Sick Cabbage Leather With Fungus at Base? 7/5/05     Dear Crew, <Sorry for the lateness of this reply... misplaced>     Thanks for taking the time to answer my question. I have searched the FAQ's over and over but cannot find the answer I am looking for, so here I am.     Here goes: I have a sick looking batch of cabbage leather. They don't appear very well today. Found this fungus area with some dark brown on it about 5 days ago. I think this may have started when I upgraded the lights from 83watts Power Compact Fluorescent to 143watts PC. The coral is in the top third of the tank near the lights. <Mmm, I might (have) moved this colony lower...> It was doing great with the new lights and it's polyp extension was incredible. Sorry I don't have a pic of it with the new lights and happy.     Here's a pic 3 months ago with 83wattsPC: <Very nice>         You can see the base where the leather is shedding as it grows. <Yes, natural>     Here is a pic today, with 143watts PC: <Yikes, a bit "burnt">     The piece on the far right is on a separate stalk from the other; which is all one bunch.     Close-up of the tissue damage: <Unfortunately pic didn't come through>     Could this be caused by the new lights? <Yes... but this is likely only a co-factor... something like other livestock incompatibility is likely at play here.>     Is there anything I can do to save it? <At this juncture, mainly time going by... addition of Lugol's, other iodine/ide might help, be worthwhile> How about a soft toothbrush scrubbing in a bowl of tank water and then move down on the bottom? <Mmm, I would not do this>     All other corals and fish are beautiful and smiling. The nearest coral is a frogspawn whose head is 6" - 7" away.     Thanks, David <A water change, adding some activated carbon in your filter flow path would be good as well. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sick Cabbage Leather With Fungus at Base? ***UPDATED*** 7/5/05     Dear Crew, <David>     Here is an update which may or may not help. I vacuumed off the supposed tissue damage. It's now clean. It was from the coral shrinking and shedding. The stalks are clean, but the coral still looks real bad. I did turn off the 65watt PC Actinic03 just in case. He looks stressed.     System Specs: 29gal Bare Bottom, 42#'s Live Rock, skimmer working good. Currently fighting Cyanobacteria problem by all recommended means without the dosing of chemicals. The only thing that has been added was a 2" x 4" piece of Poly Filter to my HOB filter. Sometimes I use this HOB filter, which is stripped clean, to run carbon. Mostly LPS: hammer, frogspawn, very large open brain, Zoanthids, Palythoa, Diploastrea Heliopora, cabbage leathers, and mushrooms. <The Zoanthids, Corallimorphs are pretty toxic tankmates... w/o substrate to complex...> 2 clowns, a 2 year old blue dragonet (loves frozen foods), 2 peppermint shrimp, 3 porcelain crabs, 6 Astreas. Water param.s as of 20 min.s ago: Temp - 82ºF SG - 1.0265 (refractometer) dKH - 8 CA - 370ppm pH - 8.4 Nitrates - 0 Nitrites - 0 Phosphate - 0 Ammonia - 0 (just for the heck of it) <All look good> It has been a week since I dosed with 2 part B-Ionic alk/CA buffer. So I know my CA and dKH are low. Usually dose twice a week, but with the Cyano problems I have been doing 10% water change with aerated and heated water every 3 days. Using Instant Ocean salt, BTW. HTH, Thanks again, David <Do please take a read through our Cnidarian section: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm I suspect a good deal of your problems are due to the mix of species you are housing together. Bob Fenner>
Green Finger problem (?) Hey Gang, how you doin'? well I hope. <very fine with thanks> I finally got some clear pics. of a green finger coral  in hopes that someone might be able to diagnose the base of this beauty, I don't have any experience on what the appropriate course of action should be. <a very common problem with "colored" leather corals. They are very sensitive to handling. Please avoid touching them with a bare hand at all times. Handle only the base or tissue with gloved hands otherwise> Its been in my tank for three days, and the base looks worse by the day. <it is highly infectious although looks mild here so far> It looked nice at the store (a little frayed at the base) though I probably shouldn't have purchased,  but, I reckon hind sight don't apply here. Thanks for the Your friend in Denver, Scott <simple solution here. Have a VERY sharp razor blade or scalpel ready. A needle with clean nylon thread (or fishing line) ready and waiting to stitch too. A piece of small rock or rubble as well. Move 3/4-1" above the highest necrotic area of the base of the stalk. Cut clean and fast through the animal. You must wear gloves and keep the procedure down to a minimum time of handling. After the cut, look at the exposed trunk and be sure that you cleared the soft and necrotic area... if so, run a stitch or two through the base (no more than an inch from the bottom) and tie it off to a piece of rock. Return it to the exact same place it was in the tank and do not touch it for weeks. Maintain strong water flow and very aggressive skimming in the tank. Small daily doses of iodine may be therapeutic for the tank too (not extra iodine... just your weekly dose broken down to daily). Best regards, Anthony>  
Re: Green Finger problem (?) Thanks for the info, it will be easier for me to perform this, "MASH 4077" style surgery, out of the water. Will these be ok? <yep... it all takes mere seconds> Just one clean cut, eh. <correct> Is the corals tissue tough to cut thru, like muscle? or, will it be like a hot knife thru butter? <rather in between... the tissue is quite soft but infused with calcareous spicules> (just paged my head nurse to the emergency room, stat!) Wish me luck, we're goin' ............Thanks, Scott   <Banzai! Or is it bonsai? Both I suppose. Best of luck! Anthony>

Leather Coral infection Anthony, Working late nights again I see.  <yes... back from a trip and feeling guilty at having left our friend Steve high and dry solely with e-mail duty <smile>> Thanks for the advice. I will try cutting in place and supplementing with iodine as you recommended.  <excellent... it really is a simple and safe maneuver> Running some AC for a few days after the cut would probably be helpful too?  <absolutely...although there is a minor concern of light shock to improved water clarity (yellowing agents) if carbon has not been used for a while (4+ weeks... a bad habit)> Just curious, but do you have a guess as to what caused this damage, (bad water quality, fish/crab nibbling,...)?  <so many things it could be.. although water quality and aggression from another coral (even if not touching... called allelopathy. Commonly from hostile LPS corals like Galaxy, Hammers, bubbles and the like)> Also, thanks for the plug on your book.  <no... thank you for tolerating the shameless nature of it <wink>> When my wife and I were looking to buy a good coral book, your book and Borneman's was recommended. We went with the one with the pretty pics. We're suckers for nice color reef photos. :-)  <understood and agreed... as I am too <G>> But you can never have too many books, and now that we've satisfied our pics Jones, we'll be looking to get your book as well. Thanks! <thank you... best regards, Anthony>
Leather Coral infection
WWM Crew, How's everyone doing?  <very well... thank you, with hope that you are the same> I have a question regarding my leather toadstool coral. A few days ago, I found a damaged area at the bottom edge of his crown. At first it looked like something took a little triangular cut out of it. That cut has grown larger since, and the tissue is very dark around that area. The rest of the coral looks fine, with polyps still fully extending. I've included pics of the top and the infected area on the bottom (sorry about the quality).  <the coral is in overall excellent health> I read in Borneman's book that these corals are fast healers and cutting the infected area off, accompanied by a short FW dip would effect a cure. I just wanted a second opinion.  < I concur and have written rather extensively about propagating/cutting this species in my book as well (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bkcorlproprev.htm)> The coral is firmly attached to 2 largish pieces of LR, and removing the whole thing for the "surgery" would be a lot of work. I just wanted to know if I should leave it be and hope for it to get better, or if cutting away the infected area is the best thing to do. Thanks in advance. <cutting would definitely be best and recommended. Wave the polyps down (fully retracted) and go in with a very sharp pair of scissors and cut a notch out of the crown 1/2 to 1 inch beyond the dark necrotic area. With reasonably good current and protein skimming in the tank... you may not have to remove the animal for dipping. Normal daily iodine doses for the tank in general can be therapeutic as well. Best regards, Anthony>

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