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FAQs about Predators & Pests 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, Pathogenic (Infectious, parasitic), 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


Worms on green leather     8/7/17
Does anyone know what these tiny worm like things are on my leather, they are about 3 or 4 mm long and seem to have speckled brown ends, they don`t seem to move but they look like they are something which has hatched out or is burrowing into the flesh, are they some kind of parasite? How do I get rid of them or are they just part of the leather?
Thanks Jackie
<Can't make out... but this Alcyoniid looks in poor health. Might be something consuming it as it dies.
Bob Fenner>


Cropped, spiffed

Finger leather disease    12/20/12
Something seems to be eating my finger leather it is like a black web.
<Does appear to me as well>
I noticed it first on one of the fingers and have since removed it and recently rotated the piece to discover that whatever it is has made a big dent in the base as seen here.
<Mmm, could be worm/s, a type of Mollusc, even some fishes will chew a hole like this>
Given your experience would it be best to frag the healthy fingers off, attempt to treat it, or attempt to cut off the dying chunk in the base?
<A part of the base is best... In this case, just cutting the animal above the chewed, damaged area, using an iodide-ate dip/bath, tying the Alcyonacean down to a hard/rock base, per what is posted on fragging/asexually reproducing soft corals on WWM. Bob Fenner> 
<Of course, you need to determine the cause/source of the damage and correct/remove it>

Re: Finger leather disease     12/22/12
On that note I have a bit of a strange question. I have not had much success with iodine dips before and happen to have a ton of ground kelp sitting around the house which dissolves in water and is rich in iodine.
<Interesting... in our town (San Diego), was a company (Kelco) that has traded hands quite a few times... that extracts alginates (emulsifiers) from some of the large Phaeophytes (brown kelps/algae) harvested off the coast... I don't know http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine that Iodine (actually iodide) is collected in the process, but it can be (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iodine )...>
I'm wondering if I mix kelp into a container with the water and keep the coral in that water for a bit whether it would have the same or similar effect. The damage seems to be increasing and I have not observed anything in the tank biting the coral so I suspect it is some kind of fast acting algae or fungus.
<I would get/use a commercial prep. I am particularly fond of the SeaChem line (real products en toto, consistent in make-up)... Iodide-ate is very safe used as directed. Bob Fenner>

Leather Pests?    4/17/12
 We woke up this morning to find our leather closed up and these little spiked things sticking up all over on it!
 I've been trying to search all morning to find out what they are but I've had no luck!
They don't seem to be moving and are small, probably a few millimeters in length only. I've attached a photo for you!
Hope this is something you've seen before and can tell me what I should try to fix the problem!
Thank you!
Amy :)
<Due to their sudden appearance and distribution, am guessing these are part of the soft coral itself... some sort of reaction to... another Cnidarian? Water quality change? I'd be changing out a good deal of the water, possibly utilizing carbon... and reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/AlcyDisF15.htm
Was another stinging-celled life organism added recently? Showing a difference in appearance, behavior?... It may need to be removed, re-acclimated... Search WWM re allelopathy. Bob Fenner>


Sinularia with weird "breathing hole" 11/16/11
I've a problem with my Sinularia sp...it doesn't look poorly but it's shedding more often than normal.
At a close look I found a weird hard "cannula" protruding from stalk, it seems a "breathing hole" of some endoparasite.
<Mmm, new to me>
Pics will be more eloquent.
What kind of parasite is it?
<I would risk (not big) cutting this out... some single edge razor blade cuts from the opening edge out>
Manuel Ricci
<Do please follow up w/ your further observations. Bob Fenner>

Growth on coral question   3/5/08 Hi, My colt coral has a white growth on the side of it. I have noticed since it started growing about 2 1/2 months ago, the health of my colt has been off. I'm not sure if it really has anything to do with my colts health or not, but it showed up at the same time it started not doing as well as it had been. ( I have had the coral for 5 months) Thought I had lost it about a month ago, but it is slowly bouncing back and is feeding more hours a day. <Good> The white patch also "grows and shrinks" during the day like a coral does. This patch has also really had a growth spurt in the last 2 weeks. Insight anyone, to what this might be...good or bad? Sal. 1.025 Calcium 460 Alk 5 PH 8.2 Nitrite 0 Nitrate .02 Ammonia 0 Silicate 0 Phosphate 0 Thanks for any info, Katie <I would look closely... perhaps a Nudibranch predator at play here... Could be an ongoing infectious agent... there are folks (esp. commercial) who would "cut to the chase" and frag this Alcyoniid, excising the troubled area. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcyonpropfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Nudi. RMF.

Re: Hey Bob, its Niki. Got an anemone question here. Actually, now a predaceous Nudi. on Sarcophyton (elegans?)  11/21/07 You are the best! That site rocks. Thanks, Bob. One more question...have you ever seen/heard of a 'Yellow Fiji Umbrella' specific Nudibranch? <Mmm, have been to Fiji a few times, diving... seen yellow Nudibranchs there... Do you have a pic?> I found a few Nudis the same exact color of the coral latched onto some very unhappy Sarcos. <Bad... should be physically removed, search the soft corals for egg packets, those removed as well> They reminded me very much of smaller versions of the larger white Nudibranchs that we find on the Sinularias and such. The difference is that they mimic the yellow color of the umbrellas, much like the Nudibranchs found on P. cylindrica. I do have pics if you need to see them. Thanks, Niki <Please do send these along... have collected, and discourage the collection of the "Yellow Sarcos" from here, and Tonga... as for whatever reasons (I know naught) they don't often live for long... but have been so inobservant as to not notice these apparent predators. Be chatting, BobF>

Re: Niki here, w/ pic of our little yellow friend. Nudi feeding on Sarcos...   11/22/07 So here's the culprit. <Ah, yes. Nice pix> I found about 10 or so embedded very deep in the tissue, all hidden very cleverly within the ruffles of the Fiji Yellows. The only reason they came to my attention was the fact that I was treating all of my Alcyonaceans with Levamisole Hydrochloride due to a rampant infestation of the run-of-the-mill white Nudibranchs, mostly on my Sinularias. The little yellow guys started bailing off. I have included a pic next to the other Nudibranch so you can get a feel for the size. <Yes... reports up to 1"> The white Nudi is almost an inch long. All of the yellow ones were about the same size. Let me know what you think, thanks again, Niki <Mmm, I do think you are wise to be using a dewormer. Look for the spiral egg masses... and remove them as well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Pics and ? Nudibranch and polyp/anemones  3/28/07 Hi there to all the crew. My name is Tracey. I have a 125 gallon reef tank and have for about 13 years now. I have two things I would like to address here. First, I have a couple of colt coral that started suddenly not doing well. Like they were being stung, <Consumed, predated...> but nothing was near enough even with current that would make that probable. I needed to top off my water and added my upped the alkalinity just enough to irritate the critter that was causing the problem to come into view. I am attaching a pic of this beautiful guy which I think is maybe a Nudibranch? <Yes... at least a Opisthobranch/Seaslug...> I'm surprised to see this now as I have not added anything new in months. I took him out and place him in quarantine until I learn more. I have seen and removed these before quite some time ago, and they had more of a pink color but were smaller. This guy is about 1 1/2" long and 3/4" wide. I removed him with tweezers and he had a sticky and slimy substance left behind what ever he came into contact with. I have found them near the base of the colt only. I'm not seeing flesh decay of the colt, it looks more like it being stung though I'm not certain. The base of the colt looks like it is separating some from the rock. He looks better already after only an hour of removing him. <Is/was being chewed... keep your eyes peeled for others> Ok, my next issue is this. I have several different polyps in my tank and have had a new species of some sort pop up and they multiply quickly. They split in half and they just move around and make more, even through the current. They grow on the glass, in the sand, on the rocks like crazy, and I have seen them grow attached to other coral. I'm wondering if this is some type of anemone rather than polyps. <Mmm, some pix look like Zoanthids... others summat like Anemonia species> I did have an Aiptasia problem and got that problem under control, so I'm pretty sure that's not what these are. I took out a few rocks that are just covered in about a months time and quarantined them also. I'm sending a few pics of these as well. Thanks in advance for your time and help. I love this site. Tracey <Do take a scan on/over WWM re these species... best to not let proliferate/cover too much of your LR. Bob Fenner>


Leather coral eaten? - 1/24/08 Hello Bob and crew! <Thanasis. Tee ka'nees?> It has been a long time since our last contact and I would like to say a big "thank you" again for your great help in setting up my first reef aquarium 3 years ago. <Welcome> I have a problem with a Sarcophyton, which I purchased 3 months ago. It has never seemed to be feeling well in my tank, but since 10 days now it looks like it has been eaten by some fish or perhaps it has started to dissolve, I am not sure what is going on. Two days ago I treated it with reef dip (Seachem) but the situation has not changed. <Mmm, I would move it elsewhere... carefully look about it to see if there is a predator present (perhaps a snail, worm...)> I have a Clarkii clown, a Loreto, a Bird wrasse a damsel and a Blue Tang, two Sinularia thriving and many Discosoma and two Crispa anemones (far from the coral). <Mmm, these last could be an influence here> I am attaching a photo of the coral. <Mmm, nothing attached> Tank: 240 lit + 50lit sump-refugium (lots of macro algae) PH 8,4 -8.75 RedOx 320mV Calcium : I can not measure it with the test I have, I have to buy another test kit Alkalinity: 10 kH 2 skimmers (1 Remora, 1 MCE-600 Deltec + ozonizer) Lighting: MH 250W 10.000k <Ideally, place the Sarcophyton in a bare/empty tank on a "pedestal" so it can be more easily observed> 2nd question: what if I bought another clarkii? Would he make the other anemone his host and live in peace with my other Clarkii ? <Mmm, more likely there would be trouble between the new and established Clowns... unless this tank is very large (hundreds of gallons) I would not risk this> Thanks again for the assistance Thanasis , your Greek friend (I could not attend the lecture of Antony Calfo at Athens, but I was informed by other members of our Greek Aquarist Board that it was fantastic!) <Ahh! Will send on to him. Bob Fenner>

Finger Leather problem    5/24/06 Hi,   I have a 90 gallon reef tank using about 500watts of T5, 100lbs live rock, refugium (plants & live sand), and all parameters are in check and constant - the system has been running for over 2yrs.  What I've noticed over the last 2 weeks, is my Finger Leather that has been flourishing, began to turn a slightly different color in some areas and now it looks like some small cuts/holes are appearing. :(  I have identified (at least I think I've identified) flat worms in my system.  I've had this before, but through water changes and siphoning they seem to go undetected.  My concern is, these multitude of small reddish/flat organisms are not what I think and that they are damaging my Finger Leather. <Possibly, but not likely the cause of the cuts you mention>   No other coral/fish is showing any signs of distress.  I'm not a big fan of using something like flatworm exit because I've heard stories where things can go really bad with so many organisms dying... <Yes, this is so> and from what I've been told and read, flatworms shouldn't cause corals/fish any problem.  Is that true? <Yes> Any help suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.  thanks!      Shawn. <Mmm, could be a number of things at play here (other pests, chemical warfare of sorts...), but the easiest, most direct action is to remove/place this soft coral elsewhere if you have another system. If not, a stop-gap measure of water change, activated carbon use, addition of Lugol's... will likely resolve this situation temporarily. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sarcophyton Health (Nudibranch!)   4/1/06 A quick update.  The Sarcophyton seemed to quit recovering and continued to slough very frequently.  Meanwhile, the white spot at the bottom became obviously necrotic.  I was still thinking allelopathy and doubled the skimming (added an AquaPro hang on skimmer since I read bad things about the RedSea skimmer I was using on WetWebMedia) and left the Sarcophyton alone.  I figured the water quality measures couldn't hurt.  Since then, all corals have been growing noticeably each week, (including another green Sarcophyton) except for the sick Sarcophyton which continued to spend most of its time sloughing off.  The necrotic area appeared frayed and growing.  I finally decided to remove the coral, cut out the dead tissue and look for parasites.  What I found appears to be a small, white, 1cm Dendronotid sp. Nudibranch. I don't have much salt water experience, but that's my ID based on my invert reference book.  So, mystery solved.   <Ahh, good to hear.> I removed the Nudibranch and scraped/cut off all necrotic tissue with an Exacto knife.  The knife was not as sharp as I would have liked so I left a film of white tissue in place rather than torture the animal more.  The remaining tissue all seemed firm anyway.  I shook it inverted vigorously in a container of tank water and returned it to its spot.  It immediately stood more erect than it has in two weeks and started extending polyps in under an hour.  I found this amazing after such torture.  Anyway, my question is, other than dosing iodine, water changes, etc'¦ is there anything else that I should do to help the recovery?  Will the remaining film of white skin slough off naturally with the next sloughing cycle?  <Should.  Time will heal this, continue providing good water quality and all should be well.> Thanks for your help and your site.  WetWebMedia FAQs help tremendously when trying to work through these things as a beginner.  <That they do Brett and glad to hear your problem is solved.> Thanks.  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Brett

Leather Coral Health  11/21/05 Hi Guys, Been reading your Website for about six months now. Very helpful. First time question.  I've had this leather coral for about 1 month. It had been expanding nicely, but only for short periods of time, then it stopped expanding. After day 5 of not expanding, I checked it out when the lights were out. Should of done this sooner (duh).  <<"Should have", not "should of" - sorry, I have a friend who does this all the time!  MH>> Found a Dendronotus sp. or Tritonia sp. on the base of the coral. I extracted the sucker with a tweezers and softly brushed the rock rubble it was on for possible eggs in a bowl of display water, and put it back in. This morning It looked like this (see pict.) and hasn't changed. Is it dying? <Maybe...> Or will it come back? <Hopefully> Is there anything I can do? <Optimized, stable water quality, iodine/ide administration (Lugol's), feeding...> All my others corals are fine. and water is optimum. Thanks,
Tom C.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner> 

Pods... undesirable7/5/05 Hi WWM, Recently I'm seeing "ant-like" pods burrowing in my live rock and some of my coral. Two of my soft corals look sick and these pods are crawling in and out where the tentacles of the coral are supposed to be sticking out. Are these pods harmful, <Could be> they seem to come out of their hole just for a split second and look like small red/black ant about the size of 2mm. I freshwater dip one of my live rocks and a whole bunch of them came out swirling, struggled and die in about 15 seconds. Thanks and keep up the good work. Regards, Yik Sing <You might want to look into adding a fish predator that will eliminate a bunch of these crustaceans. There are many choices. Bob Fenner>

Toadstool Leather disease, possible predation I have a toadstool leather that is about 3 years old.  Over the past couple of weeks I have noticed a hole forming in the cap.  The hole is slightly smaller than a dime and is currently about 1.5" deep.  When it first began it looked like detritus was sitting on the cap.  I blew it off, but a day or so later it was back.  It does not appear to be spreading, just getting deeper.  I have not noticed anything in the hole that would be eating it. I am about to get in there and cut the flesh around the hole out to see if that takes care of it.  But found your site and wanted to see what you suggest Thanks, Steve <I suggest close/r observation... I fully suspect you have a predator at play here... possibly just a large Polychaete (bristle) worm... Do use a flashlight to peek in at night... consider netting, trapping out this animal... possibly isolating the soft coral, the eventuality of maybe needing to excise the damaged portion, possibly fragmenting it entirely. Bob Fenner>

Stranded Hydroid! Yikes! 4/7/05 Hello WWM Crew, <howdy> I have a quick question for you regarding a finger leather and a strange set of tentacles coming from it. <yikes! they are not from the leather, but instead are from a stinging hydroid. They can be quite aggressive to other reef creatures and even burn your skin painfully> I have attached a picture of  identical tentacles as what are coming from my leather but am unsure of how to deal with this issue. <manual removal> I have only had the leather for 3 weeks now and it has never extended a single polyp. <Perhaps it's irritated from the hydroid. More importantly... I fear you have added this coral to your tank without a proper quarantine period. Yikes, if so... it's a surefire way to introduce pests and predators to your tank like this hydroid> Every evening these threads come out and they are very intricate which is what led me to believe they were not just mucous. I cannot see anything on the leather itself  by following the threads but there are 6 or 7 coming out. Any help you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Regards, Scott B. <There are many types of hydroids in the world. Some look like corals... some look like algae... others more like jellyfish. Caution with all :) Anthony>

Sick toadstool coral - parasite? Hi Crew, <Hey Matt> My toadstool coral appears sick. Please see attached pic. He closed up last week, and hasn't come back out since. <Not unlike a toadstool to do this, but.....> There are what appears to be bite marks on its flesh.  <Possible stinging, poisoning, or is a clownfish taking up residence in it> There is a Clarkii clown in the tank that has began living in the coral the last few months as though it were an anemone. <I see> Is it possible that he is responsible for the damage? <Yes. Clownfish do bite to stimulate the anemone at times. Check out our forums and ask around in there for more specific information. Keep an eye on the toadstool however, as it has been noted there are some mollusks that burrow into the crown or stalk of this coral and feed from the inside out. May look unsightly, but keep your water quality up and clean out the wound with a syringe or turkey baster and I feel the coral will make a full recovery. Sarcophyton corals are extremely hardy and resilient.> Or is there some other forces at work? <Possible. These corals are also known for closing shop for a few couple of weeks and shedding floc (chemical build-up, digested foodstuffs, etc.) during growth periods. Keep an eye on it and send us an update. Keep a journal if possible. You know, something to reference at a later time just in case you see something like this again. I just thought of something......... I remember Sally Joe over at Graford working to connect clownfish to Sarcophyton corals. Do some research on their site before calling them as they are with limited abilities, trying to save money. (Aren't we all) If you can't find anything specific to your situation then give Lionel a call. I am sure he can relate some stuff he has seen or has heard discussed around the shop. www.garf.org -Paul> Everything else in the tank is doing great. <Glad to hear> Cheers,  Matt
Sick toadstool reply - 7/31/03
Thanks for the reply - I'll check it out right away. <Very well> The coral has actually got quite poorly ..... it is now drooping over, actually bent (kinked) in the middle .... although it is trying to extend the polyps a little bit.  <This is actually a good sign. Is the clown still using this coral as a home? If so, I would remove the coral if possible. Keep the harassment to a minimum. Again if it is extending polyps (even if only partly) then there is hope. > I moved him to a position in the tank where he'll get a bit more water flow across him, <Careful> in hopes it might resuscitate him or something ..... though it hasn't made any difference.  <Keep an eye on it. Give it time and keep high water quality through a regular water change regime. Don't fuss with it much or move it around. Give it time> I'll take a look at that site and hopefully some one there will be able to help.  <Well, in my original email, I meant to do research and identify the interaction of corals and clownfish. More to help and identify if others have had any observations of bites taken out of their Sarcophytons by resident clownfish. There, unfortunately, is no magic recommendation to suddenly turn this corals health around. Water changes and remove every possible hazard as best you can is a good path to recovery. More help in the form of ideas is better though. Good luck -Paul> Cheers,  Matt
Toadstool recovery - 8/7/03
Dear Paul, <Yep, yep, yep> You asked me to keep you updated about the toadstool coral. <I did. Thanks for coming through, Matt!> Well, the last week or so he seems to be getting better. <Yeah. Very good to hear! I did a little research and the yellowish markings around where the damage took place is just a reaction from the coral (kind of like bruising.) Heals really quick. the actual chunks missing could be caused by a coral sting or a bite from a fish. (at least the damage looks consistent with my findings)> Although he hasn't opened up fully again, he is none-the-less opening up a lot more <A resilient coral indeed>.... I'd say he's opening about 60%. The only conclusion that I have come to, based on both my "notions" and on what other folks have said or suggested is this. The Clown took up residence in the coral. Clowns sometimes bite at anemones to 'stimulate' them. Why they do this I do not know, but apparently they do. So, when my mushroom shrunk up, as they naturally do once in a while (I am told), the clown started to bite what he thinks is an anemone in an attempt to make his "anemone" expand again. <As stated in our previous conversations> I just added 2 and 2 together and got 5!!! <Math is funny!> Assuming that the bite marks were damage and this was what caused it to contract ...... rather than the coral contracted and this is what caused it to be bitten. <More the latter, probably.> Now that it is starting to expand again, and I am assuming that there was in fact nothing wrong in the first place, I have relocated the toadstool to its original location - which no doubt will make it contract for the day. But in the mean time, in the last few days, when the coral was opening up again, the clown once again took up residence in it. <Yep. Need to keep an eye on this if not straight away remove the coral or the clown.> I am now fairly confident that the coral will open up again, and the minor damage caused by the clown will heal quickly and fully. <Absolutely.> Thanks for your input. I'll let you know if and when it has returned to its former glory - will send you a pic then of coral and resident clown. <Very good. Did you ever get a chance to talk with Leroy or Sally Jo Headley of GARF? they are very interested in this kind of surrogacy. Thanks for the update. This is a valuable email. Take care - Paul> Cheers,  Matt

Distressed Leather? (Removing An Aiptasia From a Leather Coral) Greeting WetWeb Crew! <Hi there! Scott F. here tonight!> Kudos to you all, for the time and effort that is put into this site. It helps people like me to better enjoy and appreciate this great hobby. <We're thrilled to be here for you...We have as much fun answering your queries as we do playing with our fish!> I've been reading your site now for about a year and have a 90 gallon marine tank for almost as long. My question is about a beautiful new mushroom leather coral I just purchased -Sarcophyton. The crown is about 4 to 5 inches across and is attached to an approximately 2 inch thick "stalk", about 3 or 4 inches long. On the very bottom the stalk is a piece of rock about the size of a quarter. Wedged in-between this piece of rock and the coral are a couple of nasty Aiptasia. Eeek!! If I am very careful, with a sharp scalpel, or Exacto-knife, could I or should I slice a very thin layer of the coral just above the rock, taking the Aiptasia with it? <I have experienced a similar occurrence with a Sarcophyton, and was surprised how easy it was to remove the Aiptasia without damaging the coral. The base of the Sarcophyton is surprisingly "tough", and you can practically scrape the anemone off of the coral without damaging it.> If so, what treatment should follow? <My best advice is to simply maintain very good water quality after this "procedure"> I have read in Anthony's Coral Propagation book that these corals are quite forgiving. I value your advice. What do you think?   Thanks in advance,  Brenda. <They are very forgiving! As Anthony and others have implied, you can practically run 'em through a blender and end up with a new coral. However, they do deserve the highest level of care we can offer, so try to be careful when conducting this "operation". Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Lobophytum Issues - 4/11/03 Greetings guys <Hiya. Paul doin' my best>... I have a new Lobophytum (purchased 3/23/03) in my tank. Up until tonight it had been expanded nicely, and a beautiful golden/pink/brown color, with polyps coming out whenever I checked on it. Tonight, within about an hour, this coral shrank to about half it's original size, and turned an equally beautiful shade of purple. <Does happen if something mucked with it or touched it recently. Are other corals near? Fish? Sometimes does happen. Since you sent this a few days ago, has the situation changed at all?> The only thing that has changed in my tank is that on 4/6, I began to drip Kalk to help raise my calcium levels. <Could have something to do with it being so low and then going up, but likely would have noticed a change in the coral relatively soon after the addition of Kalk not a few days later. How are ya' doin' on your water changes?> I've been using B-Ionic (60 ml/day, each part) for a few months. The tank was started on 10/4/02 with live rock. I began to add fish and corals on 2/16. They consist of two clowns and a yellow tail damsel. The other corals are a small candy cane, and some green star polyps. Water param.s tonight: Temp - 80.2 pH 8.2 SG 1.025 Ammonia 0.0 Nitrite 0.0 Nitrate 0.0 Phosphate 0.0 Calcium 310 <LOW!!!!!> KH 9 <A little low> A little more background - I'm skimming with an ETSS 800 Gemini with an Iwaki 55RLT. Water is turned over by a T4 (about 1100 gal/hr) plus 2 300 gph power heads pulsed on and off randomly. Any thoughts about the devils hand that so radically turned? <Hard to say> Is this a recoverable situation or have I lost it? <very likely not lost at all. Water changes, time may be all the difference. Let me know what you find, and how it turns out> Thanks in advance. <Look to hear from you soon. Thanks for your question and sorry for the lack of a definitive answer, but hard to say. I would not want to put it all on the Kalk. My Lobophytum will sometimes change appearance and shape after tank cleanings, or if something touched it (darn hermits) etc. Keep an eye on it and let me know if it returns back to normal. Pablo> D.T.
Lobophytum follow-up - 4/11/03
Thanks a lot for your reply. <Sorry for its lateness> Since I wrote to you in a panic that night, the lobo has changed for the better. <Well, I figured it would> Just before I went to bed that night, I peeked in again, and thought that it seemed to be a little fuller looking, but didn't want to get my hopes up. The next morning, it was looking 95% better, and last night it's back to it's old self. <Yeah either something bumped it (from a snail on up) It's polyps are out and looking good. <Very well> It is next to a candy cane coral, and the fish do have access to it. <Hmmmmm> Maybe a sweeper from the candy cane touched it? <Could be. I would keep an eye on it if you think there might be a problem.> I don't know. In the rec.aquaria.marine.reefs group, a couple of guys said that their Lobophytum do a similar thing once in a while, but then come back to normal. <I, too, have had similar experiences.> I'm relieved. <Cool> Thanks again for your reply. <My pleasure and sorry for its tardiness> I enjoy your site and trust your answers. <Thank you for your question. Paul> Sincerely Dave Town

Leather Coral feeling poorly! 6/11/03 Hi Anthony, Hope you and all the crew are well! If you don't mind I have need of your advice again. <cheers, Jenny... good to hear from you> If you remember I asked you a while ago about the hard cancerous patch in the centre of my toadstool leather coral. It had been caused by my two percula clowns constantly swimming and living in the corals polyps. You didn't think at the time that it would be harmful but now there seems to have developed a big deep hole in this calcareous patch and the coral is very unhappy. <interesting... and indeed in need of address.> There are also yellow spots/small patches appearing in places on the coral, these show up clearly because the coral is hardly extending it's polyps now where as before they were always out. The coral is also shrinking in size and I wondered if there is something I can do to stop this determination. <clearly the coral and clowns need to be separated. I personally have never liked clowns in a reef aquarium... they often take even less suitable hosts like LPS corals and kill them. Yet... if you are attached to the clowns, we might simply pull the leather and hope they take a cave next> Everything else in the tank appears to be fine and the only parameter that is not as it should be is the ongoing phosphate problem I have always had and that is gradually diminishing with regular RO water changes. I don't think this is the problem though as this coral has lived happily in this environment for a very long time. <agreed... re: such hardy leathers & phosphate> I think the clowns have caused the damage and am thinking of trading them in but wondered This coral can be revived. <yes... easily> Have you any suggestions that might help? <worst case scenario, the necrotic patches can be cut out with a razor or scalpel> There have been no new additions of either fish or inverts to this tank in the last 6 months and it gets regular water changes of about 15% every 2 weeks. <all good :) > Many Thanks - Jenny P.S Do you know when the new book is going to be dispatched? I'm really looking forward to it arriving! <yes... very soon my friend. They have trucks scheduled to begin shipping it in the US the last week of this month. Hoping you'll see your arrive by airmail to UK early July <G>! Kind regards, Anthony>

Toadstool Leather Plaque Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a Toadstool Leather that has always done very well in my aquarium. However, recently I noticed an outbreak of something on the upper part of the “stalk” part of the specimen. It looks like small deposits of a plaque-like substance. It is white in color and porous to the touch. It can be rubbed off but it leaves a white “scar” on the flesh. The Toadstool still stands up straight, but it hasn’t opened its’ little tentacles since I noticed the outbreak. I haven’t been able to find any information that addresses this problem. Please help. Kelli <somewhat general symptom... could be several things. If superficial... could be an incidental sponge or other invertebrate taking residence. If indented, then my suspicion is that it is not pathogenic but rather pest (fish bites, segmented worms, flatworms, etc. nipping and causing necrotic patches). Do observe polyp extension normalcy... if retracted uncommonly for its nature (leathers can have polyps out day and night) pay attention to that photoperiod for a predator. Look closely even with a magnifying glass for camouflaged flatworms. Best regards, Anthony>

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