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FAQs about Stony Coral Health/Disease/Pests 8

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use

Related FAQs: Stony Coral Disease 1, Stony Coral Disease 2Stony Coral Disease 3 Stony Coral Disease 4, Stony Coral Disease 5, Stony Coral Disease 6, Stony Coral Disease 7, Stony Coral Disease 9, Stony Coral Disease 10, Stony Coral Disease 11, Stony Coral Disease 12, Stony Coral Disease 13, Stony Coral Disease 14, Stony Coral Disease 15,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& By Family: Caryophyllid Disease, Fungiid Disease, Faviid Disease 1, Cnidarian Disease, Quarantining Invertebrates,

Coral dying, pix, but no data of use   9/11/08 Hi crew member. I have a 80G tank. I make my own water with RO system from filter guys. My tank numbers are this. 1. Nitrate almost zero 2. Ca ­ 490 <Mmm... a bit high... and what re Mg?> 3. KH ­ 10 dKH 4. Phosphate is at .5 ppm 5. Ph ­ 8.3 I took this water to a LFS and they confirmed the above and say nothing wrong with the water. But one of the soft coral just had a big slime on top of it. <Many "do this" naturally... part. Alcyoniids... thought to be a "cleansing" mechanism, shedding pests, parasites, perhaps predators... Most of the time this material can/should be just vacuumed out...> I don¹t think it is brown slime algae. Unfortunately, I just removed it before taking a picture. So the one that you see in the picture right now is the cleaned coral. The slime was like brown in color. I had a frog spawn a while ago and some bacterial attack removed it completely. I tried to dose some iodine, but I just hope its not too late. My other coral, the LFS calls it Galaxy, looks like a stony coral and was perfect in color. Half of that is gone too. Please help. All this happened overnight. <... Oculinids are "top stingers"... see WWM re their compatibility, systems (placement)> Picture 806 was happening for the past one week. I thought it was lack of calcium or some parameter. <Mmm, no> Only new thing that I added from yesterday was ESV 2 part calcium for the first time. <?> I am attaching the pictures of the corals that are slowly dying. Regards PB <Uhh, a bit more reading, input on your part needed here... Perhaps the presence, situation of the Tubastrea here is somehow involved... Could be the soft coral as well, its exudations, or even mainly/simply some aspect/s of your water quality. Let's have you read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and then here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cniddisfaqs.htm to give you insight, a review of the sorts of information we're looking for. Bob Fenner>
Re: Coral dying  9/11/08 Thanks Bob. I have not measured my Mg. I use Kent Ionic balance. Thought they balance out itself. <Mmm, no> I used Seachem liquid reef calcium and switched to ESV for the first time 3 days ago. <... I would switch back> I took another picture with the brown slime. I am attaching the picture. I understand they could be close by and they are trying to fight from the links that you sent me. But the corals are at least 4-5 inches apart. I have moved them further now. Even after moving the coral under question still continues "decay". Can you please help. Regards,
<Keep reading. BobF>

Re: Coral dying  9/11/08 Bob, Would you suggest ESV product or should I stop using this product? Regards, PB <I have suggested you read. Re the ingredients you're mixing here. B>

Re: Coral dying  9/12/08 Thanks for the help. I moved the corals. The one in question still continues to decay. Will this coral not survive? <Only time can/will tell... Will you stay in the hobby, research what is going on here, future purchases? B>

Coral Health -07/28/08 Hello, I know that one of my questions is going to be one of those questions that no one has a for sure answer for but I must ask anyway to get someone else 's opinion of the situation. I acquired a 120 gallon Salt water system from a friend a while back, I spoke with Bob about it during the setup and moving phase, and as an update I lost 2 small Montipora digitata colonies and a yellow fang blenny during the move. Everything else out of the set up is in tact including all of the acropora colonies which I thought I would surely lose. I was able to save some of the orange Digita but lost it later due to the frags falling off a rock. To the question... when the tank was originally set up at my house the coral polyp extension was great. The baby blue Monti that I had acquired in the deal looked like blue fuzzy tree branches. As well as some of the Acros who had been showing great polyp extension. Here in the recent month or so my Acros do not have the extension they once did and my baby blue Monti hasn't had extension for a great time, several months to be exact. My calcium is in the 360-380 range and my KH has stayed in the 150 - 180 ppm range through this time. Has anyone pinpointed what causes polyp extension, I know it is a mechanism of feeding,... around the weekly range I try to spot feed all the SPS E.S.V. Phytoplankton to entice the polyp extension to little avail. <Not worth it (won't help the underlying problem). Try using oyster eggs. Polyp extension (or lack there of) is, as you likely know, the result of a combination of factors (lighting, feeding, water quality, water flow, etc. etc.). The coral might also simply be adapting to its new environment. If I were you, I'd start feeding oyster eggs (and perhaps other very fine particle meaty food) and just be patient (see what happens).> Also I have a Green Hydnophora that has always had a colony of green zoanthids at the base of it. My pistol shrimp, during his bulldozing adventures, toppled some rock and the Hydnophora was moved. When I moved it It began rapid tissue necrosis. <Typical... these corals do not like to be moved (not even from one part of a tank to another).> I can not take credit for the save,... but by some divine act the piece made it through the ordeal without a major loss. <Cool. Oddly enough, also typical for this coral. Though they hate to be moved, they are also known for some miraculous recoveries.> (the colony stands about 5 inches and I lost about an inch from the bottom) I did not cut the colony and the zoanthids have been slowly making their way up the base. Now at this point it seems that the zoanthids have spread to the beginning of the living Hydnophora tissue. Is this a cause for concern? <Hmm... probably not. These corals are fierce.> At the back portion I have noticed the Hydnophora has split the zoanthids... or kept them from spreading, by spreading down the base where the bare skeleton is. <not surprising> Last question I swear, I've been researching and saving them ;). I want to purchase a calcium reactor to help ease the pain of trusting someone with my tank while I am on vacation,... ok ok.. I just want one. Anywho I have plans to put in a 375 gallon tank in the next 6 - 8 months, and use my current 120 for a refugium. I want to buy a reactor that would be big enough for this system, probably a Korallin C-3002. Would this be a bad idea to place a 800gal reactor into a ~200 gallon system? If I did this what adjustments should I plan on making to it off the bat? <Oh, hmm... best I can do here is redirect you to http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcreactors.htm Please see the FAQs and related articles.> Thanks guys, Your always a huge Help!!!! Adam <Thank you, Sara M.>

Brains on the demise, cause/s?   6/10/08 I love you web site. You have answered many many questions that I have had. This should be a simple question I hope for you. I have a 70 gallon salt water tank for 3 years with 60 lbs of live rock. I have a yellow tang two clown fish, a Banggai cardinal and two cleaner shrimps. I have added a open brain coral and a closed brain coral. I have an orbit 4x65w compact florescent light. I have glass on the top of the tank. The open coral is losing some of his color and I was wondering if it might be because the glass is on top. <Mmm, likely a lack of useful light energy is a factor here... the glass may be part of this> All the water conditions are within range for these corals. <Need values> There is also a piece of Plexi glass that is on the orbit light as well. Should I remove the thick glass that I have on top of the aquarium to let the light through better. <I would try this> I couldn't find anywhere on the net that tells you if it is okay to have glass on top of your aquarium. Thanks very much for your help. Keith <... and you do feed this Trachyphylliid, Mussid... and have read re on WWM? Bob Fenner>

Brown Jelly Disease -03/17/08 Hi, I have a couple of questions.. I do believe my one frog spawn has brown jelly disease.. Should this be removed from the tank and quarantined? <It depends on how bad it is. Moving it now might make things worse. If it's progressing rapidly, your only hope might be to frag off the infected parts.> Does this disease spread to other corals? <Yes and no, it's a complicated question actually. Think of this disease as an infection a bit like one a person might get from a dirty wound. The infectious agents can spread, but usually won't infect an otherwise strong, healthy coral.> And last but not least how can I go about curing this disease.. <There's unfortunately not much you can do except perhaps gently siphoning off the "jelly", increasing water flow to the coral, and generally making sure your water parameters are as ideal as possible. Running some activated coral and increased skimming might also help. Again, if it's bad enough, you should consider immediately fragging off the infected parts.> Thanks Trish <De nada, Sara M.>

How to identify what is killing these 2 Corals... Actinarian allelopathy, lack of reading    3/3/08 Hi Crew, <Sammy> I have 2 corals, a Horn Coral and a Moon Coral, in my 175 gal tank that seems to be slowing dying and I am hoping you can point me to what I should be looking for. <Uhh, there's something else here... in the upper left... an Actinarian...> Here is a view of the tank showing the position of both corals. Here are closer up shots of the 2 corals. Here, you can see clearly that sections are completely dead. Part of it has the purple coralline algae growing on it already. Below is a shot taken in mid November and it was in much better shape, although there were already signs of decay in the shadowed parts. This moon coral was placed on the ledge under the anemone to the left of the 1st photo. <Uhh, yes...> As the anemone grew, it was getting too close to the moon coral causing one edge to die. <Yes, and that's not all> I have moved it 2 months ago to this location. But the decay seems to be progressing, especially towards the top left side. Here is an older shot taken end of last November when it was still placed under the anemone. <A mistake> Both corals are under 14K halide almost directly and getting lots of light. Water parameters seems to be normal, with calcium at 440ppm, NO3 ~10, pH 8.3, temp 76F. I had a calcium reactor running about 3 months ago and I stopped dosing iodine and strontium. Should I continue to do so? <What do your tests for these show?> I am using Carib Sea Aragonite and I thought it has iodine in it. <... no> Another change was the addition of a Sea Apple 4 weeks ago, as you can see towards the lower right of the first photo. Since adding the sea apple, I have been feeding 30cc Phyto Feast once a day. I wonder if the Sea Apple <Toxic...> is poisoning these 2 corals. <Not likely... all would be dead> My other corals seem to be fine, however. One other thing I noticed is that all my string worms have gone hiding from the surface of the sand since the addition of the Sea Apple. I don't know if it is the Sea Apple or the frequent feeding of Phyto Feast. I have reasonably good water flow and the Sea Apple is quite far away from these two corals. Another thing I have noticed is this coral. This shot was taken at night, so the polyps have already retracted. But you can see that the color is brown. This coral was pink when I bought it. Here is a photo taken early October last year. I wonder if this is related to the 2 dying corals. I hope I can still save these 2 corals. Your advice is greatly appreciated. Sammy <... I'd be removing the Cuke, and reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm, the linked files above... and re Anemone Compatibility period... You have iatrogenic (self-caused) troubles here. Bob Fenner>

Coral eater 2/24/08 Hi, Yesterday I didn't feed my tank for the night and by today morning, I lost half my frog spawn. The frog spawn was 100 bucks. Can you tell me how to catch the predator or can you point to a list of predators for reef? Any help would be appreciated guys. <Are you sure the coral isn't just dying? Hermits can be predators when they get hungry enough, but I'm not sure how likely it is that they'd eat half a coral colony overnight. And most things that eat coral you would have likely witnessed already (especially if it were consuming so much so quickly).> Regards, PraKash <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Coral eater -02/24/08 Hi Sara, Thanks for the quick reply. If the coral was dying how could it have died so much over night? <It's quite possible. It's not unusual for corals to suffer something called "Rapid Tissue Necrosis" or "RTN." Once they get this, they can completely die within less than 24hrs. Here's some more info on the condition: http://www.reefs.org/library/article/rtn.html > I have removed 6-7 hermits from the tank 2 weeks ago thinking they were the predators. Can long nose hawk, sail fin tang, Anthias fishes be predators? <highly unlikely> If the coral was dying what could be the cause? Ca 500PPM, 11dkh, 8.2 Ph. I have never checked for Mg. Can you please help? <Oh geez, it could be a lot of things. What is your salinity, temp? It could simply be the shock of being in a new tank if it wasn't acclimated slowly enough. How old is the tank? Are there any other corals near the Euphyllia? Btw, unless this is a rather large colony, $100 more than I'd pay for this coral.> Regards, PraKash <Best, Sara M.>

Snail eating coral? Possibly. Remove? Definitely! 2/3/08 Hello Crew, <Hi there!> I recently purchased an order of hard/ soft corals from GARF and have found two snails on what I believe to be Seriatopora guttatus or Stylophora pistillata. <Uh oh.> I broke the snails free and the coral was completely bleached underneath. <Ouch!> I'm assuming that this is just because they stayed there for such a long time. <Could be.> There is no trail of bleaching leading me to think that the snail is feeding on the coral, but I have never seen a type of snail that stays on a coral so long as to bleach it. Any input? <Yep, any snail that damages a coral like that has to go! After looking at the photos, I can tell you that it's not Drupella cornus, a snail species with a taste for the two corals you mentioned, plus others. Unfortunately, there are many other coral-eating snails, and I can't quite see enough detail in the photos to tell if yours is one of them. As mentioned before, I'd go the safe route and get rid of them.> And one more semi-related question, when do you decide that a bleached coral (Acropora sp.) no longer has a fighting chance? <When algae starts growing on it. Take care. --Lynn>

Coral bleaching and tissue loss 10/16/07 Hello, On Friday I awoke to a tank with all my LPS closed up tight as a drum, except a torch that is about a week old. My monti's and Acro's were colorless and no polyps extended at all. My crocea was even closed up. A couple of very small zoanthid colonies were closed as well. A small toadstool leather with really long polyps was closed up and bent over lying its head on the rock. Even some calcareous macro algae is pretty much white. <That's really strange.> My frogspawn looks like the tissue around the base of the head just disintegrated. There is some stringy web looking strands where the flesh used to be. I also have a very small blue mushroom rock with just a few mushrooms on it. All the corals are mostly frags so it is very easy to keep them away from each other right now. I keep Chaeto in a fuge and do not have any Caulerpa in my tank. I tested and all my params were normal for my tank, all using fairly fresh Salifert test kits. pH 8.4 No Phosphate Nitrate 0.2ppm Temp 79 Salinity 1.025 Ca 350 kH 9.0 I have a 100 gallon tank that is 10 months old. I top off with Kalkwasser via a float switch in the sump and keep all my params pretty consistent. The only weird thing I can say is that the torch would spew brown stuff from its mouth in the evening some times. I assumed it was extra zooxanthellae or some other waste that it was purging. It is the only coral that looks halfway normal right now. I have done three 7 gallon water changes and have put a bunch of carbon in a reactor and am hoping for the best. <Good plan, except I would do a bigger water change (maybe 30%).> It was just weird to me that everything in the tank got hit all at once. <That is weird. It sounds like either something chemical or maybe a sudden spike/drop in temperature or pH. Do you have any larger colonies or any relatively larger animal which could have spawned? Spawning events can cause something like this, but this wouldn't happen with frags. Another thought is that maybe you had some kind of toxic animal that died (maybe something you didn't know you had). Um, or maybe something fell into the tank? Do you have any kids who could have mistook your aquarium for a wishing well? I have heard of mass die-offs overnight, but usually something new was recently added or there was some other possible explanation.> With such small colonies I thought I would not have many problems with chemical warfare. Does this sound like what can happen with allelopathy? <It definitely sounds like it could be something chemical, but I can't say specifically what it could be. It could also be a drop or spike in temperature. Is there any chance of that?> I am just shocked at how quick and severe this has been. <It is rather odd. Do keep us undated.> Thanks, James <Good luck, Sara M.>
Re: Coral bleaching and tissue loss 10/16/07
Thanks for the reply. This is where a reef log would come in handy right? <Yes and no. A reef log is helpful, but it might not help you discover a very sudden change.> My tank normally runs around 81 but has dipped down to 79 with the cooler weather around here lately. Would a couple of degrees cause this? <No, and especially not if it were over a few days or even hours. It would have had to be a sudden drastic drop (or spike) to cause this kind of sudden damage. For example, a drop down to <70 or a spike to >90 within an hour might do it. Keep thinking though. It's got to be something. Did anyone smoke or light incense near your skimmer maybe? Any bitter ex-girlfriends? :-) Best, Sara>
Re: Coral bleaching and tissue loss 10/16/07
There are a few out there but none with access to my house. I changed the locks when I got married ten years ago. Ha. <Haha, good.> No temperature swings that drastic. The only thing I can think of is that I make my RO/DI water in the wash room, maybe something got in the water in there. I will dump the Kalk reservoir and put new water in there just in case. <Good idea. I think it's very possible that something from the wash room got in there. Even just the tiniest bit of detergent or bleach could cause a big problem.> Thanks for the emails. <De nada and good luck, Sara M.>
Re: Coral bleaching and tissue loss-- mystery solved! 10/16/07
I found my culprit. Are you ready for this.... <Yes, I think so...> I had the business end of a DC adapter fall into my sump. I noticed a black cord with a funny green lump on the end of it. Pulled it out and there it was, a nice corroded DC plug. I am going to assume that the green corroded stuff was copper, which is now in my tank along with who knows what other kind of metals. <Oh wow, that really sucks. It did sound like some kind of copper or heavy metal contamination. That's why I asked if anyone had thrown coins into your tank. But next time, seriously, please don't be reaching into salt water to grab unknown cords, ok? We'd all be really sad if next time you didn't live to tell us about it. ;-)> I am going to do a 20 gallon water change tonight. I am still running the carbon. I wish I had some poly pad but I don't. Anything else I should do here? I guess I should move my corals to a friends tank if they will take them. <I wouldn't give them to a friend until after you can QT them for awhile. If you can, put them in a QT tank a.s.a.p and do a 100% water change in the main tank. I know that's going to be a pain, but I don't think you're going to have much choice. Get a copper text kit a.s.a.p and see just how much copper is in the water. Best, Sara M.>
Re: Coral bleaching and tissue loss--heavy metal contamination 10/16/07
I have a tank that I am mixing my 20 gallons of water in. Should I move my corals to that clean water right away? I can take one of my pendants off my tank to light it as well. The temp and salinity will match the existing system. <Yes, I think this would be a good idea. Best, Sara M.>

Corals are dying, please help!!!  -- 08/27/07 Hi, guys, How is everything? <fabulous, thank you> Hope you're having a great summer. <indeed> All your advice has been right on the money, you've helped us more than once, and it has worked wonderfully. Wanted to thank you. All was going quite well until June. Turning to you again, because things are on a down-slide to such an extent that I am not sure how to remedy the situation. <Sorry to hear that, let's see if I/we can help'¦> To refresh, we have a 1-year-old 55 gallon tank, with a 45 gallon sump/fuge system. On your advice we've replaced crushed coral substrate with a 3-inch sandbed, and added about the same into the refugium. We installed a nice overflow system, built a powerful spray injection skimmer, added halides and new actinics. We also purchased a new RO/DI system, and have a large tub of water on hand for all kinds of emergencies.<excellent> My husband also designed an automatic top-off system that allows gradual addition of RO water to the sump. The lighting is on several timers, simulating sunrise/sunset/dusk/ moonlight. The fuge is illuminated from 9 am till 8 pm by a small set of old fluorescents. Nitrates went from 10 to zero. Phosphate is zero. Calcium is continuously replaced on "as needed" basis (helping corals grow and keeping phosphate down). Water harness is also checked, and is within normal limits. We have a "copepod central" in the "fuge"! I think the starfish that lives there also reproduced recently (we have mini-stars in the main tank, as of last week). For about 4 months the tank was on autopilot, requiring only routine maintenance and monitoring. All water parameters, except for temperature are ideal. The temperature has been very difficult to control this summer. We have no AC, but the tank is shielded in the bedroom which has north-west exposure and hardly ever gets any sun, except before sunset. A chiller at this very moment is financially prohibitive. <How about a cheap in-window air conditioner from ::sigh:: Wal-Mart? I've seen some of them sold for even <$100. This would probably make you more comfortable too, no?> 30% water changes were done three times this summer to control temperature. So far we lost the birdsnest, green slimer, sun coral, and a couple of other SPS frags, a flowerpot, and about half of the Galaxea. <yikes> Our 3-inch coral banded shrimp and coral beauty angelfish are also dead. Nothing else seems to be affected. The green hair algae are taking over now, even though phosphates and nitrates cannot be detected with ANY system. <Here's the thing about measuring nitrates and phosphates when you have algae 'problems': it's quite likely that the algae are the very reason why your nitrates and phosphates are undetectable. The algae is likely sucking up these nutrients fast enough to effectively deplete them from the water. This is good for your water quality (hence the idea behind the algae scrubber filter), but will still leave you with the algae to deal with.> We tried to keep a sea hare, but it didn't eat anything, and died within two weeks, and a large snail soon followed its fate. The yellow tang does not touch the stuff either. The filaments are soft and long, just like baby hair, and grows in tufts or clumps on live rock, corals, anything it can get hold of. <Yep, sounds like hair algae.> Coralline algae also took off like crazy. <Hmm'¦ not a good sign. What exactly are your calcium and alkalinity measurements?> The last three months we have seen some bleaching of the corals, some bleach from base to tips, and some, like the bird's nest started bleaching at the tips in just one area but moving rapidly over the entire coral. Then, the green hair algae move in to cover the dead skeleton. <typical> All the SPS frags we had are now dead. The sun coral was next. <Well, you certainly picked some challenging corals for a tank that's only a year old. Don't get anymore SPS or sensitive corals for now.> A white spot forms on one fragment of the coral. No slime, nothing! Within a week or two that coral is completely white and "dry". We were going crazy, looking for nitrates, phosphates, anything. But the water parameters are still textbook. <Ideal parameters depend a lot on the kinds of corals you keep. You've set up a very complicated situation with so many different kinds of coral in a relatively small tank.> The green hair algae has taken over a large portion of the live rock, and some in the sump. The phosphates are ZERO, but the Chaetomorpha in the refugium grows like there's no tomorrow. Two weeks ago my husband cleaned out a "cube" of it that has taken over and assumed the shape of the fuge. He left just a small clump. Today this clump has more than tripled in size. We can't find anything wrong with the water. My husband is so frustrated he wants to take the hammer to the thing. A coworker of mine who has a bit of salt water aquarium experience says that it is simply a "cycle", and it will "weather over". This is one costly "cycle"! <Well, everything is a 'cycle' of sorts. Your tank is struggling to adapt to an excess of nutrients. What are you feeding the tank? How much and how often?> Today I woke up and found the "elegance" coral pulled out of its skeleton, laying against the back wall of the tank under the rocks. <Yes, this happens when corals are extremely stressed. It can re-grow the skeleton, but under greatly improved conditions.> I have some mushrooms, zoos, a candy coral, and a brain coral, and none of them are affected. <These are tougher corals. You'd almost have to try to kill mushrooms and zoanthids. I think, for now, you should stick with tougher corals. But don't get any leathers (not if you keep the LPSs).> I do not know what to think about the "elegance", I never thought that they are able to migrate. But its skeleton is in one place and it is in a totally different spot. <It's extremely stressed. It's not dead, but getting there'¦> I have a yellow tang, a clarkii clown, diamond spotted goby, and a yellowtail damsel. <Your tank is much too small for a yellow tang. This might also too many fish for a small reef tank. Reef tanks do best with a minimum number of fish.> The clown hosted the elegance until last night, and she looks confused and restless now. <I assure you that the elegance is not pleased either.> We tried to "starve" the algae by reducing feedings and decreasing halide lighting time. <Right idea'¦ wrong implementation.> The orange diamond goby has lost a TREMENDOUS amount of weight-- it looks like a little tadpole skeleton now. I cannot in good conscience starve him to death, so I picked up the feedings again. <I'm not entirely sure lack of food is what's causing him to starve.> I am at my wits end, and do not know what to do. We are doing everything by the book, but somehow things are not working out. <Yikes, which book?!> I read the material on your website, but nothing has really helped. Just "checking off" everything as I read it: yes, doing that, and that, and that.... <::sigh::> I am thinking, there may be a parasite...or starfish offspring...or hair algae toxin.... or is the water test kit lying? I've looked up info on the green hair algae can survive on as little PO4 as 0.05 ppm. Our kit does not go that low. But I know that spa places offer phos test kits that read in ppb. Would this test kit work on salt water? Is there a low-range test kit for nitrates, and who makes it? And the biggest question is. . . how can I "starve" this green "monster" if my fish are suffering? Please help!! <Ok, here's what I think you should do: 1) don't add anymore coral or fish! 2) if possible, find another home for the yellow tang 2) decrease MH light over the main tank to 7hrs a day (mostly to control heat) 3) leave the light on the sump (and Chaeto) 24/7 4) decrease feeding to only what is absolutely necessary to feed your fish. Now that you don't have any SPS left (correct?) you can commit to keeping an LPS/soft coral mixed tank. Your calcium should be around 350ppm and your alkalinity should be about 3 to 4 meq/L. What salt mix are you using? Are you adding anything else in terms of supplements, additives, etc.? And just how high is the temp in the tank? Try to think of the overall picture rather than the 'check list.' You have a system with excess nutrients. This is what's causing your hair algae. You're never going to completely deplete your tank of nutrients (and you don't want to). What you want is to control what gets the nutrients and what doesn't. You want the Chaeto, coralline algae, and corals to use the nutrients, not the hair algae. Hair algae won't grow over coralline. So if you can get that back and growing strong, that will help. If you can get the Chaeto to grow more and even faster, it will compete with the hair algae for nutrients. Your mushrooms and zoanthids can help too. Basically, you want to create ideal conditions for the things you do want so they can out-compete the things you don't want.> Thank you! Nina <De nada, Sara M.>

Candy cane/ torch coral loss, help please!  8/23/07 Hi Crew, I have a 37 gallon salt water reef tank. My nitrates are in the o.k. range, and my filtration system is (2) 50 gallon aqua clear filters, lighting is coral life, 30in 130 watt fixture, (1) T-5 30in 36 watt fixture, salinity perfect, 50 lbs of live rock. I have torch coral that shrivels, falls apart, dies one head at a time, (no brown slime). I also have been battling red algae (with frequent water changes & rock cleaning) which seems to also be on the stem of the torch coral. <These events may be related...> I do maintain an arsenal of snails in the tank. How can I salvage what is left of my torch coral?? <Break off the living heads, or the dead ones... move the live part/s to another system> I also have candy cane coral which appears to have some sort of pale yellow calcified growths with one small tube protruding out per growth. The growth surrounds the base of the heads and at this point I have lost 3. The growth is starting to appear on the live rock at various points in the tank. What should I do to save the rest of my coral and do I need to eradicate the growth, and if so, how?? Thanks, JP <"Frag momma frag, whatcha gonna do?" Need to discern what the real/root cause/s of the trouble in this one system is/are... and fix... "Small systems are hard to keep stable, optimized"... Perhaps a cursory reading on WWM re toxic tanks will bring something live to your consciousness. Bob Fenner>

Chunk of salt on stony coral...   8/8/07 I've got a predicament, while feeding my fish yesterday my 6 year old nephew tossed in a chunk of salt out of the bucket and it landed right on my open brain coral. A lot of it's flesh came off and I was wondering if it could come back from being burned like it was. <Hopefully so> Needless to say my nephew now knows now to put anything at any time in my tank. Thanks a fellow fish geek. <Only time can/will tell... Bob Fenner>

Mysterious Coral Bleaching, Not Such A Mystery (Antibiotics Administered To The Display System) -- 08/08/07 Dear WWM Crew, <<Hello Bill>> Please lend me your thoughts. <<Sure thing>> Recently (within the past week) I noticed two Montipora corals in my tank that have been acclimated and growing well begin to bleach. Within the past two days a few small Pocillopora and Acropora began to bleach as well and polyps hid. <<Mmm, an environmental issue of some sort>> I've checked the tank parameters - everything seems rather on par -- 75 gallon tank -Alkalinity - 4.2 (may be a bit high?) <<Considering you Calcium is over 400...yes, a bit>> -Calcium - 420 -Nitrate - 0 -Temp - 74 - 76 night and day <<Probably fine but a little on the cool side in my opinion>> -SG- 1.024 <<Better than many I've seen but bumping to NSW levels (1.025/1.026) is best>> -Lighting - 2 * 250 10K, 4 * 96 actinic. All the corals have loved the light to this point. <<Unless the bulbs are 'very' old this is likely not the issue>> I think my problem may be one of two things, or a combo of both. I used a cycle of "Chemi Clean" Cyanobacteria remover which threw my protein skimmer way out of cycle. <<Ugh! It has done much more harm than that I fear...you have likely wiped out much of your biological filtration. You didn't list an Ammonia reading but you need to check this right away...as well as preparing/performing large water changes and adding chemical filtration (Carbon/Poly-Filter/Chemi-Pure) to try to keep the buildup of nitrogenous compounds under control until bacteria has a chance to repopulate>> It is creating massive amounts of micro-bubbles so I haven't been able to run it properly. <<Possibly overcome by the increased organics load...perhaps you can adjust it 'down' a bit>> I am doing a third partial water change today (in the last week) to try to remove excess chemicals so I can get my skimmer running normally (not overflowing the collection cup constantly). <<The water changes probably explain why your Nitrate reading was zero. Do try to get the skimmer back in service...perhaps throttling it back a bit to slow down the overfilling of the skimmer cup>> There is also one leather coral in the tank, could the lack of chemical filtration for the past two weeks, or that in conjunction with the leather emitting toxins be killing these previously healthy corals? <<Is definitely a contributor...at the very least is exacerbating the situation. Get some chemical filtration going!>> Any advice? <<Yes...don't administer antibiotics to your display system...and start reading here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm>> Thanks! Bill <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Mysterious Coral Bleaching, Not Such A Mystery (Antibiotics Administered To The Display System) - 08/10/07
Eric, <<Bill>> Thank you for the thoughts and advice. <<You're quite welcome>> I will NEVER use any Cyano "solution" again. <<Are surely trouble...>> The day before I received your email I placed carbon and Chemi-pure in my sump. <<Excellent! Though do consider a purposeful reactor/canister filter for such to achieve maximum effect>> Yesterday the skimmer began working again (it wasn't working at the lowest flow setting previously) for the first time after another partial water change and two days of the carbon/Chemi-pure in the sump. <<Mmm...a good sign>> Question - now that the skimmer is running how long should I leave the carbon/Chemi-pure in the sump for additional filtration as I do not want to remove trace elements for too long? <<I prefer to 'always' have some chemical filtrant in my system (I employ two reactors with cut-up Poly-Filter on my 375). I feel the benefits far outweigh any small loss of trace elements...and the latter is of very small/no concern really with regular water changes. In fact, there have been writings on the possible buildup of trace elements to toxic levels in our 'enclosed' systems as many of these elements can enter our tanks through different avenues, not the least of which is the foods we feed>> Thanks Again, Bill <<Always happy to help. Eric Russell>>

Coral Recession... Merulina - 08/05/07 Hi, <Hi Brian, Mich with you again.> You helped me identify this a few weeks ago and it had been doing fine. Now I am noticing some recession. <I am not surprised. This coral is not generally not easily kept in captivity. Merulina often suffer from tissue recession, bleaching, decalcification and overall failure to thrive and the causes are seldom well understood.> Any ideas? <Tissues may be compromised by sediments and contact with other corals> What can I do to slow, stop it? <Is difficult to say, as the causes are not often able to be determined. You will need to keep sediment off of this coral. Keeping your water quality as high as possible with frequent water changes and regular carbon replacement may help. Borneman recommends generally leaving this coral alone and untouched. He further recommends keeping this coral under strong lighting and a good distance from any potential allelopathic organisms. Merulina grow quite slowly so if, and a big if here, it does recover it will likely take a good bit of time. I'm sorry, I wish I had better news for you.> See attached pic. <Got it. Thanks, Mich>

Coral Recession... Merulina - 08/05/07 <Hello again Brian, Mich here.> Guess I deserve it for not doing my research before I purchased. <We are all human and hopefully we learn and grow from our mistakes.> Need to practice what I preach. <Yes, don't we all?> Actually we need a mobile solution to be able to look something up at a LFS in the case we see something we like that we do not know what it is. Here's an idea for a new web site. <<RMF has seen some shops making Net access avail... where folks can easily "look up" at least what there is to find thus>> You email a picture of a coral and it emails back info about it. Just need a coral identifier system :). <Heehee! Actually Jake Adams is working on a mobile coral reference guide that can be down loaded to your MP3 player. See his website here: http://www.coralidea.com  I hope you find this helpful. Mich>

Re: Black Band Disease?? Time, almost past time, to read   7/29/07 Bob, <Elsa> Sorry, I'm just so worried about this disease in my tank that sometimes I forget to go into the specs of my tank. I usually test for Salinity - 24 <Mmm... as in 1.024? Too low... see WWM> Nitrate - 20 <Too high... ditto> PH - 8.4 Calcium- 420 <Alkalinity? Magnesium?> I give phytoplankton to my Lobophyllia, open brains, I have a green and a red one. I also feed my clam phytoplankton. <... They don't eat this> I inserted pictures of the sick corals in hopes that maybe you can tell me what this is. Thanks Again Elsa <Environmental troubles... see WWM... re Scleractinian Health... the Systems, Compatibility, Feeding of all the species you have. BobF>

RTN Question -- 5/25/07 Hello and happy Friday,   <Hi there and happy Saturday!> I have a couple of questions regarding RTN.  Can RTN spread to other corals?   <RTN (Rapid Tissue Necrosis) is more a description of the condition than the name of a specific disease, akin to renal failure as opposed to Polycystic Kidney Disease.  So could it spread?  All depends on the causative agent.  More info here and the related links in blue:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corldisfaqs.htm > I have a pink birds nest coral that grew to the point where one of the branches pushed against the rock it was glued to, and dislodged itself while I was on vacation.   <St. Murphy at work again!> I noticed that some of branches tips were starting lose their color so I reattached it, it got worse so I fragged it.   <A reasonable move.> The fragged coral seems to still be turning white from the base upwards on all of the frags, then one of my Montipora cap started to discolor in the middle of the cap about a month ago, and has lost some of the tissue in that area, and has spread to the outer rim. <Sounds like zooxanthellae expulsion, perhaps there is an environmental issue at work here.>      I have gotten back to changing out 10% of my water/wk and running a magnum 250 with carbon.  My water parameters: 150-Gallon Tank Nitrate 0 Phosphate 0 Calcium 400 Alk 10 Temp 77-79 Salinity 1.025 Magnesium 1200 <OK.> Can a build up of salt creep on the top of the tank if dislodged kill corals, or burn them?   <Oh, yes.> I've made corrective action to minimize this just in case. <Good.> I have a couple of soft corals Xenia that's uncontrollable <Heeee!  Often the case!> 7 different types of Acros that are unaffected A couple Milli's (one showing signs that a small area on one branch might be effected. A couple of Red Monti Cap (both are now dying) <Uh oh!> I feed Nori 1-2 times/day for my powder blue tang, and Foxface .  I use Selcon one a week A mixture of frozen Cyclop-eeze, formula 1, formula 2, sweetwater zooplankton, frozen Mysis 2 times/week. Am I missing something that I should be feeding my SPS here? <Seems like a good variety.> I know it's not predatory, and I changed out one of my halide lights because it was over 12 months old. <All sounds good.> Can pruning xenia cause in increase in allelopathy and cause this?   <For the most part, Xenia is one of the least toxic corals, but a few species do produce a chemical that is capable of damaging stony corals.> I have to prune this thing every few days or it'll take over all of the lighting at the top of the tank. <Xenia can be invasive.> Thanks for help, <Welcome!  Mich> -David  

MH Tweaking   3/31/07    Hello there, <Hi from HI>     I bother your crew way to <too> much so I will be short and to the point. <Sort of like me!> 125G display, all SPS, predominately Acros.  Previously ran 3X400W radium 20Ks but my corals became very pale some bleached at the tops on an 8 hour photo period 14" from the surface. <Yikes... ever try placing your face this close to these lights?> I downgraded to 3X250W 20K Radiums, they run 9 hours @ 10" from the surface, and while the undersides and deeper Acros show more color, the higher placed corals are still very pale. <Mmm... have you heard of the term "photo-acclimation"?> I don't have a single coral in my tank I would consider "stunning"  they were all "stunning" when I bought them, however they quickly grow very pale. <Can/could be a few "things" at play here...> I have tried adjusting the height however it takes so long to notice any change I feel fairly lost. <The lighting needs to "start" higher, screened, electronically dimmed... the animals lower... however less-intense initially... graded to brighter over a few weeks time...> My question is having ruled out all other factors like chemistry/flow/etc. and being fairly confident my problem is related to Photo period/distance from water, what suggestions would you give me as a place to start and how long would you give it to notice positive change? <Mmm, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above> Is there something else I am missing in regards to this pale plague? <Mmm, could be... as stated, there are other possibilities... and you've presented no real data re actual measures, set-up, maintenance... Not a mind reader... but do have very strong intuition at times> Color aside the Milli's grow .5-.75"/month, the Montis grow like weeds, even the very thick branched Acros are growing at a very pleasing rate, they just look like crap. <Can you define this? Or send a pic? Not of the fecal material... Heeeee!> All frags show low/medium daytime extension and crazy full bloom moonlight extension. <Okay>    Any guidelines or pointers would be great.  The only other piece of info that's relevant is that I did start the new 250s at about 20" and brought them down 1" per week until they hit 10-11" <Oh! Well that's an equine of a different hue altogether... Perhaps there is some sort of allelopathy at play here... Again, you don't present a stocking list...>   I don't know WWM crew, getting pretty frustrated.  Thanks for your time,    Jeff <Guess so. BobF>
Re: MH Tweaking, pale scleractinians...   4/1/07
  SG: 1.026   PH 8.3ish   dKH 10ish     CA  400ish <Mmm... what is your Magnesium? Easy for this to get out of balance with Kalk use, some types of melted media in Calcium reactors>   20G water changes every Sunday   I only keep a couple of fish (pair of black percs, pair of F. Pseudo's, Six Line.  I have a peppermint shrimp, 2Xskunk cleaners, and a pistol.   Flow is achieved with a Oceans Motions 4 way on a 4800GPH External Pump.   I under skim slightly, using a 240G rated skimmer on about 300ish gallons   I run a CA reactor and drip Kalk.  CA reactor maintains about 10.2 dKH   Kalk is only about 5G per week.  but holds the PH and CA steady.   I have undetectable Nitrate/trite/PO4   All water is with RO/DI with a TDS of 0   The 300g system is split 125G display, 80G sump, 75G fuge, and a little 25g AquaPod for a Mantis species only. <All this sounds/reads very well/as good...>   All in all I feel like I have built a good system and I have good husbandry, I just have pale corals.  I don't use any additives at all except about 1.5ml of P. Iodide daily <Mmm, I would add this only once a week... during water changes... This alone could be "the" problem here... I would not add Iodine/ide/ate more often than this unless you had good tests for, and a real need...> or at least when I remember to.  I feed the corals reef chili about 2 or 3 times per week.  I have a wide variety of Acro species (maybe 12 different) plus Pocillopora, Pavona, Montipora, all of which are pale in color.  Bleachish tips, pale branches. <Mmmm...>    I hope this provides the extra info you were looking for,  thanks again for your time. <And lastly... am sure your water temperature is rather stable... Thank you for this further information, follow-up. I would expand your feeding menu here... including the addition of vitamins, HUFAs (like with the use of a product like Selcon). Bob Fenner>

Coral/Health 3/20/07 Hi there, hope you're doing great! <I am, had a little bout with water myself last Sunday.> I'm looking for a little advice. <Shoot> I purchased 3 LPS corals 2 weeks ago, a "Blasto", a "candy cane" and a small red open brain. I set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank, with a HOT filter and 96W power compact light. The tank was not cycled, though I threw in some sand from my display aquarium. I am also doing bi-weekly 20% water changes, and checking for ammonia which has been zero, nitrates about 5 ppm. Calcium is at 250ppm (low, I know), Alkalinity 11 KH. <Need to get this up to 350-400.> I supplemented only with a little buffer as I normally have for my display (only recently started adding some calcium to the display tank). The 1st week the brain looked beautiful, and I fed it almost daily, and then....Bam! <Not necessary feeding daily, two to three times weekly will suffice as the corals do produce much of their own food with proper lighting, water conditions.> It started looking like crap. No longer inflating, receding from the skeleton, and this morning I noticed some necrotic tissue at one end (right side of photo if you look closely) which is progressing. The other 2 corals seem to be ok, the Blasto looks great, and the candy cane "so so", <Candy canes generally do not bloom until the evening hours after lights are out. At least mine behaves in this manner.> but that's the way I bought it. I have been reading everything I can about these corals for months, and have a beautiful green open brain that is thriving in my display tank for over a year! <Awesome.> I guess my questions are 1) is there something I can do? 2) Is it dead, and how can I tell? 3) Is it best to leave it be, or will it harm the other 2 corals in the tank? Anxiously awaiting your reply, thanks. <Corals will sometime go through this stage.  You need to correct your calcium level and maintain proper pH.  Your 96 watt PC should suffice for the 10 gallon tank.  I'd dose iodine, strontium, Moly, etc and see if that does not help along with getting the calcium up.  Putting the corals in a newly set-up tank with "new" water didn't help matters any.  Best to age/cycle for at least a week before adding your corals.  When doing 20% water changes in such a small tank, it is very important to keep water parameters very close to the existing parameters in the tank.  A drastic change in parameters can also trigger what you are seeing.  Best to invest in a good reference book such as Aquarium Corals/Eric H. Borneman, and/or Book Of Coral Propagation/Anthony Calfo. James (Salty Dog)> Dave
Re:  Coral/Health 3/21/07
Thanks very much for your response, James. What kind of Sunday "bout with water" are you referring to? <Water changes...from the bathroom floor into the toilet.  Plumbing problems we all love.> Unfortunately, the decomposition continued until the entire center including the mouth was "goo" and bare skeleton, so I ended up pulling the brain, for fear it would harm the other two corals. <I'm guessing damage occurred in shipping/handling.  The tissue can very easily cut against it's skeleton.> One of the candy cane polyps also turned to mush. <Water chemistry problems?  Shipping/handling?> The other heads and the Blasto are still hanging in there. Last week I ordered a new 120 gallon display, and had these 3 corals, and the ones in my current display, planned for the new tank as soon as it's set up and cycled. I thought I was doing things the "right" way by quarantining, so I'm kind of bummed about the brain, as I suspect he would have been fine if I immediately placed him into the main tank, and I'm still unclear as to what would cause its demise. Again, a good book, and do search read "Coral Health" on our site.> I just ran another series of water tests (ammonia, nitrates, pH, alkalinity, calcium) and still things seem pretty normal with the exception of the low calcium, could this be the sole cause? <Mmm, unlikely in that short a time span.> For future coral purchases I will ensure that the quarantine tank is more mature, and that calcium levels more ideal, anything else I'm missing? <More reading/learning my friend.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks again. <You're welcome.> Sincerely, Dave

Re: Coral Health and Lack of Info - 3/24/07 I guess I should have given a little more info. Yes, the Euphyllias are still expanding. I waited  2-3 days between moves. The tank is 135 gal with a 40 gal refugium with a big ball of Chaetomorpha. I have 100+ lbs of live rock in the main tank with a 4" sand bed. None of the corals touch. I made sure to keep some distance between all of them. I also have a Bubble coral, Kenya Tree coral, Daisy coral, Leather, Open Bran Bulls-eye Mushrooms and a Spaghetti Leather. I also feed Mysis shrimp, rotifers, Cyclop-eeze, reef plankton and bloodworms. I try to feed a variety. <Thank you for this, Lee. It is much easier to diagnose problems with a clear description of the setup involved. Again, nothing really strikes me other than allelopathy as a possibility. The only thing I can think of is that while there's no direct contact from coral to coral, the defense mechanisms of some neighbor nearby is adversely affecting the Euphyllias. Look to your paths of flow; find what is upstream from them and you'll likely find your culprit. Otherwise, nothing really jumps out at me. Sorry I've not been more helpful here. -JustinN>

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