Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Corallimorph Pathogenic Disease
(Infectious, Parasitic, Viral)

FAQs on Mushroom Disease: Mushroom Health 1, Mushroom Disease 2,
FAQs on Mushroom Disease by Category: DiagnosisEnvironmental, , (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), TraumaPredatory/Pest, Treatments 
& Mushroom Reproduction/Propagation,

Related Articles: Corallimorpharians, Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Disease, Corallimorphs, Mushrooms 2, Mushrooms 3, Mushrooms 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Reproduction, Stinging-celled Animals,


Mushroom Problem Hola Guys, <Hola! Senior Salty... Anthony Calfo in you service now craving toasty warm tortilla chips and tasty strawberry marguerites for some unexplained reason> I need to see if you guys have an idea what is killing my mushrooms.  <maybe they drank too much green beer on St. Patrick's day... how late did you let them stay out?> The mushrooms in my tank are dying off one by one. The water parameters haven't changed, besides if it was the water I would think all would be in bad shape.  <unfortunately not my friend... with only mushrooms in the tank, we have no frame of reference to make that claim. And fish vs. Corallimorpharians vs. crustacea vs. true coral all have very different tolerances and thresholds for various stressors. So it is possible that something is wrong/bad for the mushrooms but does not bother the fish for example> But, most look great, while one or two at a time will shrink up and slime away. I took out two big hermit crabs today, hoping that maybe they were trying to eat them or something.  <Hmmmm... if it was the hermits there would not be so much of the pathogenic slime symptom and less material left...they are clean scavengers> My fish are all happy and healthy and there are no corals in the tank. Only tons of live rock, fish, and lots of mushrooms. And some small hermit crabs and snails. Please throw some thoughts at me <it sounds like a water quality parameter or predator that is imposing itself on the Corallimorpharians and inviting the pathogenic symptoms (the necrotic slime). Many things it could be. Look for camouflaged flatworms on the mushrooms for starters. Also do a water change and add poly-filters to absorb possible 'Shroom contaminants (trace metals e.g. would harm the Shrooms before the crabs or fish). Another concern would be inadequate or aged/dirty lighting. Are the bulbs and glass canopy clean and less than 10 months old? Any new supplements added recently (like liquid "Stop-Aiptasia")? Try these measures first and see if you don't enjoy stabilization or improvement within a week.> Thanks, Ken <good luck, my friend. Anthony>
Help!!!!!!, Infection on Corallimorphs
Anthony and Bob, I have a dire situation in my reef, I am systematically losing ALL of my mushrooms!! I have a feeling that this whole episode started when I added a gold Turbinaria and believe it or not a free Goniopora.  <Ughhh! please don't tell me that you bought one of the color dyed Turbinaria corals?! A dreadful thing that some collectors are doing to more coral nowadays... just shameful. I suspect that you haven't heard about it?> Since then I had a feather duster blow its cap,  <stress induced, usually because of water quality> I have lost around twenty mushrooms, one at a time, they seem to simply be melting!  <indeed... sounds pathogenic. Did the Goniopora show a brown gelatinous infection at any point? Highly contagious if so> What's worse, everything else, including acros are doing well, Anthony had suggested that it could be a bacterial infection, I fixed my U.V and commenced with two five gallon water changes a week (its a55). Is there anything that I can do to stop the rest from dying? Is there a reef safe antibiotic? <not at all... antibiotics kill desirable and desirable bacteria without discrimination. My advice is to isolate the infected and suspected animals in QT and address experimentally with water changes, iodine or ozone, etc. My choice would be the iodine dips.> This is one of the most frustrating losses I have ever experienced, as I cant figure out how to stop it, except to let it kill everything, go mushroom fallow for several months, and then start over. <this sad event should underscore the importance to you (that is overlooked by many folks) for quarantining all livestock (fish, inverts, live rock, etc) before putting them into the display. Since nearly all are wild caught and potentially carrying pests, predators and disease... it is like a game of Russian roulette. If 99 of 100 are clean, the one that isn't can still impose some catastrophic losses as you have seen. Martin Moe said it best...hehe: "[Adding livestock without quarantine] is like having group sex with drug addicts". Say no more... Anthony>

Melting Mushrooms Hi, I have a 50 gal. "reef" tank using a wet/dry and a Red Sea Berlin classic skimmer.  <assuming that your skimmer does not produce DAILY skimmate (5-7 days weekly) full cup of dark product... do consider second, better skimmer. Voice of experience. Noxious dissolved organics that are allowed to accumulate do terrible things to a tank in time> The tank has a sandbed of approx. two inches of aragonite mixed with the "live super reef" and has been running for about 1 1/2 -2 years.  <please review the archived FAQs on DSB/Deep sand beds... I have a strong opinion about med. depth sand (1-3") causing problems in the long run. I'd say have much more or much less depending on your need for denitrification>  I have about 50 or 60 lbs. of Fiji live rock of which 15lbs. has been added over the last couple of months (approx. 5lbs every three or so weeks). The tank has great coralline growth (the older rock in the tank is almost 100% purple and the new rock gets more growth very quickly). <outstanding> I have no fish in the tank at the present time and have decided to leave them out of the equation while I build up the amount of rock and other life in the tank.  <very very wise! I wish more aquarists realized this. Their tanks would be so much more diverse with microfauna/plankton to go fishless for a longer period in the beginning> The inhabitants of the tank are about a couple doz. snails and hermit crabs( mostly blue legs and a couple red ), a brittle star, Ricordea, white star polyps, green star polyps, yellow polyps, various button polyps, a colt coral ( which has recently had a "baby" ),various other mushrooms, red , speckled , striped, mottled, and hairy green metallic of which there was only one that has over the last couple of years multiplied into 18 or 20 beautiful specimens..  <most of the reef invertebrates you have named are some of the most toxic/noxious available! I would strongly recommend a second skimmer and heavy chemical filtration/water changes for optimum growth> Here is my regimen : I use Tropic Marine salt <excellent salt> and keep the tank at about 1.022 to 1.023 (usually closest to 1.022).  < a dedicated reef aquarium needs to be higher/closer to natural (1.024-1.026... even a little higher is possible). Low salinity is better for fishes but harder on inverts> I top off the water that evaporates nightly with RO water exclusively we are fortunate where I live to have water with a ph of 8.0-8.4), <RO water is aerated, then buffered always before use? Else you are taxing the buffers in the tank/salt mix> which I use in my discus tank as well as drinking for that matter. Every few days I add maybe a 1/4 teaspoon of Tropic Marine Bio Calcium in the top up water at night with 5-10% water changes every week or two.  <Hmmm.... I wouldn't be surprised if you tank Alk is on the lower side because of this practice. Do search FAQs for RO/DI treatment of water too if you like> On the week that I don't change the water I add one capful of Kent trace elements. I was adding Coral-Vital up until a couple of months ago when I read a couple of your advice columns which said "keep the sugar out of the tank", so I did. I'd like to keep this simple and your approach seems to make a lot of sense to me. Your advice column is great reading and always an education. I think that's part of the reason that we are interested in this hobby because there is an endless amount of knowledge that is partially "required" and mostly "desired" by all those that get want to successfully maintain these fascinating mini ecosystems.  <very eloquently put...thank you!> Now that you hopefully have the long winded background information, here is my problem. Last night I was watching the tank and it looked almost as if a couple of the green metallic mushrooms that I have nurtured for so long had begun to disintegrate. It almost looked like they were melting.  <sounds like an infection. Can be brought in by new coral or new live rock that is not cured or quarantined (please QT live rock and coral just like fishes... pathogens are non-discriminating and Scleractinian product has the added risk of bringing in a pest or predator (shrimp, crab, flatworm, etc... do screen in QT)> I haven't really changed anything other than getting rid of the coral-vital and adding the live rock.  <hmmm... I'm suspecting that the rock wasn't fully cured from the LFS and may have went unnoticed to rock for having so much other cured rock in the tank. Any rotting plants or sponges noticed on the rock?> I forgot to mention I only have NO lights, 2 actinic, 1 10,000k and 1 daylight but the tank is close to a window where it receives some real sunlight. <yes... does help. But your lighting is way too modest for some of your inverts to live to see 3, 5 or more years. In the meantime, change the bulbs every 6-10 months, keep bulbs very clean and use small amounts of carbon and/or poly filter weekly to maintain water clarity for optimum light penetration> Even worse, this morning even more of them are melting. I'm worried that they'll all be gone soon.  <have you checked water chemistry? ph, Alk, Ca, etc? Please do so> I also have problems keeping fish , which part of the problem is self abuse in not having a quarantine tank and introducing some lovely disease to otherwise fine fish.  <bingo, my friend> One beautiful six line wrasse committed suicide and jumped out even though I have a hood. Tangs get white spot, I've even killed a red lipped algae blenny which seemed healthy when I got him but one day..... well you get the picture.  <indeed QT is necessary for all livestock.. else it is a game of Russian roulette with vulnerable living creatures> Is part of my problem somehow shocking the tank with the top off water (even though it's RO at the same temperature). Should I be adding a buffer or something else to the top off water each night? <yes... raw RO water is rough: completely demineralized and acidic. Needs aerated and buffered> Should I use a dripper Kent Aqua Dose).  <please don't get me started on Kent products <G>> I want to keep adding more rock hoping to help the stability of the tank maybe someday I can get a Mandarin).  <Hmmm... if mandarin is the goal... kudos to you on the fishless tank to help copepods establish. Better yet, do add a small seagrass refugium (also fishless) an d allow to mature as a continuing source of food once fish make it to the main display> What am I doing wrong??? Any advice about what's happening to my mushrooms,  <based on above info... sounding like an infection of the first victims of straying water chemistry> what I'm doing wrong or something I'm not doing would be greatly appreciated. Thank you and sorry for being so long winded, Ken ( from Brantford, Ontario, Canada) <cheers, mate. Anthony Calfo>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: