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FAQs about Acroporid Coral Disease/Health, Parasites, Pests 4

FAQs on Acroporid Disease: Acroporid Disease 1, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Health 5, Acroporid Health 6, Acroporid Health 7, Acroporid Hlth. 8, Acroporid Hlth. 9, Acroporid Hlth. 10,
FAQs on Acroporid Disease by Category: Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest (see below), Treatments 
FAQs on Pests of Acroporids: Montipora Munching Nudibranchs, Flatworms, Red/Black "Bugs" Acropora Munching Copepods,

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Acroporids, SPS Corals

FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease, RTN,

Best Predator For Montipora Eating Nudibranch? -- 12/12/07 Hi! <<Hello Dominique>> What would be the best predator against Montipora eating Nudibranchs (Aeolids)? <<This 'ideal predator' is likely another larger/different species of Nudibranch...and probably not readily available to the hobby>> Is it very likely to help? Very importantly, is it safe around small shrimps such as sexy shrimps? <<I've found little, in my experience, that will help with battling these pests. Even prophylactic dips seemed more harmful to the already stressed corals than the Nudibranchs...and although freshwater dips did kill the Nudis, they also killed the corals>> Would the six line wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) be a good choice? <<Not in my experience. This and a couple other wrasse genera I've tried (Halichoeres, Cirrhilabrus) did not seem interested at all in these small pest Nudibranchs>> Any risk that this wrasse eats sexy shrimps...? <<Is a possibility>> One last thing, is it going to doom my mandarin (food competition)? <<The Pseudocheilinus will out-compete the mandarin, and unless the system is large (more than 100g), will also likely deplete the available food supply>> Many thanks! Dominique <<I'm afraid I don't have a simple answer for your problem. You can try manual extraction with tweezers (very tedious...and they multiply very quickly) and blowing/clearing the Nudibranchs from the affected corals with a turkey baster. Both of these tactics will work best if the corals can be removed to a bare-bottom quarantine tank to facilitate siphon removal of stray/blown-off animals/egg strands. I have seen these Nudibranchs 'cycle-out' on their own after a while, and without eating/killing 'all' their prey food items...though most all small colonies were lost. Do also check the reef forums (Reef Central, reefs.org) and see if someone there has had any success eradicating these pests. Regards, EricR>>

Re: Best Predator For Montipora Eating Nudibranch? -- 12/12/07 Thanks for the reply. <<Sorry it wasn't better news>> It's a depressing situation. <<Agreed 'though I must mention, it may have been avoided with quarantine>> I just read some people saying the six line wrasse helped them. <<Is possible>> I am skeptical about that given what you already told me. <<I can only relate my experience and the experience of others I have known>> So far it seems to eat a single species. <<The Nudibranch? Yes, it is quite common for these creatures to feed very selectively 'sometimes even only on a single prey species>> Even moved to the other end of the tank to eat some more of it while there was another Monti species in the vicinity. <<My experience with these Nudibranchs was that they fed only on the plating and encrusting species of Montipora'¦and completely ignored M. digitata>> But I don't know what they'll do when there is nothing left of that species they like. <<Hopefully they will just 'fade away'>> I also just read that they should eat all Montipora species. <<I disagree'¦ Some seem quite specific in their diet. Hopefully you will be lucky in this regard>> My tank is Montipora dominated. If they wipe out my colonies of digitata I think I may go out of the hobby. :( We shall see... Thanks again! Dominique <<My fingers are crossed'¦ Am hoping, betting you will be around for a while [grin]. Good luck my friend. Eric Russell>>

R2: Best Predator For Montipora Eating Nudibranch? -- 12/13/07 Am more relaxed about it today after a night's sleep, but was a bit freaking out yesterday. :) <<No worries re the 'freaking''¦ And I'm glad you feel better>> For sure you are right about quarantine, but there is one thing: the Nudis *appeared* just two months (exactly 57 days) after introduction of the new/latest coral in my tank. Is that not amazing!? <<Hmm, interesting'¦ Perhaps there was an incidental introduction/hitchhiker (Nudibranch or eggs) on an added piece of rock, macroalgae, even a fish'¦>> So to be bullet proof (at least with Montipora eating Aeolid Nudibranchs) I guess one has to do a three month quarantine. <<Mmm, well 'not really practical, eh?>> Ok, will report to you on the final outcome in a few months... <<Please do!>> Thanks for your support Eric! Dominique <<Is my pleasure to assist. Eric Russell>>

R3: Best Predator For Montipora Eating Nudibranch? (Update) -- 02/20/08 Hi Eric, <<Hiya Dominique!>> Just to let you know about the final outcome of the Montipora eating Nudibranch invasion. <<Ah, okay!>> You were right about how specific they are in their diet. <<Indeed>> They do seem to be impossible to remove from a tank until there is no more food for them. <<Yep>> They also can move to the sump easily to follow their prey if one naïvely tries to hide a piece down there... <<Ha! Sorry, I know it's not funny, but'¦>> But they only eat capricornis, <<At least this particular species>> not even other plating Montipora. <<Mmm'¦'quite specific' indeed>> In fact there is a nice piece in my tank I assumed to be a capricornis as it looks very similar and was sold to me as such, but the Nudis make the difference. <<I see>> I made a little research since then and ID it as M. undata. <<Oh? Neat'¦>> So only two small/medium sized (capricornis) corals were affected in the end: nothing happened to the many digitata, danae, undata and nodosa. << Yay!>> So I won't be selling my tank after all... ;) Dominique << I'm pleased you've decided to stay in the hobby 'and I thank you much for the update. Cheers, Eric Russell>>

Acropora decline... env. and?  -11/18/07 I have a 75 gallon reef tank that has been up and running with no problems for a little over a year. It has a 20 gallon sump/refugium, a large protein skimmer, and 2 175 watt Metal Halides at 15000K. Tank parameters are 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 0 nitrate, 0 phosphate. My pH is 7.9 ( a little low, <Actually, this is WAY low... the pH scale is a base ten logarithm... this is fifty some percent off from ideal...> but it is very stable and I alternate the lights on the display and the sump ), 12 dKH, the salinity is 1.023 <Also too low> and the temperature is 78 + or - 1 degree. I purchased an Acropora from the LFS <How long ago?> who had received it the day before as a shipping error and they were selling it cheap. Not expecting the coral to sit around for a few weeks at that price, I took a gamble and purchased it that day. It initially had some polyp extension, but its color wasn't the best (probably due to shipping). After a few days at the bottom of my tank it was beginning to turn brown so I moved it up closer to the lights. The brown has faded away and not he coral looks more or less white with a faint hint of purple color, but still relatively brown near the base of the branches. The polyp's are not opening up as much as before, but the tips still have that purple spot and sometimes open up ( see picture ). I placed the Acropora near the return of my Mag 9.5 and also added a Seio 600GPH and a smaller 270GPH powerhead at opposite sides ( See attached picture ). There is also a 190 GPH powerhead behind the Acropora pointed directly in the glass to try and generate some turbulence in the water. I have incorporated oyster eggs into my feeding regiment but see very little activity from the Acropora. I am wondering if his color lightening up is indicating the lighting is good or if he is bleaching or even dying due to some other factor? <Possibly> He has been in the tank for about 3 weeks now; is this sufficient time for him to be doing well or should I continue to wait it out? Could the pH be the problem? Any suggestions are greatly appreciated. <Mmm, well, I would NOT keep moving the specimen... and I would address your water quality per the comments above... AND I would definitely read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acropori.htm  The files linked above: On Acroporid Systems, Health.... Bob Fenner>

Re: Acropora decline, using WWM  11/19/07 Thanks for your prompt response. As per your recommendations, I am beginning work on a automatic top-off system to handle evaporation and I'll also use it handle the pH issue. Do you have any specific recommendations on how to raise the pH and keep it stable? <Yes... posted... Please learn to/use the search tool, indices...> Is there anything further you can say from looking at the picture about the apparent health of the Acropora currently? <Mmm, actually looks "fine" from what can be discerned... is a wild-collected small colony (likely first or second year), collected from a reef flat, likely Fijian... is really mostly "just" new... though its proximity to established Alcyoniids may be trouble here> Is the flow I am currently using good? Thanks again for the help.
<S/b fine... BobF>

Acropora dying 10/17/07 <HI Craig> Hi everyone, I am currently at a loss for what is going on with one in particular coral. It is a blue Acropora millepora that i have had for quite sometime now. In the last few days it just started dying from the bottom up. The rest of my corals are doing great so I don't know what could possibly be happening. It has good water flow, it is in the upper half of the tank so i don't think it is being deprived of light, and i feed the corals three times a week with DT's and oyster eggs. Let me give you a run down of the water parameters/system overview. pH- 8.2 ammonia- 0 nitrite - 0 nitrate - about 5ppm dKH- 9 calcium- 420 temperature- 76F at night and 78F in the day lighting- 1x 250watt double ended MH 20K, 2x 65watt actinics. tank size- 36gal HOB SeaClone skimmer Fluval 305 canister filter Hydor Koralia power heads (one of the 4's, two of the smaller sized 2's) and a MaxiJet 400 I haven't added anything to the system in a few months. This coral was having nice growth and good polyp extension until four days ago i noticed a little dead tissue around the base of the coral. Once i saw this it went very quickly downhill. I fragged off the tips that still had some life in them in hopes i could grow it out again but had no such luck. The frags now are fading as well. Last night i went on a Acropora predator hunt and only came up with a few Stomatella snails that i haven't seen before and what looked like baby emerald crabs. I didn't get a good look at the little crabs because they scurried off like cockroaches when i flicked the light on to see. Hopefully one of you charming fellows can give me some insight as to what could have happened. Thank you guys in advanced and keep up the great work you guys do over there. <Sorry to hear about this trouble. With out personally seeing the corals I can only speculate. RTN (Rapid Tissue Necrosis) is a Acro disease that causes the tissue to quickly die off of the skeleton. The causes can be viral, a pathogen, environmental stress like a spike in temperature, or from an aggressive species messing with it. The second thing is Acro Eating Flat Worms (AEFW). These little pests are very small and the exact same color as the coral they are feeding on. They feed from the base up. Because the tips you fragged where healthier and then succumbed to the same fate it is possible that you have an infestation. Again, purely speculation, but they do feed from the base up. Keep an eye on the other SPS corals in the tank. If they show signs of the same symptoms they should be removed to a Quarantine tank and treated with Flatworm Exit as a precaution. Diagnosing this problem is very difficult with out first hand knowledge. Try searching RTN and AEFW within WWM FAQ's. Your water parameters are well within reason, so a pathogen or predator is the probable cause. HTH-Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

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>>

Montipora question, dis.   5/22/07 Greetings- Question for the pros...have you guys ever heard of a bacterial infection on Montiporas?   <Yes> I have a colony that looks like it has RTN.  The tissue is actually coming off.  The person I got it from has the same problem with the same Monti.  Param.s are all normal (if there is such a thing). <You tell me> Any suggestions? <Re?> I don't mind loosing <losing...> the piece, but am more concerned about the others in the tank.  I am positive it is not Monti nudi.s and the only other thing I could come up with is bacterial unless you know otherwise. Have fun at IMAC.  Wish I could make it out to meet both of you in person, but my brothers wedding will be taking up my time.  Hopefully future endeavors will allow us to run into each other.  Also, Bob - have you heard from Walt lately? <A month or so back... am pretty sure he's still in Fiji...> I haven't heard back from him and wanted to make sure everything was all right. Until then. Cheers. Justin <... You have read on WWM re stony coral, SPS, Acroporid disease? Bob Fenner>

SPS health, poor English, no useful info.    5/3/07 Great site lots of info. The question i have is bout a green Acro i have purchase recently. The polyps extension is great but at the bottom near the base some poly is a bit white, is this normal or should i be worry? Its placed near the top of the tank to receive light from my 150w MH. <... Water quality tests? Circulation? Feeding? Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acrodisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Acro Color -- 04/30/07 Sometimes I wonder the average number of questions you get hourly on your site... Sorry to bother you but I had a question I haven't been able to find an answer to normally. I recently purchased a dark green Acro (no specific name was given by the online retailer) about 2 or 3 weeks ago. In the bag it was a nice dark green color, they labeled it Hunter Green, similar in color to perhaps grass. At any rate, after about a week or two I noticed its color changing from green base with whitish polyps to something else. The base/skeleton is like a Coral Lipstick or Peach color with white polyps, even when viewed from an angle, straight on, or from above. I'm kind of wondering if its similar to an anemones Zooxanthellae (sp?) that can be expelled due to some sort of stress? <Yes> He's on a high point in the tank, around 3" in width total <Mmm... well, depending on your lighting... and how this colony has been kept recently... starting it down in depth a bit to start is generally advised> if I'm being generous, and he's grown about a 1/2" total since I got him (I'm so proud!). It completely baffles me, wish I had a before/after picture  but I never got to take a before pic. I haven't moved him at all since placing him in the tank and the only potential predators are a small Green Bubble Tip Anemone, <Incompatible... could be your answer here> which is smaller than the Acro, and a dime-sized hermit crab that hasn't taken notice to him. There's also a Yellow Watchman Goby - awesome fish! - but no other mobile buddies. I've been dosing Kent Invert food every few days for my small Crocea clam, about a drop per gallon or less depending on my steadiness with my hands. I was also thinking that I haven't glued him to a rock, he's sitting on the rock and I was just going to let him do his thing. The color doesn't really bother me, I really like it, but I want to make sure its not a sign of something bad. The polyps are still extending and he's in an area of pretty high flow, so maybe he's just playing Chameleon? I have PC lights and the tank is only about 8" deep, I'm just scared that he's starting to bleach for some error on my part and I really don't want that. Thanks. <Mmm... well, the growth and polyp extension are good signs... and if you don't mind the color change... I would leave all as is. Such color changes are often due/led by lighting, current, water quality differences... Bob Fenner>

HELP... Montipora hlth.     02/17/07 Hi guys,    I will probably get scolded for this one, I didn't research nor spell check. (Sorry) I will never do it again, but I need you desperately and quickly. I ordered a Montipora Cap offline. Great piece and excellent seller. He shipped On via USPS on Tuesday. I just got it in. This thing is gorgeous, only it has been in shipping bag, lost in mail for 3+ days. I floated it for 10 minutes and placed carefully in hospital/quarantine tank directly under BioWheel filter output. I have nothing in the tank but live rock and a pair of sailfin mollies to keep unused tank cycling. Due to live rock and usage for quarantine on live rock as well as new corals, I keep regular additions of strontium and calcium in this tank. Salinity is 1.023, PH 8.3, Nitrates 10, nitrites 0, ammonia 0. I have low 30 watt Pc lighting on quarantine tank. The color is very pale on the Monti, the water was bad cloudy and pretty pungent odor. I actually tested the bag water once I got the coral removed from the toxic waste. I was amazed nitrates 10, Ammonia <50, nitrites 0, temp was very cool 68-70 (guessing) Ph was just below 8.0 reading. Is there anything else I can do for it? Please help. Seller has been great, says he will refund or replace but has nothing comparable to this guy. It wasn't his fault anyway. Please help me! I have never owned a Monti yet always wanted one. I have researched plenty about their general maintenance, but nothing about recovery or emergency care. What advice can you give and what can I expect for his pending doom. He definitely isn't happy, and had some pretty drastic temp changes I'm sure between CA and SC.                                             Thanks for being there!!!                                                     Cindy <<Cindy: At this point, the best thing you can do is provide it with clean water, good flow and decent lighting.  Since the coral is obviously stressed out from the move, you should not disturb it for a few days.  Hopefully, it will quickly adjust to the conditions of your tank and recover quickly.  Best of luck, Roy>>
Help... Roy... titles... hard to place new, ongoing corr. tog. w/o... Re... Montipora hlth?  2/18/07
Roy,    Thanks for the quick response. As always, you guys are great and I appreciate your service. I know you hear that a lot, but please believe we mean it. I lost the Monti despite all efforts. The sender is being great about it, but cannot duplicate this particular specimen. He had grown this in his personal tank, over the course of the last year, from a small frag. I was so looking forward to an aquacultured Montipora. Thanks Again.                                                                  Cindy <<Cindy:  Sorry the coral didn't make it.  Sometimes, if there is a small section left, they can start growing again from hardly anything.  If you can't get another one from the seller for a while, you might want to try another more common one.  That way, you'll have more experience, when the special one becomes available again.  Usually, they like medium to high light and medium flow.  If it's coming from someone else's tank, it's always good to ask how they keep it.  Then, you can try to duplicate the same conditions the best you can.  Best of luck, Roy>>

Montipora digitata turning pale  2/16/07 Bob, <Eric> Your expert advice is needed again, seems almost like a monthly thing!  I recently upgraded my lighting system over my tank from pc lights to a halide system. <Recently? As in weeks?> For some reason now my salmon digitata seems to have turned a light pale pink. <Not uncommon... even with just the lighting change>   I have attached 2 pictures, 1 before and 1 after.  I screen acclimated my tank over a month span.  I am not sure if the coral is still healthy or if it will get its dark orangish-pink coral back.  I would like to movie it down in the tank but it has encrusted on to 3 different rocks! Current Parameters: Calcium - 380 Alkalinity - 9 DKH Magnesium - 1210 SG - 35 ppt Phosphate - 0 nitrate- between 0 and 2 <Mmm, these are all fine> Would target feeding this coral directly help bring back its color? <Might... do you have a "healthy" sizable refugium? Do you currently add single-celled algae? Zooplankters of any size?>   Any opinion is appreciated. thanks, Eric PS: Image 2044 is the current photo Image 2034 was taken approximately 3 weeks ago <You know... I wouldn't be concerned here... both pix show a very healthy colony. Cheers, Bob Fenner>


Nice SW Sys., too many incomp. Cnid.s   1/16/07 Hi WWM Crew. You've given me great advice in the past. I hope you can help me now. I'll start with my equipment and parameters. 75 Gallon mostly SPS 1 Tunze 6100 and 6095 controller Berlin skimmer rated up to 250 gallons wet dry trickle filter 2 250W HQI 15K 2 PC Actinic 125W Specific Gravity 1.025 Ammonia 0 Nitrate 0 Nitrite 0 PH 8.4 DKH 11 Calcium 450 2 A. Millepora                              2 Monti Digitata Superman Monti                         Spaghetti Leather Yellow Branching Porites            Galaxea Acropora Blue Tort                     Pavona Chips Acropora                          Turbinaria Tri Color Acropora                      Green Frogspawn Pectinia                                     Button Polyps Pagoda cup                              Green Star Polyps Candy Cane Coral                     Orange Monti Cap Yellow Sun polyps                      Pocillopora Christmas Tree Coral                 Chili Coral Blue ridge Heliopora                   Pulsing Xenias Brown Hairy Mushrooms <Yowzah... a bunch/myriad of competing Cnidarian species> Blue Hippo Tang 2 Tomato Clowns Blue Damsel Kole Tang Fairy Wrasse Wow I think that's it. My problem is with my Superman Monti two parts of it are turning white. I know that's a bad sign. I have no bleaching on anything else. The Superman Monti's neighbors were the GSP and Button Polyps would either of those have anything to do with its color change? <Could very well, yes> Also my Chili Coral doesn't extend its polyps like it used to. <This Nephtheid is not easily kept> It is under a ledge receives little to no light <No problem with the lack of light here... is non-photosynthetic> and has great flow. If you have any advice or suggestions on either of these problems please help. Thanks again guys. Omar <Time to move some of these colonies really... there is too much really non-compatible life types crammed in here... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcomp2faq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

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