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FAQs about Acroporid Coral Disease/Health, Parasites, Pests 5

FAQs on Acroporid Disease: Acroporid Disease 1, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Disease/Pests/Predators 4, 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,

Re: Help with SPS -- 5/3/08 Thanks Eric. <<Quite welcome, Andy>> I hate my skimmer. <<Better choices/options, for sure>> I am planning to buy an AquaC EV-180 soon. <<An excellent decision>> I guess I will finally have to learn how to frag. <<Quite simple 'really>> Cheers, Andy <<Be chatting, mate. EricR>>

R2: Help with SPS -- 05/03/08 Eric, <<Hi Andy!...hey, didn't I just talk to you? [grin]>> You'd be happy to know that I just ordered the AquaC EV-180. <<Yay!!!>> It was a lot to swallow, but I know it's time I upgrade my skimmer with a quality piece of gear. <<Indeed my friend>> I knew nothing about skimmers when I started this endeavor and didn't know WWM even existed until it was too late. <<Rats! An all too common tale, I think>> I'm interested to see the difference between a $125 skimmer and a $400 skimmer! <<Ah yes 'and will last longer too!>> Two follow up questions, if you don't mind. <<Not at all>> You mentioned running a Poly-Filter, and I'm curious as to why you made this suggestion? What would it be pulling out that is not already being pulled out by my wet-dry, fuge and skimmer? <<Ah well 'not all chemical filtrants 'scavenge' the same molecules/ions. The Poly-Filter is a proven performer and a most beneficial addition to your arsenal>> Is this just to boost the removal of dissolved organics? <<Yes 'and more>> I feed my fish once every 2 days, <<Mmm, as stated before, I believe 'strongly' in feeding your tank/fishes/et al'¦ I would like to see you up this to 'two' feedings 'every day' with a varied diet 'and I VERY MUCH suggest you add New Life Spectrum pellets to this diet, if not doing so already. I assure you 'feeding your fishes well with quality foods will have an amazing effect on their health. Coloration will improve 'and even aggressions will be positively affected>> and when I broadcast feed my corals I feed only about 1/2 to 1 tsp of my homemade food--and again this is only every 3-5 days. <<This too seems a bit 'light''¦but you are in a better position to tell (how do your corals respond/look)>> I hear what you're saying about the growth of the Chaeto--if it grows, it's because it's feeding on organics, and the faster it grows . . . ., <<Indeed 'and not necessarily a 'bad' thing 'but is something to consider when evaluating the tank>> but I've noticed that with the addition of more internal circulation (adding 2 Koralia 3s) and keeping PhosBan in the sump all the time, its growth has definitely slowed. <<Ah'¦>> I have really tried to keep my phosphates down by being careful about how much I feed the fish/corals, and I do weekly 10% water changes as well (although I've read here that Acros do need some dissolved PO4). <<As does ALL life 'even you! Measurable Phosphate of 0.02ppm or less is fine 'as is a Nitrate reading of around 5ppm (is even desirable)>> Second, maybe more of a rhetorical question/comment--I guess I didn't realize that 15 small mushrooms could wreak such havoc on Acros in my volume of tank (not that it's huge) while running two bags of carbon. <<Mmm, yes 'but is 'manageable' as stated (though do keep an eye out for invasive propagation). The new skimmer will help 'as would utilizing a canister filter for the Carbon/Poly-Filter, as opposed to the 'passive' filtration method of simply placing a bag of carbon in the sump>> I really love mushrooms--they are really cool, <<Amazing organisms indeed 'but maybe better enjoyed in a moderately lit 'deep-water' species-specific display>> but I really wish I had never purchased them. <<Mmm'¦I've heard 'that' a few times before. Unfortunately, these organisms are often pushed on uninitiated/uneducated first-timers as 'easy' beginner organisms. They are relatively 'easy' to keep alive and yes, propagate 'just not easy to 'manage' in a mixed-reef system>> Thanks again for your help, and have a good weekend. Andy <<I'm always happy to share. Eric Russell>>

R3: Help with SPS -- 05/07/08 Hey Eric, <<Hi Andy>> I just wanted to give you an update. <<Okay!>> Although my AquaC isn't here yet, I did frag the piece of Monti cap with a Dremel tool to cut away the dying/bleaching portion. <<Very good>> It's a good thing, too, because the portion that was dying just sloughed off in my hand. <<Mmm'¦a bad sign for sure>> The remaining piece (I was able to save quite a bit) secreted a ton of mucus, which I assume was a response to the rough handling. <<Yes 'just 'handling' in general>> I dipped the piece in an aerated Lugol's dip for about 7 minutes, glued it back to the base rock, and placed it back in my tank. So far, so good--no further bleaching. <<Excellent! It seems you intervened just in time>> Thanks again for all your help. Andy <<Was my pleasure. EricR>>

Montipora with Algae... Uhh, huge gaps in ones pertinent education, practices, but plenty of spending. Reef, poor maint. f'    4/17/08 Hi Crew! <Heather> I have a 120 Gallon reef with softies. I recently purchased a Montipora and added him to the opposite side of the tank away from the Leather, Colt, Xenia, Mushrooms, Anemone, <Mmm... these can all "reach out and touch someone" chemically... to varying degrees/effects> but he is above a couple of polyps of zoos. About 6 inches above. I have been reading up on these for a long time, and I have the same lighting that the store I bought it from uses (I bought it from them) t5's x 6 in the same spectrum of light they suggested. They told me this fellow is adapted to the strong lighting, so i went ahead and put him at the very top of my tank, maybe 2 inches below water surface. He was doing wonderfully for a few weeks, but now I notice that the vibrant purple has faded to a duller shade, not bleached really, just not as vibrant and I have an algae type covering growing over the coral. <Very bad> I get the same substance on my glass daily, and I brush it away with my magnetized glass cleaner. I directed a power head at the coral more but it doesn't remove the brown/orange coloured algae that seems to be stuck on. I am wondering if there is anything I can do to get rid of that stuff. <Mmm, lots...> The only other thing I can think of, is I was told by a friend that Kalkwasser was needed, <...? What do your alkalinity and biomineral tests show?> so I followed the directions on the jar and have used it twice now. I do not have a way to measure my ca/Alk levels, <!?> so I just hoped that the instructions would be right. <No my young friend> I do have a lot of evaporation in my tank, I need to top up with about a 1/4 depth of my sump daily, and I run a dehumidifier in the room as my walls were soaked, curtains soaked, and black mold formed behind them! <Yuck!> So, I wondered if it is potentially the continued added water. <"It" being the algal proliferation?> I use ro/di but I have always ALWAYS had difficulties with nitrates, off the scale nitrates, <... trouble> but my softies seemed unaffected, and "healthier" actually than when they were in the store, more vibrant in colouration, and growing rapidly. I have a refugium with Chaetomorpha, mangrove, and Caulerpa (my Foxface loves the stuff) and a DSB. I do weekly vacuuming and water changes. I was told that it is possible that the silicone my husband used to construct the sump could be the nitrate culprit, <No> and we originally had used play sand before we got the oolite sand (live and learn) but we have never been able to get every last speck of it out, and get more of it each time we vacuum. We've had the play sand out for about a year now. I am wondering which of these "mistakes" is the biggest one, and how can I fix it? <Reading> I am concerned about this algae. It is see through, and it is not like Cyanobacteria (of which I became quite accustomed to/of until I stopped feeding so very much). My protein skimmer is a problem for me, because of the very much top off needed, the protein skimmer only functions a portion of the day, because while I am at work, and the water level moves itself, the effectiveness of the skimmer fluctuates. When I used to have it in the display tank (which isn't possible anymore) it worked fantastic. Sorry for the length of this, but I see the fish store has no trouble keeping a Monti with the rest being softies, I just wanted one too! It's the plating variety. Help? Heather Allan <... you have a few issues to address. Less spending of money on livestock, more using the equivalent time studying, learning the basics of water chemistry (and test kit use), system maintenance and the husbandry and compatibility of the disparate life you list. Please look up these issues... the indices, search tool, on WWM... and begin educating yourself. Bob Fenner>
Re: Montipora with Algae  4/17/08
Hi again, I re-read what I wrote and realized several things I'd written were probably not clear. I do not seem to have any problems whatsoever with any of my other corals, all been thriving and growing heavily for about 2 years. I read your site daily, and unfortunately lose track of time ;P it's all so very interesting. I figure I've been rather lucky with the other species I have to a degree that they get along more or less. I know that a specialized tank, with one type of coral is best, like all softies, all sps or all LPSs, and anemone is not a great plan (I learned that afterwards, he was my first member to my tank, a Condy, and extremely hardy). I just upgraded all my lighting from fluorescents to the T5's about 6 months ago. I was going for halides, but the store assured me they would never have halides again and that they have everything including clams doing better in the T5's. Big Al's doesn't agree with this, but they have display tanks with wide mixes of coral types, and I wanted similar. My question I guess is this, should I give up on wanting one Monti amongst many soft coral species? <Maybe not. Generally, yes, the fewer different types of corals you have in one system, the better/easy things are all around. However, there are very few "rules" written in stone about this. If you'd like to try to keep a Montipora sp. in with your soft corals, I suggest you get a frag from a coral that is being kept successfully in a similar system as your own. If you can't find this, try a frag from any colony that's been in captivity for a long time.> I do not know what else to do about the nitrates. I have pretty much given up on that. Test kits (yes I use them, again my description wasn't clear) have been checked and checked again to be sure that my source water is free of detectable levels, but even when I have drained 90% of my water, and then refilled with RO/DI water, immediately, my nitrates are well over 80-100. <Strange, have you tested the RO/DI water? Maybe there's something wrong with your filter...> Unfortunately, this seems to be a carryover (even though I vacuum often) from when I fed my fish daily in the earlier days of many types of food. I now employ an every other day approach, and that has brought nitrates to a steady place at least. I wonder if it is the aragonite itself that is "bad", as I mentioned the silicone, it is where the problems seem to stem from, the water in the sump was always stagnant until I added algae life to it. It is not now. I thought the silicone (because it is not aquarium silicone) was adding phosphates to the tank since this is where the algae bloom began (on the silicon itself) if indeed it is algae. <For algae, and other such things, silicone is easier to "grasp" (anchor to) than glass because of its surface texture. This is the likely reason it started growing there.> I can't seem to figure out exactly what it is, other than perhaps diatoms, very prolific. The snails love it whatever the stuff is. <Many snails do love diatoms...> You guys attempted to help me before about the nitrate issue. I forget which of you guys it was (sorry) but we settled on the canister filter ceramic rings harvesting too much of one type of nitrifying cycle event. As I say, I always have undetectable levels of everything else (ammonia, nitrite) but nitrate is always the cycling problem. <Do you have a sand bed?> You said that the duller colouration and algae/diatom stuffs covering the coral is really bad. Does this mean it is dead? I notice the snails are now eating some of the stuff off of the coral, which seems to be helping. <Maybe get more snails then...> When I said I can't test, I have not been able to find an alkalinity test kit in my local fish stores (nearest fish store is an hour drive away actually) I have tested calcium, it is always high (sorry at work and do not have numbers in front of me). Does that mean I should not be using Kalkwasser? <Kalkwasser might help, but it's hard to say without knowing the numbers. Do try to order these over the internet if it's too difficult to get to the LFS.> I have read and heard from others that need it or not, you always should make it a routine to use it. I'm very confused then. It seems one person will tell me don't use additives at all, the next will tell me you MUST have them. pH is always 8.1 steady. <Kalkwasser doesn't count as an "additive" the way most reef aquarists think of additives. Additives are things like Iodine, Strontium, etc. You don't have to use Kalkwasser, but you do definitely need a source of calcium and alkalinity. This might help some: http://www.asira.org/practicalchemistrybasics> I didn't mean to sound like an ignoramus re: reef keeping, <Naw... I've seen worse. ;-)> I was at work and rather desperate when i wrote and I feel terribly now that I sounded like one of those that buy things without learning/researching first as I really hate that in others. <We all have to start somewhere.> I wouldn't say that's the case, but I am becoming desperate about the nitrate issue (which I'm guessing is the same old problem now leading to other problems) and I just can't figure out how else to rectify it besides water maintenance? <If you don't already have one, you might consider setting up a remote deep sand bed/refugium. These can help a lot with nitrates (as well as greatly improving the overall health of the system).> I do notice my fish void often and it makes a large mess in the tank, is there a way to discourage that? LOL <Heheee... not really.> As for the top off water evaporation, I removed the top to my tank when I upgraded the lighting <good idea> because I had wondered if there was an ozone effect going on in there, in a way, not letting enough natural air to it. In theory I think this has helped some. I didn't realize that the water was accumulating for a while and was dismayed to find all the mold. Oh and the question about the Kalkwasser, I was meaning without testing for alkalinity, could that have been the cause of the stony coral going awry so suddenly? <It's possible.> I realize that it was probably a dumb move on my part, but I was just so very desperate to find a fix. I really don't want my Montipora to have a sad end because of a mistake regarding my understanding of the Kalk additive. I find there is a lot of misleading information out there, or information whereby it is just barely glazed over. My fault. <Again, this should help... http://www.asira.org/practicalchemistrybasics But please do let me know if it doesn't.> So, at this point, along with more water changes I'm currently doing, what can kill off/ get rid of that algae like stuff and is it actually algae or would it be diatoms? <It sounds like diatoms to me (or possibly a mix of things, diatoms, bacterial slim, etc.). If the snails like it, you could get more of these snails. And again, a remote DSB and/or refugium never hurts.> it's a golden, orangey brown very light, sheer colouration that is usually accumulated on the glass walls of the tank and easily removed into a cloud of "dust" when swept at. <Beautiful... diatoms. Believe it or not, they're actually quite wonderful creatures (just as the snails). Of course, obviously, you can have too much of a good thing. Get your chemistry right, check your RO/DI water (before you mix it), and think about more snails and/or a remote sand bed, etc. Lots to read and think about for you.> I'm so very sorry for sounding so ignorant, really, I feel just awful. <No worries... keep learning/reading, be patient, etc.> Heather <Best, Sara M.>

Acropora Damage 'Healing -- 04/15/08 Last night, I found a little crab in my new colony of yellow Acropora. After the excitement, I found out that this crab, what I know now is a hairy crab, is bad and eats Acropora tissue and polyps. <<A generalization 'and not 'always' the case>> After seeing the damage the little crab did, <<Ah'¦>> I removed him and made him a snack for my peacock mantis shrimp. <<Neat>> I know it was not an Acro crab because it was not white; it was brown and furry with white eyes. <<Again, not always the case... I have a 'brown and furry' crab living among one of my Acropora colonies that does no lasting damage>> Now that he is distinguished, <<'¦?>> I looked at the colony again and saw the damage. Patches at the base of the branches had been damaged which leads me to my main question. Will these patches heal on their own or should I do something? <<If water quality is good the coral should heal just fine>> All of the branches are only damaged at the base, with one branch a little higher up in a patch. The colony still has great color and polyps out nicely where not damaged. Is there anything special I can give it to recover faster? <<Just a healthy environment>> I feel Cyclop-eeze and reef Roids to all my Acros. No other Arco's seem to have the parasite either. Any advice would be helpful to ease my worry away from this damage. Thanks. <<Any intervention from you will likely do more harm than good at this stage. Keep an eye on things and if problems/secondary infection do set in you may be able to frag away the malaffected portions, but I think it likely the coral will be fine as is. Regards, EricR>>

Tiny White Crab on Montipora capricornis: Gall crab - 4/8/08 Hey all. <Hi Andy> I have a Montipora capricornis on which I found a tiny white crab (I think). When I noticed it this morning, I thought it was simply a piece of debris hanging off the coral, but tonight with the lights out and a focused flashlight I was able to see that it was in fact some type of animal. I was able to suck it off with a turkey baster. It is very tiny, so without a magnifying glass I can't make out its features very well, but it does have at least 4 legs on each side. <Thanks, that's an important bit to know when identifying crabs!> The best way I can describe it is to tell you it looks like a white deer tick. <Oh man, do I ever despise ticks! They're creepy little bloodsuckers!> I have attached pictures--I hope you can make it out. <Unfortunately, I can't see enough to differentiate between the two crab families I have in mind. However, I'm hoping that the photo links I'll list below will help you determine which one it really is.> I searched around on WWM to see if anything popped up on this subject that might give me an ID, but I came up empty handed. I note that the flesh of the coral at which this crab was attached all day is totally undamaged, so I'm thinking (and hoping) that it is not a threat <Not likely, no. Most are small commensals.> (although I disposed of the crab anyway). However, there is a tiny, round hole in the structure of the coral that is under the place this crab was attached and that looks like it has been there a while (see pic--maybe the crab was living in this hole?). <Very likely, yes.> Any thoughts on what this crab might be? <It looks like something either in the family Cryptochiridae (coral pit/gall crabs -- many genera) or the family Xanthidae (genus Cymo - gall crabs). I've never heard of these crabs inhabiting Montipora corals before, but considering how little I really know and how much I still need to learn about them, that doesn't mean a whole lot! One thing that's going to help that I can't see in the photos relates to the claws. If those on your crab were easily seen and fairly robust, possibly dark tipped, then it's likely a Cymo sp (Xanthid). If, however, your crab had barely noticeable, slender claws, then it's likely a Cryptochirid. The crabs in this last family look more like ticks to me, but take a look and see what you think (the first two are Cryptochirids): Hapalocarcinus: http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/species.asp?id=7372 Cryptochirus: http://cookislands.bishopmuseum.org/species.asp?id=7200 Cymo: http://decapoda.free.fr/illustration.php?n=3&sp=212 > As always, thanks for your help/time. Andy <You're most welcome. Take care, -Lynn>

Re: Tiny White Crab on Montipora capricornis: Gall crab - 4/8/08 Lynn, <Hi Andy> Thank you for the response. <You're most welcome.> Hmmm, hard to tell. The claws definitely were NOT noticeable. In fact, I couldn't see them at all--the only things I could see were the 4 legs on each side. It resembles the Cryptochirid, but doesn't look like an exact match. <It may be something else within the Cryptochiridae family. Unfortunately, those were the only two online examples I could find of the different genera within that family. Depending on where you look, there are anywhere between 6 to 20 different genera and beyond that, a whole slew of species so there are lots of possibilities.> I'm just glad it likely was not harmful to the coral. <Me too!> The marine world is a strange and fascinating one. <It is indeed! Take care, -Lynn>

Acropora whiting out in under 12 hours 03/16/08 Quick question as I run out the door -- I bought a really nice piece of aquacultured Acro last night from my LFS and in under 12 hours it whited out. Almost completely. This coral was a big frag from their main display tank. They ragged the coral years ago and the Acro frags never sold. They've been in their frag tank for about 2 years now. They had it under 400W halides that were about 4 feet from the tank above. I have a tank that's roughly 30 inches deep so the Acro went on the bottom under my 175W halides (tank is a 50G tank, by the way) to acclimate it to my light. <Were the 400W MH double ended or mogul base? What K rating? ...how about your 175W? Even though their lights were of higher wattage, there might not have been much a difference in light intensities (due to bulb and spectrum differences, etc.)> It was near nothing that could sting it. No fish in the tank that pick at SPS corals. My 90G tank is doing fantastic and I somehow regret not putting it in there -- but this probably would've happened either way. <These things happen. Corals can be finicky like this sometimes. The good news is that if it's just bleached and not dead, it can recover pretty quickly. I'd suggest feeding it well, DT's oyster eggs if you have them.> Something has to be amiss here. Nitrates -- 0 Nitrites -- 0 Ammonia -- 0 Phosphates -- ~0 Salinity -- 1.025 Calcium -- 470ppm Alkalinity -- 8dkh pH -- 8.2 Temperature -- 84 I bag acclimated the Acropora like I've done with every coral I've ever bought. 45 minutes in the bag to temperature adjust and then into the tank. I can't imagine that that was the problem as I've never lost a coral yet. <Well, again, if the coral has only bleached, it's not lost yet.> This rapid die-off is really, really worrying me that something else is amiss in the tank. Is there any chance to save the coral? I'm going to do some pretty large water changes today and tomorrow to see if that helps anything, but I would bet that the coral might be completely gone by the time I return later in the afternoon. <So, wait, are we talking about die-off or bleaching? If it's just bleached, all you need to do is feed it and if all else is ok, it should recover. If it's RTN, then there's likely nothing you can do at this point (unfortunately). But either way, I wouldn't beat yourself up too much over it. Your parameters look right and you did acclimate. It's possible that some allelopathic concern could have triggered RTN (again, if that's what this is, not just bleaching). Do you have a lot of leathers/anemones/etc. in the tank? Honestly though, sometimes these things just happen no matter how careful we are.> - Jon <Best, Sara M.>

Acropora growth/polyp extension... Photo-acclimation, allelopathy?  -- 03/13/08 Hi crew, thanks for all your help in the past. I hope you can lend some insight to my present difficulty. Basically, I have three small (1") frags of SPS. One is a blue tipped Acropora, one is a pink Birdsnest, and the other is a neon green/yellow Acro or millepora. I got them from a fellow reefer where they were doing great as part of a large colony. Since I put them in my tank, two months ago, I have not seen any polyp extension or growth, and in fact I think the blue tipped Acro is at least somewhat bleached. Here's the gist of my tank: Equipment: 34-gallon, 24" x 15" x 22", 150W metal halide HQI (14,000K bulb), <Yikes... did you happen to use a tool to measure incipient light quality, quantity twixt the system where they were and where you placed them?> Aqua C remora HOB skimmer, Koralia 2 powerhead (~650 gph with a wide, diffuse jet). Tank is about 5 months old, and most of my livestock came from my previous 60-gallon. Livestock: Flame angel, ocellaris clown, royal Gramma, green Chromis, cleaner shrimp, a few snails, tuxedo urchin, tiger sea cucumber, a few LPS, a few Zoas, <Uhhh...> a bit of xenia. Lots of live rock, a half inch of sand, no sump or filter other than the skimmer. Specs: pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0-10 (depending which test kit I use), dKH 6-9, Ca 380 to 440, PO4 0.0, temp 80-83. I do 10 gallon water changes every two weeks with natural sea water from Scripps. <Ahhh! I also live in San Diego> Top off with tap water or purified bottled water. I use Seachem marine buffer and Fiji Gold live rock supplement, both at about half the recommended dosage, in my water top offs to provide calcium and alkalinity. <A good practice... as natural water is deficient...> I target feed all the corals (except the xenia) every week or so with frozen zooplankton (Cyclop-eeze mixed with other microscopic species). All my corals are doing great except the SPS. I have not once seen any polyps and haven't seen any growth. I think all my levels are good and though my set-up is simple I thought it would be effective for growing SPS (the tank will one day be only SPS and clams- I'm moving everything else into another tank). There is lots of flow, albeit from only one powerhead and the overflow from the skimmer, the flow seems pretty random, and there is almost no algae in the tank other than what grows on the glass, coralline algae, and a few strands of Chaetomorpha that are always stuck to the urchin. I also tried using carbon for a few days and didn't notice a difference. Lately I added a "surface skimming overflow box/bubble eliminator" to my skimmer to help remove the surface film and increase the efficiency of the skimmer. To the return portion of the box I added a small clump of Chaetomorpha as a wannabe tiny refugium. I'm even considering drilling my tank and adding a sump/refugium to help produce food and remove any nitrates, though this would be a last resort. Is there something I'm missing? Thanks for reading and, as always, I really appreciate the help. Scott <Mmm, two large possibilities loom... either photo-acclimation issues or simple allelopathy... Read re both: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  and  http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: (Follow up: to Eric Russell) New solution against Monti eating Nudis... New Weapon In The Fight Against Montipora-Eating Nudibranchs -- 03/10/08 Hi Eric! <<Hiya Dominique!>> I just made this discovery. Using camel shrimps (Rhynchocinetes durbanensis) to fight Montipora eating Aeolid Nudibranchs. <<Really?>> Never heard of that trick before. <<Me neither 'though I must mention, I don't consider these shrimp 'reef-safe' at all>> Very interesting, have a look: http://www.korallen-zucht.de/index.php?article_id=52&clang=1 <<Ahh! A shrimp stocked 'cleansing tank' separate from the main display 'and utilized like a hospital/treatment tank 'though for a much shorter time period. Keeping a small tank with a few of these shrimp in it should be a simple thing; and an interesting display on its own to boot!'¦ Very cool!>> Ciao! Dominique <<Thanks so much for the input, my friend. Prendere cura! EricR>>

Nudibranchs, as pred.s on Acroporas    -02/20/08 Hello crew, <Howdy> I very quick question for you. I have gotten some information from my supplier and would like some help. I have purchased a lot of various Acroporas in the past, (cultured only). My recent purchases have somewhat intrigued me. All the Acroporas, are dipped and placed in quarantine for 6 weeks. No matter what. However these corals are dying from the bottom up, and from the tips inward. After contacting my supplier he claims there is a huge problem with parasitic Nudibranchs industry wide and manufactures are scrambling to find a solution that will kill the Nudibranchs and their eggs. How you any information on this. I have sent some die off pieces to a lab friend, so I do not have any pictures yet. Thanks, I appreciate any help. <Hmm... AEF usually eat/kill from the base up and out. If your corals are dying from the tips in, that sounds more like a different problem. In any case, this is my favorite page/site on AEF: http://www.melevsreef.com/aefw.html You can see from the pictures what an infected coral looks like and how the infestation progresses. Another good article... http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2007-09/mc/index.php> Ann Marie <Best,
Sara M.>

Re: Montipora capricornis damaged or diseased <I would move it or The Polypoid animal to the lower left...> Hi Bob. Thanks for your reply. Are you talking about moving the Duncan directly below the Monti Cap, or are you talking about one of the corals on the sandbed? <The polyp like animal to the lower left... as prev. stated> (I attached the picture again) If you're talking about the Duncan, <Don't think the organism (the green bit) is a Duncanopsammia is it?> I have moved that to the sandbed already. It was my first attempt at a frag and I'm happy that it was successful! :) So, would you trim off the dead tissue from the Monti Cap or leave it alone? Thanks, Pam <I would leave it as is... IF circumstances are favorable, it may well repopulate this bit of carbonate skeleton. B>

Re: Montipora Capricornis damaged or diseased... not reading Ok...Thanks Bob. I was told that the green coral you're looking at, is a Aussie Duncan. I am only going by what I was told....doesn't mean they weren't wrong. I attached a close up shot of that coral (my mother colony) if you're curious on it's ID. I bought it as a single head in July (2nd picture) and the other picture is what it looks like today. I fragged one head off of it, which is what you saw next to the Monti Cap. It's definitely a LPS with a hard skeleton, not a soft coral. As I said, it is down away from the Monti now, and on the sandbed. Thanks again. I'll leave the Monti as is, and hope that it re-populates over the dead area. Pam <We're not communicating... the animal you show is a Duncanopsammia, but is not the same as the one next to (the left of) the Montipora. Please, don't write... READ where you were first referred to. B>

I wrote to you about two weeks ago regarding a Heliofungia in a 90 gallon reef that acutely started to disintegrate... Now Acroporid hlth. spec. Dear Crew: <Olly> I wrote to you about two weeks ago regarding a Heliofungia <I hope I urged you to read re this genus use in captivity... Rarely lives: http://wetwebmedia.com/fungiidselfaqs.htm > in a 90 gallon reef that acutely started to disintegrate. You advised an iodine dip which I did and the plate coral actually appears to be regenerating a bit. Here's the dilemma.... four days ago a four inch Acropora frag started to lose its polyps rapidly and completely bleached. Now the mother colony does not look healthy (polyps not extending), but it does not look as bad as the frag (no bleaching so far). Nothing has changed in the tanks....lighting, flow, etc. No new fish, corals, or anything has been added to the tank in over a year. However, I did a water change about one week ago with water that had been mixed up about two weeks prior to the change. It had a powerhead and heater and all parameters were the same as the tank water. When the coral started looking bad, I cleaned all the filters and skimmer, replaced the Purigen, changed the carbon, <Mmm... may be removing too much... do you have detectable soluble phosphate for instance?> and cleaned the lights and reflectors. I know the frequency changes on the lights as they age, but I do not think both of my corals would have suddenly changed at the same time. Plus, I have other SPS that does not appear to be affected. Tank specs are as follows: Ammonia/nitrate/nitrite: 0, phosphate: 0, Calcium: 450 mg/L, alkalinity: 2.5 dKH, pH: 8.4, temperature: 78, specific gravity: normally 1.025, but a test after the corals decline indicated it was down to 1.022. I have been slowly increasing this by 0.001 a day. Tankmates are yellow tang, mandarin dragonet, two Sebae clownfish, cleaner shrimp, assorted SPS and a few LPS. So my questions: Could the change in specific gravity have caused this? <Yes> Could the two week old water used for the water change be contaminated (was in a covered tank with aeration, flow, and heat)? <Possibly> Could this be secondary to the Helio's demise two weeks ago? <Not likely related> Could the Helio and the Acropora's demise be from the same unknown cause? <Sure> Any advice on saving the coral? <Reading... http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm > Thanks for any advice. Olly <Too much to begin speculating in a broad sense here... Bob Fenner>

Stress-Related Necrosis, Acroporid Hi crew <Ian> I have been experiencing a rather unfortunate fluctuation in temp over the last few weeks. Due to extremely hot weather and the fact that my chiller packed up ( always when you need it most) the temp has gone from an average of 27deg C to about 30deg C and once to 31deg C! This is just temporary as by early evening it is back to about 28deg C. After a few days of this I managed to restrict the max to about 29deg C by creating a huge amount of air flow across the tank and halving the amount of time my Halides were on. I must add that not every day was like this. <Yes...> Anyway about a week after this happened I noticed that the base of one of my Acroporas was turning white and seemed to be spreading up the stem! (total length only about 100 mm but with about 4 branches). In a panic I removed the coral and broke off the end pieces that were still ok and placed them elsewhere in the tank. By the next morning the balance of the coral was completely white and after a week one of the pieces has also died. The other 3 seem to be doing ok so far. I also have another coral that is almost identical in size but situated near the top of the tank and this one looks fine... so far. Did I do the right thing by cutting off these pieces and was this originally a stress related problem caused by the water temp increase? <Worth trying... perhaps even better to have moved the frags to another system if available> Maybe my halving the light was too drastic? I would have thought that the coral would be able to handle this "minor" fluctuation as surely this happens in nature as well? <Mmm, likely the "blame" is/was mostly thermal> cheers and thank you for your time Ian <If this were the only mal-affected colony/organism, I would count yourself fortunate. Bob Fenner>

Re: SPS Boring Algae Better Living Through Ozone (Nutrient Export and Coral Health)  12/16/07 Mich, <Scott F. in for Mich on this one.> DOH! I just started running ozone a week ago, for the past few months I have been chasing a proverbial ghost. <"Who you gonna call...?" Umm- never mind...bad 1980's movie reference.> I couldn't figure out why these Acros were not beaming like they should. Ultimately, it was that when I set the system up, the sand I used was not thick enough for a DSB and was emitting bad stuff, but phosphate and nitrate on Salifert were registering zero (I was using Phosban as well) {must have been some type of trace amount, enough to cause problems, that coupled with very alkalinity levels as I was trying to stabilize ph!). <Well, it has been debated that a sandbed in that "grey area" (2"-3") might be too shallow for complete denitrification, but too deep to be fully aerobic. Another one of the debates raging in our hobby- imagine that?> I have since fixed it, started running ozone, and have noticed a difference already. <I can imagine. Ozone, if properly administered, can provide amazing benefits for a system.> If you were me, would you trash any affected colonies, saving the frags above the algae line? If I am interpreting your response correctly, what your saying is don't necessarily worry about the infected pieces but make darn sure the nutrient issue gone! Dude, you guys are life savers! Tom <As usual, Mich is right on target! It's certainly best to frag the affected colonies and salvage what you can. Seek and maintain high water quality, and your system will be in great shape sooner than you can say, "Dude, Michelle is a Chick!" Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>  

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