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FAQs about Acroporid Coral Disease/Health, Parasites, Pests 7

FAQs on Acroporid Disease: Acroporid Disease 1, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Disease/Pests/Predators 4, Acroporid Health 5, Acroporid Health 6, 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,

New to SPS -- 05/22/09
Hello crew, Henry here.
<<Hiya Henry, Eric here>>
I have a 72g bow front with a 15g sump, Mag-12 return pump and 2 Koralia 4's, AquaC Urchin Pro skimmer, 85#'s live rock, 2" sand bed. In the sump I have Chaeto, carbon, and 50mg PhosBan. Tank has been up for 2 1/2 yrs, I have some fish and soft corals. Decided to try SPS corals, I got 2 150W MH w/Actinics. Did light acclimation, then I got a Montipora digitata. Put him high up in tank. I have had it for a couple of weeks now and have not seen any polyps?
<<Odd'¦ If happy/conditions are good, this coral usually 'polyps out' quite readily when the lights are on>>
I will attach a photo and also water specs. Please tell me, is it OK? Is there something I can do?
Water Specs: Temp - 78-80
SG - 1.023
pH - 8.4
CA - 500
PO - 0
NO - (honestly) 15 - 20
Thank You.
<<Well Henry, the picture is a bit dark to see much detail but this digitata specimen certainly does not look happy. There's a couple things I notice about your water specs that may be the issue here 'most importantly the Nitrate level. Nitrate is important to a system, but if your readings are accurate the level is too high. Strive to bring it down to the 3-5 ppm range. You don't give an Alkalinity reading but your Calcium level of 500 seems a tad bit high 'might want to let this fall to about 400 or so. Also, I prefer a more 'natural' Salinity level of 1.025-1.026. Another consideration is the PhosBan'¦ Though I have used it myself on a punctuated basis when battling nuisance algae, there are those that believe it is actually detrimental to a system when utilized continuously 'something for you to think about. As for lighting, if you acclimated the digit correctly, and especially if this is a 'green' variety, being up high in the tank should be fine'¦but'¦you might try lowering it in the tank for a bit and see what transpires. Regards, EricR>>

SPS Burnt Tip Question 4/26/09
Hi Guys,
Can you tell me if the images in link indicate burnt tips?
If not, what could it be?
Tips are bubbling and are soft. Color and Polyp extension look OK.
<Does appear to be "burnt">
Tank Parameters:
Calc 385
Alk 9.5 dKH
Mag 1400
Lighting is 54 watt T-5 bulbs overdriven with IceCap Ballast.
Not all corals are affected.
<Mmm... the one likely possibility is allelopathy... Please read here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: SPS Burnt Tip Question 4/26/09
Hi Bob,
<Hey Mark>
Chemical warfare, I'll look into it.
<Is one of a few possible guesses at this juncture>
All other corals seem to be fine at the moment.
I also posted on Reef Central SPS forum. Some fellow reefers experienced the same thing. Nobody has an idea what to label it.
Consensus was, it's not "Burnt Tips" or RTN/ STN.
A few suggested lowering ALK to around 8?
<Mmm, a good idea... more to the point is the question of how or what caused your Alkalinity to become so high?>
Thanks for your help.
<Welcome. BobF>

Montipora capricornis, hlth., reading 3/1/09 I added a Montipora capricornis to my 55 gallon tank 3 months ago. It was a three inch frag and had been growing and doing well until last week overnight it developed two white spots about the size of a pea towards the center away from the edges. The spots appear to be exposed skeleton. One day after the first spots appeared 1 more appeared. Now three days later they remain the same size and the rest of the coral looks healthy with polyps extended and a dark orange color. What do you suggest as a coarse <course> of action. I have some reef dip but didn't know if this would help. <Mmm... what are the ingredients? Likely some general I2 et al. materials would not hurt... The "dots" could be due to physical trauma (something eating, walking on the colony), or interaction with other life there (what other "corals" are nearby... within a foot?), even just chemical imbalance issues...> If I leave it alone will the flesh possibly grow back or should I just frag it and hope it doesn't happen again. <I'd leave all as is> My Ca. is 430, Alk. 3.31 meg., Ph 8.2, <Mg? W/in 3X or so conc. range?> Ammonia, Nitrite, nitrate all 0. <Need to have some NO3, HPO4...> I have 4 65 watt power compact bulbs, 2 1200 maxi jets and 2 600 MaxiJet. Any suggestions? Thanks, Greg <As usual, reading: http://wetwebmedia.com/acrodis4.htm  and the linked files above, and/or the use of the WWM search tool... Bob Fenner>

Montipora-Eating Nudibranch Question -- 02/21/09 Hello, <<Hi Jeremy>> I unfortunately have Montipora eating Nudibranchs. <<Ugh'¦ I have dealt with these pests in the past 'very destructive and not easy to eradicate>> I have some encrusted Montipora that I won't be able to completely remove from my tank. <<Then sadly, these will likely be lost. Though you could, as I'm sure you are aware, frag them up and remove to quarantine for inspection/treatment>> I have set up a QT tank and my plan is to remove the Montipora that I can and frag the ones that I can't remove and move them to my QT tank. <<Ah! Yes>> I will dip them in Revive every couple days to try to kill the Nudibranchs. I understand the dip won't kill the eggs but I am thinking if I dip every couple days for an extended period of time I will get them all. <<Maybe so'¦ But do also inspect the undersides of the corals daily and remove adults/eggs as you find them>> I am sadly going to have to let nature run it coarse on the Montipora I can't get out of my tank and hopefully starve the Nudibranchs. I have read that these pests can live two months without food. <<I too have heard they can/will enter a dormant stage 'but I can also attest that without a food source they will decline/cease to be>> I have two questions, how long should I keep my Montipora in the QT tank and is Revive an effective dip for the pests? <<I would give the system a good two weeks after the last of the remaining Montipora is gone from the display. Then I would add a sizeable frag of Montipora (choose a species the Nudibranchs 'especially' liked if possible) to the display and inspect this frag daily for re-infestation. If in another two weeks the Nudibranchs don't show up on this frag, then it's likely you can return all your Montipora to the display without fear. As for the dip'¦ The Revive is probably fine, nothing is likely to get everything as you stated 'but I would also try Tropic Marin's Pro-Coral Cure as this iodine-based product may well act differently/more effectively on the Nudibranchs than the plant-based Revive. But only one way to find out'¦>> Thanks for your help! Jeremy <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Coral Disease 01/06/09 Dear Crew: Happy New Year! <To you and yours tambien!> I hope all is well on your end. Attached, please find two photographs of diseased corals. One is a Montipora Digitata and the other a Montipora Capricornis. Both have been doing well, for three years without incident. <Wow, well done.> This disease is spreading and from the photographs, you can possibly see some black specs forming in the area of dead coral. Do you have any ideas on what this is and how to combat it? <Can you look closer at these black specs and see if they are moving? Are they mobile things? To me, they look a bit like algae growing on dead coral right now... but I can't tell from the photos. I have heard "rumors" of something like "black red bugs"- parasitic copepods that are black, rather than red. But I don't know what they are or even if that's what's going on here.> No new specimens have been added to this tank for several years now. <Very strange. Have you changed anything at all with the system? New lights? New supplements? Anything?> Thank you for taking the time to look. Best regards, Brad in Basalt <Best,
Sara M.>

ID help 01/06/09 These are pictures I took, I'm being told they are not redbugs. But from what I can find they appear to be to me. So I'm turning to a pro. I apologize for picture quality but it's the clearest I could get. Thx. Paul <... could be Tegastes... can't tell from these images. Bob Fenner> <<Bob... should have referred the querior to more... at least the newly placed pitch for some of my pet-fish presentations... the next one coming up this month... re Hitchhiker Pros/Cons... will do so here: http://wetwebmedia.com/LR,LS/HH%20PPT%20Pitch%20Cells/HHProsConsart.htm>>

Receding Montipora 10/7/08 ??? Hello everyone, <Hi Jason - Brian here> I trust you are all doing well this morning! I am sorry to have to bombard you with more questions, but here we go... Here are the general details of my set up: 72 gal bow front 2x250 metal halide bulbs (12 inches above glass cover) (10.5 hours per day on timer) 4 fluorescent bulbs in unit also (14 hours per day on timer) 1502 calcium reactor Ozonator running off my skimmer (Coralife skimmer) 80 or 90 lbs of live rock 2-3 inches of sand I keep a log of my water tests, which I do 2 times per week. My results average at the following: SG. 1.023 temp 80-82F ammonia 0 nitrite .1 nitrate 0-2.5 calcium 420-460 ph 8.4 Alk 10-11dkh I am moving the tank volume at least 10 times per hour through the sump (I also have 3 power heads running in the tank) I supplement with iodide once per week (half the recommended dose). Water changes are 15 percent every week or so. <First I want to applaud you for the description or your tank and it's conditions. It makes it much easier for us to help when done as you have done. Secondly, your caretaking disciplines are outstanding, way to go Jason!! The one thing that jumped out at me is that your nitrites are not 0,they should be, based on your other results, I'd bet they are 0, maybe re-test.> So... I purchased a few Sps (over a couple weeks) about 5 weeks ago. (6 Acropora, and 1 Montipora) they all seem to be doing fine until yesterday I noticed the Montipora receding a bit. After discovering this, I promptly went on to your forum and found several posts on this subject. I think I have a stock problem as I have quite a mixture. I have several mushrooms, 4 leathers, hammer, star polyp, xenia, torch, elegance, flower pot, long tentacle anemone, rose anemone, sea mat, as well as an assortment of button polyps. I keep the stony's located high in the tank, and as isolated from the other corals the best I can. I also try to keep the leathers low in the water column to minimize the chemical issues; as well I use activated carbon in direct flow in my sump. <I looked at your pictures very carefully and don't see the receding that you are talking about. I do see a lot of growth (white along the edges) and what appears to be a very happy Montipora capricornis.> After reading the FAQs, it seemed like my first option was to try and move the Montipora, however, it has calcified to the live rock and doesn't seem to want to let go (I didn't pull too hard, but it seems pretty intent on staying where it is!) <This is a good sign, it has grown and attached to the rock.> I have attached a couple of low rez pics to give you an idea of the placement, and the inflicted area of the coral. Can you please advise? Thanks so much for your dedication to the hobby! <I think that you have laid out the tank in an excellent way; you appear to being doing what you need to do and in the right manner. Maybe a better picture would change my opinion, but until then, don't worry too much, give it some time and good luck!! BrianG> Jason

Re: receding Montipora 8/18/08 Hi Brian, <Hi Jason!> I wanted to resend you some new photos. I think these pictures help show what I was concerned about a lot better. On the right side plate of the coral you can notice that the color is turning white (particularly where the plates seem to join in the middle.) It seems to do this on most of the edges, some spots worse than others. Is this growth or illness? Thanks again for your time. <Definitely growth!!! You have a happy coral that is growing. This coral is known for it's rapid growth so expect to see this most of the time. > Jason
<Take Care!! BrianG>

Re: receding Montipora Thank you Brian. <Thank you for writing us Jason>I think my test kit for no2 might be faulty. I have never had a reading below this number... I have however had a higher number when I cycled my hospital tank, but never lower. Its almost all gone I suppose I should just get a new test kit. <It's important to remember that with an established tank such as yours, Nitrites should always be zero. If they aren't it should be a red flag due to improper testing, another cycle or a stale test kit.>

Question For the WWM Team. SPS RTN and Diatom growth... cause/s? Allowance/s? 6/11/08 Dear WWM Staff, <Justin> Your website has been a great resource too me and would like to thank you for your contribution to the hobby through this website, it is invaluable. <Glad you find it useful> I started in the hobby one and a half ago with a 12 gallon Nano that was very successful. Six months into it I did my research and upgraded to a 70 gallon system. My current system setup is as follows: Equipment 50g Clear for life pentagon corner acrylic tank with a back corner overflow box. The top front corners are drilled for the two returns, which is powered buy an in sump Eheim 1260 generating a 10x. I installed a closed loop by drilled the bottom right hand side of the tank for intake and the bottom right for the split returns. (see attached illustration 1). <None of these came through. Must be attached...> An external Poseidon PS3, generating an estimated 18x turnover, powers the closed loop creating a circular closed loop flow. I run a VorTech pump in an opposite position to the closed loop at half speed in reef crest mode creating turbulence and an additional 35x. I have a JBJ 1/10th Titanium chiller running in the well ventilated attic directly above the tank that is powered by an external Poseidon PS1, generating an estimated 8x turnover, and returns to the main tank. The lighting is a PFO mini pendant 250 MH running a 14,000K phoenix bulb, replaced last month. I run a 24' 65W, retro fit SunPaq PC actinic bulb and a set of two Current USA moon lights. I recently switched from an ASM G1 skimmer to a Tunze 9010. My sump is a custom built 20 gallon with a built in 3g refuge where I keep 5 lbs of miracle mud and Chaeto under a low watt bulb 24/7. <Stop! I would not have the lighting on continuously here. Chaetomorpha needs a dark phase... I'd arrange the light to overlap, be on when the main display lighting is cycled off> The overflow splits into two where 75% of the flow ends up in the skimmer side of the sump and 25% ends up in the refuge. I run a PhosBan reactor with Eco-Phos connected to a MaxiJet 400 that pulls from the skimmer side of the sump and returns to the return side of the sump. I do not run a heater as the house is maintained at 74º and in combination with the MH I have been very successful in maintaining a stable temp of 77º. Current Parameters -- Very stable. Temp 77º Salinity 1.025 pH 8.3 Calcium 450 Alkalinity 10 Magnesium 1350 Nitrates 0 Nitrites 0 Phosphates 0 <Mmm... I'd read a bit re the need for soluble phosphate... your system, with the reactor, may be too "clean" for the livestock's good> Ammonia 0 Maintenance Schedule I change 10% weekly using Reef Crystals, but recently switched to Reefer's Best. <The ZEOvit product> All sponges are removed from the skimmer, pumps, PhosBan reactors and cleaned out, to ensure no phosphate built up. I dose B-Ionic and or DT's new CA/Alk/Mag chemical additives. I dose a little Potassium (explanation later on) and Eco-Systems trace minerals. I run carbon for 5 days a month. I test all water parameters every Sunday at 8pm using Salifert test kits. Feeding Schedule I feed sparingly once a day and or every other day. I feed with Rod's Food (http://www.rodsfood.com/). Bio Load 1 Med. Yellow Tang 1 Dusky Jaw 1 Blue Chromis 2 small Clown fish 1 Royal Blue Tang 1 Small Six-line Wrasse 1 Peppermint Shrimp 1 Emerald crab Large cleanup crew (no stars), snails, (Hawaiian Trochus Grazers, Hawaiian Turbo Grazer, Micro Hermits, Blue hermits, Strombus Grazers conch, ninja, Pinky Cuke, Hawaiian Littorinid Grazers, Astraea, Nassarius) Natural Filtration I have about 50 lbs of live rock and 30lbs of live sand. Light Cycle Moonlights off 7am Actinic on 11am MH on noon MH off 9 pm Actinic off 10 pm Moonlights on 11pm Issues I have two ongoing issues that I cannot seem to resolve. 1) Diatoms -- (one year later) 2) SPS RTN/STN <This both may well be due to the lack/absence of HP04...> I went through a very patient cycle and waited and waited. However I still to this day suffer from Diatoms. I have done everything listed on WWM site and more I have done two days of darkness, however they always return and are very prominent on the sand bed. They are densest by my Dusky Jaw, as assume it's because the snails get used in the construction of his burrow and hence they stay away from him and the sand does not get mixed up in that area, however the rest of tank still suffers from bad diatom blooms. I can keep pink and green Birdsnest that grow thick branches and have wonderful plop extension and color. However, I cannot keep any other SPS. Monti's die by STN/RTN within weeks and never show signs of growth. I started adding potassium as the ZEOvit system promotes it and I had run out of options. I acclimate slowly via the drip method and place the coral low in the tank and slowly raise up towards the light as to not light shock the coral. All other forms of corals start to loose their tissue and then the diatoms start to attach and I inevitably loose the coral. (See illustration 2) I have recently increased the weekly water changes to 15% and switched salts from reef crystals to Reefer's Best to address the low potassium issue as tested by a ZEOvit user. <K presence/concentration is rarely a rate limiting factor> Other Info The only piece of equipment that I did not buy new was the tank and it was used as a freshwater system. My build thread on sdreefs : http://www.sdreefs.com/forums/showthread.php?t=25429&highlight=50g+build Illustration 1 Illustration 2 Illustration 3 <Again, these graphics didn't make it> Kind regards, -- Justin A. Hai <I'd pull the Phosban out... run this system for a few weeks... see what happens. Bob Fenner>
Re: Question For the WWM Team. SPS RTN and Diatom growth... 6/12/08
Bob, <Justin> Thank you for your email... I do have a follow up comment to your "system is too clean" suggestion. <Ok> I ran Carbon in the Phosban reactor 24/7 prior to MAX in Orange County. I met Mike Paletta who suggested that I run carbon 5 days a month and run Eco-Phos in the reactor instead. The point here is that I was not using a phosphate remover prior to MAX (April 5th 2008) and the issues were the same before installation of the Eco-Phos in terms of diatoms and SPS RTN. <I see> Is it feasible that it could be the opposite in terms of high organics in the tank (except when the corals are dying fast, in which case I'd suspect acclimation, toxins in the water or some other acute problem, but I think we can rule that out). Keeping in mind that the test kits we all use don't detect all phosphates and don't detect bacteria levels at all - Salifert = 0, Hanna = 0.13 Kind regards, -- Justin A. Hai <Mmm... am on to my default general resp.: Perhaps allelopathy... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Algae growing on SPS tissue, no data or reading 6/10/08 Hello Reef Central Gurus, <Okay... forgot to edit your broadcast message...> Once again I must turn to your expert knowledge! I have had this particular SPS for some months now and it has been sitting on a frag rack since acclimation. All my levels are fine, however, I have been noticing some algae growth on certain areas where it appears the tissue will die/is dead. As you can see from the picture, the large spot on the right is where some tissue has died, and the other branches are showing a small amount of growth on top of the tissues. <Yes...> I have moved it to an area of greater flow, and am seeing no change, whether it be slowing or speeding up the algae growth. Please let me know how to treat this as it is one of my favorite SPS in the tank. Sincerely, Paul Cheng <... Could be a number of influences... this colony looks to be in bad shape overall... light, nutrient, some aspect of too much/too little (limiting) chemical/physical factor... all levels are "fine"... Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm  scroll down to SPS, Acroporid Culture... Bob Fenner>

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