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FAQs about Mussid Coral Health/Disease, Pests 2

FAQs on Mussid Disease: Mussid Disease 1, Mussid Disease 3, Mussid Disease 4, Mussid Disease 5,
FAQs on Mussid Disease by Category:
Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 

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

FAQs on Stony Coral Disease: Stony Coral Disease 1, Stony Coral Disease 2, Stony Coral Disease 3, Stony Coral Disease 4, Stony Coral Disease 5, Stony Coral Disease 6, Stony Coral Disease 7, Stony Coral Disease 8, Stony Coral Disease 9, Stony Coral Disease 10, Stony Coral Disease 11, Stony Coral Disease 12, Stony Coral Disease 13, Stony Coral Disease 14, Stony Coral Disease 15, Stony Coral Disease ,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Family: Acroporid Disease, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Disease 4..., Caryophyllid Disease, Caryophyllid Disease 2..., Elegance Coral Disease/Pests, Dendrophylliid Disease, Faviid Disease, Faviid Disease 2, Fungiid Disease, Mussid Disease, Poritid Health, Trachyphylliid Disease, Trachyphyllia Disease 2,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease,

Cynarina lacrymalis question -02/07/08 Greetings! I was hoping that you could help me with what is, I believe, a donut coral, as I have not been successful in locating much information on the Internet. I acquired this fellow, a relatively large donut about 4-5" across and green in colour, from a fellow hobbyist about three weeks ago. He told me that he did not feed the coral, <<Needs to be fed. RMF>> but that it had once eaten a (dead) fish. It seemed to be doing well in his tank, also. It looked great in my tank for many days - reacting to proffered foods (Mysis, brine shrimp, as well as Cyclop-Eeze and various other foods), swelling at certain times of the day, etc. Today, however, he sort of shriveled up, and his mouth is gaping, and I am not sure what the problem is. I have an established 28 gallon tank, over 30lbs live rock. 4 x 24W T5HO lighting, good flow, but no direct flow to his area. I do not have a skimmer, but have ordered a Prizm Pro. I have a modified AquaClear HOB filter/refugium. The tank has many Zoas, candy canes, clove polyps, Palys, brown star polyp, and a leather coral or two. I have a watchman goby, a Randall's goby, and a pair of false percula clowns. I feed roughly every other day, and do a 15% water change every 5 to 7 days. I had a temperature drop from 80F to 75F over the course of the day today (from about 1 am to 6 pm), which is the only thing I can think of, that could be the cause of his ill health. <I wouldn't worry about it unless the condition persists. It might just be expelling waste.> Any guidance would be much appreciated. Thank you very much, Zoe Stevens <De nada, Sara M.>

Blastomussa merleti health  10/25/07 Cheers Crew. <good morning> Someone was breaking down a tank and gave me a small (5 or so polyps) Blastomussa Merleti frag. The polyps were very full when I got it. Since adding it to my tank after quarantine, however, it is not faring so well, as the polyps are not nearly as full and portions of the skeleton/cup are visible. <What kind of system was it in before you got it? i.e. what lighting was it previously under?> I have a 110g display with a 30g fuge (4-5" DSB, Chaeto and LR) and 85lbs of LR. Lighting is six 54W T5 HO (4 10000Ks and 2 460nm actinics). Mechanical filtration is a wet-dry trickle filter and a Coral Life Super Skimmer. I run carbon in the sump that I change out every 4 weeks. Flow is via a Little Giant 1345 gph return pump, 2 MaxiJet 1200s, 1 MaxiJet 900 and one cheapo low-flow powerhead that I threw in for good measure. <This is still probably not quite enough water flow for a 110g reef tank. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm  and if you have the time/interest... http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature > Livestock is a Sailfin Tang (I know . . .), Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and BTA, Royal Gramma, Brown Comb Tooth Blenny, Yellow Canary Wrasse, Filament Flasher Wrasse, a Citron Goby, 2 Cleaner Shrimps, a Sally Lightfoot, 2 unknown tree corals, a Lemnalia tree coral, two small groups of Pulsing Xenia, 6 Green Hairy Mushrooms, 5 red Shrooms, 2 Ricordea Shrooms, and 4 unknown Shrooms. I use RO/DI for top-off and water changes (10% per week). I dose with B-Ionic 2-part calcium/buffer as needed with testing and Kent iodine one per week with water changes. <No more iodine. Or, please at least test the iodine levels in your tank first. For some further reading on iodine: http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/chem.htm> Water parameters are: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (SeaChem) all 0ppm, phosphate (Salifert) 0ppm, calcium (Red Sea) 400, pH (SeaChem) 8.3, SPG is 1.024-1.025, Alk (SeaChem) is 3.5-4 mEq/L, and temp is 78-80. Based on these readings and a ton of Coralline Algae on my LR and glass, I believe that my water quality is excellent. <::sigh:: Well, I will agree that the results of your test kits do not raise any alarms.> I've read that Blasto Merleti like low flow and low to moderate lighting, so I figured that my T5 setup would be acceptable. Initially, I placed the coral in the lower portion of my tank but have since moved it to the upper third to see if the increased lighting might help. I have seen nominal improvement. I have also read that supplemental feeding is not required, as this coral is primarily a photosynthetic feeder, but I've also read that target feeding with Mysis is not discouraged either. <Hmmm, where did you read that they are "primarily a photosynthetic feeder"? I would have to disagree with that. Yes, these corals can be slowly acclimated to tolerate intense light. However, usually coming from mid-level waters, they prefer less light (or indirect light). They extend extensive feeding tentacles at night and have strong prey capture ability. As a side note, the phrase "photosynthetic feeder" makes no sense. Animals do not feed photosynthetically. If they are photosynthetic, they convert light energy into chemical energy and store it in the form of ATP. Feeding is when an animal metabolizes organic matter from another organism. An animal can't "feed" on sunlight.> I've tried to target feed the coral, but it doesn't seem to eat the food. I target feed whole Cyclop-eeze to my tree corals, so I would think that some of the free floating particles are available for the Blasto Merleti for what that's worth. <When did you attempt to target feed the coral? If you tried to feed it during the day, this might explain why you didn't have much luck. You should try feeding the coral a few hours after lights out. It might not start feeding right away, but if you're consistent, it should start to respond in a few days or weeks. Please see here for some coral feeding tips: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm> Any ideas on what might be going on or what I can do to improve this coral's health? <My guess is that the coral is stressed and/or starving. I would move it slowly back down from the light and start trying to target feed it at night.> The only thing I can think of other than that maybe my lighting is not sufficient is that it is positioned near my Green Hairy Mushrooms, but not right on top of them or anything. When it was in the bottom of my tank, it was not near any Shrooms. <It is a good idea to keep it away from the mushroom corals. Though they might not kill the B. merleti, they'll compete with it for space as they grow.> As always, I appreciate your help. Andy <My pleasure, Sara M.>
Re: Blasto Merleti... fdg.  10/25/07
Dear Sara, Sorry--"I've read that they feed primarily through photosynthesis." I hope that makes more sense to the scientists among you--It is clear from your response that you understood what this fledgling was attempting to say. <Yes, I do understand what you're trying to say. If you'd like to say what you want to say correctly, saying "I've read that they obtain most their energy needs through photosynthesis" would be more accurate. :-) > I did take biology in 9th grade, but it's been 20 years so I am sometimes not as accurate as I should be. I'm just going to warn you now in the event you have to respond to any of my future questions that I never took Latin nor did I take any classes in college of the type that would have exposed me to the manner in which Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species should be referenced ;-p. <No worries. I apologize if you found my clarifications of the science here to be pedantic.> Now, turning to your questions/comments. In all seriousness, thanks for the help that is embedded in your other comments. I see now that I was not feeding this coral at the right time and I will try to feed after lights-out (if I can stay up that late). <No need to stay up too late if you adjust your lighting schedule so that the lights go off towards the end of the afternoon (maybe 6 or 7 pm).> First, prior to my acquisition, the coral was living on the outer edges of MH lighting (probably 250W, but I must confess that I have no clue). I'm sure some of its issues are that it needs to adjust to my environment. <Probably> Second, I read that Blasto. Merleti primarily feed through photosynthesis on: 1. Liveaquaria.com: <Ugh, unfortunately, this is not exactly an authoritative source of information.> "Its body contains the symbiotic algae Zooxanthellae from which it receives the majority of its nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. <Wow, this is just wrong. Corals do not obtain their "nutritional requirements" from photosynthesis.> It does not require additional food to maintain its health in the reef aquarium,  <This could be true if the tank as a whole is well feed. In well-fed tanks, healthy colonies of these corals can get all they need without target feeding. For some good general information on how to feed a reef tank, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Progressive_Recipe/Progressive_Recipe.htm> but it will feed on micro-plankton or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates." 2. Reefcorner.com: "Feeding: Blastomussa is photosynthetic and does not take any known foods." <Again, just flat out wrong.> 3. On WWM (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidae.htm): "Though all are hermatypic, photosynthetic, most are voracious feeders of meaty foods." <Yes, this is accurate.> And the same on many other sites. After searching again today, I found a post from Anthony Calfo: "The real key to success with these (and most) corals is feeding. 3-5 times weekly ideally (or more). Use meats of marine origin/zooplankton substitutes. Cyclop-eeze is a great choice. Flying fish eggs (for sushi) are great too. For smaller polyped corals, DT's natural diet (oyster eggs). Best regards, Anthony" <Yep, I agree with Anthony here.> As you can see from the above, there is a lot of conflicting advice with respect to this coral, which is one of the reasons I posed my question to WWM in the first place. <I can understand your frustration. There is a lot of misinformation (and out-dated information) out there. Though it's getting a bit dated, E. Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" is still a good source for information on captive coral care. As for internet sources, obviously, I think WWM is your best bet. :-)> Third, by my calculations, at least on paper, I have 2195gph of total circulation, which is 20x total tank volume. Let's be realistic, however, and assume that I get 2/3 of that, which leaves me with 13.3 x turnover. The info you linked suggests a 10 to 20 x volume turnover, so it would appear that I'm in the lower end of that range and could stand to add another power head. <Yep. Knowing how to arrange your live rock helps too (make sure it stays away from the sides of the tank and avoid building big walls of rock). Since you're using power heads, you might find this helpful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i4/power_heads/Power_Heads.htm> Fourth, why the "::sigh::" in response to my listing of parameters and statement that I believed they evidence that my water quality is good? Is there something else that the typical hobbyist should be looking for on a regular basis or something that I am not doing enough of/doing wrong, or was my comment just plain foolish (and if so, please explain so I can learn from this)? Please understand that I was simply doing my best to give you as much information about my tank, measured water quality and other factors as I could to assist you in understanding my problem--I was under the impression that you guys appreciated that. <I'm sorry if you were offended. The ::sigh:: was because I'm playing a drinking game with Bob involving any time someone says their water quality is "perfect" or "excellent" based on nutrient test kit results. No, no, just kidding! <<Gulp! I already drank mine. Dang! B>>  Seriously now though, yes, it is very good to be testing these things. And you have my genuine respect for being such a prudent and responsible aquarist. However, I would advice you not to let these test kits give you too much of a false sense of security. These test kits don't always tell you as much as you'd really like to know. For example, the phosphate test kits don't test for organic phosphates. More generally, we're actually quite limited in what we can test for (while some things are taken up before they can be detected). Additionally, it's difficult to define what "perfect" or "excellent" water quality even is because it's relative to what kinds of coral you are keeping.> Andy <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Blasto merleti 10/25/07
Dear Sara, Thanks for your genuine response and helpful thoughts. <my pleasure> Notwithstanding the limited amount of time that I have in my life for this hobby, I try really hard to understand the hobby and to keep a good tank and clean water for my pets. <Indeed, I can tell you care very much for them.> Of course I have made, and will make, mistakes in livestock selection/care despite good intentions and research. <It happens to us all.> As you might have guessed, I am no biologist or fish scientist (but do have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, which I haven't used in 12 years), but I do "get" scientific concepts. <Yes, I think any kind of science background helps. But you'll be surprised by how much biological science you'll naturally pick up as you read and learn more about the hobby.> I just think you guys sometimes forget that most of us have nowhere near the incredible background and knowledge that you have. <Thank you. As I said, I do apologize if I seemed pedantic or persnickety (<--great word, isn't it?).> Although there are a few lazy people out there, I suspect most posters are like me--they try to research issues before asking/doing and have genuinely good intentions when asking questions. <We do appreciate your questions.> I look forward to being a pain in your butt in the near future. <I do too. :-)> Andy <Best, Sara M.>

What's wrong with this Scolymia? Likely nothing... but...  4/5/07 I've had this Scolymia for about 9 months now, and have seen somewhat of a steady decline. The first symptom I think I noticed was a gaping of the mouth, accompanied by mesenterial filaments inside the mouth, starting about 6 months ago. There's also some deterioration of the tissue surrounding the mouth. About 2 months ago or so, I saw what I thought was a small rock lodged inside the mouth. <!?> I got some tweezers and tried to pull the rock out, but before I applied much pressure at all, the "rock" broke open revealing what appeared to be sand and other debris inside. <Likely waste> I kind of waved the loose material around, but didn't go digging around in there to get it all out (remember, I thought I was pulling out a pebble, not performing exploratory surgery  ). So, for the past 2 weeks or so, I started seeing what kind of looked like a black pebble in the mouth. A couple of days ago, I got out the trusty tweezers again and poked at the "rock". <... no> It was actually more like a sack of tissue, enclosing who knows what, so I stopped before piercing the sack. Today the sack had ruptured, exposing what again looks to be a pile of sand and debris. <Please... just leave this be> This first picture is with the black sack intact (apologies for the dirty glass and actinic lighting  ) And this one after the sack had burst... Any ideas what the problem is, or what I can do about it? <Am pretty sure this is waste...> Thanks for all the help. <Mmm, not so fast... Would like to help... but need data... Water quality tests? Your set-up, maintenance... feeding, lighting? You have read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mussiddisfaqs.htm and the linked files above? You should review if so, and do, if not. Bob Fenner>

Blastomussa Coral/Health 11/13/06 WWM Crew, <Hello Chris> I would like to report that I often search your site, and can point to it as the main reason I got serious about my salt water hobby and treating my tank inhabitants with respect (I even try to drop Microcrustaceans back into my tank when they come out with algae or during overflow filter removal!) <Nice.> Now I go to my LFS armed with a book or two in an effort to understand what I'm buying and what its needs will be.  I have never, in about 15 years of keeping fish, had so much success and it's been very rewarding.  I've had a very stable system with respect to my chemistry, fish, and corals. <Good to hear.> Since I've been reading your site, I've slowly gotten into keeping some basic corals, have added a DSB refugium, and track all my test kit readings, additions, etc. in a little spreadsheet to trend my tank chemistry. <Ah, excellent.> Anyway, thanks again and on to my question: I have a 65 gallon display tank.  In this tank, I have a little fragment colony of Blastomussa merleti (5 little tubes with green polyps.  I have it toward the bottom of my tank, (4x96W orbit PC for lighting). <At least you have the easier of the two Blastos to keep, the other being the wellsi.  They do well under PC lighting and like a medium water flow along with an occasional feeding of a plankton type coral food.  Steady calcium and carbonate levels will also aid in the health of this coral.> I've had this Blastomussa colony for about 6 months, and it has always seemed to do very well.  I've watched the polyps extend further and further out until they touch and look like one colored mat.  In fact two more small polyps had started to bud off the side of the colony. Recently it does not want to come out.  It's not dead, because I can see the retracted polyps, but I can't figure out what's going on.  No major changes, readings have been fairly steady as far as I have measured for the past two months (Nitrate 0ppm, Phosphate 0 ppm, pH 8.2, alkalinity 3.5 mEq/L, salinity 1.024, Calcium 450 ppm (up from about 375 over the last couple months), temp 78 degrees F. <All sounds well here.> There are only two things I can think of: 1) The only thing that is nearby is a large feather duster (one I've had for quite some time, but one that has slowly grown bigger (It's probably 3" in diameter when open).  It's possible some of the "feathers" could touch the Blastomussa, but they've been close to each other (about 4" apart) ever since I got the Blastomussa.  Can Featherdusters attack corals in the same way corals attack each other? <No, the duster is basically a filter feeding worm.> 2)  I flooded my sump when topping it off (I have a nearby fill line, so I left the valve open, got distracted, and overfilled it - absent minded, maybe I should force myself to do it with a transfer container so I am forced to pay attention :-).  Instead of doing anything drastic, I checked the salinity of the system and it had dropped to about 1.022.  I let the system recover via evaporation (just let the sump run high a couple of days) until the salinity was back to my normal level. Nothing in my system seemed to suffer at the time.  But maybe the effect could lag the incident? <Quite possible here, Chris.  Are your PC bulbs aging?  Good idea to replace them yearly to ensure the proper Kelvin temperature is there.> Oh well, that's all I can think of.  It's probably been about 2 weeks that the polyps have been retracted. <You may want to use a good iodine supplement.  You didn't mention frequency of water changes, but generally, a good reef salt will replace the iodine and other needed trace elements that are lost, providing a weekly water changes are done.> Thanks, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Chris

Mussidae Family/Feeding   5/23/06 Hello guys,  <Hello Paul> I have a gorgeous meat that doesn't look like it is doing very well (bones showing ?) I haven't fed him anything in a few months. What can I feed him ? Thank you for the help. <Read here and linked files above it.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidfdgfaqs.htm Paul 

Re: Brains in a Nano cont.   3/28/06   Dear Mr. Fenner,          In my last email I sent to the  WWM email. I told you about how I never received a reply when I had sent  pictures with the email. You directed me to send it to your personal  email. <Yes, thank you for this>      In a previous email I told you about my  Lobophyllia and some odd behavior. As I said before it I am not sure if this is  just natural or a problem. Other than the odd behavior and some recession it is  doing well. <I see this here> As I mentioned before with the recession it was there either when I  bought it 4 months ago or shortly afterwards. The recession does not appear to  have gotten much worse, but not better.      Below are pictures of the lobo in it's 3 forms (not  really the right word). When it is in it's extra expanded state, it's "normal"  state (meaning what it looks like most of the time.) and when it will pull in  most of it's tissue. The behavior has no pattern and varies from day to day.  On most days it will look normal all day, on other days it will go into the  pulling in it's tissue form. It does usually do it in the afternoon and will  stay like that for a few hours. It is rarely in it's extra expanded state,  usually once or twice a week. ( it only stays like that for a few hours then  will usually go into the normal state) The fluctuations seems entirely unrelated  to feeding or water changes or anything else. Bye the way how often should I  feed it? <A few times a week with meaty foods... Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mussidfdgfaqs.htm> I was thinking 3 times a week. (Or is that too often.) Order of picture is as follows: 1. Extra Expanded 2. Recession Extra Expanded (have moved the rock with red algae on it since picture) 3. Recession Normal 4. Normal 5. Recession Closed Up 6. Closed Up 7. Full View of Tank. (Daisy Polyps are closed up because I took the picture in after 8 P.M. just when they like to close up for the night, not a  great picture of the tank either. The flash washed everything out, but it gives an accurate representation of the tank.) Thank you for your help and time, (sorry if the pictures took a long time to load) MDM <Likely this tank is doing about as well as it can under your good care. The keeping of multiple species, families, orders of cnidarians in small volumes is problematical. Put another way, your "margin of error" increases with increasing system size all else being equal. Bob Fenner>
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