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FAQs about Soft Coral Health 2

FAQs on Soft Coral Disease: Soft Coral Health/Disease/Pests 1, Soft Coral Health 3, Soft Coral Health 4, & By Family: Alcyoniid Health, Alcyoniid Disease 2, Alcyoniid Disease 3, Alcyoniid Disease 4, Alcyoniid Disease 5, Alcyoniid Disease 6, Alcyoniid Disease 7, Alcyoniid Disease 8, Alcyoniid Disease 9, Alcyoniid Health 10, Alcyoniid Disease 11, Alcyoniid Health 12, Alcyoniid Health 13, Alcyoniid Health 14, Alcyoniid Health 15, Alcyoniid Health , & Nephtheid Disease, Xeniid Disease, Xeniid Health 2, Xeniid Health 3,
Soft Coral Disease by Category:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious/Parasitic, Pests, Treatments

Related Articles: Soft Coral

Soft corals must be handled with care to ensure their health. This is how they're shipped, upside-down attached to a piece of foam to avoid abrasion with the bag. 

-Limp Colt Coral- Hello WWM,  <Hi there! Kevin here tonight>   I recently purchased a colt coral from my LFS. The coral seemed to be in  good shape at the store. It was upright, no broken or limp branches, and no secretion of stringy material. When transporting the coral it secreted a purple film into the bag (which I have read on some websites is normal). <I've never seen purple mucus be secreted by these guys except in dyed specimens... The mucus should be clear/whitish> I floated and slowly acclimated the coral to the aquarium. I rinsed the coral off in a separate container filled with aquarium water (to remove excess mucus) <These guys are REALLY slimy huh!>. Once in the tank the coral just seemed to become limp and lean over towards one side. It seems to be moving its branches a little.  There was a slight smoky secretion from the base of the colt however, that has now stopped. I have a 75gallon tank with compact fluorescent lights (actinic and regular). My water shows virtually zero nitrates. My ph is around 8.2 and my salinity is between 1.023 and 1.024. I use only RO water. My supplements include strontium, calcium, iodine, iron, and magnesium. I feed every other day live micro plankton. I have the coral by itself on one side of the aquarium. Is it normal for this coral to become limp? Should these parameters and supplements be sufficient for this coral? Your help is much appreciated. <Don't expect a newly introduced coral to look normal as soon as it's tossed in the tank. It can take days/weeks for it to fully open up if the water chemistry, lighting, and water movement are not what it was used to. It just needs time to acclimate. I'm sure it will be fine, these are tough as nails and before you know it you'll be slicing and dicing once it gets gigantic! Also, the purple slime worries me a bit, if the coral is any color other than brown it's been artificially dyed, and a very common color that they use is purple. Again, these guys are extremely hardy and will probably tough it out until the dye goes away, but you should question your source if this is the case... Good luck! -Kevin>

Toadstool Droop - 12/16/03 hello WWM Crew, I purchased a toadstool leather about 4 days ago.. ever since than it has been leaning downwards on the rock its attached to.. <No real issue here. It does need time to acclimate to your water chemistry and lighting. Please give it time. Leave it in place and try not to move it. Keep up with the water changes> I was told by my LFS to leave it alone and see what it does.. its polyps come out even once in a while but its hanging..<Means nothing. Give it time.> the top is facing the bottom of the tank..<Leave it be it should straighten out. In the meantime, please read through our FAQs and articles on these particular corals. Very hardy and tend to adjust to various water parameters and lighting over time.> I did all the usual tests and everything is fine..<How about lighting??? Although they tend to adjust to various lighting, it may just take some time to make the adjustment> all the other corals seem to be doin fine.. can u help?? <nothing to "help" here really. Just need to give it some time. ~Paul>

Toadstool Leather shrinking 12/5/03 First let me say you have numerous articles on this but none seem to be my case. <OK> We got a large leather toadstool about 3 weeks ago and it did fine for 2 weeks and then stopped opening. Looks like a bare baby's but! <would that be with or without diaper rash? Er... never mind> Water tests fine. V <heehee... ya, know... folks/friends always say that... but we cannot help you as well without also being privy to those readings to confirm "fine"> HO lights same as the environment that it came from. Anyway, after reading your other posted articles, I have found out that it could be doing this for a number of reasons. I did fish out a 10" bristle worm 2 days ago and suspect it may have been the culprit. <weakly irritating at best> All other corals are multiplying and happy. My question is: Should I let my "Fishman" put it back in his tank where it was fine or wait it out to see if it will recover? <moving corals excessively in the first week is a surefire way to kill them. Please simply leave your leather in place and let it adapt. Many leather corals will take days or even weeks to express full polyps. They are very hardy but finicky> This piece was very expensive and it is hard to know what to do with it to save it. Lesa ~ Houston, Texas <have patience my friend... I suspect if you keep your hands out of the aquarium, it will look fine in days. Anthony>
New Leather - slow to open 12/10/03
You were right.....kept my hands out of the tank, patience and time was the answer! Thank you. <very welcome... its true, for how hardy leathers are overall... they are also very sensitive to expressing polyps when fiddled with too much> It is not fully extended yet but is opening and prickly. <all in good time> Actually, it is opening so big that it touches another "tree form" leather that we have. Guess this is ok. <nope... it is a serious problem in time. They will fight and burn each other. No two corals should be allowed to touch for any reason... they will all battle for space. Please keep 6-10" between all corals for safety and growth. A good long term view> Lesa
<best of luck! Anthony>

Leather trouble (yellow) 11/15/03 I have a great looking Sarcophyton elegans. It has developed a very bright yellow are ( spot) and some very bright yellow around the lower edge. I've done a 5 min. Iodine bath. Have any ideas what it is? <The animal overall looks good... the patches are points of irritation. Could be hydroids or another coral on a rock nearby burning it, could be worms at night gnawing at it... could be fishes (like tangs or dwarf angels) nipping at it... many possibilities> Did I treat correctly? <no harm... but it does not look pathogenic at this point to me (as such helped little by the iodine)> Thank you. Chris
<best of luck, Anthony>

HELP!  Urgent Yellow Leather Problem: infection 11/15/03 I was told by a guy on Reef Central that Anthony Calfo might be able to help me.   <correct... and my pleasure> I have a yellow leather that was fine this morning, now has a large black patch on it (that seems to be growing noticeably as we speak).  All polyps are retracted and it is sagging.  A couple of pics are attached. <it does indeed have a necrotic infection... which with these Alcyoniids progresses quickly. You will have to actually cut this leather up (cut almost 1" past the black area into good tissue) to extract the infected area. Afterwards, you can dice the animal further with hope that one of the frags will survive... or leave it intact, provide good water flow and hope it heals. For almost any other leather, this would be a minor surgery and have a very high likelihood of success. Unfortunately, such is not the case with Sarcophyton elegans... little or no tissue may survive here> Any ideas of how to treat?  Or is it a goner... <as per above... and you really should learn to quarantine all new specimens (fish, coral, snails, everything) to prevent problems like this from potentially wrecking your tank in the future. This pathogen may very well be contagious and infect other healthy corals in your tank. Please do read though our archives here at wetwebmedia.com (do a Google search with the tool on our home page at the bottom). We have articles and many FAQs on the subject. One article specifically by Fellman on QT for Inverts/corals> Any help would be appreciated... Mark Davies <I wish you the best of luck my friend! Anthony>

Collapsing Coral And Rising Nitrate  Hi,  <Hi there! Scott F. here today>  I talked to ya'll last week. I now have finger leather that looks like its insides have been sucked out of it. It is just lying there almost flat and is a brownish color. It had been looking so good.  <It might be history...Not to be too premature here, but it may be beyond salvaging at this point. You could potentially try cutting out any salvageable parts of the colony and placing them in on rubble to re-attach... The reason for this collapse is not entirely understood. Eric Borneman, in his book "Aquarium Corals", suggests that salinity variations, physical trauma, or injury may play roles in this condition>  Now I never did find that thing that was on my mushroom leather that you thought might be some kind of Nudibranch.  <Hmm...the "thing" might have been the source of the "trauma"?>  Also there is something on my rock that I have just noticed in the last few days. It is shaped kinda like a mushroom, they are really small, the stalk is so small I can hardly see it and the round top is a lot smaller that a dime maybe the size of the tip of a small persons finger. I can't tell the color of the stalk very well but it appears to be kinda a brownish color, the round top has little things standing up all around its edge and these and the top is clear. If my shrimp or fish get close to them they suck themselves back into the rock and you can't see the at all, you wouldn't even know there had been something there.  <Hmm, I'd love to see a photo and I could attempt an ID on this animal>  I did another 10% water change and vacuumed Sunday, my nitrate is still high around 60 I can't seem to get it to go down and stay everything else seem to be ok.  <Well, consistent water changes over time, combined with solid husbandry techniques (skimming, use of chemical filtration media, etc.) over time will do the trick. Initial, larger changes can help get things started>  I really need some help and I hope you guys can tell me what to do. Like I have told you I am just starting and I love my little ocean friends and want to really take care of them.  <Keep reading up on the WWM site concerning nutrient control and export techniques, and you'll see the water chemistry factors improve>  My sail fin tang ate out of my hand the other day; I thought that was really cool.  <Gotta love that!>  If I could just get my leather healthy and nitrate under control and these other things.  <Hope I gave you some places to start!>  Thank so very much, Teri  <My pleasure, Teri! Let us know if we can be of further assistance! Regards, Scott F>

- Mushroom Leather Oddness -  Hi Again,  Thanks for the information. Since I wrote you, I can NOT find this little creature anywhere and the stalk of my leather where the notch is looks more like a crack now. <Are you sure it was a 'creature' and just not a piece of the stalk that had come loose? Perhaps attached a little while by a thread and then later lost entirely...> Where has this thing gone. <Who knows.> Do you have any ideas on how to find it now? <Not too many... just non-fun ideas like take the tank apart, but I'm not sure what that would really accomplish.> Also I have another leather-finger type I believe, which when the guy set it back up he said it wasn't doing well and he didn't think it would make it. Well I have been watching it and it just lays there, I am not sure but it looks like the bottom half is all green and brown hard looking. <I would agree with the person who helped set you up, I don't think it's going to make it.> But I have noticed the on the end that has the fingers some real real small little white and bushy stuff is waving around from them. Is there anything I can or should do with this guy? <Make sure your water quality is as good as it can be.> I have another one like this that stands up and the fingers just seem to reach up towards the top on my tank, the fingers are touch the things that wave around that comes out of my mushroom leather when it opens up. <Uhh... I'm not sure I understand.> Is this a problem, I had to depend entirely on the guy who set my tank up for placement of things. <Sounds to me like you should be depending on this person. I strongly advise you to start reading... inform yourself. Start with either Mike Paletta's New Marine Aquarium or Bob Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist. If you get past those and want to know more about corals, pick up Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals. All the while you can also browse the Wet Web Media site where there are many articles and FAQs replete with information for you.> Oh yes I am going to do another water change. I still have not figured out how to find or get onto ya'lls site to talk with ya'll at the time I am writing. <I'm guessing you are talking about the forums... only a few people who respond at Wet Web Media also post on the Wet Web Fotos forum... but there are many people there who would be happy to answer your questions.>  Thanks again,  Teri  <Cheers, J -- > 

On The Road To Recovery! Teri here again.  <Hi Teri! Howzit?> I am still doing frequent water changes and the film on top of my water is still a problem, I can not seem to find out what is causing it.  But I am wondering if it could be my skimmer.   I had just got this tank a short while back about 2 or 3 month ago and I had to replace the pump the same week I got it.  The skimmer doesn't seem to be skimming anything because I have not had to empty the jug that it drains into.  Do you think that this could be my problem and do you think the skimmer is not working correctly? <You're good! Yep- I'd say that this is a definite possibility- your leading candidate...> Good news is that my finger leather the one that was healthy when I got my tank but then started turning brown/gray and looked like it was flat well you get the picture it looked real bad.  It has turned around and is it's correct color and is filled out again and starting to stand up again and I am so happy it didn't die.  I Am still keeping a close eye on it. <Cool- I thought it was a goner!> The leather that was in bad shape when I got it is trying to sprout some new little things I guess it is trying to hang in there and I sure hope it makes it.  It appears to be a fighter and I am trying to do all I can to help it.  <You'd be surprised how tough those corals can be...If it's showing new growth, the prognosis is excellent!> Anyway, I just wanted to ask what you thought about the skimmer and could you tell me what would be a good skimmer.  72 gallon tank with live rock (about 100 lbs.) live sand, corals,  Sailfin tang, neon Dottyback, coral beauty, tomato clown.  I didn't know if would need to know this are not to answer the skimmer question but I thought more info is better that not enough. Thanks Again, Teri <Well, Teri- glad to see things are looking up! If it were me, I'd start thinking about a more effective skimmer, like one of the Aqua C EV series. They are terrific skimmers that are very productive! In the interim, you do want to play around with your existing skimmer a bit, to see if it can yield some product...It should! Have fun tweaking, and keep us informed about your corals and their recovery! Regards, Scott F>

Sick Toadstool?? - 11/4/03 I have a toadstool coral for about 7 months which did very well.  The past few months it has not been opening, it shrunk and the trunk remains wrinkled and yellow coloring. <Hmmm...well......this is somewhat normal as they do retract and go into a growth period from time to time. Basically not opening up for a few weeks and shedding a few layers.>  My water readings are perfect. <How old are your lights? Any other changes??>  I have 2 brain corals, colt coral, fox coral and star polyp which are all doing ok. <Any touching? Do you use carbon? This could be an allelopathic issue between corals>  I have a blue hippo tang, a yellow tang, and a small calm clown.  My only problem recently has been bristle worms which I have been trying to catch. <Unless they are very large these are deemed somewhat beneficial at smaller life stages.>  Please help as the toadstool is not totally dead. <I am sure it is not. I would not move it unless there is coral nearby (within a couple of inches. Add carbon to your set-up if you do not already. Give it some time>  I wish there was something I can do to make it the way it used to be. <How about time?? Did you read through our site regarding Sarcophytons? A good place to start is the articles and FAQs on this coral. -Paul>    

Please help ASAP:  Mushroom Leather I have never used the site for a problem but I have one.<I'm all ears!!>  I have had my tank for about 2 months now.  I got it from a guy that was moving out of state, he had it for over a year.  This is my first saltwater tank.  It is a 72 gallon he said about 100lbs. of live rock and coral.  I also have a Tomato Clown, Sailfin Tang, Coral Beauty and Neon Dotty Back I hope spelled all them right.  Well I had a man who moves tanks and has a shop the move my tank and set it back up.  He said it had some bad red algae and added chemicals which cleared up this problem.<what chemicals?>  We went through a few little scares at least I was, my pump went out and I didn't even know it but I knew my fish weren't acting right.<agreed.. lack of oxygen in the system.. the fish tend to stay near the top of the aquarium>  Anyway that was the first week and things were going really great, I love watching my fish and things I still don't know all there names.<you will in time>  We did a partial water change when we set it up and a friend and I did one last Sunday.  My nitrate had been high around 60 with the last water change it came down to about 30 or 40.<good, I would probably do another water change to get the nitrates down to around 20> Ok that was just a little history on my tank.<it helps.. believe me :)>  My problem is Monday evening I noticed my mushroom leather looked kinda a brownish color on the bottom of the stalks. Well last night I noticed on the left stalk (it looks like two stalks Siamese twins like) has a notch/cut out piece that is little over ? inch high,about1/8 inch wide and 1/8 inch deep.  When I first stared looking at it closely it looked like this little piece was lying right below the notch like it had been torn out.  Well that's not the case because the notch started moving and crawled along the junction of the stalks to the to of the stalks right below the mushroom's umbrella (I guess is what you would call it) It looks a whitish color about the same size as the piece notched out of the stalk and has tiny tiny white things sticking out from it more on one end than both ends.<I believe you might have a leather eating Nudibranch.. best to remove him/her ASAP!!> I have been reading all I can on caring for my animals and I really won't to take care of them and I am not sure what this is.   The only thing that have added to the tank a shrimp and I bought him from the guy's shop that moved my tank for me. That was 2 weeks ago. <It's probably a Nudibranch that found its way into your aquarium via LR... or maybe even by the coral itself lol...remove it before it finishes of your coral> Do you have any idea what this is?<above>  Is it something I need to get out of tank?<yes>  Please help ASAP. Thank You, Teri

Necrotic Sarcophyton elegans Yellow Leather 10/15/03 Part of the leather is now turning white with brown patches.  It is also smaller and less yellow overall.  it is also still slouching and doesn't look very good.  Help!!! <there is not much to be done here, alas... S. elegans is notoriously delicate and difficult to handle. As you stated in the last e-mail, this is a causality of not researching before you bought. You also made the mistake of not quarantining this as all new livestock should be (2-4 weeks). The concern here is that infections progress rapidly in colored leathers... and run the risk of being infectious to at least some other soft corals in the tank. Really a hard lesson here for you, mate. At this point (evidence of progressive necrosis), you need to remove the coral to a QT tank with the knowledge that the stress might kill it (faster) but with the belief that leaving it is a greater danger. Please be sure to read up on QT or inverts on the website... a nice article by Fellman. Best regards, Anthony>

Distressed Leather Hi I purchased a toad stool five days ago and it has not opened since it left the store . <Not uncommon for this species. They do retract their polyps periodically to help rid their surfaces of algae and detritus; often this is in response to some sort of stress (such as being moved to a new environment)...> water is fine as far as ammonia, nitrite, nitrate is 20PPM did a 10% water change anyway calcium is high 520 gravity is at 1.021 and I am slowly raising it. Temp is 76- is this to low? <The temperature is fine> I do have a long tentacle anemone and another anemone that is purple with green tips both about 15 inches away from toad stool. <Hmm....> I just read its no good to have two anemones together <Nor is it a great idea to keep anemones with corals in a mixed tank. Lots of folks do it, but it really is not the best approach, IMO> I have a bubble coral about 12 inches away and candy coral 6 inches away and some hammer coral. <All possess fairly powerful allelopathic capabilities...> The toad stool looks like it is shedding some skin from its base. <I'd keep a close eye on the coral, and maintain excellent water conditions. I don't think that your coral is finished by any stretch...> Sometimes the skin is dark the anemone is a light peach color almost white and it seems to be releasing mucus ,looks like smoke <Quite possibly, you are witnessing the release of waste products. Keep a careful eye out to make sure that the animal is otherwise healthy. If this is the case, there is little to worry about..> I have a 72 gallon bow tank ,Eco System refugium sump ,Aqua C 120 skimmer , 2 400 gph power heads but only keep 1 on otherwise polyps wont open completely, and a drop in chiller , I use RO water, Instant Ocean salt , iodine , strontium, (Reef Builder , Reef Advantage Calcium , and Reef Plus as per GARF's bullet proof reef) <A proven methodology...> Fish : 2 clowns , diamond goby , lizard goby (LFS has different name for this each visit) , cleaner and peppermint shrimp , 5 Chromis , zebra damsel, arc eye something? <Hawkfish, maybe?> and a hippo tang. Nothing is over 2 inches except the diamond goby. <Sounds like a nice mix of animals> Sorry this is so long. Please help. Thank you Manny <Well, Manny, I would not be overly concerned about the current condition of the leather. As mentioned above, this is rather normal for this species. However, you need to consider the potential problems that can arise by keeping anemones and corals together. Not a good mix for the long run. Do keep up with regular water changes and excellent husbandry techniques. If the tissue on the leather coral becomes "cheesy" or begins to decompose, it may be necessary to intervene by excising the affected area, but I don't think that will even become necessary...Keep observing, and hang in there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Kenya Tree Coral "laying down" and riding low in the saddle Hello one and all :) <are you talking to the crew... or all of my multiple personalities? Hmmm... at any rate, we all say Hi!> I was hoping you could steer me in the right direction again. I have a 3 yr old, 125 gal FOWLR with a few different Tangs, <not thrilling to hear "several" tangs in a 125, but OK as long as you have no large species (Naso, Sailfin, etc)> shrimps, starfish. 130lbs live rock 500 watts CF lights (390w of 8800k daylights and 110w of Actinics) 3"-4" deep fine sand substrate 2 Mag 12 pumps moving the water thru a sump Berlin Turbo skimmer <hoping this unit works well for you... do consider the feedback in the archives if not> 30 gal refugium with 25lbs live rock and Halimeda 55w 8800k daylight and 25w actinic with 2 powerheads for water movement Water info: temp:78-80 s.g. 1.025 ph 8.2 calcium 390 nitrates: 5ish alk 7.7 dKH  ( I am guessing that this is part of my problem)  It was at 6.3 a few days ago. I have been adding a little Reef Builder the past few days. Would Capnella be very sensitive to low Alk? <yes... possibly so. There is precedence with other corals (Xeniids prominently)> I add a few drops of Iodine each week Tech CB each week...if needed I buffer my deionized water with Kent Superbuffer. I aerate plain water for a day and then mix salt and aerate for another day, then buffer if needed. <all good> I had not been checking the Alk of the deionized water before I used it, just ph. I am thinking this is how my Alk became so low. <correct> I just purchased the deionizer a few weeks ago and have a little learning curve I guess. I am not sure if a deionizer remover chloramine, so I use Prime also. <deionizers are my fave water treatment mode... very pure water. Not wasteful either... re-constitute (buffer) accordingly> In the refugium I have had several Feather Dusters, Button Polyps, Yellow Polyps, and Xenia Elongata, all doing great. Although the Xenia and the Polyps are stretching towards the light. I have ordered a  10000k daylight bulb to replace the 8800k and  a 50/50  6500k/actinic bulb to replace the pure actinic) So I thought I would try a little coral. I researched a bit and decided on the Kenya Tree Coral. Seemed like the tank and I could handle it. I put the Kenya Coral in the main tank though not in the refugium with the rest. <it is a good and hardy species> I recently added the Capnella Coral to my main tank I asked the LFS what lights and wattage they had been keeping it at, so I would have a better idea where I should place it in the tank. <very good> He said they had 2- 175 watt MH lights. I have 500watts of compacts, 390 watts of it is 8800k daylights and the other  110 watts are actinics. He said this would be fine and I should just put it midway in tank. <agreed> I asked if I should start it near the bottom of the tank and move it up slowly over time and he said I should be fine in the mid/upper tank area. So, that's what I did, put it in the mid tank area.   It seems a lot more stretched out than it did in the store. Doesn't this mean it needs more light?     <possible, yes> But, at the same time, the tips almost look like they are turning a bit white.   <Hmmm> Isn't this burning from the lights?   <not if stretching concurrently... light shocked coral often retract or bleach en masse> Maybe I should just stick with the fish!!!!! <no.... not that bad <G>. If the coral was torn slightly from an established position, that alone would make it act sapped. It may also simply be a slow acclimation. Some corals take weeks before looking "happy"> The little fella has been in the tank for about a week and has not really opened up much. Maybe I should wait a little longer before I assume there is a problem....Whattaya think? <do be patient... and resist the temptation to move it... very stressful on a coral. Better to sit and wait> It fell over on the 2nd day and landed upside down on the sand for most of the day I thought I had it anchored good enough...oops.....now it is glued down). I would think that would be a bit traumatic for the little guy. The polyps will poke out a little but have never opened up at all. It sometimes looks like it is deflating and tips over on its side. In general I would say that it is not doing well. I was adding a bit of Zooplex every few days until I read that it may be fine without any supplemental feeding . And since its polyps have never opened I figure it would not get any anyway. I was considering placing it in the refugium with the others (polyps, xenia, feather dusters) since they all seem like they are doing well. But I see no reason why I should not be able to get all of this squared away and I would love a few " hearty" corals in the main tank. I am all ears for any suggestions you might have. <no worries... you are on the right track> I am terrible at putting thoughts on paper, I hope you can make sense of all of my rattling on. I am sorry this is so long. I know you folks have lots going on.  Thank you (again) in advance   Dennis    <all good... best of luck! Anthony>

- Floppy Leather! - dear WWM crew , <Howdy, Kevin here> I have a problem with my leather coral, I'm not sure what kind it is .  When  first brought it home it opened nicely. It was mid way in the tank laying on a rock. I know it probably should be standing but it was doing fine.  Someone  in my family decided to move it and it slummed over for a few days. <Ooooh, random family members with hands in the tank, you should put a stop to that!> We moved it back to the original position and it opens a little, but not like before.  Water seems to be fine all others corals great too.  Any ideas ? <This is completely normal. Upon introduction it may open like it did at the shop, but then it will act funny (half open, slumped, closed, etc) for the next few days-weeks as it acclimates to its new surroundings.> How long can it go without feeding? <No worries, just supplement your tank with some phytoplankton a few times per week. It should be fine. Good luck! -Kevin>

- Softies Not Doing so Hot - 150 gal. reef plus fish, 100 lbs. live rock, running under 48' CoralLife actinic and 10000K light plus 48" double 55watt compact fluorescents plus some direct/indirect sun. <Since you're using 48" lights, I guess this is the big tall 150. You don't have nearly enough light for even the low-lighters due to the depth.> water pH 8.2, 1.023, neg nh3 and nitrates and nitrites. big skimmer. partial changes  monthly. had a 4 column xenia for 3 months- it even split- and over 4 days it shrank and vanished. huge finger leather now shrunken, with brown slime on column. <Becoming diseased...> toadstool leather had huge column, now falling over - needs Viagra. <Is it double dose for saltwater? ;) > other corals and leathers and anemones flourishing. occupants - 6 clowns, 2 tangs, coral beauty, Gramma, 6 - 7 shrimp, 2 large spiny black urchins (should these go?) <If they run out of food they may graze over coral, keep them well fed>plus asstd. snails and h. crabs. supplement with vitamin/aa mix, phyto,cacl2 2x per week. any ideas or suggestions? <I'd work on the lighting first, I'd suggest metal halide lighting as a minimum for such a deep tank. A large water change is in order, as well as removing the slime from the leather and increasing circulation. If nothing else is horribly wrong, a good water change, lighting upgrade, and circulation increase may do the trick. It is still pretty hard to say, but this should get you started. Good luck! -Kevin>

What is Happening to My Sarcophyton? - 8/19/03 I bought a mushroom leather a few weeks ago. It was doing really good and was expanded all the time. After one night, when I got up, I've noticed that there was a lot of new stuff in the skimmer cup. The coral looked a bit different. It wasn't expanded anymore (has not been for the past 3 days now) but what is worse is that there are more and more white dots appearing on the surface of it, as if it was sick... I'm attaching some pictures, hopefully you could identify what is going on. What should I do with it?  Thank you, Luke <without more information we cannot say much, my friend. No water quality param.s... an assumption that these corals did not go through a proper 3-4 week QT at home before going into the display (risk of a disease or parasite now in the main tank). Hmmm... do read more in our archives please at wetwebmedia.com. Start on the home page and then navigate your way through the archives... click marines, then non-vertebrates life... then corals/cnidarians, etc. Best of luck. Anthony>

Coral Eating Crab (8-2-03) Hi, I've just noticed my red-legged crab eating/nibbling on my soft coral. The crab is about the size of Blue-legged hermits, but it's red and has one claw quite bigger than the other. I thought those crabs were reef safe...? :-( <They are supposed to be reef safe.  Watch him some more to make sure he is actually doing damage, then if he is take him out. Cody> Thanks,

Corals & Water Flow (8-2-03) My finger leather coral looks like a wilted plant after I turn off the water flow. Right after I turn it back on, it goes to the normal - erect position. Is this normal for corals?<Yes, water flow is very important for coral and it is normal for some coral to shrink.  Cody> Thank you,

Recovered Sarcophyton and Friend - 8/12/03 Hi Paul, <Hi Matt> As promised, a pic of the fully recovered toadstool, along with resident Clarkii clown.<Very nice pic!!!!> Thanks again for your help. <It's what we are meant to do> I will get in contact with those people - Leroy & Sally Jo Headley of GARF, and forward on my observations and pics - perhaps it will allow them to re-assure some one else some time :-)  Regards,  Matt <Fantastic! They will appreciate it very much.>

Sick toadstool coral - parasite? Hi Crew, <Hey Matt> My toadstool coral appears sick. Please see attached pic. He closed up last week, and hasn't come back out since. <Not unlike a toadstool to do this, but.....> There are what appears to be bite marks on its flesh. <Possible stinging, poisoning, or is a clownfish taking up residence in it> There is a Clarkii clown in the tank that has began living in the coral the last few months as though it were an anemone. <I see> Is it possible that he is responsible for the damage? <Yes. Clownfish do bite to stimulate the anemone at times. Check out our forums and ask around in there for more specific information. Keep an eye on the toadstool however, as it has been noted there are some mollusks that burrow into the crown or stalk of this coral and feed from the inside out. May look unsightly, but keep your water quality up and clean out the wound with a syringe or turkey baster and I feel the coral will make a full recovery. Sarcophyton corals are extremely hardy and resilient.> Or is there some other forces at work? <Possible. These corals are also known for closing shop for a few couple of weeks and shedding floc (chemical build-up, digested foodstuffs, etc.) during growth periods. Keep an eye on it and send us an update. Keep a journal if possible. You know, something to reference at a later time just in case you see something like this again. I just thought of something......... I remember Sally Joe over at Graford working to connect clownfish to Sarcophyton corals. Do some research on their site before calling them as they are with limited abilities, trying to save money. (Aren't we all) If you can't find anything specific to your situation then give Lionel a call. I am sure he can relate some stuff he has seen or has heard discussed around the shop. www.garf.org -Paul> Everything else in the tank is doing great. <Glad to hear> Cheers, Matt
Sick toadstool reply - 7/31/03
Thanks for the reply - I'll check it out right away. <Very well> The coral has actually got quite poorly ..... it is now drooping over, actually bent (kinked) in the middle .... although it is trying to extend the polyps a little bit. <This is actually a good sign. Is the clown still using this coral as a home? If so, I would remove the coral if possible. Keep the harassment to a minimum. Again if it is extending polyps (even if only partly) then there is hope. > I moved him to a position in the tank where he'll get a bit more water flow across him, <Careful> in hopes it might resuscitate him or something ..... though it hasn't made any difference. <Keep an eye on it. Give it time and keep high water quality through a regular water change regime. Don't fuss with it much or move it around. Give it time> I'll take a look at that site and hopefully some one there will be able to help. <Well, in my original email, I meant to do research and identify the interaction of corals and clownfish. More to help and identify if others have had any observations of bites taken out of their Sarcophytons by resident clownfish. There, unfortunately, is no magic recommendation to suddenly turn this corals health around. Water changes and remove every possible hazard as best you can is a good path to recovery. More help in the form of ideas is better though. Good luck -Paul> Cheers, Matt
Toadstool recovery - 8/7/03
Dear Paul, <Yep, yep, yep> You asked me to keep you updated about the toadstool coral. <I did. Thanks for coming through, Matt!> Well, the last week or so he seems to be getting better. <Yeah. Very good to hear! I did a little research and the yellowish markings around where the damage took place is just a reaction from the coral (kind of like bruising.) Heals really quick. the actual chunks missing could be caused by a coral sting or a bite from a fish. (at least the damage looks consistent with my findings)> Although he hasn't opened up fully again, he is none-the-less opening up a lot more <A resilient coral indeed>.... I'd say he's opening about 60%. The only conclusion that I have come to, based on both my "notions" and on what other folks have said or suggested is this. The Clown took up residence in the coral. Clowns sometimes bite at anemones to 'stimulate' them. Why they do this I do not know, but apparently they do. So, when my mushroom shrunk up, as they naturally do once in a while (I am told), the clown started to bite what he thinks is an anemone in an attempt to make his "anemone" expand again. <As stated in our previous conversations> I just added 2 and 2 together and got 5!!! <Math is funny!> Assuming that the bite marks were damage and this was what caused it to contract ...... rather than the coral contracted and this is what caused it to be bitten. <More the latter, probably.> Now that it is starting to expand again, and I am assuming that there was in fact nothing wrong in the first place, I have relocated the toadstool to its original location - which no doubt will make it contract for the day. But in the mean time, in the last few days, when the coral was opening up again, the clown once again took up residence in it. <Yep. Need to keep an eye on this if not straight away remove the coral or the clown.> I am now fairly confident that the coral will open up again, and the minor damage caused by the clown will heal quickly and fully. <Absolutely.> Thanks for your input. I'll let you know if and when it has returned to its former glory - will send you a pic then of coral and resident clown. <Very good. Did you ever get a chance to talk with Leroy or Sally Jo Headley of GARF? they are very interested in this kind of surrogacy. Thanks for the update. This is a valuable email. Take care - Paul> Cheers, Matt

-How to tell if a soft coral is dead- I bought a finger leather coral (my first coral). I took about 2.5 hrs to acclimate it to aquarium water. After I've put the coral inside the tank it looks like a fainted plant. Is it dead? <No> How can one tell when/if a coral has died? <If a soft coral was to die, it would start to disintegrate. Your coral has simply closed up in protest of the new water conditions, lighting, and handling. In the next few days it will re-open up if all is well. Good luck! -Kevin> Thank you, Luke

- Leather color change & bubble coral help - Hi there, I have a 29 gallon mini reef tank set up with about 20 pounds of live rock and a good thick crushed coral / live sand base.  The water quality is excellent.  The lighting is 165W provided by 3 - 55W power compacts (2 actinic, and 1- 10K). Filtration is by way of a protein skimmer and a hang on the back filter.  Two power heads - in addition to the filter returns - are used for water circulation.  I have two problems that I am unclear of and any advice would be great!   Firstly I have a green finger leather that was a neon green when I purchased it.  I've had it for about 3 months now and although it is growing (has gone from about 4 fingers to approximately a dozen) it has dulled considerably in color.  In fact, it's now a dark green.  It's also shrunk in height (but has gained width).  It's positioned closer to the top of the tank.<It was either a tad bleached when you purchased it, or it is simply increasing it's zooxanthellae concentration in it's tissues because of your lighting.> My questions about this coral are:  Is this color change normal?  Are they some how artificially "dipped" before sale to give them the neon glow?  My pet store advised me that this may happen, but was unsure.  It's a shame the color has left this animal as it was a beautiful piece when I purchased it. <Almost any coral you put into your tank will go through a color change to some extent. I would suspect that it would retain a lighter color under metal halide lighting.> Secondly I have a large pearl bubble coral with 5 "heads".  When I purchased this coral all "heads" were alive, although not fully inflated.  Since I have placed it in my tank only one of the heads has inflated fully.  Two of the remaining 4 struggle, and the other two appear dead.  My main concern is that the stalk has changed from primarily white with some coralline algae to  a dirty green.  There does not appear to be algae growing on the outside of the stalk - more so the color is within the tissue of the animal itself.  This color change now appears to be moving higher on the stalk and is entering the head regions. <Simply algae colonizing the most valued real estate on the reef: exposed coral skeleton.> What exactly is this?  Is it a disease that can be easily treated and cured?  I'd rather keep at least one of the polyps alive and not lose the entire coral if possible. <It's not a disease, just algae doing what algae does. Good luck! -Kevin>  Any help you could provide would be fantastic.  Thank you.

Colored Colony Coral Meltdown 6/29/03 Dear WWM coral guru, <ga-roo Antoine at your service> I have a small colony of colored soft corals that has been in my tank for about a week. They seem to be slowly dissolving, one by one, almost as if they're getting a weird disease that melts them down to muck. <Arghhh.... lack of quarantine for starters> Question 1. Any ideas? <depends on what species/animal it is... we need a correct ID here (common names are so limiting/useless). By your subject line I wonder if this isn't a dyed animal in which case it is simply doomed. Read more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm else, if natural... I fear you have tragically purchased a Dendronephthya soft coral (please research more before any purchase): http://wetwebmedia.com/dendornephthyaart.htm > Question 2. What's the best supplemental feeding recommendation for these guys? I don't know the exact species ... <and neither do I my friend without a better description... could be one of tens of families. Do delve deeper in our archives and other references to ID first> Thanks so much, SLC <best regards, Anthony>

Sarco's acting funny... Hi I have a toadstool leather coral that I bought about 4 days ago. Since I placed it, it has been retracting and coming back every few hours. <First off, never expect a coral (especially a Sarco.) to behave normally in the first week or so as it acclimates to the lighting and the new environment.> Now it is out, but the edge has started to turn white.  it's where it looks like it has been cut. <That rock flower anemone looks mighty close to it, could it be getting stung by it?> The store told me to put it in indirect lighting, and low in the tank.  Does it need to be moved, or just get used to the lighting? <I'd move it away from the rock flower. You'll need to give it time to acclimate to the lighting again.> Right above it is a green mushroom coral and on the left a rock anemone.  could it be that it is to close?  I am sending a picture to show where is , Any advice would be a big help. <Good luck with it! -Kevin> Thanks Corey

Leather Coral feeling poorly!6/11/03 Hi Anthony, Hope you and all the crew are well! If you don't mind I have need of your advice again. <cheers, Jenny... good to hear from you> If you remember I asked you a while ago about the hard cancerous patch in the centre of my toadstool leather coral. It had been caused by my two percula clowns constantly swimming and living in the corals polyps. You didn't think at the time that it would be harmful but now there seems to have developed a big deep hole in this calcareous patch and the coral is very unhappy. <interesting... and indeed in need of address.> There are also yellow spots/small patches appearing in places on the coral, these show up clearly because the coral is hardly extending it's polyps now where as before they were always out. The coral is also shrinking in size and I wondered if there is something I can do to stop this determination. <clearly the coral and clowns need to be separated. I personally have never liked clowns in a reef aquarium... they often take even less suitable hosts like LPS corals and kill them. Yet... if you are attached to the clowns, we might simply pull the leather and hope they take a cave next> Everything else in the tank appears to be fine and the only parameter that is not as it should be is the ongoing phosphate problem I have always had and that is gradually diminishing with regular RO water changes. I don't think this is the problem though as this coral has lived happily in this environment for a very long time. <agreed... re: such hardy leathers & phosphate> I think the clowns have caused the damage and am thinking of trading them in but wondered This coral can be revived. <yes... easily> Have you any suggestions that might help? <worst case scenario, the necrotic patches can be cut out with a razor or scalpel> There have been no new additions of either fish or inverts to this tank in the last 6 months and it gets regular water changes of about 15% every 2 weeks. <all good :) > Many Thanks - Jenny P.S Do you know when the new book is going to be dispatched? I'm really looking forward to it arriving! <yes... very soon my friend. They have trucks scheduled to begin shipping it in the US the last week of this month. Hoping you'll see your arrive by airmail to UK early July <G>! Kind regards, Anthony>

Declining Xenia 6/7/03 Hello, <cheers> A few weeks ago I purchased two small colonies of pulsing xenia (not sure what specific kind).  They were placed in different areas of the tank in a med. to high current and both were doing fine for several weeks.  Probably five days ago they began to shrink in size.  The pom-poms are still opening during daylight hours but the stalk and each individual arm keeps shrinking. I have a 55 gallon reef tank which includes: 1 Chromis (due to a bout with ick, tank had been fallow for a month. This          fish just added a week ago) 1 star polyp (doing fine) 1 metallic green brain (added at same time as xenia, it's doing fine) 1 brittle star 1 banded shrimp 50lbs live rock 15 gallon sump w/refugium Prizm protein skimmer removing dark liquid daily ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 (or very close to it) dKH 10 ph 8.3 260w compact fluorescent lighting temp 79 salinity 1.25 -1.26 (not as stable as it should be due to daily changes in humidity and evaporation) 5% water changes weekly <nothing stands out as a problem with water chemistry... unless that pH is a day time reading in which case your pH may actually be dropping to well below 8.3 at night (bad for Xenia)> Concerned that iodine might be the problem I began using Kent's Tech-I (used as directed) a couple of days ago but there has been no sign of improvement. <lack of iodine can be a problem, but only here if the iodine is old (over 2 months)> It has been suggested to me by LFS that my tank may be too clean. <I guarantee you that is not the case... in any aquarium!> Not enough nutrients for the xenia to absorb and that I should add more fish. Something obviously needs correcting but I'm not sure what it may be. I really don't want to lose them! <lack of quarantine or acclimation to light is more likely a factor. Aggression from a neighboring coral even more so (Starpolyps or other coral within 10"? Shedding chemicals/allelopathy)> Thanks so much for your help, Bryan <best regards, Anthony>

Colt ain't open for business... Hello Again, <Hi there, Kevin here today> I have a decent sized colt coral that has seen and survived the worst of my old tank conditions.  For the past few days the colt has stayed very small, about half sized, and only slightly extended his polyps.  He is in medium current that passes over him every few seconds and very near to the top with 130 watts of PowerCompact lights.  The other corals, open brain, various mushrooms and polyps, elegance coral, are all doing well and opening to the fullest. He is not close to anything but green star polyps.  I did water changes over the past few days but very little change. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a ton again for your help. <It's probably going to be fine, but it never hurts to check on a few things. First do some water tests to assure that the salinity, pH, etc has not fluctuated. Watch the tank from a distance during the day in case a Centropyge angel or something else is nibbling on it. Thirdly, check up on it at night and make sure there aren't any worms or other night-life poking at it. Good luck with it! -Kevin> Eric

Sarcophyton not opening - 5/7/03 I have a leather coral that doesn't seem to do well. <Soooooo sorry for the delay. I have been busy with my marine biology class and work. Paul here in belated service. Thank you for waiting> It hunches over and never opens its polyps, this has gone on for months. <Hmmmm....not unheard of, but months as opposed to a month is not good. Have heard of this before though, and the coral seems to recover in time.> Well I decided to place it so the stem is wedged in a hole in the live rock and the crown is supported by the rock around it. Now it opens fully and the polyps extend. <Very cool. Good idea!> I dose Lugol's iodine, ph is 8.2. Its almost seems like the stem doesn't want to support the crown. <I have a few like this. Especially when they are young specimens this "drooping" or "sagging" seems to occur over time they seem to orient themselves upright toward the light>.> Any thoughts on this? My tank also houses a torch, candy cane, and various polyps. <Well, candy cane and torch are highly aggressive with their tentacles use not to mention possible use of allelopathic chemicals (the Sarcophyton is known to employ the use of chemical compounds as well.) I would try without the Lugol's solution for a while and make sure the leather is no where near the path (or touching) the other corals whatsoever. Also, make sure to keep up on the water changes. Do look through our FAQs and articles on leather coral care here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/softcorhealth.htm and have a look through all the blue links to the FAQs.> They seem to be doing well. Thanks for your time. <Thanks for waiting for an answer. Again, very sorry about the delay> Angelo  

Fast-food style diagnostics: Coral hi guys, I'll  make it short: water parameters perfect... colt coral and xenia tearing away from their rocks at the base. Any ideas? <Yes: water parameters are not perfect (whatever that is <G>). Happy Easter... do a water change :) Anthony>

Yellow Sarcophyton not looking good - 4/16/03 I am at a lost as to why this coral is not doing well in my tank. <Lots of reasons... not the least of which may not be your tank at all but something that occurs with Sarcophytons Let's take a look.....> Any advice is appreciated. <I will do my best. Paul at your service> My tank is a 20 gallon micro reef that has been running for about 3 months. I've been in the hobby on and off for quite some time. The lighting for this tank consists of 100 watts of 5500k metal halide and 40 watts of actinic. Water parameters are as follows: salinity 1.023-1.024 at 77 degrees F. PH 8.0-8.1 Alkalinity 3.0-3.5 meq/l. Calcium 410-430 ppm. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate levels at '0'. Water circulation is good. <Well, I'll take good as meaning that there is a slight moderate flow over it. Hehheh =)> The tank has about a 3 inch layer of substrate on the bottom , 25 lbs. of live rock and a good protein skimmer. The other corals in the tank; pulsing xenia, green star polyp, Blastomussa, Ricordea mushroom, and 3 clams are all doing very well. <Sounds like an awesome tank> I've had this yellow leather for about 3 weeks. <Yellow corals are sometimes known to be the least hardy in the Sarcophyton species but still a pretty hardy coral in my experience> The 1st week it was doing well, but since then it has not been a happy camper. During the day it is not extended, instead it is shriveled and blotchy looking, and appears to be shedding. <this is very normal for a Sarcophyton to not open and extend its polyps, then shed a mucous coat. This shedding is thought to help keep contaminants and detritus from building up on the crown as well is sometimes related to growth.> I've tried various lighting intensities and played around with water current. I also recently ran carbon for about 24 hours. <Not a bad idea to run carbon most of the time in my opinion. I am thinking just "let it be" "let it be" (great song) Let it go through the shedding process and give it up to two weeks to a month in some cases to come around. Use a soft tooth brush occasionally to keep nuisance algae growth from taking over the coral and to help with the shedding.> Nothing so far has made a difference. I should also add that 10 percent weekly water changes ( natural sea water) from local pet shop, are performed on tank. <Wonderful!> This coral is not being harassed by any of the other inhabitants. <Sounds like you are a very observant and a very Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I have many of the various Sarcophytons in my tanks and have noticed this behavior a great many times and I employ the same technique of waiting and lightly scrubbing the crown occasionally. Usually my corals will come around about a week or two later. Sometimes less sometimes more. If everything you tell me is true, I think your coral will be fine provided the coral itself is just not stressed from collection but even with that it will probably recover. Give it time, that is what I would do. I would do my best to not move or muck with it any further as you could be stressing the coral further. These are very hardy corals for the most part. (especially the captive bred/propagated type.)> I think I've covered everything. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks, Chris. <Leave it be and keep me informed of any changes, mate. Paul> --- Chris Reynders

The Amazing', Color-Changin' Sinularia! I have what started out as a green Sinularia. It has turned into a yellow Sinularia. Is this because of too much light / too little light or something else? Thank you. <Well, hard to say...Color changes in corals are thought to be partially the result of the zooxanthellae concentrating in the coral tissue in different areas, etc. They are certainly a response to different lighting schemes...Usually, under more intense light, corals tend to become darker. On the other hand, different spectra of lighting can result in different color responses by the coral. For example, I had a Capnella that was a creamy color with light brown/greenish polyps under 10,000k Aqualines. When it was acclimated to 20000k's, it took on an entirely different coloration: An almost turquoise color, with deep brownish-red polyps...It almost looked like a different animal! The point is, corals can change coloration for a variety of reasons. As long as there is still good polyp extension and the animal appears otherwise healthy, I would enjoy the colors! BTW- do acclimate corals to any new lighting regimen slowly, to avoid "shocking" them. Take Care! Regards, Scott F>

Sufferin' Sinularia? Hi, <Hello! Scott F. with you today!> Sorry to bother you with another question, but it's a last stab before giving up. <Well, let's see if we can help out!> I have a 180l tank, four small fish, leather and finger corals, one hard LPS (cup) coral, shrimps, hermits, snails. Plenty of live rock, good skimmer ( a half / three quarters cup of 'dark and smelly' every other day). <Music to my.. Ehh- nose!> Fish feed well.  A bright green button polyp, given to me by my LFS, as a single detached specimen and pushed into a small hole in the rock, is now thirty polyps (eight months later). <Excellent!> A star polyp continues to progress across the rock. <Good stuff! Aggressive, but a very prolific coral!> Water parameters are good, everything 0 which should be, Ca 400, Nitrate below 10 and dropping (thanks to your advice about getting rid of the wet and dries). Ph 8.3, Sg 1.025. RO water, top ups with RO mix using Aragamite. Weekly 5- 10 % water changes. <Sounds great!> The problem ... the two finger corals (Sinularia) never open. Actually that's not quite true. About once a month the polyps show for a couple of hours, then that's it. One of the leathers is similar, but tends to open more often and for longer. The remaining leather is huge and growing, to the point where chopping him up and planting the bits might be the only option. <Sarcophyton leathers are easy to propagate, so don't be shy about it!> Plenty of water flow, 4 D&D T5 tubes. I've tried the finger corals in high, medium and slow flow, high and subdued light etc., giving them a couple of months in each location. Any ideas, before I return them to the LFS. I don't want them to die, although to be honest they don't look as if they are about to, no disintegration, shriveling etc. The d**n things just sit there! <Well, since these corals are quite variable in terms of their behavior. It's not at all unusual for them to go for long periods of time without the polyps expanding. They really prefer moderate to strong water movement, and seem to favor a bit more "blue" light than many other softies. With good current, high water quality, and proper light, they should do very well for long periods of time in your tank. I'd try slowly adapting them back to these conditions, and just being patient with them. Thanks once again. Excellent website, first rate service. Brian <Glad you find our site useful! Feel free to contact us again any time! Regards, Scott F>
Sufferin' Sinularia (Pt. 2)
Thanks for that. I'll try some patience. Unfortunately I came home from work yesterday to find I'd suffered the dreaded heater / stat failure, and a tank temperature of 95 degrees F. My beautiful cleaner shrimps were dead, as was the blood shrimp. All corals, not surprisingly, closed. <Sorry to hear that...Hopefully, things are returning to normal?> By the time I'd gradually cooled the water the big leather was open again, but the cup coral remains closed, and the star polyps haven't emerged yet. All the fish and the arrow crab are ok. <Who said that marine animals are "delicate", huh?> Will this temp rise have killed off the bacteria in the living rock, as this is my main source of filtration (plus skimmer + carbon)? <Well, not the heat itself- but the resulting lack of oxygen, or the die off of a large amount of animals (large and small) could possibly overwhelm the nitrifying bacteria population that is present...> Thanks once again. Brian <In time, with attention to water conditions, and a little TLC, this tank can rebound just fine! Chin Up! Scott F>

Tree coral sad? 3/10/03 I recently started adding calcium, strontium, and iodide to my tank.  While adding these nutrients one day, my tree coral suddenly closed all of its polyps.  It now lays there kind of limp all day and shrinks at night like it normally did.  What did I do wrong and how can I fix it? <with little else to go on, I'd say that perhaps one of the additives was added too fast or a bit too much. Or, the event may not be related at all. In such cases, when in doubt, "do a water change". Be patient... and be sure not to move stressed corals in the tank (causes more stress or worse). Be sure to test all of your water quality parameters too to be sure they are on spec. Best regards, Anthony>

Sick colt coral 3/2/03 Good evening, What would be happening to my colt coral, Tuesday it was large and very healthy looking. temp. 79degs,nitrite 0.00, nitrate 20, ph 8.2, salt 1.24. Having not changed anything. Skimmer running all the time, collecting some. check out pics and reply please!!!! <the coral looks irritated... but it could really be anything from a minor catalyst to impending self0destruction or infection. There are many factors to cause this. If you've had the coral for ore than 6 months, but have no refugium or little algae growth... it may be starving from the lack of phytoplankton. Or... another coral nearby might finally be winning the silent chemical war... any mushroom anemones, Starpolyp or LPS coral nearby? When in doubt, do a water change and consider all aspects of husbandry that may have strayed or changed. Anthony>

Toadstool Leather - 2/13/03 Hi Guys! <cheers> I have this toadstool  that I got from some online joint.  I have never owned one before, but noticed it didn't quite look right.  It started to get some funky brown slime on it which I siphoned off.   <Air shipped livestock more than any other simply must be quarantined away from your display on arrival. Please read about QT protocol in the wetwebmedia.com archives. Else you risk serious disease, infection or even a wipeout in the main display> I guess it's rotting away because it has a dime sized hole right in the center of the crown.   <Carve out the necrotic section with a sharp razor blade or scalpel and please do not move the coral at all. Simply proffer good water flow and light and be patient> I have had it for exactly one week today.   What can I do to save any part of this coral?  How can I tell when to remove a coral from my tank?   <A tough call... they can heal easily... or wipeout quickly and threaten the whole system. Hence the need for QT. Look for firmness and some normal polyp extension (not mandatory)> I know this question may sound like a no brainer, but it's hard to give up on some living life form even if it is polluting your tank.  I hope you understand. I try to be responsible and I always check your website for info.  Thanks,    -Becky <No worries... understood and agreed. Anthony>

- Reef Tank Questions - <Greetings, JasonC here...> hello gentlemen, could you give me some sound advice? <I can try.> I mainly want to have a tank with LPS corals but didn't know it at the time I was stocking my tank.  Anywho I now have a torch, frogspawn, 2 open brains, 2 clams, Zoanthids, a couple mushroom rocks, a Sinularia, a leather, and 2 Sarco leathers (not sure how to spell it).  But my thing here is do I want to remove all the soft leather corals in order to be successful with the LPS corals. <Well... you didn't mention the size of this tank - provided there is enough total water in the system and really good circulation and skimming, you might be able to get away with it.> Your opinion here is greatly honored.  I've read about the chemicals the soft corals could put off. <It's true - and Sarcophytons are some of the most potent.> I've seen tanks with all different corals in them and thought it would be ok to mix at the time, but I am getting more knowledge about these wonderful corals. I know you won't steer me wrong. thanks.  P.S. One more quick question.  As far as hooking up my calcium reactor,  I was going to use a tee fitting off my main return to supply my Knop reactor, it will be coming off a Mag 9 pump, do I want to be able to throttle the flow down to the reactor as not to over pressure it or should I just run that stream right into the supply of the reactor without any kind of valve to it (it would be easier for me if I could just tee it off and not go with a valve) <You don't really need a valve on the feed-side. The valve on the effluent side will accomplish what you need - and no worries about over-pressuring the reactor.> what do you recommend, thanks <Cheers, J -- >

Coral Slugs eating away I posted a message at 'About Saltwater Aquarium' and was referred to this site ("Try sending the pics over to wetwebmedia.com and ask Bob Fenner and the boys they might be able to help").   <Anthony Calfo in your service> Anyhow, here's my original post, I hope you guys can help.  Thanks in advance! <our great pleasure> "I purchased a Sinularia coral about two weeks ago.  It's looked fine for the first few days but then started closing up.  I changed it's position in the tank a few times but noticed yesterday that it was getting smaller and portions appeared to be deteriorating. Well, upon closer inspection I saw something eating away at the coral which looks like some sort of slug (I've seen them once before eating my Colt coral).   <Correct... the same "Tassled" (cerata) Nudibranch (Dendronotacea)> I pulled out the rock to remove the slug and found a total of SIX, just eating away (coral is about 1/3 to 1/2 of it's original size). Anyhow, I was wondering if anyone here can identify these slugs (or whatever else they might be).   <how specifically? Not at all possible by photograph to species... perhaps not even to genus. Suborder given above> Here are the pictures: One last favor / question: I attached a picture of the coral (when it was healthy).  When I purchased the coral, the LFS said it was a Sinularia BUT NOT a Finger Leather Coral.  I would like to narrow down the identification a bit further.  It looks like a Blushing Finger Leather (Cladiella) but I just don't know.  Any help would be great." <Hmmm... for the record. The taxonomy has all changed for some of the Alcyoniids. The tall branching colt corals we knew as Cladiella were moved to "Alcyonium" then (now) to Klyxum. Your coral as depicted appears to be a true Sinularia but may in fact be a legitimate Cladiella>

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