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FAQs about Soft Coral Health/Disease, Pests, Predators 4

FAQs on Soft Coral Disease: Soft Coral Health/Disease/Pests 1, Soft Coral Health 2, Soft Coral Health 3, & 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 Coral Problems       8/29/16
Hi,
<Howsit?>
I've been having a consistent problem with some of my corals and was hoping you might be able to give an opinion on possible causes.
<Let's see>
Some background on my system.
Display tank 34G, 14 months old.
10g sump

Led lighting
The water parameters are
Temp 26.5 degrees C
SG 1.026
Nitrite/Ammonia 0
Nitrate <1
Phosphate undetectable
<Maybe an/the issue. Some organic HPO4 is essential to all life>
Nitrate and phosphate managed with Red Sea NOPOX manually dosed into the sump.
<Why? That is, what is your perception here?>

PH 8.2
Alk 9dKH
4 fish
Percula Clown
Banggai Cardinal
Yellow Assessor
Bicolour Blenny
Inverts
Skunk Cleaner Shrimp
Corals
2 x Capnella Tree Coral 1 healthy the other having problems
Several Corallimorphs most doing well and multiplying except for brown &
white striped.
2 x Zoanthid colony not doing so well

Hitchhikers that came in with live rock.
Brittle Starfish several
Red & White Linckia starfish small. Has lost legs and regrown them. Some of legs still moving around tank now with new head.
Crabs. I've removed many small crabs (approx 10) others may be in the tank yet to be detected.
Pistol Shrimp probably in the tank somewhere I hear loud pops in the night.
The Problem! The Zoanthids, 1 of the Capnella and the brown and white striped mushroom are all refusing to open and I fear are slowly dying off.
<STOP the "Red Sea NOPOX manually dosed into the sump.">

When I first placed them in the tank they all did well initially for maybe 2 weeks. When they showed signs of not fully opening I have moved the coral to a new spot. On moving the coral the coral temporarily improves for about a week and then does the same again starts to show signs of distress. I move again and same deal.
With the exception of the Zoanthids, I have the same or very similar species of coral in the same tank that are healthy.
The unhappy Capnella is standing upright but all its branches are only slightly extended. It's not fully retracted.
The brown and white morph coral actually multiplied from 1 to 4 polyps and 3 have totally died with the 4th now so small it will soon be dead.
The Zoanthid colonies only 50% of the polyps are opening.
Do you have any ideas what maybe causing the problems?
<All sorts of speculations. For now as stated above>
Is there some hitchhiker that's annoying the coral that's taking a few nights to find its food source when I move them? Or maybe it's common for unhappy coral to temporarily improve when moved?
The skunk cleaner shrimp is not the culprit as he's a recent addition after the problems had been observed.
Any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks
Tony
<Let's review in a couple of weeks. Bob Fenner>

Tritoniopsis elegans?  5/8/11
Is this the dreaded Soft Coral-Eating Nudibranch?
<Appears to be, yes>
Before I kill the thing, I'd like to make sure. it's about half an inch long. Very pretty, with blue tips on its edges.
It looks just like the Tritonidae, however it has blue tips. I haven't seen them with blue tips. Came in some coral.
Thanks, in advance, for your expertise.
<Welcome. Please see BillR's site here: http://www.seaslugforum.net/find/triteleg
Bob Fenner>

Soft coral issue   3/23/11
Hi all
<Jim>
I am noticing a troubling issue when doing water changes. I match the PH specific gravity and aerate the water before putting it into the main tank temperature too obviously.
<Mmm, I am a constant harper, encourager of folks doing as you state AND then storing new water for days to a week ahead of use>
I have noticed my toadstool, and Sinularia have closed after every water change.
<Not uncommon behavior>

Also they haven't opened much for about 2 weeks or so now. I understand leathers shut down sometimes to get rid of toxins and particulates.
<Yes; this is so>
Parameters are thus
KH 10.5 Mg 1300 Ca 370 (pm reading)
PH 8.3 Nitrates 5ppm PO4 0.01
Could you give me some advice as to why this could be?
<I fully suspect some aspect of the new water, salt mix, a combo. of the two... pre-mixing and storing new water does much to allow interactions twixt chemical species... to make the overall product less harsh, more stable.

Do please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/watrchgtechs.htm
and the linked files above as you find time>
I do have Caulastrea and some Euphyllia LPS stonies in the tank along with some polyps and feather dusters.
<<Mmm, there might be some degree of chemical allelopathy going on twixt the Euphyllia in particular; perhaps even a "cascade effect" prompted/brought on with the water changes, the Stony and Soft Corals interactions>>
Many thanks
Jim
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Worm ID: That's No Worm, That's Trouble with A Capital T: Tritoniid Nudibranch - 1/26/10
Hi Crew, Hi Mr. Fenner,
<Hello Claire, Lynn here this evening.>
I hope you all are feeling well.
<Thanks, just like the old song, I'm feelin' alright!>
I have a problem.
<I'm sorry to say that judging from the photos, you do indeed.>
A few days ago, during the night, I paid attention to a worm (looking like a slug) on the glass of the aquarium. I took a picture, but I did not send it, as I got only the ventral face.
Yesterday night, I remarked that two curious "critters" were on the rock of my Cladiella (closed for the night).
<Never a good sign, but helpful for ID purposes.>
I succeed to take an "acceptable" shot today and my questions are:
1)What kind of worm is it (I did not succeed to identify it myself from the WetWebMedia site)?
<Unfortunately, it's not a worm. It's a predatory Nudibranch, most likely Tritoniopsis elegans (family Tritoniidae). These little guys are very pretty but unfortunately eat soft corals like your little Cladiella. Have you noticed any damage to this, or any other softies?>
2) Is it a pest,
<When it comes to soft corals, yes indeed.>
..and if yes, how to eradicate it (I never saw it in the tank before,
<Hopefully they'll be out and about again tonight. If so, I'd opt for physical removal. You might want to try suctioning them out with a turkey baster. Be sure to have a net handy though, just in case one gets away. Please see the following link for more information (be sure to go through all associated links at the bottom of the page as well): http://www.seaslugforum.net/factsheet/triteleg
Google Tritoniopsis for the many WWM FAQ's re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Googlesearch.htm >
..but I suppose that there are a lot of creatures I never remarked too) ?
<Yep, there's a whole other crew that emerges when the lights go out!>
Thank you for your wonderful help and patience,
<You're very welcome and good hunting!>
Kind regards,
Claire
<Take care, LynnZ>

 

Re: Worm ID: That's No Worm, That's Trouble with A Capital T: Tritoniid Nudibranch -- 1/27/10
Hi LynnZ,
<Hi Claire>
Thank you for answering so fast.
<Well, I knew that if I were in your situation, I'd want to know right away!>
I have in my aquarium one very big Elegance Coral, one Goniopora, one anemone, a baby Bubble Coral, the Cladiella (the victim here) and two rocks with on each one a little colony of mushrooms (one colony of green mushrooms and one colony of green striped mushrooms), two false Percula (hosting the anemone) and two yellow Coris (yellow Wrasse).
<Sounds pretty.>
I did not notice any damage to any of the corals, but what I noticed is that the skimmer went amok today (perhaps because we had a power surge of 45 minutes yesterday). Everybody is looking fine, fully open and closing at night.
<Excellent>
I hope that I will succeed to get rid of these beautiful pests tonight, when the actinic is the only light. I do not like the idea to trash living creatures in the toilets, but if I get the idea, I do not have any other choice.
<Unfortunately, that does seem to be the case here. This sort of situation always presents me with a moral dilemma. I have a very hard time destroying (or recommending the destruction of) anything that only through man's interference, has made its way into our systems. The way I see it, whatever the animal, it contributed to the balance of an ecosystem in the wild, so to destroy it because it has suddenly become inconvenient to our artificially skewed systems is just abhorrent. That's why most of the time I recommend that people try to find new homes for unwanted organisms instead of destroying them. One man's pest can be another man's treasure, so to speak. Unfortunately, in cases such as yours, the choices are limited. Those beautiful little Nudibranchs eat soft corals and that's it. If you left them in the display, they'd reproduce, go through the food supply, and all would starve to death. Removing them to their own tank, without corals, would end the same. The only real option for keeping them alive (since they cannot be returned to the wild) would be to keep them supplied with all the corals they could eat, which could become very costly. Without that option, the best and kindest thing to do is to put them down as humanely as possible. Please see the following link for more information re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/euthanasia.htm >
And Thank you for the links - I am reading them now.
<Super. There's a lot of good information in there.>
Take care,
<And you as well>
regards,
Claire
<LynnZ>

Re: Worm ID: That's No Worm, That's Trouble with A Capital T: Tritoniid Nudibranch -- 1/28/10
Hi LynnZ,
<Hello Claire>
The Nudibranch who was on the photo was eliminated yesterday, I'm afraid to say that I did it the right moment I saw him on the Cladiella (before receiving your mail) with less humanity that it is described in the link concerning euthanasia. I took him off with tweezers and it was very hard because he was literally glued to the rock of the Cladiella.
<I bet!>
But I write you about your ethical considerations which I entirely share. It's the reason why I try to construct a little Indo-Pacific biotope including species non predators to each others. But of course, when you introduce a piece of live rock in your tank coming from the sea, you never know which inhabitants laid eggs there before.
<Exactly, or what's hiding out within the rock. You just never quite know what little surprises you're going to get. Most of the time, the organisms are good/beneficial; other times, not so much. At that point, you just have to weigh the risks and make the call to leave in place or remove.>
I'm happy when I see one of my two blue-legged Marshall hermits wandering naked after molting to find another shell without predators willing to eat him.
<Wow that is a predator-free zone!>
And I think a lot of people should have your wonderful sense of ethics concerning the living creatures.
<Thankfully, there seems to be many, many hobbyists out there like you that do share those ethics. Truly, it gives me hope for the future of us all.>
Take care, and thanks again,
<It was my pleasure, Claire, and thank you.>
Claire
<LynnZ>

Completely stumped - soft coral problems, allelopathy, Ozone option  06/02/09
Hello,
<Hi there Ken>
I need some help as I'm completely stumped, I have been running a 90 G tank for over 10 years now. Some good years some bad.
Currently I have for the last year been able to keep the system running with 0 Nitrate's as I had major nitrate problems.
I had been running with CC substrate and trickle filter with a small skimmer (old school! ) with 275W of PC lighting So I had changed up the system over a year ago upgraded to a Euro Reef RS135 running in a 30G sump with a 15G fug. and CaribSea reef floor sand. Also upgraded to 8x54W T5's
So currently I have 140 Lbs of rock (been in use 10 years)
<Mmm, I'd be adding a bit new to this. Please see here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/substrepl2.htm >
with a total of 125g of water in the system.
I do a 20G water change every 2-3 weeks (just timing issue) and dose BRS two part daily.
Current parameters - that I test
1.025 Salinity - Refractometer (checked and tested at LFS)
80 F Temp - digital
8.4 (night) - 8.5 PH (day) - using Vital Sign handheld calibrated last week
8 DKH- using API
430 Cal - using Seachem
1300 Mag - using Seachem
0 Ammonia - using API
0 Nitrite - using API
0 Nitrate - using API
0.01 Phos- Using Elos
0.06 Iodine - using Seachem
Here is my problem all of my pulsing Xenia for the last few weeks have all stopped pulsing
, their white body's have gone from white to dark brown/pink (best I can come up with LOL) I had a frag in the tank 6 months ago that got stung by my Ritteri anemone ( I know small tank for a Ritteri but love them so much) so I moved it and it started to grow back and kind of stopped growing. I got a another frag and it grew to three times it's size and picked up another frag for my small tank that was cycling and it to grew to three times it's size quickly. then the first frag has started to shrink and turn dark and now the second frag is tuning dark and not coming out fully. At the same time (about 6 months ago) I had picked up a green orange clove polyp frag and it too started off strong went from 5 polyps to 25 and now it too has stopped growing. Some of the polyps will not open fully and they look burned (the edges are white)
My mushrooms are not expanding fully but look OK, my Leather is OK, my Zoo's are OK, All my LSP and one SPS are doing good (still growing) even my Acans are fine, so what gives?? What I'm I missing??
<Mmm... perhaps... some general aspect of water quality that would "save" your "losing" Cnidarians from apparent allelopathy... A bunch to speculate here... But let's start by having you review:

http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files of this ppt. condensation, and then a bit re RedOx...
which, better than "stooping" to more expensive chemical filtrant use...
I'd look into... Ozone use... perhaps with a desiccator:
http://wetwebmedia.com/redox.htm
and http://wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/RedOx/RedoxPPTpres1.htm
and the linked files...>
Thanks' for any help or direction you can offer.
If I left out any needed info please let me know.
Ken
<Again, Ken, there are a few avenues you might consider, go here... For me, a cursory reading/understanding of the negative interactions of the life you list and a short/sure method of "curing" these processes is likely to be satisfying. Bob Fenner>
Re: Completely stumped - soft coral problems... pH, Alk., and O3   6/11/09

Hello again Bob,
<Ken>
I hope I'm not over staying my welcome here, but I have some more questions and observations.
I have been doing some research on a ORP meter, but it was suggested to me that if I had a ORP problem I may need to install a ozone generator so it maybe best to invest in a ORP controller to start with rather then a Meter.
<Mmm, see my notes re... in articles re Ozone, ozonizers on WWM... Am a much bigger fan of just getting, using a unit that is too small to cause trouble if it is turned all the way up>
So with this in mind and other possible problems, I have installed another power head, I have been running two Koralia # 4 in my 90G with a OM Super squirt on my 1300G/hr return pump. I picked up a Koralia #1 to run close to the water surface to assist in gas exchange. I went about my 20g water change last Saturday and when the return pump was off the water dropped 1" in the DT (as normal) the position of the Koralia #1 was at the point that it was sucking up air and aerating the surface of the water, I decided to allow it to do so. A few hours after the water change (standard for me) I checked the PH and Alk, what I found was surprising my PH had jumped to 8.6 and my Alk had dropped to ~6 DKH.
<Mmm, you do understand the basic principle (a bad pun) here? The increased aeration...>
So I slowly increased the Alk over night and into the morning to find that at 7.5 DKH my PH was at 8.7.
Quickly did a refresher course on high PH as never had this problem, and found Randy's "High pH: Causes and Cures" from reading this the problem would be from carbon dioxide deficiency, Correct?
<Mmm, no>
With a carbon dioxide deficiency the last thing one would do is run a ozone generator, Correct?
<No... (O3, O2 and O) would indeed drive off excess CO2, but I don't think this is a cause here>
So I'm back to the question of a ORP meter or controller,
<Again, not necessarily either one... but can be one/the same device if you opt for this. Do put regular (weekly) service of the probe on your list if you get one>
not to put you on the spot or hold you to any suggestion, Just would like to know if I'm correctly understanding my observation, If so I will not require a controller (this year LOL) but a meter that will help find what is going on.
<How to put this... one can have "excess" DO (dissolved oxygen) effects w/o too little CO2...>
As a side note I have used vinegar, (three dose's of 20ml over three day's) to bring down the PH to 8.6, and my green orange clove polyp flag's are looking very much happier, I guess time will tell with the pulsing Xenia's
Again Thanks for the input, I should have paid more attention in Chemistry....
Ken
<Do keep reading re for now. BobF>

Devil's Hand Leather and Kenya Tree... Health... re: allelopathy/intro., HPO4, filtrant, reading   4/2/09
Hello all -
<Dan>
Can't seem to find a definitive answer in all the FAQs, so I'm firing off a direct question. I recently added a Kenya Tree coral to my 100 gal reef tank. My Devil's Hand leather coral is now less extended and the little hairy polyps are retracted.
<How was the new Soft Coral "introduced?"... Best over a period of weeks, with some quarantine water added to the display system...>
Almost simultaneously, I had an accidental over-feeding and my Phosphates went up to a .5 reading. I immediately did a water change, reduced feeding, added "Phos-guard" in my sump,
<I would not do this last... All life we're interested in requires "some" soluble phosphate. See WWM re and the use of chemical filtrants for such>
and increased skimmer flow. My question: Is the Leather having an adverse reaction to the new Kenya, or is it more likely just coincidental and merely a reaction to the elevated Phosphates?
<Likely a degree of both, along with the removal of required HPO4>
Other info: 0 Nitrates, 0 Nitrates, 7.8 Ph,
0.023 salinity,
<Too low>
500+ Calcium,
<Too high>

30 gal refugium, 48" "SunPod" Halide system.
Only other corals are a small bunch of Zoos and some small Xenia clumps.
<These too could be to likely are involved allelopathogenically>
Thanks for the help,
Dan
<Read here as well: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Devil's Hand Leather and Kenya Tree  04/02/09

Thanks for the quick response, Bob. Yes, I added the corals in stages.
The leather and the Xenia went in together, followed by the polyps a week later.
<Mmm, need more time apart than this>
After another week of observing no adverse effects, I added the Kenya. I did not put any QT water in first, because I never mix water from the two systems.
<You have read where I sent you? Do you understand the logic of this procedure?>
If I understand your point though, you are suggesting adding a little of the QT water and then watching to see if anything reacts, before putting the new addition in the main tank, right?
<Ah, yes... to have all "get used" to each other... ahead of actual physical introduction>
I'll put that in my bag o tricks for next time.
I also understand your Phosphate discussion... I try to keep it at trace levels (about .25 ppm).
<Ahh! Good>
The calcium reading is decreasing. It was off the charts a little while back because the tank had been running for months with no inverts (I added 4" of live sand, 140# of live rock about two months ago). I am also in the process of slowly raising the salinity (target 1.024-25) to find a happy mix between the fish and the coral.
<Very good>
As always, I appreciate your time and the point-outs to the other links.
I had missed those somehow.
<Welcome Dan. BobF>

Is my colt coral dying, no real information, reading   9/25/08 Hello, I just purchased a colt coral from my LPSs <LFS> a few days ago. When I put it in the tank it was fully extended and very healthy looking. The next day however it shrank in size quite a bit, some of his arms were still standing up but he was in size. On the 3rd day in the tank it started to hang to the side and look deflated. I called the pet store, and they told me to move it to a different spot in the tank and see how it does. When I moved it to a new location, it started giving off a white smoke like mucus for about 15 minutes. <Reacting to...?> Today it looks worse yet, it is still hanging over and deflated and now it has what looks like thick clear mucus on some of its arms. All my other corals are doing excellent, <... may be mal-influencing the Alcyoniid> the water is testing perfect. <... dismal... what does this mean?> I have the colt coral in a spot where it is getting low to moderate current and medium to high light. I don't know what to do. Any help is appreciated, thanks. Sheena <... no data of use, nor apparent reading... Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  and the linked files above, then here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm and... Bob Fenner>
Re: is my colt coral dying... still not reading  9/25/08
I have been trying to find something online that will help me fix this problem. I found some cases that have to do with a colt coral looking deflated, but nothing on what is the cause and how to treat this problem. I have the coral about 6 inches away from the other corals in my tank, which is a 55 gallon. Today the coral looks like it is melting. <... read where you were referred to> There are zero nitrates, nitrites and ammonia in the tank, my Ph is 8.4. I just did a 25% water change the week before I purchased the colt coral. Should I do another water change because the coral is giving off that thick mucus which I read can be toxic? <A good idea... better to read... move this animal... it's being too mal-affected by the other Cnidarians present...> It says to remove the mucus, but it's on the coral. Do I peel it off? I read that this coral is very hardy and recommended for novices as a good first coral. <Yes... but not... with the others well-established...> The other corals in my tank are, 1 hammer coral, 1 frogspawn, 1 bubble, 1 large green star ,1 fox coral and I also have a few mixed zoos. These are all on the small side, but are doing very well. Wouldn't one of these be showing signs of distress if it was a problem with the water? <... Please, don't read... instead read where you were referred to... There are tens of thousands that do... daily. B>

Soft coral torn from rock, need info.  - 03/10/08 Hi, My husband and I are new to reef tanks. We had a saltwater tank 25+ years ago. A lot is new now and we are learning fast. We never had corals. Now, we have what I think is a blushing coral (according to the store) or broccoli coral. We've had it about 3 weeks and it was doing well. I say "was" because now it has shriveled and looks a bit greenish. I noticed it looks like it is torn from the rock it was attached to (at it's base). <Not good> It was fine this morning, waving in the current. We have a Foxface Rabbitfish who likes to sit within the branches. We also have two "orange diamond" gobies who have been fighting over a nearby rock. We think someone may have hit it. Can it be super glued back? <Mmm, depends... better to situate the base twixt rock...> Should we leave it alone? I've been checking WWM, but can't seem to find what I'm looking for. Maybe I'm just timid about gluing a living creature...help! Marianne <I understand your hesitancy... But need to know more pertinent facts in order to help you further... e.g. the physical, chemical make-up of your system, it's history of set-up and maintenance... the actual species of Alcyonacean, or a photo... Bob Fenner>

Something eating soft corals 2/29/08 Hi again. I have a question that is driving me crazy. I have looked on your site as well as goggled it. What could be eating my corals? I have a 10 gal tank that I use as a quarantine tank. About a year ago my brother quit saltwater because he said that too many animals were dying on him. So I received many of his LR, the pieces that had "character." There are about 2/3 rock and 1/3 water in this tank. I have cycled some fish through the aquarium without problems. Christmas I bought two mushrooms, one bumpy the other smooth, brown with purple highlights, looking at it at the proper angle. The bumpy one disappeared soon after introduction to the QT. I looked all over between the rocks and behind, could not find it. Thought that I just did not look good enough. A month later an anthelia, two stalks on a small rock was given to me for free. Two days later it is gone. Just the small rock was left. Looked for it again as I was told sometimes they just let go and float around looking for a better spot. Nowhere. I have a colt coral that I fragged and put into this aquarium. Sewed it onto a rock that I drilled a hole into. It was about 1 1/2 inches long. 3 days later It is gone, not a trace and this time I looked well. Last night it was all there and this morning 9 hours later not a trace. I am at my wits end. What do I look for? <Perhaps a predaceous worm of size, a crustacean... coming out at night... place a flashlight near the tank (one with a red filter if you can), and take a look periodically. Alternatively, rig or buy a trap (detailed on WWM) and try baiting/trapping out whatever this might be> The aquarium has the one brown mushroom, about 2" across, some sponges, and two small anemones (about 1" high) that I purchased with a LR. They have not moved ever. No snails or fish. I once cut a plastic pop bottle and put it together inverted for a crab trap. Put a bit of salmon into it, but all it caught overnight was a few bristle worms and some small shrimplike thing. I took it out because the water inside the bottle stunk, and I did not want to pollute the tank. The odd time I come home late and the QT's lights are out so I peek at it with a red light. Have never seen a crab, however little bugs seem to scurry away from the light. What would you recommend? Thanking you in advance. Dietmar <Trapping... Bob Fenner>

Coral eater... prev. corr. Hi, I have a sailfin tang, 3 Firefish, one false percula, orange Anthias, and a two black spot yellow fish (I was told this fish will eat the bristle worms). I have 10-12 hermit crabs. They have been recently hunting my snails and taking over their shells. I am not sure which one of these is eating off my leather coral. My white finger leather coral with has been losing its small fingers. I can see most of them being nipped off. I had one Firefish and then I introduced two more fire fishes. The one that was already there is chasing the other two. The two victimized Firefishes have their tail and fire fin torn off. But they still come out once a day to get their food. Can anyone let me know which one of these could possibly eat corals? Regards, PraKash
Re: Coral eater   2/3/08
Hi, Just want to add, the two spot yellow fish was yellow wrasse. Regards, PraKash <Halichoeres chrysus? Not likely a culprit... but H. hortulanus might well be... What species is this? Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral eater  2/4/08
Hi, I have Halichoeres chrysus. Could the fire fish be eating my corals? <Microdesmids rarely chew on Cnidarians> Also can the hermit crabs be a predator? <Oh yes. B> Regards,
PraKash

Re: Photos from Caracas (help). Alcyoniid Allelopathy Likely  5/8/06 Hi Bob <Claudio> Is Claudio from Caracas <Como que va my friend?> I am still working on the plan to invite you down here, because the political situation and the presidential election early December we better wait and see what we can do for early next year after everything settles down again <I understand> On the other hand I need some help relating the enclosed photos.. <Okay> The finger leather refuses to open fully, I do not know if has something to do with the nearby Sinularia (I think) <Could be...> The whit spot in the Briareum <Or this animal/colony> appeared after I had to eliminate one Aiptasia with an injection of Kalkwasser <Or...> Did I over do it?? <Maybe> Thanks in advance for you help Claudio <Best to "go back to the start" here... seek to improve, maintain high water quality... through water changes, chemical filtration... and hope for natural recovery here. Bob Fenner>

Soft corals <et al.> looking bad   5/23/06 Hi, <Hello there> I have made a number of changes to my 58 gal tank over the past two weeks, and recently my soft corals (flower leather, xenia), mushrooms, and Zoanthids have been looking quite unhealthy. All the other creatures (fish, inverts) are acting and appearing as they normally do. Here is the rundown of additions: -- 10 gal sump with epoxy/Weldon attached parts. -- Sump return pump. -- Overflow box glued together with Weldon. -- PVC plumbing sealed with the PVC pipe glue. -- Sand to the sump refugium area. -- Live rock (about 15 lb; previously had about 60 lb in the tank) <The solvents listed are fine> I have done a number of tests over the past few days, and notice nothing different than before these changes: Ph 8.1 Sal 1.021 <Trouble... I'd keep this near NSW: 1.025> KH 7.5 NH3 0 NO2 <0.1 NO3 0.2 Ca 380 mg/L PO4 ~0 (hard to read test) Cu 0 Iodine 0 Could die-off from the new LR have caused trouble? I have never noticed any ammonia spike in any of my tests -- always zero. Here are some pictures: Xenia today -- http://static.flickr.com/54/151551312_459c185a25_o.jpg Xenia two days ago -- http://static.flickr.com/52/150088714_84a8d91ab6_b.jpg Mushroom -- http://static.flickr.com/56/150088715_f428619b1b_b.jpg Zoanthids -- http://static.flickr.com/45/150088713_50b2167057_b.jpg Flower leather -- http://static.flickr.com/52/150088712_7850386e15_b.jpg Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! Jason <Mmm, evidence of general "malaise"... due to? I'd be reading here: http://wetwebmedia.com/softcorhealth.htm starting the change to higher spg through water changes, treat with Lugol's... Bob Fenner>

Re: Soft corals looking bad   5/26/06 Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, things are getting worse. Now the other Xenia colonies (the long-arm wavy type, not the short pink type) are looking terrible. They are definitely on death's door. I have been doing 4-5 gallon water changes over the past few days to dilute any potential toxins I did not measure. This is slowly raising the SG (now about 1.023), Ph (today 8.3), and Alk (today 9.1). I have not yet begun dosing Iodine. <I would> The nitrate levels have risen to about 5mg/L, I assume due to the death of the other Xenia colony (I removed decaying tissue with a siphon). I also added activated carbon to my sump. <Good> Do you have additional suggestions? Shall I continue with these daily water changes, increase, or decrease them? <I would continue with these...> I am not certain if my interventions are too strong or not strong enough. Thanks again! Jason <And add a pad of PolyFilter to your filter flow path. Hopefully this will help improve your situation... soon. Bob Fenner>  

Sick Neptheid 11/8/04 Hey gang, Top 'O the Day from Denver, Anthony, <hey bro... good to hear from you :)> I snapped a shot of that "Mash 4077th" tree coral you helped me with a year, or, so, ago. I thought it was doing a natural fission a while back & didn't really think about it, is the pic clear enough to tell what's going on here, it looks like a mess of necrotic tissue to me...is this what natural fission looks like? Thanks my friend, Scott <hard to say for sure... but this pic/symptom is very reminiscent to me of a coral that overgrew itself but did not have enough water flow in and around it. This can occur because the water pumps haven't been cleaned for a while and have tired/slowed down... or... because the tank never had enough of the right kind of flow to support a large colony from go, but could support a frag to grow up to this point. Either way, strong water flow (increase here) is a key. Maintaining high RedOx through aggressive skimming, small daily iodine doses and perhaps some ozone a would likely do the trick. Best of luck/life! Ant->

Newly Acquired Soft Coral  12/30/2005 Hi Anthony: <Will cc him...> I haven't written for a while but I have a mystery (?) that maybe you can help with.  I have been working on improving the marine systems at a LFS in our area.  Things are coming along slowly but steadily.  Today the owner and I were talking about restocking the soft coral tanks that we have renovated. He is reluctant because it seems that most of the time when he places a shipment of softies he comes in the next day to find the tanks completely cloudy.  (He generally gets mixed lots of 25 pieces selected by the wholesaler, not transshipped. if that has any informational value).  I have never had this experience, so don't know what to tell him.  All that I have read about in this regard is reproductive events, but I'm not sure that they would occur on such a scale. <Not likely. Probably just a situation of inadequate circulation, filtration... possibly with inadequate acclimation (mixing, addition of shipping water... should be avoided> Since you have handled so many shipped coral, any advice or leads would be appreciated.  I'm going to make sure that we are acclimating properly, but would appreciate any input you might have. Thanks for all the advice in the past (and future!!).  Take care, Greg. PS, any further word on V2 of the NMA?  I'm drooling over here!! <laugh> <I wish. Bob Fenner>

Colt Coral 11-25-05 Hello Mr. Fenner, <Hi, Travis with you here today.> I wanted to ask you a couple of questions if I may. You have been so helpful in the past.  I have 2 colt corals in my 100 gallon reef tank, that I bought from a reputable dealer here in town. I am running a VHO lighting system, putting 440 watts of light into the tank, from 10:00 a.m. until 9:00 p.m. everyday. I follow a strict regimen of feeding, and do not over feed for any reason. <Make sure you are not under feeding because of this.> I have some button polyps, toadstool mushroom, green star polyps, Ricordea mushrooms, and some cabbage leather in the tank also. Now when I bought these 2 colts, in the store, they were a real light tan color and were on the bottom of the tank, reaching for the light. When I brought them home, after acclimating them, I place one on top of the rocks, and 1 one the sand. Both of the colts, after a couple of days, changed to a rich looking brown color, with all the polyps on the end extended. <They sound nice.> But they are not standing as tall as they were in the store, figuring the store manager did not have the intense lighting as I do. <I bet you are right.> All of the limbs are rigid, and show no sign whatsoever of being stressed. The colt at the top of the rocks looks like a very healthy bush, and the bottom one is a little taller, but neither of them are as tall as they were in the store tanks. Could it be that they are getting the right amount of light, and do not need to extend so far upwards to get what they need? <Could be.> Or am I doing exactly what they do not need? <It does not sound like it.> My water flow is medium, and is run by a wavemaker, so that they are not constantly pummeled by water. My water temp runs at a constant 78 to 79 degrees, and when I add top off water, it is also the same temperature.  It just seems to me that in the stores, colt corals seem to be reaching for the sky, straining to get at the light, but in the home aquarium, they shrink back to a smaller size, and get very bushy. I would greatly appreciate any comments you have, or any reference material I can look up and read more about them. I thank you for your time, and I hope you had a great turkey day. <Check to make sure you have very low nitrates and fresh carbon running.  Everything else sounds great.> Sincerely, Dan Simpson Dayton, Ohio <Travis>

Coral Infection? Hey there WWM Crew, <James> Over the past week I have been observing a hole forming in the base of my toadstool leather.  This happened all of a sudden, and is especially puzzling since the piece has been flourishing for well over a year in my tank.  The hole started out as a little darkish spot that when touched the material crumbled off.  I initially cleaned off the spot in question then dipped the whole piece in disinfectant dip.  Since then the spot has become larger and deeper, but has remained the same crumbly dark material.  I have also been spot treating the area with the same coral dip on a daily basis for the past couple of days. <Mmm, time to excise this area...> Tonight I removed a large chunk of the seemingly dead material and swabbed it once again.  The hole is around half a dimes depth currently, and is definitely causing me quite a bit of concern.  Other than the hole the coral seems to be doing well, opening fully and has a nice firm stalk.  As for water conditions I have to use tap-water in the tank until I move and get a bigger place to install an RO unit.  Everything is pretty much on the ball except for my nitrates and phosphate levels.   I have a phosphate absorber in a hang on, and have been doing decent size weekly water changes to help with the nitrates. Is this sudden turn in the coral's condition a result of the water or could this be a parasite of some sort? <Could be either, both, and/or an actual predator> The tank has a fair number of other soft corals (leathers, mushrooms, xenias) and they are all doing very well without signs of any illnesses.  Just for reference the tank is a 55, with a couple of clowns, PJ Cardinals, a Yellow Tang, a Red Coris, and an assortment of shrimp and crabs.  Thank you very much in advance for any advice / information you can offer! <Read on WWM re Alcyoniid health, pests...> P.S.  As a side note I sent you guys a message a few months ago about a Ricordea that got left out in my car for several hours in 40ish degree weather, and whether it would make it or not.  Just to let you know it did indeed make it and is actually doing very well! <Great! Bob Fenner> 

Sick colt coral WWM Crew, <Nathan> I've been having some trouble with my colt coral the past 2 months. I received the coral from a friend and it was "happy" in my aquarium for a few months. All of a sudden, it shrunk considerably and stopped extending polyps (see attached images, before and after). I think there are two (possibly three) possible causes: 1) I decided to try a little propagation a few days before the problems started. I cut 2 branches off. The coral was back to normal the following few days, then got "sick." <Happens> 2) I got a few tiny coral frags shipped to me, which included: cloves, a Corallimorph, an Acropora, and a Sarcophyton (I didn't chose the varieties that I received). Initially, I had the cloves a few inches away from the colt. When it was unhappy, I moved them away. No improvement was seen. <Chemically mal-affected...> 3) Lastly, though this wouldn't make sense to me at all... I started dosing ionic and polygluconate complexed Ca about the time this happened, which boosted my Ca from ~250 to ~450 (over the course of a week). <Any of these might "do it"> Here's the tank: 75 g, 100 lbs live rock, 1/2" fine grained sand, 4 - 55W compact fluorescent (10,000 K and actinic), 15 g sump, 20 g refugium/DSB, AquaC EV-120 skimmer emptied at least weekly, usually twice weekly, S.G. 1.025, nitrates, ammonia, and nitrites = 0, Ca ~450, alk ~9 dKH, Ca(OH)2 slowly added with automated top-off, good, stable pH (xenia's pulsing well), RODI water, ionic and polygluconate complexed Ca and SeaChem Reef Plus added regularly, 6 gallon weekly water change. 2 false percula clowns Royal Gramma Yellow Tang Coral Beauty (soon to be gone, as it is picking on some corals that I want to keep.) various corals 1 BTA (I know, I shouldn't have this with my corals... It has been my only impulse buy - I got it when a beloved LFS went out of business recently. Only when I got it home did I realize that it was quite inappropriate for my aquarium. It hasn't caused problems though (yet) and has not roamed at all since I got it (a few weeks). My clowns are even hosting in it. As a rule, I never buy anything I haven't researched first!) All livestock except the colt seems to be healthy. So, is it likely that this is a "chemical warfare" issue, or some sort of infection resulting from propagation (or a combination...)? I also have some green star polyps which are within 6 inches, but the colt and the star polyps seemed to get along for a few months prior to this (maybe the polyps just finally won?) A frag that I initially cut is doing fine and has a similar proximity to the green star polyps. I was being very patient to see if the animal would just come out of it, but it has been about 2 months since it hasn't looked healthy... Do you have any suggestions? (iodine dips, move it, cut it up to see if frags grow, etc...) <Have you read through the Soft Coral archives on WWM?> I will appreciate any suggestions you might have, though I realize that with all the variables I've described, it may be anyone's guess! Thanks so much for all your help and the incredible repository of knowledge on your website - it is surely the main reason I have been quite successful in this hobby!   Nathan Saetveit <Read over WWM and what you have sent here... Bob Fenner>

Coral Calamity! WetWeb crew, <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> We recently purchased a Leather Glove soft coral for our salt water tank. It has been drooping since it was put in the tank and the other day it emitted something that looked like smoke. Since then the Toadstool we have appeared to get a blister, that was red and bubbled up. <Yuck. Not good. This coral is apparently unhappy, and is releasing some substances which are not making it's neighbors happy, either!> The aquarium we purchased it from said it was a form of algae and to simply brush it off. When we brushed it off, the Toadstool went with it leaving a hole in the toadstool. <Sounds like large parts of the coral are already necrotic, and your brushing removed a lot of dead tissue. Best to cut out all or most of the necrotic tissue on the coral so that the remaining live portion has it's best shot at survival. A sharp razor blade makes this work easy. These corals can survive quite a bit of cutting, BTW.> Now the frogspawn we have has filmed over with a white web like layer, and tonight our brain coral has a small white spot near the edge and what appear to be bumps throughout one half. <Yep- release of allelopathic or other compounds is causing a lot of stress and damage in this tank.> No effect so far on our star polyps or mushrooms, and our crabs and snails seem fine. We do not have any fish yet to worry about. We have tested the pH, ammonia nitrates and nitrite's, and all those levels are fine. The temperature of the tank is at 79 and has stayed right around there since this began. We used Nutra sea water to start the tank and occasionally add fresh water to keep the water level up. The only other additives we use are reef buffer and reef iodine. HELP!! <Well, the first order of business is to get the sick and dying coral out of the tank and in a clean environment. Carefully excise the damaged tissue from the corals, and keep them in a situation with decent water movement during the healing process. By all means, conduct some good sized water changes, using high quality source water. Use of aggressive protein skimming and activated carbon will help remove many of the organic and other substances in the water that are degrading water quality. Get on a regular water change schedule here, and keep at it! Remember to quarantine all new animals (yep- even corals!) before placing them in your display tank, and make sure that they are kept far enough apart to avoid "burning" each other. On the other hand, soft corals do release many noxious compounds that can stifle their neighbor's growth. Be sure to use the aforementioned chemical filtration on a regular basis, to help remove some of the nasty substances. Also, arm yourself with a good book on these animals, such as Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" and/or Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation", both of which cover husbandry and disease treatment of corals in much greater depth than we can cover here. Take the first steps outlined here, and observe the corals closely. Hang in there! Regards, Scott F.> 

Devil's hand coral I have used your site several times and always appreciate the feedback. I have had a Devil's Hand in my tank for about 2 months and it has been doing great, polyps fully extended. When I first put it in the tank I noticed that there was a green spot in the middle of the head, but the polyps within the green spot would extend and they were normally colored.  I do have a question, is it possible that this is a green devil's hand and that's a natural color coming out? Or is it more like this is a The green spot has grown and the polyps are not extending within the green area. What could this be and what should be done?  <If it was mine I would try coral dip and see if that doesn't help.> I have heard that I can cut off the head and it will grow back, if true, is that a good solution? <You can frag the coral in any number of ways. That's something very easy to do but do you want it in pieces or do you want it as the solid coral? Let me know if I can help you, MacL>

Classic Knee-Jerk Reaction, Possible soft coral poisoning Hi again, sorry to bother you wonderful people with another one of my classic but asinine mistakes, but I like sponges (here's where you say OH NOOOO!!!!) <Oh oh> Anyway, I obtained a hard blue sponge that I believed was in good health, difficult to tell at the LFS, but no obvious white patches, open vents, and no algae. They did have it under pc's which I questioned them about, and they said it was fine - HAHA! Anyway, I QT'd him (blue is always a boy) for a month, almost 5 weeks in a little set-up I keep running just for that.  I have a skimmer on it, but it's only 20 gallons - only some drop- offs in the tank, buttons, mushrooms. Anyway, 2 days ago I transferred him - he only had about 150 watts of pc's on him in QT, but I fed heavy with DTs... <This algae mix may be of use here or not> ...looked him over I thought really well - nice color, firm - so I acclimated to the display by starting the overflow on the qt, that evening. The display has 2x 400 watt 20k halides, 2x 140 watt VHOs at 10k, 2x 65 watt 50/50's, 2x 65 watt actinics. The fuge has a lot less light, 1 HQI pendant and 2x 65 watt pc actinics. I didn't think the display had too much light, I just put the sponge at the bottom. The next morning, my colt coral, my baby, I've been growing her for 3 years from a little pimple of skin on a rock - she was spectacular, almost a foot across and at least 8 inches tall - she don't look so hot now. I immediately thought sponge toxins, only too late - my toadstool shriveled, but recovered quickly when I put the sponge back in qt. My colt did not - she's never looked so horrible, deflated. There are some open polyps, and she doesn't stink, so I put her in a 70 gallon FO tank right now - the QT now has the sponge in it, did 2x 20 gallon water changes yesterday and 1 30 gallon today, turned the skimmer way up and added about 4 dry quarts of carbon. <Wowzah... this is a bunch> I definitely do not have enough light in my FO tank for the colt, but I figure it's better to get her away, completely, from whatever made that happen. <Agreed> What other species of octocorals are susceptible to this toxin? <Most all> The fish seem fine, and all LPS and SPS corals are fine as well (I know you're not supposed to mix them, but I only have 2 soft corals, and the water volume is quite large, about 250 gallons, perhaps I should move them anyway). I've not noticed any reaction among colonial polyps either, if everything looks healthy I should leave it alone right? I've read several books that had information pertaining to sponges, particularly the hard blue ones, killing softies - I think Mr. Fenner has made mention of it several times as well, and I'm so sorry this happened, when I knew perfectly well that it could! Anyway, I could kick myself, I know better! Anything I can do for my colt? <You've... actually done it... all I would do... I'd wait a few weeks, move it back to the approximate position it was in> Are they somewhat hardy in this respect? I could frag the colony, I know there are parts that I can save, but I don't want to stress it further- with the low light in the FO tank, you think it will be ok for a few days, long enough to eliminate the toxins, or is keeping it in lower light stressing it further? How do I know if it's too far south to save? If it is, should I cut any pieces from it, or should I keep up the water changes and put it back in the display with more light and risk it getting worse? Thanks again, and sorry. Thanks, Aaron <Do wait a couple more weeks before re-moving this soft coral. Likely it will rally. Bob Fenner> 

Pods eating coral - Coral eating pods..? I was reading the Q&A forums trying to find out if pods were eating my xenia. The fish store that I shop at says that pods only eat dead or dying things. I have noticed, however that a few people seem to think the pods are eating xenia and Zoanthids. I have a similar story. First I had a small finger leather, that looked like it was ripped off it rock. I came home from work to find it floating on the bottom of the tank. There was a lot of "flesh" left on the rock, as I inspected the situation, I noticed several big pods eating the flesh. I tried to replant the leather but it disappeared over the next day or so. My hours of work don't allow me to keep a close eye on things so I don't know exactly what happened to it. As the leather disappeared, a colony of xenia began wilting.  Upon inspection of the sick xenia I noticed that the pods had regrouped to the Xenia. I thought that it could be that conditions weren't right causing the xenia and leather to die and the pods were just taking full advantage. My pH was low 7.7 so I adjusted my power head to get more top water movement. However ,there is another colony of xenia 2 inches away from the one that died. There are no pods on it and it seems to be fine. If the water conditions caused the leather and the first xenia colony to die, why not the other xenia. It doesn't seem to be a coincidence that things are dying after the pods start to congregate. I thought I was just paranoid of some sort of pod conspiracy, until I started reading the Q&A. Is it just coincidence or could something be going on? Gary  <IF, they are pods, they are not going to eat live coral. Your LFS is correct is saying they eat dead material, fish poop, waste, whatever. You may have another critter in there causing the damage. James (Salty Dog)><<RMF disagrees... whatever group of crustaceans these "bugs" are part of, they may indeed consume cnidarians that are compromised... and maybe ones not so... It may be that the "other" Xeniid colony was "aware", or just "different" in its tastiness, response... to these critters>>

Sclerites in soft coral 2/9/05 I have a purchased, what I believe is a Sinularia Sp. leather (it was called "lettuce leather" in the store).  <It may be Sinularia... or more likely a Lobophyton. Either way an Alcyoniid> It has started growing little white "spikes" out of its' flesh.  <These are sclerites.. normal> The best way to describe them is that they look like avian pin feathers. I can pick them out and they will regrow.  <Yikes! Yes... that's the point> They are hard calcium, almost like a shell.  <Calcium... BINGO - you win the hairy kewpie doll!> I can provide a picture, if need be. <Not needed... no worries> Do you have any idea what these may be? <the skeletal components of Octocorallia> Thanks again for your wonderful website and all your help!   P.S. I searched your site and couldn't find anything, if it's on there, I must not be using the correct terminology. Thanks again Cheri <A fellow Steeler fan in tour service :) Anthony>

Ammonia spike killing corals 2/3/05 I have a 70 gallon reef aquarium I have 60 lbs of live rock and a 4 inch sand bed. My tank has been going for a year now with no problems I made this change because I want to increase my biological filtration. I was using a Bak Pak 2R Berlin method. I recently bought a AquaClear pro series wet/dry filter its a pro 75 with a Rio 2100 return pump. I took my Bak Pak off and installed my wet/dry filter my tree coral and my leather coral are dying. <this is likely  a water quality or stress issue... not any filter flaw> I checked. My nitrates are 0 my nitrites are 0 my ph 8.4 alk good ammonia is 1.0 ppm. <yikes! The high ammonia is the problem from uncycled or incomplete nitrification/bio-filtration. Continue to do large water changes until this comes down to 0.00 ppm> I change 10 percent of my water using RO water once a week my protein skimmer is built in seems to be collecting ok my bio balls are in filter has been going now for a week very concerned don't know what to do can you help me <much large water changes my friend (say 50%) until the ammonia subsides. Anthony>

Chili coral wont open... keep upside down with good flow! 1/11/05 I have a Chili coral in my 60G LR/LS reef tank that won't open up. <this most always occurs from lack of water flow: not enough or not enough of the right kind. Also... the animal must be kept upside down to survive naturally long term> I have had it since May of '04. Tank Parameters are: Ph: 8.2 Salinity 1.0225/1.023 Temp 77-78 Calcium 350-400ppm all others (nitrate, nitrite, ammonia) minimal/barely readable. Feed PhytoPlex and zooplankton 2x per week. <hoping for a fishless refugium too... this would be a great benefit for many reasons> The coral used to open up every night, until it ejected the spicules from one branch. As per advice from I don't remember where, I cut off that piece. This was in August. it didn't open after that for a few days only, but after that it was business as usual. Then I moved. I put all the livestock in buckets one day, then set up the tanks next day or the day after. When I took "chili guy" (as I call it) out of the bucket, it was open, and remained open for several days after being put in the tank again, I figure it was hungry, yes? Anyway, then it closed up and hasn't opened up again since. I moved Thanksgiving weekend. I have it in a cave, with a powerhead directed at it and attached to a rock with rubber bands so it hangs upside down in the cave. <do be careful about laminar flow like this... its unnatural for most corals and can be fatal in time. Turbulent flow would be better> (The rubber bands only touch the rock it came with so as not to split it) Is there anything I can do to save it? <manipulate the powerheads to create a better flow pattern around the coral. Do a keyword search here on our website for an article called "goodbye powerheads" for a better long term solution> even though it is just a red lump, it has yet to eject any more spicules, so I think I stopped that from spreading. My Fianc├ęs cousin gave us a book and said that there is something in the book that we could try-something about dipping chili guy in freshwater for 30 seconds, then in a strong iodine solution. <little or no purpose for doing this... no pathogen is indicated, and frankly... the brief dip would do little to help it if there were> I think this is supposed to shock it into "resetting" itself (like it's a computer?!) <Ahhh... no.> If anyone knows that exact formula, that would be great, as I cannot find it in the book, "Reef Secrets." Thanks for all your help! <trust me, mate... its all about finding the right kind of flow. Do try feeding thawed frozen (or dry in slurry) Cyclop-eeze as a better zooplankton offering. Anthony>

Dyed coral gonna die, sorry to say 12/29/04 Ok Guys, lets play what soft coral is that..... <OK...> It looks a little bit like a contorted Sinularia flexibilis - more compacted though - or a fine finger leather - LOTS of fine fingers and really contorted together. Plus its hot pink - almost fluorescent like a Dendronephthya. <this is a dyed coral... commonly shipped from Indonesia. It will die in days to weeks most likely as it does not feed organismally on anything we can offer it prepared. As such, it cannot be carried nutritionally until its brown zooxanthellae recover> This specimens about 8 inch across and the same in height and kind of compact oval in shape. Polyps are short too.. I am in Thailand, and getting reliable info outta these aquarists (I use that term loosely) is near impossible. Anyone know it. Its a new one to me.. <very good to see you research this before buying it. Its a shame and a sham that such dyed animals are sold. Deplorable> If you do know it, is it easy to keep and does it have any special requirements with food or lighting. Its been in the store a months as its 5000 baht (about US$100)  - a months salary for some people round here. <even more insulting/sad to read/know> It has one dead finger that is brown and seems to be falling off, but overall its unharmed... lots more fingers  They are keeping it under bright fluoros. Brett Moloney, Bangkok <continue down the right path as an educated consumer... do not buy this creature and in time the dreadful practice will stop. Read more information here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedanemfaqs.htm best of luck, Anthony>

Coral looks glossy and sheds - 11/22/04 I have a quick question for you, I looked through your web site and couldn't find the answer I was looking for. I have a leather coral in my tank I purchased 2 weeks ago, everything seems to be doing fine, tentacles come out at night to feed. <What coral are talking about exactly? Have you been able to identify it? Sounds like maybe  Sarcophyton but really it could be anything> Then over the last few days there's a glossy coating covering the leather, at first just a patch or two of the gloss. The base is shedding, is this part of the shedding process? <Sort of. the shed should come from the head area of a Sarcophyton (if it is indeed a Sarcophyton) This tends to happen during growth periods, nutrient build up, stress listed as a few reasons for this. You could just use a soft toothbrush to help the remove the excess.> Or some kind of defense from one of my anemones stinging it?? <Let me just say make sure there is a lot of room between other corals and anemones........period! Like 5-8 inches or more. Hope this helps. Let us know if something changes (again try to identify the coral before you purchase it but it would definitely help us in diagnosis) Thanks for participating on WetWebMedia. ~Paul> Thanks in advance. Thank You,
Chad Horne

Sick toadstool? Hi Crew, I am concerned about my hairy toadstool coral (probably left myself open for a pun or two with that…).  For the past two days it has remained in a "wilted" position.  The stalk is bent to the point the head rests on the sand.  The polyps are extended as normal and, other than this "wilted" appearance, the coral appears to be otherwise normal. << I would consider fragging, just to be safe. >> The bent stalk cannot be seen in the attached picture since I was unable to position the camera at the correct angle.  But, from the attached picture, do you see any reason for concern?  << Not really. >> Water parameters appear acceptable to me (pH=8.2, Temp=78F, Salinity=1.024) and I have not noticed any fish harassing this coral (although I cannot rule out what is happening when I am away). What do you suggest I do? << I would cut the entire top right off.  Then attach it to another rock.  The stem that is left will grow a new head.  This may be unnecessary but it can't really hurt. >> Thanks for the help! --Greg <<  Blundell  >>

Colt coral decline - 11/17/04 Good afternoon~ <Good afternoon to you too> My boyfriend has a good size coral reef tank.  In it he has a Soft Coral that I believe is a Colt Coral.  It is light pink and looks spongy and has little "feelers" coming out of it when it is open.  Recently we have noticed that gashes are on him. <Hmmmmm.> it looks like a fish has bitten him in about 6 different spots.  We know that it was not a fish though. <How do you know? Enlighten me if you would? This is information I might need to make a diagnosis> The "bites" eventually turn the finger a darker color pink and it can eventually can be pulled off. <Not sure what you mean here? Do you have a picture you could send?> Do you think this Soft Coral is "sick"?  <I can tell you there is definitely something wrong. There is just no enough information here to tell you what it might be, to be honest> Why do you think these "bites" keep appearing all over it? <I would look at night and see if something is no predating on the coral. Snails, crabs, Nudibranchs, worms, coral aggression and yes, maybe even fish> What can be done? <Leave it be until you have firm diagnosis, which is something we definitely don't have. What kind of fish are in the aquarium, other inverts, corals near by? What are the water parameters, lighting anything else that might help me diagnose the issue.> Is it better the cut the finger off right when you see a new "bite" or is it better to left the finger turn dark and let it just hang by a tiny piece and then pull it off. <I think the latter is better. Let the coral rid itself of the area> Please.  Any information would help.  This soft coral doesn't look very happy with these "bites". <I am sure it doesn't. Please send more information and a picture if you can. It will certainly help me to extract potential issues and give a more accurate diagnosis. ~Paul>   Thank You.

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