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FAQs about Trachyphylliid Coral Disease/Health, Parasites, Pests 2

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

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Trachyphylliid Corals, Trachyphyllia Reproduction Report,

FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease,

Feather-like Filaments on Trachyphyllia    10/2/11
Hi WWM Crew! I have an Australian Trachyphyllia at the LFS I currently work at which has some type of feather filaments attached to the outer part of its tissue, toward the skeleton.
<I see these... Hydrozoans/Hydropolyps>
I have never seen this before and would like some assistance in identifying it. I believe it is some sort of worm or other hitchhiker that extends feather-like tentacles for capturing microfauna (similar to Feather Dusters and Porcelain Crabs).
<Similar, but more deadly... not just physical, but stinging, agglutinant>
The long feathers stretch out then will quickly retract to its point of origin and will then slowly extend again. I have attached some pictures and a link to a short video to help explain in better detail.
http://s351.photobucket.com/albums/q449/MarineScene/trachy%20video/?action=view&current=MVI_9342.mp4,  sorry for having to turn your head to properly view the video, I forgot that I can not rotate video from my PowerShot camera. Any help is appreciated and thank you for a great and informative website that I use quite frequently!
Thank you,
<Let's have you start reading here:
Perhaps the linked files above. Then write me/us back if you have further concerns, questions. Bob Fenner>

Receding Open Brain'¦ Feed Me Seymour  -- 09/13/07 Hey guys, Scott here. <Hi Scott, Mich here.> I have two open brains <I wish I had two brains, the one I'm using right now is a little tired.> in my 38-gallon tank. They both sit on the bottom in about 15 inches of water. Lighting is 2x96-watt, including actinic. Between my hang-on-back filter and my water pump, I turn over my water about 15 times an hour. <In theory.> The brains are sitting about 10" apart. One is thriving and has grown noticeably since I got it, the other is receding. The one that is doing well is clearly a Trach. I'm not clear on what the other one is -- it is flatter, deeply lobed but the lobes do not touch, and when the flesh retracts it has spikes coming out of it. It is a yellow/cream color in the middle, and dark maroon around the edge. <Hard to tell without a pic.> I purchased these two about a month and a half apart. <OK.> Anyway, my LFS advised me they didn't need anything special in the way of diet, just some DT's, which I use every week. <I would offer meaty fresh seafood's, Mysis shrimp here.> They both did well for a while, but about a month ago I noticed that the one had its flesh receding from the outer edge of the skeleton. LFS had no particular advice, said it should come back, and to try moving it out of the water flow a bit, which I did. No luck. <Manual feedings may help.> So I started researching your site on what to do, and found that I should probably be feeding it. <Yes. Sounds like this brain would particularly benefit.> For the past couple of weeks, I have been trying to feed it at night. Some nights I use a soda bottle with the bottom cut out, and a turkey baster to place some Mysis on top of the brain -- this helps to keep the shrimp and crabs off it. <Yes.> Other nights when I am feeling less ambitious, I throw some rotifers in the tank about a half hour after the lights go out. The coral still continues to recede, and is probably almost half gone now. Is there anything I can do, <Yes. You will likely have to increase the frequency and perhaps the quantity of your feedings. These corals can take in surprisingly large pieces, but I would recommend anything too large. I would soak any foods provided in Selcon, a vitamin/HUFA supplement, and suggest diced shrimp, scallops and the likes be offered.> or has this particular specimen reached the end of its road? <No! Certainly not. With aggressive feeding you very well may be able to bring this specimen back. Good luck and happy meals! Mich>

Re: Receding Open Brain'¦ Feed Me Seymour -- 09/19/07 <Hi Scott, Mich with you again.> Over the past two nights I have offered frozen Mysis and fresh-diced scallops, both soaked in Vita-Chem, <Glad to read you are using a vitamin supplement. In the future you may want to consider Selcon as it contains highly unsaturated fatty acids, that I believe Vita-Chem is missing.> but it does not seem to be eating much. I placed the food directly on it with the turkey baster and left it covered with the soda bottle all night. Would it stress the coral too much to take it out and put it in a dishpan filled with aquarium water to feed it, so I can do a better job of placing the food near its mouths? <Not at all. I think this is a good idea. You can read how someone else did something similar here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendroreprofaqs.htme: The first couple on this page start the story, but what you really want to read is titled: Re: Feeding of Tubastrea.. Follow up to Baby Tubastrea Timeline 8/7/07> At the rate it is receding, I may only have a couple of weeks left. <I like your idea. It sounds like it is time to be quite aggressive with your feedings, perhaps offering multiple times per day. I wish you success here. Mich>

Re: Receding open brain  9/23/07 Hi Mich, <Hi Scott!> Thanks for the Tubastrea link <Welcome!> (wow, that's a pretty elaborate system). <Yep! Sure is. Now that's commitment!> I'm doing something just slightly less sophisticated. I take the brain out and put in a Cool Whip container full of aquarium water, <Simple works!> and place diced scallops on top of each mouth with a pair of tweezers. I've had some initial success -- first two nights, two mouths ate; last night none ate, but tonight three have eaten. <Good!> I haven't caught it regurgitating, <Well it will. The mouth functions as both intake and output! Aren't you glad your mouth doesn't? Heehee!> so I hope I'm dicing the stuff small enough. <tiny balls of finely minced food is best.> I have been leaving the coral in the Cool Whip container for 1-1/2 to 2 hours while trying to feed. <Good.> My new question is, how long can I comfortably leave it outside the aquarium to see if more mouths will feed, assuming that room temperature is in the 70's? <I'd try to keep the temperature as close to the tank temp as possible. Perhaps there is a way to support the containers and have them more or less floating inside the tank so the water temp remains consistent. If you go this route you will likely have the most success with feeding if the food is offered after the lights are out.> Also, I have been reading the site tonight about laminar water flow, which is exactly what I have. Do you think this might have contributed to my problem at all? <If it is a constant direct flow, it could be a problem.> I wish I had a picture of the brain, but it is probably not healthy enough for you to identify anymore. <Actually, sometime it is easier to identify when skeletal structures are visible.> I can't find a Google image that resembles mine at all. <Send in a pic and we'll see if we can figure it out.> Anyway, I am thinking about setting up another water pump on the opposite end of the tank so that the two pumps would be facing each other, to create more random flow <Would be better than have a constant direct flow. Laminar flow is not bad onto itself. But constant laminar flow can be a problem.> -- although I also have a torch, branching hammer, branching frogspawn, and candy canes that are happy and growing. <Yikes! This could be your problem! That's a lot of Euphyllia and a lot of allelopathy! This may very well be the cause of you brains suffering. I hope you run carbon and change it frequently!> Thanks Again <Welcome as always.> -- these kinds of details don't always make it into the books, <Mmm, much of it is in the books, you just need to put it all together. This can be the challenge.> Scott <Cheers, Mich>

Re: Receding Open Brain'¦ Feed Me Seymour -- 09/29/07 Hello again, Mich, <Hello again Scott!> I'm attaching a pic this time; after reading some more I have some suspicions about the identity of this thing, but tell me what you think. Maybe if I know what it is, I'll know if there's anything more I can do for it. <Is/was a Trachyphyllia.> Like I said in my first e-mail, it sits about 9 inches from a Trach that's doing great. Every night this one eats something, but it continues to recede. Will it tend to do worse before it gets better? <AYE! This is in far worse shape than I expected. I am very doubtful that you'll be able to bring this guy back to health.> I added a second water pump, perpendicular to the first. I tried facing them at each other, but it was a little too turbulent. I did change the carbon cartridge in my HOB filter, but maybe you can tell me what you mean by "change it frequently" (it's a Cascade 300, cartridges are about 7" square, half-inch thick, pumps 300gal/min). <Once a month, maybe even twice a month.> Allelopathy is something I wasn't warned about while buying all my corals at the same LFS; when I finally asked about it, the advice I got was that allelopathy is somewhat overrated <I would disagree, in fact, I think much the opposite.> (as far as getting this info from books, check this out: in Borneman's book, there's no entry for "allelopathy" in the index). <Borneman covers it my friend. Check out page 73, the section on Chemical Competition. He mentions it through out the text in reference to specific corals as well.> Should I step up water changes? <Likely it wouldn't hurt, but I doubt that it will help this coral. Though I hope I am wrong, I think this coral is just too far gone.> If I didn't want to get rid of some of my corals, could I group them together by type in opposite ends of the tank? <Could help, but eventually it will be a matter of survival of the fittest.> Also, I have not invested in a protein skimmer, because I have never had any measurable nitrates/nitrites in the tank, <Surprising.> and have read that over-filtering and -skimming can strip out your water. I have been advised by two different LFSs that I don't need a skimmer. Do you guys consider them a given? <I do. I am currently running a tank with out any fish and feed minimally and you would be surprised by the skimmate that is produced. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_2/cav2i5/Filtration/Filtration.htm > Thanks too much,
<Welcome! Mich>

Sick Open Brain... -- 08/02/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Thomas, Mich with you again. How is that goby of yours and his little pail? Heehee!> I was given (more like took) <Heee! I like honesty!> a bleached Open Brain. The person who I received it from had given up and the Brain was the only thing showing any sign of life. The next step was the dumpster <Yikes!> for this guy so I took it home hopping <The brain was hopping? Wow! Cool trick!> to do the right thing. When I quarantined it there was no sign of color in the outer ridge and the center had and still has a light fluorescent green glow under the light. I think it is a Trachyphyllia geoffroyi but it is too bleached to be positive. I quarantined it for two weeks and could not get it to eat. I have since moved it to my nano tank in hopes that it would find something in the water channel to eat. I have noticed that the outer ring is showing signs of pink coloring building up. This is a slow progression. <I hope you have strong lighting on this nano system. Oh! I see you do!> I still have not been able to feed it and have read that this is a must if this guy is to recover. <Yes.> I have used a turkey baster to put the food on the center section. <This is a good start.> The meaty foods I have tried so far are clams, Mysis, and squid all soaked in Selcon. <Good.> They all float away and do not stick to the brain. <Here is the problem. You will need to stop all circulation in your tank. Allow the food to sit on the center of this brain. It may need to sit there for quite some time... perhaps an hour or more. Hopefully you will see several small mouths open... will look like slits in the center of the coral. Now here's the challenge... during this time you will need to keep all potential thieves away... i.e. fish, shrimp, crabs. Much easier said than done. Plastic Strawberry baskets sometimes work or perhaps cut apart a plastic two-liter bottle or gallon container.> This assumption that the food is supposed to stick may be incorrect on my end. <Yes. This coral basically needs to be spoon fed at this point because it has been terribly compromised. > I have also been adding Kent Phytoplex and Zoomax to the water. <Mmm... not a fan.> My tank specs are as follows. Ammonia = 0 Nitrite = 0 Nitrate = <10 Phosphate = 0 Alkaline = 4 meq/l PH = 8.3 Calcium = 360 SG = 1.024 Temp = 79 F 24-gallon tank Aqua-c Nano Remora protein skimmer 150 watt MH light 2.5" live sand <Over 3 or under a half is generally better than this in between amount.> 35lbs of live rock The tank is seven months old. I have gone through the FAQ's and read up on open brains in two corral books <Hmm, cattle paddock?> trying to find out what procedure I need to follow to bring this guy back to good health. <See above.> I asked the LFS if they would take him at first but they stated that it needed to go in the trash. I don't believe this to be true. <Time will ultimately tell.> If you could give me any advise and point me in the right direction please. Thanks again for your help. <You are most welcome! Mich>

Wellsophyllia Brain Swelling/Compatibility Hello Again, Happy 4th of July! <Hi, Pufferpunk here. Happy 4th to you too!> I'll make it short and simple. 75 gal. reef tank. 100 lbs of live rock. 390 watts of PCs (3 month old bulbs). Ammonia levels are 0, Nitrite 0, Phosphate 0, Nitrates barely detectable. I am aggressively skimming and changing about 20% of the water every 4-5 days. I have a Green Wells Brain <Wellsophyllia> that is awfully close to some silvertip Xenia. The brain eats every couple of days ...some Mysis, and Zooplankton. The Brain has grown excellent and has doubled in size in the past 4 months. The brain is overall about 7" in diameter. However, today I noticed that it looks swollen or "puffed up" and I was wondering if this is normal behavior. <Mine shrinks & swells daily.> I also noticed that for a short time today, the Xenia was closed. I placed them so close because I was told that the "Chemical Warfare" would not be an issue. <Agreed> The Brain is showing no skeleton and aside from being swollen, it looks very healthy. Are these two species compatible? <They should be fine. I run Purigen in my sump, just in case.> I am supplementing Bio-Cal, Bio-Stront, Tech I, and Tech M. <Are you testing for calcium & alkalinity?> P.S. Am I wasting my money adding DT's Phytoplankton to a tank with Leathers, Xenia, a Wells Brain and assorted zoos and Shrooms? <Not at all. There are tiny creatures in your sand bed that need to eat too. They help keep your tank healthy.> Just wondering... I am using HOB filters with powerheads and Carbon. <Sounds like your tank is doing great. I had issues though, with my brain not receiving enough light from PCs. Eventually, I had to loan them out to someone that had more light over their tank, until I upgraded to T5s. Good luck to you. I hope you enjoyed fireworks somewhere! ~PP>

Please Help.  Trachyphyllia    5/16/07 Hello my name is Mike and I need help with my closed brain coral. <Hi there Mike, Mich here with you and your brain.> I've attached two pictures <The photos look as thought they were taken several feet underwater... very blue.> of it and wanted to know if it was dead, dying, or ok. <I think we can eliminate OK.> And if there was something wrong is there something I can do to fix it. <Hmm, I do not discern any tissue in the photo, looks only skeletal to me, but the photo is so blue it is difficult to tell.> When I got him he was bright green in the crevices and now the green has all but gone away. Also the protruding tissue around the crevices seems to be peeling away. <So there is tissue remaining?  Perhaps an iodine dip (5-10 drops  of Lugol's per liter) might help if there is tissue to treat.  Some info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corldisfaqs.htm  > It happened after 2 days. <After 2 days of what?  Caring for this coral?> Please help. <Trying.>
Thank You.
<You're welcome, Mich>

Open Brain Troubles  4/26/07 I recently purchased an open brain coral from the local aquarium store. <Okay.> It was very healthy at first and for the first week was swelling and acting normally.  I was told that every so often I could feed it a piece or two of silverside feeder fish to help it grow. <Mmm...is true that this animal should be fed but I would prefer something other than silversides or at least something in addition. Go for some Mysis, krill or even bivalve meat (scallop, clam, mussel).> After about a week of acclimation to the tank I fed it two small pieces.  It immediately swelled around each piece and ingested them.  The next morning it was not swollen and I assumed it was due to the digestion of the fish. I waited for a few days and it still had not returned to normal.  I asked the store and they told me it may stay shrunk for a week or so and not to worry.  Well things have gotten a lot worse.  It had never returned to normal and now the "skin" has begun to pull away from the skeleton and it looks like it is dying.  Is there any way to save it and what happened to make it start dying?  Was I not supposed to feed it? <A few question from me first; what type of lighting was the animal in at the store and what type of lighting are you providing now? How turbid id the flow the animal is in...and...what are your water parameters?> Thanks <Welcome.> Kevin <Adam J.>

Hitchhiking Polyps On Trachyphyllia Skeletal Base...Remove Or Not? -- 04/11/07 Dear Crew, <<George>> Have had an open brain Trachyphyllia for several weeks now.  Feeding daily finely minced fresh raw shrimp, clam, and oyster.  Keeping Alk and Ca2+ levels up without any hitches.  No real problems.  But, I have just noticed 3-4 baby polyps, maybe an eighth the size of an eraser head.  Seems to me to be a Zoanthid or Palythoa or similar polyp. <<Likely, yes>> They are attached just underneath on the side of its base (and are barely visible under Actinic, but fluoresces bright green-yellow when the 460nm night LEDs are on).  I thought I heard/read someone posting like this before, but can't seem to find it again.   <<Indeed, there is a very good possibility someone has gone down this road before here...but it doesn't ring any bells with me>> How should (or, should I not) remove these? <<Well George, normally I would be inclined to say "leave them be" until they pose an obvious problem...but, what will become "obvious" will likely be tissue recession of the brain coral in the vicinity of the polyps.  Unfortunately, this indicates the "beginning of the end" for these corals in most captive systems.  I recommend you use something like an old carpenter's chisel and carefully "shave" these polyps off the Trachyphillias base.  Gently "touch" the coral to make it recede before removing it from the water (doing so helps prevent tearing the heavy water-filled flesh).  Handle the coral gingerly so as not to damage the tissue of the brain coral on its own sharp skeletal structure, and be careful not to gouge the skeleton (or yourself!) too deeply with the chisel.  Once you've removed the polyps give the spot a scrub with a small stiff bristle-brush, give the coral a dunk and swirl in a container of clean tank water (to be disposed of afterwards), and return the coral to the display tank>> Best Regards! George <<Be chatting.  EricR>>
Re: Hitchhiking Polyps On Trachyphyllia Skeletal Base...Remove Or Not? -   4/12/07
04/12/07 Hi Eric, <<Hello George>> Thank you!! <<Quite welcome>> I think that once I have a rested mind and am focused in another day or so, I'll follow your suggestions and repost if I run into any issues, but I think I can handle this OK.   <<Ahh, excellent>> Am I correct to assume that regardless of how easily/badly the 'surgery' goes that a local swab-like application of iodine or dip is in order? <<Mmm, no...scraping the polyps from the brain coral's exterior skeletal base won't require treating/disinfecting the site afterwards.  However, swabbing the site with a strong iodine solution for a minute or two before rinsing the coral prior to replacing in the tank may kill/prevent the regeneration of any missed bits of polyp tissue left on the skeleton>> I don't have Lugol's handy, but I do have OTC surgical iodine and can look up recommended dilution for use in such a case.   <<The swabbing won't require any dilution.  The iodine you have will work just fine, and this 'surgical' iodine may well be Lugol's Solution (also known as Iodine Potassium-Iodide; Iodine, Strong solution; and Aqueous Iodine Solution)>> Thanks again for the fast advice. The forum is probably more valuable to me than anything (and thankfully makes lunchtime at the office more interesting and useful!) ;) Best Regards George <<Happy to assist.  Eric Russell>>

Green open brain coral (Trachyphyllia), hlth.    3/11/07 Ok, <Hello Jason.> I have a thiry <thirty> five gallon  tank and am currently changing into a reef setup from FOWLR. I have taken an green open brain (Trachyphyllia) <Trachyphyllia> from my mom's nano cube where it has steadily declined to the point that over 1/3 of the skeleton is showing. <Not good.  I would assume that it is placed on the sand.?> It is my mission to save this coral!! <Admirable.  And it can be done.> It has been in my tank for about a two weeks and will puff during the day. I have yet to see any tentacles <tentacles> when I attempt to feed it (and haven't ever seen any when it was in the nano either). Is it too late to save this coral?? <No.  Try adding a little bit of food before feeding.  They seem to be able to sense the protein.  Shortly after the tentacles should emerge.  If they don't try target feeding a little bit of food.  I had to do this for several days before I saw tentacles on mine.> What is the best plan of action from here? <Please see above.> My water parameters are all excellent, <Please define excellent.> adequite <adequate> lighting, intermediate flow (in that part of the tank), and there is nothing to harm it in my aquarium (fish, other coral, etc), so I am hoping that I <I> can bring it back. I want to know what the best feeding stategy <strategy.> would be (and what exactly I could buy from the LFS as far as food mixtures, or can I spot feed it with frozen fish food). <Mysis, Blood Worms, etc. soaked in Selcon.> Finally, can I use a toothbrush to keep the algae from growing in the abandoned part of the skeleton? <I would not do this.  Place it in the tank in an area where the algae cannot get light, and it will start to die off.  After the die off, you can begin to re-acclimate it to the light.  I have used this method to clear mine of algae.  Using a toothbrush will cause you to have to move it too often. It needs to be left alone for a while.  Also adding Iodine to the tank will help.  Please remember that regular water changes are a must here.  10% once a week.  You need the influx of new chemical nutrients here to help.  Add the I to the replacement water.  For more information see here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm.> (and on the remaining coral?) I need help fast to keep this guy alive! Thanks in advance! <You are welcome.  Brandon.>
Re: green open brain coral (Trachyphyllia)
 3/16/2007 Thanks for the response about the Trachyphyllia!! <You are welcome!  I take it that you got it to eat.> You stated that I should place the coral where it will not get light to kill off the algae, but I am wondering how long (as in days) can I leave the coral in the shade without hurting it even more? <It should be fine as long as you can get it to feed.  Feed it a little more than usual, about once every other day.  Do remember to use some Iodine supplementation.  Just don't overdo it.  I left mine in the shade until the algae died off.> Also, what is a good schedule as far as re-acclimating it to direct light? Thanks again, you guys are a life saver. <Use a piece of cardboard to create the shade, and remove it in gradually increasing thirty minute periods.  Increase thirty minutes a day until you reach 8-10 hours.  Brandon.>
Re: green open brain coral (Trachyphyllia), fdg.  3/16/2007
Update on the Trachyphyllia. So I have relocated the brain coral to back of tank (in sand bed still) and made an arch of rock to make shade. I have tried to feed the last couple days <Cnidarians take time to acclimate to such moving...> with no site of tentacles (even if I prime with juice before the feeding). Where should I be placing the foodstuff, i.e. where would the tentacles come out from. <The grooved areas...> The only thing that I have seen are very small tentacle like things, but they are coming from the underside (rock-like side, near the sand-line). So is this where I need to place the food? <Possibly... if feeding a mash, I encourage you to place a bowl, cover over the animal for ten, fifteen minutes...> These tentacles are small and do not look like they could do much? <May be "it" for now> I have revamped my supplement  addition (especially iodine), but promise not to overdo it.    <Mmmm, you have read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm and the linked files above? Please (re)do so. Bob Fenner>

Coral bleaching? (Trachyphyllia) 2/20/07 <Hi, J & S. GrahamT here.> Thank you for all your help. <Welcome.> Bought a brain coral about 3 weeks ago. This white area was present in just the lower left about 1 inch. It has progressed and now I am worried. <See your picture, but I don't see the "white area".> This coral is about 16in down from 80w power compact light. <You do realize that that is the threshold for light penetration through the water, right? > Nitrates 10, nitrites 0, ca 420, pH 8.2, phos 0, kH 143ppm. I feed the coral Mysis early am or night and he eats well with good polyp extension every time. <Not everyday, I hope. ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyfdgfaqs.htm ) > There is no other stuff next to him. Tankmates: 1 yellow tang, 2 striped damsels, 1 Firefish goby, 1 false clown, 1 coral banded shrimp, 1 Condy anemone who stays under a rock 12in away (and does not move.) <Would venture a few diff. hypotheses. PC lights may be in need of changing, starving the symbiotic algae. The Condy *may* be sending some chemicals his way that are affecting his health. The Trach. may be responding to the difference in lighting from where it was collected, stored in the interim, and placed in your home-system. Which brings me to my last thought. Shipping stresses in general. This is still a new coral in your system, and has been moved around quite a bit in the past few weeks/months. Use the Google tool here on WWM searching for anemones and corals, light requirements, bleaching, etc. -GrahamT>
Thanks -JL

Small Crabs Embedded in a Rose Trachyphyllia  2/1/07 Hi, <Greetings Sai, Mich here.> I just purchased a rose Trachyphyllia. <A beauty.> I noticed two small dark spots, 2-3 mm.  Upon closer inspection at night with a flashlight, it appears that the spots each house a tiny crab! <Cool!> During the day, the coral tissue doe not fully expand to cover up the spots.   <OK, but the tissue does expand?.> The coral is otherwise happy, with feeding tentacles fully out at night and feeding. <Very good.>   Any suggestions, should I dig them out? <No.  Would most likely do more harm than good.  As long as the flesh of the coral seems intact I would allow this relationship to continue.  Most likely both the crab and the coral do or did benefit in someway.>   Thanks, <You're welcome,  -Mich> Sai

Trachyphyllia hlth.   2/6/07 Hello to the wonderful crew a Wet Web Media, <Brandon... so soon?> One of these days when I am experienced enough I am going to ask you guys if I can help out. <I look forward to this time>   Good god I hate being a newbie.  I am also slightly retarded in my selections of coral.  I have apparently put two types of Favia, Favites in the same tank. <Mmm, if there's room, likely no problem>   I can move them if I have to.  This will cost some money, but fortunately I am in a position at the moment that cost is not an option.  By the way, (I know that I should have posted all of the original texts with this)  I have found a place to put the Tangs. <"The" tangs... we have a bunch to recall... not even including WWM... w/o prev. corr....> I have a person that has adequate room, tank space for them.  Please understand that I acquired these creatures in the purchase of an aquarium.  I did not want to sentence these guys to an early death.   So I tried to the best of my abilities to keep them happy.  I cannot purchase another tank (Read wife here.  She was okay right up until the MH retro purchase.)  I have around five thousand USD into my fish.  That is saltwater and fresh.  I feel that this is a large enough commitment.  My problem is that I have too much trust in people that seem to have a good deal of knowledge.   <Trust yourself... accumulated knowledge...> I purchased a Trachyphyllia from an LFS, and I have had some issues.  There is a section that is missing tissue.  About 1/8 the overall coral.  I am feeding when it will take food.  If it will not I let the fishes eat the food.  The coral has green algae growing on the exposed areas of the skeleton.  Just regular green algae.  I am very concerned.  There are a number of things that could have caused the tissue loss.   <Yes> I am wondering though, can the coral recover from the tissue loss and the green algae, or should I chalk this up to inverticideal stupidity. <It can recover... I take it (for one) that this colony is placed on the substrate... and for two, that you've read the postings on WWM re this species> I am hoping that with regular (two to three times a week) feedings that I can reverse this.  I love these little critters, and caring for them/watching them makes me think about my own mortality less, <Interesting point> every time that I lose one, I feel a great personal loss.  I recently lost two Discus to a bad product that was supposed to lower Ph, and I felt horrible.  To heck with the cost, ($150 USD apiece.) I accidentally killed two fish that were so used to humans that they would let me pet/move them around the tank with no stress.  I cried like a baby when they died.  This taught me a very important lesson, and I have tried to research specimens, and not use chemicals when I can.  I took someone's advice and now I am in trouble.  I do not think that this is allelopathy based on previous responses, and other information that I have found on your wonderful site. I think that I may have touched this coral improperly, or photo-shocked it. I am really hoping that it can recover.  Thank you for all of your help. Just a thought but perhaps, we should not pretend to be god, <Though indeed we are each others?> and take all of the money that we spend on aquaria, and instead spend it on visiting real "God made" reefs.  Perhaps the reason that we do this is because we love to create like God. <Mmm... more likely transference from a fear of death...> Again Thank you all so very much for your tireless effort, I would like to help.  Please let me know if I can, Brandon R. Foster. <Study my friend... and in the meanwhile, draw contentment from the realization that you're doing your best. BobF>

Black Slime and Sick Trachyphyllia Geoffroyi    8/7/06 Thanks in advance for your help. <Welcome in real time> My problem in my 55 gallon is two fold: black slime algae and a sick Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. I have been battling black slime for about 2 months now and have done everything I know short of using some sort of chemical.  My water parameters are as follows: Ammonia and nitrites are at 0 Salinity at 1.025 Temp ranges from 79 to 82 Nitrates range from 10 to 25 About 3 weeks ago, I added the largest hang on refugium I had room for (only 2.5 gal) and started with 2 lbs of Chaeto which seems to be growing well.  I have not   noticed any drop in nitrates. <Good... takes a while... weeks to a few months to really "kick in"> I changed my actinic bulbs 3 days ago (they were 6 months old) but the slime still seems to be multiplying. <Can be a real bug-a-boo>   I use RO water and Tropic Marine reef salt and do a 3 to 5 gallon water change weekly. I have about 40 lbs live rock, 2 inches of live sand, a sump/trickle filter (with bioballs), <Oh... I would ix-nay on the bioballs nay... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/bioballfaqs.htm and the linked files above> and skimmer. My inhabitants are 3 Chromis 1 small yellow wrasse 1 black and white ocellaris 1 flame angel 1 scarlet skunk cleaner 1 peppermint various snails and hermits <... how big is this system?> I have reduced feeding and now alternate feeding small amounts of frozen or flake on alternate days occasionally skipping a day. I am really getting discouraged.  My Trachyphyllia geoffroyi has been slowing declining and fading in color, and now has several black spots on the skeleton that are visible when it is all shrunken up (which is has been doing a lot more lately). <Yes... looks like Cyano growing on some portions of the exposed septa... very bad> I have read your FAQs but nothing sounds like my case.  The coral is on the bottom away from other corals and nothing has been picking on it.  My ocellaris hosts it, however, <Mmm, the likely original source of tissue loss, septal exposure here> and I am wondering if his sleeping in/wiggling on it may be the cause. <Initially, yes> I have some Lugol's Iodine and wonder if an iodine dip might be helpful. <I'd add this directly to the water... weekly, with water changes>   I usually do not dose iodine because of the weekly water changes. <Mmm, best to do immediately following> I have recently reduced my lighting schedule to 8 hours actinic and 6 hours MH trying to get rid of the slime. I have read that leaving the lights off for 3 days with get rid of   the slime, but I am afraid it would mean the end for my Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. <Maybe so... there are other avenues...> I would greatly appreciate any advice you can give me. I am attaching 2 photos of the Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. Thanks again, Angela Collison <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nutrientcontrol.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/bluegralgae.htm and the linked files above... and consider (seriously) removing your bioballs, possibly modifying the wet-dry. Fix the environment here and the Cyano will be gone, your Brain/s recovered. Bob Fenner>

Trachyphyllia worries   6/13/06 Dear crew, <Andrea> Very sorry to bother you, but I need a bit of professional advice.  Last week I was away on work business, when I retuned home it became apparent that my area received somewhat of a heat wave, and my reef tank was running in its low 30,s!!!!!  After the initial blind panic and setting up the chiller I began to assess the damage which I might add was not good but thankfully not as bad as it could have been. My tank is now running at 26 and my only concerns are the two Trachyphyllia, one red one green that are situated on the fine substrate.  They are not at their best colour wise, the red specimen seems to have retained most of its Zooxanthellae, however the greener specimen, looks some what fleshy.  (this particular specimen has never had the intense green fluorescents of a Stichodactyla anemone, like some Trachyphyllia). Anyway my point being, should I leave them both exactly where they are or move them to the miracle mud sump where they is less light intensity and more cover of Caulerpa, and Chaetomorpha? Best wishes Andrea <That they did not perish is telling... I would not move these specimens... in all likelihood they will recover, re-color in your good care. Bob Fenner>

Brain Coral/Bleaching   4/14/06 Hi! <Hello.>  I always seem to be able to find the answers to my questions on your website. It is very informative! However today my question is simple. If an open brain coral is eating great, expanding most of the time and growing well could it turning from a pinkish-red to white be a sign that it is getting too much light? My tank gets direct sunlight from a patio door for about three hours every day. This placement of the tank was very purposeful to save electric and simulate as close to the wild as possible for my corals. All my light loving corals are thriving. Could too much light be killing my open brain? Or will it just fade to a pinkish-white and thrive being a different color? Will moving the coral to a darker location restore the original color or is it too late? thanks for listening. <Bleaching generally refers to loss of Zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) which the coral needs to survive.  Since these corals require moderate to high levels of lighting, it may be suffering from lack of light.  You didn't mention what type of lighting you have so I cannot comment further.  James (Salty Dog)>

Neuroscientist or Reef Aquarist? - 03/29/06 Hello, <Hi Dan, Adam J. with you this fine-afternoon.> I bought a "rare" Trachyphyllia from the pet store about 2 weeks ago. <Okay.> It has a dark purple rim, with a pinkish blue center. I haven't been able to find a picture of one like it so I assume it is a bit rare... Anyways All of my tank parameters are good, my lighting is 440 watts VHO on a 75 gal, and I feed it Mysis every couple of nights. It has been getting better, but there is an area near the rim where a piece of its skeleton has broke off and it is just laying sideways in the tissue. I can see it in the tissue because the area is bleached and it looks like it is slowly dying there. It is a thin piece about the size and shape of a dime. My question is, should I let it handle the problem itself or maybe try to make a small incision with a razor and remove the broken piece of skeleton. <If the 'dead' area does not appear to be spreading I would leave it be for now'¦.continue to provide optimal water quality and keep nutrients low, I have seen many a brain perish because the owner allowed algae to colonize exposed skeletal areas.> Thanks, Dan <Adam J.>

Trachyphyllia health question   3/10/06 I've been reading, reading, reading (Aquarium Corals, Book of Coral Propagation, and this great site!), and I've come to a dead end.  I'm learning a hard lesson about not quarantining corals... <... no fun> Last week I received an order of corals, including three Acropora frags.   They were shedding quite a bit of mucus from the stress of the trip.  I placed them in the bottom of the tank to acclimate, near my two open brains.   One of my brains has been having issues ever since - mucus, and this deposit of white stuff on the brain.  I've long since moved the Acros to their final positions. From what I've read I'm sure this is the result of the noxious mucus of the Acro, but haven't found anything on what, if anything, should be done about it. <Time going by, some addition of iodine/ide/ate...> Any insight/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks much, your fan, Kimberly <Bob Fenner>

Open brain unwanted growth 11/6/05 Hello. <Hi there> I hope you can help with this one as you have in the past. I have a green open brain coral that has grown green hair algae that has exposed some of its skeleton. <Mmmm, what came first, the chicken/algae or the egg/damage, conditions that induced this?> I have removed it frequently but seems to grow back worse. Others have suggested that I use a Dremel and drill out the algae like a tooth cavity. <Mmm, better to seek out what is "too much" or "too little" here and change the circumstances in the system to favor the Trachyphyllia> Before taking such a drastic measure I wanted to consult the pros. Your wisdom is eagerly anticipated by my coral and I. Thank you for your time <Do a read over of our area covering the species/family: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm and the linked files above... hopefully "something/s" will "jump out" at you re husbandry... that will shift the balance to the health of the specimen and away from the algae. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Trachyphyllia Confusion - 11/06/05 Hi Crew, <<Hello Agnes>> I need your experience and knowledge. <<I shall try to help.>> I have two Trachyphyllia corals, one is a red and the other a green. They were placed about the same height in my tank so the light and water movement was nearly identical. My tank is a 110 gal. with a below tank refugium of about 25 or 30 gallons. The ammonia and nitrites are zero and nitrates are below 40 <<Yikes!>>, I know the nitrates need to be less and am working on it diligently. <<5ppm or less>> I keep the sg at 1.024 to 1.025. <<Very good>>> I have an RO/DI unit on order which should have been here yesterday and didn't make it yet. I have well water so no chlorine, it is a deep well and has less minerals than some but can still have enough to cause problems. <<And possibly trace amounts of pesticides, heavy metals, nitrates, etc..>> That's the reason for the RO/DI unit. Several days ago I noticed that the green coral was not opening very much, it has done so beautifully until then. But my red coral is opening just as much as ever, maybe even more so. <<You don't mention your lighting or "where" in the tank these corals are placed. Tis possible they are getting too much light, though honestly I would have thought the red brain to be mal-affected first if this were the case.>> What is the difference between these two besides the color which can cause one to look so poorly, it may even be dying? <<It may be that the one was in a more weakened state when acquired. For certain the high nitrate levels are not doing any of them good.>> I'm doing water changes as often as I can and really watching the pH, sg, temp and nitrates. <<Good, keep it up.>> I appreciate your help as always. Thank you. Agnes <<All things being equal, I think your nitrates are probably at issue here (have you tested your well water re?), hopefully the RO unit will arrive soon. I would also recommend employing some Polyfilter in a canister filter if possible...and have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachydisfaqs.htm. Regards, EricR>>
Trachyphyllia Confusion 2 - 11/06/05
Thank you for your reply. This seemed like a good way to answer your questions and give you more information. <<Italicized is from previous correspondence, hope it's not too confusing!  Marina>> "Trachyphyllia Confusion - 11/06/05 Hi Crew, <<Hello Agnes>> I need your experience and knowledge. <<I shall try to help.>> I have two Trachyphyllia corals, one is a red and the other a green. They were placed about the same height in my tank so the light and water movement was nearly identical. My tank is a 110 gal. with a below tank refugium of about 25 or 30 gallons. The ammonia and nitrites are zero and nitrates are below 40  <<Yikes!>> I know the nitrates need to be less and am working on it diligently. <<5ppm or less>> I keep the sg at 1.024 to 1.025. <<Very good>>> I have an RO/DI unit on order which should have been here yesterday and didn't make it yet. I have well water so no chlorine, it is a deep well and has less minerals than some but can still have enough to cause problems. <<And possibly trace amounts of pesticides, heavy metals, nitrates, etc..>> That's the reason for the RO/DI unit. Several days ago I noticed that the green coral was not opening very much, it has done so beautifully until then. But my red coral is opening just as much as ever, maybe even more so. <<You don't mention your lighting or "where" in the tank these corals are placed. Tis possible they are getting too much light, though honestly I would have thought the red brain to be mal-affected first if this were the case.>>" [You are right, I forgot to mention the lighting. I have a fixture with 2 150W, 20000K, bulbs and 4 actinic blue lamps.  <<Mmm, could be too much light for the brain corals depending on their placement in the water column.>>  I turn the blue lamps on about 2 hours before and off about 2 hours after the MH bulbs, and the MH are on for about 8 hours a day.  <<For overall health/natural lighting, I would shoot for a MH photo-period of 10-12 hours.>>  My corals were about at the middle of the tank.  <<Better at/towards the bottom. Though they may be bright in color, most brain corals don't require such intense lighting as you describe though many can/will adapt, some of the "reds" will actually turn brown and/or decline from such intense lighting.>>] What is the difference between these two besides the color which can cause one to look so poorly, it may even be dying? <<It may be that the one was in a more weakened state when acquired. For certain the high nitrate levels are not doing any of them good.>> [I got the green brain first and it was doing beautifully, it would open at least 4 times it's closed size. I've had the green brain for about 6 months.  <<OK...you have me thinking it is the nitrates again...but these corals also need to be fed...feeding once or twice a week with finely minced meaty foods is recommended.>>  I got the red brain about 4 months ago and it never has opened anywhere near as fully as the green brain but it was doing better lately. And now it looks great!] I'm doing water changes as often as I can and really watching the pH, sg, temp and nitrates. <<Good, keep it up.>> I appreciate your help as always. Thank you. Agnes <<All things being equal, I think your nitrates are probably at issue here (have you tested your well water re?), hopefully the RO unit will arrive soon. I would also recommend employing some Polyfilter in a canister filter if possible...and have a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachydisfaqs.htm. Regards, EricR>> [Yes, my well water tested zero nitrates and very close to 7 pH.  <<Be sure to buffer your makeup/salt mix water to bring up the pH.>>  Thank you again for your help. It sounds like the red brain is actually more delicate of the two so I am at even more of a loss as to why my green brain is looking so poorly. I had not added anything to my tank before this happened. I have since added some new live rock that just finished curing. Maybe the extra rock will help with the nitrates. <<Maybe...but you need to determine the source of the problem and address that as well.>>  I hope so, my green brain is still hanging in there, it opened weakly today so it is trying. As always I am amazed at the amount of help you offer folks. Agnes  <<Very happy to assist,

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