FAQs about Acroporid Coral Nutritional Disease
FAQs on Acroporid Disease:
Acroporid Disease 1, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Disease/Pests/Predators
4, Acroporid Health
5, Acroporid Health
6, Acroporid Health
7, Acroporid Hlth.
Hlth. 9, Acroporid Hlth. 10,
FAQs on Acroporid Disease by Category:
Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...),
Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral)
(see below), Treatments
FAQs on Pests of Acroporids:
Montipora Munching Nudibranchs,
Acropora Munching Copepods,
Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators,
diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Acroporids, SPS
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease, RTN,
Like all photosynthetic life; need appreciable, but not
too much N, P, K... Nitrate, Phosphate...
LED Light Lenses are "Yellowing" with age... & concern re slowing rate
of growth of corals
I have a set of well known, high quality LED light fixtures that I have owned
for about 6 years. Recently, I have noticed that the lenses through which the
LED light is transmitted have "yellowed".
<Mmm; yes; does happen at times; some makes/models by some manufacturers>
The white lights in the fixtures used to be bright white but now they have a
noticeable yellow color. Can this be the reason for a considerable slowing of
the growth rate of my corals?
<Yes; could be a/the influence>
I have been battling growth problems primarily with my Acroporas; even my
typically fast growing "Green Slimer". I am seeing the tips turn brown and even
some die off. Water parameters seem to be good as they always have been:
pH: 7.95 during the nighttime and early morning, 8.15 during the daytime
<Mmm; am self-prompted to mention potassium shortage, similarly magnesium being
out of ration as a poss. issue here. Do you use a chemical "feeder stock" for
your stonies? I'd look into SeaChem's line>
The tank has been stable around these parameters for the last year and a half.
Looking for a possible cause I noticed the yellowing lights and have become
concerned that that may be the problem.
Any comments or suggestions are welcome.
<Mmmm; and the usual perusal of the archives/FAQs on WWM on the topics you
list as concerns. Bob Fenner>
RE: LED Light Lenses are "Yellowing" with age
Can you give me a bit more information on the "feeder stock" you mentioned.
I checked the Seachem line but am unsure about which product you are referring
RE: LED Light Lenses are "Yellowing" with age
Thanks for the quick response. I will look at the items mentioned.
<Real good. Do write back re specific concerns, input. BobF>
Re: Acropora tricolor, fdg., and Zanclus fdg.
Hello Mr. F.
I just wanted to let you know, regarding that Acropora Tricolor that
our last conversation I started feeding my corals with food specifically
developed for SPS (dry zooplankton from an Italian company named Elos )
the coral completely recovered. All the other SPS are looking much
and the polyp extension is greater than ever.
So, I just wanted to point out what I have found out by myself:
animals need to be fed in order to thrive,
<Oh yes; gone over and over on WWM>
maybe the statement that they
need only light in our tanks was true some time ago when the filtration
mechanisms were not so aggressive (the skimmer for example ), but now I
wouldn`t even think to keep corals without feeding them. The same goes
the fish: I have a Zanclus Cornutus for well over 1.5 years now and is
great and not touching the corals, as well as my P. Imperator but I feed
times / day with different kind of foods.
Thank you again for pointing me at the right direction.
Andrei from Romania
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Acropora Agonistes 11/26/12
I'm having fits with my sps lately. Let me give a little history.
My tank was set up 18 months ago running an octopus skimmer and ecobak
Things were going well and I was beginning to see good continuous growth
but alkalinity was always an effort to keep stable (I dose 2 part and
keep magnesium well regulated). Because I was concerned about
alkalinity getting too high in a bio pellet system, I let my alkalinity
drift down a bit and things continued to look okay.
<With you so far>
About three months ago it all went pear shaped. Phosphates
were getting higher (0.07ish) so I used a little liquid phosphate
<Lanthanum I'll take it>
Corals started keeling over the course of days. I went with
massive water changes, stopping phosphate remover, and taking the
pellets out of the system (I felt like I was working too hard to keep
everything in a sweet spot).
I tried to go with a much more traditional system with a longer track
record of success. I went with Purigen and gFO in separate
Things started working again. Growth was great for a while.
I refreshed the GFO and things were going alright. After a few
weeks, a new batch of GFO, half as much, and things start going markedly
<Remove the GFO>
I feed what I think is heavily, with a combination of Cyclop-eeze,
Mysis, oyster ova, rotifers, and decamped brine eggs. I
show no nitrates ever
<All chemo- and photo-synthates need measurable NO3 and HPO4...>
and for the last two months alkalinity is stable at 177 ppm on a Hanna
Checker. I have also noticed a lot of purple coloration in corals
and clams that were more diverse in color.
I have attached a sample pic. Note the shrunken polyps, the
dieback, and the dark purple color on what is ideally a yellow and blue
coral. Forgive the poor picture quality.
With Many Thanks,
<Mmm, well, you could (I might) simply overfeed what you list to produce
essential nutrients (in the water) here... Else-wise, there is some
experimentation one can/might do to see if you can discover and restore
whatever the rate limiting, missing component is here. Bob Fenner>
|Re: Acropora Agonistes
Thank you for your kind reply. I'm sure you hear it all the time, but
the effort and assistance you give is very much appreciated.
I took out the GFO and, this may just be my imagination, a day later I think
I see improvement.
<Your situation, circumstances and current observations are more the norm
than unusual nowayears w/ the proliferation of "chemical filtrants"...
Folks, companies "making money" from their promotion, sale really should
self-assess what they're up to... My common statement: "More emphasis on
biology, less on technology" would benefit all>
The coral tissue looks like it is encroaching on the algae rather than the
other way around. The only coral not showing
some sign of improvement is the one I sent the picture of. He was the
worst off though, so we'll see.
Is it possible to see a turnaround that quick?
<Yes; think on your being deprived of something essential... like air,
When and how much GFO should I consider (If phosphate gets up to .1?
<Please read here:
and the linked HPO4 FAQs files above, and Nutrient Export... There are quite
a few ways, means to avoid/exclude Phosphate accumulation>
Thanks again for the help!
Re: Acropora Agonistes
Thank you for all the help. I've run things without the GFO since we
spoke about a week ago. Things are not getting worse and there are
hints of improvement. The problem is my phosphate is now
0.1ppm on my Hanna checker. It was 0 previously.
<Not a problem I assure you>
I'm not about to panic. My understanding is with steady input and
decreased export, this is going to happen.
<What is going to happen?>
I should just keep things steady and let the creepy crawlies growing and
breeding and take up the excess.
<Likely so; limited by... whatever is limiting>
Assuming all this is correct, my concern is that the jump was pretty quick
(from 0 to .1ppm in a week). I'm going to cut the feedings down to
about half until the phosphate reduces appreciably then increase it slowly.
Is this all correct or have I wildly missed the point? Any additional
<Have I referred you to Marco's piece here:
and the linked files above re HPO4? Bob Fenner>
Re: Acropora Agonistes 12/5/12
Wow, I'm going to have my writing license revoked. Shortly thereafter,
they'll have me taken out back and flogged. All quite warranted I
assure you. The corrected passage should read:
I'm not about to panic. My understanding is with steady input and decreased
export, *a temporary increase in phosphate is expected or at least
My humblest apologies,
<<No worries all the way about. BobF>>
Montipora caps losing color, nutrient, lambda
Hi crew!! I bought a green Montipora cap 3 months ago and a red one 2
ago. Although they are both growing the green one has almost
completely lost its' color and the red one is paler but holding on. Here
is some background on their circumstances. They are in a 55
gallon with a 30 gal refugium that has been running for 6
years. Lighting is a 4 bulb T5 with 2 AquaSun bulbs, 1
IndigoSun bulb and 1 actinic (system 4 months old).
<Mmm, this is not much light... do you have access to a PAR/PUR meter?
Do check the strength near where these Montiporas are placed... I'd move
up to where the reading is at least 100>
Daytime bulbs run for 10 hours a day. Water parameters: Ammonia,
Nitrite, Nitrate all 0. Phosphate tests out at 0.
<Here's at least one explanation for loss of color. All
chemophotosynthates need (measurable) NO3 and HPO4... the folks
who sell chemical filtrants and gear are wont to explain this... Your
Acroporids are starved for essential nutrients>
Calcium 400-450, alkalinity 3.5 meq, pH 8-8.2. I run Chemipure and
activated carbon and do weekly 10 gallon water changes with RO/DI water
mixed with Tropic Marin Reef (marinated for days). When I first got both
of them I started them at the bottom of the tank and moved them (after a
month) half way up the tank. What could be the problem? Water
quality, lighting (too much?
not enough?) Any direction you can point me in would be very
<Please read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Montipora caps losing color
Hello Mr. Fenner! Thank you for the very quick response!! I do not have
a PAR/PUR meter. I'll check to see if my LFS has one.
<Yes; and/or a local reef/marine club>
In the meantime perhaps I should move both of them higher up in the tank.
How should I increase HPO4 and NO3?
<Just stop using filtrants... perhaps feed a bit more>
Should I remove the Chemipure or carbon?
I've been running them to reduce allelopathy.
<A good "reason"; but likely your Cnidarians are now "used to each
I wondered about nutrients but I feed Rod's and Cyclop-eeze so I thought
they would "feed" from that. Again, thank you for your help!
Re: Montipora caps losing color 7/1/12
Wow! Good to know that they might be used to each other by now.
I'll remove immediately. Will the color come back on the existing
coral or will only the new growth have color?
<Maybe... one can hope. B>
Thank you so much, Mr. Fenner! Jen
SPS Placement and Problem 12/27/11
First, thank you for being very helpful. I have recently
acquired some corals that I am in need of some help with. One of
them I bought from an online vendor that could only tell me it
was an "Acro of some sort". I know they are hard to ID
but this coral is giving me fits. It is a smooth skin coral, tan
coloration throughout, and bright neon green polyps that seem to
appear at random places. After doing some research I THINK it is
a deepwater speciosa but I am not sure??
<Could be... but not "too deep">
I had it placed about mid level in my aquarium for about 3
weeks. The coral seemed to be browning a bit and seemed to be
losing some of its neon green coloring it would take on when the
actinics kicked on at night. So one day I moved him up only
about 4 inches. I have 175 w metal halides.
When I got home from work the following day the coral had
multiple tips that were completely bleached up to a 1/4 inch or
more. There was no skin left on these tips just bone structure.
I immediately moved him back to where I originally had him. This
did not help. The tissue loss seemed to be getting faster daily.
So I relented and moved the coral to the bottom of the aquarium
where it is lightly shaded and has good flow. The tissue loss
has slowed, but continues on tips. I break off the dead
tips.....some continue to lose tissue but others don't. I am
lost on what to do with this guy. I am afraid I am going to lose
him. PLEASE HELP.
<Mmm, there's more to hard coral health then
I am attaching a picture of the coral. This picture was taken
by the vendor not me. THANK YOU! My Param.s are 8.1 ph, 9.5 ALK,
525 Cal, phos 0, Nitrate 0,
<... Mmm, here for instance. "Some" measurable HPO4
and NO3 is absolutely necessary (essential nutrients) for
chemosynthates... organisms that take up chemical foods from
their surroundings. Whatever you're doing to render these 0.0
needs to be stopped... or alternatively, foods need to be
introduced/fed that result in their presence.>
SG 1.024, MAG 1250.Second question, I also bought a coral from a
LFS. It is a Cyphastrea. I have mixed directions on their
placement. The first two days I had him his polyps were extended
night and day. Now they are never out except at night and even
then they seem to come out about half way. Where should this guy
<Medium light and current>
People say near the bottom in a random flow. It doesn't
seem right to me. Please help on this.
<Again, the soluble phosphate and nitrate...>
Other than no polyp extension he seems fine. On the same rock as
the Cyphastrea, I got a surprise coral. It is a purple rimmed
Monti confusa I believe. Seems healthy but his polyps do not
extend much either. I am going to separate the two but I am not
sure where to place the Monti Confusa either.
<... please see WWM... the search tool, indices>
Please advice me. Thank you very much and Merry Christmas and
Happy New Year guys! You guys are life savers. Respectfully,
<Do search/read re the nutrients as well. Bob Fenner>
Re: SPS Placement and Problem 12/27/11
The tests used to receive the 0 results are standard API test
kits. I hear they are the worst on the market. True?
<No, there are worse... this too is gone over on WWM,
I also hear that even if my test says it is 0 there is likely
some organics or nutrient levels in my aquarium.
I have a moderate load of fish. 10 to be exact that I feed
daily. Would this not add the necessary nutrients?
<Should... perhaps you can increase the feedings>
I should mention I have several other SPS corals including Monti
capricornis and Acros. The Acro I refer to below is the only one
giving me issues. Can you advise me on anything else I can do
stop the tissue loss?
<... that you read... See WWM re:
and the linked files above.... Learn to/use the search tool and
Re: SPS Problem 12/31/11
Hello again. I hope all is well with you guys at WWM and happy
We spoke previously about the Acro I have that is giving me fits.
A few days ago I had to frag it.
I cut about 5 good sized pieces off of it. When I got home
from work that day it was obvious RTN had set in. Nearly the
entire lower half of the Acro was dead. I waited about an hour
and looked again and more of the coral was dead. Of the five
pieces it appears 3 are doing quite well. No STN or RTN signs
are apparent (crossing fingers). It is odd to me because the 3
that are doing well are under shelves in dark areas where they
are not exposed to any direct light. In fact I would call these
heavily shaded areas. Could this be due to the coral not being
Or is it due to the type of Acro it is?
<... only to some extent>
Is it possible this particular type of Acro cannot handle
bright metal halides?
<Likely not acclimated to such. Read here:
and the linked FAQs file>
The other 2 pieces were placed in areas with only a small amount
of direct light hitting them. Both of these frags have
completely turned white and have died within two days time. I am
currently attempting to keep things stable as possible and
leaving things alone. Do you have any advice you can offer for
these 3 frags that seem to be doing okay and obviously want
<Continue to leave them alone>
My Monti Confusa seems to be doing better however, its edges
are not a deep purple as they were when I first got it. The
edges are quite a bit lighter but there are no dead areas that I
can see. I think it may be getting too much light...? It is mid
level in the tank. Can you please advise on this too? Thank you
<Please read where you've been referred. B>
SPS Problem/s... induced, nutrient deprivation,
Please forgive my constant questions but thank you for being so
How are you guys today?
<I'm fine, thanks; but I do wonder where the FW WWM folks
I have another question for you sir. Last night while checking
on things I noticed the Montipora Confusa I spoke of below has a
white patch starting on it now as well. It is not new growth as
I know what new growth appears as on Montis. Could this be
related to a disease or a fungus in the system?
<Could... yes; though highly likely something else>
I am completely baffled on this because I have many Monti, Acro,
and Birdsnest colonies in my system and it is only these 2
relatively new animals (1 Monti confusa and 1 Acro) that are
giving me the issues. PH 8.1, Cal 525,
<Too high... would keep below 450 ppm>
ALK 9.5, Phos undetectable, NO3 undetectable,
<... we've gone over this... Starving>
Mag 1250, SG 1.024 and running 0 TDS water for water changes.
3x175 watt metal halides with 2 160 watt VHO actinics over a 125
gallon display tank plus a 60 gallon sump/fuge full of Chaeto and
Caulerpa. BTW I have Cyano in my sump.
<Likely scavenging nutrient>
Always have for some reason. I did feed heavily last night
hoping the corals would get some nutrients and did a good dose of
Selcon. The Monti was attached to the same rock as my Cyphastrea
as mentioned previously. Two different light and flow
preferences if I am not mistaken?
<Enough range, crossover...>
I cut the Monti off the rock by cutting the rock itself and
separating the two. The white patch on the was cut away as
<... I wouldn't do this>
I moved the Monti to an area of good flow and higher light.
About a 6 inch move to mid level. Remember the coral was nearly
on the bottom. Too much??
<Too much what?>
Next I took both the Acro and the Monti and I dipped them in
Seachem Reef Dip. No pests were seen falling off except tiny
white Collonista snails.
I almost feel as though this is a last ditch effort.
<? Move them elsewhere; to another system, if
Tonight I am changing all media as well (carbon, GFO, Chemi pure
Will this help?
<... IF the issue here is nutrient unavailability, no... IF
temporarily, likely yes>
What about super gluing the recessing skin on the Acro?
I've heard this will help? And now my final questions. I
have Star Polyps in several places in my tank.
<Source of the likely allelopathy. SEE WWM re this term,
They grow like weeds spreading throughout.
Very attractive sight as they are growing on the back glass
too. Can these pose a problem to my SPS?
<Of a certainty, yes>
I also have a large (5 inches or more) Toad stool with 3 Kenya
trees attached to the same rock. Could these guys be causing me
I have 2 Giant Hairy Mushrooms I got by accident but they do
great and have never caused an issue. Could they be causing
What about my RBTA?
I've had my RBTA for over a year as well with no issues. And
lastly, I have had a Purple Frilly Gorgonian in my system for
over a year. Could this guy be causing me these issues?
<Not nearly as likely as the others above>
I have read that the Purple Frilly Gorgs are not likely to
release toxins into the water like some of their relatives.
<... just answered>
Why would it only effect these two corals?
<They're the newest, intruders, weakest...>
I hate to lose the Gorg as it has grown well and looks great in
Gives it a very real Reef look. Thank you and again, sorry for
all the questions. I am most appreciative of your assistance and
I cannot thank you enough for taking the time to answer my
questions. Respectfully,C. Ryland
<Mmm, you've got the good curiosity going for you... DO
keep reading and we'll chat further. BobF>
Bleaching Montipora - 02/23/06 Hi and thank you for answering my
?. <<I'm happy to be a part of it all.>> I have had a
frag of Red Montipora capricornis for about 2 weeks and I have noticed
that it is losing its color and now is white/pinkish in color.
<<Troubling indeed>> My Salinity, water temp, no nitrates,
no ammonia, are fine. My lighting is 2x250 MH with 10k Ushios and are about 12 inches from where the Monti cap is placed.
<<Hmm...if the frag didn't come from the same type of light
environment it may be experiencing "light shock".>>
Their is very little flow where the cap is placed also. <<This
too is a problem...high flow please...>> Could it possibly be
that I have to much light over the Monti cap and should I place it
under an overhang? <<These corals are often kept quite
successfully in "high light" environments, but if it
wasn't acclimated to the light, that may well have been the
problem...but after two weeks I think you're better off leaving it
where it is. It will have begun to adjust by now (if
it's going to recover), and moving it again means more
stress.>> Your assistance would be greatly
appreciated. I could possibly send you a pic if that would
help out. <<I think the best you can do at this point is increase
water flow in the vicinity of the coral/the tank as a
whole. Regards, EricR>>
Acroporas turning brown Hi WWM! <Hi Jen, MacL here with
you tonight.> I know you all are so busy these days, I have tried to
research this on my own and can't really find a lot of info on
Acroporas turning brown. I have asked several online dealers
and the LFS, but I get very conflicting information. <I can tell you
right now that's because multiple things can turn the corals
brown.> I have been told I didn't have enough lighting (when I
had 2 X 150W HQI MH), and upgraded to 2 X 250W HQI MH, and now have
been told I have too much lighting. <Did you acclimate the corals to
the stronger lighting? By acclimate I mean did you give them time to
grow accustomed to the stronger lighting by putting them on for less
hours or perhaps higher above the tank?> I don't know how much
info you need to be able to tell me why this is happening, but here
goes. . . 80 gallon tank, setup three years ago. 100 lbs. of
LR, 60-80 lbs. LS, Lighting: 2X 250 W HQI MH 14k, 2X 96 W PC Actinics,
mounted 10" off top of tank. Aqua C Remora Pro
(upgraded skimmer 6 months ago), 4 Maxi-jet powerheads, approx 920 gph.
Livestock: 1 blue tang, 1 royal Gramma, 1 lawnmower blenny, 1 six line
wrasse, 1 citron goby, 3 blue Chromis, 1 cinnamon clown, 15-20 Turbo
snails, 10 Nassarius snails, 20 Astrea snails, 25 various dwarf hermit
crabs, 2 blue tuxedo urchins, 2 Mithrax crabs, 5-10 Cerith snails, 2
brain corals, 1 Favites, 1 Blastomussa, 1 Montipora (also turned
brown), 1 Acropora, 1 yellow Porites. The Acropora and the
Montipora are both near the top of the tank, top 10".
Water Parameters: PH 8.3 1:30pm, Temp 80, Amm 0, Trites 0,
Trates 0, Phosphates 0, Alk 8.4-9.2 DKH, Calc 375, SG 1.025. I use
RO/DI water for top off and water changes. I top off with
one gallon every night. I change about 5 gallons per
week. I use Kalkwasser, turbo calcium, and Warner
Marine's two part A and B. I also started adding this
week Kent's Essential Elements (which I was told I should be adding
every week). <Your levels look great but let me ask? are
you having any ph fluctuation? Also, how long after you got the corals
did they turn color? How long had you had them? Do you have any idea if
they are wild corals? Often wild corals turn colors but will often
regain color after they adjust to the tank. Wild Acroporas
will often change as part of their adjustment. See what I mean by it
could be a lot of things?> Please let me know what you think may be
causing these corals to turn brown. I have also read
"high nutrients" can cause this browning. What nutrients??
<Phosphates can be a problem but generally high nutrients are what
they call the "dirty tank" which is often lots of algae,
plankton, etc.> Where are they coming
from? How can I test for them? If I was
overfeeding wouldn't I see a rise in nitrates and
phosphates? I am just completely confused and my head is
spinning with what everybody has been telling me, please set me
straight. <No worries Jen, I think the most confusing part
is that Acroporas can change because of many things and the
biggest thing is just to go down the list one thing at a time to try to
isolate what did it. Don't worry we can help
you.> Thank You, Jen