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FAQs about Faviid Coral Disease Diagnosing  

FAQs on Faviid Disease: Faviid Disease 1, Faviid Disease 2, Faviid Disease 3, Faviid Disease 4, Faviid Disease 5, Faviid Disease, 
FAQs on Faviid Disease by Category: 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, Faviid Corals

FAQs on Stony Coral Disease: Stony Coral Disease 1, Stony Coral Disease 2, Stony Coral Disease 3, Stony Coral Disease 4, Stony Coral Disease 5, Stony Coral Disease 6, Stony Coral Disease 7, Stony Coral Disease 8, Stony Coral Disease 9, Stony Coral Disease 10, Stony Coral Disease 11, Stony Coral Disease 12, Stony Coral Disease 13, Stony Coral Disease 14, Stony Coral Disease 15, Stony Coral Disease ,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease,

Trumpet Coral Problem     10/1/15
Dear Wet Web Media,
I am having a massive loss of yellow trumpet coral and looking for ideas as to why.
<Will give you the principal sources: predation, environment (ho boy), lack of nutrition, allelopathy...
All other fish (6 small), various hermit crabs, snails, starfish, anemones (5 keep splitting)
<Mmm; near by?>
and corals
<See you've listed these below; good>
are acting normally.
165 gallon
4 years old system

Aqua C EV skimmer/LEDs/co2 reactor/refugium/wave maker
SG 1.025, 79-81.5 F temp, Alk 10-12, Calcium 435, magnesium 1340, 0 nitrates, 0 phosphates,
<Ooops! Here's at least part of the "issue"; a lack of N, P, K.... READ here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/FavNutrDisF.htm>
20% water changes weekly
<And you dose iodide/ate then?>
The tank has few SPS (birds nest, much monopora), many LPS (frogspawn, plate, chalice, brain), and 2 large soft corals (toadstool leather and Sinularia), a couple mushrooms, Ricordeas and some Zoanthids.
<Again; allelopathy is a concern here as well... some of the more chemically aggressive organisms you have can/do poison other Cnidarians distally at times; esp. ones that are otherwise compromised (starving in this case)>
No new corals have been added, all have been thriving. I do have a bright yellow encrusting sponge that I am trying to keep under control.
<This might be a contributor as well>
The trumpet corals have been growing like crazy. I started out with 2 heads eight years ago and now have 300+ and have traded away 100+.
<Ah, good>
Anyhow, I was gone on vacation (1 week) and think the tank care giver was feeding too much. (pellets and rinsed frozen food) Upon my return phosphates were too high, so immediately I did water changes and added PhosBan media to an extra media reactor I had in my LifeReef sump.
Phosphates were 0 in a few days.
<.... all chemo-photosynthetic life needs measurable soluble HPO4>
Soon after, I lost 2 trumpets
(tissue recessed from bottom until dead in few days). I assumed it was a freak out from phosphate elevated.
<Actually; the opposite>
Well, it's been a month and now the trumpet loss is epidemic, as I have 25% of the trumpet heads dead or in recession. I have continued to care for the tank as usual, testing is fine and good water changes. I see no critters on any corals.
What else can I do?
<The I2 mostly; multiple dosed; as you'll find in your reading; removal of the chemical filtrants...>
I am not even sure the loss is due to a fluctuation in phosphate...?
Should I remove all dead heads and recessing heads or wait it out?
<I'd leave all in place>
Should I do a lugos dip on all trumpets colonies?
<Better to add to the system itself>
What other tests can I do?
<How much time do you have to read?>
Why would only the trumpets (which are spread all over the tank, up and down and middle) be receding and dying?
<They're on the "losing" side of allelopathogenic "strength" here, and more susceptible to nutrient deficiency>
Thanks so much! Really, thank you very much for your advice.
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Favia Has Blister – 09/25/14
I have a Favia about one year that has been growing nicely. This morning I noticed an area about 20mm in diameter that has a blister. The soft tissue has separated from the skeleton. It looks like a boil that fluctuates in the current from a wave maker.
<<Indeed…and have seen this with my own Favia coral>>
Yesterday I did change my GFO and carbon. Parameters are perfect and I am growing Acropora with ease in this system. I have attached a photo showing the coral in question.
<<I see this>>
The lesion is on the right side at about the 1:00 O'clock position. Any help would be appreciated.
<<As noted, I have experienced this phenomenon in my own system. The “blister” may be a result of physical trauma (picked at by a fish/crustacean or stung by another coral)…or maybe it’s even a sign of a reproductive event (just guessing here). But in my case, it turned out to be of no worry. I actually ‘popped’ the blister on my Favia coral. It came back within a week or two…I popped it again, and this time the coral healed and returned to its normal appearance. Not saying this is what you should do, but is something to consider. You could also try a dip in something like Tropic Marin Pro Coral Cure. Aside from this, I would simply leave the coral be for now and observe>>
Thank you.
<<Happy to share… EricR>>

Re: Favia Has Blister ­ 09/25/14
Thank you Eric for your prompt response!
<<Quite welcome, Karl>>
I cannot remove the coral for dipping as it long ago spread from its original plug to the rockwork.
<<Okay…should still be fine>>
I do not believe that it was a fish as all my fish are completely reef safe (That includes any that are considered reef safe "with caution".) I don't believe it was stung by another coral but I will check tonight to see if any sweepers come anywhere near it.
<<Then likely these are not the cause of this phenomenon (as was the case with my own issue re). I’m reluctant to call this a “complaint” as it may well be a “normal condition” of these animals>>
I will probably pop the "blister" and will keep you informed.
<<Sounds good mate>>
Again, my sincere "thanks".
<<Always welcome… EricR>>

RE2: Favia Has Blister ­ 10/22/14
Hi Eric,
<<Hey Karl>>
Just a follow up on the Favia as promised.
There has been little change. The involved area remains constant. No sloughing. Sometimes it lies flat on the skeleton and at other times it blows up. Aspirated two times, will just observe. If there are changes I will advise. Thanks for your help.
<<Thanks for the update… You could try excising the loose tissue with a sharp blade (Exacto/razor)…or if not that bothered, leave as is. Cheers mate…EricR>>

RE3: Favia Has Blister ­ 11/19/14
Hi Eric,
<<Hi Karl>>
In follow up, the area involved has begun to slough exposing coral skeleton in some areas. Some algae in these areas is noted. I suspect that the entire blistered area will be lost.
<<Likely so, yes>>
Hopefully, new tissue will grow in from the periphery. Will take many months.
<<If water quality is maintained and the coral is receiving adequate light, flow, nutrition, et al…it is very likely to recover, in my experience/estimation>>
I will inform you of the progress.
<<Cheers mate…EricR>>

RE4: Favia Has Blister ¬ 10/15/15
Hi Eric,
<<Hey Karl>>
The area has completely healed and filled in. Thanks.
<<And thank 'you' for the update…Cheers, EricR>>

Candy Cane Woes?  11/4/10
Hi All-
<Hello Sal>
Been awhile, but I thought I'd let you know what's doing. I had a little back-n-forth with Scott regarding clowns awhile ago. I had good success, and the little buggers are 5 months old (pic attached).
<Well done>
I'm selling them privately. Besides $$ for clowns, I got a nice candy cane frag as barter from a friend (also, pic attached). I propped it up on a piece of rubble, but one of my snails kept knocking it over. So, I pulled it out and wrapped a rubber band *once *around the "cane" and many times around the rock. In the process, because my hands were wet and the coral was covered in mucus, it fell out of my little gloved hands and onto the floor. Yes, it broke, but fortunately it was a clean break at the base of a branch. I then
finished my rubber band binding, rinsed it off in fresh seawater, and replaced the larger piece. I stuck the "base" of the smaller piece into a hole in a chunk of base rock. Took a day to "regroup", but it looked fine for 2 weeks.
<Ok, fine so far>
Now, it looks like the green fleshy (polyp?) part is tearing up.
<Mmm, the file sizes on your pics are far too large for me to open, so I am replying 'blind' here.. this could be a polyp bailout, or the coral dying>
It is still opening up and closing, and it is still eating (target feeding of microgack, yum!) I've never had one of these before -- is it dying or is it growing?
Water quality is good: pH=8.2, Ca=400, dKH=11.
<Nitrates? Mg? Temp? Salinity?>
I dose 10mL of SeaChem's Reef Plus into a 55g twice a week (just less than half recommended dose) for trace elements.
<Mmm, not a fan of these products at all>
It's been a very long time since I've had to add chemicals to maintain ionic balance. I took a look on the site, but I didn't find anything to answer my question. Could be I didn't look deep enough?
<Could be'¦ all you can do is keep feeding the coral and keep the water quality up. It may recover, if bailing out it may re-grow a new skeleton, or it may not.>
Many thanks,
PS - Please let Bob know I've instituted a Catch-And-Release program for worms -- only the "bad" ones get relocated; the "good" ones get released back onto the reef ;)
<?? You should never, ever release animals from your home aquarium back to the reef, you can and will introduce non-native species that can have devastating consequences on wild animals. Simon> 
<<He's joshin' ya here Simon. B>>


Re: Candy Cane Woes? 11/5/10
Hi Simon-
<Hi Sal>
Resending smaller pics. Sorry about that.
<No problem, and well done on the Clowns!>
I want to send another pic of the two frags so you can see how they're pulling away from the calcified stalks.
<Mmm, the white strings look like mesenterial filaments to me..a reaction to something, either chemically or another animal.>
I'll to do that later (at work now), but I did read a few articles on WWM regarding bailout (including pics) and I'm not *sure* that's what it is.
<looking at your picture, neither am I>
It does look as though the design of this animal dictates the polyps must split in order to accommodate a branch.
<Yes, and perhaps that is what you are seeing, but this is not usually associated with mesenterial filaments>
I have a variety of soft corals, zoos, and mushrooms. <Ahhh! The likely culprits here.. allelopathy>
All of these are at a good distance and doing fine.
<Yes but sharing the same water system>
I don't test Mg; perhaps I should. <yes> My temp sits at 79-80, and my SG hangs at 1.024.
<Would raise this one notch>
I would like to get them lower, but try as I may I can't get my NO3 lower than 20ppm.
<For Scleractinians this wants to be less than 10. Are you testing your source water?>
This tank's been up for 2 years, and since it first cycled it has never had any NH4, NO2, or PO4.
<Does need a trace of this last>
I use DI only.
BTW, by "Catch-And-Release" I meant releasing worms back onto the reef in my tank. Bob would be pleased. I'm sorry if my words led you to believe I meant otherwise.
<Ahh, understood and well done, I like worms in my reef too!>
Thanks again,

Re: Candy Cane Woes?  11/10/10
Hi Simon-
<Hi Sal>
Thanks for the commentary. Allelopathy! Could be -- skimmer's been working overtime lately, but the snails have been spawning so it's hard to tell.
Very likely those filaments were a reaction, as that photo was taken the day after I got the coral (Oct 17).
I took some pics last night as close up as I could. You can see the filaments retracted. I appreciate how you might consider another animal, but what? Parasite?
<The toxic softies that you are keeping -- 'mushrooms' et. Al. These are animals>
They guy (Kenny) who gave it to me says the mother grows like a weed. You can see what looks like stalk extension in #387 on the big piece. The "break" is way down at the bottom of this piece, very close to the stalk. The best shot of the partitioning is in #388, on the small frag, but you can also see it on the bigger frag in #389. I've checked the logs, and I have had a little PO4 trace now and then, but nothing to worry about.
I can move the mushrooms further away (down-current, I presume?) if you think that will help, but Kenny has a ton of them.
<Different systems and their maintenance/ set up can/ will have different effects on many things. Can you say that your system is identical in every way to your friends? Likely not. Running some carbon might help somewhat here>
I will raise my salinity to 1.025, per your suggestion, and get a test for Mg. Where should that be, ideally, and what products do you recommend that work to adjust it?
<Mmm, about three times that of your calcium, something like 1200ppm. How to maintain this depends how large your system is, it's needs/ wants. Best to research this on WWM, perhaps look for articles by Randy Holmes Farley on the web. Your coral is Scleractinian however, and maintenance of Mg is required here>
Also, in terms of water... I don't do RO -- DI only.
My tap water has NO3 of about 8ppm, and the DI filter removes all of these.
<Perhaps investing in a true RODI unit might help you here'¦ will certainly be better than DI only>
As always, much appreciated. Have a great weekend,
<You too Sal, and happy reefing!>


Re: Candy Cane Woes? 11/11/10
Hi Simon-
<He's "marked out" for a while>
Oh, boy... where to start?? Yesterday, I discovered my cucumber got himself sucked up into the filter. FORTUNATELY he didn't turn out his innards. It could have been worse. Anyway...
Likely, even two "identical" systems will react differently because Life is unpredictable. I do run carbon all the time, actually (old school) so I'm ahead of that game. I don't think it's the mushies, but rather, from the look of the canes, I think the coral is actually growing. The torn polyp flesh appears to have reattached itself, and at least one crown has experienced a division into two distinct polyps. Apparently, no cause for alarm -- Sal jumped the gun ;)
I am concerned about your suggested Ca level, however. My friend doesn't keep his anywhere near 1200. He hovers at 500, which is not far above my level of 400-420.
<Mmm, the 1,200 value doesn't exist. Your stated range is fine>
He also doesn't do anything with his Mg level.
<Many folks don't... and this is a mistake. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/mgmarfaqs.htm
Like myself, he's no authority, but he does what his son tells him. His son was the manager of the largest LFS in the area, and Kenny says he never mentioned Mg.
I went to 3 separate LFS, nobody has an Mg test. I went back to mine. My LFS guy says they don't stock Mg test kits, but he'll be happy to order one for me.
<This or the etailers/Net>
The reason he doesn't stock them is, they are very expensive,
<Not. The Sera, Salifert, other brands are a few tens of dollars>
nobody buys them, and they expire quickly. Then he asked about my sudden interest in Mg levels, so I told him about this thread. He said he doesn't do anything about Mg, either, and keeps his Ca levels at 600 in his reef tank at home.
<Ludicrous... won't happen w/ adequate KH present. Please learn to/use the search tool on WWM ahead of writing us. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm
and the linked files above>
He's got a lot of Acros and 2 Candy Canes, all of which grow like weeds.
I'm going to ask one of the guys at the Lab if he'll run a water sample through the mass spec for me. Obviously, this is not something I can do on a regular basis, but it will give me an accurate reading of all traces, including Mg. I may pick up a test if I can find one online. While I can't justify it based on the experience of my peer reef keepers, I do respect your advice as an expert in this area and want to do the right thing for my animals.
<See Dr.s Foster & Smith, Marine Depot (.com)... for this kit>
Thanks much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Candy Cane Woes?  11/11/10

Hi Bob-
<Hey Sal>
Nice to "see" you again. I thank you for the advice. I think I over-reacted on this one. I went back and read *all* the emails from Simon -- methinks a misunderstanding happened on my part and he meant *Mg* should be 1200, not Ca.
<About three times Calcium concentration is right>
This has been the source of my confusion with this thread. Also, apologies for my typo: My LFS guy keeps his Ca at 500, not 600.
<Still too high IMO>
I am happy report my Mg is at 1247ppm as determined by mass spectrometer. I also found a Salifert test on Marine Depot which I'll pick up eventually; thanks for the heads up.
Regarding the search tool on WWM: I do use it, and very often. However, in a case where something as specific as this is concerned, Google doesn't do a good job of returning only what you want to see.
<Ah yes... do use the search tool that renders the "cached view"... Much easier to see/find highlighted/key words>
Be well.
<Am trying my friend. BobF>

Trumpet/Candy Cane Issues, hlth., data  -- 09/09/10

Faviids Losing Tissue/Colored Skeletons -- 05/17/10
Hey guys,
I have searched and searched and can't find any info on this issue I am having.
I lost a Joker's Favia (purple and green) a few weeks ago and basically the skin on the Favia just started to pull back from the base, exposing the skeleton and in a week or so, was totally gone.
<<Mmm, most such events are related to water chemistry/quality'¦in my experience>>
The skeleton was a bright red/pink color. Even after two weeks, the skeleton stayed red/pink.
<<I have heard musings as to the reason why some Acropora skeletons are 'green' at the time of tissue loss (infestation of a boring alga species) which I suppose could apply to 'any' hard coral species, but I have not heard about red/pink skeletons'¦though if these theories are accurate, it could be about any 'color' depending the alga involved'¦or maybe it is the result from a microbial infection>>
Now it is happening to a Sponge Bob Favia (yellow and green). Both were on the sand,
<<This may be adding to the problem if the sand is shifting and causing tissue recession that might open avenues for bacterial infection. Though many people do place these animals on sand, they are generally not 'free living' organisms designed for such but were likely broken from a hard substrate'¦placement on such in the aquarium would be best, in my opinion>>
30" below the surface of my 300 gallon tank. The lights are 400W MH with 12K ReefLux bulbs.
I have tried dipping the corals in Tropic Marin Coral cure with no luck.
<<As long as any environmental issues causing the problem are not identified and corrected, this would not help>>
Are Favia skeletons just red in color?
<<Have all been white, in my experience>><Are white... though could be algal, bacterial coloring being added here once the tissue is gone. RMF>
A few of my micros and Acans are receding as well but they are leaving white skeleton behind.
My parameters are; temp 75.1*, pH 8.0 probe, 8.1,
Seachem ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 30
<<High'¦ This very well may be the cause for the tissue recession>>
(I feed heavy)
<<As do I, but you must employ means to keep Nitrate under control (DSB, vegetable refugium, ancillary chemical filtration, aggressive skimming, etc.)>>
KH 3.5 mEq/l or 9.8 dKH, Ca 440, Mg 1300, SG 1.024. I did a 50 gallon water change on 12 May. Any ideas?
Paul Murphy
<<As stated'¦ There may be other contributing factors (e.g. - placement), but based on your Nitrate reading I'm inclined to think this is a matter of water quality. Cheers, EricR>>
Re: Faviids Losing Tissue/Colored Skeletons -- 05/18/10

Thanks for the reply.
<<Quite welcome>>
I tested water again today, with a new kit and nitrates are only 10ppm, not 30 like the old kit was indicating.
<<Ah, a common issue'¦and much better>>
I will move the Sponge Bob up and hope it recovers. I dipped it again yesterday.
<<I would still look at improving water quality'¦perhaps adding some Poly-Filter chemical media to the filter flow path. Cheers'¦ Eric Russell>>

Unhappy Chalice Corals - Need Help -- 09/30/09
Dear WWM Crew,
<<Hello Laura>>
I have an 85 gallon reef tank with excellent water parameters
<<Real values please'¦>>
and one 150 HQI Metal halide bulb with 2 VHO 96 watt bulbs. I recently ordered via mail (from a very reputable resource) two Echinopora chalice corals.
<<Ah yes, a very popular coral'¦with some crazy colors/color combinations to be found>>
They were beautiful upon arrival and I placed them mid level in my tank on an open ledge of live rock,
<<Mmm'¦best to place these in a 'less bright' location. Once acclimated to it they 'can' take the bright lighting'¦but would still probably do/look better if it's a bit more 'subdued' than what's received mid-level in the tank under that MH bulb>>

where nothing could bother them.
<<Except maybe each other'¦ These are very aggressive corals>>
This was two weeks ago, and they have been declining ever since.
<<Possibly photo-shock'¦or fighting amongst themselves if placed to close together (this would be happening after tank lights-out)>>
I am seeing tissue recession on the edges of the corals, as well as both of them constantly struggling to "puff up" and then deflate to show skeleton through their tissue. They look quite unhappy, and I am very anxious to get them back to a healthy state. I feel they are extremely 'stressed" and yesterday, I moved them to the bottom of my tank under a live rock ledge that has lower, more filtered lighting. I have been target feeding them with live phyto,
<<These are carnivorous animals>>

<<A good food choice here>>
and "Restore", a product for tissue regeneration containing amino acids and HUFA's by Brightwell Aquatics.
<<Hmm'¦ Admittedly I'm not familiar with this particular product from their line'¦ But I would suspect direct supplementation with a proven quality food additive like 'Selcon' to be better money spent>>
The eyes open when I do this and they appear to take in food.
<<Absorption feeding is a possibility'¦but these corals generally feed with the use of feeding tentacles'¦and unless trained otherwise, is again an 'after lights-out' event>>
They also appear to be expelling waste as a healthy animal would. As if the stress of shipping were not enough for these poor animals, a lighting change was made to my tank a few days into their arrival from T5 lighting to the aforementioned MH and VHO set up.
<<Oooh'¦.likely part of the problem here>>
This was poor timing on my part, but the chalices were already showing signs of being unhappy
<<But still'¦couldn't have helped>>
- primarily the recession and the puffing up and deflating I have described. What else can I do to help these guys along and recover?
<<It's possible these corals were somehow malaffected before you received them. These corals are fairly undemanding (once acclimated). But'¦ Try placing them lower in the water column and a bit to the side of the MH bulb 'and make sure there are a few inches between them to preclude physical aggression. Allelopathy is another possibility depending on your other livestock so adding/beefing up carbon filtration (and/or Poly-Filter) may be of benefit here>>
Also, will the tissue regrow over the edges that show recession if the corals can be brought back to health?
<<Yes'¦ Should they recover, the corals will regenerate that 'rolled-edge' look and grow over the old skeleton much like any other hard substrate>>
I would appreciate any suggestions you can offer me.
<<I've made a few 'there's really not much else you can do save move them to another system, to see if this makes a difference>>
They are very beautiful and there is still a lot of healthy tissue on them if they were to "bounce back."
<<If you can determine what is bothering these corals (too much light 'too close together/too other aggressive corals) and make a correction 'there's a good chance they can recover>>
Thank you so much,
<<Happy to assist'¦ EricR>>
Re: Unhappy Chalice Corals - Need Help -- 10/01/09

Dear Eric,
<<Hey Laura!>>
I apologize for the lack of water parameter information on my tank, and I also noticed I forgot to include that I use a 14K Hamilton HQI MH bulb in the lighting information.
<<It is best to give us as much info as possible (thank you for this). You never know where a 'clue' might be hiding>>
Water parameters are:
Ca: 450
dKH: 10
Temp: 78F
Phosphates: Undetectable
Nitrate: 0
Ammonia: 0
Magnesium: 1395
Salinity: 1.024
pH: 8.1-8.2
<<And agreed, no real problems here'¦ though I would let either the Calcium or Alkalinity fall just a bit. Have you read this? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm>>
I do run carbon on the tank.
The chalices do have several inches between them, the closest animal to one being a crocea clam on the sand bed of the tank, now that I have moved them to lower positions. This clam is several inches from the chalice.
<<Okay'¦ But do try to observe the corals at different times after the tank has been dark to make sure they are 'far enough' apart. You might be surprised at their 'reach'>>
This morning the chalices appear to be "stable". Although I am no expert,
<<Me neither! [grin]>>
I am suspecting lighting to be my biggest issue in their state of health.
<<I too think that to be a contributing element here>>
Just out of curiosity, how long in the more subdued lighting would they need to reside before I would see marked improvement if, this is indeed, their issue?
<<Hmmm'¦ Based on your previous statements re, I would expect to see improvement in as little as a week (flesh filling out/expanding, color returning)'¦though it may take a while (several weeks or more) to notice any 'significant' regrowth over the damaged margins>>
This will be their second day in the dimmer lit area. I also have Selcon and can begin using that product since it seems to be a proven enrichment product for captive animals.
<<Indeed'¦ Do also look in to/get some New Life Spectrum pelleted food. Aside from the benefits of this excellent prepared food to your fishes, consider that it can also be fed to your Chalice corals 'as well as Faviids, Euphyllids, and others with similar feeding structures/tentacles/methods. I find the 1mm pellets to work well all around>>
Thank you so much for all of your help!
<<Always happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

Candy Cane Coral Problem  7/22/08 Good morning all, <Shawn> I have gone over your website trying to find something regarding my problem but could find nothing. My problem is that my Candy Cane Coral has been doing great up until the last few weeks. It has been changing colors around the edge. <Mmm, any changes to your system?> The inside has remained the same green color but the outer edge has been turning a lighter fluorescent green to almost yellow. All else seems to be ok with them except that color change. All water checks were very good with the exception of ph was a little low, 8.0. I do 15% water changes every 2 weeks. Might this be a normal color change or could it be something more serious. Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, Shawn <... Could be an influence... but feeding, light changes (are your lamps getting old?), water quality, a lack of phosphate/useful phosphorus, nitrogen... many other possibilities exist. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/faviiddisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Caulastrea... Improvement related to ? 9/26/07 Hi Crew, <Greetings Mich here.> I have this Caulastrea for a few months. I was told it was a candy cane but it is not. <Candy cane is a common name used for Caulastrea.> I did find a picture of what I think it is but I cannot remember what it was called. <Looks like Caulastrea to me.> The skeleton poked through in a few place but it stayed like that for a couple months. <Yikes!> The whole top looks like it is flesh the same as each head. It looks like it is brown underneath with a see through cover that is bluish. The mouths are blue. It opens at night like candy cane but not as often and not all the heads open. <Still think this is Caulastrea.> It was in the front corner in a 10-gallon with 65w power compacts. <Small system.> I do not feed anything other than what I give my fish. <It would likely benefit from supplemental feedings.> Tank is about 4 years old. As you can see to the right is a candy cane and behind it there is a mushroom. <Yes, I see.> All of a sudden the flesh started retracting from the body and the heads. <I am wondering how your calcium levels are.> I moved it to the back corner where it gets the same amount of light. The one difference is that before it was on the sand on now it is on a small rock. It seems to be making a comeback after a few weeks being there. A few of the heads have a lot of flesh on them, more that they ever had since I have this piece. Can being on a rock instead of sand make that much of a difference? <Likely not the rock, but the location. May be exposed to more suitable water flow or perhaps less direct allelopathy, likely just more favorable conditions. If you are not running carbon on this system you should be.> Thanks <Welcome! Mich>

Caulastrea... Improvement Related To ? Thanks, <Welcome!> In regards to using carbon, I saw a response recently that said that using a poly filter is the same as using carbon. Did I misunderstand or is that true? <Will function in many of the same ways and may actually be better for some applications, though I don't think it polishes the water in the same way as carbon does. Mich>

Re: Caulastrea... Improvement related to?  11/06/07 Hi Crew (Mich if you are there), <Am still here Samuel> Thanks for the previous response. <Welcome!> Yes the new position does have a stronger water flow. And I did just add carbon so we will see if that makes it even better. <Let's hope!> Since this is a small setup (10-gallon with 65w power compacts) I was wondering how bad my mix of corals may be as it relates to allelopathy. Besides the Caulastrea in question I have a candy cane with about 10 babies blue heads, another with 5 brown heads with a teal center and another with 4 heads and green centers. Then I have a lavender star polyp about 1 inch square, a brown star polyp with white centers about 2 inches square <Pachyclavularia are quite toxic.> and a clove polyp with about 20 polyps. There are a total of 11 mushrooms. 4 are red, 4 have very short hairs that are mostly shades of brown with a blue outer ring. One green striped, one bright green and one Yuma type. There are days the star polyps do not open, there are days that the mushrooms curl up and there are days that the candy canes are not as plump as usual. But most of the time they all look fine. The reds used to have babies but they stopped about a year ago. <Likely related to environmental stress. This is a highly allelopathic mix and is way too small quarters.> The hairy ones started as two and split once. My candy cane heads split every once and a long while. I do not feed them other than to put a few drops of Selcon in the water once a week when the lights are out. <The Caulastrea would benefit from supplemental feeding.> I have a neon goby and a clown goby and last week added a Firefish. <It's mighty crowded in there!> They got along fine and he was out and eating the first day. I have a cover on the tank with about a half inch split down the middle and on night 5 the Firefish managed to jump out. <Happens> I have read about it but did not think it would happen to me but it did. Seeing is believing. <Indeed.> When I found him in the morning he was all dried out. <Sorry for your loss. Mich> Thanks

Re: Caulastrea... Improvement related to? 11/9/07 Thanks Mich, <Welcome Samuel.> So if I get rid of the star polyps can the candy canes get along with mushrooms as long as they do not touch? <It's not the touching that is the issue in so much as it is the chemical compounds that these corals produce, which disseminate into your critically small (10 gallons) volume of water. This is where the potential from problems arise. In the sort term (several months) some, perhaps even most will thrive, but in the long term (year/s) a winner will emerge to the detriment of the loser. Does this make sense? More here: http://saltaquarium.about.com/library/blank/bl_CoralCompetition.htm Thanks
<Welcome, Mich>

Question from GrahamT on Moon Coral - 01/25/07 Fellow crew-members, <<Hello Graham...Eric here>> This is a coral in one of Rick's service customer's tanks.  He forwarded the pic and here email to me, and wondered what WWM might make of it. -GrahamT <<I too have a Faviid displaying this phenomena (behavior?).  The "balloon" will inflate/deflate periodically.  My first thought was asexual reproduction...but it has persisted for about a year now with no indication of separating from the "mother" colony.  Maybe Rick's impression of trapped gases (perhaps from photo-inhibition or over-saturation of gases within the water column) is closer to the truth.  Either way, other than the often flaccid appearance the affected tissue on my specimen does not seem to be damaged and the coral continues to feed/grow/exhibit good health so I'm doubtful this is anything of much concern.  Cheers, Eric Russell>> <To RMF this looks like an encrusting Brown (Phaeophyte) algae... like Colpomenia... which can display the mentioned expansion/contractile behavior. Might be... and has taken up residence on a damaged area of this Faviid> --------- Graham, I have never seen anything like this. What do you think? I think it may be a bacterial problem resulting in trapped gases. What does wet web think?  Rick Rick, We have something weird going on with our moon coral.  One side of it has ballooned out, is this how they enlarge?  It looks like it's full of air, but it feels more squishy when you touch it.  Otherwise, it looks healthy.  It's been like this for a couple of weeks now.  Have you ever seen anything like this? Thanks,

What is wrong with my brain coral?   1/20/07 Hello, I purchased this brain from my LFS about 2.5 weeks ago.  Since then he has gone from beautiful to this. I know the pictures are poor quality and flared (cell phone my digi cam died yesterday). Hopefully my description will suffice, He seems to be growing brown algae <Mmm, perhaps a/the "Jelly" disease of Scleractinians... or maybe just an algae taking residence on an opportunistic (decomposing) circumstance> on his ridges, and seems to be excreting these white fibers, both from his mouths and from the ridges (they are not long and stringy, they look balled up). <Stress... mesentery...> He is in a 30 gal <Not easy to keep small volumes stable...> with a 175w MH and sits on the sand(~12-14" from the light). <Is this similar to where this colony was previously?> Also, my nitrates are HIGH, <How high is high, sigh...> and I have been battling to get them lower (I Have a refugium being setup as we speak, <"First comes love, then comes..."> I'm waiting for the miracle mud to settle) any ideas what to do in the mean time?, <Move this organism to a better situation... system> also all of my other corals seem happy as can be (tree leather, Zoos, star polyps, candy, brush coral). <... In thirty gallons of water? These are the winners... the new colony, a loser... Allelopathy very likely> I have been reading and saw somewhere that bristleworms might be part of the problem?. <Highly unlikely...> I more than likely have more than should ever be in any tank this size. <Bingo> I would appreciate any help I could get.  Thanks guys and keep up the good work. -Jason <Read re Faviid Systems, Disease, Cnidarian Allelopathy (under Compatibility) on WWM... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: What is wrong with my brain coral? - Update   1/20/07 Hello Again, I managed to get a better picture with my phone, along with a short video (should play with QuickTime) which shows what is going on better.   -Jason <Start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Scroll down... Read. Bob Fenner>

Re: What is wrong with my brain coral?    1/21/07 Hello, I just wanted to ask a couple more questions, you had stated that allelopathy was very likely I was wondering if this was a possibility even though the closest other coral to him are the white star polyps at ~8-10"? <Yes... chemical can be as profound as physical contact> And yes I do know I should have waited until my parameters were in check before adding him to the tank, it was my fiancés impulse buy (never again with something as delicate as coral/fish).  Also, this is only occurring on 1/4 of his surface area at most. I have read that I should probably put that part of him in a darker area (to promote healing , if possible) as it currently gets pretty direct light.  Yes it is in a similar location a to where it was at the LFS, possibly a couple of inches closer to the light in my system.  It doesn't really look like jelly disease. Also, when he opens up at night, more mesentery fibers become present, as the day progresses, with current etc, they blow off. <This is a natural behavior, time frame>   I'm not sure if that is relevant but figured I would include it.  Thanks again for all your assistance through my idiotic decisions. -Jason <Patience and observation are your best tools here. Bob Fenner> 

Sick Candy cane?  12/30/06 Hello and thanks for reading my question. <Hi there!  Mich here reading your question.> I have a teal candy cane coral that is showing signs of tissue regression.  The polyps themselves look fine, but the tissue is receding from the base drawing closer and closer to  the actual polyps leaving the skeleton exposed at the base.  My water parameters are as follows: salinity 1.025 temp 79-81 pH 8.3 nitrites 0 nitrates <5 <How are your calcium levels?  I suspect this might be part of the problem.  I see a Yellow Leather (Sarcophyton elegans) in the photo.  Sometimes you will also see evidence of unhappiness related to allelopathy.  Candy Canes (Caulastrea) typically lose the chemical warfare battle.>   For lighting I have 2 65 watt actinics and a 150 watt MH.  The coral is located about midway in the tank.   I add Phytofeast and Cyclop-eeze about twice a week.  Is there anything I can do to help this coral? <Test your calcium level.  You might try some direct feedings also.  Caulastrea usually will respond to meaty foods such as Mysis shrimp, even small pieces of scallop, fish or shrimp.  Be sure to turn off you circulation before feeding. They will engulf pieces up to the size of a grain of rice with ease.>    It is the bluish green one in the center of the photo. Thanks for your help. <Welcome.  Good luck!  -Mich>
Re: Sick Candy Cane part 2 12/30/2006 Dear Mich, <Hi Angela, Mich here again.> Thanks for your reply. <You are very welcome.> Should I try moving the coral further away from the yellow leather or is the effect of the chemical warfare the same for all places in the tank?   <It will in theory be more concentrated closer to the source, in this case the leather, but will obviously circulate throughout the tank.>     Should candy canes not be kept in the same tank as yellow leathers? <They would do better in different systems.> My calcium is at 400...I do not add calcium, but I do weekly water changes with Tropic Marine Pro Reef Salt, so my calcium level seems to stay stable.   <Your calcium levels are fine.> I looked more closely today and the polyps showing the most regression are those on the lower side that get the least amount of light.   <This could be the cause.> Should I move the coral further up in the tank or angle it differently? <I would try angling it first.>   Thanks so much for your help. <I think you helped yourself.  -Mich>

Strange encrusting coral... actually strange lack of info. query   11/6/06 Hi, Newbie here. Not real good at maneuvering the site yet, but I checked everywhere I thought appropriate, both on WWM and internet, and could not find an answer. I will not bore you with complete tank set up for ID question. I have a 4 month old Fox Coral, <The Euphylliid?> that started a few weeks ago recessing. It gets fed regular and seemed very happy with its tank location Med flow and high in the tank under 40 watt PC. I looked closely and found what appeared to be a brown flatworm. I think, I have finally located enough photos to say this is some sort of Cyphastrea ocellina or crusty star coral. <?... the Faviid?> It is tan in color. I can find photos, but no information on this thing. It seems to be growing very fast. Does my conditions seem favorable for such coral? <Which? Actually your lighting is a bit low for either> Is it harmful to my fox? Is it LPS, SPS, or what? <What? The Faviid? See WWM re...> Should I try and remove it from the fox coral and if so how, or.......is the fox going to die (skeleton exposed) and I should let it have the space for encrusting? Thanks in advance for your help.                       Cindy <... Where is information re water quality? Maintenance, feeding?... Please... read what is archived on our site for these species. Bob Fenner>
Rare Faviid?/Repeat Post? - encrusting... 11/07/06
Hi, Newbie here. <<Hi Newbie!>> I am not real good at maneuvering the site yet, but I checked everywhere I thought appropriate, both on WWM and the Internet, and could not find an answer. <<Ok>> I will not bore you with complete tank set-up for ID question. <<...?>> I have a 4-month old Fox Coral, that started a few weeks ago recessing.  It gets fed regular and seemed very happy with its tank location, medium flow and high in the tank under 40 watts PC. I looked closely and found what appeared to be a brown flatworm. I think I have finally located enough photos to say this is some sort of Cyphastrea ocellina or crusty star coral. <<Interesting>> It is tan in color. I can find photos, but no information on this thing. <<Have you seen this?   http://whelk.aims.gov.au/coralsearch/html/401-500/Species%20pages/438.htm >> It seems to be growing very fast.  Do my conditions seem favorable for such coral? <<Apparently>> Is it harmful to my fox? <<Will probably "overcome">> Is it LPS, SPS, or what? <<It is a LPS...in the same family as Faviids and would need the same care>> Should I try and remove it from the fox coral and if so, how or...is the fox going to die (skeleton exposed) and I should let it have the space for encrusting? <<Up to you, though attempting removal may result in the demise of both>> Thanks in advance for your help. Cynne <<Very happy to assist.  Eric Russell>> This is the original email, I sent yesterday.  I wasn't sure if you had received it or not. <<Indeed it was (received)...have you checked the dailies?>> I appreciate you taking the time to get back with me on this. <<No problem Cynne...is what we do...>> I was very careful to check the grammar and spelling before resending. <<Much appreciated>> I also searched your site, the best that I could before asking. <<Also much appreciated>> I have been using your site, for research, for months. <<Excellent...hope you have found it useful>> I cannot guarantee I will not repeat a question, or include a typographical error, but it will not be for lack of effort on my part. <<Is all we can ask...>> Thanks again for your work here.  Your efforts do not go unnoticed by all. <<Ah, thank you very much for this...redeeming to know.  EricR>>
Re: strange encrusting coral   5/8/06
Hello Bob, <Wayne> Thanks for the reply. My apologies for not using scientific names, <Mmm, not necessary... but your message just wasn't clear to me... at one point you referred to a flatworm... and then asked questions of another hard coral...> I haven't been at this long. I will check the info. provided for the Faviid. Water perimeters are all perfect. Nitrates <20, <I would strive to keep this below 10 ppm> Nitrites 0, pH 8.4, Ammonia 0, Salinity 1.024, Temp 75, I do realize lighting is a little as well as temperature is a little low, however, I am maintaining a seahorse tank with mostly gorgonians sponges and soft corals. <Can be done... do live with these in the wild... as well as many more noxious groups of organisms> I use an Emperor bio wheel filter system, Red Sea prism skimmer, and 2 Maxi jet 400 power heads. This is a fifty-five gallon aquarium and the set-up was designed and maintained with the assistance of Pete Giwojna <A fine gentleman, "keeper of the faith" in our interest> from OR, who, by the way recommended I direct most coral issues to you. Thanks again for your time and I will get the info I need now in regards to my new found Faviid. Have a great day. <Thank you for this follow-up. Bob Fenner>
Re: strange encrusting coral.   5/8/06
Thanks Again, <Welcome> The flatworm was a reference to the shape of the hard coral. <Ohhh> I apologize for the confusion. Have you any recommendations on the nitrates? <Yes... read on WWM re... much posted re "causes", cures> I currently perform 2-3 water changes weekly, use a poly filter and nitrate sponge. <Mmm, perhaps the addition of a sump/refugium, macroalgae, DSB..> I blame it on 2 feedings a day. I can't cut the feedings back, but I am concerned with the nitrates. I cannot seem to get algae to grow, except the occasional brown diatoms. When I buy Macroalgae it dies in weeks, My low lighting perhaps? <Mmm... could be... but might be due mainly to other influences... Perhaps the already established mix of algae... a lack of some essential nutrient (rate limiter)... Bob Fenner Thanks Cynne
Re: Rare Faviid? - 11/09/06
Hello, <<Howdy>> Thanks so much for your help. <<My pleasure>> You were right on the money with the Faviid description, and without a photo too, I am impressed. <<Mmm, don't be "too" impressed <grin>...after all, you did provide the scientific name>> I guess my fox coral is doomed:(. <<Probably...as the Faviid grows it will prove to be quite aggressive/will likely extend sweeper-tentacles to kill the fox coral>> I find this hard to believe that under such low lighting, not only was the fox coral happy, but the Faviid showed up as well. <<Many Faviids do very well under moderate lighting>> I can tell it's growing daily from the distance it has before actually touching the fox coral itself; currently it is just growing on the skeletal base. <<Will eventually overgrow/encrust entirely>> Thanks again. Cynne <<Very welcome.  Eric Russell>>

Candycane skeleton disintegrating   8/22/06 Greeting from Nova Scotia <Hello from San Diego, CA> I have a small coral reef tank since 9 months that causes no troubles. One of mine Candycanes got now about 11 branches (had 7 or 8 when we got it) and it's doing really good (dividing, long tentacles at night, bright colours, etc...). Two days ago however, I noticed that 2 of the branches are actually disintegrating. I am talking about the skeleton at the back of the polyp, and surprisingly enough, the polyps at the end of those branches are looking awesome and do not seems to be bothered at all. I am suspecting a lack of Calcium and/or the fact that my pH might be a bit too low (7.8/8.0) <Could be more...> so it drives the carbonate equilibrium of sea water toward the HCO3- side but I am not sure. A friend of mine (has a big coral reef tank) said that it might be the fact that my Candycane is submitted to water flow that are two high. <Another factor> I doubt it, but do you have any suggestions ? Thanks so much in advance Flavienne <Mmm, the ultrastructure of the alkaline earth skeletal matrix is likely "missing" something... happens frequently with (your as stated) imbalance of calcium, magnesium and alkalinity... Do you have the "Kalk habit"? This is a common situation (soft skeletons) with this use... other methods of supplying ready alkaline earth, carbonate produce "harder" bio-matrix (calcium reactors, two part supplements...). Bob Fenner> -------------------------------------- Dalhousie University Department of Oceanography

Favia brain received in bad condition   7/8/06   Hello again.  So I work at a LFS and on their stocklist has a red Favia brain which sounded appealing to me and it was rather expensive, so I expected something great.  Well I did not receive anything great, but because I asked the owners to order it for me I took it and kissed the cash goodbye.  The problem is, it is suffering from major recession.  My question is can it be nursed back to health, and can it cause any other corals in  my tank to have problems? <Yes, and unlikely, but can add to overall "stress" for sure> It doesn't appear to be suffering from any infection, it was probably just in a bad "holding" tank for a while.  To me it just appears like it was not fed properly or was in bad water. <I concur> The other corals I have in my tank are: Favites brain, torch coral, Trachy brain, green star polyps, and some finger leathers and mushrooms all of which are doing very well.  My water quality is excellent, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, phosphate 0.1, calcium 400, alk 10 dKH.  So with proper feeding (by the way his tentacles did extend last night to my surprise) and excellent water will it be ok? <Likely so> I usually feed finely chopped Mysis to my brain corals.  I have attached a picture which is a little blurry and from that I hope you can tell me if this coral can be saved. <Can be... You do administer weekly iodine/ide/ate?> Thank you very much, Ryan Nienhuis.  P.S. I did contact the wholesaler the coral came from and she said she would make things right....there not all bad.  Once again thank you in advance for your advise. <Ah, good. Thank you for writing so clearly, completely. Bob Fenner> Thank you very much for the response I really appreciate it.  If it is OK with you I will give you periodic updates on the corals health.  Thanks again, Ryan Nienhuis. <Would appreciate this. Thank you, BobF>

Re: Favia improvement  7/15/06   Thanks for the response.  Another thing, although the red Favia is improving I have only seen it's tentacles come out once. <Things take time...>   Any suggestions (tried the juice and turkey baster trick)?  The only time the tentacles came out, I was fooling around with the powerheads, any idea why this would trigger such a response? <Yes, improved circulation, oxygen...>   My replies don't seem to be getting through to you but I will try again.  Hopefully I will not bother you for a while with any more questions.  Thanks again, Ryan Nienhuis. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Favia brain update  7/23/06   Hello again.  I told Mr. Fenner I would keep him updated on a Favia brain I received in absolutely terrible condition.  It has improved greatly over the past couple weeks and is now opening its tentacles at night so I can feed it. <Ah, good>   The color is coming back and the recession is slowly fading, although still evident.  I do have a new question, I have read the article on your site about Aiptasia and I have a reproduction crisis.  The dumb things are going crazy.  Little babies are floating in the tank...what do I do? <Your options are posted on WWM as well...> It seems the more I try to kill the more they reproduce (@#$%).  It could, and probably is a result of overfeeding, trying to save the coral and get the new fish to eat. <Very likely nutrient abundance is a factor here>   My water parameters are excellent which leads me to believe nutrient export is good.   <... Or... imagine... that nutrient uptake is excellent... eh?> I also have a issue with a Kole tang harassing a newly purchased blue flavivertex Pseudochromis,  it does not appear to be trying to hurt it, just chasing it which makes it hard to feed...any ideas?   <If not apparently harming it...> By the way my water parameters are ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, calcium 400 ppm, alkalinity 10 dKH, phosphate 0.1, and pH 8.3.  Tank is 90 gallon with 20 gallon (half full) sump and aqua c remora pro skimmer.  Tank inhabitants Kole tang, false percula clown, blue flavivertex Pseudochromis, cleaner shrimp, Montipora, Acropora, Trachy brain, Favites brain, Favia brain, green star polyps,  torch coral, several mushrooms, finger leather, several unpurchased green sponges, Trochus snails and a queen conch.  Sorry if this was a little lengthy didn't want to leave anything out.  Thanks very much, Ryan Nienhuis (again).  Oh yes by the way I have included pictures of purchased Favia before and a couple of weeks after. <Thank you for this update. Bob Fenner>

Green open brain necrosis 4/14/04 First off: this site is incredible! You guys are one of the best resources I've found yet (still new to the hobby though). <Thanks for the kind words!> Anyway regarding my problem, I searched & browsed the site/FAQs, and  got some good info, then tried the public forum, but no responses, so here goes. In a nutshell, after being out of town for 5 days my open green brain is suffering serious tissue necrosis which was not at all evident before I left. <You will find that one of the amendments to Murphy's Law states that these things will always happen when you are out of town.!<g>> This is a new 37 gal tank (2 months old), but the brain was doing quite well before I left town (already in the tank for 1 month, bad advice from my LFS).  When I returned from my trip everything in the tank looked fine except for the brain, which showed a small area of what looked like irritation (bright green spot, slightly dented-in looking). Today it's blossomed into full-blown tissue necrosis across one lobe. I lifted up the brain (from the base, using a glove) and upon closer inspection the affected polyp tissue looks like it has some tiny holes bored into it--like termite holes in wood. <Open brains are a bit more sensitive to water quality than most folks consider them to be.  They are also one of the corals most commonly picked on by fish.  Their fleshy inflated tissue can be easily damaged.> Here are some possible culprits/factors: (1) a few days before I left town I added new cleanup crew members, an assortment of snails (Astrea, Nassarius, Ceriths) and some small blue leg hermits. Could these be doing damage? I've seen them waltzing through the button polyp but never anywhere near the brain. (The button polyp and finger leather are a good 18" away from the open brain, which is on the sand with decent light exposure and moderate water flow (no direct laminar flow)). <It is possible that the hermits damaged the brain, but unlikely.  Any fish that may be nipping?> (2) the inverts had been added to battle green hair algae which started blooming a week or so prior. I set up the tank with dechlorinated tap water but have been using RO/DI for about 3 weeks now. So there are probably still some phosphates in the tank. I just read a reference to boring green algae on your site but didn't find much info on it. I'm guessing this is unrelated to run-of-the-mill nuisance algae but that's a newbies guess. The tiny holes got me thinking. <Such boring algae are quite rare, but conspicuous when encountered.  The real issue is that when exposed skeleton becomes colonized with algae, the coral has a hard time overgrowing it.> (3) While I was gone the house sitter only topped off water with my RO/DI supply, but I think the weather was hot: when I got back the water level was low and specific gravity had shot up to like 1.027 from the normal 1.024. This would have been for 2-3 days at the most. <No concern over the rise in SG.> (I performed a 10% water change and brought the salinity down to 1.025, then 1.024 the next day. All other tests were not that remarkable--ammonia, nitrite, nitrate were zero, pH 8.3, temp. 77, alkalinity 3.5 meq/L). <Keep in mind that drops in salinity are far more stressful to inverts than rises.  Water quality sounds fine.> (4) I have never fed the coral in the 4 weeks I've had it (more bad advice from the LFS). I just fed the poor guy some minced fresh shrimp per guidelines found on your site. <Great!  Pieces up to the size of a marble or so should be greedily accepted.> (5) A week or so ago I moved the coral to the corner of the tank, as in its previous location it was growing upwards into a rock overhang and I was afraid it would get an abrasion. The new location should be getting plenty of light but it's possible water flow is weaker in that area. Even so, would that cause tissue necrosis? <Perhaps you are seeing the effects of previous damage?  Open brains prefer moderate current, but are very tolerant of fairly low current.> Thanks for any advice. I have pics if that would help but it basically looks like the green brain 2/3 of the way down this page, but worse: www.wetwebmedia.com/corldisfaq2.htm  Your fan, John MB <My hunch is that there was some damage, and the coral was not able to cope because of the immaturity of your tank.  There are no measurable parameters that suggest maturity, and it is a very non-specific term.  Suffice it to say that corals do better in systems that are at least a few months old.  Best regards.  Adam>

Brain Polyp Bailout - stress induced 2/8/04 Dear Anthony, See photos attached of a massive polyp bailout and a new brain coral starting life from bailout.  I get a bailout from the big coral about every three weeks or so and several have "taken root" on nearby rocks. Can I continue to make more small brain corals in this way?. Any way to make a "bed" for the bailout to plant in? Howard <polyp bailout is usually a stress induced reproductive strategy and weakly successful in aquaria in the long term (the donor will likely die in time if not rescued). Looking at the pictures you've provided... the source of stress is clearly the encroaching Zoanthids which are (chemically) fiercely aggressive. Your brain "knows" its days are numbered... likely to be killed within a year if the Zoanthids continue. As to the polyps themselves... yes, they can be saved/viable but are not inclined to be fast growing or particularly successful sitting in the same tank/water that caused the polyp bailout of the parent. Its a very good rule of thumb to maintain a minimum of 10" between all corals... and be sure to use carbon or some other chemical filtration regularly (changed weekly in small portions). Large weekly water changes and zone use too will help temper allelopathy causing these issues/bailout. Best of luck! Anthony>
Losing His Brain? (Brain Coral In Trouble?) Wet Web Crew, <Scott F. here today!> Hello all!  Let me take a moment to suck up....  You rock!  I've learned a ton from your site, and always check there for any questions I have.  Great resource!  Thank You! <No need to "suck up!" We're all fish nerds, just like you! Well, maybe a bit more weird, but nonetheless harmless!> This is a coral I recently ordered.  (I've included a current picture along with the one from the site I bought it from ... I'm guessing you can tell which is which?) <Doh! I couldn't open the attachment, so I'm not able to make an ID for you here...Grr> Prior to this, I've purchased all my coral from local shops, but I haven't been able to locate a maze brain, so I gave mail order a shot.  What came was, well, less than ideal. Is there anything I should do to try and nurse this coral back to health? <Unfortunately, common names for coral are not much help, as many different coral species can go by this moniker. Let's assume that we're looking at a Platygyra or Leptoria, the two most commonly found species to carry this "Maze Coral" name...Well, Leptoria is extremely rare, but misidentification is not uncommon! Anyways, Platygyra can bleach pretty easily if it is injured, or if conditions are not to its liking. Often, they are collected intact, which makes the chances for survival and growth much higher. If the specimen has been damaged by hammering it off of the reef, the coral will have a much tougher time adapting to captivity, and resisting disease. My best advice for an injured Faviid coral would be to provide clean water, moderate to strong water flow, and bright lighting (once the colony has acclimated to it, of course). Keep the coral away from "pickers", like Centropyge angelfish, and do offer fine zooplankton foods, such as Cyclop-eeze or Liquid Life "Coral Plankton". If you see necrotic tissue, be sure to remove it at once. Try not to disturb the damaged coral excessively, if possible.> Can you estimate it's likelihood of survival? <If you can stop any advance of necrosis or bleaching tissue, it's chances of recovery are probably pretty good...Only time will tell> You'll note the attached text, also.  It includes a description of the coral's condition.  I have yet to hear back from the shop. Mickey <Sorry again that I couldn't get the pic, Mickey. I hope this general information was of some use, though. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Candycane dying Hey guys, <Nilesh> I have 155 gal new tank established for the past 4 months with live, skimmer, 4-802 powerheads,  175 watt venture MH bulbs.  I bought this tank second hand and inherited a Candycane coral.   <Okay> For a while, about 2 months the coral was doing fine but lately I've noticed that the coral is bleaching.  Also the green pigmentation, I guess Zooxanthellae sort of split open.  Is this coral dying? <Doesn't sound/read as if it is well> Can I save it? <Probably> All my parameters are normal... salt, pH, ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, temp.  The coral is placed in medium depth, no direct lighting, and medium flow.  I haven't really spot fed the coral...I thought that the light would provide enough food.  What do you think? <Lighting is not a sufficient source of nutrition for this species... a healthy refugium might supply other food... but...> The calcium may be the problem, it's 280.  I know that this is low but I'm having a hard time maintaining it at 400+.  I don't have a calcium reactor, so I've been  using Tropic Marin's Bio Calcium with trace elements.  Do you think that the low calcium/trace element level is causing the death or lack of growth? <Definitely is contributing to the poor health>   Since it's a new set up, I.e. it's still going through those awful algae phases...I'm at Cyano right now and the coral has quite a bit of hair algae on it.  I've tried to blow it off with a powerhead. it works but comes back... is this preventing the Zooxanthellae from taking in light?   <Among other ill-effects> Last question, I'm wondering why my levels of calcium has fluctuated from 400 to 280 in 2 weeks.  I've been doing 5% water changes and have been adding calcium. I'm guessing that the calcium is used up for coralline algae growth although I don't see any coralline at this time.  Pleas help...Any info would be appreciated Nilesh <These questions and the next several sets that you will have are posted on WWM... please take the time to read what is posted there re your species health, environment, feeding... calcium... And soon. Your system will fare better with your knowing what you're about here. Bob Fenner>
Re: Candycane dying
  Hey guys,   One more addition to the info which I left out.  I had a pink tip anemone in the tank which got crushed when a rock fell over it.  I wasn't sure if it was going to die so I watched it for a day.  The next day, it stunk!  I immediately threw it away.  Do you think that the anemone released toxins or waste that killed my Candycane?  I've tested the ammonia and it is less than 01.     The cane started dying a day later...   Nilesh <Definitely could be related... again, please stop spending your money experimenting... and read/study... these organisms cannot be successfully mixed, placed near each other. Bob Fenner>  

Brain coral  <Hello EAM917> We have a 46 gal reef tank which has been working for approx 7 months.  A few months ago we got a green brain coral.  It would change size during the course of the day and evening.  Usually large during the day and much smaller in the evening.<Sounds normal> During the past 3 or 3 days it has not changed size, it is small. The sides appear to have some white coloring which we have not seen before.<Sounds like bleaching> Do you have any idea what is happening and what we should do.<Several factors can cause this.  First, what kind of lighting are you using?  Do you feed your corals?  The hard corals of which the brain is a member of require very intense lighting of the proper spectrum to survive along with good water movement. Answer the questions I have asked and we can try to help you. James (Salty Dog)>Thanks Elizabeth
Re: Brain coral, health
Thanks for getting back to me so quickly. <You're welcome Elizabeth> We have never heard of bleaching, what is it  & can it be corrected?<In a nutshell bleaching occurs when things are not to the corals liking>  We use a coral life Aqualight double strip 34 in 96 w Actinic and 96 w 10000k square bulb.  Water movement in the tank is good.  We are using flake food for the fish and were never told by the store to use anything else. They said they would get their food from this. Do you think this coral can be saved.<What is the height of your tank?  The PC lighting may not be intense enough for the brain coral.  Corals don't require feeding on a daily basis but a weekly feeding is good.  DT's phytoplankton is a good choice. As far as saving the coral, keep your lights on for 12 hours, replace the bulbs if they are over one year old, do 10% water changes weekly. There is no cure in a bottle that will save corals, just good sound maintenance of the aquarium is all you can do for now. James <Salty Dog)> (Thanks Elizabeth
Re: Brain coral, health
My husband said to tell you that the nitrite and ammonia is 0ppm however the nitrate is over 160ppm.  Would that stress it.<yes, corals do require pristine water quality.  This tells me you do not do 10% weekly water changes.  This helps reduce the nitrate level by dilution.>  He has put in a nitrate sponge<the nitrate sponge is fine but nitrates have to be controlled at the source of the problem or the levels will just return>in the filtering system to try to lower it earlier today and did a water change  6 days ago.  The water temp is 78. Thanks Elizabeth<James (Salty Dog)
Re: Brain coral
We have done 2 water changes and the levels are still high.  Any suggestions to lower it.  I was wondering, parts of the brain are looking better and are enlarging during the day.  You can see them moving or pulsing like water is going through them.  I don't know what actually causes that.  Other parts seem to have split  open and you see an off white color that appears skeletal.  Is there a possibility that parts will continue to live on the brain coral or is it just a matter of time before the entire brain changes to white.  If this happens is it dead ?  Thanks Elizabeth <Elizabeth, if you have a canister filter I would recommend you get some "Chemi-pure" and use this.  It is an excellent product for removing nutrients in the form that protein skimmers will not take out.  You do have a protein skimmer, correct?. James (Salty Dog) Re: Brain coral part 2 Sorry the mail somehow was sent.  I am bad on the computer. We did a water change again last night.  The brain is enlarging during the day but only is some sections.,  We can see is moving or pulsing like water is going through it.  Some parts seem to have split open and you see an off white color that appears skeletal.  Is there a possibility that parts will continue to live on the brain or is it just a matter of time before the entire brain changes to white.  If this happens is it dead.  Thanks Elizabeth <Hello Elizabeth, One thing you have to keep in mind with keeping hard corals, or anything marine for that matter is that weekly water changes (not just till things get better)  is one of the best things you can do for the overall health of the tank.  It not only removes nitrates etc. by dilution, but also replenishes traces elements that have been absorbed by the animals.  You will know when the brain is dead.  You will end up with a white skeleton.  These corals are not one of the easiest to keep.  The elegance or bubble corals are a little easier to maintain.  James (Salty Dog)
Re: Helping injured brain coral 1/12/04
This is for James, Salty Dog.  You have been helping me with a problem with the 46 gal reef tank.  I was just wondering if a brain coral could still live when a portion of it is damaged or will it eventually die? <Anthony Calfo with a contribution as well :) indeed, most any can survive and recover with adequate water quality (do not move the animal and stress with a change in light... provide good turbulent water flow but never laminar, etc.). The addition of small amounts of iodine (reef supplement) may be of some indirect benefit too. Feeding the coral with tiny bits of food (Mysids or Pacifica plankton... nothing larger) will be of tremendous help! 3-5 times weekly. Best of luck, Anthony>
Helping injured brain coral 1/12/04
This is for James, Salty Dog.  You have been helping me with a problem with the 46 gal reef tank.  I was just wondering if a brain coral could still live when a portion of it is damaged or will it eventually die? <Anthony Calfo with a contribution as well :) indeed, most any can survive and recover with adequate water quality (do not move the animal and stress with a change in light... provide good turbulent water flow but never laminar, etc.). The addition of small amounts of iodine (reef supplement) may be of some indirect benefit too. Feeding the coral with tiny bits of food (Mysids or Pacifica plankton... nothing larger) will be of tremendous help! 3-5 times weekly. Best of luck, Anthony>

Moon Coral Anthony, <cheers> I purchased Favia (moon coral) a week ago and have started to notice the lower edges of it starting to turn brown.  <many possible reasons for this... are your nitrates a bit high by chance?> It is placed on top of the LR about 10" from the surface. Lighting is 3; 250 watt MH with 6500 Iwasaki bulbs, and 2 160 watt VHO, located 10" above the tank. I have Sprung's book on Coral and used his reference chart to locate the coral.  <although I generally do not recommend 250 or 400 watt halides to most aquarists unless they are keeping SPS or clams, Faviids are generally high light creatures and I'm comfortable with your choice of placement> Flow is directed almost directly across it.  <laminar flow can be stressful... do adjust to surge or random turbulent if possible, else watch for stress or tissue erosion> All my other corals are fine, water quality and temp are text book. <what book? :p> Thanks, Mark Johnson <my preliminary opinion is that it is an inevitable but acceptable acclimation to the new lighting scheme. The fact that this color change is not a paling shift indicates a possibly favorable (health of coral, not necessarily aesthetically pleasing) acclimation to me. Best regards, Anthony>

Does my Brain (coral) need help? Hi Crew !  You've been great help in the past so lets try it again. <Glad you have benefited!> Presently have a 46 gallon bow front with roughly 90 lbs of live rock and assorted healthy fish. Tunicate and sponge growth here and there. I would think this is a sign of a healthy tank also. Lighting consists of one Coralife 10k and one Hagen Marine-Glo actinic staying on 9 hours per day. Good filtration and moderate skimmer. I am a believer in Tom Walsh's theory that you don't have to have a complex system to be successful in this hobby just good husbandry. <All sounds reasonable.  I do also subscribe to the KISS principal... Keep It Simple Stupid!> Now to my question. I was given a Green Closed Brain Coral two weeks ago . I have never kept corals before but have read that the Favia? was a good beginner. I have noticed that in the last week it is showing some brownish coloring around some of the edges. <A picture is worth a thousand words here....  This is most likely "browning out" due to differences in (likely less) light in your tank.  If the tissue looks in tact, but is just changing color, I would not worry.> I have always used SeaChem Reef Calcium and Reef Complete but have been out since this coral was added. I dosed the tank last night and also added Reef Plus. What do you think will happen now. Will he recover from this? Will the supplements get him on the rebound? His feeder tentacles are out when the lights come on however. Thanks for your help. Randy  <The only way to be sure what supplements are necessary is to test for those elements.  My suggestion is to supplement only calcium and alkalinity (should be checked often), and nothing else unless you are testing for it.  In most cases, regular partial water changes will supply enough of everything else.  Over use of supplements can easily lead to overdose.  Occasional feedings of finely chopped meaty seafoods will also be of great benefit.  Best Regards.  Adam>

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