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FAQs about Faviid Coral Environmental Disease  

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: Diagnosing, 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,


Declining Caulastrea 5/4/10
Dear Bob and Crew,
<Howsit Joe?>
Again, the highest praise for your talents and time! WWM is a blessing to all. Special thanks for the daily photos- they are always surprisingly beautiful.
<Thank you>
I do hope this message is not too long. I felt it important to include all relevant information.
<Please always do>
I'm in the middle of revamping my 54 gallon corner reef tank after an outbreak of Ich. Luckily I only lost two fish and the system has been fallow since 3-1-10. Only 3 corals exist as of now here: 2 Euphyllias and
one Candy Cane, the latter which is partially receding (see pic). The system utilizes a skimmer, 150 watt 14,000K HQI, 20 watt NO actinic and is relatively low flow with about 700 gph turnover rate from return, rotating powerhead, and HOT skimmer. I downgraded this amount as I noticed better expansion from the Euphyllias from lower flow. Today's water parameters are as follows:
SG- 1.024 (normally kept at 1.025)
<I would keep this higher... check your hydrometer (if this is what you're using to measure Spg) with a hydrometer>
Temperature- 78 degrees F
pH- 8.2 (a.m. reading)
DKH- 7
Ammonia- 0
Nitrite- 0
Nitrate- 0 (though present in tank)
<Good... your corals do need some>

Calcium- 350 (raising gradually with B-Ionic)
No magnesium test kit as of yet
<I would get, use>
The system uses Tropic Marin salt, Culligan RO water, and I have not used any additives minus the B-Ionic as well as pre-buffer for the RO water. I use Purigen in the sump. Specimens (not including corals) include 2 Turbo snails, 3 Margarita snails, and 4 tiny hermit crabs.
The specimen is placed about 18 inches below the HQI bulb. My best guess would be a lighting or water flow issue. I would guess that the low calcium would not be the cause. I would also discount allelopathy due to the few and like species involved. I have not witnessed any hidden predation either. Any suggestions would be highly valued.
Lastly, thank you so much for the new edition of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist"! My old copy was totally destroyed from years of use and the new edition is a true blessing!
Joe W.
<Mmm, let's see... I would move this colony up a bit higher, on the rock, towards the light here... Please peruse here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Sick coral - 2/10/10
Hi helpful and kind folks at WWM.
<Hello most wonderful and interesting Querior!>
I need your help with my favourite coral. <Ok>. I bought this Favites from my LFS about 2 weeks ago (see picture labeled 1-29-10). Initially I had it at the bottom of my 6 gallon Nano (36 watt PC lights) and it was doing well, so I moved it up about 4 inches to about the middle of the tank and glued it to a live rock. A few days after that it was eating well during the day, and extending some wonderful tentacles. Last few days it puts out small tentacles at night only and refuses to eat when I try to spot feed it Mysis (or anything else).
<Mmmm, they do feed mostly at night in the wild, I would not be concerned re: this yet>
Most concerning is the discolored spot I noticed today (see other pix) -- (? tissue recession)?
<No, I don't think so - maybe a small expulsion of some Zooxanthellae, a reaction to being moved 'upwards'. Could be an expansion of the coral itself. I would not be concerned too much. Keep an eye out and see what happens, but this coral looks ok to me. Monitor for a while, when it settles into it's new spot it should be ok, these are not particularly difficult corals>
Any help at all would be appreciated.
<You have my opinion, Nick. One thing I would say is that 6 gallons really is 'Nano' and if there is a problem with the coral it is likely due to some part of your system being unstable, as it is notoriously difficult to keep things 'on an even keel' in such a small water volume, especially temperature>
Nick N

Re: 10/02/10 Sick coral
Thanks for your reply, Simon.
<No problem Nick>
As you can see from the attached picture, the discoloured area has expanded from yesterday and (this may be hard to see in the picture) the mouths in the affected area are becoming partly black.
<Mmm, that does not sound good...did the onset of this problem coincide with any change that you have made to the system, or in the room where the system is housed?>
Any other ideas?
<Other than try to maintain some 'stable' parameters, what other Cnidarian life do you have in here? Allelopathy could be a cause, try here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm. As mentioned, in such a small system you will have problems with creatures such as this. I would be running some carbon>
Anything else I should do? An iodine-based coral dip?
<Could, yes, this coral should stand up well to an iodine dip, but I suspect that there is something in/ about your system that is the root cause here. Simon>

Re: 10/02/10 Sick coral 2/11/10
I'm very sad. The brown tissue was dead tissue.
<I would in that case dip this coral w/ Iodine pronto>
I blew on the coral with a turkey baster and the brown flesh flew off in chunks (surprising how much soft tissue covers those hard skeletons).
<No! don't let this settle on any of your other corals...if you must do this in tank it is better to suck off with the baster and not blow>
I will probably frag whatever is still alive tomorrow.
<Mmm, be careful here... if you can stop the recession w/ a dip then I would not frag this yet>
What a shame...
<Yes, indeed. Simon>

Re: 10/02/10 Sick coral 2/11/10
<Hi Nick>
Thanks. No new livestock additions to the tank since this coral was added. I do run Chemi-Pure Elite at all times as well as Purigen. I have a small fuge in the back with Chaeto which is growing like mad.
<This all sounds good>
The only significant change I have made recently is in FLOW. I've added a Koralia Nano which is not pointing at the coral, but toward the front of the tank. (see picture - yes, I know about the Cyano and it is actually better as I've cut back on feedings). I do know the Koralias do flow out from the sides of the unit as well... The return from the sump is also pointed toward the front glass of the tank, and is on the opposite corner from the Koralia. I change 10 % of the water twice each week. Could the flow be the problem?
<Only if it is directly on the coral, but the Koralias are pretty good at negating these effects>
Should I move the Favites lower on the front rock to get it farther away from the Koralia?
<If you think direct flow is a problem, yes>
The denizens of the tank currently are:
Two Montipora (different species)
Two Birdsnest
One Candycane Caulerpa
One small Oxypora frag (bottom right)
The purple fleshy coral mid-right was sold to me as a Moseleya, though it doesn't look like it to me
A frag of a Dragon Favia (middle - front) which has turned all purple, but is eating well (I will be upgrading my lighting very soon)
Christmas Favia frag
A cluster of Blue Zoas at the bottom
A group of watermelon Palys at the top
<This is a Corallimorph?>
A head of an Acan lord at the very bottom left (this coral, my very first, had been doing superbly for the past 3 months, but over the past few days has suffered significant tissue recession on one side, so I moved it farther away from the Christmas Favia, which used to send out long sweepers)
A coral I do not know the name of (middle left, next to the Koralia), which looks to me like a blunt-tipped Birdsnest
<Mmmm, you have a lot of different corals in here of different types, especially for such a small volume. I have less species than this in my system which is about 60 times the water volume of yours. You will do better if you can choose two or three species that you like, as similar to each other as you can, and try to grow them larger>
A small fish (a Dottyback)
A few snails
Thanks again for your help,
<No problem Nick>

Re: 10/02/10 Sick coral, Faviid -- 02/14/10
<Hi Nick>
Thanks again - perhaps others can learn from my mistakes.
<Some will, but these (putting many different animals in a small water volume) are the most common mistakes made>
Before receiving your response, I blew all of the dead tissue off with the baster and the all of the pumps and powerheads running - sounds stupid, yes, but my rationale was that the chunks of tissue would end up in the sump and I would just throw away the filter floss.
<Mmm, but this material is toxic...>
I was partly correct, though your way is obviously better.
<Yes, but this is best done outside the aquarium>
I did not remove the coral to dip it, thinking to limit stress on it.
<I would have dipped this as soon as I saw tissue recession>
I did check my water parameters and they were all OK (0 Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate; pH 8.2; Alk 3.0meq/l; Ca: 440; Phosphate undetectable; Mg 1260.) I then did a 15% water change, changed the ChemiPure and Purigen, cleaned the sump, and dosed a little iodide.
<Mmm, ok>
This morning the Favites and the Acan look a bit worse overall, and both refuse to eat.
<I would remove this Favites now into another system if you can, separate it from the others>
All of my other corals look good and the LPS eat Mysis like it's going out of style. There is more Cyano today on the sand (I had siphoned it all off yesterday).
<There is something amiss here..>
There are white spots on the border of many of the Favites mouths - I noticed them a few days ago and thought they might be feeding tentacles but they do not extend at all - could they be a parasite? (see pic).
<No, not likely. More likely they are part of the coral as you say>
My plan today was to dip the Favites and Acan in Tropic Marin iodine dip and do another partial water change. What do you think?
<I would go this route, maybe with separating these to another system, and look to removing this/ these on a permanent basis. I think your root cause here is too many different organisms>

Re: 10/02/10 Sick coral 2/24/10
A quick follow-up and then a few questions: my tank is located where I work, so after a long weekend I came back to find the entire Favites dead - brown, smelly, much of the tissue receded to visible skeleton. Horrible.
<Mmm, so you did not remove this as directed? Risky.>
Amazingly (especially considering the size of the tank (6 gal)) all other corals, and the fish, had survived.
<Amazing indeed, but I doubt they are thanking you for it!>
Two of the three SPS were showing tissue recession from the base up, so I thought they were goners. <Oh dear> I did a larger than usual water change, fed only the fish for a week, and everyone is looking good/better. The tissue loss of the Birdsnest and Pocillopora has also stopped extending.
<That's a good sign at least. These would have gone in a day had it been too bad>
Here is the question and the advice I need. I bought a Pinpoint pH monitor, calibrated it and installed it yesterday.
<Mmm, not a fan of these...>
The pH in the tank was only 7.95! <You are actually ok here, especially for such a small system>. Previously I was using the colorimetric tests from API and Seachem, and I thought my pH was in the 8.1-8.3 range (so hard to tell for sure with those tests...). Did my usual 10% water change, and left the probe in overnight, and the pH this morning was the same (I run a fuge with reverse lighting). So I tested the source water, which I buy premixed from the LFS - they state it's RO and that they use Tropic Marin salt, and it's a reputable store so I believe them. Well, lo and behold, the pH of the water I use to make my water changes with is 8.00!
<Good, and fine>
So here is my question: should I add buffer to the water I use for water changes before adding it to the tank to raise the pH to 8.3-8.4?
<What is your alkalinity? Never add 'buffer' unless you know your alkalinity.>
If so, what should I use? I change 10% of the water twice a week, and I dose Kent's CB to keep Alk. in 3-4 range (it rarely gets above 3.5 even with dosing) and to keep Calcium in the 440-460 range (I have massive coralline growth all over the tank :).
<Ahh, ok.. no I would not add anything here... it sounds as if things are balanced and adding things to get to a 'magic number' when everything else looks ok can do more harm than good. The real clue is the animals themselves, and I am not a fan of pH monitors. In my experience they can be inaccurate and need calibrating constantly. What is your Mg?>
Or should I dose Kalk? ( I really would prefer not to since I cannot set up drips at work and would actually prefer not to dose anything daily). Or something else (I also own Salifert's all-in-one but stopped using it because my alkalinity was staying at 3)? What do you suggest?
<Nothing. Just monitor. 7.9 - 8.0 is fine here, really. Especially since your colorimetric tests are reading higher than this>
One other question-whenever I feed anything I have enriched with Selcon (frozen Mysis or newly-hatched brine shrimp, for example), I am guaranteed to have a nice new carpet of Cyano all over the sand the next day. Is the HUFA supplementation that important?
<This is definitely beneficial, and should not be a source for Cyano, unless you are literally pouring the stuff in. Look elsewhere for the answer to this problem>
I'm inclined to just feed the LPS's the occasional plain frozen Mysis (shaken, not stirred), and a tiny bit of live Roti-feast for the SPSs a couple of times per week in addition to the fish poop they get (the Dottyback gets a few flakes each day). Sound reasonable?
<Mmm, check here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlfdgfaqs.htm>
Thanks again for all of your help.
<No problem>

Favia-Bleaching-Lighting? -03/28/08 I recently got a Favia specimen. It is about the size of my fist, and is for the most part a powder blue. It has long brown splotches around the ridges, but I am sure that this is the natural coloring. Though especially around the top and not around the sides of the coral it is beginning to become pale around the ridges, but not in the mouths. They are still very brilliant. I think that lighting is the issue. Is it possible for a Favia to have to<o> much light? <Yes and no. They can acclimate to just about any level of lighting (even intense lighting). However, this takes time. It sounds like the coral is starting to bleach in response to a sudden change in lighting.> How much is good. The coral was about a 10 inches form the surface where there are two VHO bulbs. One is actinic and the other is 50/50. <What was it under previously, when you purchased it?> I recently moved it to the sandbed, which is about 18 inches from the surface. Was this right? What should I do? Are there anymore details I should include? <Again, if it's a lighting issue, it's an issue of *change* in lighting. You should find out what kind of lighting the coral was under previously, then try and place the coral under similar lighting before slowing moving it to where you want it. If it continues to bleach, be sure to feed it well. Bleaching is not a death sentence. Corals "often" bleach out, then recover. Please see here for some additional info on Faviid health: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviiddisfaqs.htm Best, Sara M.>

Trumpet Coral... env. hlth... need useful data   11/26/07 OK. I think I've made a mistake, but want to check and see whether it's salvageable. I've got a trumpet coral I've had for a few years. I had a tank leak and did an emergency switch to a larger tank. When I moved everything, I figured this was a good time to upgrade a lot of stuff and bought a MUCH better light (outer orbit T5HO). <Mmm, what sort and from what previously?> Initially, everything responded well to increased light. This was in part, I think, due to the fact that there was a film on top the water until I finally got the sump/overflow set up. I've never seen the trumpet coral look so good. NOW, however, the trumpet coral looks like it might be burned. I have two pieces. One up higher, and one in the middle of the rock wall. The one at the top has a red mark or two on it and is behaving strangely (tentacles out in the middle of the day kind of strange) but never fully opening to what it can be. The one in the middle has gone white almost. Not dead and still looking fine at night, but white. I've moved them both to the bottom of the tank after reading a few things on your forums (which have saved me more times than I can count). I'm wondering whether that's enough and what steps I should take if any that I haven't already. At least I know now that start the corals arriving this week at the bottom till they adjust to the light ;) <Mmm... could you send along some close up images? And list your other life, particularly photosynthetic sessile invert.s... Bob Fenner>

Re: BTA & Candy Cane Coral Concerns - 09/14/07 <Hello again Jackie.> Thanks for the valued information. <You're welcome.> Sorry to hear about your Cleaner Shrimp. <Thanks. Was quite a while ago now.> I have another question regarding the Candy Cane coral. <OK.> Do they, throughout the course of a day, change from soft to rock hard? <They can change, though rock hard is generally not happy.> Or is that a sign that all is not well? <Prolonged periods of rock hard is not a good sign... consult a doctor if lasting 4 hours or more... oh wait... that's something else... heehee!> Also, how important is Strontium for LPS corals? <If you do regular water changes you should be fine. You may want to check your calcium levels.> Again, thanks for all the good advise your team provides. <On behalf of Bob and the crew, you're welcome! Mich> Jackie

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