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FAQs about Mussid Coral Nutritional Disease  

FAQs on Mussid Disease: Mussid Disease 1, Mussid Health 2, Mussid Disease 3, Mussid Disease 4, Mussid Disease 5,
FAQs on Mussid Disease by Category:
Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Mussid 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 Family: Acroporid Disease, Acroporid Disease 2, Acroporid Disease 3, Acroporid Disease 4..., Caryophyllid Disease, Caryophyllid Disease 2..., Elegance Coral Disease/Pests, Dendrophylliid Disease, Faviid Disease, Faviid Disease 2, Fungiid Disease, Mussid Health 2, Poritid Health, Trachyphylliid Disease, Trachyphyllia Disease 2,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease,

Hmmm, where did you read that they are "primarily a photosynthetic feeder"? I would have to disagree with that. Yes, these corals can be slowly acclimated to tolerate intense light. However, usually coming from mid-level waters, they prefer less light (or indirect light). They extend extensive feeding tentacles at night and have strong prey capture ability. As a side note, the phrase "photosynthetic feeder" makes no sense. Animals do not feed photosynthetically. If they are photosynthetic, they convert light energy into chemical energy and store it in the form of ATP. Feeding is when an animal metabolizes organic matter from another organism. An animal can't "feed" on sunlight

Hurting bubble and doughnut coral    6/29/12
Hello Crew,
I have 2 bubble and an Indonesian Scolymia sp (doughnut coral)  that are not doing so great, they're still extending their tentacles, albeit poorly.
But there's part of their skeleton that has turned black. The coral refuse to extend near the black area of the skeleton. Should I remove the dying part, and how the best way to do it?
<I would not remove the necrotic tissue; but would make up a slightly lower (a few thousandths) spg solution of seawater (or just add fresh to a portion of the system water) and a ten times dose of iodide-ate for a five minute bath>
 I suspect the infection started because the bubbles fall from the rock near a lobo coral.
<? What? If too near, I'd move one or the other>
 the Scolymia did not
acclimatize well and has never accepted feeding. Water parameter is within the norm, PH 7,9 salinity 1.025, nitrate 0, phosphate 0,
<Chemophotosynthates need some (measurable) NO3 and HPO4. I'd remove whatever  chemical filtrants you're using here>
calcium 400, alkalinity 9, magnesium 1200.
My second question is why these corals are not doing well (I also have several other LPS not doing so great although they're still extending).
<See above. They're likely starved>
My system is 90g, with an oversized DIY skimmer (rated for 150g) running non stop, NP-Biopellet reactor, and Rowaphos fluidizer.
<Ditch these last two. Unnecessary and expensive>
Additives are Grotech Ca, Mg, and Alk supplied daily via dosing pump (balling light). Lighting is DIY 3wx32 LED fixtures, mix of Royal blue and cool white (50/50). Do you think the light is overkill as some of my LPS won't extend their polyp in direct light?
<Doubtful; no>
 SPS seems to be doing fine of course. Or is it lack of nutrition from over filtration?
<Ding ding ding! Yes>

Do you think I could benefit from using a timer for my skimmer?
<Maybe. Worth trying out>
 Would a Biopellet reactor and RowaPhos fluidizer benefit from timer instead of running 24h non stop?
 I'm thinking about installing an Algae turf scrubber
<Do study carefully. Most designs are not worthwhile>
and see if it can replace the fluidizers, I've heard that they're great way to supply nutrition to your tank. thanks as always for your valuable input :D
<Mmm, and let's have you review here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/MussidDisF4.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hurting bubble and doughnut coral     7/6/12

Hello Bob,
thanks so much for the suggestion, I tried the iodide bath and both corals seems to be recovering nicely. Still ways to go but hopeful :)
<Ah, good>
I have a follow up question though, if I remove the biopellet and Rowaphos filtration. How do I keep the nitrate and phosphate in control?
<See WWM re... the search tool on every page, the indices... best to strike an input/output balance... as in nature>
 I've been told that a skimmer does not remove these two elements.
<... does remove such, as part of phobic molecules>
 And I fear another algae/Cyano outbreak. I do heavy feeding (twice a day, half a cube each) as I have a couple of Squampini Anthiases.
<Pseudanthias squamipinnis I take it... better to have more, a good sized grouping if your system will accommodate. See WWM re Fancy Basses as well>
<Certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Scolymia, hlth. 9/26/09
Hi Bob, I wonder if you can help me. I purchased a Scolymia approx 4 months ago.
It was green and brown (maroon), it would polyp up for most of the day and was feeding well. It is placed on the substrate. Approx 3 weeks ago I noticed that it seemed to be losing its colour and wasn't feeding as readily.
<Bad signs>

At first I thought maybe it was the light so I gently moved it a couple of inches so that it was shaded by an overhang but this has made no difference, I also checked that there wasn't anything close to it which could sting it, apart from another Scolymia there is nothing within 8 inches of it.
I have just returned from a two week holiday (Have removed location/RMF - lucky me) and found that it has now become virtually white.
<!? Very bad>

It has no maroon/brown pigment left at all and the green is now a fluorescent yellow.
I don't know why the Scolymia is bleaching. It is still inflating but not as much and is not feeding well although it is taking chopped mussel and Mysis shrimp in small amounts. My husband maintained the tank whilst I was on holiday and he said he had great difficulty getting it to feed although since I got home I have managed to feed it a few bits of chopped mussel every night this week (I've had to stand guard to keep the fish and shrimps away or they steal the food from it).
My tank
is 72x24x24
Photoperiod is
2 x Actinic Blue 1200 - 2300,
2 x 54w Actinic 'Daylight' 1600hrs - 2230
2 x 250MH 1700 - 2200
<I'd extend the "white light" time... to another couple hours per day>
Water Param.s:
Temp 76 degrees
Salinity 1.025
Calc 430
Mag 1500
<This is a little high... I'd keep closer to 3X Ca conc.>
Phos 0
<Have to have some...>

Nitrite 0
Ammonia 0
Nitrate <0.05
<And more of NO3>

PH 8.2
I also have a Red and Green Scolymia purchased a week after the above and this is fine, eating well, inflating well and not bleaching, it is placed alongside the above Scolymia and they do occasionally touch each other if they both polyp up at the same time.
<... you state above that nothing touches the one poorly Mussid>
I also have a red Cynarina coral which is about 8 inches away from the two scolys and this is also very healthy. Everything else in the tank is likewise doing
very well.
Tank stock:
Lobophyllia x 2
Physogyra lichtensteini 3
Plerogyra sp x 2
Plerogyra sinuosa x 3
Toadstools x 4
Anchor x 1
Goniopora x 5
Alveopora x 1
Gorgonian x 4
Pom Pom Xenia x 4
Candy cane
Organ Pipe x 2
Sun Corals x 4
I'm not sure what more I should be doing to try to get this coral back to full health so that it feeds well and returns to its proper colouring. I have not seen any Zooxanthellae expulsion.
I carry out a 100 litre water change every week which is approx 15%, I add 3ml amino acids alternate days and feed the tank 5ml of live phyto 3 times a week.
<Mmmm... nothing here consumes this directly>
I run carbon for one week
in every 3 weeks. I have a refugium in my sump which is lit when the display tank lights are off.
Can you please advise on what I should do to rescue this animal?
Pauline Grover
<Nothing other than my notes "jumps out" here as terminally off... The fact that your other stony corals, even members of the same family, genus are doing well is telling... I would ask that you review here:
and the linked files above in the hope that something will become live to your conscience... The more plausible "cause" here is allelopathy... the second, some sort of direct trauma... but from what? Bob Fenner>

Blastomussa merleti health  10/25/07 Cheers Crew. <good morning> Someone was breaking down a tank and gave me a small (5 or so polyps) Blastomussa Merleti frag. The polyps were very full when I got it. Since adding it to my tank after quarantine, however, it is not faring so well, as the polyps are not nearly as full and portions of the skeleton/cup are visible. <What kind of system was it in before you got it? i.e. what lighting was it previously under?> I have a 110g display with a 30g fuge (4-5" DSB, Chaeto and LR) and 85lbs of LR. Lighting is six 54W T5 HO (4 10000Ks and 2 460nm actinics). Mechanical filtration is a wet-dry trickle filter and a Coral Life Super Skimmer. I run carbon in the sump that I change out every 4 weeks. Flow is via a Little Giant 1345 gph return pump, 2 MaxiJet 1200s, 1 MaxiJet 900 and one cheapo low-flow powerhead that I threw in for good measure. <This is still probably not quite enough water flow for a 110g reef tank. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm  and if you have the time/interest... http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature > Livestock is a Sailfin Tang (I know . . .), Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and BTA, Royal Gramma, Brown Comb Tooth Blenny, Yellow Canary Wrasse, Filament Flasher Wrasse, a Citron Goby, 2 Cleaner Shrimps, a Sally Lightfoot, 2 unknown tree corals, a Lemnalia tree coral, two small groups of Pulsing Xenia, 6 Green Hairy Mushrooms, 5 red Shrooms, 2 Ricordea Shrooms, and 4 unknown Shrooms. I use RO/DI for top-off and water changes (10% per week). I dose with B-Ionic 2-part calcium/buffer as needed with testing and Kent iodine one per week with water changes. <No more iodine. Or, please at least test the iodine levels in your tank first. For some further reading on iodine: http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/chem.htm> Water parameters are: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (SeaChem) all 0ppm, phosphate (Salifert) 0ppm, calcium (Red Sea) 400, pH (SeaChem) 8.3, SPG is 1.024-1.025, Alk (SeaChem) is 3.5-4 mEq/L, and temp is 78-80. Based on these readings and a ton of Coralline Algae on my LR and glass, I believe that my water quality is excellent. <::sigh:: Well, I will agree that the results of your test kits do not raise any alarms.> I've read that Blasto Merleti like low flow and low to moderate lighting, so I figured that my T5 setup would be acceptable. Initially, I placed the coral in the lower portion of my tank but have since moved it to the upper third to see if the increased lighting might help. I have seen nominal improvement. I have also read that supplemental feeding is not required, as this coral is primarily a photosynthetic feeder, but I've also read that target feeding with Mysis is not discouraged either. <Hmmm, where did you read that they are "primarily a photosynthetic feeder"? I would have to disagree with that. Yes, these corals can be slowly acclimated to tolerate intense light. However, usually coming from mid-level waters, they prefer less light (or indirect light). They extend extensive feeding tentacles at night and have strong prey capture ability. As a side note, the phrase "photosynthetic feeder" makes no sense. Animals do not feed photosynthetically. If they are photosynthetic, they convert light energy into chemical energy and store it in the form of ATP. Feeding is when an animal metabolizes organic matter from another organism. An animal can't "feed" on sunlight.> I've tried to target feed the coral, but it doesn't seem to eat the food. I target feed whole Cyclop-eeze to my tree corals, so I would think that some of the free floating particles are available for the Blasto Merleti for what that's worth. <When did you attempt to target feed the coral? If you tried to feed it during the day, this might explain why you didn't have much luck. You should try feeding the coral a few hours after lights out. It might not start feeding right away, but if you're consistent, it should start to respond in a few days or weeks. Please see here for some coral feeding tips: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm> Any ideas on what might be going on or what I can do to improve this coral's health? <My guess is that the coral is stressed and/or starving. I would move it slowly back down from the light and start trying to target feed it at night.> The only thing I can think of other than that maybe my lighting is not sufficient is that it is positioned near my Green Hairy Mushrooms, but not right on top of them or anything. When it was in the bottom of my tank, it was not near any Shrooms. <It is a good idea to keep it away from the mushroom corals. Though they might not kill the B. merleti, they'll compete with it for space as they grow.> As always, I appreciate your help. Andy <My pleasure, Sara M.>
Re: Blasto Merleti... fdg.  10/25/07
Dear Sara, Sorry--"I've read that they feed primarily through photosynthesis." I hope that makes more sense to the scientists among you--It is clear from your response that you understood what this fledgling was attempting to say. <Yes, I do understand what you're trying to say. If you'd like to say what you want to say correctly, saying "I've read that they obtain most their energy needs through photosynthesis" would be more accurate. :-) > I did take biology in 9th grade, but it's been 20 years so I am sometimes not as accurate as I should be. I'm just going to warn you now in the event you have to respond to any of my future questions that I never took Latin nor did I take any classes in college of the type that would have exposed me to the manner in which Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species should be referenced ;-p. <No worries. I apologize if you found my clarifications of the science here to be pedantic.> Now, turning to your questions/comments. In all seriousness, thanks for the help that is embedded in your other comments. I see now that I was not feeding this coral at the right time and I will try to feed after lights-out (if I can stay up that late). <No need to stay up too late if you adjust your lighting schedule so that the lights go off towards the end of the afternoon (maybe 6 or 7 pm).> First, prior to my acquisition, the coral was living on the outer edges of MH lighting (probably 250W, but I must confess that I have no clue). I'm sure some of its issues are that it needs to adjust to my environment. <Probably> Second, I read that Blasto. Merleti primarily feed through photosynthesis on: 1. Liveaquaria.com: <Ugh, unfortunately, this is not exactly an authoritative source of information.> "Its body contains the symbiotic algae Zooxanthellae from which it receives the majority of its nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. <Wow, this is just wrong. Corals do not obtain their "nutritional requirements" from photosynthesis.> It does not require additional food to maintain its health in the reef aquarium,  <This could be true if the tank as a whole is well feed. In well-fed tanks, healthy colonies of these corals can get all they need without target feeding. For some good general information on how to feed a reef tank, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Progressive_Recipe/Progressive_Recipe.htm> but it will feed on micro-plankton or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates." 2. Reefcorner.com: "Feeding: Blastomussa is photosynthetic and does not take any known foods." <Again, just flat out wrong.> 3. On WWM (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidae.htm): "Though all are hermatypic, photosynthetic, most are voracious feeders of meaty foods." <Yes, this is accurate.> And the same on many other sites. After searching again today, I found a post from Anthony Calfo: "The real key to success with these (and most) corals is feeding. 3-5 times weekly ideally (or more). Use meats of marine origin/zooplankton substitutes. Cyclop-eeze is a great choice. Flying fish eggs (for sushi) are great too. For smaller polyped corals, DT's natural diet (oyster eggs). Best regards, Anthony" <Yep, I agree with Anthony here.> As you can see from the above, there is a lot of conflicting advice with respect to this coral, which is one of the reasons I posed my question to WWM in the first place. <I can understand your frustration. There is a lot of misinformation (and out-dated information) out there. Though it's getting a bit dated, E. Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" is still a good source for information on captive coral care. As for internet sources, obviously, I think WWM is your best bet. :-)> Third, by my calculations, at least on paper, I have 2195gph of total circulation, which is 20x total tank volume. Let's be realistic, however, and assume that I get 2/3 of that, which leaves me with 13.3 x turnover. The info you linked suggests a 10 to 20 x volume turnover, so it would appear that I'm in the lower end of that range and could stand to add another power head. <Yep. Knowing how to arrange your live rock helps too (make sure it stays away from the sides of the tank and avoid building big walls of rock). Since you're using power heads, you might find this helpful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i4/power_heads/Power_Heads.htm> Fourth, why the "::sigh::" in response to my listing of parameters and statement that I believed they evidence that my water quality is good? Is there something else that the typical hobbyist should be looking for on a regular basis or something that I am not doing enough of/doing wrong, or was my comment just plain foolish (and if so, please explain so I can learn from this)? Please understand that I was simply doing my best to give you as much information about my tank, measured water quality and other factors as I could to assist you in understanding my problem--I was under the impression that you guys appreciated that. <I'm sorry if you were offended. The ::sigh:: was because I'm playing a drinking game with Bob involving any time someone says their water quality is "perfect" or "excellent" based on nutrient test kit results. No, no, just kidding! <<Gulp! I already drank mine. Dang! B>>  Seriously now though, yes, it is very good to be testing these things. And you have my genuine respect for being such a prudent and responsible aquarist. However, I would advice you not to let these test kits give you too much of a false sense of security. These test kits don't always tell you as much as you'd really like to know. For example, the phosphate test kits don't test for organic phosphates. More generally, we're actually quite limited in what we can test for (while some things are taken up before they can be detected). Additionally, it's difficult to define what "perfect" or "excellent" water quality even is because it's relative to what kinds of coral you are keeping.> Andy <Best, Sara M.>
Re: Blasto merleti 10/25/07
Dear Sara, Thanks for your genuine response and helpful thoughts. <my pleasure> Notwithstanding the limited amount of time that I have in my life for this hobby, I try really hard to understand the hobby and to keep a good tank and clean water for my pets. <Indeed, I can tell you care very much for them.> Of course I have made, and will make, mistakes in livestock selection/care despite good intentions and research. <It happens to us all.> As you might have guessed, I am no biologist or fish scientist (but do have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, which I haven't used in 12 years), but I do "get" scientific concepts. <Yes, I think any kind of science background helps. But you'll be surprised by how much biological science you'll naturally pick up as you read and learn more about the hobby.> I just think you guys sometimes forget that most of us have nowhere near the incredible background and knowledge that you have. <Thank you. As I said, I do apologize if I seemed pedantic or persnickety (<--great word, isn't it?).> Although there are a few lazy people out there, I suspect most posters are like me--they try to research issues before asking/doing and have genuinely good intentions when asking questions. <We do appreciate your questions.> I look forward to being a pain in your butt in the near future. <I do too. :-)> Andy <Best, Sara M.>

Mussidae Family/Feeding   5/23/06 Hello guys,  <Hello Paul> I have a gorgeous meat that doesn't look like it is doing very well (bones showing ?) I haven't fed him anything in a few months. What can I feed him ? Thank you for the help. <Read here and linked files above it.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidfdgfaqs.htm Paul 

Unhappy Symphyllia 12/31/03 I purchased a beautiful Symphyllia about a week and a half ago and it is not happy in my system.   <it really does not look bad in the pic... just irritated as evidenced by the issue of defensive filaments> It is mounted somewhat vertically in the bottom of my tank (75 gallon with 260 watts PC lighting).   <the lighting is not worry here... Symphyllia are adaptable to lower light and require heavy (almost daily) feedings regardless of lighting (they are not sustained adequately by photosynthesis)> There is some white recession on the top edge and the bottom of the coral has exuded it's digestive system in what appears to be small round tan bumps.  I have enclosed a pic that was taken after a Lugol's dip.  The little strings that are in the pic appeared after the dip but are now gone.   <ahhh... no worries then. The recession may simply have been due to mishandling prior to your purchase. It simply needs time to heal. Do not move this coral around (or any.. very stressful). Put it in a good place and simply let it adjust for some weeks. Keep it at a safe distance from other corals too to allow for growth> It does not extend it's feeding tentacles at night and has not eaten since I got it.  I've had it in 3 different locations in the tank and this makes no difference.   <yikes! this is a surefire way to stress if not kill a coral. No wonder its not eating either. The movement drains significant biological energies> I have read that it can be sensitive to Xenia and I do have some in the tank.   <I seriously doubt that. In fact... I'm nearly sure of it. Xeniids are one of the most weakly noxious/aggressive of all soft corals.> It is approximately a foot away from it.  The only corals in close proximity are a fox coral, red open brain and cup.   <"close" needs to be defined here... but I'll say at least 10" distance needs to be between corals minimum... and further for aggressive species> I'm really worried about it dying on me.  All of my other corals are doing great.....it's the first coral I've bought that is not.   <more patience are needed here mate> Other corals are Anthelia (about 2 feet away) some mushroom anemones (about 2 feet away), and a frogspawn (about 8 inches away).   <the frogspawn is a serious and present threat... way too close for this extremely aggressive coral (they do not need to touch... noxious exudations> I have an Emperor 280, Emperor 400 and a Remora Pro skimmer on the tank.  Calcium is running 400, alk 10.2, nitrates are 2, no ammonia or nitrites.  I have changed the cartridges in the filters so there is fresh carbon running.  What else can I do to help this beautiful coral?  Thanks for you time in answering...... Janey <give it time and do have a long term plan for the tank. DO not overstock and please allow room for growth, assuming you hope this unnatural mix of corals will live long term for you. Best of luck, Anthony>

Cynarina looks sad Bob I enjoyed hearing you at the MARS meeting and watching your slide show a few months back in Sacramento. I wanted to ask you about a Cynarina, I think his common name is a button coral, I purchased in July. He seems to be slowly shrinking. He still fills up and expands but not as big as he used to.  <Why do you think this is so?> I have him placed near the top of the aquarium with MH and power compacts. Not a lot of water movement there. My water tests are good. Calcium at 455 DKH 9 and 0 ammonia, nitrite and nitrate. I was told he only needs light.  <You know there is more to this> But then I read they do put out feeder tentacles to trap food. I have never seen this. I only feed the tank frozen brine shrimp and flake food for the fish. The only other corals are a Colt and Green Star Polyps. Is his problem food related and should I be feeding the tank something additionally for the corals?  <Yes> I also read he is a low light coral so I thought about moving him but I didn't want to make matters worse either. Any suggestions would be appreciated Thanks Jim Uptegrove <Do look about more... and try other foods/feeding moda... these are "planktivorous" species to a large/r degree. Bob Fenner>

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