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FAQs about Stony Coral Health/Disease/Pests: Pathogenic
(Infectious, Parasitic, Viral)

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Quarantine of Corals and Invertebrates, LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use,

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FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), TraumaPredatory/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 Disease, Mussid Health 2, Poritid Health, Trachyphylliid Disease, Trachyphyllia Disease 2,
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Type: Brown Jelly Disease,


Halofolliculina corallasia      7/27/15
Pretty sure I've got this little bugger in one of my coral frag tanks (Halofolliculina corallasia). It has been taking out corals like crazy.
Checked it out under a microscope after dipping the corals (thinking it was black bugs) to discover it didn't look like a crustacean at all but rather a tube or poop. After reading this article I'm pretty confident in my diagnosis, however can't find any information about what to do. As of right now we are just disposing of dead corals using disposable gloves so that we don't spread it around. Any thoughts?
<For browsers, the quick wiki:
I'd be treating either the system or the moved/enroute corals with a quinine compound to kill this Heterotrich. My first choice is Chloroquine (di)phosphate. See WWM re dosages, protocols. Bob Fenner>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia     7/28/15

Thanks for the reply Bob. Searched for the dosages and protocols and didn't find much re: corals other than CP is harmful and that corals should be removed when treating fish. Also searched the web at large for using CP on corals and didn't find much there either. I do have CP at my disposal in good quantity and would love to start saving some corals. Perhaps you can provide more guidance...
I'm presuming this is a dip scenario
<I'd stick with the same maximum as per system treatment 20 mg/l>
Duration of dip?
<Half an hour... with spg reduced a thousandth or two... Some folks might add a good deal of iodide-ate and perhaps several mg/l of a hexose sugar>
Repeated dips required?
<Possibly; but not usually>
Will I be able to tell if the protozoa are dead after dip by looking at them under the scope (They always appear dead to me)?
<You should... try adding a drop of household strength H202 to the cover slip edge. Should move them if alive>
I've read multiple sources say it spreads through direct contact. Should I be concerned about it traveling around on egg crate?
<Yes; anything wet is suspicious>
Are you aware of any natural predators, maybe a shrimp of some sort?
<I am not>
<Bob Fenner>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia (Holotrich parasite of Scler)        9/10/15

Just thought I'd follow up for other readers to confirm that this dip was successful.
<Ahh! And thank you for your report/follow-up>
So far we are at about 6 weeks with no recurrence after a single dip done for the most part as you suggested. 20mg/l in slightly reduced alkalinity <salinity? really spg> with the addition of Lugol's solution. I skipped the sugar as I didn't have any on hand and couldn't find any at the grocery store). We ended up doing a longer length dip, after looking at the critter under the microscope after half an hour (with a touch of alcohol also as you suggested) they were quite wiggly. So we ended up doing closer to an hour, however, after looking at them again under the microscope they were still quite wiggly so I think it was actually just too much activity from the alcohol making them look alive. I'm still not sure on that one.
There was one we had under the scope whose tube appeared to poop when we added the drop of alcohol, not sure if that was one of the buggers dying or some other microscope foible. Anyway, appreciate the solution,
<Again, appreciated. Bob Fenner>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia        9/10/15

Haha. Yes... spg. Not alkalinity.
<Ahh. B>
Re: Halofolliculina corallasia         12/19/15

We had a discussion a while back about this nasty critter.
<I do recall>
I reported dips in Chloroquine Phosphate successful but that success was short lived. We've been battling this like crazy with recurring dips which seem to slow it down, but don't seem to kill it off. I'm guessing this has to do with lifecycle but I can't find any information on lifecycle or life stages.
<Mmm; have you looked re "related" organisms? Other Heterotrich, Scuticociliatia ?
See these for input: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2227702/
We've expanded our dipping to two hours just to increase exposure time.
I'm not sure the impact on the corals. I don't really see a difference between doing it for 2 hours or 30 minutes in terms of coral health, as they always seem to eventually succumb to the ciliate eventually. The ciliate most definitely targets weaker corals, for example we dipped a large number of Montipora in Potassium Permanganate which has been quite successful in the past for eliminating Nudibranchs.
<A strong oxidizer... am wondering (so am writing) if concentrated H202 might work, be less harsh>
It takes the Montipora several weeks to recover but they usually do. This last time, only a small fraction recovered. The ones we lost were all covered in H. corallasia. Removing the infected area helps to some degree.
I pulled a large number of infected corals out, chopped off infected areas, dipped them in Chloroquine, then put them in quarantine for about a month. I moved them to the main system and within a month they were all infected again after apparently doing well in the quarantine.
Unfortunately there are so many variables I can't figure out what's working and what's not. Do you have any other ideas or thoughts?
<Would soaking the CP in with foods the corals will take be another avenue?
Do you lower the spg (a few thousandths) in the dip water; AND add a hexose sugar while doing the baths? I would. Bob Fenner>
Re: A prob. protozoan; your input please /Jake Adams       12/21/15

Halofolliculina is not a parasite in the classic sense. It seems to be an opportunistic coral irritant that only grows on the edges of corals margins. It seems to colonize only on slightly unhealthy corals. Instead of dipping like crazy, I recommend cutting the healthy part of the frag and throwing out the rest. Meanwhile, be more generous with your spectrum of trace element addition, Iodine, Fluoride, Iron, Boron, Zinc, Molybdenum and Manganese to encourage more robust tissue in the coral and much faster encrustation.
<Thanks Jake. BobF>

Location and a sick coral 1/1/04 Hello there, <Hi Eric, Happy New Year!> I have been making use of the info on your site for close to a year now and  have found it to be very helpful.  I have 2 issues which I was hoping to get  your assistance with. <Glad you have found the site useful.  Lets see what we come up with....> 1.  I know that corals are not supposed to touch one another, however, I have a Sarcophyton that is now surrounded by mushrooms (due to growth) some of  which are in direct contact with the Sarco's stalk.  Everyone has been doing fine  for the past several months (all of the aforementioned corals have been in  the tank for at least 7 months - touching for about 2). Should I move the Sarcophyton? <As a general rule, corals should not touch, but if they have grown this way, and the interaction isn't harming either coral, I would leave it.  Do watch both parties for any bad reactions.  Also... Either coral may look fine, but the interaction may be causing a heightened chemical response.  Observe these and other corals in the tank for other wise unexplainable poor health.  Be prepared to move one or the other if things decline.> 2.  I had a mishap with my Goniopora (a sponge fell on it and was there for  most of a day while I was at work).  The Goniopora now has what appears to be a  brown slime infection.  I'm worried about doing a dip with Lugol's.  Would a  freshwater dip be advisable?  Have you ever used a product called Ruby Reef  HydroPlex and if so what did you think of it? <I have not used the Ruby Reef product, and am wary of any product that is not clearly labeled with ingredients and a description of what it does.  Freshwater dips are usually as or more deadly to corals than to infections.  A proper Lugol's dip is probably a good idea, but brown jelly usually proceeds so fast that by the time you get this and do the dip, it may be too late.  Try 10 drops Lugol's per quart of aquarium water for 15 minutes.> Thank you for your time and any answers that you may provide. <hope this helps, and good luck!  Adam> Sincerely, Eric Baker

Elegance coral and regrowth 9/29/03 Hey Guys!!!  Let me start by saying THANK YOU for such a great website and such great information.  I think I can say for all of us out here that your website is INVALUABLE!!  I am pretty new to this hobby, about 4 months, and I couldn't have accomplished what I have without you guys. <thanks kindly... do share your wisdom in kind> OK, Here's what I have for you today.  I have a Catalaphyllia jardinei (?sp?) <Catalaphyllia jardinei> that my girlfriend bought me for a present.  Unfortunately it is starting to slowly waste away.   <if you've had it for more than a few weeks... could be attrition. They need fed almost daily... at least several times weekly with finely minced meaty foods> It is secreting a lot of mucus and the brown jelly stuff. <ughh... a necrotic infection. This like all new livestock should have been quarantined. The brown jelly is highly contagious to other corals>   Per your website and everything else I have read, I put it in my hospital tank and gave it an Iodide bath, Cause Iodine is toxic right?   <ahhh... used properly, it is anti-septic/medicinal so-to-speak> I also supplement with SeaChem's Reef Plus, and Reef complete so it is getting some Vitamin C also.  I have read some people will cycle antibiotics also.  Is this worth a shot and if so, which one or ones should I use?  And is there anything I can do to save my precious present? <tetracycline has been used in bar-bottoms QT tanks with some success at mfg dose strength> Also, if it starts to recover, will it regrow over the spaces where the skeleton is showing through or not?  I sure hope so. <it can indeed in time> She is the one with the pink tentacles with the purple tips.  I had her at the bottom of my 40 gallon breeder in lower light with low water flow also.  I heard from your website this is the best placement.   <agreed... although not too low of flow. 10X tank turnover is the minimum> Oh, she was also placed on her back with tentacles toward the light too.  This is correct right? <correcto> My tank parameters are: pH 8.5,sg 1.025, temp 79F, calcium 450, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 0, and ammonia 0, phosphates .02.  You guys have taught me well!!!  (I hope so anyway!  Hahahha!)    <all good... although the Calcium does not need to be that high... wane lower is Alk is flat> I change 5% of the water twice a week also.  I think this really helps with my 40 gallon breeder.   Agreed, my friend> It's so easy and fast too!!!!  Thanks for all your help guys.  I know you guys get this question a lot, but everything that I read, and I read all of the responses and questions, didn't really hit on my question.  Thanks again guys.  Will be in touch. Oh yeah, I am attaching a picture so you guys can see what your knowledge has helped me to create. <thanks kindly... could not open the zip file though. Please send pics as web-sized jpegs. Thanks kindly, Anthony>

Brown Jelly infection on Gonio I think that my Goni might have brown jelly disease, there is a kind of  orange film developing on some of the polyps, how do I get rid of this infectious disease and save my Gonio? <this secondary barrage of infectious pathogens known as "Brown Jelly" is highly infectious and so virulent that odds are not good at all of saving the specimen. You will be lucky if it doesn't kill other corals in the tank too (healthy established ones too!). This is just one of the many reasons why it is so critical to quarantine all livestock for a full 4 weeks before adding them to a display. Besides having a better chance to save the new guy, there is always the risk of infecting some/all of the established animals. My advice is to capture this coral underwater with a large plastic bowl and lid (the coral is to be moved slowly and sealed in the bowl underwater) to reduce the chance of drifting infected tissue through the water. If any pieces do float away... siphon them out promptly... it is highly infectious to other corals. Treatments to date are highly experimental with antibiotics, FW dips and iodine spikes. I honestly don't think the coral will be alive 48 hours from now, I hate to say, but do consult Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals book for an extensive range of options. My advice is a 60 second shower under cold tap water (seriously) before placing it in QT. Maintain vigorous circulation and aeration in QT as well. Best regards, Anthony>
Goniopora and brown jelly (protozoan) infection?
Hey Anthony, The good thing is that I don't have any other corals in my tank, <a good thing> I was coaxed into buying this Goni as my first coral by my local LFS. <wow... if they are receptive, willing to learn... please suggest that they browse and use our free resource/database for themselves and their customers. Promoting success in the hobby is out mutual goal. Also suggest that they buy either of Eric Borneman's coral books for a quick reference to not make such a terrible mistake again> My coral doesn't have much brown jelly on it and I am thinking that it might just be decay of the slowly dying coral. <agreed... simply decay. "Brown Jelly" is wickedly virulent... you can literally watch flesh fall away over a period of hours.> Thanks for all the help involving my Goni. <best regards, Anthony>

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