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FAQs about Caryophyllid Coral Disease, Pests, Predation 7

Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators, diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Caryophyllid Corals, Elegance Coral

FAQs on Euphylliid Disease: Caryophyllid Disease 1, Caryophyllid Disease 2, Caryophyllid Disease 3, Caryophyllid Disease 4, Caryophyllid Disease 5, Caryophyllid Disease 6, Euphylliid Health 8, Euphylliid Health 9, Euphylliid Health 10, & Elegance Coral Disease/Pests,
FAQs on Euphylliid 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 Category: Diagnosing, Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments  Caryophylliids 1Caryophylliids 2Caryophylliids 3, Caryophylliids 4, Caryophyllid ID, Caryophyllid Compatibility, Caryophyllid Systems, Caryophyllid Selection, Caryophyllid Behavior, Caryophyllid Feeding, Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral Behavior,

Euphyllia Health issues / hitch hiker ID... likely allelopathy, env.   6/9/08 Crew, <Mick> Having some sort of problem with several Euphyllia species in my 180 reef system. temp: 26°c SG: 1.023 <A bit low... I'd raise to 1.025> Ph: 8.2 (evening) 8.1 (morning) Ammonia: undetectable Nitrite: undetectable Nitrate: undetectable Phosphate: undetectable (but not using any phosphate reducers/absorbers) <Good> Alk: 12°dKH Ca++: :460ppm <A bit high... raised how?> Lighting - barely adequate, but more on the way. <Good> Skimmer "Aqua Vital AKS-388" - makes about a cup of tea coloured liquid containing a thick film of hard brown slime per week. <Not familiar with this make/model... neither is Google evidently> Tank, 180 us gal, sump/fuge approx 20 gal with DSB and algae ball (unknown species) about 6500L/Hr flow. 80-100Kg Liverock Fish: 6 Green Chromis 1 Yellow Tail Blue Chromis 1 Zebra Dartfish 1 Coral Beauty 1 lawnmower (jeweled?) Blenny 1 Pr Cinnamon Clownfish (spawn approx every 3 weeks, but not attempting to breed/raise offspring (yet) - so any babies end up as zooplankton/food I guess) 1 Foxface Rabbitfish 1 female Blue Chin Trigger - the male of the pair managed to dislodge a rock and crush himself :o( 1 Rainford's Goby 1 Aracanthus Spp tang. Inverts: 1 Euphyllia Ancora 5 Euphyllia Glabrescens 1 colony Duncanopsammia 1 Caulastrea Furcata 4x Goniopora - (only one of which is doing well - the other 3 came from another system elsewhere that had a massive ammonia "event", bleached and don't appear to be improving) <Mmm... this Goniopora health, presence is likely involved here...> 3 Trachyphyllia spp 1 Cynarina Lachrymals 2 Lobophyllia Spp. a few dozen assorted Zoanthids. <Can be too toxic...> 1 Pencil Urchin Several assorted Snails. This particular tank was only assembled in march 08, but all livestock, live rock and about 1/2 the substrate came from an old 55 that I had to remove. The Trachyphyllia, Lobophyllia and Cynarina were not put in as corals - but live rock. they have come back from the dead. <A good sign> My problem is that ALL of the Euphyllia species I have in the last week have gone from normal, apparently healthy specimens to retracted and dying. So far the largest Ancora has only about 50% of the colony left, and of the Glabrescens 1 is all but dead, 2 are very withdrawn into their skeletons - don't even respond to direct feeding (even brine shrimp escape them -fresh or frozen) the others seem slightly deflated but otherwise still extend and still feed. tonight whilst doing my normal maintenance I noticed multiple "flatworms" (possibly Pseudoceros/Pseudobiceros Spp? <Mmm, not likely... summat else> pic attached) I'm wondering if these are part of the problem - I found them on the edge of the Ancora where the polyp meets the skeleton, they camouflaged quite well - I can only see them as they cross the skeleton to another polyp. Can you learned Guys' Gals identify these, and if they are coral predators, what do I do about them? <Maybe nothing... I suspect their presence, influence is secondary here. But do read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm and the linked files above> Also attached are pics of the ancora, glabrescens and gonopodia - I don't think there's much hope for the latter, but any advice that may save it would be greatly appreciated. <These Scleractinians could all "rally", as long as there is some live tissue to them... I would move the Euphylliids... to another system, pronto. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above. I suspect the members of this genus are largely losing to other Cnidarians here... all would/could be helped by the added lighting, chemical filtration, an increase in RedOx... as you'll find by reading. Bob Fenner> TIA
Mick T

Re: Euphyllia Health issues / hitch hiker ID - 06/09/2008 Hi Bob, Thanks for your fast and informative reply. I thought I had looked through the WWM, but that link was one I hadn't read - such a vast resource you and the crew have created here, I'm sure there are millions of fish (and aquarists) worldwide who owe their existence to you. <Ahh!> I don't usually add anything to raise calcium or carbonate - I have on hand "red sea calcium +3" and "SeaChem reef builder" and good old sodium bicarbonate, but hardly ever have to use them, water changes and my filter/DSB seem to be keeping up. (filter path is - mechanical floss, carbon (just added today) 1" bed of aragonite the water flows down through, 10"bed of aragonite that water flows across (my DSB), then out into the refugium (where the heater and skimmer is located - couldn't fit it anywhere else!) (fuge contains another aragonite bed, maybe 3", and some algae 24 hrs lighting), then over an overflow into the pump chamber. <I see> Hopefully my new set of T5HO's will arrive tomorrow, should do wonders on the lighting front. <Agreed> BTW, skimmer is an Via-Aqua SK388, not as previously written, works ok, but there are better skimmers out there (maybe will replace with a HOB type so I have more room in the fuge - this is a huge skimmer with medium skimmer performance) <Agreed again> The Zoanthids, they're the tiny green ones "green sea mat" I've seen it called in some references. <Mmm, these should be okay here> Most of them were eaten a while back by a masked Foxface who took a liking to them and ALL of my Corallimorphs! (He is now in QT with a Valentini puffer awaiting another system.) The remains of the Corallimorphs and some of the Zoanthid rocks are recovering in an 8gal nano-reef with no fish, it's quite interesting to watch a tiny tattered piece of flesh on a rock regrow into a complete animal again, these things - and many of my other "presumed dead at the time" corals have amazing regenerative powers, but from my reading you generally don't expect Gonoporia to survive in a captive environment - should I remove it instead of the Euphylliids? <Mmm, no... on your further information I'd leave all put... See if the light helps... perhaps augment nutrition> Unfortunately I don't have any other suitable system to put the Euphylliids into - hopefully the carbon will reduce any allelochemicals present (there is already decent distance between all) and the increased lighting will help. Also planning (as per one of your links) to add a Halichoeres Chrysurus (Golden Wrasse) or a Pseudocheilinus Hexataenia (6-Line Wrasse) - do you foresee any problems with these and my existing stock? (from my reading they should be OK) <Do you feed the Euphylliids, other Cnidarians?> From the reading I have done, I would have expected the Euphylliids to win out in a chem/stinging war - what have I missed? <Nothing I see so far> On another topic, my QT (containing the puffer and Foxface) seems to be growing heaps of a tiny variety of pods. Being that I have only ever had fish (no corals or LR in this tank) how could they have got there - can they hatch out of eggs in frozen food maybe? <Yes> On yet again another topic, a reader was asking a few days back about a "Jebo 180" skimmer on a 300 Litre tank. I had this skimmer on my old 210litre (55Gal) reef, and it wasn't quite enough. Jebo say its good for 700 litres in their instructions, but I'd recommend using 2 on a 300L system from my past experience. (mine is now on my QT - good cheap skimmer for a smaller tank with low bioload). <Thank you for this input> Regards Mick T <And you. BobF>

Re: Euphyllia Health issues / hitch hiker ID - 06/10/2008 Gee Bob, That's a fast turnaround! <Some days...> Yes, I do feed the Cnidarians, usually gut loaded brine shrimp, soaked in a mixture of rotifers, vitamins, etc (cant remember its name) and chunks of krill. But as stated, the affected Euphylliids don't seem interested in eating now, <Something going on here... again, spiffing up your skimmer, using carbon, increasing RedOx... or moving the Euphylliids...> whereas up till about 2 weeks ago they'd eat heaps (a Duncanopsammia polyp that's managed to grab a whole krill looks kind comical - like "the cat that ate the canary"... <Have seen some really nice, quite huge colonies of this genus in recent months> Time to wait and see I guess. I'll give updates after the lights are in. Thanks so much for your time. MickT

Possible cause of death for torch??  6/9/08 Hello, <Hello> I have a question about a torch coral I had. It was about three inches across and looked great. I got it from a good LFS and it was packaged upside down in foam in the bag. <Good packing> I set it on a rock midway up in my tank. It got brown jelly on one head the second day in my tank so I cut the infected head off and gave it a fresh water dip. <Removing the infected head was good, provided no tissue damage occurred as collateral to the other heads. Freshwater dips can be hard on corals, I'm a fan of iodine solutions myself. Opinions vary.> I placed it back in the tank and then next day it was brown jelly all over (the other 2 heads). I removed it but it did not make it. <Unfortunate, but it does happen. Not much you could do about it.> It looked healthy and fully extended at the store and the first day in my tank. They had many great looking torches. When I was placing it I may have rubbed some of the polyps lightly against the rock. Could this have been enough to start the brown jelly? <Probably not. Most likely stress of moving, something in the tank water. How did you acclimate this coral?> I want to get more Euphyllids but don't want them to die. I also got a rock with several large frilly mushrooms at the same time and they are doing great. The torch was at least 10 inches from any other coral , probably more. I have put a lot of thought into the occurrence and my best theory is that I damaged some of the tissue when placing the coral and this allowed the dreaded brown jelly to start. This was my first LPS but I would like to get many more. Any thoughts would be much appreciated. Thanks for the help and all your help in the past. <Jeff, I would use/purchase a nitrate test kit. It is possible you have higher nitrate in your tank, which would foster/cause/aid brown jelly and other pathogenic organisms. If you do a test and this is the case, consider more frequent water changes. Otherwise I would say try again, and unless this becomes a trend fear not...an unfortunate coincidence that your first LPS had this problem.> Jeff tank: 72 gallon bow front 20 gallon sump with 5 gallon section a refugium 80 lbs live rock 80 LPS aragonite fine sand 2 10,000k 65 watt pc 2 420nm actinic 65 watt pc ph=8.4 ammonia=0 dKH=11 ca=500, should this come down to 450? <Or 400> 5 to 10 gallon water change every 2 to 3 weeks - does not seem to lower ca <I would recommend a 10% total volume water change weekly to maintain water chemistry, clean water.> frilly mushroom rock yellow sea blade - grows like crazy pink pulsing xenia on a small island in the sand Scopas tang pink spot goby scoter blenny long nose hawk fish three stripe damsel, mean and to fast to remove scarlet skunk cleaner - he just started cleaning the tang after about 1.5 months in the tank, finally various snails and hermits for cleanup <Sorry to hear about your torch, better luck next time! Benjamin>

Frogspawn branches breaking  - 6/3/08 I have had a frogspawn that has been doing quite well and growing substantially over the past two years. In the last month or so I have had two sizable branches with multiple mouths break off. <This will happen from time to time.> Do the branches simply deteriorate over time as their calcium is dissolved in the water, <Yes> or is this the effect of having a low dKH/alkalinity for an extended period of time? <Also yes'¦would speed decay up> For the last two years or so (I think) I was running (unintentionally and unknowingly) a dKH=4-5 and calcium 350-450. (adjusting manually with turbo calcium pellets only) I have now raised the dKH to 7-8 in the past week with SeaChem Reef Builder, but I had another sizable branch break off this morning. Could this be the work of my gigantic long-spine urchin? <Not the work of the urchin, no'¦though he poses other dangers to your corals worth reading about in the fine articles to be had by searching this site. Euphylliid corals have fairly open, brittle skeletons that shatter easily. Over time they do break down, but this process is accelerated by low alkalinity which causes expedited dissolution of Scleractinian product. The bad news is raising your alkalinity won't strengthen old skeleton, but it will prevent further decay and help the coral to build sturdy new skeletal material. Current Water parameters: Nitrates=0 Phosphates=0 DKH=7 Calcium=410 <You'll want to shoot for a slightly lower Ca to accommodate a higher alkalinity. Continue to raise that, and everything looks great. No worries.> Thanks! <Welcome!> Aaron Chandler <Benjamin>

Torch coral declining  6/3/08 Hello crew! <Hello Dan! Benjamin here tonight.> I have been reading your site for quite a while, and also have a copy of "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist", which I really enjoy. <Great book to have> Let me give a bit of background about my tank before I tell you about my recent problem. I have a 14 gallon Oceanic BioCube in my office, which I started last fall, so it's been in operation for about 8-9 months now. I've been keeping a log of everything I've done with the tank. <Bravo! Tank logs are great for helping solve problems, and for personal scientific inquiry. I wish more people kept them.> I started with about 6 pounds of live rock, added a cleanup crew of 4 hermit crabs, 4 turbo snails, and 4 sand-sifting snails, and then slowly added fish (there are currently two Percula Clowns and a Banggai Cardinal, and I don't plan on adding any more). These fish have been doing great ever since I added them. I feed them a combination of dry pellet food (which the clown fish devour but the Banggai ignores), and frozen Mysis shrimp (which all three fish love). I try to do water changes at least once every two weeks and sometimes more frequently. I change about a gallon at a time. I also remove excess algae. I've been fighting a never-ending battle with a fast-growing strain of Caulerpa (I like the fronds but if I leave it alone, it quickly takes over the tank!). <Sounds good'¦> The beginning of last November I added a colony of purple Zoanthus, which have been doing fine. About 10 days later I added a torch coral colony. This coral has been thriving, and happily splitting off new branches, until about a month ago. I started noticing that two of the heads nearest the bottom (the coral sticks out of a live rock at about a 45 degree angle) had retracted. These two heads eventually shriveled up and died, leaving just the skeleton. I thought it might be because there wasn't enough light down there, and since the other heads all seemed fine I didn't worry too much about it. However, as time has passed more and more of the heads have started to shrivel up and die off, and the other heads haven't been as extended as they used to. This coral used to be very beautiful and fully extended during the day. Now it extends less than half of the distance, on average, that it used to. I've read on your site about brown jelly disease, but none of the heads have shown any brown film. They simply shrivel up and die. <Hmm'¦wasting away. Troubling.> I've started troubleshooting what might be the cause. The first thing is water quality. <This is also what first comes to my mind'¦perhaps Ca+/ Alk problems?> One thing that I've noticed with this tank is that the alkalinity drops pretty quickly if I'm not vigilant. I let it get down to 6 degrees KH at one point! I usually am able to keep it around 8 degrees KH. The LFS (a really nice place) where I bought the torch suggested I slowly try to raise the KH to around 11-12, so I'm working on doing that. My calcium is about 420 ppm and doesn't deplete as quickly as the alkalinity. <Ca is perhaps a bit high, which can explain the low Alk. But this shouldn't be causing your problem, as far as I know.> Throughout the life of this tank, I've always read 0 for ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate, and pH has been very stable at 8.3. <And this is true also at present? Just want to double check, because poor nitrogenous waste disposal/ build up would be another possible cause we can check off the list if you've only just tested your water.> Another thing that I thought might be the cause is lack of food. I've heard just recently that feeding these corals Mysis shrimp is a good supplement to what they get through photosynthesis. So, the last few days I've started target feeding the individual heads. The ones that are most retracted ignore the food, but the ones that are a bit extended do appear to grab some of the shrimp and eat them. <This could sure play a part. Starvation is a common cause of coral die-off in an aquarium'¦most notably in situations where no supplemental protein is provided for tissue growth, or where there is insufficient light.> Another possible issue is water flow. There is currently moderate flow in the tank due to the filtration system, and the polyps wave gently in the flow. <Sounds fine to me, unless it is laminar current.> Finally, I've noticed that two of my hermit crabs have started crawling around the heads and nibbling at the edges of them. At first I thought they were just eating the dead, shriveled polyps, but today I noticed them nibbling at the edges of the live heads. Again, the clown fish and the Banggai Cardinal pretty much leave the coral alone. I also noticed that one of the heads, instead of shriveling up, had fallen off onto the sand bed. I gently picked it up (with gloves on of course!) and relocated it on top of one of the live rocks. It doesn't appear dead. <AHA! We're on to something, Watson! This is a rare event- total polyp bail-out. LPS corals will do this as a last-ditch survival strategy when they simply cannot survive any longer in a given environment. Be it from lack of light, poor water, bad neighbors, this is an attempt to ride the current to somewhere that they can establish a new skeleton.> Today, I decided to rotate the colony a bit so that the heads pointed more upward. In doing so, though I was trying to be careful, I accidentally knocked one of the heads against the tank wall and then dropped the colony "head down" onto the sand bed! I quickly picked it up and shook the loose sand off the polyps. I sincerely hope I didn't just kill it!!! Edit: As I type this, the head that had hit the sand is starting to extend its polyps once again, so I'm taking it as a good sign. <These corals are tougher than we give them credit for. I'm sure they'll be fine with your continued attentive care.> Finally I should mention that the colony is a good 5-6 inches from the colony of Zoanthus, and I've never seen the two physically touching. <And there lies the rub: They don't have to. Search WetWebMedia re allelopathy and you'll learn all about the noxious chemicals cnidarians leach into the water to guarantee the demise of their competitors. Can I venture to suspect that the first polyps to die may be those in water current that has recently passed the Zoanthus colony?> So basically, my question to the crew is, are there any other steps I can take to try to forestall the continued decline of this coral? Should I break or cut off the old dead branches? What should I do with the head that has fallen off? <Make sure the head is somewhere it won't be macerated by the current, and it may survive. It is my suspicion at this time that the Zoanthus have become stressed or sense the presence of the torch coral and are beginning to exude extra toxins, or the low levels they have been emitting since November have built up to toxic concentrations. I would run a little carbon in your filter and change some water to help with the likelihood that this is the case. That said, let us know about your water parameters and the proximity of the dead polyps to the Zoanthus (or a current that just passed them) and anything else you feel may pertain to the information you read on allelopathy.> Thanks so much for your time. I've tried to describe the situation as detailed as possible, since I don't have my camera here with me. Let me know and I can try to attach pictures. <Thank you for taking the time to write such a descriptive email- it really helps us answer your question promptly and accurately.> Thanks again! <You are very welcome!> Dan <Benjamin>
Re: Torch coral declining -   6/4/08
Benjamin, <Hello again!> Thank you so much for your quick reply! I would like to answer several of your questions and also report on the health of my torch coral, which seems to have improved quite a bit since just yesterday. <Glad to hear it!> I did a water change yesterday and added some buffer to the tank to continue to raise alkalinity (Seachem Reef Buffer). This morning, when I came in to the office, all but two of the remaining live heads of the torch coral were extended, and more so than I've seen them in days. Also, the head that "bailed out" is sitting on the rock and seemingly doing ok for now. Needless to say I was very encouraged. To answer your questions about water quality, here are the numbers which I tested this evening: Ammonia: 0-perhaps a trace. I measured this just after feeding, and didn't read the color until a little after 5 minutes (this was using the API two-reagent test kit), but it may have been ever so slightly green. I will keep an eye on this to make sure it doesn't get beyond this. It has shown this ever-so-slight green color before, which is so hard to tell from the reference zero color, depending on the angle and brightness of the local light, that I haven't worried too much about it. <Color-based tests are, unfortunately, sometimes quite hard to read> Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 Calcium: 420 ppm KH: 10 (getting better!) pH: 8.2 <Looks good. pH could be higher in ideal conditions, but 8.2 shouldn't cause problems as far as I know.> Otherwise, to answer your question about which heads die first, it doesn't appear to be related to which heads are in the path of the current that has just passed the Zoanthus colony. In fact, two of the heads which appear to be the first to get this current are two of the ones that are continuing to do well. Thus, at least as far as I can tell, there doesn't appear (at least on the surface) to be too much allelopathic competition between the two colonies (yet). I unfortunately have ran out of filters, so I need to buy a few from the LFS, which I should be able to do in the next couple of days. These are pre-made for this particular aquarium and already have carbon in them. I suppose I could also get a separate filter bag and put some carbon in. <Okay. I still wouldn't rule out some sort of allelopathic interactions, but it is good to know they don't seem to be directly harm each other.> I should also mention that along with the Zoanthus, I have some sort of purple anemone which I'm pretty sure is a type of Aiptasia growing in the middle of the colony (I don't know why I forgot to mention this yesterday). It tends to keep the Zoanthus polyps nearest it closed, presumably because it's stinging them with its tentacles, but it's pretty enough that I'm loath to kill it. <That could be problematic. Stressed Zoanthus will exude toxins into the water, although they vary in potency based on the species, environs, etc. If the torch continues to decline after alkalinity has been brought up and the coral is being fed regularly the next step might be to deal with de-stressing your Zoas.> If I could relocate it safely, I would, but I hear that these guys tend to get out of control! Again, sorry I don't have any pictures (yet). I have my camera today but forgot the USB cable to transfer the pictures! <That's okay. I am curious about this anemone nestled in your Zoanthus, but I think for now we can chalk this up to starvation/water quality and dig more into allelopathy if there continues to be decline.> Otherwise, given the improvement in the torch colony since just yesterday, I feel that the low alkalinity was an important factor. However, come to think of it, since I also did a water change, I can see how removing some of the toxins from the Zoanthus could also have been just as important. I will certainly keep you posted over the next few days with the status of the colony. <Sounds good. I hope all continue to improve!> Again, thanks for your quick response, it is much appreciated! <No problem!> Dan <Benjamin>

Frogspawn torch coral, hlth.    4/27/08 I have a quick question for one of you. I was cleaning out my tank and while using a siphon tube, I accidentally sucked directly onto my frogspawn coral. I only did it for about half a second, but now it is shrunk up as much as it possibly can and looks very odd colored. It is normally brown/green and now it is kind of purple/green and like I say, it is very small. Maybe 1/16th of an inch long polyps instead of the normal 1.5" polyps. Is there something I should do? <Mmm, likely no... but do keep that little crab away...> About 10 of the heads escaped any damage, but 2 of them got sucked real hard and I'm worried they wont recover unless I treat them somehow? I have attached a picture. Thanks for all the work you guys do, I've used your site a lot to get very helpful information :-) <Adding, boosting a dose of iodine/ide/ate would be worthwhile. Please read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm  Otherwise, time going by, your good general care should see this colony rebound. Bob Fenner>

Re: Frogspawn torch coral  4/28/08 Thanks for the quick reply. <Welcome> That stupid crab has eluded me for a couple weeks now. It's an anemone crab that used to hang out over on a power head intake, about a month after I put the frogspawn in the tank the crab moved over to it. Every time I try to catch it, it just crawls down underneath all the separate heads and there isn't anything I can figure out to get it out. I could jab some sort of stick or something into there but I think I'd harm the soft edges of the coral more than I would be able to chase the crab out. <Try a small all-plastic trap, baited. Some folks re-package the "mouse" ones from large hardware stores for this...> I'll read about the iodxxx dosing for sure, thanks for the link. <Welcome> I was relieved when I got up this morning, the coral is certainly not recovered fully by any means, but it does look a little better, maybe twice as swollen with water as it was yesterday, so hopefully over the next week or two it will continue to recover. <Very likely so> I've been very consistent about keeping my water quality high, I do a 15% change every week and monitor all the appropriate parameters, so hopefully this will assist in it recovering quicker. <Yes> Once again, I do appreciate the fast reply, I was hoping I could reach someone at WWM quick enough that I'd be able to provide help to the coral quickly before any kind of permanent damage set in. <No worries. BobF>

Torch Coral Problem -- 04/01/08 First off, good evening to all. <<Greetings>> I have 4 different torch corals in my tank. Recently, while cleaning I broke one of the heads off the base and thought nothing of it because I did hit the coral. Tonight I looked in my tank and noticed on another torch coral one of the branches was deteriorated to where it was almost separated from the rest of the polyps. All of the polyps in my tank are extremely healthy and fed 3 to 4 times a week. What would be causing the branches to be so brittle or what could be eating the branches? All my levels are good, the system has been running for about 1 1/2 years and I would say this is the first time I've noticed this. All the torch corals were purchased over a year ago and have doubled in size. Any help would be appreciated. <<Hmm, you say 'all levels are good''¦what does this mean, exactly? Have you tested bio-mineral content (Calcium, Magnesium, Alkalinity)? How often do you perform water changes? How much do you change? How large is this system? Do you have any other stony corals? Are they malaffected as well? I can only guess that your system is deficient in bio-mineral content and is 'robbing' this back from the coral's skeleton. If this is not the case, then perhaps a boring sponge'¦ Regards, EricR>
Re: Torch Coral Problem -- 04/01/08
Thank you for the response. <<Quite welcome>> I do test Calcium and Alkalinity but have never tested Magnesium. <<Ah! The three do 'perform' together. If Magnesium is deficient (should be approximately three times the Calcium level) it can cause difficulty with maintaining sufficient Calcium and Alkalinity levels which can certainly cause the coral's problems with building their skeletal structures>> I perform 80 gallon water changes on my +-300 gallon tank every three weeks. <<Sounds good>> All the other stony corals are doing fine and I haven't noticed any change. <<Hmm'¦perhaps the lighter/less dense structure of the Torch Coral skeletons means they are 'the first to go'>> I do notice these sponge looking growths by my overflow...they're about 1 inch in diameter, ½ inch think and I have about 5 of them. I didn't think they would do any harm so I haven't removed them. Unfortunately, I cannot take any pictures of them where they're located. <<I don't think it likely these organisms are the/a problem>> Do you think I should dose some trace elements? <<Not without testing for the need first'¦but I would think your water changes provide these just fine>> I am running a dual chamber calcium reactor at 1 bubble per second so I wouldn't think I need to add additional calcium. <<Maybe'¦maybe not'¦ If the tank is heavily stocked, bio-mineral content may be depleted faster than you realize. But this can be evaluated with tests performed a day or two apart for a week or so to determine how quickly the tank is utilizing the available bio-minerals. At the least, do make sure the water chemistry/bio-mineral content is 'in balance'>> Once again, thanks for the response. <<Cheers, EricR>>

Dying torch coral 03/28/08 Hi Bob: New here so hope I am not bugging you. <Of course not, but Bob is in Malaysia... SaraM here.> I have had a Torch coral for about 4 weeks and it seemed to be doing fine. I placed it high in the tank. I have it in a medium flow area in a 180 gal tank with 150 gal refugium. I feed home made phyto and feed somewhat heavy with the fish food. Mysis shrimp perhaps once a week. About a week ago the coral started receding. It is now totally receded. I moved it down to the bottom of the tank to see if this would help. All my water parameters seem to be OK. Do I need to spot feed him? <might help> I have a heavy lighting system with 3 10000K metal halides and 2 20000K bulbs supplemented with 2 T5 actinic and moonlighting. <What are the wattages of these bulbs? If the coral was too high up (or if the light is too direct), there might be a localized heat problem. Strong, indirect lighting is preferred.> Top up water is RODI and I run a calcium reactor, UV sterilizer and a Euro Reef 240 Skimmer. I am running a deep aragonite sand bed (5"). The tank suffered a unfortunate crash about 6 months ago but seems to be bouncing back well. At the moment the tank is really not stocked very heavily as I wanted the system to be well established before restocking. Chaeto grows very well in the refugium as well as some grape Caulerpa. I harvest almost weekly. I do a weekly water change of 20 gallons using Instant Ocean. Lots of copepods and micro fauna in the sump. I know you probably need a lot more information to diagnose the problem , but just thought you may have a particular suggestion regarding this coral. <What is near the coral? Any leather corals in the tank?> Thanks for your time in this matter, appreciate it. <I'm sorry I can't give you a specific diagnosis. If you want my educated guess, I think the lighting you put it under might have been too intense/direct. Did you properly acclimate the coral?> Bev Parker <Best, Sara M.>
Re: dying torch coral 03/28/08
Thanks so much for your quick response Sara. Yes the coral did come from a much less lighted tank at the LFS. Bulbs are 3 -150Watt 10000K MegaChrome Blue by Giesemann and 2 -250Watt 20000K. <Ahh, I think this is your "problem" then. That's a lot of light! And if it was under less light when you got it, the "shock" of suddenly being under intense direct lighting could easily be the problem here.> Yes there is a large branching leather coral upstream from the torch about a foot away. <Generally, you should avoid putting LPS corals in with leathers. That said, many people do it anyway and swear they never have a problem with it.> And no I did not do any reduction of light when placing the coral. Probably all big mistakes I guess? <It's how we learn, right?> I will move the torch upstream and leave him near the bottom. Hope this will bring him back. <These are generally tough corals. If the lighting was the problem, moving it near the bottom should help.> Thanks again as I really appreciate the life of these corals and what we must do to maintain them. <Thanks, me too.> Take care........Bev(dassystem1 on the forums) Bev Parker <Good luck, Sara M. (Sihaya on the forums)>

Hammer coral troubles... no real info.  03/11/2008 Hi Crew! <Wendy> We are having troubles with our hammer coral. It was absolutely beautiful and covered a very large area in our 75 gallon tank. Recently the heads have been dying (shriveling up) and falling off leaving the bare skeleton. The strange thing is that lots of new heads are growing back in its place. <Mmmm, a clue possibly> We have been doing weekly water changes, closely watching pH and chemicals, <... need data re> feeding DT's and oyster eggs, and occasionally feeding reef bugs. All of the parameters have been within normal ranges. <... ditto> There is good water flow over the area but not too turbulent. We have not seen any "brown jelly" signs or any critters on the corals that shouldn't be there. The only new addition to the tank was a yellow tang about 5 months ago. He doesn't seem to bother the corals at all and is doing fine. We are completely stumped and would appreciate an expert opinion! It was such a showy coral and we hate to see it going through this. Thanks in advance for your help. Keep up the good work! Wendy <... need info... there is not enough to even proffer good guesses here... Likely either an allelopathogenic effect, or some deficiency syndrome/poisoning chemically... Read here re the former: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Worm infestation... no  -12/28/2007 Hi crew, I'm having a big problem with my LPS corals for the latest 2 weeks. My aquarium is 75 gallons, 5x39 T5 and 6 months old. My water param.s are nh3,No3 zero, SG 35ppm, temp 79F, Ca 380-420, Alk 10-11 dKH, Mg 1300-1350. In the last 2 weeks, on the hammer and torch coral some white worm appeared as you can see in this picture http://img529.imageshack.us/my.php?image=img5113pt6.jpg. <They are mesenterial filaments. Btw, nice photo!> Last week I bought a Fungia and now I can see a few worm on it also. I manually removed the worms with 2 sticks, then 15-20 min. dips in Lugol's solution, but without success. <Oooo... bad idea. These are not pests. They're part of the coral (external digestive "organs").> I think that they are predatory Nudibranchs, but I did not found any quality picture on internet that will help ID those nasty creatures. <They're not Nudibranchs.> What other things I must try to save the corals ? <Relax my friend, they are a normal/healthy part of the coral.> Thanks,
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Coral parts above, some serpulids below

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