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FAQs about Caryophyllid Coral Disease, Pests, Predation 1

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, Caryophyllid Disease 7, 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: 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 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,

Pictures for Urgent Help with a Hammer Coral 1/8/04 Hi guys.  I need your help badly. <Hi Jim.  Adam here, hopefully with the help you need!  I have combined your two messages into one.> Just before Christmas I purchased two new corals, a large hammer (non-branching) and a very large frogspawn/Octobubble with 5 (soon to be six) heads.  Based on readings and previous discussions, I placed the frogspawn within the top 8 inches, and the hammer a little further down, because that's roughly where they were at the LFS, and we have nearly identical lighting (4x48" VHO, 3 White and 1 actinic). <Wise to introduce the corals to light they are "used to".  I would guess that these would do fine anywhere in the tank, though.> Well, the frogspawn was doing well, but the hammer wasn't opening all the way, particularly the parts that were lowest on the coral and most facing away from the lights (as I said, this is a LARGE specimen with a very convoluted skeleton and many mouths.  The "ridge" has at least three Y's in it). <Non-branching Euphyllias tend to be a bit more delicate than the branching varieties, and when they do get injured, you risk losing the whole animal instead of a single head.> So I decided that moving it a little higher on the rock formation was in order.  Well, I was right, because after moving, the whole animal opened up much better, <I doubt this was light related.  More likely current or simply time in your system.> except for the part that I bumped/scraped against the edge of a neighboring rock while repositioning (on the part that was already weakened by inadequate light, no less). <Oops!  I know what is coming next....> Well, within a day I thought I could see tissue recession, and on New Year's eve I began to see brown, stringy material coming up off the wound.  Fearing Brown Jelly, which has killed the other two hammers I have tried in the last five years, I read as much as I could on your website, then I fixed a clean bucket up with 3/4 gallon of tank water, plus 1/2 gallon fresh water, plus 4 drops of Malachite Green.  Made the coral mad.  Mucus everywhere.  But by noon the next day, the whole coral, except for the wounded part, looked great again. <Glad the coral survived the dip!  If by "fresh water" you mean non-salt (as opposed to freshly mixed artificial sea water), I would skip that step.  Hyposalinity is equally or more dangerous to the coral than to any opportunistic invaders.> Well, the recession continued, but slowly.  I can't imagine it is brown jelly, because after a week there is less than an inch of receded material/skeleton exposed, and none of my other corals are affected (thank God).  I did try another Malachite Green dip, using five drops with the same water mix, night before last.  It hasn't done anything to slow the progress. <See below for comments on Iodine dips.  In addition, you can try sealing the edge of the receding tissue with super glue.  This often helps stop the progress of recession.> This is a large, beautiful (and expensive) hammer, and I really don't want to lose it.  What can I do?  I'll try to snap a picture tomorrow when the lights are on and the coral is open. <As long as "Brown Jelly" isn't present, this type of recession often stops on it's own, and the coral just resumes growing from the remaining living portion.  Sometimes, despite best efforts, it takes out the entire coral.> Incidentally, here are the param.s for my tank: 72 Gallon bowfront Berlin Protein Skimmer Refugium with Sand/LR/Caulerpa Ammonia=0 Nitrite-0 Nitrate<10 ppm PH 8.4 Alkalinity 4.46 meq/L I can't speak to calcium right now, because my test kit went bad and I need to get a new one.  Has typically been around 380-420. I am currently using about 1 Sea Lab 28 block per week as my only supplement.  I don't like to add things to my tank unless they appear to be necessary. <Everything sounds fine, but you didn't list salinity (I am partial to full strength of 1.025-1.026).  I am not familiar with the sea lab product, but guess that it is for alkalinity?  I also agree that in most cases that additives (other than Ca/Alk) are unnecessary, especially if you aren't testing for them.> My Red Lobophyllia has been doing nicely for the last two years, as has my Candycane/trumpet coral.  The Candycane divides regularly.  Growth on the Lobophyllia has been pretty slow, but it is at the bottom of the tank on the substrate.  Unfortunately, I do have some soft corals in the tank.  I am slowly transitioning from soft to LPS, but I just can't bring myself to get rid of my Colt or ALL of my green frilly mushrooms and star polyps (I took about 75% and gave them away or put them in other tanks).  None of them is close to the Hammer. <It sounds like most of your corals are healthy, but beware that Shrooms and colts are high on the list for chemical warfare.  Physical proximity in the tank doesn't mean much in such a small volume of water.> Thanks so much for your help Jim Jensen Hello again.  I took a couple pics with my digital camera this morning.  I am afraid they aren't great (neither is the camera), but at least you can see the problem.  Ignore the blue spot in the second photo, it's just glare.  The coral looks worse today.  You can see the brown, stringy material coming up off the dead part of the skeleton.  Should I try doing another Malachite Green dip, or some sort of Iodine dip?  I've never dosed with/used Iodine.  I am not sure where I would even get it.  I imagine that what you get at the drug store is not the right stuff. <It is hard to tell much from the picture.  I have not used malachite green, but have used Lugol's iodine, which should be available at your local pharmacy (some won't sell without a prescription), scientific supply store, or a good pet shop.  A 15 dip with 10-15 drops per quart of tank water makes a reasonable treatment.  During the treatment, gently brush away any necrotic tissue with a toothbrush.  After treatment, consider sealing the "wound" with super glue.> Please advise!  Jim
<Good luck!  Adam>

Re: Urgent Help with a Hammer Coral Adam, Thanks for the advice! <No worries!> Since I sent in the email, the recession has almost stopped, and I am not seeing any necrotic tissue, so I am just holding my breath and leaving it alone, thinking that disturbing the coral for a dip right now might do more harm than good. <Glad to hear the coral is improving.  I agree strongly with simply leaving it alone as long as the recession has stopped.> I did purchase some Kent Iodine, and added two small doses over the last 4 days (1 tsp), but I don't want to add too much until I get a test kit (which the LFS doesn't carry).  Is Lugol's different from the prepackaged Kent Iodine?  How much Kent would I use if I did decide to do a dip treatment?  And I assume you meant fifteen minutes? <Yup.  15 minutes.  Sorry for the omission.  The Kent iodine additive is different than Lugol's.  Kent does also distribute Lugol's, but it is packaged in a medicine dropper style bottle.  I am not sure what the equivalent dip dosage would be since they are different chemical forms of iodine.> As for the Malachite dip, I was using 3/4 gallon of saltwater out of the tank and 1/2 gallon of fresh (non-salt) water, because it seems like Bob was suggesting that hyposalinity increases absorption of the Malachite.  But since there doesn't appear to be any brown jelly, I won't try Malachite green again (unless bj sets in....) <I will go back and read Bob's recommendation on this, but I feel pretty strongly about not subjecting corals to hyposalinity since it exerts a great deal of osmotic stress.> My tank runs 1.023, <With corals present, I strongly recommend NSW concentration of 1.025-1.026.> and the Sea Lab 28 is supposed to be a "complete" supplement--Calcium & Alk, plus strontium, Iodine and other trace elements. I don't put a whole lot of stock in the whole "trace element" thing, but the blocks do seem to keep everyone happy and growing. <Agreed about the trace elements, but I am in favor of "balanced" additives like this one that contain the proper ratio of major elements like Magnesium, etc.  Sounds like a convenient product that is serving you well....  Don't fix what ain't broke!> Thanks again, Jim Jensen <Always glad to!  Adam>

What's That On Your Hammer?  Eeewww!!! Hi, I have a tri-color hammer branch that had been doing quite well for a couple months (that's about how long I've had it) but then I added in a frogspawn coral on the other side of the tank and started adding in calcium and iodide in moderate quantities. Since then, the hammer has been almost completely closed up. The frogspawn, meanwhile, is flourishing.  Over the last week or so, I've noticed that long stringy brown algae has been growing on the hammer and I started moving it away but probably not very effectively because it always came back. Someone at my LFS recommended using a turkey baster which appeared to literally blast away all the bad algae and maybe some brown stuff that seemed to be inside the hammer. That very night (yesterday), the hammer started coming out again, probably to about 50% of what I've ever seen it at but then stopped and I noticed some small pieces of algae growing on the edges. I blasted those away too (though rather gently so as not to harm the hammer) though the hammer didn't come out any more. However, this morning, more brown stringy algae was on the hammer and the hammer had pulled back into itself.  Is my hammer damaged or diseased? Is there a way to get rid of the algae from growing on it? I'm relatively certain that if I could get the algae to go away, the hammer might come back out as normal. I have 3 blue-leg hermits, one Astrea snail and one turbo snail, but recently (last couple weeks) I have noticed that the brown algae on the glass seems to be a little out of control as well as some red slime algae on the substrate.  Thanks for all your help! Veronica <Hi Veronica, The algae (which I'm guessing is Cyano bacteria from your description) is growing on a dead surface, meaning that the hammer is most likely dead in the areas which the algae is growing on. Your regular additions of iodine may have caused this, as well as moving it. I would recommend you purchase an iodine test kit and test for your iodine levels. You should always test for anything you're adding. Blasting the Cyanobacteria off the hammer is a good idea. Cyanobacteria (or, also referred to as Red Slime) is usually caused by lack of currents and extra nutrients. Overfeeding could possibly lead to the Cyano taking over corals. Phosphate will also elevate your Cyano levels.  For now, I would continue to blast the algae off the hammer and discontinue dosing iodine until you've tested for it. I would also look into feeding less and adding more current to your aquarium to prevent further Cyano build up. Take Care, Graham>

-Dead portions of hammer- Hello again, I just have a quick question for your fine staff.  I have a three fingered HAMMER CORAL.  Unfortunately, one of the fingers seems to have died.  Their is no sign of life.  However, the other two fingers are flourishing.  Can I cut off the dead finger or what would you suggest. <Absolutely, provided there is no live tissue connecting the dead head to the live ones.> Their is some brown slime starting to form on the dead finger. <Definitely remove this dead one, it would also be good practice to give the other heads an iodine dip, do a search on this site for info how. Good luck! -Kevin> Thanks again for your hard work and dedication, Jose

Is The Fox Finished? (Damaged Fox Coral) Hi, I recently bought a large fox coral off of liveaquaria.com, and it arrived with one half of the tissue gone. That is, that it died and fell off. The colour was bleached white on the areas where their was no tissue. Is there any way I can feed it, so that it can re-grow over the dead areas? I tried feeding it, but the food just floated off. And the "ribs" were exposed. If you do not know what I mean by ribs, you know how on bubble corals, there are large round plate like things? That is what I am talking about, only an a fox coral. <I understand what you are referring to...Good description!> It is at the bottom of my reef aquarium. It didn't seem to open well under direct light. Anyway, can you help me out? Thanks, Adam <Well, Adam- assuming that you are providing appropriate environmental conditions, it is certainly possible for recovery to occur. Not an everyday occurrence, but it is worth not giving up. The most important thing is to provide stable, healthy parameters, and feed as often as possible. Don't give up yet! Regards, Scott F>

Back from the dead! Hammer Coral 2/12/04 Hello all! <howdy> You probably don't remember this with the large volume of emails that you get, but a while back I emailed you about a problem with a hammer coral. The coral was mysteriously losing polyps every few days.  When the last polyp was dying, I noticed that a chunk of it was missing.  It appeared that my coral was being eaten, but I never found the culprit. <OK> Since the coral was gone, I moved the skeleton to the back of the tank to make room for other corals.  That was over a year ago.  This week I was surprised to find a tiny bright green polyp poking up from the back of the tank where the old skeleton was leaning up against the glass.  I turned the skeleton around, and found what appears to be two small polyps that somehow survived all this time.  They must have been microscopic when I put the skeleton back there! <sort of... many LPS corals have living tissues unseen deep within the corallite. Some will even begin to decalcify and feed the growth of new buds (anthocauli) from a seemingly dead parent "skeleton". I wrote an article about this with Steven Pro here on WetWebMedia.com if you care to look back in the archives (under Trachyphyllia)> The larger of the two new polyps is only about the size of a pea.  Should I start feeding them?  If so, what should I feed them?   <enriched baby brine shrimp or better, Cyclop-eeze ASAP> I used to feed my hammer coral very small pieces of meaty food, but I don't think I can chop the food up finely enough for these tiny polyps to eat.  I have lots of copepods, etc. in my tank, which they must have been living off of all this time.  Is that a sufficient source of food until they get bigger? <perhaps but not for long> Another related question for you... My old hammer coral was white with a slight greenish tint.  These new polyps are fluorescent green.  Can polyps from the same colony have different colors?  Or were these new polyps just hitchhikers on the original? <the former is correct... and the recovered polyps are simply responding to the change/difference in light. Some bleached/stressed corals can in fact pick up different strains of Zooxanthellae too> Thanks! <kindly, Anthony>

Bubble Coral Damage 4/5/04 While working in my tank tonight I bumped my bubble coral.  A small portion got crushed against the sharp shell. There is definitely some tissue damage. It pulled into its shell right after, and has not come out for an hour or so.  Is this likely to regenerate, or did clumsiness just kill my bubble coral?  Thanks! -Ken <while even some hardy LPS corals are very sensitive to tissue damage, Bubble corals are not.. really durable and resilient! With good water flow, water quality and adequate feeding/light, I suspect this coral will recover very soon. No worries. Anthony>  

Hammer Coral Problem  <Hi Ken, MacL here> Sorry. <No biggie> I hit the send button prior to getting the message ready.  Quick question for you. I have a problem with my hammer coral bailing out of the skeleton. <Not good at all.> I have good water quality with 0 nitrates, PH at 8.4, calcium at 380-400 no ammonia and no nitrates.  I have been using a Kent calcium additive and I am wondering if perhaps I over did it in the past week. I put 1 teaspoon in on two separate days. I also feed the corals brine shrimp/small arctic shrimp (don't remember the name) combination about every other day.  Last night the hammer looked like it was feeding well but then this morning I noticed that it was bailing out. <Sounds possibly like an infection to me. Is it also getting any kind of jelly looking thing? Honestly sounds like it might need to be dipped. I personally have had good luck with coral reef dip by SeaChem for a commercial product and there's a great dip listed on the WetWebMedia website.> Any ideas? Thanks, Ken <Try the dip on WetWebMedia Ken and good luck! MacL>

Treating a sick torch coral Hi, crew.  Back again with a question.  I have a torch coral that suddenly went from looking happy and lush to having 3 of its branches covered in nothing but that brown jelly I have seen described on your site. << Frustrating thing to have happen. >>   Based on a search of similar problems on the WWM site, I moved the torch to a QT tank, and am on my way to buy Lugol's solution and give some dips a try.  My question is, how long of a process is this? << Wow, risky.  I'd say it is only takes a couple days in a hospital tank to make or break the coral. >> Any special instructions?  When do you know if the coral has turned a corner and/or should be returned to the tank? << You never know, but I think lighting is so important that I'd move it back after one day. >> And what would cause such a sudden event?  It's not a new coral, nor have I added anything to the tank in several months.  I need to know if I'm doing something wrong or what things to investigate. << I'd check water quality of course, as well as water motion and the health of all other corals. >> Thanks, as always.  Will let you know either way what happens. Laura <<  Blundell  >>

Dying Euphyllia I have a wonderful reef tank that has been up and doing very well for over a year and a half. << Great to hear. >> My tank is doing so well that my two Mandarin fish only eat off of my live rocks and have no desire for any other food. << Mandarin fish rarely eat prepared foods, which is why they have an abysmal survival rate. >> A few days ago I purchased an Euphyllia ancora.  As I went to acclimate it I saw quite a bit of slim but a lot of my corals have slimmed in transportation from the pet store to my home. << This is quite common. >> Now my anchor coral is starting to deteriorate.  Is there anything I can do to save it? << Well I'm not sure what the problem is, but good water quality and plenty of light are a good starting point. >> I have it in a spot in my tank that has moderate light and low water movement.  Last night one tentacle stretched to about an inch and a half but it was just one of its many tentacles that did this.  I tried feeding it some Microplankton to encourage it that its new home was inviting, safe, and that it would have plenty of food.  Today when I woke up it seems that it is still deteriorating.  Can you give me any advice on what is happening, why, and what if anything I can do? << I would try to mimic the conditions of the aquariums it came from.  Otherwise, if you really think you'll lose it, I would take it to a friend or store to hold for you. >> Thanks in advance! Stephanie White <<  Blundell  >>

Saving a Hammer My question is to whomever can help with this issue. My Hammer coral fell on my Galaxea today and it doesn't look good. Is there anything I can do to possibly save it? Thanks <be sure the Hammer coral is returned to its exact former place, set securely (use underwater epoxy if necessary), maintain very good/strong random turbulent water flow, add small daily doses of iodine to the water (regular weekly dose just fractioned for daily application) and observe carefully for necrosis or infection in the tissue. Extra water changes may be necessary to reduce mucus shed from stress. Best regards, Anthony>

Trapped gas in Euphyllia? Hi guys, I have a question about my Euphyllia.  It was sold to me as a branching hammer coral and it's been absolutely gorgeous up until now.  I did a water change on Tuesday and now on one of the branches in the middle of the of the branch near the mouth there are like two bubble looking things, they look like air pockets. <Arghhh... not good> The only thing I can think of that might be a possible cause is the water temp.  The water may have been a little colder than the water in the tank.  I can't get a clear photo of it because of the angle, but it just looks like two little air pockets on either side of the mouth.  Any ideas? Thanks, Arthur <you are correct... the sudden mixing of cold and warm/hot waters can cause this condition (like an embolism). It is also caused by microbubbles that supersaturate the water as when aspirated through a pinhole leak in the return pump plumbing. It is also caused by excessive illumination (recent upgrade of lights or changing of an old lamp). And lastly, air is sometimes ingested deliberately by some SPS with or without food (perhaps for the proteins attracted to the surface of each air bubble). The last event is the least common and seems to occur most often captivity (not on a reef so much). All other explanations here are unfavorable but not fatal. We simply must give it some time to see if it will pass (week+) or lance it if necessary (interferes with normal polyp cycles). Best regards, Anthony>

Pearl bubble Hello to you all, <Hellooooooo Helene!> I have read all over the WWM site and still can't seem to figure out what to do for my Pearl Bubble. <flowers, soft music and candlelight always make me feel better. That and a fifth of brandy. Do consider... for the coral, that is... not for me. I can take care of myself> All seems well in the kingdom for the all other life but the pearl just keeps on shrinking... <do you play Mariah Carey a lot?> I have been trying to tempt him to eat with a little direct feeding of zooplankton and phytoplankton mixture.   <good with the zoo... but don't waste your time on the phyto with this species. Form follows function, and this coral has huge feeding tentacles designed to catch large zooplankton. No plant matter here> Even tried a little of my home recipe clam, shrimp, fish etc frozen stuff. All to no avail...he is in the middle of the 75 gal, decent water activity and not too near to anybody else.   <all good> Water quality is good although we did have a nitrate spike a while ago when we lost a few little fishes and couldn't find them.... <no biggie> these were new fishes and had been quarantined but alas who knows.... <understood my friend> Any ideas?   <yep... I think we should send Weird Al Yankovic to Iraq to counter the threat of chemical weapons by the tyrannical regime in power (the oil companies that is)> Or once again not enough info.... <regarding the bubble, it sounds as if you have done all you can. You may need to pull the coral to a bare bottomed QT tank to determine if the irritant is in the tank itself. 4 weeks as usual in QT> I will continue to try to feed him.  Hard to catch him when his feeders are out.... <good, but don't wait...put a tablespoon of meaty juice in the tank 15 minutes prior to feeding and the tentacles should come out> I think that he may be getting too weak to extend them.   <I assure you that is not so> The addition of zooplankton is new.....think that might help? <Oh ya! it is the only food this coral eats. If you have been using phyto only up to know, your coral has been starving. Bubbles are meat eaters> Anyway, thank you for all your help......Helene <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Dead Euphyllia ancora and ick Dear Craig: Hello! How do you do? <Hi Mimie, I'm alright, a little jet-lagged after returning from Florida> Well, some bad news, my hammer coral died yesterday. Don't know why, everything seemed perfectly in order waters param.s etc. It started dissolving after you told me to give it full-spectrum lighting. Not pointing the finger at you but I guess it started to die once I placed it in my tank. But for the life of me, I don't know why. Oh, and my fan worm died too. However, the other corals and fish are doing fine, except that the Sailfin tang has gotten an ick infection which I thought I completely eradicated months ago. I am very dis-spirited now. <Uh-oh.  Sounds like something happened here. Any sudden temp or other changes that maybe happened unbeknownst to you that also set the ick off? This usually happens with a temp drop or maybe came in with the hammer, which may have been sick or infected already. These corals also are susceptible to brown slime bacterial infections and such.  Tube Fans are sometimes difficult to keep for extended periods due to their filter feeding requirements.>   Anyway, I started feeding it garlic soaked Mysis shrimp. He's not really taking it, kinda nibbling on it. It seem really bad in the morning but disappears during the day. The fire shrimp too seem to be helping out by cleaning him. A strange observation. <Try to find Tetra anti-parasite medicated food, this works well for those spot attacks before they get going.> Well, that's the latest. I know that my water is top-notch...I do 20% changes weekly. Can't do any better than that. I don't know...Best, Mimie <Make sure your water changes are temp/pH/SG matched as this could cause some of your problems.  Sorry to hear of your difficulties, don't feel alone, we all have these things happen sometimes. My Best, Craig>

Euphyllia Ancora Hi Craig !!!!!!!!! Thanks for the advice on timers, you're like my piscatorial guardian angel! <Hi Mimie!> I recently purchase an Anchor coral for <cheap>(like the budgie!) and it is a beautiful addition to my tank. I love the metallic green that seem to stand out in the actinic light. Prior to buying it, I did some research on your site and am a little quizzical on the aspects of water movement and lighting because of the conflicting notes on the articles and the FAQ section. I've got mine wedged between some LR about 4 inches from the surface, close to the powerhead. (I have a 2X55W PC unit but only turn on the 10000K actinic lamps. The other is a 7100K lamp. Photoperiod is 12 hrs.) Also offered some Mysis shrimp soaked in Zoecon but it did not consume it. Of course all filtration and powerheads were turned off. <I purchased a bleached Hammer because it was a deal too:>) They like full spectrum lighting (50/50 actinic and white) so turn on all of your lights, perhaps over a few days, and try to match the lighting intensity from the store at first. It will likely be alright where it is, light wise. The Tentacles should gently wave in the current, nothing too vigorous. This family of corals have hard skeletons which can bruise or cut the soft tissue in too-strong current. It would likely not open or stay open. I don't target feed my hammer, which has grown considerably and recuperated nicely from it's former condition, but I feed my fish a large variety of natural foods which indirectly feeds the hammer.> Also got a juv. Zebrasoma Velifera who just loved the shrimp but hasn't sampled the Gracilaria algae in my tank...although my Mexican Turbos seem to munching on it throughout the day. <Note: I will be moving the tang to a 135G FO system I am getting for Xmas *smile*> Please advise. Just me, MER <Wow, my advice?  Have fun!  Enjoy your hammer coral, with the proper light, a moderate current and fed fish it should do just fine. Some people target feed their LPS corals, there is more on this at WetWeb, in Anthony's book, Bob's book or the new Invert book coming out soon.  Remember, LPS corals need adequate calcium and alk levels as well. Bye for now, Craig>

Anchor Coral Problem I've been having a problem with my anchor coral for the past couple of weeks.  Let me start from the beginning.  I bought the coral 5 months ago. About 2 weeks after I bought it, one of the polyps shriveled up and died in a 24-hour period.  I attributed this to the fact that I probably scratched it while I was feeding it.   <hmmm... this reminds me to warn you to be careful not to feed large foods... never larger than 1/4" bits (minced). Even though this blind and sightless animals will sting and draw any large chunk of dead fish or shrimp in... it doesn't make it smart or safe. Many coral are harmed or killed by feeding large krill, shrimp or fish chunks> About 2 weeks ago, for no apparent reason, another polyp shriveled up and died in the same way.   <more symptoms needed here... any evidence of necrosis, change of color... waning over what period of time, etc?> Yesterday, one more polyp started shriveling.  (This last polyp was connected to the previous  polyp by tissue, so I'm not sure if this polyp is dying because it was connected to the other.)   <not likely over this period of time (no pathogen)... more likely suffering the same physical imposition (feeding, water quality or predator)> My water parameters are all fine, <fine relative to what... numbers please> and I can find no exterior signs of infection or parasites.  The coral was doing fine for a long time after I bought it, <months? still not long if starving (regurgitating large chunks after dark)> so I'm not sure how it could have been infected.   <almost certainly not infected/pathogenic over this period of time> I have 2 polyps left on the coral that seem to be doing fine, but then again the other polyps looked fine before they mysteriously died.   <how fast/sudden? Perhaps there is a fish in the tank nibbling at night. Fish list please> My other corals and fish are not showing any signs of stress.  I've seen postings about a Malachite Green dip, but I could not find the exact recipe. <Good heavens no! No organic dyes or metals on invertebrates please. Very dangerous... and you don't even have an infection (no mention of necrotic tissue!)> I'm not even sure if the dip is the appropriate action to take.  Can you  help? Thanks for all of your help -- past, present, and future! <a picture please if possible. With kind regards, Anthony>
Anchor Coral problem 2
I guess in my pre-Christmas haste, I forgot a few important details. 1.  There were no real outward symptoms.  No necrosis or other signs of tissue degradation or color change.  One day they would appear open and happy, and the next day they would begin shriveling up.  They would start shriveling on one side and by the end of the day, they would be completely shriveled.  The tissue would be almost completely gone by the next morning (most likely eating by my many critters).   <agreed... this is a severe water quality issue or predation. Perhaps a large inconspicuous flatworm nearby> The last polyp that died was in the front, so I could see it much better than the other two.  In addition to the shriveling, the tissue looked as if it was tearing away from the skeleton.  I did not notice this on the others, but this may have been caused by the fact that this polyp was also in a slightly higher water flow area. <interesting... have you checked magnesium levels? Do you use/abuse liquid or turbo calcium (awful stuff... chloride accumulation)... or do you use buffers with borate heavy handedly (maintains ALK but weak for coral use)>> 2.  I have 0 ammonia, 0 nitrites, and < 10 nitrates.  My calcium is at 410, my dKH is at 9.5, and my pH is at 8.3. No complaints here> 3.  I have 1 Ocellaris clown, one Hippo Tang, and one Scott's Velvet Wrasse. <no conspicuous risks here> It's interesting that you brought up the predation.  I did find two brown Mithrax crabs.   <Doh! If you don't have Atlantic live rock, they weren't Mithrax  crabs (Mithraculus)! And most all crabs including true Mithrax can be predatory... strong candidates here> I was able to get them out of the tank last night.  They seemed too small to do any damage, <heehee...> but maybe that's what was killing my coral. Thanks again. <very possible. Anthony>

Unhappy hammer- coral aggression My hammer coral was looking good until I placed a purple torch next to it. They were about 2.5 inches apart, I increased the separation to ~4 inches. <very good move but not enough. The "rule" is 6-10" minimum between all coral... more between aggressive species. These two coral mentioned are VERY aggressive (modified tentacles at night and chemical exudations shed> The hammer's polyps are semi-retracted, sometimes completely retracted. Both corals are stetting on rocks on the bottom of a 29 gal tank. I've had the hammer for about two months, everything was fine, its been about four days since I got the torch. What should I do? <more space and good water flow. Aggressive skimming and weekly changes of carbon will help temper the aggression too. Best regards, Anthony>

Bubble problems.. <cheers, Brett> Hello Wet Web Staff, >  I have a problem with a Plerogyra sinuosa. It was doing great for a period of a year or so. It has been a gracious host to a clown fish for all of that time. <ouch... Scleractinia hosting clowns usually means trouble for the coral. Repetitive and unnatural abrasion of soft tissue against its own skeleton from the guest (clown). Wounds and tissue recession are inevitable in time> From readings on your site I found that I haven't been feeding it enough, but it was being fed periodically cut pieces of whole shrimp. <yes... please do feed minced (smaller pieces) several times weekly for the coral doesn't consume itself (attrition) in time> It also always gets floating brine shrimp that go uneaten by its finned tankmates. <Hmmm... adult brine? Very hollow food (almost no nutrition here... animals starve to death on this.). Try Mysis shrimp instead. Many other possibilities too... Gammarus, Pacifica plankton... anything but brine shrimp!> My problem is within the past week the bubbles are separating from the base. <not good indeed> The coral still balloons and otherwise looks normal. It's just that half of it is free from the stony base. What's your prognosis?   <it can survive... will take a few months... the clown must be removed and food particles have to be 1/4 or smaller (tiny) to prevent internal damage> I'm hoping maybe this is normal, however, I'm doubtful since I see no other queries stating this type of problem. <correct, my friend... it is not a good sign at all.> Tank chemistry parameters show no anomalies in any readings and are all within ranges that are considered healthy. The tank has been running for years with no real changes in chemistry. Lighting is 4 96 watt pc. bulbs two actinic two bright, running 12 hours a day.  The specimen is located about 12" below the surface, midway up a live rock wall and has never been moved. <all good as per above... must have been starvation or abrasion from the clownfish> Thanks for your time. Brett <best regards, Anthony>
Re: Can my bubble be saved???
Hello WWM Staff, I have been in touch with you recently, Anthony I believe, about my green Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa).   <cheers> If you recall, I have a clown that took up residence in it. <Ughh! Yes> As a result, over time, he separated the flesh from the stony base. You suggested separation or removal of the clown. I have isolated the coral specimen and at this time it's completely [detached from its skeleton]. <Ouch... that's going to leave a mark> The skeleton has been relegated to the sump for filter media. Anyway, will the "flesh" only specimen survive? <Yikes... what has happened is unnatural and uncommon. A stress induced strategy to be sure. I can't say if it will survive. I would suggest keeping it in a shallow dish of sand and feeding it regularly with hope for attachment (doubtful)> It still inflates albeit not as full and lush as before and if a fold develops it looks downright awful at the site of the fold. It has been without a base for about two weeks now. I have it in a perforated plastic Beta tank within my display tank. <very fine as long as it can get water flow> I have a small amount of sand from the tank in its isolation tank and it's resting on that. <excellent!> If it will, or has a chance to survive what do you recommend? <yes... possibly> Can I or should I attach it to a rock or piece of dead coral? <give it several months. If not attached by then, consider stitching it.> If so with what? If a section of it goes into decline any further can I "prune" it off and be left with anything that will live? <yes... but it would be a bad sign at that point> If I'm covering new ground here with this problem and solution any advice to increase my chances of success with be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help. <best regards, Anthony>

Spots to left of me, bubbles to the right - 2/6/03     Hi to all, <Huuulllllooooooo.> I'm wondering if the brown, translucent spots on my white bubble coral are of any concern. <Sounds like a Planaria infestation, but could maybe be the start of some sort of "Brown Jelly" issues maybe? Other than the spots, are you noticing any disintegrating tissue?> The tank is 6 months old, water parameters are great, temp 80, sal. 20, <Do you mean 1.020?> lighting is a 48"PC <what kind of light? Just curious> which are on 8-9 hrs daily,  water changes are 3-5% wkly <Mmmm.....maybe 5-10% weekly would be better> and the tank is 55glns. The coral is a little more than half way down, the brown spots started about two to three weeks ago and is covering approximately 75%. <A picture would be really helpful here, but if it seems that these are small irregular looking spots some darker than others, then try gently blowing bubble coral with a turkey baster. See if these "spots" come off or move.> Its fed twice a week with Mysis shrimp and a home blend food which includes garlic, serving size is less than 1/4" or smaller. <Could be fed more. Is it still eating currently?> There is a torch coral, <Be sure that the Torch is far from the Bubble as they have a tendency to use their feeding or err....."sweeper" tentacles to wage war on other corals, animals, and yourself <G> when not feeding with them>  purple mushroom, buttercup and a plate coral <Be sure this coral is not too close to anyone either. As a matter of fact be sure they are all pretty far apart if not already ;)> in the tank with it. <Do any other corals have any "spots"?> I do have two gold band maroon clowns in the tank which don't bother it at all, actually I don't see any of the fish bothering it. Any thoughts? < Hard to say. See above suggestions. I would check here also: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pestflatwrmanthony.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/flatworms.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corldisfaqs.htm Hopefully something in there will help identify the issue. Let me know if I can be of more help. If you have the means, please send a pic. Paul >

Sick Euphylliid Coral 6/28/03 I have been having a problem with my frogspawn and torch corals.  About four months ago, for some reason, the polyps on my frogspawn and torch would draw in, and within 24 hours the polyp would be shredded and falling off of the skeleton.   <many possible reasons for this... could be pathogenic from adding non-quarantined organisms (Euphylliids are quite sensitive to bacterial infections> I did numerous water changes, with quality salt, and deionized water, and the problem went away. It is happening again.  All water parameters are great.   <which I cannot confirm or deny/help you... will take your word on it> I use a calcium reactor, and a deionized water for top off.  As for the species of corals in the tank, I have numerous species of hard and soft corals.  I use large amounts of carbon, in numerous bags, and change them out at alternating intervals. <the info provided is too general, alas to be of much help... no list of number/qty of corals, size of tank, husbandry schedule, detailed symptoms (mucus or know, sloughing, etc?).> I am wondering if the problem could be with the manner in which the deionizer is recharged.   <not likely at all... recharge then purge with a few gallons of water then all is fine to use. If there is any problem it is from improper preparation of DI water (no aeration or buffering for 24 hours prior to salting or use). Also have fear/concern that you are putting that Di is being used raw for top off (Yikes!)> I use lye for one cartridge and Muriatic acid for the other, as per the instructions.   <quite normal and appropriate> The unit is a Kent Deion 200r.  I run about 20 gallons of water through the units before putting any of the water into the aquarium.   <wow... way more than you need to make it safe... but fine> I have never felt right about putting water into my aquarium that has been exposed to such chemicals, in any way, but that's what Kent says to do. <a better understanding of chemistry would reassure you just how safe and easily neutralized these chemicals are... no worries> I am at a loss.  Any help would be greatly appreciated.  My alternative is to not have any large polyp corals. <do read through our archive on wetwebmedia.com regarding quarantine protocol... if the problem is not water quality... I suspect a pathogen was brought in with a new fish, plant, algae, other coral, live rock, etc. Best regards, Anthony>

Torch coral shedding tentacles 6/13/03 Feeding my torch coral recently with a baster, I noticed some tentacle tips drifting free. I gave it a good blasting to free all the dead tips, there were a lot of them. The 'dead' tissue is the ball-shaped tentacle tip with about 1/4 inch of tentacle tissue. It appears to replace the shed tips, since its overall appearance hasn't changed, it still looks good. I can't detect any tentacles with missing tips. Q: Is this normal? <hard to say from your description... tentacles can be shed as a natural reproductive or defensive strategy, or (more often) as a sign of poor health/infection> This specimen is sitting about 6 inches below PC lamps (8000K and actinic), these lamps are about 10 months old. I feed it Tropical Crisps or other flake foods ground into powder, and sometimes Kent Microvert. <do send a picture if possible. Close up to see if there is any necrosis in evidence. Else we can only speculate from the general description I fear. Best regards, Anthony>

Euphyllia parancora question 6/11/03 hello there, <howdy!> I have a 120g tank with mixed soft corals and a few hard corals. Everything is fine except I have spotted that my beautiful and large Euphyllia parancora which is expanding very well and swelling enormously seems to have a part of the skeleton exposed. <the swelling large could be a bad sign if water clarity or light intensity have degraded over time. Causes corals to pan for the waning light yet give the appearance of "good health"> Now all around the colony the flesh of the coral does not simply come out of the ridges but extends further down each coral head also I can see a demarcation where the flesh starts even when the coral is 'resting' - although it never retracts its tentacles. One small section of this ribbon of flesh that extends for about one inch around all the coral heads appears missing and I can see the whiter skeleton. Extension is very good all over the colony but this thing bugs me. Could it be the start of something more sinister? In that case what precautions should I take? Tank you very much for your ever speedy responses. Massimo <its difficult for us to say with little information on your tank/history/husbandry and no picture provided. Do consider the overextension issue raised above if your lights are over 10 months old, if the lamps or lenses are not cleaned of dust and salt creep weekly, and/or if water clarity (lack of weekly/monthly water changes and carbon). Do send a pic if you can. Best regards, Anthony>

Frog spawn total polyp bail out 6/5/03 Bob, I have a frogspawn (grape I believe) that went through total polyp bail-out. <yikes! quite stressed to do so> I have recovered the polyp heads and am trying to get them to attach and re-calcify. They detached about a month ago. <indeed slow about it> The polyp heads are doing great, have good color and are extending nicely. I have the smaller of the two inside of an old open clam shell and covered with a piece of fruit net to keep it in place. The other is moving itself around the tank. Is there anything that I can do to speed up the re-attachment process? Thanks, John <definitely... feeding small/tiny calcium rich foods... shell-on crustaceans usually do the trick (Mysids and Pacifica plankton are good to start with). Feeding weekly or more often is key here. Best regards, Anthony>
RE: frog spawn total polyp bail out 6/5/03
Anthony, Thank you for your quick response. In addition to, I am using two part b-ionic. Will this slow the calcification process? <should help if dosed properly> My CA is running 480-500. <yikes! Careful mate. Sounds like some SPS-keeper talked you into this precariously high level (dangerous for most aquarists). There is a clear and present danger of a chemical "snowstorm" if you try to raise alk high too. We have articles and FAQs here on WetWebMedia about the topic at length... do browse more starting here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm > I am however switching this tank slowly over to seawater obtained from our local supply at the Scripps institute of oceanography (San Diego). <a bad decision in my opinion. Never use natural seawater... not even from Scripps <G>. Seriously... I have been to the institute... yes, driven down and seen the spigots from which to draw their filtered seawater. This after the president and other members of the San Diego Marine Aquarium Society wiped their tanks out for using it! Keep in mind... that they treat that grossly filtered water heavily after (!) the point at which you can draw grossly filtered seawater. The population along the California coast makes that water truly unsuitable IMO. Please do read more on out site (use Google. search too for a keyword search) and also chat with the SDMAS folks (great people/club) regarding> I started this AFTER the polyp bail-out. I change between 1-2 gals. a day on a 55 Gal. Stress, quite possible. The frogspawn was located in the close vicinity of pulsing xenia. <little aggression from the Xenia> Could have also been that I use to add the top of water (DI) to the HOB CPR skimmer located near the frogspawn. <yikes if this is unaerated or unbuffered... even then the fresh influx is rough indeed> Could a change in temporary SG stress it? <indeed... quite unnatural for this subtidal species> Next my tomato clowns were being very active this spring and would constantly brush the frogspawn and keep it from fully expanding. <adding insult to injury <G>> Last but not least, my I have the address to your web site? Thanks again, John <yes, my friend... there is so much to learn here: www.wetwebmedia.com Kind regards, Anthony>

Navigating WWM archives... and Coral Polyp bailout 6/10/03 Anthony, Thank you for all your help. I will make use of your archives on the site. I guess sometimes it's easier to ask someone of knowledge then to surf the FAQ's and try and make sense of them. <no worries, mate. And do refine your search technique for speed. Play around with rather specific keywords using the Google search tool for our site... and one of the best tricks to help you find what you are looking for on a given long FAQ page: copy and paste the page into a WORD document... then use the "find word" feature in WORD to ferret out the keyword that brought you to that page> My bailed out frogspawn had a mishap yesterday. Got home and found it sucked up in the strainer of a power head. Not a pretty site. <Yikes... for future reference... place polyps, soft frags, cuttings in a shallow cup (like a Kool-Aid plastic scoop) and cover the top with bridal veil or fruit netting until the polyp attaches> I removed the strainer and removed what was left of the polyp (of coarse it was the largest with two heads). I was getting ready to toss it in the trash but instead decided to give it another try back in the tank. <hmm... do be careful here... without the use of a proper quarantine/hospital tank, the stressed/injured polyp runs the risk of contracting a contagious infection that could spread to other healthy coral in the tank. I cannot emphasize the need for QT or new or stressed animals strongly enough> The tiny blob started to expand last night before lights out and was looking pretty good considering. Are these things that bullet proof? <coral reefs are dynamic environments... many hardy corals indeed> Hope it will recover! <please do take some pics for before and after... would love to see you share them with us and others later> If it does I will contain it as I did the other one. I did see some small parts scattered in the tank. Do you think these will grow? <possible but not as likely as with SPS splinters> Thanks again, John <kind regards, Anthony>

Bleached hammer coral Hi I have a 29 gallon mini reef that has a branched hammer coral that turned white a few months ago.  <likely from a attrition (starvation from lack of light and/or lack of target feeding) or salinity/temperature shock. The latter can occur and not effect all coral... different tolerances with each. Do you recall a sudden increase in heat or a lapse in evap top off followed by the dumping of a sudden large amount of freshwater in to compensate? If not... the coral was simply starving... very common. Many poorly lit or underfed coral can go 6-12 months before finally waning noticeably> It doesn't open as large as before but otherwise it seems fine. It has been like this at least 6 months.  <Yikes> The mushrooms and other corals seem fine. Water quality is fine. I have one power compact SmartLight and one 20 watt triton regular fluorescent about 4 inches above the glass top.  <that's your first problem, my friend. All fluorescents need to be 3" or closer to the water to be remotely useful. Your lights are already modest and the glass canopy filters even more light... especially if it has had salt creep or dust on it prolonged. Not enough useable light has been getting to this animals to help it feed itself photosynthetically. See this article here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm  Furthermore these Euphyllia species need more food than most coral to support symbiosis. Feeding 3-5 times weekly with fine meaty food is necessary... see this article here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm> Any idea what might be wrong or what I can do to get some color back in it? Thanks . <the main thing is to use fresh bulbs (6-10 months old, keep clear water (carbon changed monthly is not small amounts weekly) and feed daily in small amounts until color returns and then you can back off just a little. Best regards, Anthony>

Snoozing Snails And A Hurting Hammer? I have a 29 G reef tank which I have cycled for 6 weeks with LR and LS. Had the LFS do a water check and they said the numbers were great--- ph 8.4, 1.023, 0 on the ammonia and nitrites. We put in a small Hammer coral on 6/24 which looked fine at the store. It has not "come out of its shell" since.  I have a 70 watt MH light which runs about 7 hours a day. The Hammer seems to be spewing fine silk-like threads fairly often now. What are they? <Hard to say without a pic, but I'll hazard a guess that it's one form of mucus or other organic material. If it is mucus, it's probably some sort of response to a stress of some sort. Or, perhaps the coral is being picked at by one of the other inhabitants of the tank. Do a little re-check of the setup and see if there are any possible culprits. Also, did the coral acclimate to your lighting regimen? Lighting shock is a possible culprit> I also introduced a Turbo snail and 3 bumblebees the morning of the 25th.  The Turbo moved around a lot that first morning but now hasn't even moved for around 48 hours.  Pretty much the same for the bumblebees. Help!!!! <Well, I wouldn't be overly concerned about the lack of movement of the snails, unless they are stinking or missing from their shells all together (perhaps victims of a predator, like a hermit crab, etc). For a variety of reasons, snails will stay in a "dormant" mode for periods of time...In fact, Anthony has a great picture of a snail that fell asleep too long near a xenia colony, and had some polyps grow right onto the shell! These guys will move again...Be patient. I'm sure that they will be fine Regards, Scott F.!

Pearl bubble health question Finally, not a lighting question from me! :) <I'm not betting on it until I finish reading the whole message <G>> I recently installed a large pearl bubble coral into my 75 gallon reef tank. I went through what I thought was a good acclimation process, and I expected him to take a while to acclimate to the tank. He seems somewhat OK (it's only been 3 or 4 days, so as well as can be expected after the move),  <agreed> but last night I thought he was dying - he started emitting streams of a gooey-looking substance through slits in his body. <two things it could be... simply excrement (usually dark in color), or Zooxanthellae packets (symbiotic algae) from stress... often luminary shock (lights too bright). Acclimation to bright lights takes weeks.. a drawn out process with shade screens atop the coral, etc. Do you recall the synopsis for doing that from my lighting article, bud? NO worries anyway... it still may be excrement. Was there a recent large feeding? Bubble corals need to be fed finely minced meaty foods 4-5 times weekly minimum. Daily would be better> I was about to remove him from the tank entirely, into quarantine, but I noticed that he didn't actually look like he was on his last legs, but the emissions disturbed me. They went on for about an hour, not continuously but every once in a while. This morning, he looks like he always has. I'm keeping a close eye on him, but would like to get your input. <excellent... as per above> My lighting is a pair of 250W MH (as if you guys haven't heard enough about *that* recently) and 4 55W actinic PCs. I'm acclimating him by lowering the MHs to 3 hours a day and working back up to 9 hours over a 10 day period, but I'm wondering if he's just having a bad reaction to the change in light (although he'd been under lower-intensity MHs prior to entry in the tank). <this is a bad habit and an inappropriate acclimation technique. Even if it is the only coral in the tank. And when there are other corals... this means every established coral in the tank will be deprived of light every time a new coral is added? Yikes. Do read my acclimation technique using screens at the bottom of this article (excerpted from my coral book): http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm >  Thanks... Arthur <best regards, Anthony>
Re: Pearl bubble health question
"And when there are other corals... this means every established coral in the tank will be deprived of light every time a new coral is added?" Yikes! You know, I wondered about this recently. I have read about other methods, but always stopped after reading about placing it low and moving it up - he's large, so that wouldn't work. The screen idea never occurred to me, but it's an elegant and simple solution. <awesome, my friend! It does seem to work well for most folks> The reason I thought it would work out to place him and lower the MH duration was because I'm simultaneously replacing the MH bulbs, going from 10KK to 20KK  (I got the 20KK Radiums - *love* the effect). Even though the 10KK bulbs I'm replacing are only 3 months old, I was concerned about the new bulbs' being too strong, and having asked a million light-oriented questions recently, I didn't want to ask another and thought I had a good solution (bad assumption).  <not necessarily a bad assumption... just a bit risky without concurrent use of a PAR or Luxmeter. And in the future when a bulb change was not a convenient segue, it would quite possibly compromise the other corals> I'm about 4 days into lowered levels, and have worked back up to 5 hours (out of 9, up from the lowered starting point of 3) - should I simply put the hours back to 9 and place the screens, or continue the path because of the new bulbs, or do something else entirely? <having reduce the photoperiod, I'd be content to see you carry on as planned. Slow acclimation of all to increasing photoperiod. Do be sure to feed well... food can compensate for lower/inadequate light with corals> Dang it, I knew *somehow* this would get back to a question from me about lights...:) Arthur <Ha! no worries at all... never hesitate to ask or wonder. Keep learning, sharing and growing. Kindly, Anthony>

More on coral meltdown Hi there, a good friend of mine has a nasty problem.  In about 24 hours a huge frogspawn melted down to the skeleton, forming this brown goo that smells like death (brown jelly disease?).  All hammers and frogspawn in the tank seem to be affected to some degree (there are about 5-6 of them), the brains and Blastomussa as well as a couple of softies seem ok for now.  Corals were dipped in Tech-D last night and will be freshwater dipped today.  He put in additional skimming, carbon and a PolyFilter.  We're looking for advice on how to avoid a total meltdown. >Thanks Stephen ><Besides what you've done....water changes, water changes, water changes.  Like 10-25% a day.  I wouldn't do anymore stressful treatments.  Test water parameters and make sure they are within the norm. Also watch temp...this is most likely environmental. QT all new corals.  Best of luck!  Craig> <Hi Steven, I looked into this further (in Anthony Calfo's great book!) and he advises removing all infected corals from the display in a plastic container, then removing any infected, dead and necrotic tissue with a stream of water and then with a toothbrush down to healthy tissue, then placement in a QT tank, perhaps with iodine/Lugol's in known doses.  As a last resort fragging/separation of healthy tissue from infected. Discard all operation/rinse/cleaning water and lift corals from display in container to prevent stress and contamination. Iodine may be used as a dip and in the working containers. Time is of the essence. Good luck, Craig>

Frogspawn and flatworm Hey there, I took a look at the Frog Spawn and the purple spots moved around when the coral came out. Could it be a flat worm? Could it be harmful to the coral? Thanks for your help, Anthony >> Could be a flatworm, could be harmful... but not much you can/should do to remove them at this point (as they don't sound like they're causing trouble). You can read some of the going info. on their control (biological and chemical) at my wetwebmedia.com site under the heading "worms"... There are some wrasses that will try them out (Pseudocheilinus), hermit crabs (Dardanus spp.)... depending on what species the worms are, how hungry the predators might be... Bob Fenner

Corals are starting to die off. I have power compacts for lighting (4 55 watts bulbs) I just changed my bulbs about 2 months ago. As for corals, I have: colt open brain  green torch frog spawn hammer finger leather  several mushroom/polyps My test results: PH 8.2 specific gravity 1.022 ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 1.0 Phos 0.2 Ca 450ppm Sections of my hammer and torch would look brown and the next day it would just fall off. I don't know if that made any sense. the only fish I have are a lawnmower blenny and sleeper goby.  I clean the glass once a week. I also do a 20% water change once a month. I use B-Ionic, Iodide, Reef Vital DNA and Strontium. >> A few things might be at work here... the most likely of two are a low alkalinity condition (less than 3 milliequivalents per liter), which I would get a test kit for and counter your calcium concentration by buffering it (the alk.) up... and lowering your calcium (this will just happen in reactions to the increased alk.) to maybe 350-400 ppm. The other is a bacterial infection... I would remove the affected corals (genus Euphyllia) and dip them in a slightly lowered specific gravity (just a couple of thousandths) of your seawater with a bit of freshwater added... and a "dose" of malachite green (from your fish store... sold under this name and other generic) of about twice the labeled concentration... for ten/fifteen minutes... and toss/throw away the dip water. This is a standard practice in the trade/business of ornamental aquatics with these corals. Bob Fenner
Re: Corals are starting to die off.
> Hi Bob, you were right. My alkalinity was very low. Test kit shows about 1.8 (I believe it is supposed to be about 3.5). I am using a Kent product to increase it. My question is as follows: > Like I told you, my coralline algae has been turning white but over the last few weeks I have also notice a very slight change in the tissue on the side of my Anchor coral. It has "receded" very slightly. Could that also have been because of the low alkalinity? As I previously told you all my other parameters are great including Calcium of 450. > Will that tissue on the side of the Anchor coral grow back with the improved alkalinity? He is still opening beautifully. Could something else cause the slight receding.  > Thank you as always for all your help. > Andrew >> Ah good, glad to hear the confirmation re your low alkalinity... and yes, the symptoms you describe for the Coral could be directly and solely due to the lack of same... And I would proffer a short term suggestion for quickly boosting alkalinity... do add about a teaspoon per ten gallons of system water of baking soda (yes, sodium bicarbonate),,, and re-check the measure each day till the reading is at least the three and a half milliequivalents per liter that you mention... And yes, the animal may easily re-attach/grow the removed tissue, Bob Fenner 

Anchor Coral not opening I am about to give up on my Anchor Coral. It is a beautiful piece that I have had for 4 months (solid Base and large). It is not opening well anymore. It show no signs of deteriorating though. I have other LPS corals in the tank that are doing great. It is by itself in the corner. I have a frogspawn that is at least 8" away even when both are fully open. Mushrooms are now on other side of tank. I increased the current over it and moved it and both have not helped. No one else is anywhere near it. My water is good, No Nitrate or phosphate, Calcium 380 (thanks to you) and Alk 10DKH. I have 330 watt VHOS 3 months old. I am using Carbon, phosphate guard and occasionally a PolyFilter. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. >> Do try this technique before giving up altogether on this Euphyllia ancora... Prepare a freshwater bath of about the same temperature, put in about a teaspoon per gallon of baking soda in the dip/bath, and a few drops (three let's say) of a stock solution of malachite green (the principal ingredient in freshwater Ich medicines). Place the Anchor Coral in this solution for ten minutes or so, and then return it to the main tank, near the middle (length and depth). Wait three days, if the animal doesn't appear vastly improved, repeat this procedure... Not to be mysterious here (or ever) this family (Caryophylliidae) frequently has infectious and parasitic problems from the wild... and can be miraculously (okay, I used the term) recovered through this process. Bob Fenner

Dying Frogspawn Bob, Help! About a week ago I purchased a frogspawn coral and installed him my tank. Within two hours he was fully open and beautiful.  Over the last two days, however, he has degenerated:  two of his four polyps weren't opening all the way, and today, one of them has turned brown and dissolved away, leaving an empty husk.  As far as I can tell, my water is in good shape - nitrites and nitrates undetectable, phosphates < 0.2 ppm, calcium just over 400, alkalinity over 4, pH at 8.3 - what can I do to help this guy? I read over the FAQs about Euphyllias, and I see you recommend lowered S.G. malachite green baths, does this apply in my case?  I don't want him to lose any more polyps - and can the one he lost ever grow back? <Yes, this specimen is a prime candidate for this treatment. Do it soon, as in NOW. And yes, the lost tissue (and more) will grow (back).>Should I move him closer or farther away from the lights? <After effecting the dip, yes and apply a bit more circulation> Could the one blue striped mushroom I've installed since his purchase cause a problem? <Really only if it is/was placed very near the specimen> Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated. Josh <Bob Fenner>

Hammer coral Hi Bob; I have a green hammer coral that I received as a gift, Much to my dismay. I've only had the thing for about a week and the tissue is falling out of the skeleton. My water parameters are good but my nitrates may be a little high for coral, but not skyrocketed. Any way I've heard of disinfecting coral using iodine. I have Kent concentrated Iodine on hand, any idea of how I would prepare and conduct a dip or bath using this product for the coral in case this is bacterial related? <I do endorse, use, train collectors/wholesalers to use iodide (this is what it is...) solutions (pretty concentrated compared to "supplementing" dosages) and hyposaline solution (dilute seawater) on arrival for such purposes... But not once the specimens reach this far, long. Please do read over the FAQs files on Stony Corals, particularly the family Caryophylliidae (this is a member of that family) archived on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com on the use of malachite dips in these cases.... Have seen MANY such cases resolved with such treatments. Do this NOW. Bob Fenner>
Re: hammer coral
hi again; to dip the hammer coral would a Meth blue dip or Quick cure containing 99.20% formaldehyde and .75% malachite green work? <Just the malachite, no formalin/formaldehyde... as detailed on the pages you've been referred to. Bob Fenner>

Branching Euphyllia glabrescens Hi Bob, I need your help with one of my corals. I have a 120 Gal reef tank. Amonia:0, nitrites: 0, nitrates: 0. Temp: 79F, Alk 4 meq/l and PH: 8.05. I have 2 Acroporas and some other SPS. I too have a E. ancora, and a E. divisa. All of these are doing quite well. 3 weeks ago, two tentacles of my torch did not fully expand, and have not since. Other polyps (In other branches) are doing OK, and expanding really huge. The polyps that don't expand look ok otherwise: they are not dissolving, and are not fully retracted either; but since this is the 3rd week they are this way, I looked much closely, and found that this two polyps are "bailing out" leaving the skeleton exposed. Some parts of the polyps are still attached, but I can already see the center of the corallites, and the digestive filaments from the underside of the polyps. They are not budding, since they are not growing another skeleton, outside the polyp, but the whole polyp is detaching. I fear that if I leave them this way they will end up going in the current and dying. Do you know what might be going on here?, and what can I do from preventing this from happening on the other 2 polyps?. This is a very nice coral and I feel very frustrated to lose it like this. Thanks a lot, Norberto. <Could be evidence of a reproductive mechanism... maybe there is some influence... too much of something, too little... involved... do you supplement iodine in some format? I would. Use zooplankton, other small foods? I would. Add a vitamin supplement to the water weekly, like Selcon? I would. Perhaps there is an infectious agent involved... but I would not "treat" the colony at this point (see the family Caryophylliidae scant coverage and FAQs on the www.WetWebMedia.com site... I will get to placing my version of the current "coral books" there in a few months. Bob Fenner>

Anchor Coral Problem Dear Mr. Fenner I have a question regarding an anchor coral I recently purchased. I bought it about a week ago and now it appears to be dissolving. I have tested my water parameters and they're all perfect (PH, Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, and Calcium). When I first bought it I put it near the top of the tank because I was told this coral needed strong lighting. I have 4 55w power compacts 2 are 10k whites and 2 are actinic blues. I was also told this coral didn't like strong current. So I put it between two rocks and not directly in the way of any power heads. Since the purchase I have been feeding my tank Kent Marines Phytoplex and Coral Accel about 2ml of each every day. The coral seems to be dissolving at the ends and working their way in towards the middle, even though the middle looks pretty healthy. My system is only about a 2 months old but has been cycled for about a month now. I have a green star polyp that is doing incredibly well. Any insight you might have would be greatly appreciated and thank you in advance for your guidance and wisdom. Thang Nguyen <Perhaps too much light, too soon... and this animal's genus (Euphyllia) do appreciate considerable water movement... and perhaps a negative biochemical reaction with your established polyps... but much more likely what you're seeing/evidencing is the repercussions of "collecting, shipping shock"... and perhaps secondary microbial involvement. Please read over the family Caryophylliidae section on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com and do consider applying the malachite green dip remedy detailed there... this may be the only thing to arrest the dissolving at this point. Bob Fenner>

Anchor Coral Regeneration Bob, I recently used your malachite dipping method to stop a bacterial infection in my anchor coral. I believe that the infection has been stopped because the coral is no longer receding. Will this guy re-grow the tentacles that were lost while the infection was going on?  <Yes... likely so. In time> If so, is there anything I can do to help the process or do I have to just let Mother Nature take its course? <A bit of both. Keep your system optimized and stable... an eye on alkalinity, biomineral  content, use iodide and vitamin prep.s about once a week...> Thanks for your help and the cure! Chad <You're welcome my friend. Congratulations on your success. Bob Fenner>

Please reply ASAP if you can please (Sick Euphyllia, spacebar finger) Bob After a fresh water dip my Anchor coral still looks like it rotting. All of my water parameters are excellent as with all of my other corals. I also added iodide and Selcon per reading the info on your site. Is this coral a lost cause?? <No, not necessarily... did you try the 1/2 malachite dip as suggested on our site?> Please advise ,I really don't know what else to do. Is this parasite going to finish off my coral? I have tried turbulent current, and slow current. Out of what was a large size Anchor from FFExpress there is only about 3 inches left with tissue on it. Thanks <You might be better off fragging what's left of the live portion. Do you have Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals book? You would do well to enrich your background here. Bob Fenner>

Air pockets in coral Hi Bob, I have a cup coral and a frogspawn and they formed air bubbles/pockets inside the coral. The cup coral one day formed a hole and some of the air escaped but another area still has an air pocket. this hole seems to be spreading. the frogspawn is still ok but still has the air pocket. what should I do and what causes this?  <Could be an infection... but more likely a dysfunction of these animals Zooxanthellae... the endosymbiotic algae... they're being overstimulated, otherwise being overactive, producing too much gas> how can I prevent this and will this cause the demise of my coral? <Depends on the cause/s... I would be checking my water chemistry, supplement practices...> I also have a anchor coral that one day seemed to not extend and now 90% of the tissue deteriorated. I'm not sure why since everything else seems to be doing well (xenia, bubble coral, Fiji leather), capricornis, scroll. I'm running 110w pc for 10hrs at night in my 30gal. please advise, thanks in advance for your time Jackson <Yikes... a thirty gallon with all these disparate life forms in it? An "answer" to the cause of your troubles is the mis-mixing of these incompatible types of cnidarians... you might be able to get by with chemical filtration, very frequent water changing... but there is likely a great deal of chemical and physical interaction going on betwixt all... and some are winning... others are on the other side. You need a larger tank, and/or to separate some of the stony from soft corals. Bob Fenner>
Re: air pockets in coral
hi Bob, Thanks for replying to my email. I'd like to know if it's safe to pop the air bubble with a push pin or do I have a better chance in leaving it alone? <Six of one, half a dozen... have read, heard accounts of both approaches working and not... I would try this if the organism looks very bad... that is, too much gas trapped. Bob Fenner>

Bubble Coral Dear Mr. Fenner, I am writing to ask about the behavior of my Bubble Coral. I bought this coral yesterday and it was as healthy as can be (very confident in my LFS, all coral and rock from Walt Smith.) I have the coral housed at the bottom center (on top of some live rock) on my 75 gallon aquarium. Yesterday it had it's bubbles full and was waving happily. I know they go through a change at lights out. All their little tentacles out-and-about. What I was unprepared for was the following: When the blue lights came on for sun rise the coral was barely inflated. Many looked a sickly yellow (yesterday a very luminescent pink.) When the white lights went on it perked up some but a few bubbles still were flat and yellow. As time goes on they seem to improve. Is this all natural? <Yes my friend... just a bit of "settling in" period> Also I have (thought he had past away months ago) a peppermint shrimp out at night. Will the two get along? <Hopefully> Three green Chromis, one Yellow Tang. 85lbs LR, 70lbs LS. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate 12ppm, Ph 8.3, Alk 3.5 mill, Ca 450, good water motion and 380watt PC lights on 12 hrs a day. Temp 78-81 degrees, SG 1.023 If I am being paranoid (I know this is a rather hardy coral, that's why I picked it) please let me know. :) <Yes a hardy genus (Plerogyra) of a family of notable tough species of stony corals (Our coverage here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm> Thank you sooo much for you help! It is wonderful to be reassured by an expert. Josie <Just a fellow aquarist who has been around a bit more my friend. Bob Fenner>
Re: Bubble Coral
Mr. Fenner, Aww.. thank you so much for responding so quickly! I feel much better, and my bubble coral looks much improved as more time has gone by. <Ah, glad to read> > Also I have (thought he had past away months ago) > a > peppermint shrimp out at night. Will the two get > along? > <Hopefully> I wonder if you might venture a guess and say which one would suffer if they did not get along. The shrimp or the coral?  <The Coral might eat the Shrimp> I'm thinking if it is more likely then not that the two will not behave, I will move the shrimp to my friends SW tank. Thanks again (no rush on getting back) Josie <Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

Pearl bubble coral question Hi, <Anthony Calfo in your service> My pearl bubble coral (had it for 2 years and growing/eating ok) has developed today something quite unusual. At first I thought it was a bit of algae or something stuck in it but when I looked better it looked like 2 stalks of tissue protruding at each end of it dark in color and quite long and straight/still, not like the ones with nematocysts seen mostly at night) and culminating in a small transparent pocket. Never seen anything like it before. I thought it might be reproducing... Any ideas as to what it might be? <several things... a photo might help too if you can. LPS corals commonly produce polyp balls as a reproductive strategy. A modified tentacle on a polyp becomes incused with a calcareous nodule. This daughter satellite continues to grow until the calcareous "stone" inside becomes sufficiently mature and weighted to tear away from the parent and begin life as a free living division, soon to attach to the reef (hopefully). The event could just as easily be stress though most often from a change in lighting (sudden change of carbon/chemical media after a long period without which suddenly improves water clarity and light penetration, cleaning salt creep on lenses or bulbs, and of course new lamps). Excessive illumination may cause photoinhibition or the excess production of O2 in the tentacle by over stimulated Zooxanthellae. Indeed... there are several possibilities. Time will tell... do consider the above and possible light shock just the same> Thanks, Massimo, Brighton UK <kindly, Anthony Calfo>
Re: Pearl bubble coral question
Thanks for the amazingly prompt answer. <We aim to please, my friend>  I have just observed the coral slowly retracting first one then the other of the protrusions shortly after lights out. Probably stress, as you mentioned -today I changed 10% of the water as part of my weekly routine-. The coral appears otherwise to be fine and in the usual state. Thanks again. <very well. Do focus on maintaining stable water quality. Be on alert for any color changes (particularly paler color). Be sure to feed as well or better than before: this animal should be fed finely shredded meats of marine origin no less than three times weekly... it is heavily dependant on feeding. No worries, though... Bubbles are generally quite durable and adaptable. One other consideration would be a change in current. They are disturbed easily by stronger water movement that is otherwise good for most coral. If you have increased flow recently (cleaned or added power heads/pumps) this perhaps has contributed.> Massimo, Brighton UK
<best regards, Anthony>

Re: You have/had Euphyllias You have/had Euphyllias-Yep, got one of each. I do not really have a good answer. From the picture, it appears the entire oral disc/mouth has become swelled and distended. I have never seen anything like it before. I might guess it is from the reduced specific gravity, but it would only be a guess. I do not trust the hobbyist floating arm models. I have seen a variation of up to 0.003. His 1.020 could really be 1.017 or lower. -Steven Pro <Mmm, better than my guess... Let's wait on Antoine's input. Bob F> Robert Fenner wrote: > <Steven, do you want to respond, shall we wait for Antoine to do so? Have > saved the image for posting and sending out. Bob F> >
Frogspawn Problem
> Greetings, > The enclosed photos show my frogspawn and the bubble that seems to be coming > out of the center of 2-3 of the heads. It does recede a bit at night when > the rest of the coral does. What the heck do you think is going on>? Two > things, I have lowered the salinity to 1.020 to battle ick. Also, I have > begun soaking the food in garlic (worth a shot?) Anyhow, let me know what > you think on the frogspawn. Thanks!
> Adam

Re: You have/had Euphyllias FYI: I am using the ESHA Marinomat to measure Specific Gravity. <Sigh... a good unit... Let's see what Antoine has to say. Thanks for your input, patience. If Anthony doesn't get back soon, will send all to Eric Borneman. Bob Fenner>
Frogspawn Problem (Antoine's Back! Yay!) Greetings, <Cheers, Anthony Calfo chiming in> The enclosed photos show my frogspawn and the bubble that seems to be coming out of the center of 2-3 of the heads. It does recede a bit at night when the rest of the coral does. What the heck do you think is going on?  <not certain from the photo... but looks very much like the beginning of a polyp ejection (AKA Polyp Bailout). Begins as a clear bubble on many LPS, becomes pigmented (imparted with Zooxanthellae), develops some defensive mechanisms and an incused calcareous nodule and is then ejected from the corallite. Most always a stress induced strategy of asexual reproduction (sudden light or salinity shock are most common catalysts). Don't be surprised if these polyps "pop out" within days to weeks> Two things, I have lowered the salinity to 1.020 to battle ick.  <a strong possibility especially if the process involved the dumping of one or more buckets of freshwater into the system suddenly (as opposed to a drip over hours or a gentle water change with simply less saline water). This event didn't happen to coincide with change of bulbs too/instead of by chance?> Also, I have begun soaking the food in garlic (worth a shot?)  Anyhow, let me know what you think on the frogspawn.  <other than the polyp ejection, the pigmentation and polyp extension are quite attractive and healthy> Thanks! Adam <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Brown Jelly and Hammer Coral I have lost the last three hammer corals I purchased. Each lasted approx. 4 weeks. They all succumb to brown jelly infection. All my other LPS corals are doing well i.e. frogspawn, torch, Candycane. Have you experienced this or heard of this problem as of late? I am wondering if it from collection methods etc. The so called hardy hammer may be coming more like the so called hardy elegance. <Yes... not an uncommon occurrence. Please read through here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryfCorlsaqs.htm  re what folks in the trade do for preventing this largely bacterial complaint. Antibiotic and dilute seawater dips... Bob Fenner> Any help greatly appreciated.

Melting Xeniids & Flatworms Galore Hi there WWM Crew. <Hey, Mike G with you tonight> Have been enjoying your site and links but have run into a couple of problems. To begin, let me give you the stats on the tank: <I personally thank you for giving me the stats on your tank. Out of many, many emails I have answered today, you are the first to provide such information. :-) > SG 1.025 <Fine> pH 8.0 in the morning (before lights come on) and 8.2 5 hours after lights on.. <You might want to find a way to remedy this. That is a large pH swing, and would cause undue stress to your pets.> NO2 (0) <Perfect> NO3 (20)  <Okay, but it could be a bit lower> NH3 (0)  <Perfect> Tank is set up with l MH l4000K and 2 65W 03 actinic along with a Bak Pak 2R protein skimmer that's skimming l/2 C of green stuff a day. Tank temp. fluctuates between 77.5 to 80F degrees lately. Water change weekly 15 gals. Sometimes time doesn't permit, and water gets changed every 2 weeks. <Sounds fine. I am left wondering how large your tank is, though.> Problem l: For some reason, my pulsing xenias are dying (melting) and I can't figure out why. Have had these Xenias now for almost 2 years pulsing and dividing away and now...  What's going on here? <This is a common problem with Xeniid corals, they seem to "melt" when in unfavorable conditions or after drastic changes in water parameters. Take a gander at the following link, namely the topic "Xenia Health" about 3/4 down the page. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs3.htm  > Problem 2: My frog spawn frag (originally only 2 heads - now 6 heads) has been invaded with oval shaped pumpkin colored flatworms - have no idea where they came from as I do quarantine any and all going into the main tank. I've  read that they come and go But, now they've migrated to my pagoda coral and I really don't want it to take over the whole tank (60 gal)!  <Ah, there we go, 60 gallons. Flatworms have a habit of overrunning marine aquaria.> On my next water change or sooner, can I do a fresh water dip or Lugol's iodine dip on these two corals without harming them and hopefully getting rid of the flatworms?  <That is exactly what I would have recommended you do.> Thank you for your help/advice. <Best of luck, Mike G>

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