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FAQs about Caryophyllid Corals 1

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A Euphyllia divisa in captivity

Anemone, What Is It 6/21/09
Hi I have 3 small clear Anemones. I have not been able to ID them. Attached is a pic of them. Could you let me know what they might be. Are the Bad or good Anemones?
<Appears to be a species of Glass Anemone, not desirable. See re here.
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Scroll down... to Aiptasia...>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
<<Time for new spectacles James... see the skeletons underneath? This is a solitary Caryophylliid... RMF>>

Re: Anemone what is it, Caryophylliid    6/23/09
Geez, I just got new glasses less than a year ago. Was comparing pic to pics on WWM and it sure looked like a species of glass anemone to me.
<No worries. B>

Frogspawn Coral and a  Fish fight... Euphyllia beh. and PB Tang sys. Hello Everyone. <James> I saw something strange in the tank this morning and I will do my best to describe it on the frogspawn colony. First off, only one outcrop did this and the others on the branch did not. It seemed to balloon at the bottom (where attached) with the polyps retracted. This I have not seen before as normally they just retract polyps if they are touched or at night. This branch all were getting morning sunlight though not direct bright light. I never have seen this before and can only describe it as ballooning at the bottom. Do you have any idea what this behavior is? Spawning maybe??? =) <Perhaps> Part two comes with some surprise from me. I introduced my powder blue tang to the main tank last night and it was not well received by the Foxface?!? <Mmm, not unusual... the two families are closely related... use similar niches...> Now, okay, they are both surgeon fish but they are not the same species, as with Zebrasomas for instance; so if I mixed a yellow and purple tang together I should certainly expect trouble. The Foxface has been a very peaceful and easy going fish and has got along very well with everything in the tank thus far. I thought more of it as the big (bigger now and compared to the others anyway) yellow coward. It was strange, this fish swam over and immediately started at the powder blue with its spines and they went at each other for a little while before I shut the lights completely (I just couldn't catch the P.B.T. around all the live rock to remove it). This morning they are on opposite sides of the tank and I switched the lights off rather than have the lights come on with the timers so I can see how they interact when I get back home. I figured I would have had to move the firefish to the 24 gallon and planned on it (just too passive). I thought the royal Gramma and flame angel would both adapt and thus far seem to. Work issues and travel kept me from this introduction sooner so the qt period for the PBT was about 3.5 weeks rather than the 2.5 I wanted.   <Longer is better here> I still have the 55 gallon tank in addition to the 24 gallon (was just used for QT for the PBT) plus the main tank 75 megaflow with a 20 gallon RDP sump/refugium. I really do not want to put either fish in the 24gallon as it is way to small long term. Both fish are marked from their little tiff. Size wise the Foxface is larger by about an inch. <Good. Better> Had the aggression started from the PBT I would not be as surprised. I did not think Foxy had this in her. I do not like seeing her mottled and unhappy in the corner of the tank. Any thoughts on this would be appreciated. Re-setup of the 55 gallon tank won't be impossible just difficult and more expensive as I will need a new filter, light and protein skimmer... I moved these to the 75 setup in place of the 55 though I kept that tank and stand. Wow, surprises... Thank you. James Zimmer <I would just wait this out at this point. Likely they will "learn to get along"... Acanthurus leucosternon needs more space than a 75... Bob Fenner> Bubble Coral Hi Bob <Cheers, my friend. Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 34 Gal tank w/30 lbs LR, 2" Sand bed, Magnum 350 Canister w/carbon, CPR Backpack Skimmer and 2-55w PC's for lighting. (1-10k daylight, 1-actinic). All parameters are good. Having problems with a white bubble LPS. It's shrinking on me.  <a common occurrence with this normally hardy coral (very hardy in fact). Usually attributed to modest or absent feeding. Although photosynthetic, a very large part if this animal's dietary needs cannot be satisfied by zooxanthellae/symbiosis. And so... such an animal operating on mostly or only "light" for feeding (assuming that the light is even adequate) will still starve to death slowly over time from a net daily deficit in carbon. Imagine if you could know that your bubble coral was 90% photosynthetic (which it is not)... that still leaves 10% daily that is met or indebted depending on your feeding schedule... indeed, slow starvation is common with many coral. Bubble corals (Plerogyra and Physogyra) are actually some of the "hungriest" coral... they need feed meaty foods of marine origin several times weekly if not daily. Finely shredded please... large chunks are taken and later regurgitated and the animal will still starve> It's placed out of the direct flow from the outputs of the skimmer and canister on the LR about 1/2 way up the tank on the side.  <all good> I also have a green star coral a little higher up in the center of the tank. The Star is doing great.  <it should... it is hardy and EXTREMELY aggressive (noxious allelopathy)> I turn the actinic on about an hour before I turn on the daylight and reverse the procedure at night. Lighting is about 10-11 hrs. Where should the placement of the bubble be?  <hard to say without a Luxmeter reading... about halfway or higher sounds reasonable to me in a tank not more than 24" deep> I've had him about 4 months and he just started this about 2-3 weeks ago. Any help would be appreciated. BTW there are no other corals that can get near him. No anemones either. Got two rock anemones on the other side of the tank towards the bottom.  Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Hope to see you at the Sacramento MARS meeting soon.  <I intend to be there as well... I'm talking in Danville/San Fran the night before and hope to bring some of the gang down from the BARE club. Hope to see you there!> Take care. Bob <with kind regards, Anthony>

Bubble Coral Hi Bob <Hello> I have a 34 Gal tank w/30 lbs LR, 2" Sand bed, Magnum 350 Canister w/carbon, CPR Backpack Skimmer and 2-55w PC's for lighting. (1-10k daylight, 1-actinic). All parameters are good. Having problems with a white bubble LPS. It's shrinking on me. It's placed out of the direct flow from the outputs of the skimmer and canister on the LR about 1/2 way up the tank on the side. I also have a green star coral a little higher up in the center of the tank. The Star is doing great. I turn the actinic on about an hour before I turn on the daylight and reverse the procedure at night. Lighting is about 10-11 hrs. Where should the placement of the bubble be?  <S/b fine where it is> I've had him about 4 months and he just started this about 2-3 weeks ago. Any help would be appreciated. BTW there are no other corals that can get near him. No anemones either. Got two rock anemones on the other side of the tank towards the bottom. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Hope to see you at the Sacramento MARS meeting soon. Take care. Bob <I'll be there on the 21st! Yikes, better get my slides together. You don't mention feeding the Plerogyra/Bubble... Do you do so? Please read through the coverage of this species, its family and practical husbandry of stony corals posted on WetWebMedia.com Use the search tool at the bottom of the homepage if you don't find what you're looking for via the Index. 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>

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.

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>

Friends Don't Let Friends Feed Brine Shrimp Thanks again for the advice, I have a follow up question or two: I bought some Spirulina enriched Frozen Brine shrimp and some frozen Krill. Would these work for feeding the Frogspawn & Open Brain? <The brine shrimp is of the right size, but nutritionally lacking. The krill is good, but too large. Please tear into smaller pieces.> Next question is how to feed it to them. What is the best method? I thought about thawing and mixing with tank water and then blowing lightly at them with a turkey baster? <Sounds good.> Also, I have a purple-Tip Sebae anemone, should I do the same with it? <Yes> Same food and same method? <Yes> Last question is how often of each. I am thinking about twice a week.  <2-3 times per week> Thanks! <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Bubble Coral and Banded Coral Shrimp Dear Bob (and company), After 15 months, still no disease processes in my reef with water and animals treated and tested with Fenner advice. I caught the banded coral shrimp eating one of the Banggai cardinals. <Unable to kill such a fish, but will surely scavenge it.> A cleaner shrimp also is missing since I put in the banded coral. <Notorious for killing other shrimp, though.> All literature says the banded coral is a good guy, reef safe, etc. <And should also say not safe with other shrimp.> I have a number of small fish (fairy Basslets, clowns, fire fish, green Chromis). Should I get the banded shrimp out of there? How? <Depends how much you want other shrimp.> On another subject, I have a bubble coral (I'm not sure if it's Plerogyra or Physogyra) that has been in the reef for a year. It has doubled in size to seven inches when fully expanded. It remains fully expanded during the day except for about an inch in the middle which no longer expands at all. It looks like it is dividing into two large specimens. Is this possible? <Yes.> Or is it sick? I feed it small bits of raw ocean fish and shrimp with forceps weekly. Also, it enjoys the freshly hatched brine shrimp that I feed the reef at night weekly. Water Chemistry remains perfect with calcium at 350 - 400. I add very small supplements of Iodine, magnesium, and strontium. Howard <Sounds good, Steven Pro>

Fwd: Stung Guys, I tried to send this from my balky home computer this morning, but not sure it arrived. Today I saw the Doc, who asked if I could identify the toxin (turns out he keeps a FO salt tank himself). The site is infected and it's in a bad place, so the information would be very helpful. Try me at XXXX@murthalaw.com (office tomorrow) or XXXX@earthlink.net (home). Many thanks. Good morning Gentlemen A week ago I brushed the back of my hand against the business end of my bubble coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) while reaching for something on the bottom of the tank. Two days later, the area was red and sore (my hand, not the tank). It is getting worse not better, so I'm off to the doctor this afternoon. What can I tell him about the nature of the toxin? I understand the basic nematocyst physiology, but can't find the "active ingredient." I'll be in work, so please  respond to enewton@XXXX Many thanks. Newt <Proteinaceous... likely a corticosteroid salve will do here... and time. If you should have your hands in systems with cnidarians again, you might be a candidate for longer-length plastic gloves. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Wound.htm and the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner>

Stung (Anthony's turn) Good morning Gentlemen <cheers, my friend> A week ago I brushed the back of my hand against the business end of my bubble coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) while reaching for something on the bottom of the tank. Two days later, the area was red and sore (my hand, not the tank). It is getting worse not better, so I'm off to the doctor this afternoon. What can I tell him about the nature of the toxin? I understand the basic nematocyst physiology, but can't find the "active ingredient." I'll be in work, so please respond to enewton@Many thanks. Newt <not at all likely that the coral imparted a toxin, per se. Many other worse things to enter with the breach by the sting... Vibrio and mycobacterium are concerns. Do review some of the possibilities here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Wound.htm. To your good health. Anthony>

Identification Please? Could you identify this. LFS was not sure when they sold it to me as a torch. Could be frogspawn. Please let me know your best guess. <no guess needed for either of us: it is "Frogspawn", Euphyllia divisa. best regards, Anthony Calfo

Octocoral Dear Robert <Anthony Calfo in your service> Please find attached a pic of an 'octo' coral that I purchased from my LFS 3 days ago. I am told it is related to 'bubble' coral. Can you help me identify it please? I'm sure its is from a sort of stinging celled coral family. <yes... fair to call it a "bubble" coral. It is the Caryophylliid, Physogyra... also commonly known as "Pearl or Rice bubble coral"> I resides about 6" from the surface of my water The lighting is currently 2 marine whites 1 actinic 03 & 1 50/50.  <fine indeed... is appreciates moderate lighting...not too bright (MH are too sever without very careful acclimation). This coral needs regular feedings of finely minced meaty foods (large can be damaging although ingested)> During these early days in my tank is it normal for the stinging tentacles to be open as in the pic? My LFS said it likes very low flow. <low to moderate...never strong flow> Is this correct?  <yes> It is currently placed halfway across the length of my 72" tank and the outflow from my pump is to the right of it (pointing at the coral to the right of the pic). All other powerheads are directed away from it Is this too much flow?  <sounds reasonable> Is this why the tentacles are out so much? <if by day, it is an indication that you have a lot of dissolved organics (overfeeding, a skimmer that doesn't produce daily skimmate, etc).. the coral senses proteins and wants to feed> Should I just wait until it has acclimated properly? Or move it to an area with lower flow? <fine position, leave be... and never move new coral within the first week... a surefire way to kill some on stress of acclimation. Research a coral well before you buy it and put it in an appropriate place the first time. Also note that this coral is rather aggressive. Tentacles will come out to sting and kill neighbors. Keep all other coral 6-10" away or risk losing them. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

RE: Bubble coral question answered - thank you Hi Anthony, Thanks for the help.  <very welcome... that's what we're here for. Of course, Bob has us locked in a room answering e-mail with nothing to eat except chocolate malt balls and braunschweiger, so we have no other choice... but we are pleased to do so nonetheless> I really didn't think it could be anything else but all of the literature I kept finding said that they were white or green - not purple.  <wrong literature <wink>... there are many color variations naturally and captive induced> If it stays purple after maturity then it might be a rare item so that would be cool.  <yes... a unique color> Thanks also for the tips on feeding it. I have frozen Plankton and an assortment of other foods that I can feed it so I'll give it a try.  <great... just always feed a fine grade of food... no large chunks even though it will sting it (of course, it is a blind sightless animal that would latch onto your hangnail given the chance... case in point!)> As for the Xenia on the same rock, I'll have to relocate it to keep the bubble coral from harming it any further. <indeed> I had sent in two separate emails with questions. The one about the bubble coral you answered but I haven't heard anything back about my anemone question. Do you guys segregate stuff into topic buckets for various members of your team? If so, it may be that they just haven't answered back yet. My concern is whether or not the email actually made it through the system to you guys. Is that something you could easily verify for me?  <yes... we must of overlooked it if it was in the body of the message or perhaps did not receive if it was a separate message...do send again> I don't mind waiting as long as I know that the message made it through. Have a good day, Alicia <and the same to you dear, thank you. Anthony>

Frogspawn shedding, Frogspawn shedding > Gents: I just ordered Anthony's new book, but can't > wait till it gets here for my answer so here goes... <<Thanks Stan!!! I shall do my best. I see that I'm the second to reply, so my responses are in double carrots.>> I have a Frogspawn > coral that has separated > the soft tissue from the skeletal portion. I think > this may be due to my > being lazy and not getting my partial water changes > done, or is it something else? <If you have had it for sometime now, most likely from a lack of calcium > and/or alkalinity. Test kit can confirm this. If > new, not unusual when > proper shipping methods are not used. I prefer to > have this coral suspended > upside-down floating from a piece of Styrofoam. > Getting banged around in a > bag is not good for any LPS coral.> <<very much agreed with the first reply above (Bob/Steve?)... yes, it could be from a lazy/relaxed maintenance schedule... but specifically from allowing calcium and or alkalinity levels to drop. Many other trace elements have also been implicated in this symptom. No doubt some or all are involved. Many are depleted from a system within days to below natural seawater levels (iodine within hours!)...so when a water change alone, not even including additives, has not been conducted for weeks or months corals suffer by attrition. Another factor is feeding. Assuming your light bulbs are new (less than 10 months old) and appropriate for this animal, it will still starve without supplemental feeding. Caryophyllids (hammer, octopus, elegant, torch, etc) cannot feed themselves on the products of symbiosis alone. As such, they need to be fed weekly for maintenance and almost daily for growth. Without feeding, this can also contribute to the symptomatic attrition ("starving") that you have observed. Anthony>> > Can I use this tissue to "frag" this coral or should > I just pick it > up off the substrate and flush (I'll kill it first > so as not to inhabit Lake > Erie with LPS corals)? > <Best to remove from tank.> <<yes, must be removed... once bacteria set in, it can be highly contagious to some other healthy corals in the tank>> > Thanks for your reply and I look forward to getting > into your book. PS. Great idea to allow free updates to the book. Stan <<very welcome and thank you again, my friend. And don't forget.. regular water changes and feeding for this coral (meaty foods, not phyto in this case). Kind regards, Anthony>>

Frogspawn shedding Gents: I just ordered Anthony's new book, but can't wait till it gets here for my answer so here goes... I have a Frogspawn coral that has separated the soft tissue from the skeletal portion. I think this may be due to my being lazy and not getting my partial water changes done, or is it something else? <If you have had it for sometime now, most likely from a lack of calcium and/or alkalinity. Test kit can confirm this. If new, not unusual when proper shipping methods are not used. I prefer to have this coral suspended upside-down floating from a piece so Styrofoam. Getting banged around in a bag is not good for any LPS coral.> Can I use this tissue to "frag" this coral or should I just pick it up off the substrate and flush (I'll kill it first so as not to inhabit Lake Erie with LPS corals)? <Best to remove from tank.> Thanks for your reply and I look forward to getting into your book. PS. Great idea to allow free updates to the book. Stan

Torch Coral and Naso Tang Hey Bob, how are you doing? I have two questions. On my Torch coral one polyp doesn't seems to be inflating. The other one is inflating just fine, do you know why it is not inflating? <This does "just happen"... but do you feed this colony directly? Use vitamins? Has another animal touched this part recently?...> Also, I got a Naso Tang on Thurs. Fresh water dipped it when I got it home. It ate at the fish store and when I got it home, it started to pick algae off the rocks in my reef. Yesterday, Saturday, it is not eating and it is hiding in the back of the tank, not wanting to come out. Also, I saw some white dots on it. Ich?  <Maybe> I plan to drop salinity and raise temp. I have a cleaner shrimp in there so it might help. How would you try to get it started to eat?  <Please see the WetWebMedia.com site re foods, feeding, Naso...> I tried seaweed and flake food soaked in garlic oil, but it is not going for it. It is so frustrating 'cause I can't seem to be able to keep a Naso Tang. This is my fourth and all the pervious one died with the same symptoms. I greatly appreciate all your advise on these topics. Jackie <They need large tanks... try to secure one collected from Hawai'i... of an appropriate size (4-5 inches or so). Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn Hello, My name is Lori (and I am addicted to reef keeping:)) <Sounds like the personal introductions at "Reefers Anonymous"> and I am a big fan of your book as well as your web site. They have been a huge help to my learning to care for my marine tanks. I wish there is a way to repay you for the help you have given me.  <You have just done so> I guess for now the only thing I can do for you is to take the best care of my aquariums as I possible can. <Ahh, yes, and share, help others.> My 85 gallon reef W/ 30 gallon sump-refugium is doing well. I have kept the animals that are in there, for two years now. Wonderful balance one can achieve in this hobby, mind & tank. :) <Yes my friend> I have a frogspawn in my tank that I think is better at telling me the water quality in my tank then any test kit. For a week now things have not looked so good with my frogspawn. It's color has taken on a dull appearance and it is rather limp. I did my water tests Ammonia & Nitrite 0 Nitrate trace pH 8.4 Alk 3.2 Ca 450, all steady I use RO/DI (on a ranch, well water, yuck!!) temp 78-80 and SG 1.024 I add weekly to bi-weekly Zoe vitamin, 2 part B-Ionic, Kent Iodine, all as needed. I am wondering if you know what could be the matter. I would say old age but it has flourished, and in 2 years has never given me problems. I see no wounds or damaged areas. As far a some kind of coral bio-war I have never experienced it in my system. Could that be something to take into consideration? <Mmm, yes> If you could give me a few hints or ideas I would love to hear from you. I can give more detail if it is needed. Thank you again for the wonderful web site and book. Lori <Thank you for your kind words. I would add the vitamin and iodide materials to some chopped fine meaty foods and spray this in your Frogspawn's direction a couple of times a week... and consider adding some newer live rock, macro-algae to your sump (and a light for there) in the hopes of improving its health by improving water quality, supplying some small foodstuffs... and lastly, do check the inception dates for your light/lamps... their getting older may account for this apparent lack of vigor. 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>

Bubble Coral and Tomato Clowns Hello. I was wondering if you ever heard of a bubble coral hosting a tomato or cinnamon clownfish. <Oh yes! Plerogyra, and many other members of its family... hosting all sorts of species of Clowns> I purchased a bubble coral several months ago (I am 100% certain it is a coral) and my cinnamon clown has taken to it as if it were an anemone. I have anemone in the tank also that I purchased for the clownfish, but he ignores them and remains with the bubble coral... Is this normal? Thanks and great site! Ben Mendez <Thank you, and yes... "normal" for aquarium care. 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>

Torch coral reproduction? Hi Bob! I just wandered how do torch corals reproduce? Is it by budding? <Yes, in a manner of speaking... as well as sexually> Looking at my tank in and endless stare as usual a saw a very small what I assume (bud) of a torch coral, just like the tip bright yellow almost a perfect sphere, looks like it just pinched off. If this is a form of reproduction is there anything I can do to help this lil bud to make it? <Keep the system stable and optimized is about all> I found it sitting on my Brain coral so I moved it to a piece of live rock and it seems to be sitting there for who knows how long, I am afraid it may be gone in the morning. Any info would be greatly appreciated on how Torches reproduce. Also can these corals be propagated? <Yes, most often done by way of hand tools, breaking off a piece, adhering or propping them up toward the light, good current, boosted alkalinity, biomineral content in their water... some folks do this in a tied-in sump with their main systems. Bob Fenner> Anxiously awaiting more knowledge than I have Robert Huss.

Please reply ASAP if you can (Caryophyllid Corals) Mr. Fenner I have just added 2 anchor corals to my 120 Berlin system. My tank has been up for 4 years. I have 200 pounds of Fiji live rock, 200 of live sand, All of my corals hard and soft are doing fantastic. My 2 anchor corals have been in there for 5 days and neither of them will open more than a quarter of the way open. My lighting is a CSL 2 250watt 65k"s and 2 65watt actinic PC's. All bulbs are new. I have one anchor about half way up to the light and the other on the bottom. My readings are calcium 450, dKH 10, ph 8.3, salinity 1023. temp 78F my current in the tank is a mild turbulence, not too strong. Why aren't my corals opening up all of the way. I purchased the corals from FFExpress a week ago. Can you help me??? <These Euphyllias are likely just not "settled in" as yet. If they were mine however, I would administer a good dose of iodide to the system water. And maybe squirt a dilute mash of food particles their way a couple of times a day (during lights on period). If they don't open but the end of next week, give us a shout back... It may be that the other stinging-celled life in your system is doing them woe chemically. 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>

Frogspawn issue I just recently got a new 125 gal tank (yaay!) and moved up from a 55gal. <Fabulous... quite an increase... Wish my "disposable" income would take such jumps!> I have a few corals and inverts, no fish. I had worked out a deal to have my LFS baby-sit my corals until the tank was alright for them, but alas they backed out at the last minute. well I have my corals in there after letting about 10 lbs of live sand cycle for a day of two. I'm gonna add live rock and substrate at a ridiculously slow rate so I don't get any large spikes. here's the question, my frogspawn used to be in a high current zone in the 55 and it loved it. I have a power head that is rated for a smaller setup (maybe 300-400 gal/h) and I'm using that as my pump from the sump. needless to say there isn't a lot of current in there. the frogspawn is now in a low current zone. anyways there are strange streamers coming from the central orifices (I have a branching subspecies). they look like a tubular mesh almost, either waste or reproductive cells. I've never seen such a large jettison of waste before. I've got nice lighting (Vitalites) and the water quality is surprisingly good. any thoughts? I'm also using iodide, strontium, and some other coral vitamin/lipid/protein/carbo.... and some phytoplankton. thanks Jon Trowbridge <These are defensive "sweeper" tentacles... the animal/colony is "asserting itself" in its "new" environment and will slow down this activity in a few days... Can you direct the discharge of the now-sump pump toward this specimen? Bob Fenner>

Hammer Coral Sorry to be such a pest! A question (and fascinating observation) regarding my hammer coral. This past weekend, while dropping frozen krill into the tank for the fish, a very large piece (almost a whole krill--about 3/4 inch long) fell on the hammer coral. The hammer is about 3-4 inches long (the stony part, that is). The hammer sucked it right in.  <Yes... Caryophyllids are voracious feeders> Tonight, it retracted its polyps on one end (about 3/4 of the animal is retracted), and the whole part that is retracted is covered with a white cottony slime. Is this just waste that it's purging, from having digested and eaten the krill? <Very likely yes> The soft tissue doesn't appear to be pulling away from the stony part at all, it's just retracted and slimy. Is that normal for after it has been feeding on a large meal? <Again, yes> The fascinating thing I've observed is that there is a small "porthole" near the bottom of the hammer coral that must be a mouth. I actually saw it sweeping the water for food. It has a virtually invisible "net" that looks like lots of "hairs" that repeatedly come out of that hole and pull back into the hole. I am only able to see these when the light reflects off of them just right. Very fascinating--and probably something that doesn't get observed too often, due to the fact that I have to look very intently even to see them come out and go back in. Amazing. <Yes... sweeper tentacles of sorts> Finally, the Goniopora has appeared very healthy since it was put in several weeks ago. Its polyps sometimes extend 4 or 5 inches on the sides--to get out from under its upper polyps and into the light. I realize now it was a poor choice--I need to do more research in the future before buying livestock.  <Yes, my anxious/curious friend.> It has a small area on the top where its external skin has erupted and is exposing its inner stony skeleton. Should I leave it alone at this point, or try the malachite green bath you outline on your site? (With two corals giving me concern, it's been a slightly discouraging day. . .) <I would leave it for now. More likelihood of trouble through manipulation> Thanks again for your help. <You're certainly welcome. 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 loose 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 phytoplankton, 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's 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>

Frogspawn question I've had a frogspawn for about two weeks and its doing fine. however its a subspecies of frogspawn that actually branches off and each branch has a cluster of polyps on it. its not like the 'usual' frogspawn that has only one polyp cluster. anyways.... there are five polyps on the coral and one is dead. I got it this way and I was wondering if there was a chance that it would regenerate a new polyp. Lemme know what you think. Jon Trowbridge <This is likely Euphyllia glabrescens... maybe take a look at the family Caryophylliidae pix on the www.wetwebmedia.com site, and the associated FAQs pages... And yes to the likelihood the "missing" branch will become repopulated... with time, good conditions. 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>

Re: Catalaphyllia debate haha!! son-of-a..... well then. I guess I was wrong. right then. I must have been confused about the taxonomy of frogspawn. looks like your right. I hate being totally off topic. Jon Trowbridge <You had me going... Be chatting Jon. Bob Fenner>

Euphyllia (hope that's right) Hi Bob, I have heard that it is possible to place different types of Euphyllia next to one another (polyps touching) without any problems. The only exception being the torch coral. I have a beautiful Anchor Coral in my tank now and I'd like to group in with another (with different coloring) and possibly a frogspawn. Can these be massed together without any ill-affects? <Hmm, wouldn't say "massed together"... better that they not actually touch, be able to reach each other...> Also,.......thanks for the previous direction on the home-made calcium reactor. That's a nice site. <Ah, good... I sense your mental cogs, wheels a-turning!> Take care, Tony <Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Bubble corals  Hello again,  I recently purchased a bubble coral from my LFS. My question is, it  looks as though the coral was damaged in transport and now it looks to have  split into 2 equal sized halves. It doesn't look as though there is any  more damage. What should I be looking for and if it is not damaged to  severely, will these two parts grow into two healthy bubble corals?  Looking forward to your input, you have really helped out in the past. <If not too damaged this specimen (Plerogyra) will/should recover... most important here is to provide a stable, optimized environment... resist trying to move the animal/colony, and consider adding enough current to keep "dust" off of it. Stony corals are slow to come back, but do so if not too beaten, given good circumstances... Bob Fenner, www.wetwebmedia.com> 

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>

Anchor Coral Hi Bob, Please help. I have an Anchor Coral that appears to be having trouble. When I first bought it, it was fine. After a couple of days, it opened up to double it's size in the dealers tank. I added a Wellsophyllia (hope that's the right spelling) a week later. They are about 1 foot apart. As of yesterday, the polyps began to "tighten up". By that, I mean, they don't extend as they did. The polyps look bright colored and full, they're just not extending.  Lighting is 4-75watt VHO bulbs. The Anchor is about 18 inches, directly under the lights. The water tests fine except for pH 8.0 and alk 2.5. No nitrates, Phosphates. Calcium is 400. I know nothing is guaranteed, but any suggestions on what to try will be greatly appreciated Thanks again, hope all is well, Tony Revinski >> <Please take a read through our site's materials on the genus Catalaphyllia, family Caryophylliidae, and the FAQs associated with those files: Home Page  Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn Question Bob, I have been posting and asking and reading for two weeks and still can't get anything solid about my Frogspawn, so as much as I hate to bother you with your busy schedule I'll run this past you. I bought a Branching Frogspawn about 25 days ago. I got it mail order so I didn't see it first. It has six heads and is solid yellow, no brown at all like the others I have seen. The skeleton at the head is the size of your index finger. It expands only 1 1/2 inches or less and periodically through the day different heads will retract completely and after an hour will slowly expand. Other than that it appears healthy. I started it halfway up(24 inches total tank depth under 400 wt pc) and it is now on the bottom after several moves. Water flow is slow/med with alternating current. All parameters in line except PH is low at 7.95-8.07. Cal 440 and alk 9 dKH. All other inhabitants are thriving (most of them are on the easy to keep side). As always your input is greatly appreciated, Steve >> <Hmm, well, this Euphyllia's doing about what it should/does... and your system seems fine... Maybe take a read over the stony coral materials stored on our site, particularly the FAQs on the family Caryophylliidae. Bob Fenner, Home Page

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

Re: my branching frogspawn coral Well, that branch is not blowing up still its been 2 weeks. The tentacles are stretched out they just don't inflate. my water all tests out the phosphates also 0. I have a 20 gallon reef, a 410 power head (maybe not enough current ) , sea clone protein skimmer (skims about 110 gph) hangs off back. If you have any ideas I'm more than happy to try them I'm starting to worry now. thanks,  Jer  <Maybe a little blended frozen/defrosted meaty food in a baster blown in the animals direction... if you have it, with some Selcon, other nutritive mix added. Bob Fenner>

Declining Torch Hi Bob, In my 75g new reef (3months old) I introduced a torch coral. It started to decline water is good ammon.-0 nit-0 etc, any advice Dave >> Hmm, not much to go on here... this is a typically hardy species of a very tough genus... Do you have test kits for calcium, alkalinity? What sorts of supplements do you use? What do you mean by "decline"? How long have you had this animal? Have you spoken with the supplier? Bob Fenner

Installing Coral Bob, I've looked through "Part III" of your book, and through Julian  Sprung's "Corals; A Quick Reference Guide" and I can't find any  guidance for installing corals. I have four corals that I just got  and they are my very first ones. Two are so-called "Long Tentacle"  Elegance Corals and two are "Short Tentacle" Elegance Corals. Their shape, when expanded, is very reminiscent of a mushroom with a  fringe around the edge. There is a "stump" about 1" in diameter and  about 1 1/2" to 2" long; and a top that is an oval about 3" wide by  4" long. The "stump" widens slightly as it approaches the top. I place the corals into a slight "cup" in the top of the live rock or  even scratch a 2" to 3" diam by 1/2" deep cup into the rock where  needed. They all 'open' pretty good and I've fed them with a watery  slurry of your food mixture on page 145. But in the morning I'll  find maybe, maybe not, one of them down on the bottom of the tank. Is there a way to fasten them in place so they'll stay there? Also,  do they 'cement' themselves down when they're happy with their  location? If so, how is it accomplished and how long does it take? Many Thanks, Bob >> Sorry to state, this is not a good, sturdy "first" coral species for a new "reefer"... Do take a look at the survey piece I have posted on Elegance, Catalaphyllia at the www.wetwebmedia.com site or the article with pictures in the March issue of Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine... these animals are found in the wild with their pointy ends stuck down in mud/muck... most folks stick them up in rock, near lights... and die in a short while. Bob Fenner

Anchor Coral, alkalinity Hi Bob,  I just wanted to send you a note saying thank you for your help with my alkalinity problem and my Anchor Coral. My alkalinity was very low and my Anchor coral had shown some signs or "receding" on his outer base. I followed your instructions concerning the baking soda and got the Alk up. My Anchor is doing great and the tissue seems to be growing back slowly but surely. Coralline is also starting to turn back to purple. Thanks again for your quick response to my problems. Andrew >> Glad to be here... and of such service with humble suggestions... Bob "Arm & Hammer" 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 

Coral feeding??? I recently purchased and elegance coral as well as a torch coral. I brought  them home and then decided to look in a book about coral etc. They said that  you have to feed coral. Is this true and if so do you feed them krill or  what. I thought they only feed off of light. >> Many people do feed their (family Caryophylliidae) Corals, whether they are photosynthetic or not. If you'd like to do so, meaty foods can be applied to their tentacles (when they're open)... and many people think this helps their Elegance and Torch corals to stay open more, during the day, and regenerate tissue, be more colorful... twice a week feedings should be a maximum.  On the other hand, other successful reef keepers rely solely on "incidental" feeding other than photosynthesis, keeping up biomineral, alkalinity and other nutrient levels... In refugium type settings, without excessive skimming and no feeding, these animals often do fine. Bob Fenner

Anchor Coral question or problems Hi Bob, hope everything is going well for you. I have a beautiful anchor coral I got from FFE about 6 weeks ago. It was the  only piece that I ordered that survived shipping and I am very attached to  it. It is beautiful. It arrived with the tissue almost perfectly intact on the outer base which is  very rare here in Jacksonville stores. Tank 55 reef with live rock. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate all 0.  Calcium 450. Lighting 3 110 watt VHOs which are all new with a new ICE CAP  Ballast. One actinic and two actinic day. Temp of tank 79 day, 75-76 at  night. I also use a Protein skimmer in the sump that runs all the time. My question is as follows: 1. I noticed a few small holes on the outer base tissue that seem to have  appeared. Is the animal slowing dying? Will they heal. What causes this?  My water seems perfect Can I do anything to help this tissue grow back fast. 2. The animal has been opening beautiful but not in the first 2 hours.  Takes up to 4 hours to fully open to the size larger than a softball maybe  half a basketball. Is this normal or to long to open? I have read they  should open fully in two hours. 3. Some white stuff came out of the animal last night that I have never seen  before. Still some on it this morning. In one or two spots on the stencils.  looks almost like a white stringy material in two small spots. I have seen  some brown stuff come out at night but it quickly disappears. Is the white  stuff damaged tissue? The only thing I can think of is I knocked some salt  off the edge of the aquarium when cleaning and it may have burned the animal  slightly? I do not remember doing this just trying to figure out if I did  something wrong. I did clean the glass last night. Thank you for your help and sorry for the long message. I am just worried as  I am very attached to this piece and want to take great care of it. Thank you, Andrew >> Hmm, one of my favorite species of (Euphyllia) Corals... maybe you have some residual collecting/shipping damage... unlikely, but there might be a parasite... If it were me I'd not worry about the current appearance or the time frame of opening fully... I might be inclined to boosting the animals health by adding a vitamin and iodine supplement to the water though... The "fibrous material" you're seeing is likely no problem either... these animals have mechanisms for adventitiously apprising their environment... and these fibers are part of that "search". Bob Fenner

Unhappy Torches I have some green tip torch corals that appear to not be so happy. For the longest time they would fully extend and look great. In the last few weeks that have 'shed' their brownish layer so that they now look almost white, and they only extends its tentacles 1/3 of what it used to. The main body of the coral doesn't even come out anymore. What can I do?? What happened?? >> What "happened" is either "something" too much and/or too little... and I need information from you to determine which... Could be that your system has become (semi) toxic... from mis-supplementing, other livestock interactions, poisoning from an outside source... What has been done to the system recently? Any new livestock? Change in gear? What other livestock do you have... are they acting any differently? What sort of additives do you use? What sort of filtration do you employ? Tell me about your maintenance routine... Bob Fenner

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

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