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FAQs about Stony Coral Health/Disease/Pests 6

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

Related FAQs: Stony Coral Disease 1, Stony Coral Disease 2Stony Coral Disease 3 Stony Coral Disease 4, Stony Coral Disease 5, 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
FAQs on Stony Coral Disease by Category: Diagnosing: Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Social (Allelopathy), Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& By Family: Caryophyllid Disease, Fungiid Disease, Faviid Disease 1, Cnidarian Disease, Quarantining Invertebrates,

Rapidly dying torch coral 3/17/06 Hello and I appreciate your help very much.  Over the period of one night my torch coral appears to have lost over half of its heads and instead there is a brown filmy material there.  Should I break off the rest of the coral that appears to be doing good or is it possible that these heads will reappear magically?  We added a wavemaker to the tank the other day, but it was turned off over night during this decline.  Could this be the reason for this loss?  My roommate, however believes that the coral has just retracted to eat since he fed them yesterday.  That is the only major change to the tank.  What is your advice or opinion? <<This is "brown jelly" disease.  The affected heads should be removed immediately.  You may even want to siphon the dead tissue away before moving the colony.  I would also suggest adding some carbon to the system if possible.  The unaffected heads may be OK and removing the affected ones will definitely help.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>>

What Is Going On In My Tank? II - 03/06/06 Hi, <<Hello Lee>> Please could I have some further help regarding my previous posts about pale corals. <<I shall try.>> The paleness of the corals is not through bleaching, I have dispelled that with newly acquired corals properly acclimatized...1-2 weeks they go very pale. lack growth. <<Hmm, as I see from your previous email, water parameters/lighting "don't seem" to be the problem.  I'm beginning to wonder if you have a parasitic infestation.  Do you have means to examine the corals more closely (magnifying glass/mesoscope)?>> I have been trying to figure this one out for well over a year. <<Yeesh...frustrating I'm sure.>> If someone could help me get to the bottom of this it would be most appreciated...and if there is a way to make a donation to wet web media I would gladly do so just to see this problem resolved. <<Any monetary considerations are very much appreciated...but totally unnecessary for me/us to try to help.>> This thread on reef central shows pictures of my pale corals. http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=750807&perpage=25&pagenumber=2 <<Yes, I see...they indeed look "washed out".>> This is one of my original posts on wet web media about the same problem.  I followed advice and up'd feeding - no difference. <<Change doesn't happen quickly.  May take weeks to months to see improvement if you have been starving your corals.  Please do keep up the feedings.>> My tank is lacking something that water changes do not seem to be replenishing or keeping up with. <<This may be due to your salt mix...have you considered a switch?  Other considerations may be to start dosing iodine, and do have a look at Salifert's Amino Acid supplement.  Regards, EricR>>

Please Help! -- Mg damage to corals? Sclera. health - 2/28/2006 Hi Crew, <Greg> I hope I am worrying needlessly, but I am concerned I might have an unknown coral predator or a water parameter problem with my 180g reef.  My main concern is one Acropora with approximately a pea-sized exposed skeleton near the base of one branch and ½ of skeleton exposed on one tip.  A brown mucous-thread-like substance covered the Acropora, with dead tissue trapped in the bottom of this mucous net.  I siphoned-off the mucous and dead tissue, cut off the dead tip of one branch, then dispensed a tank water + Lugols solution over the remaining bare skeletal areas.  I just fear that this area of necrosis might be spreading.  This Acropora is placed approximately 8 inches from a 7 Crocea clam (which occasionally produces a similar-looking mucous-like net near the byssal opening).  So I am unsure if the Acropora coating was from the Crocea or if it was produced by the coral. <Mmmm> Two days prior to this happening I did move a rock that was attached to this Acropora and one tip was broken off the Acropora.  This has never been an issue in the past as new flesh would cover the exposed skeleton within a week and new branches would form.  Possibly this initial stress is what led to the current tissue necrosis. Current water parameters: Temp=77°F, Salinity=1.024, pH=8.1, alk=3.2 meq/L, Ammonia=0, Nitrite=0, Nitrate~1ppm, Ca=440ppm, PO4={below meas. Limits}, Silicate=0).  I did also increase temperature on my heaters from 76°F to 77°F a few days ago.  I performed a 32g water change at the same time. A little history About two weeks ago, I noticed that all of my Montiporas were becoming much lighter in color.  I was not overly concerned because they have lightened and darkened in color several times over their 2 years in my tank and they continue to grow well.  Although water parameters have always remained within acceptable ranges previously, my salinity dropped from 1.025 to 1.022 <This is a huge difference> over the course of a day just before the Montiporas changed color a few weeks ago.  A snail had stuck my makeup water float switch in the on position for a day, flooding my 100g refugium and diluting the water with RO/Kalk mixture. <No fun> My pH measured 8.2 so I was only concerned about the sudden change in salinity (makeup water flows at only 10gpd).  I removed 10 gallons of tank water and slowly added 10 gallons of very high salinity water until tank salinity measured 1.023.  The following day, I repeated this procedure until the salinity reached 1.024.  All fish, corals, clams, other inverts appeared to be unstressed so I assumed that worst case, this might have induced a temporary color change in the Montiporas. <Takes a while to show... weeks, months> Since my alkalinity and pH have always remained near the low end of acceptable (pH=8.0-8.1, alk=2.5-3 meq/L) despite using a Kalkwasser reactor for top-off and the addition of Na2CO3 and NaCO3, I bought a Mg test kit to determine if a low Mg level was partially responsible for low alkalinity (Ca=440 ppm).  Mg measured 1,140 ppm <Close enough...> so I mixed 10 teaspoons of Seachem Reef Mg in 1 pint of RO water and dripped this into the pump intake in my refugium.  An hour later I repeated this.  According to Seachems label, I would have needed to repeat this process a few more times to reach the desired 1,300 ppm but I noticed another Acropora (near the return line) with mucous-like threads waving from its polyps.  I was concerned that I might have changed the Mg level too quickly so I made no further changes to the tank for the next two days. <Good> I did continue to noticed these mucous threads waving from the Acropora polyps at times.  This is a different Acropora than the one that is currently displaying tissue necrosis.  Could dosing Mg in this way cause tissue necrosis in Acropora? <Possibly a factor, not likely "the"> This particular coral is not in direct flow of the pump return line. One Montipora has completely bleached (although polyps are visibly extended) but I did move this coral to a lower light area of the tank when it initially began to bleach.  All other corals (4 Acropora, 1 birdsnest, 1 open brain, 1 pineapple coral, hammer coral, zoos, star polyps, mushrooms, Alveopora) appear to be doing well.  Even the Acropora that had previously produced the mucous-like threads now appears normal.  All inverts appear unstressed as well. What should I do about the Acropora with the tissue necrosis is there a way to reverse this spread?   <You likely have> If the necrotic area continues to grow, I assume I should frag the coral to save the remainder correct? <An approach. I would move this colony to another system, or even shallow, brightly lit sump first myself> Do you think this in contagious (e.g. should I be doing anything to protect the other corals in my tank)?  Unfortunately I do not have a picture to send yet, but I can follow-up when I return home tonight if needed. Thank you in advance for your help!!! --Greg <I doubt you have a pathogen at play here. Very likely the bit of trouble you've observed is/was due to the change n spg... I would not over-react here. Bob Fenner> Re: Please Help! -- Mg damage to corals?  - 3/1/2006 Bob, <Greg> Thank you so much for your input (or at least putting my mind at ease) -- and for taking the time to read my email.  I will continue to watch this Acropora, but no additional skeletal areas appear to be exposed tonight. <Good> I refer all of my fellow reefers to the WWM search for answers to their questions.  You and the WWM crew offer an invaluable service to aquarists! --Greg <We're very glad to share. Bob Fenner>

LPS Parasite? 02/28/06 Hello crew. <<Howdy>> I've just notice that most of my LPS corals have this weird looking bud on them.  My Goniopora, my pearl bubble, and my red brain coral all have this rose bud looking thing that is growing on them.  It's the shape of a rose bud, its color is white, and it has this transparent looking mouth or tentacles on it.  Please give me some insight as to what this is.  Thank you. <<Very hard to say without a picture.  Perhaps a hydroid or polyp of some kind...just a guess.  As to whether its a parasite, harmful or not, again, no way to say.  Do send a sharp close-up picture if you can and we may be able to better help.  Regards, EricR>>

Superglue stops RTN!  - 01/24/06 Hi all, I just wanted to say I have seen this work! It has worked wonders   against RTN for the people that i know who have used it. Just figured it put it   out there so more people would know.    Have a good day and  happy reefing....Lucas (you just cover the affected area with it plus a  little of the good tissue around it. stops it completely and new tissue will grow  over it in time.) <Interesting... to speculate on the action at play here. Bob Fenner, who is reminded of the "Windex scenes" in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding">
Re: Superglue stops RTN!    1/25/06
Hi Bob here's the thread i was looking for......Have a good one and  hopefully this saves some people some headaches! _Reef  Central Online Community - RTN recovery diary of my Solitaryensis tabletop  (pics)_ ( http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=742509)   <Thank you for the follow-up. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Failing Faviid, stuck stars   1/18/06 Hi Crew, I have a candy cane that gets hair algae on it. <Mmm, not good... sign of unsuitable environment and/or degraded health in the stony coral> My normal way to clean it is with a tooth brush while holding it in a tub of old water from the tank. The normal reaction is for the fleshy part to recede but eye remains a bright green. Within a day it is back to normal. Well, for some unknown reason I cleaned it using plain (unsalted) water. It really looks sick now and it has been over 24 hours. The fleshy part of the polyp is barely there and the green eye is a dull green. What are the chances of survival? <Impossible to say> By the way, I have another candy cane where the polyp got as big as a quarter. And now I can see four mouths and it is changing its shape so I guess it will turn into 4 heads. It is really interesting watching this thing contort itself in very slow motion. <Yes> I have a tank with pods and crawling things and some micro stars. I plan to turn this tank off and would like to salvage the stars but I am having a difficult time finding and removing them. The tank has a sponge filter and they are living in the sponge. I can see them when it is dark and I shine a light at the sponge. If I try to get them they just move deeper into the sponge. Any suggestions as to how to flush them out? Thanks in advance. <I would cut the sponge carefully apart, replace it, or leave them in it. See WWM re Faviid Systems, Disease, Nutrition... likely iodine/ide treatment, perhaps fragging will save your CC. Bob Fenner>

Brown jelly disease   1/13/06 Hello there, <Howdy> First of all I would like to apologize for the bad grammar, English is not my strongest language, unfortunately it's the only one I know. <Heeee! A useful practice to use computer tools like spelling, grammar checkers...> Seems our reef tank has been infested with brown jelly disease.  We moved the contents of a 36 gallon into a 90 gallon about a month ago.  We also incorporated a sump and refugium into the system. Moved 70+ lbs. of LR and added another 30 lbs to the main tank. I thought I had damaged some of the mushrooms in the re-arranging of the rock. A few of the mushrooms turned to a gel and slowly disappeared. All of the mushrooms were not affected and the situation seemed to have cleared up. We also have yellow polyps, torch coral and a pink coral that I do not know the name of. One of the branches on the torch coral suddenly turned into a brown ball of slime in just a short time, a few hours. Then another branch on the torch started to do the same thing. With just one branch left I had a panic attack and sent you that awful e-mail. After doing a little more research, I removed the torch coral by placing it in a plastic Ziploc bag. I broke off the infected branches of the coral and placed them in a cup of freshwater. I then took another glass of fresh water and added ten drops of iodine to the water. <Good... would add Lugol's to the tank as well> I placed the torch coral that was still alive in the solution for a few minutes. After removing the coral I placed it back in the main tank, since a QT tank is not set up. I then placed a power head so that it blows directly onto the torch coral. The dip seems to have helped the coral, the brown slime that was on it turned white and washed off in the solution. The water flow over the coral seems to be keeping the coral from building up brown slime, however it does not look healthy at all. I may dip the torch coral again tonight , to remove any irritant that may still be on it. I have read that the tank may be treated with vitamin C to cure the ailment. I could not find any information on just how the tank should be treated. <I would not just add ascorbic acid here... You can add a vitamin complex... commercially made or no... but would soak foods in it instead of directly applying> Any help on this matter would be greatly appreciated, thanks for having this great website and helping so many people such as myself, and being sucha gooder enlgish teecher.:) Peter <Restore stable conditions to this system, add the Lugol's... and consider fragging, removing the bad branches of the Torch if this seems prudent in a few weeks. Bob Fenner>

Montipora turned brown... 01-10-06 Hey all, <Jay> I have a question regarding Montipora turning brown... I've read what seems like hundreds of questions similar to mine, and I realize that there is a pretty long list of reasons WHY Montis turn brown, but I just wanted to run my specifics by you and see what you think. I have a 90g with two 175w [Hamilton] 6500k bulbs <Here is one possibility. Low spectrum bulbs lead to more browns.> and dual VHO actinics (actinics on for 14 hours or so, halides on for 7); 46g refugium and (I think) a 20g modified wet/dry which I removed the bioballs from. These are all being supplied by an Iwaki 40rlt and a s.q.w.d. along with 2 zoomed rotating powerheads in the 90g (I've had them for over a year and a half and they still rotate, though I do have to clean them once a month or so.) The skimmer is way under rated, but my lovely big fuge takes care of my nutrient issues along with the 100 or so lbs of live rock. No ammo, no nitrites, near 0 nitrate, no phos, salinity @ 1.024-25, calcium around 400, but occasionally closer to 500. pH seems to fluctuate between 8.0 and 8.3, but I do NOT trust my pH test. dKH between 9 and 10. I also use Lugol's solution once a week <Be careful with this.> as well as strontium/molybdenum, and until recently iron as well (daily) but I went a bit nuts with it so I stopped until I get my new salt (marine environment... was using tropic marine, but I think it sucks). <Be careful and take your time switching salt.> Now, ALL of my corals are growing really well, but since getting my halides (2 or 3 months ago) I've been experimenting with some SPS. Aside from three different colors of Montipora (all branching) I also have an Acro staghorn which is green/brown with great purple tips and an unknown Acro that was green/brown with light blue between the polyps. When I put all of these in my tank I light acclimated them for a week or two (did it each time I added one SPS) and they all turned brownish within a day or two. The purple tipped Acro got its color back stronger than ever. The other unknown Acro had a problem I'll assume was Acro-eating flatworms... won't get into that now though... and it is also finally getting its colors back. The Montipora though (brown, pinkish and purple) are staying brown. Obviously the brown Monti wont change, but I'd like to figure out what is going on with the pinkish and purple. My lights are 6-8" above the surface (need to measure...); the pink Monti is 3 or 4 inches below the surface and the purple is about 6 inches below the surface. ALL the Montipora and both acros are growing like crazy (Acro is very quickly encrusting the rocks they're glued to as well as branching out a bit, and the Montipora have all grown at least a couple of centimeters.) I think I've managed to 'train' them to extend their polyps during the day even though I didn't mean to, and I feed the whole tank a combo of phyto/zoo plankton, Cyclop-eeze, oyster eggs, marine snow and chromaMAX (not all at the same time, usually 1 or 2 every other day or so) on top of the flake and frozen prawn daily for the fishies. Whew... that was rather long-winded. As you can see, my only 'problem' seems to be lack of color in the Montipora, and I would really love to see that purple Monti turn purple again!! What do you think? <I believe your Monti would benefit from 10K or 14K bulbs. You may also see an increase in color with the addition of activated carbon usage. This will keep the water more clear and help make up for the weak skimmer. Travis> Thanks -Jay
Re: Montipora turned brown... 01-10-06 Part 2
Cool, will start using carbon then. As far as the higher Kelvin bulbs go, do you think there will be any [noticeable] difference in coral growth if I switch from my current 6500's to 10k or 14k? Only reason I even bought the 65's were to stimulate more growth, but I don't really like the yellow tinge they give everything. Oh, and any specific brand of bulb in your opinion? <As far as bulbs go... 65K gives you fast growth, but brown color. 20K gives you good color, but poor growth. 10K and 14K give you average growth with good color. 10K tends to be a white light and 14K is a bit more blue. As for brands I suggest sticking with the bigger names such as Hamilton and Ushio. Travis> Thanks again!! -Jay

SPS TURNING YELLOW 01-01-06 Hello I just bought 2 SPS coral for my 55 gallon reef with  260 watts power compact ( about 5 watts per gallon) a canister filter,  protein skimmer,2 power heads, and a heater, about 30 lbs live rock, 40 lbs  live sand. Now for the fish I have a yellow tang, maroon clown, mandarin goby, and  bullet goby. My corals are a finger leather, yellow polyps, 2 mushroom  rocks, Ricordea, open brain, cabbage coral bubble coral , 2 SPS on the same  rock, and star polyps. My inverts are a sponge, emerald crab, camel  shrimp, coral banded shrimp, t. gigas clam, bubble tip anemone,6 astray snails, and a  large turbo snail. Also I have a medians hair algae, Chaeto ,needle  algae. My water tested perfect. <Sounds like a very full tank.> My new SPS coral that was a green brown  color is now turning yellow. The other day I had to catch a clown fish  and I took down the rock work to catch him. Is this because stress  did I kill it or is it new symbolic algae because lighting  please  help I love this coral thanks for the help. Sorry this letter was so  long. Please excuse the mis-spelled words I'm 11 years old thanks for the help love your web site. <First, let me thank you for the compliment. As for your question, you may have three situations going on. The fist situation could be chemical warfare in your tank. To remedy this you will need to add carbon to your tank. The carbon will also clear organics from your water making the lights more useful for your coral. The second possibility is that you may be witnessing bleaching. If your coral is bleaching you will need to upgrade your lighting to keep that coral or remove the coral to a friend's tank until you can afford to upgrade your lighting. The final situation you may be witnessing is; the corals may be adjusting to your lights and will actually color up to a more natural color. This situation is usually found more in tanks with very high watt lighting and pristine water conditions. Travis>

Coral Bleaching - 12/12/05 Hello, <<Howdy>> I hope you are well. <<I am...thank you>> I have a problem, I have been keeping Acropora (several different species) for about 4 months, and now one of my smaller frags and my biggest colony is starting to bleach.  The smaller one was bleaching in more of a traditional sense (as far as I'm concerned), by turning white, and all the polyps have vanished, but I have seemed to counter act that by moving it closer to the lights, and it seems to be doing better.  Is that possible? <<Maybe...if the change was not extreme...if the coral was suffering/bleaching from absence of light.  Maybe you got lucky...>> Is the act of bleaching reversible? <<Certainly...if it hasn't progressed too long and you can determine/eliminate the stressors causing the bleaching event.>> Also, my biggest colony a few tips (maybe 4 of 50) have started to turn a puke green color, instead of the purple they once were, as well as a portion around the base.  Is this some sort of bleaching? <<Mmm, maybe tissue damage/loss and the skeleton is being colonized by algae.>> Can this be repaired, and I'm sorry I could not send a picture due to camera problems, but if you can help me that would be great. <<If the damage does not continue (as in being caused by a predator), it will likely stop/heal on its own.>> Thank You <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Coral Bleaching - 12/13/05
Thank you for your help, things are still shaky and it seems like everyday I come home from work another coral is showing signs of bleaching, how frustrating is this hobby? <<Mmm...a sure sign that something is amiss.>> I am a long time keeper of soft corals, but these hard corals are tricky. <<Not so much really, with proper research/understanding...the problem starts when you mix the two (soft/hard)...puts you at a disadvantage from the get-go.>> Is there any way to determine what is the stressing element in my tank, could it be a change in salinity? <<If wide swings or less than natural seawater concentrations...yes.>> Do Acropora need direct, and constant water flow? <<Not "direct"...possibility of blasting the flesh from the skeleton.  But vigorous random flow is essential in my opinion.>> I currently have 4 Maxi-Jet 1200s hooked to a Wavemaster, and the return from my sump off a Mag 7, in my 72 gallon, is this not enough? <<In total volume likely so...the problem may lie in the application.  Position the powerheads so the outputs converge to produce random turbulent flow.  Also check to see that you have flow "throughout" the tank and add more powerheads if necessary.>> The only acros that seem to do fine are the ones getting hammered from water current. <<May be something telling here.  Do have a close look to be sure you don't have a parasite problem (Acro flatworms, etc.) that get "blown off" the acros with good flow.  Not saying this is your problem, but good to check.  I really think your bleaching is more likely from either the flow issue in general, or allelopathy (even more likely) from the mix of coral species in the tank.  It would help to add some carbon and Poly-Filter to your filtration if you don't have it already.>> Thank you for your help again, and hopefully I can save these corals. <<Check/adjust your flow as recommended, perform a large water change, check/adjust the salinity if you think this is suspect, and add the carbon/Poly-Filter.  EricR>>

Bleaching SPS 09/11/05 Hello, <<Hello Chris -  Ted here>> I was wondering if you might be able to help me out. I attached a few picks of one of my corals that is starting to bleach out. There is nothing around it that could be stinging it or anything. I have a 125 gal tank, 3 X 250W MH 14,000k, 2X 96W PC, all my other corals are doing fine including the few other Acro's I have. I only just started adding SPS to my tank in the last 6 months or so but the others are fine. This one was just added in the last 2 weeks or so and the bleaching started about a week after I added it. Any help would be greatly appreciated.<<Sorry to hear of your trouble. From the picture, it appears the coral in question is M. capricornis. Diagnosis from a picture is difficult. If the bleaching is on one side and is spreading out, it may be STN/RTN. If the bleaching spreads in patches, it may be a Montipora nudibranch infestation although nudibranchs can spread out from an initial infestation. I would monitor the water quality and run both carbon and PolyFilter while you deal with this problem. If it is STN/RTN, you can frag the coral to try to stop the spreading and save the coral. If it is nudibranchs, you will have to clean (read this find and kill) the nudibranchs from the coral religiously to beat this pest. Do check the underside of the colony if you suspect nudibranchs. If you have other Montipora sp. in the tank, the nudibranchs can and will spread. Please search WWM for "coral quarantine", "coral disease", "RTN", "STN" and "Montipora nudibranchs".>> Thanks Chris
<<Your welcome and good luck - Ted>>

SPS Bleaching part 2 9/19/05 Thanks for the advice.  When you say to reduce the light- would reducing the amount of time the lights are on work? This would be easier for me as my lighting is in a rather fixed position. <Shortening the photoperiod is one way to do this.  Newly introduced specimens can be acclimated to your very strong light by shading them with pieces of window screen or other shading material for a week or so.> I guess the second easiest thing to do would be to rearrange the reef, but I would rather reduce the lighting time if there is a chance that would work- also, by your description, it looks like bleaching is the culprit, not RTN. <This is good news!  Bleaching is much more recoverable than "RTN".  FWIW... I also ran 400w MH lamps for a while, and had problems with quite a few corals bleaching.  It is simply too much light for many corals, even "SPS".  Acclimating the corals slowly to the light and perhaps shortening the photoperiod will help.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

SPS RTN !!! <?> 8/9/05 Hi Crew, <Ramy> Great site indeed, up-to-date info for sure !! I have purchased an Acropora frag a couple of weeks ago and the base was kind of white, or missing any colouration. <Typical...> After 3 weeks, the size of the white part is still the same, meanwhile, the rest of the frag is very healthy and shows very nice polyp extension. <Good> My question is, is there any chance that this unhealthy part can spread or do you think that it will recover. I have very good lighting, excellent water circulation and all the other corals are doing just fine. Is it true that RTN can spread over a few days and kill the whole piece ? Thank you. <... this whitish area is not likely RTN, but just resultant die-off from the actual fragmentation process... RTN can indeed spread rapidly... I would not worry here. Bob Fenner>

Brown Jelly and Hawkfish 7/28/05 Hello, <Hello, Mike G with you tonight.> How are today?   <Good. Big storm's coming this way. Doing my part to answer a few queries before the power goes out.> Well, I have two quick questions today. First, I have a torch with about twelve heads on it, and one is closed up and a brown mucus is forming on it.   <Yikes. It's called "Brown Jelly." Brown Jelly is a bacterial infestation of many species that often takes the lives of its victims. To halt it, you could try first gently siphoning as much of the "jelly" as you possibly can. Next, remove the coral from its tank and treat it with an Iodine solution. Lugol's Solution is said to work in this instance. Return the coral to the main tank. Keep your water quality up, a water change could not hurt at this point. Repeat if necessary.> I have never seen this before, and wondered what to do?   <See above.> Second, is it aggravating for corals if a hawk fish sits on them frequently?   <Yes.> Thanks for the help. <You're very welcome. Good luck with the jelly. Mike G>

Bubble Coral help... ing yourself 7/20/05 Hey <What?> I have bubble coral in a 29G tank for about 2 months now <Too small...> recently I noticed that the bubbles are not inflating as much as before and now it is to the point where they no longer exist and the skeleton of the coral is completely exposed. <Ooops> One side of the coral is completely gone the other half still has the mouth exposed and small bubbles (deflated) still around it. <...> Water conditions are good in the tank, <?> I change 15% of the water on a weekly basis, there is a tiny bubble coral on the other side of the rock as well that has not been effected in fact it has grown since I bought the coral. I also have a zoanthid and a pumping xenia that are in fact growing and multiplying. I have a skimmer and a carbon based filter in the tank, ~60 lbs of rock. The calcium levels were about 350 for a couple of weeks but since then have brought them back up to 400, KH was about 8 have brought it back up to 10. Will the coral in your opinion survive? What do you think might have caused the situation is there anything I can try to help it out? (PS: It dropped onto the sand once during a water change) Thanks in advance for your help, the site is filled with excellent knowledge. <Then read, use it. READ. Bob Fenner>

Quarantine and Dipping of Acropora 7/14/05 Hi, I have read recommendations to dip all new Acroporas in ReefDip, FlatwormExit and  Lugol's (I presume separately?). <...>   We have several frags in quarantine for 4 weeks prior to entry into the tank (for ich as well as other parasites).  During that time, I have examined them every few days with a magnifying glass and don't see any bugs at all (and the color looks very good).  A few of the frags have harmless commensal crabs (smooth shells).  I hate to hurt the crabs by doing a dip and don't want to add unnecessary stress to the corals.  If examined regularly for 4 weeks and nothing looks out of the ordinary, are the dips still necessary or could the corals be pronounced "bug free?"   Thanks in advance! - Doug   <I would not use any of these or other "dips" with quarantined corals unless I observed trouble that warranted such. Bob Fenner>
Re: Quarantine and Dipping of Acropora 7/14/05
That is what I thought.  I just wanted to make sure that Redbugs, etc. didn't have some sort of long cycle where they might lay in wait more than the 4 weeks. <Nah! You'd see them by then> Thank You! <Welcome. Bob Fenner, soon to have a contract on him for debunking chemical products in the trade/hobby>

Pectinia sp. slime 7/10/05 Thanks for fielding my question. <Welcome> Recently, my Pectinia coral experienced some shock.  It fell from it's perch midway up my 140gal tank (28" tall), mixed tank 2x400MH and 2x 110w VHO, all other tank parameters are perfect.  I moved it to a new place, because I could not get it to stay in it's original place.  Some of the internal skeleton was showing from where pieces broke off.  Some of the damaged began to slime... a lot.  And now the slime has covered a lot of the rock with bubbles attached to the slime streamers.  None of my other coral are declining because of this, but it looks like I have a serious case of Cyanobacteria, which I do not think it is.  I have had that before!!! I have been sucking the slime off the rocks while doing small water changes all week and plowing the slime off the rocks every night, so my skimmer can do some of the work.  My protein skimmer is running full time and skimming dark green waste.  New carbon in the sump. It looks like my Pectinia is recovering after a week of this.  It is a beautiful coral under actinic lights.  Is there any thing else that I should be doing? thanks you for your time. cde <I would check your alkalinity, calcium levels, bolster if low, add the activated carbon to your filter flow path... and dose with an iodide solution. Bob Fenner>

Use of chemical filtrants, phosphate, WWM Hello, A simple question I think. I have a sixty gallon - six month old SW reef tank with bout 80 lbs. LR.. Several fish and corals with 440 watts of lighting (VHO). About three months ago I added a 29 gallon refugium with about an inch and a half of miracle mud. At the same time I had an extreme problem with hair algae and added a treatment called PhosBan to the system. Since then the corals have not been coming out like they were. <Mmm, you do realize phosphate is an essential nutrient?> The fish are doing fine. The corals come out about ten percent only. I have added Caulerpa to the refugium twice and both times it died. <HP04 is an essential nutrient for all life...> Now my refugium runs without any plant life and the corals are not healthy. The fish are thriving though. All water tests I have been advised to do turn out ok. I don't test for iodine, magnesium, or strontium. Calcium at 400, alkalinity at 3.0, ammonia, nitrite, and phosphate at 0, nitrate at 20. I would greatly appreciate and input, thank you. Jon <Study my friend... less chemicals, more biology. Bob Fenner> 

RTN issues 5/4/05 Folks @ WWM, howdy. Recently, I have been experiencing RTN/STN in my tank. It started when I recently hooked up a chiller and tuned it down too low, shocked a couple of things. It went down by 6 degrees overnight from 81 to 75 and probably killed a colony, stressed out 2 other and a bunch of frags died. Over the next few days, the temp slowly came back, so I thought everything should be fine and I started to see other corals bleaching from the base up. This time, I have a salinity problem. I was using a hydrometer with a faulty arm so all the time while I thought I was mixing at 1.025 it was actually 1.021, when I tested it with a new hydrometer <I would really invest in a refractometer if I were in your shoes. They give you very accurate readings and are worth every penny.> ...this is a week after the temp got back to normal and over 3 days the specific gravity was back to 1.025. Anyhow, my question is that does RTN/STN spread and contagious?  < I would not say it is contagious per se.. But if a coral is sitting next to another and dying, it will release toxins which could cause another to recede. So in this case heavy water changes and running fresh carbon would really help get the toxin level down.> Basically most that are affected start to bleach from the base up and few others have patches of white here and there, especially one of my caps. I'm very concerned and don't want this to be an ongoing problem or I will lose the entire tank. I've lost a couple of things and I can deal with that but I have lots more coral too precious to lose...Some affected colonies are permanently attached since they encrusted so they're still in there. I change 15% water every week and it has good flow, O2, water params are fine now. I hope this can be stopped and not sure how I can stop it... < I would really get the carbon going and change that every few days just till things settle down. Also do the water changes about every 3 days just to be sure things are stable. And get a refractometer.. Acros are very sensitive to change so it is important to get that salinity dialed in exact with water changes etc. The only real way to do that is with a ATC Refractometer. Also is it a slow recession? RTN in my experience is almost overnight that you will lose the whole colony. If it is a prize coral that you want to have the best chance at saving, you can frag a small piece of it from a side that is the farthest away from the recession. Hopefully the frag will make it and you will at least have that piece to start a new colony> Please help!!! Thanks in advance... SJ  <Good Luck EricS> 
RTN issues 5/6/05
Anthony, Thanks bro, your words brought some comfort. <Ahhh... good to hear> I'm getting a refractometer now (didn't know about glass hydros tho) so I hope that'll work out. <Ohhh, yes... a good move.> I've also stopped the chiller since there's really no need to chill yet. <Hmmm... your chiller is thermostatic. You should not need to shut this off my friend. Its is a mistake to unplug heaters in the summer, unplug chillers in the winter/cool times, etc... it usually catches folks off guard when the weather changes> Hope that'll help a bit instead of having temp swinging from 79 to 81 and back constantly (AquaMedic chiller - Titan series). <No worries... in this case and most I always recommend an add-on (more precise) (thermostat) controller> I'm starting to think that the chiller is actually causing the major part of the stress... <Indeed... fish pathologists often cite swings as little as 2 degrees as stressful enough to incite a flare-up of parasites, etc.> BTW I do have Eric's book on Aquarium Corals, fantastic book. If I'm in Houston I hope I can look him up and check out his 3-part tank (with mangroves, etc). Anyhow, I met Bob Fenner few months ago at SeaBay meeting and he is a real funny guy... <Very fine folks... they are friends and have my highest regard> ps. Thanks for the tip on trapping fish in reef tanks. I read one of the threads about the plastic bag and live brine and I actually caught my dwarf angel who has been chewing my SPS's...great tip... Thanks again... Steve <Excellent to hear! (the catching part... not the coral nibbling part <G>). Kindly, Anthony> 

Euphyllia Health Hello. <Hello Mark> I have 75 gallon established reef tank, water parameters just fine except for nitrates about 10-15 ppm, which I'm not losing much sleep over. Two to three weeks ago I bought a torch coral and what was supposed to be a hammerhead coral (its a close relative, anyway), and large areas have closed up and died within the last couple days. They had been doing great. There are only two things I can think of: 1) lack of invert specific food, although that wouldn't' account for the partial die off (I think) and in any case I feed every 3 days with a mixture of Selcon soaked flake food and newly hatched brine shrimp. <No need to feed that often, healthy corals produce most of their own food.> 2) I add 2-3 gallons of RO water the day before the corals closed up. I poured the water directly into the tank in a high current area. I've never had any trouble with this before. Would a brief exposure to hyposaline water (at 75 degrees vs. the 83 degrees in the tank) kill Euphyllia type coral? <Shouldn't.  May be your lighting. You don't state lighting being used. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks very much. I appreciate your help over the years. Mark
Demise of Euphyllia
Hello. I have 360 watts of power compacts, 1/2 10,000K and 1/2 actinic. I should probably add that I have a plate coral, a hundred mushrooms, and a pearl coral, all of which are growing and otherwise doing fine. I went from 130 to 360 watts, over a week, about two months ago; no apparent ill affects that I can see. Also, the brine shrimp and Selcon soaked flakes are also for the fish: four clowns, and a few tangs, who eat most of it, of course. The current also seems to be around right: enough to move the polyps around, but not enough to knock them flat, so to speak. I'm wondering if disease would be the reason, but it seems strange that it would affect both corals at exactly the same time and not bother the pearl coral, for instance, at all. <It's also quite possible that the coral was handled improperly.  Not necessarily by you, but somewhere up the line.  The tissue is very sensitive and if a hand/finger presses the tissue against the skeleton, damage to the coral could take place.  I'll ask Anthony to take a look at this.  James (Salty Dog)> Mark
Re: demise of Euphyllia
Hi James. Well, almost all the polyps died last night, so there's no rush about consulting Anthony. I do have one question that would be of general interest, though. Its quite possible I handled these corals too roughly (accidentally, of course), but in the three weeks I had them, they opened beautifully. If one damages the tissue, how long might it take for the coral to die or otherwise show symptoms of the damage? It seems like two weeks would be a long time. Also, any tissue I did touch would have been around the edges, and as I've said, both corals died last night, even the parts which were still fully opened yesterday. Thanks very much, <You're welcome Mark.  I see the message is not in the draft folder here so either Anthony or Marina must have sent out my reply with any input from them.  James (Salty Dog)> Mark

Trachyphyllia Troubles I hope you can answer this question, I have recently purchased a Trachyphyllia. Below is a picture of the coral. As you will note from the photo there are two open brains. The top coral seems to be doing very well. Within a day or so of introducing it to the aquarium the bottom brain has retracted from the skeleton. The edges of the soft tissue appear to be melting away it's mouth is gaping. Is the bottom brain dying and if so what should I do? The top brain is doing ok. Will the bottom brain get better? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated?  <John, the problem appears to be that these corals are right next to each other. The one in poor shape probably got stung by the other. Separate them and all you can do is hope for the best. James (Salty Dog)> 

Lobophyllia tissue recession 3/31/05 Hello, I have a Lobophyllia spp. For 2 months and never has been very healthy, firstly started with a small body reduction in the upper part (it was inclined in the aquarium) so I moved it down. But 2 weeks ago it started to have a severe body depletion, I have read different articles about corals, bleaching etc and I would like to know if I should move it down a bit more or any other tip. Thanks very much.  <"Tissue recession" is the most common term for this. Bleaching refers to the loss of Zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) and color from otherwise normal healthy tissue. Lobophyllia is quite adaptable to different lighting conditions, but in my experience it is quite sensitive to water quality and the defensive chemicals produced by other corals. I would suggest thoroughly testing your water and making sure the following parameters are in the proper range: pH 8.0-8.4, Alkalinity 2.75-4.0 mEq (9-12 dKH), Salinity 1.025, Calcium 350-450, temp 79-82. If you have soft corals (especially leathers or mushrooms), it would be a good idea to run small amounts of carbon and change it weekly and perform 20% monthly water changes. Best Regards! AdamC.>

Battling Brown Jelly Hello, <Hey, Mike G with you this afternoon.> I have a frogspawn frag, and in about a 24 hour span it has closed up completely. This is very unusual for this coral. As of this morning, the coral looks ragged, and has what appears to be a hunk of brownish dead tissue hanging from it. <Ouch.> Is this the dreaded brown jelly disease? <Sounds like it.> What is my best option for treating it? Thank you. <Brown jelly is a pretty vicious disease, and takes many corals as its victims. To halt it, you could try first gently siphoning as much of the "jelly" as you possibly can. Next, remove the coral from its tank and treat it with an Iodine solution. Lugol's Solution is said to work in this instance. Return the coral to the main tank. Keep your water quality up, a water change could not hurt at this point. Repeat if necessary. Hope this helps.>

Frogspawn Coral w/Brown Jelly? While I awaited your response, the condition only seemed to worsen. So I went ahead and did a freshwater dip and siphoned/pulled some of the brown mess away.  <A freshwater dip for coral is not a good idea Eric.>  It was definitely dead tissue as it smelled quite bad. Now almost a day removed, there seems to be no more of the jelly, however one polyp is down to the white skeleton, while the other large head doesn't seem as bad. The really new/small polyps seem unharmed. Now to my question (sorry for the length). Do you think that my other corals are safe at this point or should I take further action. Other corals include a torch, xenia, star polyps, button polyps. Thank you for all of your help.  <The others should be safe as long as they are healthy. I'm thinking about your flow rate...do you have at least 10x total water flow in your system? We want our corals to be constantly bathed/washed if you will. James (Salty Dog)>

Tissue Damage on Bubble Coral How ya doin, guys? <Just fine>  Quick question: is it normal for the sharp skeleton of a bubble coral to pierce through its tissue? I've had this coral for 5 days now. It already looked like this when I bought it (though I failed to notice this at LFS. Noticed it a few hours after I placed it in my tank). The coral seems fine, its bubbles have been expanding well, sweeper tentacles go out at night. I'm just concerned that it might die much later of "tissue damage". LFS reassured me I can swap it for a different coral before the end of the month. Should I return it to them?  <I'm thinking that the tissue got damaged from handling. You shouldn't handle the tissue part at all when transferring from bag to tank or tank to bag. It does tear easily. With good conditions it should be OK, but the choice will be yours to make. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks. <You're welcome> 

Open Brain Sliming Good Morning! <It's evening! Trying to trick me, eh...> I purchased a green/red open brain a couple of weeks ago. It looked good, has expanded more in my tank than in the LFS, but yesterday morning I noticed a bit of a translucent slime around one edge. This morning it had extended to enshroud approx. ½ the coral. There is a bit of skeleton exposed on the edge that first exhibited the problem. The edge where this started is up against some live rock (wasnt touching when I placed the coral, but it has since expanded and now touches a bit is that a problem???) <I would not allow the extended tissues to touch the rock, as it will become abraded in the extensions and contractions these animals perform day to day>  Is there anything I should be doing other than wait and watch? Tank params: 52 g 20 in. tall Lighting: 2- 96w PC actinics, 2- 175W 20000k MH Ca/Alk: 405/2.9 Temp: 78 78.5 pH: 8.2 NO2/NO3 both 0 <If you have a coral of the genus 'Trachyphyllia' then the "sliming" behavior is perfectly natural. These corals excrete a mucus coating to trap floating particulates, and then ingest the entire coating. Make sure you keep it well fed - M. Maddox>
Re: Open Brain Sliming - Brown Jelly Disease
Well, it turned out to be brown jelly. By this afternoon there was very little living tissue left - probably 2/3 of the skeleton was fully exposed and what little live tissue was left was breaking down and melting away. <Ack! Remove that coral ASAP! It may be possible to frag and save the healthy parts of the coral, but you do NOT want the 'brown jelly' (a protozoan) spreading!> Are any of the following organisms at risk from loose "jelly" being blown around in the tank (GSPs, mushrooms, hammer coral, trumpet coral, pearl bubble coral)? If so, is there anything I can do to lessen the risk? <All LPS are at risk - remove the coral ASAP. If you don't have a QT tank, just ditch the entire coral> I've started running charcoal - don't know if that will help, but I guess it couldn't hurt... <Never a bad thing, but it won't kill protozoans. Make sure to remove it ASAP, and keep a very close eye on your other LPS. In the meantime, set up a quarantine tank if you don't already have one!> Thanks, -Brian <Good luck - M. Maddox>
Re: Open Brain sliming & Brown Jelly Disease Follow-up
I took it out a few hours after my last post - there was no healthy tissue left, but some of that stuff did get loose in the tank, some when I was removing it and some due to my peppermint shrimp slicing and dicing at it, so ... <Too bad :\ Quarantine next time!> I found an article that suggested as a follow up to dealing with an infection adding Vitamin C to the tank for 14 days according to some instructions but the link to said instructions was dead - how do I do this? How much and what form? Ground up C from the health food store?? An additional recommendation was good flow to reduce the chances of the jelly being able to collect, which I have. <Do not add ascorbic acid directly (i.e. don't use human pills) as it will drop your pH drastically. Instead, use a liquid\buffered supplement that can be found on any online retailer's site> Thanks, Brian. <Anytime - M. Maddox>

Coral Mucus?  Hi, I've tried to navigate the site, but don't know how to chat live w/ the folks over there (maybe you can advise?).<<We don't have/do "live chat">> I have a 135 gal. with a G3 skimmer and a refugium (speaking of...when you get that red slime in refugium, do you take it out? Do water changes?). < I would either leave it, or maybe a little more water movement in the refugium. >  I've been involved in this hobby for 4 months and have recently gotten a beautiful lavender/pink polyp. It has not opened (I've had for 5 days, along w/3 other frags which are fine) this is a small colony...when open, it was about 3 inches across. It also has a lot I MEAN A LOT of mucus on it.  < Well I'm not sure what kind of coral it is, but I know what I would do. I would take the coral out by putting a small cup in your tank, moving the coral into, then pulling it out. Then I would shake that coral and get all the mucus off. Then put the coral back in the tank, but not the water you shook the mucus into. >  I have ordered more lights which will be here tomorrow, we thought we had a 125,but it turns out its bigger. we have 2 power compacts that equal 396 watts and ordered a retro fit kit w/2- 96 watt bulbs, I feel it still may not be enough, but hubby says otherwise...what's your opinion?  < It is fine for most soft corals, but for stony corals I would like a lot more light. >  We plan on sticking to softies. Now, its placed about 7 inches from surface, nothing can touch it and it has a small flow around it (I can adjust for more). < Movement is better when corals are producing slime products. >  We have 2 Magdrive pumps that do 1200 gallons, and I think we need a few more power heads to avoid dead spots (currently we are running 2 that are spaced about 8 inches from either side of tank backs, and they face the front of tank). < I would consider a closed loop with a tank that size. >  Well, I guess I have many questions, but back to the coral. I was informed to move as little as possible, but I moved to location described after I thought it might be dying. It was in a similar spot on opposite side of tank, but I thought it might be to close to another frag (1 in.), so if you could give this mail a whirl, you will be my new hero!  < Wow, I'm not just a nerd, I'm a hero! I hope the increased water motion and removal of mucus works well. >  Cheers, Anjie < Blundell > 

Porites changing color? Greetings, Revered Invertebrate Problem Solvers, < Revered? Not sure about that. > I have a Porites sp. (lobata?) with some Spirobranchus (incidental, I pay attention the Porites, but the worms are pretty damn cool.) When I purchased the Porites rock (on a mini-boulder, encrusting -> lobata??), it was a shade of brown, maybe brownish-grey. After playing with its placement in my tank every couple weeks, we have settled on an area where his/her polyps are beautifully extended for the majority of the day and part of the night (the latest I have witnessed being 4 or 5 am after a night at the bar)  < You sound like Bob. >  The Porites has been situated there for nearly a month, in the tank for 4 months. That's the background, leaving out equipment specifications. Now, this place where the Porites currently resides is as close to the lights as I have ever had it (though not nearly as close as some pink zoos, Acro, etc.), and as mentioned, I have never had it display such full polyp extension. But, I have recently noticed some slight color changes. In the day cycle, I see hues of green and purple throughout the coral. With a "night light", I see an almost green fluorescence akin to that of my Hydnophora or green zoos.  < I'd say this is "good" from a hobbyist perspective. It is almost certainly in response to the lighting. >  I have read about a Purple Spot or Purple Swirl or Ring (something like that) disease that can affect Porites. Should I be worried about what I see in the day cycle? Again, I only see the purple hue during the day, and have only noticed it for about 2 weeks. Any advice/ pointers/ ideas/ thoughts/ or sources I could check out would be helpful. My thanks, indeed...  < I would say it is probably a chemical reaction to make pigments in response to the high light levels. I'll bet you have powerful lights if you are keeping Acros in there. So I think the purple and green fluorescent hues are defense mechanism for that light, and I would bet your coral will look better as this takes place. So don't change anything is my advise. > -LH < Blundell > 

Lack of QT for new corals... dodging bullets 3/16/05 I am panicking I did something wrong and was hoping someone could answer my question. <Please don't worry/panic... surely no worries> I introduced into my 150g tank last night some coral that had been growing in a friends tank.  <hmmm... OK, maybe worry a little. You did not mention using a QT first. Please (!) isolate every and all new livestock for 4 weeks before thinking of placing them in your display. For so many reasons (do read the art6icles/FAQs for more info). Parasites, pests, disease, etc> It was happy and established coral. It was hard coral, mushrooms and some polyps. Mostly hard corals such as Acropora. I acclimated it over a couple hours adding water from the main tank to the buckets of coral. I began placing all the coral in the tank and it all looked very happy. Then one coral started releasing clear mucus like missiles firing into the tank. It was getting everywhere and then it was like a war, as the corals started doing the same thing. The mucus was clear, but stringy. What happened here, was it chemical warfare? Was it stress?  <Both likely> Was it expelling the zooxanthellae?  <not unless you saw very dark packets/clusters in it> Was it placing too many pieces of coral into the tank at the same time? <Its just a stress response... but please (!) do not underestimate the need for QT. If for no other reason, to protect the considerable money/lives you have invested into this tank. Else every un-quarantined animal you add is like playing Russian Roulette so to speak> I was afraid with all the excreting into the tank they were stinging each other compounding the problem and causing more. Do you think I will lose the corals?  <Its not likely> This morning the tank looked clear, with a few strings still on a couple corals. Thanks a lot! I appreciate your help! Carolyn <Best of luck, Anthony>

Infected coral 3/11/05 I have a torch coral (not sure what kind), <a phaceloid "Euphyllia glabrescens"> I don't know what is happening to it. Is it dying?  <yes.. polyp loss in the photo> A week ago it was fine and it was extended out of all 3 skeletons, and the last 3 days, 2 have stopped coming out. You can still see the tips of them.  <Hmmm... I see little in the pics> I just had my water tested by the LFS and everything was excellent. (nitrate, nitrite, salt, phosphate, ph, ammonia, calcium, temp.) Did I miss any?  <lack of QT and an infection that spread to other heads/polyps... and often spreads to other corals fro Euphyllia species (very common). Please be sure to always QT new livestock in isolation for 4 weeks before adding to the display... if only to protect the lives of your other animals from disease, parasites, infection, etc.> Should I move it?  <not at this point... feed well instead. Do read through our archives on coral feeding> My lighting is Coralife Lunar Aqualight 192 watts. ( 46 bow front). I do add supplements as well  (strontium, Molybdenum, Iodine, Zooplex, Phytoplex, DT's Phytoplankton), and I feed brine shrimp.  <this coral needs larger zooplankton... very little of the food above is being eaten by this LPS coral. Try thawed Mysid shrimp, DTs Natural Diet Oyster eggs, minced krill, etc instead> All other corals are fine. Please no criticism, help only. Please help! I'm attaching a photo, I hope it helps. Also, how do you get rid of green hair algae? <algae control is writ about at great length in our archives, my friend... much better than I can summarize briefly here. Please take the time to read and learn at: www.WetWebMedia.com and navigate into the many subjects that interest you. Kindly, Anthony> 

What should I do next? S/W I have a 90g 3x2x2 tank, 25g refugium, 20g sump, 180 lb of LR and 80 lb of LS. A 400w 14k lights the tank with 2-36w blues. The tank has been up and running for 11 months. I did have a algae problem. but that is all gone about 2 months ago. My nitrates where always around 10. I had a DIY skimmer with a 4000 Quiet One pump and a nozzle for a injector. I was never real happy with it and thought I would make another one with a Becket injector. I did some testing and made a new skimmer with a dolphin 1200 pump. The skimmer is being held together with Aquamend and I used some silicone2 (GE XST) which I have used before and never had a problem. I did notice that the light wasn't as bright and the corals were not all the way out like normal but this is just slightly. Out with the old and in with the new skimmer and boy was this thing hard to get dialed in. It took like 38 hours and a couple of times my hands may not have been clean but when the collection cup is totally filled with water and it's getting all over I had to do something.  The corals didn't like it. The brain, torch and hammer went about totally closed. Flowerpot, pink lobo, candy and fox where partly closed. The top part of fox turned white normally it's a brownish color. The purple shrooms looked shriveled. Ricordeas seem the same. This happened the first two days. I start changing water, first 10g's and ever since then 5g's a day. I also order a new bulb. After a week brain, lobo, candy and flowerpot are open. Fox still has white area at top. Torch, hammer, shrooms look real bad. I find out that bulb is going to take three week to get here. After two weeks I get the a new bulb 10k XM and it is way brighter. Brain, lobo and candy have never looked this good. Hammer and shrooms are better but still don't look very good. The torch, part of a head has died and doesn't look like it's going to recover. flowerpot doesn't seem to like the new light so I'm going to move it down some. The BTA, Ricordea, fish, crabs, shrimp and snails never seemed affected. Skimmer is working way better than the last one. I have added carbon, make sure poly filters are clean and replaced 90g's of water at 5g a day and a couple of times 15g. I dose with B-ionic and make sure Ca, nitrate, nitrite, ph, alk and salt are always ok. My water has never looked so clean. What should I do?  <Do just what you have been doing, Bill. Give it a little time. James (Salty Dog)> 

Montipora Trouble Hi gang, Quick question (hopefully). I am on my third frag of a very hard to get but popular purple Montipora frag. For some reason, I keep bleaching them. At first I thought it was because I put them about 6" off the bottom immediately after receiving them, and wasn't putting them low enough and letting them acclimate to the light. However, when I received the third frag, I put it all the way on the bottom of the tank, right on the sand. It still didn't help, as one corner turned brown then bleached. However, the middle to left part of the frag is still purple, but I fear the browning and then bleaching is spreading. I had it on the bottom, somewhat under a rock for some shade. Panicking, I moved it up a couple of inches several days after being on the bottom to try and save the frag. What am I doing wrong? My lighting is as follow: 2x250W 10K MH, with one 400W 13K bulb in the middle. Then there are 2x96W PC actinics. I put the coral under the 250W MH, not the 400W. This doesn't seem to happen with my Acro frags, which I've done okay with. It only seems to happen with the Montipora frags. Any thoughts? >>>Hi Brandon, Doesn't sound like a lighting issue to me, but more of a current or water quality issue. Check your parameters and make sure you have decent current where you're placing this frag. Also, are you sure this frag was grown under lower lighting? If not, check into this. Cheers Jim<<<

Brain coral Hi I have had my brain coral for like 1 week and it won't open up.  It has some bleach marks the fish store had it for a day under metal halides.  I see it swell up just a little bit like a few quarter size pieces swell up and the base where the mouth is on swells up some.  Here  is a picture of it.  I also tried feeding it liquid food and Mysis. <Sorry my friend but the picture didn't make it.  I sounds to me like the coral may have not been healthy to start with.  You didn't mention what kind of lighting you have.  Try sending the pic again and we should be able to provide a better answer.  James (Salty Dog)>

Tubastrea (sun polyps) losing color - 2/17/05 Hello Crew! <Hey Elmer> I must say that I'm an avid reader of your web site, learning  a lot of things. <Great! Me too, actually> Thanks for that. <Thanks for coming here and being part of it all. It is why we do what we do> I have a beautiful sun/tube coral (Tubastrea aurea) which is in my aquarium for about 3 months now. <Fed well I hope?> I noticed that it started to lose its orange color at the base of its tubes. <Fading or actually turning colors?> It started as one spot three weeks ago that is gradually enlarging through time. <Hmmmm>  Now, most of the bases and in between the tubes are grayish in color. <How is the flow around this coral??>  Is this a sign of a dying coral? <Very possible. How do you feed this coral? This is a non-photosynthetic coral so it will need feeding somewhat frequently. At least every three to five days>  It is sitting at the bottom of my aquarium, not in a shaded area. <Not necessarily an issue but I have usually spotted these corals growing caves and overhangs usually upside down>  My water parameters are very good. <OK Be sure to check it and maybe even have someone check if possible. Maybe a local fish store?>  I have a 50g aquarium (5 months old), 192w fluorescent lighting, Arctica chiller maintained at 77F, 60lbs live rock, CPR Cyclone CY 194 sump/skimmer/filtration system with carbon, RowaPhos, and BioBale inside. <You can take out the BioBale if you would like, otherwise sounds very nice> I have a flame angel, yellow tang, 2 damsels, a Banggai cardinal, 2 soft corals, 2 LPS corals, a starfish, and 2 cleaner shrimps. <Good selection. Keep an eye on the damsels. Destructo twins for sure> This tube coral is my first coral. It is beautiful and I earnestly don't want to lose it. <Again, be aware they like a medium flow and need to be fed regularly as stated above. Try a mixture of various Mysid, Cyclops-eeze, baby brine, Omega one etc and try target feeding if you don't already. Very likely they do get some food left over from the fish feedings but better to target. Again, to reiterate, this is not a coral that requires lighting.> It still continues to expose its yellow tentacles at night time. <A good time to feed it> Please advise. <I can't say for sure that this coral is dying, but I think increase the flow, maybe hang it in an overhang or cave, and target feed when tentacle are exposed will get the coral back on track.> Many thanks for your help. <Hopefully I have helped. Remains to be seen. Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul> Regards, Elmer

Myrionema pom-pom hydroids... yikes! 3/8/05 Good Day, I hope you stay very well. <indeed my friend... with hope for you in kind> I've a big problem. A Myrionema amboiniensis on my reef tank, with SPS and LPS. <ughh... can be miserable if your nutrients are high. Very sorry to read of this challenge for you my friend> I've checked on WWM, and on internet, but I didn't find anything... How to eliminate? <its really all about nutrient control. Back in the Berlin- style reef days (aggressive skimming/nutrient export), we used to ADD this hydroid to our tanks for its beauty. It never grew fast and sometimes died out. Nowadays, aquarists that overfeed, overstock (big tangs in the tank) and have generally weak protein skimming (less than 2-3 cups of skimmate weekly) suffer from this animal> Julian Sprung say with "keyhole limpet"... but... which keyhole limpet? <it varies... do a message board search here, my friend. I've never used limpets for this. Still... I'd rather see you treat the problem (nutrients) and not the symptom (hydroids). Otherwise, when the hydroids are eaten, the now available nutrients will simply feed some other exploding population of nuisance organism (algae or pest anemone perhaps)> Because here, in Italy, isn't easy to find such creatures... so when I know the exact name I can search better. <ah, yes... understood!> Other ways of? I've tried also mechanical methods, but no result at all... They grows behind the rocks... <I think the very best way is to improve your skimmer performance. Clean and tune it to give you daily dark (coffee colored) skimmate> May you help me? Thank you very much, and thank you for your WetWebMedia site, it's fantastic! Danilo Ronchi, Rimini Italy <ciao, caro Danilo. Anthony :) >  

Turbinaria coral strange behavior 2/27/05 I have been searching the internet for an idea of what is happening to my Turbinaria... I have had it for a year, and it has been doing fantastically until last week when it started to develop this bubble. I did have to move it very slightly closer to the lights recently, and nearer my branching anchor. Is this polyp bailout?  <it definitely does look like polyp bailout... how ironic too, I use a pic similar to this in one of my presentations describing how light shock or aggression from a nearby coral (like your VERY noxious/aggressive hammer Euphyllia) can cause this> Could it be getting stung by my anchor?  <easily so at night with modified sweeper tentacles on Euphyllia that can reach 10"> I called my LFS and they had no idea what it could be and suggested I dip it.  <yikes! no... please don't stress the coral any more... the LFS is mistaken here> I appreciate any help you can offer. Great site, and thanks! Kevan <best regards, Anthony><<To add my dos centavos here... DO move one or the other of these colonies. RMF>>

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