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FAQs about Stony Coral Health/Disease/Pests 7

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 6, 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,

My Corals Dying?   3/11/07 Hi WWM, <<Hi Maison.>> Three nights ago I noticed that my hammer coral was dying, the part that died turned into slime and it stays on the rock. The same thing happened to my frogspawn coral 2 weeks ago. Do you know what it is? If you know what it is can you tell me how to treat it?  Reply quickly, it is my favourite coral in the tank and I don't want it to die. <<Please use the WWM search feature, and look through the numerous articles on Coral Diseases.  Try searches for RTN, rapid tissue necrosis.  Much information is there for your use, if you'll only look for it.>> Thanks,   Maison <<Enjoy the learning. Lisa Brown.>>

Crabs in my reef?  Yes a Coral Crab (Trapezia ferruginea)  3/10/07 Hello Again Bob, <Hi Brian, Mich here tonight!> I found some crabs hanging out in a couple of my Acropora corals last night. I have pulled them out of the reef, but still have no clue what kind of crab they are. There are 3 photos below if you could tell me what you think they are it would be greatly appreciated. <This looks like a Coral Crab (Trapezia ferruginea).  They are reef safe and eat mucus off their host coral.  They usually hitchhike on stony corals and are typically hardy when provided a host, which is usually a Pocillopora spp. or a Stylophora spp.  If you want them to live, and you should, they need to be returned to their respective corals.> Thank you!
<Welcome!  -Mich>

Dying Coral  - 3/7/07 Dear Crew, can you tell me what is causing the "rusty" <Looks more like the colony is dying off, and diatoms are growing on the skeleton. You setup, water quality, tanks age, etc. would be helpful here.> erosion of the colony polyp shown in this photo.   <Not sure what could be causing it.  More information needed.> Thank you in advance for your response. <Sorry that I could not be more helpful, see above Re: needed information.  Brandon.>              Bob
Re: Dying Coral (Brandon... please put your input on new lines... very hard to read otherwise) -- 03/09/07 Thanks for the response, Bandon.<Brandon.  Only my three year old gets to call me Bandon. :D>  <You are welcome.> Here is my setup. 75 gallon reef 36 long x 18 deep x 24 high.  Lighting 2 AQ 150/10K macro double ended halide & 2 fluorescent T-8 30 watt.  PH 8.25, salinity 1028, ammonia 0, nitrate 0, nitrite 0, kH 232.7, calcium 420.  15% water changes every two weeks.  Protein Skimmer used.  <Ok.>  All polyps and invertebrates in excellent health.  <Except for the Faviid.>  Tank is 5 months old.  <Fairly young.>   Position of dying coral in tank, lower third.  <Are there any corals near it?  There is a possibility of Allelopathy (Chemical Warfare.).  I really hate to keep asking for more information, but the other types of corals that you have are important too.  But since I don't know I will generalize.  If there are any Sarcophyton, Sinularia, Zoanthids, Clavularia, Klyxum within three inches of this coral, move them.  Also run 2-3 ounces of carbon in your water flow path, and change weekly.  Poly-filters would help here too.  I would also start doing water changes once a week, as opposed to bi-weekly.  Heavy skimming will help with this too.>   I hope there is a way for reversing the dying process.  <If you remove causative agent, the coral will likely recover.  One other thing that I didn't think of.  It could be your lighting.  How long have you had the coral, and what lighting was it under in the store.  If your answer is something like "Not long, and Power Compact or VHO, then move it down in the tank a little.>  Paid too much for it.  Looking forward to your solution.  <Please check the compatibility of neighboring corals.  I hope that this helps.  Brandon> Bob

Can I save it?  Coral on LR   3/1/07 <Hi Chris, Mich here.> I have had a 5.5-gallon Live Rock only nano tank for almost 9 months now. I previously had 5.5 lbs of live rock in the tank. I went to my local fish store and bought another single 5 lb rock. My girlfriend picked it out (she thought it was pretty), but it had some sort of coral on it. I thought it was dead because in their tank, it looked completely white.  In my tank under a coral life 96-watt 50/50 light, it still shows some green color... This leads me to my overall question... can it be saved? <Never give up hope.> or is it already to far gone? I have attached several pictures of it... <Possibly, but have been surprised before.> I recently purchased http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Product/Prod_Display.cfm?pcatid=9966&Ntt=r eef%20care&Ntk=All&Ntx=mode+matchallpartial&Np=1&N=2004&Nty=1 (before I found your site) to try and revive it...I have yet to receive it... but will this help? <Unlikely. I would not use this.  Will likely to reduce the water quality.  Better to keep your water quality as high and consistent as possible, this and time are the best methods.> Thanks for any help you can provide... <Welcome!> A worried aquarist, <Don't fret, just keep your water quality high.  Will give the best, be it small, chance for recovery.> Chris Eanes
Re: Can I save it?  Coral on LR  - 03/02/07 <Hi Chris, Mich with you again.> Thank you very much for the help! <You are very welcome!> I am doing daily water changes and I have been checking the parameters as well. I didn't know how long the fish store had the live rock so I didn't want to take any chances, I hope that the coral makes it through... I don't like to see anything perish. <Me neither!> Now I just have to return the stuff I bought from Dr. Foster and Smith... I am second guessing the knowledge of their techs because I thought that the excess nutrients (combined with the newly added live rock) would lead to bad water quality and a horrible algae bloom... <Likely so.> Thank you again for all of your help, I will continue with the changing/checking, if it pulls through I'll send pictures! <I hope to see pictures!  -Mich>
Chris Eanes

Brad in Basalt writing in panic. Scler. hlth.  2/5/07 Dear Bob, <BnB> Greetings from the High Alpine Reef.  I hope things are well with all of you.  I haven't written in a great while, but I have been reading your wonderful postings and magazine regularly.  Thank you sincerely, and please forgive the length of this letter!   <Okay> My home-made 130 gallon bow-front reef is now 16 months old and has done well enough for most of my specimens to flourish.  I'm between a live rock and a hard coral this time though, and could really use some advice. <Heee! Okay> Before I get into the situation, here is the tank's data:  Volume = 150 gallons of which 130 gallons is in the tank, Temperature = 78 to 80 degrees F, S.G. = 1.025, Alkalinity = 125 to 160 ppm, Ca = 310 to 370 ppm, Mg= 1350ppm, pH= 8.0 to 8.1, Ammonia and Nitrite = undetectable, turnover=1500 gph, additional internal circulation = 600 gph, 1/2 gallon of Kalkwasser is metered in daily with a peristaltic pump (spread over a 24 hour period), and water changes are 15% monthly.  The lighting system has two 80 watt t-5s on a 12 photo-period, and two 250 watt Metal Halides on a 5 hour photo period (these have run 8 hours a day for 16 months though, so I have new bulbs and will put them in once my current crisis is past). <All right...> The good:  My first purchased coral, a Montipora capricornis, had slowly spreading necrotic tissue down in the valleys of the various uplifting whorls of the specimen (ref. pictures and discussion posted 7/1/06).  The shop owner that sold me this coral wrote to suggest that I encapsulate the dead tissue with Superglue gel. <Mmm, one approach... not what I would do or advise though> I reasoned that removing the dead or dying tissue surgically would result in the complete dismantling of this wonderful piece, so I decided to try his suggestion first and to cut later if need be.  The glue worked and halted the spread of this decay.  I further observed that detritus settled in these same areas daily, so I trained a small eductor onto the Monti from above and started gently flushing the crevices with a turkey baster daily.  I am happy to report that our little friend has nearly doubled in size since then, and that she is in full good health (picture to follow this Email).  Additionally, two small Porites porites colonies with only a few polyps each have grown very well and seem extremely healthy (a second photograph will also follow this Email). <I see them> The bad:  I have struggled to maintain ideal water chemistry since my first day as a marine aquarist.  My source water is fairly acidic well water treated by reverse osmosis (pH 6.2 - 6.4).  Because of this low pH, and since calcium is rapidly depleted in my tank, I decided to try an experiment.  I built a calcium reactor, but instead of using carbon dioxide to create an acidic condition, I circulated the acidic make-up water though the reactor to dissolve aragonite. <Might work... given a quite-soluble source of CaCO3...> Within 24 hours of hooking up my contraption, my Pachyseris rugosa turned from iridescent green to olive drab brown.  The impact on calcium levels was negligible, but neutralizing the make-up water allowed the pH to stabilize at 8.0 to 8.1 <Mmm... a bit odd... if the Aragonite was influencing pH (dissolving) what became of the Calcium?> instead of the previous 7.9.  So, I have left the reactor hooked up in this way for the last 3 months.  Additionally, I hooked up a peristaltic pump to start adding Kalkwasser on a slow continuous basis (1/2 gallon per day).  This stabilized my pH at 8.1 but still was insufficient to halt a weekly decline in calcium and alkalinity.  So, an aquarist in Denver suggested that I try a balanced supplement called Tropic Marin Bio-Calcium. <A good product in my estimation> The instructions say to sprinkle this powder into the pump intake. <Mmm, I would NOT do this... important to dissolve ahead of exposure...> I have a penductor nozzle trained on the Pachyseris rugosa to give it a nice strong current.  And, all too late, I surmised that the two-part additive was simply pumped in concentration right onto my poor coral (as evidenced by a dark brown spot located like a target on the back of my poor unsuspecting friend).  So, I stopped adding the supplement this way and turned the nozzle 20 degrees to keep the strong current from hitting the Pachyseris directly.  This all happened as I finished making and installing my long anticipated lighting hood.  Despite my many cooling fans, the hood caused the tank temperature to rise, so I cut the photo period on my metal halides from 8 hours to six hours to keep the temperature from exceeding 80 degrees F.  The dark brown spot faded in 24 hours, but I now have a rapidly progressing loss of color from this unfortunate animal (bleaching incident?). <Okay... is a descriptive term... not definitive of cause/s> I am afraid that I have compounded my most obvious mistakes by making several changes all at once.  I am hoping that your experience will allow you to draw some correlations between the possible causes and effects. <Mmm... well... really, with the changes, improvements you've been making... just time going by...> I have stopped reacting at this point (thank goodness as I was sharpening the pruning shears and preparing to frag this coral), and I await the voice of reason.  I have new Metal Halide bulbs on hand and a 1/3 HP chiller ready to install so I can slowly return my photo-period to normal.  If you would kindly share your thoughts on what actions are logical at this point and the order in which they should be made, I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks again for all you do, Brad in Basalt, Co. <Ten, make that twenty deep breaths... a walk about the neighborhood with the dog/s... Patience here Brad... I'd wait a month and see how all looks then. Bob Fenner>

Porites? Mmm, looks like a Goniopora to moi.

Re: Brad in Basalt writing in panic. Scler. hlth.   2/6/07 I understand your point.  And, I feel so confused.  This coral looks very much like Goniopora lobata photographs I have seen from the Philippines. <We're in agreement> Yet, a close inspection of the coral polyp reveals only 12 tentacle tips. <About right... for... which genus?> As a matter of history, this coral started from a few small polyps that hitchhiked in on the Florida gulf-side maricultured live rock <?! Not from FLA... or the Atlantic> that was the first part of our original shipment from Tampa Bay Saltwater.  I will try to photograph the coral when it is fully retracted (e.g., after a hermit crab campout), and perhaps this will give more information to go on as the structure is starting to form a rising mound from the center of the colony (what may be the start of a "finger").  Thanks again for your wonderful site. Brad <A mystery for sure... Bob Fenner>  

Xenia and Bubble death?? 1/27/07 Hello, <Greetings! GrahamT here.>   I have had a 26 gal nano reef going for over a year now with a nice bubble coral, two types of hammer-heads, some green star polyps and a yellow star colony.  A few days ago I bought a pulsating xenia (about four stalks attached to a rock) and now at day 3, some of my tank seems on the decline.  The second day with the xenia, I noticed my large pink snail (no idea what type he is) was sucking on the bottom of one of the stalks.  The next morning I awoke to that stalk completely gone and a neighboring stalk cut open and melting on the rock.  The other two are thriving.  It seems to me that snail probably did this, but that's not even the worst of the problems.  Today I come home and my bubble coral (which is usually big and beautiful- never had a problem with it) is closed up tight and even seems to be retracting from its skeleton.  The most disturbing thing was a hermit crab was on top of it ripping into its flesh.  I was wondering if perhaps having the ripped open xenia in the tank still is causing my bubble to die, is that a possibility?   <Not likely, no.> The rest of the tank seems to be doing fine, everything else is eating and acting as usual.  The only other changes I made within the time frame of getting the xenia was lowering the water temp (I noticed it was a bit high when I added it, now its at 74 which is the usual)  and we relocated the green star polyps.  <74 is a bit low by my reckoning. I would go with 77-79, depending on how much your temp fluctuates during the light-on hours. > Any advise on this would be greatly appreciated! <Xeniids are (as a rule) passive, unpredictable specimens. People report their success on both ends of the spectrum - either they have so many, they want to get rid of them, or they can't keep any alive. I would firstly suspect the green star-polyp is using it hefty arsenal of chemical weaponry here to attack the Xenia. This might be hurting the bubble, too, given the small system volume, though I would be interested in the hermit crab's actions in this case also. GrahamT.>   Thanks in advance,   Alyssa Schladt

A question about our hard corals, all of which are beginning to bleach out 12/30/06 Justin, I have a question about our hard corals, all of which are beginning to bleach out. I have been doing some reading on your site and researching  some journal articles that debate the question of light vs. water movement being best for hard corals. Naturally both are ideal, but our problem is that our light creates warmer water and the warmer water ( I believe) has led to bleaching out of our plate, trumpet  and brain corals. I just moved them farther away from our  "spotlight-feature area" -which we created in hopes that the corals would thrive - and in line with more intense water flow instead.  DO you have any suggestions for us besides spending more on lighting (which we cannot do in the immediate future)? Thanks for your input, Justin. We have come to rely on the wisdom of your website! Gloria   <Hello again, Gloria. Nothing really stands out from your description to me, however you don't list what lighting you currently have. Without knowing this, I can't begin to assume what could be causing the bleaching. For starters, do research some of the specific care of your corals. Specifically, your plate may be having problems due to improper placement, if its been kept in rockwork. See here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm as a starting point, and get back to me with some specifics as your current water test readings, temperature and lighting. Hope this helps! -JustinN>

Brown Jelly   12/25/06 Hello, and merry Christmas.  I recently had a brown jelly infection on a Goniastrea brain coral which I moved to a separate tank and cleaned the coral regularly.  It seems to be gone although much of the coral seems to have died or possibly just receded and may come back.  My question is how contagious is brown jelly disease as I am worried about other corals "catching" the disease?   <Is a good question... there are instances I'm aware of where both situations... isolation and spread occurred... the etiology of this "condition" is not entirely understood> I recently added a Acropora Tortuosa which today I noticed had some "goo" stretching between polyps in a couple of areas.  Rather that worry about what it was I decided just to break that part of the coral off to prevent it from spreading anywhere else on the coral. <Good idea... This is what I would have done at least> The coral was is rather small anyway and it wasn't all that expensive, so I'd rather just dump it than worry about spreading infections.   Can all corals get brown jelly infections or is it mainly just the LPS corals? <All can... larger polyped species seem more susceptible> My water quality is good and all other corals are healthy.  Water parameters are: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5, alk 10.6 Dkh, calcium 400, Ph 8.3, salinity 1.024, temp. 78.  I have been doing a ton of reading about brown jelly infections and even wrote Eric Borneman regarding the brain coral and followed his recommendations.  My main concern is the infection spreading throughout my tank, does brown jelly mainly attack corals that are unhealthy? <The latter> Sorry this email was a little scatter brained, I am a little freaked out about this spreading as I would lose a lot of corals and the money I paid for them.  Thanks, Ryan Nienhuis. <Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Strange encrusting coral... actually strange lack of info. query   11/6/06 Hi, Newbie here. Not real good at maneuvering the site yet, but I checked everywhere I thought appropriate, both on WWM and internet, and could not find an answer. I will not bore you with complete tank set up for ID question. I have a 4 month old Fox Coral, <The Euphylliid?> that started a few weeks ago recessing. It gets fed regular and seemed very happy with its tank location Med flow and high in the tank under 40 watt PC. I looked closely and found what appeared to be a brown flatworm. I think, I have finally located enough photos to say this is some sort of Cyphastrea ocellina or crusty star coral. <?... the Faviid?> It is tan in color. I can find photos, but no information on this thing. It seems to be growing very fast. Does my conditions seem favorable for such coral? <Which? Actually your lighting is a bit low for either> Is it harmful to my fox? Is it LPS, SPS, or what? <What? The Faviid? See WWM re...> Should I try and remove it from the fox coral and if so how, or.......is the fox going to die (skeleton exposed) and I should let it have the space for encrusting? Thanks in advance for your help.                       Cindy <... Where is information re water quality? Maintenance, feeding?... Please... read what is archived on our site for these species. Bob Fenner>

Coral Gall Crabs   7/31/06 Dear friends.         I have a project in Biology due on the gall crab. I have been unlucky when it comes to researching it. Will you please post something on your website regarding it. thanks.                                                            Sincerely.                                                                        Erica <Mmm, try inserting the string: "Coral Gall Crabs" in the search tool on WWM. Bob Fenner>

Nudibranchs/Ceratosoma tenue   5/15/06 Hi Crew, <Hello Mohamed> This weekend I found 10 Nudibranchs which looks like the Ceratosoma tenue on the site. All my new corals are dipped before placing in my display tank. At the time of removing some sick corals for a dip, I found the Nudibranchs which I removed but yet all the corals did not survive.  I would assume that the Nudibranchs was feeding on the corals. I am sure there are more. I have used a trap but have not caught any as yet. Is there a fish, invert, etc that can be used to feed on the Nudibranchs but must be reef safe. <None that I know of due to the fact of their nasty taste.  Bob may know of a predator and hopefully inject something here.>  <<Nothing specific. RMF>> Most Nudi's are carnivores and each species usually has a particular victim.  Victims are immobile invertebrates such as barnacles, zoanthids, anemones, hard corals, etc.  I'd pluck them out by hand to be on the safe side.> <<Or siphon out. RMF>> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>    Mohamed.

Green brain coral... health, env.?    4/25/06 Hello, My green brain has over the past few months been separating from its skeleton and as of yesterday is now no longer attached. It looks huge now but I know this is not a good thing.  What should I do to save it? Scott <...? What re history, set-up, water quality, other tankmates... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Scroll down to the Stony Corals tray... Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn & other various corals ... health, sys.   - 03/26/2006 Hi I am currently having a small problem with my frogspawn and my maze brain coral. My setup is an 80 gallon peaceful reef with metal halides (double ended) actinics and moon LEDs. Last week I installed the LEDS and I also left the glass off of the tank on the right side. The brain has since had a mucus coating and does not open up very much. I blew off the mucus the first day and thought that I had "burned" the coral. <Reads like this> The frogspawn has about 6-7 different colonies I guess you could say. They have been opening up huge until I left the glass off but they are not directly under the light. Now only 2-3 open up and maybe only get about halfway to what they were doing. All of my water parameters are the same and I add a full regiment of Kent additives. I also have a leather that is on the opp. side of the tank and it looks waxy and no polyps are coming out like they used to. My LFS said that they do this to expel waste and algae, etc. <This is so... you want to remove this waxy material once it is shed> every once in awhile. I guess that my main question is how can I help my frogspawn and brain back to good health. I am very appreciative of your website and all of the help that it provides. Thanks, Dustin <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Flatworms On Hammer Coral - 03/21/06 I just recently received a small hammer coral from a fellow reefer.  The whole thing including the plug would fit inside of golf ball.  It's very small. <<Indeed>> I just noticed some small brown flatworms on it today.  I didn't know what they were until I tried to pick them off with a pair or tweezers.  The problem I'm having is that the flatworms are on the tentacles and every time I try to pick them off the tentacles retract.  I can't siphon them off or I'll damage the coral.  I want to get them early before they infest my tank. <<Likely too late, they have probably already spread.  Quarantine could have prevented this.>> What can I do?  I really need your guy's help, I can't think of anything.  Thanks in advance for all your help. <<You can try giving this coral a temperature and pH adjusted freshwater dip, though be aware this process is not without peril (do a search on our site re for more information...you can start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dips_baths.htm).  Regards, EricR>>  

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