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FAQs about Artificially Colored Live Corals

Related Articles: Artificially Colored Corals, Dyed AnemonesLPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use, Trachyphyllia Reproduction EventSoft CoralsStony Coral Identification

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Bizarrely dyed Heliofungia at a tradeshow...

Green Finger Leather Bruised?/Alcyoniidae Health 11/14/10
<Hello Astrid>
I know that you get tons of questions so I will try to keep this brief. I have a 20 gallon Nano tank. The pH is a bit low 8.1 and the alkalinity is low also 2.7 me/li <meq/liter and is not low (7.5 dKH).>. I am using expired tests and have new ones on order. The not expired, dip stick tests show pH between 8.0 and 8.4 and the alkalinity between 240 and 300 ppm.
<Ballpark figures with dip strips.>
I have some buffer but don't want to use it until I get test that I have better confidence in. All other parameters are good and stocking is low.
If you need more info on my system, please let me know.
I have a Green Finger Leather Coral that was not attached to any rock. I tried strapping it down with cheese cloth. It looked miserable. I tried balancing it in a rock. It kept falling off. I did some research on your site and decided to sew it to the rock. Last night, I did the sewing in a bucket with clean, aerated saltwater and added a heavy dose of iodide. I used a small needle and fishing line. I put three stitches less than an inch from the bottom and around the rock. The crown looks okay and it is staying in place well, but the base looks bad.
<This will take some time before the coral attaches, will not be overnight so to speak.>
The first picture if from the day before the sewing. The base is whitish, plump and firm with coarse "hairs" at the bottom. The second picture is what it looks like now. The whitish area is higher up than it was, it has shriveled up and has dark brown spots. Is this a problem or is it just bruised? Is there anything I need to do?
<I see no pictures, please send, then I will respond. James (Salty Dog)>
Thank you,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re Green Finger Leather Bruised?/Alcyoniidae Health 11/14/10 - 11/15/10
Hmm, I'll try that again.
<Mmm, take a look at the photos you sent, heavy pixelization, almost as though the photos were censored. James (Salty Dog)>
Green Finger Leather Bruised?/Alcyoniidae Health
> <Hello Astrid>
> I know that you get tons of questions so I will try to keep this brief.
> I have a 20 gallon Nano tank. The pH is a bit low 8.1 and the alkalinity
> is low also 2.7 me/li <meq/liter and is not low (7.5 dKH).>. I am using
> expired tests and have new ones on order. The not expired, dip stick tests
> show pH between 8.0 and 8.4 and the alkalinity between 240 and 300 ppm.
> <Ballpark figures with dip strips.>
> I have some buffer but don't want to use it until I get test that I have
> better confidence in. All other parameters are good and stocking is low.
> If you need more info on my system, please let me know.
> I have a Green Finger Leather Coral that was not attached to any rock. I
> tried strapping it down with cheese cloth. It looked miserable. I tried
> balancing it in a rock. It kept falling off. I did some research on your
> site and decided to sew it to the rock. Last night, I did the sewing in a
> bucket with clean, aerated saltwater and added a heavy dose of iodide. I
> used a small needle and fishing line. I put three stitches less than an
> inch from the bottom and around the rock. The crown looks okay and it is
> staying in place well, but the base looks bad.
> <This will take some time before the coral attaches, will not be
> so to speak.>
> The first picture if from the day before the sewing. The base is whitish,
> plump and firm with coarse "hairs" at the bottom. The second picture is
> what it looks like now. The whitish area is higher up than it was, it has
> shriveled up and has dark brown spots. Is this a problem or is it just
> bruised? Is there anything I need to do?
> <I see no pictures, please send, then I will respond. James (Salty Dog)>
> Thank you,
> <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
> -Astrid
Re Green Finger Leather Bruised?/Alcyoniidae Health 11/14/10 - 11/15/10
The pixelization was probably due to size reduction. Here they are in full size. It still looks the same.
<Doesn't look the same on this end, looks good here. I believe your coral just needs some time to attach, would not worry too much at this stage. I might add that the "heavy dose of iodide" likely didn't help matters. Overdosing this element can be lethal.>
Thank you.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>


Sinularia coral.. reading, data, lack of   6/25/10
<Hello Benita>
Hope you can help, bought this coral a week ago it has a white stalk and yellow top, the polyps when they are out are short flower shaped a bit like my toadstool, I was told it was a Sinularia
<Could be, yes>
Problem been have since been told by a friend that it has been dyed - would like your expert advice on what you think dyed or not. if it is dyed can I save it or will it end up dying?
<Looks like, yes. Can recover with good care though, you make no mention of any useful data. Read, search on WWM re: the care of these quite easily kept animals http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm>
this is a pic 2nd day after buying it polyps were not out.
thank you for your help great site

Dyed... and dying

Coral confusion 4/16/10
Hello Bob,
My switch from the 55gal to the 65gal went well! I am extremely happy with the results... and my inhabitants appear to share this opinion. Some of the corals are opening/behaving in the fashion that write-ups say they should.
Polyp extension at the appropriate times, improved color and form - even the skimmer is operating at an improved efficiency! It has been a very gratifying experience!
<Ah, good>
On to the issue. About three weeks ago, I purchased a frag that was touted as an encrusting Montipora...
<Mmm, this looks like some sort of fading, dyed Fungiid... by the skeletal gross morphology, striations, raised areas...>
but the sales person was not too convincing. I have looked on the web for images, and have not been able to confirm this claim. I want to place it in the proper position/environment
<On the bottom...>
- as anyone should. I was wondering if you could give a positive/proper ID on it please. Some images I have seen make me think it is possibly an Acropora. Any thoughts? (Or am I way off base?) Also, where could I link for proper information regarding care and placement?
<I'd return this specimen... the colour is not natural... summat is very wrong w/ its health>
I appreciate your assistance - with all the sources out there (and the issue of questionable data), it appears that WWM is perhaps the only source to got to in order to be steered in the right direction!
Thanks again!
Richard J.C.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm
Bob Fenner>

Coral ID   1/8/09 Hi Bob, <Hello Beta. Minh at your service.> I have attached a pic of the coral that I need an ID on. I don't much have info on the specimen as the pic was sent to me by a friend. <I assume you are referring to the brilliantly colored yellow encrusting hard coral in the right center of the photograph, correct? At first glance, one could pass this coral to be Porites sp. (perhaps Porites cylindrica). However, upon closer inspection, the polyp size and extension in comparison to the Turbinaria peltata on the lower left indicates another coral from the genus Goniopora in the Poritidae family. The size and extension of the polyps as well as the growth form of this particular specimen resembles Goniopora stutchburyi. However, the coloration of this specimen does not appear to be natural and I'm afraid it could have been dyed. Unfortunately, I have seen similar corals often imported to our local fish stores in the states. More information about dyed corals including a photo of a close matching specimen can be found here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-09/eb/index.php. Also, more information about care of Goniopora stutchburyi can be found in detail here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2005/10/aafeature2/. I have been researching Goniopora care for a few years now, so feel free to write back with more information on identification or care of this genus.> Regards Beta India <Good luck. Cheers, Minh Huynh.>


Leather coral health, no useful info.   7/15/08 Hi guys, I am new to the hobby and have a good size leather coral in my 140 gal tank. My leather is approx 6-8 inches wide when fully open. He has always been rather healthy, but in the past two days he seems to be not opening as wide as normal and seems to changed colors a bit. He is normally a purple color with a strawberry like texture to him, <? Really? I see a Lobophytum in your photo... Have never encountered a member of this genus colored such> but now he seems to have a marble look to him with a darker color and white stripes. Any help would be good. Thank you! <... no other data? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcydisf12.htm and the linked files above.... Need to know re set-up, foods/feeding, maintenance/water quality tests, other livestock, recent activity... Bob Fenner>

Was dyed.

Lobed Leather Coral Problem   7/12/08 Hello, <Greg> I recently purchased a rose colored <? Have never seen such in the wild...> leather coral for a reef aquarium. Other inhabitants at the time were an open brain coral, some platypoa (sp?) <Maybe Palythoa> polyps, pipe organ, and a mushroom rock. Everything was going great for weeks. All corals were healthy and opening fully, including the leather.? I then added one other mushroom rock and a single large hairy mushroom. <Oh oh...> The leather still had plenty of room to open and not be touched by any other coral. I left for vacation a few days later and returned today. I have now noticed some yellow spots on the rose leather coral, with one spot turning into a yellow ring with darker tissue inside the ring. There is also a blotch of pale yellow on one area of the coral. I am assuming this is some type of necrosis. Am I dealing with some type of chemical warfare or may it be a water quality problem. <Likely the first, perhaps some of the second> All other corals are acting fine. Tank parameters are: pH: 8.4 Salinity: 1.024 Temp: 80 F Ammonia:?0 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate:?0 I did notice that there was a power failure while I was gone, but I don't know for how long. Also, the pH seems to have been unusually stable while I was gone.? Usually it drifts down to 8.1 - 8.2 over several days and I buffer it back up to 8.3 - 8.4.? <Mmm, through water changes, gradually I hope, trust> However, after leaving for a week, the pH stayed right at 8.4.? This hasn't happen before.? I did change some activated carbon and cleaned out the skimmer cup before leaving on vacation.? Should I leave it alone and see what happens or take some action. Thanks, Greg <Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Lobed Leather Coral Problem  7/18/08
Greetings, <Salutations> Still having a problem with a leather coral.? <You are??> It appears to be in the process of shedding, but there are several spots of a yellow dried wax like substance.? The yellow substance comes off easily when rubbed with a dull plastic tip.? <Good... likely natural material... exudate... thought to be useful in preventing fouling organism establishment and more> No tissue necrosis underneath, but the tissue color appears different than surrounding tissue.? Coral has been closed up for about a week now.? It is not showing any tissue degeneration, but does slough off some mucous on different? spots every night.? Lastly, I have notice some very small flat worm looking organisms on the coral after lights out.? <Might be... flatworms> I siphoned them off, but can't tell if any damage was done.? Some small shrimp looking animals have also been seen after lights out crawling around on the coral.? What should I do from here?? <Mmm, keep on, keeping on...> How long should it take for the coral to shed?? <Usually hours to days...> Is a week unlikely?? Two weeks? Thanks, Greg <Boosting health, circulation, water quality... should help all the way around... Read again where you were referred to. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Coral... reading...   3/6/08 Dear Crew, I just purchased a coral from my LFS last week. They said it was a green-eyed Goniopora, because that's how it was labeled at the warehouse. <Mmm, does appear to be of this genus... perhaps artificially dyed...> However, it looks nothing like a Goniopora. <The pix are blurry, but do look at the individual polyps, the corallites... and read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm> I have searched all over the Internet and have been unable to find anything that resembles it. The LFS said they'd take it back if it were indeed a Goniopora sp. The coral has a hard skeleton and is LPS in nature. <Please send along a better resolved, closer image...> From the skeleton, very small fluorescent green polyps (no more than 1 or 2 mm in diameter) extend no farther than a couple of mm, under 65 watt compact fluorescent and 400 watt metal halide lighting. I have the coral positioned away from the halide, since I do not know how much light it needs and I do not want to bleach it or stress it. The coral responded well to DT's phytoplankton. <... see the above citations linked files above... on Feeding...> The coral appears to be an encrusting species. I have attached pictures. I hope they are clear enough for you to see. I guess the glass and water in the aquarium diffracts the light too much when I zoom in, because it always gets blurry. <Is more likely limitation/s of the camera, lens...> Also, around the base of the coral are some smooth, brown things. I thought at first that they were a type of flat worm. but they appear to be rather hard (firm may be a better word) and they do not seem to be moving. Any thoughts? <Looks like inorganic substrate/matrix...> You may be able to see them in the pics. They seem to have three small dark dots that are slightly raised on them. I removed one with a pair of tweezers. It had no noticeable traits and it was firmly attached all the way to the base. Thank y'all ahead of time for all that you do and your commitment to the hobby. Thank you, Brolin Evans P.S. I want to thank Brenda and let her know that my BTA is doing wonderfully after its incident with the powerhead. It seems to have fully recovered. <Ah, good... Read. Bob Fenner>

Dyed coral -02/25/08 Crew, Thank you in advance. On the way home from purchasing this coral today (picture attached), it suddenly occurred to me that it is most likely dyed. There is probably a reason I've never seen one this color. <Indeed, this is an unnatural pink for a leather coral. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm> I believe it is some sort of leather as that is the feel it has. My question is will it harm any of my other tank inhabitants? <The dye or the leather? If the tank is a decent size (not a nano), the dye probably won't harm anything else (but it's a good idea to run some activated carbon anyway). However, leather corals in general (dyed or not) can be toxic to stony corals.> I realize it is probably doomed itself, but is that the extent of the threat? Thank you, <No, it's not doomed. But as it recovers, the pink color will fade. It's hard to say what color it will be after the dye is gone, but hopefully it will survive and you'll find out. :-)> Ben
Sara M.>

Yowzah, dat's peenk! RMF.

Yellow Leather Coloring Issue -02/21/2008 Good Morning WWM Crew, I'm writing today to inquire more about a coral vanity question rather than its health. <Not to get too philosophical, but shouldn't these be more one in the same? How "beautiful" could any unhealthy coral be?> I got the most spectacular yellow Fiji leather a few months back. As you can see in the picture attached it is sunshine yellow. (Forgive the unhappiness of the coral, the picture was taken only moments after introduction into my tank). <Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm> I have it situated approximately 5? below the waterline under 4 54W T5 bulbs. (1 white, 2 Blue, 1 Purple). Over time it has gradually become more brown in color towards the edges of the skin and the polyps. <Hmmm, this tends to happen as dyed corals recover.> It is growing nicely and extends its polyps daily, <awesome> but it just isn't the same spectacular sight anymore. <Sure it is... but it's spectacular in a different color now.> Is the discoloration from lack of light or too much light? I've also attached a picture of the whole tank so you can see that it is placed far enough away from any other corals that might be causing chemical warfare. <Well, as far as chemical warfare goes, I'd worry more about the leather coral(s) hurting the stony corals. Leather corals can be quite toxic to many stony corals.> I'm interested to know your opinion and your recommendations for how to get the old color back. (Please note these are old pictures and do not accurately portray the color now) <The best advice I can give you is to care for the coral as best you can and to maybe be a bit more "flexible" in what you consider beautiful. Or, if you really must have a bright yellow coral, try to find one that's naturally that way (rather than artificially dyed that color).> Sincere Regards,
Jessica L.
Sara M.>

Sarcophyton elegans... or dyed? The latter. RMF.

Artificially dyed Colt? Help!!   12/2/07 Hi WWM staff, For starters, I am a first time writer, long time reader of your site, I think it's great and has helped me a lot!!! Now, I bought this pink Colt on Friday, because I thought it was so beautiful. However, the very next day (and only by coincidence) I found your article on dyed corals, but the pictures would not load. I am not aware of a colts range of color, I know the article says they are often dyed the color of magenta, but this one is pink. Can you please tell me if this one is dyed? <Yes, unfortunately, it is very much dyed.> I have every intentions of returning it if it is the case. <Good, and please feel free, encouraged even, to chew out whoever did this (if you know who). It's a cruel and senseless thing to do to a coral.> Thank you for the help in advance and keep up the GREAT work with the site. <Gracias and de nada>
Sara M.>

Dyed Torch Coral? - 11/08/07 Hi, <<Howdy>> Is there such a thing as a torch with light purple tentacles with green tips? My LFS has one and said they see them from time to time. Just wondering if they were dyed in your opinion? Thanks, James <<I have seen this color morph (some are quite spectacular) and I do believe it to be real. Their appearance in the trade does seem to be spotty as eluded by your LFS; at least this is so here on the East Coast...and they generally command a premium price, in my experience. Regards, EricR>> <Interesting... RMF has never encountered such a colored Euphyllia underwater... in thousands of dives>  

Dyed Leather Coral  9/23/07 Bob, <Sorry, Sara here.> I need some help identifying this coral. I've looked for any picture in the web that resembles it and I can't find one. Is it a colt or maybe a leather? <Yes, it looks like some kind of leather coral.> When I purchased it all it said was that it's a soft coral. I am sending a couple of pictures so that maybe you can identify it. <Leather corals are difficult to ID, but it's definitely dyed. Which is unfortunate since this is very bad for the coral. It should get better though after it sheds.> <<Mmmm, maybe not. RMF>> Thanks
<De nada,
Sara M.>

Ooooh, Lordy! Dat's peenk!

Dyed Cup Coral?  - 04/07/07 Hi gang, <Hi Chuck.> My usually-very-good LFS just brought in two VERY yellow cup corals. . . <Mmm...if Turbinaria peltata then it almost certainly dyed, however it could be  Turbinaria reniformis which, unlike T. Peltata can exhibit such color. T. Peltata however is unfortunately dyed yellow very often.> with color hue/chroma/intensity very similar to that displayed by my healthy yellow tang. <If it's that bright then I'd say the chances of foul-play may be growing.> What makes me somewhat suspicious -- besides the relative intensity of the color -- is that that 'skeletal' portion also displays the uniform bright yellow color, even with the polyps retracted. . . <Could be a recent...and thorough dye job, if is in fact dyed.> whereas the picture of a yellow I'd seen here on WWM seemed to indicate bright yellow polyps on a close-to-brown skeleton. <Depends on the exact species...but if dyed recently then the animal would be yellow all over.> Is it likely these corals HAVEN'T been dyed? <Mmm it's not possible to give you a 100% firm answer, but from what you have told me I would assume it is dyed.> I'd love to think they were real. . . <That's how "they" reel you in...> Chuck <Adam J.>

Leather coral dropping branches   2/6/07 Hi there, <Hello> I hope you can help me out here lately my pink <Pink?... Not a natural color...> branching leather has been dropping branches. I had a problem with this about 3 months ago. <... The beginnings of sentences are capitalized...> when I finally realized that I had him in an area of very low current it was too late he had already dropped about 4 or 5 branches. after that I moved him into the high current off my protein skimmer. ever since he's been doing great, his polyps expand and he swells up and looks beautiful. then last week he dropped another branch. I figured that it was normal it seemed like that branch was sort of in the way of others. but now today it looks like he's going to drop another and this one is big! probably a sixth of his mass. Its starting to crimp which is what happens before he drops one as I've seen. What do you think might be the problem and is there anyway to save this branch? <Can't tell with the dearth of information (not) offered... What chem.?, Lighting? > The current is high, I have 65 watts daylight (full spectrum) and 65 watt actinic; a little low but everyone's seems to be fine and threes not much room on a 29 gal. <Too small> the water quality is a close to perfect as it can get and I feed phyto-plankton everyday. the only problem I can see is that the temp is a bit low due to the winter months. it's about 76, 77 degrees but today I'm going to go buy a small heater to fix this. any input would be great Thanks Shawn <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyonsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>  

Dyed Kenya coral   12/31/06 Hi <,> i <I> wondered if you thought that this was a dyed coral? it <It> is being sold as an orchid kenya <Kenya> tree. thanks <Thanks>  for your help -Branden tucker <Tucker> <Mmm, did you send a pic with this? Not here... Have seen dyed Kenya Tree Corals... Bob Fenner>

Dyed Ricordea? - 06/20/06 Dear Crew, <<Evening Narayan>> I've read about dyed soft corals, anemones and glass fish on WWM. <<Indeed>> But just out of curiosity, have you heard of anyone dying Ricordea? <<Can't say that I have>> The reason I ask is that my LFS has a bright florescent-green polyp that looks too bright and florescent to be real. <<Hmm...>> I searched the Internet for pictures and haven't found one that colorful. <<Perhaps a true "find"...or perhaps not...>> I'm very tempted, but I want to make sure... <<Is a possibility I suppose...I think you'll have to use your own good judgment here>> Thank you, Narayan <<Welcome, EricR>>
Re: Dyed Ricordea? - 06/21/06
Thanks! I'll let you know if it's offspring are not as vibrant! Narayan <<Please do!  EricR>>

Dyed finger leather? <Mmm, your pic didn't come through... but yes, there are such things...> Well unfortunately I saw your articles to late, and my vote went to one of the bad guys.. But even with my slow learning curve I will make sure this will never happen again. <Good> My tank is a more or less a lagoonal set up with moderate light and flow. After reading it sounds as if this optimum conditions for my "starving" softy. But am I reading correctly that I'm more or less doomed? <Need definitions... oh, your Alcyoniid might yet recover, lose the artificial color...> Because of the efficiency of food we can possibly provide? Could I impose on you to first confirm what I have is dyed? Secondly, any suggestion to keep this guy from becoming a sad statistic?  Thank you in advance for your time and consideration. <Please do try sending along the pic as an attached jpeg or bmp... Bob Fenner> Justin Bales

Dyed Colt Coral...oh, yeah! The proof is in the skimmate 2/13/04 Crew, <cheers> I saw several Colt Corals (Cladiella/Alcyonium) in a LFS last night and wonder about their "authenticity".   <no need to wonder... a common and nefarious practice> They had beautiful rose to purple color with relatively long branches. I've never seen a Colt that color.   <and never will in the sea <G>> I inquired about their origin and was told that they came from some island off Australia.  The name was East T.... (sorry, can't remember the exact name). <haha...hoohoo...hehee> Anyway, the story was that they came from reefs that had not been harvested for over ten years due to civil unrest in the area.   <haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahhahaha. Oooooh. That's a good one> Some of the shipment had deteriorated and the owner had placed them in a propagation tank to see if he could salvage some cuttings.  I noticed the skimmer cup from that tank had pink tinted skimmate.   <oh, yeah> Is it possible that these corals are dyed or is there a true rose/purple colored Colt?   <nope... you win the hairy kewpie doll. The coral was/is dyed. And the LFS in this case passed on or created a naughty lie about the origin of it I suspect. Natural corals do not "bleed" color as evidenced by your keen eye on the skimmate. Kudos to you my friend> Your insight would be appreciated. Regards, Barry <an article here on the shameful practice: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm <..... civil unrest off the coast of Australia preventing purple colt collections. Heehee... I loved that one <G>. Thanks for sharing :) Anthony.
Article Q&A, collection practices in Indo. Hi <Hello> You have a question from a user titled: Dyed Colt Coral...oh, yeah! The proof is in the skimmate 2/13/04 http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcoralfaqs.htm You just might want to make a note of the place he is talking about in reference to the location of the dyed coral is: East Timor. Close to Australia but not part of Australia. <No> There's a lot of very bad collection practices in Indonesian waters and on principle many people from Australia wont buy from Asia Pacific. Cheers Leanne <Thank you for this. Will try to find this piece and post your note alongside it. Bob Fenner>

Dyed Colt Coral...oh, yeah! II 2/13/04 Anthony, <cheers, my friend> Thanks.  Although I was pretty confident of my assessment, I wanted to get your expert opinion. <understood and agreed... there certainly are many naturally occurring colors every bit as pretty as this dyed specimen in the sea. As such, your hope that it was real and good sense to check before buying were all quite natural and warranted> Actually, I think the young owner and his "start-up" business were duped by a supplier.   <it is often the case... do feel welcome to share that article of mine with him if this shop own is open minded. It would be great to win over and help to shape a conscientious merchant. I wish him/her the very best if they are so inclined to learn and grow. Profits can be made by being a responsible retailer> I enjoyed the "off the coast of Australia" story too and, in fact, that was as much a giveaway to me as the color.  Thanks for the link - that's it - they're MAGENTA! exactly as in the picture in your article.  I will inform the owner and the membership of my Reef Club re: these corals. <excellent my friend... and be sure to do so politely. Much better to educate than offend a LFS :) > Also "In shared admiration of the sea" Barry   <ah, yes! Thank you Barry. Kindly, Anthony>

Dyed yellow Turbinaria 2/26/03 Greetings to the crew.  Your site has helped me so much I can never repay you enough except to say that my 55g reef is doing well now and will buy all your books (not a plug) in the future. <thanks kindly <G>> I did make the mistake of purchasing a yellow Turbinaria p.  From your site I now know this animal has probably been dyed.   <not too bad... it is on of the few corals that can survive dying because you can feed it (and must)> The LFS of course told me it was a rare specimen and at 25% off I would kick myself if I didn't buy it. <wow... that clerk was a real scumbag> Now I am kicking myself right in the.... Anyway the specimen looks mostly a pale brown color except for the extended polyps that are bright yellow. My question; the polyps extend every day and they seem to be accepting food <excellent! that's most of the battle> (I use a blender to mix krill and phytoplankton then turkey baste).  I noticed today a small, about 1/2' round area on the very edge of the animal that is turning red.   <I have seen some specimens issue a red/burgundy growth edge instead of a doughy pale colored one> Any thoughts on what this might be and what measures I should take? <if the tissue doe not look necrotic, it may be natural. Do send a picture if you can> There are no other bothersome fish or animals in the tank.  Water checks out great, skimmate daily, some iodine and calcium added weekly.  PH 8.4, calc 475, sg 1.024, etc.... Any help would be appreciated. <keep strong turbulent (not linear) water flow over this specimen too for optimal polyp extension. Anthony>

Red Lobophytum Hi: <<Hello, JasonC here...>> I bought a red leather coral @ a local pet store. I tried to find the genus on the web and found that it is a Lobophytum sp. The problem is the color. I could find no information that says that it comes in red. I did find a picture of one that looks just like mine but it is green. The one I have is BRIGHT pink. I'm wondering if this Lobophytum could be dyed. <<Does sound like it...>> Although it has been 3 weeks it has not faded but the liquid in the protein skimmer IS red. <<Interesting, certainly a good indicator.>> If it is dyed how long will the color last? <<Not more than a couple of months.>> Lastly will the dye harm anything else? <<I doubt it, and it sounds like your skimmer will grab it out so... no worries.>> Thanks Steve <<Cheers, J -- >>

Another dyed coral pic Anthony, here's a couple of shots of a very green Heliofungia I saw at yesterdays.... WWPSA tradeshow (!) in Anaheim. Have placed one on the FAQs file alongside your article on WWM. Bob F
Re: Another dyed coral pic
Bobster... thank you for the pic post. It reminds me that I haven't done anything with that article. I though FAMA would be one of the few mag.s that might publish it. <They will Anthony... and I'd send it for sure to German, Italian, French and Japanese magazines... Yes, I do the same with worthwhile pieces like this expose> Can you think of another Mag that might give it a shot? <Mmm, next choice would be AFM... worth trying... they're no slower to print, pay better... but FAMA will give you and hobbyists the largest exposure, and impact...> I figured the soapbox tone and the fact that enough shops carry the dyed corals would make it untouchable for mainstream rags? <Not at all> I hadn't heard of any Fungiids being dyed...sheesh! Did it look very unnatural? <No... I could see it "glowing like radium" from across the hall...> The optimist in me says remember the natural green Fungia from Bali, and the lovely green helmets (Cycloseris) from the Solomons... But, that Helio is REALLY green!!! <Really, REALLY green, believe me. I thought, hoped this was just a replica... as some of Walt's new product was on display in a tank in the same vendor's booth... but it was... alive... for the while> Gonna go find a beer to cry into :) <I'd join you, maybe I will any way, in abstentia. Bob F>

- Is this Coral Dying - Hey WWM, Thanks for the information on the last e-mail, you guys are the best.   A few months ago, I bought a Yellow Fiji Leather Coral (What I was told), and now after a few months, it is not so yellow. The "fingers" started turning brown to this color. The LFS said that corals change color, and I was curious as to whether this species changes color so dramatically. <Not in my experience.><<Dyed specimen. RMF>> I looked on the FAQ's and must have missed something.   Any comments/feedback is greatly appreciated. This had wonderful vibrant color that is disappearing. Overall, the health of the coral appears to be fine, is it just a color change? Or is something worse slowly happening? <I'm sad to say that it may be something worse. The brown color is typically caused by the Zooxanthellae that reside in the coral. When corals turn white (which is the way it looks from this picture - hard to tell with that fish in the way) it often means they are expelling their Zooxanthellae which means they will soon die. Could be a temperature issue in your tank - this is the most common reason for bleaching, although not the only one. Would suggest you read through the FAQs again, use the Google search and look up bleaching.> Thanks Guys,
<Cheers, J -- >

Dyed Corals article Antoine (and Steve), please find my marked-up copy of your piece here:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dyedcorals.htm Pls note my suggested changes (marked as bold AND italicized words). I have simply added a word or two or changed number... not meaning as I agree with the thesis here, and its fervor of argument. You are welcome to utilize the dyed anemone pic sent on (I have others if you'd like), and to adopt these changes or modify the piece back to its original form. Bob F

Re: Turbinaria species, Dyed coral Anthony...How can I better tell if this is a dyed animal?  <a matter of experience/information... size/shape of corallites and polyp structures on the corallum indicate that this animal is almost certainly T. peltata. It really cannot be anything else. Color has nothing to do with coral identification. T. peltata for that matter occurs in brown, green, teal, pink/tan, etc. Unfortunately yellow is not a naturally occurring color for this species. Furthermore, T. peltata is categorically in the top three commonly dyed coral. A truly abhorrent practice as I'm sure you'd agree. An insult to the magnificent beauty of the coral reef in all of its natural forms. Reports indicate that this animal for its hardiness may survive the dye job although not without some stress. Occasional feeding of very fine food will be especially helpful to compensate for the reduced symbiotic activity of the now masked (dyed/pigmented) tissue for Zooxanthellae>  All areas of the coral that are flesh covered are the same shade of yellow. There is an area near the base stem that are not flesh covered and it is pure white. If this is in fact a dyed animal, what type of success do you predict (i.e. is there any chance)? In the future, how can I avoid the purchase of a dyed coral. <just research a species before you buy it. Know its needs, hardiness, natural behavior (and colors<G>). Also read about current trends in the industry... many threads about dyed corals on the big forums and message boards. Membership in a good local aquarium society as well will keep you informed> Regarding the Sebae, I have it under 275w PC lighting. 3X55 10k/actinic, 1x55 6400k, 1x55 actinic. I change my bulbs app. each 12 months...not all at once, but about 1 every month or so until they are fresh.  <excellent technique with the bulbs! Kudos> I feed the anemone about once per week, usually squid, octopus, or shrimp. Also, I have "blender mush" that I feed the tank and usually the tomato clown gives a chunk to the anemone.  <also excellent> When I bought the anemone it was pure white with purple tips. A few days later it expelled more zoo(sp?)anthe and proceeded to let go of the rock it was on and roll around the tank.  <yes... sadly typical> I moved it to a preferred (by me) position under the lights, and it grabbed on, only moving about 8" to the place where it has been for last 22 months or so. It has since turned brown, but has grown in size from 3" across to now more than 14". <excellent... a success story. Thank you for sharing it. FAQ readers take heed> I change about 15g per month in this 50g system. I rarely use carbon at all, but I do get a lot of skimmate from my Bak-Pak skimmer.  <yes.... critical for exporting dissolved organics especially with your lack of carbon and average water changes schedule> My water is usually crystal clear, but I use tap water so I get some diatom algae.  <not a crime> For current, I have the Rio 600 on the skimmer, AquaClear 802 ph, AquaClear 301 ph, and Catalina 100 PH. They are all on different flow paths so the current is pretty random.  <wow... fantastic! over 1000pgh total circulation in this 50 gall but strategically random turbulent. Highly effective and to be recommended. Keeps detritus in suspension for a good skimmer, feeds corals more, etc> Also, I have my LR elevated above the DSB with the Catalina PH blowing directly under the LR structure. I maintain my Ph at 8.4, Alk at 14dKh, CA at 350-400ppm. I don't have any measurable NO2 or Ammonia, but my NO3 is usually about 5-10 ppm. I supplement with Kent SuperBuffer, strontium/molybdenum, Zo? and some other that I can't remember. <sounds very fine> Other corals in the system are: Hammer, Brain, Frogspawn, bubble, Candycane, lots of colts, Sarcophyton, Sinularia, green star polyps, hairy 'Shrooms, other misc. 'Shrooms, and fox coral. I'm thinking of adding a pink Fungia and maybe a couple of brightly colored sponges. Attached is a pic of the system taken in April...it looks a little different now. <again... thank you for sharing. Best regards, Anthony>

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