FAQs about Mussid Coral Health/Disease, Pests
FAQs on Mussid
Mussid Disease 1, Mussid Health 2,
Mussid Disease 4,
Mussid Disease 5,
FAQs on Mussid Disease by Category:
Environmental (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...),
Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral)
Related Articles: Coral Pests and Disease; pests, predators,
diseases and conditions by Sara Mavinkurve, Mussid Corals,
Related FAQs: Mussids 1, Mussids
2, Mussid Identification,
Mussid Behavior, Mussid Compatibility, Mussid Selection, Mussid Systems, Mussid Feeding, Mussid Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral Placement, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef Corals, Stony Coral Behavior,
Coral problem, lack of data, reading
Thanks to you all, I always can find an answer to any questions I
This time I got a problem with my LPS. I had it I'm my tank
for about 8 months and it was doing good : reacting to target
feeding, normal day/night contractions, was growing slightly too
<Lobophyllias are typically tough, given basic conditions,
I target feed my corals about 3 times a week, partial water
change 2 times a week, water parameters are OK.
Last night it did not respond to feeding, and this morning I
noticed a hole where was its mouth. I'm sure it was not there
last night. What it could be?
How can I solve the problem? Everything else is doing well. Even
I got Goniopora sp. growing from nowhere on my live rocks.
Thank you very much for all your help to hobbyists like me.
<Please read here:
and the linked files above, to give you input, background into
the types of information we're looking for. Bob
Re: coral problem, Lobo...
Thank you for the link. It is helpful. I am just so stupid to
find out how to insert my input there.
<Umm, get some help. Really. B>
Scolymia australis tissue receding --
The tissue on my Scolymia australis has recently started to
recede in two areas and has receded to the point that parts of
its skeleton are completely exposed.
Its placed on the bottom my 210 gallon tank which is 29"
high and is kept under a 14 bulb T5 fixture with individual
reflectors, is it getting enough light?
It is still taking feedings of chopped Mysis shrimp soaked in
Selcon 4-5 days a week, so that gives me some hope. My water
parameters are as follows:
Temperature : 78 F
Spg. : 1.026
Calcium : 420 ppm
Alk. : 9.5 DKH
Magnesium : 1375 ppm
Ammonia : 0
Nitrite : 0
Nitrate : 2.5 ppm
PO4 : undetectable
Any input would be greatly appreciated!
<Mmm, what other organisms are present in this system? Which
What is their behavior? What chemical filtrants do you use on
what schedule? Do you use Ozone, measure RedOx? Please read
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Scolymia Australis tissue receding
My tank has a Sailfin Tang, Kole Tang, 2 Percula Clowns, 3
Firefish, 2 Exquisite Wrasses, 7 Green Chromis, 3 Large Cleaner
Shrimp and a cleanup crew comprised of Nassarius, turbo &
dwarf Cerith snails. I keep mainly LPS and Ricordeas, but have a large leather coral as well.
<This... may be involved in the deteriorating condition of the
I run GFO
& GAC in reactors which I change out monthly, top off with
Kalkwasser and dose for Magnesium and Alkalinity as needed. Do
you think chemical warfare carried out by the leather could be to
blame as it is located approximately 8" above the
<As stated, could be>
Wouldn't the GAC take care of chemical warfare issues?
<To some extent>
I've attached pictures of the portion of my tank where I keep
my Scolymia and leather. Thanks Bob!
<The Scolymia should be placed directly on the
Re: Scolymia Australis tissue receding
Is the proximity of the leather to the Scolymia the potential
issue or are the two not able to co-exist period despite my tank
being 210 gallons?
<Is a concern>
I run GFO for pro-active algae control, would you recommend
discontinuing that practice?
<See WWM re... I am not a fan of hobbyists continuous use of
I will also place the Scolymia directly on the substrate as
Do you have any other suggestions?
<Not w/o further data>
Could my cleaner shrimp be irritating the Scolymia?
<Possible... but if so, much more likely "after the
fact"... That is shrimps might feed on a dead, dying
Thanks for your help Bob!
<Welcome Doug. BobF>
Re: Scolymia Australis tissue receding
In reading more on the topic of chemical warfare, I'm
thinking that at the very least allelopathy is a contributing
factor to my Scolymia issues,
<We are in agreement>
so I'm going to remove the small Sarcophyton and large Finger
leather from my system, I also have 4 Ricordeas and 2 Yumas in my
tank that are a considerable distance from the Scolymia, are they
potentially contributing to the chemical warfare issues?
<To a lesser extent; yes>
The 3 cleaner shrimp in the system are constantly picking at my
<Cover them! With a plastic "berry" basket,
inverted... KEEP the shrimps off them>
after they have been target fed, do you think this is stressing
the Scolymia and contributing to the tissue recession?
<Yes, yes, YES>
Thanks again Bob, you are literally a lifesaver!
<Mmm, more like an enabler. You can be the lifesaver.
Re: Scolymia Australis tissue receding
Do you think if I added additional GAC to my reactor that I would
still be able to keep the Ricordeas and Yumas or should I plan on
potentially having to get rid of them?
<... see WWM re allelopathy... My archived .ppt vers. of the
MACNA pitch last year>
Also any suggestions for trapping the cleaner shrimp?
<Also posted.... learn to/use the search tool, indices...
My Acan has worms (?)
I received an Acan frag in a trade yesterday. The frag appeared
healthy in the tank of the original owner; however, when I
arrived home I noticed some stringy material coming in the bag
with the coral. At first I assumed this was mucus, but when I
went to lift the coral from the bag all the "strings"
seemed to retract back to the surface of the coral. On the
surface, there appeared to be many objects that looked like
balled up threads, as if it had been rolled between your
Upon closer inspection, I could distinguish some slow movement in
these objects. What concerns me more is that I then noticed
several spots on the surface of the coral where it appeared as
though these worms (assumption) are coming through the flesh of
the coral. I took the following pic
<No image attached, linked... embedding doesn't work with
in hopes that you can help me identify what these creatures may
be. I hope it is clear enough to give you an idea of what I'm
seeing. Oh, and yes, this piece (as with all new arrivals) will
be going into quarantine not my
<Thank goodness... well, your forethought>
Thanks, as always, for your help.
<I suspect these "worms" may be part of this
coral's structure, but even if separate organisms, not likely
deleterious... or so much so that the colony will perish as a
consequence, or "spread" troubles to your other
Please do send along a well-resolved image. Bob
Re: My Acan has worms (?) 10/21/09
My apologies. Here is another attempt with the photo attached
<Mmmm, well... these might be worms (if so, best guess at
phylum is the Nematodes)... Or just "mesenterial
filaments"... IF you're very concerned you could run a
vermifuge in your quarantine to eradicate if Vermes... See WWM
Re: My Acan has worms (?) 11/9/09
I never got a response to this after attaching the image. I know
you all are busy so I figured I would make another attempt.
Please let me know if the image changes your opinion at all. I
still have not been able to locate another image or account that
seems similar to this. Thanks, as always, for your input.
<Mmm, strange. I did respond to this. Posted here:
Re: My Acan has worms (?)
Ah, thank you. I somehow missed the second reply.
<I see... did these "worms" go away? I do think they
are likely part of your Acanthastrea. BobF>
Re: My Acan has worms (?)
No, they have not gone away. They are not as prominent as they
were when the coral was more stressed after transport, but if I
blow a jet of water on the coral to deflate the flesh I can still
notice some of these small "bundles". When left alone,
the coral seems otherwise healthy. They don't seem to be
doing any damage to the coral, and do not attempt to leave the
coral (I tried baiting with meaty food), but they are strange
enough (to me at least) that I don't yet trust them to be
"harmless". I would be happy to learn that they are
part of the Acanthastrea, and not a parasite. If this were the
case, would it be normal to see this or would the emergence of
these be a result of stress?
<Don't know... but I do want to relate that I've seen
such as this in the wild, underwater. As long as the
animal/colony is otherwise okay, I would not be concerned.
Interesting to speculate that these may function as some sort of
"lure" to attract prey. Cheers! BobF
Re: My Acan has worms (?)
Thanks for sharing your observations and thoughts. I will
continue to monitor, but am becoming less concerned. I will let
you know if I make any other interesting observations.
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>
Scolymia, hlth. 9/26/09
Hi Bob, I wonder if you can help me. I purchased a Scolymia approx 4
It was green and brown (maroon), it would polyp up for most of the day
and was feeding well. It is placed on the substrate. Approx 3 weeks ago
I noticed that it seemed to be losing its colour and wasn't feeding
At first I thought maybe it was the light so I gently moved it a couple
of inches so that it was shaded by an overhang but this has made no
difference, I also checked that there wasn't anything close to it
which could sting it, apart from another Scolymia there is nothing
within 8 inches of it.
I have just returned from a two week holiday (Have removed location/RMF
- lucky me) and found that it has now become virtually white.
<!? Very bad>
It has no maroon/brown pigment left at all and the green is now a
I don't know why the Scolymia is bleaching. It is still inflating
but not as much and is not feeding well although it is taking chopped
mussel and Mysis shrimp in small amounts. My husband maintained the
tank whilst I was on holiday and he said he had great difficulty
getting it to feed although since I got home I have managed to feed it
a few bits of chopped mussel every night this week (I've had to
stand guard to keep the fish and shrimps away or they steal the food
2 x Actinic Blue 1200 - 2300,
2 x 54w Actinic 'Daylight' 1600hrs - 2230
2 x 250MH 1700 - 2200
<I'd extend the "white light" time... to another
couple hours per day>
Temp 76 degrees
<This is a little high... I'd keep closer to 3X Ca conc.>
<Have to have some...>
<And more of NO3>
I also have a Red and Green Scolymia purchased a week after the above
and this is fine, eating well, inflating well and not bleaching, it is
placed alongside the above Scolymia and they do occasionally touch each
other if they both polyp up at the same time.
<... you state above that nothing touches the one poorly
I also have a red Cynarina coral which is about 8 inches away from the
two scolys and this is also very healthy. Everything else in the tank
is likewise doing
Lobophyllia x 2
Physogyra lichtensteini 3
Plerogyra sp x 2
Plerogyra sinuosa x 3
Toadstools x 4
Anchor x 1
Goniopora x 5
Alveopora x 1
Gorgonian x 4
Pom Pom Xenia x 4
Organ Pipe x 2
Sun Corals x 4
I'm not sure what more I should be doing to try to get this coral
back to full health so that it feeds well and returns to its proper
colouring. I have not seen any Zooxanthellae expulsion.
I carry out a 100 litre water change every week which is approx 15%, I
add 3ml amino acids alternate days and feed the tank 5ml of live phyto
3 times a week.
<Mmmm... nothing here consumes this directly>
I run carbon for one week
in every 3 weeks. I have a refugium in my sump which is lit when the
display tank lights are off.
Can you please advise on what I should do to rescue this animal?
<Nothing other than my notes "jumps out" here as
terminally off... The fact that your other stony corals, even members
of the same family, genus are doing well is telling... I would ask that
you review here:
and the linked files above in the hope that something will become live
to your conscience... The more plausible "cause" here is
allelopathy... the second, some sort of direct trauma... but from what?
Invertebrate ID and Bleaching
Hey, I have another favor to ask of you,
I bought another coral over the past week and I have a concern
with it. It was told to me it was a Large polyp stony, called a
pineapple or Favia species of coral,
<Hmm, it is a Brain or Pineapple coral, family Mussidae. More
a search of a few websites seems to confirm this, but the LFS
told me that it likes pretty intense lighting from metal
<Depends on the species.>
so I placed it on top of my display tank near the light I have, a
Solaris 14inch LED fixture, which again to me seems as bright as
at least a 250 watt metal halide, and the concern I have is that
it seems to be bleaching, especially the reddish brown raised
portion of the coral,
the green "eyes" don't seem to be affected as much
yet, but the coral in general doesn't seem to be as colorful
and full of life as it was in the store tank, and they had it in
a large metal halide lit tank.
<May have been under metal halides, but still a lot of
variables, hold old were the bulbs, water clarity, etc.>
I acclimated the coral very slowly and the parameters of my tank
are what I think pretty pristine, so I ask of you your expertise
on if I should re-locate this new coral to a lower more shaded
area, or let it recover from whatever it is that it doesn't
seem to like about my tank?
<Definitely get it lower in the tank, near the bottom, and
start working it up over the course of a couple of weeks until
you find a spot it seems to be
happiest. You can do some supplemental feeding to help overcome
Thanks in advance for your help....
Re: pH problems - Favia bleaching
Hey, I have another favor to ask of you, I bought another coral
over the past week and I have a concern with it. It was told to
me it was a Large polyp stony, called a pineapple or Favia
species of coral, a search of a few websites seems to confirm
this, but the LFS told me that it likes pretty intense lighting
from metal halide, so I placed it on top of my display tank near
the light I have, a Solaris 14inch LED fixture, which again to me
seems as bright as at least a 250 watt metal halide, and the
concern I have is that it seems to be bleaching, especially the
reddish brown raised portion of the coral, the green
"eyes" don't seem to be affected as much yet, but
the coral in general doesn't seem to be as colorful and full
of life as it was in the store tank, and they had it in a large
metal halide lit tank. I acclimated the coral very slowly and the
parameters of my tank are what I think pretty pristine, so I ask
of you your expertise on if I should re-locate this new coral to
a lower more shaded area, or let it recover from whatever it is
that it doesn't seem to like about my tank? Thanks in advance
for your help....Darren
I'm attaching 2 pics of the coral.
<Hi Darren, not to step into what Mike has already done with
you. I noticed that you have another coral in close proximity to
this one. Two things immediately come to mind. First, you say you
think your lights are equal to a metal halide but is easy to get
the exact specs on them and compare to be sure. Second, did they
have them under 100's or 250's or what kind of halide
because that makes a difference as well. And finally, Okay yeah I
have three points not two, I think that you may have issues with
the other coral stinging this Favia. I would suggest moving it or
other a bit farther apart.>
Maintenance and Water Quality Issues in a 14g
BioCube -- 05/01/09
Just got back in town the other day and Holy Sick Aquarium Batman!!
I really do have to join a local aquarium club for some support when I
have to leave town.
<<Doing so 'and gaining the 'local' support
and advice of others sharing your passion can be a real
Believe it or not, the Sea Pen is the only thing that has done well in
my absence. The tank has a horrible red algae bloom, my Xenia was torn
in half, my hermit crab decided that he liked the shell that the Xenia
was partially attached to and made it his new home. The Xenia does not
look like it's going to make it. My frogspawn, candy coral,
Ricordea and doughnut coral all look deflated and stressed. I lost one
of my feather dusters and all of my mushroom anemones.
<<Does sound like things have taken a serious
The feather dusters are connected together and I haven't seen one
of them emerge from his tube. Another one decided that he didn't
like his tube and is now sharing a tube with another one. Do I just
leave the empty tubes alone?
<<I would'¦ Trying to remove it will likely just cause
more undue stress 'possible physical harm>>
The protein skimmer and the well it sits in smelled horrible. I removed
the skimmer and thoroughly cleaned it with hot water and toothbrush. I
also siphoned the debris at the bottom of the well that contains the
<<A good move>>
I did a 25% water change the first day and I siphoned out all of the
red algae that I could reach.
<<Another good strategy 'and the siphoning will
probably need to be repeated periodically>>
I added Kent Marine Nano Reef supplements A and B.
<<I would not add 'anything' until you get the tank back
in 'balance''¦ And this will best be done through
frequent partial water changes 'say 25% twice a week for two
weeks 'and then reevaluate at that time>>
I also turned on my extra powerhead to boost circulation and prevent
the red algae from coming back.
<<It will come back for now 'but the extra circulation
is another good move>>
I normally do not run the extra powerhead because I only have a 14g
BioCube and my frogspawn and doughnut do not seem to like the extra
<<I see'¦ Keeping a noxious mix of corals is often
more complicated in such small volumes 'but does make water
changes easy, and is the single best way to keep up with water
I tested the parameters of water and readings are good except for
nitrates. So I performed a 10% water change on the second day. Nitrate
came down from 50ppm to 35ppm.
<<This is likely a large part of your issues here. I would strive
to get this reading below 5ppm (you should step up the water
The corals have dramatically improved in appearance.
<<And should continue to do so 'just keep bringing
down that Nitrate reading>>
However the doughnuts mouth is wide open and my pipe coral is not
<<May be a delayed recovery 'or maybe these have been
more seriously damaged>>
My Firefish is acting kind of weird, he is normally very shy, but as I
type, he is swimming in place at the center of the tank. Kind of like
riding the current. I think those are all the problems that I have
encountered so far. I look forward to any helpful suggestions.
<<Water changes, water changes, water changes'¦ Be
Re: Maintenance and Water Quality Issues in a 14g
BioCube -- 05/01/09
So sorry to bother you again.
<<No bother my friend>>
I had to ask another question about my doughnut coral.
He seemed to be doing alright. He was my newest addition to the tank,
about 3 weeks ago, and never seemed to be fully expanded or
symmetrical. Today he was symmetrical as well as expanded. His mouth
finally closed somewhat but a few minutes ago he let go of his
<<Lost footing? As in became 'detached' from its
skeleton? Not good'¦>>
I currently have placed him in the sand with a shell weighing him down
so he does not float behind the rocks. Doughnut know what to do.
<<In my experience, large polyped corals such as this never
recover/reattach to the skeleton 'is but a matter of time
I'm afraid. EricR>>
R2: Maintenance and Water Quality Issues in a 14g
BioCube -- 05/01/09
Sorry, should revise previous email. The doughnut has separated from
<<Ah yes 'did surmise such, but thank you for
R4: Maintenance and Water Quality Issues in a 14g
BioCube -- 05/03/09
Good Morning Eric,
Thanks for confirmation on actions taken in response to Operation Death
I will hold off on additional supplements until the tank is healthy
<<Excellent 'is best>>
A question about more aggressive action.
I have another salt water tank that was set up at the same time as my
BioCube. I only stock live rock in this aquarium with no base
substrate. Some people collect spoons or marbles, I collect live rock.
Okay..... I collect spoons, marbles and live rock.
Should I transfer corals over to my live rock tank with the exception
of my chili, Featherduster and sea pen in order to clean the wells of
<<Might not hurt to do so with the stonies>>
I know that the wells are very slimy from the dead mushrooms and a good
cleaning could possibly improve my nitrate levels more quickly than
water changes alone.
<<Yes 'no doubt>>
Also, until the nitrate level has been reduced, what volume of water do
you recommend for water changes and how often should it be done.
<<A couple 50% changes a day apart should show some significant
improvement 'done in conjunction with the
'cleanings' you mention>>
Could you describe to me how the doughnut forms his skeleton?
<<I'm guessing by 'doughnut' you have Cynarina
lacrymalis'¦ This coral forms/grows its skeleton as any
other hard or 'stony' coral does 'through the
extraction of bio-minerals from the surrounding water. If you're
interested in the science of it, you may find more info with a good
search of the web 'or you can visit a local college
and the relationship between the skeleton and coral?
<<Mmm, I would describe this as 'necessary for
How does the skeleton keep him alive?
<<By providing an anchor, support, and protection for the
polyp 'and possibly an avenue for nutrient
Is it like the relationship between fetus and mother?
<<More like flower petal and receptacle (the attachment point of
the petal), I think>>
An umbilical cord where there is a transfer of nutrients?
<<Not to the same extent 'if at all>>
Or does the skeleton act only as a support for the doughnut?
<<Not so simplistic 'but does provide
If it acts as a support only and nutrients will not be lost due to the
separation, could the doughnut be reattached to the skeleton
<<I have never seen this work>>
Would puncturing the doughnut with a needle kill it and could he heal
around a suture?
<<I have seen this done with some of the so-called
'leather' corals (Toadstool, etc.), but I wouldn't
recommend this procedure for a large-polyped coral such as this. Your
water quality issues were the cause of the polyp bail-out'¦
Addressing these will certainly benefit the remaining corals/any future
additions. You could try a few spots of superglue in an attempt to hold
the polyp in place in hopes that it will reattach to its skeleton on
its own 'but I do fear/expect that the Cynarina is
<<Happy to share. Eric Russell>>
Injured Coral? 04/24/09
Good afternoon, I am a little worried about my "button"
coral. Although he (she?) continues to expand and contract
regularly and displays feeding tentacles at night, the flesh
seems to have receded on the one side and there is skeleton
showing. Could this be an injury from hermits, snails or our
urchin? Or is this a sign of something else?
<I could be wrong, but this does look like an injury more than
a decline in health... but I can't be sure.>
- 75 gallon display, 20 gallon sump, approx 80 lbs live rock,
- ammonia, nitrite, nitrate all 0
- PH approx 8.1 - 8.3
- salinity .025 <I assume you mean 1.025>
- calcium approx 380
the coral is about 18 months old, has undergone several moves in
the tank but seems happy where he is (for maybe six months). He
is not close to anyone else in the tank. Nearest neighbor is a
<Uh oh... this could be the culprit if within up to
No changes in occupants or landscape since November. I have
attached a picture in hopes of some help. I rarely target feed my
corals because they are all growing and appear healthy (up to
now), but perhaps I should be.
<A little target feeding here might not hurt...>
I own Eric Borneman's coral reference book, but couldn't
really come up with a diagnosis from it. We are nowhere near a
LFS so I don't even have anyone else I could ask for an
opinion. Thanks in advance for any help you may be able to offer.
<I don't know if it's just the angle of the photo or
what, but the way this coral is "receding" looks odd to
me. Usually, when a coral starts to recede, the rest of the coral
shows at least some signs of declining health. But your coral
looks great except for that one spot. Also, it's showing
mesenterial filaments. This could be a result of the injury, or a
way of fending off an attack. That's why I say it looks like
it was injured or is being stung (imo, again, I could be wrong--
I suppose time will tell). How this happened is better your guess
than mine... maybe a hermit or another coral.
|Brain Coral Issue 8/2/08 Hello, <Hi there
Greg> I recently purchased a brain coral (Lobophyllia
corymbosa?). <Maybe> It has about 6 polyps.? However, one of
the polyps will not open (see attached picture).? It seems to have
closed up after cleaning a lot of coralline algae off the sides of
the aquarium.? <Could be an influence> All the other polyps
are doing fine, so I don't think it's a water quality issue
or conditions.? Anything I can do to get this last polyp to open
up? Thanks, Greg <Likely is fine... I would do nothing
extraordinary here... perhaps a bit of iodine/ide supplement to the
water (for the western inertia)... Bob Fenner>
Re: Brain Coral Issue ??? 8/8/08 Hello Again,
<Greg?> Just to update, the one polyp on the Lobophyllia
diminuta did not survive.? This evening after returning home, the
tissue of the one polyp was disintegrating.? No problem though, I
just brushed it away in clean tank water and put it back in the
tank.? All other 9 polyps on this piece appear to be doing fine.?
I have no idea what would have caused the one polyp to go south,
while the others did fine.? Anyway, I now have one clean and
white skeleton next to the other polyps.? Any chance the one
skeleton can be repopulated.? <Yes> Please say yes!!!
<Ok> Thanks, Greg? <BobF?>
|Troubled over moon brain coral 03/24/08 Hi Crew, I have
a quick question. I am actually fairly new at having a reef system.
I have a 55 gal. tank and I purchased a piece of moon brain coral I
believe it to be about 7 months ago. <This is a Mussidae sp.,
not usually called "brain coral." They're usually
called "brain corals." Please see here:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidae.htm > I've attached a
photo. When I brought it as you can see it seem to be health.
However, as of about a couple of weeks ago I got to noticing how
bad it was looking started to turn red/brown color looking.
<Hmm, darkening in color is necessarily a sign of declining
health.> Just over two days ago after I did a water change and
system clean it has had a hole to develop in the middle of it.
<Are you sure this isn't the "mouth" of the polyp
gapping?> I have gave it live marine phytoplankton, <This is
good for your tank life in general, but doesn't directly feed
this coral (feeds it more indirectly).> moved it under the rock
to the shade more as well as feeding it frozen foods, about once a
week (as I have been doing since purchase). What I need to know if
I should be worried about possible other reef I have introduced
into my tank has caused to go down hill. <I'm not entirely
convinced it is going down hill. Can you take a picture of what it
looks like now?> The last thing I put in was some sun coral and
mushrooms and two anemones this was several months after I had
purchased this piece of brain coral? And what possible I could do
to nurse it back to health? And should I move to another tank? If
you could get back with me with a answer that would be awesome.
<Again, I could probably help you more if I were more sure of if
there is actually anything wrong (pic would/will help).> Thanks
for your help
Sara... you've got to move the