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FAQs about Corallimorph Social Health/Disease
(Allelopathy and more)

FAQs on Mushroom Disease: Mushroom Health 1, Mushroom Disease 2,
FAQs on Mushroom Disease by Category: DiagnosisEnvironmental, , (Pollution/Poisoning, Lighting...), Nutritional, Trauma, Pathogenic (Infectious, Parasitic, Viral) Predatory/Pest, Treatments 
& Mushroom Reproduction/Propagation,

Related Articles: Corallimorpharians, Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Disease, Corallimorphs, Mushrooms 2, Mushrooms 3, Mushrooms 4, Mushroom Identification, Mushroom Behavior, Mushroom Compatibility, Mushroom Selection, Mushroom Systems, Mushroom Feeding, Mushroom Reproduction, Stinging-celled Animals,

Mis-mixing Cnidarians; failing to properly "introduce them" over time, through isolation, mixing system waters

Yuma and Sponge Compatibility?      12/5/19
Hi Crew!
<Hey Dani>
First of all happy holidays! ☺️ Just a little question. I have a 28g nano, established over a few years—1.0255 spg, 9.5 dkh, 435 calcium, and 1350 Mag with an AI prime HD. All is well but I have run into some space issues since the corals are growing (I heard they should do that).
<Ah yes>
I was trying to reorganize and had a space in mind for an orange plating sponge and a blue yuma that pops babies out like crazy. I noticed the yuma does like grabbing things so wasn’t sure if sponges can get stung or affected by yumas or if it would be ok?
<At least some sponges do; have encountered such mal-interactions in other peoples' systems. I'd give a few inches twixt both>
Appreciate any feedback!
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Mushroom killing bacteria?      8/21/17
Hi Crew! I am at a total loss, I need help.
I run 2 tanks, my main 75 gallon display tank (established 3.5 years) and a newer (7/8 mth) 55 gallon 'frag tank'.
I am a big mushroom enthusiast, but also keep a variety of other soft corals, Zoanthids, lps and a couple small easy sps (birdsnests, montis).
<Mmm; you likely have heard/read that Zoas and Shrooms often "fight" chemically; more than most stony corals>
You'll hate to hear this but I have never been big on testing, I simply rely on frequent small water changes via drip, and constant observation for anything looking 'off'. I have a low fish stock in both (maroon clown, starry blenny, azure damsel, pink spotted watchmen and an unknown Anthias in the 75, and a small clarkii clown and azure in 55).
<I'm of the same "practice">
Up until recently both tanks have thrived, very minimal coral or fish loss over the past few years. Everything has always seemed very stable and well balanced, no issues with algae and in fact immediately before my current
issue my display tank looked the best it ever had.
But we all make mistakes, and I always learn from them, but in this case I think it's too late. I know I should have been quarantining everything and I have learned and now have a quarantine tank set up but as I said, too late.
So on to my issue. A few months ago I purchased the coral contents of a fellow reefers tank with plans of fragging and reselling the corals. The vast majority were Euphyllia (torches, hammers, frogspawn, as well as a favia, large brain and some others) I placed them all in my frag tank, except one large plate that I didn't have space for that went into my display.
<The Euphyllias rank near the top for allelopathy amongst Scleractinians...
Oh how I wish you'd slowly acclimated the new to the established as gone over here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
Within 24 hours the brain and plate both looked ill
<Losers to the mentioned combatants; classical>

and eventually started melting, and were covered in the dreaded brown jelly. Never having dealt with brown jelly before it was a great learning experience. I promptly removed both corals but the brown jelly didn't take long to affect the other Euphyllia (i suppose since they were not well established and under stress). I saw no ill effects on any corals in my main tank, assuming because they were well established and healthy. My attempts at fragging off dying pieces, treating in a separate tank with furan 2, dips with revive, rinsing in fw etc all failed. In the end i lost
the vast majority of Euphyllia that I had purchased, aside from the frogspawn which never seemed effected.
<More reading: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/envdisphysiof.htm
A few weeks later and all the Euphyllia in the frag tank were gone besides the frogspawn, and everything seemed back to normal, so I resumed my normal practices. I fragged some Rhodactis mushrooms in the frag tank,
<... Yeeikes; not in the tank; not this soon>

and to my surprise they melted. I have never had issues with fragging any mushrooms in the past. At the time I did not think it could be related, (and am still not sure it is) maybe I had just 'butchered' them or they weren't well established, so I simply decided to hold off on any fragging for a while. At some point I moved some mushrooms into my display, considering them quarantined and healthy. Weeks went by with no issues, now the nightmare starts.
A few weeks ago I lost one of my prize Rhodactis in my display. It had been doing amazing and was growing rapidly, and then didn't open fully for a couple days, then suddenly melted within hours. Since then many healthy
mushrooms (some that I have had for at least 3 years) have just suddenly melted away.
<A familiar "cascade" event>
Some first detach from the rock then disappear, some start expelling their guts then begin oozing from their mouths till they melt away, the odd one simply begins oozing from an outside edge then melts. These are healthy mushrooms, not recently fragged or damaged in any way. I have learned to syphon them out now as soon as i see it beginning, but I need to find a way to stop this!
<For now; just time going by: NO CHANGES>
So far it has only affected Rhodactis and Discosoma, I haven't lost a single Ricordea, or any other type of coral for that matter. The mushrooms that die are all in random places in the tank, it doesn't necessarily travel from one and then directly to it's neighbour. I even accidentally damaged a hammer coral while moving it (it and an anemone were getting dangerously close to each other ) and it has recovered quickly and without incident.
I've done large water changes and added carbon with no luck, just in case it was allelopathy.
<Ah, good>
I apologize for the long story, but I feel all details are necessary.
<They are; no worries>
Please help guide me, what steps should I take next? I have spent 3.5 years building my mushroom collection, this is devastating to me. I am normally very good at researching and problem solving on my own, but I feel I have
hit a dead end.
<IF you have other well-established systems to move some stock to, I would.
Otherwise, no further additions or fragging here for a few months>
The last thing I would like to note is that the only other major change I had made around the time this started was that I began feeding Reef Roids to the tank, although I am sure this is merely coincidental.
<Agreed. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mushroom killing bacteria?     8/22/17
Thanks for the reply Bob.
<Welcome Nic>
After doing some more reading on your site (I often find the site difficult to navigate but the information, once found,
is invaluable),
<I so wish there was (i.e. I knew) a better scheme for organizing WWM... w/o just breaking it into so many other/sub-webs. I myself use the search tool from outside more than the indices from inside.>
I have some more questions. Hopefully your answers may give me a greater clue as to what is going on and if there is a specific coral I need to eliminate from the systems.
<I hope so as well>
Firstly, I have a friend whose tank is completely over run by one particular type of mushroom. He has thousands. A few months ago I offered to trade him a couple of his mushroom encrusted rocks for other corals.
Each of my tanks has a rock with many, many of these mushrooms.
They are not directly touching any corals, but I wonder, could these be a particularly potent type that could effect my other mushrooms (and only mushrooms) through allelopathy?
<Yes; of a certainty. Again, folks should REALLY trade a cup of water back and forth from their main/display and new arrivals/isolation system...
for several weeks, ahead/before physically mixing new Cnidarians to established systems>
I have attached a photo of them in case it helps. I find it interesting that while they apparently spread like crazy and can be quite invasive,
each mushroom never seems to get bigger than a quarter.
<Mmm; the systematics, general biology of Corallimorpharians needs a great deal of work for sure. BobF>

Re: Mushroom killing bacteria?     8/22/17
Thanks again Bob.
4 years in this hobby and many years of research prior and I have never ever heard of 'acclimating to reduce the effects of allelopathy' before today.
<Dang! And tis a fave topic, addn. to presentations detailing stinging-celled life. Including my pitch this coming Sat. at MACNA... re Anemones>

I was always under the impression that some corals will not get along no matter what.
<Mmm; nope... there are all sorts of examples of them doing so in the wild and captivity. A matter of both acclimation (with space), and stability...
The last referring to NOT having great insults that result in a cascade effect as alluded to earlier>
I will try moving these mushrooms to my now empty quarantine tank for a while and see it makes any difference as oddly, none of these have yet to be affected.
<Please do keep me/us informed of your progress, observations. Bob Fenner>

Green Hairy Mushroom blues...   3/1/14
Hi gang,
I've got a 225 gallon reef, with lots of (probably too many) LPS and softies... the latter mainly Zoanthids and pulsing xenia.
<Yikes... very allelopathogenic groups>

 Down on the bottom of the tank, I've had a horde of green hairy (frilly?) mushrooms
<Yowzah! The triumvirate!>
that have been bent-on-world-domination for a while.
I trade them in at my LFS in batches... when they get out of control... which has been a regular occurrence two or three times a year.
No issue until last week... when I couldn't pay attention to the reef for a few days. Suddenly... all my green hairy mushrooms were shrunken and pale... down to maybe 10% of their normal size... and looked like they were dying.
I did a quick water change...
<And activated carbon...>
I've admittedly been negligent lately...
dosed some iodine... strontium... and later magnesium. The green frillies seem to have stabilized... and when I pull one up, it's got only its normal -- slightly noxious -- smell. They're still firm to the touch, and none are dissolving into moosh. All other corals look fine. For now...
The mushrooms seem to have stabilized... are firm to the touch, and some have begun to regain a bit of their normal color, and extend bits-of-frilliness outward again.
I've got another batch of water prepped... and will do a few more changes in the short run.
My question is this:
Since they all declined so rapidly, is this likely to be a coral-chemistry allelopathy issue... or a lack of trace-elements... with some critical element suddenly in short supply?
<My bet is the first>
I've admittedly got an awful lot of purple tip frogspawn and grape coral in this tank... plus lots of xenia.
The only other thing I can think of is I've been giving my tangs quite a bit of blanched spinach lately... since they'd been on a dried Nori diet for too long, and fresh seaweed has become unavailable at the LFS's lately... I know for humans spinach is considered a decent dietary source of copper, and wonder if this could be the problem.
Thanks in advance for any help on this...
<Whatever the trigger... am glad you appear to have arrested this "cascade event". Do see here re others experience:
Bob Fenner>

Mushrooms and Zoanthids... allelopathy, starvation knocked on, reading and great self-discovery!   10/10/13
I have hard and soft coral systems that range from Acros to polyps and everything in between. My levels are acceptable if not near perfect for all of my tanks.

The tanks in question are a 75g drilled with 30 g sump. 80 watt led lighting, PhosGuard in a reactor,
<... you realize chemo- photo-synthetic life requires measurable soluble HPO4>

carbon in a bag a week out of the month, SeaChem matrix, refugium, two 750 gph powerheads, 1250 gph
Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate 0
<... sigh: and measurable NO3. Please read on WWM re>

 phosphate less than .25, alk11, ph 8.22
daytime, I feed a mix of flakes heavily, bribe
<Brine likely; Artemia>
 shrimp once a week, phyto once a week.
<See WWM re this as well. Of little use in most settings>

Dose AquaVitro ions, calcification, 8.4, fuel once a week to where Mag stays around 1300, calcium 420, iodine at .06, iron not registering with my red sea test kit, but fuel has iron, so not sure if the test does not pick up this particular type of iron or what. Potassium at 385. This tank houses only soft corals and a tube anemone
<Cerianthus? Not compatible... see WWM re this as well>

 along with fish and inverts. The problem I am having is with mushrooms melting, Ricordea shrinking and detaching, and Zoas melting away.
<... after you're done searching, reading, you'll understand why. How to put it/this: Your problems are obvious>

<Likely "Palys">
do great, leathers do great, polyps do great. Tank has been up for two years and this started with just the Zoas 3 months ago. More recently, I have a separate soft coral frag system, 200 g, 2200 gph pump, divided into 4 stair step tanks.
One section has mushrooms and leathers, one has polyps , other two house fish. My Ricordea are starting to shrivel and detach in this tank as well.
It has same readings and fixings except ph is 8.16 daytime, nitrates are at 5ppm, and the lighting is 120 watts led 24" off the tank over a 75g area.
Both systems have skimmers,
dsb, ample live rock.
<.... So... what are your choices? Provide or don't eliminate needed nutrients, and either remove the Ceriantharian, or the other mal-affected Cnidarian life. Keep reading. Bob Fenner>
re: Mushrooms and Zoanthids  10/10/13

What is WWM?
re: Mushrooms and Zoanthids... "I (don't) want to hold your ha ha ha ha ha hand!"   10/10/13

I see, wet web media, what should I read and which section can I find it in?
<... the indices; search tool... on all 12k some pages... the topics listed on your first query... B>
Re: Mushrooms and Zoanthids... comp. f's  10/12/13

So I read tons of post and answers on wwm. Thank you for the great knowledge base and for answering all these questions so there is such a vast reference to pull from. First I removed my tube anemone from my 75 and added carbon. I also added carbon to my 200 g frag system. Other than carbon and a water change, which is coming tomorrow, is there anything else
I can do to prevent this from happening again if and when it gets fixed?
<Mmm, yes; a few things. Principal amongst these is careful introduction of any new stinging-celled life... The SOP mentioned over and over to "mix water" back and forth from the isolation/quarantine with your display system you intend to move the animal/colony to>
Also are the palytoxins from plays poisonous to the Zoanthids?
<Yes; some more so than others>
And why are they not affecting any polyps or leathers? Thx
<They are better competitors... less susceptible to Terpenoid warfare.

Ricordea Florida all "jumping ship"? Old-enough set up, changed lights, added Xeniid...    4/24/13
Hello I have a soft coral reef aquarium where I have had some (when I say some I mean tons) Ricordea florida in. They have been very happy for 3+ years and have created many babies all over the tank as they meandered their way around it. One and a half months ago I got a new Ecoxotic Panorama LED fixture. I started with it set low and slowly increased the light to get everyone hopefully accustomed. All my other soft corals and mushrooms are happy. My Ricordea all appeared content until about 3 days ago... The two "originals" were the first to start. First they made all this mucus at their base and let go. Now all their "kids" are following suit. No water parameters have changed at all. I added a new waving hands Xenia,
<This could be "it", or even the Corallimorpharians>
 but it wasn't even near them.
<Doesn't have to be. Chemical allelopathy can be profound, even in a large system>

I have moved the "originals" and a few of their oldest "children" to my refugium to see if they will reattach but seem disinterested.
<Have to be in an entirely different system>
:( Could this still be light stress even though I've had the light over a month and slowly increased the light over the first month I had it?
<Not at all likely the lighting>
 Is there some sort of Ricordea mass exodus occurring here?
<Yes; a survival mechanism for cases/circumstances when there's a need to move elsewhere (too much of something or not enough)>
Is the apocalypse at hand and only the Ricordea know?
<Heeeee! A possibility. At their scale and from their "point of view", yes>
  Thanks for your help!
<See WWM re Xeniid and 'Shroom compatibility and allelopathy. Bob Fenner>
Re: Ricordea Florida all "jumping ship"?     4/24/13

Thanks for your reply. So would it makes sense then that they were fine
with my pulsing pom/pom Xenia and they are not ok with the waving hands?
<Could be either, both or even neither involved here... "Cascade" events where something happens w/ established systems, mixes of Cnidarian groups are quite common... w/ concurrent winners and losers. BobF>
Re: Ricordea Florida all "jumping ship"?     4/24/13

guess best way is to try removing suspects until one is found. I moved my "original" Ricordeas to my 30G quarantine which luckily is set up right now holding my friend's fish while he moves.
<Ah, good>
 So they're at least protected while I use their "children" as guinea pigs... Anything that, other than trying to figure out / remove the "naughty" one, that I can do to help the Ricordea heal/be happy again?
<Oh yes... check, raise RedOx, dose iodide-ate... B<>
Re: Ricordea Florida all "jumping ship"?  Teased Shroom beh. (predictable)     5/5/13

So this is weird. I removed the "adult" Ricordea florida and was all set to start trials of removing this and that to figure out who is making everyone mad... and then all the jumping stopped.
<Not weird>
The "adults" reattached to some rubble in the quarantine and now that there hasn't been any jumping for a week I moved them back and everyone appears happy again. Which brings me to a theory that I want to jump off you.
About 2 weeks before it all started there was one big Ricordea near the top of my live rock, I didn't want it there - wanted to put the Xenia there actually, teased it off
<? How?>
and moved it to some rubble in the refugium awaiting gifting to a friend (human not Ricordea friend :P). The cease in jumping also coincides with the gifting away of said naughty Ricordea. Can Ricordea communicate distress to one another and actually stimulate their "kids" to jump ship?
<Of a certainty, yes. Bob Fenner>

How can I tell if my Rhodactis is dead? He's only mostly dead! 7/29/08 I still see the bright green but they (I have 2) have gotten very small -- about 2 inches in diameter. When fully open they are a good 6' diameter. <Wasting away...> I see the white mouths look like they are open quite a bit. <Stress> I have searched the web and am not sure how to tell for sure because if they're dead I obviously want to remove them from the tank before I hurt anything else. <Usually don't 'die' per se, but waste away to nothingness. If dead, cnidarians tend to turn to goo pretty quickly and blatantly> I introduced a Condy Anemone and screwed everything up in an otherwise great tank -- I am now recovering. <This is likely either allelopathic or related to water quality. Removing these corallimorphs to a safer, cleaner system should help them perk up, or adding a bit of carbon and frequent water changes on their current system...do read re allelopathy on wetwebmedia.com> Thanks! <No trouble! Benjamin>

Ricordea Yuma question... hlth. -02/20/08 Hey everyone at WWM... I hope all is well. It has been a pretty long while since I have had a question that I had a hard time finding answers to. I currently own a 34gal aquarium. A Current USA Solana to be exact. I have a single 150W MH HQI Current USA bulb and fixture that sits about 8" over the tank and is on for 8 hours a day (although it was on for about 10 hours a few days this week because I was doing some tank maintenance) The tank has a 1/15th HP chiller and an auto top-off system so the temperature and salinity stay very steady. My tank parameters are as follows: Ammonia: 0ppm, Nitrite: 0 ppm, Nitrate: 10ppm, pH: 8.3, Salinity: 1.025sg, Phosphate: 0ppm. I do a 5 gallon water change weekly and the tank has a skimmer that works well (surprisingly for an all-in-one setup). I am having an odd problem with a single Ricordea Yuma that I have had for a very long time under a wide range of lighting and tank conditions (unfortunately some worse than this). It is an extremely rare 4.5" Neon Pink Ricordea Yuma. I bought it from a guy about 2 years ago who had it directly under a 250W MH about 4" from the surface of their tank. I put the Yuma into a 6 gallon nano-cube with weak PC lighting which it sat in for about 2 or 3 months before I put it in the current tank set-up that I have. The Yuma has been fine for the longest time and I slowly acclimated it to about mid-way up in the tank (the tank is 20" deep... so about 10" from the surface)... after staying at that point for a few days it started to become unhappy (shrinking and expelling its zooxanthellae (sp)). <Mmm, what other Cnidarians are in this system?> So I moved it back down to the bottom of the tank and I decided that it would be just fine there and I wasn't going to try and move it anymore... It opened back up fine for about a week and just today when I took my lid off the tank to do some maintenance it became unhappy again and started shrinking up and expelling its zooxanthellae (sp). Now I can think of any number of things that it may be that is causing him to react adversely but I would really be grateful of any input from you guys (and gals). 1. I just changed out the bulb and it just finished burning in over the past 2 days. <Would be an influence for sure> 2. Moving him may have just been too much trauma for him. <To a smaller degree> 3. any other ideas? <Allelopathy> haha... I plan on cutting back the light cycle to 5 hours over the next week and slowly increasing it. Does this sound sufficient? <Mmm, no... I would have on a good 8-10 hours a day> Any ideas? Thanks and I look forward to your response. -- Chris <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above re Corallimorph and whatever other stinging-celled life groups you have here's Compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Re: Ricordea Yuma question... hlth, comp. 2/21/08 I could understand that but the particular Ricordea in question is surrounded by a lot of other Ricordea too... <Ahh!> there is absolutely nothing wrong with any of them... All of my other Cnidarians are fine... <Heee! Sure, they're the winners... the Yuma is losing...> I do have a toadstool leather that I have had for a long time that has recently begun to be eaten on by some sort of parasite... It is the only leather in the tank. I can not remove it because of its location in the rockwork... I know that these leathers in particular can give off noxious chemicals that can harm other inhabitants... could this possibly be the culprit? <Possibly> Thank you for the fast reply Bob, I know you are busy. <Doing... this! Heeee! No worries... do look into the methods, techniques outlined where I sent you... It may be expeditious to move the one Corallimorph. BobF>

Re: Ricordea Yuma question... 2/21/08 Thank you very much... you have always been a great help in the past... hopefully one day I will have enough knowledge to not have to ask questions but to be asked them. <Oh yes! I too look forward to this time... your joining us here on the WWM Crew. Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Ricordea yuma question... 2/23/08 HAHA... I don't know about all that. Just an update on the Ricordea yuma in question: I moved it to a different spot in the tank (away from the leather and in a little bit better flow... it as opened up nicely and seems to be doing much better. Thank you for all the help and advice. I have attached a few pictures of my tank set-up and the yuma in question. <Ahh, very nice! Congratulations and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Need Help, Mushrooms looking limp and not opening all the way, Cnidarian Allelopathy mostly 8/24/07 Hey all. My tank has been up and running for 4 months. The first coral I added was mushrooms (4 green mushrooms on one rock). They have been doing great the whole time and have even sprouted two new mushrooms on the rock. The mushrooms started looking really limp and only opening to about half their normal size a couple weeks ago. Color of the mushrooms look good. Mushrooms are at the bottom of the tank, under a little ledge, and have not been moved since I put them there a couple months ago. No other corals near the mushroom. All parameters look good. Calcium is low, 340, but has been at that level all along (only softies and LPS in my tank right now). I plan on switching salts when I run out, changing from Tropic Marin to Reef Crystals to see if I can bring up the Calcium without getting into dosing. My Parameters have been very consistent for the past couple months. They are: SG: 1.025 Ammonia, Nitrites and Nitrates are all 0. Phosphates .1 Calcium 330-340 PH ranging between 8.1 and 8.2 with lights off / on. Alk 2.9 Temp 82 to 83.6 (heats up to 83.6 when the MH comes on) I first noticed the problem when my central AC died a couple weeks ago. Tank heated up to 86. <Yikes...> Brought the temp down with ice bottles in the sump, and got the AC running within 48 hours. <I'd leave the lights off on such hot days... turn on more toward night> Another thing that changed, is I added a second powerhead. I have the mushrooms between two rock structures, and they don't appear to be getting blasted with current. I have a 53g tank with about 25x flow now (was about 12x). Have a MJ1200 and added a Tunze6025. Also have a Eheim 1260 for a return pump. <Corallimorphs often are found in quite stagnant settings> There's only one other softie that's not doing well all of a sudden, and that's a yellow colony polyp. <... Here could be a major portion of the problem...> When I bought it from another reefer, it was brownish and "fringe" for lack of a better word, on each polyp were long, and the dots in the middle of each polyp, were bright yellow. They have since changed to completely bright yellow, and the fringe is really short. I suspect these changes are because I have stronger lighting than the reefer I bought them from had. This coral seems a bit limp to me too. I have a Aussie Duncan which is doing awesome. <Duncanopsammia? As in a Dendrophylliid I take it> Bought one head, and it has sprouted 3 new heads. Have a zoo that is doing great and spreading. <...> Leather looks great. Hammer looks great. Any ideas on the mushroom? <It's losing to more dominant Cnidarians... the Sarcophyton, likely the Zoanthid...> Could it be the temperature spike from when my AC died and it just takes a more than a couple weeks for the mushroom to recover? <Could be a contributing factor> Nothing except for the mushrooms seemed to be affected when the AC died. Should I be feeding this mushroom? I've tried putting a little frozen Cyclops or enriched brine near it, but have never seen it take any food. I haven't been adding any phyto or anything, but tried adding a capful of Kent Phyto last night and left the return pump off for about 45 minutes. Don't know if that will help. Thanks! Pam <Too much too soon... I would move the Mushrooms to another system, spiff up your skimming, start the expensive ongoing use of carbon... And read on WWM re Cnidarian Allelopathy... use the search tool here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm Bob Fenner>
Re: Need Help, Mushrooms looking limp and not opening all the way 8/24/07
Ahh...the great Bob Fenner. <...? Wait, (goes to mirror... same ole non-hair combed petfish kind of guy... ego-deflated, returns to the computer...> Thank you so much for the response. <Welcome> I had never heard the term "Cnidarian Allelopathy", so at least now I have something to read up on. <Neat term eh?> I will take your advise on the carbon. <Good... advice> I don't have another system to move any of these corals to. The mushrooms are one of my favorites. Should I remove the Yellow Colonial Polyps, zoos, or the Sarcophyton if I want to keep the mushrooms, or do you think Carbon would handle what I guess you're saying is chemical warfare? (or is that something completely different?) <Is of a sort and more encompassing... takes in "stingers", agglutinants... sweeper "tentacles" and more...> I thought of one other possibility. I have never tested for, or dosed Iodine. Could lack of Iodine be a cause? <Again... perhaps a co-factor> I checked my LFS but they didn't have a test kit, and I don't want to dose without testing, but I will order a Iodine test kit online just in case. <Ah, good. Likely once-weekly administration per dosage... would not overshoot...> One last question, do you think I'd be better without the two powerheads, and just go with one powerhead and the return pump like I had before I started having this problem with the Mushrooms? <Maybe... but what re the rest of the life in the system? If there's room, I'd just move the Mushrooms to a less-circulated area...> I only had the MJ1200 and the Eheim return pump for flow, and added a Tunze6025, but I thought I could pull out the MJ1200 and just go with the Tunze now if that would be better. (53G tank which is 31.5" x 19.5" x 19.5") Corals I have so far if it makes a difference on flow: Sun Coral (just added two days ago and doing well) Waiving Hand Xenia (also just added two days ago and doing well) <... I'd be slowing down on these non-ordered/directed additions here...> Aussie Duncan (doing great) Tan Sarcophyton with Green Polyps (doing great) one orange centered zoo (doing fine) Bright Green Mushrooms (Doing poorly) Thinking of adding a Hawaiian Feather Duster. Thanks so much Bob. Pam <Please do read re the Compatibility of each of these Pam... here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm A very good idea for all to understand the "order", propensity for one group of animals... mainly Cnidarians in this case... to out-sting, out-grow, overshadow, displace one another... and to formulate, adhere to a plan of placing the less "winning" groups... of appropriate size... first... spacing time and dimensionally subsequent additions... using techniques, gear to limit the warfare that is/are these environments, including their living complements. BobF>
Re: Need Help, Mushrooms looking limp and not opening all the way 8/27/08
Hi Bob. I took your advise and added activated carbon this weekend. I also moved the Leather to a corner of the tank (it was only a couple inches from the mushrooms). <Yikes!> I'm not sure if it was the carbon, or moving the leather, or a combination of both, but within two days, my mushrooms have totally perked up!!! Not completely back to their full glory, but close!! I'll have to read more on the compatibility of corals. Thanks for your help! Pam <Thank you for this update Pam... and do keep reading. BobF>

Corallimorpharians and Allelopathy -- 01/08/07 Crew, <<Hello Scott>> I have a 120 gallon, several year-old mostly fish and live rock system which I was beginning to populate with some hardy species of soft corals. <<Okay>> This included 2 pink mushroom corals that were doing well for about 6 months and split to a number of about 12 total. <<Corallimorpharians can be quite prolific, often to the point of being problematic'¦overgrowing/killing more desirous organisms>> I added a couple of other propagated green mushrooms on the other side of the tank from a friend's system that were doing well and splitting. I also have about a 2" size toadstool and some "devil's finger" leathers that are also about 2-3". A few weeks back my mushrooms started to sag and shrivel, the pink ones especially. Now the green ones are following suit, and the devil's fingers don't look so hot. I checked the water parameters with zero ammonia and nitrite and 20ppm of nitrate which is par for the tank. <<Ah! A clue then'¦ This Nitrate reading is too high. 20ppm may well be at the upper limit for acceptable in a FO/FOWLR system, but once you start trying to go 'reef' you should bring this down to 5ppm or less through increased filtration (biological/chemical), or a reduced fish load. Installing/switching to a more efficient skimmer can also help>> To summarize, everything has been status quo or better in terms of water quality/tank conditions, but with these Shrooms shriveling up I can tell things just are off. <<Indeed>> I started to think it was just a failed experiment into the world of corals until I noticed my purple pseudo missing today (read: dead) and my Eibli angel breathing a zillion X/min and on death's door. <<Likely a result of chemicals released by the stressed/dying soft corals'¦and compounded by the high Nitrate level>> At least one of my larger fish does not look great either. Water parameters still checked out. I haven't targeted the cause of the coral decline, but given the lack of changing conditions and their previous health and proliferation, I suspect some kind of allelopathy. <<Maybe...but I'm more apt to blame the Nitrates at this stage for the Corallimorph's and soft coral's decline>> QUESTION: Could the fish be affected by some type of soft coral chemical warfare to this degree? <<Indeed yes'¦dying and decaying organisms such as these can/will give off a large amount of noxious chemicals. I hope you have applied some extra chemical filtration to help deal with this?>> Some of the tank inhabitants appear to be unaffected, including cleaner inverts (snails and hermits), shrimps, and a Galaxea coral which I acquired a year ago and appears well <<Differing degrees of tolerance>> (I realize this is actually a pretty delicate stony coral). <<I've never considered Galaxea coral as particularly delicate'¦though do be aware it is a very aggressive coral and will do extensive damage to any neighbors within reach of its quite long sweeper tentacles. Hmmm'¦you didn't happen to place any of the new additions within reach of this coral did you?...say about 10' or less?>> I figured some of these other organisms would be the canary for water quality issues. In the meantime, on a friend's advice I have started to run large amounts of carbon today in an effort to pull out any toxins that may be in the water. <<Ah, very good'¦and I would suggest use of some type of chemical filtrant (carbon/Poly-Filter) become a 'permanent' aspect of your filtering methodology>> Should I remove the remaining mushrooms? <<If they are declining/dying, yes'¦else, is up to you as the carbon should help much with the removal of Allelopathic chemicals>> Incidentally, the pink Shrooms were very close, and several actually growing on the stalk, of the toadstool-they seemed to almost have an "affinity" for it. <<These noxious organisms can sense one another/will be fighting for space even when separated'¦allowing them to 'touch' heightens the conflict and speeds the demise of one or both. I would take steps to physically separate these>> Any advice into this dilemma is greatly appreciated. -Scott <<Happy to assist. EricR>>
Re: Corallimorpharians and Allelopathy -- 01/08/07
Thanks for the reply... <<Quite welcome>> Just one more thing, though. <<Okay>> I neglected to mention that the only other thing that has changed in my tank recently is I put about 50 new self-harvested Caribbean snails (USVI) which are alive and well in the tank. << You don't say what species'¦hopefully you identified beforehand that these would be safe/compatible with your existing and future intended livestock>> These were placed about mid December and not quarantined. <<I see>> Could they be the culprit or vector for some malicious parasite...i.e. gill flukes? <<Sure'¦ Parasites, bacterial/viral infections, most anything>> There is nothing visible on the fish that I can identify whatsoever except for the respiratory distress and then quick demise. <<This is likely environmental'¦a water quality issue. Have you performed any water changes? I very much suggest you do>> Perhaps the invert/mushroom issue is only temporally related and not directly related? <<Yes'¦likely not the sole cause of your problems here, but working in combination with other factors (high Nitrate, etc.)>> The fish have tolerated 20-35ppm of nitrate for quite some time. <<Indeed'¦and likely weakened by the long term exposure to same. The chemical explosion from the deteriorating Corallimorphs may just be the straw that broke the camel's back'¦>> Scott <<Regards, EricR>>

Rhodactis mushroom 2/8/06 Hi guys, Thanks so much for your help over the last year or so, you guys have been a huge part in my tank doing so well. I recently made a lot of additions to my 29 gallon tank to finally make it more of a reef. I recently acquired some frags of pulsing xenias for free from a fellow reefer in my area, and yesterday I added a small frag of zoo's and a couple of (what I was told are) Rhodactis mushrooms. <... these groups of animals are hard to keep in such a small volume with each other...> Everything seems to being great, but one of my Rhodactis mushrooms is showing mesenterial filaments and his mouth has opened up to about the size of the end of a q-tip. I know that these are a sign of defense, but there is nothing near him except the other, smaller Rhodactis and he is doing just fine. <Maybe damaged, perhaps a weaker individual... likely allelopathogenic influence from the Zoanthids, perhaps the Xeniids as well> Ammonia, Nitrite and Nitrate are all 0. pH is about 8.3. I dose Purple for Calcium and Iodine which I know is essential for mushrooms. I'm asking early so I can fix whatever may be wrong. Thanks again for all your help. <... Please read here: http://www.google.com/custom?q=mushroom%2C+allelopathy%2C+zoanthid&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com Bob Fenner>

Is My Mushroom Dying? 3/16/05 I have a 2 Ricordea yuma Mushrooms I bought about 3 weeks ago. Both have been open very wide and looking very good in my 30 gal. reef tank. Water quality and such have been kept in check. Within the past couple days one has started to look like its spitting out its intestines. <ah, yes... mesenterial filaments. These are stimulated by aggression from another coral placed (too) nearby, often so> I've left it alone to observe and it seems to be looking like an anemone just before it turns to mush and dies. Is this happening with my mushroom?? Should I worry about the safety of the rest of my tank inhabitants? Beyond this question I've been able to keep mushroom type corals in my tank sharing space with a coral beauty angel. I have found that it pokes at anything like xenia or Kenya trees. Can you suggest other corals that the angel will leave alone. <Centropyge angels are slightly risky as "reef-safe" goes. Once a nipper, always a nipper. This fish will likely cause you (greater) troubles in the future re: corals being eaten.> Thank you, David Conway <kindly, Anthony>

Mushroom health Hey guys, I have a question concerning my mushrooms I bought. I have a rock of purple mushrooms. It was doing great the first month I got it in my tank, now 4 of the 5 mushrooms on it have spit out there "intestines and shriveled up only to fall off the following day. <Oh oh> My water parameters are perfect, my tank is 18 inches deep and I run 2 65 watt Pc actinic/daylight bulbs. The biggest Shroom has not been affected by what ever has killed the rest.  <A good clue> I suspect light shock because My LFS tank was dimly lit with the mushrooms curling up. The survivor is doing awesome but it is also low on the rock away from light. What do you guys think? -Aaron <Sounds most likely a matter of incompatible mixing with other Cnidarian species. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm.  Scroll down to the Corallimorpharian article, FAQs... read re systems, compatibility. Bob Fenner>

Mushrooms turning white I have a 75 gallon tank with a variety of soft corals (and 13 fish).  The mushrooms have been growing and reproducing nicely over the past 5 years, then in the last 9 months, the growth rate slowed and some of the green and brown mushrooms are striating or turning white.  What's up?   <If the mushrooms are turning white, it's a sure sign that they're losing their Zooxanthellae. However, I cannot say what it is unless you explain your setup to me in great detail! Graham.> Thanks,  Russell
Re: Mushrooms turning white
Thank you for your reply.  I have a Sealife Systems wet/dry, RIO 2500 pump, RIO 600 protein skimmer, two power heads in the tank-one on each end; four bags in the sump: Chemi-pure, phosphate & silicate, Sea-lab no.15DOS dissolved organic scavenger, and nitrate sponge.  JBJ Aquatic Lighting: two blue and two white Coralife Actinic compact fluorescent 55watt 21 inch bulbs.  Ammonia, Nitrite, and Nitrate at minimal levels.  PH a little low, but Alkalinity below 2.0, which has slowly been brought up to 3.0 so far. There is 30 pounds of sand and 80 pounds of live rock.  All other corals look quite well, but some of the mushrooms are turning white.  Thanks again for you analysis.   Russell <Hi Russell, it's still difficult to say exactly what the culprit of this is. How long have you had the mushrooms? Did you do anything different prior to the bleaching mushrooms? Any neighboring corals? What are your other water parameters? Did you have any quick pH swings which may have caused the mushrooms to bleach? Did the bleaching happen within 24 hours, or was this a gradual process? I apologize for the questions -- this is only to get the most accurate answer I can get. Take Care, Graham.>

Mushrooms and Zoanthids not faring well Hi, <cheers> I have a 100 gal diamond tank with 4-95watt VHO and 1-55watt PC lights. I have a wet/dry and skimmer.  <keep an eye on those nitrates with that wet/dry ;) > There are assorted fish plus a Ritteri, bubble <Hmm... how long have you had the Ritteri and the bubble is what? anemone or coral> and golden toadstool. All my water tests are good.  <good...?> I add iodine and Kent CB parts A and B to maintain alk and ph. Here's the problem. I have never been able to keep mushrooms and polyps alive!  <a common problem is mixed garden aquaria so severely assorted as your (anemone, LPS, Octocoral, etc)> The mushrooms start off great, grow for a month or so and then slowly die off. The polyps just stop opening and over several months die off. HELP! I don't understand. Dave

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