Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Health/Diseases, Pests of Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae 7

FAQs on Alcyoniid Disease: Alcyoniid Health 1, Alcyoniid Disease 2, Alcyoniid Disease 3, Alcyoniid Disease 4, Alcyoniid Disease 5, Alcyoniid Disease 6, Alcyoniid Disease 8, Alcyoniid Disease 9, Alcyoniid Health 10, Alcyoniid Disease 11, Alcyoniid Health 12, Alcyoniid Disease 13, Alcyoniid Disease 14, Alcyoniid Disease 15, Alcyoniid Disease ,
FAQs on Alcyoniid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutritional, Pathogenic (Infectious, parasitic), Predator/Pests, Social, Trauma, Treatments

Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae

Related FAQs: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae, Alcyoniids 2, Alcyoniids 3, Alcyoniids 4, Alcyoniid ID, Alcyoniid Selection, Alcyoniid Compatibility, Alcyoniid Systems, Alcyoniid Behavior, Alcyoniid Feeding, Alcyoniid Propagation, Soft Coral PropagationSoft Coral HealthDyed CoralsSoft Coral Propagation, Nephtheids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids, Xeniids, Dyed Corals

Toadstool necrosis and healthful timing 3/21/07 Hi GrahamT, <Hello, Daniel.> I am sorry for the misspellings and other errors in the previous e-mail. <I understand the constraints on your time, and thank you for your consideration. I will do my best to reciprocate.> I have a question about my toadstool that I have in my 135 gallon Reef tank. I bought it about 3 weeks ago at a LFS. It fully extends during the day with all polyps out. <Excellent.> But at the base of the coral it seems to be deteriorating or going necrotic. <Ahh...I see.> I have read through the website and found some helpful ideas. My question is when I cut the head of the coral off and toss the stem out have I already infected the rest of the tank even though I have no other leathers? <Hmm, *I* can't answer that directly. I am not sure about the pathogen, if any. I will tell you that this is usually a chain-reaction on the cellular level, where contact is a requisite 90% of the time; meaning that if you cut off the affected part well into the "good" tissue, you can curb its spread.> Where does this infection usually come from miss handling in transit? <It can start from a physical trauma, or injury. Sometimes, it seems as though the specimen has had it with its location and oozes away.> Will coral dipping help to control the infection? <Doubtful. It *may* have done something useful previous to this condition, but probably not. I would say that the possible benefits don't outweigh the risk of extra stress at this point.> The tank parameters are:          Salinity: 1.025        Nitrate: 0 ppm        Nitrite: 0 ppm        Ammonia:  0ppm        Calcium:  450 ppm        Temperature: 81 degrees F <All good...> The inhabitants are:         160 pounds of live Caribbean rock         120 pounds of live aragonite sand         Fairy Wrasse 2"         Carpenter Wrasse 2"         Blue bar Pseudochromis 2"         Blue Devil Damsel 1"         South Seas Devil 1"         2x Blood Shrimp 2"         Assortment of snails and hermits. Equipment is:         2x Mags 9.5         2x Aqua clear 701's power heads         Dual 400W Double ended 14k MH         SeaClone 150 protein skimmer <Do you like this skimmer?> Water changes are done once a week at 10% Here is a pic of it the first day I brought it home. http://i101.photobucket.com/albums/m46/blackhemi35003/DSCF0443.jpg <Looks normal there. I think that all in all, you've got the right idea. I want to thank you again for taking the time to repost your query, and for taking the initiative to help your charge(s) by researching. (It makes me feel... well, vindicated) Daniel Carrel  

Who's eating my leather coral?   3/11/07 Tank Specs   55 gallon reef   VHO dual satellite fixture   Nitrates=5ppm   Calcium=500 <Mmm, high...>   Alkalinity all <?> other parameters optimal   Protein Skimmer Produces Well   Carbon being run currently to offset any output by sick coral   All inhabitants doing well for about a year   Inhabitants include various soft corals mushrooms/xenia/clove/Galaxea/BTA <Incompatible>   Lyretail Anthias/solar fairy wrasse/maroon clown   Various Inverts serpent stars/snails (pyramid/turbo) /cleaner/fire shrimps/urchins/small hermits/   Okay, everyone is happy and healthy until today.  A leather coral has two small but rather deep wounds in it that look like bite marks, but they are rather round to be bite marks.  They are slight indentations into the flesh around the base.  Yesterday there was only one on the base and one near the top.  If I blast with baster some white flesh (?) comes off.  Today there were two additional holes one on top of the other on the other side of the base.  According to your posts I think it is a predator because there are indentations, as opposed to growths.  Is this a correct assumption?   <Maybe> Is there a predator that would focus on a leather coral, as it is the most recent addition (about one month in main tank)? <Yes... some snails, worms...> Again none of the other corals in the tank have ever been affected by anything like this.  Although there is one additional issue that may be a contributing factor.  Recently there was some hastily added water in a water change that was not of the proper temperature. Could this somehow have created this issue for this coral? <Mmm, not likely> I think not but no other changing factors have been involved. The coral is still extending polyps well but the addition of more holes is very concerning.  It is a tremendous specimen.  Any advice to try and remedy or help it heal? <Mmm, well... it's really hard to judge such issues w/o graphics... The best thing you could do is move this animal to another system... There is strong reasons to suspect general allelopathy is at play here... small volume, noxious cnidarians resident... the Anemone should be moved ASAP...> I am hesitant to cut or frag because it is so close to the base and deep.  I don't want to affect the overall health of the specimen by undermining its base.  Any suggestions would be of great help.   Awaiting Instruction <I strongly encourage you to read re the Systems, and Compatibility of each of the Cnidarians you list. Here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Bob Fenner>

Toadstool question, No Polyps, No Problem.   3/3/07 Hey guys! <Hi Carrie, Mich here.> I was at my LFS, which has a small and sad saltwater section, and saw a small toadstool coral on some live rock looking very upset.  The Naso Tang they had in the tank may have nipped it.  I had an "I'm going to rescue you" moment and bought the coral for a reduced price, as it never opened for them and they have assumed that it HAS no polyps.  I've had it placed in the bottom of a high light tank qt for 4 days now.  So far it truly only has a few tiny pathetic little polyps.   <It will get more.> The bite marks are healing nicely and the coral isn't shriveled, it just has opened no polyps.  I'm just curious, are there toadstool corals that are simply not well endowed like others?   <Well initially that may be the case, but you can frag this coral any which way and the frags will grow into big healthy specimens.> If the coral feeds from these polyps and it doesn't actually HAVE any, then the coral would starve, right? <No, this is a photosynthetic coral.  Remember Zooxanthellae?> Maybe it's just a late bloomer? <If provided the proper conditions it will grow.> Thanks for your time, <Welcome!  Mich> Carrie
Colt Coral RTD,  Time to Frag!   3/4/07
Hey guys, <Hi Carrie!  Mich here.> I had an incident a few days ago with my HOB fuge/skimmer, it essentially broke off the tank and pumped 10 gallons of water out onto the floor.   <Oh, no fun here!> None of the corals were exposed, it was just a mess to clean up and I'm waiting for parts so I can put it back on.  Since this time (and it may be unrelated) my colt coral (Cladiella spp.) has started to turn brown.  I've been siphoning out the slime and I fragged a piece off that seemed to be ripping away, but the coral continues to fall apart.   <I think I would frag it and remove all discolored areas, sooner better than later.> I've done daily water changes and checking of tank parameters.  This has always been my most beautiful tank, with some very healthy corals.  But since this incident with the colt coral, my toadstool doesn't want to completely open and even my plume sea fan won't open. <Could be some allelopathy, mucus, and tissue necrosis issues occurring.> Although, there is a tiny toadstool frag that is open and happy. Tank is as follows: ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate <10 (total nitrate) SG 1.245 <?> temp 78 calcium 400 ph 8.2 5 watts per gallon metal halide tank mates: maroon clown Midas blenny feather dusters finger leather frag 2 toadstools, one large, one frag purple plume sea fan 2 brain corals (both open and looking good) Thoughts?   <Potential for some chemical warfare to be going on, I think you should add or change your carbon.> What could cause the coral to just die off with no apparent reason? <There is most likely a reason, what it is however can be difficult to determine.  I'm not seeing anything obvious, maybe removing the refugium had some unforeseen repercussions.  Were your nitrates at zero before the incident?> Thanks for your time, <You're welcome!  -Mich> Carrie Should I completely remove the colt coral?  (which would mean cutting it away from a very large rock that it has grown over) <See above re discolored areas.>
Re: Toadstool question, No Polyps, No Problem. /Colt Coral RTD/Toadstool, Algae and Phosphates Oh My!  3/16/2007
Hi again, <Hi Carrie, Mich with you again.> This is still an issue with the tank in the earlier message, but this time about the toadstool corals.  I removed the sick colt coral and put it in QT and did iodine dips on it. It broke up into several pieces and those are actually doing great now.  So at least there is progress there.   <Very good to hear!> I removed the brain corals from the tank in question in case there was any bio warfare going on and I got the fuge installed again. <Excellent.  It is connected to the display correct?> Some pods and worms died in the fuge before I could get the parts for it, and I did a 100<%?> water on the fuge before installing it.  Now my plume sea fan is open again and happy.... and now it's the toadstool coral, and the toadstool frag that refuse to open! <OK.> They have been closed up for about 4 days now.  I have a small brown algae bloom, possibly from the fuge needing to grow new bacteria.   <Possibly a contributing factor.> I feed sparingly as there are only 2 fish and a cleaner shrimp that need Mysis. <Very important, may want to temporarily cut back slightly.> Tank parameters: amm.0 nitrite0 nitrate<5 (total--down from the 10 after the fuge fell off)<Odd> sg 1.0245 temp 78 calcium 450 <Under 400 is better> pH 7.8 to 8 fluctuating (could this be my problem?) <Slightly higher would be better> phosphates 0.1 (added a phosphate remover in case this was causing the brown algae bloom, although I doubt it) <Is likely, at least in part the source of your problem.  This should be undetectable.  Hopefully the refugium will help this issue now that it has been reinstalled, a couple of big water changes would be helpful too.> The toadstool corals have the brown algae growing on them somewhat, which I have been brushing off with my coral brush once a day hoping for some polyps.   <It is good that you are removing the algae.  You may need to increase your circulation around the toadstool at least temporarily.> The only other issue I've had is some red flatworms that I have been sucking out with my "flatworm vacuum", an airline tube... then I usually do a 15% water change after that deed.   <Good.> I did that yesterday as well.  No change.  The big toadstool is a beautiful specimen and I don't want to lose him. <Are pretty hardy.  Watch your phosphates, I think this is the problem.> Thanks for all you do~ <A pleasure.  Mich> Carrie
Re: Toadstool question, No Polyps, No Problem. /Colt Coral RTD/Toadstool, Algae and Phosphates Oh My!   3/21/07
Hi again, <Hi Carrie, Mich here.> An update on my toadstool.... it has been hunched over for days now... every day he seems to be worse.   <Uh oh!> His flesh is no longer pink but an ill looking gray.  He has started to peel flesh, not the waxy coating that you would normally see, but layers of skin then exposing the bumpy flesh underneath like tiny pores.  What is happening to him?   <It sounds like you're pretty sure that this is not a normal shedding of waxy tissue.  This can be quite dramatic.  Does the tissue seem like it is disintegrating?> Tank parameters are the same as before.  I have been doing water changes either daily or every other day.  Should I try an iodine dip on him?   <You could, it shouldn't hurt him.> The reason I have not done this already is that he is attached to a big rock that is pretty much holding all the other rocks up, so the tank will have to be essentially to get him out without peeling him off the rock.  Do you have any suggestions? <You could peel or slice him off the rock.  If there is no tissue necrosis, I would wait this out a bit.  If the tissue is deteriorating, and "cheesy" then I think you should remove him, slice him off if need be, and try a dip in Lugol's solution.  The recommended dose is 10 drops per quart or liter.   More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyondisfaq4.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyondisfaq5.htm Thanks so much, <Welcome, I do hope you have improvement.  -Mich> Carrie

Colt coral with blisters question   3/4/07 WetWeb Crew, <Hello James, Brandon here.> I've recently purchased a Colt coral from Saltwaterfish.com, and it seems to be doing well in my tank, however, it has some blisters which appeared on the stalk.  The blisters are on the of the stalk which gets the most light.<Could be allelopathy. See here, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoncompfaqs.htm.  You did not mention the Klyxum's proximity to the Sarcophyton.  I would think that chemical warfare could be at work.  To combat this, use 2-3 ounces of granulated carbon changed weekly, poly filters, and good skimming.>  The coral is about 12" below the surface, and placed in good light with strong flow.  Are these blisters of concern?  Picture attached (photo left shows blisters). Set-up:  70gal, 225W VHO (2x10k, 1x12k, 24"), 98W SunPaq quad, Turbomedic skimmer, sump w/d trickle w/ biomedia, 70 lbs LR, 2x Clarkii, 2x Ocellaris, Royal Gramma, 3x Green Chromis, Colt, umbrella coral, 2x green mushroom polyp, many hermits/snails, 3x emerald crabs, 1x Sally lightfoot crab, 1x coral banded shrimp.  Water: sg 1.024, pH 8.3, Alk 4.5 meq/l, Nitrate/nitrite - not measurable, tot ammonia 40 ppb, free ammonia 20 ppb, <Your ammonia level is too high.  Anything over zero is unacceptable.>calcium 460 mg/l, 5 - 8 gal change every other week, calcium, Kalk, iodine, strontium/mb dosing with evaporation replacement water, which is ~1gal / day. <I am not a fan of dosing anything other that I, and Ca.  I hope this helps.  Brandon> -James

Re: Mushroom Anemone and Soft Coral Help (update) Soft Coral Problems -- A follow-up - 2/28/07 Hello Justin, it's Ben here from the UK. I hope you remember me ( I have attached the last email that I sent just in case you don't). <Hey Ben! Great to hear from you again!> I trust you had a great xmas and new year. <Indeed I did; the aquatic Santa was kind to myself and my tank this year *grin* I hope the same for you and yours, my friend.> I just wanted to update you on the progress of my tank. <Excellent, cant wait!> Previously I mentioned that I had ordered two 18watt T5 bulbs but unfortunately my LFS was having problems with the suppliers so that never materialized; however I managed to snap up a bargain on EBay in the form of a 150watt metal halide with a 14000k bulb. <Do keep an eye on your evaporation levels and temperature here... If I recall correctly, you've got a fairly small body of water, right? These lights put out a lot of heat, more than you may be prepared for... This isn't to say you've made a bad choice, but instead just that you'll have to monitor things with diligence.> Since I have upgraded my lighting I have noticed big changes; one example would be that my colony of brown button polyps has now got a nice green/blue tinge to their centre and have doubled in size. :) <Excellent to hear!> However it has not all been good; before I installed my new light I did some research on the positioning of it (I figured it would be quite a shock going from a dull light to an extreme light) <You are correct> so I placed the light 18inches from the waters surface and gradually brought it down to 10inches over the course of 2 months. <Another course of action would be to go to a local hardware store and buy a decent amount of mesh screen for window covers, and use this in layers over the tank to simulate 'cloudiness' and reduce the light penetration, but as the old adage goes, 'hindsight is 20/20'.> Unfortunately this was all too much for my larger Toadstool and after a few days it bleached, luckily it seems to be healing, does this happen? <Oh, yes.. Soft corals are not nearly as light demanding as their stony brethren, and have to be acclimated to their conditions, and given time to recover.. I think all will be fine here, in time.> And is there anyway that I can help? (I feel I should mention that I have moved the coral to a shaded area of the tank). <Then you've already helped as much as you can for now, my friend. Just keep moving the coral more into the light slowly as the recovery warrants it. You'll eventually find its sweet spot, and all will be well once again.> I have taken my horrible under gravel filter and powerhead out along with the crushed coral substrate and replaced it with a maxi jet 400lph powerhead with the gyro attached, CaribSea live sand (sugar sand I think) and an AquaMedic Biostar Flotor wet dry filter and protein skimmer (a bit of an overkill for my tank I didn't realize how big the pump was - 2000lph!!). <Excellent. Do be sure to clean out your wet/dry media regularly (every water change) in tank water to keep it from becoming a nitrate farm.> I have also purchased two mangrove plants and some macroalgae to reduce my nitrates and organics. <While they won't hurt anything, don't expect a whole lot of effects from the mangroves... they're really more decorative in this type setting. Good move on the algae though, my friend.> Hopefully this will result in a great improvement with the health of my inhabitants. If you have any suggestions please let me know and I will act upon them. <Just as stated above; I feel you've got the right ideas already and are aware of how to 'educate yourself.' Your responses and courses of action certainly show this.> I do have one question to ask before I go; I'm thinking of moving my inhabitants into a 3ft ClearSeal tank, can this be done safely? <Absolutely, but you will be likely dealing with a minor cycle again after the move. See our sections about tank moving for more info here.> Thanks very much for all of your help, you have been an excellent source of information for me.    <Thank you for this, Ben. We're glad to help. -JustinN> Ben Sandford

Leather hlth... predation? Allelopathy?   2/22/07 Hello Crew <Wayne> I could really use your help here.  Can't seem to find anything on the site.   I know I've been writing you  a lot lately, but questions keep coming. My leather seems to be falling apart.  See pics attached. I woke up the other day, and noticed that one of its stalks/arms was missing. I thought maybe it was the Condy anemone, maybe my Tuskfish ate it...and dismissed the incident. <Could be the effect of either...> Well, I found the stalk that had fallen off, and it was dead and starting to rot (brown, slimy and stinky). You can see where the stalk fell off on the pic...it's the big white spot. It seems like the spot is spreading, and the next stalk appears to be weakening. I figured if a stalk fell off, it would in essence frag itself, so I was startled when I found it dead. Any thoughts? The leather is 1.5 years old and has grown tremendously over the years. I just added more LR 1 week before this happened. Maybe a hitchhiker of some sort. <Mmm... I'd move this specimen if it were mine... away from whatever the mal-influence is here...> I have a Condy anemone, some zoos, <These could also be a source of trouble here> and a colt coral. Also have Volitans lion, Harlequin Tusk, and a damsel. Parasite maybe? <Mmm, the last is unlikely... If you have to leave this animal here, I would check your water quality and bolster your Iodide supplementation... if it continues to disimprove, I would definitely move it... and if it "falls apart" even more, frag it... You have read on WWM re Alcyoniid health I take it. Bob Fenner>

Toadstool detaching from live rock... Frag it!  2/12/07 <Greetings, Mich here today.> My toadstool is becoming unattached to its rock, as if it is ripped or torn. Is there anything I can do to save it? <Yep! Frag that bad boy!   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/softcorpropfaqs.htm  > I not sure but could be poss. that the water current was to strong. <Possibly.> Since then I have readjusted the toadstool and power head. <OK.> The toadstool polyps still comes out as if it is still trying to live. <Yep it should, it is a hardy coral.> Is it best to leave it alone hoping it will reattach or to completely remove it from the rock or will it die? <The first two choices are options.  It shouldn't die.  But if the area looks necrotic I would cut it off and start with a fresh, clean cut. If the stem is long, chop of a couple pieces and raise some frags!  Use a rubberband and attach them to some small pieces of live rock.  You can do it!> thanks in advance <You're welcome!  -Mich>

Toadstool leather - 02/09/2007 Hi WWW crew, I sent these pictures a few days ago and the toadstool leather has worsened but also looks better. <Huh? Am I a bit richer, but poorer today? Maybe> He is slumped over all the way almost laying flat but he has turned a nice purplish color and his "pores" are opened. <Yikes... not supposed to be purple...> The base still looks wrinkled and I panicked. <Uhh> I grabbed a tool and pushed him upright as much as possible. <Not a good idea> He is now holding his weight up but when I pushed him up straight I could see dust floating away in the water and it was coming from the back of the base.  That seemed bad and that maybe he is necrotic at the base where I can't see it. <Perhaps> I'm not sure what to do.  It is still shedding but it is almost done.  If you have any thoughts I would appreciate it. Thanks Paul <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcyondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... Much you have not given/stated... and much that could be wrong/at fault here... Read, and soon. Bob Fenner>

Re: toadstool leather - 02/11/2007 Hi Bob,     Thank You for your response. I'm sorry I didn't give you enough info. After reading your comments and realizing the purplish color isn't good for the leather I took my water to the store and had them test my calcium, dKH, and pH. <Need to test for yourself...> Calcium is 380, dKH is 9  (I am slowly raising those to 400 and 10-12) but my PH was only 7.9.  I couldn't believe it because my xenia has been pulsing like crazy since I bought it over a month ago.  They retested it with a different kit and the results were the same. <Read... on WWM re...> I threw my test kit away when I got home and am now using Salifert.  I am now slowly raising the PH with a marine buffer.   <Ditto> I had to rethink and reread how I was making up my water.  I wasn't buffering it properly because I thought my PH readings were correct. <Ahh>   I attached a picture of how it looks now.  I hope you get it.  I think this is the first step to recovery.     I am leaving the Toadstool Leather alone in hopes that it makes the recovery. <Good>   Thanks for all of your hard work and dedication. Thanks,  -Paul 55g 29g sump/refugium with Chaeto 60lbs of LR 3.5" DSB, slowly raising 1300gph of flow 2 clowns 1 damsel 1 banded goby - eats frozen Mysis as well 1 small Xenia 1 small colony of yellow polyps 1 hurting Toadstool Leather
<Bob Fenner>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: