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FAQs about Health/Diseases, Pests of Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae 5

FAQs on Alcyoniid Disease: Alcyoniid Health 1, Alcyoniid Disease 2, Alcyoniid Disease 3, Alcyoniid Disease 4, Alcyoniid Disease 6, Alcyoniid Disease 7, 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

Leather coral eaten? - 1/24/08 Hello Bob and crew! <Thanasis. Tee ka'nees?> It has been a long time since our last contact and I would like to say a big "thank you" again for your great help in setting up my first reef aquarium 3 years ago. <Welcome> I have a problem with a Sarcophyton, which I purchased 3 months ago. It has never seemed to be feeling well in my tank, but since 10 days now it looks like it has been eaten by some fish or perhaps it has started to dissolve, I am not sure what is going on. Two days ago I treated it with reef dip (Seachem) but the situation has not changed. <Mmm, I would move it elsewhere... carefully look about it to see if there is a predator present (perhaps a snail, worm...)> I have a Clarkii clown, a Loreto, a Bird wrasse a damsel and a Blue Tang, two Sinularia thriving and many Discosoma and two Crispa anemones (far from the coral). <Mmm, these last could be an influence here> I am attaching a photo of the coral. <Mmm, nothing attached> Tank: 240 lit + 50lit sump-refugium (lots of macro algae) PH 8,4 -8.75 RedOx 320mV Calcium : I can not measure it with the test I have, I have to buy another test kit Alkalinity: 10 kH 2 skimmers (1 Remora, 1 MCE-600 Deltec + ozonizer) Lighting: MH 250W 10.000k <Ideally, place the Sarcophyton in a bare/empty tank on a "pedestal" so it can be more easily observed> 2nd question: what if I bought another clarkii? Would he make the other anemone his host and live in peace with my other Clarkii ? <Mmm, more likely there would be trouble between the new and established Clowns... unless this tank is very large (hundreds of gallons) I would not risk this> Thanks again for the assistance Thanasis , your Greek friend (I could not attend the lecture of Antony Calfo at Athens, but I was informed by other members of our Greek Aquarist Board that it was fantastic!) <Ahh! Will send on to him. Bob Fenner>

Sarcophyton elegans Health   11/7/06 Hello, I enjoy reading your advice and have found it very helpful. I have a yellow Sarc. elegans, <Mmm, not an easily kept species...> recently added in my reef tank, about mid-level, 3X 400W metal halides. <Mmm... too bright...> Zero nitrates, calcium runs about 485, alk. 4, <Too high and too low...> ph 8.4. (Have been doing this for a while with B-ionic dosing, etc. My question is this...Most of the Sarco. looks yellow and healthy, but I noticed after about 5 days, a brownish discoloration at some of the edges. <Not good> It is not worsening rapidly, but I wonder how to manage this. I rode out ups and downs with a toadstool, including the stalk sloughing off, suturing it to a rock, and finally gluing it (tough coral!) It shocked me to see that thing rebound and now it has attached itself well and has great polyp extension. I rotate a diet of phyto-feast, rotifers and ArctiPods, etc. <...?> Should I be patient with this or can you advise another course. I known the Sarc. e. is not quite as hardy, but hoping it will make it! Thanks again for all your help. <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm and the linked files above... There is much to relate to you re what this species and related Alcyoniids require, can tolerate as captive conditions... but am hopeful that with a cursory reading much of this will become alive to your conscious. Bob Fenner>

Cabbage leather health/fire fish systems??  10/29/06 Hello, <Konichiwa!> I have a question about a cabbage leather I purchased a week ago. It was not the best looking specimen but it was cheap and is my first leather. <And you placed it in quarantine?> I have a mushroom that was a hiker and it is doing well. The leather had a spot on it where the surface was whitish and I could see small things that look like grains of white rice under the surface. <Mmm, maybe predaceous snails, Nudibranchs...> The leather has not opened and looks to be turning translucent, appears to be dying. I have it about 5 inches under the lights and below the outpour of my hang on filter for good circulation. My tank has been up for 2 years and all inhabitants are healthy and doing well. Do you have any ideas about how to help it? I have also started dosing with iodine. <May be worthwhile to consider cutting out the infested part... I would do this outside your main or isolation tank... rinse well... a few changes of water... and place the specimen back in isolation> One more please.  I recently got a Firefish <Social animals> and the first day or two my 3 stripe damsel was going after him. <Not compatible> The Firefish then retreated to a small cave and I saw him poke out to eat a few times. I have not seen him for a day or so now. Will he stay in hiding and not eat? Any advice on what I should do. I really like the Firefish but the damsel is a real....lets say not nice. <... please see WWM re these species... Microdesmids need space, a lack of "noise", aggressive tankmates... You need to remove one or the other... Bob Fenner>

Any Hope For My Lobophyllia?...I'm Afraid Not - 09/23/06 Bob, <<EricR here tonight...Bob is in Houston at the MACNA convention...no doubt headed to the bar about now for some adroit conversation with the Boyd brothers and others <grin> >> I have a green Lobophyllia purchased about 4 months ago.  It is in a 58 Gallon Oceanic with 5 VHO lights.  Our tank is one year old.  The Lobophyllia seemed to do fine until about a month ago when it began shrinking and stopped extending its tentacles for feeding. <<Mmm, something environmental at play here.  Likely a water quality/chemistry issue>> I feed Phytoplankton <<A waste of money on this coral.  This coral is a carnivore (as are "most" corals/inverts kept by hobbyists (a few notable exceptions being gorgonians, clams...)...needs finely minced "meaty" foods>> and alternate Mysis shrimp with other foods (krill, Prime Reef) for variety. <<Ah, good>> Unfortunately the LFS who helped us set up the tank and who we relied on for advice has recently gone out of business. <<Unfortunate>> I think they may have been distracted towards the end and as a result our water parameters got out of hand. <<Mmm...you need to learn how to test/correct these yourself my friend.  Please spend some time reading here and among the related links at the top of the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm >> We have started doing frequent 10% water changes and adding Reef Advantage calcium to get back in order. <<Too little too late.  Did you do any water tests? How do you know "calcium" is the problem?  What about alkalinity?...pH?  What are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate readings?>> We have also found a different LFS to deal with. <...and?>> Our Lobophyllia has now shrunk down to about an inch and a half across and came detached from its skeleton. <<Not good...not good at all...>> It is still bright green. <<Typical>> I have held it to a small piece of live rock with plastic netting.  Is there any hope that it will survive and start growing? <<Very unlikely...once the animal becomes detached from its skeleton it's only a matter of time.  I'm guessing this is a result of very low and/or out of balance calcium and alkalinity levels...though excessive nitrate could also be a culprit.  As stated, you need to educate yourself to take care of this tank...relying solely on/going to the LFS for help once you're already in trouble will only lead to more heartache for you, and especially, your wet pets.  Please do avail yourself to the vast amount of information on our site...and shoot us a line when you need further clarification>> Thank You, Steve <<Regards, EricR>>
Re: Any Hope For My Lobophyllia? - 09/24/06
EricR, <<Steve>> Thank You for the reply. <<My pleasure>> The calcium was definitely low (tested by our new LFS). <<Ahh...>> We have started testing the calcium level ourselves and will start doing the rest of the testing as soon as we can get a kit. <<Excellent my friend...and much better to do/keep track of yourself.  Best to catch/identify issues before they become real problems>> Do you have an opinion on the Aquarium Pharmaceuticals Saltwater Liquid Master Test Kit, API Reef Master Test Kit, Tetra Deluxe Laborett, Instant Ocean Saltwater Ocean Master, or Seachem Marine Basic test kits? <<I do...go with the Seachem test kits (use these myself).  These are good, quality test kits that give provide great value for the dollar...in my opinion.  There are better/more expensive kits available if you want to spend the money (LaMotte, Hach), but the Seachem kits are good performers and likely all you will need>> Is there another brand/kit you prefer? <<I prefer electronic testing equipment...where money is not an option...Even so, the $100 or so spent on an electronic pH meter is well worth the investment in my opinion.  Many pH test kits are just too darn difficult to read/get an accurate reading.  But learn to use/calibrate the electronic meter and you have an instant reading at the push of a switch...makes frequent/continuous monitoring a snap!>> Any to avoid? <<Have used most over the years...best to stick to the middle of the price range and up...and never rely on the "dip stick" type testers...okay for a quick check of your swimming pool, but have no business in the aquarium hobby...again...in my opinion>> Thanks again for the help and the great site. Steve <<Do keep reading/learning my friend...and give a shout when necessary.  Regards, Eric Russell>>

Sickly Toadstool Leather - 09/15/06 Hi, <<Hello>> I love this web site, and it is very helpful with all of needs, and questions, but one question that I haven't been able to get answered is why my toadstool leather coral isn't opening up.  I have had the coral for about a year and half, and up to about five months ago, it hasn't fully opened, or even opened the slightest amount. <<Odd...and after five months I'm surprised it hasn't begun to deteriorate>> Any tips, or reasoning would be great. <<Mmm, nothing to go on here really, can only guess.  I imagine the reaction is secondary to an element of/change to the environment.  Have you added noxious corals in large quantities or placed same in close proximity to the toadstool?  Have you fallen down lately on maintenance?  Added any phosphate scrounging media to the filter path?  Is the toadstool receiving adequate light/water flow?  Try a large water change or two along with repositioning the coral in the tank>> Thanks, Sam b.
<<Regards, EricR>>

Re: Mushroom Leather Troubles  07/21/06 I have included a shot (sorry about the focus) that shows the small tear. I have also noticed a round 6 - 8 polyps that look like the small head of the polyp waving on a string instead of the normal 'shaft'. Hope this helps to identify the problem. Cheers Marc <Mmm, looks like a "bite" mark to me... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyondisfaqs.htm and the linked files above. RMF responding in place of Salty to clear the webmail server for space.>

Toadstool questions, insufficient info., poor English  7/19/06 Hello, <Howdy>     Thank you in advance for all the help your site has provided me with. My question is regarding a toadstool I have in my tank. I purchased it about a month ago, its purple and about 5 inches in diameter. When I first put it in my tank its polyps sprouted for a day. There was some commotion in my tank and it fell to the ground. I replaced it about half way up my tank. My tank , by the way, is a 25 gallon octagon, 2ft tall. <Small...> I have 2 Rio 200 power heads to increase water movement. The toadstool slimed up for a while and shed it off. <What they do> Since then no polyps at all, its been about 3 weeks and nothing. Is there any advice you can give me about this, and is there any articles you can link me to that would help. Also, its purple and the edges have some white on them. From my research i haven't seen any purple toadstools, so I'm confused, but that's nothing new. I attached some pics, they're not that great , sorry. Thanks in advance for your help. Cheers!    <... please don't send out such poor examples of English... at least to us. Learn to/use your spell, grammar checkers... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Mushroom Leather Troubles...Reproduction   7/18/06 Hey everyone <Marc> I have a mushroom leather that I have had for around 4 months and I noticed today that a small tear (around ¾ inch long) has formed over the last 24 hours in one section. The coral has almost all its polyps extended except for this one area. Is this of concern or should I just let it go and see what happens. I have not moved the coral recently and all other corals seem to be going well. I have also checked to see if any fish have bothered it (I do have  flame angel) but all seems OK there. Is this normal behaviour or a sign of a problem. I have reasonably good water flow of around 15 -- 18 times in a 4 x 2 x 2 tank. <I'd wait and see.  Without a pic, I'm guessing the coral is propagating itself.  If so, this piece will eventually fall off and can be glued to a piece of live rock to form another colony.  Do send a pic if possible for a more accurate identification of the problem, if any. James (Salty Dog)> Cheers Marc

Finger Leather problem    5/24/06 Hi,   I have a 90 gallon reef tank using about 500watts of T5, 100lbs live rock, refugium (plants & live sand), and all parameters are in check and constant - the system has been running for over 2yrs.  What I've noticed over the last 2 weeks, is my Finger Leather that has been flourishing, began to turn a slightly different color in some areas and now it looks like some small cuts/holes are appearing. :(  I have identified (at least I think I've identified) flat worms in my system.  I've had this before, but through water changes and siphoning they seem to go undetected.  My concern is, these multitude of small reddish/flat organisms are not what I think and that they are damaging my Finger Leather. <Possibly, but not likely the cause of the cuts you mention>   No other coral/fish is showing any signs of distress.  I'm not a big fan of using something like flatworm exit because I've heard stories where things can go really bad with so many organisms dying... <Yes, this is so> and from what I've been told and read, flatworms shouldn't cause corals/fish any problem.  Is that true? <Yes> Any help suggestions you can offer would be greatly appreciated.  thanks!      Shawn. <Mmm, could be a number of things at play here (other pests, chemical warfare of sorts...), but the easiest, most direct action is to remove/place this soft coral elsewhere if you have another system. If not, a stop-gap measure of water change, activated carbon use, addition of Lugol's... will likely resolve this situation temporarily. Bob Fenner>

Re: Sarcophyton Health (Nudibranch!)   4/1/06 A quick update.  The Sarcophyton seemed to quit recovering and continued to slough very frequently.  Meanwhile, the white spot at the bottom became obviously necrotic.  I was still thinking allelopathy and doubled the skimming (added an AquaPro hang on skimmer since I read bad things about the RedSea skimmer I was using on WetWebMedia) and left the Sarcophyton alone.  I figured the water quality measures couldn't hurt.  Since then, all corals have been growing noticeably each week, (including another green Sarcophyton) except for the sick Sarcophyton which continued to spend most of its time sloughing off.  The necrotic area appeared frayed and growing.  I finally decided to remove the coral, cut out the dead tissue and look for parasites.  What I found appears to be a small, white, 1cm Dendronotid sp. Nudibranch. I don't have much salt water experience, but that's my ID based on my invert reference book.  So, mystery solved.   <Ahh, good to hear.> I removed the Nudibranch and scraped/cut off all necrotic tissue with an Exacto knife.  The knife was not as sharp as I would have liked so I left a film of white tissue in place rather than torture the animal more.  The remaining tissue all seemed firm anyway.  I shook it inverted vigorously in a container of tank water and returned it to its spot.  It immediately stood more erect than it has in two weeks and started extending polyps in under an hour.  I found this amazing after such torture.  Anyway, my question is, other than dosing iodine, water changes, etc'¦ is there anything else that I should do to help the recovery?  Will the remaining film of white skin slough off naturally with the next sloughing cycle?  <Should.  Time will heal this, continue providing good water quality and all should be well.> Thanks for your help and your site.  WetWebMedia FAQs help tremendously when trying to work through these things as a beginner.  <That they do Brett and glad to hear your problem is solved.> Thanks.  <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Brett

Panicky Coral Care/Poor Acclimation Causing Problems - 03/27/2006 Hello and thank you for taking a moment to answer my question. <Gladly.> I have had my 46gal bowfront saltwater tank running for about 4 years now. I recently added a 2x96w PC fixture to increase my light. I already had (a 1x96wPC, total 3x96W PCs, more than 6WPG). <Just tossed 'em up there and turned 'em on huh?> I have a protein skimmer that's definitely doing its job, the stuff lately has been DARK green (ugh!). Two power heads provide the flow, with one being a PowerSweep (goes back and forth on its own). It has had pretty much the same livestock for the last couple of years, which are a Gold Stripe Maroon Clown, Blue Velvet Damsel, Royal Gramma, and a couple of Green Striped Mushrooms. I added, a week ago today, a Colt coral, Pagoda coral, Toadstool Mushroom Leather Coral, Bulb Tip Anemone, <Not good to mix with your corals.> and a Blue Linckia Star. Well the Star has already died, and I acclimated it using the drip method and was very careful to not let it touch the air. The Anemone is doing WONDERFUL! It's found its spot, not moved since. I have fed it 3 times since I got it, and the Clown took to it in like 3 minutes...instantly! The corals are what I'm worried about. <Ok.> The Toadstool hasn't opened at all, the Colt and Pagoda are doing alright, but I was told they are in shock because of all the light? <Too much all at once. No acclimation to new light/environment?> I didn't think there was such a thing as too much light, so I've been running my single strip PC for about 2-3 hours a day. <This is making your situation worse. These animals need time to adjust. This needs to be addressed.> However I tried moving them to the bottom of the tank with the single strip totally off, and the Colt did a LOT better, but that's not where I want it at all, so they're all back to their original spots. <Ok...this is a very bad yet common mistake. Corals are very sensitive to environmental changes. You've only had these a week and already asked them to be fine with constant fluctuations in lighting/flow. I can assure you they are not.> The Toadstool still didn't open up even when at the bottom of the tank with the others. <Perhaps more insulted than the rest.> So, while they aren't melting, or COMPLETELY shriveled up, they aren't looking like they should either. <You're currently heading toward COMPLETELY shriveled up.> What should I do? <Read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm and other related links from this page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm . Stop moving them and regulate your light cycle.> Oh and my water tests all come out fine except the nitrates were about 10ppm. I tried a water change for that without much avail. Any advise would be greatly appreciated! <You have my thoughts. - Josh>

Finger leather coral has green algae growing on it    3/24/06 Greetings to all. Nice forum here. You all have an abundance of information that is sometimes overwhelming. <All in good time> Never the less, here goes. I have a 55 gallon reef tank with the following: 55 lbs of new live rock (purchased in the last week or so), aragonite sand approx. 2 to 3 inches deep. lighting is a Current 265W power compact with lunar lighting. The skimmer is a Red Sea which works quite well. Filters include 1 Emperor 400 with regular filter pads and the gray containers are filled with de-nitrate media. A Magnum 350 with Purigen and topped off with De-nitrate. 2 Aquaflo powerheads with sponge filters. Inhabitants are: <... I would have waited a few more weeks to add these, after the live rock settled in> 1ea Lemonpeel Angel, 1ea Coral Beauty, <A fifty five is really too small for even one Centropyge of these species... and two are not compatible> 1ea Sailfin Tang, <Will get too big...> 1ea cleaner shrimp, and 1ea Pink Face Goby. Inverts are: 1ea Finger Leather, 1ea BTA and 1ea feather Duster. Last week I added 20 lbs of "cured" (so I thought) Fiji live rock. All my readings prior to adding the rock were salinity 1.025, ph 8.0, KH 8.0, Calcium 500, Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 0. Temperature is between 77.0 and 78.0. Now the readings are pretty much the same but the Nitrate is 80+. <Yikes, but not atypical of new LR> I did 3 water changes. 2ea 5 gallon and 1ea 25 gallon over the course of 4 days. The Nitrate still stays up there. The fish are fine. The BTA is in hiding and is not outstretched like it normally was. The Feather Duster is fine. The Finger Leather has withdrawn it's polyps and shrunk down. Not fully, like at night though. So there is some difference between night and day extension. Now today I noticed what looks like the whole thing is being covered in brown algae. <Possibly, but much more likely it is shedding its cuticle... happens> Not a dense covering but looking like it is discoloring it. My LFS said just hang out and wait for the media to do it's job. I am concerned for the Finger Coral. Should I wait or do something else? <Siphon off this material once it becomes loose... keep feeding extra low... until your nitrates are under 20 ppm. Bob Fenner>

Yellow Sarcophyton Issues... health, sys. mainly   3/23/06 Let me start off by saying my tank would not be possible without your website!!!  I recently purchased a yellow leather over the internet <Sarcophyton elegans? Perhaps a dyed Alcyoniid...?> and 1 day after putting it into my tank a nice chunk in the center seemed to turn brown and melt away. <Not good> I was going to frag this coral but decided not to, knowing how touchy they can be and fragging a new sick coral doesn't seem like a smart move to me. <You are wise here> I took the coral out of the tank and blew off all of the dying tissue and gave it a Lugol's Dip.  It now seems to be 100 times better and now has polyp extension every where but where the flesh melted off.  The hole actually seems to be filling in.  Would you still frag this coral or just let it be. <The latter> The only thing that went south after adding this coral was my Kenya tree coral which is about 7 inches directly right underneath it.  1 branch melted away almost like what the leather did. <You're learning the value of quarantining new specimens...> I immediately yanked the melting piece off of the coral and changed my Chemi-pure.  All other corals seem to look fine.  I have a mixed 75 gallon tank with SPS, LPS, and softies.  I'm thinking this could be some Chemical Warfare going on between the leather and Kenya Tree.  Any other possibilities here?  I also added a small powerhead over the leather and Kenya Tree. Water Parameters: Ammonia-0 Nitrite-0 Nitrqte-2 SG- 35ppt Temp-79 Alk- 8.3 dKH Calcium-440 Mag-1350 Thanks For your Help Eric <Take the time to read the articles, FAQs files on Soft Corals here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Bob Fenner>

Damaged Leather coral and an unknown sp.   3/16/06 Good day WWM Crew, <John> I find your site to be very helpful and I would much appreciate your opinions regarding two corals in my 72gal reef tank. My inquiry concerns a damaged toadstool leather (seems they are much talked about) and I am hoping you could help identify a red branching coral I have. I purchased my leather coral about 2 months ago and it seems to be doing great with the exception of an injury I must have overlooked while purchasing it.  One of the protruding areas of the coral around the top seems to have been split or cut. <Not uncommon... capitula get nicked, broken in moving...> I am unaware how the damage occurred.  The coral opens up on either side of the wound as you can see in the picture I attached. <Yes> I have looked over the archives you guys have and some other net sources and I am getting the feeling that I should cut the end portion off as it appears mostly cut off and pulling downwards on the coral.  In essence, I'm wondering if I should make a clean cut and let the wound heal, or leave the coral as is, or if I should try to heal the current wound somehow. <I would hold off here (for now)... perhaps increase your weekly Lugol's/Iodine treatments... Likely will self-heal or shed this bit/piece. Cutting might well lead to a host of other troubles> The second part of my inquiry has to do with a red coral that a family member purchased for me.  My biggest concerns with this coral are that I don't know what it is; I can't tell if it is healthy, and off hand I believe it will require more light than my tank can offer.  I have attached a picture of the coral.  It is made up of red branches that are very loose and fragile.  Currently some of the branch tips are white (I'm worried that this is a bad sign).  The coral is by no means flat like the 'Gorgonia' species; it is more of a tangled mass.  My best guess would be that it is a 'Swiftia' or similar type of Sea Fan, <Maybe... but it looks more like a member of the Hydrozoan suborder Stylasterina to me: http://wetwebmedia.com/sylasterina.htm Not easily kept unfortunately> although I don't see any polyps on it.  From what I've read, some sea fans require almost no light while other sea fans require extensive amounts of light. <Yes> Any help in identifying this specific species and giving me an idea of its chances for survival in a tank with two '50% 10,000k / 50% actinic 55W' bulbs would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, -John <Do look "very close" at the stalks... presence of "fine hairs" are semi-definitive here. Bob Fenner>

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