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FAQs about Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae 2

Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae

Related FAQs: Alcyoniids 1, Alcyoniids 3, Alcyoniids 4, Alcyoniid ID, Alcyoniid Selection, Alcyoniid Compatibility, Alcyoniid Systems, Alcyoniid Feeding, Alcyoniid Behavior, Alcyoniid Health, Alcyoniid Propagation, Soft Coral Propagation, Nephtheids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids, Xeniids, Dyed Corals

Sinularia dura in N. Sulawesi.

Green Finger problem (?) Hey Gang, how you doin'? well I hope. <very fine with thanks> I finally got some clear pics. of a green finger coral  in hopes that someone might be able to diagnose the base of this beauty, I don't have any experience on what the appropriate course of action should be. <a very common problem with "colored" leather corals. They are very sensitive to handling. Please avoid touching them with a bare hand at all times. Handle only the base or tissue with gloved hands otherwise> Its been in my tank for three days, and the base looks worse by the day. <it is highly infectious although looks mild here so far> It looked nice at the store (a little frayed at the base) though I probably shouldn't have purchased,  but, I reckon hind sight don't apply here. Thanks for the Your friend in Denver, Scott <simple solution here. Have a VERY sharp razor blade or scalpel ready. A needle with clean nylon thread (or fishing line) ready and waiting to stitch too. A piece of small rock or rubble as well. Move 3/4-1" above the highest necrotic area of the base of the stalk. Cut clean and fast through the animal. You must wear gloves and keep the procedure down to a minimum time of handling. After the cut, look at the exposed trunk and be sure that you cleared the soft and necrotic area... if so, run a stitch or two through the base (no more than an inch from the bottom) and tie it off to a piece of rock. Return it to the exact same place it was in the tank and do not touch it for weeks. Maintain strong water flow and very aggressive skimming in the tank. Small daily doses of iodine may be therapeutic for the tank too (not extra iodine... just your weekly dose broken down to daily). Best regards, Anthony>  

Re: Green Finger problem (?) Thanks for the info, it will be easier for me to perform this, "MASH 4077" style surgery, out of the water. Will these be ok? <yep... it all takes mere seconds> Just one clean cut, eh. <correct> Is the corals tissue tough to cut thru, like muscle? or, will it be like a hot knife thru butter? <rather in between... the tissue is quite soft but infused with calcareous spicules> (just paged my head nurse to the emergency room, stat!) Wish me luck, we're goin' ............Thanks, Scott   <Banzai! Or is it bonsai? Both I suppose. Best of luck! Anthony>
- Refugium Plans - Hey Gang! <Hey! JasonC here...> This is a picture of the refugium I'm building. There will be a 295 gph powerhead providing water from the main tank thru 3/4" pvc pipe 1 1/2' into refugium, then, gravity fed into the sump under the main tank. It's a simple design, but, I'm open to suggestion for improvements! <Looks good to me, but you might want to leave out that sponge filter.> Where do y'all recommend ordering some short seagrass (Thalassia) or Gracilaria, turf algae, or, Chaetomorpha from? I haven't found a LFS in Denver to get this stuff from. <I don't know of any off the top of my head. I would ask around on the forums to see where other aquarists are finding theirs.> I also sent a picture of some algae on some of the live rock pieces in the main tank, would this be good stuff for the refuge? <I'm not sure... I see perhaps three or four different types there, but even then I'm not exactly sure which type they are. Got Caulerpa? What are your lighting plans for the refugium?> Will crushed coral work in the refuge? <Sure.> An update on the Green Finger that had "Mash 4077" surgery; 6 hours after being cut, it's bushing out almost as large as before the operation took place (a little shorter though!) Thanks again, Scott
<Cheers, J -- >
Finger coral attachment Hey Gang! How's it going? Well I hope.  This is really just a "thanks a lot" note, thanking y'all for the help on my 70 gal. reef adventure!  All of the advise given on this site has been very informative & beneficial to me. I've got a question about the healing activities of the green finger coral (I did the "mash 4077" surgery on it 1-16), are the small "cords" coming out of the base of  the coral (I had to cut an inch off ) what connects it to the rubble? <By cords, do you mean something man-made or natural? If man-made...yes that's what originally attached the coral to the substrate. However, the coral is likely to have attached itself by now and the cords aren't needed. Does the coral seem secure on the rubble or is the base waving in the current?> I also sent a picture of the newest member of the clean up crew. 2 turbo snails, 1 red legged reef hermit, 1 brittle star & now, the lawnmower blenny. that should do it for a 70gal.                                                               <Great!> Anyway, thanks again..    Scott in Denver <You're welcome! David Dowless>
Re: Finger coral attachment Hello David! the "cords" are natural, coming out of the base of the coral where I made the cut. It hasn't connected to the rubble yet although I did make a stitch thru the coral tying it loosely to the rubble. Circulation in the tank causes the coral to sorta rock back & forth which allows the viewing of the cut area where protrusions are starting to appear . Anthony said it would take a couple of weeks for it to attach to the rubble. I guess we'll find out! (this is all new to me, I was just sharing observations).                        Thanks a lot,                                                               <I agree with Anthony. You might consider placing the coral in a part of your tank where the current isn't strong enough to wave the base around. Then move it to a more suitable environment after it attaches. David Dowless>

Colt Coral (formerly Cladiella and more recently Alcyonium. Now Klyxum) I  have been searching for info on colt coral maybe you could help me. recently my colt stopped polyping out. I checked the water and all is very  good. my Bullseye, clove polyps, mushrooms and hammer are all doing great although I did notice my button polyps a little withdrawn. I am worried the colt will eventually starve (it has been 3 weeks since it has fully polyped. Thanks for any help or info Rich <do try a change of carbon (small amounts used weekly instead of large portion monthly), a good water change of 25% or better, and be sure that your skimmer is giving you almost daily skimmate. You have listed some severely noxious corals that require these measures. If water quality hasn't been up to par, you might blame allelopathy from the chemical warfare of your corals. Anthony>

Capnella "flopping" Dear Guys, Hope you  had a great holiday season.  I can't find anything on my situation in your archives.   <appreciate you looking... abroad, this dilemma falls under the category of Nephtheids deflating with most attention drawn to the aposymbiotic cauliflower corals> I have a large Capnella that has been doing well.  It has taken, however, to laying down on the substrate, often with different branches in different directions.  I thought perhaps it was attempting to attach, <at best a reproductive strategy... more likely duress> but it frequently changes where the branches are. Sometimes it goes upright again.  The polyps are open and otherwise it appears great.  However, my clam does not appreciate being draped.  Everything else is fine; parameters good.  Is this a problem or not?  Pam S. <likely a sign of stress... is there a very noxious coral nearby (within 6") like Colt coral, a Euphylliid (haller, octopus, torch, bubble), mushroom anemones or Starpolyp? Else, have you been weak on carbon use (not even monthly let alone weekly)... same neglect on water changes? I'm suspecting a noxious accumulation in the water from husbandry or allelopathy or both. Do send a picture if possible. Best regards Anthony>

Human Poisoning from Sarcophyton? Anthony- After a somewhat panicked web search, I came across your article: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/ac/feature/ on coral propagation in Reefkeeping magazine.  I say "panicked" because while I was attempting to cut a diseased portion of a Sarcophyton species off, I inadvertently cut my finger in the process.  The cut was shallow; so shallow that I did not realize I cut myself until the "operation" was complete, and it did NOT draw blood. However, I'm worried about any toxic reaction.  It's been two hours as I write this, with no sign of rash or anything at the cut site, or any symptoms that can't be explained by panic disorder. Are there any warning signs/window of time I should be looking out for a "bad" reaction?  Is it possible I introduced something harmful or lethal via this shallow cut? I feel incredibly stupid for (a) doing this and (b) e-mailing someone I don't know about it, but I'd really like the opinion of an authority on this so I can rest easy or get myself to the hospital. Thank you very much for your time.. -Todd <Cheers, Todd. Very glad to hear about the propagation efforts! Sorry to hear you got a scare :p No worries though my friend. Nothing imminent is likely regarding a poisoning or allergic reaction. What risk there is no worse than the same risk of being bit or stung by a non-venomous fish or even simply putting your hand in the tank on a daily basis with a hangnail or other non-related wound. Specifically, there are nasty microbes in all aquatic environments and specifically we fear Vibrio or Mycobacterium. Your first step of course was/should be to cleanse the wound thoroughly with soapy water and then use a disinfectant (antibiotic cream, peroxide, or the like). The doctor is unlikely to be necessary but do call at least to get his advice. Really... the concern here is more from a septic infection from the razor than anything the coral could impart. Sarcophytons are specifically noxious to other corals and aquatic invertebrates with regard for allelopathic compounds. Again, since this is not an overtly poisonous (to humans) animal and you didn't even draw blood... it seems likely that you will have a very nice holiday week. The only poisoning that I see as being likely in your near future is alcohol poisoning tomorrow night <G>. Happy New Year, my friend. Anthony>

Coral ID Hello Jeff from reeds reef said ask you to help identify this coral if you can Thanks <not a tough one at all for us, bud. The coral in the image is a Sinularia species. Commonly imported from Fiji, Tonga and Indonesia in these bright green colors. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Green Sinularia Hello Are these hardy or delicate do they need lots of light <unlike most Sinularia finger leathers which are very easy to keep... Green Sinularia are somewhat to very sensitive to handling and water quality (especially avoid high temperatures and touching the coral with bare hands... use gloves or only touch rock base). They may burn or change color under bright metal halides, although 20K Radium brand MH are very good for this species. Otherwise, 2 VHO blue and 2 VHO daylight bulbs would keep them very well. Their polyps are too small to be fed organismally... don't waster your time with DT's on this coral. Do consider reading Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" book or my "Book of Coral Propagation" for more detail on this and many other corals. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

What Happened to my Toadstool Leathers I have 2 toadstool leathers. I bought them 3 weeks ago. They have been beautiful. They both were fully extended with long beautiful polyps within hours of placing them in my tank, and have remained that way ever since the first day. Until Monday. Monday I came home from work and they were not extended at all. No polyps and the corals kinda shriveled up like they do sometimes at night, but not completely closed. Same thing today, so it's been 48 hours. They are on the same rock and have been I guess since cultivated. They are both about 7 inches tall and 6 inches across when fully opened. Just beautiful, except for last two days. They have not really drooped low or anything - the one on top of rock is still erect. The only thing I did was do a 5% water change Sunday afternoon. <no harm here> They looked great after the water change. Salinity is same, no trace of amm. or nitrites, and nitrates almost nonexistent. The other two corals - a 6" diameter pagoda and a small 4" rock full of long green polyps that look like grass are thriving and look even better after the water change. <likely Starpolyp... a very noxious and aggressive coral. Do not keep near other corals. Beautiful though> I did the small water change because tank has been set up now for 10 weeks and was starting to get a little algae growth. Not much, though (like a little green on one rock and one pre-filter and front of glass. But I have yet to scrape anything including glass. Tank was getting 10 hours of light from 2x96 watt PC lights (one blue/one daylight). There is about 45 pounds of premium Vanessi live rock plus 1/2" of live sand. Other critters include many snails and blue leg hermits. There are 4 fish - a small yellow tang, small yellow-eye tang, and two small goby sand sifters. Temp a constant 78 degrees. Skimmer is EuroReef and a 30 gallon sump. Tank is 38 gallons. I move almost 800 gph through the system with two prefilters and two return pumps, plus one extra powerhead in tank for add'l circulation. All other life and critters are fine and thriving - why did the toadstool leathers suddenly go "dormant"? Will they come out of it? <the leather are likely fine. There are many reasons why they retract their polyps for extended periods. pH dipping low (below 8.2), hand in the tank daily (very irritating to them), or even simply growth (they shed a waxy tunic from their crown several times monthly and retract polyps during this time). Your system otherwise sounds quite fine... no worries. They will likely come around within 2-4 days. Best regards, Anthony>

Leather Coral? Hello (to whomever fields this email), <Steven Pro at your service.> I've had a leather umbrella coral for a few weeks now. I think it is an umbrella coral. It was sold as an umbrella coral but after searching the web for information I now wonder if it is not a mushroom. Any sure way to tell the difference? <Any of the Leather corals should be easily distinguished from a mushroom/Corallimorph on appearance. Please take a look at these pages: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniids.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm> My question regards it's appearance. When I purchased it, it would fully extend and look very full. Recently, it has drawn in and is only coming out approximately half of what it used to and for less time than it used to. <You really have not had it very long. It may still be adjusting to its new environment.> I understand that these are filter feeders. <They can feed through absorption, but not what I would refer to as filter feeders.> I have tested all of my tank parameters (salinity, temp, pH, O2, Calcium, Alk, Nitrites, Nitrates, Phosphates & Ammonia) and all right where they should be. Lighting is good (220 watts power compacts). Is this indicative of anything in particular or are the possibilities too numerous to attempt to diagnose in this short of space? <You hit the nail on the head. It could very likely be nothing.> If so - point me to a source for the overall care and observation techniques of leather corals. Thanks, JT <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Sarcophyton elegans question Dear Bob et. al., <Steven Pro this afternoon.> How do you do? <Pretty well, thank you!> I purchased a Sarcophyton species 2 days ago and it is not doing too well. There are 2 attached to a rock and it is drooping. Will it take several days before it blooms? <It may take several days for it to adapt to the new environment (lighting, water quality, circulation, etc.) and not unusual for it to keep the polyps retracted.> I also have a toadstool leather which is behaving the same. <Another new coral?> Perhaps they are sensitive to movements. I did move it to accommodate the Yellow leather. <This is probably it. Moving corals in general is a bad idea. They must expend energy to adapt to the new conditions.> FFExpress mentions that it is only to be kept by expert aquarists. Why? <You would have to ask them.> I could not find much information on it from your website. Other sites say that they're hardy. <Most Sarcophytons are very hardy, the exception being the yellow Sarcophyton. These are sensitive to being touched.> Please advice. Best, Mimi =========================================================== Water parameters are good. 0-5 range on the Nitrates, Nitrites, 0 Ammonia. 380 Ca, 78-80 F for Temperature, Alkalinity at 4 mEq/l, pH 8.2, Specific Gravity at 1.023. 15% weekly water changes. <All sounds good> Inhabitants: 3 blue damsels, 2 juvenile ocellaris, Green open brain, H. Crispa, Toadstool leather (which is also drooping) and colonies of yellow and brown button polyps. 20 gallon tank, <This is a too crowded for a 20. The leather corals all get huge and put out a tremendous amount of noxious chemicals in a effort to kill competition and grow. You are going to have problems with this number of corals in such a small tank. You weekly water changes help, as does the use of activated carbon, but eventually and quickly these soft corals are going to be climbing out of the tank.> 20 lbs. Fiji LR and 2" LS. Hang-on-back filter with BioWheel, 155 gph powerhead, 100 watt heater, 2 X 55 watt PC's, 7100K and 10000K actinic lamps. Photoperiod 12 hrs. <Sincerely, Steven Pro>

Colt coral combustion! Good evening gentleman! A strange thing happened this evening involving a colt coral and I want to get your thoughts... Tonight I noticed that a colt coral in my tank looked deflated around the main stalk. Further observation showed that apparently the branches were separating from the main stalk.  <Ahhh, yes... self destruction. Not always as bad as it sounds... sometimes like now perhaps it appears to be strategic. A stress induced strategy of propagation. Animal dissolves at forks in the branches and frags drift to a (hopefully) better spot> Polyps were still extended and it really didn't look that bad. It just looked a little unhappy. When I picked up the coral to check it out, several of the long beautiful branches simply floated away in the current across the aquarium. After my wife stopped screaming (Sheesh) I picked up the coral and gave it a closer examination. The "nose" test showed that the coral is not in a state of overall decay and neither are the branches. In the middle of the main stalk, at the point where the branches begin to separate from the main stalk, there was a necrotic ball. I scraped it out very easily and the hole that it left looks very clean.  <hmmm... could simply have been an infected spot from minor damage/attack/nibbling> I am planning to mount the loose branches and sew the main stalk back to its' base.  <excellent... the best method for attaching this creature> I am surmising that the necrotic spot in the center of the stalk was caused from sediment deposit in that area.  <indeed possible, but a sign of poor water movement in the tank of so> I am led to believe this because there was lots of sand in this spot. What do you think?  <agreed... a likely possibility> Should I just optimize water conditions and let this incident go?  <yes... with close observation and improved water flow> Do you think the branches will make it through this traumatic experience? <easily yes> Possible mitigating factors: B-ionic was started a month ago.  <a fine product... be sure to shake vigorously before each use (calcium part stratifies and imbalance of dosing can occur with such liquid products> I add about 60 ml.s a day before the lights come on. The coral was moved at about the same time the B-ionic was started. ammonia- Always 0 nitrite- Always 0 nitrate- Nearly 0 Ca- 280 <definitely a bit low... get into the 300s approaching 400ppm Ca. Kalkwasser will be fine> dKH- about 7.4 ph- 8.0-8.4 lights- 420 watts of VHO. Bulb are a year old and I have ordered new ones. Current configuration: 1 50/50, 1 Aquasun, 1 actinic. Circulation: approximately 1300-1400 gph. <also... colt coral are one of the few coral believed to feed well on phytoplankton. Do consider a planted refugium or liquid supplement to feed this coral for optimal health> Thanks for your time and energy! Dave <our great pleasure. Anthony and WWM>

Leather Coral Hi there! My leather coral has been in good health - showing nice polyp extension and a fair amount of growth as well. Recently the polyps have contracted and the coral has remained like that for a number of days now. Everything else in the tank still seems to be fine - is this normal behavior? <Yes, it is not unusual for leather-type corals to remain closed for a while and shed a waxy layer.> If so, how long can I expect it to continue - or do I need to be concerned? <In a couple more days all should return to normal. Watch out for that waxy material. You do not want it to fall and settle on another coral. It is rather noxious.> Your insights will be greatly appreciated. <You can search for additional information using the Google search tool on www.WetWebMedia.com> Thanks, Hilton <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

Leather toadstool Hi Craig/WWM crew,<<Hi Jun!>> How are you guys doing? <<Sunny side up!>>Got a question. My leather toadstool (stalk) looks like it's shrinking. I've had this leather for over 2 weeks now. The crown and all the tentacles seems to be doing fine (tentacles are all out, I mean extended). Is this a sign of impending death for the coral? It is placed on the substrate of my system (have not moved it).  <<Hmm, is the rock/branch it's on big enough or is it overgrowing it? If your water, light, circulation is adequate it should be okay. They can turn, aim, move about quite a bit. AAMOF, mine is looking a little limp in the stalk in the grow out tank and I'm going to check it too!!! I think it might be the light so I'm going to give it the light it had before. When yours was at the LFS, what type of lighting did they have it under and how far from the light was it and how deep? You want to approximate that.>> And also, I impulsive bought a flower pot coral without reading about it first. I know shame on me. <<Uh oh...>>Anyway, I read all your FAQ's regarding this coral (flower pot) after I bought it. Because of all those horrifying stories regarding this kind of coral, I'm afraid to put it in my main tank. I put the coral in my QT and its not opening at all. With the infectious disease that it might cause (necrotic tissues and such), I am not planning on moving it in my main tank. Is this horrible or what? <<perhaps more necessary than horrible? Perhaps there is a club in your area with a member able to keep such corals?>>( I am going to research everything first before I acquire anything for my aquarium. I learned my lesson)  <<Do spread the good word>>  And lastly, I bought a cleaner shrimp 2 days ago and I found it dead yesterday (not even 24 hours). My water parameters are good, Ammonia 0, nitrites and nitrates are 0. What happened? Are cleaner shrimp very difficult to keep? Thanks again...Jun A. <<Ah yes, not difficult to keep, difficult to acclimate. Must be done very slowly exchanging water over several hours to avoid shock/stress. There is more on this at WWM. Craig>>

Re: leather toadstool Hi Craig Thanks for your prompt response. I really don't know what kind of light their (LFS) using (from the looks of it, its actinic but not as intense as my lighting). I have 4 96W URI VHO. The leather was situated at the bottom of their (LFS) tank (about 14-18 inch deep). My 90 gal tank's dimension is 36x24x24. Is the reason maybe that the toadstool is reaching for more light (stalk is fully extended) at my LFS and that my lighting is more intense that it doesn't have to be fully extended.  <<Maybe not. Maybe the added depth of your tank has him panning for more light. I would wait a bit and se how it reacts after only two weeks, if this continues I would probably move him up a couple inches and take note of any differences.>> Thank you for your advice regarding the shrimp's inquiry. Now I know what the problem is (I think). My acclimation process. I only put the bag in my tank for 20 min then put the shrimp directly into the tank without acclimating the poor crustacean with my tank's SG (man!!! I need to kick myself hard for this. I should know better, I read your acclimating process). Thank you so much for pointing out these stupid (am I allowed to use this word?) mistakes. What am I going to do without you guy's assistance/help and knowledge. Thanks again. Have a good day guy's.........Jun A <<Pretty common Jun. You will check the WWM next time, right? Have fun, Craig>>

Sarcophyton....toadstool leather On 8/11/02, I added a small 3" or so toadstool leather to my 10g. I figured it would be a good hardy coral to go with my small Pachyclavularia (green stars) and small mushroom rock (Discosoma).  <Yikes! all three are hardy indeed but a 10g is too tiny for all three unless you are doing frequent water changes. Discosoma and Starpolyps are very aggressive and release many noxious elements into the water... almost as much as leather :) > As it grew, I had ambitions of moving it to my soon to be 46g reef, and finally to a 180g.  <awesome!> It came not being attached to a base and this was my first problem. Super glue gel and a rubber band did not do well, and the time for my vacation came (I figured it would be thriving by then) so I placed it on a rock and supported it with smaller rocks around it. I came home and noticed that some of the polyps had finally extended. But on closer inspection, I also noticed that part of it had sagged down through a rock crevice. Since then, it has been a struggle to try and bring the whole coral back to health. More polyps are finally extending, however, the whole capitulum will not open up like it was at the LFS.  <try stronger water movement as well as more frequent water changes to dilute the products of allelopathy/aggression> Today, I noticed some of the section that was down in the rock had become "cheesy" so I removed as much as possible.....also some of the polyps have gotten darker. I am including a picture so I can possibly get an answer as to how it looks and what I might be missing. <yes... dangerous. Good move to remove/siphon necrotic areas> Tank parameters include: 10g tank, maxi-jet 400 PH and Penguin mini....no filter media, 1" Southdown, 12 lbs. liverock, 32w SMARTLAMP PC lighting. I have been running some carbon in the HOB filter and doing weekly 10-15% water changes.  <much bigger water changes are needed here without heavy carbon use or skimming. Noxious elements from coral aggression build up quickly as you have noticed> If more lighting is needed, I can pick up another 32w pc kit over the weekend.  <I'd invest in a bigger tank instead as soon as possible> The other two corals are thriving.  <they are more aggressive <G>> Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Ryan A. <best regards, Anthony>

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

Colt Coral with a charming British Accent Hello Anthony and WWM crew, <cheers, my friend> I hope this finds you well . <it does, with thanks and sincere hope that you are well too> Could you help me with my colt coral? I have recently been on holiday and left my tank in the care of a friend who I think did a very good job of keeping everything alive and happy. However I'm not sure about the colt coral it looks as if it has grown while I've been away (2 weeks) but 2 or 3 of its branches have turned white at the tips?  <Ahhh... interesting, and likely indicative of the sensation if not occasional touching of a neighboring coral. This is chemical warfare> all the rest of it looks very healthy, even the affected branches look fine below the white tips. Because it has grown I notice when it's branches wave they touch (occasionally) a large mushroom anemone that is higher up but the affected branches don't reach it yet, is this a coincidence or is it getting stung or something.  <good observation... you are quite correct that this is the first symptom of stinging now that the coral has grown> Will moving the colt a few inches be enough to solve this or is something else amiss do you think?  <moving is a rather temporary scenario, but will help. As the tank matures... some coral will need to be removed or trimmed/propagated to maintain growth. A compliment to your husbandry :)> Nothing seems to have changed since I went.  All params o.k. except phosphates and nitrates because I haven't yet got a RO unit and these are high in my source water. Hope you can suggest what this is . Many thanks in anticipation of your answer. It is so nice to have experts on hand when you are worried about anything We have nothing to compare with WWM in the UK. Jenny Nunley Cranfield University UK <our pleasure. With kind regards from across the pond, Anthony>

Re: Colt Coral Thanks for your (as always) speedy reply Anthony I will move the colt out of reach of it's neighbor for now and I guess this is a good time to buy your book on coral propagation! <do you know of any good ones...Ha!?> On a different note may I pick your brains yet again? <whatever is left is yours top pick.> As I have previously mentioned , I have two 5ft tanks, one FOWLR and the other is the reef tank. Both suffer terribly from hair algae. I was wondering about a Lawnmower Blenny and the possibility of swapping it between the two tanks with gradual acclimatization of course. <sure... could be helpful but only addresses the symptom and not the problem. Aggressive protein skimming alone can eradicate most nuisance algae in 2-6 weeks. The algae is all about nutrient control> Probably over a few days, maybe in the QT tank gradually upping and downing the SG because the Reef SG is higher than the FOWLR, 1.025 and 1.021 .is this feasible with reasonable time lapses in between?  <possible, but likely unnecessary> I would get one for both tanks but thought this would be a better way of making sure he has enough food on a permanent basis as I hear they only eat hair algae and would starve if not provided with enough of it, what are your thoughts on this idea please. <yes.. I see. Still... it would be much better to simply get the skimmers producing daily dark skimmate, decanting the thawed juice from frozen foods, feeding smaller more frequent feedings, changing carbon more frequently, etc. All about nutrient control indeed> I just thought, I better tell you who his tank mates would be. I assume no problem in the reef , I hope! I have in there, 2 Percula clowns, 1 2 1/2" red hawk, 1 Gramma and 1 firefly.  <nicely peaceful> In the FOWLR he would have to mix with 1 7" Naso , 1 7" green wrasse, 1 3 1/2" yellow tang, 1 3" pyjama tang, 2 percula clowns (yes I do love the Percs, I mean Percs) and 2 green Chromis. Thanks again - Jenny <hmmm... I do have concern that the Green Bird (?) Wrasse will eat the Percs, Chromis and lawnmower in time. They get quite large and aggressive at sexual maturity.. they behave for a year or so. After that, I have seen them fed 4" crayfish which they smash to pieces off the rocks. Do consider removing in time. Kindly, Anthony>

Sarcophyton question Anthony (Bob, Steven, your input would be welcome too!) - while I have your attention on the subject of corals, here is a photo of my leather coral, which I am quite worried about. I moved it from my old 29g tank in May and it has not fared well. It was formerly about 8 inches deep under 96w 50/50 PC, and it is now about 10 inches deep under 2x175w 10000k MH and 130w 7100k PCs (this is a 48" 72g RR bowfront). I acclimated it slowly, starting at 2 hrs MH/day and worked up to 10 hrs over the course of a month. It has not been moved. It has also not opened since the move -- it just lingers like this with a few polyps extended during the day. Water movement is moderate and random -- I can see the coral sway ever so slightly every few seconds. <many Sarco, although very hardy, are quite finicky about polyps extension. Some retract for months indeed when disturbed. Still... I suspect something more. Inadequate flow is a common cause... do experiment with stronger random flow here... especially if you have been noticing that the mucus tunics on the crown have not sloughed regularly or quickly (1-2 days)> Water parameters (Salifert + digital pH): 80 degrees, pH 8.25, SG 1.026, Alk 3.4 mEq/l, Ca 420 ppm, Iodine 0.06 mg/l, Mg 1380 mg/l, NO3 2.5 mg/l, PO4 0.03 mg/l, no NH3/NO2. Tank is skimmed with an AquaC EV 120, and I passively use GAC. <all very fine> I know Sarcophytons are slow to react/adapt, but 3 months seems like enough time for the situation to normalize as much as possible.  <agreed> I have tried blasting with aquarium water from a turkey baster to remove mucous or sloughing tissue,  <hmmm... perhaps an indication of the suspected inadequate flow... if the slough came of naturally in 24-48 hours you would not need to baste... do consider> as well as a weak Iodine solution once. I have not seen any obvious parasites.  <understood... and little worries for parasites (unless you bring in wild coral to the tank without QT. If so, look closely at the base for burrowing hydroids are feel the base (gloved hands only) to see if there is a hollow feel (some cowries and crabs will hollow a leather out from the inside> Is there hope? <absolutely. If worse comes to worse we'll cut it open and propagate it to spur growth and spy for predators. Still... may just be water flow. 9 of 10 aquariums are too weak in flow. Kindly, Anthony> Thanks in advance for your advice! Ed Marshall, Austin, Texas.

Ripped Finger Leather stock Bob and/or Crew, Thanks for all the great work you do. I have gained a lot of knowledge through reading through the Q&A and the daily Q&A on the web site. However I was not prepared to come home from work and find that my finger leather has ripped. The two stocks have some what, not completely, ripped apart.  <by what action? Important to know.. water quality, age (natural branchlet dropping), imposed attack, etc> The finger leather was on a small frag of rock which I left it on and put it in the substrate, I probably should have attached it to a large rock now in hind sight.  <no biggie> One stock of the finger leather is attached to the rock I set it next to, the other is now kind of just dangling there. Picture attached but it is not clear and the battery just died in my digital camera.  <alas... no help: not clear> For the stock that is dangling should I cut it from the other stock and find a good rock for it or is there something else I should do.  <do cut with sharp scissors or a razor. Then simply stitch with a needle and nylon thread to another rock. Keep handling to a minimum (latex gloves recommended)> The finger leather has grown quite a bit since I purchased it about 5 month ago. As always thanks for your insight and help. TTFN Sean <heehee... ready for my Book of Coral Propagation yet <smile>. With kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

Yellow Leather Question Hello again! I have a quick question. I bought a yellow leather several months ago, and it seems to be doing OKAY, (not great by any means) but it was the color of a crayon and now it's the color of a glass of lemonade! It's so ugly! <Probably adjusting to your lights. This may or may not be an indication of a problem. Generally, Yellow Leathers require a great deal of lighting. They are also sensitive to being touched.> Do you think it was died, or is he just extremely unhappy about something? <It is not dead yet, and may not be unhappy, just changing to accommodate its new environment. If your tank is setup properly to maintain a Yellow Leather, you may not have a problem.> The lady I purchased it from was told by the supplier that it's not getting a certain nutrient it needs to retain the color? <Sounds bunk to me.> I have a Gymnothorax funebris, so I feel like it there should be plenty of scraps to provide a fairly varied diet to the corals along with the recommended doses of Kent Marine ChromaPlex. <I am not so sure this is a reef tank after your comments about the Eel. Please search through www.WetWebMedia.com for the key terms "Yellow Sarcophyton" and generally about reef tanks, lighting, and care of corals.> Thank you so much for you time and help. I love your site and always find a ton of helpful information! April <You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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