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FAQs on Stinging-Celled Animal Health/Disease/Pests 2

FAQs on Cnidarian Disease: Cnidarian Disease 1, Cnidarian Disease 2, Cnidarian Disease 3, Cnidarian Disease 4, Cnidarian Disease ,
FAQs on Cnidarian Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Pathogenic, Parasitic/Pest, Trauma, Treatments
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Hydrozoan Disease, Jelly Disease, Polyp Disease, Sea Fan Disease, Mushroom Health, Zoanthid Health Pests, Predators, Anemone Health, Stony Coral Disease,

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

Related FAQs: Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarian Identification, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Compatibility, Cnidarian Selection, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Feeding, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

What Could Be Wrong? (Mysterious Coral Death)  11/23/08 Hi Eric, <<Hello Michael>> Hope you are well, down in South Carolina. <<Its a bit chilly at the moment (40s), but otherwise fine>> Christmas is around the corner. Are you ready for it? <<Nope [grin]>> Well this time it is not a fish problem. They seem to be doing fine, except for two Banggai Cardinal, who don't seem to love one another, so I guess I have to remove one of them. <<Very common with this species>> But this time it is more of a "coral problem" so to speak. Well at least, I think so. I have just lost a leather coral (Cladiella sp.) And I am trying to figure out why. I don't have that many corals in my tank. I bought most of them without knowing much about them. <<Not too late to learn>> But the latest coral I added to the tank was almost a year ago, before I knew anything about WetWebMedia (phew). Since then I have come to understand that the mixture I have could cause trouble. <<Ah>> So there is "plenty of room between them. I have Galaxea, Bubble coral, Open brain, Lobophyllia, Euphyllia Paradivisa (which have grown BIG) Kenya Tree, an Acropora, Candy Cane coral (which is also expanding much). <<An aggressive and noxious mix indeed but very common among the majority of hobbyists>> But until recently everything was fine. Some time ago the leather Coral seemed to start to shrink and then it started to dissolve. <<Likely a reaction to allelopathy>> The latest test results showed the following: Nitrite 0, Nitrate, 0-1, pH 8.3 Ca, 410 Mg 1390, Phosphate 0, and Ammonium 0. I have also started to get a little bit of algae. I do a 3 gallon water change every week <<You might need to increase this>> (RO water) and top of with pH adjusted RO water. I thought the light could be the problem. I changed my HQI bulb in May, but for some reason it stopped working in July. They did not have a brand new of the one I use (250 W 14000 Kelvin) but they had one in one of their lamps that they didn't use anymore, which I was told was almost new. I went into the store today, to talk with the owner; he told me that the bulb was from February/March, so when I bought it in July it wasn't exactly new when I bought it. Could this be the culprit? <<I'm doubtful? Your problem is probably a chemical issue>> The store manager told me it could be a lack of trace elements (I do not add anything except Calcium, and occasionally magnesium, and on a rare occasion iodine). <<Your weekly water changes should take care of any trace element issues this too is not the/a problem>> I use Tropic Marin salt for water changes. <<An excellent salt mix>> I do have some bottles of "Trace Hard" and "Trace Soft" from Salifert, but I don't use them. <<And probably don't need to>> I have only used them a few times, but after I read Bob's book I have refrained from them. The manager loaned me a new bulb, to try and see if that was the problem. In a way that will be the easy solution, but the bulb costs $100. But what are your thoughts Eric? Please let me know. <<Well Michael, based on your info here all I can suggest at this point is that you add/increase your chemical filtration. Some carbon and or Poly-Filter, with a bit larger weekly water change, should help somewhat with the chemical war-fare being waged in your system>> Thanks, Take care my friend, Michael Fick <<Always welcome mate. Eric Russell>>
Re: What Could Be Wrong? (Mysterious Coral Death) 11/23/08
Hi Eric, <<Hello Michael>> Just done some more testing the Ca was wrong it is 360, and dKH is 13. <<Alkalinity is a tad bit high but should be okay with this Calcium reading>> I use Tropic Marin calcium 3 times a week (Tuesday, Friday, and Sunday) but it does seem to drive dKH a bit up. Ca level lies between 350-420 during the week. If I don't dose calcium it slips below 300. <<I see? This is a good company and good product. The dosing/these values are not what malaffected the coral>> If you would like additional info don't hesitate to ask. Michael <<I still just think you need to step up water changes and chemical filtration. EricR>>
R2: What Could Be Wrong? (Mysterious Coral Death)  11/23/08
Hi Eric, <<Michael>> Sorry for yet another email, but new things come to mind. <<No problem my friend>> I never use buffer up when I do water changes, and the buffer I use for calcium and magnesium is added in the evening when all lights are out. Michael <<No problem here as well. EricR>>
R3: What Could Be Wrong? (Mysterious Coral Death) 11/23/08>
Hi Eric, <<Hiya Michael>> As always thanks for your reply. <<My pleasure>> I use carbon every 4 weeks, which I run for 3 days. <<A good methodology? But perhaps a two week schedule would serve better>> Should I step up the water changes to 5 gallons per week? <<At least, yes? Or even go to a 10% volume change every two weeks, opposite the carbon use. Cheers mate, Eric Russell>> P.S So the temperature is in the 40 degrees. <<Mmm, is 30F now (11pm here)? Lower than normal, though we could also see 70F for a day or two after the cold front passes? But I still wish I was in Kona?>> Your are lucky, in Denmark it is minus 3 degrees Celsius right now. In the night it gets down to minus 6 degrees Celsius <<Ah yes, perpetual ice and snow now, eh? Ophold varmt min ven, EricR>>

Coral Issues 8-19-08 Re: Coral issues- some affected, some doing great... (corrected - Mike) Hello all, <Lovely evening...Mike Maddox here tonight> Seeking your expertise once again. <Alrighty then> Having an issue with my 90 gallon tank (35gal sump/refugium). Water parameters are all normal, and I'm running 350w of metal halide and 4x65watts PC lighting, loads of liverock. I recently moved my setup to this bigger tank. I went out of town about 2 weeks later, came back, and some things were amiss regarding corals (fish are all great with the exception of 3 mysteriously missing green Chromis). My water is heavily skimmed, I'm using Chemi pure, and have much macroalgae. My green button polyps and pagoda cup are not looking too good. My Zoanthids, green star polyps, hairy mushrooms, and watermelon mushrooms were doing poorly, but are okay now. Lastly, my hammer coral, orange mushrooms, yellow Anthozoan spp, leathers, toadstool (redundancy?), Ricordea, and open brain are doing very well. What would cause this differential harm? My green buttons are near death, some are falling off. I've had them for years, they're very hardy. I would blame the tank change, but they were thriving for a few weeks after it. No animals are harassing the corals. Lastly, I have some green frogspawn which has been acting goofy for a few weeks (before the tank change, even). It is not extending like normal (hypoextended), but certain parts of it are hyper extending, almost like they're all sweeper tentacles. Its very strange..... <Two things pop out at me: 1) you've fallen into what I call the "Reefcentral trap" aka thinking that everything and its mom needs halides, and the more wattage, the better, and 2) your tank is probably 'too clean' for the animals you're keeping. It's easy to think that a coral is a coral, but this isn't the case. When you visit a reef, you wouldn't believe the vast array of different living conditions that different species are found in. A separation of 5 feet could literally be a different world to a coral. Background info aside, you are keeping coral species that don't need nearly the amount of light you're using! These corals are being photoinhibited and stressed, to say the least, and most likely underfed as well. Ditch those halides permanently, and start feeding your corals - if you have a 90 long you're fine with just the PCs, if you have a 90 tall you may want to get T5s)> Thanks! <Anytime> Whit <M. Maddox>

Small SW env. issues, photo-shock of Cnid.s    8/12/08 Hello, before I even start I want to thank you guys for helping me out. I read on this site regularly and it is very helpful. I have a 36 gallon corner tank that has been set up for about a year. 45lbs live rock, 3-4" sandbed, Aqua C Remora skimmer, 4 Hydor Koralia #1 powerheads, and a Marineland canister filter, <Mmmm> weekly 10% water changes, good husbandry. Approx. 15 species of coral <! In this small volume?> mostly LPS and softies. LPS include (2 Caulastrea, 1 large Favia, 1 Euphyllia- sold as a hammer, Duncan, 2 suns), mushrooms, leather, green star polyps, colt, and several different zoo's. All except 1 candy cane doing exceptional. <-ly> Recently I had one of my light fixtures decide to self destruct, it was a 130w Coralife PC fixture. Immediately I ordered a 4-bulb 96w nova extreme T5 online to replace it. However while I was waiting for it to arrive, I only had 1- 48w nova extreme T5 H.O. and 1- 36w nova extreme T5 on the tank.. knowing this was not enough light, I watched the corals closely and was hoping that they would endure while I waited for my new light. (during this time I fed daily with marine snow, reef-roids and coral vitalizer) They looked ok, not great, for a week. My new light arrives and like a total rookie excited to try it out, I fire it up without acclimating the corals to the light. Now my favourite candy cane is sloughing off one of it's heads. It is a large green candy cane with about 15 heads and has done exceptionally well until just recently. With all of this said, a few questions. Am I right in assuming that the over-illumination is most likely the cause for this tissue sloughing in an otherwise healthy tank? <Yes... along with the previous week of low lighting> Should I attempt to remove the head or tissue because it is hanging down about an inch (would be almost impossible because it is right in the middle of the coral) - or - If I just leave it, can it recover? <It can... I would leave as is... unless you have a well-established system/area to move it to elsewise... I would only remove the tissue if it becomes obviously necrotic (likely falling off)> The only thing I test anymore on this tank is Calcium and Alkalinity, because it has been stable for so long. So I won't give you all the values, however I can provide them if you think it's relevant. I really don't want to lose this coral so I hope you can lead me in the right direction. Thanks from Canada, Torry <I would pre-mix and have stored about as much new seawater as you can... clean out the mechanical media in the canister filter (in seawater) and add a unit of Chemipure or equivalent to it. Bob Fenner>

Garlic 5/18/08 Garlic and Corals-Recipe for Trouble? Hi All: Can one of you tell me if garlic is toxic to corals? Thanks, RB <Interesting question. As far as I know there is no documented toxicity issue with garlic and corals. The theory behind the use of corals is that Allicin, the chemical compound found in fresh garlic, has long been known to have some anti-parasitic properties. Although I do not consider it an effective "cure" for parasitic maladies, it may be It is thought that this stuff works with fishes because it may mask parasites' chemoreceptors with its partially sulfurous chemical signature. There is, however, no apparent danger to corals or their symbiotic algae. Besides, you are typically adding garlic extracts via food, and much is probably processed by the fishes. However, I would not overdo this stuff, as it does cause protein skimmers to accumulate an oily film in the collection cup, and acquire that wonderful garlic aroma (which is actually preferable to my skimmer's typical smell). If you're going to use garlic, use per the manufacturer's directions, and simply don't overdo it. Hope this helps! Regards, Scott F.>

Coral Extension 04/07/2008 Hi Crew, <<Hello, Andrew today>> First off thank you for the great web site as I work at a locally owned pet store and in the fish department I am continually referring customers to your web site for set up and random questions that we at the store don't know the answer to. <<All sounds great>> Now I find that I must take my own advice and ask you a question; <<Ok>> I have a 29 gallon oceanic bio cube set up for saltwater for just about a full year now and for the past 2 or 3 months none of my few corals that I have are extended. My tank set up and parameters are as follows in the 1st filter chamber I have a custom built protein skimmer that runs on a lime wood diffuser, in the 2nd chamber layers of sponges decreasing in size then occasionally some activated carbon. <<Ensure maintenance is strict with all these sponges. Wash weekly, change sections monthly, and wash filter media in used tank water>> I have about 25 lbs of live rock in the tank and about 20 lbs of live sand. As for lighting I replaced the power compact lights about 4 months ago and about 2 months ago added 2 of the current usa PowerBrite high output 50/50 LED strips in the hood as well. The photoperiod is 13 hours with 30 minutes of just the actinic and the LEDs on either side of the day light. <<Suggest dropping the lighting period. 8 hours per day is more than enough>> My water parameters to me all look fine ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are constantly 0, ph is 8.2, calcium is 460 ppm, KH is 8 dKH, my salinity is a little high at about 1.026, <<That's ok at 1.026>> and the temp is kept at a constant 80.2 degrees. My only fish inhabitants are 2 tomato clownfish and 1 Foxface Rabbitfish , I know he will get to big I have a 80 to move him up to, and I have probably 5 hermits crabs and a piece of newly added dragon's breath. My corals are only a purple mushroom, a branching hammer coral, a closed brain, and some star polyps, if I remember correctly they are white (see its been that long since they have been open). The supplements that I add on a weekly basis are API Strontium, Iodine, I add calcium or purple up as needed to raise the calcium levels and I also add Coral Accel. <<Corals are probably white due to bleaching. Maybe change the location in the tank, up higher. Stop adding all the trace elements and only add what shows as a deficiency on a test kit. Certainly stop adding Purple up, iodine and Coral Accel and Strontium. Trace elements will be replenished via water changes, 10% per week. Calcium, well, that depends on the uptake, and your test kit will tell you if this needs to be added or not>> My corals that I had haven't opened up like I said in about 2 or 3 months and the star polyps, which are new because I thought the others were dead, haven't opened up at all. They are at about mid level in the tank with the exception of the brain which is on the sand. <<Does the brain let out tentacles at night after lights off? Could be suffering a lighting deficiency here>> My mushroom actually decided that it wanted to jump off of my rock and now I suspect that it is dead. Is there anything that you can possibly think of that might be causing all of this? <<Lighting is one possibility as you don't mention how many watts are on the tank. A chemical overdose is another stronger possibility from the elements you have been adding, hence stop using them>> Steven <<Thanks for the questions, hope this helps. A Nixon>>

QT of corals -03/27/08 Hi, I plan on buying a mushroom coral and a toadstool coral to add to my tank. I would like to put them in QT for about one month. I have read the articles on QT of inverts on WWM and feel I am prepared. However, I have a question about lighting. I have a 20G long QT tank that I can light with three standard AGA fluorescent strip lights about 20W each. I believe they come standard with 8800K or 9250K bulbs. Will this be sufficient and is the K. alright for these corals? <This depends on the lighting under which you plan to ultimately put them (in your display). Ideally, the QT lighting should be similar to the lighting over the ultimate destination of the corals. As for the K values, yes, typically aquarists use bulbs with K values ranging from 6500 to 20000.> Thanks <Best,
Sara M.>

Coral/Health...Get That Black Light Out Of There 3/14/08 Hi Friend, <Hi Ranjith> Hope you guys are all set for a nice weekend :) <Not too much nice about 30 degree weather.> I have a reef setup done on 7th Jan 08. 120 gall (4.5Lx2.5Hx2W) bowfront 4.5" DSB with sugar fine sand. Close to 190kgs of live rock Lights (on timers) 2x150W 20000K MH, 1x36W 10000K CFL, 1x20W blacklight tube to simulate moonlight. Lights on for 12-14 hours a day Circulation 1x 2500LPH powerhead and 20gallon surge facing each other. Surge is powered by sump return and fires once every 2 min and lasts for 45 seconds. Lights cleaned daily before they come on for salt creep to minimize photoshock as my surge is lot bubbly hehe. Water parameters: Nitrates: 2.5 CA: 450 Alk: 3.2-3.5 mEq/l Temp: 25-26 C Livestock 1 Flame Angel <Please cap names of fish, coral, and inverts in future queries. I do not enjoy doing this.> 1 Bi-Color Blenny 2 Fromia Stars 2 Blue Linckias (I know u r gonna not like this) were given to me by someone going out of the hobby. 2 common grey sea stars (small types around 1" diameter) Couple snails and Bristle Worms Inverts 1. Cleaner Shrimp 2. Long Tentacled Plate Coral 3. Moon Coral 4. Tuberina Peltat (Cup Coral) 5. 1 rock of Zoanthids 6. 1 rock of Shrooms 7. Finger Leather Coral I added the plate and leather last Wednesday (10 days ago). The plate is on the substrate around 23" away from the lights. Corals are 10" away from each other. The plate was taking minced squid the first week (fed 2 times in the week) it was blowing up all tentacles nicely. 2 days ago I noticed one side has no tentacle inflation absolutely. Tentacles look like balloons that are deflated. Yesterday it started to bleach in that affected area to an almost transparent color. The other part 2/3 of the total area is unaffected and looks normal. The non tentacle part of the tissue still blows up a bit though not as much as before. What could be the problem? <I'm guessing it is the black light. This light produces dangerous UVA rays which can be quite harmful to your inhabitants. With you telling me you are cleaning the lights daily because of salt creep tells me there is no cover on the tank which makes the situation even worse. Get that black light out of there.> Have tried feeding dried krill but it did not accept it Will try the minced squid again tonight. Is this coral doomed? I thought plates are hardy if given the right parameters? <They are, and in looking at your pic, the tank looks void of life, not a healthy looking system to my eyes. Do read here and related files above. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/maintenance/marineMaint.htm  And here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm > Fearing the noxious softies, I have started carbon usage last night. <Good move. Seriously consider employing a protein skimmer, will go a long way in improving water quality.> The moon is fine even though the flame nips maybe once a few days. It does not put much of polyps in the day but blooms fully in the night (since the flame sleeps?) Leather is showing full polyp extension (placed on a rock 18" from the lights). Zoa's and Shrooms are fine. I have attached the pic of the tank so placement can be seen but don't have a clear shot of the critter in distress. Please could you give some pointers. <All posted on WWM, do learn to use the indices and read/learn. Let's start by removing the black light. James (Salty Dog)> Cheers

Sick mushroom coral and bubble coral... no reading, use of WWM    2/19/08 I've had my mushroom coral for a month and it was doing fine - always spread out and looking happy - up until yesterday. Yesterday when I looked at my tank the mushroom and the small rock it sits on had fallen off the bigger rock they sit on and fell face down in the sand. <Oooh> I picked it up as soon as possible and put it back on the rock. Its been a bit shriveled ever since, and now it is completely shriveled up and looks like it has a tear in it with lots of tiny white things in the tear. <Not good> My bubble coral has also been ill for about a week. Some parts of it look fine whilst others are shriveled and also look torn, and it usually has one of its mouths wide open. Am I supposed to be feeding it? <... Yes!> I don't know what it eats. <My friend... why are you writing us? This is posted. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/caryfdgfaqs.htm > What do you think is wrong with it? I did a water change yesterday and I don't think the salt was fully dissolved when I put the new water in and both the bubble and mushroom gave off a cobweb-like substance. Would that have had anything to do with it? <Keep reading. Learn to/use the indices, search tool on WWM...> I add marine snow <Worthless. Worse than worthless... Of no nutritive value whatsoever> and calcium to my water, and use a sand with extra calcium in it. But I have not been able to measure my calcium levels as my LFS hasn't had any in since I bought the bubble coral. My water parameters = Ammonia - 3.6, Nitrate - less than 5, Nitrite - less than 0.1, pH - 7.5-8.0, copper - 0 <... keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Reef help, coral wont survive.   2/11/08 Hi, my name is Bryce. I live in the Cincinnati Ohio area. I have been in the hobby of saltwater aquariums now for 6 years and have had many reef tanks mostly nanos. I have been slowly purchasing my equipment for a bigger reef setup and yet am having trouble. For 2 months I have been struggling with my reef tank and need some help. Any coral I add never opens at all and dies or withers away. I first tried a finger leather, then I tried a silver branch xenia followed by a green star polyp colony and cant get anything to open. 3 months ago I took down my 150 gallon FOWLR tank and setup a 75 gallon tank I intend to make a reef. The tank is 48 inches wide and about 22 inches deep with the water column about 22 inches high give or take. I moved all my fish, rock, and inverts (no coral)...just blue and scarlet leg hermits and such once the new 75 gallon was setup. I moved 75 gallons of water from my 150 to start and two weeks later did a 25% water change like I usually do. My 75 gallon tank has a 1/2 inch thick Aragonite based sand bed, about 150 to 200 lbs of live rock and 50 or so hermits and snails. Lighting is supplied by 2, 150 watt 14k metal halides and 4, 65 watt actinic 03 compact fl's. I change my MH's every 6 months with Ushios, and the actinics with Coralife bulbs every 8 months. The MH's are 12 inches above the water surface, actinics are 6 inches. It is an open top tank. My circulation is from 2 Hydor Koralia pumps at 1200 gal/hr each and then my sump return of about 500 gal per hour. I have a siphon box which empties into a refugium tank with just Chaeto macro algae and a shallow sand bed with 10 lbs of live rock. It is lighted by a 50/50 65 watt compact fl. bulb. I let hair algae and green and what ever else grows grow in my refugium tank and clean out the hair algae once a month. I don't have any nuisance algae in my main tank. From my refugium my water pours over through a 25 micron filter bag and into my 20 gallon sump. I have an aqua-c ev180 protein skimmer, a Coralife 36 watt uv sterilizer, JBJ Arctica 1/10hp chiller, aqua-c rx-1 calcium reactor, a diy anaerobic denitrator, <What is this fed with? The source of carbon or?> and an auto top off unit connected to a solenoid through a ro/di unit recently tested at 7ppm total dissolved solids. My water changes come from this ro unit and I use reef crystals as my salt mix at a specific gravity of 1.025 measured with a hydrometer. My parameters are as such. Water is 79 to 80 degrees, nitrates 0ppm, nitrites 0ppm, phos 0ppm, magnesium is always around 1250ppm, calcium is about 400 to 420 ppm, ph is 8.3, kH is 10 to 11, ammonia is always undetectable. I dose with only magnesium and use Carib sea A.R.M in my reactor. When I got my 75 gallon tank all setup and running I had 2 ocellaris clowns, 1 blue tang and 1 royal Gramma. All the fish had been in my 150 gallon tank for at least 6 months, the clowns over 3 years. My trouble started when I noticed my Gramma was always in hiding. I thought since the acclimation maybe he was stressed. He died 2 weeks after the tanks was setup. Then my blue tang died of what appeared to be an Oodinium infection as did my clowns shortly after. I have no idea where the Oodinium came from as my newest fish .. the blue tang ... was quarantined for 3 weeks before going in the 150 gallon tank and lived there for months without any problem. <Somehow got by...> I assume that there must have been a very small number of the parasite in the water and the immunity of the fish was able to keep it under control until the stress of a new home maybe lowered their immune system. I don't know. But that added to all this frustration. It leads me to believe there is an "unseen" problem with my water quality. <I agree... Your set-up reads as fine... but there is a chemical, perhaps bio-chemical anomaly here somewhere> I had several thoughts about what may be wrong. I thought maybe H2S from my denitrator was getting in my water. <Mmm, this, or...> Effluent out of the unit doesn't smell and it is at a constant drip rate into the sump and the tank is very well circulated. The denitrator has been running now for 4 years on whatever tank setup I have at the time. I have never had any problems with it. <This gear can/does change...> Sand bed is shallow...so I ruled out h2s in my mind. Plumbing was all new with pvc and I used aquarium grade silicone with standard pvc cement for all joints. Perhaps some chemical is getting into my water? <From? A cat-box near by? Someone spraying glass et al. cleaner in a too air-tight house?> Perhaps the first coral I introduced died and released some chemical toxin my other subsequent coral attempts did not like? <Most real possibility mentioned yet> I thought maybe my RO/DI unit was malfunctioning in some way... I tested the water locally at a dealer of units and total dissolved solids was 7ppm.. id like it at 0 but with Ohio river water as my starting point I think it is working ok. I changed my carbon pre and post filter every 6 months along with my DI resin. My skunk cleaner shrimp, all my crabs, my snails, everything is alive and well and seems to be doing great. <A good clue> Just cant get my corals to open up. I acclimate them slowly using standard bag floating methods. <Mmm, see WWM... I'd acclimate Cnidarians differently. Posted> I always start with my lights off and proceed with only actinics for one day. Then each day have my MH's on one more hour until I am up to the full 8 hour photoperiod. I typically use my actinics from 8am to 9pm and my MH's from 11am to 7pm. I have had many corals in the past and have never had a problem quite like this one. I always had a minimum amount of lighting and equipment though. I have never had such an elaborate setup as I do now and yet cant get any coral to live. I don't know if my Oodinium problem was related to bad water quality in some way or if it was just stress from the move. <Also agreed> Sorry to write a book but I just wanted your professional help and opinion as to my next move or next thing to test for. I don't want to keep trying coral without knowing why they don't open up. Something is not right. Could I be filtering my water so well that it is devoid of what the coral needs to open and thrive? <Mmm... not likely> Is it all just happening too fast after I setup my 75 gallon tank and things just are not quite in balance? Please help, thanks BRYCE. <Could be the source of the livestock/corals even... I would try setting up another system to acclimate them in... move some of the water from the 75 once some are settled in (a few weeks to months)... to test the "poor water" hypothesis... Then... I would systematically remove one element at a time... My first choice, the denitrator. Bob Fenner>
Re: reef help, coral wont survive. 2-12-08
We have a cat box downstairs about 6 feet from the 30 gallon top-off water tank. I guess this could be my issue. What is in the cat litter that would cause my problem? <Mostly thought to be ammonia getting into solution... can be measured if present> I guess I should move one or the other. <And do consider the systematic water and gear testing protocol mentioned previously. BobF>

Snow storm... Phosphate removal rxn on Cnid.s    1/3/08 Hi Crew, Small 10 gallon saltwater tank. I bought a filter pad that is made for reducing phosphates. I was able to cut out two pieces to match my filter. I put in the first one almost 8 weeks ago and it did a good job. I hardly have any hair algae left. The water was not going through so easily so I just replaced it with the second pad and I noticed white flecks coming out of the filter. By morning I had what looked like the aftermath of a snow storm. The part of the tank directly in front of the filter was covered in white. Sand and mushrooms and candy canes. <Mmm, these need some soluble phosphate...> The mushrooms were closing up. I contacted the seller and after convincing them it was not pods they said it may be some of the phosphate remover from the pad. <Maybe> How important is it to remove from the tank. <I would> They did not think it was much of an issue other than to remove from the corals. I rinsed it well before I put it in the tank so I do not know why this pad was different than the first being that they both are from one big pad. <I don't think "it" is the pad per se, but a reaction/series from the pad... the life...> Anyway the main concern is will it harm anything by staying on the sand. Thanks <I would remove the new pad. Bob Fenner>

Corals suddenly wilted! A joke? No useful data, or reading   12/12/07 so. This happened a couple days ago and finally finished yesterday. I came home to look @ my tank and saw that all of my hairy mushrooms, my branching hammer coral and another branching polyp coral had all suddenly wilted and looked dead. Around the rock where the hairy mushrooms were, a cloudy milky white ooze was covering the rock and some of the mushrooms were completely gone. The other 2 corals were near it seem to be affected by what ever happened. The rest of the corals and fish in the tank seem to be ok. What happened?! Can they be saved or should I say a prayer for them now... I have already pulled them out of the tank and put them in a bucket with a heater and fresh saltwater... please help! ~mike <Uhh, can't tell you much from the data presented... no information re your system, water quality, foods/feeding... What you list can't all be simply jammed in together in a small volume though. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  and the linked files above... And soon... your system is crashing. Bob Fenner>
Re: Corals suddenly wilted! - 12/13/07
I'm sorry. I didn't know what other information to provide. This is definitely not a joke. The affected corals were together in harmony for quite some time before this happened. Over 3 months. When the water was tested, everything was ok. PH was slightly low, but nothing to be alarmed about. (between 7.9 & 8.0). <Too low...> This is all in a 24g Nano cube with ample space between them. <No...> Everything is fed daily, using Spirulina and some frozen Mysis shrimp. What other data can I provide to help? <... please don't write, read where you were referred to... and soon. BobF>

Candy cane/ torch coral loss, help please!  8/23/07 Hi Crew, I have a 37 gallon salt water reef tank. My nitrates are in the o.k. range, and my filtration system is (2) 50 gallon aqua clear filters, lighting is coral life, 30in 130 watt fixture, (1) T-5 30in 36 watt fixture, salinity perfect, 50 lbs of live rock. I have torch coral that shrivels, falls apart, dies one head at a time, (no brown slime). I also have been battling red algae (with frequent water changes & rock cleaning) which seems to also be on the stem of the torch coral. <These events may be related...> I do maintain an arsenal of snails in the tank. How can I salvage what is left of my torch coral?? <Break off the living heads, or the dead ones... move the live part/s to another system> I also have candy cane coral which appears to have some sort of pale yellow calcified growths with one small tube protruding out per growth. The growth surrounds the base of the heads and at this point I have lost 3. The growth is starting to appear on the live rock at various points in the tank. What should I do to save the rest of my coral and do I need to eradicate the growth, and if so, how?? Thanks, JP <"Frag momma frag, whatcha gonna do?" Need to discern what the real/root cause/s of the trouble in this one system is/are... and fix... "Small systems are hard to keep stable, optimized"... Perhaps a cursory reading on WWM re toxic tanks will bring something live to your consciousness. Bob Fenner>

Corals seriously have something against my tank!!!  8/23/07 SORRY- LONG STORY I have a 75 gal, 260W PC lighting and about 45 lbs of live rock in tank that was established for 8 months. I had several fish in there and everything was doing great. The only problem I ever had with it was I couldn't get my nitrate levels down. They always hung around 30-40. <From?> I finally decided to get some button polyps and some mushrooms. I had them in my tank for a week or so and they were both all closed up and didn't look like they even wanted to open any time soon. I called the LFS and they said it could just be acclimation. <Yes> Finally after 3 weeks, I actually put them in my wife's tank that is a little 12 Gal setup that was established for about 5 months at the time. Everything started coming to life. She has a 32W PC light in her tank. Her water parameters were pretty much the same as my tank. <Mmmm, no> I then tried putting them back in my tank a couple weeks later after they were pretty much flourishing in her tank. They did not open up once in my tank and I gave it a week and back in her tank they went. They literally started opening up the same day they went in her tank ( the jerks). <Heeee!> Now, (many months gone by) since then I have completely redone my tank. I have about 90Lbs of live rock in there, Metal halide lighting, added a whole sump system with a good AquaC EV-90 protein skimmer and waited almost two months till everything was stable. I even use RO water now and have no problem with nitrates since I found my tap water was pretty much the whole source of them. I finally decided to add those corals again and they haven't opened up in the past 5 days they have been in there. I even put them at the bottom a little bit shadowed from the new more intense lighting so they didn't get a lighting shock. I also have two Aquaclear 50 powerheads and a dual outlet return from a Mag 9 pump for water flow/circulation. I have one cinnamon clown and a few hermit crabs in it at this time. I am at a total loss for what is going on... and these are supposed to be some of the easiest corals to keep!!! I had to put them back in her tank today as the mushrooms were so shriveled up, a couple almost looked non-existent. Do you have any idea what is going on!?!!? what else I could check for? <This reads like some sort of biological "poisoning"... likely an algae, bacteria... of some sort (my bets on a BGA) is "hogging" this system by toxifying it for other photosynthates...> Currently my tank parameters are as follows: Salinity - 1.023 <I'd raise this to 1.026> Temp - 83 PH - 8.3 Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 10 Both mine and her tanks are virtually identical water parameters. We even use same water and the same salt. I don't know of any other parameters that could effect corals that bad that quick. I have learned the hard way that you cannot take shortcuts on anything because you will at some point see a negative effect from it, to have patience and to quarantine EVERYTHING. Now I have spent all this money on all new sump/filtration, lighting, twice as much live rock, an RO unit for the purest water and I still can't even keep the easiest corals out there. Any input would greatly be appreciated! Thanks in advance. Josh <Mmm, well... a few things might be tried... the use of a couple pounds of good quality carbon (perhaps a pad of Polyfilter to see if there is color/metal contamination at play here)... Perhaps the modification of the sump, to make it live... a refugium... with an added DSB... See WWM re conversions... Otherwise time, succession itself should fix this... in months to years. Bob Fenner>
Re: Corals seriously have something against my tank!!!   e- 8/24/07
Thank you so much for your response. I am definitely going to use a filter with carbon to eliminate any possibilities with that. I have been brain storming with some other people the past few days and one suggested about stray voltage. I checked that last night with a few minutes I had to spare and found that with my digital meter I saw 30 volts between the water and ground. <Mmm... this IS a bunch... I would check BOTH the polarity AND ground/neutrals of all appurtenant electrics here... AND make sure they are all wired through a GFCI> I have 2 Mag pumps, 2- AquaClear pumps and one penguin pump. As I said, I didn't have much time to experiment, but as I unplugged different pumps, it seemed like most of them were contributing to the voltage. <Common> These pumps are in pristine condition (other than stuff growing on them of course) and are less than a year old. Is this a common problem? <Yes... and to some degree spurious... moving a charged body in space makes... electricity... and vice versa> I want to do some more experimenting with that tonight and see if and how much voltage is in my wife's tank and also if there is any real threat from it from being a relatively high current source or just kind of "empty voltage" so to speak. I have had a couple people say about a grounding probe. <Nah... not for now...> While it would pull the voltage to ground, if there is any real current behind it, I would feel sorry for anything that got in the path between whatever pump is leaking the most current and that grounding probe. <?, actually... perhaps a concern... but not w/o a bunch of amperage here> I am assuming the smaller pumps (double insulated non-grounded pumps) are the ones leaking the most since the Mags are grounded. What is your experience on this kind of thing? There is not much info out there when I did searches for it. thanks again for all the help, this site is truly a life saver! Josh <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/index.htm Scroll down to the pink tray... BobF>

Help! Corals are Crashing!!!  8/10/07 Hi There! <Hi Courtney, Mich here.> I am hoping you can help us since none of the 3 LFS that we have gone to have been able to. We have a 24g AquaPod with 150W 14,000K metal halide lighting system. We also rigged a 10g refugium underneath and a protein skimmer on that. Our parameters look alright - pH: 8.2, no nitrites/nitrates, salinity: 1.027, <A bit high.> calcium: 400. We do regular water changes, usually weekly and between 20%-30%. <I'm guessing you aren't running carbon either... this might help.> We have a chiller and it keeps the tank between 78-80 degrees. <Wow! A chiller for a 24 gallon tank!> We have about 8 lbs of live rock in the tank with a sand bed and crushed coral in the refugium. The tank has been operational for ~6 months now. For corals, we have a trumpet fragment, frog spawn, pink/green brain coral, leather coral, star polyps, yellow cup coral, <Holy allelopathy Batman!> and some green unidentified thing (fragment - maybe you could identify for us). <I believe it's a Hydnophora.> For livestock we have various hermit crabs and snails, a pair of maroon clowns <What? two? Not big enough for one!> in a green BTA, <And an anemone?!? Yikes!> a cleaner shrimp, peppermint shrimp, an emerald crab, <Ho buoy!> and a target goby (our goby eats anything - blood worms, krill, brine shrimp, shrimp pellets, fish flakes, etc.). Everything was doing great until about 3 weeks ago. Our brain coral has stopped inflating and is receding. Our frog spawn doesn't get as big. The green thing (for lack of a better name) use to have hairy feelers on its fingers and those are not coming out. The trumpet coral isn't inflating as much as it use to. The only things that are doing well are the leather coral (recent addition though), <Hmmm, you don't say... We have a winner! ...In chemical warfare!!!!> star polyps, and the anemone - which is positively thriving with the addition of the clowns. We changed the light bulb to see if that would have some effect but it didn't. I am attaching some before/after pics of the various corals in the tank. Also, I am wondering if this could be tied to the refugium? We put that in just over a month ago (4th July holiday) and it seems like since then stuff has started to go down hill. Can our tank be too clean? I can't remember the last time we had algae growing on the glass since the refugium has been in place. Also, our live rock was taking on a nice purple color but has since stopped. Are we not producing enough bacteria? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks! <No, is not the light bulb, the refugium or anything else you mentioned. Your system is entirely too small to contain all these chemically potent corals. A more here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?cls=16&cat=1988&articleid=2955 Perhaps a 100+ gallon tank is in you future? You already have the chiller! Mich> Best,

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