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FAQs on Stinging-Celled Animal Environmental Disease

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, Nutritional, Social, Pathogenic, Parasitic/Pest, Trauma, Treatments
FAQs on Cnidarian Disease by Group:
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


Coral problems     7/28/15
My name is Jon. I have been in the hobby <sic>along time but I have been having alot
<No such word>
of problems with some of my corals and I need your advice. Some of my Acropora are dying from the base up. Also a fair amount of my Zoas are not doing well. I have yet to see any pests on the Zoas when I check them. I do have alot of xenia in my one tank with the Acros. Not sure if that's a problem with that tank. These two tanks are both 75gallon. I run doser on both with bionic and no3po4x.
<These organisms need some/measurable NO3 and HPO4... SEE WWM re>
I use Salifert test kits for every parameter except ph and phosphate. Api for ph and Hanna checker for phosphate. The tank with Acropora has zero phosphate
with Hanna checker but I have Cyano growing
<.... what's your RedOx here?>
and Bryopsis plus the xenia is over growing that tank. Nitrates were 10pm last I checked. The other tank with lps and soft coral has .02 phosphate and 5ppm nitrates but has hair algae issue. Both are bare bottom.
I have about 75 to 90 lbs of live rock and a good amount of flow in the tank.
Calcium runs at 470ppm
<Too high... READ on WWM re this as well>
for both tanks and alkalinity at around 8 dKH for both tanks. Magnesium at 1300ppm
<Out of ration; problematic as well>
for both tanks. Ph is at about 8.1 for both tanks. Temp is around 78 and goes up 2 degrees when lights are on. I thank you for all your help in advance.
<Where to start? There are chances your situation is influenced by allelopathy; but the mis-use of the chemical filtrant may be more primary than this.... When you're done reading, write us back w/ more specific questions. Bob Fenner>
Re: Coral problems. Reef Tanks, Life, Everything!       7/29/15

Thank you for your help! Sorry if I jump all over with questions. I just am distraught over corals not doing well and want to be successful.
<No problem; I do understand >
Sorry for the long letter. Here goes. How much nitrate do Sps need? And Zoas?
<A few ppm>
What's a good level for phosphate for sps and Zoas?
<A few hundreds ppm>
Should I feed Zoas and sps?
<Definitely YES>
If so what should I feed?
<? Just read on WWM.... see the FAQs, articles....>
I have fauna Marin Zoa and Ricordea food? Is that good for Zoas?
<Not really.... most commercial prep.s are garbage. So much pollution. Make your own mashes... with supplements>
How do I feed that and how often? I also use oyster feast maybe once a week for both tanks. What should I feed sps and how? Broadcast or direct? How often?
<Again; all gone over and over. We have many thousands of people use the site daily.... no time for re-keying... see the 14k some pages>
My Acropora tank has two clownfish and a yellow Coris wrasse for pest control. I feed the fish once a day.
<See WWM re this as well. I'd feed more frequently>
The other tank has a pair of Banggai cardinal which don't come out.
What kind of fish do I get to control algae?
<STOP writing and start reading>
Whenever I get a tang they either nip my Zoas or my brain coral which then they stay closed.
Are Salifert calcium test kits good?
<They're okay... middle of the road for colorimetric assays... Accurate and precise enough for most aquarists use>
What should I get my calcium down to?
<No more than 400 ppm>
what's out of ration mean?
<Ratio... Ca:Mg s/b about 1:3>
What's RedOx and why is it important? How do I test it? How do I change it if need be?
<Aye ya... the reading>
Xenia does chemical warfare? How do I combat that? How do I get rid of xenia on big rocks?
What about the no3po4x? It's keeping my nitrates down. My Acropora tank has 10ppm nitrate and the Zoanthid, lps tank has 5ppm nitrate. Should I back off on that chemical or feed more. Some of my Acropora are receding from the base and Zoas don't look good except for a couple of colonies. Should I add iodide to benefit the Zoas? I have read some people had good growth by doing that. I do use Kent tech I once a week.
Lastly I put a light over my sump in each tank and put Caulerpa down there.
Will that help nitrates and phosphates so I don't need to use no3po4x? Should the refugium light be on 24 hours so Caulerpa doesn't go sexual or be on reverse daylight photoperiod? Thanks again!
<Enjoy the reading. Write back after you've done a bit more studying.... With specific questions. I do suggest you invest in a few good reef books (Fossa and Nilsen are my faves, but Delbeek and Sprung copies will work), and the time to study, understand what you're up to. Bob Fenner>

Cyano bacterium... as a poss. factor in corals doing poorly        4/29/15
Hello Crew,
Just finished reviewing the exhaustive FAQ for the day and did not see my issue discussed. Poor coral growth. 88 gal with 25 gal refugium, tank is 28 in tall,

38 across reef tank light bank 3 T5 bulbs coral sun Actinic 420 and 3 ocean sun 10,000k.
<Do you have access to a PAR or PUR meter? Maybe check w/ your LFS, clubs thereabouts re borrowing>
Have tried 5hrs -9 hrs of light a day. The tank is built in and is exposed on both front and back, no direct sun but lots of
light most days. Water temp 80.4, sp generally 1.024-25, pH 8.25, KH 108, Ca 410 relatively low phosphate and nitrate. Lots of live rock, feed reef energy A&B every other night. The problem is that every coral I put in the tank turns brown or brownish, I like mushrooms and have purchased green, orange, blue but within weeks they all turn brownish. Have enormous growing Frogspawn
<Ahh; this Euphyllia is one factor.... Read here:
but is brownish green.
Second problem, I started doing frequent water changes to control my hairy algae and it has been very helpful, but I have developed a Cyano bacterium problem that the local store said was due to too frequent water changes!
<Mmm; other factors really.... DO the reading re BGA, its control on WWM...  easy enough to sort out>
He recommended Red Slime away "safe for inverts, corals fish.
<Can be of use; but... the reading>
Well now I still have red slim but lost an anemone, most of my snails, crabs and a gorgeous large Royal Gramma and a lovely Midas blue eyed blenny all of which seemed to be doing well prior to treatment. I am approaching true frustration.
Please impart some wisdom and help correct this situation.
Dr. Bob
<Do you need help using the search tool, indices? Your answers are all archived; well, speculations and further adventures more like. Do the  reading and write back w/ more specific concerns. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cyano bacterium       4/30/15
Hi Bob,
I have found the appropriate topics and read the comments. I will seriously try and reduce the feeding.
<Mmm; and consider competition, perhaps predation, nutrient export mechanisms....>

Of course it is difficult to know how much is enough, but generally none is falling to the sand or going in the filter
and the fish actively eat as much as they can before it is all gone.
<What foods do you utilize? Am a giant fan nowayears of nutritious pelleted formats (Spectrum, Hikari lines are faves); not so much frozen mashes, flakes....>

Therefore, I do not believe that there severe is overfeeding but It is possible. My light set up was done by the company that installed my system so I believe it is adequate, just hope not too much. Don't want to "burn" the corals. I will remove the Frogs spawn if that is what you suggest.
<Worth trying>
I gather from my reading that you may feel the frogspawn is the cause for none of the other corals maintaining coral?
<Is one large possibility... but more influences here are thus far hidden (not disclosed by our conv., sharing)>
That in effect it is attacking them. My issue is then why is the frogspawn so brownish ?
<Warfare... Allelopathy... goes both ways... a powerful lesson on many levels>
Thanks for your guidance.
Dr. Bob
<Oh! Glad to share Doc. BobF>
Re: Cyano bacterium       4/30/15

Hi Bob,
One last question. Can I place the frogspawn in my refugium or will it release chemicals into the water that will still act or turning the other corals and anemones brown?
<It will release said chemicals; mal-affecting other Cnidarians and possibly more; but won't mesenterially/filament-wise reach out as much>
FYI I exclusively feed frozen mysis(omega-1) and a Spirulina type frozen from Hikari with weekly dried seaweed on a clip
remove after 15-30min anything remaining on clip.
<Again; I'd switch to a pelleted as base, use others ancillarily>
Since I have your attention, do you have an opinion on removing dead/dying snails or their empty shells?
<Use MUCH less snails period. See my opinion/input on WWM re. Do you need a short lesson on how to use the site? See EricR's treatment on where you find to write us. B>
Dr. Bob

Inverts. Not able to keep Cnid.s      6/3/13
Hi Crew,
I have a tank and all fish are ok including some sensitive ones like a Yellow Cubicus boxfish, Majestic and Blueface Angel but when I add any coral or anemone they die within a week. Tank has no copper, any other ideas as to why. My alkalinity is very high about 20
<What units?>

and nitrates are steady over many months at 20?
<... likely there is an imbalance twixt your alkalinity, Calcium and Magnesium... though there could be other chemical and physical issues here.
Take the long read through the Cnidarian sections of WWM. Bob Fenner>

New bare-bottom frag tank -- corals not doing too well.. Misc. Cnid.s, no bio-filt.     10/7/12
I recently started a frag tank, and it is bare bottom. There are no live rocks or sand anywhere in the system,
<Hopefully mechanisms, gear in place however to maintain water quality, stability>
so based on the advice I received from some fellow hobbyists, I decided to add some corals right away. All the parameters were perfect.
I added a few SPS, and a bunch of Zoas and other LPS.
<Mmm, these Cnidarians are not really compatible in such a setting... most SPS are quite sensitive to vacillating conditions, and Zoanthids... can be very toxic, as can several LPS>
For the first 2 days everything was great, but then all my SPS got hit by RTN one by one,
<Very common; due to "stress", including the "newness" of the system, presence of the other stinging-celled life types>
and slowly all my other corals started looking not too good. At this point, none of the Zoas are open (they have not dissolved, but will not open anymore), and most corals have lost their initial vibrant colors (minus the SPS that, I'm pretty sure, are dead) (it's been about 3 weeks -- Zoas were open fine until a week ago). Also I should point out that some of the LPS corals have started receding and their skeletons are starting to show ...
<... trouble, self-induced>
Also recently I noticed that the maze brain coral, along with a chalice had a white fungus looking film on them. I cleaned the white stuff (it smelled TERRIBLE!), and it was back the next day. When I had received the corals, I had dipped them in CoralRx
<Not a panacea>
-- now I dipped them in Lugol's hoping that'll take care of the rest of the issues; unfortunately no such luck. The white film is back again on the maze brain and the chalice, and my Zoas still aren't opening.
I have been checking the param.s on daily basis and everything is spot-on.
Can you give any ideas as to what might be going wrong?
<Yes; as previously stated above: Allelopathy...>
What can I do to fix it?
<Yes; read: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above...>
From my research and advice I received, cycling this tank should not have been necessary
<Incorrect... some means must be applied to convert or remove toxic, accumulating metabolites>
since there are no live rocks or sand; do you think that might be the issue?
I'm out of ideas and would appreciate your help...
-- a mind boggled reefer
<You've made two very basic blunders/errors... that can easily be solved going forward. Bob Fenner>

Corals dying... iatrogenic  - 8/17/12
Hello I am in desperate need of some assistance and advice, I have a 155 gallon reef tank that up until 2 months ago was doing fabulous.  One day I was cleaning the tank and did a full service which included recharging two reactors one with charcoal and the other with a phosphate remover.
<Why this latter? Photosynthates (including corals) need measurable HPO4>
I had turned the main pump off during this time as I had added salt and wanted to ensure it was mixed thoroughly.
<? Are you stating that you mixed new synthetic in the system itself? Not a good idea>
I took ill and did not turn on the main pump at which time all my fish had died by morning. The corals appeared to be doing fine at the time, xenia, leather corals, mushroom corals .  Keep in mind the area in which I live was going through a heat wave and we had 3 weeks of 30 degree plus heat. I do not have a cooler but did float frozen ice jugs to try and bring down the temperature which hovered at about 88 for 3 weeks or more.
<Leave the lights off by day... add fans blowing air across the surface by day>
I have now restocked the aquarium with fish which appears to be doing fine, I stripped the sump and cleaned the skimmer and refilled, temperature is now sitting at about 81, salt is at 1.21,
<... too low. See WWM re spg>
 Phosphate is at 2.5,
<... too high. What is the cause here?>
 Ph. is a t 8.6,
<... too high, problematic>
 Nitrate is at 1.0 and ammonia is at 0.1/.
<... toxic>
But all my corals appear to be dying,
<Too likely so... you have an untenable set of circumstances here>
 my once xenia were 6 ' tall and are now almost shrivel up to nothing, my other corals appear to be stressed but I have no ideas why. I am running 6 T5 ho lights with 3 white and 3 actinic
<Worthless functionally>
and these I changed as well . Please help me
<Help yourself... search all the above comments, situations I've noted above, on WWM. Bob Fenner>
Re Corals dying... iatrogenic
<Leave the lights off by day... add fans blowing air across the surface by day>
Thanks for this idea

Kenya tree and star polyps help 6/5/12
<Hi Tony>
First I want to say thanks for the site it helps a lot with questions but I could not find a answer to this. I have recently moved my shark to his 1000 gallon tank <and> I turned his old home in to a reef tank upgrade.  It is a 100 g with a 20 g refuge <refugium.> I have a 400w mh
<What Kelvin temperature, how high above the water surface, and depth of your tank.>
3 t5 34w 2 are true blue 1 is 20k, a 690 gph Rio pump with Scwd and a 720 gph power head that is only on when mh is
on t5 are on 9 hrs mh on 7 hrs.
<Not enough flow here.  The Kenya Tree coral prefers medium to strong water flow.  The Rio pump, after head loss is likely putting out 400gph or less.>
 Water is good, nitrate phosphate never higher then 20 ppm,
<Preferably nitrates under 10ppm and under 3ppm for phosphate.>
 8 fish and a small amount of corals green slim Acro, brown Acro, red Monti, brown button polyps, Zoanthid, frogspawn, Aussie war fava coral, Aussie Blasto, Kenya tree, sun coral and green star polyps.
My question is my Kenya tree closed up over a month ago and this is my second try with the star polyps and both don't seem to want to open. I use carbon every other week so I don't think its warfare.
<Is quite possible depending on how many Zoanthids are present.  Faviids  are also high on the allelopathy list.>
 I'm stumped now and
don't know what it could be. I do weekly water changes and everything all my corals are good but them. 2 my new sun corals is doing great. Any advice or help would be great.
<As above and lighting may factor in depending on the Kelvin temperature and age of the 400w MH.  If the MH is a 18-20K then you have too much blue for these species of corals.  May also be why your Sun Corals are doing great as they do not appreciate strong lighting.>
<James (Salty Dog)>

Anemone Issue... hlth., env. 4/23/2011
We just added salt to our tank because it was a little low.
<<Hello Sabrina, more info is needed. What was the root cause of the saline/specific gravity issue to begin with? What level was measured at?>>
But when we added the salt our anemone shriveled up.
<<How was the new salt added to the display? Directly? In a solution dissolved in water?...was it done all at once or in intervals (via drip perhaps)? In the meantime read our articles re salinity, water changes/evaporation and treating water for use in marine aquaria; http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spg_salinity.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/water4maruse.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watchgantart.htm http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2008-11/newbie/index.php >
Is this a bad thing? Did we kill it?
<<Again difficult to say without more information describing the behavior of the anemone, telling us what species it was would help too. Anemones (both Actinaria & Ceriantharia) in general have difficulty adjusting to closed systems and are then very susceptible to 'stressing' death through wide changes in water chemistry/environment s=including but not limited to the salinity/specific gravity. I would definitely be testing all applicable issues. In the meantime read here re: water testing http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2009-03/nftt/index.php and start here re: anemones: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/anemones.htm
Good luck - Adam J.>>
Anemone Issue...Coral ID...Water Testing/Changes 4/23/2011
I believe it is a slate coral.
<<Sabrina I am not familiar with the common name slate coral, from your description of it having slate and anemone like qualities do you perhaps mean a plate coral, maybe even a long tentacled plate coral (Heliofungia actiniformis)? If not could you pass along a photo or a link with a facsimile of a photo representing your pet.>>
We added more salt because we did a 25% water change because we were advised to do it once a month.
<<I'm also confused as to what you mean here, if you wouldn't mind clarifying please. You add freshwater to your display and then the salt afterward, or you add mixed saltwater, or you add saltwater and then add additional salt? The statement could be taken either way and I just want to be clear. At any rate I would again point you to and urge you to read the articles I linked you to on water changes and testing, they are a must. Personally I really prefer to avoid generalities such as once a month, as well as amounts in regards to water changes, it depends on what the targeted live stock are, their density of stocking, the size of the tank, the feeding regime and multiple other factors.>>
But when we had our water tested at the pet shop they said everything was fine but the salt was a little low.
<<Again I prefer to avoid these generalities, if it were me I would buy a test kit and test my own water at least weekly. There are very few musts when keeping marine aquaria and this is one of them. Again refer to the articles in our last exchange as well as this one http://www.wetwebmedia.com/watrqualmar.htm and any other on our site and beyond related to the specifics of the animals you keep, wish to keep.>>
But when we added salt to the tank some got on the coral and it shriveled up and hasn't unshriveled. <expanded> <<I am still suspecting an environmental issue, one that can not be pinpointed until testing and specific numbers are given, as well as identification of the animal for that matter. Adding salt directly to a marine tank typically isn't wise, it should be dissolved in appropriate freshwater long before hand and aerated at least 24-hours. If the specific gravity (and salt content) in a reef tank is fluctuating on a daily basis, it should be raising not lowering through evaporation in which case you would need to compensate through the addition of pure freshwater...for further details see the links...keep reading -Adam J.>>

Shrinking Leather Finger Coral & Bubble Tip/No Useful Information 9/23/09
Try this zip file
<That will work, thank you.>
I have a 54gal corner bow salt tank that has been running almost 2 yrs.
It appears to me that any corals I introduce (after performing the recommended transition process) over time shrink in size or die. I use RO/DI water;
Fluval 305 filter; Protein skimmer; two small water circulators. Marine life consists of small Hermit crabs; snails; Turbo snail. Water tests indicate normal conditions.
<What water parameters are you maintaining? What are the actual test results for pH, dKH, calcium, magnesium, salinity, and nitrate. Another need to know is your lighting system, wattage, Kelvin temperature of lamps. Pretty difficult to come up with any useful help without some information to work with. James (Salty Dog)>
Any ideas?
<<Not a BTA... RMF>>

Re: Shrinking Leather Finger Coral & Bubble Tip 9/24/09
Lighting: JBJ Compact using 65W/10K Coralife white & 65W Actinic Coralife Blue
Actual test results
Temp: 79; ph: 8.4; Nitrite: 0.1;
<Nitrite should read 0.>
Nitrate: 50ppm;
<Much too high for corals/anemones.>

Calcium: 420; kH: 125.3;
salt: 1.021;
<Corals/anemones do much better at the higher end, 1.024-1.025>
magnesium: never tested
<Is very important, a major constituent of sea water and proper levels are necessary to allow calcium absorption by calcium loving invertebrates.>

<<Original query below>>
Try this zip file
<That will work, thank you.>
I have a 54gal corner bow salt tank that has been running almost 2 yrs.
It appears to me that any corals I introduce (after performing the recommended transition process) over time shrink in size or die. I use RO/DI water;
Fluval 305 filter; Protein skimmer; two small water circulators. Marine life consists of small Hermit crabs; snails; Turbo snail. Water tests indicate normal conditions.
<What water parameters are you maintaining? What are the actual test results for pH, dKH, calcium, magnesium, salinity, and nitrate. Another need to know is your lighting system, wattage, Kelvin temperature of lamps.
Pretty difficult to come up with any useful help without some information to work with. James (Salty Dog)>
Any ideas?
<Plenty, after you supplied the information I needed.
First item is that the anemone is not a Bubble Tip Anemone. The anemone is too far gone to accurately ID it, but is likely a specie that requires much more light than a BTA. Your lighting would be border line at best for a BTA and
not nearly enough light for keeping Sinularia corals (Leather Corals). These animals are badly bleached from lack of proper lighting and poor water quality/conditions.
Do read here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corllgtg.htm
And here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm
James (Salty Dog)>

-coral woes- 9/2/09
Dear WWM crew
I am quite new to reef keeping and have 155 litre (34 gallon), setup. It is filtered by a Fluval 205 canister filter containing 1.5kilos of live rock rubble and some phos remover.
<You have live rock in your canister filter? I would not recommend this... better to put activated carbon in a canister filter.>
Two hydra circulation pumps and recently an extra power head for moving water through the 22 + kilos of live rock that I have. My fish stocking levels are 1 bicolour blenny, an jade wrasse and a flame back angel.
Protein skimming is by V2 400 skimmer.
I set my reef up in January and have added several corals since then and have a particular eye for soft L S P types and I do have three an torch, a hammer head and frog spawn, There were doing well and growing very well under my twin set of T5's.
My question is what causes the very quick showing and eventual break up of the head just leaving its skeleton. I use r o water and remineralize it every time.
<Many different things can cause this kind of decline of coral health. It looks like this one might be bleaching. This can be caused by failing to acclimate to lighting or poor water quality.>

I have had some problems with nitrite being are the 2 mg/l JBL nitrate are about 5
ammonia 0.1
<Whoa! Your ammonia MUST be zero
. Please replace the LR in your canister with activated carbon and, in this case, some ammonia sponge.>
phosphate 0.1 calcium 470 magnesium 1450 salinity 35 ppt and the ph 8.2I am doing a weekly 30 ltr water change. What other advice could you give me I have found a group of corals that I think have great character and I really want to keep them would a nitrite reactor be of any use for a tank of this size.
<You have very poor water quality. Please do a water change asap and change your filter media.>
with thanks
Mart (willi)
Sara M.>

Hmm... Bleaching? (amended version) 08/02/09
I love the site, I have spent hours upon hours reading through it over the years. The reason I am writing is because from what I have read, my water parameters seem great. Yet, for some reason, my corals are struggling.
The tank has been running over five years, and has been a "reef tank" for almost two. I have always used RO/DI water.
The corals:
Pulsing xenia - seems to be doing well; I almost regret adding it
Green star polyps - also doing well
Assorted Zoanthids - small, bleached appearance
Assorted mushrooms, small, bleached appearance
Hammer coral - doing okay, but not really growing, nor very vibrant
Coralline algae also doing poor!
The fish:
One royal gramma
Two ocellaris clowns
Two yellowtail damsels
One Firefish
One Fire shrimp
One hermit crab
The set-up:
70 gallon show tank, 60"x22"x12" (actually 67gal)
100 lbs Fiji live rock
80 lbs live sand
322 watt PC with dual actinic and dual daylight (10,000k & 6,500K) (bulbs are about 4 months old)
<Hmm... this might not be enough light for coral. We usually recommend VHO or metal halide lighting for reef tanks.>
BioWheel 350 with Phosguard in one basket and carbon in the other
Proquatics 300 HOT filter filled with coarse foam (great for pods)
Two 160 GPH powerheads set up to bank of the front glass Prizm pro Delux skimmer (not the best, I know)
Two Visi-Therm heaters
The parameters:
SG 1.025
PH 8.3
Calcium 450ppm
Alk 8dKH
Mag 1350ppm
temp 79 degrees F
Nitrate >5ppm
Nitrite 0ppm
Ammonia 0ppm
Phosphate 0ppm

The routine:
12 gallon (18%) water change every 2-3 weeks *note: I have also tried 5 gallons each week to no avail!
Top off with RO/DI water, Seachem reef builder added- as needed add iodine twice a week
add strontium twice a week
add Kent trace twice a week
add coral Vite once a week
add Phytoplex once a week

<All the above additives are not needed. You should be getting all these from your salt mix. In fact, you might be poisoning your tank a bit (overdoing it). Try discontinuing all these trace elements and simple increasing your water changes from 12g every 2-3 weeks to 12g every week (at least until things improve). Do good 20g water change now.>
I don't know what I am missing... any advice would be much appreciated!
<More/bigger water changes, less additives... maybe more/better lighting.>
Thomas Brown
Sara M.>

Anthony coral help please! 1/30/09 Dear Anthony and rest of WWM crew, <James with you today. Anthony hasn't been with us for some time.> Thanks again as always for all your help, I really appreciate it, and my tank has improved drastically because of it. <You're welcome.> I have a question about some corals, and what might be causing them some grief. First, my system... Standard 29 Gal tank. Saltwater (I'd hope so with coral in it eh?) Has been going about 8-9 months now. Fairly standard heater and two small Koralia powerheads, aimed at each other from opposite ends of the tank. A Prizm skimmer HOB model with cartridge for active carbon, produces little skimmate in the cup, gunk just collects in the cone. <Are you cleaning the collection cup/reaction chamber weekly?> Thinking of changing to an Aqua-C Remora HOB skimmer.... maybe for my birthday! lol. <Would be a great skimmer for your tank.> A hang on back filter, converted, with a filter pad and active carbon. (Thinking of tossing a bit of macro algae in there.... don't know if that would work or not, there's a good 4-5 liter space before hitting the filter pad. <I would not do this.> A Coralife lighting rig, with the nightlights. It has 10,000K daylight and Then the blue actinics. I think the 10,000K are compact fluorescent is that right? <I have no idea as you did not mention the wattage.> I'm sorry, the one thing I am really clueless about is lighting, which is why I went ahead and bought the premade rig. <No problem, will get to that later.> Water Parameters - pH - 8.1-2, Alk is in the normal range on a Red Sea test kit. <Normal range doesn't tell me too much.> I've never had measurable nitrates in the tank to my knowledge, or just a really really low amount. (Very close to 0). Ammonia is unmeasurable and phosphate is about 0.05. Calcium is hovering around 450-500ppm.... I haven't added a calcium supplement in ages and I can't seem to make this go down. Some concern about a 'snowstorm' there.... so far so good. I only add reef buffer if the Alk falls way down, and it's been very stable. I do a 5gal water change once a week, with 24 hour powerhead aerated, premixed saltwater. I also run active carbon, about 4 tablespoons, changing 2 every couple weeks. Temperature ranges from 80-82 degrees. Living stuff! - 35 - 40 lbs of live rock. Assortment of 20 or so Nassarius Snails, 2 medium Turbo Snails, 3 Blue Legged Hermits, 1 scarlet hermit, and a Mithrax crab named pinchy. Two Ocellaris clowns (paired, one dominant). A Purple Firefish. Fire shrimp, and a Coral Beauty (I know, needs to be relocated, easier said than done, but it should happen soon... he's still little, no bigger than the dominant clown currently). Also a myriad of little scuttly things that come out at night... look like little carpenter bugs.... I believe these are beneficial so I'm just going to leave them be! <Likely pods and beneficial.> I feed the fish once every couple days, with a mix of Tetra Algae Flakes, New Life Spectrum, and a mix of Cyclops, mussels, and Mysis shrimp. Corals : One Colt Coral (most recent addition, in the middle), a Green Bubble Coral, (right side of tank in corner, lower third of tank) Branching Frogspawn (left side of tank towards top), Red Open Brain (on sand in corner, smaller clown sleeps here), Green Candy Coral and Red Candy Cane Coral (towards top of tank), Green Star Polyps, and then a myriad of mushrooms (hairy and non hairy), and polyps (smallish colonies right now). Also one large pink/green open brain in the middle of the tank at the bottom, seems to be on his way out. He was damaged when I bought him (didn't check... stupid), and no amount of feeding seems to be able to stop the necrosis and pulling away from skeleton, he's about half gone now. I feed the LPS corals the same frozen mix I feed the fish, except every 3-4 days. <I would not be feeding the corals this food, much too large. In your size tank, I would not feed the corals at all, just going to add to the nutrient level which can build up fast in smaller tanks causing further problems.> I plan on maybe getting a couple more mushrooms, and maybe some more polyps, but that's about it. <I suggest not buying any more corals until you can establish essential water parameters and proper lighting for growing corals.> So, on to the problems. The last few weeks, even months, the Bubble Coral has not been opening fully much, and has pulled away towards the center, off of the one half of it's skeleton. It never fully inflates, and no longer puts out the long stinging tentacles, just the little feeder tentacles during the day, with little partially inflated bubbles. Seems to be progressively getting worse. Also, the Colt Coral won't completely extend his polyps, they're out a millimeter or so, but never fully. I haven't seen the angel nip at these, except once, hasn't done it since. Should be noted that the carbon hadn't been changed for a month until today... missed that one. <Your filter media should be changed weekly.> All the other corals are blossoming, particularly the Frogspawn... he's even grown a new stalk since I got him. Now, questions... 1) Should I get stronger lights, or at least change the bulbs at this point? <Your lighting is not intense enough to keep some of the corals you have. I would go with a 150 watt, 14K HQI fixture with built-in cooling fan.> 2) Is it allelopathy stopping the corals from opening fully, or the slow decay of the open brain? <Can contribute, but your major problem here is lighting and proper water parameters. Magnesium needs to be maintained (1280-1300 or slightly higher in order for the corals to be able to absorb the calcium that is available to them, and is one reason your calcium levels are staying where they are, they are not being used.> 3) Is there any saving the Open Brain, or the Bubble Coral? <Possibly, but changes need to be done quickly to have a shot at it.> Any other suggestions on my setup, what might be going on, improvements I could make? <Yes, you need to do some reading/learning. I will provide you with some links. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm     http://www.wetwebmedia.com/stonycor.htm  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm  And, an index here to information we have available. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/index.htm  <Before you buy livestock in the future, do research/read, be sure you have the experience level and system requirements to keep the animal in mind.> Thanks so much.... I really appreciate the help. I'm just a medical student.... can name any muscle in the body etc etc, but am still a relative newbie when it comes to the reefkeeping :). <Reading will be your best teacher. I might also suggest buying at least one book you can use as a handy reference. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist would be a good choice.> Regards, <A good day to you my friend. James (Salty Dog)> Eric Milne
Re: Anthony, Coral Help Please 1/31/09
HI there again, <Hi Eric> Just a few replies quickly to clarify! I do clean out the skimmer every couple of days.... it works okay, but it could be better I think. <Good, cleaning keeps them running more efficiently.> Thanks for the help with the lighting rig, I checked the bulbs, they are both 65 Watt (two tubes each), blue actinic and 10,000K Compact Fluorescents. I'll go to the store again today and get myself a better rig.... expensive but it sounds like it is worth it. I'm somewhat displeased with the LFS I've been using so far.... they told me to use the wrong lights, recommended a bad skimmer, poor livestock choices (a Goniopora and an anemone were suggested as a good starter) and routine selling of damaged corals. <Another LFS more interested in selling than success. I'd be shopping on line for lights, why give him any more money for the bad advice he has given you, let alone unnecessary loss of money. I know what I would tell him but cannot print that here.> I know what to look for now, but sad when you start out as an unwitting hobbyist.... and that was after a fair bit of research. Oh well. I really appreciate your help... I only want the best for my tank, and I really do try to research in advance, but I do miss things, and you guys are really amazing with all that. I'll pick up the magnesium stuff too. <Keep reading/learning my friend.> Thanks again! <You're welcome, Eric. James (Salty Dog)> Eric

Cyano, Algicides admonition 1/13/09
Hi Crew,
I have been battling red slime for a few months and made a lot of progress but could not get it completely. It was contained in a few spots that I would siphon. Every once in a while it would flare up and I would have a real clean up to do. So I decided to try a product despite the problems people have reported. UltraLife Red Slime Control.
My tank is just a 10 gallon and I have Candycanes and some fish. Instructions were to use one measure of the enclosed dispenser ( one flat teaspoon full) for 15 gallons. I figure I have about 8 gallons so I used half of that. I pre mixed it with tank water until completely dissolved as instructed. And it did get rid of it. My tank always had a reddish hue to it and now it actually looks very clean. The fish did not seem to mind the treatment. I have a few snails and I did not notice any adverse affects. The corals did not like it. It was nothing major but I rarely see them with open mouths, usually just a few.
<I have seen this, a friend just wiped out his reef recently using a similar antibiotic product.>
But during the treatment they were all open. I left it this way for 2 days. Then I put carbon back in my filter and did some water changes and so far, after a week, all seems well and it has not returned (yet).
<It will unless the fueling factor is addressed. These treatments are a temporary fix and a poison to filtration. The tank inhabitants are threatened initially by oxygen deprivation, followed by a hit to the biofiltration. See the links below for more re this and the BGA.>
<Welcome, Scott V.>

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>

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

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>

Black Band Disease?? Likely poor env., perhaps allelopathy...   7/28/07 Anyone that can help, <Okay...> This is the next best thing to dialing 911 when I have an aquarium problem. <Better> I have this dark brown kind of slime that has killed my polyps and started damaging my mushrooms and now is starting to kill my hammerhead. I looked at the mushrooms and they almost look dirty. There's brown all over the small crevasses that forms the mushroom. I did some research and it sounds like the black band disease. How do I get this out of my tank? Please tell me how I can cure my tank. I have a 55 gal. In which I do monthly water changes and once a week ad a capful of Alkalinity Plus from NatuReef and another capful of Hardness Plus also from NatuReef. <... what water quality testing do you do?> I feed my corals Cyclop-Eeze mixed with a capful of phytoplankton from Kent Marine twice a week. <What do you have that consumes phytoplankton?> All the other corals look healthy and fat. Help before they all die. Thanks Elsa <You're joking? Not I take it... you've presented no useful info.. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Peruse the articles, FAQs files... re Disease of the various "corals" you have... their "Systems", Compatibility... perhaps pattern your queries like others there. Bob Fenner>

Yep, actual photo sent.

Xenia and Coral Bleaching?   4/21/07 Hi Crew, My Xenia has been doing great since I got it 4 months ago.  Just today when I came home from work I noticed a huge part of the Xenia was bleached white!  In the morning everything looked great so this just happened over the last couple of hours.  It looks like it started at the base of the stalk and worked it's way towards the arms.  Arms have been falling off at the base since then and they are still pumping!.  My water parameters are: Nitrates ~20, <High> pH 8.2 a.m.-8.3 p.m. and Alkalinity of 9.  I recently had extremely high nitrates for around 2 weeks (>100!) <This... or what the cause of "it" are "is" the trouble...> because of a massive die off of Mexican turbo snails (30 of them) because of temperature, and I couldn't find them all ( my tank is ~700gal.)  I've gotten the nitrates down with 25% water changes every 3 days and my temp is holding steady at 81 degrees.  Is this Coral Bleaching or some sort of pathogen? <The former is a symptom... not a disease per se... "caused" by a myriad of factors... Likely a pathogen is NOT involved here... but the previous chemical anomaly... Having fixed the environment, you have only time to tell what will happen next... I would bolster the biota's immune system with a vitamin and HUFA administration (Selcon or like) and likely step up the Iodine/ide use (with testing). Bob Fenner> Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks, Sean <You can read re these issues on WWM...>

Lighting Question 11/01/06 Hello, <Greetings!> I have a tank that is 8 years old. For the first 6 years, I had 4x96W PC bulbs and things were fine. I have mostly soft corals and a few hard corals like Pagoda, Red Brain and Bubble coral. I switched to retrofit 2x250 MH 14K lighting about a year and a half ago. I have since switched to 20K bulbs. In the past six months I have seen many of my corals die or look horrible, losing color and not opening up. The bulbs are 16" from water surface and my tank is 90G 24" deep. Is this too much light or not enough? I am really at odds with what to do. Many thanks. Bryan <Bryan - It sounds to me like the corals are not getting enough light.  Typically, the higher you go with bulbs color spectrum, the lower the PAR drops.  Ideally, the lights should be around 8 to 10 inches off the surface of the water.  I would lower your lights and see how that works.  If they are still dying, try switching to a lower Kelvin bulb.  Cheers! - Dr. J>

Algaecide and Corals, a Bad Combination 7/16/06 Hello all, <Hi> I'm having some problems with my green star polyps. <Lets see if we can help.> I got them about a month ago, and they were THRIVING.  Marked difference since their addition to my tank.  I also have some yellow polyps, and green button polyps. I have had a minor problem with algae, so I tried adding some Algone to my tank, in addition to some de nitrate from SeaChem. <There is your problem.> The day after adding the two, my green button polyps didn't look as 'happy', and my green star polyps had not come out.  (I also removed my carbon, as per Algone directions).   I also added some Fluval prefilter  (if that helps). <Replace the carbon ASAP.> I waited 3 days, still no green star polyps (4-5 extend, but the other 300 stay in).  Thinking the Algone may be the problem, I removed it, and re-instated my carbon, leaving the de nitrate in. <Remove all added chemicals ASAP.> Its been 2 days since my removal of the Algone, the green star polyps have still not returned (green buttons back to normal, looking great).  In addition, the purple mat is looking worse every day, what can I do! <Lots of water changes, run lots of carbon and get some PolyFilters if possible.> Nothing else was altered (pH, salinity), and they were thriving until I added the Algone, so I'm convinced something other than water quality is involved (all specs good). <Yes, toxic chemicals.> Thanks as always, Whit <Anytime> <Chris>

Brown Slime killing my reef! Please Help!   6/13/06 Ok I am in dire need of some assistance! First my plate coral got brown slime. I did an iodine dip to no avail. It is on a steady decline and I am taking it for dead at this point. Then my colt got it! <... root cause/s here? Something amiss with your water quality perhaps?> I got a frag of it off that is doing really well, and did an iodine dip on the rest of it, but it is very pale in color, and seems to be just barely hanging on. The polyps still come out but the color is just awful! NOW MY XENIA HAS IT!!!!!!! <Very unusual for such disparate groups of cnidarians to fall prey to this contagion> I cut off some parts that seemed to be doing crappy and had the brown stringy stuff on it...what is at work here?! <The six bazillion dollar question> How did this get introduced to my tank? It is just moving from coral to coral, how do I stop it?! <Fix the environment...> The iodine dips are not working!! I am terrified of losing my entire reef to this. PLEASE HELP!!!!! Or maybe its not brown slime?! It's this brown stringy stuff...like snot, that seems attached to the coral and waves about in the current. But the coral that has it does not like it one bit. I seriously feel like crying!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  All my time, effort, and money is quickly going down the tubes!                                                        --Brandon <... Brandon, where's the info. re your water testing? Your set-up gear, history? Please take a read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cniddisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... and write back with more data. Bob Fenner>

HELP! This system is driving me crazy! - 05/05/2006 Guys, I really need your help in identifying what is up with my system. History: 180 Gal set up for 5 years with a DSB, additional prop tanks plumbed into it (heavy SPS). I decided to revamp the prop tanks and move them to a separate area of the property (this meant digging lines etc). I started to experience losses but I couldn't figure out what was up (thinking maybe the DSB was crashing). To make a long story short, revamped the entire system, but continued to show ammonia until I finally got smart (if that's what you call it), tested the RO and bingo, apparently my membrane was toast letting pure crappy county water in my system! I changed out about half (300 gallons 2 weeks ago), all parameters are perfect except I am showing trace nitrites at .025 on Salifert. I just added another 100 lbs of cured rock 3 days ago, but nitrites are still hanging in there. <Not unusual considering...> I am using Seachem's Stability as well. I have a few Acros, Montis but they don't look super hot (no polyp extension and faded, lost a good amount of frags), Acans and zoos of course look fine. I am hoping that the trite will disappear in the next week. If it does not, is it possible some remnant contaminant from the city water is present? <Mmm, no. This residual is from the ongoing suffering of biota in your systems> I tested for copper and got zero, also using a heavy metal sponge, Purigen, and carbon, and have even run ozone (ORP is 400). <A bit high... I would allow this to drift to about 350> I am wondering at this point if I shouldn't have a sample professionally tested to find out if there is anything weird in the water. I used a good amount of 100% Silicone for windows <... when? I do hope/trust this is 100% Silastic... not a product with mildewcide in it> and doors in the prop tanks, is it possible the Silicone has arsenic or some other toxin in it? If so, can you recommend anywhere I could send a sample for testing? <... I suspect that what you have and are experiencing is a "cascade" effect from the original contaminated tapwater... If it were me, mine, I'd take a long-term view here... maybe add a good deal of high quality activated carbon in your filter flow path... and let all ride. Bob Fenner>

Corals/Health  - 03/12/2006 Hi Bob, <James today> dying for you to write the aforementioned article.  got a question for ya.  purely a what if situation, here.  ok, say you let your reef get a little out of hand and, well, let's just say you don't do any water changes for a couple of months, or buffer for those months, or regularly feed anything, let alone your inverts. . .  you know, some good ol' fashioned neglect.  But one day, you get motivated, and you do some water changes and buffer that tank up and get all water parameters right where they should be.  I mean perfect.  and let's say, in this hypothetical scenario, you have a formerly glorious leather toadstool and Lobophyllia that now refuse to expand, especially the leather. we'll say the Lobophyllia looks like it has receded a little bit, but doesn't seem to have tissue necrosis.  the leather is still alive, but only expands a fraction of what it is capable, and certainly not every day, let alone all day.  we'll say this started about the same time I started buffering again.  I tried to gradually bring the pH back up, I think successfully.  are they in shock?  they are still alive and in perfect conditions.  will they come out of it?  Nick, this is something I don't believe anyone can answer.  A question of how long in neglect, lighting conditions at present, trace levels in tank, etc.  If their health didn't decline too bad, all or most may survive but it isn't going to happen overnight.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks, <You're welcome.  Nick, in future queries, please capitalize your "i's and pronouns, beginnings of sentences, etc.  Saves us time in editing these before posting.  Thank you.> Nick

Nitrates/coral  10/19/05 Hi team, Can nitrates at about 20ppm cause coral to develop a fungus and die? Thanks     Mohamed <Mmm, generally not... though, depending on what the underlying cause of nitrate accumulation is/are, this stress can/does contribute to lowered vitality, resistance. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn coral health... much worse... crowded, mis-stocked, poorly filtered, too-small system thanks for the comfort on my xenia.. It's doing great now it was just adjusting itself I guess. Now I Have a real problem. I bought a frogspawn about 1 wk ago it had 3 heads (maybe two heads an one that was on the verge of being it's own branch). I bought it from Liveaquaria.com which is a very respectable company great reviews. It was supposed to be a green one but when I got it it was brown with a green hue and white tips. with in 2 or three days one of the head suddenly shriveled up and died with the brown mucus stuff and everything. I cleaned off the dead parts
<Mmm, a note... sometimes better to break off the dead parts... or alternatively the live parts and toss the other> and hoped the other two heads wouldn't get affected. I also lowered the frogspawn to the bottom of the tanks thinking the light was burning it. during the same day the other head that was slightly connected died as well.. I cleaned both heads off completely so that there wouldn't be an ammonia spike and did a water change. the third head never fully came out so today I moved him in an even shadier spot <... not a good idea to keep moving stony corals (or other cnidarians for that matter)> so he most definitely isn't going to be burned. I have on ly one other LPS which is a bubble coral and it's doing great all my other corals are softies or SPS. <... these may not be (easily) mix-able> I have had one other LPS ( a Hammer) it also died with similar symptoms <Very similar biology to the Frogspawn...> but I attributed it to being stung by a rose BTA. <... this is in the same system?> the anemone is far from the frogspawn so there is no way it could have stung it. <Not really... please read on WWM...> here is a little background on my tanks it's a 16 curved front tank <?> with 175 MH 20K and 36w PC they are placed about 20 inches from the tanks in a 24 inch canopy there my temperature stays at 80degrees and I have a protein skimmer Lees
<Piece of junk> big enough  for a 40 gallon tank. <No...> I also have a Bak Pak filtration system for a 50 gallon tank. (adds about 2 more gallons )  in the tank I have a bubble coral, green hairy mushroom, Montipora Capricorn (orange), bird's nest, Crocea clam, xenia, green star polyps and some Zoanthids. I have 3 Hawaiian feather dusters, and a flame scallop. 2 clownfish with a Rose BTA , 1 mandarin and 1 tiny (half-dollar sized) regal tang... Everything is doing great except the frogspawn. I'm at a loss. <And soon to be more, in the way of livestock. What you have is an aquatic time-bomb... The mix, jamming of the listed species (I take it you're not joking here) is incompatible, the filtration gear feeble and the tank way too small... My advice? Keep doing water changes, get/use a quarantine system for all new livestock, buy none of the above, READ on WWM, other sites re the life history, husbandry of the species you list... You need to do some investigating, soul-searching before "just buying" this and that because you think it's neat, can afford it... Would like to help you, but only you can educate yourself, make reasonable choices. What you have currently is... a mess. Bob Fenner>

I Overheated During Change Over - Corals Looking Rough Hello Crew at WWM thank you for your site I depend on you for all of my questions. Through you FAQ. I didn't see this problem posted. <Thanks for checking> Ok please stay with me.  I planned on changing from a 75 gal with overflow to a 150 gal reef ready tank. I had to move the 75 to another location to make room for the 150 and I also needed the 15 gal. refugium from the 75 to connect to the new 33gal sump.  I had about 20 soft corals - xenias, toadstools, feather dusters, zoos, bubble coral, hammers, frog spawns, mushrooms, and some pinkish algae [as] well. I transferred all of my fish to a 15 gal. holding tank.  I put all my corals into a 20 gal container, with a heater and powerhead. And 200 pounds of live rock to two 50 gallon containers. My plan was to take the water and aragonite sand and put in the 150 just thinking of it as a huge water change and have 150 up and running with in 2 days. To make a long story short I overheated my 20 gal container from 79 degrees to 89 degrees over night I didn't check the temp on the heater when I removed it out of the 150 to keep corals warm. I fell asleep during the change over start 8am Saturday till 1:30 am Sunday.  I tried to set up the 75 gal for the corals when I got tired.  My question is DO you think it possible for any coral to survive a shock in temperature that dramatic? <Sure> My xenia is shriveled up, toadstool looks strange. I'm so upset they were doing so well in the 75 gal. I just wanted to give them more room now they might not make it.  At this time I have them all in the 75 gal set up with the corals. I'm hoping to wake up to living corals. Please help . <Steady on... monitor water quality, be ready with water for changes... and perhaps all will rally. Bob Fenner> 

Corals are adapting hello all, just thought I'd point out a cool thing in case none of you saw this.  On Sunday on Yahoo scientists report that the coral reefs are making some comeback, after years of higher than normal temps. Awesome, just awesome......looks life are stony friends are  stubborn to extinction as long as we stay involved.  Adapting to higher temps to survive...NICE!!!  check it out , pass it on....later. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&ncid=753&e=1&u=/nm/20040502/sc_nm/environment_maldives_coral_dc <Good news indeed... makes sense that organisms that have been around for hundreds of millions of years, through ice ages, reversals of poles, whatever undid the dinosaurs... would be able to put up with the current affair. Bob Fenner>

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