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FAQs about Soft Coral Treatments

FAQs on Soft Coral Disease: Soft Coral Health/Disease/Pests 1, Soft Coral Health 2, Soft Coral Health 3, Soft Coral Health 4, & By Family: Alcyoniid Health, Alcyoniid Disease 2, Alcyoniid Disease 3, Alcyoniid Disease 4, Alcyoniid Disease 5, Alcyoniid Disease 6, Alcyoniid Disease 7, Alcyoniid Disease 8, Alcyoniid Disease 9, Alcyoniid Health 10, Alcyoniid Disease 11, Alcyoniid Health 12, Alcyoniid Health 13, Alcyoniid Health 14, Alcyoniid Health 15, Alcyoniid Health , & Nephtheid Disease, Xeniid Disease, Xeniid Health 2, Xeniid Health 3,
Soft Coral Disease by Category:
Diagnosis, Environmental, Nutritional, Social, Trauma, Infectious/Parasitic, Pests,

Related Articles: Soft Coral


Injured Leather Coral 2/9/05 Today I bought a toadstool from fish store. One large one and one small next to it on one rock. After placing it in the tank I noticed a hole on the smaller crown almost in the middle. Is this something I should worry about?  <Of bigger concern is the addition of any new coral, fish, etc right into your tank without quarantine first. High risk of (eventually) adding a parasite, pest, predator or disease to the tank. Please do take the time to read about and apply QT habits (see our archives on this topic)> How could I remove it from rock so I can place in my 30 gal for observation in case of spreading disease. <Moving a stressed coral at this point will only make it worse. And any contamination has already been done> Would I need to reattach it to another rock or will it do it on its own? <None of the above... just good strong water flow where its at and observe to see what may have caused the hole, what makes it worse, or if it simply heals> The hole looks like it goes into the stem. polyps are out and looks good I'm not sure what to do any help would be appreciated Thank you! Andy <Patience for now my friend... best to let this animal sit in place and heal. Anthony>

Necrotic Sinularia damage? I have a 3.5” tall Sinularia that that has grown large enough that it has started to rub on a small chunk of rock that sticks up next to it. Where the tissue is rubbing, there is a small black spot appearing, maybe 3/8” long by 1/8” high. The location of this occurrence is about ?” up from where the coral attaches to the rock. <yikes... the black necrosis can be quickly threatening to the coral and perhaps other corals into he tank. o address by cutting/pruning off the excess coral promptly> After perusing the archives, I have found two approaches to take here. 1) Cut the base of the coral, above the damage, straight through and reattach to a new rock. 2) Try to excise the bad material and watch to see if the coral heals ok. What is the current thought on this type of problem? <the latter at first and the former if necessary to follow> Thanks for you time. Don <best regards, Anthony>

Completely stumped - soft coral problems, allelopathy, Ozone option  06/02/09
<Hi there Ken>
I need some help as I'm completely stumped, I have been running a 90 G tank for over 10 years now. Some good years some bad.
Currently I have for the last year been able to keep the system running with 0 Nitrate's as I had major nitrate problems.
I had been running with CC substrate and trickle filter with a small skimmer (old school! ) with 275W of PC lighting So I had changed up the system over a year ago upgraded to a Euro Reef RS135 running in a 30G sump with a 15G fug. and CaribSea reef floor sand. Also upgraded to 8x54W T5's
So currently I have 140 Lbs of rock (been in use 10 years)
<Mmm, I'd be adding a bit new to this. Please see here:
http://wetwebmedia.com/substrepl2.htm >
with a total of 125g of water in the system.
I do a 20G water change every 2-3 weeks (just timing issue) and dose BRS two part daily.
Current parameters - that I test
1.025 Salinity - Refractometer (checked and tested at LFS)
80 F Temp - digital
8.4 (night) - 8.5 PH (day) - using Vital Sign handheld calibrated last week
8 DKH- using API
430 Cal - using Seachem
1300 Mag - using Seachem
0 Ammonia - using API
0 Nitrite - using API
0 Nitrate - using API
0.01 Phos- Using Elos
0.06 Iodine - using Seachem
Here is my problem all of my pulsing Xenia for the last few weeks have all stopped pulsing
, their white body's have gone from white to dark brown/pink (best I can come up with LOL) I had a frag in the tank 6 months ago that got stung by my Ritteri anemone ( I know small tank for a Ritteri but love them so much) so I moved it and it started to grow back and kind of stopped growing. I got a another frag and it grew to three times it's size and picked up another frag for my small tank that was cycling and it to grew to three times it's size quickly. then the first frag has started to shrink and turn dark and now the second frag is tuning dark and not coming out fully. At the same time (about 6 months ago) I had picked up a green orange clove polyp frag and it too started off strong went from 5 polyps to 25 and now it too has stopped growing. Some of the polyps will not open fully and they look burned (the edges are white)
My mushrooms are not expanding fully but look OK, my Leather is OK, my Zoo's are OK, All my LSP and one SPS are doing good (still growing) even my Acans are fine, so what gives?? What I'm I missing??
<Mmm... perhaps... some general aspect of water quality that would "save" your "losing" Cnidarians from apparent allelopathy... A bunch to speculate here... But let's start by having you review:

and the linked files of this ppt. condensation, and then a bit re RedOx...
which, better than "stooping" to more expensive chemical filtrant use...
I'd look into... Ozone use... perhaps with a desiccator:
and http://wetwebmedia.com/SystemPIX/RedOx/RedoxPPTpres1.htm
and the linked files...>
Thanks' for any help or direction you can offer.
If I left out any needed info please let me know.
<Again, Ken, there are a few avenues you might consider, go here... For me, a cursory reading/understanding of the negative interactions of the life you list and a short/sure method of "curing" these processes is likely to be satisfying. Bob Fenner>
Re: Completely stumped - soft coral problems... pH, Alk., and O3   6/11/09

Hello again Bob,
I hope I'm not over staying my welcome here, but I have some more questions and observations.
I have been doing some research on a ORP meter, but it was suggested to me that if I had a ORP problem I may need to install a ozone generator so it maybe best to invest in a ORP controller to start with rather then a Meter.
<Mmm, see my notes re... in articles re Ozone, ozonizers on WWM... Am a much bigger fan of just getting, using a unit that is too small to cause trouble if it is turned all the way up>
So with this in mind and other possible problems, I have installed another power head, I have been running two Koralia # 4 in my 90G with a OM Super squirt on my 1300G/hr return pump. I picked up a Koralia #1 to run close to the water surface to assist in gas exchange. I went about my 20g water change last Saturday and when the return pump was off the water dropped 1" in the DT (as normal) the position of the Koralia #1 was at the point that it was sucking up air and aerating the surface of the water, I decided to allow it to do so. A few hours after the water change (standard for me) I checked the PH and Alk, what I found was surprising my PH had jumped to 8.6 and my Alk had dropped to ~6 DKH.
<Mmm, you do understand the basic principle (a bad pun) here? The increased aeration...>
So I slowly increased the Alk over night and into the morning to find that at 7.5 DKH my PH was at 8.7.
Quickly did a refresher course on high PH as never had this problem, and found Randy's "High pH: Causes and Cures" from reading this the problem would be from carbon dioxide deficiency, Correct?
<Mmm, no>
With a carbon dioxide deficiency the last thing one would do is run a ozone generator, Correct?
<No... (O3, O2 and O) would indeed drive off excess CO2, but I don't think this is a cause here>
So I'm back to the question of a ORP meter or controller,
<Again, not necessarily either one... but can be one/the same device if you opt for this. Do put regular (weekly) service of the probe on your list if you get one>
not to put you on the spot or hold you to any suggestion, Just would like to know if I'm correctly understanding my observation, If so I will not require a controller (this year LOL) but a meter that will help find what is going on.
<How to put this... one can have "excess" DO (dissolved oxygen) effects w/o too little CO2...>
As a side note I have used vinegar, (three dose's of 20ml over three day's) to bring down the PH to 8.6, and my green orange clove polyp flag's are looking very much happier, I guess time will tell with the pulsing Xenia's
Again Thanks for the input, I should have paid more attention in Chemistry....
<Do keep reading re for now. BobF>

Toadstool Droop - 12/16/03 hello WWM Crew, I purchased a toadstool leather about 4 days ago.. ever since than it has been leaning downwards on the rock its attached to.. <No real issue here. It does need time to acclimate to your water chemistry and lighting. Please give it time. Leave it in place and try not to move it. Keep up with the water changes> I was told by my LFS to leave it alone and see what it does.. its polyps come out even once in a while but its hanging..<Means nothing. Give it time.> the top is facing the bottom of the tank..<Leave it be it should straighten out. In the meantime, please read through our FAQs and articles on these particular corals. Very hardy and tend to adjust to various water parameters and lighting over time.> I did all the usual tests and everything is fine..<How about lighting??? Although they tend to adjust to various lighting, it may just take some time to make the adjustment> all the other corals seem to be doin fine.. can u help?? <nothing to "help" here really. Just need to give it some time. ~Paul>

Toadstool Leather shrinking 12/5/03 First let me say you have numerous articles on this but none seem to be my case. <OK> We got a large leather toadstool about 3 weeks ago and it did fine for 2 weeks and then stopped opening. Looks like a bare baby's but! <would that be with or without diaper rash? Er... never mind> Water tests fine. V <heehee... ya, know... folks/friends always say that... but we cannot help you as well without also being privy to those readings to confirm "fine"> HO lights same as the environment that it came from. Anyway, after reading your other posted articles, I have found out that it could be doing this for a number of reasons. I did fish out a 10" bristle worm 2 days ago and suspect it may have been the culprit. <weakly irritating at best> All other corals are multiplying and happy. My question is: Should I let my "Fishman" put it back in his tank where it was fine or wait it out to see if it will recover? <moving corals excessively in the first week is a surefire way to kill them. Please simply leave your leather in place and let it adapt. Many leather corals will take days or even weeks to express full polyps. They are very hardy but finicky> This piece was very expensive and it is hard to know what to do with it to save it. Lesa ~ Houston, Texas <have patience my friend... I suspect if you keep your hands out of the aquarium, it will look fine in days. Anthony>
New Leather - slow to open 12/10/03
You were right.....kept my hands out of the tank, patience and time was the answer! Thank you. <very welcome... its true, for how hardy leathers are overall... they are also very sensitive to expressing polyps when fiddled with too much> It is not fully extended yet but is opening and prickly. <all in good time> Actually, it is opening so big that it touches another "tree form" leather that we have. Guess this is ok. <nope... it is a serious problem in time. They will fight and burn each other. No two corals should be allowed to touch for any reason... they will all battle for space. Please keep 6-10" between all corals for safety and growth. A good long term view> Lesa
<best of luck! Anthony>

Toadstool Leather - 2/13/03 Hi Guys! <cheers> I have this toadstool  that I got from some online joint.  I have never owned one before, but noticed it didn't quite look right.  It started to get some funky brown slime on it which I siphoned off.   <Air shipped livestock more than any other simply must be quarantined away from your display on arrival. Please read about QT protocol in the wetwebmedia.com archives. Else you risk serious disease, infection or even a wipeout in the main display> I guess it's rotting away because it has a dime sized hole right in the center of the crown.   <Carve out the necrotic section with a sharp razor blade or scalpel and please do not move the coral at all. Simply proffer good water flow and light and be patient> I have had it for exactly one week today.   What can I do to save any part of this coral?  How can I tell when to remove a coral from my tank?   <A tough call... they can heal easily... or wipeout quickly and threaten the whole system. Hence the need for QT. Look for firmness and some normal polyp extension (not mandatory)> I know this question may sound like a no brainer, but it's hard to give up on some living life form even if it is polluting your tank.  I hope you understand. I try to be responsible and I always check your website for info.  Thanks,    -Becky <No worries... understood and agreed. Anthony>

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

Re: Green Finger problem (?) Thanks for the info, it will be easier for me to perform this, "MASH 4077" style surgery, out of the water. Will these be ok? <yep... it all takes mere seconds> Just one clean cut, eh. <correct> Is the corals tissue tough to cut thru, like muscle? or, will it be like a hot knife thru butter? <rather in between... the tissue is quite soft but infused with calcareous spicules> (just paged my head nurse to the emergency room, stat!) Wish me luck, we're goin' ............Thanks, Scott   <Banzai! Or is it bonsai? Both I suppose. Best of luck! Anthony>
Comments on Remora Pro Protein skimmer
Hey Gang! How you's doin'? I just read a readers comments on e-tailers selling the Remora Pro Protein skimmers. I recently purchased one from Marinedepot.com. The total cost on the Pro model w/Mag 3 pump + the skimmer/bubble trap was around $270 including shipping. This protein skimmer kicks butt! It was producing dark skimmate after 3 weeks. I did contact the Aqua C company with a concern for the lid that didn't fit quite right, and the Prez. of the  company, Jason, sent a new one that was here in two days! <indeed... beyond producing very well designed skimmers (great value too), his customer service is legendary. AT least rare in our industry. All part of why you see us recommend these products often> A wonderful product & company to deal with - IMO.   <very much agreed... thank you for sharing the kudos> Anthony, I performed the "Mash 4077" surgery on the green finger today, and found it to be a little tougher to cut thru than imagined (took 2 cuts). It went from being the size of a softball to smaller than a golf ball <natural> & was very hard to get a stitch in. <surprising but no worries. Rest easy if you saw no systemic infection (rotting up through core)> I managed to get it loosely attached (I think) to a piece of rubble and the current hasn't knocked it off yet (keeping fingers crossed-mine, not the corals!) <excellent... the key is to leave it alone no mater how grumpy it looks for weeks (short of rotting)> Will it attach to the rubble quickly? <within a couple weeks> I noticed when performing the cut that a clear reddish liquid "bled" a little. <yep... be very careful to never get this hear eyes, in cuts, etc. Hence my admonition to wear gloves> I was thinking, as the cut was taking place, I can't believe I'm actually doing this! Anyway, thanks a lot for all the help all you's guys give to all of us! I know I certainly appreciate it! Your friend in Denver, <with kind regards, Anthony>
Green Finger coral surgery
Hello Anthony, I assume that an alcohol swab to wipe the new razor blades machine oils off before the surgery, will be in order. <yes... and also wipe the oil off the fishing line if you use it instead of sewing nylon thread> After cutting the necrotic tissue off, I'll make an X pattern with two stitches holding the coral to a flat piece of (1 1/2"x 2 1/2")  cup coral rubble, how tight/loose should it be tied? <not very snug at all... they are temporary and will be cut away in weeks after the coral attached. We simply want to keep the coral in place and propped up. Can be done with rock and rubble just the same like a campfire... but lees reliable. Do stitch> The DKH in the tank is 10.52DKH, is to low to promote healing or does it matter (slowly bringing the levels up with SeaChem's Reef Carbonate), <your dKH is fine... you've been listening to Nazi sps keepers somewhere that want your tank to test like liquid lime <G>. 8-12dKH is normal and safe. Consistency within this range promotes growth... not a target number. No worries> also, reef iodide won't be here for a week or so, will start dosing upon arrival. <excellent> Would you wait for the DKH to come up & iodide to show up before doing MASH 4077 maneuvers like this? <nope... this is a potentially virulent infection that can kill this coral and others in the tank. You are lucky it is moving slow now... uncommon. Cut it ASAP> Definitely looking forward to your book showing up!  Your friend in Denver,  Scott <thanks kindly! Anthony>

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

Soft coral struggles: shipping delay Dear Mr. Fenner, My water temp is 76 degrees, PH is 8.0 and the Specific Gravity is 1.024. Yesterday I received a shipment of five soft corals [button polyps, cauliflower colt coral, and 2 toadstool mushroom leather] and one sand sifting sea star.  <is this a wholesale shipped order, transshipment, or retail purchase? Very different likely states of condition for livestock from these outlets> The package was left by the shipping company on one of the docks and didn't arrive overnight as promised. I was able to pick it up from the main office at 5pm the following day. Clarify, it was shipped Monday evening and I picked it up at 5pm Wednesday. <OK... not too terrible, although I would almost NEVER recommend overnight service. Domestic service from the airlines is always faster and PDQ service (airport to airport baggage) is extremely fast and reliable... much faster than overnight and the airlines have climate controlled holding areas most of the way. Overnight carriers are not set up at ant point for livestock (cargo bellies, warehouses or trucks... all extreme weather exposure). Again... a shout out to all... please pick your livestock up at the airport. No FedEx or like carriers for live animals. Coast to coast is 6 hours on the commercial airliners. FedEx closes at 8pm at night and delivers by 10AM at best... that's 14 hours minimum without climate control> I slowly acclimated the new arrivals allowing them to float in the closed bags in the tank for about an hour.  <too long for shipping stressed animals... brief acclimation needed here. 30 minutes max IMO> Then over a 1.5 period I gradually introduced my tanks water to their bags. The star seems to be doing very well and is very active. The corals I'm a little concerned about.  <still probably OK> The Cauliflower had detached from the rock and is slumped over.  <Oh, ya... that's a bad sign. But also a sign of inadequate water flow. Much stronger flow here please> One of the Toadstool leathers has quite a bit of black spots around the top and a little bit on the trunk/stem.  <we can carve these out with a razor blade/X-acto knife if they continue to get necrotic. No worries here> Most of it had detached from the rock while in the bag and now most of it is hanging off the rock. <not as big of a deal as the Colt (Klyxum)> This I'm most concerned about. I have been told that they can bounce back. <easily> So my question, what is your opinion of this situation and is there anything I can do to "save" them? <yep... even worst case scenario, they can be diced in cubes (the leathers) and propagated. The Colt will need to be stitched to a new rock with nylon thread. ASAP please. It needs to be secure and will not attach naturally as fast as the leathers> Best regards, Geoff <best regards, Anthony>

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

Sarcophyton Leather Toadstool Problem Dear Bob, My system is now a bit over 9 months old. 90 net gal. show tank with 30 net gal. sump and 20 net gal. refugium. Turboflotor, Ocean clear w/carbon, 25 w. U/V, 100 + lbs. of live rock, chiller and controller at 77F. Over 500 watts VHO. About 2000 gph on a Wavemaker. Lots of Caulerpa and other plants in the refugium now. Also spiked with amphipod/copepod culture and brine shrimp. Phosphate now barely detectable at .05 PPM. No detectable nitrate. Chemistry is all ideal except Ca stuck at 350 and dKH at 6. (No Ca reactor yet, I'm adding small quantities of 2 part Ca daily.). A 30 gal. water change every 10 to 12 days with water aged a week or more with big powerhead and heater. <This is all fine... and please don't worry about your calcium, alkalinity... these are fine...> Bob, your book and web site have guided me on every step of planning, building, and stocking all this since last summer. I couldn't be more pleased. <Outstanding> 18 inches of fish all well after following Fenner dips and quarantines. Lots of snails, cleaner shrimp, peppermint shrimp and plenty of tiny hermits. Fish stocking is complete except for a flame angel? <Maybe> I have moved now to other inverts beginning with those organisms you suggest as good for beginners. Actinodiscus mushrooms (red and blue) are great, growing and reproducing. The small Anthelia was dislodged by a snail or crab but has found its own spot and looks ok. <Very good> Now the problem. (I have yet to lose any creature that I have acquired.) I put in two small tank raised specimens of "Sarcophyton" leather mushrooms. Each has two "toadstools" 1 cm. or so in diameter when closed. One of the specimens has relatively short tentacles. Both are 5 inches from the surface with moderate random turbulence. After a week of "blooming" beautifully it developed several small bright yellow spots about 2 to 3 mm. and now blooms on only about half its diameter. <Hmm...> The other specimen (slightly different variety) with longer tentacles is 10 inches away and doing fine. <I see> Are these spots a disease or parasite that should be removed or might the creature heal? <Possibly a flat worm, may portend something other...> I am a bit disappointed with all the red/brown micro-algae/diatoms blooming in the refugium. I have very little of this in the show tank though I must scrape the front glass weekly as there is a small build up in spots. I won't scrape it in the refugium in fear of passing it to the show tank? I put in a turbo snail which began eating the red macro algae! <Not to worry about the transference... or scraping the refugium if the appearance doesn't bother you. These organisms too will pass... you might want to add a couple of snails (try Margaritas) to the sump> Am I ready for a small SPS coral and a bubble coral? <Yes, I think/believe so> Your 67 year old student with a lot to learn about this living room SCUBA experience, Howard <I would do nothing at this point with the cultured Toadstools... and proceed apace with your further livestocking plans. Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner>

Sarcophyton, water chemistry woes  Mr. Fenner, hi... My leather coral (which is a hand-wide Sarcophyton) does not open for a week now, and its marble-like surface is getting more greenish day by day. No other coral seems disturbed, so I think the chemistry of the water is OK (the results are below). I could not understand what happened. It sometimes releases mucus (one day a month) and stays closed during that time, but it took too long this time. My aquarist could not understand what happened, I think it is emergency. Can you suggest me anything? Thanks... Yildirim Water chemistry: Ca: 400 ppm PH: 8.2 PO4: 0.2 Nitrite: 0 Nitrate: 0 Ammonia: 0 Salinity: 1.022 <Other than this doesn't sound good? What about your alkalinity? Lighting? I would take an overt stance here and execute a very large water change (Moving spg back to nearer natural seawater, 1.025), add activated carbon... and if the animal doesn't respond in a few days, move it to another system... Sounds like either a chemical incompatibility with other stinging-celled life or something has gone lacking (alkalinity, old lamps...) in this system. There is even a possibility of parasitism of this Soft Coral. Please see the FAQs files on all these terms posted on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com on the Marine Index. Bob Fenner>

Question on soft coral problem Yes, maybe you can answer some questions for me. I have a Sarcophyton leather coral and a Lemnalia tree coral with an interesting discoloration on its lower end. The Sarcophytons discoloration looks like red and green algae on its base. The coral showed some signs of shriveling around this area and the polyps were closed. I wasn't sure what to do so I dipped it with Tectra D coral dip by Kent Marine. A few days later the polyps began to open but the discoloration is still there and it is having a little trouble up righting itself. It appears to be a little weak. My Lemnalia tree coral is showing no signs of discomfort so I haven't dipped it. But its discoloration is black at its base. Could you explain to me what this is? My leather corals are gorgeous and I want to keep them happy! Thank you for your help. <"It" may well be that the colored areas you're observing are necrotic... dead or almost so, and that indeed, algae and other microbes are taking their "rightful" decomposing opportunistic place... If it were me, I'd try moving what they're attached to so those areas are more exposed to light and circulation... and do what you can to spiff up water quality... water changes, cleaning your skimmer, periodic use of chemical filtrants... Bob Fenner>

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