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Old 01/08/2008, 10:57 AM   #1
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baloutang's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: California
Posts: 440
Coral dying rapid tissue necrosis???


I've been a "reefer" for little over a year. Within that year, I've lost many corals due to various factors.

Lately, I had a hammer coral that completely melted away. I did do 2 idodine dips, but these never ever help.

Is there any way to prevent corals from dying in this fashion? Only a piece will start to fade and then the next thing I know large chunks are just dying off.

My tank params have remained consistent. I've not added any new livestock to the tank for well over 6 months. I do monthly water changes as well with only RO/DI water as well as top offs. My lights are only 3 months old so no need of changing as well.

Temp 79F
PH 8.0
Calcium 400

I run a wavemaker as well as a chiller and heater to keep the temperature constant within the tank.

Let me know your thoughts and how to prevent this from happening to any more corals.


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Old 01/09/2008, 07:00 AM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 2,963
I'm also around 2 years in the hobby, but had a few cases of that.

What I would do:
1. Keep an eye on the tank. Even seemingly unkillable corals can die - but not in one day. If you catch the process in time - it's likely reparable.
2. You have sand, I - bare bottom tank (after having shallow sand bed). Sand potentially could accumulate a lot of detritus, but you will see this, and reaction of other macro- and microorganisms. Including fish, that reacts faster, good indicator.
3. Be sure, that you do not have red cyano, flatworms, dinoflagellates for a prolonged time. Carbon and micron sock as the temporary help.
4. I had problems with some salts - tests were OK, but one didn't kept alkalinity in tank. Had losses, even with alkalinity supplements. Even had a some loss of coraline - late, but still indicator. Changed for a different salts - much better. Tropic Marin Pro Reef, Red Sea and Instant Ocean were good enough.
5. Be sure, that nobody is knocking down LPS frags repeatedly: the cases of brown jelly (corals gangrene, in my understanding) followed the injury of the weakened corals (that were moved from high light to low light).
6. Filtration - check, if the not much particles are settling on the LR, decomposing there and lowering water quality. My apologies for assumption - trying to list everything, that seemed related.
7. Fragging the healthy parts, instead of dipping. Fragging the branching hammer will be easier, than the solid wall kind.
8. Change the flow, or position of the corals relatively to the flow - they respond pretty fast and you can see, are they like it or not.
9. RTN of the soft corals: I'm not an expert, but what I dealt with:
--xenia - spore-like cover, syphoned away (turkey baster), as soon, as it appeared, repeatedly;
-- purple lemnalia - stem rot, probably due to damage. Fragged.
-- orange swiftia gorgonian - really rapid tissue necrosis. Dips and disinfection didn't helped, Melafix and Pimafix - slightly. Mostly fragging and local disinfection by permanganate (was out of peroxide on statutory holiday). The same, what you would do for a human wound.

Seems, all.
Fresh, daily changed small doses of carbon - for emergencies.
Good luck!

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Old 01/09/2008, 07:52 AM   #3
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: California
Posts: 440
Many thanks for your insights. I'm just trying to eliminate all factors that could cause either RTN or STN. I've not fragged before but from doing a bit of research it appears to help but not always guaranteed. It's just depressing to see corals die the way they do.

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