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Old 02-06-2004, 11:26 AM   #1
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plate coral with an algae problem

We bought a beautiful pink plate coral (about 3" diameter) from the LFS about 3 weeks ago, which had a very small white patch in the center. Slowly, brown algae has grown in that region (at least, I assume it's algae), exuding bubbles of ?air or ?mucous that sit suspended right over it. The same sort of algae, minus the bubbles is also growing all over the underside. Several times, I've scraped away at the algae (with a plastic, nonserrated knife), figuring I would impede its growth and allow the coral to "outgrow" it, but it hasn't made a dent.

What did we do wrong, and is there any way to save it?
BTW, we have MH lighting (2 x 175 W for a 46 gal tank) and 2 MaxiJet1200 PHs in the tank. This is our only SPS coral, but we have a variety of leathers and a frogspawn in the tank, all of which are doing well.
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Old 02-06-2004, 12:05 PM   #2
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If the brown algae looks slimey, it could actually be a type of bacterial infection. Any possibility of posting a pic?

If that's the case, you should syphon the goo out with a small airhose instead of scraping the coral. There is less chance of causing further damage or stress to the coral that way. The problem can be caused by numerous things and as it's new to your tank could be just about anything. Best action is to increase the number of water changes to keep DOC and nitrate to an absolute minimum and ensure the coral is getting good water flow. I would also suggest placing the coral out of direct light. There is the possibility it maybe expelling zooxanthellae as well if it's going through light shock.

Check this article to see if it resembles your problem. Corals and Bacterial Disease. It will also help you get rid of it.

And BTW, a plate is an LPS

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Old 02-06-2004, 12:07 PM   #3
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Acutally a plate coral is a LPS. If it was white then it sounds like there was some tissue regression on the coral when you got it. The alage is starting to grow on the plate corals skeliton. Try to syphon off the algae as best as possible. Also make sure there is no air trapped under the plate and that the plate is sitting flat on your sand bed.

having algae grow UNDER the plate coral is kind of strange to me since that would be a location of no light.
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Old 02-06-2004, 01:59 PM   #4
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thanks

It's a Montipora species- I thought those were SPS corals? At least, that's what my coral book claims.

In any case, I will post a pic when I get home late tonight. I sure wish that the link describing bacterial infection in corals had a pic with it. the stuff on my coral is not stringy but does seem to "hover" on the top surface.

Andrea, the coral novice
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Old 02-06-2004, 03:00 PM   #5
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When you said plate coral I was thinking this.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...cat=506&page=1

Where as I belive you ment this.

http://www.aquariumadvice.com/photop...cat=507&page=3
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Old 02-08-2004, 08:27 PM   #6
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sick coral pics

Well, I finally managed to both take some pictures (albeit a bit blurry, since I have digital zoom on) and figure out how to make the file size sufficiently small to post.

The first pic shows the whole coral, the second shows a close up of a portion of the underside, where the brown stuff is also growing but looks a little different (not as fuzzy and no air/mucous bubbles) and the third is a close up of the patch on the top side of the coral.

Thanks,
Andrea



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Old 02-08-2004, 09:39 PM   #7
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that is actually an Orange Montipora Capricornis..

James
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Old 02-08-2004, 10:34 PM   #8
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The close up pics are a bit too blury for any real detail but I honesty cannot see an algae problem. The underside of the coral will always be a much paler color than the topside. Almost an off white/beige as a rule.

The piece off to the left look like it could be a concern though. Unless it's the lighting or flaw in the pic the edge near the centre looks like it's losing tissue. Do all the edges appear to have the same whitish border or is that one area looking oddly different?

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Old 02-09-2004, 11:59 AM   #9
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That edge represents a clean break- the first time I tried to scrape off the brown gunk, I accidentally broke off a small piece that was overhanging that damaged region. Should I do something with the edge? I figured it was the same kind of break that would have happened if I had fragged it purposefully (that frag is doing fine BTW).

Does the brown patch on the top actually look normal to you? It certainly wasn't there when I bought the coral, and it scrapes off with a fingernail. Underneath the brown stuff, the coral is bleached white and has no polyps; that CAN'T be good. The underside has several brownish patches too, as shown in picture 2- I'm not talking about the general lighter coloration or the pink spots ,which I assume are the natural coral.
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Old 02-09-2004, 12:39 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daveNandi
hould I do something with the edge? I figured it was the same kind of break that would have happened if I had fragged it purposefully (that frag is doing fine BTW).
If the flesh is not necrosing or receding leave it be. As you said it's doing fine.

Quote:
Does the brown patch on the top actually look normal to you? It certainly wasn't there when I bought the coral, and it scrapes off with a fingernail. Underneath the brown stuff, the coral is bleached white and has no polyps; that CAN'T be good. The underside has several brownish patches too, as shown in picture 2- I'm not talking about the general lighter coloration or the pink spots ,which I assume are the natural coral.
I must have really bad eye's 'cause I quite honestly can't see the "brown" area's you speak of. In any event, build up of any foreign algae is not a good thing. I would suggest there may not be adequate flow in and around the coral. They will as a rule prefer quite aggressive flow without being luminar. Instead of scraping, I would still suggest a small syphon tube. It will minimize any possible damage.

You are not seeing anything like tis are you?



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