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Help with Coral Rot/Fungus/Mold


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Hey everyone. I'm new to the hobby, 6 months in. A few days ago (after I added 20 lbs of live rock I got from a reefer on this forum) I noticed some strange blackish specks on the tips of my xenia. It almost looked like a tiny bit of red hair algae. There was only a few spots.

A few days later, I noticed a few polyp stalks going black and wilting, and the root/base was turning white as if it was covered in mold. The stuff spread across the base then up adjacent stalks. The polyp heads would shrivel up and fall off.

I did a bit of research and read that there was not much I could do. I read that maybe cutting off the infected pieces would stop it, but probably not and it would likely die. By that time I couldn't really just cut it, the whole thing looked infected. I moved it out of the shadows and up into more light and flow though it had been fine there before. This didn't seem to slow or halt the fungus at all.

Then I noticed one of the polyps of one of my two pulsing xenia fragments looked dark and shriveled. This time I moved all the powerheads onto it and the one beside it, still keeping the normal xenia in the line of direct flow. Then a couple days later, the first pulsing xenia looked fine and healthy, but the one next to it was completely shriveled! Maybe it wasn't getting enough light/flow to combat the fungus, but its completely wilted now. At this point, the original non-pulsing xenia looks terrible too.

The friend who traded me these xenia fragments told me not to worry and he can give me more. Okay, but... what if it spreads to other corals?

I think I'm starting to see some of my clove polyps starting to darken and wilt now, and some white mold/wilting on the tips of my waving hand anthelia... sad.png

Also, after adding the live rock and rearranging the tank (disturbing the sand bed), I saw a mini-cycle / nitrate spike. It never got above 40 ppm, and I did large water changes more than regularly when I saw this. This could be related, but I didn't think soft corals cared about nitrates so much. Also, I'm not sure if the water changes made any difference to the rot or not...

What is this stuff and what can I do about it? Thanks.








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Check your phosphates. From what I've experienced softies will do that with high phosphates.

Sent from my MB855 using Tapatalk 2

I don't have anything to test phosphates with. :( Where would you recommend getting a kit for that? The only LFS near me is a petco.

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I don't want to jinx it, but you mentioned in one of your previous post that you are using tap water. It is very uncommon among reefers to do that, the reason is that tap water is not stable with the level of phosphate or nitrate or chloramine being different every time. So every time you change water you don't really know what you are introducing in excess. In my opinion if you are serious about reefing the only way to go is RO water.

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You're using a hydrometer for salinity. They are notoriously inaccurate. Get someone to check your salinity with a refractometer.


Ive got one that Jonathan "set" with his refractometer...ill bring it tomorrow when i come by

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