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Oh no, what happened?

Bill B

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First let me say it is not clear to me what the best category for generic 'I have a problem' questions, so here it is, here.

Couple nites ago I decide my hands have not been in the 29 enough lately so I get in, rearrange a little rock work and positioning of some frags. A little 'dust' was swirling around afterwards, but it has been much worse. The next morning my favorite corals look like they have been hit with radiation. 4 different LPS (all of them), 3 frogspawn, a hammer are all pretty much goners. All of them look like they have 'melted' and a long stream of viscous goopy material has replaced my beautiful polyps. I've had them retract but never just melt away like this. My only guess is a fairly large finger leather is the culprit. The next morning I noticed it was also leaning over. I wonder if maybe it thought the dirty water was some sort of attack and it started some chemical warfare. I have quite a few small zoas and palys and I can't tell that any of them have been affected. I don't see anything else close to touching them, except a few branches were around some basic blue shrooms. The leather seems back to normal as well. Any thoughts on what NOT to do the next time?



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Gloves. Maybe something was on your hands.

Water change, if I every stir up the sand I do a big water change.

Run carbon.

That's all I can think of. Sucks man. I hope they can make a rebound.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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Could have been something on your hands. Just stirring up detritus wouldn't do that but depending on the palys you have they could have released palytoxin which can kill stuff pretty quick. I've gotten rid of the mottled bluish green or brownish green palys from most of my tanks because of the slime causing problems with some animals.

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It's tough to say. I think you can rule out the leather releasing toxins. It's not very common and you would see tank wide reactions. I've never heard of toxin reducing LPS to goo, but Euphyllias react strangely sometimes.

Did you wash your hands before you got into the tank? It could be there were some chemicals or something toxic that was introduced.

Did you add any new corals or anything to the tank recently?

If the Euphyllias were the only ones affected, then it could be a bacterial infection. You can Google LPS bacterial infection to see them all, or maybe just brown goo.

How old is your sand bed? It could be that you stirred up some pockets. That can sometimes cause irritation and kill some corals, but it might be unlikely.

You didn't mention your equipment, do you run carbon? People who keep noxious corals or invertebrates usually run carbon to absorb the toxin.

When you see something wrong, especially something major like that, the first course of action is to do a water change. Did you do one? If you did, then the corals bouncing back could be because you diluted whatever got into the tank.

If you haven't done a water change then I'd be leaning towards bacterial. It's a long shot, but possible. Sometimes Euphyllias drop their plume, but the "goo" part has me worried.

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Thanks for all your responses! I don't have any pictures. It looked sadly like the euphelias were wax and they were literally melting. I know we sometimes refer to zoas as melting away when we really mean just dissapearing but these looked very much like goo dripping from the calcium structures. There was no chance of survival. Most of the polyps are completely gone already with just the skeleton remaining. There are a couple left that just look like them have a dirty cocoon like spider web around them. Interestingly I forgot where I place one frogsp. and it seems fine.

Part of my landscaping was to prune one of the frogsp. as it had many dead branches and only 3 good ones. I would like to know if this is typically detrimental to the whole 'colony' (pruning). The other two were untouched in that reaspect. There may have been something on what was literally garden shears but it would not have been an obvious poison or the like. I did not wash my hands purposely anyway. I do not run any reactors as this is a basic 29 with no sump just a nano skimmer and two circulation fans although I am in the process of upgrading to something bigger with a sump. I did not do a water change right away. I have done a 5 gallon since. Although I am just getting back into this mania I have spent many hours with my hands in the water with no problems to the tank or me although I am sure this is a take heed warning/lesson. Water parameters are fine. I think I am feeling most strongly, now, that somehow I personally am the culprit, although I may never know for sure or exactly how. I do have the sense that the euphelias were the only coral that I actually handle at all skin, and garden tool, to coral. Most of my other frags are on disks or rocks so I would not have actually touched the other corals. I actually remember brushing against the 'flesh' of one or two just trying to get the heads to turn the right way one I propped them in various little holes.

Well, gotta be at work by 10. Niters or Good Day, as the case might be :)

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