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red algae living underneath bubble coral
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Sacrophyton
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Joined: 05 May 2007

PostPosted: 2008.11.28(Fri)14:32    Post subject: red algae living underneath bubble coral Reply with quote

I have had a bubble coral for a about 11 months, and it has recently contracted a red algae that is slowly eating it away. the algae lives underneath the bubble coral's tissue, on the skeleton. the coral is slowly shrinking, and will soon die! My nitrate is next to nothing, my pH is 8.1, and everything else seems to be fine. my lighting is a 198 watt dual sattalite fixture, power compact. here's a picture;

You can see the algae where the coral's tissue ends and it's dead skeleton begins.
What should I do? I have tried a reef-safe algacide, and it had no effect.
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2008.11.28(Fri)17:56    Post subject: Reply with quote

1. How do you know the red algae (cyanobacteria) is eating the coral...
2. Can you remove it manually with a toothbrush in a bucket of tank water...
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MackEmmons
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PostPosted: 2008.11.28(Fri)23:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks more like Coraline algae rather than Cyanobacteria. Either way, neither should be eating your coral. And I don't that is the issue here. But in fact I think the reason your Bubble corals health is declining is from insufficient lighting.

How much current is around the coral?
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Sacrophyton
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PostPosted: 2008.11.30(Sun)0:53    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a moderate amount of current around the coral, and it has not been altered ever. It was my assumption that the algae was eating the coral because few things have changed since it started to decline, and the algae seemed the most probable. I'm pretty sure it is cynobacteria, because it is soft to the touch. I couldn't remove the algae with a brush because it lives inside the skeleton, all over. I feed my coral about once a month, is that too little?
to give you an idea of what it WAS like, here's a photo;

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MackEmmons
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PostPosted: 2008.11.30(Sun)14:06    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you can't remove it with a toothbrush, its not likely to be Cyanobacteria. It feel soft, probably because its wet. I have never heard of cyano embedding itself into anything, and even then, a simple hand wave should release it.

Have you measured anything else, calcium, alkalinity, etc.?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2008.11.30(Sun)14:41    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's certainly possible that bacterial forces are involved here, if you start to see signs of brown jelly infection or something then you will need to move it to QT, but based on that photo I'm really not sure it's being attacked, and the cyano does not appear to be smothering it or covering the top at all. I think your coral may be simply starving.

According to WWM's article page, Bubble corals like to be fed at least twice a week, and some of the authors over there suggest, "Bubble corals need to be fed finely minced meaty foods 4-5 times weekly minimum. Daily would be better."

Try feeding it more and see if it improves, here are a few links that may help you:
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm
http://www.reefcorner.com/SpecimenSheets/bubble_coral.htm
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryfaqs2.htm
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Sacrophyton
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PostPosted: 2008.11.30(Sun)16:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

FrontosaKing: If I could get to the algae, I would. I'm saying it is living underneath the bubble coral's tissue, rather than next to it. As I don't want to cut open the coral to get at the algae... I can't go after it with a toothbrush.
Floridaboy: I will start feeding it twice a week, but should I use one large piece of food(such as part of a shrimp) or should I feed smaller things, such as mysis?
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FloridaBoy
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PostPosted: 2008.11.30(Sun)19:44    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of the links I posted says they can take rather large chunks, but I would change it up from day to day with smaller minced meats too, and also try the Mysis, see what happens. Wink
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MackEmmons
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PostPosted: 2008.12.01(Mon)18:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm confused about what algae we are talking about. Could you post a picture and circle what you are refering to?
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