My Coral Rehabilitation Project

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ReefdUp

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Hi all!

Pretty photos first (let's be honest - that's why we're all here):

Slide66.JPG


I wasn't sure where to put this... it's a little bit of my tank, a little bit of pests/diseases, some coral, some fish... so here we are.

About 12 years ago I started rescuing coral and fish, and so far I've rehabilitated several hundred coral (fish...not so many...). Instead of pretty tanks, I typically have tanks full of half-dead colonies (you won't see many FTS from me!) But, this is my reward. I hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labor. One day I'd like to do this professionally, but I can't quit my day job just yet. :) I'll try to post a new photo daily or at least a few times a week.

The first coral was just stung - badly. Within about a year and a half, it was quite nice. This coral ultimately ended up in a friend's tank.

The second coral... I don't even know. It was disgusting and smelled awful. I was only able to save two polyps initially, but it went on to be a large mother colony that produced lots of frags.

Slide10.JPG


Disclaimer: I'm not a veterinarian/doctor - I can't diagnose anything. I'm happy to talk about what I've done though or give thoughts to consider.

I bought this tang at a "discount" - ha. I actually have a worse photo of it; this was after treatment for a serious ich infestation. With some TLC, its scars were mostly healed. Unfortunately, an airline carrier that shall not be named misplaced the package with this fish when we moved.

Slide68.JPG


Don't try this at home: Obviously I want to inspire...but responsibly. I've come across some nasty stuff, and I don't want to see anyone infect their tanks or themselves. I also don't want to encourage LFS to sell sub-par specimens.

These anemones were salvaged from a neglected tank. After they recovered, I re-homed them. Anemones aren't my thing (they sting my corals!!)

Slide15.JPG


This Acropora had AEFW and Red Bugs...in 2012 (they weren't quite so easy to treat back then!) Within less than two months, all parasites were eradicated, and the coral colored up. It was eventually re-homed.

Slide19.JPG


I'll sign off for today on my happiest note...saving the best for last (and of course I'll post more later.)

This bowerbanki...its story is too long to tell here. But, after all this time (and three moves later!) it's still in my collection.

Slide40.JPG


I hope you've enjoyed this! Now for my shameless plug: I'm always looking for more "projects," so if you're in my local area or are willing to ship, let me know! Stay tuned for more eye candy!

Happy reefing!
Nikki
 
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EmdeReef

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Hi all!

Pretty photos first (let's be honest - that's why we're all here):

Slide66.JPG


I wasn't sure where to put this... it's a little bit of my tank, a little bit of pests/diseases, some coral, some fish... so here we are.

About 12 years ago I started rescuing coral and fish, and so far I've rehabilitated several hundred coral (fish...not so many...). Instead of pretty tanks, I typically have tanks full of half-dead colonies (you won't see many FTS from me!) But, this is my reward. I hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labor. One day I'd like to do this professionally, but I can't quit my day job just yet. :) I'll try to post a new photo daily or at least a few times a week.

The first coral was just stung - badly. Within about a year and a half, it was quite nice. This coral ultimately ended up in a friend's tank.

The second coral... I don't even know. It was disgusting and smelled awful. I was only able to save two polyps initially, but it went on to be a large mother colony that produced lots of frags.

Slide10.JPG


Disclaimer: I'm not a veterinarian/doctor - I can't diagnose anything. I'm happy to talk about what I've done though or give thoughts to consider.

I bought this tang at a "discount" - ha. I actually have a worse photo of it; this was after treatment for a serious ich infestation. With some TLC, its scars were mostly healed. Unfortunately, an airline carrier that shall not be named misplaced the package with this fish when we moved.

Slide68.JPG


Don't try this at home: Obviously I want to inspire...but responsibly. I've come across some nasty stuff, and I don't want to see anyone infect their tanks or themselves. I also don't want to encourage LFS to sell sub-par specimens.

These anemones were salvaged from a neglected tank. After they recovered, I re-homed them. Anemones aren't my thing (they sting my corals!!)

Slide15.JPG


This Acropora had AEFW and Red Bugs...in 2012 (they weren't quite so easy to treat back then!) Within less than two months, all parasites were eradicated, and the coral colored up. It was eventually re-homed.

Slide19.JPG


I'll sign off for today on my happiest note...saving the best for last (and of course I'll post more later.)

This bowerbanki...its story is too long to tell here. But, after all this time (and three moves later!) it's still in my collection.

Slide40.JPG


I hope you've enjoyed this! Now for my shameless plug: I'm always looking for more "projects," so if you're in my local area or are willing to ship, let me know! Stay tuned for more eye candy!

Happy reefing!
Nikki


very cool! Good job! Do you mind posting your protocols for nursing corals back? I think it would be helpful to other members here.
 

KrisReef

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I new a guy who did this. He called the sick corals "Challenge pieces." I picked up the habit and have had moderate success compared to what I am seeing in your photos. I've had good luck with plates, but acans hate me! Very interested in your methods of treatment.

Edit: EmdeReef beat me to the request for treatment protocols. :)
 
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Navymedic

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Phew, it was a busy weekend - took in about 15 sick corals. I'll post more later, but here's just a pretty shot (this one ultimately went to a friend's tank):

Slide8.JPG
Awesome work, congrats! Maybe your work can help repopulate the reefs? Sharing your protocals might help those with the $$$ to maybe take up large scale projects.. keep up the great work, thanks for sharing.
 
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ReefdUp

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Hi again! Thanks so much for the kind words of encouragement!

I used to have a website documenting all of this, but it took time away from the work itself. Plus, I'm not a vet/doctor, so I'm not qualified to give any "real" advice. Unfortunately, I've seen a bunch of people read a few words of advice, hear what they want, then do dumb things. You all know what I'm talking about.

Here's the very basic outline of what I do. I think there are some things I do that I can't explain why, but I go off intuition. I'm an engineer, so I used to have at least a modest amount of rigor in my methods (ohh, you should've seen the simulation I built of coral pest reproduction lifecycles and the impacts of different medications/treatments. It was great, except I think the software company is obsolete now.)

- Bottom line: There is no magic solution. This is 12 years of effort, learning, and FAILING. I've checked - I spend more money trying to save coral than if I were to just buy healthy coral like everyone else. If you think this is a way to get cheap coral, it's not.
- I used to limit what corals I'd take in (e.g., at least 75% of a polyp remaining, only certain pests, no brown jelly substance, etc.) Now, I take in everything since I feel like I can deal with nearly anything that comes in (including brown jelly). Who doesn't want a challenge?!
- Maintaining good water quality is a must, and this is a huge challenge if you always have a tank full of dying stuff. If you have any problems, don't take in more problems.
- Softies get a 5-second dip in a 10% hydrogen peroxide (standard grocery store strength) - tank water mix dip, followed by a Bayer dip, followed by a CoralRx dip
- LPS get the same as above except a 20-second dip in the hydrogen peroxide water dip
- SPS get only the Bayer & CoralRx dips
- Fish are another story...(not in this post)
- Everything is quarantined for 30 days. If I see a sign of anything, I handle the problem, and then the coral has to be clean for 30 days. Stuff still gets by me, but it's rare.
- When I did this on a larger scale (had a 1000 sq ft workshop with about 1000g dedicated to rescuing), I had a secondary QT/grow-out. This helped prevent pests from migrating.
- If I see signs of any problems, I treat for those problems. This requires inspecting every coral all over every day, including late nights to search for the nocturnal pests.
- Damaged corals have dying tissue removed, and I superglue a line along the healthy tissue to the skeleton.
- All corals have the majority of excess skeleton removed, especially any sharp bits (septa, etc.)
- Bleach, bleach, bleach, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar... Keep everything as clean as possible (tools, etc.)
- Have every medication/chemical available on hand. For example, levamisole, potassium permanganate, Bayer, Furan 2, chloroquine diphosphate, methylene blue, fluke tabs (my stock is getting *old* now that they're discontinued!!), etc.
- Know how to treat for everything, and have a microscope to help with determining the problem (ooooh the nasty things you'll find!)
- Are you ready to handle Acanthastrea-eating spiders? Predatory Rhodactis flatworms with tentacles (who knew?) Black bugs? Nudibranchs of every shape and size?
- Feed according to the problem & coral. I feed bleached corals 3-5x per week with my homemade food. But, there are some corals I've learned to not try to feed until they are at a certain point in recovery (not sure how to explain this). Otherwise, the corals just can't seem to digest the food. It rots, and the corals rot too. I guess I look for a feeding response - if they aren't actively trying to feed, I don't force it.

I'm sure I'll think of more later, but that's my late-night attempt to put it on "paper".

And, another pretty shot:
Slide63.JPG
 
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Dr. Dendrostein

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Hi all!

Pretty photos first (let's be honest - that's why we're all here):

Slide66.JPG


I wasn't sure where to put this... it's a little bit of my tank, a little bit of pests/diseases, some coral, some fish... so here we are.

About 12 years ago I started rescuing coral and fish, and so far I've rehabilitated several hundred coral (fish...not so many...). Instead of pretty tanks, I typically have tanks full of half-dead colonies (you won't see many FTS from me!) But, this is my reward. I hope you all enjoy the fruits of my labor. One day I'd like to do this professionally, but I can't quit my day job just yet. :) I'll try to post a new photo daily or at least a few times a week.

The first coral was just stung - badly. Within about a year and a half, it was quite nice. This coral ultimately ended up in a friend's tank.

The second coral... I don't even know. It was disgusting and smelled awful. I was only able to save two polyps initially, but it went on to be a large mother colony that produced lots of frags.

Slide10.JPG


Disclaimer: I'm not a veterinarian/doctor - I can't diagnose anything. I'm happy to talk about what I've done though or give thoughts to consider.

I bought this tang at a "discount" - ha. I actually have a worse photo of it; this was after treatment for a serious ich infestation. With some TLC, its scars were mostly healed. Unfortunately, an airline carrier that shall not be named misplaced the package with this fish when we moved.

Slide68.JPG


Don't try this at home: Obviously I want to inspire...but responsibly. I've come across some nasty stuff, and I don't want to see anyone infect their tanks or themselves. I also don't want to encourage LFS to sell sub-par specimens.

These anemones were salvaged from a neglected tank. After they recovered, I re-homed them. Anemones aren't my thing (they sting my corals!!)

Slide15.JPG


This Acropora had AEFW and Red Bugs...in 2012 (they weren't quite so easy to treat back then!) Within less than two months, all parasites were eradicated, and the coral colored up. It was eventually re-homed.

Slide19.JPG


I'll sign off for today on my happiest note...saving the best for last (and of course I'll post more later.)

This bowerbanki...its story is too long to tell here. But, after all this time (and three moves later!) it's still in my collection.

Slide40.JPG


I hope you've enjoyed this! Now for my shameless plug: I'm always looking for more "projects," so if you're in my local area or are willing to ship, let me know! Stay tuned for more eye candy!

Happy reefing!
Nikki
Thanks so much for sharing. Keep up the good work
 
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ReefdUp

ReefdUp

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I am curious to ask, have you ever done any pectinia? I ask because just a few days ago I got a piece that had had an anemone fall on it a few months back. Would like to help this guy pull back to full strength. About 30% exposed skeleton.
20190116_201800.jpg
I have! I need to be up in 4 hours (ugh), so I'll try to post more on pectinia tomorrow. Feel free to send me a message with more details so I can respond if you have any specific questions.
 
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