My Coral Rehabilitation Project

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ReefdUp

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your doing gods work man :))))

Haha, I definitely can't claim that, but I do appreciate the sentiment! It's incredibly rewarding, but all the support makes it double!

Hi,

I have a pretty blasto that's in bad shape from day 1 from the vendor. Colors are still there, mouth still opening/closing, but the flesh is withdrawn all the way in.

You mentioned a 5 second peroxide dip. Is that RODI/peroxide mix? If so, what's the ratio. Or, just peroxide?

Also, do you recommend the CoralRX dip right after, or wait how long?

TIA

I'm sorry to hear that you have a blasto in a rough shape, but I'm glad to hear you're trying to help it out! A mouth that is responding is a really good sign! My hydrogen peroxide dips vary, from a few seconds up to a minute, depending on the issue (NOTE: this is not for SPS!!) I use tank water with regular-strength (3%) hydrogen peroxide. My ratios vary from 10:1 to 1:1, again, based on the issue. Then, I follow up immediately with usually one or two other dips, depending on the issues. The CoralRx dip is usually the last dip. If you'd like more specific help, feel free to reach out via PM or by pointing me to your thread on the issues.

Wow! Any advice on Zoas ?

Lots - but it depends on what's going on! Zoa-eating nudi's, zoa-pox, zoa-spiders, sundial snails, bleaching, etc... are all things just off the top of my head that I've frequently seen. Unfortunately, with Furan2 gone now, I need to go look up what a replacement could be for zoa-pox.
 
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Microclados is a really beautiful species, I've got a coral from BattleCorals called 'Sky Parade' that I'm 99% sure is A. microclados. I'm loving the smooth, rounded corallites.

So far, I've found two documented cases of Cynarina spawning in captivity, both from 2000-2005 (though the list I read was quite old too). One was male and the other was female, both from separate tanks and one of which had just been added to the tank a few weeks prior. Not much data from those events, but I took what I could get xD The same list had several cases of Macrodactyla doreensis spawning in home aquariums too, which is the other species I plan to target with this project. I wanted to do Indophyllia and Acanthophyllia as well, but I'd be paying tens of thousands of dollars just for broodstock if I were to start with those xD Maybe if I can get an endorsement or something I'll try that next.

Oooh, I had to go look that one up, and it's definitely a stunner!

I'm sure you've done a ton of research, so my apologies if this information is redundant. If you haven't seen it yet, Richard Ross gave a great talk on MACNA (you can find it online) about spawning corals in captivity. There's also this study, which includes cynarina spawning (but again, it's an older study too). I would think starting with some bland colors of "meat corals" wouldn't be too expensive to start. Once it's proven out, then you could move to more brilliant colors. Please keep me posted!
 
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Here's today's eye candy! For the time, in looking back, this was quite an "advanced" piece for me at the time.

Slide66.JPG
 
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In 2020...in the early days of the pandemic, reports started popping up about dyed blue sun corals.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/how-to-tell-if-a-coral-is-dyed-a-different-color.736716/

One of my friends ended up with one of these, and she was struggling with it (and it appeared to be affecting her other corals). So, she asked if I was interested in trying to rescue it. How could I say no?! I really believed it was dyed at first as well, so I started researching ways to treat it.

Without going through the whole story here (it's on my blog), almost two years later, and it's still the same color! It did spawn for me as well. Thanks to the Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society (WAMAS), who hosted Matt Wandell to give a chat on NPS corals, Matt and I were able to arrange its permanent home in a display tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

Here is the blue sun coral along with the yellow sun coral on arrival:
20200711_123523.jpg


Here it is spawning!!
20201212_090959.jpg


What a ridiculously gorgeous coral!!
20200820_055342.jpg


You can now see this coral in this tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (it was in quarantine at the time I took the photo, so it's not shown below).
20211101_134540.jpg
 
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@ReefdUp very inspiring, thanks for sharing! As an example I the photos above are you like chopping all that dead skeleton off? Then you have a bunch of little frags? How close to the tissue line do you cut?

Thank you!! It really depends, but as soon as the coral is stable enough, I typically cut off all the dead skeleton as much as possible. Sometimes, when there's active decay, I cut into the healthy tissue as well, and then adhere the healthy tissue to the skeleton with superglue gel. Otherwise, I cut as closely as possible (it takes trial and error to know where a coral's tissue stops within the skeleton and to not accidentally cut into it). I remove the skeleton for multiple reasons. First, the skeleton can harbor a lot of pests. Second, any sharp points can damage the tissue further when the coral inflates. Third, less skeleton means less places to try to get a treatment into (e.g., antibiotic treatments). I could go on and on. In some cases, doing this means I have a LOT of little frags.
 
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This is amazing, half my early experiences in the hobby was basically those pics flipped with the before looking alot nicer. You have a serious talent/skill @ReefdUp thanks for sharing with all of us!

Oh, I know that feeling too. In the 14 years I've been doing this, I've had my failures, tank crashes, etc. too. The coral in my avatar has been probably my biggest headache after I rescued it (it keeps trying to die on me, and has been doing so for almost the last 10 years.) It is just a bunch of little frags now, and it refuses to leave my frag tank (every time it does, it tries to die again.) Talk about heartbreaking!!!
 

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Oooh, I had to go look that one up, and it's definitely a stunner!

I'm sure you've done a ton of research, so my apologies if this information is redundant. If you haven't seen it yet, Richard Ross gave a great talk on MACNA (you can find it online) about spawning corals in captivity. There's also this study, which includes cynarina spawning (but again, it's an older study too). I would think starting with some bland colors of "meat corals" wouldn't be too expensive to start. Once it's proven out, then you could move to more brilliant colors. Please keep me posted!
Thank you so much for the resources! I've been reading up on Dr. Jamey Cragg's work, and though he primarily works with Acropora species, all of his stuff has been incredibly helpful. I can't wait until he comes out with his Homophyllia spawning method, that might be more helpful for me.
That was my plan, to start with the less colorful ones (maybe one or two bright ones to see if color is genetically transmitted) and perfect the methods there. Then when I get something that works consistently, I'll try and get a sponsorship from a vendor/exporter and work out a deal for some nicer ones, and some Acanthophyllia. At least, thats the plan. I've not looked too far into phase 2 as of yet xD
 

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In 2020...in the early days of the pandemic, reports started popping up about dyed blue sun corals.
https://www.reef2reef.com/threads/how-to-tell-if-a-coral-is-dyed-a-different-color.736716/

One of my friends ended up with one of these, and she was struggling with it (and it appeared to be affecting her other corals). So, she asked if I was interested in trying to rescue it. How could I say no?! I really believed it was dyed at first as well, so I started researching ways to treat it.

Without going through the whole story here (it's on my blog), almost two years later, and it's still the same color! It did spawn for me as well. Thanks to the Wasatch Marine Aquarium Society (WAMAS), who hosted Matt Wandell to give a chat on NPS corals, Matt and I were able to arrange its permanent home in a display tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium!

Here is the blue sun coral along with the yellow sun coral on arrival:
20200711_123523.jpg


Here it is spawning!!
20201212_090959.jpg


What a ridiculously gorgeous coral!!
20200820_055342.jpg


You can now see this coral in this tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium (it was in quarantine at the time I took the photo, so it's not shown below).
20211101_134540.jpg
these blue ones are tricky. I think the rumor that they were painted came from the fact that the pigment is held very close to the skin and can rub off relatively easily. However, other Tubastrea also seem to have this type of chalky pigment. However, some of these blue ones will also shed the blue paint so I really don't know. It's weird.
 
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This Micromussa was at a LFS, and the owner had not been able to stop the recession. I removed the dead skeleton and cut into the healthy tissue, and then I just followed my standard protocol. Coral saved! Not too bad for only six months effort. Whenever I find some free time, I'll be fragging it up for redistribution.

2021-MICR001.jpg
 
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these blue ones are tricky. I think the rumor that they were painted came from the fact that the pigment is held very close to the skin and can rub off relatively easily. However, other Tubastrea also seem to have this type of chalky pigment. However, some of these blue ones will also shed the blue paint so I really don't know. It's weird.

I believe it's a structural blue, not a blue pigment. It almost seems like it's a subtractive coloration. All color that comes off is green and yellow, but this is quite a blue coral. Also of interest is that the coral requires bright light to retain its blue coloration. The shaded areas become more green/yellow (but return to blue once exposed to bright light).
 

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I believe it's a structural blue, not a blue pigment. It almost seems like it's a subtractive coloration. All color that comes off is green and yellow, but this is quite a blue coral. Also of interest is that the coral requires bright light to retain its blue coloration. The shaded areas become more green/yellow (but return to blue once exposed to bright light).
That makes sense, almost like how acros get super fluorescent colors in high light. Like a sunscreen.
 
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This Wellsophyllia had unexplained severe bleaching on opposite ends (it was in an amazing show tank at the LFS, so the usual suspects were quickly ruled out). Back when I took this coral in, I honestly had no hope for it; I had no real idea on how to help it. But, it recovered (and very quickly too!)
Slide248.JPG
 
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This might've been my first "rescue." I found this coral in a LFS live rock bin; I can honestly say I buy my corals "by the pound!" Unfortunately, I didn't document this sort of thing very much back then, because it wasn't a "thing" at the time.

2007-DIPS001.jpg
 
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I have hundreds of these before/after corals, so I'd love to hear what type of rescues you find most interesting! Otherwise, I'll just keep posting random ones until I run out (at this rate, it won't be for a long time). :)

Surprisingly, I receive a LOT of Cyphastrea corals to rehab for some reason. I love the results each time - they quickly recover, grow fast, and I can pass lots on to other reefkeepers.

Slide57.JPG
 
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While the large rescue pieces are more fun (in my opinion) to rehabilitate, most of what I take in are these teeny pieces destined for the calcium reactor. It's quite rewarding knowing that these corals now truly have another chance at life.

This coral is now about the size of a golf ball in my display aquarium.

Slide73.JPG
 
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I saw something weird and glowing orange in a LFS tank, with only a few polyps on it. Normally, I try to show the "after" photo as soon as the coral is healed (not years later), but this one ended up in a display tank at MACNA one year. (And no, this isn't a Hollywood Stunner; it's a Jason Fox "Fire Echinopora".)

Slide93.JPG


Polyps extended:
20170204.jpg
 
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