My Coral Rehabilitation Project

BRS
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
2012-S001.jpg
 
AquaCave Logo Banner
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Sometimes my "rehabilitations" are a little more... adventurous! We had tornadoes hit our city a few years ago, and a lot of folks lost power. One reefkeeper contacted me and asked for assistance as he lived pretty far out and had no power. I went to help out, but I wasn't expected what I encountered. There were multiple downed power lines across the roads, and I had to clear out a tank in a dim room (lit only with a window).

The corals were just stressed - not exactly dying when I got them - but they are no less rescues in my mind! This toadstool was one of those. It has gone on to be fragged multiple times - and with any luck, it'll continue to provide many more frags!

Slide230.JPG
 
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I have had a lot of failures along the way, many of which I could likely save today (but were beyond my capability at the time). I just thought I'd share a few for some lessons learned.

2012: This one is likely still beyond what I could save today (notice the decay near the mouth, along with the gaping mouth.) (But wow - what an incredibly gorgeous coral!!)
2012-03-14.thumb.JPG.3f6114627ec9f992ed4e99704423722b.JPG

2011: I had no belief that I could actually save this one, but I wanted to learn and develop some protocol. It had no feeding response, had a gaping mouth, and appeared to have no internal structure.
2011-01-30.thumb.JPG.a2a0756046bc7ac38993d953a3c4d102.JPG

2011: This is one that I believe would have a chance today (but was beyond my capability at the time). My guess is that it had a bacterial infection and needed an antibiotic bath. The mouth was intact and responsive, which is what is a good indicator of recovery here.
2011_10_2_Red.thumb.jpg.84a8b5290146cc4179c6595c717b985f.jpg

2013: The same goes for this dying Cynarina (note the intact and responsive mouth). The splattered bleaching pattern makes me think it had a bacterial infection and needed treatment. But, at the time, it was just beyond my capabilities.
2013-01-05.thumb.JPG.54d9f1283e04fb2d326cc23ab0e526c6.JPG
 
Avast
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
This bowerbanki wasn't in too bad of shape when I received it, but it immediately took a turn for the worse. I was able to save it with an antibiotic treatment, thankfully! It's now thriving and making lots of beautiful babies. The coloration is still developing, and it looks like it'll be a stunner!

2021-02-28 (4).jpg


20210311_062119.jpg


Slide142.JPG
 
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Keep up the truly amazing work. Glad I discovered you and this thread!

Thank you so much!! Hearing from everyone interested definitely helps keep me remembering to post! Otherwise, it's really easy to just go hide in the basement and just baby my corals... :smiling-face-with-halo:
 
AquaCave Logo Banner
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
When you see so many people killing corals it's refreshing to see someone bringing them back from the brink.

Consider this my attempt at atonement for a looooot of reefkeeping sins over the years. I make plenty of mistakes (none of us are perfect) - in fact, just this week, I let a coral get too hot while cutting on the bandsaw and lost a few polyps. ARGH!!! We definitely learn a lot, if not more, from our failures.
 

ClownSchool

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 3, 2021
Messages
334
Reaction score
429
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
Location
US
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
I went to a frag swap today (it’s my first year in the hobby) and finally found a wish list coral for a good price (Jason Fox solar flair for $75).
I brought it home and CoralRX dipped it, but I think I over-dosed it (1/2 gallon with 2 cap-fulls).
Now, about 90% of the coral is bleached out, with only a small section of polyps left.
I’ve never had anything like this happen before, and don’t know if it’ll recover.
Your posts give me hope. Fingers crossed.
 
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
I went to a frag swap today (it’s my first year in the hobby) and finally found a wish list coral for a good price (Jason Fox solar flair for $75).
I brought it home and CoralRX dipped it, but I think I over-dosed it (1/2 gallon with 2 cap-fulls).
Now, about 90% of the coral is bleached out, with only a small section of polyps left.
I’ve never had anything like this happen before, and don’t know if it’ll recover.
Your posts give me hope. Fingers crossed.
I'm so sorry to hear that - it's heartbreaking and frustrating all at the same time. Sending you good coral vibes!!
 
OP
ReefdUp

ReefdUp

Active Member
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
View Badges
Joined
Jun 23, 2018
Messages
125
Reaction score
253
Review score
+0 /0 /-0
As encouragement, here is an Acropora that was receding fast at a LFS. I fragged it up - sadly only the largest piece survived. But, it still grew and recovered. It wasn't the fastest growth, but it still made it.

Slide25.JPG
 
REEFTIDE
Corals.com
BRS

How often do you buy coral from other hobbyists?

  • Very Often

    Votes: 67 22.2%
  • Occasionally

    Votes: 104 34.4%
  • Very Rare

    Votes: 61 20.2%
  • Never

    Votes: 61 20.2%
  • Other (please explain)

    Votes: 9 3.0%
Cultivated Reef
Top