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Electrokate

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Joined
Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
Hi,
It appears I have the dreaded zoanthid fungus. Have read of iodine and hydrogen peroxide dips, anyone know dosages for these treatments as well as if they are worth attempting? Are there better alternatives? Appears to have started with established zo's after I went out of town and my normal picky routine of daily attention was reduced to make it easier for the tank sitters... Added nice looking rocks from LFS which quickly got it. Doesn't appear to have gotten far yet so management is possible. Any suggestions? I think maybe it lurks til it finds a stressed host and attacks. Prior to going out of town I hadn't seen it. Had recently added another small colony of zoanthids before going out of town but they are well.
Have QT space so that is not a problem, just wondering what to do with them for the moment. I remember seeing this addressed somewhere in the forum but can't find it now.
Thanks,
Kate B
 

mfinn

Surgeonfish
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May 31, 2004
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Kate, I posted this here before, but I can't find it now.
There is another dip for zoanthids that is 10% hydrogen peroxide and 90% tank water for a period of 5 minutes.
The following I found on Reef Central. It is by a guy that goes by the handle MUCHO REEF. His credits are at the bottom.



Zoo Dip
I take no credit for this, it's really no big deal to do. All of the items used are most likely underneath your cabinet already. I have performed this for years on hundreds, yes, hundreds of zoos and it has worked every single time. No I'm not being cocky or anything like that, this really and truly works as many RC members have PM'd me directly saying so. No I'm not looking for a that-a-boy or anything, I just see that a lot of reefers have ask about it so I thought I would post it in its own thread.

Each and every zoo that goes into my tank, healthy or not, gets a dip. This dip has worked for most every ailments my zoos have had. Some will require a bit of surgery and in some rare cases where I have received a colony with a very nasty fungus, I have deviated slighlty and placed several drops of Lugols Iodine directly onto the infected colony after a bit of surgery. I see that a lot of people are dealing with the whitish, opaque to yellowish fungus or some sort on your colonies. For some reason this happens alot during shipment and I'm sure a lot of you will concur. The key to saving a colony with this issue is to act immediately. You must remove all of the fungus with tweezers outside of your tank. Now using a very sharp razor blade, cut down and around the entire area that was affected. If you have a large rock and you want to be sure that you have irradicated the problem, remove 2 or 3 rows of good zoos around the area that was infected. Rinse the colony well with tank water using a turkey baster or the like, still outside of your reef, now perform the dip with the dipping brew below. I sent it to someone last week so i just copied and pasted it below.

"Here's the dipping brew that I have used and most people on RC are using it now as well. If it is performed as soon as you see the signs in the proper manner, success is always attained.

1. Using a 5 gallon white bucket, add 3 gallons of RO water.
2. Now add 1 or 2 drops of Lugol's Iodine per gallon of RO water.( he has since changed this to 5 drops per gallon. mf)
3. Set your PH to 8.2
4. Set your water temp. at 78 degrees
5. If you have some Flatworm exit made my Saliferts, add
2 drops per gallon to the RO water to kill any Flatworms

Place the colony in the white bucket right side up. Leaving it there for about 5 minutes. Then grab the rock and invert it and place it in the water 3 inches below the water surface. Now twist the rock as fast as you can in a clockwise and counterclockwise motion for at least a minute. While the rock was sitting still in the RO water, it was killing off all bristle worms, Nudibranchs, flatworms and parasites. It will not kill off any Nudibranch eggs so you will have to inspect the rock for what looks like a tiny white 1/8 of and inch curly white piece of thread. They won't detach from the rock as the sack is very sticky. Inside this egg sack is up to 40 or so eggs just waiting to hatch. If you see one, just remove it with tweezers before placing the rock back into your reef. By the way, once you have finished twisting the rock in the water for a full minute, pull it out the water and dunk it back into the water a few times, splashing and swooshing is good, it dislodges anything that didn't fall off in the twisting motion. You are going to kill off a few copepds as well, but this is ok, as you have tons more already in your reef tank and your sump/fug. The dip will not kill your zoos, trust me, if you do exactly as stated above, you will be fine. If your colony is in declined and has been for some time, it may be too late to save them, but if you always do a dip on the first or second day of the problem, I have had a 99 % success rate at saving my own. I don't care what anyone else says, I know what has and will always work for the above issues. Zoos are all I know and I truly like to help out if and when I can.

Oh, I forgot, once you place the colony back into your reef, make sure they receive some current as they will be a little stressed and might slim a little, but that's ok, they will be fine. Your zoos will open in minutes.Always, ....always run your actinics only for the rest of that day. Actinics will encourage them to open. Try not to introduce any food into the system as well until the following day. On the following day, go back to your normal photoperiod. As I said, the zoos will be a little stressed and your 10 or 12k lighting will only try to encourage them to fully expand when they really don't want to right now because of what they have just experienced. I believe the bright lighting after a dip has and will discourage them from opening as soon. Trust me, you will not kill them my friend."


It would be great if any of you who have tried this would post your results below. I know of several who have emailed or Pm'd me, but I prefer that you mention your experience with the above dip.

Safe reefing everyone

Mucho

PS, I chose Lugols for its medicinal/antiseptic properties. Please remember to wear reef safe gloves. The white bucket will allow you to see everything that you have just killed off. Two drops of Lugols will not hurt or harm the zoos. I use two drops most of the time myself. Best of luck to all of you.

Hobby Experience: 11 years, 70 gallon zoo and ricordea reef and one lucky August 2003 TOTM winner, http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-08/totm/index.htm


Last edited by MUCHO REEF on 10/13/2004 at 11:16 AM
 

Electrokate

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Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
experimental therapy

Hi,
I couldn't find Lugol's, probably has another name... found a post on Reef Central suggesting use of peroxide dip which seems harsh but I had the chemicals.... Will report later if it works. I didn't do it nearly as long as they recommended. Followed up peroxide dip with chlorhexidine dip which is a disinfectant used in operating rooms, farms and periodontal disease. Safer and less painful on tissue than peroxide, kills just about anything including staph. If this works will post the results and where to get the chlorhexidine. The reef central post said to leave them in 10 or 15 minutes or something like that, I did maybe 3 minutes tops. When they started bubbling like crazy I pulled them out, didn't want the zo's burned. They opened up 2 hours later and the smell was gone.
Lesson learned: sniff test is necessary! The rocks reeked when I pulled them out. Another lesson: frag early, frag often!
Kate
 

Oscapus

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Dec 25, 2003
Messages
118
Location
Salt Lake City, Utah
I still have a lot to learn about corals and diseases, but I do know something about trees. In trees, many things do indeed "lurk", and may only become a problem if the tree is stressed. Some things may even kill a tree although the real problem is something else. For example, water stress will lead to bark beetles that kill the tree, even though the water stress is the real problem. It wouldn't surprise me if nature does the same things with corals. You may need to treat the fungus, but there may be something quite different going on, hopefully just short-term neglect.
 

Electrokate

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Joined
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Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
Hi,
I suspect the same, that this is something that lurks and is not normally a problem until some other stressor kicks in. In my case I went out of town and simplified my normal routines for the fishsitters. When I got back a few yellow polyps had died. It looked like what happens when they don't get enough flow or when they snag precipitated buffer. Suspected buffer OD due to inexperienced person dosing tank. Added a powerhead and another colony started getting sick, the new powerhead had gotten bumped and was blasting the colony. Thought that was not fungus either. Bought the new rocks and took too long getting them home, they got chilled. BINGO got the fungus. Now think it was there all along but only attacked stressed colonies. It seems to also only kill certain colors on mixed color rocks, perhaps they are not as compatible as we think... I also suspect the new rocks come in with sponge or other things that are not seen between the zoanthid stalks, which decay and cause local pollution. That is what it looked like on the rocks, it was the polyps growing in crevices that were worst off so maybe there were other lifeforms or debris in the crevices, or not enough water flow. One afflicted colony had grown over a bivalve with sharp thorns on it and a red and green striped shell. Perhaps the bivalve had died in transit (looks alive though) or perhaps the bivalve has been trying to kill the encroaching colony.
It is the same with birds and freshwater fish, even houseplants. A certain level of hostile organisms are tolerated until the organism is stressed, at which point it is attacked by the organism that was there all along. Probably isn't odd that there would be similar situations with marine inverts. What to do to save them, that is the interesting question. Calling the stuff on the zo a fungus because it is white and fluffy may not be true, in freshwater fish it is bacteria that look white and fluffy. "Mouth fungus" in freshwater fish is caused by the bacteria Flexibacter columnaris; could be this stinky fluffy white crap is just another bacteria. Maybe I should have taken a sample and stuck it under the microscope, will try and do that next time. I am no scientist but I can take a picture of it and forward it to those who would know.
Kate
 

mfinn

Surgeonfish
Joined
May 31, 2004
Messages
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Location
Olympia, WA
I have talked to another reefer that claimed some success with a tetracyline dip. Perhaps that would be a better solution, if it is not a fungus.
But when you look at MUCHO REEF's tank, it hard to dispute his success.
 

Electrokate

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Nov 25, 2003
Messages
401
Location
Portland OR
went to the LFS and found that there was decaying sponge in the crevices of 3 zoanthid rocks and the polyps around the sponge were closed, loose, and looked unwell. Suspect this problem is not actually fungal in my case at least, but rather dying sponge/other encrusting marine life. Some of the sponge was still obviously recently or not quite deceased so it was pretty obvious. Makes sense it would harm the surrounding life. I pulled the polyps that were on the sponge off and cleaned the area surrounding, dipped all with hydrogen peroxide at 10% for a couple minutes, then returned them to the tank and scattered the loose cleaned polyps in crevices in the liverock. Will see what that does. If it works and the colonies recover at least will know how to clean future zo shipments before the sponge rots. If it doesn't work at least I will not have done too much damage-I worked on small colonies only at this point. Didn't feel like messing with the big rocks, which look fine anyways and are all open. The big rocks are flat, probably don't have crevices full of sponge and other delights.
Nothing beats the smell of rotten sponge!

Kate
 

mfinn

Surgeonfish
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Olympia, WA
A couple of times when I have had problems with a zoanthid colony going bad, I have fragged off pieces of the colony only to find the inside of the rock they were on full of decay and really foul smelling. That has got to be a problem.
 

Electrokate

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Messages
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Portland OR
Hi,
Thought I would report an unexpected success.
I had my favorite zo's get the "fungus" where they get capped in crud, turn grey, get thin and then rot... I cut off all affected ones and did a freshwater dip. Then I fragged off the section farthest from the infection and dropped the frags in a quarantine tank. The infected majority looked aweful... put that in a plain (no substrate) hospital tank at salinity about 1.014 with extra epsom salts as also was housing a fish with popeye. Remarkably the zoanthids recovered, they looked already about dead. About a week later I brushed off the colony to remove debris and moved it to a fallow tank (no fish). Put it on a little shelf made of mesh right under the light where things couldn't crawl up from the substrate and irritate it, and it has flourished ever since.

I don't know specifically what I did to fix this but I think if I had left it in my main tank it would have gotten worse and worse til all polyps were dead and then moved to a nearby colony, that has been the pattern. I guess if you have the similar symptoms try a freshwater dip after removing sick tissue and then house separately in a bare tank with hyposalinity and lots of water changes and see if you can duplicate my results. Even if it doesn't work at least the disease won't spread in your display. This was a month ago and I haven't seen it since... knock on wood... a 2.5 gallon or eclipse should work for this if you can keep the temperature stable. The pieces I fragged off are also not only recovered but doing well. Interestingly they are lit only by an expired office type 18" flourescent with a piece of glass covered in salt creep shading it.

I have another theory, maybe there is no disease here, maybe what I did was burn my zo's with metal halides. Only those placed directly under the halides are affected... The fungus maybe is a slime being produced by the stressed colony. I know they can take emersion at low tide and tropical sun but the UV content of halides is different. Comments?
Kate
 

soldefender

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Jun 20, 2004
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Location
Spokane
It seems that zoos growing on sponges cause this alot. That is that horibble rotting smell, but fresh water iodine dips seem to woork great. I have had 100% recovery rate so far
 

Electrokate

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Messages
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It could be also that I am not talking about the same thing, my fault... There have been times where I could definitely tell there were sponge and zo together intertwined and since they ship zo's dry... nasty mess. Other times I have had a condition that mimics this but it's in established colonies with no visible sponge and no recent history of being out of water. I also forgot one really important bit of info. I treated the colony with maracyn 2 for 7 days, the first 2 at a double dose. I have read conflicting opinions that maracyn 2 is or isn't a useful product so maybe it is a coincidence.
I also wonder how long these individual polyps are meant to live. Seems like anything near the bottom of the food chain with a high reproductive rate is basically geared not for longevity but for maximum potential to replace casualties. They might not have a long lifespan as individuals or might not have the best possible immune systems or some other factor influencing long term success. Maybe fragging is more than a way to make some spare change, maybe we need to keep pruning and developing our stock or risk loosing them. That's how it is with some fish and plants... If it is the case that they are simply not geared for individual longevity then we need to plan always ahead of the end of their lifespan.
Any data on longevity of individual polyps out there? I can't tell with mine because they are constantly budding out new polyps but it seems like colonies do not really appreciate in size unless parts of them are fragged to make room for expansion, then they take off like crazy. Makes me wonder if the new keep growing over the old when there is no room masking a constant cycle. They do get larger if not laterally expanding, which allows some polyps to shade out the others. Some of the zo's have gotten extremely large.
Kate
 

Electrokate

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Those that I cleaned survived and grew well. Unfortunately now I have some other problems in one of the tanks, where it looks like a string is tied around the polyps, they have thick mucous and don't open. Palythoa are worse off, they stayed closed a long time and got fine white dots on them. Those that didn't rot and fall off eventually opened, but instead of bright green centers they are brown streaked with white and all survivors have no tentacles. I now remove any polyps that are closed and diseased and throw them away. Zo's that I have removed and dipped with freshwater and then scrubbed and moved to another tank have recovered fine. I don't know if something is eating them or there is a problem with the tank involved, but I am glad I have my special "therapy" tank. I also caught an asterina type starfish eating them several times. I have one of them in a jar, will photograph it and was thinking of starting a thread on it or adding it to an existing thread. Didn't know asterinas were bad, and they may be my problem. Also found a little tri colored olive snail that favors the ill zo colonies, don't know if it feeds on already diseased tissue or if it is the cause but I remove them. Interesting finding things like that. I do not have nudis and removed 2 reef spiders but since then haven't seen similar damage. I also suspect the palythoa have the disease described in Bornemans book and all are just light and water flow starved. My bulbs are aweful, par is probably 2. :) That'll be fixed soon, and hopefully will see some improvements. The palythoa are going in a special nano, am thinking of trying antibiotics. What the heck, not a big deal if I kill a bunch of brown ugly polyps, and I might learn something. The therapy tank has non diseased specimens but they are a tad bleached. Probably should cut the light on that one... 2 96 watt powerquads on a 29 gallon tank.
Kate
 
Last edited:

spongebob lover

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ohh woouuu Kate.
well i don't know about my zoos, last night i was talking with Nikki and MikeS and i'm getting some cyclopeze food for them and i'm also gonna make the husband pick all the caulerpa he sees around them so it doesn't cause anymore problems and if that doesn't work i'm doing what you did :) .
 

Electrokate

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Well, I just checked again and the difference is amazing, no comparison at all. The treated colonies are all completely normal, healthy and with perfect color. I don't know if the improvement is specifically from the treatment or if the zo tank is just better in some way. There are a lot of problems with the tank they ailed in. I think I have had the salinity too low for the last few months. So I am going to leave some of the more healthy looking colonies, raise the salinity and see if they improve, if not all will get moved and the dipping is great, you debride diseased tissue and remove (hopefully) hitchhiking zo eating pests. Reef spiders don't mind a FW dip and scrub though, so you have to really work on them. They hide well too.
Kate
 

spongebob lover

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hey kate may be i missed it, but could you explain how much did you use of choloxide (whatever the stuff you used) and how many gals of water?.
 

Electrokate

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Elmo suggested raising the salinity to 1.025, which it was til the last couple months when I lowered it to increase skimmer efficiency and ease stress on a tang with HLLE. Been gradually raising it back up and lo and behold... the zo's are gradually showing themselves. They still don't poke the tentacles out but the discs are open. Live and learn. Even those that have been totally closed for weeks are opening, and I have a lot of color changes. Everything is very vibrant, am guessing they lost a lot of zoxanthellae in the process.
You guys think they take rotifers? Am feeding gut loaded rotis, golden pearls and fd pods to get their health back up to par. Feeding my bleached hairy mushroom caused overnight color so am hoping similar results show in other coral.
Kate
 

spongebob lover

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have you tried cyclo peeze?
i'm glad your zoos are kind of opening :) .
today it was the 3 day ( i believe) feeding cyclo peeze and some of them kind of open (just like yours), so i'm hoping that pretty soon the rest of them will do too.
 

Electrokate

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I don't believe mine have ever eaten any particle big enough for me to see, it just bounces off them even when the tentacles touched it. I am feeding rotifers, FD and golden pearls soaked in selcon and boyds vitamins, greenwater and occasionally cyclopeeze and baby brine shrimp (live). Without the tentacles they can't do much, but the yellow polyps and other coral are loving it.
Kate
 
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