Coral Dips

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Well-known member
Jan 25, 2004
I was curious as to whether it is good practice/preventative to dip newly acquired corals prior to QT, or should we get out the magnifying glass and closely look over the coral? Also in regards to dips, is there a better dip than others (i.e. length of time, strength of solution, etc.)? Would dipping a new coral be too stressful for it (considering length of time in transport)?



Well-known member
May 23, 2004
The only time I have ever used dips on corals is in the case of a severly injured/dying coral. I use a iodine dip ( I forget the exact ppm...I have it written down in my reef notebook somewhere ). I don't as a practice dip new corals, but I have spoken with many who do....most seem to prefer a Lugols solution dip on new coral livestock.



May 31, 2004
Olympia, WA
The following post was copied from Reef Central by a member that goes by the name MUCHO REEF.
It contains some very good information that works.
Seems to me that this should work for leather corals too.

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.( In a later post he said that he now uses 5 drops per gallon )
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


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
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