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Treating something like band disease, H. micronos.

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piercho

Mackerel
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
80
Location
Bremerton WA
I've had a Hydnophora micronos for about 3 years, and it has increased in size by at least double its origonal volume over that time. About 6 weeks ago, I noticed an area of black "skeleton", surrounded by a thin gooey white band at the edge of the flesh. This was occuring where a plant had grown in contact with the coral. I removed the plant and left the coral alone to heal itself.

Thing is, it hasn't healed itself. The band progresses slowly, leaving this black zone behind. Recognizable algae, so far, don't appear to colonize this black area denuded of flesh. I'd guess the black is some variety of cynobacter that is dominate against new plant colonizers. In 6 weeks more than 2 square inches have been lost.

I don't know how to describe the grey-white zone that demarks where the flesh is being lost. It is thin, opaque, and looks like there are messenterials mixed in the goo.

The tissue just outside the band does not appear distressed. It has its polyps out, it feeds. There have not been any significant changes in flow or lighting. On the comparative toughness chart, I would have rated this particular coral 10++ = tougher than a coffin nail, up to this point.

So, I'm open to advice on how to stop the progression of this condition. H. micronos has a massive growth form, like a Favia, so "cutting it out" would involve breaking it into smaller pieces, using dremels cuts followed by a hammer and chisel (its way too thick for a dremel wheel to go through). I'd prefer to start by removing the coral to a separate tank for an anti-bacteria/protozoa treatment and trying a FW dip and/or antibiotic to start with, rather than reaching straight for the iodine. However, I don't know my gram-negatives from my grandma when it comes to the correct antibiotic to try.

Pictures would require removal from the tank, which I can do if it would be helpful.
 

Anthony Calfo

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,183
Location
Pennsylvania
I would take a toothbrush or soft bristles brush attachment for your Dremmel rotary tool and literally scour the corallum/skeleton clean down and go into the good flesh by at least 1/2" to 1". By clearing the skeleton at the line of demarcation and cutting into good tissue, you have made the prospect of healing and recovering that corallum easier for not pitting the new coral growth against an ongoing battle with established matter.
 

piercho

Mackerel
Joined
Jul 1, 2003
Messages
80
Location
Bremerton WA
Andy, I thought I'd give an update.
The skeleton behind the band was almost mushy, and I think that a boring organism was playing a major role in advancing the disease by "undermining" the polyps at the demarcation zone (the grey band). So I opted for a more radical strategy. I used a cut wheel and sliced down into the good skeleton 1/2" to 1/4" ahead of the band. I then busted off the diseased areas with a hammer and chisel, directing the blows along the cut lines. These busted-off fragments got the brushing treatment, and went into the vegetative filter for recovery. The main piece got placed back into the tank with no further treatment. So far, the disease has not reapeared on the main piece. Too soon to tell on the fragments what will happen to them.
 
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