Brown Jelly & CAM Antibiotic

Discussion in 'LPS Corals' started by jrwdive, 30 Jul 2010.

  1. jrwdive


    2 Aug 2009
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    I've been battling a brown jelly infection in my Hammer Coral for the last ten days or so. The steps I took gradually got more and more extreme, but the only thing that seems to have worked is treatment with Chloramphenicol antibiotic.

    When it appeared I first tried siphoning it off - slowed its progression.

    Next step was fragging off the infected part. This was done twice and it reappeared each time after two days.

    I then bought some Lugols Solution (Alpha Pharmacy sourced it for me.) A dip in seawater at 10 drops per liter after siphoning off the jelly again slowed the progress but did not stop it. By this time I had the coral in quarantine.

    After an internet search I found something on treating RTN with Chloramphenicol (CAM.)

    I did a second Lugols dip and dosed CAM at 20mg/liter. After the suggested two days the jelly had disappeared completely. Only clean tissue was visible. I then put the coral back in the main tank as my lighting is not good in the quarantine tank. The coral was fully extended within 20min.

    Two days later I noticed a minute patch of jelly starting at the frag area again. The coral is back in the small tank and CAM has stopped the infection within a few hours. My worry is that I have started to breed a resistant strain of bacteria by not treating for long enough. This time the coral will stay for a while - I'm buying some nano lights to keep it happy.

    My vet prescribed the CAM - only R2 for a 250mg capsule. I dissolved the powder in alcohol first as advised in the article.
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  3. vatso


    3 Dec 2007
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    Very Interesting thanks for the info

    31 Dec 2009
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    Thanks to the above posting, I was able to save my Flower Pot Coral (Goniapora) from the dreaded Brown Jelly disease.

    As a newbe to this amazing hobby, I made one of those fatal mistakes that most new reefers make, that being buying something from an "out of town" FS on the spur of the moment because it looked nice, instead of first doing proper research, and then making an educated purchasing decision.

    After acquiring the Goniapora about two months ago, I then found out that they are not the easiest of corals to keep. In fact, some folk have stated that you will be lucky if they last more than a year in your DT.

    About two weeks ago, I noticed that the Goni started oozing a beige like jelly slime from the base, and immediately started scanning Forums to identify this problem which turned out to be Brown Jelly disease.

    One can clearly see how the base of the skeleton was quickly destroyed by the "maggots" in the Brown Jelly substance

    I started treatment by bathing the Goni once a day in a solution of Iodide and SW for a 15 minute period. This went on for five days with no sign of any improvement.

    In desperation I fortunately stumbled across this posting and started searching for Chloramphenicol. I visited a number of Pharmacy's none of whom were prepared to assist me. The reason for this is due to the fact that Chloramphenicol was taken off the market about eight years ago because of its fatal danger if consumed by human beings. Fear of anaemia and cancer etc.

    I then took a chance and called the University of Pretoria's Exotic Pet division at Onderstepoort to see if they could assist me in treating this problem.

    I made contact with two folk who went out of their way to assist me in sourcing the required Cloramphenicol Tabs, and also offered other advise on dosing with Ascorbic Acid (powder) for a period of 14 days to assist in the Goni's recovery. (2 x teaspoons per 1,000 litres of SW). The Ether and 15 x Chloramphenicol Tabs cost me a whole R21.00 (nearly broke the bank)

    Both Dr Elliott and Craig, the Pharmacist carefully calculated the required dosage for the Chloramphenicol Tabs as follows:

    Use 1 x 250 mg Tab dissolved in Ether and add this to a clean bucket of 15 litres of tank SW. Insert a heater, and pump for flow and treat the Goni for 24 x hours in this solution. After that, return the Goni to the DT and monitor for another 24 hours. If the Brown Jelly is still observed, repeat the process in the Chloramphenicol solution for another 24 hours, and then back into the DT for observation.

    Afetr the first session, I was rather concerned due to the fact that my spare Heater was faulty, leaving the Goni in a hot water bath (31 deg) overnight.
    Never the less, I returned "her" to the DT only to wake up the next morning to see that the Brown Jelly was still there. So, as per their instructions, I repeated the process for a second 24 hour session.

    It's been three days since the second treatment, and my Goni is as happy as a pig in that other brown stuff...


    Please pay very important attention to the following advice.

    • Work with Latex Gloves when handling Chloramphenicol. Wear two pairs if necessary, and even use elastic bands around you wrists to ensure that you don't get the Chloramphenical powder, or solution onto your hands. This is a very dangerous substance, and it must be handled with extreme caution.
    • Work in an open ventilated area, and do not inhale the Chloramphenicol powder.
    • That capsule (green and white tab) is made of a hard plastic, and as such, it is a little difficult to extract the antibiotic powder when breaking the capsule. Make sure you hold it firmly in position when cutting the Tab open, otherwise you will have the powder all over the place as I managed to do on my first attempt.
    • After each treatment, pour the Chloramphenicol solution into another old bucket, and add two cups of household bleach to neutralize the antibiotic before throwing the old solution down the drain. It is rather irresponsible to just dump antibiotics down the drain, so this advice is very important.
    • Lock up any spare Chloramphenicol Tabs you may have in a very safe place away from your children. Clearly label the bottle POISON.
    • Wash your hands and arms properly each time after working with the Chloramphenicol solution.
    • When removing the affected coral from your DT for treatment, first carefully syphon off ALL the Brown Jelly that you can see before removing it. Also place the affected coral near the drain/outlet of your DT, and not upstream to prevent pieces of the Brown Jelly from polluting other healthy corals in your DT. This is nasty stuff...
    If you have any other questions in this regard, please feel free to PM me accordingly.

    Happy reefing...:thumbup:

    Last edited: 14 Jun 2011
  5. LouiseS


    28 Apr 2012
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    Kreupelbosch (CPT)
    My frogspawn showed signs of brown jelly. I syphoned of the jelly, removed it from the DT, simply dipped it in Seachem Reef Dip (x2), a coral disinfectant, and put it back in the DT and have never seen the jelly again.

    I may just have been lucky but i found this iodine based product very effective and simple to use. My frog spawn has been back to normal for over three months.

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