RSS Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): Coral + Bleaching = Dead

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 2 Sep 2014.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    8 May 2007
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    Terrible Advice Tuesdays (T.A.Tues): A coral that has turned white is dead and should be removed from your tank.

    The rest of the story: First things first. A coral that has turned white (called bleaching) is not a good thing. The bleaching is a sign of stress and stressing your corals is bad.

    And, just because a coral is white, that doesn’t mean you should immediately consider it dead. Corals can bleach out and sometimes recover. That being said, how do you know if the white coral is dead or not?

    For soft and LPS corals the answer is easy: as long as there is still flesh or a single polyp alive, the coral isn’t dead. Take for example zoanthids. As long as there is still a polyp visible (even if it is closed up), the coral is still alive.

    For LPS coral, if there is any flesh on the coral, the coral isn’t dead – at least not yet. A LPS coral that is losing flesh and exposing its white skeleton is not happy. It might dying off and it might just be damaged. I’ve seen LPS corals completely bleach out, yet still retain their flesh and recover to become beautiful corals once more. A great example is my aussie gold torch coral (see picture at the right) that bleached out completely and I was able to recover it back to its original golden yellow sheen as shown in the photo.

    For SPS corals, if you can see any polyps on the coral, then the coral is at least still alive and may recover. A SPS coral that is white and doesn’t have any polyps is dead in my book.

    When it doubt, leave the coral in your tank for a week. If the white part of a stony coral turns grey and algae takes over, consider the coral a goner. For soft corals, if all the flesh of the coral is gone, not surprise here…it is dead. Remember: white coral = not a happy coral, but not necessarily a dead one.

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