What is happening to the brain?

Discussion in 'LPS Corals' started by avdp, 4 Feb 2008.

  1. avdp

    avdp

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    Hi,

    need some advice please. The brain suddenly looks like this today (right hand bottom). What is going on? And what can we do? Please help.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Is that a hole with some dead matter around it?
     
  4. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    I think so Viper, it looks like it's receding to me.
    How long have you had it? what are your water parameters? what is your lighting?

    Also what other tank mates do you have? anything likely to nip it?
     
  5. avdp

    avdp Thread Starter

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    Hi there, sorry, been off line a while. It has been feeding badly, but started to feed it seperately everyday. Feeds a lot better, but obviously still hurt. Turns out our alkalinity is out of whack. Been battling to get it down, treating it with Tropic Marin Alca Balance, still not right yet.

    We have blue-legged hermits, and peppermint shrimps.
     
  6. avdp

    avdp Thread Starter

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    Hi all,

    Just a quick update.

    So, we have established one thing, the water from the LFS has high alkalinity. Apparently their mix buffers it that way, so water changes will have no effect. Got some alca-buff last week, and did 4 doses, before we went away for the weekend. Got back today, and the tank walls were covered in a powdery green algae. And the alkalinity is still way off. So dosed again.

    Took the brain out to feed it, and saw the strangest thing. Thought it was some type of feelers it put out to feed, but I think it is a teeny tiny crab. It has to be about 3mm in size, (having to judge by the tiny bit we could see). He only stuck out his feelers, and fed of the food we were giving the brain. He is located in a bulbous (sp?) buttony part of the skeleton in the middle of the two parts of the brain (hope that makes sense).

    Is that normal? It would be impossible to catch if it isn't?
    [​IMG]
     
  7. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    It MUST be this little crab that have caused the damage to the brain-coral originally. Try and get this little crab out of the coral, by tempting it with food.... Do this outside of the tank, in a bowl or something.

    I don't think that the alkalinity of the water would do this. What was the alkalinity measurement all this time? You do not mention the actual measurements. I too have a brain, and my alkalinity if my tank water is between 12 and 14..... My personal opinion is that unless the alkalinity is EXTREMELY EXTREMELY high, it would not make a difference to the corals (unless it the either extremely high, or extremely low).....
     
  8. Mike

    Mike Retired Moderator

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    Never seen that before, are you sure it's not a barnacle?


    As for the alk, how out of whack was it, i know that high alk can affect the buffering ability, but it would have to be sky high or very low to make the brain sickly
     
  9. avdp

    avdp Thread Starter

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    Apparently it is sky high. We use a dip strip test, it measures over 300ppm, and with the dropper test of Red Sea, it is on the too high range. Someone said 300ppm is something like 16dKh. But on the strip test it says 300ppm is ideal!!!
     
  10. avdp

    avdp Thread Starter

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    Oh, and that thing moved around, and had little claws like a crab. Very very small though. No idea how to get him out. He doesn't come out, just sticks his claws out....
     
  11. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Avdp - I am sure that if you place the brain in a bowl with tank-water, put it in a dark place, and put some food on the bottom of the bowl, the little crab (if it is one) will "climb out" to go and search for the food.... it will "smell" the food.... Try some frozen food - a little bit of artemia of someting....
     
  12. lIghty

    lIghty

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    stupid Q. but wouldn't the "crab" eat the dying brain from inside? and be happy to stay?
     
  13. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Yes - lighty - it is possible - BUT, then again - it's worth the try....

    AvdP - a dKh of 16 is quite high - BUT not THAT high - unless the alkalinity of the water changed EXTREMELY quickly, the corals should still be able to cope with it. Remember that the corals, corralline algae, pH swings, etc, will cause swings in the dKh. The alkalinity will be less in the evenings/night times, as pH tend to be lower....

    So, the best way to treat this issue, is to take some tank water out, and replace with RO water..... very slowly drop your SG, by replacing tank water with RO water - and then measure the dKh at a SG of +-1.022/1.023 - if it is closer to the 12/13 level, then VERY slowly start doing water changes with some new salt water from your LFS. I am quite sure that there was just one batch where their dKh would be so high - as they would be stupid to constantly mix their salt water with such a high alkalinity level.... They will have complaints and problems, left-right-and-centre....

    ANYTHING can be done in marines as LONG as it is being done over a VERY LONG period of time.

    What I am suggesting should be done over the period of at least a month or so....

    Now, regarding your brain coral - try and dip the brain coral in a 25% lugol's iodine solution...... also - try and inject a VERY small amount of concentrated kalkwasser right into the area where the crab is located - see if the crab comes out....

    If you don't do something about this, the brain will most likely die......
     
  14. avdp

    avdp Thread Starter

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    Thanks jacuesb. Will look at all your options, and try them. Will let you know how it goes!
     
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