Owning a reef tank is a really rewarding hobby, but it can be challenging at times. Besides keeping the water chemistry in good condition, there are other problems that can harm the coral and cause damage to your reef. There are many different corals and therefore many different pests that may prey on each species. A lot of invertebrates in the ocean evolve to only eat a specific food item. This is the case for many of the nudibranchs, and many have adapted to be coral eating nudibranchs. As a reef keeper there is a possibility that you will encounter Zooanthid eating nudibranchs, aptasia eating nudibranchs, soft coral eating nudibranchs, and hard coral eating nudibranchs to name a few. Today, I want to discuss is the soft coral eating type. Read More »
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For the Health of Your Reef Aquarium – Dip it!
When in doubt, dip it. Whether you are a beginner, or veteran, reef aquarium keeper, your prized corals are susceptible to a wide range of pests, parasites and infections. Acropora Eating Flatworms (AEFW), Montipora Eating Nudibranchs (MENS), Zooanthid Eating Nudibranchs, snails and spiders, and pathogenic bacteria causing Rapid Tissue Necrosis (RTN) are far too common problems we face in the hobby. Wild harvested, farm raised, or even the coral you traded with a friend for, can potentially introduce some nasty little critters into your aquarium. Read More »
Killer Algae – New Research on Creeping Caulerpas
It is amazing how little we know about our ocean’s ecosystems! We know that corals can defend themselves against other corals, invertebrates, and to a certain extent fish, but a recent study has found that corals may have another attacker to defend against. Algae has always been a problem with coral and coral reefs as a whole. The rapid growth and expansion of some macro algae will eventually choke out specific corals, killing them in a matter of days. Taxifolia a species of Caulerpa, began invading parts of the West Coast years ago, choking out everything in it’s path as it spread. Normally, we think of the tangling tendrils of green smothering the corals in darkness as they take over, slowly starving them of vital light and nutrients. However, a recent study performed by a professor and his graduate student at Georgia Tech have found algae that can kill coral on contact. Read More »