View Full Version : Purple Monster problem...need help fast if possible

10/17/2008, 12:31 PM
(also posted in the SPS forum)

Howdy, all...

I've had a Purple Monster for the last 5 years...grew from a tiny frag to a pretty good colony. It has survived and even thrived better than almost any other coral I have through the standard trials and tribulations over the last 5 years with the tank...overheating, pH issues, etc. Very slow grower, but hardy. :)

In the last couple weeks I've noticed a bleaching at the base that seems to be spreading. Tank parameters all check out normal, and I haven't had any problems with the tank for a long while. I rarely frag this coral (although I did a few months back for a recent swap). I never have problems with this piece, so I'm not sure what to do.

Please forgive the awful photography...I was in a hurry before leaving for work so I didn't set white balance, etc. You can see in this picture the whitish area at the base...odd pattern too, with the white at the base and then a small channel of white leading down to a larger white area. You can't tell from the pic but the bleaching/necrosis seems to have spread onto a branch at the bottom of the coral, which now has me very nervous.


The speck on the white area is an asterina...I have hundreds of these and they never bother corals, so I believe in this case it's just moving into an area already dead.

Before everyone yells "FRAG!" I know that's an option, but it's the last one for me. I love this piece, it's rare, and I'm hoping to get some advice that might prevent fragging it. If I don't hear anything by this weekend then I'll probably have to go that route.

Any ideas? This thing is very hardy, and I've never had it affected by parasites or anything else, but the bleaching/necrosis pattern seems very odd...


10/17/2008, 01:07 PM
Looks like damage from Acro eating flatworms. Welcome to the club.

10/17/2008, 04:19 PM
If it is flatworms find yourself some Malafix and when you dip the Purple Monster they will jump right off:D

10/17/2008, 04:26 PM
I've used Interceptor in the past...no longer the gold standard?

10/17/2008, 04:40 PM
I think Interceptor will only help you to get rid of red bugs, not flatworms.

Similar thing happen to me last month to my PM. But mine was due to alk swings from putting my phosphate reactor online and going from 0.19 to 0.03 in less than a week. Besides that my PM always made it through the things you mention as well. Once my tank settle down I had a TINY part of the base left about 1/8". Oh, half my montis bleached as well. Now I use half the recommended dosage of phosphate media.

10/17/2008, 04:42 PM
Interceptor is for red bugs.

That doesn't look like AEFW damage to me. You would actually see round bite marks, not uniform recession, and other corals would also be showing signs of distress. Plus, in your post you said you fragged it recently. From what I've read purple monster is a coral that can react very adversely to fragging, sometimes leading to the mother colony to RTN/STN. I've even read that once the purple monster reaches a substantial size, they will all of a sudden decline rapidly for no apparent reason.

If everything else is normal, and your levels are spot on, then I'd be more inclined to guess that is is some sort of infection spreading throughout the coral. From what who knows, but if the STN doesn't stop or if it begins to decline more rapidly your best bet is to make some frags by cutting well into the healthy tissue.

Good luck.

10/18/2008, 10:09 AM
Thanks for the comments. I took it out for a closer look today...the dead area has a sharp edge to it. Not straight (it's curved) but very sharp edge to the receding area deep into the lower layer of the coral.

I have no idea what I'm looking for with respect to flatworms. I'll go do some research looking for pics.

Very depressing.


10/18/2008, 10:22 AM
Thats more a recession of tissue. It CAN be caused by AEFW's but its more likely that the coral is having some other type issue.

Look for small circular bite marks on the base of branches and near the base of the coral. Also look for somewhat translucent/brownish flatworms or their tell tale greenish eggs laid at the base of the coral or underneath the frag (typically not laid on live tissue).

IMHO I don't think you have AEFW's

I had a huge blue tort that did this after being shocked badly by a new Koriala ph and started doing the same thing. I put off fragging as long as I could because I loved how it grew. But alas, I had to chop it up to save it and it has worked so far.

10/18/2008, 10:26 AM
For AEFW use Levasol.


10/18/2008, 11:13 AM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=13567238#post13567238 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by Slag
If it is flatworms find yourself some Malafix and when you dip the Purple Monster they will jump right off:D

first time I have heard malafix for AEFW?


10/18/2008, 12:07 PM
It looks like what just happened to mine. Mine was from an Alk swing. What's weird is it was a minor swing, it has survived swings much greater than that. I have also heard what was mentioned above, that once you have a nice established large colony it will usually recead from unknown reasons.

10/18/2008, 12:16 PM
I cleaned my some by removing all the rocks and vacuum it, changed the carbon and phosban, water change all at the same day. the rapid nutrient decrease cause to start tissue recession on some of my corals specially on monti.

10/18/2008, 02:10 PM
Definitely doublecheck the alkalinity in your tank. That does not look like an AEFW issue to me.