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View Full Version : What Happened to my Chalice? (with pics)


Eldredge
05/06/2009, 03:43 PM
My new chalice frag looked like this:
<a href="http://s704.photobucket.com/albums/ww47/eldredge6/?action=view&current=5-1-09196.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww47/eldredge6/5-1-09196.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

The next time I looked at it (not more than a couple of hours later), it looked like this:
<a href="http://s704.photobucket.com/albums/ww47/eldredge6/?action=view&current=4-6-09026.jpg" target="_blank"><img src="http://i704.photobucket.com/albums/ww47/eldredge6/4-6-09026.jpg" border="0" alt="Photobucket"></a>

What happened? I am guessing it was eaten, and my main suspect is a long-spine sea urchin. The urchin scared me when I put the frags (I got three chalice frags last week) in the tank. He crawled over them, but didn't seem to hurt anything. He frequently checks out my new frags and I imagine eats some of the algae etc. from the plugs. He was covering this frag in between pictures. I know he isn't a "vegan" because I have watched him eat pieces of fish from home-made frozen food (I was quite surprised.

I also have a CBB in the tank, but have not seen him bother anything. No shrimp. A few hermit crabs. No other crabs.

My parameters are: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate 0, ALK 7 (trying to bring it up), Calcium 405, Mag 1400, Phosphate unkown - using BRS Ferric Oxide in reactor, temp 78-81, SG 1.026/35ppt, pH 8.2 (8.4 after dosing soda ash - installing perestaltic pump to slow additon and lessen pH spike). I did overdose kalk while working on the ATO a few days ago. Added about two gallons within a few hours. Water got "milky", and there was some residue on the glass. pH was probably around 8.8. Scared the heck out of me, but I haven't seen any complications from it - unless it caused this.

Everything else - SPS, LPS, Softies, and other two chalice frags - seem fine.

Please let me know if you have any thoughts. Thanks for the help.

Eldredge
05/06/2009, 03:51 PM
Also, I don't see any chance for survival, do you? There seems to be a tiny bit of flesh left, so I will leave it alone for a while, but it can't grow back from those tiny bits can it?

Eldredge
05/06/2009, 04:32 PM
Does anyone have any thoughts?

jbird69
05/06/2009, 04:36 PM
Im guessing it died from something else and the urchin was attraced to the dying flesh.

Aquabucket
05/06/2009, 05:15 PM
I think you may be right about the urchin. The CCB would have been able to eat the flesh that remains in the deeper crevices. Urchins, hermits, snails, shrimp, etc... are also known to inspect newly introduced organisms. I have never seen a coral lose its flesh that fast unless it was eaten by something.

Eldredge
05/06/2009, 07:41 PM
Thanks for the thoughts. I am in a bit of a quandry about what to do. I don't really want to get rid of the urchin, but I hate to take a chance.

Anyone else have any thoughts?

ReneX
05/06/2009, 07:57 PM
Was anything else disturbed in the tank? Where is this piece in relation to flow? I have had something similar happen to several LPS and SPS frags when my LR shifted and I accidentally disturbed a sponge growing on the liverock. It released toxins into the tank that only effected some of the corals (most LPS and all softies and zoanthids looked fine) and melted the flesh off most of them in hours. It took me months to figure out what caused it and as a result it happened more than once when I stuck my hand in the tank to adjust something and bumped that troublesome rock.

Hang on to the frag regardless. If you are concerned about predation in the tank, perhaps put it in a breeder net where nothing can get to it until you're sure whether or not it will make it. It seems like if the urchin or another animal was responsible, they might go after other frags. It's worth keeping an eye on. Don't give up on the thing...it may suprise you and regrow. Several of my worst effected frags regrew from tiny specks of flesh.

Eldredge
05/06/2009, 08:32 PM
<a href=showthread.php?s=&postid=14965834#post14965834 target=_blank>Originally posted</a> by ReneX
Was anything else disturbed in the tank? Where is this piece in relation to flow? I have had something similar happen to several LPS and SPS frags when my LR shifted and I accidentally disturbed a sponge growing on the liverock. It released toxins into the tank that only effected some of the corals (most LPS and all softies and zoanthids looked fine) and melted the flesh off most of them in hours. It took me months to figure out what caused it and as a result it happened more than once when I stuck my hand in the tank to adjust something and bumped that troublesome rock.

Hang on to the frag regardless. If you are concerned about predation in the tank, perhaps put it in a breeder net where nothing can get to it until you're sure whether or not it will make it. It seems like if the urchin or another animal was responsible, they might go after other frags. It's worth keeping an eye on. Don't give up on the thing...it may suprise you and regrow. Several of my worst effected frags regrew from tiny specks of flesh.

Thanks ReneX. It is on the bottom of the tank close to a piece of live rock. I do have some various sponges here and there. I will pay attention to see if it might have been affected by toxins. It was so sudden, but maybe some toxins could act that fast. I don't think that I disturbed anything at the time this happened though. I will have to see what I can do to protect it, and I will defenitely leave it in there. I am glad that some of yours came back - that would be awesome if this one did. Thanks again for the help.