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View Full Version : Who is munching these corals...


StephaniePlyPet
12/28/2016, 10:45 AM
Customer sent me these photos of two different leather corals in his tank, one just starting to be nibbled and the other one eaten almost completely within a week. Huge chunks taken out overnight, as usual can't find any culprit during the day. Any ideas?

AlSimmons
12/28/2016, 10:59 AM
FWIW the same thing was happening to some of the leather corals at my LFS. Once the owner started flipping rocks over he found a crab that was about the size of a baseball. Problem solved. My guess would be that you have some sort of unwanted hitchhiker lurking among the rocks. You might want to look into some traps and see what you come up with.

ncaldwell
12/28/2016, 11:00 AM
What fish are in the tank? I had a foxface that bit corals like that

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StephaniePlyPet
12/28/2016, 11:09 AM
Says only yellow coris wrasse and two clowns. It's a large tank with LOTS of rock... was hoping it wouldn't need to be torn apart to find the culprit but assumed that was the case.

CrayolaViolence
12/29/2016, 01:45 PM
I don't even want to suggest it...but bobbit worm.

NanoReefWanabe
12/30/2016, 11:33 AM
I don't even want to suggest it...but bobbit worm.

Bobbitt worms are ambush predators that eat fish...

That said I am sure there could be done shirt off large worm in the tank (the elusive fireworm) that would eat coral...

I would think fish or crab first though..given that fish list I doubt fish...

miranda1960
01/02/2017, 03:21 AM
thinking of softcoral eating nudislug... i have removed one of those in my tank last week... they are some colorfull and comes out bij night...
The one i had was white with blue.

jason2459
01/02/2017, 08:48 AM
Do they have a pencil urchin or chocolate chip starfish?

kuzko
01/13/2017, 12:53 AM
LOL'd @ bobbit worm.

those are very nice, rounded bite marks... i would imagine a crab would leave it a bit more... shredded. Fireworms are possible but for one-they're super rare and I feel like the owner of the tank would have noticed a bright red worm chilling on the rocks eating coral in the middle of the day, since that's what they're supposedly known to do.

I see too much coraline on the rocks to imagine there would be an urchin in there. Starfish would still be a possibility though.


Alright alright, I'll have my go at it.


If it's ocean harvest live rock I'm placing my bet on;

1) Rapa Rapa Snail
2) Nudibranch
3) Spider/Decorator crab
4) Fireworm as unlikely as it may be



If it's man-made rock seeded with a little live rock my guesses are bacterial or fungal patch, but it could still be something above if it was seeded.

jason2459
01/13/2017, 06:29 AM
A pencil urchin are more carnivorous then other urchins. They will eat anything. Spong, corals, crabs, etc. And they are usually very hard to find during the day in a larger tank.

ilyad
01/20/2017, 05:35 PM
Peppermint shrimp or any sexy shrimp (closely related to pepp's) in the tank? I recently caught my shrimp eating my toadstool after a very long time of leaving everything alone. They are now in the sump.

CrayolaViolence
01/26/2017, 05:32 PM
Bobbitt worms are ambush predators that eat fish...

That said I am sure there could be done shirt off large worm in the tank (the elusive fireworm) that would eat coral...

I would think fish or crab first though..given that fish list I doubt fish...

People have reported hobbit worms mowing down zoanthids, chewing across, etc. It does happen. Or maybe it's just something that looks remarkably like a bobbit worm. There is a thread on the sps forum where a guy reported catching a 3-4 footer that had been gnawing on his sps.

CrayolaViolence
01/26/2017, 05:33 PM
I have personally had bristle worms devastate leathers. I didn't think it was possible till I watched my big green lucky charm get eaten from the inside out by a nasty flaming bristle b*s***.

StephaniePlyPet
03/01/2017, 08:39 AM
Thanks for all your awesome ideas guys, the culprit has been caught and put in isolation! Stone crab hitchhiker...