View Full Version : How to kill Protopaly's - One man's journey to freedom

03/03/2017, 07:12 PM
So I gotta say, I love soft corals. But I loathe the ugly, destructive, unregulated and ridiculously fast growth of protopaly's. Perhaps you don't know the one's I'm talking about, but it's the ugly brown ones that come as a hitchhiker and decimate your favorite colonies of Zoanthids, Palythoas, Ricordias, etc, etc.

So I took matters into my own hands. WARNING: Protopalys can potentially be toxic. Be sure to wash your hands before and after said extermination, and be insanely careful if you decide to use this method.

I experimented with several different "cocktails", but the one I found the most effective was: one part 1/2 strength BRS calcium chloride, one part white acetic acid, and two capsules of cayenne pepper with 40,000 capsaicin heat units each. Let the solution sit for approximately 10-20 minutes and strain through a paper towel. Take a 60 mL syringe and a 24 gauge needle and inject into the tissue of the offending protopaly group AND individually as much as you can. It's best to do this from a point where you can visualize from the top of the tank. Turning off any power-heads helps immensely. The injection typically will follow the collateral circulation of the coral to other adjoined members. Use only a 60 mL portion approximately every 5 days so as not to cause tank destabilization, and ALWAYS run charcoal throughout this time. Give it about 5 days, and during that time you will see the tissue slowly recede and dissolve. Inject any remaining offenders one at a time, carefully injecting each one. Continue doing this until your problem is gone. Afterwards ALWAYS wash your hands and NEVER re-cap the needle with your hands! Use the needle and insert it into the cap without using your hands and use a flat vertical surface to secure it.

I know, some are probably aghast at the idea of killing coral, and yet these same people would no doubt embrace such methods to eradicate aiptasia, mojanos, or other nuisance type creatures. I must admit, I would have rather found a home or other use for them. But when push comes to shove and your growth threatens other members in an enclosed environment, I will cull the herd to promote balance, diversity, and growth.

For those facing a similar problem I wanted to make it known. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

BTW you may also notice that if this oozes out of the paly it will irritate small live-rock inhabitants in close proximity (aka bristle worms, copepods, etc). Don't worry, it doesn't kill them, they just hurriedly move to another area.:beer::uzi:

03/07/2017, 03:24 AM
Your paly killing would work better if you removed the nuisance rock into a large plastic bowl full of tank water. Then drain your bowl in the sink. Then you would not poisoning your tank with paly toxins and your suicide juice.

03/09/2017, 04:02 PM
Suicide juice. I like it. It's spicy.

Can't, because like many others, I'd rather not spend weeks at this (in point of fact I did remove one rock and threw it away). The juice and death is not bothering any of the other non-offending species. As far as degradation of the offending organisms into the tank? Yes, I have slightly more brown in my filter sock, a little juice in my protein skimmer, and I changed the carbon and have been running some intermittent doses of ozone. All told, tank is clean, fish are fat and happy, coral is doing well. There's a couple of spots of algae, and new patches of cyano, but I expected that. To be honest, extra nutrients seem to do my other softies well in the interim.

However, PALY DEATH is doing quite well. In fact it seems to follow the collaterals for some distance when injected directly into the paly stem. Muhahahaha. Bristle worms come out at night to eat the left over tissue, as well as some amphipods. Need a peppermint shrimp that likes spicy food though...