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Old 11/19/2009, 06:18 PM   #1
puter
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So, your new zoas/palys are on their way...

... what do you do when they arrive?

Oftentimes the zoa/paly frags we receive come with a number of unwanted pest organisms (nudibranchs, flatworms, algae, aiptasia, etc.) that can be very detrimental to our tanks and can be very difficult to get rid of. While I strongly encourage the use of a quarantine tank and a vigilant waiting period before anything "wet" is introduced into an established reef tank, I recognize that is not a practical option for many.

So, via this thread, I figured I'd share what I do when new frags arrive, in the hope it might be helpful to others who haven't yet established a routine for processing newly arrived frags. I don't claim that "my way" is any better (or much different) than the dips and routines that have been described in this forum many times before. But, it's been "tested" on (literally) hundreds of frags over the last ten years so I'm confident that it is both safe and effective.

So, the routine:

First, you need to have a very limited number of treatments on hand:



For zoa/palys I use Lugol's Solution almost exclusively.

When the zoas arrive, I float them in the sump/tank, with the bags still sealed, for about 10-15 minutes to temperature acclimate them.

I then open the bag and put the frag along with a 50/50 mix of of the water it came with and tank water into a small plastic container:



Then it's time to grab the tweezers and try to clean up the frag. Here's what some typical frags might look like when they arrive:



Note the aiptasia. A quick slice now can save a world of trouble later. Small aiptasia anemones can be very difficult to spot. If you don't catch them now, you'll see them later, when it's much more difficult to do something about them:



Here's a challenging frag:



Note the algae and the flatworm. Here's another case where putting the frag directly into the tank, without treating it first, could unleash a flatworm or algae plague.

It can be very difficult to get all the algae off without damaging the frag. Frankly, even after pulling off all the algae I could get to, I wouldn't put this frag in a display tank. Going into a quarantine tank would be fine. But, if this frag had to go directly into a display tank I'd risk prying up the glue it's mounted to and remounting it.

One other thing to look for at this point are nudibranch egg sacks.

Once the frag has been cleaned, I put a couple drops of Lugol's in the water right over the frag:



Using a pipette or turkey baster I blow the Lugol's Solution all arround the frag and into all the nooks and crannies. If you've never done this before you'll be amazed at how many critters (amphipods, spiders, etc.) come out of hiding when you do this.

I leave the frag in the Lugol's Solution for a minute or two (no longer), rinse it in some fresh tank water and then it's ready to go in the tank.

That's it. Certainly nothing here that's very complicated, difficult or new. Just a little work up front can make a dramatic difference in your success at keeping zoas/palys.

Enjoy the addiction...

Cheers,

Mark



Last edited by puter; 11/19/2009 at 06:24 PM.
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Old 11/19/2009, 06:52 PM   #2
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Cool write up. I think thats a nice easy way for anyone to go about ensuring a safe arrival of new frags
I honestly dont go through as much trouble as you do..
I stick to a quick easy method that has never failed me but many have questioned.
1. open bag and pour into container with a lil of my water and your choice of coral dip (lugols i like)
2. few minutes later pull it out , scrub with a toothbrush and tad bit of fresh ro water to rinse
3. toss it in the tank
I have done this with every coral Ive purchased with no ill affects but I wouldnt recomend it if you are at all worried, because as luck would have it, you'd be the person it dies on lol.
I do this to SPS, LPS, Zoa's.. anything. Ive had buddies watch in amazement telling me itll discolor/die/etc but then my tank ends up with plenty of color unlike they have with all the "precautions"
As for me I suppose Im just lucky but I believe a quick jolt to the coral is better than a long acclimation period and so far its worked out. (for upwards of 3 years I might add)


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Old 11/19/2009, 08:09 PM   #3
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Thank you


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Old 11/19/2009, 08:17 PM   #4
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Revive is the best thing i came across for dipping corals. I have seen so many pests come off zoas and acans its crazy. Ive never tryed the lugols think ill give it a try.
Grate write up


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Old 11/20/2009, 01:52 AM   #5
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This is a helpful thread for me. Thanks for writing it up, and adding photos.


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Old 11/20/2009, 01:57 AM   #6
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def a big thanks for this from me!-Drew


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Old 11/20/2009, 02:06 AM   #7
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Excellent thread...great job...I had to learn all of this the hard way...wish I had something like this to read before.


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Old 11/20/2009, 03:03 PM   #8
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I am slowly acquiring corals. Thanks for the advice!!!! u


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Old 11/20/2009, 03:27 PM   #9
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can you expand on th revive and thelugols treatments. Revive says its a coral cleaner. what exactly does it do? what is in the bottles and what are the differences? does it kill the unwanted critters? does it do anything for the algae problem some frags may come with? what about the lugols treatments. can someone expand on my questions on this also.

I'm thinking of starting a process myself as I've only been lucky with my frags for 4yrs but i'm sure my luck will be running out soon.


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Old 11/20/2009, 06:38 PM   #10
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Revive was developed and is marketed by Julian Sprung, the well known co-author of the "The Reef Aquarium" series of books. It supposedly consists of "plant extracts, not iodine" and is used as a dip primarily for stony corals. Since I don't really know what is in it, I only tend to use it on corals that tend to have an adverse reaction to Lugol's.

Lugol's Solution is iodine, potassium iodide and distilled water. See the Wiki page for detailed info. Lugol's is not the same as the "tincture of iodine" solutions commonly found in drug stores, which have elemental iodine, iodide salts and alcohol in them.

Lugol's is very effective at driving unwanted critters out of zoa colonies. IME, it also works well as a treatment for intact zoas that have inexplicably closed up for days.

It's not particularly helpful, at least in the manner I use it, in the fight against most nuisance algae.


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Old 11/21/2009, 01:12 AM   #11
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Most of the treatments purchased have the directions on the bottle. However in cases like mine with TMPCC the pump was broke so I had no idea how much to put in....guess I did it right though....thank god.


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Old 12/01/2009, 11:31 PM   #12
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The pump is worthless on the TMPCC! Mine broke on me first using it! I wished the pump was better quality!


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Old 12/01/2009, 11:40 PM   #13
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great write up!
revive is great but i only use it for sps/lps. i like lugols for softies and zoas.
melafix can also be used as a dip and it's easier to get than revive, both smell similar and are made from plant extracts.


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Old 12/02/2009, 09:03 AM   #14
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Very nice Write-up!


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Old 12/02/2009, 10:20 AM   #15
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mucho thanks, Mark

I did not see that you use a FW dip in your process. Is that correct?


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Old 12/02/2009, 12:00 PM   #16
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I don't use a freshwater dip on zoas. Lugol's Solution, used as described, is very effective at ridding the frags/colonies of most pests. I'm not convinced there is any additional benefit derived from doing a freshwater dip.

Here are the amphipods that came off a single frag I dipped the other day:



Cheers,

Mark


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Old 12/05/2009, 06:36 PM   #17
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I understand cleaning the frag of Aips, but whats wrong with amphipods?


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Old 12/05/2009, 07:36 PM   #18
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Some amphipods, like the ones pictured above, develop a taste for zoas/palys. I prefer to get rid of any amphipods that come in on zoas from the outset rather than risk having a problem with them later on.

Mark


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Old 12/05/2009, 08:25 PM   #19
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Thank you for the write up! I do just about the same treatment and was wondering if I was doing it correctly. This is because on about 1/2 of the zoa/paly frags I get, 1-3 polyps open up and the rest never (literally) open or take months. I've tried different acclimation procedures and nothing seems to help. Any guesses?


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Old 12/05/2009, 08:26 PM   #20
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this is brilliant great job man!!!!!


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Old 12/07/2009, 03:30 PM   #21
ReefHog
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Quote:
Originally Posted by puter View Post
Some amphipods, like the ones pictured above, develop a taste for zoas/palys. I prefer to get rid of any amphipods that come in on zoas from the outset rather than risk having a problem with them later on.

Mark
I know I have tons of those Amphipods in my tank. You can really see them at lights out crawling everywhere. The only thing I have more of are probably my Zoas. They completly cover the overflow, part of the back wall, and several rocks and are still spreading. Infact, I really should thin them out.

I have a Mandrin that is two years old and I am hesitant to do anything with the many "bugs" that are in the tank as I am not sure which ones are his food source. Better safe than sorry though I agree.


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Old 12/07/2009, 06:15 PM   #22
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Well the large amphipods aren't his food source.


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Old 12/08/2009, 04:31 PM   #23
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Yea, probably not but they come in all different sizes. Lucky for me in addition to picking at the rocks all day he eats frozen glass worms, blood worms, brine, and picks at marine mix.


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Old 12/09/2009, 10:34 AM   #24
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Great write up.I will be dong this from now on.I have learned the hard way what happens when you don't do this.My tank is now infested with FW.


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Old 12/12/2009, 06:00 AM   #25
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yes...great write up...can't wait to try this on the new zoanthids I just purchased...


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