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Old 04/06/2004, 09:26 PM   #1
Treeman
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Zoanthus Fungus

Hello Anthony, again

Have you been hearing about the fungus on zoanthus. It is either a white cheesy/web film or a dark algae looking coating on the polyps themselves.

Amy may have already talked to you about your opinions on this. But have you had any experience with this and if so what do you think is causing it and how would you treat it? It seems like it is stress related (ie...shipping etc..).


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Old 04/06/2004, 10:13 PM   #2
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I have not heard from Amy yet about it... and know not exactly what it is referring to. I can tell you that whatever it is, its not new. Zoanthids that have been incorrectly harvested - ripped off reefs, or... arghhh! freshly fragged then shipped (a horrible thing that aquarists do when swapping frags... patience, all, please to let a frag settle and growout before mailing)... commonly express a number of different bacterial infections. Very strong water movement and high redox help correct it. Doing all of this in a proper QT tank often recovers them... placing them in a display tank without QT insstead (arghhh! again) often sacrifices the animals and sometimes spreads the infection to other healthy animals in the display.

Hmmm... not sure what else to say/rant about here

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Old 04/07/2004, 02:01 PM   #3
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Anthony- If you are at all interested, I can post a lot of information as well as pictures that can help you better under what this white fungus is. With links to other threads about this subject if you would like to hear more.

Do let me know and I will be happy to do so. Be warned it would be a long and scary detailed post.

Matt, I hope you have not suffered much from it Just yesterday my pinks fuzzed up! Geeerrr.. Going to try Jimmy's dip method this afternoon.


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Old 04/07/2004, 02:33 PM   #4
Anthony Calfo
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Tippytoex,

If its handy for you... please do forward some links my friend

Danke,

Anthony


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Old 04/07/2004, 04:20 PM   #5
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As for links it would probably best best for you to weed through these search results. Links Best to star off with this thread.. Fungus/Fuzz If you are game you can also do a search with the key words "White Fungus" and or "White Fuzz" and read the many threads that will come up.

Myself and with the help of a few people affected by this hope to send a sample to Borneman one day soon if he is willing for any testing and information he can provide. Matt FWIW, this is a quote from Eric Borneman found on the web about zoanthids/fungus.

Quote:
In terms of disease, zoanthids are quite sturdy animals. They may succumb to jelly-type infections, especially if a polyp are colony area has been subjected to injury. There is also a common ailment that affects zoanthids that appears as a white cheesy growth usually seen on the outside of the polyps stalk. This area is most likely a microorganism, though I have not seen any mention of what or if it has been identified. This should be a relatively easy process. The result of this infection is that the polyps becomes very soft and deteriorates entirely. It can continue to spread to nearby polyps, the entire colony, and even other colonies in the aquarium. This particular type infection seems specific to zoanthids, and neighboring colonies may react adversely when such a situation is occurring within a tank, even if they are not directly affected. The communication of individuals within a colony is sometimes eerie, as the stolons ( through either ring canal systems or other intercommunicative structures) act like rapid telephone transfer, alerting the entire colony that something is amiss. The result is a colony that remains totally or partially closed even when a few lone individuals are affected. This behavior is also seen when certain polyps are exposed to noxious stimuli or injury. Freshwater dips, brief iodine dips as outlined in numerous articles and resources, and the topical application of a fairly insoluble antibiotic paste such as Erythromycin may be the treatment of choice for such infections. It would be ideal to treat any bacterial infection with a stronger antibiotic topical paste, such as Neomycin or Kanamycin in a hospital tank. Removal of the potentially contagious infection from the tank is but an added benefit to the entire system.

Zoanthids are also susceptible to bleaching, and some Palythoids are the harbingers of mass bleachings in natural communities. Palythoa are often the first to bleach in extreme summer doldrums, though their hardiness usually allows for complete recovery pending the removal of temporary environmental stress. Partial bleaching or "paling" of colonies is common within specimens offered in the aquarium trade, as many have been subjected to fairly atrocious conditions in transit. Being hardy animals, often less care is given to them than more fragile animals. It is notable, though, that zoanthids usually can and do recover nicely once exposed to good aquarium conditions in the hobbyists' own tanks.
Now onto what I have seen personally. I have lost a few frags due to this. Shortly after they have been shipped.. A picture (poor quality forgive me) of my lost blues. Sorry if the first pic is rather huge.



After fragging



The whole piece was lost. High water flow, QT tanks, nothing could stop it.

When this first started (or came to my attention) showing up many people thought is was contagious and other zoanthids will fall to the "fungus" as well. Not the case for most any longer. It seems to not spread to other healthy established zoanthids in a tank.

I don't believe anyone really questions that this happens due to stress mainly. More the concern is how to treat the affected frag and save as much as possible. It happens so fast!

There is a dip method that I mentioned above has done well for some. 90% tank water and 10% hydrogen Peroxide dip for 15 min then place in high flow. For a few people I know that has helped stop it from spreading. I am going to try it as well today. As stong flow (even in QT) has done little to help some outbreaks.

I have PMed a few people who have been hit hard with this. Good people who are open and willing to hear any suggestions you can give for a possible treatment.

Amy


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Old 04/07/2004, 04:36 PM   #6
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One thing I was told by another vendor that spoke with Walt Smith was to get Mexican Turbo snails and Mexican Red Legged Hermits to clean up zoanthids.

I'm losing some beautiful Zoos right now that were just fine for at least a month. They appear to be constricted near the top, as if a turnicate was applied at the neck area. The polyp does not reopen, but rather shrinks down and within a couple of days dies. It is happening to a few polyps, but only the larger zoanthoa - not the tiny polyped ones.


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Old 04/07/2004, 10:26 PM   #7
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I stopped photographing after the losses started out-numbering survivors, but you're welcome to my photo-collection of the dead.

Marc: I hope you aren't losing your big-teal-pinks... Mine were pretty hard hit during my tank transfer and aren't recovering well. I have one grow-out left (9 polyps) and the 'Mother colony' was knocked down to 3 scattered polyps.

A collection of images covering some of my recent loses:

Baby-blues on a rock shared with some greens - bb's totally lost, greens weren't touched


An intermittent strike - some of these Halloweens survived, but have yet to really recover


Then it spread to my 'Mean Greens' - killed most, the rest are not recovering well (still shrinking)


Left me 3 of these (out of 7) - one new polyp since the 'plague' disappeared


Another doubly-colonized rock. One color-morph was destroyed, another left untouched.


An example of what Marc mentions above (the big-polyps looking strangled)


Most painful losses - PPEs - still have 6, though one is still slowly shrinking and no new buds have emerged since the fuzzy-bloated-white-ceesy-death swooped in...


These green-mouthed, pink accented large-polyps went really quick (from 20+ to these in just a couple days... these didn't last for more than another day



These may have been what introduced the white-death to my tank. Bought a poorly-shipped/stressed colony and removed all of the dead/dyding and many of the healthy polyps. Then attached the few healthy polyps to rubble and acclimated them...


What over-took the last stand of 'metal-reds' in my tank and seemed to signal the end of the plague - more red-fuzzy than white-fuzzy



The plague in my case, started before a tank-transfer and carried over into the new tank for a little over a month (last bit of December and most of January). Tank parameters were stable for the most part, but I did have small cycling spikes the two weeks following the transfer (middle of the plague). Temp is kept at 80* constant and lighting consists of an 8hr MH cycle (250w 10KK over one side - other side left more bare until second MH is installed) supplemented with 12hr photoperiod for the 112w of Actinic (03) PC lights.

Currently ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are testing zeros across. Calcium in the 430 range (supplement Kalkwasser for top-off). I perform 10gallon water changes on the 75g tank every two weeks and use a DSB as well.

Hope the details can help...


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Old 04/07/2004, 10:41 PM   #8
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Man, what a depressing thread, with horrific visuals.

Here are the ones I was referring to and what they look like constricted:



and look at the polyp dead center, all shrunken down. On 4/02 it look skinny in the stem, and still had a fat polyp at the tip. Now it looks like it was compressed:



I've tried a turkey baster, both blowing and even trying to siphon the stuff off the polyps. It doesn't seem to help. Here are my parameters this morning:

pH (10:30am) 8.0
Temp 79.7F
sg 1.028
NH4 0
Alk 13.6dKH
Ca 490
PO4 0
NO3 10
Mg 1100
O2 4
Org - good quality (1 drop with Salifert test)

to raise pH and O2 levels, I added an airstone to my refugium/sump and opened the doors and windows today.

to lower salinity, I drained 3g of tank water and replaced it with 3g of RO/DI.

My alk/ca levels are higher than usual because I'm completely out of B-Ionic and it won't arrive for 2 more weeks (ARGH!!!) --- which means 4 weeks since I've had any. Now I top off with Kalkwasser, and add pH buffer and Calcium every other day to maintain levels.

I continue to dose Phytoplankton every other day, btw.


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Old 04/07/2004, 10:41 PM   #9
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for grins and giggles... has anyone tried to "burn" it away: properly dosed (metered and carbon filtered air/water effluents) ozone? High redox and antimicrobial benefits of ozone are tried and true benefits of carefully dosed ozone. Nothing extreme needed here I'm sure... just a solid, high RedOx (say... 420-440mv)

This would compliment your other efforts (high water flow, small daily iodine doses, water changes, feeding) for new specimens held in QT or established, and afflicted ones pulled back to quarantine.

Curious to see if anyone can report on this.

kindly,

Anthony


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Old 04/07/2004, 10:52 PM   #10
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I have no way to run Ozone at this point. And I never dose Iodine. I have Lugol's Solution that is so old the dropper's rubber cap is cracked and no longer can suck in the solution!

My thoughts are that Iodine is in the fish food and the water changes, and I've yet to find a Iodine test kit worth a damn!


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Old 04/07/2004, 11:28 PM   #11
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Somewhere in a box in my garage is my AquaZone ozonizer. I'll go dig it up.


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Old 04/08/2004, 11:12 AM   #12
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Here is the ongoing saga of my zoos, in case someone recognizes the situation and has a solution/cure:





Guess what is about to happen to this one!




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Old 04/08/2004, 01:55 PM   #13
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Man...those pictures are just breaking my heart. The peroxide dip did stop or kill the fungus on the two small pieces I tried it on. I always smell my pieces before they go in my tank. If they smell bad there is bacteria present so do the dip. The next time I have to dip I'm going to cut the time of the dip 7 min to see if they recover faster.

Marc in your case I'm not sure what's going on but it's not fungus that's for sure. At this point I'd try moving them to see how they react.

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Old 04/08/2004, 03:03 PM   #14
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Fijizoos, I just dipped my new Jarkata zoos. I hope that will help because they sure had a funk to them.

So the pinks are now in QT with the ozonizer going. We are at 390 right now. :sigh:

Sorry excuse for a picture of them before I shipped them to QT



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Old 04/08/2004, 03:22 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by TippyToex
Fijizoos, I just dipped my new Jarkata zoos. I hope that will help because they sure had a funk to them.

So the pinks are now in QT with the ozonizer going. We are at 390 right now. :sigh:

Sorry excuse for a picture of them before I shipped them to QT
Amy...you did all you could now just watch them and give them some good water flow. Does the piece smell ? It must if it has the fungus. Please keep us updated.

-J


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Old 04/08/2004, 03:49 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by fijizoos
Amy...you did all you could now just watch them and give them some good water flow. Does the piece smell ? It must if it has the fungus. Please keep us updated.

-J
Thanks my friend, you know how much I/we appreciate your efforts in the fungus battle.

That frag sure did smell. Right now it is in the most crystal clear water (forgot how ozone does that) in my QT. Good strong water flow. We shall see.

The Jarkata zoos did smell, but not as strong as the pinks in the above pic. They got dipped for 10min and are in the tank. Not half bad looking as of this afternoon. You know I will keep everyone updated.


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Old 04/08/2004, 07:01 PM   #17
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I have tried just about everything that I could think of to treat this. Like Lugols, Seachem coral dip, Melafix(sp) and even Alcohol. They didn't seem to help. The alcohol didn't hurt like I thought it would, it was just like the others. I will try the peroxide next and I am going to order some antibiotics also. And thanks Amy, I have seem that article of Eric's and have read and reread for any help I thought it would give.

I have to say though that I have had some in my tanks for 6 - 9 monthes and then the center dies out with fungus and I don't touch them and only a portion dies, the rest look bad for a few weeks and then come back fine. I have some that are the red w/ a green mouth that look bad like shriveling up every couple weeks and then come out of it after a few days and look good again. Maybe they are cleaning themselves?


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Old 04/11/2004, 07:49 AM   #18
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Amy has the ozone helped at all? I lost these peices last month. When they arrived they never lloked goog and it was just a matter of days before the melted away. These never really fungused over they just dissolved away.

This one arrived looked 90% dead. I really complained to the vendor who shipped it to me as there is no way it got this bad in transit. This vendor has stopped shipping "colonies" of zoos as soon as they arrive in his tanks. When I pulled out this zoo rock it smelled like rotten uncured LR.


This zoo arrived and looked fairly good and had no smell. It just refused to open and melted away over 5 days.


Both of these zoos came from Jakarta. When I contacted the vendors who sold me the peices they stated that Jakarta imports the zoos wrapped in wet newpaper. I will never order Jakarta zoos again until they start shipping these animals correctly.


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Old 04/11/2004, 10:27 AM   #19
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Just a quick question for you guys. Whats the salinity of your water? Some zoanthids come from low salinity areas where rivers empty into the ocean. A discussion with a few other reefers has led me to believe some of the zoanthids we keep suffer from "too high" of a salinity level and actually do better in water with a 1.022 or so salinity rather then full 1.025 salinity.

Just a thought and something to possibly help eradicate the plague...


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Old 04/11/2004, 10:53 AM   #20
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High Res Shot




High Res Shot



High Res Shot



High Res Shot




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Old 04/11/2004, 11:13 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Nagel
Just a quick question for you guys. Whats the salinity of your water? Some zoanthids come from low salinity areas where rivers empty into the ocean. A discussion with a few other reefers has led me to believe some of the zoanthids we keep suffer from "too high" of a salinity level and actually do better in water with a 1.022 or so salinity rather then full 1.025 salinity.

Just a thought and something to possibly help eradicate the plague...
Nagel...I keep my salinity at 1.025 to 1.026 and everything seems to be OK with my pieces. For some reason the pieces that are getting infected seem to be either bad before the vendor ships them or it's happening during shipping. Your making a very good point about the salinity being to high.

Just an update on the peroxide dip. I had a newer piece that I received a week ago show signs of the fungus so I gave it a bath last night. I cut down on the dip time to under 5 min and used my turkey baster to wash the piece and I think the zoos look much better then when I dipped for 15 min.

-J


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Old 04/11/2004, 04:05 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by Dr.King
Amy has the ozone helped at all?
Not for the pinks. Dead sorry to say. So are my Jakarta. I am with you on that, will never order those again. FWIW, they were probably too stressed at that point for the oznoner to have helped.

Nagel- My salinity is at 1.025. Do you think maybe putting new zoos in QT with lower salinity (1.022) and slowly bringing it up is worth a try?

I think it was Matt I chatted with that is going to try UV next. I am thinking of doing the same with my next shipment. Or just try the short dip that fijizoos mentioned and give the ozoner one more go.


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Old 04/11/2004, 04:19 PM   #23
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I may be onto a solution for the loss of larger zoos, as pictured in my posts above. What I did was use my turkey baster to pull/suck off the 'cap' that had formed on the polyp where it seemed to shrivel up and harden. Below is a picture of what has occured with one polyp. I felt I had nothing to lose trying this method out, and it seems I may be onto a resolution.

Of course, today I went after about 10 polyps, much to their dismay, but I'm hoping that removing that dead cap will allow the polyp to reopen and form a new healthy head. Look at the new formation of the single polyp dead center, below. Part of the cap is still attached, basically flipped back:




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Old 04/13/2004, 12:14 AM   #24
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Marc, I hope you keep us updated on your "fat head" zoos. Best wishes that you have found a way to treat and help them recover.


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Old 04/15/2004, 06:36 AM   #25
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Marc after some thought I think that's the affects of the new bulbs you you added a month or two ago.

After my dip on the piece that was affected it's showing signs of life. The fungus is gone but so are most of my polyps.


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