Something Strange


Active member
I've got something strange going on in my frag tank. RTN, and a "bubble" type of coating on most, if not all, sps corals, zoas not opening all the way up. Everything was fine up until about a week or so ago, when a Pearlberry frag rtn'd. The other 3 followed, and since then, the frags have all gone down hill.

I tested all water parameters, all were good. Also had that tested at my favorite LFS and all checked the same. No stray voltage. Nothing foreign introduced into the tank/water that I know of (I live alone in my house, no pets). I have done a complete WC, dip, and re-acclimated all frags back into the frag tank. I am now running carbon in a mesh bag also. I've lost 13 sps frags, as well as got rid of all the Birdsnest frags now since they all showed the same signs of infection?.

The first image is the Bird of Paradise Birdsnest. I fragged this a couple weeks ago from my main system, and the mother colony is fine. I also fragged a Ponape, and it is fine.

The 2nd and 3rd images show strange polyp extension on another coral (again, the mother colony is fine in the main tank).

Any insight would be much appreciated.





Premium Member
Greetings from your old hometown! Sorry to hear your woes :(. What you are describing certainly does sound very strange.

Some things that come to mind are:

1) A coral sickness/virus/fungus. Although I know very little about any of them, I know they exist. Perhaps you could try dipping a frag in some CoralRx, Bayer, or other coral "dip" and see note the coral's reaction.

2) Heavy metal leaching into the water. Although I have had problems with heavy metals getting into the water, the corals did not exhibit the symptoms you are describing. In my instances the corals lost their color, appeared bleached, showed no polyp extension, and lost color. I'd still keep it on the list of possibilities. Check rock/bottom for screws, bolts, or pieces of metal, perhaps from the fixture.

I'm really leaning towards the virus/fungus (actually the fungus, just by the appearance). Was the Pearlberry or the other 3 frags possibly new additions?

You may want to parrot this in the Chemistry forum; there are often biologists that frequent it, and may have some answers.


Active member
Hey Nate, hope all is well, and thanks for your input.

I pretty much narrowed this down to the frag plugs, sorta. I made about 40 frags in one night, glued them all to new, rinsed and cleaned plugs, and put them in the frag tank. Next night probably another 20 frags...

I believe what happened was that there was too many new plugs added at once. I do remember some time ago, that Ocean Wonders frag plug bags mentioned not adding to many at once. Sadly, this is not mentioned on their bulk bags (100 plugs), and it came to mind only after everything else was tested and checked for. I will post this over in the Chem forums just to get some opinions.

So, lesson learned... the hard way. I lost about 30 frags, including the Pearlberrys and 4 nice Strawberry Fields. Luckily, I still have the mother colonies in my DT.


Premium Member

Sorry to hear about this, and it does seem like quite an oversight on the part of the plug manufactaurer. I am happy things are well, and happier that you have backups of your frags!

Keep up the good work, and take care.