The incredible, Unkillable Acro!


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This is the odyssey of what may well be the most tortured coral in all of existence. Those without strong composure should turn away now.

For those who have chosen to go forward, let me introduce you to a small frag I purchased from an LFS in August of 2005.


This was the original frag and the original color I purchased for 10 dollars. It was my first SPS coral, bought not for its looks but to see if my tiny 15 gallon could support any hard corals. I didn't notice at the time but in this picture this coral has Red bugs. I had just started the tank and didn't even know what those were, but always wondered why I got no polyp extension from that coral.

This next picture was taken two months later in November 2005, and due to the red bugs, and having only a crap BakPak skimmer, and my general newbie-ness at the time, not much had changed.


This is when I noticed the Red Bugs and treated the tank with interceptor. Notice the difference only a few weeks later in the next pic?


Here there is finally polyp extension and the frag has begun to encrust in December of 2005. I had also upgraded from a 15 gallon, to a 20 at this point, and discovered just how important calcium and alkalinity are in Reef tanks! And so the odyssey continues...


The above picture was taken a month later (January 2006) and while not much has grown, I'd change a lot of the tank configuration then and finally put in a sump, so I could finally have a decent skimmer.

This next picture was taken April 2006, after I upgraded to a 29 gallon tank. Not much growth, but it is growing!


Now here things get pretty interesting. In this next shot was taken in April 2006 you can see some other corals around the coral of interest, and they're all different than they were previously. Why?

Chloramine is why.

A couple of months prior to this pic the 29 gallon tank I originally had developed a leak severe enough to require the replacement of the tank. I had a 30 gallon tank with SG 1.025 water filled and aged for a week. I had planned to use my usual RO/DI water, but I had just bought a new Deltec MCE600 skimmer and was testing it on that 30 gallon prior to the 29 gallons leak with tap water, and figured "well, London, Ontario doesn't use Chloramine in the water, just chlorine, and that degasses in a few days, let alone a week through the skimmer, so I'll just add in the salt, heat it up, and use that as my holding tank while I fix the 29 gallon!

Apparently that week London had a run-off problem with the water from some local farms and began introducing Chloramine to the water to sanitize it. Just my luck. So yeah, all my corals, my fish, my snails, etc were all exposed to chloramine for 6 hours while I was out getting the old tank sealed and fixed. Shockingly all my fish survived, but 90% of my snails died, as well as 99% of my corals. This frag was the only coral to survive. How, I don't know.

In fact, in the months later, it began to take off! This next pic is from August 2006.


So now its been through red bugs, and chloramine. What else could possibly go wrong?

AEFW! Acro-eating flat worms! No, I'm not kidding.

While I do quarantine my purchases, when restocking the entire tank I failed to do so on a couple of corals. I noticed our intrepid survivor coral first began to fade, and lost polyp extension again. I observed it closely and finally noticed small bite marks and later, with flatworm-exit treatment at very high dose, was able to blow free some of the pests that I confirmed were AEFW.

*sigh* By the time I noticed I pulled the rock with the coral on it and found not just flatworms, but their eggs as well, laid in the tiniest of crevasses. All I could do was cry and break off any portion of the coral with the AEFW eggs. I also carried out a lot of REALLY high-dose (30x normal concentration) flatworm exit treatments, which themselves dont kill the AEFW, but do irritate them enough for me to blow off the corals and suck up with a hose. This was the result in October 2006:


Thankfully a month later, December 2006, it was beginning to recover:


And finally, this past January I upgraded to a 90 gallon SPS-dominated tank with 6x54 T5s, a recirculating Deltec skimmer, a tunze wavebox and dual Tunze 6000s, as well as a Korallin 1502 Calcium reactor.

The coral has recovered nicely, no?


So there you have it, a coral that started a 1/2 inch frag, that survived Red Bugs, Chloramine and AEFWs! It's gone from a 15 gallon, to a 20L, to a 29, and then finally to a 90g. Who knows what the future will hold for this brave coral? :)

So what about you guys? Do you have any shockingly-resistant corals? What have they been through?


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Yeah, I'm continually shocked by this coral and how much its been though. I also didn't mention the time I first used Kalk and created a bit of a snow storm, my first attempt at phosban where I didn't rinse it and turned the tank red, and the time I had a party at my apartment with all the windows closed (so much CO2 in the room that the tank ph dropped to 7.3 for several hours).

It really makes me wonder just what truly causes corals to suddenly RTN or STN. If this acro can make it through almost anything, why can't many of the others?


London too! Are you on AP?? Not a lot of people running SPS tanks in london. Were do you get your stuff?? If your interested in purchasing/trading some frags let me know....London SPS reefers got to network.

Do you have a pic of your 90g?? Right now I have a 55g display in the livingroom w/ 65g sump/frag tank in the basement. But I just bought a 90g as well and will be upgrading this spring/summer.


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London too! Are you on AP?? Not a lot of people running SPS tanks in london. Were do you get your stuff?? If your interested in purchasing/trading some frags let me know....London SPS reefers got to network.

I do lurk on AP, but haven't really posted there. I did go to a single MACL meeting over a year about, ever since they've always been on Saturdays, the one day a week I work 10 hours and can't ever manage to make it.

As to where I shop, the frag this thread is dedicated to was purchased from Incredible Aquarium. They do tend to be a bit more expensive, but Bill does really seem to care about what he sells. I also visit ReefPerfection and like them as well. Big Al's is pretty much just a random visit for supplies, and Strictly Salt... well, I used to shop there a year or so ago, before they seemed to have stopped caring about livestock. After walking in there time and time again and seeing so many SPS skeletons in their livestock tank I just stopped going. When I'm in the mood to travel I also hit up Oakville Reef Gallery and the Oakville Big als, as well as ReefRaft in Toronto.

As for the tank itself, here ya go:


Its not the most beautiful thing yet, but its only been set up for a month. I've finally got coralline growing again as of three days ago. :)


New member
It looks great. I think the upgrade helped out a lot, too. What skimmer model do you have?

So do I! A lot of my corals have really taken off since.

The skimmer is a gravity-fed AP600 that I purchased originally for the 29 gallon, as I was continually unsatisfied by all my previous skimmers (I've had a bakpak, a remora, an ASM G2 withe gate mode, coralife 65 and then 125, and a deltec MCE600). The AP600 is the only one that continually and reliably fills its collection cup with nasty skimmate and have never overflowed on me.

My only regret in regard to the skimmer is not planning a little further ahead when i bought it and going for the APF600 instead. I fill the collection cup on this thing full in just 3 days, and then foam starts coming out the vent holes at the top of the cup! :)


Nice start!!...I like your rockwork. How do you like the wavebox?? looks like you would have excellent flow with the tunze 6000's+wavebox on a 90g.

Nice stand as well...did you build it or buy it?? Looking into how im gonna do my stand.

I like the yellow rim turbinaria coral..its on my list if your interested in a trade.

Here is my 55g display (pic from sept and more stuff added) I said I also have a 65 frag tank that is fairly full at the moment. I have quite a few doubles and some frags that I'm growing out for myself but I quite a few up for trades or sale.



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Honestly, I love the wavebox. The flow it produces is fantastic, and it was jokingly easy to set up for me. Its expensive as hell, and may not be worth it (I dont really know for sure it helps corals grow any faster than stream's alone) but I love it nonetheless. Watching the polyps sway back and forth rhythmically is the perfect tonic to a long day.

The Tank is a 90g megaflow all-glass, as is the stand, which was purchased with it at incredible Aquarium during the boxing day sale. I essentially bought the stand + canopy and the tank came free. While the stand looks gorgeous IMHO and is really solidly built, I was a little annoyed to discover its not solid wood but pressed wood and veneer. I suppose I can't really complain though, as it looks great and does its job well.

As for the yellow turbinaria, its one of my favorite corals. You can actually see how much its grown since I first got it in the August 2006 pic, and it just keeps getting bigger. I do intend to frag it at some point soon, as you're welcome to a piece, but I want to give the tank a month or two more to grow and stabilize before I start fragging things. :)

Beautiful tank btw, I love the pink monti-cap!


New member
That's the larry jackson purple monster for ya, I've seen them pull out of electricution! Not mine but the parent of mine, mine's been through red bugs,heaters dying,ph,dkh,ca,p04 swings! And yet It's doing ok. Maybe 2 1/2 or 3 years old. I'm sure you'll get that purple out of it with that sweet new tank setup,very nice


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My very first acro went thru:

Float valve failure (6G of Kalk dumped into a 75)
electrocution (flooded fuge light)
Mutli. RTN rounds with other acros
hair algae from heck

It RTN'ed itself once thought is was dead and rearraged the rock work. 3 months later I found that it had come back from nothing basically just what had encrusted around a corner.

I had a good 2" of growth off its base and then bull in a china shop I cracked that off. I tried to glue that down and my urchins knocked it off and made off with the frag never to be seen again:mad:

So back to the encrusted base. 8 months of stability has finally give this thing a chance to grow. It's now a 3" encrusted bottle brush looking acro. I think that poor acro is out of the woods as I have gotten over all the rookie mistakes and just plain bad luck.


New member
well... poo on you because I have had a 1/2 inch acro frag to go through Redbugs, Chloramine, tank moves, AEFW AND... and an alien invasion!!!

HA! gotcha!~

Very impressive... I wish all acros can eventually get this ... "hardy"


New member
I tell ya, as if the coral hadnt been through enough, they had to come and stress the lil' bugger out more!

Those Crazy space aliens and their probes...
Boys will be boys, and Aliens will be Aliens... (sighs)