Viewer Discretion Advised: Coral Pest

Discussion in 'Coral' started by MolaMola, Aug 7, 2018.

  1. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    So after a few days of darkness to combat a bit of cyano in my frag tank I noticed a hermit on my beautiful rainbow monti frag, which looked like this with some weird little algae:


    Closer view:




    So, I guess this is a monti eating nudibranch infestation! I totally had the wrong scale in mind and thought they were very, very tiny. Holy cow.

    After I calm down and eat dinner (and maybe have a drink), I will search for what to do. Fortunately this is not from a mature display tank featuring amazing montis. I have other tanks with no montis, so I guess I could try dipping affected frags in something, then putting into different tank and wait it out in both tanks.
    I have at least 3 nudis here at home with me now and possibly more at the school tomorrow, so if anyone has been wanting to try a little experiment to eradicate them, here is your opportunity. Post your idea and I can do it tomorrow.
    Hmm. I have never seen them before in my tanks (always looked for tiny specks!) and dipped monti frags after last swap. Source is a mystery, as is usual I guess.
    scuba71 likes this.
  2. Coral reefer

    Coral reefer Past President

    Wow that is large
  3. iCon

    iCon Supporting Member

    Holy smokes. My worst nightmare! Thanks for the posting as I haven’t seen these in person or even a good pic!
  4. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    I've never seen one in person either, but that one looks pretty big. Can you see it moving along eating the monti?
  5. tankguy

    tankguy Supporting Member

    Big and ugly
  6. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    I could not see it moving along eating, but the conditions were not great for it in the container in the light.
    I wonder if I only found them because I had recently had the lights off for a few days in that tank. They are nocturnal and I have never seen the tanks in the night.
    Spent part of the night reading up a bit on the monti-eating nudibranchs, "MENs" as I found, and it is not good at all. I'm thinking my best bet is to say goodbye to all monti frags and be glad I have no giant pieces. Sad about three in particular, but that's how it goes. I have a pale green encrusting monti that looks fine and I cannot chip much of it off, and websites said encrusters seem to avoid the problems.
    But, even with removal, there are tons of eggs in the tank. Those MENs are prolific, laying thousands of eggs per day. Yikes. Was thinking I should clear an area and leave one tempting monti in there as bait, then check it each morning and dip it in Bayer to see if any nudis are on it. Can't really get out the eggs, but wait until they just hatch. Not sure what else to do.
    That is my 22g frag tank. Then, while perusing the 105g tank and deciding where to go with that non-infested tank, I realized there are NO montis in there. Used to have some, but for various reasons do not now. Hmmm. Could there be MENs in there, too?! I thought I would place a bait monti in there also, and check to see if any come to feast on it. But even if I dip the lure first, some eggs could be on it and hatch in the big tank. Do I want to risk introducing a pest if it is not already in that tank? Does not sound wise.
    So, not sure what to do. I do have an old neglected 12g going with a couple brown caribbean rock flower nems and capnella and PC light. Some people QT infested montis for months and dip them every few days. I only have a few frags I love and don't think I need to do all that.
    So, what would you do? I could use some suggestions. For now, I am going to dip my two faves in Bayer, then return them to their usual frag tank and try to get here early in the AM to dip them and check for MENs in order to get more pests out of that tank.
  7. rygh

    rygh BOD

    Dip every other day for a while, and QT.
    Scrub non-live parts, like under the coral, with a stainless wire brush dipped in vinegar.
    Be very glad they are not in your big tank.
  8. xcaret

    xcaret Guest

    Yeah, those things devastate montis fast; are very hard to spot and the eggs, impossible to the naked eye.
    I guess you could test some of the dips available in different tanks to see if any of them are effective?
    The day I discovered them was late but I tried dipping them in iodide/iodine solution (can't remember the name brand) and Coral Rx; could not so I took them out; two big plating montis, bright green and orange.
    I did try to "scrub" the underside of them with a soft toot-brush but I lost that battle.
  9. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Yeah, I'm just worried they could be in big tank already but no living montis for them to eat now, so i can't see them
  10. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    So now I just finished removing all skeletons from both tanks. I guess I left dead or knocked over frags alone to just become part of the reef or didn't prioritize it so now I just removed many and it is really very sad. I need to get a handle on what I am doing here so I notice things earlier.
  11. Gablami

    Gablami Guest

    I find it interesting that a monti eating nudibranch can munch away an entire field of montis but won’t touch an acropora and just starve and die out. Doesn’t seem like much of a stretch for evolutionary adaptation to be less discriminating in its diet.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  12. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Interesting point @Gablami

    After 24 hours of my increasing sadness, my husband pointed out something I had not considered. I do have the option of doing nothing and just not having any montipora in those tanks for months or however long it takes. As much as I like them and the variety, I could live with that. Not quite the doom I thought it was.
  13. NanoCrazed

    NanoCrazed Supporting Member

    just a thought... this would be a great opportunity to start a pest tank. One of my favorite and least worked on tanks is my pest tank -- anything I don't want plus all hitchhikers and aggressive growers get banished to this tank. The results are amazing in my opinion.

    bit dated but this was is awhile back... have to get a recent shot at some point...
  14. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Ha! That's thinking outside the box. I used to have a 1g Beaker of Doom that was hitchhikers and pests and it was cool. Later it housed tidepool tagalongs from mussel collecting. I have a random temporary tank like that going now but it's hard to see through scratched acrylic and I worry old DIY PC lighting will fall in - thought it would be for training peppermint shrimp to eat aiptasia but now it holds capnella and extra nems. Also counter space is at a premium and I'm thinking about a mantis shrimp tank like @Peter B . And someday a CA native coldwater tank. And, since my MENs incident, possibly a coral QT. Or, better idea is to take care of what I already have!
    Okay, today I will check out the old random tank and see if I can find a new spot for it so it could become @NanoCrazed pest tank idea. So lucky to have tons of electrical outlets.
  15. saltwatersig

    saltwatersig Guest

    My own experience with these pests

    After discovering them in my mixed reef tank , I attempted to pull out montis and dip , scrub and put into a frag tank to observe. I watched my colorful montis turn brown and most did not make it . Then I realized there was still some encrusted monti on live rock which I couild not remove. The decision to go montiless for around 7-8 months to make sure tank was clear of them was made based on others posting their dealings on various forums. At first there was the feeling of disappointment having to pull my montis out as they played a major part of color and succesful coral growth but after a few months passed and acropora continuing to grow and take up more real estate , things were not as bad as originally thought. Overall the experience made me more cautious in how new frags of any type of coral were acclimated and quarantined before being introduced to my reef tank.
  16. Flagg37

    Flagg37 Supporting Member

    Maybe I’m lucky I’m not a fan of monties. I for sure wouldn’t want aefws though.

    I had the thought; what in my tank would be the “winner” of a cage match like that. If I could maintain the tank but not interfere with how corals grow and fast forward it like 50 years. So interesting.
  17. NanoCrazed

    NanoCrazed Supporting Member

    that's essentially what I do... I barely maintain the tank... and let it be a free for all.. just occasional water changes
  18. Vhuang168

    Vhuang168 Supporting Member

    Neptune has some nudi eating nudis.

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    NanoCrazed likes this.
  19. NanoCrazed

    NanoCrazed Supporting Member

    and they're beautiful too -- wish I could get one but don't have nudis to feed the nudis...
  20. MolaMola

    MolaMola Supporting Member

    Never heard of those - cool! I decided to try to catch any more nudis who come to my single monti lure in frag tank, but that's it, no treatment. And watch my encrusting one that I can't remove easily. When I first saw them on a frag there were 3 or 4 and I have not found any since then. I plan to just go monti-free. And be glad they are so selective.
    Ashalye likes this.

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