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View Full Version : Preventative Protocol for New SPS Coral Purchases


Myka
04-11-2017, 03:35 PM
https://reefbuilders.com/files/2009/05/frag-fest-7.jpg

Please share your dipping procedures for SPS corals.

Give us all the details!

Do you clip the corals off the plugs or do you leave plugs on?
What do you do with dead areas? Maybe a dead tip or a bit of skeleton showing near the base from gluing?
What do you use for a dip? How long do you dip for?
Do you wear personal protective equipment? Do you touch the dip water?
What do you think your choice of dip is protecting you against? (<-- this is fun!)
Do you dip all corals or only some corals?
How do you decide if you dip or not?
Do you examine the dip water afterwards?
What do you do with the corals if you see something on the coral or in the dip water?
Do you tell the seller if you find something? (<-- they never believe you anyway haha)
Do you place the corals in a quarantine tank after dipping or straight into your display?
Any other details???

http://vignette2.wikia.nocookie.net/powerlisting/images/1/1e/Mad_scientist.gif/revision/latest?cb=20150410195651

Myka
04-11-2017, 04:10 PM
Do you clip the corals off the plugs or do you leave plugs on?

I never leave plugs on, I don't care how encrusted it is, or how small the frag is. If I buy an aquacultured mini colony I cut off the big cement base. It doesn't matter if I have to cut the colony into 5 pieces to get it off, that plug or base DOES NOT GO IN MY DIP WATER because it is a perfect host for pests and their eggs. Also, Bayer insecticide (which I use for a dip) will stick to everything - particularly base and plugs as well as dead areas of coral skeleton. Bayer doesn't stick to live coral tissue very much.

What do you do with dead areas? Maybe a dead tip or a bit of skeleton showing near the base from gluing?

I clip off any dead areas. If there is a patch, I scrape it with a blade so the dead patch is fresh making sure to take all the edges off so the patch is all fresh scrape. If the patch is large I'll cut that area away entirely - I don't care if it's half the colony. A dead patch could be where pest eggs are currently laid or have previously been laid. If there is a dead area where it was glued, I will cut that part off before re-gluing. No pests lay eggs on healthy tissue, only dead/dying tissue, so I ALWAYS make sure dead areas are dealt with.

What do you use for a dip? How long do you dip for?

Now that the Acros are baseless, and essentially are "fresh cuts" again, they go into a Bayer insecticide dip. I use 15 mL Bayer per 1 cup of tank water and dip for 10 minutes. I use a pipette to blast the corals while they're in there. Bayer is milky, so I can't see them - I just blast all over the place. Bayer will mostly knock AEFW off without blasting, but I still blast for good measure. MEN need blasting no matter what.

Two Little Fishies ReVive is another good choice for Acros. I roughly follow the directions on the bottle - it says 4 capfuls per 1 gallon (which is 1 capful per 950 mL), but I use 1 capful per 1 liter for ease of measuring. They seem to tolerate ReVive better than Bayer (Bayer browns the Acros sometimes a little, sometimes a lot). ReVive only stuns AEFW and MEN though, so you have to use a turkey baster to diligently blast the coral all over to blast the worms off. If you don't do this, the worms will stay on, and your dip will be entirely ineffective.

CoralRx is similar to ReVive both in smell and also in effectiveness, though I prefer ReVive since the corals' health doesn't seem to be affected by ReVive, where I've found CoralRx to be hard on some Acros. I get more next-day-RTN on CoralRx-dipped Acros than ReVive or Bayer.

Regardless which dip is used, the corals are rinsed very well in a container holding clean display tank water.

Do you wear personal protective equipment? Do you touch the dip water?

I wear gloves when I use Bayer, I do not touch the dip water without a glove on. Bayer insecticide is not nice stuff. ReVive and CoralRx I will put my bare hand into.

What do you think your choice of dip is protecting you against? (<-- this is fun!)

Bayer will cause most live pests to fall off the coral, or damage them in a way to make them easier to spot after the dip. For example, it may not knock off all AEFW (Acroproa Eating FlatWorms), but it will turn them a whitish color so they are easier to spot. For MEN (Montipora Eating Nudibranchs), Bayer will only affect the larger adults, it doesn't seem to affect the tiny babies as much. Bayer is not effective against Red Bugs, nor eggs of any kind. Hence the reason to make sure there are no dead skeleton areas left on the coral where eggs may be lurking. After the dip I glue a new plug on the coral - usually a piece of rock rubble.

Do you dip all corals or only some corals?

I dip every single coral in this fashion that goes into my tank. I don't care where it comes from.

How do you decide if you dip or not?

If I examine the coral and notice it is heavily infected with AEFW or some other God-forbidden alien invader, I will not dip the coral. I put it in the garbage can instead. I don't care if I just spent $100 on it. I don't blame the person/vendor I bought it from either - I looked at it, I chose to buy it.

Do you examine the dip water afterwards?

Yes!!! Since Bayer is milky, I use a stainless steel tea strainer and a coffee filter to strain the Bayer out. I stir up the dip water real good first so that any bugs hanging onto the container sides will be stirred up. Then I pour through the tea strainer, then I pour through the coffee filter. The tea strainer usually catches anything of interest. I backwash the tea strainer into a glass container then examine it on a dark background then a light background to help see anything that may be lurking. Same with the coffee filter.

What do you do with the corals if you see something on the coral or in the dip water?

As above, if the coral is badly infected it goes in the garbage can. If I see regular little flatworms or planaria in the dip water I have no concern. If I see brittle seastars, pods, bits of algae, or bristleworms I have no concern. If I see a minor infection of AEFW or MEN in the dip water the coral will get some special treatment, read below.

Do you tell the seller if you find something? (<-- they never believe you anyway haha)

I usually do, but they never believe you anyway. :lol:

Do you place the corals in a quarantine tank after dipping or straight into your display?

After the dip, the corals are rinsed very well in a container of clean tank water. Then all corals go into a 5-gallon cube tank I use for short-term pseudo-quarantine. The tank has a heater, a small powerhead, a frag rack to hold them off the bottom, and I toss in about 60 mL of carbon pellets that just float around the bottom of the tank which helps to absorb biochemicals released but the stressed corals and also absorbs the organic compounds used in Bayer (read below). I also lay a 24" T8 with an actinic bulb over the tank for some light. It looks ghetto, but it works. Clean corals (defined as ones that didn't have any pests come off in the dip water) will stay in this tank for 48 hours after dipping, then into my display.

The main reason the corals go in this tank is to wash off the Bayer because Bayer insecticide is not nice stuff! Some people have issues with ornamental shrimp dying after Bayer use for frags. The ingredients on the label and in the MSDS will degrade from exposure to water and dissolved air, and carbon will adsorb the organic ingredients. Bayer is also water-resistant as it is designed to stick to surfaces if it rains outside. This is another reason to remove the plugs and bases before dipping in Bayer.

If I found a few AEFW or MEN in the Bayer dip water after dipping, the corals will stay in the quarantine tank for 1 week. After 1 week they will then get re-dipped as this gives any eggs or small babies time to hatch/grow up. If I find anything on the second dip I will either throw them in the garbage if they are fairly easy for me to replace or if the corals are quite expensive or difficult to find they will go back in a different quarantine for 1 more week. At this point they are looking like brown trash from the dips and the poor lighting. :lol: They get a third dip, and if I see anything on that dip they go in the trash. If I see nothing in the third dip they stay in the quarantine for 48 hours to wash off the Bayer.

Any time corals are removed from the quarantine for re-dipping the quarantine and equipment is washed with bleach and dried, then I use the other quarantine (I have two of them) with it's own set of equipment. If I have to re-dip corals that were already in my quarantine, that quarantine is considered INFECTED and is treated like it has Ebola. :lol: It is not re-used until it has been bleached and dried for at least 1 week.

Any other details???

I think I covered it.



Fluval Chi is the tank I use for quarantine. I bought them used off Kijiji for $40 each. I threw away the filter/light thingy on the top, so I just use the bare tank. I fill it with tank water from my display so the new corals aren't exposed to "harsh" new saltwater.
https://images.petplanet.co.uk/images/product_images/extra_images/56643/10_Fluval_Chi_Aquarium.jpg



This is how it looks when I put frags in it. Sorry no pic with the light on it, oh and I see I don't have the heater in there at that point either! The heater I use is a 25w VisiTherm set to 80F the same as my display. The powerhead in there is a Koralia Nano 240 gph pump. The frag rack is an Eshopps corner rack. The carbon is Acurel. The water is from my display tank.
https://c1.staticflickr.com/3/2838/33132722064_3e4faa8482.jpg

Frogger
04-11-2017, 04:50 PM
You ask a lot of questions.

One you may have missed is what do you do with the water after you have dipped? Do you dump it down the drain.

I don't think you are legally allowed to dump a registered pesticide down the drain. I do not think anyone has covered this before.

Myka
04-11-2017, 05:05 PM
One you may have missed is what do you do with the water after you have dipped? Do you dump it down the drain.

That is a good point. I dump it down the drain. I figure there is little difference to dumping it down the drain than spreading it around your yard. It all end up in waste water eventually, and the 1L I use over 2 years is quite a tiny amount seeing as lots of people use the entire bottle in one treatment in their yard.

A quick search on the Google says pesticides should be disposed of as "Hazardous Household Waste". I know in Saskatoon once a month there is a Hazardous Waste Disposal drop off where you can take paints and such. Maybe this is an option? I will look into this a bit more. :)

Frogger
04-11-2017, 05:07 PM
Do you clip the corals off the plugs or do you leave plugs on? I do now. In the beginning I didn't. This is almost impossible with Zoas or encrusted montisWhat do you do with dead areas? Maybe a dead tip or a bit of skeleton showing near the base from gluing? Try to cut off, now only buying fresh cuts.What do you use for a dip? How long do you dip for? Coral RX as per instructions then Hydrogen peroxide (effective against flatworms).
Do you wear personal protective equipment? Do you touch the dip water? Always and never
What do you think your choice of dip is protecting you against? (<-- this is fun!). Anything that is active at that time.
Do you dip all corals or only some corals? AllHow do you decide if you dip or not? If it ain't from my tanks I dip
Do you examine the dip water afterwards? Always with a microscope
What do you do with the corals if you see something on the coral or in the dip water? That depends on what it is and how manyDo you tell the seller if you find something? (<-- they never believe you anyway haha) depends on who it isDo you place the corals in a quarantine tank after dipping or straight into your display? I will be quarantining for a couple months once I set up my system
Any other details??? I am now inspect the corals with a dissecting scope carefully for eggs or adults.

I got monti nudibranchs from an encrusting appleberry 5 months ago. I took my 3 encrusting montis out of the tank and found about 4 adults. I treated them tried to scrape off the eggs and put them in a quarantine tank for a month. Treated them again and put them back into the display. I have been watching closely at night for 5 months, haven't added anymore montis since and 2 nights ago I noticed another nudibranch and then again on a different monti last night. I removed the adults with a syringe. Unfortunately the monti's have fully encrusted and removal for now is not an option.

Myka
04-13-2017, 02:38 AM
Thanks for contributing Frogger! :)

DKoKoMan
04-13-2017, 04:17 AM
Lots of good information so far!

ReefMadness
04-13-2017, 05:44 AM
i certainly appreciate this thread as it kind of guilts me into being a little more meticulous. i definitely haven't gone to the lengths that i read here but have used a multi-stage process that includes the physical act of dipping, inspection of both coral and dipping solution following treatment and a wash.
i've used bayer before and gave it the respect it deserves after being strictly instructed not to mess around with it as if any gets in your display can be devastating.
i do have questions though (of course :lol:)
to me bayer is a superior product to many others for acropora but it isn't locally available. do you use ebay to get it?
a lot of times a new addition in a larger tank requires being moved around the tank for light acclimation and to find it's happy place. how do you go about relocating a coral that no longer is affixed to a plug?
finally, have you ever lost a coral to associated dipping process trauma?

Frogger
04-13-2017, 06:29 AM
The biggest problem with Bayer Advanced insect killer is from what I know is it is not available in Canada. The active ingredient is "Imidacloprid". From what I know Imidacloprid is now banned in Canada. Kills bees.

I do know for a fact that Bayer Advanced is not registered for use for controlling AEFW nor registered for use for anything else in your reef tank. Using a registered pesticide for anything other then what is registered for use is prohibited.

It is readily available across the border in the US. However bringing it into Canada is not allowed. Bringing an un-registered pesticide across the border would result in the border guard confiscating it. If you don't let the border guard know you have it could result in consequences if you are caught. Basically smuggling a illegal pesticide into Canada. Not good.

I am not saying don't drive down to the US and pick it up and hide it in your trunk, what I am saying is you should do it knowing what you are doing and that you could get into trouble if you are caught by a border guard who is not having a good day (basically a dink).

DKoKoMan
04-13-2017, 09:41 AM
Is there a so called "runner up" to Bayer? Anything we can use that is local and not illegal lol. I'm sure it may not be as good at the job, however I am curious as to what other people have used with success.

Myka
04-13-2017, 02:57 PM
a lot of times a new addition in a larger tank requires being moved around the tank for light acclimation and to find it's happy place. how do you go about relocating a coral that no longer is affixed to a plug?
finally, have you ever lost a coral to associated dipping process trauma?

Moving the coral around is why I glue it to rock rubble after removing the old plug and dipping it. I then glue the rock rubble holding the coral to my rock work. If it needs moving it's easy to pop the rubble off and move it without disturbing the coral itself.

I have lost corals within 24 hours of dipping, but these are corals that were looking sad to begin with (bleached, browned, etc). Personally, I'd rather lose a coral than not dip it. Losing the coral is very little concern to me.

Is there a so called "runner up" to Bayer? Anything we can use that is local and not illegal lol. I'm sure it may not be as good at the job, however I am curious as to what other people have used with success.

As said, it's not illegal to use Bayer. :)

You can use Coral Rx or Revive. It doesn't work as well as Bayer. I don't find that Coral Rx or Revive will knock off AEFW (they will knock off adult MEN though), but the dips do give the worms that whitish coloring so you can see them. You definitely have to be much more meticulous in inspecting if you use Coral Rx or Revive. I find that Coral Rx and Revive are much harder on Acros than Bayer is. Oddly.

The biggest problem with Bayer Advanced insect killer is from what I know is it is not available in Canada. The active ingredient is "Imidacloprid". From what I know Imidacloprid is now banned in Canada. Kills bees.

I couldn't find anything online about it actually being banned yet. Last fall there was a proposal to ban it, and in January the government started to "phase out Imidacloprid use". Health Canada didn't find any correlation with bees, but their reasoning to phase out use was (ironicly to us) related to aquatic bugs (fish food). It's not illegal to be in possession of it.

I actually bought my current bottle of Bayer off Amazon.ca (yes the Canadian site) in Sept 2015 for $18 fulfilled by Amazon. I'm still using that same bottle, and my tank is pretty full, so I don't think I'll be using it all up any time soon. :lol: This is a pretty tiny amount considering how much someone would use to spray their yard, or worse yet, one of the farmers in Saskatchewan who would be spraying thousands of acres at a time. Farmers are the ones that freak me out - I worry about what's in the air around here!

Frogger
04-13-2017, 04:44 PM
Unfortunately Amazon Canada does not sell Bayer Advanced Insect Killer anymore, unless you are a farmer you cannot buy imidacloprid anymore. Bayer Advanced Grub killer is a different active ingredient. Bayer Canada does not sell the insect Killer or at least it is not listed on their website.

The only way to get it now is to purchase it from the states or from a fellow hobbyist who may have some extra.

Scythanith
04-13-2017, 06:49 PM
Do you clip the corals off the plugs or do you leave plugs on?

Depends on the type of plug. If it's a smooth surface with no voids and the glue is nice an smooth usually I leave it together. If there seems to be any spots for smooth criminals to hide away I snap the frag off and leave a little tissue behind.

What do you do with dead areas? Maybe a dead tip or a bit of skeleton showing near the base from gluing?

I don't take corals with dead areas. If one we shipped to me and it shows up with patches I'd snap off dead tips and if it were in the middle as a patch I'd cut it off all the way past the patch, leaving only the base.

What do you use for a dip? How long do you dip for?

Bayer, similar to Mindy with a 3-stage dip to make sure no Bayer makes it back into the main tank. Flatworm Exit and Coral dip separate from the Bayer for 5 min.

Do you wear personal protective equipment? Do you touch the dip water?

Bayer I don't touch the dip and I wear goggles and gloves. FWE and CD I put my bare hand right in there.

What do you think your choice of dip is protecting you against? (<-- this is fun!)

Pretty much everything aside from egg stages of most pests. I usually am pretty harsh on my scrubbing routine on newly acquired frags. I use a toothbrush and a nylon scrub pad to work the plug and even onto the first couple mm of coral tissue.

Do you dip all corals or only some corals?

I dip it all. Cheap or $$$

How do you decide if you dip or not?

See above :)

Do you examine the dip water afterwards?

Yup, just with the naked eye and a 10x hand loupe if I'm concerned.

What do you do with the corals if you see something on the coral or in the dip water?

Give them an extra eye over and decide if I am going to snap the plug off anyways. Better safe than sorry.

Do you tell the seller if you find something? (<-- they never believe you anyway haha)

Yes.

Do you place the corals in a quarantine tank after dipping or straight into your display?

Just a frag system which is inline with my main system so it's not a quarantine.

Any other details???

I like taking long walks with my wife and dog. The fish and corals don't like it when I bring them along :(

Myka
04-22-2017, 04:02 PM
I added more info regarding my experiences with TLF ReVive and CoralRx for those unable or unwilling to use Bayer.

Please add more info guys! (Looking at you West Coast guys!!!!)

WarDog
06-28-2017, 09:21 PM
Good read.

sobe
07-11-2017, 01:40 AM
Hi how do you bayer dip zoas and if the colony is encrusted to rock?

Frogger
07-11-2017, 05:46 AM
The whole rock gets dipped