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Old 04-11-2017, 02:35 PM
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Default Preventative Protocol for New SPS Coral Purchases



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???

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Last edited by Myka; 04-11-2017 at 03:38 PM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:10 PM
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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.

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. 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. 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.




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.
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Last edited by Myka; 04-22-2017 at 03:01 PM.
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Old 04-11-2017, 03:50 PM
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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.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frogger View Post
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.
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Old 04-11-2017, 04:07 PM
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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.

Last edited by Frogger; 04-11-2017 at 04:13 PM.
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Old 04-13-2017, 01:38 AM
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Thanks for contributing Frogger!
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:17 AM
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Lots of good information so far!
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Old 01-07-2018, 12:59 PM
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I wouldn't dip any corals in Bayer that are attached to rock. Bayer sticks to the rock.

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Old 09-26-2018, 10:13 PM
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Do you clip the corals off the plugs or do you leave plugs on?
No, they come off the plug, they are dipped and re-mounted. If the plug is real encrusted and established I'll leave it alone and just clean the S**T out of the bottom of the plug.I have a coral QT anyhow
What do you do with dead areas? Maybe a dead tip or a bit of skeleton showing near the base from gluing?
Watch it real close first before I decide on an action. Did I mention I have a coral QT tank?
What do you use for a dip?
Revive
How long do you dip for?
8-12 minutes
Do you wear personal protective equipment?
No, I'm sure I should, but I handle most everything with long tweezers
Do you touch the dip water?
Occasionally. Haven't had the urge to drink it yetthough
What do you think your choice of dip is protecting you against? (<-- this is fun!)
The list is long, yet distinguished. I dip to see what comes off, then I inspect the frag under my magnifier/ desk lamp. People that think a simple "dip n plop" philosophy is good enough. It ain't. Eggs survive the dip process, and missing one egg spells doom for your tank.Even clean dipped corals sit in QT purgatory until they have hit the 30 day mark. It also helps prevent nuisance algae from violating my display.
Do you dip all corals or only some corals?
If I can't dip it, it don't go in.
How do you decide if you dip or not?
I ask myself, "Do you feel lucky today punk? Well, do ya?" I have stopped playing the frag dip roulette game. Sure has put my mind at ease when I look at my display
Do you examine the dip water afterwards?
Yup, there might be some juicy treats! I'm always curious to see what might have been unleashed into my tank 2 minutes after I didn't dip it.
What do you do with the corals if you see something on the coral or in the dip water
Intio the circular file it goes. That hurts some times, but not anywhere near as painful as watching your display simply melt away.
Do you tell the seller if you find something? (<-- they never believe you anyway haha)
Yup. Cuz they might not know.
Do you place the corals in a quarantine tank after dipping or straight into your display?
QT. 30 days minimum
Any other details???
When I receive new SPS from a shipped source, I will only remove the plug and re-mount then into my QT to recover a bit from shipping before I expose it to the stress of dipping.Having a QT tank should rank up there with flow and lighting for reefers IMO
I learned a long time ago that the best practice to start with is to only deal with reefers and vendors you trust. If you don't know any, a simple forum inquiry will leave you with tons of resources.
If the guys I know don't have what I'm looking for, and a stranger does....I'll wait if I can't find anything out about the stranger.
I also have always practiced the FRAG ONLY policy for my display. I even turn my nose to mini colonies because the bigger the piece, the more hiding spots there are for the nasties. I am really lucky that I have the space for a QT. Some reefers don't and I'm blown away that they have not suffered serious pest setbacks.
I picked up a few words of wisdom from a very accomplished and well known reefer out here, Rich (bBlinks). He doesn't care how much a frag has encrusted, the frag comes off. "Why worry about growth? It will grow back.Why put a whole tank at risk because of a little encrusting?"
I am very interested in seeing how the new WWC product Purge pans out. Because if it does, It's definitely going to be part of my QT Regime.
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Old 09-26-2018, 10:38 PM
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Even though I don't think I have anything (famous last words, touch wood), I dip when I transfer corals between tanks. Always take the opportunity to see what comes off you never know.

I also use fresh cuts only, no bases. (have vermetid snails in one tank that I do not want in the other).
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