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Old 10/11/2010, 07:37 PM   #1
MechEng99
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Rescue Corals

Since I started this hobby, I found a soft spot for near-death corals and unwanted corals. These are some of my best examples. Please share if you have also saved corals from near-death (not brown corals that colored up...but truly nearly dead corals).

I've set aside part of my QT tank for rescuing corals - when they recover I either resell them so I can buy more near-death corals or they go into my display. It's a very rewarding side project of the hobby, and I hope other people will do the same.

Scolymia before ($12):


Now:


Lobo Before (don't remember how much I paid):


Now:


Moon Coral ($5):


Now:


Favia (my favorite rescue) ($5):


Now this...such a reward!!!



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Old 10/11/2010, 08:05 PM   #2
mscarpena
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I too love doing this. I do not have before and afters, but here are mine. I always look for these deals. Most of the time it pays off for me, but you need to know how to select them.

Lobo all retracted in and skeleton showing. Now beautiful and tripled in size. Paid $15.00
http://s588.photobucket.com/albums/s...9.jpg&newest=1

Same here except paid $40.00
http://s588.photobucket.com/albums/s...5.jpg&newest=1

Indo elegance would have died in LFS half open and gall crab eating it paid $30.00
http://s588.photobucket.com/albums/s...5.jpg&newest=1

I also have a new trachaphylia that is marbled red and green half dead and bleached LFS owner fragged the dead part off it and paid $30 for it. Had it about 3 months now and is coloring up and doubled in size. Looking good, but no pic yet and lights are off.


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Old 10/11/2010, 08:10 PM   #3
Gangous
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Cool rescues


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Old 10/11/2010, 08:10 PM   #4
MechEng99
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Nice rescues! (Your bottom two links are the same though...you're missing the elegance link).


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Old 10/11/2010, 08:41 PM   #5
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Congrats! I have always loved bringing corals back from the verge of death! very rewarding, plus they are cheap!

Bragging rights for you two though


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Old 10/11/2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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[QUOTE=MechEng99;17771281]Since I started this hobby, I found a soft spot for near-death corals and unwanted corals. These are some of my best examples. Please share if you have also saved corals from near-death (not brown corals that colored up...but truly nearly dead corals).

I've set aside part of my QT tank for rescuing corals - when they recover I either resell them so I can buy more near-death corals or they go into my display. It's a very rewarding side project of the hobby, and I hope other people will do the same.

Scolymia before ($12):


Now:


Lobo Before (don't remember how much I paid):


Now:


Moon Coral ($5):


Now:


Favia (my favorite rescue) ($5):


Now this...such a reward!!!
[/



can u share with us how u brought these gems back 2 life.


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Old 10/12/2010, 06:17 AM   #7
The Escaped Ape
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I'd love to hear advice on how you went about this as well. The only LPS I've bought so far with obvious damage (a Blasto, with not excessive damage, just one receded area) didn't make it, despite careful placement and some feeding. But this would be a good way to get bargains and to give a dying coral another chance, so I'd be all in favor of trying again with some good pointers.


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Old 10/12/2010, 11:26 AM   #8
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WOW! Every scoly I've seen that is on the verge of death ends up dying. PLEASE tell us what you did!


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Old 10/12/2010, 05:25 PM   #9
MechEng99
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dan10342 View Post
WOW! Every scoly I've seen that is on the verge of death ends up dying. PLEASE tell us what you did!
Really? Glad it worked out for me then!

Ok, I don't claim to be an expert, but I think I've had plenty of success over the last 4 years to at least give some advice.

First thing - selecting the coral:

My LFS know that I rescue corals, and usually keep me in mind when they get a damaged shipment. This includes boxes that got overheated during shipping, damaged corals during shipping, and sometimes "freebies" that wholesalers throw in since they know they can't sell them. Some other LFS purposely order "damaged" shipments. Get to know your LFS and keep an eye out!

For the actual coral itself, look for corals that have at least the majority of one mouth. I haven't had any luck rescuing corals with less than 3/4 of a mouth (unless they are my own frags). Usually rescue corals with less than 3/4 of a mouth have just gone through so much stress they won't survive. (If it's a freebie though, it's worth trying!!) Avoid corals with jelly-like substances on them. I also try to avoid obvious pest-damaged corals unless I know exactly how to treat it and have the medication on hand. Nothing worse than coming home to a pest you don't know how to treat and don't have the medication for!

Tank itself:

Of course, you want stable parameters, but this is really really important with rescue corals!! I actually acclimate the rescue corals less than healthy corals (float for ~15 min) since they are probably just getting their bag water really nasty.

Next - dip in Lugol's. I have other dips on hand, but I find this one is the best for rescue corals. During the dip I inspect for pests (and treat as needed).

Here's where I think is the MOST IMPORTANT!!! Use bone cutters to remove excess dead skeleton. New tissue growth seems to have more trouble covering old skeleton than it does making new skeleton. After that, superglue wherever tissue is torn/missing. This will help the flow in your tank from literally ripping the tissue off.

Keep hermit crabs away from the rescue coral for about a month. They will often go after dead tissue to the point of ripping away good tissue...which will ultimately kill the coral.

Food:

For about the first month I'll feed my corals as if they were non-photosynthetic (about 3 times per week). I use my own homemade blend of raw oysters, clams, shrimp, whatever other raw shellfish I can find, seaweed (red, green, brown), sugar, and garlic. Initially, this can be very difficult. If the coral refuses to extend tentacles, I'll turn off all flow and drop sinking fish pellets right onto each mouth. It'll take a while, but the coral will eventually open its mouth. If you still have trouble, placing the coral into a container full of food will work as well (see all the non-photosynthetic tutorials).

Lighting & Flow:

Keep the coral in a pretty low light/low flow area. After the coral starts to heal and recover, you should be able to move it slowly to a higher light/higher flow area.

One last note:

Just be patient - know that you're doing a good thing to help save corals that would otherwise probably die. You'll still have some losses...but learn from those. The rewards will be worth it.

This rescue didn't make it - why? Hermit crabs literally ripped it to shreds.



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Old 10/12/2010, 05:34 PM   #10
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amazing corals


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Old 10/12/2010, 06:12 PM   #11
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Great job on the corals. Here are two I'm working on.
http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1876230


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Old 10/12/2010, 06:14 PM   #12
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I'd have taken the risk with that Scoly too, if I had seen one with that color at the price you paid. Sure, it probably would die, but with some time & TLC...
Well, we see your results! Lovely corals, that Favia is amazing.

Matthew


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Old 10/12/2010, 07:24 PM   #13
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I just find that finding better tank conditions and great placement is the key to reviving corals. I feed them and keep them in a protected area with low/moderate lighting and low to moderate flow. I also do some feeding if I feel it is required. You need to pick and choose what you try to save and not save. Something can be and some can not be. I only invest in things I feel I can save though a few here and there do not make it.


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Old 10/13/2010, 05:59 AM   #14
The Escaped Ape
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MechEng99, thank you for sharing your experience. One thing I don't know about here in Japan is what treatments available over here work. Might have to put another order in to the States at some point soon and include some Lugols and ReVive maybe...


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Old 10/13/2010, 05:28 PM   #15
MechEng99
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I'll try to get some other pictures of my rescues up. They aren't nearly impressive as the ones I've already posted, but each is different.

Anyone else have any other rescues?


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Old 10/14/2010, 03:56 PM   #16
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I've only tried to rescue one coral... an insane colored acan with 8 heads that I got for 20 bucks. He rotted to nothing within two weeks...... Next time I try to get a deal on a sick coral I'm gonna follow the instructions you gave.


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Old 10/16/2010, 04:42 PM   #17
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man, you got a heck of a deal on that scoly for how little tissue recession it had. I got this one for free from my old work. When I got it, it was just the center section with a tiny rim around it. When its real fat and happy, it can puff out to the edge of the skeleton.



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Old 10/16/2010, 07:43 PM   #18
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Beautiful!!! I love the green & orange ones!

Here are a few more (not nearly as thrilling):

Before:


Now:


Before:


Now:


New today (was told Acanthastrea bowerbanki):



My worst case rescue...got him today...and I'm actually almost out of hope on it. It was a freebie, but most of the tissue is separating from the skeleton. Its mouth is pretty torn up, and it was covered in brown slimey damaged tissue...cross your fingers.



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Old 10/16/2010, 09:22 PM   #19
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great idea and nice work!


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Old 10/16/2010, 10:06 PM   #20
MechEng99
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Thanks! Anyone know what type of coral the last picture I posted is? The LFS thought some type of Scolymia, but I don't konw. It looks like it, but not a color pattern I'm familiar with (granted, it's about dead, but still).


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Old 10/17/2010, 08:20 AM   #21
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Yes some type of scoly on the last pic.


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Old 10/17/2010, 11:29 AM   #22
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I wish I had an earlier shot of this one when I bought it for $5. It had only a small amount of tissue left that had receded back into the center of the skeleton. I must have taken the first picture after the coral was in my tank for at least a month.





I actually re-sold this favia two years ago but when I bought it there was only 7 polyps left... sorry I lost that old picture. But here is one of it under actinics. I still have a small frag of it that I kept.



This is my project coral right now. When I bought it it was a decent size colony with half of the tissue gone and replaced by rampantly growing hair algae which was smothering it. I cut off all of the dead areas which left me with several small frags. This is one of them.




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Old 10/17/2010, 12:43 PM   #23
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Whatcaneyedo - That's great!!! Very very nice rescues!! Do you have any tips? Any other advice?


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Old 10/17/2010, 12:54 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEng99 View Post
Thanks! Anyone know what type of coral the last picture I posted is? The LFS thought some type of Scolymia, but I don't konw. It looks like it, but not a color pattern I'm familiar with (granted, it's about dead, but still).


It looks to be a Scolymia Vitiensis... They are usually reddish brown or purple but you can get oranges and greens. I got these two little beauties for $30ea (not rescues though). And the weird color pattern on the green one is actually there, not just the picture.





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Old 10/17/2010, 02:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MechEng99 View Post
Whatcaneyedo - That's great!!! Very very nice rescues!! Do you have any tips? Any other advice?
I don't have anything new to add that hasn't been said already. The guide above is excellent. All of the coral that I've rescued have come from the same tank in the same store. Their system simply has many things wrong with it and is unable to sustain most types of coral for very long. When I see something in poor shape that has potential I occasionally buy it and put it into my healthy system. Unfortunately a lot gets left behind and slowly dies... I don't like encouraging them by buying coral there but some specimens I just cant leave to waste away.


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