White Specks/Dots INSIDE Zoa

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Fiddlesticks

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Sep 17, 2013
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Hello All, first post here at aquariacentral. I know you guys have a ton of experience and are very helpful so, I was hoping you might be able to assist me in identifying what these little white specks/dots are on the crown/face/fan of my little zoa frag. Initially, I believed the white dots were zoa pox. I'm no longer so certain: (a) because they do not appear anywhere on the outside of the zoa polyps (which seems to be the main indicator that your poor zoas have the pox), (b) because the zoas fully open even though they have had these little specks since day one (about three weeks ago now), and (c) because they've been through several furan-2 and/or freshwater dips. The little white specks came with the frag and were initially few in number and somewhat symmetrically spaced out across the faces of the zoas. They gradually grew in number and lost their symmetry over the course of about two weeks. I should also note that the frag is pretty tiny now because it didn't respond too well to an initial freshwater dip I gave it about a week ago. It used to cover most of the little rock its attached to (was really flourishing under the new Fluval Edge Ultrabrite system I recently upgraded to), but withered quite a bit after a 20 minute freshwater dip. As a precautionary tale to anyone else who has these awesome guys in their tanks, I'd probably recommend sticking to maybe 5-10 minute freshwater dips to prevent the same from happening. I do 30-35% water changes (RO quality) about 1.5 times a week and clean out my equipment regularly. I keep the temp at 79.8 degrees and 1.024 specific gravity. It's a 6 Gallon Fluval Edge that's been established for about three years now. None of the other tank critters seem to be nibbling on it. I also don't think that they're nudi eggs given the pictures I've seen of what they look like. So, what I'd like to know if possible is (a) what the white specks are, (b) if they're harmful to the zoas, and (c) if so, how I can more effectively treat them. Thanks in advance! Picture attached (main "infection" indicated by red circle but you'll see them on several of the other faces of the frag if you look closely). Hasn't seemed to affect my other zoas at all. I also have no idea what's going on with the three really haggard looking polyps on the larger colony - they came that way. But I just got that colony maybe a week ago so it's not connected to the white specks on the little frag.

IMG_0460.JPG
 
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greech

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May 13, 2009
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Graham
Did you see anything come off the frag when you dipped it? Did you dip that entire rock or is there a smaller plug that the zoas are on?

FWIW, a FW dip of about 30 seconds would kill anything on that rock. Always a good idea to match a pH and temp of the SW too.

I still suspect nudibranch. If they are in the tank, dipping the frag wouldn't do much. I would shine a red flashlight on the frag at night and watch closely.

Do you dip all your corals before adding them to the tank? You mentioned just getting the other colony?

Don't know anything about your lighting but it doesn't seem to be the problem.
 

Fiddlesticks

Registered Member
Sep 17, 2013
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Hey greech, thanks for the reply. The small rock that the frag is attached to is actually attached to the much larger rock at its base by way of the zoa itself. So, in order to dip the small frag, the entire large rock has to also be removed. I dip all of my corals with a freshwater dip and, recently, a furan-2 dip to acclimate. A lot of critters came off of the large rock that the small frag is anchored to in the freshwater dip. They appeared to be a mix of larger amphipods, mini bristle stars, and hundreds of incredibly-tiny clear insect-looking critters that I believe were smaller copepods or amphipods. I saved the larger amphipods and mini bristle stars but couldn't do much for the tiny creatures. No slugs or nudi-looking things came off and I haven't seen any in the tank but I'll try your suggestion and see if I catch anything. The lighting is an 18 Watt Ultrabrite system which may be overkill (it's the version designed for the 12 Gallon Fluval Edge) but it has a dimmer so, if that's the problem, I can tone it down (it's been at max lighting settings). The other corals really seem to love the light and have been growing like crazy. As for the other zoa colony, yes, I just got it about a week ago. It got the two dips I mentioned. Only hitchhiker on that one was a small narcissus-type snail.
 

greech

AC Moderators
May 13, 2009
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Tallahassee, FL
Real Name
Graham
Ok, is it possible that this is just sand grains? Can you take a turkey baster type devise and blow the white spots off?

I see several closed polyps which to me implies pest. I know you said the frag started to go south after a FW dip.
 
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