Toxic Leather Corals

Discussion in 'Soft Corals' started by Ashevillian, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    So I've been experiencing a few issues lately, few things potentially could have caused the stress in my tank(new LEDs, new fuge, new PH, new heater)

    I was just wondering if someone could further explain the threats that leather corals pose to other species in the tank. I've picked up bits and pieces of information saying that when they shed their slime coats, they cause the water in the tank to become toxic to most stoney corals.

    Currently the leathers in my tank are a devils hand, kenya tree, green mushroom, green star polyps, yellow polyps, and xenia sp. I moved my leathers into the fuge where they are getting lower flow and less lighting, so far they seem much happier down there

    I've had a few of my stoneys appear to have suffered tissue loss either due to constant direct flow from placing new PH and leaving to work for 7 hours. Other frags of stoneys in my tank are looking better than ever, so it's hard to know what caused this.

    Just wanting to see if someone could shed some light on this subject for me and any future 3reef members searching the same topic.
     
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  3. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    Terpenoids,the toxins the leathers release,and sps don't mix well,especially if the sps is in the downstream flow of a leather,IMO leathers are a coral best stayed away from in a mixed reef because of this.

    Also,your mushroom is in the anemone family(invert),the yellow polyps are inverts,and your star polyps are not leathers either,but star polyps can also be capeable of chemical warfare which sps don't like either.HTH
     
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  4. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    So do you suggest removing them, and bringing them to the LFS? I would get half store credit what they would sell for. I really like the GSP and the devil's hand is cool, but I don't want chemical warfare, these were all my first purchases. Do the yellow polyps have any threat?

    Going to be a PITA to remove the mushroom but I always had a feeling he would give me trouble down the road. Just didn't realize this because you see them in so many tanks
     
  5. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    What grinder is saying I believe, you only need to worry about true leathers such as ToadStools or the fingered leather corals. All the corals you mentioned are soft corals as are leathers, but not all soft corals are leathers.

    I have had leathers for years and love them, run a quality carbon and do your routine water changes. As grinder also posted you are more likely to have issues when you try to mix leathers and sps in small systems or large leathers in large systems.
     
  6. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    I'd like to see some sps reefers chime in to better answer what can be done,if anything,for leathers and sps to co exist.The mushroom,and yellow polyps would be fine with sps providing they don't touch.

    My tank is full of leathers and other noxious softies (anthelia,xenia,gsp,etc) and i tried a few acro frags a fellow reefer gave me and they faired well for a month or two,then one right after another,they all rtn'd.All 3 frags were in different spots with params spot on,my conclusion was chemical warfare and the sps lost the fight.

    Hopefully we can still get a sps keeper that could posibly shed a little more light on this as i'm far from an expert on this subject,but have alot of background and research with leathers.Just difficult to answer the sps side of the question.
     
  7. grinder37

    grinder37 Whip-Lash Squid

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    There,Corailline beat me to it.:)
     
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  9. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    well acro frags and sps frags are not cheap where i live, so i really would hate to keep losing beautiful pieces because of a devils hand, kenya tree, or pulsin xenia
     
  10. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    I keep kenya tree and xenia in my sps tank. I do not recommend keeping gsp or leathers in smaller tanks that you want to have as sps dominated.

    This is my personal experience not based on any research I have done.

    In my attempt to keep sps and leathers I was not successful. I removed the leathers and had greater success.
     
  11. Ashevillian

    Ashevillian Pajama Cardinal

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    i guess im confused on the definition of leathers, out of the following which should i remove?

    yellow polyps
    devils hand
    kenya tree
    xenia sp
    green star polyps
    green mushroom(disc anemone)

    thanks again for the advise
     
  12. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    This is the coral you listed that qualifies as a leather. There are different types of leather corals. Sacrophytons aka Toadstools are considered leathers as are Cabbage corals. What they have in common is a leather appearance when polyps are withdrawn/retracted.

    Saltwater Aquarium Corals for Marine Reef Aquariums: Devil's Hand Leather Coral

    I would remove the gsp as well if you want to go sps dominated in a small tank.

    Yellow sun polyps will spread and sting other corals so that is something to consider.

    Xenia may die back on it's own once you strive to keep the water quality pristine in your attempt to keep sps.

    In a 29 gallon tank if you want sps or stony corals you may have to consider the aggressive nature and growth patterns of soft corals.