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AquaristShelle

Growing Hole in GSP. What should I do?

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AquaristShelle

(Edited: the bristle worm is no longer living in the coral. The hole is my primary concern now. It appears to have grown over the 14 days I've had the coral, and the last two days the polyps have been tightly closed. The first photo is from day one, the second is from day 12.) 

 

I got my first coral, a quarter-sized GSP frag at a swap last week. It looks... okay. I didn't dip it before adding (I know, I know) and only about half to 1/3 of the polyps will extend.

Upon getting the frag home, I immediately saw a bright orange bristle worm curl up inside the coral. There's a raw hole through the coral's purple 'flesh', and I don't know what to do. In the pictures (sorry they're so blurry!) you can see the orange worm hiding inside the hole, and then crawling across the GSP. 

Did the worm eat its way into the coral? I'm pretty confident this isn't a bearded fireworm so I'm leaning away from that idea. However, the hole looks like it's growing 😬

Did the coral start to die back first, and then the worm moved in? Is the worm irritating the coral, causing the polyps to stay closed? Making the hole bigger?

Ultimately I wonder, should I remove the worm? Is my coral dying regardless of the worm?

I'm also a complete novice when it comes to coral care, so maybe the GSP is just taking a long time to acclimate. 

My water is: 0,0,0, 80F, 1.025, 7-8dKh, calcium 480, mag 1320, and phosphate is undetectable with my API test.

Any advice would be great!  Thanks 🙂

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Edited by AquaristShelle
updated information

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut

I wouldn't be worried. I have a bristleworm living in my Xenia. If it starts to bother it, think about taking it out. But the worm will probably end up leaving eventually anyway. 

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GraniteReefer

Leave it, one day you will likely have bristleworms teeming out of your liverock and this will seem like a silly question.... because it is

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AquaristShelle

What do you guys think about the hole in the coral? Is that a normal thing?

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IHaveADegreeInMarineBioBut
20 minutes ago, AquaristShelle said:

What do you guys think about the hole in the coral? Is that a normal thing?

Can you get a clearer photo??

My bristleworm has a hole at the base/in between my xenia. It's a definite hole, but that's just how it gets in and out. 

I would be concerned if the hole starts to get bigger. 

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Seadragon

🐛

I like how one recent hobbyist, in a different thread, got so fed up with a large bristleworm stealing a shrimp pellet that he grabbed the bristleworm's head with a tweezers and ripped it off in the tank.  No more hiding in the corals for that bristleworm!

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AquaristShelle

Comparing this photo to the ones before, it looks like the hole is getting bigger. I saw the worm crawl out last night, but not return. Hopefully it found another home. 

IMG_5389.JPG

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Candymancan

I used dead sand. Dead dry white rock from amazon, and all my corals ive broken off plugs even if i killed half the coral.. ive dip em many times too.  I wont let bristle worms in my tank.  No thanks

 

You should really learn the practice of taking corals off plugs..  plugs tend to harbor alot of pests

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dvs1986
45 minutes ago, Candymancan said:

I used dead sand. Dead dry white rock from amazon, and all my corals ive broken off plugs even if i killed half the coral.. ive dip em many times too.  I wont let bristle worms in my tank.  No thanks

 

You should really learn the practice of taking corals off plugs..  plugs tend to harbor alot of pests

bristle worms aren't a bad thing. they're great members of a clean up crew. are they gross? sure, but they do an awesome job of cleaning the rock and sand of stuff you'll have to pull out in a water change anyway.

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mcarroll

Folks used to try having corals in a sterile fish tank back in the 1970's and 1980's before live rock was "discovered".

 

Doing it "the old way" misses the whole point of the "reef thing" that naturally includes countless worms, microbes, algae, etc.

 

On 2/5/2020 at 12:25 PM, AquaristShelle said:

What do you guys think about the hole in the coral? Is that a normal thing?

You're over-worrying about a positive aspect of your reef tank.  😃

 

Whether there is really a wound or not, you should be worrying about nutrient levels being too low for the coral to properly grow and recover.

 

On 2/4/2020 at 11:25 PM, AquaristShelle said:

My water is: 0,0,0, 80F, 1.025, 7-8dKh, calcium 480, mag 1320, and phosphate is undetectable

Phosphates and nitrates should be showing positive levels......>5 ppm is decent for nitrates.....>0.05 ppm is fine for phosphates.   WORRY if phosphates get lower than that....at least until the tank is much more mature.

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AquaristShelle

Here's an update:

The coral is dead. I killed green star polyps 🤦🏻‍♀️ It's a Macroalgae tank with one clown goby so free nitrate and phosphates are 0 and 0. I also discovered my alkalinity test was showing 2 dkh higher than it should. Maybe it was user error, but my tank was running at 5dkh for around a month, and got down as low as 3dkh before I bought a Hanna checker. Now that my alk is steady at 9, things look so much better. The coral never recovered, so I don't know if it was low alk or low nutrients that did it in. 

I should have left out the bristleworm because everyone fixated on that, while I was more concerned about the coral's declining health. Lesson learned! Bristle worms are a touchy topic. Anyway, thanks for the help...

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