State of the Tank: (cont.)
November 2005: (cont.)
Fortunately, this day was one of Ray's scheduled maintenance days so he was going to be here anyway. Still though, I called and gave him fair warning in case he needed to pick up anything (like a flask of good rum) before he got here. He didn't, but by the time he arrived (perhaps 90 minutes later), things had gotten much worse...that's how aggressive the tissue recession on both corals had become. It was mutually agreed that #19 would have to come out of the tank completely if we were to save any of it. Acro #12 would have to be removed also as would half a dozen pieces for their own safety during the procedure.

It was a good thing we had the new sump and auxiliary tank for storage during times like this. A few of my larger acros had encrusted onto several pieces of live rock so it's not just a matter of lifting and storing. Sometimes most of the rock base(s) have to come out with it. Anyway, removing THIS piece effectively meant dismantling the entire upper right side of the tank and disturbing some corals that had been in place for years. We were hoping that the relative stability of the tank otherwise would work in our favor by keeping everything else 'calm' while we undertook the task at hand.

I'd say removing the affected corals and fragging them took us about an hour and a half. The first thing we noticed upon removing #19 was how suddenly bright this section of the reef had become. It was really as if someone had added another halide to that side of the tank. So to keep it that way (as well as for the coral's health) we decided to frag it waaaay back) and remove the other colony of Acro #19 entirely. We managed to get about 5 frags of the 'Orange Tip' (#12) but astonishingly discovered that 3 of them were gone the next morning. The fourth bleached out a day later. The fifth and final frag however is doing well so the species may actually survive for me.

Anyway, it took perhaps another hour and a half to rebuild the area and remount the corals. Due to the increase of their size, we managed to hold out some pretty large chunks of live rock, which we'll use in the sump for now. But all in all, I think the tank looks a bit better with those heavier pieces gone. I'm sure the light and water flow is better now so I guess this was a positive experience, in the big picture. New real estate? Not really. Just enough for maybe one new piece which really should come from the overcrowded other two thirds of the tank anyway. But here is the reef after removing the warring corals, some judicious fragging, and rearranging all active and some non-active participants. Not bad for a disaster, huh?
Smart jump back 1
©2006 Michael G. Moye