Rescuing Dying Corals: Trachyphyllia, Part II

In the first part of rescuing a Trachyphyllia coral, I covered the rescue process of one likely suffering from poor water quality.  In this blog I’ll cover a Trachyphyllia suffering from extreme bleaching.

Day 0 – January 8, 2012
To say the coral was bleached when I received it would be an understatement.  It was practically colorless save for a brown stripe.  I’m not sure what caused this severe of a bleaching event, but it was likely very sudden.  The amount of tissue remaining is uncommon with slow bleaching (bleaching usually equates to starvation in a coral, so the coral recedes to save energy.)  The lower center part of the coral’s skeleton was covered in coralline algae, so that damage may have predated the bleaching event.   
The coral first went through the typical coral dipping and quarantine procedure.  
Day 1 – January 9, 2012
After only two days in the new environment (with twice daily feedings), the coral was already gaining color and vibrance. 
January 10, 2012
In the coral’s condition, feeding was most important.  I decided a daily feeding (twice daily for the first week) was required. I used pellets dropped on the coral’s mouths until I could get an excited feeding response. Generally there are three main feeding responses I see in damaged corals: no response (pellet sits on the coral with no reaction), a lackadaisical response (the coral moves the pellet to the mouth through mucus or tissue contractions – no tentacles involved), or an excited response (tentacle response to food.)  The coral did not have an excited feeding response until about 20 days later.  At this point I switched over to a homemade seafood recipe.
Day 19 – January 27, 2012
Less than a month later, the coral has regained a significant portion of its coloring.  It is now only target fed homemade food approximately once per week.  This is now one of the most dear-to-my-heart corals due to its amazing comeback.  I can’t wait to see how it will look!
Day 29 – 6 February, 2012

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