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Rescuing Dying Corals: Cyphastrea

Cyphastrea are usually a very hardy coral that prefer low light (and sometimes do best partially shaded) but can be acclimated to higher-light areas.  They also adapt well to a variety of flow conditions.  I received this one from a reefkeeper who was getting out of the hobby.  Unfortunately, most corals in the tank were suffering from poor water quality, and this Cyphastrea was no exception.

Cyphastrea, May 22, 2012

Cyphastrea, May 22, 2012

Note how some of the polyps still have tissue while there is no tissue between the polyps.  This is a good indication of poor water quality.  Regardless of the damage cause, I still dipped it in Coral Rx and checked it for pests.

Cyphastrea, June 30, 2012

Cyphastrea, June 30, 2012

Within just over a month, the Cyphastrea had nearly regrown over the entire dead skeleton and had started to color up.  Given the proper light and water conditions, this coral grows extremely fast.

In less than three months, the coral had completely covered the old skeleton and had encrusted onto the base.  In fact, it started to grow so quickly, that I had to frag it several times.

Cyphastrea, August 14, 2012

Cyphastrea, August 14, 2012

Troubleshooting Cyphastrea:

As I mentioned above, if the coral has started to lose tissue between the polyps, then there is probably a water quality issue.  If the coral is bleaching, then it’s likely in too high of light (or might’ve been in absolutely no light.)  If the coloration isn’t great (too brown), then it may need more light or less nutrients.  If the coral starts to recede from one side to another, then it may be a pest, bacterial/fungal infection, or a sudden water quality problem.

Overall Rescuing Difficulty:

I’d rate this coral as one of the easier corals to rescue, given proper water quality and lighting.  It grows back so quickly that’s it’s neat to have quick rewards from your work.  Good luck!

 

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