Don’t count your corals out before they have had a chance to rally
One thing I was reminded of recently was the resilience of some coral species. A little while back, I wrote about a mess I had on my hands when my powerhead detached from the aquarium glass and blew my sandbed all over the tank, toppling over an attractive bubble coral. I lost at least 90% of the bubble coral, but a small number of polyps remained.
I also had growth from some budding that occurred towards the base of the coral. At one point, since the coral was damaged so badly, I contemplated just removing it from the tank, in order to prevent any consequences to the water quality resulting from any contaminants produced by the death of that coral.
Well I’m glad I didn’t do that, otherwise I would have lost that coral entirely, and now it’s staging a comeback (I hope). That phenomenon is somewhat unique to LPS corals. I’ve read acocunts of budding or other recovery from fungia species that were left for dead.
So if you have a LPS coral—don’t count it out too quickly. Maybe your coral will rally.
Here is the one thing I would do differently, however, if I was able to call a mulligan and take the shot over—I actually WOULD remove the coral from my tank…to prevent the opportunity for more losses caused by the decay of the dying coral. But I wouldn’t ditch the coral. Instead, what I would do is remove the coral to a hospital tank to recover. That may seem slightly extreme, since the coral appers to be doing fine, but I I actually think that solution is the best of both worlds.
What I did was leave the coral alone in hopes that it would recover—and I traded off that possible upside with a possible downside risk of causing other problems in the tank. The hospital tank solution solves the problem completely. Removing the coral to a hospital tank would have allowed me to help the coral recover and would have eliminated the risk to the display tank.
Anyway, that’s what I have—how about you, have you ever had a coral recover like this from the brink of disaster? I’d love to hear about it and what you did.
Image of the bubble coral is from Flickr by rjackb