Someone bit my Bellina coral
Bellina coral in Red Sea Max 250
I took a macro photo with my Nikon D7000 and new Nikon AF-S VR Micro-NIKKOR 105mm f/2.8G IF-ED lens and was excited by the outcome since this coral always looked ugly and one step removed from death. Check out those green polyps (~3mm in diameter).
I received it from another reefer in even worse condition. Now it has started to grow well and color up. I posted the above picture on Reef Central and a few awesome people on the forums pointed out that there were bite marks on the coral. I looked and yes those did look like bite marks. Who has been biting my coral? I didn’t want to think about it too much because I knew the most probable culprit but couldn’t entertain that thought. Acropora Eating Flatworms (AEFW) are one of the most destructive and hated pests in the personal reef hobby because they eat Acropora corals, reproduce quickly, produce toxins when stressed and can wipe out a tank of corals very quickly. Many aquarists have had to completely tear down and restart their tanks because of AEFW infestation.
There are no easy treatments for AEFW as there is little known scientifically about them. However, we do know that they are hard to kill without devastating consequences to a reef tank. In fact it is hard to kill them outside of the tank! Furthermore they lay eggs on corals. AEFW should not be confused with another type of brown flatworm that can also populate a tank. Those are not as destructive and easier to deal with.
I don’t know what to do at this point but wait and look at my other Acropora corals for bite marks. Am I worried, oh yes! Help…this could be the end of my little Red Sea Max 250 reef. I’ll post updates as time goes on.
Have you dealt with AEFW? Do you have any advice?