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Protect Your Investment: Coral Quarantine

Posted: Dec. 30, 2008

With the growing field of industrial-scale coral propagation, the aquarium trade has been flooded with hard and soft corals that have the potential to carry and transmit invertebrate pests that can damage your already, established stock.

Quarantine of these exotic species has never been more important. Give special consideration to your coral quarantine procedures and you’ll avoid costly failure of these living marine decorations. Careful procedures that start with the arrival of new stock protect your investment

“The fist thing is the acclimation of the coral to the water chemistry,” said Kevin Kohen, director of Drs. Foster and Smith Liveaquaria in Rhinelander, Wis. “Just like how you would introduce a fish into your quarantine tank, the temperature needs to be equalized by floating the bag in the water. Then acclimate the water chemistry by dripping water into the bag or even dumping small portions of water into the shipping bag over an hour period of time.”

coralKohen also recommends a quick iodine dip to kill off any parasites that may be lurking in your stock.

Microscopic pests and disease organisms that are introduced by hasty production methods, some that have yet to be identified, can quickly kill of an established invertebrate tank.

“Coral pests and coral diseases have become really prevalent in the last few years,” Kohen said. “There is a problem of spreading pests across the country from people that don’t really have good protocols or husbandry practices in place to combat things like Acrapora-eating flatworms or red bugs.”

Make sure to educate marine aquarium customers on the dangers of swapping propagated corals – something that has gained recent popularity among enthusiasts. Even if your quarantine procedures protect them, they may encounter disaster if they don’t practice good procedures of their own.

“We go through procedures to make sure we don’t pass diseases to our customers,” Kohen said. “But with the popularity of ‘frag swaps’ and aquarium clubs and coral trading, it’s really important that people that purchase coral frags quarantine these animals before they put them in their display tanks.” <HOME>

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