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Old 11/18/2008, 06:39 PM   #1
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Preventative Dips

[quote author=Chessmanmark link=topic=10168.msg105219#msg105219 date=1226843174]
Preventative Dips

You’ve read about the benefits of quarantining your corals but you haven’t made the commitment because of space or time considerations. The next best thing is to use preventative dips to protect your precious investment (financial and emotional) in your reef tank.

I use a 5 ½ gallon tank to dip all new arrivals that will go into my display. I mix up some new salt water when I know I’m going to receive new corals. I take about 3 gallons of water out of the display and fill the 5 ½ gallon tank, then replace this water volume with fresh SW in the display. I have a heater and a low flow powerhead for this temporary quarantine tank.

First I temperature acclimate the new corals. Once they are acclimated to the temperature the next step is to treat with Salifert Flatworm Exit. This product treats any incoming corals for planaria flatworms. It’s relatively easy to treat your entire tank for these pests, however if you treat your corals before placing them in your tank you will avoid infecting the entire display. Flatworm Exit is not harsh on your corals so you can leave it in the water for as long as you treat your corals.

The next step for acropora corals is to treat for red bugs with Interceptor. Interceptor is beef flavored heartworm medicine for dogs. It kills microscopic red bugs from your acropora corals. Red bugs irritate acros and you will not see good polyp extension if you have them. I found the best way to know if you have them or not is to take lots of macro photos of your corals. Then enlarge the image for better inspection. Interceptor is a prescription drug that must be prescribed by a veterinarian. Find someone who has a large dog to get this product for you. It is important to crush up the pill. I use a razor blade to cut it into a fine powder. I like to let acroporas sit in an Interceptor dip for 12 hours. I let them stay in this medicine over night and then continue treatment the next day. Don’t worry if you go longer with this step as Interceptor is mild on your corals. This is another treatment option that is easy enough to utilize for your entire tank, however the idea of the dip is to prevent red bugs from infesting your display.

Step three for acropora is to dip for Acro Eating Flatworms (AEFW.) Many products will kill off the flatworms but they will not kill the eggs that may linger on a coral. That’s why a visual inspection is a good idea. Pick up a magnifying glass to get a good close look. To treat for AEFW I use Fluke tabs. These are sold over the counter and can be found on most online e-tailers. I crush up two tablets and let the coral soak for 1 ½ hours.

At this point you may want to use a product like Tropic Marin Pro Coral Cure (TM PCC) or coral ReVive. I have used TM PCC and it is very harsh on corals so I decide to use, or not use this step depending on how healthy the coral looks. I dip them for no more than 5 minutes and often double the recommended dosage. I use TM PCC on all montipora corals that I put in my display.

When you finish your preventative dips it is a good idea to give your corals a good rinse with water taken out of your tank in a separate container. Use a turkey baster to blow off anything that may be on your coral and give it a good rinse.

If you search the web you will find lots of information on these products and how to work with them. I wrote this post to share what I do from the point of view of an average hobbyist who has been keeping a reef for five years and learned a thing or two along the way. Good luck with your reef and I hope you are able to keep it pest free so you can enjoy the growth of your corals.


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Old 11/18/2008, 07:54 PM   #2
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Thanks for the great post. One thing to add, you can get Interceptor online with no prescription


Current Tank Info: 75 Gal Mixed LPS, SPS, Tek T5 6 bulb, 20 gal sump, MSX200
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Old 11/18/2008, 08:18 PM   #3
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Is that true? Have you ordered yourself without one? I followed some online links and they always asked for a prescription.

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Old 11/18/2008, 10:45 PM   #4
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How long are you taking to do this process before you place coral into the display?

How long are you waiting between treatments?

Are you individually dipping them in a third container and then replacing them into the QT, or dosing the entire QT?

Do you follow this regardless if it is a non acro specie?

Are you remounting them?

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Old 11/18/2008, 10:56 PM   #5
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Good read!! Thanks for sharing.

Can you treat with FW Exit, and Interceptor at the same time in the same water. Then the next day treat with the revive for 5 minutes, all in the same water, or are you changing it out.



Make it a Great Day!!!!

Current Tank Info: 60 gal SPS cube, with 25 gal refugium, 400W MH, DIY Lumenarc III, DIY skimmer, DIY stand and canopy. 40 breeder LPS with 40 gallon sump, DIY stand, 250W MH
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Old 11/19/2008, 12:19 PM   #6
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I treat in the same water using Flatworm Exit and then Interceptor. I use new tank water for a TM PCC dip and then new water from the display again for the rinse. I temp acclimate for about an hour then I put corals in the 5 1/2 gallon tank. Flatworm Exit can stay in the water as well as Interceptor. I never had a problem with either of these. Many hobbyist say they treat with Interceptor for 6 hours, probably because of the strong dosage of Interceptor to water but I like to let them wash overnight for at least 12 hours. Then an additional 1 1/2 for Fluke tabs. A fellow reefer told me 1/2 an hour is sufficient but I originally read an hour and a half so that's what I go by.

These procedures are mostly for acros, for montipora I just use Flatworm Exit and TM PCC.

If they are mounted then I leave them alone. If they need to be mounted I let them sit in the display a couple of days before gluing them.

TM PCC can be harsh so be careful when you dip in this product. Take notes on how you dipped and your success rate.

You can also repeat the entire procedure if you want to be extra cautious, but if you do this carefully you will have better luck keeping your display pest free.

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Old 11/19/2008, 12:42 PM   #7
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Originally posted by crashrat
Thanks for the great post. One thing to add, you can get Interceptor online with no prescription
Unfortunately, you do still need a prescription I filled out an order online to find out, and at the payment page I was greeted with this comment:

"You ordered a prescription (RX) item which will be shipped upon your veterinarian's authorization."



No trees were harmed in the creation of this post, though a significant number of electrons may have been inconvenienced.

Current Tank Info: 120 SPS reef in progress, 120 mixed reef, currently being completely rebuilt)
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Old 11/19/2008, 01:13 PM   #8
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I had a poor experience with TMPCC recently. I actually did a normal dose(200ml with 1 squirt of TM) and I dipped a monti for 10 min. I killed all of it except one little point which is hanging in there. Do you think it was I did it too long even though you guys double dose but only 5 min?

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Old 10/25/2009, 09:43 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by chessmanmark View Post

These procedures are mostly for acros, for montipora I just use Flatworm Exit and TM PCC.
does the tmpcc rid the monti of nudi's?

im thinking of using something a little less harsh like coral reveve or the sea chem stuff?

if it dosent kill the monti eatin nudies what do you add another treatment

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Old 10/25/2009, 10:08 AM   #10
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chessmanmark, great qt description and very responsible regimen.
I applaud your efforts and feel that every one should do this at least for acros and montis.
I usually do a 6 hour mega dose (10x dose in about 2 gallons of tank water) of interceptor, followed by a 5-9 minute dip in Melafix (melaleuca solution) as per the instructions for dipping.
I find the melaleuca to be very mild on the acros and quickly lethal on the aefws.
I have done this for the past year, ever since I had to tear down my tank to eradicate an infestation of aefws and red bugs.
Now, I treat every new addition as suspect, regardless of where I got the coral.
I assume that a very rigorous brush around the base of the acros would remove the aefw eggs (which are not killed by the melaleuca), but I prefer to just cut the pieces away from the base, leaving a small amount of live tissue behind.
Sounds harsh, I know, but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


Current Tank Info: 53x32.5x26 190g dt 60g of sumps 3 tank-100 gal frag system 6xAI prime 8xt5. 4x maxspect gyre. Skimz Dual internal sicce pump skimmer Deltec PF601s ca rx+Kalk stirrer
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Old 10/26/2009, 12:26 PM   #11
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I ordered some of the CoralRx about 2 weeks ago and have been dipping new corals and problem corals with this. I have dipped anywhere from 10 minutes to 30 minutes with 2x dosage and I really like it. I have seen it kill red bugs and AEFW without hurting the coral. Previously I used TMPCC and then Revive. TMPCC was just way to harsh on my corals and Revive seemed good but just didnt seem wasnt strong enough for RB and some monti nudi.

The CoralRX seem to kill just about everything, you can tell when immediatley all the starfish and pods just squirm then die off. With Revive I notice alot of starfish and pods do make it through the dips.

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Old 08/13/2011, 09:32 AM   #12
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I moved my tank at the end of last year and I'm just about ready to restock with SPS. I've been pretty successful with my dip process in the past, however I can't find fluke tabs online. I'm considering using Coral RX along with Interceptor and perhaps Flatworm Exit.

Anyone with a pest free tank want to share their dip procedure?

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Old 08/13/2011, 05:36 PM   #13
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I'm 100% pest free & have been (years), but I'm a bit more anal about it all.

Chessmanmark - I had a hard time finding fluke tabs as well, but I finally found some on eBay. :-/ Sorry, I know that wasn't much help.

First off, the info was good, but I personally chose to go a different route (with a QT rather than treating all corals for nearly everything). Dips are better than nothing, but won't always get the eggs, so I consider dipping only a 60% solution. Even with my dip procedure below, I've STILL had AEFW, Monti-eating nudi's, and other nastiness in my QT tank. Eggs are easy to miss. Without a QT tank, I would've had a horrible mess in my display.

Also, I believe dipping for pests that don't exist on the coral is too stressful and not worth the risk to the corals. Instead, I do a general dip on all corals, then treat further if there are signs of other pests. I follow with a 30 day QT then a 30 day session in the grow-out tank (just to be extra sure.)

My info may help...or chose to ignore it if you find something that works better for you.

1. Set up QT tank (it's worth it...the small $$ will pay for itself in not losing a few to a lot of corals.) Just do it.

2. Temp acclimate all corals

3. Break off bases of all corals - this helps eliminate nuisance algae, and various pests that can come in on excess rock (gorilla crabs, eunicid worms, etc).

4. Dip most corals in tank water mixed with Coral Rx (don't dip smooth-skinned Acroporas in it...dip those in Lugol's instead. There are plenty of people who have had bad experience with Coral Rx & smooth-skinned Acro's.) I use 1ml of Coral Rx regular strength to 1 cup water (but follow directions.)

5. Gently blow coral with a pipette filled with the water/C-Rx mixture. The Coral Rx will knock most pests off the coral. Inspect with a magnifying glass to look for eggs or smaller pests. Treat as needed. (For instance, if you see Monti-eating Nudi's, then treat with potassium permanganate. If you see Red Planaria, use Flatworm Exit, etc.)

6. Place any non-living skeleton/rock remaining into hydrogen peroxide for about 20 seconds (the regular strength stuff you use for cleaning wounds, etc.) This will help kill off any algae. I have dipped full corals, but usually it takes them quite a while to recover. Not worth it IME.

7. Cover any non-living skeleton/rock remaining with superglue. This will prevent any remaining pests and/or algae spores to escape easily. Place the coral on a piece of rock/frag plug/whatever.

8. Place in QT. During the first week, check for bite marks, pests, and algae. At the end of the first week, redip in Coral Rx or Lugol's. If you have AEFW and/or red bugs, they should be showing up by this dip. You can then treat as needed.

9. Keep corals in QT for at least 30 days...preferably 6 weeks. I check pretty regularly for pests. I also move everything into a secondary QT (grow-out tank). I've never had any pests make it over to the grow-out tank...or to the display.

See my homepage for more information on rescuing coral!

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Systems: 200g SPS-dominant, 75g Rescue, 30g QT, & 10g QT
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