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Saltwater Aquarium/Leather Coral acting strange


Green Leather Coral
Green Leather Coral  
I currently have a green Leather Coral in a six gallon salt water aqaurium. I have had this little guy for about  three and half weeks. It has not shed yet, but it does open in the day time. When it does, it tends to flatten out, and almost always fall over. It also, has some light colored spots on it. I did have two clown fish that passed away for still unknown reasons. My tank peramaters have been perfect since I have established this tank. I'm wondering if this is just a phase my coral is going through, or that he is on his way out. I have six crabs, live sand, and a filter action system with LED light/luner systems as well. I usually fed my tank Brine Shrimp every night, until my fish passed away. I now, feed my coral every other night. I was told when I purchased him, to lightly scrub him with a soft brisled toothbrush, to help aid him shed. I really need to know if I'm doing this right or not. I do have a friend, and he has helped with everything. He has a 120 gallon salt water tank, full established and doing great, with a wonderful sump and filtration system going. I asked him, and he doesn't even know what to do. Please help!
Thank you :)

Good morning:

I am a very big fan of the pico / nano reef aquarium. However in an aquarium of this size you don't need to feed it every night or even every other night. I'd recommend at most once a week; this is because Leather's host the symbiotic algae in their tissue cells called zooxanthellate; this zooxanthellate grows from giving your coral the proper light needed; it makes up about 90% percent of their diet, the other 10% would be in the forms of plankton's of both phytoplankton and zooplankton, that you would feed them...

In regards to scrubbing your corals, I wouldn't recommend doing this, because you could accidentally damage  them; Leathers will shed naturally, and provided your aquarium has good water flow, the current will wash their shedding from them. If you do happen to see some of their shedding that you would like to remove, use a low powered powerhead to gently push and wash off the materials from them...

I wish you luck with all your future saltwater aquarium endeavors.


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David Ocreef


Technical saltwater coral reef related aquarium questions are welcome. Coral, invertebrate, and peaceful species of saltwater fish questions are welcome. Questions asked on Saturday and Sunday will be answered the following Monday. REMINDER: Please check the answers pool to see if your question has already been asked and answered. Questions typically are answered within a 48 hour period, however sometimes it may take longer.


I possess over twenty-five years of hands-on experience and knowledge in the ecology of aquariums. Beyond the traditional, I have successfully tested and sustained environments that have been uncharted territories for hobbyists, for decades. I am the first to admit I don't know it all because there will always be something new, amazing, and exciting to learn about, as discoveries are made. It's a hobby one can never outgrow, or grow tired of.

MASNA - Marine Aquarium Society of North America. Director of Orange County Reef Aquatics -

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After High School, my experience and love of marine animals influenced me to take up studies in Marine Biology. Throughout college, I studied Microbiology with an emphasis on Marine Life, as well as numerous other sciences. I continued to advance in this hobby, by building a dozen or more saltwater ecosystems all utilizing Microbes as the major source of my filtration method.

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