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Old 09-06-2007, 10:49 AM
GTR's Avatar
GTR GTR ¥Ø«eÂ÷½u
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 3,106

Some gains have been made in eliminating these pests from the species.

I've been lucky enough to be able to try the potassium permanganate for about the last 3 months. Dosage as stated in the article is still questionable. In my tests one of the difficult things to do is weigh the proper amount of the chemical since it takes so little. My gram scale is far from accurate enough to get the required amount. My initial tests were 1.9 grams per 10 gallons of SW treated for 1.5 hours. That treatment did kill the nudibranch and eggs but most corals treated that way were lost. Further tests were done using a dosage of 75% the original and for only 30 minutes. That dosage killed all adults and my best guess is it also killed all egg masses.

For me the key to treatment is not the adults but the eggs. They are so difficult to find in some cases that manual removal of eggs is impossible.

I did have the nudibranch return to one of the systems but since the system was not a sterile QT system I'm guessing there were some nudis not on the coral or it's mount at the time of treatment. I had set up a 10g QT tank where I was keeping infested corals and I'd estimate that the nudi population in that tanks was well over 200. After removing all corals and rock from that tank I counted over 20 nudis remaining in the tank. So it's clear that to eliminate these pests we must find out more on the life cycle. At this point I have no idea how long these can survive without their host coral. Without that knowledge we don't know when it's save to return treated Montipora to a display tank after they've been treated.

I know others have been fighting these with Lugols or similar bottled coral cures but these chemical is far stronger and has a kill rate. My experience with Iodine based treatments was the best you could expect would be the nudibranch might fall off the coral but not die. So if you're treating large pieces with folds I can be certain some of those will survive.

The last pictures I posted in this thread were taken just before a treatment. Those were lost but many treated after have done well at lower dosages with a shorter duration.

My next step is to make up a solution using the potassium permanganate and freshwater. That will make dosage a little easier I think. The chemical is very reactive in SW and once added to it it begins to degrade. The solution when mixed leaves the water with a fairly dark purple tint. When left to sit overnight the water turns back to clear.

This was far from the best time of year to be trying this. With the summer weather it's impossible for me to keep a tank running at the shop without a chiller, even without lights. My rock bin hits 95F at times. Both chillers I own are in use on the full systems. As the weather cools I plan on setting up several 20g tanks for further testing and QT. I've been saving up red/orange plating Montipora for these tests. My goal is to follow the egg cycle and to get an estimated time an adult can survive without a host. I don't even think we have an idea of how long these live in perfect tank conditions with a food source. Not sure how I could attack that question.

“People are very open-minded about new things - as long as they're exactly like the old ones.”
...Charles F. Kettering
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