View Full Version : Dead coral in tank?

Lady Hobbs
03-26-2007, 02:51 PM
I have asked this question before and even put it before the experts, Tom and Dave Nevin, who talked about this on their radio show. I still have not gotten an answer as to the "why" of it so will ask again.

My daughter bought me a piece of coral in FL. It was at a shell shop so had been processed and probably not amongst the living for some time. I've asked previously why I've read this might be toxic in a freshwater tank and can't get an answer I can understand.

If I had a cichlid tank and had coral shells on the bottom to raise the pH, how can this be different than using this coral shell? I can't distinquish the difference here. All I've gotten for an answer is that it may be toxic. I don't get it.

She paid $55 for this califlower coral and all I can do is look at it. :(

03-26-2007, 03:24 PM
how exactly was it processed?

Lady Hobbs
03-26-2007, 03:32 PM
I have no idea but I imagine these shells are all boiled to get any gunk out of the breathing tube. (Is that a breathing tube?) Anyway, to make sure, I boiled it myself. I expected to see salt residue in the pot but there was none. Water come out as clean as it went in.

I used to hang out at a place in FL called the Shell Factory. It's the most awesome shop and is a huge store! Everything is made of shells. Some of the coral pieces are well over $800. Beautiful.

03-26-2007, 03:37 PM
maybe it was washed with some kind of chemical that the coral may have absorbed.

Lady Hobbs
03-26-2007, 03:40 PM
The only answer I was able to get from any of the experts was that coral in a freshwater tank is toxic. "Why" is what I can't understand.

03-26-2007, 03:45 PM
I know someone who has pieces of coral they found on the beach in his ten gallon with no ill effects, maybe it depends on the type of coral?

03-26-2007, 03:46 PM
I have no clue why it would be toxic, or if there could be any chemicals picked up by it that would leach into the water. but..

You might try soaking it in a bucket of water. If the chemical would leach into your tank it should leach into the water in the bucket. You would need to change the water in the bucket regularly to keep the concentration in the water lower than that in choral to promote this affect, but eventually at some point you would have to be able to use the choral in your tank. Maybe even throw some activated charcoal in the bucket with the water to help absorb any chemicals in the choral.

If it would fit you could try putting it in a 10 gallon tank with a zebra fish or two and seeing if there were any adverse reactions.

03-26-2007, 03:58 PM
I think zebras are too hardy for testing, they might survive while other fish would die. I usually use guppies.

Lady Hobbs
03-26-2007, 04:39 PM
Testing with a couple fish might be a good idea. Ground up coral substrate is coral rock. Why a large piece would be more toxic than small chips gets me.

03-26-2007, 05:00 PM
The only thing that I can come up with is that what ever chemical, ion that is toxic that is secreted into the water needs to reach a rather high threshold in order to become toxic for your Fish. It may be that the small pieces do not provide enough of this chemical for you to notice any detrimental effects, while a large piece might be enough to push the chemical level above the threshold.