In reef-keeping we tend to keep a close watch and iron grasp on our water parameters to ensure everything is running at peak performance. We do this because we want to provide the optimal environment for our coral. The next step is to ensure our coral are healthy and pest free. The most effective way to ensure this is by regularly inspecting and dipping our coral.
You should dip your corals because it will benefit their health and reduce the chances of bringing any unwanted pests into your aquarium. Dipping your corals will also assist in cleaning and healing any damage the coral may have experienced on the journey home or from fragging.
We carry multiple different brands/styles of coral dip. Some are better suited for the removal of different pests, and help corals heal after fragging. It’s important to research which coral dip best suits the corals you plan to keep.
Dipping Your Coral: Step by Step
Dipping your coral and inspecting them for pests is a process that can be broken down into a few quick steps. During these steps - pests you want to look out for include aiptasia, bristleworms, fireworms, zoa spiders, acropora eating flatworms, red flatworms, nudibranchs, snails, and asterina starfish.
*Be sure to follow the recommended solution strength and duration of dipping process on the label of your chosen coral dip.
We recommend preparing some new saltwater for your tank before beginning this process to replace the water used for dipping and rinsing the corals.
- Float your coral for 15 minutes to temperature acclimate
- Remove some water from the tank for the dipping process. You will need one container for your dip solution, and one container for rinsing the coral. (Prepare 2 rinsing containers if you will be re-gluing your frag to a new frag plug.)
- Under good lighting or with a flashlight closely inspect coral for visible pests. If you see them try gently removing them with a toothpick or tweezers
- Place your coral in the dip solution, use a turkey baster or syringe periodically to help blast pests off of the coral and keep the solution well mixed
- Remove coral from the dip solution and gently shake it out in the rinsing container
- After rinsing your coral give it another inspection for any remaining pests, remove as needed.
- Optional: Remove your coral from its old frag plug, glue to its new frag plug, rinse to help set glue and remove any slime produced
- Place your coral back in the tank – placing your coral on the sand bed for the first few days can help with acclimation!
Dipping your corals is a straightforward process that can save you the headache of battling any easily prevented aquarium pests. The in-depth visual inspection can also help you get a better gauge on the coral’s overall health and how well it is acclimating to life in your aquarium!
If you have any questions about dipping coral, coral health, or anything else about corals – give us a call or visit us in store today!