Why you need to Dip in Coral Rx and Quarantine

Coral Dip and Quarantine Procedures

CoralRx and its companion the Quarantine System. A 99.9% effective team.

When keeping a reef tank in your home, there are many variables that have to be managed.  One variable that can be managed almost entirely yet is still the downfall of many an aquarium and causes the exit of many people from the reef keeping hobby are coral pests.  It is very easy to buy a coral, bring it home, and just add it to your aquarium.  The dark side to doing that is that what you put in your tank typically introduces many unattended guests.  Think of it like Vegas, if you play this game long enough you are guaranteed to lose.  The silver lining here is that with a little effort and some tank parts you probably have laying around, you can avoid adding pests to your tank altogether.

Keeping a reef tank is one of those rewarding experiences that also come with its fair share of frustration. One of those frustrations is introducing parasitic and predatory organisms into our display systems that we never intended to. Hitchhikers come in many forms, and these unwanted guests can wreak havoc and devastate the organisms we work to keep in our display systems. But (dah dah dah! “resounding trumpet sounds behind me”) there is hope, and this bit of advice on how to setup a quarantine system, despite the size of your location will be your saving grace.

What is a quarantine system anyway?

Basically, a quarantine system is a separate tank etc. where you can place coral frags, colonies, inverts, and fish to be observed and treated before you introduce them into your display tank.

Since we are discussing Coral Pests in this series and we instruct you not to use CoralRx on invertebrates we will only be discussing quarantining corals and dipping corals in the next segment Week 2 of 52, but in the simplest of language, a quarantine tank or system is a place to observe and treat corals for a variety of pests or diseases, in a controlled environment before you introduce new specimines into your display tank. To view the range of pests that CoralRx is confirmed to treat visit https://coralrx.com/coralrx-treats/ and see pest photos and a brief description of each pest.

How should a QT system be built?

In all honesty, the quarantine system should be as simple as you are able to sustain, meaning that a simple tank, a hang on back (HOB) power filter (minus the carbon) and some frag racks are about all you need to successfully quarantine your corals. This time should be between 4 and 8 weeks or longer if you feel that it is warranted. Obvliously if you have an infestation on your new frags or colonies of montiporra eating nudibranchs, you want to fully break the lifecycle with multiple dips in CoralRx over the course of the quarantine time and observation periods to make sure you catch eggs that have not hatched which cannot be seen because they are hidden in crevices or in hard to see places on your frag.

Quarantine systems must meet the minimum survival needs of corals while supporting the ability to clearly visualize and or remove corals for inspection and treatment. This is key, easy to view and easy to remove and treat if you need to.

My corals are in the quarantine tank and they seem to look ok what now?

Once your corals have been initially dipped in CoralRx and introduced into the QT system, this is now the time where patients and keen observation skills are important. Look at the underside of each frag and the frag plugs, look at and observe where the frag is glued on to the plug. This is typically where you will see the eggs of the majority of pests we encounter in the hobby. One other precaution you can take is to remove the frag from its mount and toss the plug and just place the frag into the QT without the plug.

Once you have initially dipped in CoralRx and taken all the other precautionary steps to remove pets you deem necessary, you can then start an observation and dipping regimen that follows the same pattern over the next few weeks. In the morning, observe each frag and check its underside for bite marks, receding flesh, or obvious visible pests. Next observe each frag after lights out with a flashlight. Nighttime is when we often see specific pests that may come out of rocks and have been able to escape the initial CoralRx dip.

Remember, never add CoralRx directly to tank water or to your display, always add it to water that is taken from the QT or Display system, and then place frags back into your systems only after they are rinsed with clean tank water.

If you see pests in your quarantine system, then you must re-dip in CoralRx and extend the quarantine time again. It is recommended to extend the QT stay by 4 more weeks after each round of dipping is required for newly discovered pests.

Quarantine systems are your best defense for preventing pest infestations in your display or fragging systems when used in conjunction with CoralRx.

CoralRx alone is a tremendous way to kill pests introduced into your system, but QT and CoralRx makes an almost infallible system.

Below are some examples of simple quarantine systems/tanks that we found on the internet. We are not endorsing one setup over another, just showing you simple setups that you can do in any size space. The most important thing to take away from this is always Dip your corals and to quarantine.


Effectively Dip Corals in Coral Rx

Dipping corals is an important part of keeping your display reef safe from pests, but how you dip your corals is just as important. The method we recommend will help you, with good quarantine practices; keep pests out of your display system.

Coral Rx VS the other dips

Coral Rx was developed after many years researching what combination of natural ingredients/extracts worked best to dispatch the widest variety of pests that commonly plague the Reef Aquarium Hobby. Coral Rx is the only dip on the market that has university backed research and testing for its efficacy as a Coral Dip. Money should not be the deciding factor on coral dip choices and many of the products that are used as dips are dangerous to both human and animal.

Stay tuned, because in the next few weeks we will get more in-depth with some of the other coral dip products being promoted on forums and social media and why they just aren’t a good choice to use.

What equipment you need to dip your corals with Coral Rx

  • 3.5 Gallon Bucked
  • 9in x 12in Plastic Trough
  • Plastic Putty Knife
  • Turkey Baster
  1. At least 2 clean containers approximately 12 inches by 9 inches (or large enough to completely immerse your largest coral frag/colony. Many use 3.5 and 5 US Gallon buckets from the hardware store, which is fine if dipping corals is the only task they are used for.
  2. One or two pairs of Nitrile disposable gloves. These gloves can be acquired by the box relatively inexpensively through Global Industrial Supply, Amazon, Walmart and Ebay. Nitrile is a preferred protective substance because it provides an extra durable barrier between sharp coral edges, stinging chemicals, and potential irritation that some aquarists may experience. Additionally, it will protect you from bacterial like mycobacterium which is a common source of infection in fingers of fish and coral keepers, as well as provide barrier protection from toxins produced by zoas and palys. Eye protection should also be worn when handling zoas and palys to prevent water that is expelled from them with potential toxins getting into your eyes.
  3. Some type of flat rigid spatula or knife (stainless steel or plastic) to separate frags from frag plugs if you discover eggs or pests on the underside of the plug or near the attachment point on the plug.
  4. A turkey baster or large bulb syringe to blow off corals in the dip solution.
  5. A magnifying glass to observe coral nooks and crannies.
  6. Enough tank water or fresh made salt water to accommodate the volume of your dipping and rinsing containers.

Coral Rx Usage

The dosage of Coral Rx is per gallon of water and should be administered as follows:

In your dipping container place 20ML or 4 capfuls per US Gallon of water, and if you are using Coral Rx Pro you administer 30 drops per US Gallon, and Coral Rx Industrial you administer 10 drops per US Gallon of tank or fresh salt water.

Shake the Coral Rx bottle and add the proper dose of product mixing well after adding. It is advisable to use a small maxijet or power head to keep water circulating in your container while the corals are immersed. If you do not have a powerhead you may periodically shake the corals during the recommended 10-15 minute dip time.

Visually inspect each frag/colony with your magnifying glass and especially observe the undersides of colonies, frag plugs and near coral attachment points where glue and frag meet plug.

Once the 10 to 15 minutes recommended time has elapsed, rinse your corals in clean tank or clean fresh saltwater in container two and place in your quarantine system for continued observation and subsequent repeat dips if needed to break pest lifecycles.

Never reuse mixed coral dip because some pests release toxins when they perish, and never ever use Coral Rx directly in your quarantine or display tank. Avoid exposing invertebrates to coral rx as well.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments!

Coral Rx Coral Dip