small miracles and live corals

i found a small miracle today. some of my corals are still alive. they are in bad shape and may not make it, but they aren't dead yet. i am still planning on removing the tank, for reasons i'll elaborate on some other time. but what started as a plan to tear the tank down turned into a coral rescue.

i had the tank covered and the room locked up the last couple days because it smelled awful. in the freezing cold, in the dark, and without reliable water there wasn't much i could do.

yesterday we got power back and it seems to be staying on. our water is flowing. so rather than wait for the tank to smell even worse i decided to break it down today. i gathered my energy, physical and emotional, for a grueling and sad task. with aquarium projects you are dealing with water, living creatures, and electricity. you have to have a plan, be careful, and not stop until you are done. my plan was to remove all the electrical equipment so i could work safely. remove the dead animals. and then drain as much of the water as i could. the tank was full of bare coral skeletons and lots of detritus.

but there were a couple corals showing signs of life. enough that i thought they could possibly be saved. luckily i had some clean seawater already mixed and on hand. i removed all the equipment as planned. removed the dead corals. and then siphoned off as much funk as i could and then added back clean seawater.

most of the corals died, and it was sad pulling them out. but amazing several small corals and a large beautiful “platygyra” brain coral was still alive. this is a very delicate animal. i am shocked it survived. if you know what to look for it is particularly expressive, for a coral. it is alive and looks pretty good! im going to give it a few days and make sure it pulls through. but right now i am very pleased and encouraged to get to see it.

i had high hopes for it when i got it and was especially sad about the idea of losing it. they can live hundreds of years. it would be terrible for its life to be cut short because it ended up with me. i've talked with a few other aquarium keepers and many are in the same situation, losing most or all of their animals. and it hits them just as hard. once i know this coral is going to make it i hope to re-home it to help someone rebuild their reef.