Not knowing anything about saltwater, my GF and I started a reef tank a little over two years ago. We bought live rock to scape the tank and hitching along was one strand of what we now know is anthelia. Of course we didn't know what it was at the time, but were thrilled to see something live and flourish in our tank. In the beginning, it was tolerable and I kept it under control. As I started getting into LPS/SPS, I wanted it gone and found nothing enjoyable about it...It stinks, it takes over, and I spent way too much of my time scraping it off and trying to kill it off with kalk paste. About a year and a half ago, I had read all the threads about fluke tabs killing anthelia, blue cloves, etc. and that people had success with minimal casualties. So, I was able to get 3 fluke tabs from a reefcentral member that was successful with this approach. At that time, my tank was starting to take off. My SPS were rocking and growing like crazy, so I didn't want to risk doing anything to my tank and continued to try and keep it under control. As I found less time for water changes, etc., I pretty much gave up on the anthelia. Last Saturday, I decided that I was going to try the fluke tab. The next morning, the anthelia was wilting and I was pretty stoked. Fast forward to Tuesday morning when I woke up to a partially cloudy tank. This was expected from what I read in the threads so I did a quick 10G water change, fired up the skimmer and went to work. When I got home from work that night, I was greeted with, "You better go check out the tank" and saw this...
I could only see a few inches into the tank and what I saw didn't look good. I'm not sure if my skimmer lost it's head because of the medicine or all the slime, but it wasn't functioning properly all day. I quickly did a 15G water change and added quite a bit of carbon followed by another 10G water change before I went to bed. I also made up 15G of water so I could do another change in the morning. The next morning, the tank was still cloudy and smelled really bad. Good news was the skimmer was functioning normally again. Bad news was I could see RTN'd colony after RTN'd colony. Those that weren't completely gone, were sliming and on there way out. Did my 15G water change and began to see progress that evening...
Continued with the water changes, carbon, and gfo and as of last night, the smell is finally going away and with the glow of my white "trees", I can actually see through to the back glass.
In addition to the anthelia, the death count was all of my SPS, a few chalices, and the majority of my snails. Fortunately, my fish are alive and I have quite a few chalices, acans, and zoas that are still barely hanging on. Hopefully, I can avoid a total tank meltdown and save them over the next few days.
For those that have come across this method and are thinking about it, consider the risks carefully and be prepared with a lot of heated water for bulk water changes.