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FAQs on Identification of Stinging-Celled Animals 28

Related Articles: Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarian IDs 1, Cnidarian IDs 2, Cnidarian IDs 3, Cnidarians ID 4, Cnidarians ID 5, Cnidarians ID 6, Cnidarian ID 7, Cnidarian ID 8, Cnidarian ID 9, Cnidarian ID 10, Cnidarian ID 11, Cnidarian ID 12, Cnidarian ID 13, Cnidarian ID 14, Cnidarian ID 15, Cnidarian ID 16, Cnidarian ID 17, Cnidarian ID 18, Cnidarian ID 19, Cnidarian ID 20, Cnidarian ID 21, Cnidarian ID 22, Cnidarian ID 23, Cnidarian ID 24, Cnidarian ID 25, Cnidarian ID 26, Cnidarian ID 27, Cnidarian ID 29, Cnidarian ID 30, Cnidarian ID 31, & Anemone ID 1, Aiptasia ID 1, Stony Coral ID 1, Mushroom Identification, Soft Coral ID, Alcyoniid ID, Xeniid ID, Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Compatibility, Cnidarian Selection, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Feeding, Cnidarian Disease, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting,

Identification required 9/1/11
I have used your site extensively, but could not find the species I have received as present. Thanks for a great site.
I would like to identify the coral in the image attached.
Kindest Regards
<This appears to be a Zoanthid, likely of the genus Palythoa. DO make sure and wash your hands after they've been in contact w/ this animal/colony, or even just the system water. DO read here re:
Bob Fenner>

Re: Identification required 9/2/11
Hi Bob,
Thanks very much for the reply. Would you recommend I remove this coral altogether? After reading the posts on the website, I gathered that they can turn into a pest due to their aggressive nature/poison.
<A possibility>
I keep lots of other zoa's, buttons, cloves etc, fish, bristle stars etc and as far as I am aware they are pretty safe?
<Maybe... the fact that you have the other Zoanthids... you may be fine>
My questions really: They are not the prettiest, should I "bin" them?
<I'd at the very least slowly acclimate each to each through mixing water back and forth in separate systems for a few weeks>
<And you, BobF>

Aiptasia (hopefully not) and Other Items Needing Identification/Coral ID/Reef Lighting 8/24/11
Hey guys,
I am new to the SW Reef aquarium and am in the process of cycling my new tank. I decided to go the route of live rock, and of course similar to a ton of posts on your site I have questions in indentifying things. My main concern is obviously Aiptasia, and I want to make sure I get started on the right path. The 1st and 2nd pics are what I assume to be button polyps.
<Yes, a Zoanthus species. Learn more here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm>
I have an abundance of these.
<And they can quickly take over a tank if not controlled.>
The 3rd pic is some sort of mushroom, they seem to be spreading. The 4th pic is another mushroom like growth, but solid purple. The 5th pic seems to be another mushroom growth, but brown. I apologize for all the pics, but thought it would be easier to get it out in one shot.
<These are all Corallimorphs, Mushroom Corals. More info can be found here.
Can you tell me what the things in the pictures are? I really appreciate your help and have used your site for virtually everything to this point.
So you know, I think because of the research I have done on WWM that I have cycled my tank in less than 2 weeks. Don't worry, I'm not rushing anything though.. I will give it another month or so. I have a 72 Gallon bow, sump, protein skimmer, 3 sub pumps, and 60 pounds of live rock so far along with 20 pounds of live sand. I am also using the new Marineland LED Reef lighting. What are your thoughts about these?
<They will support the above corals but I'm quite sure it wouldn't be enough light for SPS/LPS corals
I have heard mixed reviews but don't have anything to compare it to at this point since I have no coral, etc. to see if it provides enough lighting.
Thanks again, and I appreciate your help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Matt Mead

Re Aiptasia (hopefully not) and Other Items Needing Identification/Coral ID/Reef Lighting 8/24/11- 8/25/11
Thanks for the quick response, it is appreciated!
<You're welcome.>
Regarding the LED lighting, if I added an additional light would that help so in the future I could house SPS/LPS corals? Or is the light in your opinion just not good enough? A little misleading I think since it states that it is "reef capable"....
<Yes, depending largely on what you want to keep. The Reef Capable fixture uses one watt LEDs where
the more intense units use three watt LEDs. The PAR level at 12 inches depth measures 130 (referenced material, not measurements I have taken), and falls off sharply to 61 at three inches off center axis.
Not nearly enough intensity for most SPS corals and many LPS corals at that depth. Most stony corals need about 250 PAR to thrive and a photosynthetic usable radiation range (PUR) of about 440-700nm.
Your fixture may be enough for hard corals that thrive in moderate light, but you would have to place them very near the surface of the water. So in essence, it is reef capable. Two of these fixtures would improve dispersion of your lighting but PAR values at depth won't improve much if any. The price of the unit should reflect it's capabilities.>
Thanks again, you guys are really a big help.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Mystery coral ID? 8/8/11
Good afternoon!
You have been my best resource for the last nine months. Just before Christmas last year I received a new 60-gallon system which - thanks in no small part to you - is thriving. It's a dedicated seahorse/soft-coral system, which cycled for 3 months with inverts (coco worms, snails, cleaner shrimp) before I added the first corals or fish, and then I added corals very slowly
and all from a single source (a local coral breeder/dealer), compatibility-matched using your site and seahorse.org to ensure incompatibility and health.
<Very good>
Dips, quarantines, and other solid measures are in place. A pair of seahorses came in on June 10 (six months almost to the day after the tank started running). Other fish tankmates are one banded pipefish, one scooter blenny (pictured with coral) one very fat green-spotted dragonet (the dragonets eat frozen mysis, though I add tigger pods weekly also - this one has more than doubled in size in the time I've had him - thanks in no small part to reading on your site about his needs), one yellow watchman goby and two blue neon gobies.
Invert population is one tuxedo urchin, one Staghorn hermit, six coco worms, two feather duster worms, two skunk cleaners, three peppermint shrimp (true peppermints), five very small mexican red-legged hermits and a "janitorial squad" of trochus, Nassarius, and Cerith snails.
The inn is full, and that's all I'm intending to add. Everything is healthy, eating and growing.
<Ah, good>
I can't tell you how lucky I was to find you guys in advance. I've learned from so many others' mistakes and...yes, I read before I bring things home.
Tanks, like pregnancies, are better planned!
But like everyone else, I succumbed to the "this looks awesome, I think I will take it" syndrome with a coral. (I can hear you shuddering from here.)
The coral breeder/LFS owner said he's seen thousands of corals in his years in the business, but couldn't identify this. He had put it in his own system to test it and see if it stings (it didn't appear to) or was aggressive (it didn't appear to be) and he thought I might like it. He also knows my system is invertebrate-friendly and doesn't house many things that could harm this.
So yeah, I brought it home. Photo is attached. It's been in the tank 2 months with no issues. It's growing well (isolated, as you can see, on its own piece of live rock in the sand bed where it can't get into too much trouble. The photo is a little blurred (sorry) but I included the scooter blenny for size comparison. The photo is true-color. The coral's mouths are open pretty much all the time except when it feeds. It seems to filter feed from the water (I feed a combination of live phyto/oyster feast/rotifers for the corals) and also loves mysis (I feed frozen Hikari mysis/SF Bay Brand Omega enriched frozen brine to the mandarin/scooter blenny and seahorses).
My question is..what the heck is it?
<A Zoanthid>
I've done hours of research but can't find a good photo match to it anywhere, so I thought I'd send it along and see if you guys know what it is I'm dealing with - partly because if it's going to grow up into a fish-eater, I'd like to know while I still have time to re-home it. The LFS owner/coral breeder said he'd gladly take it back any time I don't want it any more, so it has a good home either way.
Thanks in advance for your help and for the amazing resource you provide.
I guarantee my tank would not be the success story it is without WetWebMedia.
Susan Spann
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm
and the linked FAQs file above re this group's Compatibility... There are some aspects of their biology you should be aware of. Bob Fenner>

Re: Mystery coral ID? 8/9/11
Thank you very much Bob (and Company!),
I was delighted to see that this is apparently a (weird) Zoanthid. My tank is very Zoanthid-friendly, and though I won't move this one near any of the more standard-looking varieties I think it will continue to get along very well here. Thank you again for your help!
PS - I promise never to do the "ooh neat!" thing again. It's too much stress!
<Heeeee! A common human trait... I often think that our attentiveness to "new, shiny things" is likely a positive trait, accounts for our apparent progress... Cheers, BobF>
Re: Mystery coral ID? 8/9/11
One last email to thank you guys a final time. After reading everything I could find on your Zoanthid pages (again...I have some other Zoanthid/Palythoa species in the same tank) I've finally identified the little guy! Palythoa caesia -
<Ah yes>
I found images on the 'web that match mine exactly. Thank you so much! (Incidentally, this also explains why it likes being target fed frozen mysis along with the standard phyto/oysterfeast/rotifer combination I feed the tank).
Thanks a ton! I don't think I ever would have found it without you!
Susan Spann
<Cheers again. B>

Lighting question along with "what are these things?" 8/7/11
<Hello Darrel>
First off, thanks again for all you do.
<Thank you>
I hope it doesn't get tiring hearing how much all of us appreciate your expert help. It makes this hobby more enjoyable when we know we're doing it right, or at least have some place to come to learn and correct what we were doing wrong.
<I agree>
My own knowledge is light years ahead of where it was before I found your site (and bought and read Bob's book!). So, a big THANK YOU to the whole crew. :-)
<I'm sure they/ we all appreciate your gratitude, thank you>
Onto my questions...
Reviewing the FAQs, I see that 1-2 watts/gallon is about right for live rock (assuming you want coralline growth), and 3-4 watts/gallon is about right for corals.
<Mmm, I am not a fan of these 'rules of thumb' personally>
My current tank is 75 gallons, 48" long x 18" wide x 20" deep/tall.
<A narrow, deep tank, thus my earlier statement>
My lighting, I'm told, is 96W of power compact with a 34" bulb and half the bulb being 10,000k and the other half being actinic (450nm),
<So only really 48 watts of useable light. Again...>
but I'm not seeing any coralline growth. Maybe I'm not waiting long enough?
<This lighting is inadequate. You will see coralline growth, but it will be v. slow>
Are the rocks too far down in the tank? They all occupy the bottom half right now.
I started adding live rock 3 months ago. If I had a patch about a half inch by a half inch, how long would it take that to become an inch x inch, assuming good conditions?
<Depends on the species, but some can grow rapidly, days, weeks. Not months.>
My tested parameters are:
pH = 8.3
Ammonia = 0
Nitrite = 0
Nitrate = <2.5
CA = 460
dKH = 11
PO4 = 2.0
<Too high>
MG = 1650 <- does this seem overly high? I'm not adding anything to make it so.
<Yes, I would check your test kit against another. Take some water to your LFS for testing>
SG = 1.024
<I would raise this one notch>
Temp 25C
<Apart from the Mg & PO4 these parameters seem pretty good to me. High phosphate inhibits calcification though, in both corals and coralline algae. Look this up : http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2006-09/rhf/index.php you need to reduce it>
96W 10,000k/actinic
<This lighting is inadequate>
Maybe 40 lbs of live rock so far - will be adding more <I would buy the amount of live rock that makes your system look how you want it to look rather than to achieve any rule of thumb you might have read>
Also, my hood has a place for another 4-pin PC bulb like the first, and that would give me 96x2 = 192W, or 192/75 = 2.65watts/gallon.
<This would be better, if you do then go for an all-white 10K bulb. You could look to retro-fitting T5 lights here instead for better results. 4 x 39W bulbs should do the trick, three white one blue>
I do have 1/4" acrylic between the light and the water, and the light is about 4" from the water itself.
<Ok. You could lower these a couple of inches, possibly utilising some fans somewhere if the plastic starts to bow with the heat>
Is that sufficient for some of the corals and anemones (excluding Aiptasia!), or do I need to get even more light before
considering those animals? Maybe I need to do a search on non-photosynthetic corals and anemones?
<These are difficult to keep. I would stick with the trusted and tried until you are more comfortable>
When I run just the one 50/50 bulb, the bulb is warm, but not hot. When I plug in the other bulb to try to run them both, both bulbs get quite hot (I guess about as hot as a regular incandescent would) and will actually warm
the water. Is that consistent with what you know about PC lighting?
<All lighting will do this to an extent>
There are currently no fans to move the heat, so if I want to plug in the
bulb (which I think I do), I'll need to retrofit some fans or something to blow the heat out,
<Ahh! I did elude to this earlier>
but I don't want to spend time doing that if the behavior is indicative of a problem - I'd rather just limp along on one warm 96W bulb until I can afford new lighting. Of course, if that behavior
is normal, I'll start looking into installing some fans.
<I would, and plug in the other bulb>
<Ok, before we get to this one I have one more suggestion for you: Purchase a couple of pieces of live rock with really good coralline growth on already, perhaps some second-hand that has been in a reef tank for some time to 'seed' your tank>
I've got some things in my tank that hitchhiked on my live rock and I'd like to know what they are.
<These look like Majano Anemones to me http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemoniafaqs.htm?h=>
I looked at all the pics on the LR ID pages, and the closest I see is the one on page 12 (LRID12) that describes a possible Zoanthid, but when I go to the page referenced there, nothing there looks like what I have, so I don't think it's that. They're cool looking,
and most of them seem to be doing well, but one I have on another rock is not fully extending like the others are. It seems to not be as healthy, I guess. Do those have any special needs, or can I assume that whatever I'm providing is correct because the other two dozen or so of these that I have
seem happy?
<If these are Majano then they are considered a pest. They will sting corals, but are otherwise pretty harmless. Some people like them, they are attractive, but having a plague of them is not generally considered to be a good thing>
Most are small, like maybe 1/4" across. Note that the happy ones are all on one rock, while the less happy one is by itself on another near by at about the same height. I'm providing a picture of the largest one, which was torn when I got it, but has repaired itself quite nicely and is just over half an inch tall.
Side note - thanks for turning me on to live rock! I find it extremely interesting and I actually spend more time looking at it than I do my actual fish. LOL! It's just fascinating stuff. :-)
<Heee! This hobby can make geeks of all of us sometimes! Welcome to the club!>
Thanks again, and I eagerly await your answers.
<No Problem>
<Simon><<Look more like Mushrooms, Corallimorpharians to me. RMF>>

Green polyps on an Idaho Grape Monti 7/22/11
Hi folks,
The other day I discovered that the new growth around the edges of some of the little chips of Tyree LE Idaho Grape Monti that are around my tank have green polyps instead of purple. It is only in the new areas, mostly around edges with a polyp or two or three on the main area - the rest of the polyps are purple like normal. Nothing has changed in my system. I would like to know how such a thing could happen. A fellow WAMAS member conjectured a possible Zooxanthellae protein exchange in my tank with something else, but I can't find information about this topic.
<Might be... or some aspect of water chemistry favouring the production of this sort of pigmentation here... or even another Polypoid organism.>
I found one post in the old archives of the RC forum where a guy reported having green polyps on the Tyree LE Idaho Grape Monti, but responses were to the effect of it not being that type of coral (since it was an archived post, I couldn't respond to it). I'm hoping one or more of you folks can give me some info or direct me to an info source. My camera doesn't have good enough resolution to get a decent shot of this, but attaching the best I could get (the piece of coral with the green polyps on the perimeter is less than 1/2" in diameter).
Coral's background: I bought a frag of this coral a couple years ago from a fellow WAMAS member, and have since sold/traded a bunch of frags. A few months ago I decided that the coral, which was very thoroughly encrusted, was in a really bad place and was keeping me from growing other corals do to shadowing and the amount of space it was taking in an area that I wanted for Acros. I broke as much as I could off the rock to sell & trade, then scraped off as much as I could of what remained. Due to heavy encrustation, I could not remove all of the coral and it grows like a weed. I glued about a couple dozen tiny chips (1/4" - 1/2") all over a fist-sized piece of rock from my refugium, and some 1/2" - 1" pieces to a 6" Acro skeleton - growth pattern of these bits as they encrust into each other is very cool. The new growth area where the green polyps are coming out, are on these chips and bits, plus on the stuff I couldn't scrape off the main rock structure.
System info: 75 gallon mostly hard coral reef tank, system volume 110 gallons (adding sump & refugium, then subtracting displacement), running about 8 months (with contents from the tank I broke before I moved... I've been in the hobby roughly 15 years and some of the liverock is from back then). T-5 lights, long-term Prodibio Biodigest dosing, protein skimmer pulls dark thick gunk, shallow sand. Nitrate undetectable, phosphate undetectable, nitrite zero, ammonia zero, specific gravity 1.025, avg temp 79f, pH 7.9, Alk is in the "normal" color range of the test kit color card, calcium 420 (I have trouble with the definition of "blue" in absence of a color chart comparison, so the 420 figure may be inaccurate). Using RODI water.
My post on WAMAS about this: http://www.wamas.org/forums/topic/44483-what/
Thanks bunches! Sincerely,
F. Mills
<I might try fragging a central piece... seeing if you can culture it w/o the green surrounding biomass. Bob Fenner>

re: Green polyps on an Idaho Grape Monti 7/31/11
Thanks for responding again. I finally figured out that I got the frag from which I grew these green-polyped pieces, from John Coppolino (the angel fish guy... maybe you know who he is, maybe not), <I have met the effusive JohnC at a few hobbyist venues>
in April of 2008. I sent him a PM on WAMAS, but haven't seen him around for a while, so I'm not sure if he'll answer any time soon about the parent colony's origin. So I posted on WAMAS to see if anyone else who got a frag from him knows the origin of his colony. Hopefully, I'll get some information soon. I guess if John's colony came from a frag of Tyree's colony, I'll have to make an inquiry in that direction. Sincerely, F.
<Thanks. BobF>

Polyp ID 5/17/2011
Dear crew,
First off I would like to ask if the site has been compromised or something of the sort, because a Google search (I am lazy) of WetWebMedia told me that "this site may be compromised" and when I clicked on the link it warned me not to proceed. Are you aware of any reason for this?
<We are aware of this problem and are currently working on it. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused you.>
As to my query, I was wondering if you could ID this polyp for me.
<Which polyp?>
At the moment it is only 1/8" inch across, with 8 tentacles and is a pale white. It looks exactly like an Alcyonium polyp, however because it is solitary and affixed directly to the rock I am not certain. I believe it to be a piece of Hawaiian live rock because of the presence of Sarcothelia Edmondsoni and Hawaiian feather dusters on it, in addition to the fact that it appears to be of volcanic nature, if that can help with a possible ID.
I looked into the octocorallia but saw nothing like this as a solitary polyp. I'm quite certain it is not a Manejo or Aiptasia because it only has 8 tentacles.
Any ideas?
<Any pictures? Impossible for anyone here to ID based on your description.>
As always, best regards,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

New Coral, ID 4/28/11
Hi WWM crew:
<Howsit Jeff?>
I am hoping you might be able to help me ID the coral in the attached photos. I had a tough time getting a good picture of this coral (of course, I can get good photos of all others).
This coral grew from nowhere on the rock it is one. It must be some sort of an octocoral, but just cannot tell anymore than that.
Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!!
Cheers Jeff
<Is a small Sarcophyton sp.. Will be getting MUCH larger in time. Bob Fenner>

Re: New Coral 4/28/11
Thanks Bob! Thought so but the small ones do look different that the larger ones.
<Mmm, see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcyoniidsii.htm
for the genus. BobF>

Help! SW ID, no pic... 4/16/11
I have recently noticed some tiny, almost flowerlike things growing on my live rock in my 110 gallon tank. I have tried to do research to figure out what they could be, but came out empty handed. They are very, very small, and are a white/transparent-ish color. They are only growing on my "live" rock rather than on my "real reef" rock. Help please! Thanks!
<Likely some type/species of Polypoid Cnidarian life... Read here:
and peruse here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CnidIDF26.htm
and the linked files above... Perhaps a Hydroid/Hydrozoan... Do send along a well-resolved pic if/when you can. Bob Fenner>

Re: Help! 4/16/11
Thank you, I have attached the nest pictures I could. One just shows how small they are compared to my tank.
<Mmm, we ask that people limit their file sizes to a few hundred Kbytes... yours are six and a half plus megs... These are likely what I stated before, perhaps Zoanthids. Read where you were previously referred. B>
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