FAQs about Sea Mats, Star Polyps Identification
Related Articles: Mat/Star Polyps, Blue, Pipe Organ Corals,
Related FAQs: Polyp/Clavulariid Identification, Polyp/Clavulariid ID 2, Polyp/Clavulariid ID 4, & Polyps 1, Polyps
2, Polyps 3, Polyp Behavior, Polyp Compatibility, Polyp Selection, Polyp Systems, Polyp Feeding, Polyp Disease, Polyp Reproduction/Propagation,
Polyps? ID, control 4/28/20
These pesky bluish polyp-y things are taking over the rocks in my tank, and
killing off some of my SPS. Any idea what this is and how to rid my tank of
<These appear to be Clove polyps, a very invasive species and very hard to
eradicate once it has overgrown your tank, sometimes requiring tearing down
the whole system. There are several suggested methods to deal with these
Clavulariids, such as: vinegar, Aiptasia X, Kalkwasser, tuxedo urchins, and
Fenbendazole (canine dewormer), this last has proven to be the most
effective of the above, the main drawback is that it is too risky to treat
the entire tank with this anti parasitic as it may kill other desirable
corals; the best approach is to remove the invaded rocks and treat them
separately, do bear in mind that none of the mentioned options guarantees
100% effectiveness, but are worth trying since clove polyps may end up
killing other desirable corals. Hope this helps. Wil.>
softie Acan hitchhiker 1/28/16
Can anyone ID this? I have found three people who have this hitchhiker, always
on an Acan it seems. Mine is a softie ;not a clove, palm tree, pipe organ,
xenia, anthelia, daisy or anything else I can find a name for.
<... the Clavularian in this tiny pic?>
[image: Inline image 1]
thank you for any help you can offer,
Rebecca A Linden
Re: softie Acan hitchhiker 1/28/16
Thank you, this one does not seem to match any species pictured there?
<There are many... >
It has no hard pipe, so not a pipe organ. It has no spot in the center, so not
GSP. very slight to no dissection in the "petals" so not a clove. More "petals"
than a daisy.
<Still a Clavulariid almost certainly. BobF>
Question about this picture
My friends tank wasn't doing so well so he asked if I could put these
into my tank he said they were turquoise and purple stag horn.
I know this information isn't correct, I have two clowns , arrow crab, 2
mandarin gobies and a Haitian anemone here's a picture thank you for
<... ? Looks to be a Stoloniferan, Clavulariid
or relative of some sort. See WWM re this group. Bob Fenner>
could you ID these creatures?
Hi WWM Crew,
I have attached two pictures for you. Curious what these are...
and if they are invasive.
<Mmm, can be... the first is a Clavulariid, the second Anemonia. See WWM
re. Bob Fenner>
They have started to grow throughout my tank... not many but they have
come up quickly. If these are invasive, I would like to know
sooner than later so I can take care of them. Does not look like
Aiptasia. Could it be Majano... thoughts?
Polyp or pest? 2/23/13
~month ago got some new live rock. Quarantined it for a couple of weeks,
didn't notice anything before moving into my tank with other inverts.
A week later, under one of my Ricordeas, noticed these little guys -
tentacles don't seem as long as Aiptasia nor as squat as majano but a
bit worried nonetheless since noticing this little cluster. They do seem
to consistently have 8 tentacles.
<Yes; an Octocoral... Likely a Clavulariid, Stoloniferan...>
Friendly addition or something to remove?
<I'd leave; likely innocuous, and nice to look at. Bob Fenner>
Coral or Pest, both, neither?
I've been trying to identify this, and I cannot find anything
exactly alike. I'm assuming it's some sort of
<Ah yes. Appears to be a Clavulariid>
but cannot confirm this.
Would you be able to let me know the name of this, and if I
should keep it or eliminate it?
<If not bothering, or displacing something/s more valuable,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>
Purple Flower? (Nope'¦a Clavulariid) --
Hi there, love your site!
I recently obtained this tank from someone and didn't get a
whole lot of information on its inhabitants. I've been trying
to find what this plant or coral is, turned out blue in the
picture, but they're really purple, small flowers almost. Any
<<Indeed'¦ Is an Octocoral'¦a
Clavulariid species'¦often sold/traded under the
common name of Clove Polyp. Have a look here
(http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm ) and among the
links in blue at the top of the page'¦do also search
the Net in general re>>
Also since he managed to get into the frame, although a little
blurry... what is the brown sun-like plant/coral in the
background? Once when cleaning the tank, I bumped him with the
siphon and he retracted completely into the rock.
<<Is an Aiptasia species'¦commonly considered a
'pest' anemone and generally undesirable (can proliferate
explosively and damage its neighbors). Do read here
) and browse here and among the links as well
My new green bubble tip anemone snuck into the picture as well.
<<I see it'¦and likely too close to the Clove
Polyps. Please search our site re the mixing of sessile and
Thanks for your help!
<<Happy to share'¦ Eric Russell>>
Re: Purple Flower? (Nope'¦a Clavulariid),
& now... BTA comp. -- 12/07/11
Thanks for the info!
<<Quite Welcome, Julie>>
Well the anemone moved there himself. But has
moved a little ways away now. Could that be why he's lost his
color? Being too close to the polyp?
<<That'¦or other environmental issues (e.g. --
lighting, water quality, etc.)>>
Also apologies but I'm having a hard time finding the
sessile/non-sessile info on your site.
<<Mixing sessile with non-sessile inverts (though it
'can' be done in a large enough system) is generally not
encouraged, especially with new/inexperienced aquarists. In fact,
compatibility among Cnidarians as a whole is often overlooked or
even ignored by many hobbyists, inexperienced and not. Have a
read of the info at these links, and do also browse among the
links provided at the top of the pages.
<<Happy to share'¦ EricR>>
R2: Purple Flower? (Nope'¦a Clavulariid),
BTA.... sys? -- 12/09/11
Thank you for the info.
My water quality is perfect,
and just got new lighting before I got the BTA. It is basic, so
that could be a problem. Coralife T5 24W Actinic and 10K 24W
daylight, cycled on and off for day and night. Fixture to bottom
of the tank distance is 19 inches; he's nearer to the
<<The lighting may well be insufficient, but if the anemone
is hiding and water quality is truly
'perfect''¦there is likely an issue with
allelopathy or harassment from a tankmate. Or perhaps the anemone
was already compromised when purchased>>
My tank is approx 8 months old, so should be established enough.
It's interesting the articles say to put them under more
circulated areas. That's where I placed him initially, and he
moved away from there immediately and is hiding in probably the
"least" circulated area of the tank.
<<If this 'more circulated' area was being directly
blasted by a powerhead then yes, the anemone would not like that.
Better water movement/circulation would be provided by one of the
many 'propeller' pumps available for such'¦and
preferably configured to provide a gyre-type flow
Feeding 2-3 times a week, either brine or Mysis shrimp. Have a
clownfish, but he hasn't discovered it yet, only had him a
few days. Also, the BTA is very small, approx 1 1/2 inch base, so
that may be another reason for not doing well.
I'm not extremely attached to the polyp, would rather have
the BTA, so I may get rid of that and see how he does.
<<Do read up on/consider a system designed solely for the
Algae Identification -- 10/12/11
First off, thanks for all the years of being here for us!
I noticed this form of algae popping up all over my live rock
over the last week. The only algae it resembles at all to me is,
Acetabularia acetabulum (mermaid's wine glass).
Can you please help me identify it and let me know if it could
take over my tank. The algae is white with a green stem hard to
the touch, looks like a daisy, and does not retract when touched;
but the flower (as I'm calling it) portion of it falls off if
I try to move it back and forth.
My reef tank is 30 gallons with a 20 gallon sump. I am running a
CPR Aquafuge Small and a protein skimmer.
Here are a couple of pictures of the algae:
<Mmm, I think this is an Octocoral of some sort... A
Clavulariid... Do see the Net re... Bob Fenner>
Re: Hi quick question regarding weird growths
I wrote awhile ago on identifying this weird creature / anemone /
something that was growing on my rocks, I sent some pictures, but
they were very small at that time.
Since then my camera skills have improved and the
"creature/anemone/whatever" has grown and spread on it
rock considerably (though doesn't seem to want to spread to
any other rocks - which is a shame, I quite like it!)
Anyway I've included the two pictures in the hope you may be
able to shed further light on this bizarre carpet, 8 armed thing
that appeared from nowhere out of live rock! also if its
<Is an Octocoral... a Clavulariid of some sort... Please read
and the linked files above... Are good tank additions, as long as
they don't spread too much... Best to keep isolated to
certain rocks. Bob Fenner>
Re: Hi quick question regarding weird growths
ps if it helps any its a 65 liter "Nano copy" Superfish
aquarium with somewhere between 8 - 10 kg of live rock 5 hermits
and a very small blue/yellow damson.
There is no skimmer
<Likely part of the reason for you/their success here... the
skimmer would likely remove too much food>
just LOTS of water movement with 2 internal filters (filled with
carbon and Fluval Clearmax, sandwiched between filter wool, I
change the wool every week), and a Koralia Nano movement pump
(900lts an hour) the filters are a 200 ltr an hour one that came
with the tank (fitted with a spray bar - which I keep about an
inch and a half under the water pointing at the surface) and a
900 ltr an hour Ferplast with a dampener on the end to spread the
the maintenance schedule is I mix up about 30 ltr of saltwater a
week and at the end of the week use about 3/4 of it to do a big
change and clean(including filter wool) then mid week use the
rest for a refresh. As I was told without a skimmer I should be
pretty spot on with water changes etc.
<And you, BobF>
|Re: Hi quick question regarding
weird growths 6/10/2010
Question about his actually (briefly) is this too much water
and what the best light period for the day (the lights are what
came with the tank a blue and white compact t5 thing) I've been
giving about 7 hours, but I do fight with the algae!
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/lgttimerstimingfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. B>
Encrusting coral identification 2/4/2010
Hello again WWM crew
how are you guys?
<Tired. And hungry. And losing weight. But at least I am still
I`m sending this message because I recently obtained a very
striking addition to my biocube.
A very brilliantly colored blue encrusting coral of some
<Mmmm, this coral has a basal mat, looks like a Clavulariid to
I've looked around the web and the closest thing I`ve found
is labeled as a Clavularia.
<Yes! This is what I think it is, 'Star
however I`m not quite sure if its Clavularia or Anthelia.
<Anthelia I think has larger 'stalks' and looks a
little like Xenia, but with a basal mat and without the pulse. I
think this is a Clavularia>
It might be some weird type of Anthelia because I was able to
determine that the polyps are non-retractile.
Rather they simply shrink with the tentacles still exposed as
apposed to pulling into a calyx entirely like other encrusting
corals I`ve seen.
The word I have heard is that Clavularia is fully retractile and
Anthelia is not.
<Mmmm, I've not heard this, but I am not an authority on
so this is why I am slightly confused, not to mention I`m
uncertain as to the validity of the aforementioned
The polyps themselves are very tiny, but the color is noticeable
from across the room.
I`ve tried doing some reading about Clavularia and generally it
seems they are simple to care for, but if this is Anthelia then
wouldn't that render its hardiness to about that of a Xenia
being that its a Xeniid?
<Mmmm, yes, but pretty similar care considerations>.
I could be easily wrong on all counts here or just over
simplifying the issue with my lack of knowledge.
Any info would be greatly appreciated, I love Octocorals.
<They are beautiful indeed>
<Simon, who has just had to go through this message correcting
much spelling & grammar here>
Re: 03/02/10 Encrusting coral identification
Thanks for the reply! Sorry for the abysmal grammar and
That is the last time I am going to write emails past midnight.
I`ll take your word that it is a Clavulariid.
<Does look like one to me>
The photograph does not do this coral any justice, the flash on
my camera makes it look very washed out.
In person the coloration is much different, it has more of a
metallic blue color with a slight suggestion of violet in the
I just conducted a closer inspection of the coral. The basal mat
looks very patchy and difficult to see.
<But it is there>
The mat grows almost like a net or a web and it is nearly
Thanks for the help guys.
<No problem at all, Simon>
Re: coral ID 08/15/09
Thanks for the speedy reply! He also listed this other item but
he can't remember what it is called either. Any ideas? (see
<Oh, that's an easy one... green star polyps, genus
Green Star / Gorgonia ID please? 7/8/09
Hi there crew! My first time writing in! :)
I have attached a photo of some "Green Star Polyps"
that I bought several years ago. I bought it because I have never
seen GSP quite like this type, nor have I seen it again. It is
indeed ULTRA neon. I have hunted around to try to find a specie
name, but I have yet to be able to even figure out the genus.
Could you please possibly shed some light?
<Is a beauty... likely a Pachyclavularia violacea species...
they occur in different colours>
Oh, it is encrusting, and grows in fingers along the surface. I
also attached a photo of it's growth pattern (as seen from
the back side of the glass).
Thank you so much!
<Mmm, your second image is a Rhodophyte (red algae) in a
reproductive phase... the bumpy bits at the top. Bob
Re: Green Star / Gorgonia ID please?
Thank you so much for your reply!! So, it's just
"basic" GSP, but a different color? How boring. Hahaha!
I'm kidding. Here I thought it was different since the shape
of the stars is so much different.
That second photo is actually of the GSP growing on the glass.
I'm pretty sure there is no algae growing with it. The photo
is taken from the underside of the GSP mat. When it first starts
growing the mat isn't very purple, but purples up as it ages.
If you look real closely you can see the green stars peeking out
from the other side. I can take photos from a different angle if
you would like. :)
<Geez, I've got to wake up a bit more before responding to
queries... My eyes are getting "sunburned" down here in
Key Largo. Cheers, BobF>
Soft coral ID... Octocoral 5/16/09
Hello, and thanks again for the superb site.
< Hello >
Quick question on ID of a ? type of xenia that I obtained on some
live rock (photo attached). I believe it to be a type of xenia,
or maybe more likely Xeniid, but could not find a similar sample
looking at tons of photos
online. Most if not all the xenia sp. I saw had multiple polyps
per stalk, these are all single.
< The 8 tentacles leads me to believe it is a type of
And, bonus question, what is the green sphere?
< Appears to be Valonia (Bubble Algae). Read here
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/greenalg.htm GA Jenkins >