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FAQs on Stinging-Celled Animal Compatibility 3

Related Articles: 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians  by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  by Bob Fenner, Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Compatibility 1, Cnidarian Compatibility 2, Cnidarian Compatibility 4, Cnidarian Compatibility 5, Anemone Compatibility, Coral Compatibility, Zoanthid Compatibility, Mushroom Compatibility, Soft Coral Compatibility, Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarian Identification, Cnidarian Selection, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Feeding, Cnidarian Disease, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

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Livestocking Pico, Nano, Mini-Reefs; Small Marine Aquariums
Successfully discovering, determining, picking out the best species, specimens for under 40 gallon saltwater systems.
Book 1: Principles, Algae, Invertebrates

by Robert (Bob) Fenner
Hi - coral question and other matters   3/19/07 <Hi Brian, Mich here.> THANKS FOR YOUR WEBSITE! My local fish store has closed and you are the best resource I have. <Thank you for your kind words.  Glad you found us.> I have a 25 gallon Eclipse marine tank with live rock, live sand, 6 cleaner crabs, a brittle starfish, a Condy anemone, <Watch this.>  4 fish (blue/yellow tailed damsel, blue green reef Chromis, clarkii clownfish and Firefish goby) <Full!> and some coral. The tank has been setup for 2 years.  The fish/ crabs/ star/ anemone are 18-24 months old, while the coral is 10 months old. I change the water every two weeks and this seems to keep the fish healthy. <For future reference please give percent water change.> When I bought the brain (Left of photo - is this a Favites?) <Could be.> coral I noticed two hitchhikers on the rock it came with. The first is a beautiful bright green disk coral (center of photo - Trachyphyllia geoffroyi?) <Looks like it.  More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm > and a single brown tube coral ( right of photo  - Tubastrea coral?) <Definitely not.>.   The disk coral has gotten bigger in diameter over the past year and seems quite happy. The brown coral has multiplied a hundredfold...it now is a complete colony on the right side of the tank (this picture shows about 25% of the total population). Here are my questions 1. Should I consider culling the brown coral? I have small tank and fear that the heavy bio-load is taxing the system, particularly if it grows unimpeded. If I should cull it..., how? <A Houston...  Looks like Aiptasia to me. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/aiptasiaantoine.htm  > 2. Do you agree with my coral ID? <Appears to be in the family Faviidae, there are many genera in this family and it is difficult for even professional taxonomists to correctly identify, but most in the family are fairly hardy and have similar care requirements.  Could also be a Goniastrea or Platygyra.  More here and related links in blue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidae.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidae2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidae3.htm  > 3. Above the Favites (upper left of photo) is a small green "thing".   <Algae.> This has come and gone over the past 12 months but lately has been seen more often (in same spot) and is getting bigger. Is this hair algae? Most pictures of hair algae show a bright green plant...this is a dark forest green color.   Should I cull it? <Yes probably for the best here.  Is likely Bryopsis or Cladophora.> 4. The anemone is getting very big. He has moved around the tank a few times over the past 12 months. <In my opinion, a disaster waiting to happen.> He camped out by some mushroom coral and effectively ate it. <Yep!  Not surprising.> I now know that you recommend against these critters... I tried to move him but he is stuck tight to a rock. Any suggestions for moving him? <Sometimes blocking the light will encourage movement... but be prepared for potential problems... i.e. overflows, powerhead intakes...> I keep him well fed to simmer his aggression <Good luck my friend.> Thanks in advance
<Welcome!  Mich>

Finger coral help ) 3/14/07 <Hi Craig, Mich here.> I have a finger coral that opened all time until a few months ago.   <OK.  Many possible changes could have occurred within this time frame.> Now he only opens very slightly. <He doesn't sound happy.> His base is now shedding white spine type things. <Mmm, definitely not happy.> Water parameters are 1.0026sg, <1.026?> nitrite 0,nitrate 5ppm,<prefer 0 ppm> ammonia 0,and pH is 8.2. What can I do to help it? <What have you added to the tank in the last few months.  Could be allelopathy.> Do I need to cut him above the flake bit or leave it alone to see what happens? <I might be inclined to frag it and keep the remaining tissue healthy.  Cut your losses so to speak.> I have attached a picture of coral. <Sorry Craig, but I was not able to view the picture.  Not sure why.> <<Me neither. RMF>> Hope you can help. <Me too!  -Mich> <<Mmm, were you the person who sent the pix (see the Dailies, today... with these Aiptasia? If so, these are mal-affecting your "Finger Coral". RMF>> Craig

B Is this the pic you wanted to include? Is Parazoanthus sp (yellow polyps), No? Not Aiptasia, right? M <Might be... and still implicated! B>  

Hey Hey... time to read eh? Cnid. incomp.   3/14/07 Hey Guys/Girls <Kyle> Thanks for everything you do, you have no idea how much it is appreciated. <Welcome> My problem is with my 30-gallon tank. I'll give you my stats before I explain the problem. I use R.O water, Calcium 425, Alk 10 KH, PH 8.2   Salinity 1.026 temp 78. I use 5 drops of ESV iodine a day. (I know my alk is high and cal is low but I have been adding supplements and its starting to balance out) <Mmm, do you test for this Iodine? I would not add it so frequently (any more than once a week), unless you did> I have a 15 gallon sump and a Rea sea prism Skimmer. My lights are approximately 16 inches from the surface of my tank. I have a clown fish, a Bicoloured angel, <Needs more room than this> a six line wrasse and a cleaner shrimp. I have been fighting with my polyps for about 3 months now. I was a fish only guy for about 2 years and decided to jump into coral. I bought a 250W Metal halide light thinking I was going to up grade my tank in the summer. <Mmm, a lot of light for this size/volume...> I bought a Zoanthus frag and was given a small Acro frag to start. Everything was going well the Zoas and Acro were both growing. So I purchased a frag of leather, xenia green torch coral and was given a clam. <Whoa, whoa whooooooaaaaah. All these animals in a thirty?> The clam has been healthy ever since, no rips perfect colour and responds well to light changes. But this was the last day I ever saw my Zoas open. I did some reading and found that Leather lets off toxins that can poison the rest of your coral and a good way to combat this is with Carbon. <Is one approach... However... adding small specimens... over a long period of time... one at an interval... many other techniques are recommended...> I bought carbon and put about 3 cups full <!> into a mesh bag and placed the bag in a low flow area in my sump. I also relocated the Zoas several time hoping they were just not liking the spot they were in. After 2 weeks everything still looked poor and my Acro frag bleached. I also read that Green torch coral is one of the more aggressive species of coral. (like I said I'm still learning) <Not the easiest way...> So I decided I was going to remove the leather and the green torch coral and give it away. My tank has been free of leather and torch coral for approximately a month? still no change. A week ago I did a 50% water change hoping it would remove the toxins from the water? still no change. <All takes time...> Then I thought its probably the Zoas maybe there are so diseased they won't open. <They're relatively noxious as well...> One of my friends (being a nice guy) offered to take them from me and within a week they opened in his tank and looked moderately healthy. I then thought maybe they just aren't compatible with my tank so I asked him to frag some  Zoas for me that I could try in my tank. I dripped them into my tank  and they have been tightly closed for days now. Then I came home from  class today and noticed that there were brown stringy fibbers growing  out of the center of the new polyps. <Yikes...> I'm at a complete loss. I have no idea. I hope its just something  small I'm missing but I have read everything I can, and I need help.   are my lights to close to the tank? My water? If you could suggest  anything I would appreciate it. If you think pictures will help then i can take pictures and send them. Thank you very much Kyle <You need to know... a bunch... And not knowing you, what you already are aware of, I suggest you start by reading the survey articles on all the groups of Cnidarians you list here... and the related/linked FAQs files... Mmm, start here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm Bob Fenner>

Quarantine?  3/10/07 Dear WWM Crew, <Jan> As always, thanks for all of your help!!  It is a great comfort to be able to reach out to you folks and get such great advice and help! <Yes> We have a 72G reef tank with about 80 lbs. of LR.  Our water parameters are (Temp=77deg F, Sg=1.025, pH=8.3, Ca=380ppm, Mg=1290ppm, dKH=6.75, Ammonia & Nitrite=0ppm, NO3= 5ppm).  The tank was set up and cycled last May.    For about the last six months our live stock has consisted of a pair of clowns (A. ocellaris), a fat mandarin (S. splendidus), and a school of 9 Chromis viridis.  15 various corals, 2 tube worms (Protula magnifica) 2 turbo snails and some (+/- 8) blue legged hermit crabs.  In addition to this we have 3 peppermint shrimp (L. wurdemanni) & 2 fire shrimp (L. debelius) and 2 common cleaner shrimp (L. amboinensis). We have 3 questions. 1. Our LFS has been holding a Hawaiian Yellow Tang (Z. flavescens) for us for the last 2 weeks in their "quarantine" tank with water dosed with copper.  However, while the Tang has been alone in this tank, the tank is connected to other tanks running on the same water.  Should we quarantine this fish? If so, for the full month or just two weeks? <I would quarantine this fish, or at the very least run it through a prophylactic FW dip/bath... detailed on... WWM> 2. We are also thinking of adding a Lawnmower Blenny (S. fasciatus) as our tank has plenty of algae on the LR.  Given this fishes need to graze algae, should it be quarantined?  If so, for how long? <I would quarantine this species for two weeks... some smaller, likely-to-starve Blennioids for a shorter duration> 3. Also, concerning the Blenny & Tang, given the size of our tank and the current livestock listed above, do you see any potential problems with adding either or both of these fish? <Mmm, no... not really... The fifteen species of corals here (in a 72 nominal gallon volume) should not be added to though... as they are likely "used" to each other... will/would react to new Cnidarian life adversely> Thanks!! Jan & Ellen   <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Yellow polyps... toxic sys., incompatible mix of Cnid.s  3/6/07 Hey, i had a question about yellow polyps sea mat infections. I have had a 12 gallon reef for about 6 months now and one of the first pieces of coral I bought was a beautiful piece of yellow polyps, and i have slowly been adding a frag here and there. <Dangerous in such small volumes> The yellow polyps has slowly decline of there size and numbers. Now there are only a few polyps left and everything else in my tank is doing great. tanks specs. calcium- 430 ph- 9.2 <Way too high> water temp.77 - 79 nitrites- none ammonia- .3 <Toxic> nitrates. - 20- 25 <Too high> The polyps are in strong current flow and have nothing crawl on them but a cleaner shrimp. They are about 12 inches away from a 36 watt power compact 50-50 actinic and daylight. The other things in the tank are, a piece of LPS fairly close to it. Some green sea mats , xenia, button polyps, anemone and a clam. There are no Nudibranchs. i have noticed a long red polyp/worm like thing growing near them. thank you for the time Jake Damiano <You have an incompatible mix of cnidarians in a toxic setting... Please see WWM re all the mentioned factors above and each species "Compatibility", "Systems". Bob Fenner> What's the secret? Coral Compatibility 2/5/07 Hi there, <Hello Sameer> Greetings from India, <And from Michigan...brrr> Hope you are having a great day! This is Sameer from India. I wanted to know, that when we see the pictures of reef setups on website, we see small tanks which are fully loaded with corals of different types. These tanks are so filled up that we often don't see the live rocks too! The websites like http://www.garf.org/ etc, have such tanks which are small but amazingly beautiful. What is the secret behind such kind of stocking? <No secrets, just reading/learning.> Is there no chemical warfare? How do they control the war? <There will always be some warfare going on, but tanks such as these are best set-up with coral species from the same family to minimize the war.> How do they sustain such bio load in such small quarters? <The corals do not create near the bio load that fish do.> Also how do they manage the corals from touching each other when the tanks are so filled up? <Careful placement.> Because when we read on the FAQ's on WetWebMedia, we see that chemical warfare and compatibility is a major issue between corals and other inverts! <Yes, corals and anemones should not be kept in the same tank.> I have read that many times even the same species have warfare! <Yes, but not quite as  dangerous as mixing species in such small quarters.> I myself have a nano tank and hope to have different Zoanthids and Mushrooms only! what are the basic and common requirements for both? <Read here and linked files above.  Plenty of info here to pass a few nights.   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm> Also which would you suggest as beginner corals? <Geez, all depends on tank size, lighting, etc.> Often when I get Zoanthid frags, they don't open for weeks and the mistake I would do is keep moving them in the tank to adjust to the lighting, later they would just melt away! <The link above should give plenty of info.  Do read the FAQ's on such, learn from the experiences of others.> But in the same case Sea Fans and Favites Coral would settle down and open the same day on introduction to the tank! <Mmm, conditions to their liking.  Each specie of corals have their own requirements, but the one thing they share in common is photosynthesis.> So, maybe I should just leave them alone and watch them settle down! <And read/learn.> What is the *maximum* time (days) needed for them to settle down and open up? <Another loaded question.  All depends on your system.> So, I can wait for that period before discarding the animals! <Do read/learn my friend.> Thanks in advance! <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> cheers, Sameer

Coral/Anemone Compatibility 1/29/07 Hello, <Hi Mike> As everyone says at the beginning of their letters, "Thanks for all of your help and knowledge that you pass on to those of us who love this hobby." <Welcome.> This site really is a great resource and I really appreciate the time, passion and knowledge you all impart to us lesser beings. Anyway, I just have a quick question that I cannot find the answer to anywhere. The night before last, my Bubbletip anemone (huge) decided for some reason that his spot in the tank that he has resided at for the last four years was no longer suitable. As he made his way around the tank, either he or his partner in crime (maroon clownfish) knocked a new frag of plating Montipora down (I had not "glued" it in place yet, was waiting to make sure it was happy with its spot first). As luck would have it, the Montipora spent the night in the tentacles of the anemone. I have not seen the polyps of the Montipora since (my sons call the polyps, Cheerios). Is the Montipora doomed? Is there anything I can do to help or do I now just have an expensive decoration for my tank?   The only other difference in the tank is that the clownfish has been fanning substrate out of the way clouding up the tank. I have been gently squirting the residue off with a turkey baster. I wish now that I didn't have the anemone because I enjoy growing corals, but it has become such a fixture in the tank that I don't have the heart to part with it. <This is exactly why we do not recommend keeping corals with anemones. As for being doomed, time will tell.  I'd say it's not off to  a good start for sure.>   Thanks in advance for any wisdom you can impart, <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Mike

Nice SW Sys., too many incomp. Cnid.s   1/16/07 Hi WWM Crew. You've given me great advice in the past. I hope you can help me now. I'll start with my equipment and parameters. 75 Gallon mostly SPS 1 Tunze 6100 and 6095 controller Berlin skimmer rated up to 250 gallons wet dry trickle filter 2 250W HQI 15K 2 PC Actinic 125W Specific Gravity 1.025 Ammonia 0 Nitrate 0 Nitrite 0 PH 8.4 DKH 11 Calcium 450 2 A. Millepora                              2 Monti Digitata Superman Monti                         Spaghetti Leather Yellow Branching Porites            Galaxea Acropora Blue Tort                     Pavona Chips Acropora                          Turbinaria Tri Color Acropora                      Green Frogspawn Pectina                                     Button Polyps Pagoda cup                              Green Star Polyps Candy Cane Coral                     Orange Monti Cap Yellow Sun polyps                      Pocillopora Christmas Tree Coral                 Chili Coral Blue ridge Heliopora                   Pulsing Xenias Brown Hairy Mushrooms <Yowzah... a bunch/myriad of competing Cnidarian species> Blue Hippo Tang 2 Tomato Clowns Blue Damsel Kole Tang Fairy Wrasse Wow I think that's it. My problem is with my Superman Monti two parts of it are turning white. I know that's a bad sign. I have no bleaching on anything else. The Superman Monti's neighbors were the GSP and Button Polyps would either of those have anything to do with its color change? <Could very well, yes> Also my Chili Coral doesn't extend its polyps like it used to. <This Nephtheid is not easily kept> It is under a ledge receives little to no light <No problem with the lack of light here... is non-photosynthetic> and has great flow. If you have any advice or suggestions on either of these problems please help. Thanks again guys. Omar <Time to move some of these colonies really... there is too much really non-compatible life types crammed in here... Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcomp2faq.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: Nice SW Sys., too many incomp. Cnid.s, using WWM    1/17/06
Hi Guys. Thanks for the fast response. Could you help me identify which Cnidarian species I should remove. I do have a 29 gallon softie grow out tank that I could move some of them to. Any advice is good advice. About the Chili Coral do you have any suggestions on successfully keeping it in a captive reef. It was doing very well for 3-4 months and has grown considerably. I would like to keep it alive if possible. Thanks again. Omar <All of this and much more you'll be happy to have exposure to is posted on WWM... Please read there re the Systems and Compatibility of all the organisms you listed. Bob Fenner>

Last Fish...(Not The Best Choice) -- 01/11/07 Hey Guys an Gals, <<Cheers David!>> My wife and I have a 50 G tank with several corals and 3 small fish.  1- Galaxea (yes I know all about the sweepers) got it cheap and it might be moving out in the near future for trade. <<Mmm, yes...a very aggressive genus with a very strong 'sting'>> Has whole left half of aquarium to itself. <<Indeed>> Q: what is the proper item(s) to feed this coral?? <<Minced meaty marine foods, small Mysis shrimp, Sweetwater Plankton, Cyclop-eeze...a mixture of these>> Looking on WWM using Galaxea as a keyword I only find tentacle warnings. <<That's about to change [grin]>> 3- Ricordea Yumas have center of tank, placed a full 11" away from Galaxea. <<Wise...though the Ricordea can be quite nasty itself>> 1- LT plate coral far right side of tank on sand bottom. 2- Sarcophyton one 1" frag one 4" frag mid-level right side. <<Keep in mind these can/will grow large (some to a couple feet in diameter) and are quite noxious>> I use a Coralife lunar light. 1-96w compact fluorescent. 1-96w actinic and 2 small blue LEDs.  I keep 10000K on 9hrs, actinic comes on one hour before and stays on one hour after.  Blue LEDs are on at night.  Is this lighting enough for what I'm keeping? <<If the bulbs are close to the water and changed out regularly...just barely I think.  The addition of another 10000K bulb (even a smaller wattage, say 65W) is warranted here in my opinion>> I have two powerheads for movement one PowerSweep 228 and a Whisper 660. <<Another powerhead would not hurt either>> Use a Magnum H.O.T. 250 for carbon/phosphate remover. <<Excellent>> Running a Coralife Super Skimmer 65g which IMO works awesome, at least one inch of "nasty" in collection cup daily.  I had convinced myself that my fancy for trigger fish was not to be exercised until I read "Have you overlooked these fish" by Gregory Schiemer in the 2006 annual Marine Fish and Reef magazine.  After reading that article I have read everything I can on the Blue Throat triggerfish. <<An excellent species for reef tanks (have on in my reef), though I consider your tank too small for the long-term health of this fish>> My tank has a Tomato clown that I have had for 3 yrs and is only about 2 1/2 " (the alpha fish in this new 50. He has been in for a month now).  I added a Firefish and Falco Hawkfish the same week I added the clown. <<Kudos on the choice of Hawkfish...a small species (to about 3-inches), and attractive too>> Almost two months have passed.  Everyone eats fine.  Firefish is NOT afraid of "Hanging with the big boys" and eats as well as the clown. <<Good to hear...these shy fishes are often easily bullied to the point of starvation>> I just went by the LFS and there Screaming "buy me !! buy me !!" is a very small Blue throat, 3-inches. <<Uh-0h>> Now, I had already been doing the research and I'm convinced that everything in my tank should get along with some warnings of course.  And this 3" specimen really seems to be "the one last fish" ha ha hopefully. j/k <<Mmm...>> I had the store put it on hold.  I got a week to talk myself out of it.  Can you help talk me INTO it? <<I'm sorry to disappoint you...though it may not seem so now, your tank just isn't big enough (should be at least twice its size) for this large (grows to more than a foot), robust and active fish.  Many things affect the nature/behavior of fishes in captivity...and in my opinion an all too common practice in our hobby that mal-affects fishes more than many realize is placing them in too small volumes of water.  The argument that 'I'll upgrade when it gets too large for the tank' holds little weight as the fishes often develop behavioral disorders/develop health issues from the 'growing up' in a too small system...not to mention these 'promises to upgrade' rarely pan out for a myriad of reasons>> Ya think this fish will co-exist? <<The tankmates are fine...it's the housing that's inappropriate I'm afraid>> I have some small crabs, snails and such, and a sea hare that shows himself seldom (know about the possible ink too).  I am not worried about the clean up crew; they can be replaced if they disappear although I have read they will most likely be safe from the trigger.  My wife said "You know that's the last fish right?" She reads WWM too.:) <<Best to make it an appropriate selection then>> Please help us with our decision. <<I've given you my position on the matter...not what you wanted to hear I'm sure...but truly best for the trigger in my humble opinion>> David Conway <<Regards, Eric Russell>>

Anemone vs. coral ...Free Range Condys ...Time to Relocate.   1/8/07 Hello, <Hi Jay, Mich with you today.> great site, I have learned a lot from your site. <Thank you!  Always good to hear that someone has been able to use the site to educated themselves!> But I think I have made a mistake on my own, and need some advice. <Most mistakes we make ourselves.> I recently purchased an expensive Pagoda, not thinking-because I never had any trouble in the past, but now I am scared, I have 2 Condy anemone that like to move a lot, like every 2 days. <Yikes!> Should I fear for the safety of my Pagoda? <Ahh, yeah!> And should I loose the Condy's? <I would find them a new more appropriate home.  Please make sure whoever provides for the Condys is aware of their care requirements.> Thanks, Jay <Welcome! -Mich>

Coral Aggression/Toxicity/Location/Separation...And Drinking Beer! -- 01/04/07 Equipment: 72 gallon bowfront -- Upgraded from 30 gallon in June 06- Oolitic sand as substrate 10 gallon sump / refugium (below tank) with deep sand bed (Oolitic) and spaghetti algae Charcoal in sump (using Black Magic but switching to Chemi-pure and Poly-Fitter) <<Both excellent products>> Aqua C Remora Pro Skimmer with overflow box Circulating 700-800 gallons per minute (Mag Drive pump) <<...!?  I think you mean per hour>> Two powerheads (one rotating) for circulation TEK T-5 Light 6 -54 watt bulbs (two actinic) 90 pounds of live rock Livestock: 30 snails 30 Blue -Legged hermit crabs 1 Mithrax crab <<Do keep an eye on this...can be problematic, especially as it gets larger>> 1 Sea Hare 2 Cleaner shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) 1 Feather Duster worm (Sabellastarte sp.) 9 Blue Green Chromis (Chromis viridis) 1 Percula Clown (I think) 1 Six-line Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) 1 Lawnmower Blenny (Salarias fasciatus) 1 Colt or Tree coral (dropped 5 branchlets which are taking) (Cladiella?  Capnella?) <<I don't think this is Cladiella>> 12 Mushroom corals (Actinodiscus sp) Orange/Red Zoanthids / Sea Mat 12 Red Mangroves <<Really?>> Parameters: Spg- 1.027 <<I wouldn't go any higher than this...and would prefer 1.25-1.026>> 78 degrees Fahrenheit Ammonia -- 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate 15 ppm <<Not 'all that bad' but you should try to keep this around 10ppm or less to provide a bit more of a buffer against a higher spike>> pH 7.8 <<A tad low for my liking>> KH 4.8 per Salifert test (still trying to figure out what this means, Mardel dip strip shows Alkalinity at 300) <<Trash the dip strips...useless.  Go with the Salifert test kit...and let your alkalinity drop to 4 or below (see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alkalinity.htm)>> Calcium over 600 per Hagen test (?) <<Doubtful this is accurate as this much calcium coupled with your alkalinity level would have likely resulted in a precipitous event...though your current pH value may be suppressing the reaction due to the 'increased room' for more carbonates in solution at this lower pH.  I suggest you validate this reading with a 'quality' test kit (Salifert would be fine) and if this is a true reading, take steps to bring the calcium and alkalinity levels down before making any adjustments to pH>> Phosphate -- 0 Silicate -- 0 Total and Free chlorine - 0 No additives other than DeChlor currently being added. <<Hmm...would have thought sure you were adding/dosing calcium/alkalinity products.  All the more reason to double-check/validate those readings and if necessary, determine the cause for the high levels>> 5 gallon water changes done 1-2xs weekly. <<You might find 10-gallons changed bi-weekly to be just as beneficial as well as less stressful on/irritating to your tank inhabitants (from the constant chemical reactions taking place).  This would also give you more time to 'age' the water before adding it to the tank>> Hello and Happy New Year! <<Greetings to you in kind!>> I've spent the day - ok, I've been on your website for nearly a week continuously now- <<Hee-hee!  Tis lots to read/absorb>> reading the FAQs on Corallimorpharians << Corallimorpharians>> and I'm still a little confused; I hope you can clear a couple of things up for me. <<Let's see what I can do>> All the stuff I have questions about have a picture posted on this webpage:   http://www.flickr.com/photos/14939320@N00/ if you wish to see them (yes, I'm a dork, as my teenage daughter will happily tell you). <<Ahh teenagers...>> I couldn't change the order of the pics to make it easier for you, so I marked them: '***'. <<I see this...thank you>>   I've got a rock that has some orange cup-type Zoanthids on it. <<Mmm...these may well be Zoanthids, but based on the length and spacing/number of tentacles I'm inclined to think these are Palythoa.  These would have similar care requirements but are generally considered more noxious than Zoanthids and also happen to produce one of the most potent toxins in the animal kingdom>> Attached to the same rock are a couple of bluish mushrooms with some green fluorescence. <<I see this...much to close together...one or the other will likely win out/kill the other>> I upgraded the tank from a 30 gallon to a 72 in June. <<Cool!>> In the 30 gallon the Zoanthids were not happy-always closed up and whitish for awhile, but all the Shrooms appeared to be spreading and looked well. <<Don't discount the toxicity/noxious nature of the Corallimorphs either...quite nasty in their own right>> The 30 gallon had high nitrates, constant problems with hair algae, no skimming, and poor lighting. <<I see>> The water was 'nutrient rich' (although I'd be more inclined to say polluted). <<Thank you [grin]>> The current tank is better equipped to provide a healthy environment (specifics below <<I've moved these to the beginning of this query>>), although I'm still having a hair algae/nitrate struggle. <<Quite common...and if both are not 'out of bounds' dare I say, often quite acceptable too>> The Zoanthids have opened up and are a deep orange color (except when the cleaner shrimp prances around on top of them).  The Shroom= not happy.  Looks kind of banged up and never fully expands. <<Likely the polyps and Corallimorphs are taking turns beating each other up>> I occasionally spray slurry of Cyclop-eeze at the Shrooms in the tank, and all respond other than these unhappy-seeming ones.  Directly above the Shroom/Zoanthid rock is a small tree coral (Capnella, perhaps?), <<Perhaps...though the 'slimness' of the branches could mean a Lemnalia species or possibly a Litophyton species>> a surprise hitchhiker that has gone in size from so tiny you barely saw it to about 5 inches during the day.  It has started shedding branchlets in the area of the zoo/Shroom rock. <<Mmm, yes I see these>> Question 1 is probably obvious- do I move the rock with the Zoanthids and Shrooms attached away from the tree coral, or is this problem likely to continue as it's a conflict with the Zoanthids and Shrooms that are on the same rock? <<The close proximity of the Zoanthids and the Corallimorpharians is resulting in increased chemical warfare.  One or the other on its own would be a problem if placed to close to the Capnella/Lemnalia/Litophyton...but the two in conjunction and 'at war' is downright ghastly>> If so, what do I do or expect to happen? <<You need to provide some separation on 'all' counts.  Move the rock and also see about removing the Corallimorphs from the same rock as the Zoanthids>> Question 2- in another spot on my tank, I have a rock full of Shrooms that is exploding- started off with three little guys and now they're expanding and budding. <<These organisms can often spread to plague proportions...burning/killing other corals along the way>> They seem happy, but there are a few of the Shrooms that are extending their stalks as if trying to reach the light. <<Hmm, most have quite low lighting requirements.  I've even seen the more colorful specimens (shades of blue, red) turn brown under lighting that was too intense.  Perhaps they are seeking better water flow/more food.  Though they may not look it, they are quite active 'feeders' and benefit from occasional feedings of finely minced meaty foods>> Should I move them or leave them where they are since they mostly appear to be doing well? <<If they are not showing any deleterious effects I would leave them as they are>> I understand they don't like to be moved. <<As is the case with most any coral/invert...can be very stressful acclimating to the new location>> Question 3- I'm planning a trip to the LFS on Saturday and would like to pick up some more corals.  I'm trying to read all the FAQs on compatibility and get an idea what would be a good addition to the tank... but again, getting confused. <<Let me suggest rather than trying to learn everything about everything...that you find something you like and then do specific research on that species/specimen>> One place it says coral xxx is ok with Shrooms as long as you give them 6-inches space, in another place I see that coral xxx causes problems with mushrooms no matter where they are. <<Differences in opinions, experiences>> I understand there are many, many variables.... but am struggling to find a place to start.   Any quick word of advice on this?   <<Why, yes I do...  Research/pull your information from a variety of resources; the reef bulletin boards/forums, other hobbyists/LFS in your area, WWM, keyword searches on the NET, etc., and then use your own good judgment to make a decision>> Also, this is probably the 5th email that I've sent over the last year or so to you guys and gals- thanks so much for doing this. <<We're here because we choose to be...a 'labor of love' as Anthony C. use to say>> I'd happily buy each of you a beer, but will have to settle for drinking one in honor of each of you.... how many do we have in the crew currently? <<About nineteen presently...but rather than have all that fun by yourself, perhaps we'll meet-up at some pet-fish conference somewhere and you can make good on your offer...[grin]>> Maybe my liver would appreciate me donating the cost of a beer each to the website instead :-) <<Hmm...I/Bob might debate the sanity of that logic [grin], but more monies for future dive adventures is always welcome!>> Thanks , Stephanie in Santa Cruz, CA <<Is a pleasure to assist.  Eric Russell in Columbia, SC>> <I'll gladly accept beer, or beer-equivalents. RMF>  

Re: Coral Aggression/Toxicity/Location/Separation...And Drinking Beer! -- 01/05/07 (NOTE - New answers in this post are enclosed with brackets [[ ]] ) Hi Eric, [[Stephanie]] Thanks for the detailed reply! [[You're quite welcome]] 12 Red Mangroves <<Really?>> Is this too many? [[Seems like a bunch to me]] They're still very small, but I do tend to be the queen of overkill.  Figured if one had the ability to reduce nitrates, 12 is even better... (teenage daughter, again, rolling her eyes). [[Mmm...I have my doubts as to their true efficacy re measurable nitrate reduction in our systems.  Seems to me their growth rate/nutrient uptake is too slow to be any real benefit.  But I'm sure they aren't hurting anything...and if you like the look...]] I actually don't think they're doing any good. [[My argument exactly...much more efficient to employ an in-line vegetable refugium and culture a fast growing macro-alga such as Chaetomorpha]] Parameters: Spg- 1.027 <<I wouldn't go any higher than this...and would prefer 1.25-1.026>> How quickly can it be lowered? [[One one-thousandth of a unit every 24 hours is fine (e.g. from 1.027 to 1.026)]] I've been trying over the last week to lower it by doing water changes with 1.23 water. [[Yikes!  A typo I hope? (1.23 vs. 1.023)]] I'm not seeing any decrease yet, and was considering trying a 2 gallon change with RO freshwater... bad idea? [[Better to try with a smaller volume...just do 1-gallon changes with "buffered" RO water (allowing a little time between for the water to mix well) until you see a drop in specific gravity]] pH 7.8 <<A tad low for my liking>> Calcium over 600 per Hagen test (?) <<Doubtful this is accurate as this much calcium coupled with your alkalinity level would have likely resulted in a precipitous event...though your current pH value may be suppressing the reaction due to the "increased room" for more carbonates in solution at this lower pH.  I suggest you validate this reading with a "quality" test kit (Salifert would be fine) and if this is a true reading, take steps to bring the calcium and alkalinity levels down before making any adjustments to pH>> I'll order new Calcium and pH tests immediately from Marine Depot (Salifert), so that I can verify these results on a reliable test before I attempt to make changes. [[Excellent...and let me prompt you to consider an electronic meter for measuring pH.  Aside from initial/periodic calibration requirements, these meters are convenient to use giving instant and accurate readings that are more reliable; in my opinion, than those obtained with the hobbyist reagent test kits]] I've got a rock that has some orange cup-type Zoanthids on it. <<Mmm...these may well be Zoanthids, but based on the length and spacing/number of tentacles I'm inclined to think these are Palythoa.  These would have similar care requirements but are generally considered more noxious than Zoanthids and also happen to produce one of the most potent toxins in the animal kingdom>> <<You need to provide some separation on "all" counts.  Move the rock and also see about removing the Corallimorphs from the same rock as the Zoanthids>> Ack.  Just my luck. I did some Googling of "Palythoa", which led me to "Palytoxin" and was exceedingly displeased at what I found. [[Don't be "too" alarmed, Palythoa are very prevalent in the trade and most folks manage keep them without personal harm...though our pal Anthony Calfo, author and coral-fragger extraordinaire, did manage to poison himself on three different occasions while handling these organisms.  But no worries...you hardly notice the twitching when you talk to him (just kidding!)]] I don't relish the idea of hammering away at a rock to separate the mushrooms from the highly toxic things that can cause death in 3 minutes.... [[As long as you don't have any open wounds/sores that come in contact, and as long as you wash-up well afterwards I think you'll be fine]] Any suggestions before I evacuate all children and small animals from my household? [[Save the beer!]] Do I need to wear protective gear, like a Hazmat Suit? [[Hee!]] Seriously, what kind of precautions or process do I need to follow before I break out the chisel? [[Only as just outlined...with the addition of protective eyewear>> Do I need to separate the different corals underwater, and do I have to wait awhile before I put them in the display tank? [[You can remove/split the rock out of water (double-up a heavy towel on the kitchen table and go to work), and the corals can be returned to the tank immediately after...though I recommend having a container of clean seawater available to dunk in to rinse off the excess slime that will have been generated by the corals during handling.  And if you really don't want to split the rock, you can use an old carpenters wood chisel to "cut" a thin slice of rock from under the Corallimorphs to remove them (the carbonaceous rock actually cuts pretty easily this way)...then use Superglue to attach it/them to another rock]] Thanks again- any chance anyone from the Wet Web Crew will be in the Santa Cruz/San Jose area for conferences any time soon?  Gotta save up my money for beer for 19 :-) [[Hmm...Bob travels up and down the coast attending many of the various fish-dos there...and if I know him...he'll be glad to drink up for all of us!]] Stephanie [[Regards, Eric Russell]]

Re: poor English, our time, efforts   12/12/06 Crew <Hey Brian, JustinN here with you today. I apologize for what may be construed as a rude response here, but your message is incredibly poorly constructed. Misspellings, run on sentences, sentence fragments, missing punctuation, lack of capitalization, basically every standard that we request from our user base. For links, please start with this one: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm Please correct your email following these guidelines and shoot it back our way, at which point we will gladly respond. There is simply not enough time (or patience!) in the day to correct all such emails as these. Thanks, JustinN>   Well hello again..   Sorry about the last rude e-mail I'm just frustrated being new with soft coral's or any coral for that matter and there compatibility's.
Mon, 11 Dec 2006 14:26:01 -0800 (PST) WWM (Justin)   Sorry about that Justin . I was in a hurry before my wife came home.   Thank you for your time.   Brian <No problems, Brian. Thank you for taking the time to correct your correspondence. Such work really does accumulate for those of us on the crew, and can become frustrating at times. I apologize again if I came off as rude, my intents were not as such.>

Compatibility Kenya tree, Purple Mushroom, Pulsing xenia ?'s Or a link 12-11-06 Crew <Brian> Well hello again.. Sorry about the last rude e-mail I'm just frustrated being new with soft corals or any coral for that matter and there compatibilities. <Is ok> The first coral i started with is a Kenya Tree Coral. I have had this only coral 6 week's now and <I> would like to add more soft corals. So your asking yourself why this e-mail? Well <I> didn<'>t want any war fair <warfare> going on later down the road. I read WWM daily and people add corals they shouldn't and they end up with dead coral's or there whole tank Gone. I'm sorry <I> have way <too> much money in my tank and fish<es> to just throw some corals together and say look at my reef, then days, weeks later its all gone.. So some question's if you wouldn't mind helping me out again, please. <No problems, I'll give it a go> A friend has fagged <fragged> his Pulsing Xenia. Its the purple greenish one. No idea its name. And he's giving me 1 Purple mushroom to start with.. Will everything be OK with these 3 coral's in my 125gallon?? <Oh yes, all should be fine. Lots of real estate available.> Tank specs are.. PH 8.4 Cal 425 Ami 0 Nitrate 10ppm Nitrite 0 Sal 1.024 Phis 0 AL 3.5 <Ok> Other wise some opinion's or link's for me to read would be great. Thanks for your time and killer website.. Brian <I would suspect that with these 3 species, all would be fine. The real troubles in mixed reef gardening tends to come as specimens get larger, and are more established in the tank already. In future correspondence, please do properly space out sentences as well as spelling and grammatical checks. Thanks for your patience, Brian. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Lighting and coral compatibility    11/27/06 Hey everyone! Great site, I read it every night! <Hello, and thanks for the kind words>       I apologize in advance for the long email! <S'ok, details are good>    I have a standard 75 gallon glass aquarium with an 18 gallon refuge/sump. No mechanical , a DIY skimmer that am pretty happy with, aside from maintenance( constant tuning), I run carbon and poly filter, faithfully do 10 gallon water changes a week. There is 104#'s of live rock, 2 to 3 inch live sand bed in the display. In the refuge I have an 1" of live sand and a huge mat of Chaeto.( no rubble, should I add this?) <Not necessary, but likely wouldn't hurt anything... more biota to take root> On the refuge I run one 65 watt 12k pc light. I can run two, does Chaeto need it? It seems to be doing fine...I just answered my question didn't I? <Indeed> There is a pair of gold banded shrimp, an emerald crab, a few blue leg hermits, and some snails breeding like crazy!) No fish yet, there is an abundant population of little shrimp, stars, worms and snails that I don't have the heart to let fish eat! <Hehe> The tank has been running for 3 months since I moved, before that about 5 months. I carried some of the water with me so it wouldn't be as much of a shock and actually kept the live rock/sand under water in about a thousand rubber maid containers! <Oh, yes. I just made this adventure myself, with a 40 gallon and 20 gallon saltwater tank> I use only distilled water, is there any problem with that, is R/O better? <Distilled can work, but usually requires more buffering than RO... RO or RO/DI is usually recommended> Here's where you will cringe...I have a red open brain in the sand bed, fed every other day and doing well. A red/brown Sinularia fl. a green toadstool, and brace yourself. a huge LTA. <I take it you know the general consensus on this type mixed garden, then. I'll leave that be. *grin*> I know, a bad mix. The open brain is blocked off from the anemone getting to it by live rock, also helps keep excessive current from hurting it. <Likely won't stop the anemone if it decides to go on a walkabout> The LTA settled in a spot and hasn't yet moved, I know at some point he will. My questions are; I have two 175 watt 20k metal halide. Should I incorporate two 12k 65 watt pc.s also for dusk/dawn, will this be too much for the leathers, open brain? I am switching from 520 watts of pc lighting because I like the metal halide shimmer, don't have to buy bulbs as often, or nearly as many. I am hoping to find a happy median for the corals and the anemone. <I would use the PC's as actinic supplementation, if it were me/mine. As long as the leathers are acclimated to the new lighting, all should be fine.> My other question is , how can I go about getting more corals without messing up the mix much more horribly? From what I understand, a mix of LPS and softies is possible with good skimming, poly filters, carbon, good water flow, water changes and distance between them, as long as there are only a few of one and a majority of the other. <You've hit the idea on the head, here. Starting frags small, adding what you want, and then not adding anymore also has a great deal to do with success here.> I am willing to part with the Sinularia fl if I have to, but that's about it. Are there any Zoanthids I can keep? Would I be better off sticking with more softies or LPSs at this point? Any suggestions on corals I could try would be appreciated. <...All posted on WWM.> My Sinularia fl is growing well, polyps are extended and religiously sheds its skin, been in the tank for 2 and a half months. But is sagging, I have tried different current patterns around him and nothing seems to work, he is far from any other coral, low in the tank and gets pretty good current. He was the first in the tank and has never stood upright, except at night when he shrinks up. <Perhaps its too low in the tank? Not enough light getting to it?> My water; 1.026, ph 8.1/8.2, am, nitrite 0, nitrate 0 to 5 ppm. No detectable levels of phosphate, alk 11, cal 480, Mag 1500, temp 78/79. I use instant ocean salt mix. What can I do!!? Thank you so much for your patience with me! <No problems, is what we're here for. I went ahead and removed run-on sentences and questions stated in paragraphs improperly for you. In future queries, please do try to use proper English convention for writing, as all queries are posted for all to see. Hope this helps you! -JustinN>

Mushroom Anemone and Soft Coral Help   11/24/06 Hi again Justin, <Hello again, Ben, hope this evening finds you well.> Thank you for the quick reply and for your help. <Anytime, is what we're here for.> If chemical warfare is at play here do you recommend removing certain corals? Or is there a way I can prevent it or minimize it? <Short of removing the leathers, your best bet would be chemical filtration such as ChemiPure somewhere in a flow path.> The Mushroom anemones are not cupped upward, its just the stems that seem to be reaching upwards, does this seem right? <I'm not sure I understand here... do you mean that they are stretching their base towards the light, but still extending normally? Still sounds like they're struggling for light here...> I have looked at the Commodity Axis website who are the manufactures of my tank and the lighting output is one 18watt PC actinic bulb and one 18watt PC 7,100k Daylight bulb are these sufficient for the corals that I have? If they are not what would you recommend? <Mmm, is borderline at best, in my opinion in the case of the mushrooms, definitely lacking for the leathers... Doubling up the lighting would likely be sufficient for what you wish to keep.> In regard to the water current the powerhead is attached to the undergravel filter. The actual powerhead sits at the bottom of the tank and has a tube that goes up towards the surface, I have placed a wave maker to the tube which moves via a gyro that turns when the water is pumped through and deflects the water current around the whole tank. I could send a picture of this device if that would help? <Good description, I don't think a picture will be necessary> Would you recommend removing the undergravel filter? Once a week I hover the gravel and do a 10% - 15% water change with water that I have purchased from the fish store. <Mmm, if it were me/mine, I would. Your husbandry methods sound adequate for the setup though.> Lastly the test kit I used for the carbonate and alkalinity was a Salifert carbonate/alkalinity test are you familiar with these test kits? <Am familiar, but have never used one personally unfortunately. Does this test describe them as different? As I understand it, the carbonate hardness of water is a measure of the alkalinity of the water.> Thank you again for your help, I look forward to hearing back from you. Hopefully I can fix this problem before its gets too bad. Kind regards Ben     <Before you start rushing out to get rid of the leathers, I would try employing some form of chemical filtration as mentioned previously, and consider removing the undergravel filter. Aside from the lighting issue, I remember that you stated your nitrate reading is stable at 20ppm. This could also be lending to the degrading appearance of your corals. Out of curiosity, do you employ a protein skimmer, or any external forms of filtration, aside from the undergravel filter? Glad to be of help! -JustinN>

Hello guys.. HELP ..  Cnidarian incompatibility   11/8/06        I have a big problem, I notice Saturday night that my frogspawn had dropped a little piece of tentacle.. <? Developed? Do have such morphology...> I moved him because where it dropped was near my Kenya tree.. <What is it with the double periods?> I checked all testing.. everything fine.. 0 on ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, phosphate, ph at 8.2 calcium at 480 <Too high> showed normal range for alkalinity 1.7-2.8 and salinity 1.022 a tad low.. <More than a tad... the ocean never changes this much where Euphylliids are found> Ill get that up temp around 76..I do use tap water.. small town I don't have R/O available and haven't invested in a unit as of yet. I do dose my tank with Seachem Reef Complete and Reef Plus in my top off water weekly.  Sunday got up checked on my babies and my Kenya looked to have a spot in her branch that looked discolored and dried looking.. I assumed maybe a piece of the frogspawn must of landed there and burned her.. well not far from her is a colt coral that Sunday I also noticed had a area that looked like it was losing tissue. I put in a dose of iodine by Sunday night the colt had a brownish film in the area that has tissue lose... I decided to cut the infected area off to keep from getting the rest of the coral.. yesterday morning the colt was laying on the rock but its polyps were extended.. I get home from work last tonight and the colt is covered in this brown film.. I also noticed that my other colt on the other side of a 55 gallon tank also had this film on it, I did a ten percent water change.. added new carbon and now looking I see a piece of this brown stuff on my Kenya tree.. my frogspawn that has two heads.. one am assuming where the pieces were dropping looks shriveled up and I can see some skeleton.. the other head.. where the mouth is is bubbled up.. I don't know what the heck is going on.. I do have some iodine on site.. should I dip the Kenya tree.. the one colt looks like a lost cause.. <I would not... but... the best... would move the mal-affected Soft Corals elsewhere> I have a group of xenia in there they are not affected.. <A good clue here> my mushrooms.. not affected all zoos not affected.. I haven't changed anything or added anything in weeks.. <Useful info.> also have a waving hand, star Polys and button polyps.. they seem fine.. <The "winners"> 55 gallon tank.. Coralife 48 inch 265 watt pcs double 10000k daylight and 10000k actinics. I usually put on the actinics around 730am and add the daylight at 830am and lights are off at 1030pm ten gallon hob refugium w skimmer. canister filter. Sometime in the wee hours this morning after going crazy reading trying to find some information.. I decided to move my frogspawn.. with his mouth bubbled up I thought that maybe he could expel something. <Telling> So I moved him near the intake hose of the canister filter and away from any other corals. I did try to blow off some of the slime from the colt last night but it almost looked like it was its tissue instead of slime. This morning I can see the one colt is completely covered with it again, the one I assumed was a lost cause but holding on till I get some kind of confirmation. The other colt that had it on one branch now looks as if its shedding tissue. <Is> I plan on doing 10 percent water changes everyday for the next 9 days. The Kenya tree the branch that had the burn looking mark.. that branch has fallen off.. maybe this is her way of trying to heal.. any direction that you have would be greatly appreciate. <... You have a more or less classic Cnidarian allelopathic event in progress... all the groups/Classes mentioned trying to outcompete each other... the weakest per this set of conditions, mix losing... the Alcyoniid> One more thing last week I noticed a red slime growing on my canister return tube.. its gone now .. don't see it anywhere in the tank.. do you think when this fell off it might of got in the current and dissolved from a big piece but sprayed these corals and affected them this way? <Possibly related events... but not possible to say which preceded the other> Just trying to give you all the information that I can in order to find out what is going on and how to possibly save anything. I don't have a QT tank so Im limited.. (will be looking into getting one). Thanks guys for a great site <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

A possible Coral Chart   11/5/06 Ok.  Once again I have searched high and low.  Is there anyplace on your website or anywhere on the internet, for that matter, that literally has a chart or diagram about what species/kinds of corals that are compatible/tolerable towards one another. <Not that I know of, though I and others have speculated re such... its utility, need... Though, by force of necessity, there would have to be many "special exceptions, cautionary notes" re such a tool> I guess this also goes for the corals that should never meet?! <Mmm... all a matter of degree... and much to be stated re generalities of order of introduction, placement, factors of specific set-up, maintenance...>   I am looking for visuals here, and preferably with the common "pet store" names that we've all come to know.  I am getting my pseudo-reef going and I really want to do it right.  I've searched through all the FAQ's and description pages, and if I open up one more browser window, my computer is going to crash, along with myself! <Heeee! Methinks you're about ready to join us (WWM)...> Any help would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks guys!  Hoping you can save the day!  And save me a few more hours!      Jon <Mmmm... perhaps a sojourn out diving together... and long chats at the brew and pizza pubs later... re observations, guesses concerning "demilitarized zones", Cnidarian et al. succession... the "meaning" of captive husbandry and human experience... Did I mention pizza and beer? BobF>

Mithrax sculptus Eating Coral  10/31/06 Hi Crew <Hello> Over the past few weeks my Acropora sp and Sinularia spp (finger leather corals) seem to have become a food source.  <Uh oh> Sections of the Acropora polyps are being nipped off, and large tip sections of the Sinularia go missing every few day's I'm guessing it could be the banded coral shrimp, or a Mithrax Sculptus who has just shed his shell, and grew exponentially. I have endeavored to catch the culprit with to no avail. Do either of these inverts in your experience eat coral? I appreciate you help. Regards Damo <Could be either, most crabs are opportunistic feeders, although the Mithrax is generally considered fairly safe.  The Coral Banded shrimp is also a known coral sampler.  May need to removed both and see if the situation improves.> <Chris>
Re: Mithrax Sculptus Eating Coral 10/31/06
Hi Chris <Hi Again> Thanks for your response. I will try your suggestion. It should be fun trying to catch them. Regards Damon <Some good ideas on traps available on the different message boards, give them a look, will hopefully save a lot of effort.> <Chris>

PLEASE HELP ASAP!!!  Ammonia spike!!! Cnid., Anemone incomp.   9/30/06 Hey crew.  I need your advice.  I have (maybe had) a 29 gallon reef with a 15 gallon refugium.  I was gone for 2 days and came back to see I had a bubble coral looking like it had died twice!  I removed it, and took a water sample.  Ammonia was .25 ppm.  Well, I just so happened to be out of salt and needed to wait till the morning to go get some.   All of a sudden... white slime (looks kinda like mucus) come off of everything.  Every piece of live rock, every mushroom... everything.  I tried syphoning as much as I could.    <Yikes>   I ran and got an old Fluval and threw some carbon in it and ran it for the night. <Good try> I woke up the next morning to about 10 dead mushrooms, a dead hammer coral, and a rose bubble tip <... incompatible> that was not looking good at all.  I removed all of them.. <Best... but not back together... the root cause...> and noticed lots of goo coming off over every part of the anemone.  So, ... as i tried not to freak out, but rather act quickly.....  I went as fast as i could and got some salt.  I did a 10 gallon water change right then, and had to run into work.  I cam back from work and did a water test and the ammonia was 1.0 ppm.  I was at a loss of what to do.  I contacted my LFS and asked what they recommended.  I  was instructed to do a very very large water change.   <About the best stop-gap measure>   I changed 21 gallons of the 29 or so (less cause of live rock)  and left the water that was in the refugium.  I added a bag of live sand and mixed it with the sand currently in there hoping not to destroy all the helpful bacteria.  I then added 21 gallons of freshly made water and added a packet of bio-Spira marine.  Before the water change... everything looked like they were saying good bye to life... now they look like they want to fight to live.  I have a strange feeling this large of a water change will cause the tank to cycle again.  I was hoping to defeat this fear with bio-Spira.. but only time and your advice will tell.   I did a full water test.  Here are the results:   Ammonia - .25 (maybe .5, holding the test tube looks like both of them.  More so the .25 but I guess i should error on the side of caution)   Nitrite .05   Nitrate 5.0   Alk 2.9   Ph 8.4   Ca - 300   Salinity 1.026   Please give me some advice on what to do.  Anything and everything I can do.  I was planning on doing another 8 gallons tomorrow to try and lower that ammonia.  Are the benefits of doing the change worth the risk of further causing the tank to cycle?  I am soo lost and need your help.      Josh Henley <Mmm, something "caused" the initial stress/reaction of the one Euphylliid... very likely something to do with the presence of the Anemone... cascade of bad-events after this... Please read here:     http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, particularly re Anemone Incompatibility with other Cnidarians. Bob Fenner>

New Marine Aquarist...Stocking Selections, Environment/Compatibility...Reading/Research - 09/10/06 Hi Crew :) <<Hello Sandy!>>    I am about to embark on an incredible adventure.  I have been keeping freshwater fish for a number of years.  But I have always had a soft spot for a saltwater tank.  So, I just bought myself a 60 Gallon tank....soon to be my pride & joy. <<Ahh...much wonder/adventure ahead.  Do start reading/researching your livestock/systems beforehand>> My question is, what type of corals will I be able to keep with the Coralife 48" Lunar AquaLight Fixture. <<Many possibilities...and a bit of putting the cart before the horse here.  Is always bests to determine what niche of the reef you wish to replicate and then develop a stocking list from which to choose.  Once you have your list, research the animals to determine their needs and THEN acquire the lighting system necessary to support them.  As it is though, you can/should still develop a stocking plan/list, and then research each animal to determine if it will be suitable for your system>> I have been getting many different responses. Ex: soft coral, LPSs & polyps.....which in other words "many". <<Indeed...all possible candidates, though all not necessarily best kept in the same system>> Could you please assist me with specifics as in what I should consider keeping? <<Mmm...corals species with low to moderate light requirements from the same genus will do well.  Or an 85-15 mix of different genera (with similar environmental requirements) for a bit more diversity if you wish>> I do have a wish list.......but I don't know if it will be feasible. <<Let's take a look...>>    Bubble coral or Pearl bubble   Torch coral   Hammer coral green   Kenya tree   Finger coral Devil's hand <<The Devil's Hand coral is a bit noxious for this mix, but the others would be fine together in my opinion.  Do take care to space all at least 6" apart to avoid damaged from sweeper tentacles>> Thank you in advance for your help.  Looking forward to your suggestions. <<Sandy, successfully keeping corals has much more to do with than lighting.  Don't overlook other aspects to include water flow, feeding, toxicity/aggression, tankmates, etc..  All which comes from individually researching each specimen before acquisition.  As a new marine aquarist, you owe it to your future charges to take some time to read/study-up on reef systems...set-up, stocking, et al...here's a great place to start (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/reef1.htm), and do follow the associated links in blue at the top of the page>> Sandy Ottawa Regards, Eric Russell, SC>>

Reef tank problem... Zoanthid incomp., Cnid. incomp.... sys.   9/5/06 Hi, this is Sameer from India. <Hello this is Bob from S. Cal.> I have a 40gal tank with a sump. Now my basic problem is upgrading my reef tank. All water parameter are as they have to be in a reef tank. Good Coralline algae of different color is growing on all live rocks. One Percula and a Purple Dotty back are doing great. One sand shifting star, a Green Feather Duster are all happy. Lots of tiny feather dusters have come own their own from the live rocks. One small Carpet Anemone and a medium BTA are at two corners of the tank. <Not enough room... trouble in the not-too future> I have 2 rocks with Solitary Cup Corals growing on them, as there were around 6 to 7 on each rock. But now they have become to 10 to 12 on each rock. Few green plants and Red Bamboo algae or Red Balloon algae are growing well. Different Snails and few Chitons are doing well, the Hermits are molting often. Two pistol shrimps which came as hitchhikers on live rocks are there from long without any criminal records yet. <Heeee!> 5 porcelain crabs a the happiest as the molt often are always feeding on the invert food with their fans open. One Sea Fan is doing ok, in the sense its surviving but not thriving. Now all these life forms are in the tank for more than 9 months together. As I have not added any new animals. <I would not> 20% water is changed every two weeks, all in one Additive by Salifert is used every week, purple up is used every week, and calcium is added as needed. There 4 inches of Live Sand with lots of live rocks. There is one actinic tube with two 12K lights which are on timers. All in the tank is as it is to be. Except for a protein skimmer! Which I am to buy in some time. Now the main problem is three times I added  rocks with Zoanthids. <Not compatible...> They never opened and just melted away in 10 days. <Good> One rock with mushrooms just melted in 4 days. <Even better> A soft finger coral also just did not open for two weeks and the started flaking off and melted down. What could be the cause for this? <In a word, allelopathy (the topic du jour...)> Is it lack of a skimmer? <Would help> What are the signs of a failed tank? <Mmm, a loss of life I guess...> I am too confused! Is it chemical warfare with the anemones? <Ahh, yes... Principally so> If yes, then how are the cup corals doing great? <Are more resistant... their time will come though> I feel that may be because of a deep sand bed, there is too much detritus build up. <Mmm, nope. Unlikely> What do you feel? <Highly confident that this is an incidence of chemical competition twixt large anemone species... taking out other cnidarians> And the overflow to the sump is not that powerful to suck up all debris. The overflow water falls 4 feet down to the sump through a pipe and is send back up 4 feet. There are two power heads in the tank for circulation. So I was thinking of resetting it as a bare bottom with little sand for aesthetic value and some reflection of light for the LR. What do you suggest? <That you read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above> It had a plenum under gravel filter which is now not connected to the power head. Has that collected too much organic material? <Doubtful this has any negative impact. Likely it has helped forestall the coming crash> I am in a total confusion. <You keep stating so> Another question, what if I use crushed live rock as sand? <Nah> Is this tried before? <Many times> As it would have good circulation, and give a more natural look. What should be the size of the crushed pieces? <See WWM re> My basic aim in the tank is to keep few Zoanthids and a few Soft Coral in this tank. <It's not large enough, and the animals present are incompatible> I am ready for any major changes u suggest in the current system. <Get reading> The main causes according to me are: No skimmer, <Some> To much organic matter in the sand, <Nope> Chemical warfare, <Yes!> Improper acclimatizing (using drip fro 1hr) Or improper lighting Or what else do u feel? This tank has been there for more than a year! May be the anemone have to go, but till I can at least have some reef invert in it. As nothing else in the tank which looks amazingly beautiful. If I am to get these guys out, at the cost of some soft corals is fine with me. Pls help! Any drastic changes are welcome. <Remove the anemones, or all but one of them in the way of cnidarians> Thanks in advanced. Cheers! Sameer <Bob Fenner>
Re: reef tank problem  - 09/10/06
Hi again, Thanks Bob! <Welcome Sameer> What u said is the perfect solution, get rid of the Anemones! Now what I'll do is get them out of the tank, change 20% water, get an AZOO Skimmer, wait for a few weeks and then add some Zoanthids. Is this ok? <Mmm, maybe... have you read where I referred you to re Zoanthids, Cnidarian (in)compatibility?> As my tank is a 40gall tank, I want u to suggest some inverts that go well with Zoanthids? <Is posted my friend... Please read> What all options do I have? The main animals of focus are Zoanthids! This is to avoid the chemical warfare in future. In the reply you said that the animals present in the tank are incompatible, were you only referring to the two Anemones or any other animals from the tank are to go? Let me know! Thanks in advance, Cheers! Sameer <Is all archived on the site... BobF>

Percula Pair Going Through Divorce? Small, mis-mixed Cnid. system, Tube Anemone...   9/2/06 Afternoon, <Yawnnnn! AM here now> Thank you for being a resource for me! I've searched through the FAQ's and Daily Q&A for an answer but I've only found bits and pieces relative to my clowns' situation rather than the whole story. They've been a pair for nearly 8 months, 6 of which in my 12gallon nano tank with an appropriate watt Halide looming over it. The environment is littered with coral -- neon green star polyps, leather coral, devil's hands, bubble coral, frog spawn -- and presently has a single tube anemone. <Too crowded... and a Cerianthus? Toxic> My tank is not a good supporter of anemone's such as carpets, bulb, and long tentacles, or rather, I'M not a good supporter of them since they don't live longer than a couple months. <... agreed... small marine volumes are unsuitable for Actinarians period> My guess is a lacking food supply since my clowns don't feed their anemone like the clowns I've had in the past. I'm now trying the turkey baster with brine method. <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/tubeanem.htm and the linked files above> The problem (aside from my inability to keep an anemone besides the tube anemone) is that my pair aren't much of a pair anymore. When I had my last anemone -- which I just netted out of the tank today and tossed to the garbage men, <...> my pair started going through the mating motions -- which i identified by the smaller having the little seizure spasms near the larger. Now that the anemone is gone the two aren't getting along. The smaller will chase the larger into a corner, leaving the larger gasping at the top of the tank. <... too crowded... no where to get away... the cnidarians, incompatible, warring with each other... will take out any/all fishes> I'm worried because I absolutely adore these two clowns, <If you do... then grant them a decent habitat... Please... Read re the needs of these fish, provide them... A feeling will not support their health... only action, with knowledge can. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clownfis.htm and the linked files above> they're incredibly hardy and eat like triggers, and now that they're fighting as they are I'm pretty much just waiting for one to get too stressed out and end up being an offering to the porcelain gods. They're about an inch and a half and inch and three quarters long, the larger being thicker; they're a bright orange with three white stripes connected by two large black patches. The colors are immaculate and I haven't seen another like them in my LFS so I'm unable to attempt to find a like male to replace the one who's pissy now. Thank you for your time! Ian. <Translate your sentiment to focus, attention in gathering useful information re the life in your care. Read! Bob Fenner>

Removing Green Star Polyps and Zoanthids   8/29/06 Hi,    <Hello there>   I have a bad case of green star polyps gone wild.  I want to remove them from one of the rocks in my tank (they keep smothering my zoos).  Is there any way I can remove these without taking the rock out of the tank. <Not practically, no>   If not, I can always remove the rock and scrub it clean, but it would be much easier for me not to remove the rock.  I'm afraid if I scrub the rocks in the tank (i.e. with a toothbrush), then I'll put of bunch of unwanted dissolved organics (and potent chemicals) in the water.    <Oh yes>   Also, I have a serious case of brown Parazoanthus growing like crazy that I also want to remove--same question.      Thanks. <Same answer, but with more provisos... re wearing elbow-length gloves, safety glasses... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/zoanthidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

50 gallon Hagen Tank, lighting, SW, reading  8/25/06 I have a 50 gallon Hagen tank (it is 36 x 16 x 20 in height).   I have live rock, fish, anemone, mushroom, leather, polyps.  I would like to get a clam, bubble coral, sun coral. <... trouble with this mix... Please search WWM re each species System, Compatibility...>   What type of lighting should I get? <... Please read here:   http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm Scroll down to the bottom, the tray with links to marine aquarium lighting articles and FAQs> We have a canopy to house the lighting system.  We like the look of a finished top! <Me too> I like the light that a metal halide emits.  But I understand they emit a great deal of heat and will cost us a small fortune in electricity! <Possibly>   We were debating getting a power compact lighting system (2 x 96 watts plus 3 blue LEDs) or a 1 x 175 MH, 2 x 15w CF, 2 blue led.   Which option should we go with based on our wish list of clams, bubble coral and sun coral? Thanks for the information! Kimberly <A few more factors to take into consideration... as you'll soon know... Enjoy the reading. Bob Fenner>
Re: 50 gallon Hagan Tank, Zoanthids, other classes of Cnid.s crammed into ten gallons of water   8/24/06
Thank you for your reply and the link. One last question I do have about your <...trouble...> comment is what part of the tank is trouble? Are there corals in there that should not be or is it the size of the tank for the corals? Thanks again for the help. Mike <Please see WWM re Cnidarian Compatibility, Zoanthids... a ten gallon tank with what you list is very likely to crash... suffer a massive die-off in a span of short time. Bob Fenner>

Sailfin Nipping at Corals 8/15/06 Dear WWM crew: <Hi> I have a Zebrasoma Desjardinii that has started picking at my Devil's Hand Leather, one of my Favorites spp., and a couple of my Xeniids. <Not unheard of, but not very common either.> I keep my fish well fed with various foods (Nori, Spirulina enriched brine shrimp, Ocean Nutrition's Formula 2, and live brine shrimp gut loaded with phyto/Selcon/Cyclop-eeze, etc.), so I'm at a loss as to why my prized, mainly-herbivorous, "reef safe" tang would start eating my corals. <Forget the brine, even gut loaded.  Still not very nutritious, will probably be better off using Mysid.> I don't want to have to relocate the fish, since I have had him for over a year, and have grown attached, if you know what I mean. <Sure> I was hoping you could give me your thoughts/recommendations regarding my situation. <Well, you're battling instinct here, so it's going to be hard to change his behavior.  However this behavior could indicate a nutritional deficiency here, I would try switching up his diet some, forget the brine, switch to Mysid, and maybe try a few different brands of food, New-Life being my personal favorite, and see if it helps minimize this behavior.> Thanks in advance, Adam 72 gallon 80 or so lbs. live rock pH 7.9-8.0 ( I know... :( I'm working on this) NH3 - zero NO2 - zero NO3 - zero to trace Ca - 450 Alk - 4 meq/L PO4 - less than .1 Fish - 1 Red Sea Sailfin about 4'', 3 yellow tangs around 2 '', 1 blue throat trigger 2'' Corals/Sessile inverts - 3 Xenia spp., 1 Frogspawn, 1 favorites spp. brain,  many mushrooms and Zoanthids, 1 long tentacle plate, 1 devil's hand leather Other - 1 brittle star, 1 serpent star, 1 sand sifting star, 1 sally lightfoot crab, 10 or so blue leg hermits, 30 or so Astrea snails Lights - 260W Coralife PC's, half 10K, half actinic Filtration- Sealife Systems model 125 wet dry, Sealife Systems NV150 skimmer Pumps - Wet dry - Surge M5000 (around 650 g/hour), skimmer- Rio 1700 (around 350 g/hr), and a JBJ 2500 powerhead in the tank w/ a Hydor spinning nozzle on it (about 530 g/hr). <This tank will quickly become overcrowded with the current livestock you have.  The stress of this environment may also be contributing to this undesired behavior.> <Chris>

Help! Tentacles shrinking! Cnid. health   8/8/06 Hello all, I am in need of your assistance once again. You guys have provided much information to a novice like me by emailing or just browsing your site. There seems to be one problem I'm having with certain corals I try to keep. It seems any corals with tentacles, I'm not sure if I'm explaining this right, I'll just list some samples of these corals I HAD, Anthelia, Pipe Organ, Pulsing Xenia and currently a Clove Polyp. It seems the same symptoms occur to each one, the tentacles starts to shrink little by little, and eventually death. My water parameters seem to be good, I'm using RO/DI water. Here are my water parameters. Ammonia 0 Phosphate 0 Alkalinity 9 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 10 pH 8.2 Calcium 420 <These all look fine... there are a myriad of chemicals however that could be poisoning... "shrinking" the tentacles of your captive cnidarians... causing their death... many metal elements, organic molecules...> Lighting is two MH at 150w 14,000k each which is on 8 hrs. Another two PC's at 65w 10,000K each is on 2 hrs a day on top of the MH. I have a bubble coral, crocea clam pineapple brain coral, various mushrooms, yellow leather (I believe this may be the culprit from, allelopathy?) <Is indeed possible> Curly Cue (or maybe this), <Ditto> *clove polyp,* various polyps, <These also> Clarkii clown, 2 damsels, blue hippo tang, cleaner shrimp, gold coral banded (in refugium), various snails, Mitra Mitra snail?, two tiger cowry (haven't seem them go near any corals, about 2in in length) bristle star. Please help, I hate to lose this Clove Polyp as she is already starting to lose it's tentacles. If pictures would help more, I can attach them. I would appreciate any expert advise you may have, Thank you! <Considering the species you list as having, and their not doing poorly... I do think this is a case of allelopathy... You might try "speeding up" your water change routine, enhance skimming and resort to more chemical filtration... These issues, efforts at improvement are gone over on WWM. Otherwise I would not be adding any more stinging-celled life here. Bob Fenner>

Angel Compatibility With Corals   8/3/06 Hi there, WWW Crew, Greetings from Portugal <Hello Joao.> I know this is the "million dollar/Euro question" and I've been reading all the info I could find (namely in your FAQs). So, I'm not hoping to get a final answer, but the best information available prior to decide (and take my chances). That's why I'm resorting to you. I've had FO tanks (since 1990) and reef tanks over the years. The thing is... I can't choose between having corals and a large angel and decided it's time to have a really mixed tank, knowing that's a much bigger challenge. I'll naturally have to avoid meaty LPS, clams and some softies, so the tank will be a SPS dominated (my favorite corals, anyway). Furthermore, I would also like to have (not a must, though; still thinking about the cons) an Entacmaea quadricolor anemone (BTA ?), which already has an isolated "island" for it. <Would not mix anemones with corals and/or fish other than clowns.  Larger angels have a tendency to nip the tips off anemones.> Bearing all this in mind, I recently (4 months ago) upgraded my 3 year 55G aquarium to an in-wall 210G with a 55G sump, 25G upper refugium (with 7inch DSB, LR and Chaetomorpha algae) and 25G quarantine tank. The system is running well with weekly (close to) 10% water changes, approx. 150 kg.s "old" Liverock, my stock from the old tank (4 fishes -  including a C. loriculus - and some corals), a substantial cleaning crew and, I believe, fairly good equipment (4x150w HQI + 3x80w T5 lamps; Tunze TS24 kit with multicontroller + Red dragon 6.5m3 as a return pump, for circulation; Schuran Jetskim 200 skimmer; Deltec KM 500 kalkstirrer; Schuran Jetstream1 calcium reactor - yet to be connected; IKS Aquastar, etc). <Sounds nice.> The large angel - only one -  will be added in approximately one year time to give the system some time to mature and the corals to grow. I'll try to find a 3-4 inch healthy specimen and give it a good quarantine. The thing is...which one. What I know: No angel is really reef safe; It's a hit and miss, depending a lot on the individual; Sometimes the transition from juvenile to adult causes disaster with a big change on feeding habits; What I would like to have: P. Imperator / E. Navarchus or Xanthometopon / Pygoplites diacanthus / Arusetta Asfur. I'm also considering one Chaetodontoplus (if the other are a no-no). I'm not thinking about Genicanthus, although admitting it would probably be the safest choice. (sorry for using the Latin names, but I'm not too familiar with the English ones, and I don't want to mislead you). What I would like to know: is it possible to rank these angels in a scale of less to more problematic, considering the issues mentioned above and my system? <No, angels will develop different personalities/eating habits.  No two will necessarily be the same.> Should I be asked, I would, probably say:  1st - Genicanthus spp; 2nd Chaetodontoplus spp (?), but 3rd....and 4th and....5th.... (the ones I want....) <I cannot recommend which angel would be a good risk with corals due to personality differences.  The choice will be yours my friend.  The pygmy angels would be the only ones I'd feel relatively comfortable with. Good luck.> Your help would be very appreciated. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> Best regards, Jiao Monteiro

Coral Toxicity/Mixed Reefs - 08/01/06 Hello to all. <<Good Morning>> It's been a while since I bothered the crew with a question, but here I am again. <<No bother...is why we are here>> I am somewhat puzzled by issues relating to the toxicity of leathers to other corals in the tank. <<Nothing to be puzzled about...leather corals (Alcyoniids) are some of the most noxious organisms on the reef>> As I understand it, Sinularia is the culprit (or just main culprit?) here. <<Not limited to just this species, most all leather corals should be considered>> Is it correct to assume that Sarcophyton does not cause the same harm? <<No...is also an Alcyoniid>> Are stony corals the only type potentially harmed? <<No again...cnidarians may possibly be more easily affected/less resistant to the chemical poisoning, but leather corals can and do affect/kill other leather corals>> And are all stony corals potentially harmed or just certain ones? <<Potentially all>> We have a 40 gal. reef tank, and have both of the mentioned leathers.  We also have a bubble coral, a torch, and a button coral, along with other polyps and various mushrooms. <<Don't discount the potential for harm from the mushrooms and polyp corals.  Corallimorphs are right up there with the nastiest leather corals in terms of toxicity/ability to "burn" stony corals.  And if the "polyps" are Palythoa, they pose certain hazard to not only the corals but also to the aquarist (try a Google search on the keyword 'Palytoxin')>> We do a 4 gal. water change weekly and water parameters are fine. <<Ah yes, the frequent (weekly) water changes are a good method for diluting the chemicals released by the corals.  Supplemental chemical filtration in the form of carbon and/or Poly-Filter will also help>> Within the tank the leathers are not close to the stony corals, but obviously, it's a small tank. <<They know they are there, yes.  Anthony Calfo recommends a minimum spacing of about 10" between corals, and even then "pruning" will likely be required as the corals grow.  But even then, allelopathy (chemical warfare on the reef) is being waged>> Even with the frequency of the water changes, is it just not possible to keep everybody healthy? <<Mmm, can be done.  How successful you'll be depends on your stocking density and your attention to good husbandry/maintenance>> I wish we had been more aware of this issue before setting up the tank, but we understood (more accurately, misunderstood) the problem to be more one of providing adequate space between the corals within the tank. <<Indeed...the challenges of keeping a "mixed garden variety" type reef tank.  Much better in my opinion for aquarists to  choose a particular niche on the reef to replicate...keeping specimens of a particular species, or family of corals even, greatly increases chances for "long term" success>> If we were doing it over now, we would specialize in a tank this small.  In any event, now that we have what we have, is it possible for everything to thrive if we're conscientious about frequency of water changes? <<For a time, but the leather corals will rapidly outgrow/outpace the stony corals.  You might be able to keep things in check by pruning back the leathers, but eventually you may decide it's time to "specialize">> Thanks so much for any input/thoughts.  This site is so unbelievably helpful. Laura <<Happy to assist. Regards, EricR>>
Re: Coral Toxicity/Mixed Reefs II - 08/01/06
Thanks so much for the response and the information, Eric. <<My pleasure Laura>> As answers often do, these prompt more questions. <<Indeed...please proceed>> Are you saying that mushrooms burn stony corals? <<I am...very aggressive.  Mushrooms have the capacity to spread among/over stony corals, eventually killing them>> I have a button coral right by some red and green fluorescent mushrooms (Actinodiscus), for instance - thinking I was putting them someplace safe, well away from the leathers.  Sigh. <<You're not alone in this belief.  Many hobbyists seem to be under the illusion that these organisms are "benign"...not the case.  Couple their innocuous appearance (small single body mass, lack of apparent stinging tentacles) with the fact they are "pushed" in the hobby as "starter" corals for new marine aquarists, and you have a formula for disaster in many cases.  I have seen tanks where these organisms literally "took over"...much like an invasive terrestrial plant...though be aware, this behavior is not limited to Corallimorphs.  I advise you to "make some space" around the mushrooms, and if necessary, take measures to control their spread>> As for the polyps, I have just starburst polyps, Pachyclavularia. <<Ah...thank you for the clarification..."polyps" can be many things>> I did the Google search you suggested for palytoxin, but not sure which species are included in Palythoa. <<Often sold under the common name "Button Polyps"...mostly green or brown varieties.  Sometimes even mislabeled as "Zoanthids">> Any further guidance - say, to just getting a bowl and a goldfish? <<Ha!  Not necessary my friend (and actually, that brings up another misnomer/problem in the hobby...but that's for a different category).  No need to be "frightened" from keeping these magnificent organisms, just understand (learn) what they are about.  Most everything on the reef is fighting for a spot/room to propagate, and most all have developed methods/very formidable weapons to accomplish this.  Putting these animals in the confines of a closed system serves to multiply the issues of toxicity and aggression...but can be successfully dealt with where forethought to their care/requirements/compatibility is given.  I am an advocate of biotope or species specific systems...but many, many hobbyists have systems just as yours and honestly, they can be/are quite beautiful when the correct "balance" is struck>> Laura <<Be chatting.  EricR>>

<Relative> Coral Aggression  - 07/30/06        Anthony, Bob,    I've been gathering some info together and prepared, what I believe, not necessarily gospel, a list of corals    from most aggressive to least.  Thought it may be a useful tool for the crew in answering queries.  I'd appreciate very much if you could look at the Word attachment, when you have time, and give me your opinion on its accuracy or usefulness.  Seems like it would be handily to have on the desktop.  Could not find anything on the WWW re this, or I'm not looking in the right place.    Thanks,    James (Salty Dog)

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