Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Dendrophylliid Coral Behavior

Related Articles: Dendrophylliid Corals,

Related FAQs: Dendrophylliids 1, Dendrophylliids 2, Dendrophylliid Identification, Dendrophylliid Compatibility, Dendrophylliid Selection, Dendrophylliid Systems, Dendrophylliid Feeding, Dendrophylliid Disease, Dendrophylliid Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral Placement, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef Corals, Stony Coral Behavior,

Dendro Heads Separating      10/21/18
Hello WWM, Recently a handful of my Dendro frags have grown multiple heads.
I have noticed the tissue has been receding between the heads on all the frags. Other than the tissue receding the heads look good with full tentacle extension and eating normally. Is the tissue receding a normal characteristic when multiple heads grow?
<Not really... something is likely lacking; insufficient. Do you feed your stony corals? Light in balance? Enough alkaline earths in proportion, alkalinity....? A good clue might well be what else you have in the system that is doing well. Bob Fenner>

Balanophyllia hiding       7/19/18
Hi Crew!
<Hi Dani>
I rebooted my tank about 4 months ago, kept most liverock, rinsed sand bed, added some new rock, and slowly restocked corals.
I picked up a Balanophyllia which was opened at the store with their daylights on. I acclimated it for about 3 hours, dripped acclimated, bathed in revive, and placed mid-low level with mid-low flow.
It neither ate for almost a week nor extended any tentacles. I tried pellets, Mysis, and a slurry of zooplankton even—nothing. It seemed to actually slime off the food. So I tried a larger food like krill and shredded a piece, and laid it on the balano. The first time it slowly—over like 20 minutes—but definitely ate it.
<Try foods like live or defrosted brine shrimp, Mysis shrimp, and other similar sized prey. Soaking the food in a vitamin supplement can help to ensure your coral gets plenty of nutrients; you need to feed it at least once a day, if needed use a turkey baster to target the food directly on the Balano without touching it or it may not open/eat, turn off your pumps several minutes during feeding so the food does not go elsewhere. >
So everyday I have been carefully feeding it the shredded piece of krill. Seems to get a tiny bit faster eating each day. It pops like one tiny tentacle out now at random times but that’s it. Do you think it is still settling in or should I be concerned?
<As long as it is not bleaching out, you are fine here, do bear in mind this is a difficult species to keep in captivity, it is not photosynthetic, so, as stated it needs to be fed regularly.>
Tank is a JBJ 28,
LED 89w par intensity up to 700
2 returns @ 266 gal each
1k icecap gyre at 80% power (800 gph set at random mode, alternating flow, and pulse [this thing is fantastic])
SG 1.025
Am 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate <5
Alk 12
Calcium 460
Mag 1440
I feed tank everyday except water change day—2 days frozen fish eggs/Mysis and a dose of zooplankton, the rest of the days pellets, and finally balano gets it’s piece of krill.
I do a 25% water change weekly.
<A 10% water change weekly will be enough, less stressful and will replenish needed additives and trace elements.>
My sandbed seems to get dirty though even with my Nassarius snails going through it so sticking to weekly at the moment. Hoping it may stabilize where I can do biweekly one day, want to ensure my sps and lps get more of a chance to absorb some food from water column.
Thank you for any feedback!
<You are welcome. Wilberth>

Re: Balanophyllia hiding    7/26/18
Happy to report that after getting it to eat more, the balano now comes out and not just at night but during the day lighting too! ☺️
<Great! I can see that in this very nice picture>
One question on your response though that has had me really pondering—why only a 10% weekly water change?
<10% weekly is enough to keep balance without disturbing tank inhabitants and the biofilter, “Old water” with parameters at nontoxic/safe levels is what you should aim for.>
Pardon my ignorance, is it not better to remove as much organics possible with each change or maybe that’s not such a concern because my tank is more balanced now?
<As you said, it’s not a major concern on balanced systems, just keep good maintenance practices and avoid overstocking and overfeeding>
I definitely don’t want to be stressing my aquatic friends and in fact I’d love to cut down to maybe a larger change every other week? Or is it better with smaller changes every week? Just curious about the logic to this if you could please share.
<Always better to do small frequent changes, just don´t skip them>

Euphyllia and Duncanopsamia     3/13/12
Dear WWM,
   First, my Duncan coral has developed some bulges around its base. They appear to have tentacles and a mouth. I believe they are more Duncan polyps.
<Let's hope so>
 I have only had this coral for about two months though, would this be a sign that something is wrong or right?
<More right>
I think it is a good sign, but I heard that Anemones will split sometimes before death.
<Yes... a bit different proposition... as they can move, "get away"; not so Scleractinians>
I have been feeding it. Next, I have a beautiful Torch coral which has doubled in size.
The problem is that I also have a Bubble Coral. The Bubble Coral has decreased by almost half. I think it is losing to chemical warfare.
<Quite likely>
I was thinking about moving it to a small tank which is only about twelve inches high. It would be under NO lights. I know that they feed more than photosynthesize, but I don't want to kill it by keeping it where it is or moving it to an unsuitable environment. Should I donate it? Something?
Have a wonderful week!
<I would definitely be moving it somewhere else in any case. Bob Fenner>

Please help identify Yellow "Growth" on Sun Coral 5/8/11
<Hello Brian>
I have several Sun Corals one of which has developed a yellow growth over it's surface over the last few days.
<I see this...>
The sun coral is not opening up well in the area affected.
I have been to my local stores where I purchase coral with pictures however, they could not identify what this is.
Suggestions made have been either a fungus, a sponge, or a secretion from the sun coral itself.
<The latter almost assuredly. I thought/feared this might be some sort of matter "left over" from Wendletrap/Epitonium reproduction, but am now thinking "something" disturbed these polyps sufficiently for them to "throw up" their mesenterial filaments>
If you could help identify and suggest a course of treatment it would be greatly appreciated.
<Seek out the source/pattern of the upset. Another Cnidarian perhaps? Do you have an errant Anemone in this system? Did someone drop a dry "supplement" of some sort on this area? No "treatment" advised. Bob Fenner>
Thank You Brian Hunter

Re: Please help identify Yellow "Growth" on Sun Coral 5/9/11
Thank You,
I did finally come across another photo which looked exactly like mine did. It was posted to a forum for help. Several answers came back that it was perfectly normal and that they believed it was related to overeating by the sun coral.
Brian Hunter
<Mmm, well, I don't think it's "lethal behavior", but is not "normal"...
i.e. I've never encountered this on the many occasions of observing Tubastrea spp. in the wild. Cheers, BobF>

Duncan's coral not opening 4/26/10
Hello Crew,
I have a Duncan's coral with about 30 heads on the colony which I have had for about a year. It has been sitting in it's current location for several months now and it has been opening up quite large, extending it's tendrils and eating well. About a week ago it stopped opening as fully and opened less each day until it is finally not opening at all. The nearest corals are about 6-8 inches away (some Xenia, Green Star Polyps, Green Sinularia)
<These can/will "all do it">
and there are some Zoanthids at least 12 inches away.
I have not added any new corals for over 8 months. I am doing regular water changes and all my other corals are quite happy. The only thing that comes to mind is that I have not replaced my T5 bulbs in over 6 months and perhaps their light output has shifted. My alkalinity is at 3 mEq/L and pH is about 8.2.
Ammonia is zero, phosphates are not detectable, calcium is about 400 mg/L.
I have not tested for Mg. I did however start adding Purple Up about every 3 days at the recommended rate a few weeks ago. Would you be able to suggest some other possible causes which may be aggravating my Duncan's
<It's the big loser here... Read: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above, and onto Dendrophylliid Comp. FAQs... There are a few techniques that may save this colony... else, I'd be moving it some place different... another system. Bob Fenner>
Thank you and best regards,

Dendrophylliids, leaving skeleton! -- 07/01/09
Hi do you know if Dendrophylliids ( sun- flower Corals ) leave the corallite structure and crawl around the tank?
<I do... and they don't>
Our sunflower corals have all crawled out of the corallites structures .
<Trouble. See WWM re the family's needs, health. Something is very wrong here. Bob Fenner>
Thanks for your help Ivan

Re: Dendrophylliids 7/14/2009
Hi Bob attached find photos of Sun-flower corals
Regards Ivan
<Interesting to speculate that this might be a "coral polyp bail out" mechanism that allows for relocation... rather than death... for immobile stony corals... Thanks for sharing, Bob Fenner>

Turbinaria reniformis, beh. 4/20/08 Let me start by saying thank you for the wonderful website.... Brilliant. I have one question about a frag I bought for my LPS/SPS reef tank. It is a Turbinaria (orange with yellow polyps). I have done some research on this species and I am a little confused about the polyp extension on this coral. Mine has its polyps out all the time, throughout day and night. From what I understand this is abnormal, should only be out during the night. could it be "hungry", I feed live phyto, red Colonus Plankton, and Cyclops for corals) Is this anything to worry about? <Mmm, no... not to worry. This and most all overtly zooplanktonic/feeding corals do go "acyclic" for a while, eventually adapting to "captive conditions"... not to worry re this Dendrophylliid> All parameters are good: Tank is 18 months old Salinity: 1.024 Temp: 80 Calcium: 400 Alkalinity: 10 DKH PH: 8.13-8.45 day/night (no fuge but try to keep stable with dripping Kalk at night) Mag: 1290 Strontium: 14mg/L Nitrate: 3 PPM Phosphate: undetectable (no algae problem and feed sparingly) I would say it grows about 1/4 of an inch in a months time, and has never shown any signs of it being unhealthy. (although when I got it I had to siphon off about 8 of those lovely, tiny, purple/pink Nudibranchs) Must all be gone... have not seen any in a couple months. Okay maybe 2 questions. I have also read that they do not need "that much light" as far as LPS?/SPS corals go. My tank has two lamps and is a standard 75gal. aquarium. 1 PC=260W (130W-10K and 130W-420nm actinic) 1 T5HO 216W (108W-10K and 108W-14K) for a grand total of 476W. A. Does this sound like a good lighting combo for a mixed reef. (no softies except for some green Mushrooms and 13 orange Rhodactis Mushrooms. All placed at the bottom) Everything else is light loving. <Is fine> B. The Turbinaria is about 10 inches from the surface. Should it be moved lower in the tank? <I would leave this colony where it is... Is evidently doing well, judging from the growth rate...> And sorry but I just keep thinking of more questions. As I stated, my tank is mostly SPS/LPS with the exception of a very large LTA. (I know, I know.... no anemones in reef tanks right. <Mmm, can be done... with care> It does not move and has pretty much 1/3 of the tank dedicated to it, so nothing gets stung.) I also have a Skunk Cleaner Shrimp and the usual hermits, snails, and other clean-up crew and a Sand-sifting star that has been alive and well for over a year, I have a 6inch DSB. I do not dose any Iodine/Iodide, but do a 10 gallon water change with Red Sea Coral Pro salt and RO water every week. (By the way, have you guys at WWM heard anything about this salt yet. <Just bits and pieces. Appears to be a fine product> I have used your search bar and so far I have not found any opinions on it because it is so new, but I have gone through a whole 65lbs. bucket and I don't want to switch so I am just looking for somebody to tell me it is okay to keep using it. I am far from an expert, but I just have to say I love it. All parameters check out when I tested the freshly mixed water after a 24 hour cycle period. Also all corals look absolutely beautiful right after a water change.) Should this be enough to keep Iodine at a respectable level? <Likely so. If, when in doubt, some mix of Iodine/ide/ate can be added w/ exceedingly little chance of trouble> Should I invest in a test kit for this and look into Lugol's Iodine? <If you'd like> My shrimp molts every couple of weeks, so that is a good sign...right? <Yes...> Thank you for your help, and props to Anthony Calfo and Bob for the wonderful Book of Coral Propagation. <Ahh, this work is Antoine's alone... and the second ed. especially re-done very well. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Sun Coral Observation, Dendrophylliid beh. 11/14/07 Hello Crew, <Sara> I just wanted to share an observation and see what you all think. I recently added a few small sun coral colonies to my aquariums. One of them appeared to be getting some sort of disease. There was a line of red/maroon colored "ooze" moving over some of the polyps (at an alarming pace). Of course, I first thought it must be brown jelly disease (or something like that). So I freaked out and fragged off the effected polyps. Much to my dismay, that didn't work. The red slime/ooze appeared to start moving over the rest of the polyps of this colony. But this time I just resigned to watching it die (though I did blow off the "red stuff" several times a day and continued to feed the coral like I did the others anyway--even though the polyps weren't extending). Then I noticed something strange. After this slime/ooze/disease had moved over just about all the polyps, it just stopped and disappeared. Stranger still, the polyps which had been effected weren't at all dead as I had initially thought. They were very much still alive (but with a lighter shade of tissue and shorter tentacles). I was both elated that the coral wasn't dead and sad that I'd fragged off polyps that might not have been doomed (I really do have to remember not to be so Dremel-happy). The coral is now doing pretty well as far as I can tell and this "disease/condition" never spread to the other colonies. If I didn't know better, I swear I'd think the coral just "shed." <Perhaps... but the question comes... of what "use" is such behavior... is it a reaction?> Any idea what might have been going on here? I'm sorry I don't have any pictures, but this all occurred over the course of not even 3 days. Thank you, Sara <Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Re: Sun Coral Observation -11/14/07 <Perhaps... but the question comes... of what "use" is such behavior... is it a reaction?> <<I honestly don't know. The whole thing baffles me. If I had to guess, thinking of why other corals "shed," is that maybe it's a reaction to an external irritant? I believe leather corals sometimes shed to prevent algae from growing on them. And I've read literature which suggests even some coralline algae "shed" to prevent fouling. The speed with which this happened, and how rapid the coral "recovered" (within days) makes me skeptical that it's a disease. But who knows? The lack of information/research is a bit frustrating. Sara M.>> <And/or enthralling... How could/would one test these hypotheses? B>

Re: Sun Coral Observation -11/14/07 <And/or enthralling... How could/would one test these hypotheses? B> <<Well, I suppose one way to start investigating would be to try to induce it with different stimuli. But before I start torturing my corals, I think I'll ask around to see if anyone else has seen this and when/why they think it happened. :-) -S.M.>> <Hotay. B>

Need help pagoda coral 8/7/06 I recently bought a pagoda coral and placed it in my 20 reef. <Small....> Its been 2 days <Often takes several days for cnidarians to acclimate...> and hasn't fully open only halfway open its pretty high in the tank with lots of water flow my lighting is on this tank is 2 55 watt pc at the pet store they are using metal halides and coral was placed on top checked my parameters and they are all good I don't know what I should do any help would be appreciated thanks <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Pagoda Help I've had a pagoda for about 2 weeks and I just saw the strangest thing yet. A brownish stringy slime was discharged from every polyp (which have not been opening very much). This stringy slime was floating around the tank and I netted a lot of it out, but what is it? Is it a poison, signs of the pagoda dying or doing poor, or just its natural waste cycle. Thanks, Michael <Likely a natural "exudate", reaction product to something (likely living) in the same system... It is a good idea to try and remove this material as you state... I would also check what you can water quality wise, refresh your activated carbon, and be prepared to execute a larger water change with pre-made water should other livestock show signs of distress. Bob Fenner>

Tubastrea (sun polyps) losing color - 2/17/05 Hello Crew! <Hey Elmer> I must say that I'm an avid reader of your web site, learning a lot of things. <Great! Me too, actually> Thanks for that. <Thanks for coming here and being part of it all. It is why we do what we do> I have a beautiful sun/tube coral (Tubastrea aurea) which is in my aquarium for about 3 months now. <Fed well I hope?> I noticed that it started to lose its orange color at the base of its tubes. <Fading or actually turning colors?> It started as one spot three weeks ago that is gradually enlarging through time. <Hmmmm> Now, most of the bases and in between the tubes are grayish in color. <How is the flow around this coral??> Is this a sign of a dying coral? <Very possible. How do you feed this coral? This is a non-photosynthetic coral so it will need feeding somewhat frequently. At least every three to five days> It is sitting at the bottom of my aquarium, not in a shaded area. <Not necessarily an issue but I have usually spotted these corals growing caves and overhangs usually upside down> My water parameters are very good. <OK Be sure to check it and maybe even have someone check if possible. Maybe a local fish store?> I have a 50g aquarium (5 months old), 192w fluorescent lighting, Arctica chiller maintained at 77F, 60lbs live rock, CPR Cyclone CY 194 sump/skimmer/filtration system with carbon, RowaPhos, and BioBale inside. <You can take out the BioBale if you would like, otherwise sounds very nice> I have a flame angel, yellow tang, 2 damsels, a Banggai cardinal, 2 soft corals, 2 LPS corals, a starfish, and 2 cleaner shrimps. <Good selection. Keep an eye on the damsels. Destructo twins for sure> This tube coral is my first coral. It is beautiful and I earnestly don't want to lose it. <Again, be aware they like a medium flow and need to be fed regularly as stated above. Try a mixture of various Mysid, Cyclops-eeze, baby brine, Omega one etc and try target feeding if you don't already. Very likely they do get some food left over from the fish feedings but better to target. Again, to reiterate, this is not a coral that requires lighting.> It still continues to expose its yellow tentacles at night time. <A good time to feed it> Please advise. <I can't say for sure that this coral is dying, but I think increase the flow, maybe hang it in an overhang or cave, and target feed when tentacle are exposed will get the coral back on track.> Many thanks for your help. <Hopefully I have helped. Remains to be seen. Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul> Regards,

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: