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FAQs about Dendrophylliid Corals 1

Related Articles: Dendrophylliid Corals

Related FAQs: Dendrophylliids 2, Dendrophylliid Identification, Dendrophylliid Behavior, 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 PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral Behavior,

Turbinaria reniformis Bernard 1896, family Dendrophylliidae. One of the more common stony corals, genera, families in the aquarium interest. A hardy LPS.

Tubastrea feeding plan 4 April 2005 Hello Crew,  <Hi Alex, MacL here with you tonight.> I have a feeding plan that I would like to try on my sun polyp coral! And I want you guys to tall me if It's a good one. I would like to try coral vital and Cyclop-eeze mixed together with tank water, when the polyps open, with a turkey blaster blow a puff of food into a feeder hat. What do you guys think?  <I think it sounds really nice. I use DT's and Cyclop-eeze the exact same way.> 

Tubastrea Feeding follow-up 7 April 2005 Hello one more time MacL <Hey!>   How do I know when my coral has finished eating? (I know kind of a silly question). Not silly whatsoever, I generally judge it done when all the food disappears in the cap but I have a friend who leaves him on for an hour and no longer. His corals are thriving as well. I think you can safely judge by how fast they eat and by how they respond.> But I want to do this right. Thanks again!!!

Goniopora & Yellow Cup Coral 4/1/05 I'm in a bit of a bind. My parents surprised me with 2 gifts, Goniopora and what the store told them, yellow cup coral. They picked it up while on a road trip, and don't even remember the name of the store. I'm having trouble finding out info. on the yellow cup, <It's tough to say... it may be a dyed coral (Yellow Turbinaria peltata)... or it may be one of the real yellow species like reniformis. Do look for pics of Turbinaria species.> ...but was horrified with what I learned about Goniopora.  <Yes...> My parents thought they were doing a good thing. Little did they know. Now, I'm stuck with these 2 corals that I know very little about. They have no idea what store they bought it at, so there's no chance of returning these items. First off, is there anything I can do to sustain my Goniopora other than pray?  <Actually... if it's a free-living green G. stokesii, then keep it on a Deep Sand Bed and stir the sand around it a couple times each week minimum> I've read a lot on your website, and I normally never introduce coral unless I've thoroughly researched it. But, now I'm stuck. The Gonio seems okay, it gets bigger and bigger every day it seems. The yellow cup I have as high up as I could put it in the tank, but the edges seem to be fading in color , and there is a brownish lining around the tubes. Here are the parameters of my 30 gall. Cube tank---ammonia btwn 0 and .25, nitrates at about 20, nitrites at 0, alkalinity btwn 80 and 120 (though I don't know how this element affects the tank), ph at 7.8. I've got mushrooms, 2 open brains, polyps that seem to be turning white (probably not a good sign), a yellow leather coral, and the 2 new corals mentioned above, along with dozens of hermit crabs, snails, and 4 small fish. I feed the gang Cyclop-Eeze which everyone seems to love, and DT's Phytoplankton.  <Do consider adding DTs "Natural Diet" to the mix here. Fabulous food!> I add iodine, strontium/Molybdenum. once a week, and I was adding calcium every few days, but I also use Oceanic salt which has a lot of calcium in it. I need to buy a calcium tester this week, so I can't tell you the calcium levels of my tank yet. I've got a Prizm skimmer, huge wet/dry AMiracle filter and 176 combined wattage. I was doing 10 gall. water changes weekly until about 2 mos. ago, when I started doing 10 gall. water changes every 2 weeks instead.  <Ughhh! Please be more generous with the water changes> Can you give me any info. on the yellow cup coral as far as feeding or otherwise, and is there any hope for Goniopora? Thanks for your time, and sorry for this lengthy email. <Best of luck! Anthony> 

Goniopora & Yellow Cup Coral Follow-up 4/2/05 Hi Anthony, <Cheers> I think it is a yellow Turbinaria peltata, but I guess it was dyed yellow, which is really awful, as I'm learning.  <Ughhh! Its a deplorable thing they do dying such corals. Have you read the articles we have on WWM on dyed corals and anemones? > I have it high up in my tank so it can get as much light as possible... <Your intention is good... but this will harm the coral, my friend. The limited zooxanthellae remaining with be light shocked. Instead, this coral needs moderate light and VERY regular feedings (target feed the polyps 3-5 times weekly for a couple of months at least)> ...but since is in the shape of a cup/bowl... <This is the low light variety of the species as evidenced by its cup shape. High light Turbinaria peltata often have convoluted shapes> ...it collects some debris, and the edges of each of its Turbinaria tubes is outlined in brown debris lookin' stuff.  <The debris should never accumulate... this animal needs better water flow my friend> Also the edges are turning dull and white slowly. I feel like I'm killing it.  <Not so much as the animal have already been insulted (dye). It is a hardy coral that can recover in months if you feed it regularly> My calcium levels were running high at 550 ppm, so I did water changes and will hopefully get it down to 450ppm.  <Yes, please... or lower actually to be safe> My pH and alkalinity were also a bit low, so I added buffer and hope to get things more stabilized in the next week. Could this affect the yellow Turbinaria the way I described?  <If anything... the high light has harmed> The Gonio has fluorescent green buds but constantly winds up below the sand bed level, so I'm going to move it onto a deeper sand level in the middle of the tank, rather than in a corner where it can smush into the glass corner.  <Ahhh... this may be Goniopora stokesii. If so, it is a bit hardier and can survive in aquaria for some years if given a deep sand bed, some phytoplankton feedings... and perhaps weekly sand stirring IMO> Is "Natural Diet" another type of DT's food or is it just for coral?  <It is an excellent food for many corals> Also is Cyclop-Eeze good for corals too, b'c my fish love it, but I thought it was good for coral?  <Agreed> What else besides good tank husbandry can I do for the yellow Turb and Gonio? Thanks, Helana... <You are doing fabulously my friend. Keep reading, pondering, researching and consider applying some of my suggestions above. Best of luck! Anthony>

Re: Goniopora & Yellow Cup Coral 4/2/05 Thanks for your speedy reply, I have read almost all the articles that I could find from your website on both Gonio and Turbinaria, and since mine is a bright yellow, I'm assuming it's a dyed Turbinaria peltata. I have to move the Turbinaria to a lower place, but when it was on the sand, the blue sand would always blow into it, plus I have a dragon goby who loves to dig! <Understood... indeed, do keep sand off of it. This coral only occurs on hard substrates> It's looking worse than ever, and getting whiter around the edge of its bowl rim. Also, you mentioned target feeding the individual polyps... what does that mean, and what do I use to feed it? <Do a Google search of WWM for "target feeding" my friend. But the gist of it is as it sounds - targeting polyps with food.> I have Cyclop-Eeze, DT's phytoplankton, frozen brine Mysis shrimp (they are in frozen blocks that dissolve into pieces of tiny shrimp--can't imagine the coral could eat something so big... plus I never really use it), flake food, frozen bio-pure rotifers (which I never use anymore b'c I use the Cyclop-Eeze to feed coral instead, plus fish love it), and Formula Two gel binder frozen fish food (algae fish food). Can you tell me which of these I could use to target feed my yellow dyed friend, and what/how does one target feed?  <Again... please turn to our archives. We work very hard to build them to help you to help yourself. Go to the index/home page at WWM and type in "feeding corals." I just did and see some fabulous hits> It sounds complicated and I'm already getting nervous. Lastly, you said in your email..." Goniopora stokesii. If so, it is a bit hardier and can survive in aquaria for some years if given a deep sand bed, some phytoplankton feedings... and perhaps weekly sand stirring IMO>" When you say deep sand bed, I used about 8 bags of blue sand when I set up my tank, back in July, I hope that is deep enough? <I have no idea of knowing how deep that is an unknown sized tank ;) If you have at least 3"... you are in the ballpark> Also, what do you mean by sand stirring IMO? I'm sorry for these silly questions...but I haven't heard these terms or abbreviations before. Thank you for your continued patience and support, Helena. <Much to read... and do consider joining a local aquarium society for outstanding perspective from tanks you can visit/see. Above all... please realize that you lack of familiarity with basic terms for reef keeping requires that you learn them before acquiring more livestock. Start with Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals. A great reference book. kindly, Anthony> 

Re: Turbinaria peltata Dear Bob, Thanks for the reply. I believe we have some confusion. I constantly have to add buffer to maintain my tank at the normal to high level as per my Red Sea Test Kit. This kit only gives a general low/normal/high coloration scale. No numerical values are given. I try to keep it at the high normal to low high reading. According to my LFS, this is about 10/12 DKH. My thoughts were as follows. Three things to affect the corals' current condition. Food - Since I am feeding a mixture of products at three to four times per week and it readily accepts whatever I feed it, I have eliminated this as the causation. More on this below. Lighting - I only had 100 watts of light previously. My feeling was that maybe this may be the reason for the receding tissue. I had wanted to upgrade my lighting, so I purchased a 260 watt Coralife unit.  <This by itself will "do it"... burn the specimen as you sent the pic> Water Flow - I only have the Emperor 400 on this half of the tank. It produces a slight waving of the polyps. I have a HOT Magnum on the other end of the tank also. It has the swivel head on the exit and I switch it from one side to the other at least two/three times per day to get some random turbulence. I was thinking of adding another power head to the lower portion of the tank on this side also. However, I want to see if the lights make an improvement. Changing too many things at one time increases the number of variables. No way of knowing what actually helped. <I agree> More questions on Coral Feeding: After months of reading WetWebMedia, CMA and Reef Invertebrates, I have some questions of coral feeding. Please excuse me if I missed it somewhere. <Sure> On plating types of Corals such as this T. peltata that have numerous polyps, does each and every polyp have to receive nutrition in order to survive, or is it simply a collection point? <The latter> For example, if one area of the coral receives more nutrition because of flow, location of polyps, will the polyps that receive the most nutrition feed the entire colony and will the area that does not receive as much food gradually recede away or not plate in that general area. For example, the area that the tissue is receding is on the back side of the coral and it is difficult to target feed. I pose the same question regarding the LPS corals such as the Mussidae corals. Will the polyps that do not receive as much nutrition die in that general area, or will the polyps that receive the most nutrition support the entire colony. Thanks, Dean <Some Dendrophylliids (e.g. Tubastrea) need to have each polyp fed, others share... the Mussids inclusive. Bob Fenner>  

Turbinaria peltata Follow-up Dear Bob and Crew, <Dean> I want to update you on the problem I was having with my Turbinaria peltata.  I am happy to report that the tissue has stopped receding.  It appears that the coral is starting to take back some of the territory that it lost.  There was some apparent light shock after upgrading of my lighting.  But I believe that the upgrade was a positive move.  I went from 100 watts to 260 watts. <!> Also, I have increased the number of times per week that I target feed this coral. I am now feeding this coral at least three times per week.  Some weeks it gets target fed four times per week.  I believe all is good now. <Good> I do have some additional of questions. I had a coral put on hold for me at the LFS.  I was told by the assistant, who seems to be very knowledgeable, that it was a  Yellow Scroll Coral AKA Turbinaria reniformis.  After some research on your site, I came to the same conclusion.  I also decided that with my level of experience, and the steadily improving conditions of my tank, this was a coral I could keep in my system.  However, I found some additional material on your site that make me believe this identification my not be correct.  I was reviewing the section on "The Best Corals for Your Reef System" and ran across the section on Montipora Corals.  Specifically the section of pictures "More Montiporas in Aquariums"  I now believe what I have is a Montipora.  Could you please review the attached picture and give me your opinion. <This is Turbinaria... not an Acroporid> I have a mushroom in my tank that has grown to the point that it is touching my brain coral. <Best to separate... ASAP> The brain is losing this battle.  My question is, can I take a pair of scissors and trim off the offending edge of the mushroom without hurting the mushroom.   <Best to break it off and move, if you can't just re-arrange the rock it is attached to... or move the Brain...> It will be about one inch x 1/4" section that will be removed. And, if I cut this section up into smaller pieces, will these pieces grow into another mushroom. I dose my tank every evening with Kalk for my make-up water.  My drip mechanism leaves about 1 1/2" of fluid in the bottom of the container. Does this material need to be discarded every time or can I add a little less Kalk and just add more water. <Eventually has to be tossed, but not every time> Thanks for your kind assistance and happy reefing. Dean
<Be chatting. 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, Elmer

Blenny problems Date: Wed, 9 Feb 2005 Hi, <Hello Chris, James (Salty Dog) here.> I've written to you a few times and you have always promptly replied.  Thanks so much for the help you have given me.  <You're welcome> I am stuck with a new problem, a problem with a bicolor blenny (Ecsenius bicolor) chewing on my Turbinaria peltata. I acquired a magnificent Turbinaria peltata last weekend. Its amazing with light brown polyps and fluorescent green between the polyps. Its been doing great, all polyps expanding. But a few days after I got the coral, I saw patches on the green tissue that looked like someone has taken an eraser and tried to remove the green. I know it was the blenny as he had slight go at my Acro.  He stopped chewing on that now at least. I did not think he would go for the Turbinaria though. I see him sometimes lying in the cup of the coral, all peacefully, then just to turn around and nip a piece of the fresh green tissue. Is this just a phase that will pass, or is it better the blenny goes. <You know Chris, there are some that say the bicolor is reef safe, and there are some that say it will go after corals and the like. So, if it continues, I guess you'll have to give him his discharge.>  I'd rather remove the blenny than lose the amazing coral. If the blenny leaves, will the damaged tissue recover?  <Yes, under good conditions> I want to evict the blenny, and tried a few times to no avail. He's a slimy customer. He has a favorite hole in which he sleeps and hides, and as soon as I get close to the tank with the net..... shwoop, he's gone. I've even tried to coax him out with some food, because he's quite a pig when it comes to food, but that was no good either. Can you suggest a method to remove him easily. I thought of removing the rock in which he sleeps, but I'd rather not rearrange my tank decor if possible. Is there a sort of trap I could build?  <Ahh, the joys of trying to catch a fish in a reef tank. You might try a mantis trap baited with his favorite food. No guarantee, but it is better to try this first that to disrupt the whole system which you will end up doing if he doesn't take the bait. Good luck. James (Salty Dog)>

Feeding Turbinaria Dear Crew < Hi > I have had a Turbinaria in my tank for some time now (12 weeks). In all this time its polyps are just coming out but never fully. I have a calcium reactor and my water parameters are as follows pH 8.4 mg 1100 Calcium 440 phosphates 0.08 hardness 12 DKH Lighting 3 60W fluorescents 1 actinic blue (60W) 1 T5 lamp (80W) on for 12 hours The coral is placed 6ins from the top in medium flow. I have started to offer meat juice and phyto to this coral at lights out on a daily basis to no avail. The polyps remain retracted. Before this I was offering zooplankton and phyto twice a week. Any ideas as to what maybe going wrong? Could the coral be laying down deposits and not ready for feeding??  < Possible. I almost wonder if it would do even better tucked away down lower under a ledge. I know that the "sun polyp goddess" uses a long straw to feed her Turbinaria frozen brine shrimp. Maybe try that. Otherwise, keep good water chemistry and wait it out. > PS I regularly dose daily with iodine and strontium too.  Any help greatly appreciated. < Blundell >

Feeding Turbinaria continued Thanks for the info I have moved the coral to midway down my tank, still in medium flow over a branch rock overhang. I am keeping my calcium at a constant 440ppm with Kalkwasser additions to see if that will coax the polyps out to feed. Not to question you chaps but the coral is a Turbinaria sp, not Tubastrea the non photosynthetic species I have.  < Very similar requirements and feeding for these corals. I think the lower light, overhang, with food is my advise. >  I believe Turbinaria is a wide ranging photosynthetic species, which tolerates a wide range of spectrums.  < Yes it does. I think (and I could certainly be wrong) that it will be more likely to actively feed if it can't get all its energy needs from light. >  Does the polyp extension need to be a common feature with this coral day to day?  < Surprisingly this coral will open for a few days, then stay closed up for a few days. I don't really understand that. >  I will keep you posted on events. I am trying feeding during the day, at lights out and just before lights out. Any further info appreciated  < Well here is my other thought. I wouldn't worry about it. If it doesn't open up, oh well. I think it can and will do fine with healthy water regardless of its amount of feeding. > < Blundell > 

Coral ID and Reef Husbandry 1/23/05 Dear Bob and Crew, <howdy!> My name is Dean and I am an aquaholic. <I like to drink water too... every day. No worries> I have what my LFS identifies as a cup coral in my 55 gallon Tank.  <yep... Turbinaria peltata. A very hardy coral that favors feeding small meaty foods like mysids once weekly for starters> It is some type of plating coral. I watched this coral for several weeks at the LFS before I purchased it. I feel confident that if it could survive in their tanks, then it would survive in mine. <This Turbinaria is an excellent starter coral indeed.> I have extensively researched your site and to no avail at an accurate identity. Would you please review the attached picture for me. I have this coral at the top of my tank. It is approximately four inches from the top of the water and the lights are sitting directly on the cover glass.  <moderate to strong turbulent water flow is the key with this species> It is probably six inches from the light source. This coral has been in my tank since August 2004 and I did quarantine it for four weeks... <excellent to hear! Thank you> ...before introducing it to my display tank. When you look down at this coral from the top, it appears that some of the tissue is receding.  <not uncommon... a bit of damage or lack of feeding over time. Resume good water quality and feeding and it will heal fast> But if you look closely at the picture along the lower edges, you can see a new row of polyps starting to grow and the tissue is spreading on the non-light portions of the rock. What are your thoughts? <I like natural vanilla (bean) ice-cream... thanks for asking> Tank Parameters: 55 Gallon Oceanic Flat Back Hex Tank. It has been in operation for two years. Lighting consists of two 40 watt 20K Coral Life bulbs. <change these every 6-10 months for best coral health> Penguin 400 filter. HOT Magnum Canister Filter. DIY Downdraft Protein Skimmer. About one cup of tea color skimmate every one/two days. <good start... do dry smaller bubbles or a lower active foam/water interface in the skimmer neck to be able to collect darker/more dense skimmate> 20 percent water change per month. 150 pounds of base rock mostly covered with pink coralline algae. Plenum with three inches of aragonite on top. Several Yuma Ricordea Mushrooms. One Pterogorgia guadalupensis. One three inch Coral Beauty. One Four inch Yellow Tang. One four inch Lawn Mower Blenny. One Coral Banded Shrimp. Too many button polyps and sun polyps to count. Started with only one sun polyp and four button polyps free from the LFS. Ammonia has always tested "0". Nitrite has always tested "0". Nitrate "0" to only a trace. Calcium normally runs 350. pH is normally 8.2/8.3 during the day. I did test it early one morning this weekend, before the lights came on, and it tested about 8.0. <do raise this to 8.3 minimum> Alkalinity test normal to high with a Red Sea pH/Alkalinity test kit. I drip Kalkwasser for the make-up water. I currently have a small trumpet coral in my quarantine tank to be moved to my display tank next week. Could you recommend a location after reviewing the full view if my tank. I really enjoyed the CMA. I have read it several times from cover to cover. I also have a copy of your Reef Invertebrates in the mail for my birthday. Your help would be appreciated. Thanks Dean <best of luck and life to you my friend. Anthony>

Feeding sun polyps Hope you guys and girls get this, having some problems getting through to you. I bought a sun polyp from my LFS, they forgot to tell me how difficult feeding this beautiful invert is (should have done some research). What I did was cut the bottom out of a margarine tub and when he comes out (usually 30 minutes after lights out) I place the tub over the animal and squirt zoo plankton inside the tub and every polyp eats. << Good idea. >> I was worried about too many nutrients flooding the entire tank, but this works great for me and the sun polyp. This has got to be one of the most beautiful inverts that I have seen. I thought you might want to pass this on to others and it could help with the flooding of food while feeding these creatures. << Will share this info, thanks. >> Thanks Jerry S. <<  Blundell  >>

Tubastrea sun polyp feeding/dying 11/28/04 My little sun polyps are coming out to feed easily now, but the pale orange one does better than the red-orange one. The area around the red-orange one is turning white (with two of the little polyps completely gone... <clearly sounds like those polyps are starving... need more food or the right kind/size of food. Do try/use Cyclop-eeze as a primary staple... really outstanding for these corals> that was an area pushed up against the sand where they could not feed), <move the coral my friend or make a feeding hat (do a keyword search for "Tubastrea feeding hat")> but I am concerned about the rest of the polyps because many of them seem to have this white (it's hard) stuff around them. Is the entire coral dying?   <the white is starving polyps/bleached> If so, what did I do wrong? <you can save these polyps in mere months with resumed feeding> Alexandra

Re: question about sun polyp Thank you so much for your help with my little sun polyps. <Anthony is out...> I have moved them to a little cube tank by themselves and am feeding them with the filter off.   <Good> I have one more question if you don't mind. I am feeding them a mixture of frozen Cyclop-eeze mixed with phytoplankton and they seem to love it.  I am using an eye dropper and squirting it right on top of each polyp.   <Okay> How often should I feed them since they were starving and want to save them? <About every other day is fine. This predaceous coral does not need that much actual food, and it's best to be on guard re the possibility of the ill-effects of overfeeding. Bob Fenner> Thanks Alexandra Algae growth on exposed Turbinaria skeleton 10/7/04 Dear WWM Crew, I have a Turbinaria peltata coral which has some tissue recession in the center of the disk/cup due to physical injury.  The rest of the coral appears healthy however. Hair algae has begun to grow upon the skeleton in this spot and despite efforts by myself and the hermit crabs to physically remove the algae it continues to grow back.  Each time it grows back the tissue recedes a little.  Would attaching some epoxy to this spot perhaps help retard the algae growth?  Do you have any other suggestions?  With the help of water changes, water circulation, greatly reduced organics/food input, and the use of Phosban media I have decreased the hair algae quantity in the tank but some spots of growth still are very stubborn.  Thank you for any input, Laurie <Turbinaria tends to reclaim exposed skeleton slowly, which makes this problem a bit more difficult.  I would probably suggest simply leaving it alone.  With good water quality, the coral will eventually win out.  Although the epoxy solution works well with some faster growing corals, I would not suggest it here since Turbinaria is a relatively slow grower.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Mystery Critter, Hello, I hope you are doing well today. I purchased a Tubastrea sp. after doing much research.  The coral has been doing fine, however there are two creatures living in the rock the coral is on.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture because the following only happens at night. There are two holes on the rock, each hole has something in it.  You can not notice that the holes are filled with anything, because the skin of the animal is the same color as the rock (there is even a new Tubastrea growing on it), all you notice is a line like a closed mouth on the creature.  At night the mouth opens. and a (feather duster) comes out.. Any idea what these creatures could be? Thanks! Steven O. Garcia ***Hello Steven, First of all, it's pretty much futile for me or anyone else to ID something like this without a picture. If a "feather duster" is coming out then you simply have a feather duster, which are worms of the phylum Annelida, family Sabellidae usually. However from your description I don't think this is the case. What I think you're really seeing is a species of barnacle. Again, I would need a pic to have a real chance of identifying the thing. I'm no expert on barnacle species, but I think I could identify it as such. Regards Jim<<< Sessile invert ID. 9/21/04 Hello, I hope you are doing well today. <I'm great!  Hope you are too.> I purchased a Tubastrea sp. after doing much research.  The coral has been doing fine, however there are two creatures living in the rock the coral is on.  Unfortunately, I do not have a picture because the following only happens at night. There are two holes on the rock, each hole has something in it.  You can not notice that the holes are filled with anything, because the skin of the animal is the same color as the rock (there is even a new Tubastrea growing on it), all you notice is a line like a closed mouth on the creature.  At night the mouth opens. and a (feather duster) comes out..  Any idea what these creatures could be?  Thanks!  Steven O. Garcia  <There are a variety of sessile worms, crustaceans, and snails that fit your description.  All are harmless filter feeders or detritivores.  Enjoy the amazing diversity of life they represent!  Best Regards.  AdamC.> Turbinaria care 9/15/04 Hi recently purchased a Turbinaria peltata, turban, platter saucer coral, it was in good shape 3 days ago, now, right in the middle it looks to be dying it has a brown spot with stringy stuff coming out, <could just be digestion... no worries just yet> what can I do for it my water is in good shape, everything except my nitrates are at 20 which I have done a  water change 25 percent I will test water again, is there anything I can dip the coral in to help it, I am running power compacts, so I don't think this is a problem, my tank has been up and going for months now, everything else fish and other corals are ok, no corals close to it WHERE SHOULD I PLACE THIS CORAL RIGHT NOW IT IS SITTING ON A ROCK IS THIS OK??? I HAVE 125 GALLON AQUARIUM, THANKS <this coral is highly adaptable... please do have patience my friend. Share a pic when/if you can for better ID of the problem. Anthony> Turbinaria and algae. Hello Again Crew << Hi there, Blundell here. >> You helped me out once before so I will call on you once again.  I have a pagoda coral I believe it is Turbinaria peltata that I inherited from a friends aquarium when he left the hobby.  When I received it, it was not extending its polyps but since has come to fully extend and feed once again.  The problem is there is a patch in the center of the coral that has died and Green hair algae has a foot hold.  My water conditions are relatively good with my only concern being my nitrates somewhere between 10 and 20 ppm.  I have managed to win my battle with hair algae in most places except on this coral. The algae seems to do much better in this location than any other even though circulation is good.  I have tried to clean it of with a toothbrush but I am worried about damaging the coral.  Other that trying to keep my nutrient export up, feed lots and keep water conditions good is there anything that I can do? << Hermits and snails.  Also, it isn't such a bad thing, so I don't know if I'd get worked up about it. >>  Also is this species of coral completely non photosynthetic? << I have a difficult time believing so.  Calfo may say otherwise, but their color changing responses to lighting conditions give me reason to believe they are photosynthetic. >> Lonnie Chin <<  Blundell  >>

Question about sun polyps Hi << Hi. >> I searched your faq to see if anyone else had asked this but couldn't find what I need to know.  I did get lots of knowledge about the sun polyps, at least enough to know the guy at the fish store lied when he said they were for beginners. I have two of them.  I was going to put them in a tiny cube tank by themselves, but I'm having problems setting that tank up so they are now in my Nano cube with my other 3 corals and 4 fish.  I was reading that they like current, so I placed one near the water return intake and one in the center of the tank in kind of a little cave-like area.  They poof up at night and wiggled a lot the first couple days but didn't open with flowers.  I tried feeding lots and now the one in the center of the tank opens completely late afternoon after I turn off the tank light for the night.  That one is peachy color.  The other one is a darker red-orange and while it poofs way up and wiggles, only one or two of the little "hands" come out.    Does this mean it is not feeding? << I think the key to sun polyps is feeding.  I live close to the "The Sun Polyp Goddess" and I've seen her tanks many times.  She feeds them directly with like an eye dropper twice a day.  Usually after feeding the rest of the tank, which get the polyps in a feeding state as they smell food.  Then she carefully drops food onto each individual polyp.  Yes time consuming. >>  Why would one open and not the other? Is the current too strong for the one that won't open (the red-orange one) and should I move it closer to my other coral. << Well the color difference is probably a lighting difference.  The water flow idea is that these polyps need food.  So they need current to bring them food.  However, they can grow just fine in caves without any current, as long as you feed them.  So the current is only part of the issue, does that make sense? >>   These are my favorite corals in the tank and I want to keep my little pets alive and happy.  If I can get the little cube tank going is that a good place for them to be? << Sure, they do fine anywhere, as long as they get attention. >> They would be by themselves and I could feed them daily.  Right now I'm trying to feed them every other day. << Yep just keep feeding them. >> Thanks for any help. Alexandra <<  Blundell  >> Feeding Tubastrea Good morning, <Good evening Alex> I got one of these corals and I was wondering, I'm feeding it out side of the tank in a plastic cup. How long should it be in that cup, he feeds really slow??? <I would really be concerned about taking him out of the tank to feed him. If nothing else after an amount of time you would get temperature fluctuation.> I fed him yesterday for the first time and he was still eating after 20 min, then I put him in the tank with a feeding hat (cool idea I got from your web site)<Good to know it helped.> I didn't want my fish to eat his food, 4 hrs later he had finished. I do not know how long should he be out from the tank. I have him in side the tank under some live rock. He has some light but not to much. Does he need to be in total darkness??? <It does not need to be in darkness or sunlight, since it's non-photosynthetic.  It really wouldn't respond any different to either situation. I have mine located at the front of the tank so I can check for polyp extension. Good luck, MacL> Thanks

Tubastrea coral, again. Hello again, <Hi again Alex> I'm sorry, but I'm new on this coral. <Not a problem that's what I'm here for.> When you meant polyp extension that means they only open when there hungry???<I generally feed to get the polyp extensions and yes when I see polyp extension on mine I try to feed it. It responds then when I can see it. And I know it gets all the food. I also try to feed each polyp individually.>  And how many times do you feed yours a week???  <Probably 5 times a week.>  Thank you so much. <I hope I have helped you with this.  I'd like to recommend Anthony Calfo's Coral Reef Propagation book and Eric Borneman's Aquarium Corals. They are such amazing reference books.>

Tubastrea Or Sun Corals Hello, <Hi Alex, MacL here>   I wanted to buy the beautiful Tubastrea coral!!! But I was reading that they are very hard to feed. <They do need consistent feeding. But I wouldn't call them very hard to feed. Its just important that you feed every single polyp.> If I should get one, what would be the best way to feed them???  <There are wonderful directions for a feeding cap http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corlfdgfaq3.htm, I think you will find this cap very useful to feed hard to feed creatures like the sun corals.> Thanks  

Tubastrea Feeding Tips  hey guys,  <Hi! Ryan with you today>  Thanks for all the help in the past it's helped myself and many others out tremendously. <Glad to hear it> Unfortunately I'm going to have to bug you again. <Why I'm here> I have some orange cup corals of the non photosynthetic kind. <Gotcha> There are a couple different variations of the species so I'll just give you the name I've been using for ID. <My advise when it comes to the species names of lower inverts is to take all with a grain of salt...> It's a Tubastrea coccinea that is an LPS coral my problem is I don't know what to feed it. I've been using invertebrate foods such as PhytoPlex, ChromaPlex, and Zooplex on varying cycles but it doesn't seem to be keeping them in good health. <All bottled supplements with little benefits- You'll need to get some frozen high quality foods, as well as some decent coral food like Coral Heaven or Cyclop-eeze. These guys are quite the feeders- They'll require feeding every other day to flourish> I have two of these corals and they're mounted under a ledge in my aquarium just like in nature. <Feed them Mysis shrimp with tweezers> I've read that you need to target feed these types of corals, but I've also read that you don't and if you do what can I feed them? <See above> I've also tried feeding my fish at night when its polyps star to emerge so it can catch some of the fishes food but that I don't think is working too well either. <Nope, you'll need to target feed them. If you cut the top off a 2-liter soda bottle, you can put this around your polyps and then use a feeding syringe to really give them a decent chance at eating> I really don't want to lose this coral so I'd appreciate any info you have on them. I also seem to be having a micro bubble problem in my tank. I have a CPR overflow box that drains the water to my refugium/sump. Problem is it keeps blowing tiny bubbles down into my sump and creating a really annoying salt creep problem all around the top where the big bubbles pop and slash and such. Any simple remedies like egg crate on the surface of the water? <Sometimes a piece of bridal veil netting somewhere in the line to the sump can help- Really it's just fine tuning. Tinker, tinker my friend. Have a good one, Ryan> I don't know. Please help out. Chris aka fishtank

Easy way to get sun coral (Tubastrea) spawning 4/10/04  Hello, Dr. Bob,  <Anthony Calfo in his stead>  Five to six months ago I wrote to you about sun corals spawning in my tank, two months ago there was power failure for about 2hrs. Or so, and I noticed my sun corals spawning again, I thought it was just a routine as they do tend to spawn every month. A week later I was drilling hole into the tank to connect it to the sump and  I turned the filtration off and lowered the water level then I noticed the sun corals spawning. Then I decided to go forward with the experiment of turning off filtration and observing whether the sun coral spawn or not, and after caring out this experiment three to four times at the interval of 10 to 15 days I reached the conclusion that when the water movement is absent the sun corals do tend to spawn.  <very interesting!>  As I can collect the sun corals from the near by sea shore only on the days of full moon or no moon when there is no water movement as the water level drops, I guess they must be spawning every 15th day. Since I don't have any other hard coral in my tank, I would be more than happy if you carry out this experiment and let me know whether this technique works or not on other hard corals. AMEYA  <fascinating information my friend... thank you so much for sharing. Please do follow up with more when you can. With kind regards, Anthony>

Feeding Tubastrea sun coral 3/11/04 Hi, how often do I have to feed the Sun Coral (Tubastrea)? And, what types of food are best? Cyclop-eeze? Thanks, Adam <Cyclop-eeze is an excellent food, but cannot be used alone like any whole food (limited in various nutrients/vitamins). Offer your Tubastrea a variety of 4-6 meaty foods of marine origin (mysids, Pacifica plankton, minced krill, etc) several times weekly. And be sure to feed each polyp... they are individuals and not colonial. There are many interesting feeding tricks for Tubastrea (feeding hats, removal to feeding cups for slurries, etc). This coral is best kept in a species tank... they are too hard to feed in a typical reef tank of zooxanthellate corals without ruining water quality or starving the sun coral. This coral has been spawned many times in captivity. Do research more on the subject. Kindly, Anthony> Tubastrea Food I have had a Tubastrea, (orange cup) for about a year now. It has slowly died off from lack of food on my part. I'm not only afraid to pollute the tank with daily 'injections', but it's really no easy task to get to it. I am on a crusade now however to save it. First of all, how hard should the water flow be for this guy? <Medium currents should be fine. If you would like me to try to be more specific, around 3" of water should pass by the coral in a time frame of 1 second, Meaning that that water would travel 3" every second.> I do have a powerhead about 2 feet away from it, so that the water just sort of flows over it.  Does it need a strong current? <Strong current isn't needed.> Next, what is the best food to feed it,  Phytoplex Phytoplankton,  or, could I pulverize some frozen food and add Reef Plus with vitamins and amino acids, by Seachem? <The Tubastrea is not a herbivore, therefore phytoplankton based foods would not benefit the coral very much. I would recommend you feed it brine shrimp, shrimp, diced fish, and squid 3x weekly. Remember to feed each polyp rather than one or two individuals. You may want to look into creating a feeding cap. This can be made by cutting a 2L soda bottle in half (keep the side with the cap). You would want to first drill a small hole in the cap. Once the hole is drilled, you may take a few feet of tubing and stick one end of the tubing through the hole you have drilled. Now, you will see half of the 2L bottle and some tubing coming out of the cap. On the end of the tubing, you may want to have a syringe attached. Once the syringe is attached, you're done. You can then place this "Feeding cap" over the Tubastrea. Then, suck some DT's live phytoplankton or any other foods in the syringe and inject it into the tubing (which is connected into the bottle). The food will then be injected into the bottle for the Tubastrea to feed on. As I stated above, be sure to also try to inject some meaty foods into the mouths of the Tubastrea. If you need any further instructions on how to make this feeding cap, please do not hesitate to email one of us back.> As always, it's a pleasure to chat with all of you at WWM! I really enjoy it! <Thanks! Take Care, Graham Stephan.> Pam

Re: Tubastrea food Sounds like a great idea, but when you say DT's live phytoplankton, is that the same as  Phytoplex Phytoplankton?? <No. DT's phytoplankton is live phytoplankton, unlike Phytoplex. Phytoplex is dead phytoplankton which won't benefit the coral very much.> Just want to be sure I order the right product! thank you <No problem!> Pam Take Care, Graham Stephan 

Re: Tubastrea food Ahhhhh, I see. Okay, one more thing about these phytoplankton. You say that Tubastrea are NOT plant eaters. But, phytoplankton are microscopic plants that live in the ocean,.. can you explain this? <Earlier I stated that phytoplankton wouldn't benefit the coral that much. I then used phytoplankton as an example for what you could inject into the feeding cap. Phytoplankton is often used to feed some species of non photosynthesis gorgonians, tunicates, or sponges, which is why I used it as an example. In the same sentence I also implied that you could also inject other types of foods into the feeding cap. I was trying to use phytoplankton of just an example of what you can inject into the "feeding chamber," rather than what you should feed as the corals food source. I apologize if I was unclear and my message sounded misleading, but was not my intention. I hope this helps! If you have any further questions please do not hesitate to email one of us back.> Graham Stephan WWM Crew Thanks, Pam

Was that spawning by sun coral 9/9/03 This is Ameya, I am a regular visitor to the site wetwebmedia.com and it is fantastic. It gives a whole lot of ideas regarding various aspects of marine aquarium. This is my first e- mail to your website. <welcome!> I am new to marine aquariums but do have a 60 Gallon one set up by my self and a friend of mine who is a retailer of marine and freshwater aquariums some six months ago. It has three 2000 L/Hr. capacity power heads, two 900 L/Hr. attached to UG, and another 900 L/Hr. attached to a homemade skimmer, 10 40Watt tube lights (no external filter, no sump, no chiller, no calcium reactor). I maintain sal. 1.021, PH 8.3-8.6, nitrite is nil. <for successful coral keeping, do allow some small amount (<5ppm) of nitrate to linger as a food source> I have three spot damsel, electric blue damsel, yellow damsel, smoke angle each along with them I do have three carpet anemones, a long tentacle, sun corals, and a pulsating coral (sub category unknown) it can be ripped off stone and stick on any thing (it grows on standing glass as well) it has branches, with white tentacles and it grows sending new runners along its mother branch. These two types of corals are collected from a near by sea shore which has very dirty water. <understood... but do be careful about mixing anemone species together and mixing any anemones with corals for long-term success. It is usually difficult if not leading to mortality or disaster from aggression or movement in the tank by the motile species> One day when I came back home I saw the sun coral had a swollen look to it and the usually fluttering tentacle almost invisible after observing for ten to fifteen minutes carefully I saw white clouds being thrown out of their mouths, I suspect spawning must have taken place, but I wonder whether it is possible in such a small aquarium. <yes... it is possible and has been documented. If the even is asexual planulation, larva will almost certainly settle out successfully. Do see the reports from Joe Yaiullo (New York aquarium) on the topic> After approx. three days the tentacles were no where to be seen I thought the coral was dead, it was almost covered by diatom algae but after three to four weeks I was shocked to see tentacles coming out again. For that matter they haven't come out completely yet, I want my coral to survive, I will be thankful please give your expert advice, also expect a proper name for the above mentioned pulsating coral. <Xeniid corals are the only notable group of corals with pulsatory function. You may have a Xenia. As to the sun coral activity... they are weekly aggressive and may very well suffer after some weeks/months to chemical warfare (no touching needed) by the anemones which do not belong in the same aquarium. Best of luck! Anthony>

Orange Sun polyps or Zoo's? - Tubastrea it is 7/23/04 Hey gang, Greetings from Denver, Colorado! <cheers> I was told by the kid at the LFS, that these were "some sort of polyp colony", as he put it. I wasn't sure either, so I traded some Xenia frags for it. Anthony (or any of the other fine members of WWM crew!) if y'all could enlighten me as to what they are for sure, I'd appreciate it. Thanks for the continuing effort in knowledge y'all provide here, The Mile High Stormbringer. (aka; Scott in Denver!) <yikes... this is definitely one coral that needed a correct ID before buying it/bringing it home. They are ahermatypic aposymbiotic Tubastrea. In other words... it is the night-feeding stony "sun coral". They have no place in a reef tank but need a species specific tank ideally. This is because each and every single polyps is a separate coral and needs to be fed individually several times weekly (if not daily). With those needs met, it can be hardy, grow well and even reproduce in captivity. Its shameless that the LFS sells these without advising customers of their extraordinary needs. It honestly makes me a little sad at times to think of how many of these coral they sell this way. For you Scott... do search the web and beyond for info on Tubastrea. Do note the special sections I give to it in my Book of Coral Propagation (in the Feeding chapter as well as with its family in the Overviews). Best regards, Anthony>

Fading pagoda I have a yellow pagoda coral, sorry no pic. <There are two main types of "pagoda" coral: Turbinaria reniformis and t. peltata. T. reniformis is commonly yellow in color, has a thin but dense skeleton, and grows in a turbinate form (whorling plates). T. peltata usually only forms a single cup shape but can also have a few "whorls". The skeleton is thicker than that of the former and has big bushy polyps. T. peltata does not have a yellow color morph, so if you have this species, it's most definitely dyed.> I have a it about a week or so. all my levels are right where there supposed to be. its at mid tank in my  55g. I have a HQ1 150Wx1 MH. its seems to be fading fast on one side of it. doesn't seem to be dyed, the other side of it is keeping its vivid color. <Sounds like the halide is bleaching it. Put it off to the side in low, indirect light for now until it regains it's color. Only then should you try to begin the slow process of acclimating it to your lighting> it does have die off on the outer edges of it though, from when I bought it. any info would be great on what you  would try in this situation. <Eh, I wouldn't worry about the dead spots unless some algae got a foothold and started encroaching on the living tissue. Good luck!  -Kevin- >                                     Thanks,                                                 IRV

Purchase of new Turbinaria 4/24/03 Dear Crew <cheers> I have recently spotted two nice specimens of Turbinaria in my LFS. <if brown varieties (T. peltata like cup/chalice and pagoda) then very hardy... if yellow varieties... they need very strong flow and very bright light (!) likely> I have reserved them for a later purchase. I have the following system, 130 gallon 72x24x18. 4 60 watt arcadia lights (1 actinic) and 1 T5 80 watt blue white mix tube. <too much blue here for optimal coral growth... but nice aesthetic> I recently upgraded with the T5 and am wondering if this extra light will be too much for the cup coral I am about to purchase. <not even for the T. peltata if acclimated slowly... they are very adaptable> Also I have the other following stony corals :- 1 small Favia 1 Euphyllia 1 Porites 2 colonies of candy cane coral Various leather corals <other than the Porites perhaps... none of the above are very high light corals (no MH required here)> The cup corals will be placed away from all these corals (6 inch spacing), and I feed all my corals every other day with plankton and fine mussel. Any advice on the survivability of this coral would be helpful, i.e. placing etc. <depends again on species... T. mesenterina/reniformis are more difficult> I also have a high fish population of 1 flame angel 1 yellow tang 1 Midas blenny 1 maroon clown 1 Dottyback 1 mandarin Will this stock affect the cup corals life and survival? <likely help by providing food/feces> regards Jim Griffin <kindly, Anthony> Dyed yellow Turbinaria 2/26/03 Greetings to the crew.  Your site has helped me so much I can never repay you enough except to say that my 55g reef is doing well now and will buy all your books (not a plug) in the future. <thanks kindly <G>> I did make the mistake of purchasing a yellow Turbinaria p.  From your site I now know this animal has probably been dyed.   <not too bad... it is on of the few corals that can survive dying because you can feed it (and must)> The LFS of course told me it was a rare specimen and at 25% off I would kick myself if I didn't buy it. <wow... that clerk was a real scumbag> Now I am kicking myself right in the.... Anyway the specimen looks mostly a pale brown color except for the extended polyps that are bright yellow. My question; the polyps extend every day and they seem to be accepting food <excellent! that's most of the battle> (I use a blender to mix krill and phytoplankton then turkey baste).  I noticed today a small, about 1/2' round area on the very edge of the animal that is turning red.   <I have seen some specimens issue a red/burgundy growth edge instead of a doughy pale colored one> Any thoughts on what this might be and what measures I should take? <if the tissue doe not look necrotic, it may be natural. Do send a picture if you can> There are no other bothersome fish or animals in the tank.  Water checks out great, skimmate daily, some iodine and calcium added weekly.  PH 8.4, calc 475, sg 1.024, etc.... Any help would be appreciated. <keep strong turbulent (not linear) water flow over this specimen too for optimal polyp extension. Anthony>

Coral ID- Yellow Scroll coral  2/9/03 Hi Bob, or whoever answers this. <Anthony Calfo in your service> What is the name of the hard coral in the 5th picture down on the 'Marine Maintenance' page? <Turbinaria mesentaria- Yellow Scroll coral. It is very hardy and very weakly aggressive (protect from other corals with, say, a 25 cm buffer zone). It does not/cannot feed on prepared food (polyps are too small... requires nanoplankton and dissolved organics), but does require very bright light and very strong random turbulent water flow> I bought one of these from a bloke who was giving up the hobby, but he did not know the name. I have had it now for several months and it is doing fine. Many thanks Colin <excellent to hear. Its not an especially fast grower... but will let you know promptly when nitrates are too high or light is too low by turning a darker (golden/brown) color. No worries on polyp extension here... it is weak and usually just at night. Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding Tubastrea Sun Coral Do you have any tips on feeding a sun coral (Tubastrea)?   I can't seem to get the polyps to extend so I can feed it. Thanks, Alan <much has been written on this subject abroad on the 'Net. I also have a section in my book (Coral Propagation) for feeding Tubastrea with a slurry in a basin. For starters, train the polyps to open by simply putting a little bit of meaty juice (tablespoon) from thawed frozen food (Mysis shrimp) into the tank at the same time every night. Do this for a week or two until the animals is trained to open and wait at that time. Then introduce meaty fare (yes... Mysis is a great start). Target feed with a saltwater slurry... or put the coral in a floating cup several times weekly and concentrate the food (to prevent overfeeding the tank) Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Sun Polyps Hi Anthony.  <hello, dear> Just wanted to say that I love your book. I wish it would have come out before I set up my tank.  <thank you... do share you knowledge with others as always> I really like all the aquascaping ideas. I'm sure my husband is going to hate them, well at least the tanks that follow! So my question is about my sun polyps.  <I assume that we are talking about Tubastrea and not the Zoantharian, Protopalythoa. Both called sun polyps> I can't get them to grab any food. I've tried your idea of feeding them in a small container. I take a turkey baster and create some water movement, still no pretty flower polyps come out. How long should I keep trying this before I give up?  <never give up... its just that so many are so starved for so long on import that they take weeks of daily stimulation before they open again. Save some money on food and simply squeeze/crush a krill or shrimp head (seriously) in the feeding bowl every night at the same time. Do be VERY consistent with this. These corals have demonstrated a clear response to punctual feeding cycles. I suspect yours will open within two weeks. Do follow up to tell us if it does not> Could MH lighting hurt this little guy in the long run?  <absolutely not. Light has nothing to do with their health. A number of them do occur in full sun... they simply cannot compete with nuisance algae very well... hence why so many live under overhands> The coral still looks healthy. The polyps retracted look full. They don't look caved in like at some of the pet shops around here. I've only have them for about a week.  <have patience... you will have great fun with this beauty in the future. After it comes around... start soaking the food in Selcon or some other like HUFA rich/fatty supplement for health vigor and spawning. Also, pursue the information from Joe Yaiullo (NY) in the bibliography of my book. He wrote an outstanding article on breeding the orange sun coral> Enlighten me! <enlighten you...hmmmm: Confucius say... man who stands on toilet is high on pot> Thanks Lots!-Becky <my pleasure. Anthony Calfo>

Re: Turbinaria species, Dyed coral Anthony...How can I better tell if this is a dyed animal?  <a matter of experience/information... size/shape of corallites and polyp structures on the corallum indicate that this animal is almost certainly T. peltata. It really cannot be anything else. Color has nothing to do with coral identification. T. peltata for that matter occurs in brown, green, teal, pink/tan, etc. Unfortunately yellow is not a naturally occurring color for this species. Furthermore, T. peltata is categorically in the top three commonly dyed coral. A truly abhorrent practice as I'm sure you'd agree. An insult to the magnificent beauty of the coral reef in all of its natural forms. Reports indicate that this animal for its hardiness may survive the dye job although not without some stress. Occasional feeding of very fine food will be especially helpful to compensate for the reduced symbiotic activity of the now masked (dyed/pigmented) tissue for zooxanthellae>  All areas of the coral that are flesh covered are the same shade of yellow. There is an area near the base stem that are not flesh covered and it is pure white. If this is in fact a dyed animal, what type of success do you predict (i.e. is there any chance)? In the future, how can I avoid the purchase of a dyed coral. <just research a species before you buy it. Know its needs, hardiness, natural behavior (and colors<G>). Also read about current trends in the industry... many threads about dyed corals on the big forums and message boards. Membership in a good local aquarium society as well will keep you informed> Regarding the Sebae, I have it under 275w PC lighting. 3X55 10k/actinic, 1x55 6400k, 1x55 actinic. I change my bulbs app. each 12 months...not all at once, but about 1 every month or so until they are fresh.  <excellent technique with the bulbs! Kudos> I feed the anemone about once per week, usually squid, octopus, or shrimp. Also, I have "blender mush" that I feed the tank and usually the tomato clown gives a chunk to the anemone.  <also excellent> When I bought the anemone it was pure white with purple tips. A few days later it expelled more zoo (sp?) anther and proceeded to let go of the rock it was on and roll around the tank.  <yes... sadly typical> I moved it to a preferred (by me) position under the lights, and it grabbed on, only moving about 8" to the place where it has been for last 22 months or so. It has since turned brown, but has grown in size from 3" across to now more than 14". <excellent... a success story. Thank you for sharing it. FAQ readers take heed> I change about 15g per month in this 50g system. I rarely use carbon at all, but I do get a lot of skimmate from my Bak-Pak skimmer.  <yes.... critical for exporting dissolved organics especially with your lack of carbon and average water changes schedule> My water is usually crystal clear, but I use tap water so I get some diatom algae.  <not a crime> For current, I have the Rio 600 on the skimmer, AquaClear 802 ph, AquaClear 301 ph, and Catalina 100 PH. They are all on different flow paths so the current is pretty random.  <wow... fantastic! over 1000pgh total circulation in this 50 gall but strategically random turbulent. Highly effective and to be recommended. Keeps detritus in suspension for a good skimmer, feeds corals more, etc> Also, I have my LR elevated above the DSB with the Catalina PH blowing directly under the LR structure. I maintain my Ph at 8.4, Alk at 14dKh, CA at 350-400ppm. I don't have any measurable NO2 or Ammonia, but my NO3 is usually about 5-10 ppm. I supplement with Kent Superbuffer, strontium/molybdenum, Zo? and some other that I can't remember. <sounds very fine> Other corals in the system are: Hammer, Brain, Frogspawn, bubble, candycane, lots of colts, Sarcophyton, Sinularia, green star polyps, hairy 'shrooms, other misc. 'shrooms, and fox coral. I'm thinking of adding a pink Fungia and maybe a couple of brightly colored sponges. Attached is a pic of the system taken in April...it looks a little different now. <again... thank you for sharing. Best regards, Anthony>

Ughhh... dyed coral! The Fascists!!! Hello Bob, etc... <Anthony Calfo in your service> I love your site, and thank you for providing us reefers with such a useful, purposeful resource. I just purchased a new coral from my LFS and was trying to do a species ID to ensure that it gets proper care. I think that I have it under control from a general point of view, but I am after long term success, not 6-12 month torture... <yes... thank you, pictures most always help a great deal> Anyway, I have attached a pic for help, but in looking around your site I see a species that I think fits better than the LFS ID of pagoda coral. In my opinion, this is Turbinaria frondens. The shape seems more like Turbinaria peltata, but it has the brilliant yellow color of frondens. At first I was concerned about this being a dyed animal, but upon further inspection, I believe that this is natural coloration. Do you agree? <I am as certain as I can be without seeing the animal personally that this IS a dyed animal. Tragic. The polyps structure does not resemble T. frondens at all to me. T. peltata> Also, now that this coral is home, and the polyps are opening, I noticed that one polyp appears to have been taken over by a critter with 2 slender antennae.  <barnacles and sessile snails are quite common and harmless. Rather a fascinating incidental creature. Do enjoy> I noticed that there was a reference to this situation in the FAQ, but not a lot of info as to dealing with it. Should I be concerned?  <not at all... many hitchhikers and commensals make it through with little notice or cause for concern> I really don't want to add to the bioload of my system with a fish addition, but possibly a shrimp/crab would be in order. Currently I have 1 tomato clown, 1 yellow tang, 1 scooter dragonette, 1 neon goby, and 1 PJ Cardinalfish in my 50g tank. This system has been set up for a little over 2 years with this bio load and 75lbs Fiji LR. <if the cardinal hasn't been alone for too long, some mates might be nice for a shoal. Shrimp would be an equally aesthetic move... serving little functional purpose. Crabs tend to be a little more risk... only add if you find one that attracts you and has a very good reputation. Too many crabs are truly omnivorous> On a side-note, one of the first uninformed decisions I made for my tank was the purchase of a Sebae anemone. After reading about it I thought it was doomed (it seems they all are)  <not all, but many/most> but I've had it for 2 years now, and it is getting huge! I just wanted to share a success story regarding the poor Sebae anemone. By the way...I think this is Heteractis crispa. Thanks for your expert guidance! <and thank you for the success story! Do share some thoughts on why you feel yours has made it. What do you feed and how often? What kind of lights and changed how often? Using carbon and doing regular water changes to maintain water clarity for optimum light penetration? Any other thoughts?> Jason
<best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Help - Cup coral 1st of all, this is the best BB I have ever encountered. Your help is priceless. Now that the smooching is over, let me get to the problem at hand. I have a cup coral (Turbinaria peltata...I think...maybe pagoda) I enclosed a picture just in case. I have had it for a year, but recently, it is having troubles. The polyps do not extend at all. It was doing fine under a 55 watt PC. Now, that I have added an additional 55w Actinic, is hasn't opened. I do not recall if the light addition & polyp shyness happened at the same time or not. Regardless, it has been 1-2 months, and still no change. I am afraid that I might lose my favorite coral. I must add, that throughout the 1st year, I did not add a supplement to the tank such as CoralVite, Essential Elements, etc. I merely fed the coral just as I fed my 2 clowns. Nitrates, Nitrites, PH, all good. Calcium a little low. Should I of added Strontium? Please tell me the appropriate manner in which to care for these corals, as I am afraid that I have failed. <It appears that you doubled your lighting and shocked your coral. This is a very unnatural thing to occur, but you are lucky because Turbinarias are very resilient. Since you only gave general references to water quality, here is what your coral needs; a pH above 8.2, Calcium above 400 ppm, fed 2-3 times per week with something small like Sweetwater Zooplankton or Mysis Shrimp, and it may benefit from some iodine. I do not use or recommend most of the magical elixirs for reef tanks. I follow the Fennerism, if you cannot test for it, do not dose for it. -Steven Pro>

Turbinaria "Cup Coral" Dear Bob: Happy holidays to you and your family. <And to you and yours> I have e-mailed you within the last few months regarding my 92 gallon reef tank that has had a horrible hair algae problem. You indicated that my tank was probably "off center" and to be patient, maybe introducing a Lawnmower Blenny or Tang. I have not introduced any of these new fish yet, but I did recently convert my sand bed to a deep sand bed (brushed all rock in a separate container during this process). I also performed about a 25% water change during this changeover. Everything looks great now, and I hope this will persist. <Ah, good> My question to you now regards my Turbinaria cup coral. During the last few months when my tank was creating the hair algae disaster, this coral stopped extending it's polyps. The coral was not dead, as on a couple of occasions it did spew out some black film. Since I had this coral high up in my VHO lit tank and did replace my lamps around the time the polyps stopped extending, I thought it may be unhappy due to the light intensity change instead of water chemistry. <Both... perhaps more of the latter> When I performed by sand bed change a week ago, I decided to place this coral more in the middle of the tank. However, still, the polyps do not extend (not even at night). Since the polyps have now not extended for about 3 months, do you think it is dead? Do you think there is any hope? The coral has not changed color. <You will know, by sight, smell if/when this animal has perished... do try feeding it. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm the FAQs beyond. Bob Fenner> Thank you. John Rowe

Re: Turbinaria "Cup Coral" Thanks, Bob. I should have read your section before e-mailing. <Do wish there was a scheme for more easily making WWM available, accessible> I have the Turbinaria peltata coral, and I'll try the feeding recommendation. I do feed the tank with live phytoplankton, but apparently this is not enough. Unfortunately, my LFS did not inform me of the need to feed. <Ah> Thanks again. <Be chatting my friend. Bob Fenner> John

Turbinaria Mr. Fenner My Turbinaria (peltata?) don't open the polyps. After one or two weeks in my aquarium in the upper part under a powerhead the coral don't show signs of stay alive. Do you have some advice? Thanks, Nelson  <Hmm, a few possibilities here. Please read through our coverage of the family: http://wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm the associated FAQs page, The large polyp stony corals, stony corals, and associated FAQs pages... and we'll chat further. Bob Fenner>

Turbinaria problem I have a cup coral that stated to lose some of its polyps in one area. In their place is a hole with two slender antennae protruding. It's happened over the course of a week and started with one and now has 9 or so missing. Most of the empty holes show antennae. I 've checked at night with a flashlight but have never seen any worms on the coral head. Any ideas or suggestions? It's a lovely piece and I don't want to lose it. Many thanks-- Dean Decker <Hmm, you might not have much choice here... does sound like some marauding species of boring (as in drilling, not yawning) of polychaete worm (maybe with some accomplices) have taken up residence in your Dendrophylliid... I would just "hand on and hope" at this point... Very unlikely that a predator (like a Pseudocheilinus sp. Wrasse) would/could clear them out... this or a Stenopid, Palaemonid shrimp might help though... worth a try. Please read: http://wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/bristlewrmfaqs.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/shrimp.htm http://wetwebmedia.com/pseudocheilinus.htm Bob Fenner>

TURBINARIA DAMAGE??? Hey Bob, Just purchased a yellow Turbinaria the other day and my wall hammer welcomed it with a long sweeper tentacle. Well a few days later after moving the hammer well out of reach (unbelievable what a reach it has) I am noticing a small grey black decaying patch on my Turbinaria. Question is what to do remove damage via Exacto knife or leave it alone??? Thanks again Rob Huss <Hmm, I would leave this colony be at this point... generally will regenerate. Bob Fenner>

Pagoda with small crabs Hi Bob, I just want to thank you for your wonderful site and the help that you have provided me in the past. <You're welcome> I recently purchased a large white pagoda. While viewing my tank last night with a flashlight, I noticed three very small crabs on it. One was only about 3/8 of an inch wide, with it's body only accounting for about a third of that. The other two are within cracks in the coral and can't be more than a half inch wide. They are a light tan color with white claws. Should I try to remove them or are they harmless?  <If there is no apparent damage to your Coral I would leave them be> If I should try to remove them, do you have any idea how I should go about removing the two living within the cracks of the coral? <May seem destructive, but the best approach would be to use a sharp instrument to crush these crustaceans in situ. Leave them alone for now. Bob Fenner> Thank you for any suggestions you may have. -- Mike

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>


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