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FAQs about Dendrophylliid Coral Selection

Related Articles: Dendrophylliid Corals

Related FAQs: Dendrophylliids 1, Dendrophylliids 2, Dendrophylliid Identification, Dendrophylliid Behavior, Dendrophylliid Compatibility, 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,

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Tubastrea Cost/ Toadstool Mushroom Help   7/18/11
I'd first like to thank you for all you guys do on this website. I've learned a lot over the years from browsing through your articles. I have a question of mine own now. I've attached a picture of a coral I believe to be a yellow tube coral, Tubastrea sp.
<Is a Dendrophylliid of this genus>
If I am wrong please tell me what it is. It acts and looks like a yellow tube coral when feeding (I feed it it vitamin enriched mysis shrimp every other day, making sure each <polyp> gets some), but it looks a little different then the pictures I've seen of any, when the heads/polyps (sorry I don't know what they are called) are closed. The head/polyps are growing from a hard skeleton, while the versions I've seen online seem to be mostly fleshy.
<More so than this specimen, yes>
I've been attempting to nurse it back to health after a friend couldn't take care of it properly. Does it look this way since it is still sickly?
<Mmm, yes... famished>
Either way, it's getting a bit much for my 14 gallon Oceanic Biocube (the protein skimmer is sure getting it's money worth of work) and my lfs has offered to buy/frag some of the heads for me. Like I said, I got the coral from a friend so I have no idea how much I should be selling it for. About how much would one head/polyp cost?
<A dollar in trade is about right for something of this nature>
I've checked liveaquaria.com but they sell by 'small, medium, large', so they aren't much help at the moment.
Also my toadstool mushroom has been looking sick after a past incident (I left the tank in the care of my mother while I was in college, and the lighting times were messed up, the water was rarely changed, and God only knows if the supplements were put in. I lost a huge Kenya tree coral, some purple mushrooms, and half of my 'Mary Jane Zoanthids', which I hear are rare to begin with). The toadstool looks dead to be more precise.
<What does the air above the tank smell like? I would remove this soft coral, and most of the water; replace the latter with new>
It appears to be bleached (it's white) but half of it opens slightly. It's only about 1/3 of an inch. I've had it for about 3 years (since I first set up my tank). I've been trying to nurse it back to health for about a month and it hasn't been working. I believe everything in the tank's chemistry is fine, since I have other corals that are reproducing and are looking well.
<Hard to do in such small volumes>
I do a 20% water change once a month,
<I'd do this every week>
SeaChem's marine buffer to keep the pH at 8.3 biweekly, add Sera marine trace elements components 3 and 4 weekly, and some bioenzymes (bacteria that claim to help nitrate levels). Is the mushroom a lost cause? Or am I doing something wrong?
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and the linked files above>
There are no fish in the tank, a peppermint shrimp, 2 snails, and 4 blue legged hermit crabs. I feel that if something was wrong with the water the invertebrates would be showing signs of struggle.
<Agreed... this is likely a situation of Cnidarian allelopathy... can be rectified in time>
Thank you very much,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tubastrea Cost/ Toadstool Mushroom Help   7/19/11
Hi Bob,
Thank you for all the help. I am a bit confused though. Did you mean each Tubastrea polyp would be worth $1?
<Yes, thereabouts>
Also, I will try my best to revive this poor thing before I do anything to it.
<A VERY good idea. Cutting it up currently will not likely work>
Thanks again.
<Welcome. BobF>

Tubastrea aurea... Rambling re SW stkg... reefs   4/14/10
I have 2 salt water reef tanks. I have one a 30 gal Nano tank with a yellow watchman goby, a purple fire fish, a peaceful serpent star-Ophiolepsis superba, Nassarius snails which I love, one or two turbo snails, green striped mushrooms, branching frogspawn, some polyps that grew from a live rock I had for 4 or 5 years first, pulsing xenia and a yellow polyp rock.
4 inch sand bed (had 6 inches but was 1/3 tank so removed some).
I would like to know if it would be safe to add sexy anemone shrimp (3 of these) and a feather duster.
<Mmm, not likely... too easily consumed here, no likely symbiont...>
I do a water change every 7-10 days and all the parameters are so far perfect. Because I have been feeding more I have been careful to keep up the water changes and noting for any nitrate increases. This tank has been up for 2 years. A Bak Pak protein skimmer as this is a oceanic biocube and I use the back empty (no balls for filters just a pump a kind of sump)
The first tank we had is a 75 gallon reef tank with about 75 pounds or more of live rock(had so much more but used some in the 30 gallon and some seems to crumble or dissolve away. Still have plenty. Sand is variable, in a wave so that the front center has 4 inch sand bed around the bases of the rocks less and to the back less.
I have a huge large cantaloupe sized open brain who is just happy as can be, and branching frogspawn that has really grown (given some to a friend who started a tank, and have some in the 30 gallon) I have some pulsating xenia.
And a blue mushroom. I just added a green striped mushroom rock.
I am trying to keep with the LPS as it seems they grow so wonderfully, at least the 2 I have in the tank.
I have just added fish, a midas blenny and 7 small green Chromis. 2 serpent stars (Ophiolepsis superba), 3 reef crabs who are also ancient and getting bigger, my Nassarius snails, a turbo or two. I would love to add to this tank a feather duster, a fire shrimp (just one) and 3 skunk cleaner shrimp.
I also have a pencil sea urchin who has lived there since we started up the tank--8 years ago.
I don't see any copepods in either tank. I do have bristle worm dusters in the sand. I could add live copepods or get some from my friend/
I would love to had a Tubastrea aurea--is it better to start with smaller size (3-4 in) or larger size(4-5in) as I have a choice.
I realize I have to feed each of the tubes but I have a great time feeding the fish and I am a night owl so I could feed at night each polyp by a turkey baster. Any other ideas,
is this a good choice to try to care for.
<Not generally hardy, no>
I have a sand bottom that has areas where the frogspawn lean over decreasing the light or a area of a cave with a outcrop overhang. I am understanding that they need less light.
<Actually very little... are not really photosynthetic>
I would love for any comments about the new my new additions to the tanks-shrimps and are they OK with the serpents I have. Feather dusters.
And the Tubastrea aurea. I hate to try things that will not last as it is such a waste of life. Which is why I have few items in the tank and relatively peaceful fish.
The fish are funny, the midas blenny about 4 inches long and the 7 small green Chromis all like to swim together the swim upstream in front of the powerhead sort of like finding their own treadmill. I appreciate everything that this crew has done for people like me. Thank you so much. What a beautiful site. Even more so with the new format.
I feed a variety--Cyclop-eeze (frozen) Mysis shrimp formula 1 and grow my own algae. I have compact fluorescent lighting with 2 bulbs 65 watt 10 K and 2 bulbs 65 watt actinic lighting. I have used a variety of salt and found that I like Tropic Marin salt the best. I also used Oceanic, Kent but still go back to Tropic Marin. I have a protein skimmer CPR Bak Pak on the 75 gal tank. I will add a third pump as it seems the critters love the water flow.
<The Shrimps and tubeworms should be fine here. Bob Fenner>

Re: Tubastrea aurea, reef stkg., Lysmata amboinensis comp....    4/15/10
Thanks for the quick response.
I am a little confused, the 30 gal as described below--
I was wondering if I could put in 3 Sexy Anemone Shrimp and a tube worm fan into this tank.
You said they might be consumed but by what?
<The two fishes listed>
And, in the 75 gallon tank as described below-- for the 75 gallon tank with the 4 65 watt bulbs I can put the Tubastrea under a rock overhang so the light doesn't reach them. I would think then I would have to carefully feed them by turning off the protein skimmer and using a turkey baster with Cyclop-eeze (is what I thought to feed them) for each polyp a couple times a week.
Is this a good idea or would you recommend I finding a different LPS that might be easier to work with.
<I'd peruse WWM re>
I have been encouraged to stick with the LPS.
And, I wanted to also add to this tank 1 fire shrimp, 3 skunk cleaner shrimp and the tub worm fan.
I am sorry if I seemed to be rambling, I was hoping to give you a idea of my tanks and the inhabitants.
I would appreciate clarification.
And, I love they way your new site is set up. It is wonderful!!
<Thank you Sue. BobF>
Re: Tubastrea aurea   4/15/10
Thanks again for such a quick reply.
I did review the info on WWM which was why I wanted to verify with the crew as I was just not certain. I think I will for go the Tubastrea and look for a easier coral to keep.
<Likely best>
The branching frogspawn and open brain are huge doing well but the tank has so much more room.
<Euphyllias compete through chemicals/water as well. Please read here:
I will keep searching. I study your sight faithfully, before I purchase. Perhaps, I was wanting more than retaining the
information I read.
<Sounds good! Bob Fenner>

Coral ID   1/8/09 Hi Bob, <Hello Beta. Minh at your service.> I have attached a pic of the coral that I need an ID on. I don't much have info on the specimen as the pic was sent to me by a friend. <I assume you are referring to the brilliantly colored yellow encrusting hard coral in the right center of the photograph, correct? At first glance, one could pass this coral to be Porites sp. (perhaps Porites cylindrica). However, upon closer inspection, the polyp size and extension in comparison to the Turbinaria peltata on the lower left indicates another coral from the genus Goniopora in the Poritidae family. The size and extension of the polyps as well as the growth form of this particular specimen resembles Goniopora stutchburyi. However, the coloration of this specimen does not appear to be natural and I'm afraid it could have been dyed. Unfortunately, I have seen similar corals often imported to our local fish stores in the states. More information about dyed corals including a photo of a close matching specimen can be found here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-09/eb/index.php. Also, more information about care of Goniopora stutchburyi can be found in detail here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2005/10/aafeature2/. I have been researching Goniopora care for a few years now, so feel free to write back with more information on identification or care of this genus.> Regards Beta India <Good luck. Cheers, Minh Huynh.>

Dyed Cup Coral?  - 04/07/07 Hi gang, <Hi Chuck.> My usually-very-good LFS just brought in two VERY yellow cup corals. . . <Mmm...if Turbinaria peltata then it almost certainly dyed, however it could be  Turbinaria reniformis which, unlike T. Peltata can exhibit such color. T. Peltata however is unfortunately dyed yellow very often.> with color hue/chroma/intensity very similar to that displayed by my healthy yellow tang. <If it's that bright then I'd say the chances of foul-play may be growing.> What makes me somewhat suspicious -- besides the relative intensity of the color -- is that that 'skeletal' portion also displays the uniform bright yellow color, even with the polyps retracted. . . <Could be a recent...and thorough dye job, if is in fact dyed.> whereas the picture of a yellow I'd seen here on WWM seemed to indicate bright yellow polyps on a close-to-brown skeleton. <Depends on the exact species...but if dyed recently then the animal would be yellow all over.> Is it likely these corals HAVEN'T been dyed? <Mmm it's not possible to give you a 100% firm answer, but from what you have told me I would assume it is dyed.> I'd love to think they were real. . . <That's how "they" reel you in...> Chuck <Adam J.>

Tubastrea micracantha -- 03/17/07 What's up everyone?, <<Hello>> Brandon here, <<Eric here>> I was wondering, have any of you ever come across Tubastraea micracantha? <<Only on the Internet>> I cannot find it in a store to save my life. <<I don't think it is a widely available>> As of recent, I have apparently been Tubastraea farming. <<Beautiful organisms>> So I was thinking, perhaps something other than yellow/orange might be kind of cool. <<Indeed'¦though T. micracantha is reportedly very difficult to sustain>> I have seen various images of this so called Black Sun Coral before I ever bought regular Tubastraea.  So I got to asking, and I found out that I could have it ordered. <<Yes, would imagine your LFS could find/get it for you'¦or you could order it off the Net>> The thing is, that the person that can do this told me quote, "There is no way that you will ever be able to get it to survive." <<That does seem to be the general consensus'¦though I do seem to remember an individual from a few years back who reportedly had good success by removing the colony from her tank and placing in a bowl to feed, ensuring 'each' individual polyp received 'adequate' quantities of vitamin-fortified foodstuffs'¦definitely a high-maintenance animal>> The same person that told me that Aiptasia is actually a rock anemone. <<Hmm, possibly just a subjective 'common' description'¦but I get what you mean>> Needless to say I am a bit skeptical. <<I see>> Anyone know why it has such a bad reputation, and perhaps why it is "so hard to keep alive"? <<From what I have read, I gather the water flow and nutritive requirements are higher (or maybe just different/not well understood) for T. micracantha than for the other Tubastraea species'¦or maybe the species is too sensitive to collection/handling for captive keeping>> Further than that is anyone keeping it currently?  If so what's the secret? <<You might try posting these last two questions on the reef message boards>> I am going to give it a go any way, perhaps I will discover something.   <<Do share with us/let us know how things fare>> Thanks everyone, Brandon <<Regards, EricR>>

Re: coral advice... comp. f'?   3/21/07 Thanks Brandon, for the quick and detailed response. <No problem.> After reading your reply and researching further, I have come to the conclusion that this is not the right coral for me, or rather; I am not the right keeper for this coral. <Sorry to hear that.  They can be quite rewarding.> But after more consideration, I think I would prefer to spend some time to try to get this animal healthy, and sell or trade it to another enthusiast who WILL make an appropriate keeper. <There are quite a few.> If I just it back to the LFS they will likely just throw it back in with their semi-cured Live rock. <Not uncommon.> Now, unless another person spots it AND recognizes it AND is willing to make the effort to properly maintain it, this would be basically like throwing it away. That just would not feel right. <Agreed.> Here is what I am considering: I have a 2.5 gallon HEX tank with UG filter and lights. I would like to set up a solitaire habitat for this coral, and spend the next few weeks giving the daily or bi-daily feedings it requires. I would like to use the 2.5 gallon for this, but will never find a skimmer that would fit. I do think that it would be easy enough to change 25 to 50 percent of the water two to three times weekly. For filtration, I would be using an air driven UG plate with a bio-pad from my existing filer placed underneath and cover it with crushed coral. I have small submersible 50w heater that will fit in the tank as well. This Sun Coral would be the only organism in this tank and it will be a temporary situation. <Hmmmm.> Does this sound like something that might work? <I think that it would be easier on you and the coral alike to try something a little different.  Get a deep bowl and place the coral in it.  When you want to feed it all you have to do is remove the bowl (water still inside), and feed it that way.  The left over food can be discarded, and you can then place the bowl with the coral in it, back into the tank.  This method was proposed to me when I was inquiring about keeping Tubastrea Micracantha.  Brandon.> Green Tubastraea sp. Captive Care of Tubastraea micrantha  2/4/07 Hello All! <Greetings!  Mich here.> Recently, after some extensive research I have decided to purchase a nice piece of Sun Coral. My hesitation was due to the fact that each polyp needed to be fed quite regularly. <Regular feeding is imperative.> I began shopping for a Sun Coral recently and came across a dark green one! I have never seen one or even heard of it in such a color. I purchased it after taking the advise of the LFS's manager that it was no different than the other Sun Corals. My question basically is, was he right? <Not so much. It is in the same genus, but the species is different.  It sounds like you have Tubastraea micrantha.  It could possibly be Tubastraea diaphana, but I will assume it is the former.  More info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm This coral has a notoriously poor survival record and requires a very fast current and large amounts of food.  I do hope you have a great protein skimmer.> I have tried researching on the Internet and yes, WetWebMedia.com and was not able to find any one mention a Sun Coral of this color, although, there was a website with professional photography of reefs around the world showing a green Sun Coral similar to mines, but no mention of it otherwise.      The coral came with some smaller YELLOW polyps beginning to grow around it. I will be feeding this coral at least three times a week or can I cut down on the feedings.   <Should be fed daily.> I culture my own phytoplankton and add about one full plastic cup a day, 1/2 in the morning and 1/2 at night, can this substitute the feedings? <Malnutrition is the biggest challenge these corals face in captivity, daily targeted feedings with mysids, diced fish, and zooplankton soaked in Selcon would be most appropriate.>      In addition, I have been getting conflicting information on where I can place the coral, in caves, dark areas, or in a lighted area? <Where it can be most easily fed without getting so much light that it get overgrown with algae.> I would have liked to place the coral higher up in my 24" tall 90 gallon tank where water flow is more abundant, only problem is, I'm afraid the 150w halides may burn the coral? <Shouldn't burn it.  I'd be more concerned about water flow and feedings.> Just so you know, I have an LPS dominant tank, 90 gallons with a 50 gallons tank used as a refuge with Caulerpas and Chaetomorpha. Thank you for any advice you can provide. <Hope you're up for a challenge my friend!  -Mich>

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 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 Ptergogorgia 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>

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