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FAQs about Dendrophylliid Coral Systems

Related Articles: Dendrophylliid Corals

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

Duncanopsammia axifuga - Question for Sara M.?  Gen. care, sys. 07/07/08 Dear Crew, I have noticed that more and more LFS are selling "Duncan" or "Whisker" corals, i.e., Duncanopsammia axifuga. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of information available regarding these large polyps stonies, and the information that is available is not consistent. <Yes, I have noticed that too.> For instance, suggestions for lighting differ from site to site--some say low light some say high light, and one site says "1 to 4 watts per gallon" (...uh, could you be a little more specific?). <LOL I hate those "watts per gallon" recommendations. I get this image of light-bulb soup. But never mind that... yeah, it makes no sense. "Watts per gallon" takes no account of type of lighting or depth of the tank, etc. It's just a ridiculous way to try and estimate lighting needs (imo).> In any event, given the rising popularity of this coral, I was wondering whether Sara M. planned to add this coral and its care requirements to her wonderful website, www.asira.org? <Yes, I have been planning to. However, like you, I'm at a loss to know their actual care requirements (too many conflicting reports). Sure, I could make a pretty good guess based on what most LPS need, but I'd like to find someone (better yet, a few people) who have been keeping them well for awhile so I can get a better idea of what to recommend. Please do ask around, and send me what info you have (my personal email is XXXX)--[note to BobF, you can't post this publically please]. Done. RMF> I really do love this beautiful coral and would like to get a frag for my 30g tank in which I keep a Yellow Watchman Goby/Pistol Shrimp and a Pearly Jawfish, but I'm concerned that the lighting isn't enough--4x24W HO T5s (2x10,000K and 2x460nm actinics). <I do *think* this would be enough if the coral were well fed. It does seem like most LPS tend to do ok with lower lighting if you make up for it with target feeding.> Every LFS owner/employee with whom I've spoken about this coral raves about its growth rate and how they've been able to keep a few colonies and frag them off with regularity--which always makes me ask them ... "So why are you selling it at $[insert ridiculous price] per polyp?" <Haha... supply, demand and hype. Just as with the Acan craze, the stores will sell them for what people will pay. But try not to judge them too harshly. With all the e-venders popping up everywhere, and the economy slumping, I imagine a lot of these places are struggling just to stay afloat (unfortunately).> Thanks! Andy <Thank you, Sara M.>

Re: Duncanopsammia axifuga - Question for Sara M.? -07/08/08 Thanks for the quick reply! I see a lot of people on Reef Central talking about the Duncans, and they truly are the craze at all my LFS--sell out very quickly. One tiny LFS is actually very reasonable on all his corals, and sells Duncans at $20 per polyp. <That's not too bad if it's a fast growing coral (imo).> My favorite LFS is ridiculous--$150 for a 3 polyp frag. <Yikes> The only information I have about these is what I hear from fellow hobbyists/LFS owners. Apparently, they are very easy to keep, bud very quickly, and feed on large zooplankton--mysis, etc. I've seen them kept in tanks with MH as well as under (mostly actinic) T5s. If/when I find additional information, I'll send it to you. <These observations on care make sense to me. Most "LPS" have similar feeding requirements and can adapt to a wide range of lighting. I wouldn't expect these corals to be much different. I'm still curious to know things like aggression (or lack there of) and other such behavior that might be a little more unique to these corals. As soon as I gather enough info and pics I'll definitely make a care sheet for them.> Andy <Thanks, Sara M.>

Coral advice   3/19/07 Greetings Crew, <Hello John, Brandon with you this evening.> I enjoy your site and visit it almost daily. What a great wealth of info. I tell everyone I know that is into this hobby about your site and the Conscientious Aquarist. Usually I can answer my questions in the FAQs, but I think I need a little help from you on this one. <I will give it a shot.> Anyway, about my tank: I have FOWLR that I am slowly converting over to a reef. It is a 37 gallon tank (30"Lx22"H). I have about 30lbs of base rock with 16lbs of Caribbean live rock on, in and around it. The tank has been up for about 6 months, and all of the current base  rock and a few of the current inhabitants were moved into this tank 6 months ago from a 29 gallon that I had running as a FOWLR for about a year. I currently have  Old SeaClone 100 skimmer, a Fluval 204 with pre-filter and Seachem matrix, and a Penguin 170 power filter without the bio wheel. I use a surface skimmer attachment on the Penguin intake and use a 100ml bag of Purigen in the box. For Lighting I have 2 Coralife 36watt  dual T5 fixtures. Each fixture has one 18w 10K and one 18w 03 bulb. I know this is low lighting and I do not plan on keeping any corals that require any better. <You say this now'¦  Once the bug has bitten you'¦> For fish, I have one False Perc, one African Pigmy Angel, one Royal Gramma, one Banggai Cardinal, and one three stripe Damsel (I know these guys can get pretty aggressive, but he was my very 1st fish and I love the little guy). <Nothing wrong with that, as long as you are prepared to deal with the aggression.> For Corals, I am just starting out . I have 2 small mushroom colonies, a small frogspawn and a small brown button polyp. <I would at least look at a stronger lighting scheme.  Not much stronger, but a little.> I also have one tube coral growing on a piece of live rock, this is what my question is about. <I am guessing that this is what it was sold to you as?> About 4 weeks ago, I saw this piece of rock in a tank and my LFS, It has what appears to be a tube coral growing on it (picture attached). I am not sure if it is a tube maybe you can identify it by the picture. <Never heard it called Tube Coral.  More commonly called Sun Coral.  Scientifically known as Tubastrea sp.> It did not look real good, but the tank it was in had almost no circulation and no lighting to speak of. <This particular coral is azooxanthellate, meaning that it does not need light to survive.  You are going to have to feed this coral, and you are going to have to feed it a lot.  I have two colonies, and I run through about six cubes of Fortified Mysis shrimp every other day.> I thought it was worth trying to resurrect. <Doh!> The rock sat in my tank without doing much for the last few weeks.  Despite my efforts, the coral did not gain any new color or growth, but I did notice it opening up to accept food on rare occasion.   <You should be able to support it if you are up to the challenge of hand feeding it, and upgrading your skimmer, because the one you have will not handle the amount of food that you are going to have to place in the tank for this coral.> I thought maybe I had mis-identified this specimen and had something that my tank and lights would not support. Then, the other day, I had to move some rock around due to a snail attempting to aquascape my tank. I moved this rock with the tube coral on it over to the other side of the tank when I noticed that there is what appears to be some kind of rot or a parasite that has created a large cavity on one side of the coral. It looks as if something has actually borrowed out from the inside. The polyps around this area are all dark and appear to be dead.  I thought I saw what looked like a brown worm swimming in the hole, but can't be sure it was not just some  foreign matter or a piece of the actual coral. <Sounds like a barnacle to me.  I have one in my larger colony of Tubastrea.> Here are my concerns: <Ok.> Should I pull this rock and coral out of my tank? <If you are not up to caring for it, yes I would remove the coral, and take it back to the store where I got it.> Do you have any idea, based on the picture, what the problem is? <Mentioned above.> Is there a risk to any of the other species of coral that I am keeping?   <Nope.  Barnacles pick a place and stay.  It will probably die off after awhile.  Barnacles don't live long in home aquaria.  For now enjoy the diversity.> If this is a parasite, and I pull out this rock, is there anything I can do to attempt to save this coral? <See above.> Any advice you can offer will be greatly appreciated. <At this point your biggest concern should be the care and feeding of the coral.  This is not a species that is easily cared for, and most expert aquarists won't make the mammoth feeding commitment that is necessary for this coral.  You will need to make a trip to a Pharmacy, I like Walgreen's. Go to the Pharmacist, and ask for a 3cc/5ml syringe.  This is what you will feed the coral with.  Purchase some Selcon, or Zoe and Zoecon.  Melt down about three Mysis cubes, and soak them in one of the aforementioned products for 10 - 15 minutes.  Then suck up as much as the syringe will hold.  You should then proceed to GENTLY squirt each and every individual polyp with a little of this food.  In order to get them to come out to begin with you will have to do this at night, after you have turned off the tank lights. With time they can be acclimated to come out to feed during the day.  I have heard reports that this particular coral needs to be in strong current. I have not found this to be necessary for long term success, but I will say that it is most likely needed as the polyp extension is much greater with brisk water movement.  You will need to feed each individual polyp like this at least three times a week.  If you want to ensure long term health, you should be doing this every other day.  As I said before, this will greatly increase your bioload, and the skimmer that you have will not handle this kind of feeding.  I would look into the Aqua-C Remora.  Another resource for information that you could find helpful can be found here, http://www.melevsreef.com/suncoral.html.  I am thinking about writing an article specifically on Sun Coral for this site, and seeing if Bob will put it up.  So without further adieu, Good luck with this coral.  Brandon.><<Will gladly "put this up"... and WWM will pay for it... I'll offer my image work free for your use... Help you sell this work to/through the pulp press. RMF>>
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>

115 Gallon Lighting Selection - 09/04/06 Hi Crew, <<Hello Ambrose>> I've recently purchased a 115 gallon tank (60 long x 18 deep x 24 tall), and am now exploring my lighting options. <<This should be based on your stocking plan>> Ideally, I'd like to build an environment where I can keep any specimen happy and long-lived. <<This is not reality my friend.  All corals, invertebrates, even fish, will not prosper under the same lighting scheme.  You need to settle on a particular species, or on a particular niche on the reef (fore-slope, back-reef, rubble-zone, etc., etc.), and then gear your lighting to suit>> I love the "shimmer" effect halides have on tanks, and have decided to include this as part of my setup. <<Indeed...halides provide the most "bang for the buck" in my opinion>> Now the question remains, how many bulbs, how many watts, and color temperature should I go with? <<A quite suitable setup would be three 150w or 175w 10000K bulbs.  You could use higher wattages, but they aren't really necessary>> Hence, the details of my questions: 1.  If a 60-inch fixture were used but with only 2 MH bulbs - would this be strong enough for light to reach the entire tank? <<It is very likely you won't get an even "spread" of light throughout the length of the tank...best to figure 1 bulb for every 2' of tank length>> Or am I better off with a 3-bulb system? <<Yes>> 2.  What is the optimal wattage for a 24 inch deep tank? <<Again, this will depend mainly on the livestock you wish to keep.  If you plan an SPS dominated "high energy" environment then you may want to consider 250w halides...else...an LPS or deepwater environment will do fine under 150w or 175w bulbs...these lower wattages will even suffice for a typical "garden variety" reef where the higher light demanding organisms are placed higher up in the water column>> 3.  If I go with the 3 bulb setup, I'd like to have 2 x 10,000K bulbs on the far ends, and a 14K bulb in the middle.  Anything wrong with this? <<You can do this, though the difference in Kelvin will be noticeably visible...you may want to supplement the end bulbs with actinics to better "blend" the lighting else you may find you don't care for the look>> 4.  I have space for 4 more lights which I want to make actinic.  Is there any difference in using VHO or PC for these 4 spots (they will all be actinic blue). <<Not really, no.  The actinics serve mainly to please you (the aquarist) as the metal halide bulbs contain more than enough light in the blue spectrum for the coral's needs>> 5.  Are there any differences between double-ended and regular halide bulbs? <<The double-ended bulbs tend to provide a bit more intensity than the single-ended bulbs of like wattages...though this may be largely a function of the type/style reflectors associated re.  But even so, many authors agree/feel the double-ended or "HQI" bulbs are the better choice for high energy lighting systems Why are double ended ones more expensive? <<because people are willing to pay for what they perceive to be better.  But, careful searching of the NET will often yield sales/bargains>> Thanks in advance for the wealth of knowledge. <<Is my pleasure to share>> Look forward to your response. Best Regards, Ambrose <<Thank you for writing so well.  EricR>>

Re: 115 Gallon Lighting Selection - 09/04/06 Thank you, Eric, for your prompt response, not to mention on labor day! <<Hee-hee!...I reckon if Bob can do it, so can the rest of us!>> <"Pleeeeeeze don't make a me leave the plantation!" RMF> I have a few further questions if you don't mind: <<Shoot>> When asked what type of reef environment I'd like to keep, it might be easier to describe what specimens I have interest in. <<Ok>> I plan to keep at most 3 Acropora, at least 1 colony of Sun Coral, your standard polyps and mushrooms, soft coral like Fingers, and other corals mostly in the LPS and soft group. <<Ah yes, the "garden variety" style of reef keeping.  Very popular, often the most attractive, but also often the most difficult for long-term success due to the wide variation of requirements/habitats/aggression/toxicity/tolerances among the differing species.  Researching each individual specimen "before" acquisition is vital>> I have also seen a species of coral in the trade while traveling in Asia, but have not been able to find/identify it other than on Melev's Reef ( http://www.melevsreef.com/pics/05/10/pico_1004.jpg). According to the site, it is a Dendrophyllia, <<Agreed>> but I have heard from Asian aquarists that it originates from Japan.  Is there a chance that you might point me in the right direction, as far as lighting is concerned, and also what this species is? <<Hmm...looks very much like a Balanophyllia sp. (Orange-Cup Coral).  Lighting is of little concern as the coral contains no symbiotic algae.  Care/feeding will be very similar to that for Tubastraea sp. (Sun Coral)>> Then there is fish, but I assume that lighting for fauna is less of a concern? <<Mmm, the corals are reef "fauna" as well, but yes, lighting is "usually" less problematic with fish...though keeping fish from low-light environments (e.g. - Lionfish) under reef-type lighting can often lead to blindness>> a) What would be a good balance of wattage for the metal halides? (24 inch deep) <<For your tank/your stocking plan...the 150w or 175w halides will do fine>> b) What is the importance of a calcium reactor for this environment? <<Depends on the concentration of calcium assimilating organisms in your system...you may find frequent partial water changes to be quite sufficient for keeping up with use/renewal of earth elements>> c) What is the ideal water flow considering the size of the tank as well as the specimens kept? <<Something in the 10x-20x tank volume range...without blasting flesh from the corals and assuring elimination of dead-spots>> Again, really appreciate the knowledge passed. <<A pleasure to assist>> Ambrose <<Regards, EricR>> SUN POLYP GODDESS - 06/06/2006 Hi, I read the articles FAQ and u mention that u live near the Goddess. I would like to find out more about her tank < Know problem, best to email her directly > Setup / filter / skimmer / nutrient control Size of her tank/ Feeding In fact if I could would like to see it myself but I have over in the Asia. Do u have pic of her tank or does she has a website homepage < Here are links to her sites http://home.earthlink.net/~rapplegart/ and also http://web.mac.com/suzynrob/iWeb/SaltwaterPlanted/LiveFeed.com.html > thing that can quench my thirst on this biotope, setup and husbandry < I believe you can email her at rapplegart@earthlink.net.  Be sure to tell her Adam sent you. > Thanks < No problem> Steven <Blundell> Sun coral biotope, poor English  6/5/06 Hello guys, <... and ladies...> I would like to spealise <Spiel on!> and maintain a suncoral biotope. Could you help guide me as to the steps or actions I would need to do to achieve it? <Maybe> Background I have a 210 Gallon aquarium (60'x30'x27') Sump (30'x24'x18) Filter Aquamedic shorty 2 skimmer, Sponge, RowaPhos in media reactor. Water flow Tunze wave box, Eheim 1262, Eheim 1260, Rio 20hf, Seio 820 and 620 Fish Sohal tang, Yellow tang, regal tang, Falco Hawkfish, flame angel, 2 green wrasse, 6 line wrasse, coral beauty angel. Corals Euphyllia, Fungia, Favia, Merulina, Trachyphyllia, 4 sun corals, tube anemone, <This last is misplaced... trouble> 100+ mushrooms (RF, Yuma, Discosoma) and BTA. <This likely also in time> others Arcadia 3 series MH - 150watts x 2 and 30 watts x 2 actinic Calcium reactor Question: 1) I understand I would have to forgo all non-photosynthetic corals. Am I rite? <What is rite? Right? Incorrect on both counts> 2) Do have to remove tangs to decrease the Bio-load? <Not likely, though the Sohal should be watched for growing aggression> 3) Is my skimmer sufficient for the bio-load of a tank stocked with sun corals? <Likely so> 4) How many sun coral colonies do you think I would need and can keep in a tank like mine (assuming each colony is about the size of a fist)? <...? I'd try two, three> 5) Would fortnightly water change of 10% would be sufficient? <Try it and see> 6) Would plating coralline algae continue to grow if MH is hardly used now? <Depends on water quality, presence of predators...> 7) What do u think of a setup of this magnitude? <U?> Pls advise. thanks Steven <Advice proffered. See WWM's coverage of Dendrophylliids. Bob Fenner> Re: Sun coral biotope    6/6/06 Hello again, Thanks for replying my email. Sorry for my short hand previously. I have still have so doubts in my mind, which I believe You would be able to assist. 1) I understand I would have to forgo all non-photosynthetic corals. (oops sorry I meant photosynthetic corals) Am I rite (Right)? <<Mmm, no... Tubastrea species may not be photosynthetic, but can tolerate some light, and/or be situated in darkened areas... Are not directly toxic to or from photosynthates>> <What is rite? Right? Incorrect on both counts> 2) Do have to remove tangs to decrease the Bio-load? <Not likely, though the Sohal should be watched for growing aggression> 3) Is my skimmer sufficient for the bio-load of a tank stocked with sun corals? <Likely so>I understand there are Sulphur reactors available, that would help sun coral feedings mentioned by Charles D. in one of his articles, but feeding frozen food leaks out PO4, and I am right to say Sulphur reactors does not help PO4 reduction but only NO3 levels? <<Actually do help reduce, remove soluble phosphate... indirectly>> 4) How many sun coral colonies do you think I would need and can keep in a tank like mine (assuming each colony is about the size of a fist)? <...? I'd try two, three> I have 3 fully open, and fourth yet to open since acquisition, Has been 4 week already. <<Some take more time...>> 5) Would fortnightly water change of 10% would be sufficient? <Try it and see> 6) Would plating coralline algae continue to grow if MH is hardly used now? <Depends on water quality, presence of predators...> 7) What do u think of a setup of this magnitude? <U?> Thanks, the crew has always been a great helping hand. Steven <<Welcome. RMF>> Tubastrea problem ... nano lvstkg, Dendro. sys.    3/29/06 Hi Crew, <Aaron> I hope you guys can help me narrow down a problem I have. I have a 15g nano setup bare bottom with a BakPak dual, 4x13 watt T5 and two powerheads for flow.  There is about 15 pounds of live rock in the tank. For occupants I have 3 feather dusters 10 Blue Leg Hermits 15 or so Astrea snails 1 1" percula clown 1 firefish 1 Red Scooter Blenny These were the occupants of my FO tank I broke up to make a reef tank, I've added the following coral frags. 2 Ricordea Polyps 1 Trachyphyllia 3 colonies of Protopalythoa 1 unidentified zoanthid 1 small Xenia colony 1 Lobophytum 1 Sarcophyton 1 6"x6" mat of Green Star polyps <Very hard to keep such a "garden" mix of cnidarians in good health in such a small volume...> I feed a variety of things, usually a fix of live rotifers and phytoplankton but also zooplankton and Artemia.  Regular feeding of mysis to the Trachyphyllia.  Everything has exhibited good health and growth, Protopalythoa growth is actually kind of out of control. <And toxic> I've never had any trouble with my water parameters ammonia and Nitrites always test 0, Nitrate <10, calcium between 400 and 450.  I dose iodide once a week and maintain the other elements with HBH balance blocks. About 3 weeks ago I added a nice dark orange Tubastrea and I could never get it to open up for me, <Open at night time...> I tried every kind of food you can imagine.  After a while I noticed that both the Sarcophyton that was quite close to the Sun Polyps was kind of droopy and that the Lobophytum that was clear across the tank was also not looking quite itself.  I didn't think much of it at first, those corals can be kind of moody but when they didn't come around in a few days I tested, did a water change and switched the carbon I had in the skimmer outflow.  No change. On a hunch I moved the Tubastrea to my frogfish tank.  Within hours the polyps had started to swell up more and tonight I got it to open up a little bit with some mysis.  The softies in the other tank have also started to come around as well. <Ah, good> Problem solved?  Not really.  I have a new system I hope to have finished this week, it's a 20g with a 20g sump that has a large fuge area I was planning on keeping the frogfish (Histiophryne bougainvilli) in.   I <Unusual: http://filaman.ifm-geomar.de/Summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=24733> was planning on taking both the smaller tanks down.   Can you offer any advice on how I can keep the softies and the Tubastrea in the same tank? <Mmm, not likely going to be able to. There is just too much allelopathy amongst the mix you present. I would trade in what you have to unless you can reconcile to having more than one, and larger systems. Bob Fenner> Cup coral  9/30/05 I bought a Turbinaria (cup coral). It was polyped in the store. I acclimated it about 45 minutes. My lighting is 65x2 power compact.<Another instance where little research has been done before buying.  Your lighting is no where near the wattage required for keeping this coral alive.  Five to six watts per gallon is suggested (250-300watts for 50 gallon tank)> I have a 50 gal system II RTR that pumps about 400 gph + a Seio 620 on it, and has almost direct current hitting it.<We want good water flow but not directly at the coral.  One reason it probably isn't opening.> It has been in my tank for four days and has not polyped yet. The other day it secreted a stringy stuff I blew off it. It still has a velvety look and an iridescent greenish hue. The "pores" look as though the polyps are tucked in there. It's about 3 inches from a frogspawn, but it up current from it. Question is how long can a coral stay in without feeding? is this normal?<Not normal, and most corals do produce most of their own food with proper lighting provided polyps are open.> All my experiences has been w/ LPS and they open within hours. Water parameters. ammonia, nitrite zero, nitrate <10 ppm. dKH bout 8-9(little low, but the other corals are unaffected) calcium about 500 ppm. ph 8.2 . <Frank, with all due respect, future queries should be spell checked, grammar checked and capitalize where necessary.  It takes three or four extra minutes to correct these items as they need to be edited before posting.  James (Salty Dog)> Frank Crone

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> 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>

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> 

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