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FAQs about Elegance Corals 3

Related Articles: Catalaphyllia Coral, Caryophyllids, Large Polyp Stony Corals

Related FAQs: Elegance Corals 1Elegance Corals 2, Elegance Coral Identification, Elegance Coral Behavior, Elegance Coral Selection, Elegance Coral Compatibility, Elegance Coral Selection, Elegance Coral Systems, Elegance Coral Feeding, Elegance Coral Disease/Pests, Elegance Coral Reproduction, Caryophyllid ID, Caryophyllid Compatibility, Caryophyllid Systems, Caryophyllid Selection, Caryophyllid Behavior, Caryophyllid Feeding, Caryophyllid Disease, Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Stony Coral Behavior, 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,

Elegance Coral... rdg.    1/31/13
Hi Crew, I have a question about a elegance coral. I think I might made a boo boo. I went to my local fish store and bought this coral. It is green with purple tips, and is gorgeous. Well I don't think it is the version from Australia, I think it the other. So think I made a mistake. Should I take it back?
<See WWM re Catalaphyllia>
 It has been in my tank for about six hours now. I tried to feed it Mysis with a turkey baster and did not want food, and it did not stick to the tentacles. Is this a bad sign or is it still acclaiming and I am freaking out over nothing? Should I use tweezers to feed it next time? Here is a picture of it. I am just getting back into the reef tank world again. I bought a 29gallon biocube from a friend to start out before I went bigger.
Thanks for your time.
<... read, heed. BobF>


Re: Elegance Coral   2/2/13
Bob, How do you get them to take food? I have feed mine twice now. Mysis
<Need meatier, larger fare>
 yesterday when lights were on and tonight when lights are off. I used a Turkey baster both times and read a lot of articles about them being swelled up, short tentacles, but still lost on feeding. I got him in the sand horizontal , with very little flow going his way. I do not want to pollute my tank with wasted food. There are only two inquires under Elegance feeding on WWM.
<Really? Just checked and you're right... Not to worry, this species is a voracious feeder when it's ready, healthy. Have patience. Bob Fenner>
 I read lots of articles, but not what i am looking for. Please help
Re: Elegance Coral   2/3/13

Bob, thank you I feel much better. Have a good day. 
<Thank you Jim. Did you see/read my olde article on keeping the species:
Harder to keep specimens from Indo. nowayears. Bob Fenner>

Re: Elegance Coral    2/3/13
Bob, Yes I did. I did not try to feed him yesterday, but will try again today. I will let you know what happens. Thanks, Jim P.S. Go Ravens!
<Heeee! I take it this Corvus reference has to do w/ spectator sports.
Cheers, B>
Re: Elegance Coral   2/3/13

My lights just came on and the coral is swollen with white snot on it. I read a post back in 2006 somebody wrote in and you said it could affect other corals. Should I remove and take it back to my lfs and throw it at them? This is why I only by <buy> from live aquaria and not my lfs. Jim
<Likely too late to be moving... I'd leave in place. B>

Re: Elegance Coral    2/4/13
Ok thank Bob. Fish are so much easier. This is why I have a 180 Fowlr and not a 180 reef. 29Gall biocube is fun for getting back into reef. I should of read more about the elegance before I bought it. Happy diving!!
<Cheers, BobF>

Elegance coral care and orientation 5/20/09
Hi all - thanks for this great site, it is fabulous.
< Hello ,and thank you. >
Two days ago I was talked into purchasing a "very healthy" elegance coral.  I had done a bit of research and at first all of the sites that sell corals said this is a easy to moderate coral for caring for, so it seemed perfect.
< I would say moderate. >
However, now that I dug a bit deeper I have found out all about the Elegance coral disease, etc. So, now I am wondering what I should do. I can't return the coral and don't have anyone that can care for it better than I can. So it looks like I have to do the best I can.  First: What is the proper way to orient the coral in the sand. Bob's advice on here is "horizontal" but I can't picture what that means. Does that mean cone down in the sand, mouth and tentacles flat all pointing up? The LFS told me to put the coral so that the mouth and tentacles are more angled so it doesn't defecate back into itself. A really clear picture would be great here, I can't seem to find anything and I've been searching a lot...
< It should be placed in the sand with the cone pointed down. No angle. If you have the proper amount of flow any waste should be pushed away. >
Second: I can't seem to find a straight answer on if I should feed it or not, some articles say yes once a week - is that what you recommend?
< Small meaty foods (mysis, enriched brine etc.) three or more times a week depending on size. >
Finally: any other advice on caring for this guy, or links to consistent advice, would be great.
< Elegance corals are found in areas with higher nutrient levels. So pristine water could actually be detrimental to its health. Indirect water flow is recommended. As well as regular feedings and properly maintained calcium levels. The Elegance corals sting packs a pretty good punch so be sure to give it plenty of room.
It may also be beneficial to visit a few reef keeping forums to get first hand info from successful Elegance keepers. >
My tank is 100 gallon, I have a sump, large protein skimmer, 2x Koralia 3's for water flow. 2x 175 watt metal halide and 4x55 watt VHO (I think) actinics.
150 pounds live rock
Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate all undetectable (granted the test tube tests might not be perfect, not sure)
Ph 8.2-8.4
calcium 400-460
carbonate hardness 8-9
I have a bubble tip anemone, a few small polyp frags, hammer coral, colt coral, star polyps, and pulsing xenia 1 maroon clownfish, 5 blue chromis, and a bunch of hermit crabs and turbo snails thanks for your help, any advice is appreciated.
< You are welcome GA Jenkins >

Re: Elegance coral care and orientation 5/20/09
Thank you so much for the advice and the link, I really appreciate the help.
< You are very welcome! That's a great site for coral care info. GA Jenkins >

Elegance coral question for Bob Fenner  5/10/09
Hi Bob,
I have a pair of elegance corals.
<Mmm, Catalaphyllias are near the top in terms of physical stingy-ness...
And don't mix well often with other specimens that they're "unfamiliar with"... Have you read on WWM re...?>
I have a pink tip frag from a 19 year old colony that's been with me for about 6 months and is growing rapidly.
Currently he is the lone inhabitant of my tank with a 3.5" DSB established for almost 2 years and about 14 blades of seagrass- shoal grass I think. I picked up a frag of an Australian purple tipped elegance at MAX '09 in Costa Mesa about 5 weeks ago and has been in QT since. He is eating well and looks 'happy.'
a) I'm not sure about the length of QT required for ECS to manifest itself.
<...Elegance Coral Syndrome? See WWM re the health of this species period>
b) Will there be a problem if the pink tip elegance and purple tip elegance touch each other?
<Yes. Very likely>
They expand so much! The pink tip appears to have a stronger sting than the purple tip when food is presented.
<They should expand and contract somewhat... That one/both are doing this a great deal is symptomatic of "warring">
c) As I mentioned I have 14 blades of seagrass that have been there since Jan '09. As new ones grow, old ones die -a turn over of about 3-4 leaves a week. I was hoping for more blades of grass!!!
<What do you think are the limiting factors here? Light, some nutrient/s?>
I started using FW plant fertilizer tabs buried 2" below the DSB by the roots per Eric Borneman's advice at MAX '09, but I see no change.
<Does take time... Could be summat else>
Thank You,
<Be chatting, Bob Fenner>

Re: Elegance coral question for Bob Fenner  5/10/09
Hi Bob,
Thank you very much for your reply.
a) The purple tip elegance coral is still in QT. The pink tip and purple tip elegance have not been in contact yet. The expansion and contraction is based on light. The pink tip reduced it's size by 50% at night. The purple tip basically withdraws completely in to its skeleton at night -from being 6" across down to about 1"!
<Mmm, vigorous... again, I would not likely "mix" the two specimens in the same system/water>
b) I don't know how long to QT the purple tip to ensure that it doesn't suffer from ECS. Is 6 weeks enough?
<See WWM re... I don't "believe" in such a syndrome... there are ways to strengthen this and other Scleractinian, Cnidarian species re too-easy mortality. These are adequately covered/archived on our site>
c) As for the shoal grass, they grow fast enough. The old leaves just die off just as fast as new growth! That's what I need to stop. Currently I get 3-4 new leaves a week, same as the death rate! So I guess I have a stable population of shoal grass leaves. They are planted in a mature 2 year old 3.5" DSB, in 12" of water under a 20K 70W metal halide bulb. They only problem I see is that since I'm also fishless, and have been so for 2 years, there are ton of different pods left over from my live rock days that now hang out on the grass blades. I wonder if they are my problem!
Thanks a lot!
<Couldn't say... but I do think both you and I could devise an experimental method to test this hypothesis... Mmmm? Bob Fenner> 

Catalaphyllia jardinei (Elegance Coral) 2/6/09 Hello crew! <Hi Kai> I am very happy today because I have just bought myself an Elegance Coral. Yes yes I know, this coral generally don't do well in captivity, <Mmm, can be moderately difficult. On a 1 to 10 scale, I'd say a 5. I've had success with them.> but I have done A LOT of research, read up everywhere, (especially here), checked out videos of this coral, and had a long chat with my LFS owner about the care and attention it needs. I purchased one slightly larger than a 6" specimen when fully expanded from end to end, and I must say it is absolutely stunning. <Yes, is one of my faves.> I have read up on the requirements that this coral needs, and this is what I have given it. Would appreciate it if you could give me some feedback as to how I am caring for it :) Firstly, I have placed it on the sand away from other corals giving it some space to expand. <Good, placing it on sand is less likely to irritate the soft tissue on the bottom of the coral. Allow plenty of room as these corals will double their size during the daytime photoperiod and are very potent stingers. Is perhaps why clownfish favor this specie of corals if no anemone is present.> The flow is low/moderate, enough to wave its tentacles and gently move the body of the coral. I do believe it could be too much? <Doesn't sound like too much.> So far, I have read that the amount of flow should only be high enough to sway the tentacles. The amount of flow I am giving it does just that, but it does gently sway the body of the coral as well. Very lightly, but please do advice on this, as I am quite unsure. <Sounds OK to me. I personally prefer the Hydor Koralia propeller type pumps. They move a large volume of water throughout the tank without the jet stream effect as in standard power heads. As an example, the Koralia 4 can gently circulate 1200gph throughout the tank. The downside is that they cannot be used with most wave makers, but not being able to pulse them has never been an issue in my use.> So far it is doing well, have expanded within 2 hours of introduction. I have fed it a small piece of shrimp and it seemed to enjoy it. <Best to let the coral acclimate for a few days before feeding.> Is it normal if it swells up a bit just after a meal? <I've witnessed this, but not 100% sure if it is the norm.> While I was at my LFS, they had many choices, ranging from about this size, to maybe 8-10" specimens (very big I must say), to colours like intense blue-green which glowed under actinic. The blue-green one was expelling some sticky white stuff and there seemed to be some tissue rejection.... a pity as I really liked that colour, but I figured I should pass, given its current condition. I ended up getting a rather plain looking one, yellow-brown with pink tips on its tentacles. <The yellow should turn to a golden color.> I still love it though :) One of my all time favourites. It is nighttime now and I have turned off my tank lights. The elegance coral looks very weird when it "sleeps?" It looks all puffy and the tentacles are short and slightly curled and tucked into the central part of the coral. I assume it is puffy as it is still digesting its meal, which I have just given it an hour ago? Is it normal for it to "sleep" like this? <Most LPS corals retract during the night, no fears.> Thanks for the help, and please do tell me where I am going wrong, if I am going wrong, and I would correct it :) Sorry that I send you guys e-mails almost everyday, but I feel better knowing that my questions are being answered by the pros. <Sounds like you are on the right track, keep reading/learning my friend.> Regards -- Kai Have a nice and pleasant day. <Ditto to you Kai. James (Salty Dog)>

Elegance coral ?? 12/7/2007 HI Bob! <Sara M. here.> In a forum, someone was saying how great a store's elegance corals were. I said, well I bought one there and it was supposedly from a good source and would not die. Took 6 months, but it did. Went against every fiber of my being to BUY it, but my corals never die on me. So I figured I would give it a shot. I did everything you are supposed to do and YES my tank always has 20 to 30 nitrates (no phosphates and my sps even grows!.... they are at the top of course) Anyhow, I was rebutted when I mentioned the coral was 7" long. The person said, oh well, the corals from Australia are smaller and are better. <Australian Elegance corals are "better" (less prone to Elegance Coral Disease than Indo-Pacific ones (this is so, at least in more recent years).> Correct me if I am wrong, but Australia TYPICALLY will NOT export young fish or corals, right? <Umm, this depends on what you mean by "typically." They don't export the way the does, but they do export some corals and fish.> I mean basically this person is trying to defend the store owner and I said, hey I don't blame the store owner. Bob, I just don't KNOW if I am being fed a line of c*ap about how they are smaller from Australia. <Bob and I are sitting here in Kona chatting about this right now. And, sorry to say, I'm going to have to give you the classic law school student answer to every question..."um, maybe." It's certainly possible that this coral you were sold is from Australia. It's also quite possible it's not. As for relative sizes of corals from different parts of the world... this might be the case all over (not just from Australia). However, please don't assume that this person you talked to (or the store owner) is lying to you. He/she might not be lying. Or, the lie (if there is a lie) might not have started with them. They might have been lied to by the distributor, or the distributor lied to by yet someone else up the line. In any case, Bob thinks that if your elegance coral really was from Australia, it would have been very expensive! Best, Sara M.>

Elegance (and some folks) Acting Funny... reading...    10/24/07 Hey CREW! <Howdy!> I bought a 1 year old 14 gal BioCube 2 months ago. The owner had an elegance and a colony of zoanthids in it. <... too small for a Catalaphyllia...> My problem is, the elegance has been growing, and growing, and growing, and is now waaaay too big for my tank. <Yes> Then, 2 days ago I bought a yellow watchman. <Too small for this Goby...> He immediately began hosting the elegance, and now the yellow watchman has been gone for 4 days, <Ooops. Consumed> and the elegance has been (what looks like) filling up with air, and its color is going from light purple to a dark "bruised" looking royal color. <Ate too much> Why does it look like the elegance is "inflating?" And do you believe she has eaten the watchman? <Oh yes> I have moved my 15 pounds of live rock and he has not come out. Any advice is greatly appreciated. <Get a larger system... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Elegance Acting Funny, Valenciennea... reading   10/25/07 You say the tank is too small for the yellow watchman. I'm moving in 2 months, at which point I will have the room for a larger tank. Money is no object, and I plan on spending a lot of it. <Ok> So my question is, what do you think a good ratio for "inches of fish: gallons" is? <Posted...> And I would like to know the answer based on the current size of the fish, not the adult size, as I said, I know I will be upgrading the tank, and I look forward to doing so. I have kept freshwater fish successfully for 8 years and I go with 1" per 5 gallons for most fish. <... see WWM re Goby, this species... Systems> Also, what is your opinion of nano tanks? <Also posted... can work, often don't...> I have seen seahorses in 2.5 gallons, my LFS had an engineer goby in 10 gallons, and I see nanos all the time with mated pairs of clowns in 8 gallons. Where do you draw the line? <Posted... at about 40 gallons> Thank you for sharing your knowledge. <Thank you for looking, reading what is archived ahead of writing. BobF>

Re: Elegance Acting Funny... getting by   10/26/07 I was asking those mundane questions in hopes that you would relate it back to my tank. But no biggie. <... is. You need a bigger system to keep a specimen of this species... and to know the disposition of its stinging ability, compatibility... feeding... Hence the referral, request for you to read... generally> I'm sure it's unusual that an elegance would thrive for over a year in 14 gallons, <Yes> and you are probably dumbfounded as to why it hasn't died like all the others, <No... even a blind squirrel collects a plant sex part now and then> so it is just easier to say my tank is "too small," even though the zoanthid colony has doubled and the elegance is a gigantic, colorful, voracious eater. <...> Heaven forbid we do something challenging today... <...> You seem to have the same pre-recorded answers, and a bottom line from which you are not willing to budge. Why not actually explore something that challenges your notions of what can be done with a 14 gal tank, 20# of live rock, 2 fish, and 4 corals??? Nope! Instead we will just recite the easy 2-word answers and learn nothing. Exciting. <Good luck with this attitude... RMF>

Re: Elegance and some folks Acting Funny  10/26/07 Oh I get it. You can not explain something, so it MUST be luck. You tell me "good luck" with my attitude, but how about your absolute belief that if it is not done "your way," then it is "dumb luck." <Mmm, not luck> Good luck with THAT. I still think it would be much more interesting for you to take a look at my year-long photo diary and comment on how in the world a tiny elegance and a tiny zoanthid colony have BOTH exploded to 4-6x their sizes in a year's time inside a bone stock 14 gal BioCube. <I don't discount that some people have better fortune, are better, more diligent aquarists... Do have success with said small systems... Even with Caryophylliids> Don't you think it says something about this particular specimen? Or its keeper's level of care? Aren't there hundreds of elegance enthusiasts who would love to understand what works and what doesn't?? <Oh yes. Do tell> As someone who studies this stuff, isn't this even remotely interesting to you? <Mmm, yes> Maybe it's my level of care, maybe it's the coral, maybe it's luck. But I think if you went through these pages of notes and photos, you might be able to draw conclusions that someone less experienced (me) might be missing... <I strongly encourage you to expand here. Write up your diary notes, provide pix if you can... I will gladly help you get this work into both print and e- media... for pay. Bob Fenner, whose old article on the lack of success with C. jardinei is posted... on WWM>

Re: Elegance Acting Funny  10/26/07 I have had an online diary for months, and so did the previous owner of this tank/corals. I am in the process of trying to acquire all of his files, as the site that he frequented apparently lost its domain name. I'm not interested in $$$. I want to know why these corals are predictably dying off in 500 gallon tanks with optimal flow, skimmers, calc reactors, fuges, sumps, and 5-figure lighting systems, <Those 5-figure lighting systems may actually be the problem.> yet mine is thriving in an acrylic box under weak fluoros on top of an aragonite sub while bathing in Tropic Marin salt water that is barely moving. <This is not at all surprising to me. Recent work done by a guy named Darrell (www.elegancecoral.org) shows that elegance corals coming from the Indo-Pacific in recent years need much lower lighting (and different husbandry) than elegance corals which were collected 10 to 15 years ago. This is because collectors had to move from shallower to deeper waters as the shallower waters were over collected and nearly depleted of the corals.> It doesn't follow logic, which suggests we need to take a closer look at the research upon which this "logic" is based. <It IS based on logic though. It just so happens that it's a logic that has been lost on the hobby until very recently. And that logic is that your coral came from deeper waters and you kept it under weak lighting and fed it at least one live fish (which I'm sure it probably appreciated). What's going on here is that you made a lot of "mistakes" that ended up being right for this particular coral. So, I'm sorry, but in a big way, Bob is right. You got lucky. But please don't be so offended by me (us) saying so. Some of the world's greatest inventions and discoveries (from super glue to Penicillin) were made by careless researchers who just got lucky. It's happened to me too. I once tossed a dying Turbinaria sp. coral I had given up on into a tank I neglected and didn't think a proper habitat for any coral. By sheer LUCK, and for reasons I'm still not entirely sure of, this was exactly the environment the coral apparently needed. It's now healthier than any Turbinaria sp. coral I've ever had and at least as healthy as any I've seen in any aquarium. What I did was not wise and not based on any logic at all. I thought I had condemned the coral to certain death when I actually did the best thing for it (apparently). This only shows how little we actually know/understand about these wonderful animals. We try our best, but to a large extent, they're still quite mysterious, under-studied and sometimes unpredictable. If you really do care, contact Darrell and tell him your story. See if your experience (and excellent records) can't help him support his theory and work. Best, Sara M.>

Re: Elegance Acting Funny  10/27/07 Hi Sarah - <Actually, my mother named me after St. Luke's secret mistress whose name was "Sara" without the 'h.' ;-)> I visit his website often and I have read the deep-water/low light theory. I can tell from my experience that my elegance loves the fluoros at 12-16 hours per day. "Bright But Not Hot." I think that's the key. <Seems likes it.> I am going to be removing 5# of live rock from the display, break it up, and put it in the rear chamber of my tank to allow the elegance to grow more. <good plan> As far as being lucky... I don't buy it. A close observer can tell when something is working and when it is not. I have changed a lot of different things to get the elegance where it is now. <Well, maybe you started out a little lucky and got smart. That happens a lot too. In any case, thank you for writing in and sharing your experience. I'm certainly impressed with your level of commitment and eagerness to share with the rest of the hobby. In my opinion, that counts for far more than luck. I hope you and Darrell get in touch. More people should be aware of what you, he and several others are now discovering about these corals. Good luck and please do keep us updated! Best, Sara M.>

Re: Growth on Elegance Coral (more info) 8-11-2007 Bob Fenner <Ron> Hope Bob gets this email, just a follow up. By the way I truly appreciate all the hard work that goes into keeping this site up and available for newbies like me. This is just a follow up email about my Elegance Coral. Since last email it has grown, thickened up, getting more green tint. <Ah, good> Have not done anything different, it is still point down in live rock where it has anchored itself and still has the growth semi-around the clam shell and rock. The Clown over the last 2 weeks or so has begun hanging out in it as per pic during the day time and at night goes to sleep in a vertical position in the back left corner of the tank facing down. One other thing, the Hippo Tang seems to lay in it a lot as well, This Catalaphyllia does not seem to have ever stung anything or one. I have not handled it in over eight months and don't intend to, and at some point or other every fish in my tank has swam though it or laid on top of it. It has seemed very content and very docile. This guy seems to be happy and growing very well. <Very good> If you want a video of just how fast it closes when I feed just let me know, will probably be about 5 meg, though I might be able to distill it down. Thanks for all the wonderful help Ron :>) P.S. sent a photo of mushroom just for fun :>) <I wondered... Cheers! BobF>

Decline of An Elegance Coral?  3/30/06 Scott, <Scott here! Sorry for the delay in the reply.> Thank you very much for your quick response.  I was kind of wondering if the 20k bulbs might be an issue, but if they do turn out to be then I may slowly switch them out for 10k.  I have actually been more concerned about how deep the 175 watt bulbs will be able to penetrate vs. 400 watt.  What do you think? <They'll be fine for most corals in a 24" deep tank, IMO.> One other quick question about a Elegance coral I have.  I also have a 46 gallon bowfront tank with great water quality and everything else doing spectacular but my Elegance.  When I first got it for the first couple of weeks it opened up nicely but since then over about a months time it seems to be slowly shrinking and opening less and less.  It doesn't show any other signs of stress other then it keeps getting smaller and opens less and less. For about a week it would blow up like a balloon during the day, which I thought was a little abnormal also.  I did read that it is good to target feed Elegance, which I wasn't doing for the first month and tried to start doing a week ago but only seemed to worsen its condition.  Also, a friend of mine has beautiful large Elegance that he never target feeds and is doing wonderful.   Any ideas or suggestions about what I could do to hopefully improve it condition?  Is it savable or it slowly dieing? Thanks again, your feedback very very helpful Jason <Well, Jason, these corals really do benefit from directed feeding. They are also susceptible to allelopathic "attacks" from other corals in your system, so they are really best suited for a monospecific display, as the only coral in residence. Feed them small foods (less than 1/4" in size) and keep the water quality high. Do make use of the vast resources here on WWM regarding the care of this coral. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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