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FAQs on the Hydrozoans called Fire Corals

Related Articles: Hydrozoans, Cnidarians, Fire Corals, Stylasterines, Hydrozoan Jellies

Related FAQs: Lace Corals, Fire Corals

No shortage of Fire Coral in the Red Sea... or many other places

Spider-like silky webs in between branching Millepora     11/16/17
Dear Bob Fenner & Team,
Attached is a photo showing silky webs in between and over colonies of Millepora (as if made by spiders). Many of the Millepora colonies seem to have such webs, while I don't recall it seeing on other (true Scleractinian) corals. The photo was taken in Kisite MP, Kenya at around 4 meters depth.
<Interesting. I'd REALLY like to have a bit of this thread-like material to take a look under the 'scope>
Some ideas that were suggested include: mucus threads of Millepora itself, snails and Cyanobacteria. However, nobody seems to be sure. Maybe someone at WetWebMedia recognises it?
<My guesses would include the first (mucus threads) and possibly algae of some sort; but could be something else entirely. Again, take a zip-loc type baggie down with you, remove a sample and have a look under a low power microscope. Hopefully one w/ a USB or other capacity to make images, and send them along to me/us if you would>
Thanks for your help!
<Thank you for sharing!>
Ewout Knoester
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Fire Coral/Milleporina Systems/Care 9/22/10
Hey WWM,
how's it going?
<Still above ground, so good!>
I've been keeping an Millepora firecoral in one of my smaller nanos for awhile now with reasonable success. It seldom open its polyps but is otherwise looking healthy.
What factors must be considered to allow it to open its polyps more frequently?
Also, its growing quite slowly, is their anything I can do to help it out?
And finally, I recognize that these species have very potent stings, however lately I've considered moving it to my larger Nano with fish in it but have been reluctant to do so. The reason why I would like to put it in there is because The larger tank has higher flow and higher lighting.
All of this being said, I am worried the colony might sting and kill my clown fishes.
Can clown fishes tolerate fire corals or am I better off leaving it where it is?
<Best to start by reading here. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/millepor.htm
James (Salty Dog)>

Fire Coral, human hlth.  11/15/07 Just reading your article on fire coral. You mention about getting stung and the treatment, you should also mention that extreme caution should be exercised also, some people like me have extreme allergy to fire coral which can land people like me in hospital, it is not just ouch. I am starting up the salt again soon and I shall do what you say and use gloves at all times. Also I do not know if you mention any other corals that can sting, I know for someone like, I must exercise extreme caution in the hobby now.  By the way I do love your site and your articles, they are very helpful in giving information and giving advice. Cheers Richard South <Thank you for your input here. Will add/share. Cheers, Bob Fenner... always watching out for Milleporines UW>

Millepora? rxn help   7/18/06 I was down in Playa Del Carmen  a week and a half ago. They believe I got into fire coral. <Very common there... as are fire sponges (another distinct possibility)> I was given a shot <Of?...> and told to take Allegra and put an ointment <Of?> on it. I was better in 3 days and no complaints. Until this morning I woke up with it all over again. My fingers a severely swollen and itch and red and in a lot of pain. any suggestions?   Casey <Yes... I would see someone in the medical field re... stat! Reactions differ per individual, but such stings can be quite serious... Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/Wound.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re: Millepora? rxn help   7/18/06 I don't have a open wound or site of a sting is the problem. I live in Dallas Texas and no one here quite knows what to do. I saw my doc. this morning and he is clueless. <I... would... seek... other medical help... An endocrinologist likely... a large hospital. BobF>

Re: Milleporid sting?  - 07/18/2006 Let me ask you this is this something you would consider serious or life threatening if this was in fact a Fire Coral sting ? Have you ever seen a case where it came back ? <Mmm, not "come back" so much as never went away... the analgesic and likely anti-inflammatory you were administered just gave temporary relief. Some folks have dire reactions to such stings... Bob Fenner> So should I go to the actual hospital ? <Up to you... how do you feel? I have been stung by Milleporina all over the world... the pain, swelling, redness go away for me in about a day... Bob Fenner>

FIRE CORAL ...genus Millepora? Or ones that will definitely be eaten?<I have heard the fish such as angels and butterflies that nibble on coral won't try nibbling on Fire Coral (genus Millepora). Do look over the WWM site for more possibilities, IanB> Thank you, Luke

That Burning Milleporina Sensation/Pix I was trimming my Millepora alcicornis today for some frags, and it slipped out of my calloused hands, and I caught it with the underside of my arm (!), whipped out the digital camera and took a shot of the stings/welts...wondering if you wanted the pic to post on the Milleporina section of WWM....you know sort of a "Ooooo pretty colors" warning about playing with them...others can learn from my stupidity... "nothing feels like fire than to touch a Milleporina" -Chris <Yikes, yes, send them along Chris, and I'll add them and your testimonial... Yowch! to the site. Bob Fenner>

Re: A. millepora Bob, while I was at MACNA this weekend, I acquired a 4" A. millepora through a friend at Harbor Aquatics...its gorgeous! the corallites are green with blue rims.. I put it in my 2.5 gallon Acropora thicket/sand flat tank (Lee Chin Eng system). I already have 13 specimens of 4 species (I think) of Acropora (mostly frags, but 1 or two good sized colonies already present) I know Eng's filtration is adequate for Acroporids (system has been up and stocked since March)...however, the lighting is Coralife's dual MiniMight... 18 watts total, I'm not sure how adequate this will be for a particularly large colony such as this (though I'm getting very respectable growth rates in my other colonies), I'm also not familiar (i.e. have no experience with) A. millepora, though I have been trying to acquire at least some frags for quite a while. I got home about 3 hours ago from the conference, and about 10 minutes after wafting the mucous on the colony, the polyps are already wide open and flying high. Just curious as to your experience with millepora and your opinion of this situation. Chris  <Wowzah, glad I caught this msg... am in the Cook Islands for a few weeks, >and just deleting most all that comes across the AOL ISP... Do take a look at my article on this hydrozoan posted on our site: www.wetwebmedia.com... not hard to keep... sort of like fleas, cattails, rattlesnakes... Bob "Murphy's Laws" Fenner

Milleporidae I picked up what's been tentatively identified as a Millepora collected from Fiji. After doing a search thru the archives and looking thru Sprung's book and Fossa & Nilsen's I'd have to agree. It's brown branching, white tips with very fine cilia. This is going in a 10gl with a 150w MH with strong flow all by its lonesome so by all rights this should grow like crazy. Anyone else keeping these or have experiences ? After this guy acclimates I'll get some pics. Regards, David Mohr >> Mine: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/millepor.htm Bob Fenner

Re: Milleporidae << Thanks for the link Bob. I have your site bookmarked, but I keep thinking you're mostly fish. <duh> This guy didn't sting me but then I'm so ornery I'm probably immune. Do you or have you kept them ? Regards, David Mohr >> <Do have them... not willingly... along with live rock from places... incidental "contaminants" on "combination" pieces brought in to our site for culture work... And wish I had a dollar for every time I've been stung by Milleporines... could take the whole listserv on a scuba trip to anywhere! On a more serious note, these hydrozoans are ready examples of Murphy's Laws... unlike the gorgeous related Stylasterines like Distichopora, they live and live.... and spread. Bob Fenner>

Re: Milleporidae << So these rate on the scale of Aiptasia, mushrooms and Xenia as being pains in the arse. If you ever get paid your combat money, my bags are packed. :-) Regards, David Mohr >> <Will do so David, LOL... Bob Fenner>

Milleporina hi Bob, after a little light reading on "fire corals", the subject has completely captured my attention. it's my understanding that it's common for these animals to occur on purchased liverock, and actually do well in closed systems providing that and even other-wise) water quality is up to par. are the "fire corals" we most commonly refer to found exclusively on "Fiji", or do these milleporids generally occur on most types of rock? <On most all types, from all Oceans> In my system I'm seeing brown "stalks" growing on my Fiji liverock. These stalks have almost symmetrical "nodules" surrounding the stalk and seem coral like in appearance. I guess my question is...could these be small establishing colonies of Milleporina? <Could be... touch them on a sensitive part of your skin and you will know... why they're called "fire coral" (actually hydrozoans... my article on them: Home Page > where can I get better detailed information on the subject, and who/what (in your opinion) would be the best author/publication to look out for? Thanx... Cleveburd c/o R.R.S.  >> Check the references offered at the end of the above cited article/site... You will know. Bob Fenner

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