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FAQs about Fungiid Coral Behavior

Related Articles: Fungiid Corals

Related FAQs: Fungiid Corals 1Fungiid Corals 2Fungiid Identification, Fungiid Compatibility, Fungiid Selection, Fungiid Systems, Fungiid Feeding, Fungiid Disease, Fungiid 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,

Question on my glowing Fungia   6/25/11
Hi Crew!
Hope everyone is doing ok, and thanks BobF for the quick reply to my previous query. I have a question regarding a Fungiid coral that is currently residing in my reef tank. As you can see in the attached photograph, this coral literally glows a bright yellow-green, even in the absence of actinic lights.
<Interesting... I do hope, oh, I see this below... that it's not dyed>
The glow is so bright that it is very difficult to get a clear picture of it (oftentimes it just appears like a bright orb like when the flash gets reflected on the glass). This coral is neither bleached nor artificially colored.. I collected it myself at a depth of about 12 meters while snorkeling, and it has been living problem-free in my reef tank since January.
I'd like to find out how common these ultra-fluorescent Fungiids are, since I have not seen any this bright before, nor have seen any since.
<I have not encountered any that "stayed" thus... Yours is the first>
I'd appreciate your thoughts regarding this. Thanks again crew!
<Thank you for sharing. BobF>

Re: Question on my glowing Fungia -- 06/25/11
Hi BobF,
<My brother>
Wow. Again, thanks for the quick reply. Thanks for the input regarding the Fungiid. I too would have though it was dyed if I hadn't collected it myself.
I always knew it was special, but I always thought that similar ones would regularly show up in the US market. Knowing its rarity now more than compensates for the eardrum I ruptured in collecting it (haha). hmm.... I smell a magazine article in the works...haha. Thanks again BobF!
<Heeee! And possibly a frag-farming opportunity! B>

plate coral behavior - 03/30/10
I recently purchased a plate coral and wanted to understand what normal plate behavior is.
<This is NOT a Heliofungia I'll assume>
My plate is lying on the substrate but has moved over and almost appears to be lodged under a rocky overhang. My question is #1 can these guys get stuck?
<Not really... unless something else falls on them...>
#2 He sometimes puffs up than goes into what I call "shock mode (tentacles shrink up and sort of quiver), than the
tentacles fill up again and he looks normal.
He cycles through this quite a bit. My last concern/question is #3 There is a tiny area where I can see the bony structure where the green tissue used to be. Is this bad, will it recover, or does it need more Calcium?
<Depends... on what your water quality is overall, feeding...
Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/fungiidsysfaqs.htm
and the linked files above>
<Bob Fenner>

Irregularly Shaped Tentacles on Fungiid  12/21/2009
Good Evening,
<G'morrow now here>
I recently received a coral from a fellow reefer at a local fish club (M.A.R.S.)
<Oh, up in Sacto. Was just up there a couple mo.s back giving a pitch>
and am puzzled by the anatomy of it. The coral in question is a Fungiid (please see attached picture). This is the second Fungiid that I have owned; the first still doing very well after 5 months (sticks to a regular cycle of inflation / deflation, eats well every other day and has grown). What I am puzzled by is the irregular tentacle shape on the new Fungiid upon arrival. The tentacles themselves each individually look unique. They are rather thick toward the base and stay that width for roughly 3/4 of the total length. Some of the tentacles then thin to a very fine point. On others there is a fine line of a contrasting color running up the side, almost like there is a stitch where the tentacle had been sewn up. Some of the tentacles have multiple bumps toward the ends and have a twisted appearance (reference the far right edge in the photo). The tentacles have not undergone any changes in shape as a result of being placed in my tank.
The coral does not seem interested in feeding on Mysid shrimp nor silverside and I am rather concerned about this as well, not eating is never a good sign. It may also be important to note that the coral in question is one of three fragments created from a single larger polyp. I am unsure how long ago the fragmentation was performed;
<Quite a while, considering the near-circular (regrowth) appearance presently>
however, the skeletal disk is very near circular and a mouth has developed and appears to be structurally mature.
This leads me to believe the coral has recovered from the initial trauma of fragmentation.
Now that you have an idea about what I am viewing we come at last to my questions: Are there Fungiids or corals in general in which the polyp tentacles are non-uniform?
<Mmm, not really... sometimes appear to be more "miniaturized" toward the center, but otherwise about the same conformation>
If not, then is it likely this be a mutation or disease of some kind?
<The latter is my guess... this environment is trouble. Obvious BGA about where the Fungiid is placed... either the predisposing conditions are unfavourable to the Coral and/or the Cyanobacteria is poisoning it>
I have understood that generally coral polyps should have tentacles which are symmetrical, with each one identical to the next.
If this is a mutation, should this coral *not* be propagated and distributed to others?
<Nah; you need to study, fix whatever is allowing the Cyano to predominate here>
I want to preserve and propagate healthy specimens that are true representations of life that exists in the natural reef.
Your insight and assistance is most appreciated.
Best Regards,
<Umm, start here:
and the linked files above...
And have you read on WWM re Fungiids in general, their systems? You should.
Bob Fenner>

BBC E-mail: Predatory coral eats jellyfish  11/15/09
Neale Monks saw this story on the BBC News website and thought you should see it.
<Interesante. BobF> 
> ** Predatory coral eats jellyfish **
> A coral is recorded eating a jellyfish for the first time, in intriguing photographs taken by scientists.
> < http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/fr/-/earth/hi/earth_news/newsid_8350000/8350972.stm >

Question on Mushroom Coral and Candy Cane Coral... a Fungia, not a Corallimorph  11/21/07 Hi, <Hi Sammy!> I have this mushroom coral for 2 weeks now. <You have a Fungia, occasionally called a mushroom coral, not a Corallimorph, which is more typically called a mushroom coral. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm > It seems to bloom only when the lights are totally off. <Yes, this is not atypical.> Here are photos of it with the light on, with only a flashlight, and lights totally out. <I see.> I currently have it half way down the water column with medium water flow. Should I move it down onto the sand <Yes, but be aware, these corals ARE MOBILE. Yes, that right, they are capable of moving, even capable of climbing! And their mucus can be quite toxic. So the Fungia need to be kept at a distance from other corals.> or in a shadow from the light? <In the light is fine.> Is this normal? <Yes.> I also have a candy cane that is doing the same thing. <This is normal. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidae.htm > When I bought this coral, it was quite bleached. It is not starting to get some green coloring. <Good.> I have seen candy cane corals opening in full light at the LFS. <Yes, some gradually accommodate.> But mine will only open when the lights are off. <Again, not unusual.> Is this related to that fact that it was bleached? <Not necessarily.> What is the best thing I can do for this coral? <Feed it at night when it is open, finely minced pieces of meaty foods.> Move it to a very low light location? <No.> Here are photos of the candy cane. <I see.> Flash shot with lights off. <Came out pretty well for just being illuminated with a flash light!> Thanks for your help.
<Welcome! Mich>

Long Tentacle Plate Coral - Green Patches    9/4/07 Hey Guys, fantastic website. <thank you> Only found it a couple of months ago but has already been a big insight with many questions answered. Although there are two questions I have not seem to find the answer to. I have a LT Plate Coral which has four main calcareous structures one in the middle and three evenly round the outside, this was brought attached to a small rock about the same size in diameter. <Without a picture, it sounds like this coral once had a significant dying-off episode and has since recovered (leaving behind parts of its former shape/skeleton.)> It is situated on the substrate. The first question is that it occasionally seems to have one or two tentacles drop off for no reason, is this normal regeneration behavior? <That's bizarre. I've never heard of the tentacles falling off. Are you sure they're actually falling off and not disintegrating or retracting back into the coral?> Secondly the calcareous structures have what look like a green algae growing on them but instead of it being raised on the surface it looks as though it is eating into the coral!!? <The calcareous structures are most likely dead coral skeleton that are (or were at one time) deeply grooved. The algae is probably not eating the coral but growing out from within the dead skeleton's grooves.> The coral seems happy enough and is fully extended through the day, but does shrink right down at night so none of tentacles are at all visible apart form the very tips. <This is normal.> Your help is very appreciated and keep up the great work! <Thank you.> Wayne Tunnah <Best, Sara M.>

Rock Climbing Plate Coral -- 06/21/07 Hello, <<Howdy>> Hope you all are well. <<I am, thank you>> I have a question regarding my plate coral. Since its introduction into my 55gal tank, about 9 months ago, this coral has always stayed put. However, a couple of days ago, it moved. <<These organisms do have the capacity for locomotion if they become unhappy with their location>> Only a few inches, but now it is at an angle, half on a rock and half on the sand. <<Hmmm, curious...wouldn't expect this coral to go 'rock climbing.' Do you have any large Wrasses or Gobies that may have moved the coral aside in the search for food?>> I normally wouldn't move this coral, but since it is on a rock, which I know is not good for these corals, do you suggest I gently move it back down, flat on the sand? <<I would, yes>> Your advice, as always, is much appreciated! Nick <<Happy to share. EricR>>

Swollen Heliofungia   2/26/07 Hi Crew <Hi Dan, Mich with you.> I have a 100 gal 6 ft marine aquarium, with 400 W of compact fluorescent lighting, 30 gal sump with refugium, AKS skimmer, and a Sfiligoi Superflite chiller. The aquarium has the following residents: 4 green Chromis 1 pinstripe wrasse 1 valentini puffer 2 saddleback clowns 1 Duncanopsamia axifuga 1 leather coral (Sarcophyton?) some corallimorphs 1 Catalaphyllia and 2 BTA's (yes I know they should not be housed with corals... now) Water parameters check out fine for ammonia, nitrate and nitrite. When I got home from work today I found my Heliofungia "body" massively swollen up to at least twice it's normal size! <Heliofungia are capable of significant tissue expansion.> The tentacles seem ok, and there appears to be no damage, but it certainly doesn't look right! <I don't believe there is cause for concern here.> I've tried researching on the internet and your site but can't find anything on this. Any idea what might be causing it? The other inhabitants all seem fine. I installed the chiller yesterday and have dropped the temperature on the aquarium by 1.5 degrees so far to 28.0 C. Could this have anything to do with it? <I guess anything is possible, but the tissue expansion is not abnormal behavior.> I've been feeding this coral Mysis and enriched brine shrimp twice a week.   <Did you feed it prior to the swelling?  Hehe, as in humans, swelling is often a side effect following the ingestion of a large meal!> Any help would be great. <Hope that helps.> Dan in Australia <Mich in the Pocono Mountains.>

Feeding my corals  2/5/07 Hi there, <Hello Susan, Mich with you tonight.> I'm a newcomer to saltwater aquariums and am hooked -- thoroughly loving this wonderful hobby and very much enjoying your column. <Excellent!> Thanks for all your hard work. <Mostly Bob's.> I purchased a mature 90 gal. set-up in October/06 and so far things have been going pretty well, although a few of my corals are a bit sad due to my inexperience. Thanks to you guys, they are now on solid foods. <Very good.> My bubble coral and plate coral (the kind with long tentacles) have lost a lot of tissue and their stony fins are showing. Thanks to your advice, I have started feeding them finely chopped Mysis so I'm hoping they'll recover. <Me too!  You may want to soak your Mysis in Selcon, a vitamin supplement.> Also, I have moved the plate coral to the sand bottom (I previously had him perched higher up on a flat rock) so hopefully he will be happier. <Hopefully.> Here's my question: When the bubble and plate coral have their "mouths" open (the slit in the middle is unzipped), is that a good time to feed them? <Can be.> Also, the plate coral is giving off quite a bit of filament, almost making a web around itself sometimes. Should I be doing anything about this? <You may want to use carbon and change it with some frequency.  This mucus contains cytotoxins that could have a negative effect on other corals in your system.>   Thanks for any advice you can offer. <You're welcome!  -Mich> Susan

Bubble coral feeding question / Fungia question, too I have a bubble coral that used to put out what I thought were feeding tentacles almost every night after the lights went out, <and they were most likely... bubbles retract and tentacles/vesicles come out at night> and I was feeding it small bits of cocktail shrimp 2-3x/week.  Recently, however, it just shrivels up to almost nothing every night.   <increase in water flow will do it> It seems fine during the day, maybe not inflating quite as much, but basically fine and sometimes accepts food in the daytime. <they can feed anytime they sense food in the water. Do add a small bit if meaty juice 15 minutes prior to target feeding to get tentacles out> No change in h2o quality: temp=80, SG=1025.5, Ca=460, alk=9.3, pH=8.4, no3=about 2, no2=0, po4=almost 0(need a new test kit I think).   <all sounds fine... Ca is getting a little bit scary high... its fine now but don't push higher for ear of precipitating Alk> Every week I add one tsp each of Kent's Tech-I, CoralVite, and Essential Elements/  oh, it's a 46 gallon, Does this sound like a problem or a normal variation?   <not normal... they feed heavily and daily for survival> Should I keep feeding it during the day, if it doesn't put out the feeder tentacles at night?   <no problem at all... please do if you prefer> Now, I'm feeding it much less often, maybe once very 7-10 days. <Yikes! Your bubble will last maybe 2 years this way before starving to death. several times weekly for maintenance. Daily feeding for growth> Other corals all doing fine except a Fungia who never puts out any tentacles any more (for many months); I was sure it was dying, but it, too, still accepts tiny bits of shrimp if I put them right by it's mouth. <Fungia is one of the hardiest corals... but also one of the hungriest. Under "perfect" lights it can still only get  less than 80% of its daily food/carbon from photosynthesis... the rest comes from food. This coral needs to be fed almost daily. If so, it will grow and reproduce wonderfully and live for many years> I'd appreciate any ideas.  Thanks in advance! <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Bubble coral feeding question/Fungia question, too Thanks, Anthony, but when you say "increased water flow will do it", do you mean cause it to shrivel up or to open up?   <exactly... they are easily inhibited by direct/laminar water flow in excess> In any case the water flow situation hasn't changed at all since I've had it, but its behavior has changed dramatically, so I'm still puzzled, but will resume more frequent feedings of the bubble and the Fungia.   <very good> The LFS where I bought the Fungia thought I could be overfeeding it, and therefore causing it to not "need" to extend its tentacles!   <wow... that is ridiculous. Not likely or possible. Do feed small amounts daily for optimum care> Sound like you're advising daily/almost daily feedings for both, yes?  thanks, again. <exactly. Most corals do not need such feedings... but LPS as a rule do and these two are documented to need it in particular. Best regards, Anthony>

Fungiid problems - 2/24/03 I have had this plate coral for a few weeks now. the tentacles only come out at night and I keep getting a stringy discharge <Could be zooxanthellae bailout (bleaching event) or just passed food stuffs> all over the top here lately. also my main concern the edges are pink and they are turning white are clear on the edges is there something wrong or something I should be doing? <Check here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidfaqs.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm Be sure to feed this coral mysis shrimp and krill (frozen is fine) when there is polyp extension, and place this coral on the substrate. The feeding may help the potential bleaching that is occurring (the pink edges turning white)>water tests are fine. <OK> also I would kill for a good book if you know of any... <No need to kill. Know of a great many books...... I personally really enjoy and found most informative, Anthony Calfo's "Book on Coral Propagation Vol. 1" (which is why I am here) and I really enjoy Eric Borneman's' "Aquarium Corals". They can be found locally as well as online in many places. Another source of good information is to check reef boards as often as possible as well....much information to process there. Check the links above, leave the coral in the substrate and feed often. Water changes are in order here as well, in my experience. Good luck! Paul> Thanks Carlos  

Heliofungia Plate Coral 3/6/03 Great site...very informative! <thanks kindly> I have a Fungia plate coral bought like a week ago. I have him in a 90 gal, w/live rock, and various fish. He is on the sandy bottom. He mainly opens up at night. I have 265wat power compact lighting with actinic too.....Why does he only open at night, <planktivorous... when plankton is out> and my main question is this.....When I 1st got him, his mouth was visible...now, there is a hole there, and bare coral skeleton is visible. <Yikes... a sign of severe stress. Perhaps light shock if you did not QT in subdued light first.> He seems to no longer be able to accept food, but is putting off very little mucus, and is still puffing up at night... <the latter being a good sign> Is it just a matter of time, or is he ok do u think...thx a lot guys    Tim <its a little scary... gaping is often a rather bad sign. My advice though is to not move or stress this animal at all... it is likely very weak and will not tolerate a change well. Patience and diligence are required here. Do keep offering food in small amounts and give it time to acclimate. Be sure nothing is bothering it (another coral nearby... fishes, crabs in the tank, etc). Anthony>

Fungia coral hi, I have a 'pink and green fungi coral' purchased from flying fish express several months ago. It had been doing very well. Growing in size and it's little tentacle like growths (though only a few millimeters in size) were coming out every night. <Yes... natural> A few days ago it started to release a cob web type substance. Brown in color and about 10 cm. in length (as seen by me in the pre-dawn, so I do not know if this description is fully accurate). This occurred for several days. It seems to have not be happening anymore. <Not to worry> There are an increasing number of white 'fin' appearing throughout the coral. These started in a particular area, while the other side of the coral seemed to be ok. These white (dead?) fins seem to be spreading across the outer edges of the coral. <Perhaps just growth. Please read over the section on Fungiids: http://wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm> any ideas? Are the 'cob web like releases' a defense mechanism?, <That and/or waste production> is the coral trying to spawn? or is it a sign of it's last dying gasp? <Unlikely> Please help. David Kleber by the way. I have a 55 gallon setup with a Berlin skimmer in a wet-dry sump. Several power heads in the tank. Some 50 to 60 lbs of live rock. A Sailfin tang, 2 clowns, 2 damsels, 1 coral beauty and a flame hawk ( which recently ate 1 of the 3 shrimp and my favorite scooter blenny). there are 2 open brain corals which have been doing fine, a new polyp which is well, but the several 'hard corals' which I have yet to identify their species (aquarium store specials) which are not doing nearly as well (actually they are on their last legs) oh yea, I also have a Pectinia paeonia which is also retreating in it's structure. <Hmm, do look into getting Eric Borneman's new "Aquarium Corals" book... a worthwhile investment. Bob Fenner> My chemistry has been stable. Due to summer heat waves, The temp. has fluctuated somewhat. Never over 82 degrees. Lacking the funds to purchase a chiller, I leave the ac on all the time. This seems to keep the temp. stable. thanks again

Plate Coral Bob, Hello again. I have a plate coral in my 38-Gallon reef. It has white tentacles and purple tips and it is placed on the substrate in the middle of the tank. Over the past few days, actually a week, it seems as though I have to clean my tank every other day. I had been noticing that the tanks would be overcome with a brown algae, sometimes hair-like. At first I thought it my have been Cyanobacteria. I have about 20 turbo snails, a flame angel, purple tang, false Percula clown and a sphinx goby. All of the these inhabitants seem to take care of the 'so-called' algae. <All in a thirty eight gallon? Will be crowded if not already> This morning, I noticed that my plate coral I had mentioned above, shot out of its mouth some brown stringy substance. Zooxanthellae? <More likely just "waste"> After it had done this, the tank was covered in this stuff. It was all over my other corals, Hammer, frogspawn, spaghetti and toadstool umbrella leathers. I have seen my hammer do this before but it never created such a mess!! After this had happened the fish went around and ate most of it, if not all of it. Is this normal? Why does this plate coral do this? Is it safe for the fish and other inhabitants? <Not safe given how much life you have in such a small volume... Do: monitor water quality, keep your eye on your livestock, have plenty of pre-made seawater on hand to effect changes...> Latest water test were'¦ Temp = 77.7 F PH = 8.1 Gravity = 1.0245 33ppt Ammonia = .0 Nitrite = .0 Nitrate = 6.6 Phosphate = .09 (Using Phosguard from SeaChem to bring this down to 0) <Very good idea... trouble here> DKH = 8.74 Calcium = 557.26 (Increasing dKH with SeaChem Reef builder to bring Calcium levels down) <Good idea>
Keith Broadbent

Stuff out of my Coral Hi Robert, I have a couple of pictures I would like you to look at and see if you can tell me, or have an idea whets coming out of my plate coral.. <Looks like simple waste material... You do feed your Fungiid I take it... No worries, just clean up. Bob Fenner> Thanks, Robert

Re: Stuff out of my Coral Ahh.. Ok, cool I do feed him. I give him sinking wafers, shrimp, silver sides, and he get some of the brine shrimp that I feed the fish.. <Sounds good, in fact delicious. Better go eat some toast. Be chatting. Bob Fenner>

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