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FAQs about Non-Vertebrate Animal Identification 29

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Unidentified Coral?/Sponge? on Fiji LR... Likely a Foram (Homotrema rubrum) -11/27/2007 This coral?/sponge? <Mmm, looks like a sponge or a Foram (Homotrema rubrum).> is on a piece of curing Fiji live rock and is about the size of a quarter. Very hard and stony and dark maroon. There are a lot of small ones popping up in different places on the same rock. All are growing. <Sounding more like a Foram. Forams are harmless filter feeders. More here: http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2003-07/rs/index.php > Can you help me out with an id on this? <Hopefully!> Thanks! <Welcome!> Ted Russell <Michelle Lemech> Carrollton, Texas
<Gouldsboro, Pennsylvania>

Great photo, ID. RMF

White Spots on Glass? '¦Don't Use Windex'¦ Spirorbis or Nerites eggs   11/22/07 Good evening gentleman <Good morning! One of the ladies with you today.> this is my first post. <Heehee! Not mine!> I have been a long time reader and really appreciate the long hour that you guys have dedicated to this site. <Thank you for your kind words.> My question is in both of my tanks (75 Reef & 30 nano) I have little white spots on my glass they seem as if they are calcium build-ups. But this is just my un-educated guess when I run my hand across or try to scrape with my nail that's what it feels like anyway. <Well likely one of two things. Could be tiny spiral tube feather dusters (Spirorbis spp) or may be Nerites snail eggs, which generally do not result in new snail. You can see both on this page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/snailid10.htm The Spirorbis can be seen under the snail on the query dated 4/21/2007.> I have fairly good coralline growth in both tanks is this related to it? <No not likely.> I have searched your site and could find nothing thank you for your time I greatly appreciate it. <Hope this helps. Mich>

Re: Help with identification of something growing on rock   11/11/07 <Hi Carlos!> Cool! <Yup!> Thanks Mich much appreciated. <Welcome!> No problems with allelopathy thus far. <Glad to hear, but you should be aware that this often becomes in issue in small systems as time passes and corals mature.> I do a weekly 20% change at the least or a small 5% change every 3 days when time allows. <Excellent!> Re: the high specific gravity, I had read somewhere that it was better for the corals to run a little on the high side. <Yes, you are correct. This is stated in the Borneman book.> Thanks again. <You are quite welcome!> Cheers <And to you!> Carlos

Two unidentified 'things' and a Condylactis anemone problem <Hello Anonymous Querior, Mich here.> I have what I am fearing might be a pest of some sorts, it resides on the rock with the Zoanthids and the mushrooms. I have tried to take pictures of it, and I will send those along. <Looks like a Chiton to me. Chitons are harmless herbivores.><<... Mich, count the body segments... look at the legs... RMF>> Our population of Zoa polyps has been slowly shrinking, several of the different kinds on the rock have altogether disappeared. <Not likely related to the Chitons.> This 'thing' is reddish in color, about 1/4 inch long, hard to the touch, yellowish underneath, and looks like it has 'plates' on it's back. I picked it off the rock this afternoon and sucked it up in a baster (kept just for the tank) and placed it in a shallow container until I find out if it is ok to keep in there. I guess it reminds me most of a roly-poly bug, but flatter. <This does not look like an isopod to me.> <<Does to RMF>> The other thing is in the sump on a small piece of rubble rock. It looks almost like 'skin' and has two inlet/outlet tubes. <Sounds like a tunicate, a harmless filter feeder.> It's mostly clear and has a texture to the surface like a fingerprint. This is just a pure curiosity question, since I am sure it's not harmful. <Nope, not harmful.> The final thing, while I have someone's 'ear' is about our Condy. It looks like it has the measles. I'm not joking. It has small reddish spots all over its tentacles, it has white spots on its body. <Brenda, our resident anemone expert, said this can be normal color variation, but without a photo she could really say much beyond that.><<? I have never seen such a variant>> I fear it is not doing well at all. <I'm sorry. Is there anything beyond the color changes that make you think this?> We have had it since last January or so, and it did wonderfully up until about 3 weeks ago. All of our water chemistry is in normal parameters. Thank you for having such a great forum and making your time available to those of us still learning. <Welcome! We are all learners here. Mich> <<I'll say! RMF>>

  An isopod.

Re: Two unidentified 'things' and a Condylactis anemone problem -- 11/12/07 Thank you for your reply. Sorry I forgot to say, my name is Veronica. <Hello Veronica, Brenda and Mich here! Brenda is handling the anemone and Feather Duster questions. Michelle is taking care of the Chiton ID.> I hope that Chiton is still alive; it was rather neat to see once in a while. <Hello formally anonymous querior! Mich here! RMF say's this is not a Chiton but is an isopod. You should be able to tell the difference by looking at the underside. If it has feet, it is an isopod'¦ if it has a snail like bottom it is a Chiton.> I did do a search and confirm your ID. As for the Anemone, the appearance of the red spots was sudden; its normal color is uniform pinkish tan. I got a good picture to show tonight, I will attach it. We have a 2 year old who likes to throw stuff in the sump, and we found a battery in there one day and a couple of metal balls that go with magnetic toys. <That would definitely explain the sudden change. It is time for some child safety locks.> We lost a birds nest coral (very small) and the anemone bleached. <I'm not surprised.> Then it got these red spots all over it. It relocated (had stayed where it was from the day we got it). It has been shriveling and re-inflating more than normal. <It is expelling waste and trying to rid itself of the toxins.> It does appear to be recovering from the bleaching. <Good!> We've done water changes and are running carbon to remove any toxins. <Keep up with the water changes. I also suggest changing carbon at a minimum of every few days for a while.> Since writing my last letter to you, our feather duster, which was losing 'feathers' for the last week disappeared altogether. It has done so twice before, but never have we noticed it losing feathers like that. <Everything in your system has been stressed in some way because of the objects in your sump.> I guess time will tell if it is ok. <Yes, time will tell.> I am always very grateful for your advice and input. Veronica. Ooops! I forgot to attach the picture to my email. Here is my spotted anemone. <Yes, I see this. It is definitely bleached and spotted. Likely caused from the battery and other items placed in the sump. A lot of water changes, proper feedings and good husbandry is the best you can do for now. Good luck to you! Brenda and Mich>

Tiny 9-point critter... Hydroid Jellyfish (Staurocladia oahuensis) 11/9/07 Hello WWM, <Hi Jesse, Mich here.> I have a picture of an interesting critter that is eating copepods. At least I think they are copepods. You can see them in the picture being eaten. Maybe it's common but I'm still new so could you tell me what it is <It is a Hydroid Jellyfish (Staurocladia oahuensis) More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/jellyidfaqs.htm http://www.ronshimek.com/Animal%20Groups%203%20Cnidarians.htm > and will it eat much of the fishes' copepods? <No.> We just noticed them and there are about 5 we could find quick and easy. <Their populations tend to wax and wane.> They do seem to move when they feel like it. <Yes.>
<Welcome! Mich>

White Gelatinous Growth in Reef Tank Dark Area  11/4/07 Hello WWM crew. <Hello Karl, Mich here> After much searching on the Internet and WWM site I could not find an answer to the growth that has appeared in my nano-cube (established tank over 1 year). In the rear pump chamber (no light but substantial water flow) I have a number of grayish-white gelatinous growths, one appears quite domelike but the rest are more irregular in shape. These are not appearing from what I can see in any areas of the tank exposed to light. Can't send a picture due to their location. They are quite "jelly-like" to the touch. <Perhaps tunicates? Sponges? Reproductive material? Is difficult to say without a photo... really is just guessing...> The tank is quite stable, all parameters check out within limits and regular water changes are performed (may be a little guilty of overfeeding with Mysis shrimp at times). The closest I could come in my search is some reference to "reef-snot" possibly a phrase coined by Mr. Fenner, not sure <Heeeheee! A possibility... --- that accurately describes their appearance and texture. <Mmmmm, yummy!> Big question is one of removal or not. <I would say no. Are likely harmless filter feeders. >> Generally I have learned not to mess with the various organisms that appear from live rock, and have been able to learn from the WWM site as to what they are, but this one has me stumped. Any idea on what I might have? <Mmm, "reef snot"? Heeeheee!> Can I let it be as part of the natural system? <I would.> Thanks once again you guys are great when all else fails...... <Welcome Glad we can be of help! Mich> Karl

New question... Just invert. ID, SW   10/2/07 Been searching, kind of half heartedly, not sure where to begin the search. <Mmm, at the beginning... not to be rhetorical, but what is the nature of what you're interested in? Can you characterize 'it'?> I haven't seen the actual critter involved yet, so kind of stuck there. The new live rock with five lacy mushrooms and a large number of stars. More than 5, starting to lean towards 8 at this time. Anyway back on track, this critter started out making a tube, similar to a tube worm, about 1 1/2" long, clear the first day, thought it was a slug and it moved on day 2 to a location where the rock curves down, so all floating foods will fall down that grove and into this tube that it made. On day three it started picking up small broken pieces of shell out of the gravel and attaching it to the outside of the tube. <Ahh!> Kind of almost looks like something a trap door spider would do. I see little bursts of debris flying out, like it's cleaning house, but I most definitely can not get a look at what's inside this tube. It's just to <too> quick, even with me standing over the top of the rock. Sorry to bother you, I know your <you're> soooo busy. I'm just not sure where to look for this guy on the site. First thought was spider but that was ruled out, tube worms where ruled out as well. Confused Bridget <Might be a worm (most likely), though could be a crustacean of some sort... Please see WWM re ID of these groups... pan through the graphics presented: http://wetwebmedia.com/marinvind1.htm Bob Fenner>

Baby Tube Anemones? ID Polychaete Worms  10/2/07 <Greetings random aquarist with poor punctuation, Mich here capitalizing your "i"s> I have a 60-gallon with a tube anemone in it... <And hopefully not too much else as these beauties can pack a powerful sting.> about 6 months or so, it started spewing out eggs. I have video that I took of it. It was spewing out little purple eggs that some of the fish were eating... in my 20-gallon tank where I have another tube anemone, that one started spewing out what looked like sperm. Looked like it was shooting out white milky looking substance into the water. <OK.> Anyways..... my 60 gallon now, the one that had eggs shooting in it... there are those little tubes you see in the pics, they have a single looking worm coming out of them. And they are starting to show up everywhere on the rocks and sand. I have not added any rocks in over a year in my tank. I'm wondering what these little tubed worms are? Probably something common and not what I'm thinking.. but what are they? <Is a Polychaete worm, perhaps a Terebellidae, Sabellaridae or Sabellidae species. Hard to tell by just looking at the tubes, but I suspect something along the lines of a spaghetti worm though some type of feather duster may also be a possibility. Likely something similar to the ciliated feeder seen here: http://www.dtplankton.com/images/figure02.jpg and will anything take care of them from spreading so much? <They are harmless filter feeders. I would not discourage their spread. But many wrasses will nip at these.> Thanks. <Welcome, next time please capitalize your "i"s and the first word of each sentence. Mich>

Calcareous crud? '¦Spiral Tube Feather Dusters (Spirorbids). 10/29/07 Hi Crew! <Hi Jessica, Mich here, apologizing for the delayed response.> I have a 55g reef tank. Ammonia, Nitrates, Nitrites, Nitrates, Phosphates all 0. Specific Gravity (with refractometer) is 1.024 and temperature varies between 78 and 80 depending on the time of day and the lights. In the tank I have approximately 55 pounds live rock, 3 inches live sand, a small yellow tang (maybe 1 inch) a blue tang (also about an inch), <I'm sorry, but this tank is too small to house either of these fish for more than a couple of months, let alone both of these fish.> a fire shrimp, a skunk cleaner shrimp, a pair of tank-raised clowns, a green mandarin (have a small refuges and eats Mysis and Selcon soaked brine very well) <Glad to read.> an, a few button colonies, some mushrooms, a handful of crabs and snails, and anemone, <I hope all you intakes/overflows are covered.> and a small brittle star. Everyone appears to be doing great! (I plan to upgrade to a larger tank when the tangs outgrow this one.). <Glad to read this.> I hope to begin adding some more demanding corals shortly. <Be patient and take you time. Better to go slowly.> My question is this- the intake pipe that runs to the canister filter (Eheim 2028) and the intake for the protein skimmer (Prizm pro deluxe) are covered in some kind of calcareous stuff!. <Nothing to worry about.> At first I thought they were just bubbles, must when I went to wipe them off they were hard and upon closer inspection I noticed there were hundreds of them! These things were tiny, maybe a centimeter, white, and for purposes of comparison, they closely resemble a necklace clasp when open. (If that makes sense) I have no clue what these things are, why they are in my tank, or how they got there! The best I could come up with was that they are barnacles? I attached a picture below- not the greatest but the best I could do. Please help to identify these things and determine if they are harmful or not. They are not harmful. They are Spiral tube feather dusters (Spirorbids). Often times the actual feather duster are difficult to see. But I am fairly certain that this is what you have by the looks and sounds of things.> Thanks bunches, <Welcome! Mich> Jessica

Re: Calcareous crud? '¦Spiral Tube Feather Dusters (Spirorbids)...LR turning white 10/31/07 Wow! That makes me feel much better! <Ah, very good Jessica!> Just surprised that so many little feather dusters can accumulate in one place! <Not uncommon.> Just one more question and I won't bother you again.... <No bother!> for a little while anyway. heehee. <Ahh, that's better!> My rock seems to be turning white in some spots! <A picture would be helpful.> Lights are the nova t-5's with lunars. The blue <actinic> lights are on for 10 hours and the daylight ones are on for 8 hours each day. <Ok. Twelve hours of daylight is typical of natural reef conditions.> Alkalinity, I assume is pH? <These are different, but I understand what you are saying.> If so it's been pretty stable at 8.3. I do not test for calcium because, this may be a horrible reason, I do weekly water changes of 10% and use red sea coral pro salt which has a calcium of 450ppm. <Is not a horrible reason, but is still good to measure with some degree of regularity.> Iodine I assume has been fine because the 2 shrimp molt approx. every 3-4 weeks. <I would have your LFS test occasionally.> Why is this happening? <I'm not sure what it is, that is happening.> I did add a red slime remover that my LFS said was safe for everything in my tank, including the rock. <Am not a fan.> Could this have contributed to the bleaching? <Your coralline is bleaching?> How can I fix it? <Sometimes this just waxes and wanes. And sometimes it just sort of sheds, you might want to try scrubbing the coralline with a toothbrush, often there is purple under the white.> The rock is super expensive and would love to correct the problem before it gets any worse. <I suspect this is a normal process.> Thanks again for all your advice! <Welcome! Mich>

Perhaps you could help me with a situation with my tank... white strings/cloudy material periodically coming from the live rock -- 10/28/07 Hi guys, <Mike> Perhaps you could help me with a situation with my tank. I currently have a 54G tank with wet/dry sump with bioballs, Aqua C remora with MJ 1200 and preskimmer box with activated carbon, two MJ 900 power heads, 40 lbs. live rock, 6 margarita (sp?) snails, two Mexican turbo snails, 2 emerald crabs, numerous Stomatella that came with the live rock, 1 false perc, and 1 royal Gramma. Conditions are 78 degrees, 1.023 specific gravity, <I'd raise this> ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 5ppm, ph 8.0, calcium 480, dKH 7, phosphate 0. I perform 10% water changes 2x per week. Set-up has been running for about 2 months. <Okay> About 10 days ago, I noticed white strings/cloudy material periodically coming from the live rock. <Not to worry> The water always looked clear, but now has particles in the top of the water column that water changes/filtration will not remove. Perhaps coincidently, my skimmer stopped removing about a half-cup of black skimmate a day at the same time; currently it only has skimmate in the tube leading to the cup (which I clean daily), but no water in the collection cup. This morning I noticed very small white particles dispersed on the glass that my clown was continuously graving on (but it does not look like snail eggs pictured on WWM). Could these particles be gametes from snails/Stomatella? <Yes> I've noticed some very small Stomatella that were not seen in the tank before. Is the performance of the skimmer related to the particles in the water or are we dealing with different issues? Lastly, both the clown and the Gramma look great and appear to be unaffected by the condition. Any ideas about what to do if anything at all? Thanks, Mike <Yes... nothing at all... other than continue to enjoy the experience. The white, stringy stuff is likely either embedded worms... or Vermetid snails... Not to worry. Bob Fenner>

ID Please?... Bryozoan 10/27/07 Hi crew, <Hi Deryck, Mich here.> Love your hard work. <On behalf of Bob and the crew, we thank you.> Wondering if you might be able to identify the white bits growing under some of my live rock? <ScottF and I think it's a Bryozoan... though a sponge may also be a possibility, but leaning more towards a Bryozoan.> You guys/girls do a great job, thanks for any help you can provide! <Thank you for your compliments they are indeed appreciated. Sincerely Mich.>

Another Unidentified Aquarium Object... Snail Eggs  10/23/07 Hi there, <Hi John, Mich here.> I know you guys get these a lot (especially since I searched through everyone I could find) so please excuse the standard what is this and is it hazardous? <Heehee! No worries. There are a couple of us who enjoy this type of query!> See the attached pictures. The close-up is from the "underside" of the creature if you will. <Is a mass of snail eggs.> I looked through a lot of your previous posts (mostly the invert/ hitchhikers and worm type ones) and didn't see anything similar. They seem to be active during the day and are most often curled up upon themselves, rather then strung out as seen. The tank is approximately 9 months old and well cared for. <Will become food for you tank soon.> Thanks for the <Welcome! Mich>
- John

Mystery Coral... No, Is a Sponge   10/21/07 Hello All, <Hi Jonboy! Mich here, not on Walton's Mountain, but in the Pocono Mountains.> I've used your website for the last couple of years and have found a wealth of knowledge on it. <I'm very glad you have found it helpful!> This is my first email since I usually can find answers to my questions from your archives. <This is wonderful to read.> My problem is that I can't identify the coral in the picture attached to this email. <Heehee! That's because it's not a coral!> The LFS told me it was an 'orange sea fan.' <Nope, is not a Gorgonian either!> Though it is orange it doesn't resemble any sea fan that I've been able to locate. <Is not a seaman. Is a Poriferan, Looks like an orange tree/paddle sponge, a Clathria spp. to me. You have been sold an inappropriate creature for captivity as most Poriferans are. This is not a good genus to keep in an aquarium. This sponge can be toxic and may harm other animals... particularly if it dies, which is a good likelihood as these animals are difficult to keep in a home aquarium setting.> It stands about 5 inches and has incrusted on the rock. It also has a very bumpy exterior that I believe is a way for it to catch organic matter. <Yes, is a filter feeder.> I've never seen this coral before and the LFS told me that it would do great under my PC's. <No, it won't. It prefers dimly lit conditions and may actually be harmed by brighter lighting.> I hope the picture turns out well enough for you to identify this for me. <The picture is fine.> Thanks in advance, Jonboy
<Welcome! Goodnight Jonboy! Mich>

Hitchhiker ID 10/16/07 Hello to whoever is on, thanks for all your WWM work. Just got a few boxes of new Tonga live rock this morning. I found this slug-like hitchhiker at the bottom of one of the boxes. It's about 6" long and 1" wide, and made it alive through 36 hours in transit. I've looked at the invert pictures on the site, and can't quite find it. It looks something like a Chiton, <Is> but there is no bony/plate-like top. <Covered...> It is not colorful the way most sea slugs seem to be. Kind of like a snail without a shell, but I've never heard of such. He is alive, and trying to crawl out of the plastic bin I have him in. Any ideas what he might be? I'm pretty sure he's too big and ugly to put in my tank, but if he's safe I might put him in quarantine or someplace separate. Pictures are attached, one of him trying to crawl out, one of his underside, one close up of his back when he curled up. Thanks in advance for any ideas. He is like nothing I've seen before. Scott <Sorry for the lateness of this reply. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/chitonfaqs.htm Bob Fenner>

Re: Hitchhiker ID 10/16/07 Thanks for the reply. You apologized for the lateness of the reply, but FYI, someone actually did answer me within about 24 hours. We found a clear picture somewhere else and did verify it's a chiton as well. So no worries. Thank you!
<Real good. BobF>

What's On My Glass? 10/15/07 Hello <Hi Chad> I can usually find answers to whatever question I have on your site but this time, I'm having trouble. This evening, I noticed something on the inside of my glass. It wasn't there last night and my initial thought is it's some kind of eggs. Upon close inspection, the eggs (or whatever it is) are arranged in a kind of feather shape. There's several strands of this. It's a whitefish color, almost clear. I have several Nassarius snails, one cerith snail, a conch, and several turbo snails, and two jumbo Mexican turbo snails. After looking at other pictures, nothing matches what's on my glass. As far as fish go, I have a fairy wrasse, a fire fish, a yellow watchman goby, three blue-green Chromis, a royal Gramma and algae blenny. I have a tiger pistol shrimp and a cleaner shrimp. Any idea what this is? <Boy, be tough to accurately ID just by your description. I'd guess they are snail eggs. Thank you. Great website. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)< Chad

Parasites in the filter? Nope, harmless Syconoids! 10/13/07 Dear Crew: <Hi there Kathy and Dennis> Hope you can help with our mystery. <I think I can!> In the filter, I found dead little clear-to-white pulpy-looking critters (worms?), each about the size of a small rice grain, with a few feathery spikes coming out for a tail. My tank has a large cleaner shrimp, small crab and small chocolate chip starfish. I wonder what these lil fellas are, and if I need to take precautions in case some are alive in the tank, or if its ok for my starfish to.. um, eat them if he runs across them. <No worries, those are most likely harmless little Syconoid sponges. Please see the first link for comparison, and FAQ's at the second link: http://www.melevsreef.com/id/scypha.html http://www.wetwebmedia.com/spongeidfaqs.htm> Thanks- Kathy and Dennis in Stilwell, Oklahoma <You're very welcome! -Lynn in Everett, Washington>

Sea Monster - 10/08/07 Creature Feature: The Brittle Star Snatcher! 10/6/07 <Hi Mike> I transferred some baby Brittle Stars to my tank and when they hit the sand bed some got tangled up in the hair size tentacles of this thing and it ate them. <Yikes, poor little guys!> Any thoughts on what this is? <Unfortunately, I can't see it well enough in the photo to be able to tell.> <<Indeed, the image just isn't clear enough to post.  -SCF>> It looks like a toad stool with 8 to 10 hair fine tentacles. <Hmmm, maybe we can narrow down the possibilities a bit. What color is it? How large (across) is the entire organism? How long are the tentacles - are they tapered, smooth, or branched/feathery at all? Do the tentacles appear to be floating about in the current, or do they seem to stick to the substrate?> This is the best pic. so far. It is in the center. <If you can at all get a sharper photo that would be super. If you have a macro setting (usually represented by a flower on your camera), definitely give that a shot!> Thank You Mike <You're very welcome, Mike. Let's see if we can't get this creature Id'd! --Lynn>

What Is This...A Worm, Coral, Pest, Any Clue? -- 10/06/07 This thing emits strings of mucous, which it periodically releases into the current. It acts like a tubeworm and when I touch it, it goes into its shell, and its orange head almost penetrates the tip of that shell, but never more than about a quarter-inch. I can see what look like hairs in there, but they never extend. It sends out mucous when I feed the fish/corals brine shrimp. Any clue what this is? <<Yes, not a worm, coral, or pest but rather a type of mollusk'¦Is a Vermetid Snail'¦a beneficial detritivore>> It just grew there. <<Indeed>> I can't find it in any books. Thanks! <<Try a keyword search of our site/the Net. Regards, EricR>>
Two new creatures from my TBS live rock, I can't identify. 10/3/07 Hi Fellas and Ladies, <One of the ladies tonight!> I have two creatures I've been searching through your pages for, but I just can't seem to find them. I just bought 20 lbs of Richard's Live Rock from TBS, it's in it's own tank. I wanted to do an experiment and see just what would grow all by it's self. <Cool!> So, I found 1 hermit crab, he's got white legs with what look like purple stripes. He's not very out going yet. LOL! <Careful here!> Then I found a white fuzzy snail on my glass tonight. Here are pictures of him. <Neat!> While I was taking pictures he did the weirdest thing! Spinning around on his foot like a wild man! <Sounds like the behavior of a Nassarius snail.> I though he was going to fly right off the glass! Back of the shell. I guess I want to know, is he reef safe? <Likely so.> Or should I worry about him? :) <I don't think so.> The other creature I found is like a very delicate flower, but I'm pretty sure it's a tubeworm or something like one. It's very, very tiny, not short but like fine thread. The head pivots and rotates, reminds me a little of a feather duster, but not quite. <I do think this is a feather duster.> The red is Macro algae, so you can see how delicate it is! <Beautiful!> Aren't Richards rocks amazing? <Yes... most all live rock is! Mich>


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