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FAQs about LPS, Large Polyp Stony Corals

Related Articles: LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Dyed CoralsDyed Corals

Related FAQs:  Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral IdentificationStony Coral Behavior, Coral Compatibility,

A rare sight, a healthy (yellow) Goniopora in captivity. The historically, most collected/used genus of stony corals in the trade has a very low survivability.

LPS Identification      1/6/15
Good Evening The fine crew at WWM,I was wondering if you could help me identify the coral in the middle of the picture. I was thinking some type of Favia or Favites, but now I'm not so sure.
<Maybe.... or a Caulastrea species?>
The light green polyps on top are the same as the rest of the coral. Is it common for younger polyps to have tentacles in the Favites or Favia Venus?
<Genus? Yes>
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a great night! Jason
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: LPS Identification      1/8/16
Thanks Bob for the speedy reply! I'll check into the Genus Caulastrea, not sure that is spelled right, but I believe they are not encrusting and what I have is.
<Some species are... Do you have any of Veron's works?>
Either way I believe the care is roughly the same so maybe exact species isn't necessary.
<Yes; tis so>
I have another question regarding water changes, currently I do 3 gallon changes daily on a 20 gallon plus 15 gallon sump. I have noticed that I'm starting to have brown diatoms growing on the glass, do you think that will subside in time?
<Mmm; possibly... a matter of balances... best to do what you can to increase RedOx, improve skimming, use (prudent) of chem. filter media; poss. use of competitors>
I know its related to the water changes. My source water is the primo water refills at Wal-Mart. The water there is suppose to go through a sediment filter, carbon block, to, and finally UV. I want to get an rodi unit but that will have to wait. If it wont go away on its own then what is the best way to remove silicates from the water.
<Ahh; do please search/see/read on WWM Re. Am out diving in Florida and hard to look u>
Thanks in advance for helping me with my questions and have a great night. Jason
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: LPS Identification     1/9/16

Bob, As always thanks for your time, effort, and help. I will definitely check on the 3 volume compendium, and thanks for the website. Jason
<Am very sure you will enjoy and gain by its perusal. A personal note; a dear (and unfortunately departed) friend, John Jackson, of Odyssey Publishing was very good friends w/ J.E.N (Charlie) Veron... in fact brought him out to the MACNA... was it in Boston? Years ago. I'd pre-purchased a set of this work, and John gifted me one of the hundred leather bound ones... I gave away the first, and yes; have written in the limited ones... as is my habit. BobF>

Lighting for LPS – 06/14/12
Thank you for the fantastic information you give! I have a 180 gallon (6x2x2) FOWLR that I started adding some LPS corals to.  I have added Euphyllia parancora (branching hammer coral) and Euphyllia glabrescens (torch coral) along with a couple soft corals.  I do not plan on adding any SPS or light loving corals.  My current lighting contains 8 x 39W T-5 HO (half actinic) to stretch across the 6 ft tank. Do you think I should upgrade to maybe a 12 x 39W T-5 HO fixture for the corals I'm keeping or is my current light enough?
<It is likely marginally "enough"... I would avail myself of a borrowed PAR or PUR meter, and check where the various colonies are placed... for values exceeding "100">
 Another option I was thinking is either replacing everything with 3 Kessil A150W or adding 1 Kessil A150W to my current setup to supplement it.
<Ahh! These would be very nice "spotlight" additions. Need to be worked in, placed away from the T5s for thermal shielding>
 Your thoughts and opinions are greatly appreciated.  Thank you!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

LPS Compatible 12/13/11
Dear WWM,
<Hello Bryce>
   My tank is doing well due to your site. Thank you for providing and maintaining it.
<Mmm, didn't have much to do with maintaining it, but thank you just the same.>
 My fish look like they are doing well except for aggressiveness from the clown. The fish are 1 Percula Clown, 1 Royal Gramma, 2 Green Chromis, 2 Firefish Gobies, 1 Four-stripe damsel, 1 Jewel Blenny. First off, the clown likes to pick at everything and has claimed the entire tank for himself. I am slightly concerned for my Gobies and I was wondering if they could be divided or something for a while?
<Might be best just to remove/relocate the clownfish.>
 I was also wondering if I could get a 'show' fish. I love Dwarf Angels and Butterflies but I also love my LPS. I currently have a Bubble Coral and Frogspawn on the way. The tank is 55 gallons. I like Coral Beauty angels but you site clearly says that they can be demons instead when put with coral.
<Just depends on the personality of the dwarf angel.  I have had quite a few pygmy angels in my day and I have yet to have one that picked on corals, but no guarantees.  I may have been lucky.>
 I Know there is nothing that is totally reef safe but was wondering if there was anything I could get that was on the safer side of the spectrum? Would prefer not to spend more than about 75$ though.
<There are some Butterflyfish that are relatively safe with stony corals but not soft corals, but  your tank would be on the smallish side for housing any of these.  Best bet would be the Coral Beauty.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

LPS coral questions, stkg./sel.    10/17/11
Hi, I have a 9 month old bio cube 29 gallon tank. It has about 80 to 90 watts of lighting. The salinity is around 1.025 and the param.s are all fine.
Everything in it is doing well at the moment. I have been looking to add some lps corals for quite some time now and had a few questions I can't seem to get answers to anywhere else. I was wanting to add one of the following corals first; Bubble Coral, Torch Coral, Frogspawn, or Hammer Coral. I already have some mushrooms which are doing well and some recently added pulsing xenia which pulses and is doing relatively well. I have 2 Ocellaris Clownfish and 1 Yellow Watchman Goby. My clean up crew is reef safe except for the Emerald crab who attacks my mushrooms if I don't spot feed him every once in a while.
<Mmm, I'd remove...>
Which of these corals would be the best to add first?
<I want to first/foremost impress a technique on you for mixing Cnidarians/"corals" in small (aquarium) systems. Please read through here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcomppt3.htm
You really want to mix water twixt another (holding) system and your main tank... back and forth... a cup or so a day... to have these organisms grow accustomed to each others presence slowly. Put another way, simply placing new in w/ the old is a very poor idea. Will likely result in allelopathy/warfare>
I have researched all of them and know of the long sweeper tentacles they posses. I have planned aquascaping accordingly and they will be placed with their tops four to 8 inches from the surface. I have looked up all care information for each of these corals but face one more problem, which to add first. I am not planning to add them all just three of them. Which is the hardiest and easiest to care for in the marine aquarium?
<Likely the genus Euphyllia in this family overall>
In your opinion what do you believe is the most tolerant of these corals to water param.s, and is overall most durable?
<The same>
Know they will work with my lighting as I know dozens of people who have kept them healthy under 50 watt lighting. Thank you very much
<Welcome Max! Bob Fenner>

LPS Dying 5/17/2011
Hello again crew been a while since I needed some advice so here goes.
<Hello Zach>
I have a 150g display with a 90 gallon sump/fuge system. I run two skimmers one is a Vertex IN180 the other is a Bubble Magus nac6 I also run 1500ml of biopellets 500 in a reactor, 1000 just in filter bags in the sump. I grow Chaeto in the fuge but has very little growth.
<Not surprising with the use of biopellets.>
I run a Korallin calcium reactor and which is fed from my display and drips to the sump where the two
skimmers are to blow off any CO2 and up the pH. My calcium is 400 my Alk in meq/l is 3, my magnesium is 1250, pH 8.2, ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are 0.
Phos is zero checked with a Hanna. Water changes are done weekly at 15g.
All water is RO/DI water for make up and top off. I have several different types of SPS in the tank including Acropora and Montipora as well as birdsnest's and Hydnophora. I also have a few species of LPS corals which include grape, euphyla <Euphyllia>, Hammer Coral, Frogspawn, Duncans, Scolymia vitensis, Scolymia australis, Galaxea, Trumpet, Candy Cane, Acans, Bubble Coral, Open Brain Coral. I have several types of softies as well such as Xenia, gsp, Ricordea, Rose Bubble Tip Anemone, several zoos and Palys. Fish I have a few small fish like gobies and chromis and a Yellow Tang. I run carbon constantly as well as gfo when needed. My lighting is two 400w icecap ballasts driving two radium bulbs on the outside and in the middle I have four 24w T5s to give the tank a bit more of a white color. The corals that are dying are the ones that should be the hardiest. I am losing Acans, I cannot keep them alive they always stop extending and shrivel and die. I am also losing my trumpets and Galaxea. Nothing is near them, they are not being stung. I know several of my corals have huge sweeper tentacles and <I> give them adequate room. None of my Acropora is being affected, my colors are beautiful in my SPS with extremely fast growth. I also have a sea fan that has been established for over a year that is extending polyps and growing very fast. I also have a mantis shrimp in my sump doing well, I only mention this because they are extremely sensitive to any chemicals like household cleaners so I know that is probably not an issue. Chemical warfare could be an issue but in my experience my other corals would suffer first. I do have quite a bit of flow in my tank but it is run on a wave maker so it is pretty random throughout the tank the most flow being directed in the top of the tank on the Sps.
The only thing I can think of is my Acans could be receiving too much light so they retreat and eventually die. As for the Galaxea and trumpets I have not <no> idea why they are dying. They just turn to goo and die. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
<Your water chemistry appears to be good, so we can eliminate that aspect.
I'll start with the Galaxea which often do not survive under aquarium conditions. They easily succumb to brown jelly infections which is likely what you experienced with your "goo" description.
Your system is likely too sterile for these corals as they are usually found in abundance in turbid areas with somewhat protected water movement. Another problem keeping Galaxea is that all species have very long powerful sweeper tentacles which can easily extend up to one foot or more thereby endangering other corals in the area.
All Euphyllia corals, including the Hammer Coral are high on the allelopathy list and very few corals can withstand an attack by them.
You may have physical warfare going on here while you sleep. Like the Galaxea, these corals also do much better with some nutrients (nitrates) present in the system and are also prone to jelly like infections. All healthy species of Euphyllia readily accept food and should be fed periodically for improved health.
Both the Galaxea and Euphyllia corals do not appreciate strong laminar water flow but with your use of a Wavemaker, this shouldn't be a factor. Although you do not state having any Sinularia corals, these are particularly toxic to other corals in the system.
When our site problem is corrected, do research these corals if you haven't done so already.>
Thanks for the hard work.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Are LPS coral toxic? Yes, all to a degree     4/26/11
About 6 months ago I started my latest Nano-reef 38 gallon aquarium and am in the process of stock it with LPS coral. I have become addicted to the colors, shapes and variety of these coral. Currently I have 10 ( Bubbles, Torches, Frogspawn, Acans and Trumpets), and I am planning on purchasing a lot more LPS coral in the future. The only other coral I have in the tank is a Neon Green Toadstool Leather. I know this coral can be very toxic from past experience however, everybody seems to be getting along so far. My question is, are LPS coral toxic too or do they only use physical forms of warfare and defense such as sweeper tentacles?
<This and chemicals>
Right now I'm hoping that as long as I keep the LPS far enough away from the Leather, everything will remain peaceful. I am concerned that, if LPS are toxic, I will eventually add one too many and the Leather will launch an attack even if they are nowhere near it. Any input would be greatly appreciated, Thanks, Art S.
<Mmm, read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and as much of the Related FAQs linked above as you can stand. Bob Fenner>

Conscientious Marine Aquarist, CMA v. 1, LPS use now    9/8/10
This question is directly geared for Mr. Fenner. I mean no disrespect to anyone else at WetWebMedia who has helped me in the past.
For years I have had Your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. I have really only read the fish husbandry portion of it and oogled at the nice pictures and I got a firm grasp on what this hobby consists of.
<This work is but a brief introduction>
My aquarium is not set up yet and it will not be for quite some time do to the traveling nature of my job. But, I have purchased pretty much every piece of equipment I need along with the aquarium.
Lately, for about a year now, I have started researching on your website and many others about the coral side of things. In my research I have come to love the movement, color and behaviour of LPS and soft corals. Mainly the torch, bubble, hammer and frogspawn LPS corals.
<Beautiful organisms>
I was getting really excited about purchasing these corals when the time comes but then I read a section on stony corals in your book and you stated that you were against the sale of them because of the poor survivability rate in transport and then again in the home aquarium.
<Ah, my friend. This work was finished by me in late 1995... "things" are different now>
You were also strongly opposed to "breaking off" of these stony corals on the reef. After seeing these corals in documentaries and in my local fish shops I was hypnotized by their beauty, and now after reading those excerpts from your book, I feel sick to my stomach for desiring to keep them that badly and to be honest I still really would like to add them. Now, in good conscious, I cannot.
My question to you is...... After the publication on your book, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist, in 2001 have their been breakthroughs in the collection and propagation of the these corals to warrant them being in our personal home aquariums?
I am specifically talking about my favorites (hammer, bubble, torch and frogspawn).
Thanks for your time and sorry for the long winded question.
<And you for your conscientiousness. These colonies are MUCH hardier in the here and now. Cheers, Bob Fenner> 
Re: Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Now Coral husbandry books    9/9/10

Thank you for your quick reply.
<Welcome Brent>
Is another book in the works for you?
<Mmm, always working on some... currently one on small marine systems...
Writing it in segments, presenting, selling as articles... in Ultramarine Magazine/UK>
Could you please recommend a good book on how to care for LPS corals?
Specifically torch, hammer, bubble and frogspawn.
<Mmm, yes... Either Eric Borneman's "Coral" book by Microcosm, or Anthony Calfo's "Coral Propagation" would be good for you>
I have Googled it many times and posed the question on reef central and have found mixed reviews on good recommendation for books. I figure a man with your knowledge might be able to point me in the right direction.
Thanks again,
<Glad to assist your knowledge and skills in our interest. BobF>

LPS Corals/Systems 5/10/10
<Hello Zachary>
another question, I've read through the articles and I can't find anything that will tell me the tolerance of nitrates of lps corals. More specifically the Candy Coral. Right now my param.s are dKH 12.6,
<A little on the high side.>
calcium is 460,
<400ppm is more than adequate.>
pH is 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, nitrate is between 15 and 20 depending on if I have just done a water change.
<What about magnesium? This element is one of the major elements of sea water and is needed to aid corals in absorbing the available calcium.>
I have a 29 gallon tank with a four inch sand bed a mix of crushed coral, aragonite, and regular white sand, with I'm guessing 20lbs of live rock hard to tell because they sell by the piece here not the pound. I have 124w of T5 10k light over the tank. I do water changes of 25 percent every ten days. So what I am asking is can the candy coral do well with nitrate at 15-20 or do I need to wait until it goes down to 5.
<All/most corals do much better in water with low (<10ppm) nitrate levels.
If you are waiting for nitrate levels to come down, you may have a very long wait.
Overstocking with fish is the major cause, especially in small systems such as yours. Do consider
the use of a protein skimmer to aid in reducing the nitrate level in your system. You may want to have
a read here.
thx again
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Re LPS Corals/Systems 5/10/10 - 5/11/10
Thank you salty dog for your reply and I do use a skimmer as well as activated carbon on top of my live rock and sand for filtration.
I recently took out my bio wheel in hopes this will help the nitrate come down. I only have two fish in the tank a false Percula clown and a small goby. I also have some macro algae inside of the tank and I only use my RO/DI machine for makeup water and top off water. The tank is six months old and has never had
a real bio load on it so I don't know where the nitrates could be coming from.
<From excess nutrients. Have you read the nutrient article I linked you to?>
I have used three different tests to confirm it wasn't a faulty test. I only feed very little Mysis shrimp to my fish every other day and there is nothing left over so I can't be over feeding. I event melt the cubes inside a net before I put the Mysis in my tank to get rid of any excess proteins.
<A good practice. If you are using any liquid and/or dry powder food additives for your corals, discontinue their use until the problem is under control. I don't have a lot of faith in the nutrition value of most of these products to begin with.>
Thank you for the advice on magnesium, however I was told with my salt mix the Instant Ocean. As long as I keep on top of my water changes at least 10% a week I would not need to dose magnesium. If this is incorrect please let me know so I can rectify my mistake.
<Not necessarily, can/will depend on the absorption rate by the animals. Is best to measure just as you would for calcium and other parameters.>
Also if you have any further thoughts concerning my nitrate problem that would be much appreciated. Oh and I also clean my filter media weekly.
<Other than what I mentioned above, the nutrient article and linked files found in the header should provide the information needed. James (Salty Dog)>
Re LPS Corals And Querior Did Not Reply With Original Thread 5/11/10
Thank you for your quick response earlier salty dog.
<You're welcome, and please do capitalize where necessary, proper nouns, "i's, etc. It saves me time if I do not have to edit this before posting.>
You had advised me to use a protein skimmer to reduce nitrates but I do im <I, I'm> also in the process of letting macro algae take hold in the display tank.
<Better to let this grow in a refugium where it can be controlled.>
You had also stated that over stocking could become a problem but I <I> only have two small fish in my 29 gallon tank.
A false Percula and a small goby along with four hermit crabs and a cleaner shrimp. To give you the param.s of my tank again they were nitrates 15-20 depending on whether I have recently done a water change nitrite 0, amonia <ammonia> 0, ph 8.3, sg 1.024, dKH 12.6, calcium 460. I had a Biowheel but I got rid of it I have four inches of live sand a mix of argonite, <aragonite, and a spell checker wouldn't hurt either. Yes, you have already told me that in the email you sent a few hours ago.>
crushed coral and plain white sand. I have roughly 20lbs of live rock hard to say because they only sell it by the piece here not the pound. I only feed Mysis shrimp every other day and I <I> melt the cubs in a fish net to get rid of any excess proteins before putting it in my tank.
<You mentioned that as well.>
I only use RO/DI water for all purposes. I clean my filter media weekly and replace carbon biweekly.
<Why are you repeating the statements you made just a few hours ago.>
The tank is six months old so maybe it just needs a little more time to get the anaerobic bacteria up to speed? I had heard of dosing with magnesium but I read an article that bob fenner <Bob Fenner> had wrote about the supplements people like to buy and how we really don't need them as long as we are doing regular water changes with a good sea salt he recommends instant ocean <Instant Ocean> which is what is use. If I got the totally wrong idea from this article please let me know so I can correct this problem quickly aslo <also> if I could get your advice on the nitrates would be much appreciated.
<Bob was likely referring to trace elements and not major elements such as magnesium. The statements Bob made in the article would hold true for fish only systems, but in mixed/reef systems, elements essential for growth and health should be maintained. The nitrate problem has been addressed previously. James (Salty Dog)>

LPS nutrition sharing   2/9/10
Hello Crew
<Hello Carrie>
In my recent reading, I learned that SPS corals have a structural system that allows them to share nutrition between polyps.
<Mmm, technically there is no real distinction between 'SPS' and 'LPS' corals. This is a hobby myth, made up by aquarists, and has nothing to do with taxonomy. Each different coral has a slightly different care requirement, and you should not generalise like this, it could be dangerous for your corals>
It also said some LPS have that same ability.
<Of course. Some will and some won't. This is true for both 'SPS' and 'LPS' corals for the reason stated above>
So here is where I get confused.
<You, me, Borneman, Veron, and Doctor Who as well I bet>
How do I know if my LPS is sharing nutrition, or if every polyp has to eat individually?
<Mmmm, when you frag a coral, such as a Euphyllia for example, you can see that the skeleton separates the polyps. That means each polyp must be fed.
With some corals it is easy to see if this is the case, others not so. In fact it is a pretty safe bet that there are many corals that no-one knows exactly how these processes work, so if in doubt... feed the lot>
My two LPS at the moment are branching frogspawn and candy cane, but if there was a general rule it would be great to know.
<No such general rule at all, apart from 'feed them all'>
Also do Palys and Zoas share nutrition, or are they complete individuals.
<Mmmm, depends if they are solitary or if they share a coenenchyme, a basal mat. This depends on the species. It is a pretty safe bet that nutrients are exchanged between polyps via the coenenchyme, so if this is how the coral spreads it must be a vector. Please read here
http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-06/eb/index.php and here:
http://www.reefs.org/library/aquarium_net/0198/0198_1.html. With a bit of sifting you might find some answers...>
Thank you,
<No problem!>

Allelopathy --leathers and LPS don't mix 10/09/09
Hey gang I'm at the end of my rope here and cant figure this out. First off I have a 75 gallon tank with a 40 gall. sump / refugium full of blade Caulerpa and Chaeto. I have 75 lbs of live rock, My light is two 250 watt halides and four 65 watt power compact actinics. calc. is round 475, phos is low, nitrates are good and nitrite and ammonia are 0. Salinity is 1.026 and temp is 76. Corals are 1 large toadstool leather,
<There's your problem.>
1 large frogspawn, a large finger leather, a medium Kenya tree coral, a oral with about 7 heads, large matt of star polyps, 2 colonies of zooanthids, a pretty decent xenia population, a Duncan coral, and some large brown hairy mushrooms. Plus various cloves and mushrooms. Here's the problem, it seems like every time I try to keep a fleshy LPS like a bubble coral or a doughnut coral within two days they will not open and expel all of their Zooanthellae. However everything else does great my wellsy brain is huge and my frogspawn is ridiculous big. I just cant figure this out.
<I think you have figured it out, it's chemical warfare. It's not always predictable, but it definitely happens. Some individuals (note I didn't say species or genera) of LPS can do alright with leathers and other softies, some can't. That's just the way it goes sometimes. The "toadstool" leathers are especially noxious.>
I think there's some chemical warfare going on which of these would you suspect is the culprit? Im leaning towards one of the leathers or the xenia.
<The leathers and the mushrooms are usually the "bad guys" here. The Xenia can certainly contribute, but imo, the mushrooms and leathers are usually worse (from my understanding/experience).
Sara M.>

LPS Tank Lighting 4/13/09
Hello everyone.
< Good Evening >
Thank you for your help with my questions in the past but I have one more.
< I hope I can help >
I have read over your FAQ's and have done many Google searches but I have read too much conflicting information so I thought I would just ask an expert. I have a 45 gallon tall tank 24 inches tall.
< 36 1/4" X12 5/8" X 23 1/2" >
I currently have 2X65W CF lights and 1X65W actinic in a tank that contains 1 large hammer coral, 1 Galaxea frag, 1 open brain, 1 moon Coral and 1 long tentacle plate coral. I wrote in to WWM and James "Salty Dog" recommended using Metal Halide lighting.
<I second James's recommendation. Much to deep for compact lighting.>
The time has come for me to purchase one. What wattage would be recommended for these corals and 24" deep tank?
< I would suggest one of the 150W metal halide combo setups. Preferably the metal halide with T5 combo. The halide, power compact combo would be fine as well. If the combos are bit much for your budget the SunPod 2X 150w is a few bucks cheaper and would do nicely ,although heat could become an issue. You could probably get away with a simple 175w halide but, this would limit you for future coral purchases. >
Thank you so much for a great website and your response.
<You are quite welcome....Adam Jenkins>

Why don't LPSs like my tank? Cnid. allelopathy, or?       2/27/09 Hello, <Greetings Jeff> I have had a frogspawn with 5 large head for several months. Some of the heads have split since I got it. It has at least 10 new tiny heads sprouting on it. I also have a fox coral that is about 5 inches wide, when expanded its about 8 inches wide and 7 inches high. Both have been doing very well until recently. About a month ago not the frogspawn started to release its heads, polyp bailout. <From what probable "cause?"> I have the heads on a piece of shell under some netting next to the skeleton and they expand and look great other then having no skeleton. <Best for these to be in another system> There is no coral near the frogspawn it is towards the top of the tank on a shelf. Now my fox coral is not looking so hot. One side of it is shriveled and the mouth gapes. The rest of it is not expanding to its usual self. This is my favorite coral and is my tank center piece. There were some pink Palys <Ohh> encroaching on it so I cut them way back. I recently purchased a candy cane with 2 small heads at a frag swap. <This too...> It opened up nicely at first and ate but now I see the flesh receding up the skeleton. I am wondering why my tank is suddenly not suited for LPS. <Too-typical allelopathy... there are ways to discount...> The only change I made in the past few months is I got a 5 stage RODI and stopped using tap water treated with PRIME. I would not think that would have a negative effect but... <Not likely, no> I feed daphnia, pe mysis, blood worms, reef chili, mush (scallops, krill, silversides, Nori, mysis) , rotifers, and I soak all my food in VitaChem and Selcon. My tank is doing great aside from the LPS. Please help me find the missing key to keeping these guys happy About my tank: I have several leathers, Zoas/palys, a few gorgs, and pink xenia and they are all doing wonderful. They are all pretty spaced out. I do 10 gallon water changes about every 2 weeks with RODI water I make. My unit is new and has 0 tds reading. My tank is a 72 bowfront with a 20 gal long sump. I have a 5 gallon section of the some as a refugium with live rock, sand and macro. I have a aqua c urchin pro skimmer, quiet one 4000 return and two Koralia 3 and 1 mj1200 for circulation. I have pc lighting 130 watts of 10,000k and 130 watts of 420/426 actin combo bulbs. I just replaced them about 2 months ago. I have 85 to 100 pounds of live rock and a 2 to 4 inch aragonite sand bed. Fish- 4 inch scopas tang, 5 inch copper banded butterfly, pair of small onyx clown, small scooter blenny, pink spot goby, and a 3 stripe damsel that have been banished to the sump/fuge API test kits used ph- 8.3 ammonia- 0 to .02 (first level on test kit) specific gravity- 1.024 nitrate- under .20 nitrite- 0 calcium- around 520 <Way too high... this could be a principal stressor right here... What is  your Mg?> - I use reef crystals and this is what it comes at dKH- 10 to 11 temp- 78 to 79 Jeff Amato <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn? Back From the Land of the Lost; Now What?  11/05/08 My Frogspawn lost one of its heads about 4 or 5 months ago. My powerhead came detached from the side of the aquarium and blew directly at the coral. Another reason to hate powerheads! <<Mmm best not to rely on the suction cups for attachment (if that is what you use/used) as they get hard and lose their flexibility/ability to hold>> Anyway, I gave up on the coral and assumed it was dead since I hadn't seen it since the incident. Yesterday I was moving my rock around and there it was. <<Surprise!>> It actually looked pretty good all things considering. <<Testament to the resilience of the species>> I don't know how it survived considering my 55 gallon tank is packed with over 100 lbs of live rock and the coral was under it all. <<Probably positioned to receive some light ?and was able to get some food>> How should I go about caring for this coral? <<?? See here and among the associated links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm >> How can I secure it so it doesn't get blown away again? <<Secure it with a bit of underwater epoxy. You can obtain this either from your LFS or just about any etailer. Or you can go to your local Lowe's or Home Depot and buy Rector Seal EP-200 (2oz) or Ep-400 (4oz) epoxy putty from the plumbing section>> Thank you for all you do. <<Quite welcome>> You are an excellent resource! <<We are glad you think so>> Corey <<EricR>>

LPS coral feeding options  9/11/08 Feeding LPS corals. This is a follow up to a previous question that is still listed as the first question on page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lpsfaqs.htm, I had proposed then to use commercial coral food in a bottle or ground up slurry of various fish food to circulate in the tank to feed the LPS corals. It seems this would cause more pollution problems to feed nuisance algae rather then the corals. It would be better to make my own mashes from an inexpensive blend of "frutti di mar" <Agreed> LPS corals primarily feed on zooplankton, so an upstream refugium would have some merit here where live food "on the hoof," would be available for the corals, without the risk of decomposing left over food polluting the tank. <Doubly agreed> My question here is whether the use of freeze dried Cyclops eeze, which is zooplankton, would have some merit here as a simpler way of reproducing the refugium option. When added to water freshly it floats rather than sinks, and if the tank had good circulation (30 times an hour in my tank) then this would reproduce swimming zooplankton that night time extended polyps could capture as the currents toss this around the tank, and would not easily settle on the bottom. Protein skimmers can mop up the excess. <Worth trying> This would avoid risking the mistake of feeding foods that are too large that are eaten and spit out again, or cast off by mucous nets when slurried food is dumped on them with a large syringe in an unnatural manner. Of course adding too much would again risk pollution problems so there is some trial and error here. <Yep> Does such a simplified option have any merit? <Yes> All the Best...Mike Lomb <Perhaps a read through here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm the SubFAQs files on LPS foods/feeding/nutrition by family. Bob Fenner>

Feeding LPS Corals    7/26/08 I currently have a 300 liter reef Tank (60 cm deep) with a 100 liter sump, established for two years. This is currently lightly stocked, two clown fish and one yellow tail damsel, and 6 LPS corals. I use a single 250 watt, 14,000 metal halide light, 10 cm sand bed, 1 - 2 mm crushed marble, two protein skimmers, a Deltec MCE 600 on the display tank with ozone and Tunze Comline in the sump, one fluidized bed filter, 3 liters of sintered glass. No live rock, not available in NZ. I use epoxy rocks, suspended reef shelving design. <Mmm, sounds very nice... w/ the exception of no live rock...> Temp = 82 F, calcium 350 - 380, <A bit low... what is magnesium concentration? What means to you employ to bolster alkalinity reserve and biomineral content?> Alk 3.4, pH 8.2, Nitrates and phosphates zero, <Need some of each... I would get rid of whatever chemical/filtrant means you're using to limit> circulation totals 30 times an hour, specific gravity 1.024 The LPS corals are either holding their own, or slowly growing, though I think I have lost some in the past from starvation, so the nutrient levels in the form of coral food is not enough. <... nor water chemistry...> Commercial coral food in a bottle is available in NZ, JBL Coral fluid, and RedSea Reef Success (no ingredients on the bottle). I have used these in the past. <These are, to put it nicely, garbage... more pollution than of any worth. I would NOT use any such prep.s> There is information on this site, books and the Internet on DIY coral food. LPS corals can take small amount of fresh shell fish, but I have not found that the corals consistently capture this. My torch coral usually just lets it float away, and the bubble coral will capture and consume this (but at times spit this out later). <Something/s else is wrong here... perhaps just the water chemistry issues mentioned above...> Adding slurries of food directly over the corals creates a mucous net, but I wonder if that is just to shed the off food as much as capture it. I turn off the circulation briefly doing this. <Not a worthwhile approach... healthy "LPS" easily grab and strongly hold onto appropriate types, size/bits of marine flesh/foods> Recently I have mixed food slurry each day. The latest approach is to use a mortise and pedestal, grind up mysis flake food, plus granular fish food (Marine Gro from Red Sea), plus omega 3 supplements from the health food store, made form fish oil to supply essential fatty acids and omega 3. I grind this up till it forms a very fine suspension (looks the JBL coral food) and toss this into the tank as a mild cloud in the hope that I am reproducing a zooplankton storm that the corals will capture, and that the protein skimmers will mop up what is not needed to prevent algae blooms. <... do please read re making your own mashes from an inexpensive blend of "frutti di mar", seafood for human consumption... on WWM, elsewhere: http://wetwebmedia.com/corlfdgdiy.htm and the linked files above> So the question here is whether there is some merit in my approach here? <Not of worth, no> Mike Lomb <Bob Fenner>

Fox coral wont open 5/16/08 I bought a fox coral about 4 weeks ago from my LFS. It was in great condition and it was fully extended about 3 times the length of the skeleton. I acclimated it to my tank using the normal drip technique and it was open within the next day and looking great as it had before. About a week after it was placed in my aquarium it started to slowly close. Now it is basically fully closed. All my water parameters are in check. Also there is a little red algae growing on the skeleton but it doesn't seem to be on the soft part. I have a jbj nanocube with everything stock however I have read that the fox doesn't need strong lighting anyway. The coral is placed near the bottom of the tank as well. Thanks -Dan <What else (other corals/fish) are in the tank? -Sara M.>

re: Fox coral wont open 5/17/08 I have a toadstool <Leather coral? ...in a nano with a LPS? Yep... there's your problem. Please do a search for allelopathy, chemical warfare, etc.> and some polyps and mushrooms. As far as fish I have a firefish and a Royal Gramma. I also have about 8 blue legged hermits and 2 peppermint shrimp. <Best, Sara M.>

LPS corals? Comp. 01/31/2008 Hello, <<Hello, Andrew today>> I have an 8g nano tank that has been up and running for almost a month! I've started dreaming about and planning for corals (okay, I started dreaming the moment I got it!). I am going to be starting with easy softies like mushrooms, zoos, xenia, but later on I would love to have some LPS in there, like some brain corals or candycanes or Acan lords. Would these be okay in an 8g with 1000K daylights and actinics? I remember something about LPS having long sweeper tentacles or something, do they all have these? thanks so much for all your help! Tori <<LPS are pretty notorious for chemical warfare in the tank, mainly when another coral is invading its space. Yes, LPS do have tentacles and pack a potent sting, however the candycane is one which tentacles are shorter than a lot of LPS corals. All three corals mentioned are good growing corals and with an 8 gallon tank, you are going to have to keep good spacing and control of their size by fragging them. The other consideration is having available space around the existing soft corals you planning as these wont last long against the stinging from an LPS coral. On the lighting, the color is fine, however you don't mention how many watts the lighting is. LPS do like to have a medium to high level of lighting.>> <<Thanks for the questions, hope this help. A Nixon>>

Lighting and LPS - 01/17/08 Hi gang, <<Hey there!>> Simple question: <<Okay>> I am about to buy a beautiful 90gal reef tank for my husband's birthday (crazy saltwater hobbyist). <<Hee-hee! Lucky pug…>> My "problem" is, if there will be enough lighting for most kinds of LPSs and softies, the set-up is gonna have 4*96watt power compact light fixtures; the tank is 24inches high. Zoas, open brains, blastos, pagodas, <<The Pagoda coral is a difficult coral to keep and not for most aquarists to attempt>> frogspawns and Favias, are they gonna survive with that kind of light with heavy feeding? <<This fixture will suffice (choose 10,000K bulbs), though I would opt for a "T5" HO fixture if available over the PC fixture…better technology in my opinion and more "options" re bulb choices/combinations. Do also research your livestock choices to determine their placement in the system as even this mix will have some variability re their light needs/requirements>> Regards', Daniel's wife <<Cheers, EricR>>

Worms, LPS coral...   5/27/07 Hi, Wish I could provide a picture but I don't have a macro lens capable of taking this pic.  I have a problem with some kind of parasitic worm.  It is attacking all of my LPS coral. <Mmm, perhaps predaceous, not parasitic...>   They are tiny white worms that bunch together to look alot <No such word> like human intestines only a million times smaller.  I have treated the affected corals with SeaChem reef dip.  I would really like to find out what this is and how I could treat the entire system.  I am considering Metronidazole. <... is an anti-protozoal...> Hope someone can help me out.  I have looked all over the web and haven't found anything to match. Thanks Jennifer Jeter <I have no idea what you're referring to... An image or two would be highly helpful. Bob Fenner> Peppermint Shrimp and Duncanopsamia axifuga compatibility. Peppermint vs. LPS - 4/7/07 Hi Crew, <Hi Tim!> Thank you for taking my e-mail.<Anytime!> I've read that peppermint shrimp can and will pick on certain large polyp stony corals.<Along with other things as well.> I just got a Duncanopsamia axifuga polyp shipped to me today.<Neat - don't see those too often.> I have acclimated it and put it in my refugium.  Is it likely that the shrimp will go after this coral in my 75 gallon display? <It's possible, just depends on the shrimp. Some are well behaved, some not.> If so, I will remove them.<I'd keep an eye on both and remove if necessary.> Thanks for the help, Tim <You're welcome, and good luck! -Lynn>

An LPS Specific Tank!...Cool! - 09/07/06 Set up, stocking, feeding Hi crew! <<Hey Danny!>> Hope all is well! <<Well enough, yes...thank you>> I don't have any more corals in my tank (given my softies and polyps back to LFS and fellow reefers), since I have taken a new found interest in LPS. <<Ahh...specializing...excellent!>> I have a 45 gallon with about 30 lbs. of porous live rock, 4-5 inch aragonite/sand mix substrate.  I do bi-weekly water changes of about 10-20% of the water, run carbon and Poly-Filter, 2 power heads at opposite sides and different levels, an emperor bio-wheel power filter, <<May want to discard this...the live rock/sand will better serve your reef system for bio-filtration>> and a venturi style skimmer (collects about a half a cup of skim a day).  Water quality: spg 1.0255/1.026, Ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates <20ppm, <<Need to get this to <5ppm for inverts/corals>> pH 8.2.  I have about a total of 192 watts (2x96) of lighting one daylight bulb, the other actinic.  I think my lighting setup is at best moderate and was reading on your site that LPS actually fare better in modest lighting schemes, right? <<Indeed...though some are highly adaptable, most come from deep or turbid waters and are "designed" to exist under moderate lighting.  I have seen "brain" corals with predominantly "red" pigmentations wither and die (brain corals with "green" pigmentations seems to fare/adapt better) when placed directly under intense metal halide lighting because uneducated aquarists mistake intense, bright coloration as a need for high intensity lighting>> Considering my smaller water volume, I wanted to know if it was better to stick with one family of LPS like the Euphyllia--frogspawn, torch, and hammer? <<Oh yes!  Keeping a single species would be best, but limiting your stocking to a single genus is also viable...and will put you miles ahead of trying to stock a typical "garden variety" reef in the same volume of water>> Or if it was possible to keep others like the bubble with them per chance? <<Mmm...something like a 90-10 mix of genera is probably okay...any more than this and you start to lose the advantages of keeping a genus/species display>> I take it all should be at least 6-8 inches apart, as I have read that they do extend sweeper tentacles, which I am quite sure will sting others regardless if they are in the family or not. <<Quite true...you may even find a 10" separation necessary for some species/as colonies grow>> I do have a soft spot for one coral outside of LPS, the Kenya Tree (Capnella?)...but will surely leave out if you think it best! <<Suitable for the lighting you have..."weakly" aggressive...a specimen of this would likely do fine as long as you can place it away from harm (easily damaged/killed by the very aggressive Euphylliids>> Other life includes: 1 fire shrimp, 1 cleaner shrimp, 3 peppermints, <<Do watch that the peppermints don't "dine" on your LPS>> 3 Turbos, 4 Nassarius, and a few blue legged hermit crabs.  4 Ocellaris, 1 exquisite wrasse, 1 sixline wrasse, 1 lawnmower blenny, and 1 royal Gramma.  Everybody gets a rotation of food (I believe a varied diet promotes the best health!) <<Much agreed!>> of Formula 1 frozen (though I dislike the gel binder they use), <<Mmm, me too...makes it a real pain to break up so my Blue-Throat Trigger and Fiji Foxface don't just wolf the cubes down before others get a chance to feed>> Mysis, prime reef flake, enriched brine shrimp, and Prime reef. <<An excellent selection/mix, but I would also like to suggest adding some New Life Spectrum pellets (soaked in Selcon/Vita-Chem).  Most fishes will love these highly nutritious pellets (my Leopard Wrasses are likely still alive after two years (and breeding) due to these pellets)>> From what I read on the site, I know LPS can be fed Mysis (whole?) <<The smaller varieties, yes...most all will do best with finely minced, meaty foods>> and the Cyclop-eeze (although I'm not quite sure what that is yet!), <<Cyclop-eeze is a highly nutritious farmed micro-crustacean (high in antioxidants and highly unsaturated fatty acids...HUFA's)...an excellent choice for feeding your LPS as well as your fish>> but I could not find exactly how you feed this.  Do you just squirt that onto extended polyps or is there something I should be aiming for, <<Use a turkey baster to gently swirl a small amount of food over the coral...a few times a week>> moreover how do I know they are accepting it (retraction?)? <<Mmm...the presence/retraction of feeder tentacles/mucous nets...will become evident to you if they are feeding/interested in feeding>> Sorry for all the questions, just want to be well prepared for my new friends. <<No worries mate...keep searching/reading/researching>> Was thinking frogspawn would be the best to start along with. <<A fine choice>> As always, thank you for providing such excellent information! <<Happy to share!>> Sincerely, Danny Tampa, FL <<Regards, EricR...Columbia, SC>>

Re: An LPS Specific Tank!...Cool! - 09/12/06 Hi Eric, <<Hey Danny>> Thanks for the informative reply, as always! <<Hope it was useful to you>> I've actually upgraded my skimmer to an AquaC Remora with the pre-skimmer accessory, since I've read about its great performance. <<Cool!>> Hopefully the new skimmer and only using R/O water from now on will help put my nitrates in check. <<Ah yes, should see some measure of difference.  The skimmer doesn't remove nitrate directly, but it does remove compounds that contribute to its production>> I've actually read contradicting posts about removing the bio-wheel under the same FAQ's page! <<Differences in opinion mate>> I read they can be detritus traps, moreover can harbor bacteria that competes with the rock, is that right? <<I don't think the Bio-Wheel filter is so much a detritus trap by way of its form/function (as compared to a wet/dry filter), and it's not so much that the bacteria on the Bio-Wheel "competes" with the live rock.  The issue as I see it is these filters (Bio-Wheel, wet/dry, fluidized-bed.) very quickly convert waste to nitrate, but that's where processes stop.  Thus they tend to "overpower" the live rock/live sand keeping residual nitrate levels "too high" for typical reef setups.  It is much better in my opinion to use live rock/live sand alone, letting it process wastes at it own speed/capacity (and reducing the associated nitrate to less toxic compounds).  Obviously for a FO or FOWLR system the faster processing/reaction to changing bio-load of the Bio-Wheel, wet/dry, or fluidized-bed filter is desirable as the inhabitants can handle a higher nitrate level.  But for reef systems, I recommend using live rock/live sand only for your dedicated bio-filtration...and of course, maintaining/stocking the system accordingly>> I'm probably wrong, but I thought it would just keep even more nitrifying bacteria in addition to the live rock to help the entire tank...no? <<I'll refer you to my previous tirade <grin> >> On a dusty shelf they go if you insist, so let me know. <<You have my opinion on the matter>> I'm just scared I'll mess up my balance if I removed both of them. <<Use a "phased" approach...remove one now, and the other in about a month's time>> By the way, I thought you'd like to know I got my first LPS--the frogspawn. <<Neat!>> It's sitting in QT, hasn't quite extended fully out yet--very beautiful, pink and green tips. <<Very cool...and kudos on the quarantine>> At first I thought it was melting away, as it had a lot of mucous about it, a few polyps did seem tattered--I think it was just stressed, the mucous has been carried away by the flow and it has started to extend. <<Mmm, yes...collection/transport is very stressful on corals as well as fishes>> The coral was drip lined but I imagine it has been through a lot--will keep a close eye on it. <<Very good my friend>> I just hope I've learned enough to help it thrive and not just survive (aiming for survive at this point). <<Is an endless quest...keep reading, researching, asking questions...>> Should I refrain from feeding until it fully extends or wait even longer than that? <<You can try a small amount of food to see if it reacts/is interested>> On a side note, I've got that itch to upgrade my entire system from my 45 into a 72! <<Ahh...and soon the 300+ eh?!>> I am pretty much set on most of the equipment I want with the exception of lighting.  I'm more keen on the light given off by power compacts opposed to metal halides.  So I'd like to get power compacts unless advised otherwise of course! <<I prefer the look/bang for the buck of halides...but either choice will serve you here, is up to you>> I think my options are pretty limited over 48" to 4x96wPC, 6x35wPC, or 4x130wPC.  I really like 4x96, 6x65 is just too many bulbs, and 4x130 seems like a lot of light for an LPS tank, although I like the idea of 7.2 watts per gallon! <<Hmm, keep in mind the PCs won't give you the penetration of metal halide so I'd bank on a few extra watts.  Also, more bulbs give you more choices/combinations...just something to think about>> I'd go the 4x130 if you don't think it will be overkill for the LPS. <<Not at all...the fixture can be elevated/bulbs of higher Kelvin used to replicate depth if needed>> I don't think I've even seen a 130w pc bulb, LOL. <<Now that you mention it...neither have I>> One more question, hope this one isn't too stupid. <<Not at all>> I was wondering if you knew of any company that actually insures our very expensive saltwater tanks. <<Mmm yes, homeowners insurance won't touch it...don't know specifics, but there are "pet insurers" about...and from what I hear aquariums are VERY expensive to insure>> I imagine once my 72 is fully stocked, it will cost more than my plasma TV, ha-ha. <<Mmm, not far off...my in-wall 500g (system total) would buy a couple KIA automobiles...with money left for gas and insurance>> I asked my home insurance company and they pretty much just laughed.   <<Yup!>> As always, thank you for your help! <<Is truly my pleasure>> Sincerely, Danny Tampa, FL <<Regards, EricR, Columbia SC>>

LPS frags being dragged off    6/14/06 In the last two or three weeks I have had two frags dragged off from their placement in the substrate. The last was a Caulastrea frag which was stuck directly in the media and had been in the same spot for about 6 months (the first was a new Merleti frag). It happened overnight and I found it this morning jammed way under an adjacent rock. When I pulled it out the four heads were intact, but the main branch of the skeleton (the stalk) which had been between about 2" long was just gone... and what, eaten?   <Yikes!> Any ideas what might be doing this? Thanks in advance, -Steve <My first "group" guess is a crustacean of some sort... a hidden crab, Mantis... second guess might be a good-sized worm of some sort... I'd try baiting for this/these, with a handy flashlight... toward an upcoming evening... Please read here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mantiscompfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/swcrabcomp.htm Bob Fenner>

LPS Lighting (One More Time!) - 05/18/06 Dear Eric R. <<Hello Diane>> It's been a long time since I've written in and the first time to you. <<Welcome back>> I have been trying to follow Bob's advice; read, read, read some more, then make up your own darn mind.  (To paraphrase). <<Indeed>> Well, I got the first part down.  However, just when I thought I had this lighting figured out I went to a different LFS and POOF! here we go again. <<Ha!...nature of the beast/hobby...opinions abound!>> If you would be so kind to go over what I have and help me straighten this out. <<Would be glad to provide my input>> We have a 125 gal. acrylic tank 72" X 18" X 20"  with a 6" DSB.  Lights hang 11 to 12" above the water line and can be raised or lowered as needed. <<Ok>> The lights are two 36" Power Compacts, the left-one is SunPaq 10,000K/460-Actinic and the right-one is SunPaq  Dual-Daylight 6,700/10,000K.  The halides are 3 X 175 watts.  Left is 6500K, middle is 20,000K and right is 14,000K. <<Mmm, why the variation across the length of the tank?  Are you attempting to create differing "zones/niches"?>> The yellow of the daylight halide is tempered by the blue of the actinic and the blue of the 14K Halide is tempered by the yellow of the daylight PCs (the 20K is because I have read so many raves and Anthony's book BOCP says for LPS you can go bluer.) <<Ok>> Well yesterday we went to a different LFS and they had the MOST beautiful corals!  We purchased several and during the selection and bagging process I questioned the manager as to his procedures for maintenance and lighting. He told me that 15K are THE best and that my 6500K should only be used for high light SPS. <<Too "general" a statement...I disagree>> Now Drs. Foster and Smith will let me return bulbs for replacement but am I that far off with my lights? <<I don't know, what are you keeping/trying to accomplish with this lighting?>> There can't be that much difference between 14K and 15K! <<Or even 20K...agreed>> However, I am not sure about the 6500K and the 20K. <<A marked difference in spectral output...but the 6500K still contains enough "blue light" for most all corals>> We have: (all bought yesterday),1 6" green Bubble (Plerogyra sinuosa), 1 6" Favites (?) shared corallite walls. <<Favites, yes...a shared wall between the calyces>> They are both under the 65K with the Favites on the sand and the Bubble three inches higher, on a rock. <<It may be fine, but keep an eye on the Bubble coral.  Plerogyra are not high light requiring corals, if the "bubbles" looks to be turning brown or stop expanding, do move it lower/to a more subdued lighting location>> One 4" green Long Tentacle Plate/Disc (Fungia scutaria) on the sand under the 20K with the most gorgeous green Fox (Nemenzophyllia turbida) also under the 20K but under a ledge.  To the right of them are 2 separate pieces of Branching Hammer (Euphyllia parancora) consisting of 8 and 9 heads respectively (after adaptation, thought of moving apart under different lights to experiment?). <<Sure>> They are also placed just three inches above the sand bed, however the highest two heads are 6" below the water line and they are centered between the 20K and the 14K.  Now, under the 14K is my baby, an Open Brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) whom I've had 2 years now.  She is not the vivid color when I purchased her (bright green and deep maroon) but I would swear in the last few days her red is coming back! <<Maybe had "too much" light before hand.  It's not a hard and fast rule by any means, but many LPS with "red" pigments require/demand lower light levels than those with "green" pigments>> The new bulbs are either more to her liking or else the color was always there and I just couldn't see it under the old 5500Ks.   <<A bit of both>> After all that I guess my questions are, is the 6500K that bad? <<Nope...especially considering the wattage/distance you have the bulbs above the tank.  That's not to say I think it's the best bulb for your particular selection of livestock.  Speaking for me...for an LPS dominant tank I would go with a higher Kelvin rating...10000K is a good "all around" spectrum...but in this instance I would be tempted to go with a quality 14000K or 20000K bulb for each fixture.  Much depends on your own sense of aesthetics and what your trying replicate in your system>> (I have a 10K that I can replace it with but it is WHITE!)  Am not interested in SPS (never say never). << <grin> >> Is the 20K a good bulb for LPS? <<With enough intensity, yes.  If you go with 20000K I recommend you move the lights to within 6-8 inches of the water's surface>> The blue look is nice and the corals are beautiful under them but I want what is best for the animals (short of leaving them in the oceans of course). <<...of course>> These are the only corals I want with the possible addition of a nice Hammer (E. ancora) and maybe, sometime down the road a ways, I would love to have an Elegance (Catalaphyllia jardinei). <<Do please read up/research the Catalaphyllia well (you can begin here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm).  This is not an easy coral to keep, and is best tried in a specie specific system designed to/for its care>> Thank you so much for your time and patience.  All of you are appreciated and I hope one day you will all know how much! <<Thank you for the kind words...we're happy to assist>> Wishing you the best of life, Diane. <<And to you in kind, Eric Russell>> P.S. the LFS is ATM in Las Vegas, Nevada the one on the corner of Patrick and Sandhill in the Southeast part of the valley.  Beautiful corals and good prices. <<Hmm, will have to make a point to stop in next time I'm in Vegas.  EricR>>

Burrowing Wrasses And Substrate-Dwelling LPS - 03/28/06 I am planning my first reef tank. <<Exciting, isn't it?!>> I am attempting to select the species of animals and fish I will ultimately keep. <<This should be your first step in planning/building your system.>> The tank is to be 90 gallon with ample live rock and a 3-4 inch Oolitic sand bed. <<ok>> I am interested in keeping a variety of SPS, LPS, Clams, and have become attracted to Fairy Wrasses.  My reading tells me that many species of wrasse sleep in the sand and that some species will burrow beneath the sand for some distance. <<Yep>> Will this present a problem for substrate dwelling LPS? <<Shouldn't...I've kept burrowing wrasses for many years without any such problems.  More of a concern (in my opinion) are the sand-sifting gobies...these have a tendency to grab mouthfuls of substrate and then cruise over the reef 'crop-dusting' all the corals as they go.>> Thanks, Ed <<Regards, EricR>> Burrowing Wrasses And Substrate-Dwelling LPS II - 03/28/06 Dear Eric- Thanks for the speedy reply. <<Quite welcome>> Since you mentioned Gobies-- I was also interested in a Yasha Hashe and a Pistol shrimp.  Will all live happily ever after? ed <<Neat little fish...should be no problem to house both with the flasher/fairy wrasses.  Regards, EricR>> LPS Parasite? - 02/28/06 Hello crew. <<Howdy>> I've just notice that most of my LPS corals have this weird looking bud on them.  My Goniopora, my pearl bubble, and my red brain coral all have this rose bud looking thing that is growing on them.  It's the shape of a rose bud, its color is white, and it has this transparent looking mouth or tentacles on it.  Please give me some insight as to what this is.  Thank you. <<Very hard to say without a picture.  Perhaps a hydroid or polyp of some kind...just a guess.  As to whether it's a parasite, harmful or not, again, no way to say.  Do send a sharp close-up picture if you can and we may be able to better help.  Regards, EricR>>

LPS Reef Tank Lighting   1/13/06 Hello fine people. <Hello fine person.> New reefer here, <Careful now, once you're in you're stuck…very addictive. BUT….very fun.> setting up a 92 corner tank. Want to concentrate on the LPS variety of corals (live rock and sand of course), have seen a few tanks and like the look of MH. <Very aesthetically appealing.> How about a single 150 HQI (10k lamp, ReefOptix 3 with Icecap E-ballast) mounted so the bottom of the reflector is 11" above the surface of the water (11" in the hopes of better spread and no heat issues). <There will still be "some" heat issues, a small fan blowing across the surface of the water should be fine. With just the HQI pendant there will still be some shadowed areas in the corners, edges but I see you mention some PC supplementation to help out with that. > There will be 21" of water to the top of the sand bed. <With his height, and the suspension of the pendant I recommend a 250-watt pendant over a 150 watt.> Assuming the 2x2 coverage of the MH rule of thumb is true <For the most part…> you would be surprised how much of this odd shaped tank that 2x2 square covers. I am assuming that my spread might be a bit more than that since I am mounting at 11" versus the "optimum" 9" height? <Yes, but the lighting will also be slightly less intent.> To provide some light in those front corners outside the box I would mount 2-55 watt PC with say 50/50 10k/actinic along the edges of the tank mounted no more than 4" from the water. <Sounds good, generally I prefer T-5HO or VHO to PC but the space you have may only permit PC.> The center and front of the tank would rely solely on the MH light. <Sounds good.> So what say you, is this an LPS tank or do I need to go back to the drawing board? <No sounds like you have the lighting under control for the most part.> My other option is 3x96 and 1x55 PC for what would be a more even spread of light. I just don't want to mess with the expense/heat of multiple MH units. That and to keep them from blasting all of that expensive light out into the room they would need to be pretty much mounted side by side which seems kind of silly to me. <The HQI, pendant idea with fluorescent (PC) to supplement sounds fine to me. Thanks for your advice have a good one! <You too mate, Adam Jackson.>

LPS Coral Reproduction/Feeding - 10/15/05 Crew- <<Eric>> Cool stuff going on inside my reef tanks that I'd value your insight on, as I didn't find pertinent FAQs in the archives. <<ok>> I have a fluorescent green trumpet coral in my 12G nano, which, as of a few weeks ago, has been sprouting "buds"--also fluorescent green--that are emerging on the flat surface of a stony branch arm of the coral that I didn't remove (it was dead) to aid in placement within the tank. There are roughly a dozen or more of these tikes, about a mm in diameter, spread across the flat surface of the branch's old head. Am I gonna be a daddy? <<It would appear so.>> Any advice on how to bring up the kids safely and healthily? <<Treat them as you do the parent colony.>> Shall I be feeding them anything specific at this juncture? I feed each head of my trumpet coral 3 times weekly with small minced meaty items, which it appears to relish. <<I would do the same for the new polyps.>> It shares the tank with some button polyps, four quarter sized bright red mushrooms, three feather dusters, a rock covered in sun polyps, a yellow-bellied damsel, a fat-n-happy Rainford's goby, a variety of snails, and about 15 lbs of coralline covered live rock and good sand with lots of pods. <<All good but for the goby (am skeptical it will remain "fat").>> In fact, there are great critters throughout---"good" worms, tiny brittle stars, even a few Mysid shrimps if I identified them correctly. <<Yes, but not enough in this small tank to keep the goby long term...in my opinion.>> Water quality is outstanding...test weekly and get undetectable and do changes of 5-7 percent every weekend. <<very good>> Second question, I have a very lightly stocked 40G reef tank with 50 lbs. of live rock in a SeaClear System II, which has the wet dry in the back. I upgraded the limp wattage to 196w of PC lighting. Tank residents include a small branching hammer coral (2" head) and a branching frogspawn (2.5 inch head) each located about 14 inches from the other. On the sidelines cheering them on are two Hawaiian feather dusters and some snails--oh, and an emerald crab hitchhiker that came with the live rock. <<I'm not a fan of crabs in reef tanks.>> I've purposely kept this tank fishless for several months <<Excellent, the longer the better!>>, but am eager around December or the first of the year to add a fairy wrasse of some sort, a Royal Gramma, and one blenny and one goby, types to be determined. <<Very well, but I don't consider blennies to be particularly reef safe.>> My nutrient load isn't high due to lack of anything with finnage. I also try to limit tank pollution by doing targeted feeding with a turkey baster and or eyedropper (of course, I'm never really sure how successful I am at this....what are the signs that they're being "fed" outright?) <<Good health/vigor...>> That said, I've debated about switching out the blue ball media in the wet dry with live rock and converting it to a refugium, additional PC and all <<Excellent idea, the tank will be the better for it.>>...but it's my understanding that hammers, frogspawns and their family members are less bothered by nitrates in the lower regions (mine are <5). <<Actually, most all corals will benefit (Health/color) from a direct nitrogen source, achieved by keeping nitrate levels in the 3 ppm range. Some hobbyists even dose sodium nitrate for this purpose.>> The long-term advantage, of course, would be to grow some macroalgae and other critters for future inhabitants to come. <<agreed>> In any case, this tank has been running for a few months and the corals are doing well. So well, in fact, that I believe I'm about to witness the splitting or branching of both species--simultaneously. <<Neat! Tis a fascinating hobby, eh?>> The past few days, I've noticed the frogspawn has what appears to be a bubble atop his head, which can be seen when his sweeping tentacles clear the "part". I'm sensing that this may be where the division could be originating. True? <<Is possible, yes.>> His color is great (especially under actinic) and he's robust in his sweeping. <<And a threat to its neighbors too...>> Same is true for the hammer, albeit I wish his "day" colors were as vibrant as his night colors (also fluorescent green). Likewise, I'm noticing some spreading/widening of the hammer into what looks to become three branches or heads. I believe I've seen two tiny little mouths on the emerging heads, though stare long enough and it's tough to know exactly what you might be seeing. Ultimately, for all the time, money and meticulous effort I've put into this endeavor, I'm hoping these occurrences signal a relatively happy (albeit displaced) life for them and suggests that I may be doing as many of the right things as is necessary to move them up a grade? <<Not sure what you mean by "move them up a grade?">> I'm not new at all to keeping marine fish, but I am relatively new at keeping corals, so forgive me if I'm a little overzealous about what I'm seeing here. <<No worries my friend, I've been keeping corals for many years and I still delight in the wonders of nature.>> As always, I'd love to have your guidance on what to do and what not to do. <<Hmm...sounds like you are already doing/not doing what is necessary.>> Any set-in-stone feeding advice you have for the hammer and coral (type/brand of food, frequency, technique) would also be appreciated. <<Finley minced meaty foods are best (shrimp/fish/clams, etc), Cyclop-eeze and DT's Oyster Eggs are good foods (for many corals/fish) as well. Feeding 2-3 times a week is a good schedule, and target feeding is best when possible.>> I keep coming upon very conflicting information. <<Keep researching/asking questions.>> Indebted, Eric <<Regards, EricR>>

LPS Corals...Which Can I Keep? - 05/27/05 Dear Sirs, <No need to be so formal <G>...Eric R. here.> Hello. I have a few questions about some corals I was interested in obtaining. My tank stats are as follows: 36" long 24" deep and 12" wide. Its a 30 gallon and I also have a 10 gallon sump. <Hmm...based on your dimensions I come up with about 45 gallons. I think a 30 gallon tank is more along the lines of 36Lx16Dx12W.> I have a 192 watt Compact Fluorescent lighting fixture (1-96 watt 6500K and 1-96 watt Dual Actinic) The tank contains 44 lbs. Caribbean live rock, 10 lbs. Fiji, 2 True Percula Clowns, a Royal Gramma and around 25-30 blue leg Hermit crabs along with 2 Turbo snails. The following corals are what I've been looking into and wanted your advice on if they were; 1) suitable for the aquarium 2) placement in the system. they are as follows: Plerogyra sp. (Bubble) Favites sp. (Brain) Lobophyllia sp. (Brain) Euphyllia Glabrescens (Torch) Fungia repanda (Plate) That's all of them. <I actually consider these coral choices quite suitable for the lighting you describe. As for placement, the torch and brains could go highest (green brains usually take/enjoy more light than red brains), the bubble closer to the sand bed, and the plate right on the sand bed. My only other question is what would be an alternative host for the clowns besides an anemone? (I ask because I read your teams research on anemones in the home aquarium and found it very convincing to not obtain one :-)) <Thank you for heeding that advice. While anemones certainly can be kept, they are best left to experienced aquarists will to place them in specialized/specie specific setups. The clowns don't "require" a host, but will likely turn to the torch or the bubble for this. Some corals adjust readily to the clowns attention...some don't...time will tell.> Thank you very much in advance for your hard work, Andrew S. <Tis a pleasure to assist. Regards, Eric R.>

Worms in LPS Buenos d?s mis amigos. I have a couple of Worm related questions: 1.I have a Pagoda Cup Coral (Turbinaria peltata). One of the polyps is missing since I got it and there is constant slime or brown matter coming out of the hole. The only thing that comes to mind is that there is a worm living in the polyp's hole. The way it normally looks is a brownish tissue hanging out of the hole, maybe 2-3 mm in length, and other times it has a long strand of slime attached that drifts away with the current after a few minutes. Is this a worm? If so, is this a worm any of you have seen before? Will it kill the coral? Will it move to other LPSs?  <I'm thinking it is probably the remains of the missing polyp.> 2.I just got a Platygyra Brain and put it in quarantine. I am observing small fan worms (I think) coming out of several of the polyps. They come out and back in as if with the currents and have 5-10 transparent tentacles (3-4 mm in length) in the form of a fan. The holes they are coming out no longer have the green tissue of the polyp but are caves for these worms. Are these fan worms or some sort of boring worms that I should be worried about? Will they kill the animal? Would they spread to other corals and kill them if I put the specimen in the main display?  <Hard to base a response on the description you gave. Are you sure these "fanworms" are not Aiptasia? James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for your help. <You're welcome>

Worms in LPS - II Hi James.  <Good Afternoon, Franz>  Thanks for your response. On the first one, I don't think it's the remains of the Polyp, since its been going on for a little over a month now, and it keeps coming out even if I try to cut it off. Maybe someone else has seen something similar?  <Franz, without a picture it would be hard to even guess> On the other worm, I am 100% sure it not Aiptasia and 99% sure its some sort of fan worm. It comes out intermittently every 1-3 seconds out of the Polyp hole and then back in. It has the shape of a fan (very thin, transparent strands that form a fan in a single plane). <That certainly sounds like a barnacle to me>  I was hoping someone had seen this before, since they are on several of the polyp holes and I fear will eventually kill the specimen.  <Do a Google search on barnacles, look at the pictures, I'm sure that is what it is. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks for any additional advise you guys might provide.  <You're welcome>

Feeding LPS Corals Hi gang! At what time and what food should I be feeding my hammer, bubble and elegance corals? For the past 6 days, I've been feeding them very tiny pieces of fish meat in the morning. I do this every other day. Am I doing the right thing? I've read Anthony's article that they should be given zooplankton, problem is, LFS here don't sell any except for Sera Premium Plankton Food Tablets. This fish food claims to contain both phyto and zooplankton, so I bought some today. Since it's in tablet form, I broke off a very small portion, and gave it to them at around 7:30pm. Strange coz the small broken-off portions dissolved upon contact with water. Is this sufficient coupled with my fish meat meals? Sorry, don't have the space nor the resources to culture zooplanktons in a refugium. By the way, I also have some Sera Coraliquid w/ contains: shrimp protein, Spirulina and Cyclop-Eeze. It says here to slowly add this above the corals through the use of a syringe. Dosage is 5ml/50gals 1x or 2x a week. I've tried using this last year, and I noticed that it's a very thick, mucus-like liquid. My corals would retract upon contact with it. Do you think I should be using this again?  <Paul, here is a link that will help you out.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm . James (Salty Dog)> Thank you so much for all your help. <You're welcome> 

Feeding Large Polyped Corals 4/2/05 Anthony, Thank you so much for the reply. When you say 'target feed', are you talking one of the commercially available feeds, like Phyto-Feast or Liquid Life BioPlankton, or something different? <None of the above for your Acanthastrea. This Mussid- like Faviid polyps/corals are voracious consumers of ZOOplankton. Seek fine meaty foods instead. Nothing larger than Mysid shrimp. Better yet... DTs Natural Diet (Oyster eggs), flying fish eggs from the Asian grocery section (masago sushi eggs)... and Cyclop-eeze for starters> Sorry for the additional question, I just want to make sure I do this correctly. I love the Acan frag, and since you are having stellar success, I'd like to mimic your feed. <It really is just a hardy coral. And not rare at all. Exports for it out of the South Pacific are pegged at 1000 pc.s. For perspective... so are common Caulastrea candy corals (1000 pc.s). Some very nefarious merchants (mostly basement frag traders) have made a brilliant advertising blitz and are literally price gouging aquarists for extreme amounts of money per polyp when the coral enters the country with numerous other common corals for mere dollars for large colonies> Secondly, I am very proud of my collection of signed reef books. I have one from Mr. Fenner, among others. I have your invert book, and your coral propagation book. Is there a chance I could pay shipping both ways and send it to you for an autograph? You'd join the likes of Rich Pyle, Jack Randall, Jerry Allen, etc. Thanks again, Brandon <Wow! It would be my honor to do so... but to even save you shipping, do look at my active hobby club visit schedule at readingtrees.com Perhaps there is a town near you? Kindly, Anthony> 

Lighting LPS - 12/13/04 Hey there,     I am in the final stages of planning a 125 gallon reef.  The tank dimensions are:  72x18x23 (23 inches being the height).  After reading aquarium corals by Borneman, I have decided that I would like it to house Fungiids, Faviids, Lobophyllia, Trachyphyllia, Euphyllia, and Plerogyra.  According to the author, these corals have similar light and water flow requirements (bright light, moderate current). <Be sure to feed the proper foods of the proper size. Take a look through the FAQs we have on the subject here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm> The trouble I am having is trying to determine the proper amount of lighting.  I am leaning towards power compacts, and am trying to decide between a Coralife Aqualight hood with 4x96watts or 6x96watts. <I like the 6x96 because of depth of your aquarium> I would like to have an open area of substrate with some free living Fungiids on it. <Sounds absolutely perfect> Do you think that the 4x96watts would provide enough light penetration for this? <Maybe.....with real good conditions otherwise and a 3times a week feeding schedule there is a chance. In fact, a good chance.>  The cost of the 6x96 watts is substantially higher, but it does have the added convenience of a remote ballast, to lessen heat build-up in the canopy. <I like this choice the best of the two> Also, how would one provide bright, indirect light (as Borneman recommends for Euphyllia), <the best way to provide this type of lighting is either have a large macro algae (like some of the many algae available from your LFS or online retailer) that partially covers (not touch) the coral (Euphyllia) or a slight rock over hang. No open or direct light needed> and do you think that a yellow tang and a Kole tang would be able to coexist in a tank this size? <Hard to say but I have heard of them coexisting in large tanks.>  Thanks in advance, I will be eagerly awaiting your response.  <Thanks for your questions and being part of the WetWebMedia experience. ~Paul> LPS, feeding, lighting, water You probably get these questions all the time (and I did check the archives), but I have a couple of questions about LPS corals: First off, I never knew that these things were so cool.  Didn't even know that they existed and then in the last month we have purchased a slipper coral, open brain, and a rather large "meat" coral. <What a planet, eh? I'm not leaving!> The fish store guys swear that they are "easy" to keep and from what I am reading, I tend to believe them.  So anyway, we noticed that that are very carnivorous and will eat anytime they are offered food.  We usually offer small pieces of cut up shrimp, about the size of a match head, and then stand back to watch the fun (morbid fascination - probably goes back to the boa that I kept in high school). So the question is how much is too much meaty food? <Feeding to satiation more than two, three times a week is not a good idea... these animals don't need it, and leads to induced wastes problems> The recommendations in the archives say that as long as water quality is maintained, you can feed quite a lot of food to these creatures.  But we have great water quality thus far and use several brands of test kits religiously every week to check it.  Ammonia, nitrate, nitrite, and phosphate are always zero.   How big should the food pieces be? <What you state is fine> The meat coral looks like he could eat something the size of a chicken wing.  Obviously that would be too big.  I am thinking more like pea-sized pieces (something just big enough to grab with tongs or fingers). <Smaller>   What about blenderized food?   Do you just make a sea-food smoothie? <Mmm, not suggested... too much liquid, nutrient gets into the water... if finely cut, it's recommended to rinse (in a net, under the sink tap) the food to remove the "juice"> Can you point me to a good recipe? <Likely in the archives under marine food/feeding: http://wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm (linked in blue, at top), or a book by moi, The Conscientious Marine Aquarist> I assume that the finely divided stuff is easier to for the coral to handle, but it kind of takes away from the fun of hand feeding larger pieces of food. Lighting?   We have 2 x 65 watt 10,000K and 2 x 65 watt actinic in a PC hood over a 75-gallon tank.  Is that good enough? <Wattage, intensity-wise, just barely... understand that stony corals have a wide range and good-sized adaptability to deriving their nutrition from photosynthesis and non-photosynthetic sources... other species, the generally-labeled SPS corals as the genus Acropora require more intense lighting... some Dendrophylliids like the genus Tubastrea, hardly any at all> Livestock = 2 Percula Clowns, 2 Banggai (sp?) Cardinals, 1 lawnmower blenny, 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 brittle star, and lots of hermit crabs and snails.  1 Royal Gramma and 1 small I-forgot-what-it-is called neon magenta colored fish (fish guy said it was small, safe, and colorful) in quarantine tank. Tank Stats:75-gallon display40-gallon sump20-gallon refugium90 pounds LR Big Protein Skimmer moderate flow (7 to 8 turnovers per hour in main tank) thanks, Paul and Judy in Kansas <Bob Fenner>

LPS coral troubles Ok folks, short and sweet without too many details (will supply more if needed)...  125 gallon reef (over five years mature) with variety of reef safe swimmers and too many different corals to count (mainly SPS, LPS). Problem:  over the past 3-4 months my LPS corals have been slowly declining, starting with the 2 lobos, then my bubble and now my plate.  Nothing is DYING but everything looks sick. << Well then I would say they are dying.  Just kidding, but that doesn't sound good. >> Some receding tissue, polyps not opening. However, the remainder of the tank is in spectacular health.  My SPS is raging, fish are fine and water quality is within spec. << I would still do a water change. It can't hurt. >> The only solution after investigating source after source was contaminated water from my RO unit (contaminated with what- I have no idea). I purchased a new RO yesterday and in the process of the initial purge so that I can begin using the unit. << I would have thought it was something like old lights or nutrient build up, or excess additives.  It could be RO problems, but I would be watchful of other things. >> Any hints? << Nope, things should go well.  Good luck. >> Tim, The Cell Guy <<  Blundell  >>

LPS coral troubles continued. Thanks, you guys/gals? are quick! << Your welcome. >> I perform frequent water changes (as needed), lights are 6-8 months old. Lets explore this "nutrient buildup".  I have a very active downdraft skimmer and have noticed over the same period of time that it seems to extract more goo than it has in the past. However, nitrate/phosphate seem to be fine. << Well I guess that means it is working. >> I use vita-chem with each feeding as directed.  The only additive that this tank has ever received is Kalkwasser.  Outside of this particular problem, nutrients have been introduced via water change. << I don't think nutrients can be added by water changes.  Well at least not with store mixes.  You can add nutrients by ocean water changes, but not just from water changes.  I wouldn't underestimate how much/many nutrient(s) can be added by feeding your fish/corals.  It is good, don't get me wrong, but if not consumed can lead to problems. >> Thanks again, << Sounds good.  Blundell >> Tim, The Cell Guy

LPS Decline Thanks again. << No problem. >> I will try reducing feeding or at least feed less at one time;  clean skimmer more frequently and do a number of water changes with the new RO. << Good idea, hope it all works for you. >> I will keep you in the loop. Thanks again... Tim, The Cell Guy <<  Blundell  >>

Elegance Hi! <Hello. Graham at your service.>   I have a problem. <Okay.> My elegance, purple tipped, was doing wonderfully until one of my fish started nipping at him.  I removed the fish but the elegance has stayed sucked in in the middle where I saw the fish nip at him.  Now other fish, a yellow tang, has begun to pass by and nip at him.  I fear he will not recover.  I moved him a little higher on the rock as many of my fish do not go there as much.  Is there anything I can do to help him heal?   <If the fish are bothering the elegance, either the coral or fish has to go. Unfortunately, once fish get the taste for the flesh of corals (Especially large polyped scleractinians, such as your elegance), they don't seem to give it up very easily. I can recommend, however, to feed the fish often, preferably small amounts throughout the day. This may stop the fishes urge to feed on the coral. Another point is that Yellow Tangs do not often nip at corals. Is the tang nipping at the fleshy area of the coral, or the skeleton? Secondly, how long does the coral stay "sucked in" after the fish nip at it? How long have you had the coral? Elegance corals are not very hardy, and many have a poor survival rate in captivity if not kept under certain water conditions. Generally, they prefer strong light and high nutrient levels, especially since the majority of elegance corals are being collected from shallow nutrient rich areas.> He's near the top of my 75 gallon tank.  Please help - I do not want to lose him. <I look forward to hearing a response from you. Elegance corals are indeed very beautiful. Take Care, Graham.>

LPS Receding After battling green hair algae for the last year. I transferred all of the corals to a second 55 gal tank with only themselves and killed the lights on the main tank. I did this for about a month, soon the tank with the corals became overran with the same algae so I returned everything to the main tank. . I  finally succeeding somewhat after the inclusion of a UV sterilizer, fixed my calc reactor (bad pump), and replumbed my protein skimmer.. During the time with the corals in the quarantine some of my corals started to do not so good Not sure how the algae was growing as I added no nutrients of any type to the water. I thought I lost my Galaxea but it seems to be coming back  Now that most of the algae has disappeared I have noticed a couple other victims. I have noticed that many of my LPS's have started receding. The patients include a pink tipped elegance and  bi-color frogspawn. The elegance is all puffy and it tentacles have shrunk to about 1/4".The frogspawn looks normal during the day but at night you can see a bit of exposed skeleton around each of the heads. My Trachyphyllia, Favites and Pagoda seem to all be doing OK, but not really growing (I have had the Faviid for over two years and it is only marginally bigger.) My Hydnophora looks good and I wear I can see me Montipora capricornis growing each day. Even my Bubbletip Anenome which I rescued as a little white guy about 3/4" in dia 2 years ago is now 5" fully open and green. My calcium is about 400, alk, 11.2, pH 8.3 Sal 1.022 (got low due to skimmer overrun last night.), Phos, nitrates, nitrites, ammo all unreadable.. Any ideas why they may be receding? No real necrotic tissue, just receding. I have been running lower light levels to counter the algae.. << There is your answer.  I never cut back my lighting.  In fact, I can't ever get enough.  I would certainly keep the lighting up as corals are so heavily dependent upon it for proper health. >> I would really like to save them I have had bot for well over a year. << I would increase skimming, and water changes, to help combat the algae.  Hopefully the increased lighting won't cause an algal bloom.  Also, hermits and snails are very helpful here. >> -Jerry <<  Adam Blundell  >>

LPS/Polyps Light Requirements I have a 26 Gal. Bowfront Reef.(24"Lx15"Dx24"H)(Well trying at least) It has an EcoSystem 100M Refugium (24Lx8Wx8H) mounted above with gravity fed return. <Hello! Ryan Bowen assisting you today> 2 MaxiJet 1200's (opposing of course) . About 30-40 LBS. of live rock, and a 4" sand bed. Turboflotor 1000 Multi H.O.T. Cool Works Ice Probe mounted in Refugium along with Hanna pH and Temp monitor, Pinpoint Sal/SG monitor, heater etc.) AquaSpacelight Mini 150 Watt MH with AB 10K Bulb---was thinking of switching to 20K Radium..1 strip of L.E.D.s bought at SuperBrightLEDs.com which peak in the 420 range (DIY) work Great!!!!! <Very nice product selection.> 3 rocks with Yellow Polyps,1 Green Star polyp section 4"x6", 1 Moon Coral with half the rock Purple mushrooms (bought in the store like this...so cool!!!) 1 Small Trachyphyllia, 1 frag of pulsing Xenia(white)3 Trees on it, 1 rock with white striped purple mushrooms, 1 frag of Yellow striped mushroom, One Percula Clown, 1 Six-line Wrasse, 10 Red leg hermits, 10 Blue leg hermits, 5 Margarita snails , 15 Turbo Snails, 5 Astrea Snails, 1 Red Star Fish, 1 Baby Brittle Star (came with moon Coral/mushroom rock) 2 Lg Feather dusters. My question is Utilizing the 150 Watt MH in a tank that is 24" High, what would be proper placement of these inhabitants ...where in the water column should they be ? <OK...Here goes: The Assorted polyps (yellow, GSP) are happiest in the top 12 inches of your tank.  The Xenia should be in the same range, and the mushrooms should be below, a few inches off the substrate.  If you see the mushrooms "trumpeting," you should elevate them a few inches.  Trachyphyllia needs an area with moderate light and light constant flow.  In nature, they always occur on a hard substrate.  If the sand bed is the only good place you can find for him, support the underside with a generous amount of rubble rock.>  Also if in the future i wanted to purchase a clam where should it be placed with this set up. <It has been my experience that clams don't do all that well in smaller systems...Often more susceptible to predation/disease.  Ensure that he'll thrive by waiting at least 6 months, and then tailor your setup to whichever of the tropical clams you choose.  Just like corals, they all require unique husbandry.> There isn't too much information out there that discusses where specimens should be placed in the water column utilizing different light. <Aquarium Corals, Borneman is good place to start.> I would also like to purchase a Wellsophyllia and perhaps a brain coral where would these be placed utilizing my lighting system in this depth of water. <Wellsophyllia is a stinger...may molest your other tenants.  I'm not sure which variety of brain coral you prefer, but the entire family is pretty hardy and adaptable.> Any information at all would be greatly appreciated.......I know your time is precious...Thanks a million......<Anytime!  Let's see some pictures> NYC Fireman....Anthony Pastorelli <Best of luck to you! Ryan>

Very strange coral Hi there, Thought you might find this little coral interesting. I was visiting a friend in Charleston over the weekend and came across this in his fossil display case. It's recent though, and he says it's called a "crawling coral". He bought it at a shop and says it was the only one they had, and the only one they ever had. Sorry there's no scale - the disc is about 1.5cm across. Know anything about it? Cheers,
<No... neat and bizarre. Will send around. Bob.F>

- Leather color change & bubble coral help - Hi there, I have a 29 gallon mini reef tank set up with about 20 pounds of live rock and a good thick crushed coral / live sand base.  The water quality is excellent.  The lighting is 165W provided by 3 - 55W power compacts (2 actinic, and 1- 10K). Filtration is by way of a protein skimmer and a hang on the back filter.  Two power heads - in addition to the filter returns - are used for water circulation.  I have two problems that I am unclear of and any advice would be great!   Firstly I have a green finger leather that was a neon green when I purchased it.  I've had it for about 3 months now and although it is growing (has gone from about 4 fingers to approximately a dozen) it has dulled considerably in color.  In fact, it's now a dark green.  It's also shrunk in height (but has gained width).  It's positioned closer to the top of the tank.<It was either a tad bleached when you purchased it, or it is simply increasing it's zooxanthellae concentration in it's tissues because of your lighting.> My questions about this coral are:  Is this color change normal?  Are they some how artificially "dipped" before sale to give them the neon glow?  My pet store advised me that this may happen, but was unsure.  It's a shame the color has left this animal as it was a beautiful piece when I purchased it. <Almost any coral you put into your tank will go through a color change to some extent. I would suspect that it would retain a lighter color under metal halide lighting.> Secondly I have a large pearl bubble coral with 5 "heads".  When I purchased this coral all "heads" were alive, although not fully inflated.  Since I have placed it in my tank only one of the heads has inflated fully.  Two of the remaining 4 struggle, and the other two appear dead.  My main concern is that the stalk has changed from primarily white with some coralline algae to  a dirty green.  There does not appear to be algae growing on the outside of the stalk - more so the color is within the tissue of the animal itself.  This color change now appears to be moving higher on the stalk and is entering the head regions. <Simply algae colonizing the most valued real estate on the reef: exposed coral skeleton.> What exactly is this?  Is it a disease that can be easily treated and cured?  I'd rather keep at least one of the polyps alive and not lose the entire coral if possible. <It's not a disease, just algae doing what algae does. Good luck! -Kevin>  Any help you could provide would be fantastic.  Thank you.

LPS alert - 2/8/03 Hey Gang, <Hey Scott.> How ya be? <I be Paul, and doin' good> Well, I trust! <Well as can be> I picked this coral up today for $28, it's about 4"x3" with intense green colors.<Looks like a Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. A very beautiful and hardy LPS coral after proper acclimation and a regular feeding regime of 3 days a week minimum or more if needed. More never hurts in my book. <if it will take it)> I placed it about 8" from the 65 watt pc lights. Is there any quirks associated with this kind of animal? <Oh? You didn't check its needs and requirements before purchasing? I guess can't always have the foresight being that these corals are soooo beautiful. <G> Here are some links to start you studying': http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm I would recommend placement on the substrate away from rocks (it will inflate) and being that it will readily accept foods (fine chopped meaty foods i.e. Mysid shrimp of the frozen variety, other frozen planktonic foods (krill) et al) I would feed it at least every other day. A good idea to keep other corals from touching this beauty as well. I think you find a great deal of information about this coral in the link above. Quite a bit is known about this species of coral. Even breeding in captivity is being discovered. Do wish you good luck. Search everywhere and anywhere you can!> The other corals are a toadstool leather, various 'shrooms,  finger coral & a Kenya tree. Will the new arrival have a problem in a "soft coral" tank? <With the corals listed? Probably not, but in any case give room where you can between corals.> Thanks for the help. Scott in Denver <My pleasure. Keep in touch. A nice addition indeed, Scott>

LPS alert 2 - 2/8/03 Thanks for the info, Paul. <It is truly my pleasure, Scott> I just moved the new piece onto the substrate before I checked the email! <Very glad to here that. Abrasions equal doom for most of the Open Brain species> Your right I should've done some homework on this type of coral, but, as you said- it's to cool. < So hard when in store and you see something that is a must have. Just don't want to have to walk away with the possibility of it not being there tomorrow. Even with good intentions though, better to give it the best chance it could have by doing a little research. I applaud the fact that you did find us and seek our assistance. A first step at research and responsibility.> I wasn't gonna buy anything, just went to "check" out the store..& next thing I know I'm taking it outta the store! <Totally understand, and by the way, that is how I ended working here. One step at a time, next thing you know your knowledge is being put to the test for all to see and either benefit from or criticize. Very scary but an honor just the same! Keep researching and learn all you can, Scott. I applaud your efforts> Thanks for the info!!                                                        Scott   <Any time!>

Re: help! I'm worried about future LPS corals! Hi WWM crew? How's it going? <Pretty good so far> Okay, I have 4 40 watt NO bulbs over my 40 gallon long. It's 15 inches deep. That's 4 watts per gallon. BUT I have them in a shop light (looks pretty lab. like I think) but that light hangs 7 inches above the tank rim and lights up the whole room. Will this affect the light INSIDE the tank? I know I can keep all softies, but can I keep LPS with this setup? and which ones can I keep? Can you give me a full list? That 7 inches has me worried... <Hi Clint, You can keep almost anything under NO light if the light is close enough and the water shallow enough, but that is hard to do in a display aquarium. A thicker substrate (DSB) and live rock can help you place corals closer to the light. HO, VHO or PC lighting would be a good idea (along with good full coverage reflectors in any case) if you want more light demanding corals like LPS, or placement as close to the NO lights as practical. Check out the lighting pages at WetWebMedia.Com under marine set-ups for more info on lighting.  Have fun!  Craig>

Feeding Corals Please be sure that you are feeding all of these LPS almost daily or they starve very slowly over time (and swell while panning for light in the meantime making you think they are growing!).<< I never used to do this, but after reading on the WWM site, I began feeding about a month ago.   <excellent!> Twice a week (probably should be more often, <agreed> but it's a pain :)), <understood...hence the need and importance for upstream fishless refugia to culture natural live plankton> I mince up krill, and add some zooplankton bought at LFS (looks like caviar :)).  Mix in some tank water, and I'm ready to go. <very fine> However, the method is the problem: I generally do it just after the actinic "dawn" lights come on, <Doh! When the plankton feeding corals have begun to retract their modified feeding tentacles from the night before!> and I turn off the powerheads and pumps, except for the one coming from the sump to keep the overflow going.  I then take a turkey baster and try to "baste" them; for example, place the food on the bubbles in the bubble coral.  I have no idea if it's working well or not, though.   <frozen food should be thawed, drained of pack juice and then put into a bit of tank water so the slurry doesn't shock the coral. You will see then food being stung by the tentacles of the tentacles are still out> It seems like there's a lot of waste, and the little remaining current in the tank seems like it sweeps food away before the corals (bubble, hammer, frogspawn, polyps, mushrooms, etc.) have a chance to grab it.  In addition, the fish and shrimp/crab grab whatever they can. <perhaps feeding a bit too much... corals don't need much... just regularly> Is there a better way to do this?   <yep... a refugium above your tank growing your own live pods naturally> I looked through the FAQ and your article on feeding, but I couldn't find a description of methodology (aside from the recommendation about a turkey baster, which I'm trying to use). Thanks...Arthur <Many variations on this theme. Best regards, Anthony>

I Yam what I Yam...so sayeth the POPEYE Greetings Mr. Fenner and crew.... <ahhh... crew member Anthony Calfo here... AKA Antoine... AKA the Marine Nazi... AKA Joey Bag O' Donuts... and once, only once... AKA Shirley> I've got a habit of purchasing the LFS misfits and trying to save them... <do you mean badly behaved store employees? That is cool. I want my own indentured slaves too.> examples are dying/receding brain coral, hammer coral, frogspawn coral, bubble coral, fox coral, and Candycane corals...They are all doing well now...some for more than 2 years.  <I am very glad and grateful to hear of your service and empathy. For the benefit of others reading this... do you notice that every one of the corals that you named were Large Polyped Stony corals (LPS)? This is so common and the reason why we strongly recommend that beginners leave hard corals in the stores for at least a year or more until they become more experienced. LPS can be hardy but are easily damaged. Kudos to you again for offering to save them> But I digress :-) Just today I purchased a potters angel to add to my main tank. I got a steal because it has a damaged eye. I've been watching this fish for a while, and it looked like Popeye, but the swelling had reduced and it is really nice and chunky so I bought it for half price.  <the eye is nice and chunky? Hmm... I'm seeing a pattern of misplaced modifiers here or you are one really strange dude <G>> The eye is still whitish, and has a thin film hanging from it, but it looks like the membrane from the swollen period so I wasn't concerned with that.  <sure.... its just a hanging membrane from an eyeball. What's to worry about?!> After acclimating it for appx. 60 minutes (floating and introducing tank water slowly) I released it into my 15g tank (used to QT all new fish before into to the main tank).  <very wise with the QT my friend. Thank you!!! Surely one of the ingredients to your success> The fish appears normal, but the eye seems to have begun swelling again. It looks like it is beginning to slowly bulge from the socket. Could this be from a difference in salinity? <not at all... there is a relapse in the Popeye and the chance of it being a bacterial infection the second time around are quite good. Medicate promptly with a Nitrofurazone and Furazolidone cocktail (like double strength "Fungus Eliminator" from jungle brand. Also add 1 TBN of Epsom salt per 5 gallons. Do this 3 times in 5 days and conduct small daily water changes. No carbon of course> My water params are: no2 = 0 no3 = 0 amm = 0 ph = 8.3 alk = 9 dKH CA = 400 Temp = 79F <all fine> I don't like to use any meds for treatment, and in fact this QT is actually a coral propping tank for me so....any suggestions other than patience?  <I don't like meds either if not necessary but this is a must. Rest assured than Furan drugs are effective in solution less than 6 hours> Personally I have had one eyed fish before, and it doesn't bother ME...but I'd hate to be able to do something and not because I didn't know. By the way...I did look over the FAQ on this subject, and wasn't going to email but it seems to be getting worse over the last several hours. <agreed and thank you> Thanks in advance for your assistance. By the way...I was ticked because you (Bob) came to my local reefers club in Sacramento in June but that was the ONE meeting I couldn't make it to. It was my anniversary and the wifey wanted to go to Reno...bummer. <you missed a two fer... I visited too :) from Pittsburgh. You could have enjoyed my wise cracks in person :p I hope you had a lovely anniversary.> Jason <with kind regards, Anthony>

A Question of Lighting Follow-up I have 2 leather corals, 1 colt coral, 1 pagoda coral and 1 flowerpot coral. I would like to add some button polyps of some sort in the future and whatever else that is for beginner coral keepers. <Sorry to be the one to tell you, but the flowerpot (Goniopora) is not a beginner coral and almost always dies. See if you cannot find a copy of Eric Borneman's "Practical Guide to Corals for the Reef Aquarium". You might want to check out Amazon.com and http://www.championlighting.com/ It is a great book for beginners. Now on to your lighting question. The corals listed are fairly lighting tolerant. If you add a 3 foot fixture with a 96 watt PC lamp, you should be good to go. If you build a canopy, I would add another 110 watts. That way you have all the same size lamps, 55 watt PC. -Steven Pro>

Canister filter Hi Bob, I hope you have been well? <Yes my friend> It has been a while now, and I have a few more questions for you. There is some quick background on http://www.cia.com.au/winone. My soft corals are doing very well with the florescent lights, but my LPS corals are slowly disappearing. <Hmm> Since this has happened I have put 8 x 3 foot Coralife fluorescent lights under the hood + reflectors. 4 are blue and 4 are white. There is about 210 watts + reflectors of fluorescent lights, but it has only been a week, so I do not know if this was the problem. <Or salvation> I was thinking that there was not enough lighting and maybe that is the reason the LPS corals are slowing disappearing. What do you think? <Could be a lack of biomineral (calcium, magnesium), an imbalance of these elements, inadequate alkalinity, a paucity of carbon dioxide during the day, predators, negative chemical interactions with other stinging-celled life... many other possibilities> I was also wondering if using tap water could also cause this problem with the LPS corals? <Yes... if there is too much of some materials... have you had a report from your water supplier about contents? Do you mix and let your water store for a good period of time? Here is my protocol: http://wetwebmedia.com/seawater.htm> I already use Marine environment dual phase salt, so I think the salt is not the problem. I have tested my water and all looks well. <Perhaps worthwhile to try another synthetic brand for a while as an experiment though> I was also wondering if I can remove my canister filter from the system? <Should be okay> I have also been running the tank without the UV light. I removed the UV light 4+ months ago. This would leave the Turboflotor as the only filter on the system. Will this be okay? <Try it out...> I need the room under the tank to put a chiller there. Warmest regards  -Lucien Cinc <Chat with you soon. Bob Fenner>

Deterioration of a "Pavona coral I believe this is a piece of Pavona <Yes, looks like such... at least a member of the stony coral family Agariciidae> It is unfortunately deteriorating. Can you see its left side is rapidly eating away the good parts, is it some kind of bacteria or else? <Looks... bizarre... like something out of a science/terror movie... "The Cotton Candy Monster that ate my Tank!" does it need extra nutrients, at the moment, it is very near under 2X 150w 10K metal halide + 2 actinics, in a quite strong current. current is blowing from the right (pic) which could explain why that side is intact. Let me know what you think. * I have read somewhere that some corals are very sensitive to salinity changes and causes them to be killed by their own toxins.* <Hmm, a qualified yes... many things can/may trigger such mitochondrial rapid death problems...> Thanks in advance Bob. Stefi/London <This specimen is in such a dire-appearing situation that I propose an overt action here. I would carefully prepare a dip of the system sea water diluted by four or five thousandths (with clean freshwater) and a dose of malachite green (freshwater aquarium "ich" medicine) added and the Pavona colony placed in this for five minutes, then placed in a dip of intermediate specific gravity (a couple of thousandths between the main system and the malachite dip) and ten times the dosage of what iodine/iodide solution you can get your hands on for ten minutes... then the specimen to be returned to another system entirely if you have one, or about the same place, orientation in the current system... Then wait, for about three days, and get back to me about how this specimen looks... if the "cotton candy" has changed in what ways. Bob Fenner>

Goniopora Hi, my local aquarium store has a 2.5 to 3" Goniopora that I've got my eye on. after reading and asking around I'm a little skeptical tho. word is that they only live 6 to 12 months in the home aquarium. is this true? if so I don't think it would be a real good investment. also what are you opinions on the Euphyllia species (i.e.. torch corals) thanks, would really appreciate your help. <Your reports are way too optimistic... the vast majority of Flower Pot Corals, Goniopora, don't live more than a month. Do instead look into the much more appropriate Euphyllias... I have a write up and some images on the genus, the family (Caryophylliidae) posted on the site: www.wetwebmedia.com And thank you for caring enough to investigate the life you intend to keep ahead of its purchase. Bob Fenner>

Goniopora poisonous? Please tell me that I have misunderstood the below Q & A. I recently bought my first coral and you guessed it, it is a "Flower Pot". I have never heard of any coral that was poisonous, could you please explain what you meant. Also, what if any additives does this coral require to thrive? Thank you for your information, Jody Sawyer <Sorry for the lack of clarity. Not poisonous per se, but in the course of its passing this coral (and others) definitely pose the risk of poisoning their tankmates with the consequences of their dying, dissolving.> Re: problem with reef I bought the flower pot a month ago and it died within 24 hours and 2 days ago I bought the anchor and 2inch maxima and as soon as I put the anchor coral in my tank a white secretion came out of it and I just bought the protein skimmer 2 days ago along with the coral and clam thanks, David, P.S, what can I do to make this tank better <Really, mainly time should be allowed to go by... with water changes and stability brought about by your skimmer, live rock... you should be able to resume your stocking plan. At this point, you're best taking a wait and see approach... and not adding any more livestock for a few weeks. Bob Fenner> >> Time... and timing... The Goniopora (Flower Pot Coral)) no doubt poisoned the next couple of animals... and you're dollar foolish and late with the skimmer... Wait, read, have patience... take a gander at the materials stored on my website... www.wetwebmedia.com... for insights into system set-up, livestock selection... environmental disease, toxic tank conditions... Bob Fenner

Brain Coral question Hello, I have a question about Brain corals. I have 2 brain corals in my tank and both seem to be having problems. I am seeing white on both of them but I am not sure why. One (Symphyllia Brain?) has white on the bottom moving up and taking over its bright green color and the other (I believe it is a Lobophyllia Brain, Red) has white coming on the top inside edges. Do you have any hints as to what I should look for? One is high in the tank and one is on a small rock placed on top of the gravel. I have a 180 with 400 watts of power compacts, my water tests are all good. A little nitrate (below 5) before my last water change 2 weeks ago. All my polyps, frogspawn, torch, leathers and mushrooms are doing great. Even my Daisy coral seems to be doing OK (although it seems to have lost some of its color). I am new to corals and am not sure where to start looking. Thanks for you help, Katherin >> Hmm, well stated (at least I understand!) situation... The general categories of likely cause... 1) Too low, phase shifted light... Check your lamps age... if you suspect they're still within active dates... moving the specimens closer to the surface, possibly using some activated carbon (this really improves light transmission) may reverse the observed trend. 2) Nutritional deficiency... do you feed your Brain Corals? Faviids and Mussids do eat macro foods... usually at night... you might supplement the food (Selcon sorts...)... 3) Biomineral/alkalinity anomalies... Dead Sea effects and mal-interactions from the usual pouring in of additives... should at least be coupled with dilution techniques of water changes to keep water chemistry "re-drifting" back to "near seawater" conditions... checked with test kits... adjusted by stopping supplementing, changing water out... 4) Negative interactions with other stinging celled life... placement, water changes, periodic use of activated carbon, cleaning your skimmer's collection cup, contact chamber, infusion pieces... 5) Very rare in captivity, but outright bacterial, parasitic problems... some dipping procedures w/wo additives, moving to more propitious settings (like other systems...), removal of causative organisms... Does any of this ring a bell so to speak? Bob Fenner

Cup coral Hi Bob, I'm interested in purchasing what my LFS referred to as a 'cup  coral'. It resembles the picture of the Turbinaria, Pagoda Coral on  FFExpress, but had more of a baseball mitt shape.  <Likely so> I am having trouble  finding any information re: this species. I currently have 2 55wt PC in a 26  gallon reef. Tank has an anchor coral, leather toadstool, trumpet coral,  blue sponge, green striped mushrooms, colt coral, deresa clam, plate coral,  and various reef safe fish.  Is this species generally hardy?  <About middling> I was thinking placing the specimen in  bright light with moderate current, your thoughts?  <Right about right> Any special feeding needs?  (I currently use Kent Micro-Vert very sparingly twice a week.) <I'd feed it... some folks don't... relying on??? About twice a week, with recirculating pumps turned off temporarily>  Thanks for your help, and hope you have a good weekend. Brian >> And life. Bob Fenner

Re: Cup coral Hi Bob, A couple of quick questions for you. Last week I purchased a cup coral  (Turbinaria, Pagoda) and placed it in my 26 gallon reef. I moved a blue  sponge from one side of the tank to another (at the bottom of the tank with a  powerhead in it's direction) , and put the cup in. The next morning the blue  sponge was almost completely grey. Thinking there was too much water flow I  again moved it to an area of less flow, still in bright light. Well when I  got home last night the sponge still looked mostly grey so I removed it, and  my cleaner shrimp was dead. Before this he looked healthy, molting almost  every week. (That speed of molting is healthy correct?) When I fed my  livestock last night my Banggai cardinal and black-cap Basslet did not eat.  <This molting rate is high... even small individuals, optimum conditions every few weeks is about right...> My thinking is there was some sort of chemical interaction from the sponge on  being moved? Possible irritating the fish and killing the shrimp? <Yes... I suspect the sponge "didn't like being moved"... and moving it again was too much... The shrimp loss may/may not be related> Regarding the cup coral, the polyps have not fully extended yet, although I  can see them start to come out. (small yellowish/grayish tentacles) the  coral still has it's pinkish color and a portion of the open area has started  turning a shade or three lighter (towards yellow) is this ok? Maybe  returning to it's normal coloration in response to my 2 55 watt PC's or is  this a sign of degradation? <Probably okay... give it time... don't move it> My system parameters are good: Alk = 3 millieq. L, pH = 8.3, S.g. 1.026, temp  = 81 F, Phosphate = .1, calcium = 400, nitrate = < 10, ammonia = 0. Thanks as per usual. Brian >> <You're welcome as usual, Bob Fenner>

I just purchased an orange sun coral and was told to keep it in a low light  area on bottom of tank. preferably in a cave or under rock is this  true and can you tell me anything else about it. I have had it two days and  it has not opened completely yet thanks, Steve >> Tubastrea... you might want to confirm this by looking at the images on ffexpress.com... are generally found in low(er) lighted to shaded conditions in the wild. These are not easy animals to keep... most die within days to a few weeks of collection... generally require a "vertical substrate" (i.e. not laying on the bottom as you state you were advised), require high circulation, zooplankton feeding (at night when the animal is "open"...)... with the particulate filtration off for the feeding interval... Need to be fed often (a few times nightly is best...) in order to be/stay open/alive. Bob Fenner

Pink film on False Brain Coral I have had a metallic green false brain coral and it was doing fine for around four months and then all of a sudden this pink film started to grow on the coral.. Now this pink film is covering a majority of the coral and some of the coral appears like it is beginning to die... What is it and how do I get rid of it... Thanks... >> The pink film may well be a bacterial, fungal or mixed growth... and you do want to get rid of it. I would encourage you first to check your systems water quality and effect a large water change. Check your lighting, circulation, possible ill-effects from mixing "additives". And I'd remove and lower specific gravity, iodine and simple sugar (dextrose/glucose, 1 tsp. per gallon) dip the animal for ten minutes or so. If you have another reef system to move it to, do so after the dip. Something in the existing system is too much or too little for it. Bob Fenner

Green Favia Brain Bob, I have a 125 gallon tank, and have successfully kept soft corals for 4  years. I have VHO lighting, strong water movement and change 10 gallons of  water weekly. This is my second attempt at keeping a Favia closed brain, can  you give me any suggestions on keeping these corals? How much lighting,  current, feeding, placement, etc? THANKS!  >> Hmm, let's see... for a brief rundown:  Keep your specimen away from other corals... Favias can have very long sweeper tentacles... They like medium to strong lighting and circulation... Need to know more about your background... and system to give "specifics" on what these might be quantitatively. Feeding? Some folks do "blast" their Favias with meaty squirts of material a couple of times a week... most don't feed them purposely at all. Placement... once again, depends mainly on your lighting... higher up in the water column (with eight inches around it with no other stingable life)... if your lighting is low-intensity. Bob Fenner, who needs to get he and Walt Smiths coral husbandry book in print ASAP

that's amazing. I envy you; 3k just for personal experimentation? I wish I could talk my parents into that one. Or even a couple polypropylene tanks self plumbed. They won't even let me set up a 33 gallon. I guess because of college in a few years. Oh well. anyway, my closed pineapple brain has something wrong and a haven't been able to get a diagnosis or prognosis. all my other stonies are thriving (even the Montipora). every couple of days I'll notice a little bit more dead tissue and skeleton around the base of the coral. water is perfect. everything is zero, nitrate well<10. The top area is thriving. but the die-off keeps creeping ever slowly upwards. its not even bleaching and there's no black band. please help, this is my fave coral thanks - Chris >> <<Hmm, your favorite Faviid? No other tank to move it to? How about trying to move it to a place with more circulation? Away from other corals... Bob Fenner

Flower Pot ok, I have a 75 gal...reef I have had it for 6 months , I recently set it up off of a 80 gallon that I have had for 3 yrs ,..... everything in the tank consists of 0 phosphates , 0 nitrates, 430 calcium , and distilled h20 , ok, question sometimes the flower pot does not come out fully, other times it does , why, I had it all over the tank on rocks , it did good there , but was so gel that it was touching other animals , so I was wondering do these type of animals like it in the sand ??? thank you , Chad >> I hope I understand what you're getting at... You have a Flowerpot Coral (Goniopora sp.), It was doing fine in another tank, and since it was moved is not opening all the time... Probably the first tank had a better mix of nutrients... coming from... the water, live rock... Flowerpots are not easy to keep by and large... most dying within a few weeks of captivity... and in the wild, they live in more polluted, silty settings than many aquarists realize or provide... And they don't live in the sand. Bob Fenner

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