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FAQs about Mussid Coral Behavior

Related Articles: Mussid Corals

Related FAQs: Mussid FAQs 1, Mussid FAQs 2, Mussid Identification, Mussid Compatibility, Mussid Selection, Mussid Disease, Mussid Systems, Mussid Feeding, Mussid Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef Corals Stony Coral Behavior,

Mussid beh.       3/13/14
Hello WWM,
I trust you are well. I have been asking around for help to try and ID this coral I purchased a few months back but can't seem to get a definitive answer, I turn to you today with the hope that you can help me solve this mystery. Its tentacles are often out but I am unsure if this is a feeding response or if it is chemically sensing the small Rhodactis (forgive my spelling) near by.
<Ah yes... these are mesenteric (sometimes labeled mesenterial) filaments... Reaching out... "to touch someone" in a non-friendly manner>
Regardless of this what I find fascinating about this coral, aside its mysterious nature of not knowing what it is, is the fact that the tentacles that are stretched out seem to sporadically lift themselves up and "jiggle".
I can assure you that this is independent from currents in my aquarium, in fact to make sure of this I turned all my pumps and filters off and allowed my water to settle for several minuets before attentively looking at the tentacles.
Together with the attached picture I am providing you with a link to YouTube of a sort video showing said phenomenon. I had no idea corals could do this....
Kind regards
<And you; Bob Fenner>

Re: re: Fwd:   Mussid beh. f' What WWM is/not      3/13/14
Sooooo.... Do you have an ID for me? Brain coral?
<...? See WWM re Mussids. B> 

ID; Mussid beh. f'       4/23/13
Hi Crew, I haven't bothered you for a while. Attached are pictures of a Lobophelia (I Think).
<Does appear to be a member of the genus Lobophyllia>
The first is when lights were on and the second when off. The section on the right is very open at night with feelers lining the opening. So is it a Lobo?
<Yes and yes>
 I used to have a very different one that was oval and the inner part was blue and the outer part red and I never saw any feelers. Thanks, Sam
<... most stony corals feed principally during the night... when there's more food items about, and less predators that might attack/consume their soft parts while exposed... Many species, specimens can be/are trained to "open" during the light hours in captivity... Understanzee? Bob Fenner>

Cynarina question, growth beh.  6/2/12
Hi Crew,
<Hi Sam>
I have a 24 gallon AquaPod with LED lighting. I have six Acan colonies (10-50 heads), one candycane (25 heads), Two Trachyphyllia (geoffrey and radiata) 4-6 inches, 1 torch (2"), 1 hammer(3") and frogspawn(4"), a Lobophyllia (3") and a Cynarina. The Anthelia are the losers so far. Every few months I lose a head. But what is there is very nice and full. I have most of these over 2 years at least. A year ago I changed from T5 to LED.
The Acans really started growing many new heads as did my Blasto wellsly (10 heads), which I forgot to mention. My question is about the Cynarina.
It is green with a reddish brown center. When I got it and until I changed my lighting it was very symmetrical. Now the lobes are very large like balloons with many different shapes all going in different directions. I have tried moving it but basically it stays the same. Looks much nicer when symmetrical.
<One unique feature about this coral is its chameleon like ability which enables it to change color and appearance due to changing environmental or water conditions.  In your case, your lighting has changed.>
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Acan Coral Budding behavior   3/17/12
Hello All, I have searched your site and others like it and have been unable to find an answer to my question.?
<Have you?>
 I recently acquired a Acan frag from my LFS, when introduced to my tank it looked great.?
<Did it or not?>
My water Param.s are nitrates 0, nitrites 0, phoshates;.2, ammonia 0, calcium 500,
<Too high, and this and all other photosynthates need measurable NO3 and HPO4...>

 temp 80, ph 8.1, Alk 13. It is a 29 gal tank with 25 lbs live rock and Caribbean live sand.?
<What's w/ the ???>
 I do 20% water changes weekly.? I had a hair algae outbreak a while back and my Acan closed up, I got everything taken care of, reduced feedings and lowered photoperiod as well as scrubbed the LR in a old tank water bath.?
Did a 50% water change and all has been great since then.? My Acan, Bubble,
<Likely the allelopathogenic winner here... the Acanthastrea losing>

 Sun corals are loving it as well as my polyps and mushrooms.?
<These too>

 When the Acan reopened there were two new heads on it, needless to say I was overjoyed.?
<Mmm, I wouldn't be... too likely "stress-related"...>

Now, its partially closed and I am very nervous again.? Is it closing up a part of its budding process or is this just a coincidence?? Any help you can give will be appreciated, your website is very informative.?Thank you for all you do.
<... See/read on WWM re the above issues... soluble nutrients, Cnidarian allelopathy. Short/est answer; If I had another established system, I'd be moving this Mussid. Bob Fenner>

Dented brain behavior   8/18/11
Hi I have an odd question. I have a dented brain coral in my reef tank. All parameters are good. Lately I've noticed that at night the dented brains mesenterial filaments come out at night and at night only.
<Normal behavior... fighting for space, foods>
But during the day hours he's opened and puffy. Nothing has changed in the tank or moved around. The coral just started to do this this week and like I said its only at night. What would cause this and why only at night and not during the day.
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/CorlCompArt.htm
and the linked files above, part. for Mussids. Bob Fenner>

Scolymia, Hlth., reading    2/15/11
<... where is your grammar Dan?>
dear crew
i received a scolymia about 2 months ago. when i got it , it was about 12inch in diameter when full expanded.
a couple of days ago it started to retract . it now only covers its hard skeleton. i did a water change once i noticed it retracting, and i'm in the process of doing another one. all my other corals LPS
<These are likely at play.... Allelopathy>
and Clam are doing fine, fish as well. here are my parameters,
Ca 420
ALk 177 ppm
Mg 1300
1.025 salinty
NO3 - 0
<Need some>
PO4 -.05
any thought on whats going on or how to fix the problem? is it normal for a scolymia to through cycles of expanding and retracting during the day?
thanks in advance
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/MussidDisF4.htm 
and the linked files above, and: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and... Bob Fenner>
Re: Scolymia- 2/16/11

Thank you for the information. If it is chemical warfare that is causing the Scolymia to retract which one of these corals is a possible culprit?
Favia, Xenia, Ricordea, pink BTA, green BTA, frog spawn, various Zoanthids.
Other then running carbon filtration, doing water changes and removing the suspect coral is there anything else I can do?
<... read where you were referred to. The best would be to remove the Mussid to another system, "condition" it to the presence of the other Cnidarians through partial water changes for weeks>
I don't think it could be the Zoanthids as most of them came from the same tank as the Scolymia.
Any help would greatly be appreciated,
with thanks
<Keep reading. BobF>
Re: Scolymia- 2/16/11
oh yeah I also have some green star polyps
<... also high on the "noxious" list. B>

Rainbow Acans Losing Color   6/28/10
I picked up some freshly fragged rainbow style Acans a while ago. They were placed into my Nano tank while my 180 was prepped. The lighting consisted of a 150 MH and two 460 Actinic bulbs. The Acans were placed on
the bottom with a total of 24" between the corals and the light. They were in there for roughly three weeks before being moved to the 180. During this period, I expected the coloring to be evident, however the corals just began
to turn a dark orange. The corals were growing, multiplying and eating, however the rainbow color was basically gone. I moved the corals last week into the 180 and placed them on the bottom of the tank. They're eating like
normal and appear to be fine but I would like for their original rainbow coloring to return. The lighting for this tank consists of 250 MH's (20k) and 420 Actinics. From the light to the Acans in this tank is 36."
<A long way... do you have a PAR meter, or can you borrow one to test how much useful light there is where these frags are?>
Now with various reading across the internet, I've gathered that too much light will cause Acans to lose their coloring via darkening.
<Can... but the fragging itself, move to different circulation, many aspects of water quality and other factors could account for what you've observed>
I have a Bleeding Apple Scoly however that has thrived in both environments without any darkening or bleaching issues. (Different corals, but I was thinking it would apply for most LPS across the board) My questions are these:
1. Will the additional 12" be enough to offset the light intensity issue I faced in the Nano tank or is this negated by the extra 100 watts from the MH?
<Likely so... but I'd test for (PAR meter)... You want/need a reading of at least 100>
2. I've read about shading the rainbow style Acans via an overhang. I have a few areas in the tank that have these overhangs, but placement under them means the coral is completely shaded. Logic would tell me that this would
eliminate the ability for the coral to complete photosynthesis. Is this correct or would placing the Acans in the shade just mean they would take in ambient light for this purpose?
<I would not shade the genus Acanthastrea thus>
Would I need to place the coral half in the light and half out if possible? Also, I'm a bit lost in what the term "indirect light" means.
<Reflection mainly>
3. The lighting system is approximately 12 " from the top of the water. I want to have a mixed reef with SPS and LPS. Is my light too close to the tank?
<It is not... in fact, a foot or so is about ideal for situation of MH fixtures from water surface... for dispersion, allowance for heat dispersion, avoiding splash and spray issues>
Thanks for any help that you can provide.
<Perhaps a read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/MussidDisF4.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Acans/Behavior 5/4/10
Hi crew,
<Hiya Sam>
Lately I have been buying Acans (not sure how to spell the full name).
5 are orange/red with white or blue and one is blue and green. So far I am pleased with them and they seem to like their new environment which is mostly candycanes in a 24 gallon Aquapod plus a Favite and a hammer with 10 heads. They open up like the candycanes after lights are out with their little feeder tentacles. I keep the Favite a distance from the others because when I first got it there were this huge sweeper tentacles like 6 inch spaghetti waving around. I have the Favite a year now and rarely see those sweepers. The Acans have been in my tank for about 3 months and yesterday I saw something for the first time. I first thought the Acan was expelling stuff but when I looked closer it was hair like red threads swaying in the breeze and they were not coming out of the mouths. This Acan has about 20 heads and is about 6-7 inches from another coral and it almost reached it. I assume these were sweeper tentacles but I can't imagine such thin little hairs doing much damage.
<Oh, can do plenty of damage. What you are seeing are mesenterial filaments and can digest organisms within reach, so be careful with placement and distance between other corals.
They should be fed at night since this is when they usually extend their feeder tentacles and/or mesenterial filaments.>
I few weeks ago I asked about the id of a coral. I wasn't sure if it was a Blastomussa wellsi or what. I can now see 3 more heads starting to grow under the one head that I have. When it gets bigger I will take another picture and see if that helps identify it.
<Sounds good.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Cynarina with white bubble   6/22/06 My Cynarina blossoms daily, expanding to more than twice her night time size and looks more like light pink and green tinged bubble coral than many of the pictures that show the central mouth clearly exposed.  I have had her well over a year (initially she did look like the flatter photos) and she seems to have done very well feeding almost exclusively on daily target fed black worms.  I recently (for about 3 weeks now) started feeding frozen Mysis (thawed and enriched) to my seahorses in the same tank but do not directly feed the Cynarina the shrimp.  Yesterday I noticed a strange white "polyp" showing from the center of the other bubbles.  The white bubble has a mouth like opening and two black dots on either side of the opening so that it almost looks like a dead fish head with eyes perpendicular to the mouth. <Neat... might be a "lure"> There is no sign of damaged/torn tissue.   I have read that they don't propagate in aquariums so I assume there is a problem. <Mmm, I wouldn't>    Is this a sign of infection?  What is my best course of action (if any) to keep her healthy? The attached picture is a nighttime shot that clearly shows the white bubble as it does not deflate at lights out. Thanks! Denise <I would do nothing out of your current regimen here. Bob Fenner>

Question on a (Lobophyllia) brain coral  - 2/21/2006 Hi WWM crew!. I have a question on a Lobophyllia brain coral that i recently purchased. My question is, I've noticed that this coral has small orifices on its polyps ( largest polyp has 4 ). Well some times these orifices will open up and the coral will deflate, then reinflate with in a few minutes. Now is this some sort of water exchange?. <Among other things...> Also when it deflates i can see the skeleton ( spines ) kinda poking through. Is this something i should be concerned about?. <...? No... Mussids do get "fuller" polyps at times, reacting...> Please, any help would be appreciated!. Oh and one final thing. Love your web site, always have, always will!. Roger. <Bob Fenner> Scolymia  I have a Scolymia in my 29 gallon reef aquarium. I have had him for about five months, and he doesn't seem to be acting like he used to. I feed him frozen krill. His mouth opens up when he is hungry, but lately, he is constantly keeping it open. After I place a creel in his mouth, he does not want to eat it anymore. He looks a lot skinnier in the mouth area than he usually did. He used to be big and plump in the middle. Some additional products I add to the tank is Chromaplex, Zooplex, Iodine, Reef Buster, and PhytoPlex. I also have exceptional lighting (Coralife light). What can be making the Scolymia act the way he has been lately? Also, are there any other helpful hints I may need to know about the Scolymia eating habits. <How large are the krill you're feeding? If you're feeding whole krill, then the animal is probably declining from starvation. Feeding such large portions is unnatural, and is not usually digestible by any Cnidarian. They engulf it, for sure, but expel it later, and acquire virtually nothing from the food item. Feed small minced portions no larger than 1\4" across, and VARY the diet! Try Mysis, prepared foods, scallops, fish, Cyclop-Eeze, etc. Also, soak the food in a HUFA\OMEGA3 supplement such as Selcon> Thank you, <You're welcome, and good luck!> Holly <M. Maddox> 

Do brain Corals poop? Hello Bob, Anthony, whomever has the pleasure of answering this question, <I guess I'm going to be the poop expert today... no different than any other day...hehe> So, I just got my lovely pineapple brain for my tank, and I've notice a curious occurrence, <Blastomussa or Faviid species?> It looks like it poops <they all do if you are feeding meaty foods regularly> every day, the individual colonies seem to take their turns ejecting this long brown stringy stuff,  <if you are not feeding meaty foods and didn't quarantine or acclimate this coral to the new light up a gradient over time (just put it in the top 1/3 of the tank right off the bat...aiee!!!) then you could be looking at a possibly fatal expulsion of zooxanthellae packets (bleaching event)> the coral seems to do it one section at a time. Now, they don't look like they are spawning, and since its been in my tank for only 4 days, I doubt that's what its doing, but I was wondering if this is actually how corals get rid of their waste? Any ideas? Thanks!!! David <I realize in four days that you did not QT or otherwise acclimate this coral to light. If it is Blastomussa wellsi in the top third of the tank, you are bleaching and killing it. It is a true Faviid species it is likely to want the bright light after a gradual acclimation from the stress of import. What kind of light do you have and how long on? MH?...then is likely a bad sign. But if weaker lights, perhaps not. kindly, Anthony>

Re: Do brain Corals poop? Hey, so, I have 32W Power compact, 1/2 daylight, 1/2 actinic, (Sealife Retrofit for my eclipse hood) and a Faviid Brain its in a 25gal tank, and probably 12 in from the top. <not at all too bright...for some Faviids, enough indeed. We can safely rule out bleaching> I'm the same guy with the Yellow polyps and green button polyps, <my apologies David, I didn't recall at first> for the 1st day I had the coral probably 4 inches lower in the tank, and then moved it up a little.  <very good...and can go to the very top eventually if you like under these lights> I've been feeding the tank 1/2-1 cube of frozen mysis shrimp, which I try to mash up a bit, every day, <very good!> and there's a bicolor blenny and firefish goby in the tank. The light are set to about 10 hours on, 14 hours off. no dawn or dusk, <no problem...fine> usually the polyps though take advantage of my large windows and are pointing out toward them in the morning. <too cool... and telling you that you need to set up a greenhouse for coral farming...hehe. Or at least a bay window!> I see the coral putting out its feeder tentacles about twice a day, no bleaching as of yet... So that's what's going on... so do you think it pooping or bleaching? <Without a doubt... related to the legend of why a bear brings a Reader's Digest into the woods <G>> Thanks again Anthony David <my pleasure, goombah. Anthony>

-Scolymia showing teeth!- Dear Bob, <Kevin here in his stead> I have had a Scolymia for about 2 months. It feeds nicely -almost every other day on bits of lancefish nicely soaked in Selcon and Zoë. Originally it didn't have any 'toothy' extensions or they were all entirely  covered by the flesh. I have noticed that now one or two protrude. <Likely from some sort of light damage> It inflates nicely and eats avidly, if slowly -about 25 minutes- what I provide. <That's a good sign> It is in good light, slight water motion and no nasty neighbors that would sting. I was a bit worried that the toothy extensions through the flesh my signal some kind of unhappiness or decay. <The toothy extensions are it's septa which have pierced the flesh somehow, likely from some sort of light trauma. If it does not become infected at the spot where the flesh has torn, it should heal nicely. The only problem with the septa sticking out is the possibility for an encroaching algae to develop and push the tissue back further. Keep an eye out for this.> I like it very much and it is a coral now no longer imported in the UK <Really?! Why is this?> so I am especially keen to see it do well. Am I worrying too much? or is there something wrong? Thanks for all the help on your fab site. <Good luck! -Kevin> Massimo

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