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FAQs about Mussid Coral Foods/Feeding/Nutrition

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Related FAQs: Mussids 1, Mussids 2, Mussid Identification, Mussid Behavior, Mussid Compatibility, Mussid Selection, Mussid Disease, Mussid Systems, 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 CoralsStony Coral Behavior,

Just sharing... Fdg. Cynarina and Ecsenius    8/16/11
Hi Crew,
24 gallon Aquapod with 96w of T5 lighting, live rock and crushed coral bottom.
I got a Cynarina a few weeks ago and put it at the bottom. It was not in the best of shape when it arrived. The flesh seemed to be shrinking off the outer perimeter of the skeleton.
I put it on the bottom but it didn't seem to like it so I put it up in the rock and the septa really expand when lights are on. I can't see the skeleton when it is expanded but after the lights are out you can see that it is not completely covering the outer part. But it is looking better. I fed it last night (chopped up silversides) for the first time. I placed it in the center and it seemed to just sink in. The mouth did not open but the food did go in somewhere.
Also got a Tailspot Blenny a couple months ago. He was not eating and was getting real thin. My other fish are carnivores and he was not eating any of their food and not eating algae from the tank. I thought they are herbivores but Mr. Fenner indicated, in a response, that he should also eat meaty stuff. Someone suggested I try algae wafers which I did and he went straight for it and really fattened up in a very short time. Since then he has also been eating the carnivore food and I see him scraping the glass and rock as well. So I guess it just took him time to get used to his new home.
<Thank you Sam. BobF>

Acanthastrea Feeding Question 11/18/09
Hi Guys
<Hello Jakub>
Thanks for all the help your pages have provided.. Invaluable !
<You're welcome.>
I have a quick question: How soon after obtaining a LPS (acanth lord. and "war coral") should I begin trying to feed them ? The polyps look extended and full after this last week, but I am not sure if blasting it with the
turkey baster so soon after placing it in the tank (jk about blasting) will adversely affect its acclimation. I know that when I try to acclimate to my relatives home during the holidays, the last thing I want is someone
trying to force feed me the minute I step through the door !
<No harm in trying to feed the coral now. A short item here for your reading. http://www.asira.org/acanthastrea. Sara, one of our crew members, is the editor of this site.>
Thanks for any advice you can give !
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Blastomussa merleti health  10/25/07 Cheers Crew. <good morning> Someone was breaking down a tank and gave me a small (5 or so polyps) Blastomussa Merleti frag. The polyps were very full when I got it. Since adding it to my tank after quarantine, however, it is not faring so well, as the polyps are not nearly as full and portions of the skeleton/cup are visible. <What kind of system was it in before you got it? i.e. what lighting was it previously under?> I have a 110g display with a 30g fuge (4-5" DSB, Chaeto and LR) and 85lbs of LR. Lighting is six 54W T5 HO (4 10000Ks and 2 460nm actinics). Mechanical filtration is a wet-dry trickle filter and a Coral Life Super Skimmer. I run carbon in the sump that I change out every 4 weeks. Flow is via a Little Giant 1345 gph return pump, 2 MaxiJet 1200s, 1 MaxiJet 900 and one cheapo low-flow powerhead that I threw in for good measure. <This is still probably not quite enough water flow for a 110g reef tank. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/circmarart.htm and if you have the time/interest... http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/1/aafeature> Livestock is a Sailfin Tang (I know . . .), Gold Stripe Maroon Clown and BTA, Royal Gramma, Brown Comb Tooth Blenny, Yellow Canary Wrasse, Filament Flasher Wrasse, a Citron Goby, 2 Cleaner Shrimps, a Sally Lightfoot, 2 unknown tree corals, a Lemnalia tree coral, two small groups of Pulsing Xenia, 6 Green Hairy Mushrooms, 5 red shrooms, 2 Ricordea shrooms, and 4 unknown shrooms. I use RO/DI for top-off and water changes (10% per week). I dose with B-Ionic 2-part calcium/buffer as needed with testing and Kent iodine one per week with water changes. <No more iodine. Or, please at least test the iodine levels in your tank first. For some further reading on iodine: http://advancedaquarist.com/issues/mar2003/chem.htm> Water parameters are: ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate (SeaChem) all 0ppm, phosphate (Salifert) 0ppm, calcium (Red Sea) 400, pH (SeaChem) 8.3, SPG is 1.024-1.025, alk (SeaChem) is 3.5-4 meq/L, and temp is 78-80. Based on these readings and a ton of Coralline Algae on my LR and glass, I believe that my water quality is excellent. <::sigh:: Well, I will agree that the results of your test kits do not raise any alarms.> I've read that Blasto Merleti like low flow and low to moderate lighting, so I figured that my T5 setup would be acceptable. Initially, I placed the coral in the lower portion of my tank but have since moved it to the upper third to see if the increased lighting might help. I have seen nominal improvement. I have also read that supplemental feeding is not required, as this coral is primarily a photosynthetic feeder, but I've also read that target feeding with Mysis is not discouraged either. <Hmmm, where did you read that they are "primarily a photosynthetic feeder"? I would have to disagree with that. Yes, these corals can be slowly acclimated to tolerate intense light. However, usually coming from mid-level waters, they prefer less light (or indirect light). They extend extensive feeding tentacles at night and have strong prey capture ability. As a side note, the phrase "photosynthetic feeder" makes no sense. Animals do not feed photosynthetically. If they are photosynthetic, they convert light energy into chemical energy and store it in the form of ATP. Feeding is when an animal metabolizes organic matter from another organism. An animal can't "feed" on sunlight.> I've tried to target feed the coral, but it doesn't seem to eat the food. I target feed whole Cyclop-eeze to my tree corals, so I would think that some of the free floating particles are available for the Blasto Merleti for what that's worth. <When did you attempt to target feed the coral? If you tried to feed it during the day, this might explain why you didn't have much luck. You should try feeding the coral a few hours after lights out. It might not start feeding right away, but if you're consistent, it should start to respond in a few days or weeks. Please see here for some coral feeding tips: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm> Any ideas on what might be going on or what I can do to improve this coral's health? <My guess is that the coral is stressed and/or starving. I would move it slowly back down from the light and start trying to target feed it at night.> The only thing I can think of other than that maybe my lighting is not sufficient is that it is positioned near my Green Hairy Mushrooms, but not right on top of them or anything. When it was in the bottom of my tank, it was not near any shrooms. <It is a good idea to keep it away from the mushroom corals. Though they might not kill the B. merleti, they'll compete with it for space as they grow.> As always, I appreciate your help. Andy <My pleasure, Sara M.>

Re: Blasto Merleti... fdg.  10/25/07 Dear Sara, Sorry--"I've read that they feed primarily through photosynthesis." I hope that makes more sense to the scientists among you--It is clear from your response that you understood what this fledgling was attempting to say. <Yes, I do understand what you're trying to say. If you'd like to say what you want to say correctly, saying "I've read that they obtain most their energy needs through photosynthesis" would be more accurate. :-) > I did take biology in 9th grade, but it's been 20 years so I am sometimes not as accurate as I should be. I'm just going to warn you now in the event you have to respond to any of my future questions that I never took Latin nor did I take any classes in college of the type that would have exposed me to the manner in which Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species should be referenced ;-p. <No worries. I apologize if you found my clarifications of the science here to be pedantic.> Now, turning to your questions/comments. In all seriousness, thanks for the help that is embedded in your other comments. I see now that I was not feeding this coral at the right time and I will try to feed after lights-out (if I can stay up that late). <No need to stay up too late if you adjust your lighting schedule so that the lights go off towards the end of the afternoon (maybe 6 or 7 pm).> First, prior to my acquisition, the coral was living on the outer edges of MH lighting (probably 250W, but I must confess that I have no clue). I'm sure some of its issues are that it needs to adjust to my environment. <Probably> Second, I read that Blasto. Merleti primarily feed through photosynthesis on: 1. Liveaquaria.com: <Ugh, unfortunately, this is not exactly an authoritative source of information.> "Its body contains the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae from which it receives the majority of its nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. <Wow, this is just wrong. Corals do not obtain their "nutritional requirements" from photosynthesis.> It does not require additional food to maintain its health in the reef aquarium,  <This could be true if the tank as a whole is well feed. In well-fed tanks, healthy colonies of these corals can get all they need without target feeding. For some good general information on how to feed a reef tank, please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/Progressive_Recipe/Progressive_Recipe.htm> but it will feed on micro-plankton or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates." 2. Reefcorner.com: "Feeding: Blastomussa is photosynthetic and does not take any known foods." <Again, just flat out wrong.> 3. On WWM (http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mussidae.htm): "Though all are hermatypic, photosynthetic, most are voracious feeders of meaty foods." <Yes, this is accurate.> And the same on many other sites. After searching again today, I found a post from Anthony Calfo: "The real key to success with these (and most) corals is feeding. 3-5 times weekly ideally (or more). Use meats of marine origin/zooplankton substitutes. Cyclop-eeze is a great choice. Flying fish eggs (for sushi) are great too. For smaller polyped corals, DT's natural diet (oyster eggs). Best regards, Anthony" <Yep, I agree with Anthony here.> As you can see from the above, there is a lot of conflicting advice with respect to this coral, which is one of the reasons I posed my question to WWM in the first place. <I can understand your frustration. There is a lot of misinformation (and out-dated information) out there. Though it's getting a bit dated, E. Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" is still a good source for information on captive coral care. As for internet sources, obviously, I think WWM is your best bet. :-)> Third, by my calculations, at least on paper, I have 2195gph of total circulation, which is 20x total tank volume. Let's be realistic, however, and assume that I get 2/3 of that, which leaves me with 13.3 x turnover. The info you linked suggests a 10 to 20 x volume turnover, so it would appear that I'm in the lower end of that range and could stand to add another power head. <Yep. Knowing how to arrange your live rock helps too (make sure it stays away from the sides of the tank and avoid building big walls of rock). Since you're using power heads, you might find this helpful: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i4/power_heads/Power_Heads.htm> Fourth, why the "::sigh::" in response to my listing of parameters and statement that I believed they evidence that my water quality is good? Is there something else that the typical hobbyist should be looking for on a regular basis or something that I am not doing enough of/doing wrong, or was my comment just plain foolish (and if so, please explain so I can learn from this)? Please understand that I was simply doing my best to give you as much information about my tank, measured water quality and other factors as I could to assist you in understanding my problem--I was under the impression that you guys appreciated that. <I'm sorry if you were offended. The ::sigh:: was because I'm playing a drinking game with Bob involving any time someone says their water quality is "perfect" or "excellent" based on nutrient test kit results. No, no, just kidding! <<Gulp! I already drank mine. Dang! B>>  Seriously now though, yes, it is very good to be testing these things. And you have my genuine respect for being such a prudent and responsible aquarist. However, I would advice you not to let these test kits give you too much of a false sense of security. These test kits don't always tell you as much as you'd really like to know. For example, the phosphate test kits don't test for organic phosphates. More generally, we're actually quite limited in what we can test for (while some things are taken up before they can be detected). Additionally, it's difficult to define what "perfect" or "excellent" water quality even is because it's relative to what kinds of coral you are keeping.> Andy <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Blasto merleti 10/25/07 Dear Sara, Thanks for your genuine response and helpful thoughts. <my pleasure> Notwithstanding the limited amount of time that I have in my life for this hobby, I try really hard to understand the hobby and to keep a good tank and clean water for my pets. <Indeed, I can tell you care very much for them.> Of course I have made, and will make, mistakes in livestock selection/care despite good intentions and research. <It happens to us all.> As you might have guessed, I am no biologist or fish scientist (but do have a B.S. in mechanical engineering, which I haven't used in 12 years), but I do "get" scientific concepts. <Yes, I think any kind of science background helps. But you'll be surprised by how much biological science you'll naturally pick up as you read and learn more about the hobby.> I just think you guys sometimes forget that most of us have nowhere near the incredible background and knowledge that you have. <Thank you. As I said, I do apologize if I seemed pedantic or persnickety (<--great word, isn't it?).> Although there are a few lazy people out there, I suspect most posters are like me--they try to research issues before asking/doing and have genuinely good intentions when asking questions. <We do appreciate your questions.> I look forward to being a pain in your butt in the near future. <I do too. :-)> Andy <Best, Sara M.>

Mussid eating gastropods   10/19/07 Oops, I have one last quick question that I forgot to include in my previous email. Is it okay that my Cynarina is occasionally eating my snails? Will this hurt the coral? <Should be fine; not harmful except to changes in water quality. BobF> Thanks, Jaime

Cynarina feeding/nutrition   12/21/06 Hi crew!   <Greetings and salutations!  Mich with you tonight.> I have a quick question regarding feeding a new Cynarina that I purchased over the weekend.  While I am waiting for the frozen krill and Cyclop-Eeze that is coming in the mail via Drs Foster & Smith, is it okay to feed this little guy some of the Sweetwater zooplankton or baby brine shrimp that I have on hand?   <Yes, is OK.> Or would it be better to just wait for his food to come in the mail?   <No need to wait.> Also, what foods would you recommend to enhance his coloring? <Soaking any foods you offer in Selcon may benefit this coral.  Varying the diet should also help.  Cynarina are capable of engulfing fairly large food items.  You may want to consider offering small pieces of seafood intended for human consumption.>   Thanks in advance & have a great holiday! <Welcome!  Happy holidays to you and yours!  Mich>

Re: Mussidae Family/Feeding   5/25/06 So a 1/4 of a small krill is good enough ? Do I just stick it all the way into the coral ??  <Not forcefully.  James (Salty Dog)> Feeding Mussid LPS corals 5/13/05 Hello, I just lucked out on a single polyp of Blastomussa wellsi and three polyps of Acan lord, my question is should they be imbedded in the sand or glued to a lower section of live rock? <My first concern is that you got robbed (price-gouged really) in saying that you "lucked" into a single polyps of Blastomussa wellsi. These are common in imports... landing in LA for around $10 per colony (10-30 polyps). An appropriate retail price for the whole colony would be $30-50. Single polyps are worth mere dollars. Some unscrupulous hobbyists have been price gouging these (as well as Acans and other corals) as "rare" to unknowing hobbyists. I hope that you were not one of them my friend. As for husbandry, Both can adapt to a wide range of light, but it is usually best to err conservatively and start them low I the tank (bottom of the aquarium is fine). The real key to success with these (and most) corals is feeding. 3-5 times weekly ideally (or more). Use meats of marine origin/zooplankton substitutes. Cyclop-eeze is a great choice. Flying fish eggs (for sushi) are great too. For smaller polyped corals, DT's natural diet (oyster eggs). Best regards, Anthony>

Feeding time Thank you for the help with the lighting situation.  I had another question about feeding my candy cane coral.  I have tried to feed it (using turkey baster, turning off all water movement) mega marine algae, Mysis shrimp and brine shrimp but the tentacles only ever come out at like 4:00 in the morning...I can't keep doing this.  Is there a way to get them to open up during the day, a certain food I should be feeding them?? <Corals can be "trained" to extend their tentacles by feeding at the same time each day and by "teasing" the polyps with a squirt of juice from the food.  It takes some patience and time, but it will work.  In the meantime, while I admire your dedication, you probably don't need to get up at 4:00 each morning.  This coral will do fine for quiet a while without target feeding. Any chopped (BB size) meaty food is fine.> Also, my green bristle star has started making a tent...waiting for an unsuspecting fish.  I have been feeding him shrimp whole) but he has recently stop taking it...is there something better to try and feed him???  Thank you very much for all the help so far, Todd Hawman <Todd, as you seem to be aware, some brittle stars are quite predatory when they get large.  I would try smaller pieces of shrimp or other meaty foods.  Do consider whether you wish to risk any fish or inverts by keeping this animal.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Coral feeding 6/11/04 I feel so stupid I post you guys like two questions a day at the moment but I want to understand what I'm doing and get it right I am beginning to understand it is not quite an exact science though. <no worries> Any way my maze brain coral (if that's what it is) still haven't fed it but I now understand I can feed it actual food as in Mysis or krill mashed I thought it had to have liquid zoo or phyto plankton. <yes on the former... easy on the latter. For this and all corals, just look at their polyps (size and behavior) - "Form Follows Function". Large polyps that come out at night eat zooplankton (amphipods, copepods, etc. and like substitute: Mysis, rotifers, etc.). Tiny polyps that are out all day long or randomly, tend to eat nanoplankton (perhaps bacteria, floc, phyto, etc.)> Geo Liquid is what I have had recommended know anything about what this is? <no idea> Is it what I need? <if its a phyto substitute... no. Not needed for this coral> Thanks so much for answering all my stupid little (and some rather vague) questions, cheers. <all good... best of luck. Anthony>

Coral Excretion? 6/15/04 Hi again, cant find satisfactory answer in archives after two hours and various detours from subject. <a nifty way to learn> My brain coral is exuding a brown hair like substance from little openings in the valleys between its ridges which are rather like very small volcanoes in appearance. Please reassure me, is this it excreting waste matter from its various mouths as I suspect it is? <quite likely yes... have you been feeding it or the tank well? If so, indeed this may be the scoop on poop> Or something much more sinister? <the only other thing commonly possible would be the expulsion of zooxanthellae packets if the animal was light shocked. But that would be rather obvious - pale and stressed coral under bright lights or suddenly increased water clarity (as with sudden use of carbon in yellow water after many months without> I have recently (this week) learnt to target feed it Mysis shrimp after a period of unknowing starvation (three weeks or so) during which it still opened nightly and occasionally over the day. <ah, yes... good to hear you are feeding. This is a hungry coral> Seems other wise happy but I realize this can be deceptive. Fed it twice a day for three or so days to boost it up after having starved it (unknowingly) now down to once a day. Is this too often to feed it? <very nice if you want fast growth... but a few times weekly would be enough> How often should I feed it? I turn off pumps first thing in the morning before lights on while it is still all open and target feed with plastic syringe (no needle) then feed fish so they leave it alone and it seems to get heaps, all ridges swell, soft and trap Mysis. How long should I leave it to eat before I turn pumps back on which invariably blows the shrimp away for fish to pick up in current? Five minutes/fifteen minutes/half an hour? <tough to say... and do invest in an electronic relay switch that automatically turns power/pumps back on. Human error is inevitable in time and if you forget to turn the pumps on for an afternoon, overnight, etc., it could be disastrous. 10-15 minutes sounds fine to me for feeding opportunities> Thanks heaps. <we have piles of it. Best regards, Anthony> Saving Lobophyllia (not Silverman) 10/3/04 I hope all is well with you today.   <and with hope for you in kind> I do need some help in saving my Lobophyllia.  My flame angel was nipping at it continuously and causing it to recede to not much more than a skeleton.  Since I have a 180g tank with much live rock, catching the flame angel was nearly impossible until I recently moved and had to drain the tank.  Since that time the Lobophyllia has expanded from about 2.5 in diameter to over 7! Just when I thought all was perfect (for over a month), now my purple tang has apparently grown to love the taste of the Lobophyllia.   <heehee...> The coral has once again deflated to a little more than a skeleton.  I really like the purple tang and prefer to leave it in the tank (not to mention I do not plan to drain 180 gallons of water again!).  Is there anything that can be done to stop the tang from nipping at the Lobophyllia and to keep the both healthy in the same tank? --Greg <nothing at all... really, short of separation. Its a compatibility problem that cannot be conquered by extra feedings, etc. Do consider placing the coral in a small inline refugium instead - perhaps the best of both worlds. Anthony> 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> 

Feeding Brain Corals Hey Y'all, I don't know who is going to answer this, but I could sure use a little assistance... <then I'm your man... I measure 5'6"... 5'8" if my hair is poofy> I just picked up a Diploastrea Heliopora from my neighborhood fish store and was given some mis-information from the owner so I was wondering if you could help me with a couple of small matters :) <Hmm... a "little" assistance... "small" matters... I'm starting to form a complex here. Its a good thing that I have a big car> I was told this coral was a filter feeder but I didn't believe him so I tried giving it some defrosted mysis shrimp which it snapped up eagerly!   <All corals are filter-feeders to some extent... some zooplankton, others phyto... some both. Others still won't feed organismally but will feed by absorption. The bottom line is... there are VERY few corals that don't filter feed in some manner and all essentially need fed in the aquarium. Yes... most all we keep need some feedings (weekly if not daily)> Do I have to feed every opening that is putting out those little tentacles or is a general feeding of as many openings as possible going to be ok?   <the latter> Is there something better than mysis to feed this guy? <actually... mysis are high protein and a good primary food. Still... offer a variety (Gammarus, Pacifica plankton, etc)> And how far out do those tentacles reach?   <far enough to capture passing food particles<G>> I don't want the possibility of the polyps and stony corals close to it getting stung.   <no worries here... all corals should be at least 6-10" apart but that will only keep you safe for 1-2 years for most. Move or propagate as necessary> Thanks for the help. Andrea <best regards, Anthony>

Cynarina Care Dear Bob/crew, <PF with you here tonight> Thanks again for your site, it is always informative and accurate. I recently acquired a lovely large Cynarina or Scolymia, difficult to tell, about 6"x 3". It inflates very nicely during light hours and it is a great green/brown color. Before I bought it I read that its husbandry is similar to the Trachyphyllia/Lobophyllia type corals, that is feeding is advised after lights out. I tried feeding then with a solution of SF bay entree and some liquidized mussel meat enriched with Zoë and vitamins but the tentacles didn't seem to take in much although they would be enticed out by the waft of food. <Well, they don't eat liquid so much as shredded, think pieces the size of parmesan (sp?) cheese.> Also can you clarify if the central opening of the coral is a mouth or is it the anus? <Yes. Think about it. ; )  ><<Tis both. RMF>> Should I aim to get the food in there or will the polyps just absorb the nutrients dissolved in a kind of osmosis? <Not directly only it, but above it. You should turn off all the pumps when you do this, and let the food drift down.> Can you clarify the feeding requirements for me? <Finely shredded pieces of shrimp (uncooked) and fish (ditto)> The lighting is good 2x250W <They can be sensitive to bright lights, and need to be acclimated. If you have eggcrate over your tank, you can layer screen (like the kind on doors) over it, one piece removed each day, 10-14 pieces) and the oral is at the bottom of the tank with just a gentle indirect current. <good on the current> It pumps up nicely in light hours and deflates somewhat during the daytime - my tank is not far from a window to avoid nuisance algae brought about by too much sun I keep the tank shielded in the summer time until the lights come on at 5pm. <Daylight doesn't promote algae, to many available nutrients does. A common, but false idea> All other water parameters are fine and my tank is thriving. The Cynarina/Scolymia was very well handled and well kept at the LFS where it was kept. Thanks for your answers, Massimo Brighton UK <You're welcome, if you have a copy of Anthony's book, the section on the Mussidae's (Blastomussa, Cynarina, etc.) is pages 259-260. Have a good night, PF>

Bubbles in my Brain!!! (air trapped in coral tissue) 4/19/03 ok.. I attached a photo, but this morning is the first time I've seen this occur on my Lobophyllia.. it looks almost as if there are air bubbles inside the flesh of the brain coral.. <there are several possible reasons for this not entirely uncommon occurrence. In the safest/simplest circumstance... some corals simply "eat" air bubbles (or are fed it trapped in food). As strange as it might sounds... the deliberate ingestion is done by some of the more heavily mucous species for the purpose of capturing food and elements such as proteins that are attracted to the air bubbles (Yes... indeed like the organics "stuck" to air bubbles in protein skimmers). In these cases though... the tiny air bubbles are easily purged. When they are large and apparent as in your case here... it leads me to believe one of two things... forced ingestion of an inappropriate food (freeze dried foods for example... that have much air trapped inside)... or stress. The former is self-explanatory... and the coral is likely to expel it in time, although you don't want to make that a habit! In the case of a stress induced symptom here... there are a few things it could be... and neither are good. The first is over stimulation (over-driving/photoinhibition) of corals by light that is too much or on too long (for this species if only in the tank). New bulbs, cleaned lamps, improved water clarity (carbon used after an absence), etc... all are things that improve or increase the quality of light and cause the zooxanthellae to work overtime to the extent that they produce oxygen inside Cnidarian tissue that cannot be processed fast enough. The other possibility is supersaturation of the water with oxygen by a leak in the plumbing (causing the aspiration of air to super-sat-levels)... OR... the inappropriate addition of hot water to cool water (during a water change or evap top off) to make "warm" water which drives the O2 out of solution quickly (the reverse of super-saturation). This can occur right within the corals tissue just like divers that get the "bends" from nitrogen. Not good at any rate.> it's been fine up until now and the only thing that is changed is that I fed it chunks of krill last night before I went to bed.    <no worries unless the krill was freeze dried or any food that floats that world indicate trapped air> is this something I should worry about? or take caution of? <perhaps... do consider the above possibilities and why it may have occurred> another thing I was wondering was that I have a large toadstool leather that stopped opening during the day... I've noticed polyp extension at night about an hour after the lights go off, but other than that it fully expands during the day.. just that there's no polyp extension. <interesting... generally not a big deal (they do not feed organismally with their tiny polyps by much. However... in light of the Lobo's symptoms... the polyps shutting down early does indicate a possible lighting problem. Are you one of those kooks using 400 watt halides on a 20 gallon aquarium <G>? Perhaps have your lights on too long (over 8-10 hours on MH... or over 12-14 on fluorescents). Perhaps changed to brand new bulbs recently? Hmmmm... many possibilities here.> I'd really appreciate any information. Jonathan <best regards, Anthony>

Air Bubbles in Coral Tissues ("Bubbles in my Brain") 4/19/03 thanks for the response.. it makes sense on the light stimulation... he had just been recently moved to a higher point in the tank.. but has since been moved into another tank in which his air bubble situation returned to normal.. <ahhh, yes... very plausible and consistent with our theory. Great to hear that your brain is not so gassy <G>. FWIW... corals that express such symptoms (air bubbles from excess light as with sudden move to higher point) can in fact acclimate to the new higher position in time... they just need to be acclimated slower to prevent the air bubbles from forming. Use the screen method (suggested in my articles here on WWM and beyond) to adjust the coral to brighter light over a period of a couple weeks> and I almost forgot to add.. I LOVE your coral propagation book.. the wealth of information is priceless and I've been looking for a book exactly like this for years. Jonathan <thanks kindly, my friend! Best of luck to you in your endeavors. Anthony>

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