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FAQs about Sea Mats, Star Polyp Compatibility, Control

Related Articles: Mat/Star PolypsBlue, Pipe Organ Corals, 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians  by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  by Bob Fenner

Related FAQs: Polyps 1Polyps 2Polyps 3Polyp Identification, Polyp Behavior, Polyp Selection, Polyp Systems, Polyp Feeding, Polyp Disease, Polyp Reproduction/Propagation,

Can we all just get along? Nope

Polyps? ID, control       4/28/20
These pesky bluish polyp-y things are taking over the rocks in my tank, and killing off some of my SPS. Any idea what this is and how to rid my tank of it?
<These appear to be Clove polyps, a very invasive species and very hard to eradicate once it has overgrown your tank, sometimes requiring tearing down the whole system. There are several suggested methods to deal with these
Clavulariids, such as: vinegar, Aiptasia X, Kalkwasser, tuxedo urchins, and Fenbendazole (canine dewormer), this last has proven to be the most effective of the above, the main drawback is that it is too risky to treat the entire tank with this anti parasitic as it may kill other desirable corals; the best approach is to remove the invaded rocks and treat them separately, do bear in mind that none of the mentioned options guarantees 100% effectiveness, but are worth trying since clove polyps may end up killing other desirable corals. Hope this helps. Wil.>

Invasive polyps... Stoloniferan control     1/3/17
Hello Bob, hello Crew,
Hope you had a great time during the holidays and wish you all the best for 2018.
<Thanks a bunch>
I have been fighting (and losing) against tiny polyps which look like some kind of Clavulariids.
<Indeed; agreed>
The polyps are 2-3 mm and spread everywhere to the point of suffocating corals.
<Not uncommon>
Here is a picture of what used to be a thriving Caulastrea. with 6-7 polyps
I tried every solution I could find on the Net. Putting the infested stones in the dark saw them come back as soon as the stone was back in the tank.
<Yeah; won't "do it". Need to be isolated from the get go (on their own rock, bommies); and once getting around, either removed by scrubbing (outside the tank), or the other livestock removed to elsewhere. Really, this is it>
Fenbendazole did nothing to them.
My Centropyge bispinosus and Acreichthys tomentosus are not interested at all. A paste of calcium hydroxide did work but the area was recolonized in a few weeks. I suppose I can brush the stones in a separate tank but it will be complicated for stones with attached corals.
<See above... >
I was also thinking of taking the stones out and using a steam cleaner but that only will be safe far enough from the corals. And these solutions mean I need to take out at least half the stones in my tank (I have 400 pounds of them) and I'll never get rid of all of them.
<... extreme action needed at this point... T'were me/mine, removal of all rock, Breaking, cutting off desired life, bleaching, air-drying, using extant rock as base... placing "some" new LR about/above it>
Would you have a suggestion on a predator, an action on the water parameters or an additive which could get rid of them once and for all before I lose my corals and (possibly) my mind ? Thank you
Best regards and a huge thank you for all your help to the reefer community
<Certainly welcome. Wish I had some magic formula, wand, pill... As far as I'm aware, there isn't any. Bob Fenner>

Re: Invasive polyps; clav.     1/11/18
Dear Bob,
Thank you for your answer, not the one I was hoping for but at least now I know what I have to do !
Kind regards
<Cheers Thierry. BobF>

Linear Blenny Behavior. Comp. w/ GSP     12/18/17
Good evening and hope all is well. I added a linear blenny to my 200 gallon reef. I did my research prior and knew with this fish their is a possibility of picking at the base of Acro's. With that being said my tank is mostly softies with a few monti's and giant deresa clam. Anyways the reason for my email is that the blenny has started picking through my green star polyps. Its certainly not eating them but looking to eat algae and in turn damaging the coral and yanked a few polyps off the base. Am i going to have to make a decision, either star polyps or blenny, or will it eventually die down. Any ideas in what to do here?
<I'd be patient here. Likely all will be well... the Blenny will take up eating elsewhere. Bob Fenner>

Clove and Green Star Polyp's with Angels       10/9/17
Hello Bob -
I hope that life is treating you very well! I continue to expand the possibilities within my reef systems. Currently, I am thinking about trying Clove or Green Star Polyp's with my reef set-up's (220 gallon or 265 gallon) where the 265 gallon (excluding sump volume) contains a 7 inch Grey Angel and a 4 inch bi-color angel and the 220 gallon (excluding sump volume) contains a 5 inch Queen Angel.
I've had these Angelfish for close to 2 years in these live rock reefs with soft corals, i.e.; Sinularia (finger leather), mushrooms (mostly hairy), toadstool leather, and devils hand leather with no issues to the coral livestock. Besides occasional treats of frozen food, ..etc., their primary diet is NLS Thera A. They've been very healthy and have grown nicely in a few years.
What odds do you give me if I were to introduce Clove and/or Star Polyp's into these systems as far as living without being eaten up by the angels?
Thank you,
<It's quite possible that the Angels will nip to eat the GSPs... and I'll admit, I really don't like Star Polyps, as they are way too invasive. IF you decide to try them I STRONGLY encourage you to isolate them on a rock bommie of their own. Please do write back w/ your further notions and experience/observations. Bob Fenner>
Re: re: Clove and Green Star Polyp's with Angels      10/10/17
Will do! Thank you sir.
<Certainly welcome John. Oh; do peruse the site/WWM for much more re "polyps". Bob Fenner>

Killing clove polyp on rocks       4/12/16
Hello, I have a 100 fish/reef tank and since I added the Radian LEDs 3 years ago my clove polyp and green star polyp have exploded.
<You NEED to keep these trimmed back, isolated on their own rock/bommies.
See WWM (as in READ) re these animals incompatibility
The clove is the bigger problem as it grows on sand, walls, etc. In the past I've removed rocks and scrubbed them with a brush to remove the polyps only to have them return 1-2 weeks later. I can't stand it anymore. I've
been able to contain the growth on the glass with scraping and weekly maintenance and I've removed all rocks that only contain clove polyps and seriously scrubbed them and put them in aerated heated salt water but I'm withholding light (in covered 5 gallon buckets). I'm hoping this keeps the rock alive but kills off the coral (aka weed). After a week I rescrubbed the rocks and put them in new salt water. Do you think this may work and if so how long should I keep them in the dark?
<A few weeks... you have more patience than I. I'd be bleaching, rinsing, air-drying....>
I've seen other posts where the advice was start a new tank but that is not possible for me and buying a hundred pounds of new rock is too expensive.
<Just need a few (5-10) lb.s of new... placed over the chlorine/bleach processed old>
And I saw a post about bleach but I would like to keep the rocks "live" if at all possible.
Thoughts and suggestions are really appreciated.
<Mmm; well; as stated above. I'd "nuke" the existing rock... about the only practical way to remove the polyps. Am an old-timer in the interest, trade... not given to waiting>
Your website is a true godsend and I think has saved likely millions of organisms over the years (I get the irony that I'm asking about killing stuff here but it is a pest in my tank and fighting with it in the tank releases toxins that really impact the tang's health). Thank you
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words. Bob Fenner>

GSP and red Goniopora question issue... Using WWM... actually NNS        7/16/14
Hello crew this is my first time emailing to question some confusing things
<.... obvious... this Poritid genus... species live on the bottom; in mud, muck>
I have been researching about GSP .i love how they look under blue lights and want them to spread out .
I have a tower like live rock with several Goniopora on top of it ( my fave the red one :D ) and i put GSP just below the Goniopora as in the pict i attached :) .both have been doing well .GSP has double in size and making their way up.
So my question is:
Is my Goniopora is in danger being smothered by GSP ?
<...? Please see WWM re>

or it will be fine since i read the Goniopora have a strong stinging cells.
And probably GSP wouldn't reach it?
I notice this past few week that the red gonio is not opening up as big as it used to... but i did notice rapid recovery of the empty flesh ( it got really bad injury from past month i accidently drop a few salt grain on
it... )
Do i really need to remove the GSP ?I already like the placement combination..
Please please be kind to reply this desperate message
And thank you soo much in advanced :) . You guys really made reefkeeping easier and much more understandable
-warmest robin alfian -
<Keep reading! Bob Fenner>

Re: re: GSP and red Goniopora question issue       7/16/14
Hello crew
Thanks for a really quick reply :)im sorry to sound really clueless *-*
<No worries; you'll soon be less so; by reading>

Uhm.. im actually fairly new to the website and didn't really know the way to search exactly what im looking for...
<Mmm; I've just read below... was going to send you to our "how to use WWM section". Will do the searching for you this time>
i know you guys been really busy with all the question..but would mind showing how it works to search for related issue so you guys don't have to answer the same question ?
I have been typing green stat
polyps in "search " column but all i get is mass of useful information but nonetheless what im looking for . Oh and Bob Fenner ask me to se "re WWM"... where's that section ?
Sorry for the hassle :) you guys really did a good job :)
<...? Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm
and the linked files above; and here:
Are you a non-native speaker? I will assume so.
Cheers, BobF>
Re: re: GSP and red Goniopora question issue
Thank you soo much for the responds :) .
<Ahh! Very good>
I have found the information that i need . I decided to scrap the gsp and put it on a secluded island and run a carbon
<A great plan>
Thank you BobF ur a life saver
<Actually you are... am only an information supplier. Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Re: Clownfish Obsessed with new Feather Duster! Into of GSP et al. new Cnid.s in an established sys.     2/8/14
And with you Bob. :) One last question, before I let you go for the meantime. I am having trouble placing Glove <Clove> Polyps (Clavularia) I got a few days ago. I have a small frag of Knopia and wondered about placing them
near each other? I will update you on the anemone and clownfish combo in a few months, Thank you again and Take Care. :)
<Best to do a two plus week isolation/quarantine of ANY new Cnidarian... mix water back and forth daily... Per the citation here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm

Coral compatibility/Allelopathy 4/22/12
Hi crew!
<Hello Jennifer>
I have a 55 gallon with a 30 gal refugium that is 7 years old. I am just getting into acquiring corals but was wondering if there is a coral compatibility chart?
<Mmm, not so much compatibility but degree of allelopathy effects.>
I have seen one for fish and inverts. I obtained a green Sinularia about 2 months ago. It was in the QT for 3 weeks and was doing great.
I put it in the main tank about 10 inches away from a green star polyp that I have had for years. The green Sinularia shrunk. I've read that they will do that for a short time as this is part of their "growing" period. But this went on for about 3 weeks. Last night I moved the Sinularia to the other side of the tank and this morning it began to unshrink and it is looking better than it has for weeks. Could it have been the green star polyps?
I've read that they are very aggressive and then I have read that they are the least aggressive.
<Can depend on the species as there are several species of Star Polyps. As far as allelopathy is concerned, some of the worst offenders are Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, Euphyllia, and Lemnalia species. Some good choices for allelopathic compatibility would be Xenia, Briareum, Dendronephthya, Anthelia, and Capnella species.>
Thank you...as always you guys are the best!!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

re: hang-on or in sump refugium? also, allelopathy     9/14/11
Much obliged, Bob! I had searched for the compatibility FAQs, but my browser wouldn't open the link once it was pulled up in your search engine (I wasn't sure if it was my browser, or the WWM site, so I didn't want to alarm any of you). The link you provided in the response worked, though, so now I have something new to read while pretending to work!
<Ah good>
The more I read, the more I'm realizing that without a significantly larger system, enjoying a wide variety of corals will require multiple displays...an acceptable compromise! What do you call a dilemma when both options seem desirable?
<A good life indeed>
Ah, and one last question to bug you: to remove the threat of overgrowing from a green star colony, will placing its home rock away from others only on substrate (not near walls or glass) suffice to keep it from spreading?
<For a good period of time likely yes. IF you perceive trouble/s, simply fragging... breaking it in half... selling, giving it to the store, other hobbyists>
My colony has grown so large that it is actually laying down more "mat" on top of itself and out into the surrounding water.
Hope you're not working too hard in paradise.
<It is very exhausting... but now we're out for Taki (beers in small glasses), and a soak in the pool. BobF>

Turbo Snails and Clove Polyps/Snail Compatibility 7/10/11
Hi Bob and crew:
<Hello Edie>
Once again I'm stumped----I can't find an answer to my question. Sorry to bother you about this:
<Is what we are here for.>
I have a 90 gal mainly FOWLR but with several green star polyps, several mushroom types (I'm not looking up the scientific names; I hope that is o.k. in this case),
<No problem. Common or scientific names are fine.>
clove polyps, 3 cleaner shrimp, 7 fishes, (all doing great) and about 5 snails, two of which are the large turbo ones. My concern is about 1-1/2" turbo snails and the clove polyps. I saw one on a group of clove polyps yesterday and now about half the polyps are gone. Do they eat polyps?!!!!
Or do you think he was just cleaning up some dead ones.
<Turbo Snails are not corallivores, likely eating algae on the polyp encrusted rock causing the polyps to retract and/or dislodge from the rock.>
The polyp looked just fine until then. The snails have been in the tank for over a year with no problems until now.
I've had the inverts 4-6 months and am enjoying them immensely. This particular polyp seems to have multiplied, but so far, all offspring are very small.
I don't want to get rid of the snails if I don't have to. They do a good job with algae and are interesting to watch. Thanks again for your help,
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Invasive Clavulariid   3/25/11
HI WWM crew!,
Thanks so much for invaluable service that you do for the aquaria community.
<A pleasure to serve>
My question is about controlling Clavulariids. I have a 140 gallon tank, with a 20 gallon sump, and 25 gallon refugium
Ammonia: 0
Nitrites: 0
Nitrates: 0
Salinity: 1.25
<Mmm, plus a zero to the right of the decimal>
PH: 8.3
Yellow Tang
Melanurus Wrasse (Halichoeres melanurus)
(2) Ocellaris Clowns
(2) emerald crabs
Cleaner Shrimp
Peppermint Shrimp
Sand Sifting starfish
+cleanup snails and hermits
I have two black and white clowns that have been in QT for 2 months that are about to go into the tank. ( I'm planning on never getting Ich again!
Thanks for your help last time.)
Somewhere in there is a Yellow Watchman Goby, but I haven't seen him since I added him to the tank a month ago. New holes in the substrate indicate that he is there somewhere.
About 4 months ago I received a rock with a Clavulariid on them. It is commonly called blue clove polyps.
My problem is that it has grown at an alarming rate, completely covering most of my rocks, and part of my back glass with a thick mat.
<Aye yah. These need to be restricted to their own "bommie"... isolated so not to spread>
The good news is that they don't seem to be affecting my SPS corals. The bad news is that they have grown on nearly everything else. They are growing on top of Zoanthids, starving them out. While it doesn't grow on the SPS corals, it doesn't die back around it. I see no evidence that the surrounding polyps are damaged at all. The polyps around the BTA are shriveled, but even those polyps do not die(BTA was moved recently after changing the rock formation).
If they would just yield to the Zoanthids, then I wouldn't mind them covering everything, they are very pretty.
I would like to control or even eliminate them. I have heard there are some species of Nudibranch that will eat them, but after searching, they appear to be very elusive. It seems the only way to get them is by accident as a hitchhiker. Even if they were available, I think maybe the wrasse would find them a nice meal, and keep them from reaching my objective. ( I do have a 30 gallon where he could be temporarily relocated if I could catch him.)
I have read about a fluke tab treatment, but I do not want to take that kind of risk, as I have a large variety of softies, LPS, and SPS in the tank.
<I would NOT do this>
I read where some people had positive results from running carbon, so I bought a dual reactor and have been running GFO and lignite carbon in reactors for a month now. The growth has not slowed. A rock I just added 3 weeks ago, that is not touching any other rocks is more than half covered.
<Hit or miss>
Some people have suggested that I just use a Kalkwasser paste to kill them.
I don't see how that would be possible, because they are everywhere, including places that I can't even reach.
<The resultant biochemical mess would likely take the rest of your organisms...>
Are there any species that are obtainable that will target these polyps?
<None that I know of>
Do you have any suggestions?
<Mmm, maybe to selectively culture some of these (on rocks), sell them to others (perhaps through your local store/s) and use the money to buy another system and systematically move what parts of your other benthic livestock you can (sans the Polyps) there>
Thanks so much for your help,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

BTA Questions, comp. w/ "Polyps"  3/1/11
Hello Crew,
I have a 90 gallon clownfish/BTA tank with a 30 gallon sump. The aquascaping consists of three bommies. I have GSP confined to one bommie.
There are no other corals in the tank nor do I plan to add any. The inhabitants are a pair of Black Ocellaris Clowns, a pair of Orange Skunk Clowns, a Kole Tang, an Eibli Angel, and a tank bred Orchid Dottyback. No more fish will be added. I recently added three tank bred anemones, two RBTA's and one GBTA. I'm happy to report that all seem to have settled in nicely on the two non-GSP bommies. They all have their feet buried deep into crevices, are expanded, and eagerly eat. I have two questions:
1. From reading the FAQ's some of the crew has said that the GSP is chemically aggressive and others have stated that the aggression has to do with its grow rate and ability to grow over other corals. Should I remove the GSP for the long term benefit of my BTA's or should it be okay confined to one bommie?
<You should be okay... with all growing up with each other>
2. I'm very entertained by feeding the BTA's. I've read in the FAQ's that feeding the anemones 2-3 times a week is sufficient, but am I doing them harm by feeding them small meals daily with a turkey baster?
<Mmm, no; not really>
Essentially, some of the Mysis and chopped raw table shrimp stick to the BTA's and the rest that floats in the water column is devoured by the fish.
Thanks for all your help,
<Welcome! Bob Fenner> 

Green Star Polyp Toxicity/Allelopathy 2/17/10
Dear Crew,
Thank you SO much for providing the dailies! Your time in much appreciated!
<You're welcome.>
Just a quick question. I would like to add a colony of Green Star Polyps to my SPS dominated tank (in addition I have a few LPS corals placed in the low/darker areas). The tank is a 54 gallon corner and I would be placing
the GSP's by themselves on the sand or perhaps on a bommie as to prevent them from spreading around the tank. I've read some comments on WWM regarding their production of toxic chemicals. Some have stated they are
highly toxic, others have stated that they are not too bad. In your valued opinion, would it be ok to add a colony or would it upset the balance of my tank too much? I do not want to add them if the cost will outweigh the benefits.
<If you are referring to the Green Starburst Polyp (Briareum sp.), they are rather safe in terms of allelopathy. And yes, isolating them is a good idea as this coral can spread quite fast.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Remove Green Starburst Polyps from live rock and glass 06/02/09
I have some Green Starburst Polyps in my tank. I have it on the bottom of the tank, I have a shallow sand bed and there were some bare spots on the bottom of the tank until the Green Starburst Polyps grew on the bottom of the tank. The Starburst Polyps also are growing on the side of the tank and on some of my live rock.
I intend to remove the Green Starburst Polyps that are growing like crazy.
<oh> I will keep, if possible, the main coral if I can contain its growth.
So I have several questions.
How do I remove the Green Starburst Polyps from the live rock?
<Usually... with a razor.>
I think I should take the rock out of the tank and remove the Starburst Polyps once the rock is outside of the tank, but what is the best way to remove it? The rock is one piece about 35-40 pounds and I would like to keep it that size if possible.
<Do you have the physical strength required to pick up a rock this size and remove it from the tank? If not, maybe ask someone to help you lift it?>
Next how do I remove the Green Starburst Polyps from the glass
<with a razor>
in my tank, the bottom and the wall? I have tried to scrape the Starburst Polyps from the side of the tank but something is discharge, white colored I think, when I scrape.
<This is probably coral mucus/guts, to be expected.>
I don't want to hurt my tank or myself while scraping or cutting the Starburst Polyps.
<Just be cautious/careful... wear gloves and run extra activated carbon, do a water change after you're done, etc.>
So what is the best way to remove the undesirable parts and control the growth? Thanks for your help.
<As stated, unless you want to chemically kill the coral (which is more dangerous to your tank), you're only option is to scrape them off with a razor. You can remove the rock to do this for those on the rock, but I
don't actually think that's necessary.
Sara M.>

Green Star Polyps Overtaking Tank 1/29/09 Hello crew, <Hi Holden> I have a 60 gallon sps reef. Over the course of last summer when I was outdoors and not paying as much attention to the tank, the Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia sp.) spread from their island rock to the main rock structure of the tank. It has since become the bane of the aquarium. I have tried controlling it by peeling, scrubbing, melting and other things. I am afraid that it will attack my sps colonies in its spread. It grows so fast I can't keep up and taking the rock structure down is a very last resort. Is there any other way to slow them, kill them, anything? I have been told by a marine biologist who works in the aquarium livestock import business that camel shrimp (Rhynchocinetes sp.) will eat soft corals and polyps, but not usually sps corals. I am curious if you have ever seen anything like this. <Yes, they are known for that and also nipping at disc anemones and leather corals. You would fair better to try and isolate the polyps to an individual rock with space in between the rock to prevent spreading. Some species of Pachyclavularia actually release eggs and sperm packets making it all the more difficult to control.> I am thankful for the help. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Holden

Possible Allelopathy - 6/02/08 Hello. <Hello Allen, Brenda here! > I'm a newbie to your website and am amazed by the information to be found. I discovered your site in searching for reasons for green star polyps permanently retracting. I quickly found the possible answer; the introduction of a finger leather (Devil's Hand) five days ago. <How close do you have them to each other? > I have long been aware of the incompatibilities associated with different species coming in direct contact but was not aware that sharing the same tank could be problematic. <Sure can! > I have a recently established (4 months) 210 gal tank w/ 40 gal refugium/sump, VHO lighting, skimmer, (cycled rock and sand from an old tank) and have been slowly adding various soft corals (GSP, mushrooms, pulsing xenia, colonial anemone). I had thought that the large tank, low stocking and focusing solely on soft corals (as your site recommends) would minimize problems and permit things to grow/develop to the point where contact would stop further growth. The introduction of the leather proved me wrong. Within 2 days the GSP retracted and has not reopened despite being separated by over 3 feet. And, the leather remains shriveled/limp. <Is it getting any flow? > Adding carbon to the filtration hasn't seemed to help. From your site I understand that the allelopathy/incompatibility with mushrooms can be a big problem as well. <Yes, and also the green star polyps and leather coral. > Some of the FAQs on your site suggest that GSP, mushrooms and leathers are OK as long as the don't come in contact or are spaced appropriately; others appear to suggest that their allelopathy is so strong that they cannot co-exist. So, I'm a bit confused. <They can co-exist, however, you don't want to overstock your tank with them. > If I stay with soft corals am I better off eliminating the GSP or the leather, or both? Is it only a matter of time before the expansion of the mushrooms can have an allelopathic effect too, even without contact? Will the mere presence of these/any soft corals preclude me from introducing LPS corals at a later date even if there is sufficient space? Thank you for any suggestions you can provide. <I'm not convinced that what you have is an allelopathic effect. Please send me a complete list of your water parameters and a complete list of your equipment and livestock. If you can, send me a picture of your tank. Have you quarantined your coral and inspected for pests? > Allen <Brenda >

Bullseye Mushroom... GSP incomp. therewith     2/16/08 Hello WWM. I purchased a green Bullseye mushroom about a month ago from my LFS. A sponsor of yours BTW. Anyway since it's been in my 55 gal. it has not faired too well. FYI. I have researched your site as requested and have an idea what my be wrong but wanted to confirm with you experts. I started with 8 nice sized blooms? <Polyps> and am now down to 4. They shrink and eventually detach. <A good clue> In the course of the month I have moved it from middle, top to right now bottom of tank. This may have been too much movement! What do you think? The only other "coral" I have is a GSP. <Bingo!> My water params are within normal limits I believe. Ph 8.2 Salinity 1.025 Amm -0 ALK -2.74 trite- 0.05 I know you're going to say it should be 0 but have been unable to get it lower than this. <This reading is likely artifactual... the test kit itself> trate- 2.5 Cal- 400 phos- 0 dKH- 7.6 temp- 80 I do weekly 5 gal. w/c My lighting is dual 65W 10000K/actinics. Not enough like for this mushroom? <S/b fine> The GSP is quite healthy and growing like a weed! <Yes... and "winning"> I'd hate to lose the mushroom as it cost me $50! Thanks for your help. <The GSP is poisoning the Corallimorph. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/polypcompfaqs.htm and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm re what can be done... Bob Fenner>

Star Polyp Information - They're growing like crazy!  1/8/08 Hello crew, <Renee> Once again, thank you ahead of time for your help. You have been unbelievably helpful in my aquarium quest...and I'm grateful to you for your efforts and time. :) <Welcome> I set up a 25 gallon Eclipse 2, modified system, on November 7, 2007. This system runs on the filtration unit included, a UV/filtration unit and 2 1200 Maxi-Jets, a heater set to 78. I add some trace elements every week, and I feed phytoplankton every 3 days to 5 days. I have an interesting issue. I have not heard of someone's polyps growing at a rate mine are and so I first of all, want to know if this is normal growth rate of polyps? <Can> Secondly, is this a good sign? <If you're a polyp... or polyp lover, I guess so> Thirdly, what can I do to keep them from taking over the entire aquarium? <Isolate them on their own rock patch, be diligent re culling (outside the tank)> Last of all, I want to propagate this to other tanks. Is it safe to frag this type of coral? <Sure> I have included 3 images of the growth recorded as dated for your reference. Thank you,. Renee Images 2 and 3 are reversed. <Mmm, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/polypcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above, part. repro. Bob Fenner>


GSP, Coral Compatibility 10/14/07 Hi WetWebMedia, <Hello Cheers> Sorry for asking but are Green Star Polyps compatible with Toadstool Leather Coral? <Although the Green Polyps have no stinging capability, their encrusting growth pattern can lead to rapid encroachment of it's neighbors. Trimming will more than likely be needed to keep it under control. This is one of those corals that some hobbyists regret ever putting in their tank. As for the Toadstool, it's aggressiveness is rather low so you should have no problems here.> I have them both in a nanocube. I know it's small but If I trim the polyps frequently will it suffice or will they kill each other. Right now I think the Leather is shedding because he was recently introduced to the tank. <Quite common reaction here.> My aquarium services has been doing aquariums for 55 years and says that the polyps are fine as long as they are not touching but the web says that they are noxious. I'm confused! Any help would be great. <No problems with either coral outside the fact the polyps will need pruning and they should not touch each other. The Leather Coral may also need trimming in time. This is a coral that is relatively easy to propagate. James (Salty Dog)> Cheers!

Coral compatibility question  12/30/06 <Hi Tim, Mich here.> I have slightly mixed reef tank with predominantly soft corals, and a few LPS, all growing nicely.  My green star polyps (Pachyclavularia violacea) have overgrown and choked out a portion of some button polyps (Zoanthus sp), and are approaching a ridge near the polyps (not the skeleton) of a branching hammer (Euphyllia parancora).  Should I be worried and try to scrape back the green star polyps to a distance, or can the more aggressive hammer fend for itself to keep the star polyps away? <I'm not sure who would win this war, but if it were me I'd avoid the battle all together.  Both of these corals do not play well with others and are big guns. You surely have a significant amount of allelopathy currently occurring.  Reducing this chemical warfare will benefit the overall health of your system.  You should be able to peel the (Pachyclavularia violacea) back and relocate it or share it with a friend. Thanks... <Welcome.  -Mich> Tim

Problem with Metallic Green Star Polyps!!!   10/1/06 WWM Crew,   <Tristan> I have encountered a few problems with my star polyps and I was wondering if you could help by providing me with some advice.  I recently (2 months ago) added a rock of some metallic green star polyps to my aquarium.  For the first 6 weeks, all was great.  The individual polyps all fully extended and waved freely in the water column - I even noticed the polyp colony expanding onto the nearby rock.  They certainly looked healthy. Then I decided to introduce some white finger leather <Here it is> and mushrooms.  Since their introduction (2 weeks ago) the polyps now all fail to extend.  I have read your site and acted on the advice you have given others. I have checked the water parameters, which appear fine, I have blasted a powerhead over the polyps (to clear of diatom algae), I have varied the polyps position in the tank.  However, the polyps still appear to hide.  I don't have any fish - just a 55 gallon aquarium 1/3 filled with live rock and some soft corals (rock of mushrooms, finger leather, toadstool). Do you have any idea what the problem could be?  Any help would be much appreciated.   All the best, Tristan <Allelopathy in a word. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/alcyoncompfaqs.htm and the linked files above... there are a few things one can do to lessen the effects... most extremely separating these incompatible cnidarians. Bob Fenner> Star Polyp Color Loss... Allelopathy in a crowded, small, mis-stocked nano   9/2/06 Hello Crew: <Richard> I am writing to you concerning a very odd star polyp issue. First, my tank: 10Gal Nano - 2 inch sand bed, 17lbs live rock - 8 months old 55 Gal Power Filter (set 1/4 on) - run one side with carbon constantly 1 20 Gal Power Head Heat at 78 - fluctuates 77-79 96Watt Aqualight 50/50 PC Weekly - Biweekly 1 gallon water change C-Balance every 2-3 days <With testing...> Liquid Calcium every 2-3 days (alternate from C-Balance) PH Buffer 2 times/week <Dittos> Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate ~0 PH 8.2-8.3 Calcium - 300-350 (a bit low but it just seems that this tank stays low) Phosphate - 0 Mates: -Percula Clown Fish -Linckia Star Fish (Didn't realize at the time that 10 gal is too small - I think he is hungry and appears to be shrinking, but I'm cycling a 37 that he can move into soon). <Still too small...> -Blue Maxima Clam 2" -Teardrop Clam 2" <... these tridacnids are misplaced here> -3 Blue Hermits -4 Astrea Snails -Xenia - 2 types -Button Polyps - many colors -Ricordea - 3 heads -Mushrooms -Toadstool Coral )Getting big now! -Star Polyps I feed the clown flakes - he will eat out of my hands which is cool. I feed DTs twice per week for the clams, and feed frozen Cyclop-eeze to the star polyps 2 times/week. Absolutely everything is the tank is growing at a great rate (except the starfish). Now to my question: The star polyps were given to me by one of the guys at my LFS (just tore off a piece growing on the sand!). The polyps have white centers with long green tentacles. The underling color is brown. Ever since I've had them, they have grown at an amazing rate. <... dangerous in such a small volume> They have never had any problems opening fully and continue to grow like crazy. However, over the past 3 months, the green color has been disappearing from the tentacles (leaving them brown). Now the green color is nearly completely gone. I read one forum article where a respondent stated that it may be that if the animal isn't being fed enough that the symbiotic algae was taking over the feeding chore - providing energy for the coral and as a result, changing the pigment through sheer reproductive growth. This seemed to make since and I increased feedings of Cyclop-eeze to no avail. Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks for the great articles and FAQs. Rich in Holly Springs NC. <You need to invest in a much larger system... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. You have a classic case of allelopathy going on here... will result in a crash... soon. Bob Fenner> Green Star Polyps touching large leather  8/25/06 Good morning crew, < Good morning! > Thanks for a great website. < Bob and the crew do a wonderful job, don't they? > Just a quick question. I have a 75 gallon reef tank doing really well. A colony of Green Star Polyps has grown enough to come in contact with the trunk of a large leather coral. Is this cause for concern? < Not a serious threat, yet. > Will the leather suffer from this contact? < Eventually, the star polyp may encroach to the point of becoming a bother. You may want to place small pieces of rock on or around the star polyp, then remove the fragments as they get too close. > There is no contact with the crown, only the trunk. < While it stays on the trunk, the star polyp will try to overpower the leather, try to remove all edges that are in contact. It is not a real issue yet, but if left unchecked, it may become one soon! > Thanks for your help... < Anytime, RichardB > Ralph

Zoanthid comp., star polyps...  3/15/06 Crew- <Craig> Any idea why the waxy mats of star polyps become brittle over time in my system? <Mmm, nutrition, water quality, allelopathy... the top three guesses for categories> The base of the polyps (mats) seem to lose some of their ability to adhere. I have used several different colonies of different species, <Negatively interacting with each other...> but all have exhibited similar tendencies. The colonies will drop trailers of polyps, but super glue has been the only way to get them to stick to rubble when I frag them. All water testing has not turned up anything suspicious, and I have tried various locations, lighting, and current with no significant differences to note. <Mmm, around the world where one goes diving, you never see but one species/colony in one close area...> Could bristleworms be blamed? <Not likely> How about their tankmates like SPS, Ricordea, and Zoanthids? <... Re Zoanthids: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/blane-zoanthids/zoanthids.htm> Never have other corals been within 6" of any polyp colony, and sweeper tentacles are not able to reach where I locate my star polyps. I understand most people have "trouble" keeping them from growing too much. Have any of you ever experienced what I have been regarding star polyp colonies? <Don't have to be that close... are interacting chemically... There are a few things one can do to forestall the more-ill-effects of these negative interactions... Start all colonies small, about the same time, keep up water changes, use of chemical filtrants... Ultimately though, this becomes a narrower, more tenuous balancing act. Bob Fenner> thanks Craig

Hardy Starfish/Star-Polyps - 02/14/06 Hello Mr. Fenner and the WWM Crew, <<Crew member EricR here today.>> I just finished The Conscientious Marine Aquarist and enjoyed it immensely.  I'll try and keep this short.  I currently have a 150 gallon tank with a 30 gallon sump, Berlin protein skimmer, 150 lbs live rock and coral skeleton with a 3" deep sand bed.  Lighting consists of 2- 48" Corallife fixtures. <<Wattage? 40w?  110w?>> Plans are in the works for a 55 gallon sump and refugium combination. <<Excellent...much to benefit from...>> Tank species consist of: Regal Tang, Yellow Hawaiian Tang, 2 Clarkii Clowns, Flame Angel, Sailfin Blenny, and an assorted clean up crew.  My wife would like to add a few starfishes and star polyps to the tank.  Could you please give us some suitable candidates? Thank you for your time, Mark Gallan Monroe, Michigan <<Well Mark, the fact you wish to add sessile invertebrates restricts your sea star selection.  Have a look at the genus Fromia for some attractive and suitable choices, and avoid those from the genus Linckia.  Though the latter is considered "reef safe", they suffer from a dismal survival rate in captivity.  As for the star-polyps, Pachyclavularia violacea or Briareum violacea are quite hardy...sometimes to the point of being invasive.  For best color/vigor/health you may need to add more lighting to your existing setup.  Regards, EricR >>

Coral trouble, Possible Angel Predation, and Their Little "i's"  12/10/05 Hi, <Hello.> I'm new to this hobby, <No worries, we all were once.> I only had my tank with live rocks but now I want most kinds of corals. <Most kinds of corals, that would require a VERY large tank, best to limit yourself to a few species in this water volume.> I have a 26g tank with I think it is a Starburst Polyp I got a few days ago, and I know that they take at least a week for them to come out of hiding, <Mmm, sometimes, though in ideal conditions I have had them open up for me within hours...this being after a 36 hour trip from the collection point.> but I see that most of its body is light red, and it has a spot or two that is darker red, I think it may be that is dying or it has a disease. <If these are star polyps we are talking about, its quite common for them have many color variations, its also common for algae to grow on top of them. Having said that they appreciate a spot with ample water flow to keep detritus and algae from settling on them.> But then again I think it is because of my Angelfish, I saw it nibble on it a couple of times. <Sounds like the culprit the coral will not extend and live with a fish using it as a food source, it will eventually die if this is the case.> Do you guys have any idea what it can be? <My guess is the angel, hard to say more since you did not list water parameters.> I will really be thankful with your answers. And is a 65 watts good enough for a 26g tank? <It is good enough for a wide array of many easy to keep photosynthetic animals, I would stay away from "shallow water"/light demanding critters, Adam J.>

Not a Star with Polyps, Cnidarian Compatibility  11/7/05 Hi My name is Richard and I would like to say you have a wonderful site here very useful for coral beginner like me. (Well, I'm a beginner all-around) I have 22 Gallon Tank with Trumpet Coral, Mushrooms, Brain, Plate and Purple Xeniids for fish I have only a small maroon clown and some fish which name is so long that I forgot... <They may have trouble with the Maroon with its growth...> Anyways I have recently purchased Star Polyps (2 1/2 Days ago, to be precise) and it came out for little bit (like 5% of leaves?) then it all went back in and won't come back out at all... I just got my water tested and they (local fish store) have told me that all seems to be in order but I'm just scared that this beautiful thing will just die on me.. Is this behavior normal? <Is normal for the circumstances... being new, being placed in a small volume with other cnidarians that are established...> If it is then how long does this take in order for it to bloom like it used to? Thanks for your time, Richard  <Perhaps days, maybe never. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files at top... till you get to the archived files on Star Polyps... Bob Fenner>

Aiptasia on neon star's rock  8/16/05 Hello crew, <Stephanie> I just realized I have Aiptasia in my tank - on the same rock my new neon star polyps came with! I just bought the coral last week and it looks like the Aiptasia is growing very fast! I'm worried it will harm my neon stars since they're both sharing the same little piece of rock. <Might> I've been reading that peppermint shrimps can get rid of this pest anemone. Will it damage the neon stars as well? <Likely not> The Aiptasia came with the neon stars, so they're all on the same little piece of rock. Let me know when you can, much appreciated!! thank you! Steph <Bob Fenner>

Attack Of The Peppermint Shrimp...And More... - 05/31/05 Hello Crew: <<Howdy...Eric Russell here.>> I have a couple of questions regarding an issue with my mini-reef system and its inhabitants. <<>> I have a 20 gal system (My 10g developed a stress crack and was transferred into this tank.) that has approximately 16 lbs. of Tonga rock, 10 lbs. branching Tonga/6 lbs. standard. The initial 10 gallon was up and running for several months before the crack necessitated the transfer. It contained 3 damsels, 2 peppermint shrimps, 1 Blue Leg hermit, 4 Mexican hermits, 10 Nassarius snails, 3 unknown snails, 4 pieces of Xenia (2 different species), 1 Kenya tree, and a small colony of Green Star Polyps (plus the unknown anemones which I had previously inquired about). <<OK>> Approximately a day before the tank cracked, I found both of my peppermint shrimps on top of my GSP and it appeared that they were possibly eating it. <<A distinct possibility. None of the shrimps are truly "reef safe" in my estimation, and of the three more commonly kept species for reef tanks (Lysmata debelius [blood shrimp], Lysmata amboinensis [skunk cleaner shrimp], Lysmata wurdemanni [peppermint shrimp]), the peppermint is probably the least safe.>> I chased them off the colony, and placed it inside of a protective container in the tank. I have only seen 1 polyp return since this occurred and it appears that the shrimp may have managed to get the survivor too. (This GSP had been scraped off the back wall of another tank and was then attached to some coral rubble.) After the transfer to the 20, I let the tank restabilize for a few weeks before adding any new animals. I obtained several new frags of coral to add to the tank which consisted of another colony of GSP, 1 pair of hairy mushrooms, and 1 group of 3 small pimply mushrooms. I also added a coral beauty and a small Naso tang. <<GAK!! Tell me it's not true! Even with no other fish, the Naso has no business in a tank this small! Nothing less than a couple hundred gallons for this fish please.>> The coral beauty had been kept by the fish store for several weeks to ensure that it was eating/healthy specimen. <<All good...but was it also quarantined by you?>> The small Naso tang is slightly larger than 3 inches in length and was still in its juvenile coloration. It has a constant supply of food from the growth on the live rock plus is being actively fed a few times a day a varied diet of Mysis, brine shrimp, veggie flake, Formula one, and Emerald entree. (In the past I have successfully kept larger Naso tangs in my bigger tanks). <<Mmm...(wondering how big is "bigger?")>> I noticed that the juvenile seemed much more skittish and was constantly grazing compared to them, so I did some research on the somewhat altered requirements. The Naso, which was the juvenile slate grey at the store, has started to color up in my system. (In case you are wondering, I plan to relocate him to a larger system in the near future.) <<If we're talking a couple weeks/months that's one thing, but rarely is this the case. Usually the fish is left to become stunted and stressed while the well-meaning fish keeper waits for it to "outgrow" the system, or is waiting to buy that "bigger" tank. Hopefully you will place this fish in a system of suitable size very soon.>> Given the fact that he is actively scavenging, swimming, gaining color and filling out leads me to the conclusion that he has acclimated well. <<Yes, for now...things will change.>> For the record: Temp 79, Salinity 1.024, pH 8.2, Nitrites 0, Nitrates less than 5ppm. Dosing calcium, Iodine, Strontium. Adding Phytoplex and DT's live Phyto plankton every 2 days for the corals. <<Very few corals actually benefit from the phyto as most are carnivores. An assortment of finely minced meaty foods would be better.>> Thus, my questions are: 1. Obviously, I believe I had an issue with the shrimp eating the first colony of GSP, as they had been in the tank for a while before I found the 2 shrimp on top of them and they disappeared. Last night, I noticed that one of the shrimp was on the new colony of GSP. I immediately, moved the GSP into a plastic container to help prevent the shrimp from getting to them. The new GSP looks like it is all out, in fact it looks better than when I obtained the frag. Have you ever heard of Peppermint Shrimp bothering GSP? <<Yes, as well as many other things.>> Other than removing the peppermint, is there anything I can do to prevent this colony from being decimated like the first one? <<I'm afraid you'll need to remove the shrimp to save the GSP.>> 2. In regard to the juvenile Naso...is there any other foods that you would recommend I feed? With my larger tangs, I always used to feed typical foods, plus place leafy vegetables in the tank for them to feed on which I plan to do again. Any other suggestions regarding the rearing of this individual. (The tank is cycled more than 20 times per hour by the filter alone...plus has an additional power head, so there is plenty of water movement) <<Aside from my obvious misgivings about this fish in this size tank...feed an assortment of Mysis, plankton, krill, and seaweed (Nori), while avoiding terrestrial vegetables 3, In regard to the variety of soft corals, I have read that some people believe that the different species will engage in chemical warfare. <<More than a belief, is a fact...it's called allelopathy.>> I have successfully kept Xenia and mushrooms in the same system previously and never noticed an issue. However, as this is a smaller system any such issue should become rapidly obvious. What symptoms do I need to keep my eyes peeled for? Does the chemical warfare always happen or is it only between certain species? <<Is always present to one degree or another, even in tanks with a single species...competition upon the reef is a very deadly business. Allelopathy is not always readily apparent and can sometimes take a while to have a visual effect, it usually manifests in the unexplained decline of the lesser aggressive specie. Frequent water changes and the use of carbon/poly-filters can help ameliorate the situation.>> I should probably mention that all 3 of my initial species were frags from another tank which also contained several species of mushroom and frogspawn. The person never had any issues either, which is why I found the statements to be a bit odd. Thanks in advance for the answers. Art <<Regards, Eric R.>>

It's Brown, So It Must Be Bad, Right?-Growth Amid Star Polyps - 05/06/05 Dear WWM, you guys are great, I have star polyps that grow like crazy but I have been noticing a sponge like organism growing in spots on the polyp's base. Some of this same organism is growing on part of the live rock. It is visible when the polyps retract at night. It is brown/green/yellow like a mucus color and looks like tube worms are coming out of it some of it (it could be dying polyps that look like tube worms and they are clear.). I scraped some of it off tonight but I don't know how to stop it. <What makes you think it is something bad/needs to be stopped? If you only see it when the polyps are retracted that tells me the polyps are unhurt and dense enough to cover it when expanded. Unless you can determine it is doing harm this is likely some harmless cryptic organism.> I also saw what seem to be red slime algae growing on my sand. It is just the beginning and looks like coralline but I think it is red slime. <Yes, more likely Cyanobacteria than coralline algae. Can be reduced/eliminated with increased water flow.> PS. Sorry about the grammatical errors, AIM has taken over my life. <Ah yes, know what you mean.> Thanks, Joe <Regards, Eric R.>

Carpet anemone and green star Hello! I have been reading the FAQs trying to find some info. I recently bought a green carpet anemone. It was very sticky when I bought it but has lost much of its stick. I have it in a tank with two types of green star polyp (I think one is Briareum and the other is Pachyclavularia) some mushrooms, a small colony of zoanthids and two clownfish. When the lights are off the anemone opens up and looks fine. When the lights are on the anemone shrinks down and its mouth is partly open. All tests are in the perfect ranges, pH 8-8.6, ammonia 0, nitrites 0, calcium 425, KH 11. Nitrates are slightly higher then I would like but not too bad (waiting to get a new test kit as the one I am using is old and may not be giving me correct readings). I have 6 watts per gal of PC lights. What could be the problem? Could it be chemical warfare from the green star? I have read that they can be aggressive. The anemone is nowhere near the green star. Everything else in the tank is doing fine. Please help!!!  <Six watts PC per gallon? A lot depends on the depth of your tank. These anemones are difficult to keep with all conditions good, and they do much better under halide lighting.  Even with a shallower tank, 6 watts/gallon really isn't enough for these guys to thrive for any length of time. Please read, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/anemlgtgfaq3.htm. James (Salty Dog)><<This is little doubt, a case of chemical incompatibility between all this Cnidarian life... the size of the system is not stated, but all the water gets mixed about... I would remove this anemone, post haste, to another system. Bob Fenner>>

Out of control star polyps - 2/24/05 Hello, I have a question concerning green star polyps.  <OK>  I have a colony that is spreading out of control, I have placed rocks in path and given much away, however they are spreading to areas that I am not able to place rocks, such as underneath rocks in the caves and then popping up later in a crevice.  <I have had the same problem with various "spreading" type corals.>  My concern is they will grow over my other corals and suffocate them.  <In my experience, they will grow over most corals that do not have a strong enough defense. The list would be too great to list so here is my advice, do what you can to prevent this from happening. Use a razor or scissors to cut and scrape away from corals. Remove as much as you can. Then do a water change with heated and aerated saltwater. If you have some help, I would make a bunch of replacement saltwater heat and aerate while you and your helper use a small diameter tube (to suck up pieces of the coral but suck too much water out of the tank too quickly) and have them suction the polyp pieces as you scrape it away. One way to do it, anyway.>  Surprisingly, they have grown close to a Hydnophora and are not backing away?  <So hard to believe right? Hydnophora is so powerful but the star polyps have a great ability to take the sting and chemo defenses.>  Will they grow over corals or just around them.  <Depends on the corals. I wouldn't wait to find out though. ~Paul> 

Stinging Hydroids 1/23/04 Hello WWM Crew! First of all I want to give your guys Props for your web site. <thanks kindly... tell a friend <G>> My Current system. 55gal with at least 50lbs + of live rock 40 breeder divided into 3 sections as sump/return/refugium. new EV180 skimmer new DIY calcium reactor 3 @4' standard 10K, actinic PH 8.2 salinity 1.025 ammonia 0 nitrites 0 nitrates according to red sea's nitrate test kit is 2.5ppm.  My nitrates have never dropped below this value, however, they increased to 5ppm once and with a water change, dropped back to 2.5ppm.  I believe its the test kit here. <yes... although impurities from sea salts are not unheard of (including ammonia)> Maroon clown Bubble tip, which I shocked over a year ago, causing it to turn white.  It is still hanging on, but is only the diameter of a 50 cent piece now. 2 yellow tail damsels Feather Duster Cleaner shrimp Over the past 2 months, I have been doing a 10% water change weekly.   I'm having a problem with a green star polyp colony that I have had for about 6 months now.  After about 3 months the polyps would not open except on occasion. After 4 months the colony started to shrink in size. <not for lack of feeding... this is one of the few corals that really does not need to be fed much at all... just good lights (although your light intensity is weak here and a problem if this coral is much below 8" from the surface of the water).> After 5 months, the purple mat started to change to a orange-ish mat.  I preformed a l=Lugol's dip as directed on the bottle and I have not really seen any change in the polyps or mat. <for weak polyp extension in Star Polyp (Briareum), it is very often inappropriate water flow. Usually not enough (10-20X tank turnover at least) although avoid laminar flow (blasting it with a power head). Mix it up instead> Yesterday I found a reference to Stinging Hydroids and I have identified about 10+ colonies in my tank.  My tank initially was a FOWLR and these colonies which were multiplying never alarmed me.  They were a bonus.   Is it possible that these hydroids are releasing enough toxins into the water to kill the Star Polyps? <although the hydroids are aggressive and can be a problem... Star Polyp is fiercely aggressive. More likely water flow here> If so, what would you recommend as a means to remove them?  If I scrub them out with a small tooth brush,  will that cause a flux of additional toxins in the water? <a tooth brush tied to and extended slightly forward of a running siphon tube will allow you to scrub and slurp at the same time> I'm now researching and building a 120aga, with 2 30 gal refugiums (one on each side of the 120) , a 50 gallon underneath for a DSB and a sump for my skimmer etc..., so please bear with me.   I have spent so much time researching new set-ups that I really have not had time to research ever aspect of the star polyps, except that I probably will not put them in the new set-up, I'm looking to do SPS, however I do not want to kill them. Eric Barlow <do re-examine your lighting scheme mate. Any number of standard fluorescents is still going to be weakly intense (not penetrating very deep into the tank). Two 100-watt double-ended HQI halides would be a nice and gentle upgrade here. Easy power use, not too bright, and good value/longevity. Best regards, Anthony> Super Green Star Polyps! Good Day - <Hiay! Scott F. here today!> OK - I've searched but cannot find the answer among your previously answered questions so here goes; I have an established tank 2+ years and have had little to no problems. It is a 45 tall (I know tall isn't the best but it's what I'm stuck with) LR/LS set-up and I have it stocked mostly with octocorallians and fish. I purchased some star polyps about a year ago and they are growing out of control - stinging my Xenia and Colt corals to death. Is there any way to stop/slow the growth of the Star polyps? I have tried to redirect them only to have them grow over anything I put in their path and onto the adjacent corals. I have tried to "peel" them off of the rock with no success. They are a very bright green and look like moss or grass during the day but they are growing out of control. If I leave it alone, they will eventually cover everything in the tank. Any suggestions? <This is a problem that many hobbyists would like to have! I have always liked GSPs, but they can become a problem if left unchecked. I would have tried many of the same tactics that you did. In particular, I like to "passively propagate" actively growing corals like GSPs and Xenia by simply putting some rubble in the "path" of the Star Polyps, letting them "overgrow" the rubble, then removing the rubble and replacing it with a new piece or pieces (and, this will help you supply our fellow hobbyists with their own GSP starter colonies!). If you are impatient, then more radical methods are necessary, such as removing the rock or rocks on which the GSPs have set up shop, or regularly excising them with a razor blade (a tedious process, but seemingly the best way to go in your case). You really might consider propagating this beautiful coral and supplying fellow hobbyists and fish stores! When life gives you lemons, as they say....!> Thank you. J.T. Craddock

Advancing Green Star Polyp Greetings Crew! <Hi Ray, MacL here.> I have a question regarding one of my reef tank inhabitants.  I have a green star polyp (Pachyclavularia sp?) that started out as a 1"x2" frag 8 months ago and, thanks to help from the crew, now totally covers a 6"x10" rock with a beautiful mat of bright green polyps.    It has advanced in one direction partially covering another small rock (which will be removed eventually to a friends tank and another rock put in it's place to repeat the process...doing my small part to keep more coral in the wild). The problem is the other side.  The colony has somehow spanned a 3/4" gap between rocks (I thought would stop it's advancement) and has climbed another rock and is advancing towards my Anthelia Polyp colony.  The space between the two colonies is now only 1/4".  Moving the rock is not an option and I really want to keep both colonies happy because they are both doing great and are very beautiful. <In a battle I would think that the anthelia would win. Not what you wanted to here huh? You might try putting a rock between the two for it to climb on. Spread to as it were, similar to what you are doing on the other side. It will also climb on PVC or rocks or even shells if you can find some flat ones for it to climb up. And bizarre as it sounds I have friends who use a turkey baster to blow theirs every day to stop the advance. It works for them.  If  more radical methods are necessary, such as removing the rock or rocks on which the GSPs have set up shop, or regularly excising them with a razor blade> Any ideas on what to do? <Hope that helps Ray, MacL> Thanks -Ray Advancing Green Star Polyp Greetings Crew! I have a question regarding one of my reef tank inhabitants.  I have a green star polyp (Pachyclavularia sp?) that started out as a 1"x2" frag 8 months ago and, thanks to help from the crew, now totally covers a 6"x10" rock with a beautiful mat of bright green polyps. <Nice.  It will advance quite quickly under the right conditions.>   It has advanced in one direction partially covering another small rock (which will be removed eventually to a friends tank and another rock put in it's place to repeat the process...doing my small part to keep more coral in the wild). <Good for you.  Every little bit helps!> The problem is the other side.  The colony has somehow spanned a 3/4" gap between rocks (I thought would stop it's advancement) and has climbed another rock and is advancing towards my Anthelia Polyp colony.  The space between the two colonies is now only 1/4".  Moving the rock is not an option and I really want to keep both colonies happy because they are both doing great and are very beautiful. Any ideas on what to do? <I would try peeling it off by the mat.  Fortunately GSPs come off pretty easily this way.  Do it out of the water, preferably.  If this doesn't work, try using a chisel to get under it and remove.  These are pretty, but can turn into a real pain when they spread.  Hope this helps, Matt.> Thanks -Ray

Cleaner shrimp, polyps, Heniochus Hello again, I recently added a cleaner shrimp (Lysmata grabhami, I think) to my 75 gal. Setup which includes some yellow polyps and green button polyps. I've seen the shrimp "sampling" the polyps several times, causing them to close up. Do you think this causing harm to the polyps? <The shrimp is probably bugging them more than anything else, I doubt they are in any danger.> On a similar note, I'm interested in Heniochus Bannerfish. I've read that H. diphreutes is reef safe, but H. acuminatus is not. Do you agree? <yes> Would a pair of H. diphreutes be suitable for a 75 gal. that is otherwise lightly-loaded? Thank very much, and thanks for maintaining such a valuable site. John H. <Thank you for the kind words, and I promise, the site is only going to get better. A pair of the H. diphreutes would be much better suited than the H. acuminatus. You can find more information on butterflyfishes at the link below. Best Regards, Gage http://wetwebmedia.com/BFsBestWrst.htm>

Closed Green Star Polyps? Crew, <Scott F. your Crew Member today> I e-mailed the attached question to you guys a couple of days ago. I was wondering if you guys were real busy and just haven't come across this message yet. Maybe it was just a stupid question, as I am new to invert keeping. <Sorry for the delay...Every once in a while, we have one that may fall through the cracks... Yours just showed up in my inbox today, and it is certainly not a stupid question at all! In fact, there are really no "stupid" questions, IMO> I did study literature on  these snails as well as green star polyps before purchasing them and found nothing that would suggest there would be a problem keeping them in the same tank. <There really is no problem, IMO. In fact, even though it may cause the colony to close up for a couple of days following an "incursion" by the snails, it's probably not a bad thing. One of the "enemies" of green star polyps is algae and detritus settling on the tissue, which can eventually smother the colony if allowed to accumulate for any significant period of time. Algae eating snails may be of help, so I wouldn't be overly concerned. Also, if provided with proper conditions, these corals can really take off, so they are pretty tough, as far as I'm concerned! They are also one of the more aggressive corals, from a "chemical warfare" aspect, so keep this in mind when placing them, and allow enough room for them to grow without destroying any other colonies> Anyway, the polyps are back to full extension and are looking fabulous, so I guess patience answered my question. I have really have found this site to be a wealth of knowledge and I am grateful for your devotions. Many Thanks, Jeff <Glad to hear everything is back to normal, Jeff. And I am sorry that it took a while for us to get back to you! We appreciate your thinking of us, and hope that you'll feel free to contact us any time with future questions! Regards, Scott F>

Star Polyps Vs. Anemone! Hey there! Thanks for all that you do, it's a great help to the entire community. <Glad that you enjoy it! Scott F. at your service today!> I set up a 55 gallon tank about 4 months ago and have been going very very slow. Added about 40 lbs of live rock over time and have concentrated on letting the tank cycle. <Great! Patience really helps!> All seems to be excellent so I was excited to buy my first animal for the tank today, a metallic green star polyp soft coral. <A great coral to start with! One of my favorites!> I placed it on the best spot I could find for it, with moderate light, and a decent current. I am happy to report that it has already started extending its polyps. <Excellent...> But from beneath the base of this same rock comes something my LFS called a starlight anemone I believe.. it consists of very thin and very long pink translucent tentacles. These tentacles stretch all over the place crawling along the gravel and climbing around on the rocks. <Hmm...hard to say what it might be. Not the dreaded Aiptasia, huh?> I am concerned about whether this anemone (if that is what it is) could sting my coral? It has been "feeling" all over the coral for the past hour but I would expect that if it was harmful to the coral, the coral would pull back the polyps that are out. Is that correct? What should I do? <Hard to say...Star coral (Pachyclavularia) is a very aggressive, but it's never good to mix anemones and corals in the same tank, if you can avoid it...Or, at least provide them with sufficient space to avoid physical contact> Sincerely appreciate your assistance! John Parrish <Well, John, I would not be overly concerned. However, do keep an eye on the interactions, and be prepared to relocate one of the animals if this becomes a problem. Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Coral polyps question Hi Bob - First of all let me thank you for your answers to my questions (and those of other aquarists) in the past. You single-handedly manage to help out half the aquarist community, I think! <An honor! Thank you for your kind acknowledgement> I am pretty new to reef keeping, but have kept marine fishes for several years. I purchased a piece of coral called simply as 'polyps' (brown star polyps?) about two weeks ago from the LFS. When I took it home, all of the many polyps were expanded. Now only very, very few show themselves. I have determined that the calcium in my tank was way too low, but now have it at an acceptable level, about 425 (Alk is about 3.2). Do the polyps have a chance of getting back to normal now that the water parameters are ok?  <Yes indeed... these are amongst the most resilient of stinging-celled animals> How long will this take?  <A few days to weeks> Everything else in the tank (from fish to crustaceans to mushroom rock), is doing fine. <Ahh, and they are located a ways from the Mushrooms I trust...> Thanks a million! Andre, (an aspiring conscientious marine aquarist) <"Nothing is decided (or named in truth) till it is done". By acting as one, you are. Bob Fenner>

Star polyps Hi Bob  The polyps are disappearing and the rock grows barer day after day. I need help fast!  <Hmm, wonder "who did it"?> Fish inhabitants include: 1 yellow tang, 1 royal Gramma, 1 coral beauty, 1 blue damsel , 1 tomato clown and a mandarin  <Okay...> Other critters: 1 chocolate chip star fish ( doesn't bother my inverts and I've never seen him on the star polyp rock), assorted snails and hermit crabs (red leg and left handed)  <Maybe the Hermits...> Supplements are: Seachem's Reef Builder and Calcium Advantage, Iodide and iron  <Maybe the iron, or iodide... or excess alkalinity or too little biomineral... like calcium... Umm, what are your test kit readings?>  Thanks for your time, Mike  <Bob Fenner, www.WetWebMedia.com>

Green/brown star or clove polyps? I bought a piece of live rock with the star polyps you guys call clove. I bought them last November and they have now just in the past month or two started to-well almost just disappear of the rock and the red skin or whatever the outer layer off them disappears too? its like they just melt away? <Yes, this can happen> all my other mushrooms, some kind of coral, green colonial polyps, green anemones are growing like weeds!! do they after away in captivity just die off, I put reef complete in every week.. the tank is packed maybe they are fighting for space and are losing but nothing is growing really on top of them. I have bristle worms in the tank that come from the rocks and they aren't the problem because they don't bother anything. I have A LOT of tiny like shrimp in the tank I doubt they are the problem-please help me save my other rock before its starts- thanks -Jeff <What you describe is a case/scenario of "succession" in a small captive system... conditions favoring some groups of organisms over others... resulting in a loss of diversity, abundance of some species in lieu of others. You can slow this overall process down by inspiring "dynamic", punctuated habitat and bio-diversity by having a larger system with "micro" climates in it, periodically disrupting chemical and physical stasis (by changing water chemistry for instance), best accomplished by the periodic change out/replacement of live rock, use of attached refugiums, plenums. Bob Fenner>

Clavularia sp. damage Dear Robert, Recently, I have watched my once blooming waving hand anthelia (I think it's your common brown Clavularia sp.) in my 30 gal. tank recede into its tight fisted polyps never to open up again. I first thought it was due to some water condition issue. However, I noticed at night, when all the lights are out, that there are small worm like creatures (perhaps 1/4in. in length, white and smooth, tiny pair of antennas) all over the Clavularia. These worms are proliferating and systematically attacking the Clavularia. It seems as if there is no hope of salvaging the Clavularia.  <Not so fast... do look into a Pseudocheilinus wrasse here... a four or six stripe if it were my choice. Please read over the coverage of this Wrasse genus on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com and get one soon... the end of these worm pests> However, in an effort to successfully introduce another Clavularia into my tank, I would like to know what these worms are and where they came from.  <Likely some sort of errantiate polychaete ("bristle worm", there are thousands of species)... and likely from your live rock> More importantly, is there a biological means of controlling them - i.e., introducing some type of shrimp? Final note, these worms do not seem interested in my other corals, soft or hard. I would appreciate any feedback and/or thoughts. Best regards. Joe. <Try the Pseudocheilinus first here> Joe Hayashi <Bob Fenner

Coral vs. Caulerpa Question Bob, I recently purchased a piece of coral which had quite a few Protopalythoa vestitus (green zoanthids) on it and the piece also had Caulerpa serrulata (Sawblade Caulerpa) on it (at least I think this is the type of Caulerpa that it is). My question is this - all the polyps in the coral seem to be fine except the ones which are in contact with the Caulerpa. The polyps which are in contact with the Caulerpa seemed to be closed up and turning white (it seems to be killing them). Is this the possible cause of the polyps demise. <Yes> Like I said, any polyp which has no contact with the Caulerpa seems to be thriving. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help, Phil in San Diego <Conditions may otherwise just favor the algae in your system. Bob Fenner>

Green Star Polyp Compatibility WWM Crew: Are green star polyps incompatible with herbivores, i.e. yellow tang or fox face? My LFS said the tang would pick at it. <although some tangs can be problematic nibblers, most are categorically VERY "reef safe". Most reef keepers have little or no problems with tangs and star polyps. Maybe your LFS has a problem with nuisance algae in the tank (growing on Starpolyps) that entices the tangs to graze <wink> Best regards, Anthony> David

Star Polyps  Hi guys, <cheers, mate... Anthony Calfo in your service>  Got a question for you on controlling Star Polyp growth... how do you do it? I started with a small colony, but it has since spread over 3 pieces of rock and I can see it's pink mat growing more everyday!!! Is there a way to control it's growth, or should I just prune?  <yes... simply prune and share frags with other aquarists, LFS, aquarium societies, etc.> Will pruning damage the rest of the colony?  <not if you cut cleanly... tearing on the other hand is risky for all coral. Incise a portion with a scalpel or razor blade for a clean line of demarcation/termination. Then lift cleanly and firmly with tweezers> Coincidently, my Sarcophyton has looked terrible lately (starting to drop, polyps not extending).  <Starpolyps are very noxious and aggressive (shedding "toxins" into water).. could be contributing a little> One of my clowns has adopted it as a surrogate anemone host. Could that be the reason?  <some leathers don't seem to mind this... others seem to be quite irritated. I personally don't like it or encourage such repetitious stimulation> Or maybe a combination of that and the huge growth of star polyps waging some chemical warfare???  <agreed> Is there a way to discourage the clown fish from bothering the Sarcophyton? <nothing predictable... I really don't recommend clowns for most reefs for this reason... they may even try to take residence in a long tentacled LPS coral (Goniopora, Caryophylliid, etc) which is almost sure to kill it. I'd pull the clowns in the long run or resist LPS corals if they shuffle hosts. Best regards, Anthony>

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