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FAQs about Sea Mats, Star Polyps Identification 1

Related Articles: Mat/Star PolypsBlue, Pipe Organ Corals,

Related FAQs: Polyp/Clavulariid ID 2, Polyp/Clavulariid ID 3, Polyp/Clavulariid ID 4, & Polyps 1Polyps 2Polyps 3Polyp Behavior, Polyp Compatibility, Polyp Selection, Polyp Systems, Polyp Feeding, Polyp Disease, Polyp Reproduction/Propagation,

Need Help With ID of Aiptasia / Featherduster...  7/18/06 Hello again Crew!   I'm in need of an ID of these clusters of things that are popping up everywhere on my live rock.  If I brush my hand over them, the feather-like tentacles retract into their tube.  I've read through the Aiptasia posts and still don't know if I'm on the right track with this one. There are 3 pictures (jpeg) attached to show you what I'm looking at. <Mmm, look more like some sort of Zoanthid to me... though could be a type of colonial anemone> Picture 1 entitled - "Unknown ID 1"  Shows the cluster on the live rock. Picture 2 entitled - "Unknown ID 2"  Shows a different cluster magnified. Picture 3 entitled - "Is This Aiptasia"  I'm 99.9% sure this is the real deal?  And again, another cluster above the red circle. I just bought some Joe's Juice just in case, but wanted to get a proper ID before I do anything. Thanks so much for your help and an amazing website!!! Brett <I would remove, scrub the infested rocks if you are overly concerned re the spread, undesirability of this animal. I would not elect to use a chemical poison with these. Do wear gloves, eye protection when handling... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm and the linked files above.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Need Help With ID of Aiptasia / Featherduster  7/18/06 Thanks, Bob!  I've always wanted to keep Zoanthids - now I know I can!!! Brett <Heeeee! Great! BobF>

Re: Need Help With ID of Aiptasia / Featherduster   7/17/06 One more thing about these...  Would you consider them a pest Zoanthid? <Mmm, only if "too much", stinging, poisoning, taking up space you would rather have used else wise> I would like to keep more desirable types (layman - pretty) in the near future.  Do you think I would have a problem with them competing? <If nearby, yes, definitely> I think I want to leave well enough alone now. Thanks again, Brett <I would as well. Bob Fenner> Awesome, Thanks! Brett
<Welcome. BobF>

Id these Polyps?  4/27/06 Hey WWF crew, <Hey!> I purchased this rock of metallic green mushrooms at my LFS.  On it are a group of polyps, for which I have not been able to get an ID.  I was hoping you guys could help me out. They appear to form a continuous mat, and are most extended when lights are on.  Each head is about 1/8" across, and the centers are a neon green color. <They look to be some type of Zoanthid.  Check WWM for info on these.> Thanks and keep up the good work!
<Thanks, have a great one, Jen S.>

Aiptasia... nope, "clove" polyps    4/10/06 [Original message below] Hi there!  I am attaching a photo of what I am pretty sure, from looking at your site and others, is Aiptasia.  I wrote a few weeks ago when they had just appeared and were much smaller, but had no access to a digital camera.  Now, they have grown and they look more like Aiptasia than baby dusters to me.  Please confirm if I am correct (though I really hope they're harmless!).   <Mmm, actually are a stoloniferous animal... a Clavulariid... clove polyp type: http://wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm> And, if I am correct, do I need to take my duster out of the tank? <Mmm, no... might need to be moved if this colony grows too close its direction though.> They are all attached to this mat-like thing wrapped around the duster's tube.  I read that scraping is a bad idea since they can regenerate if you cut them.  I've noticed my red-legged hermits munching on them.  When the crabs munch on them, does regeneration result? <Possibly... though these colonies can be invasive on their own> Finally, is it safe to use the Kalkwasser method when they are on a feather duster? <Mmm... not on the animal/colony itself, no> Thank you also for the Cyano info.  What you see in the picture is actually just about all we have left.  I bought the macroalgae 6-pack special from Indo-Pacific and, although the "Tang Heaven" was eaten within a couple of days, between the plants and siphoning, it appears to be coming under control. <Ah good> I apologize for not splitting these topics up the first time.  I will most certainly do that in the future though.  Again, thanks so much for all of your time and dedication.  All of you! Jen <I would enjoy this growth, animal... and keep it isolated/small-enough by removing, cutting bits away, storing for a few weeks after in isolation before returning to the main/display tank. Bob Fenner>

Coral ID   1/22/06 Hi Guys, <Hello> This is a fragment of coral that is about 1cubic cm.  It feels yielding but not "soft" would you have any ideas of it's ID and where the best location in the tank would be.  It has been on the sand, blowing around. <David, picture a little fuzzy but I'm sure it is Aiptasia and not coral.  Best location for it would be the toilet.  You don't want these guys multiplying and they do so quite fast.  Read here.  http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> <<

Re: Coral ID ... Aiptasia? - 01/23/2006 Hi James, Yeah, sorry about the quality but I haven't the equipment for good macro shots through glass. <Understand.  My next camera will definitely have macro capabilities.>  I'm not so sure that it's Aiptasia, I have a few of those to compare it to. <Do search Wet Web and others and I'm sure you will come up with pics to compare to.> They are on a small piece of tan/brown tissue with red/pink edge.  This came as a scrap with live rock and feels yielding to the touch.  It floated around on the substrate until the other day when I noticed the polyps extended.  I can clearly see that they, about 5 of varying sizes, are integral to the tissue fragment and not attached to or in a crevice.  The polyps are white, have 8 "arms" ( Octocorallia??) <Mmmm, generally sea fans, whips, pens, pansies etc.> and the largest are about 5mm in diameter on a 5mm stalk with 5 mm long tentacles.  The tentacles are feathered on the edges unlike the smooth Aiptasia. It is a new tank and I introduced the live rock nearly two months ago and apart from some hermits and snails for algae control there is nothing else in there and at the moment there is something new every day.  It is amazing but also frustrating as identifying anything is so impossible, pictures are usually crappy as most things are small, elusive or nocturnal and you really need to have some basic idea of an organisms id before trying to research it.  Any chance of you guys putting together a book dedicated to Live Rock and its commonly emergent live forms??  I'd buy one of those!!  <Maybe Bob has one in the works, he may input here regarding any book that may help you ID.  If you have a Barnes & Noble store in your area you may want to check them out/peruse through their salt books.> Thanks <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Star Polyps...Or Not - 12/18/05 By "new", I mean the equivalent of babies. <<ok>> I have had a green star polyp for maybe two years, and over this length of time, it has spread to a small rock.  I have moved the new rock to decorate the rest of the tank, but it has never been green, even when it was next to the original.  It is brown, and the tentacles are feathered, much like an organ pipe polyp, not smooth, like the rest of the green star polyp. <<Tis a good chance these "babies" are not star polyps at all.>> The original rock is green, but there are times when some areas look like the new rock. <<You may have two different species on one rock.>> They seem to be like that after I have stirred up sand or "dusted" the rocks. <<Maybe one "retreats", allowing the other to show.>> But they always go back to green and smooth. <<I can't say for sure what you are witnessing, but it's not likely a physical transformation of the star polyps.>> Or maybe the smooth green ones retract, exposing the fuzzy brown, then open up again to hide them? <<Aha!  Now we're thinking along the same lines.>> Anyways, why are they not green and smooth? <<A different animal altogether me thinks.>> Is it because they are young? <<Not in my experience.>> If so, how long until they become green and smooth?  They have been there for over a year now. <<Like I said/you have deduced...not the same critter.>> Thanks!! Rebecca <<Regards, EricR>>

Anemone? 7/25/05 Bob, <fine, BE that way> Thanks for your quick response regarding the slugs that have appeared in my tank. <He puts a ton of work into WWM, to the benefit of all> I now have noticed something new on my LR. I'm attaching a couple of photos for you to evaluate. Can you tell me if it's an anemone? It's about 1.5" in diameter. Is it harmful? If so, what's my recourse? <It's a pest 'Aiptasia' spp. anemone.  Do a search on WWM regarding Aiptasia> Best regards, <To you, as well>
<M. Maddox>

Candy Cane and Anthelia questions 8/1/04 Hello. I've spent many hours on your site and I must say it's a great resource. <Great to hear!> I have a question about a stony coral I have (candy cane). Last night I put a flashlight on it and noticed that between the stony columns is growing a yellow kind of "fuzz" or something. I am not sure if it is a disease or algae or what. Otherwise the coral looks healthy. Inflated during the day and tentacles out at night for feeding. You can only see this stuff at night when it's slightly deflated. I have attached an image so you can see what I mean.  We've had the coral for about 3 months now with no problems. <This is nothing at all to worry about.  It is an encrusting sponge and a very common occurrence between the branches of stony corals.> Several other corals in the tank are soft ones. This is the only hard coral. The tank is a 45 gal less than 6 months old, all readings are zero, calcium is at 440 and pH is at 8.2 (we originally started it from cycled water from our aquarist friend back then). I reduced the picture and have a larger one if needed. On another note, the anthelia has been struggling for days. I suspect it's the pH but I am not sure since it's not excessively low. Would it help to raise it and by how much? Also, there is a "life-form" attached near by and I wonder if this is affecting it. At first I thought it was a new colony of anthelia but now I wonder if it is an unrelated different coral. A picture of this is attached as well. Thank you for your help. Daphne  <A pH of 8.2 is perfect.  What about alkalinity?  IMO, Alkalinity is probably the most important parameter to test regularly in a reef tank.  The coral in the picture is actually Clavularia.  There are several things growing within and around it:  Valonia (bubble algae), hair algae, some Caulerpa and some kind of mushroom anemone.  Any or all of these things could be affecting the Clavularia.  I would try to move the mushroom, test alkalinity and correct with a good quality buffer if necessary and be sure that you have plenty of water movement.  This is a tough coral that should recover easily under good conditions.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>
Stony Coral and Anthelia part II  8/3/04 Hi, thanks for your response. I forgot to mention that I am seeing tiny pinkish white creatures swimming between the corals and LR with a tail, kind of like a tiny tadpole. Are these pods or some kind of shrimp? I assume they are a kind of shrimp.. are they good or bad? <They sound like some kind of larvae.  Probably good.  They don't do much, and probably won't survive, but they are good food for your other critters.> As for the "anthelia"- Clavularia and the mushroom thing, they came encrusted on a piece of LR, I didn't actually purchase it. I got rid of the Caulerpa and am working on getting rid of the other algae. The "mushroom" looks securely attached to the LR. Will I damage it if I pull it off? At night it shrinks to a very small size and I wonder if that's the best time to remove it from there. <The mushroom can easily be removed by working a knife or screwdriver under the edge, gently working it to scrape the mushroom off of the rock.  Don't worry too much about injuring it, they are pretty tough.  You can then drop it into a plastic cup with some rubble to re-attach to.> Also, what does IMO stand for? <Ooops..  Sorry...  In My Opinion.> Thank you. <No worries!  Adam>
Daisy polyps Hello to all the fine WWM staff, <cheers, mate... Anthony Calfo in your service> I have searched your site and the internet but yet to find the actual name/species of polyps I keep, (I have included pictures of them).  <they are related to Clavularia.. perhaps undescribed still. Do use that genera for continued research and enlightenment> I've often heard these referred to as clove polyps, although they do not come close nor match the clove polyp pictures found in Corals A Quick Reference Guide by Julian Sprung, or any other references/literature I have read.  <agreed... they were at least as of recently still undescribed> I have heard the name used in a LFS daises/daisy polyps. Also I'm a bit concerned, as they haven't been opening for the past few days and seem to be diminishing.  <they commonly are imported with a small predatory snail or even sea slug... do spy at night for such predators. Else, poor water flow allows diatoms (brown algae) to smother. If seen... scrub coral in a bowl of seawater with a soft bristled brush like a tooth brush> I run a mixed hard/soft reef tank and all is fine exception of the so-called daisies.  <aggressive LPS corals or anemones nearby are also irritating to this passive coral> I have noticed my two peppermint shrimp picking occasionally around them at night, though never thought much into it as they tend to do this to all the corals and rocks without any noted negative effect on them.  <peppermint shrimp have been known to eat like polyps such as yellow polyps ( so-called Parazoanthus axinellae). Do keep the shrimp as suspects> Any information you have or if you can direct me to the needs in caring for these polyps, I would greatly appreciate it. <strong random turbulent water flow (never direct), moderate light (VHO very fine) and regular iodine supplements seem helpful (water changes or small daily additives). Propagation tips on this and all popular coral in my Book of Coral Propagation> Thank you, Rob
<with kind regards, Anthony Calfo>

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