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Problems with Siderastrea colony 6/24/10
Dear WWM Crew,
I have had a 55-gallon tank going for about 10 months now. The light fixture over the tank is a 2x54w T5HO and I had decided a few months ago to switch to two 10k bulbs (previously 10k and actinic) in hopes of increasing PAR
in my tank.
<A good change>
However, this had the unintended side effect of a colony of Siderastrea sp. that came on my live rock closing up (previously open almost constantly). Thinking this was just a mild case of light shock I stuck a piece of acrylic under that side of the light to dim it a bit (probably not much but I had some scraps).
<Good move>
After a week or two the polyps expanded again.
So I removed the acrylic and it closed up again but I figured it would again open in a week or two. At this time it is still closed (1-2 months) and very small tufts of algae are growing in between the polyps in places.
<A bad sign... is there some chance of moving this specimen/colony? Even to another system?>
Water parameters test within reasonable limits but I have recently had issues with my tap water having high phosphate/nitrate levels and am currently switching to ro/di due to algae problems (Dinoflagellates). I have Zoanthids
(Zoanthus and Palythoa),
<These I suspect are mal-affecting the Siderastrea... not the light directly>
two gorgonians (Eunicea and Pseudopterygorgia?), Cladocora (tube coral) colonies and Phyllangia (Hidden Cup Coral) which are opening. Do you have any ideas as to what is wrong?
<Yes... again, the Zoanthids. Please read here:
and perhaps the linked ppt. pres. on allelopathy you'll find embedded>
Is the light insufficient? the wrong color?
<Should both be fine>
I was fairly sure the colony was growing before the light switch.
Thanks for your help and also for the great site,
<Thank you, Bob Fenner>

Help identifying unusual coral - Psammocora explanulata? No, Perhaps Pachyseris - 07/18/07 Hello, <Hi Peter, Mich here.> Any idea what this cool coral might be? <Possibly an Elephant Skin coral (Pachyseris rugosa).> I was thinking possibly Psammocora explanulata. <Mmm, don't think so. Psammocora generally have star like corallites.> I'm told it's from Australia. <OK. This would fit with the Pachyseris.> Do you have info on its habitat requirements? <Pachyseris generally prefer strong light, high water movement, and relatively high nutrient levels. They are generally hard to grow in less than ideal conditions and are relatively uncommon in the industry though they are not rare in the wild.> It has some edges that move with the water flow, but when they are touched, they get rock hard. <Pachyseris have a thin ciliated tissue. No polyps or tentacles are visible.> Thank you so much! <Welcome!> I really enjoy reading your advice. <Glad to read! Mich>
-Peter Urso

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