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FAQs about Stony Corals 3

Related FAQs: Stony FAQs 1, Stony FAQs 2, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral BehaviorFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, PropagationStony Coral Behavior,

Related Articles: Stinging-Celled Animals, Phylum Cnidaria, LPS Corals ( Caryophylliidae, Fungiids, Oculinidae... ), SPS Corals ( Acroporidae, Pectiniid Corals, Pocilloporid Corals ), Coral System Set-Up, Coral Placement, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Selection, Growing Reef Corals, Stony Coral Feeding, Stony Coral Disease, PropagationGrowing Reef Corals, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Some tips to rescue a coral  10/15/13
I don't know if you remember me i am the guy that asked for any corals that can survive in 35 degree Celsius.
<I do recall>
 The one from Chennai-Tamilnadu. And also
the one who bought your book for 3000 rupees ( $54 @ 55 a dollar) . Well the reason i am sending this mail is while shopping for a hermit crab. I saw this locally got coral in a bad shape. It was kept hidden with no sunlight and food for god knows how long. I felt pity on it and got it thinking i could save it (the brave rescuer who has very little experience). I paid though! 500 bucks ($7) for it!. But didn't see it in good light. I brought it home and typical of a sea caught one it has tiny feather duster's, coralline algae, tiny macro algae, etc. Since my tank is fowlr it's okay!(for now). I think it is some kind of a hard star polyp coral <http://www.coral.org/_53>.
<Mmm, no. You are in India... the link is to Montastrea... in the tropical west Atlantic. To me, yours looks likely to be some sort of Turbinaria, a Dendrophylliid>
It is green in colour so it needs good lighting. I have 5 watt (white and actinic blue) led lighting for my 5 gallon tank. And the flow is good (erratic). I have been feeding powdered spectrum pellet food at night. I just want to know what else i can do?
<Read... on WWM re the Family: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/CnidIndex2.htm
 Of course the temperature is a problem i don't have a chiller. But since these are local caught will that be a problem(it is also the monsoon season). Also when i feed them they balloon up (which i think means they are accepting the food).
Pls reply
<Thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Stony coral growth and appearance     2/14/13
Hello My friend.
Need your knowledge on corals.
With what I must boost the corals so the Fluo colors can show even better, even more fluo???
<... More and better light can help; good water quality, foods/feeding...>
Also how can I boost Acroporas and Montiporas to grow fast ??? and how so they can keep their fluo colors.
<See WWM re... use the search tool, indices...>
My problem is that I received an Acro that was fluo green (on blue actinic of course) and as the time passes they get brown and not fluo
Best regards
<Please don't write w/o first searching, reading. What you ask is gone over and over on WWM. B>
Re Scler. redux, gen. – 02/14/13

Sorry for that.
I am in a big pressure of time that was why I wrote to you directly.
But as you say they are already replied I will search for that when I will have time
<Real good. B>
Thank you again.

Re: Question
Stony coral injury    1/5/12

Hello have which I hope is a simple question. My open brain got recently injured and it is open and all but just on the side that it got injured is closed in the parts where its hurt. What can I do to promote healing I have been trying to keep the area free from debris so it wont get worse but not sure what else to do Thanks again
<Search, scan WWM re stony coral injuries (health)... or read through all starting here: Oh, out of time for looking up for others. I'd over-dose iodide-ate and make sure water quality is up to snuff. B>

Coral Colony Sizes     1/4/13
Dear Wet Web Media Crew:
I would greatly appreciate it if you could steer me towards resources that discuss the maximum colony sizes achieved by various coral species.
<Mmm, see the name J.E.N. Veron most everywhere re Scleractinians if you mean hard corals>
 My efforts to source this information has thus far led me to the pages of "Corals of the World"
<Oh! Yes... have a signed, leather set right next to me>
 but even this outstanding book <Not all three?> only provides colony size information for a select few species.
<Likely all that are "known scientifically"... Are you familiar w/ searching the Net, better, the large libraries re scientific literature?
Please see here re: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/litsrchart.htm
  Internet searches have yet to deliver said information either.  However, the Charitable organization known as Wildscreen operates an Internet site I found to be useful because it enabled me to obtain size data for a few additional species..  This site can be located at the following URL:   http://www.arkive.org. 
<Ah yes; have donated image work to these folks>
Information provided by the previous website utilized citations but these often referred to out of print books.  With all that being said, any additional print or web based recommendations would be appreciated.
Thank You, Robert Perry
<Mmm, well; as far as I'm aware, you may be THE person best versed re this issue... and possibly one to generate a compilation of said data... How would/will you do this? Bob Fenner> 

Corals as Carry-On? - Tubastrea Tube Coral Shipping Method 03/31/07 Hello, <<Howdy>> I tried going to the forum but registration was unavailable. <<Hmm...seems to be working now...>> I have a quick question. <<Ok>> I am traveling on Business in Florida & I stopped at a LFS & was interested in a very nice Tubastrea piece to bring home with me. <<Beautiful organisms>> My question is what is the proper shipping method to bring it back to NJ? <<Mmm, go to the store just before you depart if possible...tell the LFS what you plan and ask them to triple bag the coral.  They might also help you with a small insulated container to carry/transport it in.  Otherwise, I have found a small insulated soft-sided lunch box works well for transporting a few bagged corals as "carry-on" luggage>> Should it be fully submerged in water, or can it be wrapped in damp paper? <<Would need to be submerged...in my opinion>> I am also concerned that if submerged in water I will not be able to bring on the plane due to the liquid restrictions. <<A good point...I didn't face this restriction last time I transported corals as "carry-on."  I very much suggest you contact the airline and explain what you propose to do.  If you are very much attached to this particular coral, you may want to ask the LFS for assistance with shipping it back as "checked" baggage (will need to be packed/protected/marked well)>> Appreciate any advice that you can give.  Thanks. Jorge <<Good luck...and please do let us know what the airline's response is.  EricR>>

Terminological confusion ... A-hermatypic...al   2/22/07 Hello Crew, <John> I'm curious to have a precise and accurate understanding of the term 'ahermatypic', if for no reason other than to impress and amaze the  less-knowledgeable. <Heeee!>   The term is used in differing ways by differing people, all apparent experts. <Love that term... Ex= "previous", Spurts?> On the WWM site, the term seems to be   consistently used to refer to those corals that possess no Zooxanthellae. <Mmm, yes... a common "understanding"...> But, for example, fishbase.org explicitly defines 'ahermatypic' as "non reef-building" (this at http://www.fishbase.org/ Glossary/Glossary.cfm?TermEnglish=ahermatypic). <This is the more formal... correct meaning of the word> Even more confusingly, on the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) website (specifically at http://www.photolib.noaa.gov/reef/reind4.htm)  Tubastrea is called ahermatypic in virtue of its having "no Zooxanthellae algae in tissues and [being] non- reef building".  I sure hope my tax dollars aren't financing the spread of ignorance... <Heeeee! Too late... D'oh!> I can tolerate a lot of confusion, but this is really getting to me!    Now, I'm sure the WWM crew is correct, but could you say a bit about what makes your usage correct (by reference to etymology, perhaps, or terminological history). <Careful here... I am a huge fan of "word origin" discussions, games...> Thanks for any information, and thank you very much for maintaining WWM -- it has been a valuable source of   information on all aspects of the hobby. -John from Minneapolis <Well... I'll give this query a stab... A= ablative, Lingua Latina, meaning "away from"... hermatypic corals! Okay, am cheating... (means "like stone"... see here, young man: http://phoenixandturtle.net/excerptmill/Gasper.htm) these are the Scleractinia that don't produce (yes, with/in conjunction with those endosymbiotic (Shades of Lynn Margulis!) algae... those large, clunky carbonate skeletons... giving them (as it turns out, falsely) the big credit for "reef building" (a few algae, mostly Rhodophytes deserve the props here)... Enough already? BobF>

Again About Coral Species... Reef-building and Non-reef-Building ... number of species  2/4/07 Hello Bob, <Greetings Hien, Mich with you today.> I've asked you once about coral species and now I'm in trouble again.  How many true coral orders you think?  I also read some documents say that there are over 800 species of reef-building coral in the world.   <Reef-building corals are corals that have a skeletal base composed in part of calcium.  There are corals who are totally soft without a skeletal base, just as there are fish who lack true bone i.e. sharks, eels and rays.> This coral has a calcium base which appears white under the overlying coral tissue: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fungiidae.htm If the coral it dies it leaves this base behind.   This coral does not have a calcium base:   http://www.tolweb.org/tree/ToLimages/pseudocorynactis.jpg If the coral dies it leaves nothing behind.> Does it mean that the total number of coral is over 800? <Yes, far more than 800.  "There are more than 2,000 species of living coral presently classified, with probably as many yet to be named." pg 24 Aquarium Corals by Eric H. Borneman.> I'm really confused with different documents I've got! Look forward to hearing from you soon, Hien <Hope that helps.  -Mich>

New SPS Frags... Long Shipping... What To Expect? - 12/31/05 Hi all... <<Hello>> as has been stated by many, you have an awesome site, no fluff all info. <<Thank you>> I have read much, but not all of the site, haven't been able to find an answer. <<ok>> I just acquired  some Acro frags 1 yongei and 2 tortuosa (sp.?). <<Correct>> Thanks to shipping problems they were in transit about 40hrs. <<Uh oh!>> They arrived white, little or no apparent color, no polyps yet. <<Expelled their Zooxanthellae...or worse...have complete tissue loss.>> My fears about ammonia in bags and alkalinity of tank water led me to introduce them to the QT tank after temp adjustment. <<Smart>> I'm acclimating lighting using vinyl screen layers. <<Smart again>> On intro to QT tank frags had filaments of slime but no other indications of life. <<Not unexpected...>> Don't expect a miracle here but what if anything should I expect from these frags if water parameters, lighting and flow are optimal, which I think they are.  At what point should I give up on them in your opinion. <<Mmm...both species of coral have quite visible polyps, if you don't see any evidence of these after 48 hrs. I think you can assume the worst.  You might also try viewing the frags under some magnification (jeweler's loop/magnifying glass) to see if you can determine if there is any flesh on the skeleton.>> This is my first of many cracks at SPS so would like to not overreact. <<You're not overreacting...40 hours in transit/bleached condition is cause for concern.>> Steve <<Regards, EricR>> Coral block   12/29/05 Hello, My name is Ray, I live on Maui in Hawaii, on our beach there are tons of dead coral stones, most are rounded with age.  A fellow that moved to the mainland use to make sculptures from the coral after he crushed it and mixed it with something.  ?????? anyway the sculptures were extremely hard.  Like bricks.  I was wanting to cast some rectangular bricks (blocks) to line my flower gardens.  Would anyone there know what mixture would work good with the coral?  Or perhaps you could point me in the right direction as to where I might find out.  Thank you. Aloha, Ray <Likely the best route to go here is to treat the crushed dead coral as aggregate and sand... use about one sixth of their volume in "white cement" (plastic if it's not much more expensive) to make "concrete" for casting. Bob Fenner>

Re: coral block   12/29/05 Bob, Thank you so much for responding so quickly.  I hate to seem like a dummy, but this is my first time and I want to be sure I'm clear on what your saying. <Sure>   When you say use one sixth of there volume, does that mean use 1 part crushed coral and 5 parts white cement? <Sorry re the lack of clarity... five parts of the crushed coral (as in three parts crushed rock and two parts sand to one part cement for a "regular" concrete mix) to one part cement> That seems like it would be a heavy block, I remember the sculptures Mark made were very light. Just wondering.  Thanks again for helping me. Aloha, Ray <Glad to proffer my opinions... have seen these blocks in many places in the world, including processes for making "clinkers", CaO from CaCO3/coral rock itself (basically heating up in the absence of oxygen/air) to make the cement as well... Cheers, Bob Fenner>

Transporting Large Corals 1/16/04 I have a very thinly branched Acropora coral, which I'm happy to say is growing very quickly.  I have fragmented the coral several times.  Some of the fragments themselves have grown quickly as well, one of which is now 8" across.  I'm going to give the corals to my LFS (about 30 minutes away), but I can't figure out how to transport them without breaking them.   <use a large cooler (Styro if possible) for each coral (never mix species in transit) and line it multiple times with a full box plastic liner (bags). Fill the bag with sliced or shredded plastic before adding enough salt water to cover the coral. The specimen set in place in this bed of shredded plastic is fairly well cushioned. Some people instead wrap the coral in plastic sheeting before sinking it... but this often traps air bubbles which over all are a problem or at least annoying)> The smaller fragments are easier because I can float them upside-down in a bag.   <correct> Do you have any suggestions on how I might be able to transport the larger ones?  I'm afraid that the weight of the larger ones, including the rocks that they are attached to, will be too heavy to float with Styrofoam.  Any suggestions you might have for me would be great.  Thanks! <best of luck! Anthony>  

Questions on new corals 10/29/04 Hi Crew....great site!  I have been reading your site since we started our 75 gal reef tank about 6 weeks ago.  Finally the cycle has completed and all water parameters are great!  We put a few fish and coral in a few days ago.  I got a hammer and pearl bubble both that I put mid level in tank on some LR.  Green brain WAS at the top per the guy at my LPS, but reading thru your site today ran across some info and it said the brain should be down at the bottom on the sand, so that is his new home.   <ah, good to hear> Hopefully he will like this spot better and actually open up some, we have yet to see it do this.   <no worries... many corals take a few weeks or even months to fully express polyps on acclimation> We also have a toadstool leather, about 4 inches across.  I have look thru tons of info on your site and still can't find out the best placement for this coral.   <they are very adaptable... strong water flow is more important for it here> I thought toadstools had stalks but this one doesn't.  Again the guy at my LPS said to just put it in the sand and it will attach.  Could you please help my in placing it?   <anywhere in the top 20" of the tank ;)> Also didn't realize I had to "hand" feed corals!? <yes.. your bubble, hammer and brain at least need fed 3-5 times weekly. Small portions of finely minced meaty foods. The leather does not need target fed> More info I've learned from your site.  So today I bought some Mysis shrimp and zooplankton.   <perfect> I will try later this evening to see if I can get the hammer, pearl, brains and sun polyp to eat.  Is it correct that I don't have to "hand" feed the toadstool?   <exactly! Thaw the meat in cold FW... then strain and soak again in tank water then feed as a slurry (turkey baster, pipette, etc)> Thank you so much for all the time and energy you put into this site!  Beth <very welcome my friend... best of luck/life to you. Anthony>

Toxic corals? 9/30/04 Hi please I need help, I am very confused, all corals are toxic right? <hmmm... depends on your perspective/meaning: regarding filter feeding? (stinging nature of Cnidarian animals)... regarding allelopathy (chemical warfare against encroaching organisms)... poisonous nature if ingested or harassed?? what corals are more toxic?, what corals are less toxic?,   <variable as you might guess... and as per the above definitions> can a coral kill a human really?, <yes... more than a few can. Notably... palytoxin in Zoanthids. A historical use by Hawaiian natives, et al when tipping spears for mortal combat> I wont full my aquarium with corals, but I don't wont go to the hospital or die, please help me, what corals you know not are dangerous?, thanks you. <this is a small concern with good husbandry/handling... really. No worries with careful and proper handling as you do household chemicals, medications, fumous agents at work/home, etc. Anthony>

Questions about importing Hello Bob. How's it going? My name is Brahm, I met you a while back at Octopus's Gardens down in San Diego (Before Jason moved to Florida). <Ah yes... and he may be coming back... maybe just flying with the hurricane winds!> We talked about my thoughts on opening up a store, well things are looking like they are moving in the right direction, but I had a question, and I was wondering if you might be able to help point me in correct direction.  I met somebody online, in Melbourne, Australia. Who came across some very nice Favias, and Acanthastreas lordhoweensis & hillae. They are going to ship them to a friend of mine in New South Wales who can hold them for. She is also willing to ship them to me, but we aren't quite sure what we need to do on the Australian side to obtain the proper permits for a one time shipment if such a thing exists. <Yes... they do... there are some Customs forms to file and CITES permits... that hopefully can be filled out on the Australian end and used all the way through to (LAX?) here. A very good idea to actually see, ask around to see if you can "piggy back" your small order with someone in the area (LA likely) who will umbrella your few boxes with their "can" (airfreight container)... otherwise the cost for individually doing this is going to be quite high. I am going to cc a friend in the trade, Barry Neigut of Clamsdirect.com (who is, or has just opened a retail outlet in SD) and ask him for input here. Maybe he knows someone who will co-op your shipment.> What would be the best means to export these pieces from Australia? <The best? Don't know what you're looking for here... doubled 4 mil poly bags, clip closures, styros, cardboard liners... in cargo container quantities, with you receiving ASAP from customs, your freight forwarder... IF you have NOT done this before, DO go, chat with people in the trade who DO on a regular basis. Am going to cc another friend in the trade, Eric Cohen, who owns and runs Sea Dwelling Creatures in LA, and ask him if he'd help you here... Importing aquatic livestock is "not for the feint of heart" or "light of wallet" to put this mildly... "Things" go wrong... all the time... shipments delayed, re-routed, time lost and lost and lost... disputes with carriers... DOAs... You REALLY need a large, going business, holding facilities... to justify doing what you propose... unless you're "just experimenting" here or hoping to get some unusual specimens... all this is going to cost you a few to several times what these organisms will/would cost you by ordering, picking them up at a distributor...> Are there any coral export facilities that I might be able to go through (that are trust worthy with such rare pieces)? <Yes. Ask Eric here> Or would I be better of obtaining the permits on my own. I've talked to Dave over at Pacific Aqua, and I think I can use his Cities on Stateside, (or if you can point me to a broker). I would appreciate that... <This is very nice of the folks at PAF... if they will co-op with you and you feel comfortable dealing with them. They also definitely know what they're doing> Although I'm not too worried about the cost, I would like to look into maybe offsetting some of the expense by bringing over a larger shipment of other items (SPS, or hopefully more Acans if I can find them) which I can resale to diffuse the cost. <Bingo!> But my main goal is just to get the Acanthastreas lordhoweensis as I have been doing quite well with propagating the current pieces that I was lucky to either trade for, or pick up at LFS mis-labeled as Blastomussa wellsi <I see> Included are a few pictures of the actual pieces. There are a total of 10. Thanks for your time. -Brahm Goodis. <Glad to be of assistance. Bob Fenner>

Re: Questions about importing Hey all, <Hi Eric, thanks for chiming in> From what I understand here, the corals are coming from Australia.  To  make this conversation brief, it's illegal to export corals from  Australia.   Unless you can get a cites permit from the government office  that works with cites permits...I think you are out of luck. If you find a way (a legal way), please let me in on it and we would be   happy to assist you and give you your best chances to get the corals here alive   and economically. Best regards.....HI BOBBIE! Eric <Thanks mate. See you about. Bob Fenner>  

When can I add corals? Hello and good day to you. I have recently set up (4 wks.) a 75G tank as a reef tank and have been running water parameter tests weekly. This tank has a refugium w/ macro and sump w/ PM skimmer. I would like to know if you think that this tank is ready to stock with 2 small corals that I have my eye on or whether I should wait a few more weeks. My readings are: Temp-78.6 SG- 1.025 PH- 8.2 (tested with lighting off since overnight) Ammonia-0 Nitrates-0 Nitrites-0 Phosphates- < .25mg/L Calcium- 360mg/L (I think this needs to be higher- target 400-450?) Should I use B-ionic or similar product?  << Not bad.  Depends on what you want to keep, but adding little can't hurt. >> KH- 130mg/L I just went through the diatom stage and it is almost gone at this point now becoming green. I put 2 bonded false perculas in the tank yesterday (had to save them from a LFS) and only plan on 2 more fish- likely a yellow tang and some type of goby or blenny for substrate duty. Thank you very much for your help and your honest opinion. << Well the water seems fine.  But that usually isn't a problem anyway.  I've set up aquariums and put corals in them on the first day.  The main question is how is your lighting. That, with how much live rock you have, is the key to adding corals.  So if you feel you have enough light, then I think you are ready for corals. >> C <<  Blundell  >>  

Re-volting Coral in the news http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,64671,00.html No question though.  Well, more like a million of them. :-p <Ho boy, back to putting my pyramid hat on! Bob Fenner>  

Tubastrea Coral Hello, <Hi Alex, MacL here> I'm super happy to say that my beautiful flower coral is doing AWESOME!!!! Thank you so much for all the advice !!! And I'm also happy to say that I'm going to start a 10 gallon tank full of only  Tubastraea sp!!! Man I'm in LOVE with these corals!!! I have been reading on small tanks on the web-site. Is there any advise you can give me on this??? (PS) Just a reef tank no fish <I'm so glad you are loving them. Its really important to watch the levels in a tank that small so be sure to check it frequently.> Thanks again!!!

Coral Excretion? 6/15/04 Hi again, cant find satisfactory answer in archives after two hours and various detours from subject. <a nifty way to learn> My brain coral is exuding a brown hair like substance from little openings in the valleys between its ridges which are rather like very small volcanoes in appearance. Please reassure me, is this it excreting waste matter from its various mouths as I suspect it is? <quite likely yes... have you been feeding it or the tank well? If so, indeed this may be the scoop on poop> Or something much more sinister? <the only other thing commonly possible would be the expulsion of zooxanthellae packets if the animal was light shocked. But that would be rather obvious - pale and stressed coral under bright lights or suddenly increased water clarity (as with sudden use of carbon in yellow water after many months without> I have recently (this week) learnt to target feed it Mysis shrimp after a period of unknowing starvation (three weeks or so) during which it still opened nightly and occasionally over the day. <ah, yes... good to hear you are feeding. This is a hungry coral> Seems other wise happy but I realize this can be deceptive. Fed it twice a day for three or so days to boost it up after having starved it (unknowingly) now down to once a day. Is this too often to feed it? <very nice if you want fast growth... but a few times weekly would be enough> How often should I feed it? I turn off pumps first thing in the morning before lights on while it is still all open and target feed with plastic syringe (no needle) then feed fish so they leave it alone and it seems to get heaps, all ridges swell, soft and trap Mysis. How long should I leave it to eat before I turn pumps back on which invariably blows the shrimp away for fish to pick up in current? Five minutes/fifteen minutes/half an hour? <tough to say... and do invest in an electronic relay switch that automatically turns power/pumps back on. Human error is inevitable in time and if you forget to turn the pumps on for an afternoon, overnight, etc., it could be disastrous. 10-15 minutes sounds fine to me for feeding opportunities> Thanks heaps. <we have piles of it. Best regards, Anthony>

Corals are adapting hello all, just thought I'd point out a cool thing incase none of you saw this.  On Sunday on Yahoo scientists report that the coral reefs are making some comeback ,after years of higher than normal temps.  Awesome , just awesome......looks life are stony friends are  stubborn to extinction as long as we stay involved.  Adapting to higher temps to survive...NICE!!!  check it out , pass it on....later. http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=570&ncid=753&e=1&u=/nm/20040502/sc_nm/environment_maldives_coral_dc <Good news indeed... makes sense that organisms that have been around for hundreds of millions of years, through ice ages, reversals of poles, whatever undid the dinosaurs... would be able to put up with the current affair. Bob Fenner>

Bubble coral 3/19/04 Hi Sorry to trouble you <Hi Sandy.  No trouble at all!  That's what we're here for.> but I have had a reef tank up and running for 6 months or so - all seems well, pulse coral that is propagating itself - mushroom that we have propagated and they seem happy. I have a pearl bubble coral that once a week enjoys a small piece of shrimp that it devours. Today just as it was shutting down for the night, it's mouth became apparent and it seemed to purge a large piece of its insides out of the mouth, it then shrunk back inside the mouth but did this several times before it settled for the night. Is this usual?  Many thanks Sandy <This sounds normal.  Corals only have a mouth, and it has to serve as the way food comes in and waste goes out.  If the coral expels large pieces of undigested food, the pieces may be too large.  Bubble corals are pretty voracious though, and should be able to handle whole shrimp or silversides.  Large polyped corals will often expel excess zooxanthellae.  This usually looks like brown stringy snot.  Some coral will also occasionally expel and reingest mesenterial filaments (digestive organs).  This can be a sign of stress, but if it passes and the coral returns to normal without any other signs of ill health, it is nothing to worry about.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Acclimating corals - 2/5/04 How's it goin' crew? <Hey, good and you?> When acclimating new corals into a new display's lighting parameters; Should they start off at the top or bottom? <Oh, well at the bottom as far away as you can get from the lights. Then every few days to a week, move it up a few inches or so. Depending on the coral, you could even move it to its location in the tank. There are all kinds of exceptions here, but the usual feeling is that once the polyps are no longer retracted then you can start moving it around. I know, not a great answer but I hope you get the idea. There is more info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/acclimcoralslight.htm  Thanks for the question. ~Paulo>

Ubiquitous Lighting Questions, and the New Coral Stocking Question Hello all. As I look at your site daily for the FAQ's, I find more and more valuable information. I can not say how valuable your perspective and experience is for those in the hobby.  <Thank you!> I have had several tanks over the past few years and have gotten out and back in.  In the past my tanks have been FO. This time after taking my wife with me to our LFS she wants to have some coral. The plan is to add what you could call easier coral like star polyps and leather corals. To give a little back ground my tank is a 125 Gal with 170 pound LR for filtration and has been running for about 6 months. The lighting currently is 2 140 watt (280 total) VHO URI bulbs (1 super actinic, 1 actinic white).  I guess my first question is should I double my lighting?  <Doubling your lighting (4x 140wt VHO's) would be an excellent start, especially when you consider keeping some of the light demanding scleractinians (stony corals).> The reason for my question is about adding coral to the tank. I understand the acclimation process and about slowing increasing the lighting, but I have searched everywhere and cannot find anything about the number of coral that can be added at a single time. I know that with fish it must be very slow. Currently I have only 3 fish in the tank (2 blue damsels and 1 Sailfin). The main reason that I am asking is that I have seen several paces that offer deals when you purchase multiple corals at a time, for an example like 5 Corals for $99 or even 9 corals for $99. Since all of the places are close to my house I could pick the coral that I want. This seams like a good deal from a monetary perspective, but I am not sure if it is a good deal from a tank perspective. Can you add this many corals at one time if they are small to mediums sized or does size of the coral even matter? <Corals produce very little biological load so it would be no problem to add a large amount of coral to your tank at once. I've seen the 9 for $99.00 deal, and it definitely is a good deal. To answer your second question, size will matter, although as I stated above, corals put out such little biological load that it would be fine to add a large amount at one time. I would first make sure your tank can support corals before you go ahead and spend $100.00 on live coral. You may want to add a few easy to keep corals to your tank first, such as mushrooms, zoanthids, etc. If these corals prove to do well, you can move on to other species of coral.> Take Care, Graham Stephan WWM.com Crew Thanks for your help and perspective. I have been reading stuff from Bob since FFExpress day's and greatly appreciate his opinions his book the Conscientious Marine Aquarist is one of the best book I have read on the subject. Also I wanted to let you know that I love the Reef Invertebrates book and can't wait until the next in the series comes out.  Thanks,  Todd

Cloudy Water (12/22/2003) WWM, <Steve Allen again tonight> I received my Alveopora, bubble coral and yellow polyp colony on Friday from http://www. liveaquaria.com  I slowly acclimated all three to the tank.  Surprisingly, they all started to open after only being in the tank for a short while.  All of Friday the corals were fine.  Saturday everything was great.  Now today, Sunday, I woke up to a SLIGHTLY cloudy tank.  Everything appears to be great.  All corals extended, all fish swimming, nothing dead. Tested ammonia, pH, nitrate, nitrite, all good... <I hope that means zero on ammonia & nitrite.> Why did my tank all of a sudden get cloudy?  It's not totally cloudy, just not completely crystal clear like usual...  Do some of these corals "spawn" or something like that. <unlikely> <There are a number of things that can cause some clouding in the water. Possibilities: precipitation if calcium/alkalinity out of whack, dissolved organics, microbubbles, fine detritus or sand dust, bacteria, and certainly a lot of other things too. Are you using any mechanical filtration. Check on WWM by searching on "cloudy water" for some insights.>  Thanks <hope this helps>

Coral Color Morphs 11/13/03 Hi Bob Fenner, <Anthony Calfo now in his stead> thank you very much about the delightful and informative answer you send yesterday. Corals is the one of the most beautiful animals in the worlds, especially the brightly colored ones. <indeed... they are living treasures to behold> Just only last week, I saw several types of delicately sculptured Acropora coral (it was Acropora  lovelli) in a cybernetwork database named "CoralSearch Search Page". When first I see them, the colors looks dull and pale. But then, when I see in another webpages, their color bursts into bright spectrums like blue, teal, or even pinkish. <there are many reasons for this... artifacts of natural lighting and film with underwater images... manipulations of digital images... stressed and shipped animals (pale) versus established ones in aquaria, etc> So does another corals: Naturally yellow ochre dull Acropora clathrata to spectacular pink captive Acropora clathrata; Naturally stale yellowish Acropora yongei to beautiful leaf green captive Acropora yongei; Naturally pale yellow Acropora chesterfieldensis to stunning neon green captive Acropora chesterfieldensis and so on. Their colors seems to boosts as the sunlight replaced by metal halides. Why? Sincerely, Anargha <on the contrary, my friend... most corals are more colorful under natural sunlight. It just is not always apparent to us from wild-photographed specimens (aspects of film/lighting) or from the condition that stressed and shipped corals arrive in. Good halide lamps at best help the coral to recover some of its natural beauty... but nothing compares top the sun and natural sunlight over coral. Many aquarists grow coral under skylights and near windows for this purpose. Anthony>

Torch coral I think has necrosis??? 10/7/03 Hello, thank you so much for your help. <our pleasure> One of the polyps on my torch coral had been opening for only three hours during the day (for about a week and a half).  It is the lowest polyp from the light and contained the sweeper tentacle.  I then placed a bubble coral pretty close to it, however never touching, could it of got stung and brought it over the edge?  I have a 32 gallon. <yikes... yes, easily. The problem with coral warfare is as much chemical as contact (noxious exudations - allelopathy)> It has now begun to not open and some sort of brown substance is on it.   <it has a highly infectious bacterial infection. Please remove this coral to a quarantine tank (and always use a QT tank in the future for all new purchases without exception). Else, break off the necrotic branch and discard> I only feed the torch coral once a week, and I feed it Kent's Zooplex. <I do believe you could be feeding it a much better diet (fresh thawed meaty foods like mysids, Pacifica plankton, etc) and more often (3-5 times weekly minimum)> Is their anything I can do to save the polyp if it is necrosis?   <not the infected polyp... truly fast and infectious. Please address it immediately or risk the loss of other corals in the tank> If I do save it, will it look healthy again.  I have included a picture for your review. I have a bubble coral, fox, brain, Alveopora, mushrooms, and a feather duster.  Thanks !!!! <best of luck. Anthony>

Bubble on Brain Coral - Polyp Bailout 10/5/03 Dear Anthony, <howdy> I have had this weird closed brain for 2 years and it has grown a great deal creating the "brim" of what now looks like a Mexican hat. <a handsome specimen indeed> We discussed the bubbles that grow from it previously but I didn't have a digital camera. The attached photo shows a bubble about 1 inch in diameter. I can't find anything about this phenomena. It doesn't seem to harm the animal. It is a sign of ill health? Or?  -  Howard in Wisconsin <it's called polyp bailout... and it usually is a stress induced response (light shock, allelopathy from accumulating noxious elements in the water, etc). It can occur as a natural reproductive strategy however. Perhaps the case here. I describe polyp bailout a bit in my Book of Coral Propagation. No worries, my friend. Anthony>

Pagoda with red stringy stuff 10/3/03 I have a large pagoda coral in my tank and it was doing fine.  Now it is not opening and out of some of the polyps there seems to be what I might call red stringy stuff coming out.   <hmm... its hard for us to say without more information: depending on how long you've had this coral (days/months?) and how long the polyps have been retracted (days/weeks?)> I have tried moving the coral to different parts of the tank but it has not changed any.   <Yikes! please never move any coral respectively in one week... place it in the tank one time (in a spot with light and water flow that you've researched) and let it adapt. You can kill a healthy coral by moving it a few times in one week at various different depths causing a burden on limited resources to adapt> All the other corals in the tank seem to be growing well.  The tank conditions are pH 8.2, Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate less than 5, calcium 400, phosphate no trace, alkalinity is about 3.5meq/l, high but I don't know what to do with it.   <no biggies... all's well here> It is a 85 gallon tank with a plenum system and seems to be working well.   Carbon is being used and I have two powerheads working. <hmm... low water flow is a problem for pagoda (Turbinaria)... they need the proper reef minimum of 10-20X turnover in the tank> Can you help me with the pagoda problem and the high alk.   <for the high ALK... do test your source water first to determine where the high ALK is coming from (or not). Its really not that big of a deal here> The pagoda also has some white stuff coming off from around the edge.  Thanks Fran <could be mucus from stress... do leave it in a place with very good random turbulent water flow... and read more about water flow and Calcium and alkalinity in our wetwebmedia.com archives (I have several articles there on these topics myself). Best regards, Anthony>

SPS color changes - 10/3/03 Hi all, Good morning! <HeeeeeeeLLO!> I purchased a tri-color Acropora a few weeks ago <Nice one> and it turned a burnt orange or light brownish color all over. <Well, this happens when SPS corals are either over or under illuminated, stresses, or adjusting themselves to a new lighting regime and tank conditions. Did you acclimate this coral? Start from the bottom of the tank and move it a few inches each week? (5 days minimum before the next move) Do you have the proper lighting for this coral? Where is it placed?>  It has been that way since day one, although at the LFS it was yellowish, pinkish with green tips. <Sounds more like it. A beautiful specimen> It looks dead, but I have been told they are only dead if they turn bleach white. <Well not necessarily, but keep and maintain good water clarity with frequent water changes to be sure>  I am not sure what to do, if anything. <Good water quality, depending on where you have it, leave it be> I have tried moving it to different areas in the tank, no change. <Did you do this frequently? Sounds like a very severely stressed coral (which also incites color changes in coral.>  Any suggestions or ideas? Will the colors come back? <If not a dead coral for sure, then I guarantee with the proper environment the colors will return> Thanks guys! -Brian <-Paul>

Candycane coral Anthony, Gentlemen, or whoever takes this question of mine today, hope all is well for you. <Chris today, and same to you> I have a candycane coral with about 15 heads on it, all with tissue, no skeletons.  I've had it for about 8 months, and I noticed the other day that one of the heads lost its tissue and 2 others looked kind of like they were on their way.  The cluster of heads are packed tightly together, but I think that is common for the candycanes. You guys have any idea why this would happen? <Overshading would be my first guess, or another coral's sweeping tentacles are becoming within reach> The whole colony has been doing great for a while, its tissue and tentacles swell up at night to feed, and I do feed this corals heads fine minced seafood, I'm kind of puzzled, everything in my tank is doing great, parameters all on spec.   That particular brand that lost the head has three heads on it, with the other 2 heads looking kind of shriveled up as I mentioned, should I saw that branch of the colony off ? <I wouldn't worry unless the problem starts to spread. Keep an eye on neighboring corals for sweeper tentacles.   best, Chris>

Question About Ricordea - Allelopathy - 8/28/03 Hi guys <howdy> I read from books that soft corals engage in "chemical warfare" and hence should not be kept in an aquarium along with hard corals. Can I check with you if this applies to Ricordea which are not really soft corals.   <just wishful thinking <G>... allelopathy is conducted by practically all cnidarians and plants/algae we keep in aquaria. The issue is not how to stop it (impossible) but how to minimize it by keeping more natural mixes of corals. Try to set up realistic biotopes and niche displays rather than the awful garden reefs with a hodgepodge of everything but the kitchen sink (LPS, SPS, corallimorphs, zooanthids, soft corals, hamsters, smurfs, etc).> I will assume zooanthids and sea mats do conduct chemical warfare? <they are fierce> Many thanks in advance. Joey <do check back next week on the "new at WWM" page for an article I'll post on the subject. Best regards, Anthony>

Challenged corals /27/03 Hello, Thanks for sharing your knowledge.  I have your new book and can not wait for the 2nd and 3rd and .... in the series.  Any projected dates yet? <thanks kindly... looks like 2004 for Reef Fishes... and 2005 for Cnidarians. A one per year goal? <G>> I have several probably unrelated questions.   First I have a 2 year old  55 gallon  tank  with about 60 lbs of live rock.  Mainly Fiji LR.  The questions are mainly related to growths on the live rock.1st - One of the live rocks had a small patch of a translucent yellow material.  It almost looked like a yellow colored silicon.  It has spread to an adjacent rock and has actually filled an approximately 1" gap between the two rocks.  Is this something to be concerned with? <not likely... sounds like a colonial tunicate. Often appears or even feel "rubbery". Else it could be sponge... a few look/feel this way> 2nd -  I have a tube worm?? It is rust color and has formed a 1" diameter coil on a piece of live rock.  The end sticks out about 3/4" form the rock.  If light hits it at night you can see something move inside the tube.  It emits a spider web like material.   <yes... a worm or Vermetid snail... feeding by mucus net> I have seen my flame angel eat the web like material.   A couple of nights ago, the web like material stretched 7" to 8" inches and was attached to my bubble coral.  Again, is this something to be concerned with. <nope... good food/feeding> 3rd - A hitch hiker on the live rock looks like some sort of anemone.  For a year and half,  it grew slowly.  It is a magenta color and is about 1" - 1 1/2" in diameter.  It has what I will call a trunk ( excuse my ignorance) that is about an 1 1/2" tall and is an off white.  The head of the anemone has feelers all the way around the diameter and they are about 1 " long.  At night the head pulls into the trunk and it looks like a slightly oval shaped white ball.  I wasn't too worried until  the last few weeks.  It has reproduced and there are know 4 or 5 of  these anemones.  I know I am sounding redundant, but again - anything to worry about? <impossible to guess what kind of zoantharian you have here from the general description. Do send a clear pic if possible> 4th -  (Final question this time. )  I have a candy coral.  And again for the lack of a better term, I will describe it as several heads on different stalks.  Most of it looks very good.  During the day the heads are large and plump and are a beautiful lime green color.  However there is one stalk that has a head that looks like the skeleton structure is showing through.  There basically is no head (no green color and no plump open coral)  Can this be some thing that  will damage the rest of the coral?   <possible if it becomes infectious> Should I some how try and remove the exposed skeletal structure?   <not yet if at all. This is a hardy coral... but can starve if not fed> How is the best way to feed the candy coral.  Most things I read indicate that it does  not  feeding..   <holy cow! Quite the contrary for this very needy/hungry LPS coral. They need over 20% of their daily carbon from sources other than light. Feed fine meaty food of marine origin> I feed Mysis shrimp, Nori algae, and formula 1  to the fish and I also add some DT's plankton very sparingly. <mysids, minced krill, Pacifica plankton would all be great. Easy on the DTs unless you have a large refugium or many clams/gorgonians> Sorry about so many unrelated questions.  Thanks  in advance. Tracy <no worries... best regards. Anthony>

Galaxea - Aggressive Coral - 8/12/03 Hello to All! Recently I purchased a Galaxea coral. It's a very beautiful coral and nice addition to my reef.  On the downside, it's tentacles are sweeping 4-5 inches reaching my xenia, which I have previously read about on your FAQs. <the tentacles in time can extend to 10-12". This is a beautiful but very aggressive coral indeed!> I thought I had put him far enough away from all of my corals atop my live rocks.  Tonight, I realize that I thought wrong.  I am now dumb-founded on where i should place it.  My tank is 65g, 85lbs LR with 384w PC lighting..  With the tank being 24" deep, would I offer him enough light to be placed on the substrate?   <PCs do not penetrate water adequately at depth (below 12-16" is weak IMO). Perhaps position the coral on one of the flanking sides of the tank (within 16" of surface) to minimize its battlefront> Thanks Jason -Surfs Up! <best regards, Anthony>

Does Blastomussa Pack A Punch? Hi WWM Crew, <Scott F. in today> I received a Red Blastomussa ......Blastomussa wells is the species that was listed on the invoice. I have enclosed a photo just in case they ID it incorrectly. <Well, I'm not a coral expert, but it looks to me to be Blastomussa merlot, in terms of color. However, morphologically, it looks like B. wells...B. merlot seems to have longer, individual corallites. I'll bet it is a variation of B. wells...Geeze- how's that for help! LOL> It was sent with an order, as an extra. I seem to remember a conversation I had with a reefer friend who told me that they have very potent nematocysts and can inflict a pretty nasty sting. I could of course be confusing it with something else. I keep seahorses and worry about them because they will hitch to just about anything and they can stay put for an incredibly long time. I avoid anything that can sting and possibly injure them. <They do feed, and, coming from deeper locations, prefer subdued lighting. I have read about other sessile inverts growing within Blastomussa branches, so I question the lethality of their "sweeping" capabilities> Do you know anything about this species and it's stinging potential?  If not is there somewhere you could refer me. I have not been able to find a resource that includes this sort of information about corals as it relates to fish coming into close proximity. <I have never heard about this species posing a threat to fishes. Which, of course, is not to say that it doesn't! However, I will forward this to Anthony for his feedback when he returns...He's forgotten more about coral than I'll ever know!> Any information is much appreciated. Thank you so much for your help! Leslie <Our pleasure, Leslie...Regards, Scott F>

Mixing and Matching (LPS/SPS, etc...) Hello Bob and crew, <Scott F. your Crew member today!> It's been quite a few months since my last question. Continuing along the same line... I had a small (1") wartskin angler, Antennarius maculatus, in a 10 gallon tank that was plumbed into a 300+or- gal system. He shares the tank with some Ricordea yuma. The main display is a 180 DSB with Acro frags on LR. Large refugium and separate surge unit feed both displays which drain to sump. <Sounds like a nice setup!> The boy has grown to about 1-1/2 and he is moving to a 40 gal plumbed into same system. I would like to keep him with some LPS (Caulastrea, Trachyphyllia, etc) but am worried about him getting tangled up in sweeper tentacles and the like (heard about brains making a meal of errant hermit crabs). Is this a real concern? <Well, while in my heart of hearts I think it will be okay- I can't help but suggest caution...The potential is there, even though it may be remote...Better to err on the side of caution. I'd keep him away from corals like Elegance and others that have the potential to consume fishes...> Also, Scott Fellman did not think that allelopathy would be an issue between Ricordea and Acros (separate tanks but shared water) but, as I understand, LPS participate in a higher level of chem warfare. Should I proceed with the additions of LPS? (I do run ozone and carbon in sump). <Ahh- let me clarify for the sake of readers that may have missed it (and so they don't get the wrong ideas about unnatural combinations of animals in reef tanks! I have also seen plenty of great SPS tanks with Ricordea right there in the tank, and there really haven't been any problems in long-term maintenance. However, in every one of these cases, there was significant separation (i.e.; physical distance and current flow) between the two, aggressive protein skimming, and use of chemical filtration media. They are generally not found together in nature, so it is certainly artificial to do this in captivity. I don't like the idea of mixing SPS and softies, LPS, etc in the same tank. However, it is done all the time...Does that make it right? Nope. Do I recommend that everyone do this? Nope, but we are talking about captive systems here-so it can be done if proper cautions are observed...As far as LPS are concerned, I would be somewhat more hesitant, for the very reasons that you mention. Sweeper tentacles and allelopathic interactions are a very real concern. These animals are simply not found together in nature at all, and the potential problems between SPS and LPS warrant this consideration. Of course, in separate tanks with shared water, the danger is somewhat less, IMO. Your use of carbon, ozone, and other chemical media increases the chance of success when combining corals that are generally not found together in nature! If you understand the potential problems, and how to overcome them, then proceed with caution!> Once again, thanks for the time and service. I feel my successes are directly attributed to the information and methods gleamed from WWM. Oh, clown boy thanks you too. <Glad to here that we've been of service! Good luck with your efforts!> Oh hey, my LFS keeps bunches (2-3) of anglers together in a tank. I heard they must be solitary. But they also have to find mates in the wild? Can they be kept in angler communities or would I be paying for the most expensive feeders in the land? <Yep, you would! There is a very real likelihood that there will be  "a whole lotta munching going on!" In he wild, there is a lot more room for them to spread out, and they will generally only interact when ready to seek a mate...Definitely better to be safe than sorry here!> Regards, Bryan <Have fun, Bryan! Regards, Scott F>

Coral ID - Blastomussa wellsi - 7/7/03 I have a colony of some sort of coral growing on one of my mushroom rocks. <It is the scleractinian (stony) coral: Blastomussa wellsi. Prefers low to medium light like the mushroom corallimorphs of which you speak> It is becoming larger and larger and I have noticed that it seems to have stung the 2 mushrooms closest to it as they have retracted on the sides closest to the unknown coral colony. The entire colony is about 1/2 inch wide with sweeper tentacle length right in the 1 inch range. The sweeper tentacles are clear with a white tip. I have attached 2 photos of the unidentified colony which seems to be comprised of 6 or 7 animals. They have short tentacles around the edges similar to that of polyps and a white colored ring around the centers of each animal. I thought they were some sort of polyp until I noticed the numerous sweeper tentacles so I am now leaning toward some type of hard coral. I was wondering if you had any idea of what this colony is and if so is it worth keeping or should I treat it as a nuisance animal such as Aiptasia? <They are quite desirable... selling in most cities for about $40 for a full colony.> They kind of remind me of small Button Coral but I didn't think they grew in colonies so I'm not sure what they are. For now i am preparing to move the mushrooms out of reach of the tentacles until I have identified the colony in question. If you have any ideas as to what this colony is let me know. Thanks! Brad Sampson <Kind regards, my friend. Anthony>

Elegance Coral Question... And A Missing Page? 7/4/03 I have a large Elegance coral and have a question: this specimen has seven 'mouths'. How many am I supposed to 'feed'? Are they linked internally so that feeding one (or every other one) benefits the others? <First read up on the coral here... http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm   You will see that if your tank is "properly set-up and maintained" you don't have to feed your coral.  Although many people do.  It too depends on the lighting you have above your tank...  If you do end up feeding it, allow the food to drift above all the mouths.> Also, it looks like there's supposed to be an article on Feeding Corals by Bob Fenner (Coral Feeding in Marine Aquarium Use). I get sort of a 'cover page' with a tank photo, but no text comes up on my computer. . . was wondering if this is a site glitch?  The related FAQ's sections 1 and 2 come through fine.<Probably not a glitch... just a page that is in the process of being written.  It should be up shortly I assume.> Thanks in advance for your help on this. <No problem, good luck with this beautiful yet hard to keep coral.  Happy 4th of July!  Phil>

Hermit crabs picking at live coral Hi, I really appreciate all the information I get from your site.   <Thank you for sharing your part today.> I was searching on the necessity of hermit crabs and couldn't find an answer to my question hence this email.  I traded in my 40 gallon tank for a 25 gallon high because I move around at least 3 times a year and wanted something easier and cheaper to maintain.   <Cheaper? Yes, Easier? Not sure about that one as the greater the volume in a system, the greater the stability.> I took my 30 blue legged hermit crabs in as well as all my fish except for the two percula clowns and my fire shrimp.  I have not had any success in keeping my corals alive until I got rid of the hermit crabs, they kept crawling on and picking at them.  I am maintaining a reef tank now and want to add a lot more corals.    <Be careful how you define 'a lot' as with fish, corals need room to grow and feed without having chemical warfare with each other. Do research the different types of corals you are thinking about so you can avoid these problems and choose tankmates that will co-exist with each other.> My question is, am I required to have hermit crabs to control the hair and other algae on the rocks? <Certainly not. Water quality is number one in nuisance algae control. Regular weekly or twice weekly water changes will do wonders. Personally, I don't like the hermits and lean more to a diverse combination of snails. Astrea, Cerith, Trochus, Turbo and Nassarius> I don't think I should get another tang because my tank is too small for one.   <Good call, you don't want fish that are much more than 3-4" when adult. With the 25 I don't think you want more than one more.> What would you suggest? <As per above, Don> Please help!

Brackish corals and puffers >How much coral do you have to put in a 10 gallon brackish tank with green spotted puffers. >>None. >I never see coral in brackish tanks anywhere only in saltwater tanks. Do they like a high ph or only saltwater puffers? >>Corals like relatively high pH, and require so much for their growth that I couldn't begin to address it here.  If you're speaking of using coral skeletons in a tank with marine puffers, then I would caution against it as I have seen torn skin (they don't have scales.  Marina

Coral Colors Redux Hey Anthony- I know, I know, i said my last e-mail would be the last, but am still confused on one issue.  My protein skimmer has now taken care of my organics problem which has resulted in my SPS corals getting less brown.   <we cannot say with certainty that your nutrient problem has been totally "taken care of" by the skimmer... it has helped, but not likely "solved". Excess nutrients are still likely tied up in bio-mass elsewhere after months of growth> You say its not "prudent/responsible" to say that a lack of UV is the cause of lack of color in the SPS corals.   <correct> What else could be causing it.   <good heaven's... thousands of pages have been writ on the subject and today it is still unclear. Yet the reasons are many...> I though that SPS corals are colorful due to their UV reflecting pigments because they are at such shallow depths and sometimes even out of the water!!!   <true for shallow water species... but why then are some deep water species heavily iridescent? (metallic Hydnophora, red and green Cynarina, pink/red metallic open brains, etc). These corals are brightly colored with reflective pigments to "refract" the weakly available light at depth within their tissue (and not reflect UV away like shallow water species). If you give them brighter light in aquaria... guess what happens? They shed those pigments/proteins and become less colorful! My point is... you are looking for one solution to a multifaceted problem (multiple species of coral from many places on a reef and colored for many reasons).> My first step will be to upgrade my reflectors which will move both sets of PC actinics to  the front.   <does sound like a good start> From there, i will consider upgrading to 250's after a few weeks to see any results.   <do archive some of Eric Borneman's online articles on coral coloration too... and see if you can find some of Dana Riddles new reports if out yet> Thanks!!! Josh P.S.  Sorry to be a bother... <no bother at all... best regards, Anthony>

Re: your website on coral mortality Hi Bob Thanks for your site - a job well done, very informative and I like the presentation. Just for your info re: Parrotfishes - there are currently 89 recognized species (Bellwood, 1994) and most of those species that scrape or excavate on coral reefs actually redistribute existing sediment, rather than producing it (Bruggeman, 1995). If you need more info on these references I can provide you with such. Also it is not necessary to say 'living coral polyps' as all coral polyps are alive, although I agree that this small redundancy is not so important. <Ah, merci. Want/ed to state that many Parrotfish species scrape "previously" live coral matrix as well.> Hope you are getting the input you had hoped for when you put this site together <More and more. Thank you again. Bob Fenner> Andrea Bullock Laboratoire de Biologie Marine Concarneau, France

Bright Lights 2/17/03 Mr. Calfo, Could you read my thread at ReefCentral and tell me if you think I am way off base? http://reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=153669 Or if I have the right idea and just need to word thing better. Thanks again Karl <I think you definitely have the right idea Karl. Not sure about the open statement though (purpose/intent/hopes to accomplish with a BB crowd). I would also disagree that five years with coral is not a good indicator of success. That number (at least with regards to allelopathy in a typical closed aquarium) should be more like 1-3 years as unproven. Although 3+ years is not a full lifespan... it is beyond placing the blame for many deaths on allelopathy in large part. Good husbandry (or not) will make or break a tank by then... but there are some lucky stiffs that get away in mixed/crowded tanks or systems without water changes for a year or two. Still... I understand your point of view and do agree with the premise. Best regards, Anthony>

Fish Bags - 2/13/03 Hello again, I am trying to find somewhere that I can buy bags from so I can ship my corals in.  I did a search on google and found polyethylene bags (the pics of the bags on their sites look exactly the same as the bags you find at fish stores) at a few sites and called to ask if they were the ones that people use to ship fish and other critters in but was told that they probably wouldn't be good for that.  The guy said they would probably leak and didn't sound like he worked there long.  Can you tell me where I can find quantities of bags that are made for shipping fish/corals.  What thickness in mils. do you recommend and how big of a bag?  I figured the polyethylene bags and the bags at the fish stores were one in the same. I am sending a link so hopefully you can tell me if these are the ones I need or not.  I, as usual, will appreciate any help you can offer.  You guys rock, Jeff <these bags are too thin and will leak, Jeff. Freshwater fishes often get bagged (or double-bagged) in 3mil plastics. Marines and spiny creatures go in 4 mil bags. 10x22" is a common size for this purpose. Double-bagging is recommended for most. Close with rubber bands, never twist ties. And never more than 1/3 water unless it is an air-sensitive species. Anthony>

Manipulating Coral Color I have always had an issue with the color of my corals in my 72 gallon reef tank. <its a complex issue that cannot be resolved completely in any mixed reef tank with unnatural collections (LPS, SPS, soft coral, mushrooms, etc)> I have always had a problem with most of my corals end up turning brownish/ tannish color( Although always healthy and growing). <often a sign of high nitrates and/or low light (not necessarily from weak lamps either... could be aged bulbs (over 10 months old), yellow water, dusty salt creep lens/covers, etc)> I was always told the lighting would effect the color of corals my coral the most.   <depends on many factors... more is not always better, and sometimes it is water clarity and color that is the issue skewing light penetration and coral color... and not the lights themselves>> So I changed it from 260watts blue actinics/whites to 440 watts of 03atinics/whites. The 03 made some impact but nearly what I was hoping for. My tank holds mainly 90% soft corals, 2-tangs, 1 clown, 1 Firefish, 2- cleaner shrimp and various serpent stars, snails and hermits.   <good to hear the focus on soft corals and not a hodgepodge. My advice for optimum soft coral color is URI VHO fluorescent lamps or 150 watt 10K HQI MH outfits> The following were not supposed to be brownish but have slowly turned brownish/tannish in color. The following was sold from GARF: Capnella was sold as blue but now is tannish. POM POM Xenia were a brilliant pink but seems to become more brownish in color the longer its in my tank( very similar in color to the common Xenias). Lemnalia was sold as pink but has more of brownish hue. Overall I have about 45 different frags from GARF. <what?!?!? 45 frags in a 72 gall. I don't care how small they are, you will be lucky to keep this mix alive let alone in good color for the allelopathy. Wow... serious chemical exudations occurring here. The tank can look "fine" and frags will grow for a year or maybe two. But I'd put any kind of money on this tank having a serious problem in the 1.5-3 year picture for it. Just too many specimens to grow out in one tank healthy> All of these corals are doing well since 04/02 but I am very disappointed in my colors. My mushrooms retain there colors. This gives my tank is very tannish appearance from all the corals colors except  I was wondering if it is something that I am doing or if one of my levels is off. <are you using carbon weekly or at least a large portion monthly? Are your nitrates under 10ppm? etc> All the normal test are within normal ranges. <normal relative to what? Numbers would help here bud> I follow GARF'S bullet proof reef recipe. <heehee... bullet proof marketing too> I use Seachem reef plus, reef complete, reef builder. I add Magnesium & Iodine once a week. My PH is about 8.4. I also test for Phosphates, Calcium, Alkalinity , Iodine and Magnesium. However my Iodine is always very low. <Its taken out of solution within hours... I like dosing a small amount daily instead of a large amount weekly> Could this be my problem? Is there any other area I should be testing that could be effecting the color of my corals? <your coral are brown likely because they are over fertilized (phosphate and/or nitrate)... Or... they have shed UV reflective proteins because they are not getting enough UV (yellow water, poor skimming, dusty lenses or lamps, old bulbs, etc). There are other possibilities but these are most common. Anthony>

Coral Safe Fish Choices? I am in the process of setting up a new saltwater system. I would like to have a reef system, but fish come first. <Very cool. I'm definitely a fish geek myself!> I only plan on having 4 or 5, but they will be very nice fish. I am wondering if the main two, Centropyge aurantia and Chaetodon tinkeri will leave any corals alone? <The C. aurantia is a great fish, but it may very well nip at some SPS and LPS corals. The most difficult thing about these fish is to get quality specimens (i.e; properly collected and eating). Many are collected with drugs, do not acclimate well, and die after a brief period of time. The Chaetodon tinkeri is definitely a potential threat to some corals, so you'll just have to take your chances. Since these particular fishes both come from relatively deep habitats, they should do well together. Once again, getting a good specimen is very important to your success with these guys, so you'll want to get them from a reliable dealer, such as Marine Center.> What has a chance with those two? Thanks, Brandon Wilson. <Really a tough call. There is no guarantee that the fish will not nip at just about any types of corals...Perhaps some of the fine synthetic corals now available will be your safest choice! Good luck! Scott F.>

Cladiella and Cabbage coral Hi! I recently purchased two coral for my 75 gal reef tank. My tank has 440 watts of light and I have both soft & SPS corals in the tank. <hmmm... OK. But not a good habit to mix soft coral and scleractinians in the long run. Many allelopathic issues> 90% of my corals where purchased from GARF. <OK> I recently purchased two corals from my LFS. One was sold to me as a Cladiella although I think it is Alcyonium because of the description in Eric Borneman's book " Aquarium Corals". <understood... and know that since Eric's book was published, all tropical species in Alcyonium were moved out. The "Colt Coral" (Cladiella/Alcyonium) is now (genus) Klyxum> The reason I think this is because its color when purchased was dark/rich Pink and almost closer to purple. The book indicates Cladiella come in colors that range between gray - green - brownish. <color should not be a primary indication of evaluating speciation> Since purchasing it about 3 weeks ago - Its color slowly changed to a very light pink. I don't think bleached out (still very healthy & still opens) but I was wondering if it should exposed to much light. <your lights are very fine... the coral is simply adapting to the change. Be sure not to move it at all. All coral must simply be allowed to adapt even when the first few days look weak> All my other soft coral new & old have had no problem with the 440 watts of light. I keep it at the bottom of my which is about 21 inches deep. <actually, probably not enough light (at depth) under these fluorescents in the long run. Fluorescent do not penetrate water very well at depth. After a few weeks, move the coral up slowly to within 16" of surface at least> Eric's book doesn't indicate how much this coral requires. <this like most coral are collected over a wide range. There is no rule possible for animals that may have been collected at 5 feet or fifty feet. Hence the need for gentle and appropriate acclimation as you have done starting on the bottom first (or using a screen method better yet)> Will it do better if I were to put in a shady area like a mushroom? <will surely die in time> What is the lighting requirements for a Alcyonium? I am afraid it might die if I put it in a completely shady area like under a cliff or under a over hang. <corals are quite adaptable... and feeding can compensate for inadequate light. Do consider a fishless refugium inline to produce natural plankton for these corals> The other coral I purchased was sold to as a (stony) cabbage coral. the closest thing I found in Eric's book to it was a Merulina. <Ughhh! A very delicate and difficult species> When I purchased it it was a cream color. Is very white now. <most bleach and die within 2-6 months of import/ For truly advanced reefs. They need bright light and very strong water flow but cannot take the bright light initially for the stress of import. Must be acclimated slowly to full reef lights over several weeks> I do believe this is a stony coral even though when I touch it - it feels very rubbery.   <you are correct... it is stony (scleractinian)> This coral I believe requires strong lighting. I recently moved it the center and up about 3 inches from the bottom. Is there any you can suggest for both of these coral- Thanks for your time-  Anj <you move of the <Merulina sounds fine. Please leave it be... moving stressed corals can easily kill them for the need to keep adjusting to changes in light. They have a better chance of acclimating to a new but alien light rather than toggle between a normal and abnormal scheme. In my Book of Coral Propagation I discuss several pertinent topics for you... summarized articles of the same (coral feeding, lighting and acclimation) are all here on wetwebmedia for free (better yet <G>!).It really sounds like you have done fine by your new specimens but that they simply need to acclimate. With kind regards, Anthony>

Re: Coral compatibility Hi, crew... <Good evening. David D. answering your questions.> On my 75 gallon reef in recent months I've changed out the chiller, exchanged VHO lights for MH, added a UV to combat ich <Quarantine is a better option but if you monitor the use of the UV it should help with clarifying the water...if you use enough of it...but please don't overdose...> a canister filter to feed the UV...and now the skimmer (had a small Berlin, bought a Remora Pro - only to find it doesn't fit the canopy, so I've changed it for an AquaC EV-120 in the sump).  I've also decided this weekend to reconstruct the insides of the tank - I have way too much rock piled up in the corners, the sides of the tank aren't even visible, rock piled too high forcing some of the coral to be too near the lights...I'm going to move some of the rock to the sump, give more room inside the tank, and get an external pump and plumb it so I can remove the powerheads (I plan to move the coral to a separate tank during the rearrangement, complete with circulation).  My remaining question as I put the coral back is compatibility. I have the following items of livestock: a (sickly) pearl bubble, 2 regular bubbles (so-so), a Hydnophora exesa (very healthy), a closed brain (Leptoria phrygia, I believe), 3 open brains (Trach. geoffroyi) (all very healthy), a horseshoe elegance (so-so), a hammer coral (healthy), a frog spawn (healthy), a Scolymia (healthy, I think), a leather (Sarc.) (healthy), a pink leather finger (healthy), some blue sponge (healthy), some green star polyps, some pink star polyps, some button polyps (all healthy), and a few assorted mushrooms.  I also have a bulb anemone that, until it started moving last night, had appeared healthy, but now has moved to the top of the tank and appears damaged near the tentacle base.  I also have 2 clams (they've been very happy with the new lighting), and plan to add a couple of Acropora (stags, mostly), once I can get the water and placement sorted out. With the reorganization this weekend, I have a unique opportunity to rearrange where the corals that live within the tank.  Aside from the standard advice regarding distance from lighting, etc. (which I've already researched), I was wondering your opinion: I know enough to isolate the bubbles several inches from other coral (can they be near each other, though?), same with the elegance, but aside from that, are there any other dangers you see in this combination?   <The problem with the bubble and elegance is sweeper tentacles that will come out at night. Both of these corals are notorious for stinging other corals to death. In the ocean, this is how they gain a spot on the reef. The chances of them stinging their own kind is less than the chance of them stinging other corals but there are no guarantees...the corals didn't read the books! HA! Set the tank up with softies separated as far away as possible from the stonies and no coral should be closer than 6 inches from its nearest neighbor. I would give even more space to the bubbles and elegance just to be on the safe side.> I'm anxious to fire up the new skimmer this weekend to improve water quality, but I'm wondering if some combination I have is releasing toxins that are making the bubbles reluctant to come out (both regular and pearl).  I had been blaming it on lighting, but I'm starting to believe it's related more to water.  It usually is, I know...:) <Run a full battery of tests starting with ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, alkalinity, and calcium. See what the numbers look like. Keep in mind that your lighting is a rather substantial upgrade and the corals most likely will be somewhat shocked for a while. If there is a way to gradually increase the lighting over a period of two to three weeks I would try it.> Any advice would be greatly appreciated.      Arthur <Sounds as if you've got a good thing going! Keep reading and learning! David D.>

Coral ID Hi, the live rock in question is cured Fiji rock. Both corals have some sort of stony base and the polyps are only expanded (or inflated) in the daytime. They seem to engulf pieces of frozen brine shrimp and detract quickly to the touch.  <it does not help much my friend.. there are thousands of possibilities. At best it sounds like a large polyped stony coral bud. Do know too that brine shrimp is a woefully hollow and inadequate food for most any animal. Its almost tragic that its still sold and popular! Do compare the single digit protein of brine shrimp to the 69% protein of PE Mysis shrimp instead!!! So many better frozen foods (Gammarus, minced krill, Pacifica plankton)> I hope this helps as I cannot take a picture. <do reference Eric Borneman's book Aquarium Corals for further help if possible... else continue to browse online for a photo ID. Best regards, Anthony>

Coral ID Hi, I hope you can help me with a couple of unidentified corals. After purchasing some pieces of live rock and placing them in my tank I have discovered two strange looking corals. One 3cm diameter 'bunch' of purple bubble like things with one tiny curl on each bubble pointing toward the centre. And also what seems to be an anemone type (definitely not Aiptasia) 1cm circular orange base with tiny white tipped transparent tentacles (polyps?) which are about 2/3mm long poking out. Is it possible to have anemone hitchhikers on live rock?. <easily> I have only 1 blue actinic bulb and 1 marine white fluorescent bulb. Will this be sufficient for these creatures for the time being (gathering funds for additional bulbs. Any help is greatly appreciated. <we can't comment on the lighting before we know what the animals are and what their respective needs are. To help you ID these creatures we need some more information. A picture would be best (close-up). If not... we need to know the type of rock (where collected) and some more details about the creatures. Do either appear to have a stony base? Do they expand or contract at night? etc. Do work on providing a picture, my friend... it will be easiest and most helpful. Kindly, Anthony>

On-Line Coral Suppliers Given your experience in the industry, I was wondering if you could supply me with some names of on-line coral suppliers that have a very good reputation and are known for shipping healthy specimens? <You are best off seeking out the advice of other hobbyists who are actively purchasing on-line for their impressions and feedback. Our message board is here http://wetwebfotos.com/talk, there are others you may wish to check with. ReefCentral.com and reefs.org are two big ones.>

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