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Trachyphyllia geoffroyi 5/29/16
open brain - receding
First of all, love the site and have found a ton of great info that's help me get further along in the hobby, really appreciate it.
That having been said, a little background: I have a 72 gallon bow front with overflow, skimmer, T5HO lighting, and 3 Koralia 600gph powerheads.
Good amount of Liverock, and am just now (After about 2 years of running) starting to go from FOWLR to reef. So far I have a Palythoa and just added about 2 weeks ago an open brain (one of the deeper water ones with the red outer lip and green inner bit).
So when I got the brain I gave it about a week, waited until my night lamps had been on for an hour or two, and then turned off the powerheads - and then used tongs to drop some thawed Mysis on the "mouth" area. Tentacles started showing up and pushing food into the mouth (super cool to watch!).
Now, having read on your site I know that these bad boys need to be fed at least a couple of times a week...
<Yes, can be done during the day also>
and my wife mentioned that it had been walnut sized all day today...so tonight I tried again (last feeding was around 5 days ago). Same process, night lamps, power heads off, dropped some Mysis. Now the mouths opened WIIIIIIIDE open (like I could see INSIDE the mouth), however no feeder tentacles appeared. I tried to get a few bits of Mysis into the mouth - but not sure how successful I was.
<This is not likely a feeding problem>
So I pulled out the test kit so see if maybe I was stressing the thing out....trites, trates, and phates are all at zero,
<You should have a trace of NO3 & PO4 present, nutrients essential for life>
which would have been my first thought. Also tested calcium - and it is indeed quite low (240 range).
<Far too low - should be around 400ppm>
Could that be causing the lack of tentacle as well as the shrivel effect?
<Yes - the coral is Scleractinian (has a skeleton) so needs to calcify in order to survive. Without enough calcium in the water it cannot do this.
You also need to test for Magnesium and carbonates (alkalinity, dKH. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/calcalkmar.htm>
I've read that people on WWM have mentioned seeing the "skeleton" of the coral: I'm not entirely sure what that is, as opposed to the rock on which the coral is growing (again, I'm new to this, so be gentle)...so I can't tell if I'm seeing the "skeleton" or if it's just pulled back and hanging out.
<Mmm, the 'rock' on which it is growing is it's skeleton, assuming that what you have is an 'open brain' coral and not something else. either way, the calcium needs to be adjusted, and the Mg & dKH tested for and also adjusted if necessary http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2002/11/chemistry>
Plan for right now is to do around a 12 gallon water change tomorrow, and also start on a nice slow Kalk drip to help maintain the calcium levels.
Think that's the right move?
<No. I think you need to understand the chemistry more before messing around with Kalk drips, one of the most dangerous things you can do to your tank, especially automated. After reading & understanding you could add a little Kalk, manually only, with testing, and not on a drip>
Thanks, in advance, for your help!
Re: open brain - receding 12/16/11
Simon - thanks for the quick response!
<No problem Mitch>
I'm going to pick up some more exact test kits this afternoon - I'm using the reefmaster kit right now, and unfortunately it won't detect "Trace" amounts (the smallest amount of nitrate it will show is 5 PPM etc).
As far as perking up the brain and calcium go, how much of the Kalk would you recommend starting with? I've seen a lot of different suggestions in amounts, but all were for a "drip" setup, so not entirely sure what the process would be for adding manually?
<Are there no instructions? You can make a slurry with some RO water, add a little at a time, test, add some more if necessary... until you get used to how much does what>
(as a side note, in a fit of insomnia, I woke around 3 this morning and took a quick look into the tank with a flashlight - brain is still in that "shrunken" state, but the tentacles were indeed visible again)
As a sidebar, I have a delivery of 3 small Zoanthid frags coming today (15 - 21 polyps total) - unfortunately it was an internet order and it's too late to stop it from coming. Think they'll be safe in the tank?
<Should be fine>
My Palythoa (sp) is doing fantastically well and is actually spreading like wildfire right now - from what I understand those are a relative of Zoas, so I'm hoping they'd be okay too?
<Are Zoanthids also>
I have a small QT on the side but it's not really equipped for sustaining corals. My plain was to acclimate, dip, and then introduce into the DT.
<I am a fan of quarantining all livestock, everything wet myself>
Re: open brain - receding 12/17/11
Simon - postlude today.
Open brain is fully open and happy looking. No skeleton showing etc. Took a water sample to the LFS - calcium is at 400.
Looks like my test kit is old and ineffective. Treated myself to a new one while I was there.
<An essential purchase>
Here's what I suspect, you tell me what you think: I saw coral withered and decided that it must have been hungry and started dropping Mysis over it...in doing so, I think I annoyed it causing it to open its mouth real wide, not because it wanted to eat, but because it wanted me to go the heck away.
<Hmmm, not sure this coral has the capacity to 'think' ;)>
So, in short, I'm going to give the brain a break and leave it alone until I can confirm seeing those feeder tentacles reaching out.
<I would just aim some food in it's direction when you feed your fishes were it mine, daily.>
Its amazing the panic a bad test kit can cause!!!
<All's well that ends well, Simon>
Trachyphyllia won't open or feed
Open brain coral color and extension
Brain Not Extending It's
Re Brain Not Extending It's
Re Brain Not Extending It's
Deflated Trachy 2/17/08 Gents I'm writing to you from Guernsey, a small Island in the British channel! I have a question that so far, despite trying many different people, have not got an answer. I have a Trachyphyllia Geoffroyi that has been deflated for about 3 weeks. I've had him for about 8 months and has always looked amazing. I recently upgraded my skimmer to a Deltec apf600 on a 325 Ltr (90 US Gallon?). <About 86> I changed my carbon and phosphate remover but nothing different to my normal routine. My coral has since deflated. The flesh was very tight over the skeleton and I thought all was lost. I was really gutted as he's my favourite coral. I didn't remove the coral but left it for a few days. One night I noted he looked a bit inflated but the next day he was the same. I have since put him in a Pyrex bowl on the bottom of the tank so that I can get to him easily. I feed him in the bowl and he feeds well but still no inflation. The flesh is no longer tight over the skeleton but definitely not inflated. Any ideas what the problem is? <Mmm, first guess would be a nutrient shortage from your new, more efficient skimmer.... Do you have measurable phosphate?> My conditions are: S.G - 1.025 pH - 8.2 KH - 8 Ca- 420 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 15 I'm afraid that's all I test. I do 25 Ltr water changes every 2 weeks with good quality reef salt. Use a Ca reactor, Carbon, Phosphate remover, <This too is too-likely a culprit... I would pull this media for now. Some soluble HPO4 is absolutely essential to all life...> Live rock, DSB, skimmer. All other fish / corals are in good health and no fish appear to be irritating the coral. Many thanks for any help. Cheers Jeff <And a bit of iodine/ide supplement, and let's see how this Open Brain does in a week or so, eh? Bob Fenner>
Bloated Open Brain (Trachyphyllia) 6/25/08 Hi WWM Crew, <Hello Cindy!> I am very much hoping that you can alleviate my worries about our open brain. <I hope so too!> We've had 'him' for about 4 weeks now and until recently it appeared as though everything was going well. Until the past few days his tentacles would come out every evening - dinner time for everyone else as he was curious. Twice a week we feed him a small morsel of clam, muscle, shrimp or octopus; which he accepts gladly. <Great! Glad to see you must have researched husbandry a little. Too many of these starve to death in aquariums.> There are never any leftovers and he hasn't spewed anything back into the tank. The rest of the week he will get left overs that may drift to the bottom once the fish have had their fill. As far as I can tell he's well fed. Recently we have upgraded our lighting and we are trying to acclimate everyone slowly to the better lighting. Since we've changed the lighting though the open brain coral has bloated and his tentacles are extended all the time. Based on all the research I've done I was sure that his tentacles were a sure sign of hunger and the bloating was generally reserved for the day after meals; but for the past three days they are out almost 24/7 and his bloating is incredible; he expands by about 50%. He still expands/retracts but the bloating is so much more than we've seen in the past that I'm worried about the behaviour. Is he incredibly hungry or just loving the new light? Do I step up the feeding/reduce/change it?? <This is a stress response, most likely. Expansion means more surface area, and therefore more passive cooling/waste diffusion. Even if he isn't cooking, full of waste, or wanting more light a coral only has so many responses to stress. If something seems wrong and all you can do is puff up, you're going to puff up- know what I mean?> Tank details: 6 months old, 45 gal -corner tank, 40lbs live rock, 2" live crushed coral covered by 1" fine live sand. 2 percula clowns, 1 cleaner shrimp, one engineer goby, 1 hammer coral, 1 bubble coral, 1 open brain :-), green Zoanthid polyps, 1 doz assorted snails, 3 red hermits, various blue legged crabs, small refugium with 4 mangroves, Tunze 50 gal protein skimmer, Fluval filter, 78 degrees, 8.2 ph, 0 ammonia, 0 nitrite, 20 nitrate??, 380 calcium. The calcium levels is slowly being increased (over the course of 2 weeks) to 400. The nitrates are frustrating, they are always there, we've tested the change water and the nitrates are 0, but after 1 day they jump to 10, am hoping the new lighting will increase the algae and that will help to take care of the nitrates. <Well, to run the colloquialism through the nitrogen cycle..."nitrate happens". It can be tough to control in smaller tanks...but it sounds like you know how to stay on top of it.> Change water 10% twice weekly. Old lighting: 2 x 18" 15w fluorescent bulbs 1 x 10,000k (ocean sun), 1 x 20,000 (coral sun) - new lighting: 1 250w 14,000k metal halide. <VERY good lighting! Keep an eye on that 14k, I've heard sometimes they don't hold their spectrum as long as the 10k or 20k flavor.> Thank you very much for the hours upon hours of reading material that you have provided for us! <You are very welcome! Thank you for reading them! I think your brain should return to normal as he adjusts to the new lighting. If he begins to bleach or show other signs of serious stress consider slower acclimation to the light- and feel free to write in if problems arise.> Cindy <Benjamin>
Wellsophyllia Brain Swelling/Compatibility Hello Again, Happy 4th of July! <Hi, Pufferpunk here. Happy 4th to you too!> I'll make it short and simple. 75 gal. reef tank. 100 lbs of live rock. 390 watts of PCs (3 month old bulbs). Ammonia levels are 0, Nitrite 0, Phosphate 0, Nitrates barely detectable. I am aggressively skimming and changing about 20% of the water every 4-5 days. I have a Green Wells Brain <Wellsophyllia> that is awfully close to some silvertip Xenia. The brain eats every couple of days ...some Mysis, and Zooplankton. The Brain has grown excellent and has doubled in size in the past 4 months. The brain is overall about 7" in diameter. However, today I noticed that it looks swollen or "puffed up" and I was wondering if this is normal behavior. <Mine shrinks & swells daily.> I also noticed that for a short time today, the Xenia was closed. I placed them so close because I was told that the "Chemical Warfare" would not be an issue. <Agreed> The Brain is showing no skeleton and aside from being swollen, it looks very healthy. Are these two species compatible? <They should be fine. I run Purigen in my sump, just in case.> I am supplementing Bio-Cal, Bio-Stront, Tech I, and Tech M. <Are you testing for calcium & alkalinity?> P.S. Am I wasting my money adding DT's Phytoplankton to a tank with Leathers, Xenia, a Wells Brain and assorted zoos and shrooms? <Not at all. There are tiny creatures in your sand bed that need to eat too. They help keep your tank healthy.> Just wondering... I am using HOB filters with powerheads and Carbon. <Sounds like your tank is doing great. I had issues though, with my brain not receiving enough light from PCs. Eventually, I had to loan them out to someone that had more light over their tank, until I upgraded to T5s. Good luck to you. I hope you enjoyed fireworks somewhere! ~PP>
Brain Coral/Health 4/4/07 Dear WWM, <Hello
Paige> After reading through your site, I am slightly confused about
open brain corals. Are they supposed to puff up, or not. I have been
taking care of one for about six months. When I started, it did not
puff up, the tentacles did not come out at all and it had some white
spots on it. Then about a month ago, it started to puff up and turn a
bright green. Then last week, it went back to not puffing and got the
white spots again. I did vacuum the sand two weeks ago. Could this have
affected it at all? I have a 100 gallon tank with three Fluval filters,
the salinity is about 33.6 ppt, the pH has been constant at 8.0, the
calcium is about 480, alkalinity is 3 meq/L, the nitrates are 0 as is
the phosphate. I am also doing 5% water changes weekly. Any help would
be greatly appreciated. <They should puff up slightly in the evening
hours when the tentacles are expanded. They do best in a
well established reef aquarium that incorporates moderate to strong
lighting. You do not mention what type of lighting you are
using. Along with a moderate water current, the addition of
calcium, strontium, and other trace elements are beneficial to the
coral's health. They will also benefit from weekly
feedings of Cyclop-Eeze or similar food. They should only be
fed when the tentacles are fully expanded. Sounds to me like
there may be a water quality issue here along with insufficient
lighting. You mention the use of three Fluvals, are the
filter pads cleaned and rinsed weekly? If not, there will be
an excess of dissolved nutrients in the water which is not favorable to
their overall health. A protein skimmer helps immensely in
this regard along with the use of Chemi-Pure in the filters.> Thank
you very much! <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Wellsophyllia a.k.a Trachyphyllia radiata 8/24/06 Hey guys hope all is well! I have one question, it was mentioned in one of your previous responses but I would like to make sure. I have Trachyphyllia radiata that I have recently purchased. It has fed once (krill). I have two Kent marine drip systems in place one for food and the other for additives. The coral seems to inflate and deflate. Is this normal? Thanks for any help you may give. Mark <Yep. BobF>
Open Brain With Backwards Behavior 6/16/06 Hi Web Crew! I would like to say thanks for all the helpful information your site contains and the on going dedication of everyone. Your my first source when it comes to difficult reef keeping questions! My Specifications: 125g All-Glass MegaFlow with a 55g sump/refugium, Two 9.5 mag drive pumps, Light: One 160w 72 inch Actinic, One 160w 72 inch 10,000k, One 250w MH, Temp:78, SG: 1.023, PH: 8.1, A: 0, N:0. N:0 CAL:480 I recently purchased a red Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. It looked great and healthy at the LFS but when I acclimated it into my tank I have had a few issues. I made a few errors to begin with. One, maybe I should have acclimated it for more than an hour. Two, I had it under the 250 MH to begin with and may have Â³light shockedÂ² it (now under the softer light of the actinic/10,000k). Three, it does have nick in the flesh on the Â³undersideÂ² exposing some skeleton. Four, I have a Flame Angel that took a little nip at it once or twice, but has now lost interest in it. The brain contracts during light but expands some (but not fully) sometime during the night (tank lights off) because I check on it in the morning. I have been placing food on itÂ¹s mouth every other night, alternating brine and a raw shrimp, scallop, homemade blend. All tiny pieces. I monitored it with a flashlight and noticed it did engulf the food. My concern is itÂ¹s tentacles arenÂ¹t active in the feeding process even when I blow Â³food juiceÂ² on it 15mins before to stimulate feeding. Also, IÂ¹m thinking of blowing lightly some Kent Iodine on it with the concern of preventing that nick getting infected. Do you know why itÂ¹s contracting in light then expanding in the dark, and do you have any advice on further treatment or steps in regaining the health of my brain? <<Clayton: Most brains will take several days to adjust to the conditions in your tank. They like to be on the sand. If yours is eating, that is a good sign. On mine, I only see the feeding tentacles at night when the lights are out. As long as the flesh is not completely receding away from the skeleton, you should be OK. If you don't have a test kit for it, you should monitor alkalinity. Best of luck, Roy>> Open brain retracting - 04/05/2006 I just want to start by thanking you guys for everything you're doing. About 2 weeks ago I purchased a gorgeous open brain coral. I didn't notice in the store, but as I was acclimating him at home I noticed a small spot where it looks like he is retracting from his skeleton. I've had him for about 2 weeks now and it hasn't gotten any worse. My nitrate, nitrite and ammonia are all 0, pH is about 8.3-8.4. I have a little bit of a phosphate problem and if I remember correctly its about 1 ppm, and I just can't keep my calcium very high because of my corals. It is at about 300-350 ppm. I'm wondering if this can be something that happened in shipping or how I can tell if its getting worse? <Perhaps a series of close-up digital pix you can save, send to compare> It doesn't seem like its getting worse, but it doesn't look like its getting better. Thanks again for all your help guys. <Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Devils hand/devils finger *update* The brain has left it's skeleton and is almost double in size. This should rack your brain. <symptomatically it is no surprise to me on this point. Your brain <G> is under duress... and LPS corals in particular when severally stressed will often expand markedly which some aquarists mistake as a positive sign ("happy" or growth). It is in fact generally a sign of an animal panning/struggling for light (by spreading tissue and zooxanthellae out in an effort to catch more of the inadequate or waning light from deteriorating water clarity <yellowing agents from lack of carbon/water changes> or the bulbs) or lacking food (T. geoffroyi uses a mucosal net strategy for feeding which involves such ballooning). Now why, your coral has done all of this is another matter <smile>. Again... time will tell. Things will get better or worse soon <G>. Best regards, Anthony>
Brain not Functioning I have been keeping deep water LPS corals for the past year. I recently purchased a green open brain. During the past week he is opening less and less. Also I have yet to see his sweeper tentacles. What do they look like? (like a Bubble Coral) <Yes, very similar.> System specs. Temp 78 no trace ammonia, nitrite or nitrate Calcium 420 200 watts Smartlight 55 gal tank, 20 gal sump, 10 gal Refugium ph 8.4 @ mid-day using Poly-Filter for the past few days to a week <All looks good. Do be sure to feed this coral. Frozen Mysis shrimp, plankton, or Seawater Zooplankton would all be appropriate. About three times per week.> Thanks, Jeremy p.s. do green brittle stars eat amphipods? <I would think they would be a little small for this predatory starfish. -Steven Pro>
Red Open Brain Anthony (or WWM reefer), <Steven this morning. Anthony is a little busy and getting behind, so I am helping with some of his email.> I was reading the daily FAQ on WWM and came across an answer from Anthony that has caused me some distress. This is in regards to the "Hammer Coral with Spots!" answer. I have attached this post at the bottom. I was hoping you could set my mind at ease, or at least point me in the right direction. My concern is with the LPS polyp extensions. I have a red open brain in a 20 gal high tank with 2x65w PC's (one daylight and one actinic). I've had this coral for 8 months now and have always seen the polyps extend greatly during the light cycle (Usually 3 to 4 times its nocturnal size). I feed him 3 times a week with a home mixture of shredded jumbo shrimp, Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp. This is soaked in Zoe for 24 hours before feeding. I keep the pieces small (usually smaller than 1/8 inch) and have not seen any regurgitation of large pieces of food. Does my feeding schedule and light seem appropriate to you? <It all seems fine to me.> I realize that the brain is a different species than a Hammer, but does your advice/experience for the Hammer work for both? <The care for many LPS coral is similar.> I'm concerned that I may be leading this beautiful creature to a slow death. Tank info: 20 gal high 2x65PC's CPR Bak-Pak skimmer 2- maxi-jet 400's for circulation Emperor 280 HOB filter (more circulation and occasional carbon use) 30 lbs LR 50 lbs LS Corals: 1 - Red open brain colony of blue mushrooms colony of pulsing Xenia Fish 1 - Royal Gramma 1 - yellow watchman goby assorted hermits and a peppermint shrimp. Tank parameters: Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 5ppm Phosphate - undetectable with Salifert kit Calcium - 400ppm Alk - 3.2 meq/l Thank you in advance for any help. Regards, Mike Spaeth <Everything above seem good to me. If you are concerned that your Open Brain is panning for more light, do compare photos of healthy ones to yours or send us a digital image. No zipped pictures and nothing too large, 400 KB or under please. -Steven Pro>
Open Brain coloring Hi all, I purchased a red open brain about 2 weeks ago. I have it sitting about 12 inches from the water surface, under 2 36 watt pc bulbs, 1 6500 k and 1 blue. I feed it every other day with finely cut shrimp. <all excellent husbandry for this species. Kudos to you for doing your homework my friend> I know that the coral needs time to adjust to the different light and water quality, and may change in appearance. <agreed> Here is my concern. Over the past few days the red has been fading. It has green stripes that are incandescent on him that seem the same as when I purchased him, maybe even getting more numerous. Just looking for your collective wisdom. Should I be worried or wait it out and see what happens. <although a paling color is not a favorable change... I'd wait it out. You may be looking at the result of shipping duress. Have faith in the place and care you have provided and please do not move this coral under any reasonable circumstance. Simply give it several weeks to adjust.> Thanks Jon <best regards, Anthony>
Re: Open Brain coloring Thanks, You guys rock!!! <live rock...coast to coast...San Diego, CA to MA. Keep on rockin' in the free world... rock on my brother... Rock of Ages (Ok... I think I'm done now). Kindly, Anthony>
Open Brain Coral care - 4/18/03 Hi guys, <Hello. Paul here after an intense night of hockey action> Yesterday, I purchased a open brain coral (Green), after reading from WWM found that is quite hardy and suitable for most reef tanks. <Can be, but as you know, any animal no matter how hardy, needs your help. Also, it is a good habit to gain knowledge before purchasing an animal, in my opinion. You are well on your way.> Great site by the way, very knowledgeable and informative website. <We aim to please> I have a slight concern that when my Orange diamond Goby "shift" sands, or sometimes they wiggle their tail, which cause sand to get on top of the open brain coral (Green), should I be worried about that? <Yes you should. Be sure to either blow it of gently with a turkey baster or something similar to that effect. These animals do utilize a slime coating/netting that in some ways aids in feeding and shedding detritus, but I don't think it could move a good amount of sand if it were to get on it.> Or should I try to help by removing the fine live sand? <Help move the sand off with a gentle hand wave or turkey baster> The open brain coral (Green) opened up beautifully today, which is a good sign. <A good sign that it needs food <VBG> Please read through the FAQs on our site regarding care and proper nutrition. Good luck, Pablo>