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FAQs about Xeniid Disease/Health/Pests 2

FAQs on Xeniid Disease: Xeniid Disease 1, Xeniid Health 3, Xeniid Hlth./Pests 4, Xeniid Hlth./Pests 5, Xeniid Hlth./Pests 6, Xeniid Hlth./Pests FAQs on Xeniid Disease by Category: Diagnosis, Environment, Nutritional, Pathogenic (Infectious, parasitic), Predator/Pests, Trauma, Genetic, Treatments

Related Articles: Pulsing Soft Corals, Family Xeniidae

Related FAQs: Xeniid FAQs 1, Xeniid FAQs 2, Xeniid FAQs 3, Xeniid FAQs 4, Xeniid ID, Xeniid Behavior, Xeniid Selection, Xeniid Compatibility, Xeniid Systems, Xeniid Feeding, Xeniid Reproduction, Soft Coral Propagation, Soft Coral HealthAlcyoniids, Nephtheids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids,

Leather/Xenia Shrinking   1/30/06 To whom ever, <Mike G> I have been searching the FAQs and don't think there is an answer (tank info below). Over Christmas, I left my tank in the hands of a family member, who took the pre-sized frozen food portions in the weekly pill case out of the freezer for the week, but continued to feed the rotting food.   <I assume that most every fishkeeper has a horror story of a similar sort.> Secondly, right before leaving my Auto top-off stuck on and added two gallons of fresh water to the tank.   <It just gets better and better.> Finally, my heater stuck stock on (now I'm thinking a surge of some sort) and sent the tank from 76-77 to 82, and that night down to 73 before I put the new heater in.   <Bad day. Really, really bad day.> Needless to say everything is now thriving/spreading again (mushrooms, zoos, gsp, the too many fish) except my leather and xenia which were good for 4 months prior.   <Xenia are notorious for suddenly doing poorly/melting away for either no reason at all or from previous stresses.> The leather is now about half the size, with no melting or white tissue, just slumped over and a little shriveled looking.  The three connected xenia stalks have reduced to small white bumps on a rock.  Is there any hope for them?   <Well, there's always hope, I'd like to think.> If so what measures can I take to improve their odds. <Keep water conditions stable/close to what they were doing wonderfully in before the day of doom. Not much else you CAN do.> I have done several water changes slowly returning PH, Temp & SG to normal, But two weeks later no improvement, but not dead (the leather) or completely gone (the xenia).  How long can they persist this way before I should remove them?   <Until they're dead, they can still bounce back. Leathers and Xenia are notoriously hardy corals once they're in good water. Keep the conditions stable and you should se an improvement.> Thanks. (Last x-mas it was three fish dying for some reason, same care giver) <Time to invest in a tank sitting service?> [My tank:  2yr old Sumpless 44gal Corner Pentagon (By product of my past hobby, wife&kids and Finding Nemo Movie), internal refuge w/ Chaeto, and DIY spray inj/air stone skimmer (2 liter pop bottle of brown tea/mo), Ca=390, <A touch low... should be ~400, 425> DKH=11, Amm, Nitrates & trites~0, Phosphates are too high <0.5 (water source) <Considered RO/DI water? May also help the melting softies in the long run.> but not any higher than always (need a more precise test kit (CHEAP/accurate recommendations?)) <Not usually two synonymous terms... Salifert is wonderful for accuracy.> (Thanks by the way! last year removed Bio-Wheels nitrates went from constant 20 to zero in two days) <Very nice.> SG=1.025, PH=8.3(low before lights on), don't test/add trace elements <Try adding a two-part Cal/Alk supplement such as B-Ionic or C-Balance. Would help your Calcium levels, give the corals something extra.> 8gal water change (tap water) 1/wk <I'd recommend a switch to RO/DI water - tap really isn't great for reef tank purposes.> About 4gal evap auto top-off/wk. Tank is 1/3 full with live rock & 4in deep sand bed (I know it doesn't leave much water (this tank is for growing inhabitants for a 125gal in a year or so, wife didn't know she would rekindle the itch)).  2 oscillating power heads, one more feeding skimmer , and an eclipse hang-on w/ removed filter cartridges for current (border line violent water flow). Two cartridges with carbon and PolyFilter changed alternately every week.  Four 15W 10k NO Fluorescent Bulbs 3in from surface 13hrs/day w/ 3-4hrs natural sun light in morning (all corals are less than 6in from surface) <Still not much light - would recommend upgrading to at least PCs. Much better idea in the long run.> Fish: Flame Angel, Pair Yellow Watchman Gobies, Engineer Goby, Pair Neon Gobies, Pair Percula Clowns, Royal Gramma. <I'd say you're a touch overstocked there.> Inverts: Brittle Star, Pair Cleaner Shrimp, Couple Dozen Cerith and Nassarius Snails, 8 Blue Leg Hermit Crabs. Corals: GSP, Red & Green Mushrooms, 1 Ricordea (sp?), Hairy Mushrooms, 4flavors of Zoos, 3"Leather, Xenia, Some quick spreading brown/white small star looking polyp gift of the live rock gods (spreads with white thread like growths, help IDing this one would be great) <Have a picture? Best of luck, Mike G>
Re: leather/Xenia Shrinking   1/31/06
Thanks, Xenia disappeared.   <Bad news.> Leather looks like it does before shedding, but seems to be more inflated today.   <Good news.> I have read Seachem's Reef Plus is good, might an additive like this if used moderately help? <Seachem is a wonderful brand - I'd assume it would be alright, though, really, I'm not a fan of adding anything more than you can test for. A two-part additive such as C-Balance would be a far wiser purchase, in my experience.> Additional Question: Is there a good place to get PC sockets, my hood is home made, also do you know if they can be driven by a workhorse 4 ballast? <Hmm... I'm not the one to talk to re: ballasts, but I do know that Coralife makes decent PC sockets. I'm sure other companies such as Custom Aquatic would offer them for sale, as well.> As far as the mystery polyp I have included two pictures.   <Not attached... send again?> One shows its coloring a little better, the other shows the white strands it uses to spread, they spread under rocks and places void of light to pop up just about anywhere.  I just want to make sure it isn't something that might take down my tank or start a war with some of my other corals.  Thanks, I appreciate your time and input! <You're very welcome. Good luck! Mike G>
Re: Leather/Xenia Shrinking   2/1/06
Sorry, hope these go through. <They came through fine, and, if I'm looking at the right creatures, they look like Clavularia species to me - a beautiful and desirable Octocoral. Some resources: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/clavulariids.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypfaqs2.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypfaqs3.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypidfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypcompfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypdisfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypreprofaqs.htm > Have a good week! <Same to you!> Ryan, Amanda, Larkin & wee Liam <Mike G>

Balled Up Xenia 7/27/05 Hello there! <Hey, Mike G here> I've had my Xenia corals for a year know and they have been doing awesome, until 3 weeks ago. <Xenia have a habit of doing this.> I have notice that they have closed up like a little ball and they are not pumping like they where!!! What could this be? <Stress. Find the source, eliminate the problem, save the Xenia. Hint: Check your parameters.> Thank you for your time <No problem. Good luck, and I hope it pulls through! Mike G>

Xenia Dying, But Not Dying Hi, Crew- I seem to be having a strange and very worrisome problem with some pulsing Xenia I purchased about two months ago. I put the small ~2" frag into the tank about 5" from the lights, and it seemed to grow pretty quickly, like everyone warned. It split into two different colonies and spread over about 5" of rock. They never pulsed like in the store, however. 3 weeks ago, one of the colonies collapsed literally overnight-all fingers gone, color pale, stalks shriveled, but tank parameters were fine. The base of the colony remained, however, and now is slowly growing back. Then last week, the second colony collapsed in the same manner, but is also growing back. I'm at a lost for the behavior. I thought adjustment, but they were both in the tank for 5 weeks before this happened. Other inverts (1 red lobo, 1 Sinularia, 1 Fungia, 1 Euphyllia divisa, several Actinodiscus, 1 Rose BTA, all spaced far from the xenia) are fine.  I've included my specs on the 1 year-old tank below. Sorry for all the info, but I didn't know how much info was important. 72g Bow Front (20" deep), 260W PC (4 bulbs 10000K, 4 bulbs Actinic), NH3 0ppm, NO2 0ppm, NO3 10ppm, Alk 9ppm, Ca 400ppm; Prizm skimmer fills cup ~ 1wk, I run activated charcoal and ChemiPure in the sump, 10% water changes weekly. <Mike, you should add an iodine supplement weekly.  You also are a little weak on lighting.  You need to get the wattage up to at least 4.5 watts per gallon for xenia.  You are running about 3.6 watts per gallon.  I'd discontinue the charcoal and stay with Chemi-Pure.  The charcoal will leach phosphates.  James (Salty Dog)>
Xenia Dying, But Not Dying
James- Thanks for the response. <You're welcome> I was afraid you were going to say it was the lighting. I thought it was pushing it, but my LFS said it would be okay. I'll check my iodine levels. Ack! Pay the rent or upgrade lights!? <Mike, keep in mind your local fish store is a business.  They survive by sales.  Some may not be as honest as they should be.  Always best to do research before buying so you know from the horses mouth what a specimen needs to survive.  James (Salty Dog)> -Mike

Phyllodesmium Munched Xenia? - 06/18/05 Greetings. <<Hello>> I have a 30 gallon saltwater tank with 10 gallon sump.  A protein skimmer (Excalibur) resides in the sump along with the heater.  I have about 30 lbs of Tonga live rock, with two cleaner shrimps, 5 hermit crabs, a toadstool leather coral, a green star polyp colony, one (individual) green Ricordea mushroom polyp and (most recent addition) a "Pom Pom" xenia colony.  The aquarium is about 2 months old.  Water parameters are:  Temp=78-80, ammonia/nitrite=0, nitrate<10, dKH=12, ph=8.0.  Lighting is by Coralife power compacts (96 watt 10K daylight and 96 watt actinic). <<OK>> My primary question is about the Xenia.  It was a beautiful specimen when purchased one week ago at the LFS.  Two days ago it started to "shrivel" and exhibit a small amount of "slime".  This condition worsened and this morning, before daylight, I observed it with a flashlight.  I saw what appeared to be a portion of the colony moving down the live rock below the main colony!  When I realized it must be a Nudibranch, I removed it. <<Good move.>> It excreted a clear, gelatinous substance when it realized it was detected.  I did a search on the internet and found something called a "Phyllodesmium", a Xenia eating Nudibranch, which matched the appearance.  The Xenias shriveled to less than 1/2 its original volume, but most of it is still pulsing.  What can I do, if anything, to save this beautiful creature? <<With the removal of the Nudibranch (though do check for more), tis likely the Xenia will recover...though a dose of iodine (follow instructions carefully) may help.>> In the case of its tank mates (other than the Nudibranch!), the LFS was aware of everything in the tank and I basically have followed their recommendations when selecting from among creatures that appeal to me, since they seemed fairly respectable.  I now know, after researching your site, that the ph should be > 8.3 for Xenia. <<Yes...and as stable as possible.>> How quickly should I increase the ph from the current 8.0? <<Over the course of a couple days will be fine.>> A secondary question concerns the coloration of the green star polyp colony and Ricordea.  Both have turned a lighter, more yellow-green since being in my tank.  The Ricordea is near the substrate, while the green star polyp is near the top of the tank.  Do you have any suggestions, or is this normal? <<You have them placed as I would suggest.  Coral coloration is as much a function of feeding as environment.  If you are providing good water flow (minimum 10x tank volume.), try feeding a bit if finely minced meaty foods to the corals.  Frozen Cyclop-eeze and Sweetwater Plankton are great foods for this.>> The size of the Ricordea is the same or slightly larger than when purchased, although the green star polyps don't seem to extend quite as far as they first did (perhaps due to crabs crawling on them?) <<More likely inadequate water flow.>> With great appreciation and respect, Lan Carter <<Warm Regards, Eric R.>>

Crashing Xenia? (Adapting Xenia To A New System) I just added a specimen of Xenia over the weekend I got from a fellow reefer who had some in a 16G.  I have a 24G Minibow, I don't have much space in my tank anymore, so I picked a spot where the flow is not as strong and direct (moderate) and it was on the side of a rock where the Xenia is sticking out sideways rather than straight up.  Some of it is slightly covered by the LR on top casting a bit of a shadow.  My temp is @ 82F, Ammonia is 0, Nitrite is 0, Specific Gravity is 1.025, PH is 8.2, Nitrate10.00 mg/l.  When I got home yesterday some of the smaller branches that are against the LR and in the shadow a bit seemed to be closed and getting white/grey in color. I even seen one small start completely come off and in to my water flow. I have 3 power heads and turned one off yesterday that seemed to be pushing the Xenia up against the rock and it allowed the Xenia to extend further and it actually looks better.  Since I do not have much space in my tank to move it around, should I keep it, does it stand a chance with my set up?  Do you think this is due to the placement of the Xenia? Tanks, Jimmy <Well, Jimmy, in my personal experience, Xenia has proven to be extremely hardy and adaptable. The losses that you incurred may have been a result of acclimation or some form of stress brought about by relocating the coral. Your setup, parameters and siting seem to be fine. I'd give the coral a few days to really settle in and then reassess from there. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Xenia Crash! Hello Crew-- I can't thank you all enough for being such an incredible resource for a beginner such as myself (a little over a year!). I'm writing because about 4 months ago, I purchased 3 small frags of pumping xenia that steadily began to decline. After a bit of testing, I figured out that I had a calcium level of about 250ppm in the tank, which took care of the problem.  The Xenia flourished, but after about a month, crashed and is not almost completely gone (from wonderful pumping polyps to 3 wads of bubble-gum on my live rock. I can't understand it. I recently purchased a Alkalinity test kit (that apparently isn't all that good since the readings are "low, "normal" and "high". Regardless, here are my tank specs (20 gallon): pH: 8.4 Temp.: 80 Ammonia: 0ppm Nitrite: 0ppm Nitrate: 5-10ppm SG: 1.0225 <I would raise this up to "near seawater" concentration, 1.025> Calcium: 350ppm Alkalinity: normal I also add liquid calcium every other day, iodine every week, buffer once a week, and have started adding Coral-Vite in desperation.  <Not a good idea> I change about 2 gallons every week as well.  I had one hypothesis that I wanted to run by you--I understand (now) that I've chosen some fairly hostile tankmates for my Xenia. I have a crop of mushrooms, some sort of colony polyp (aggressive, I think), and star polyps. The three 'stalks' of xenia don't directly touch any of them, but I was wondering if chemical warfare might have something to do with it. <Absolutely does> I wonder because the largest stalk had attached itself to a rock containing a small star-polyp colony. Another potential source might be the mushrooms, which seem to having a space-war with the colony of polyps also on their rock. This rock is nowhere near the Xenia, but is it possible that the toxins they are exuding in their territory war might be the cause of my xenia decline? <Yes> Are the toxins that strong, because no Xenia is actually touching these corals.   <They are... a twenty gallon system cannot dilute their effects> I'm really at a loss here, and I'm not sure what to do. Please let me know if you have any suggestions, because I really love this stuff, and I want to bring it back! Thanks again,  Bryan R. <Do you have another system? I'd move this colony, pronto. Otherwise, an expensive "activated carbon habit" may forestall its demise. Bob Fenner> 

Xenia predator Hello, <Hi there> Thank you for your site and help - I researched the FAQ's and noticed several references to my question, but no specifics except one post regarding a possible Nudibranch. I purchased a pulsating Xenia species approx. 4 months ago and fragged it immediately (it was ready). <Mmm, best generally to let cnidarians "rest up"...> My friend got half and his are growing like wildfire. Mine started having it's "fingers" disappear. Eventually, it shrunk up and died after the vast majority of the fingers were apparently eaten. About 2 months later, my friend fragged the 1/2 I had originally given him. We put it in my sump, in a "guppy breeder" for isolation as we tried for a couple of days to catch what we thought was the likely culprit (a very aggressive Domino Damsel... <Heeee! An oxymoron, like "military intelligence"...> ...that we wanted removed anyways). The xenia did well while down there for approx 2 weeks. (sump is lit on an offset cycle). We eventually caught the Domino, and moved the Xenia to the new tank. After a few days in the display, a few fingers were missing from the Xenia. I realize that chemical warfare is possible with some of my livestock - and I have dealt with that. It seems clear to me I have a predator eating the Xenia. Can you examine this list of livestock and offer at least a few maybes of who might be the hungry party? (using common names - sorry) Tank: 55g w/29g sump/refugium Yellow tang Ocellaris (false percula) clown Yellow Pseudochromis Mandarin goby approx 15 hermit crabs: blue legged, scarlet, Mexican red legged approx 25 snails: Turbos, Ceriths, Astreas, Nassarius (2), margaritas (2) Sand sifting star I also have various: mushrooms, Ricordeas, feather dusters, Zoanthids, a flower anemone (very happily ensconced by himself), and tons of live rock (unfortunately, my crocea died while I was on vacation and took out my finger leather and yellow stars with it).  Are any of my inhabitants likely to be the predator? Or would you think that it's perhaps a hidden Nudibranch or something? <Possibly> Also - on a side note - how far physically should the mushrooms and Xenia be separated (any distance required for the zoos?). <A hands-width or more> Thank you for your help. Sincerely, Mark <Of the organisms you list, perhaps some of the Hermit Crabs are to blame here... close examination, during the night as well as day, should prove if there is a predator here. Bob Fenner>

Xenia problems 5/16/05 WWM Crew, Help! Sorry to email, I've done a bit of browsing but nothing too serious. I'm just in a bit of a panic about some Xenias I have recently acquired (not aqua-cultured I'm afraid and only a couple of days in the store, they were just too beautiful and I couldn't help myself). There were 3 stalks and 1 is doing fabulous. 1 however is quite sick and there is what I believe to be necrotic tissue in a couple spots and all the polyps are shrinking up. The last one looks healthy but there are a couple of these spots on the base now. They are placed fairly high up but seemed quite happy once I put them there. I've only had them a couple of weeks. There are a few clove polyps near them (just a few small ones that started growing in that spot a few months ago-could this be the culprit?). Everything else in the tank seems healthy.  <This is a common problem with imported xenia. They may look good for a few days, and then the stress of shipping and handling gets the best of them. I would suggest blasting away any loose necrotic tissue with a turkey baster occasionally and being sure that they are getting pretty brisk current.> I have a pH of 8.3, ammonia 0, nitrate and nitrite 0, alkalinity 3.5, 320 calcium (trying to raise with 10 ml does of bionic 2 part calcium alkalinity every other day), temp: 78F at night, 82F during the day (going to get an automatic fan), and a spec. grav. Of 1.023.  <I would continue to try to work the Ca/Alk up to about 380-400/4.0 and the salinity up to about 1.025. You should be able to safely double or even triple your dose of B-Ionic until those values are optimized. Spreading the doses throughout the day will help prevent pH spikes.> I have a simple AquaClear filter (hope to upgrade sometime), ecosystem hang on the back refugium, a bak-pak2 skimmer, 288 watts of compact fluorescent lighting and a couple of powerheads too. I change 10% of the water every week and use purchased RO water (also for top-offs) with Tropic Marine mix.  <This all sounds great!> Tankmates include: button polyps, purple colony polyps, clove polyps, starburst polyps, some coral mushroom anemones, a cleaner shrimp, tiger serpent star, sand goby, ocellaris, Midas blenny, a bunch of Nassarius snails, some Tonga, scarlet hermits, a big tuft of Halimeda and a ton of Caulerpa in the refugium. Sorry to bother you guys but you have been so helpful in the past! Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance, John Kelley  <None of your tankmates sound like a threat to xenia. There isn't much you can do but to optimize your water chemistry and hope that some of the xenia survives, and if it doesn't... don't lose hope! I have had wild xenia colonies appear to completely die, only to regrow weeks later, seemingly from nothing! Best Regards. AdamC.>

Phyllodesmium ate xenia Hello. I tried to send an e-mail yesterday by going to your website, but perhaps it did not make it through. I have a pom pom xenia, which was really a beautiful creature when purchased a week ago. Three days ago I noticed it "shriveling up". I inspected it during the night and found what appeared to be part of the colony moving down the rock away from the rest! It turned out to be a Phyllodesmium that had been eating the xenia.  <Collected and shipped with it> I removed the phyllo., which secreted a gluey, clear coating as I removed it from its hiding place. Inspecting the xenia afterwards, I could see that the damaged areas were whiter than the rest. I trimmed what I could of the damage away from the rest of the colony. Is there anything else I can do to help save this beautiful creature? <Mmm, not much that I know... perhaps a full-dose of iodine/ide will help. Will ask Anthony Calfo, an old culturist of Xeniids, for his input here> The remaining colonies are still pulsing but are also shriveled, although not discolored. Tank details follow: 30 gallon with 10 gallon sump, Excalibur protein skimmer, Coralife 192 watt power compact lights (half 10K daylight, half actinic), ammonia/nitrite=0, nitrate<10, dKH about 12-13, ph 8.0, salinity 1.024. The tank has been running about 2 months. I am slowly raising the ph using SeaChem's marine buffer 8.3 (supposedly reaches 8.3 and holds there). I am adding, daily, about 1/3 the amount of the buffer that the bottle recommends (just trying to be cautious).  Tank inhabitants are: 2 cleaner shrimps, toadstool leather, green button polyp colony, 1 Ricordea mushroom polyp, 30 lbs Tonga live rock. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks, Lan <Keep your eyes open for other Nudibranch predators... Bob Fenner>

Re: White Crab Found in Xenia 5/7/05 Anthony, Thank you for the quick response.  Regarding my intent to forward a picture of the crab, let me just say that the little guy is really, really hard to spot, and when you do see it, it is for just an instant, so I was unable to get the photo.  I stared into the Xenia colony last night for about a half hour, and I did see the crab again, but sightings were very brief.  I even lifted the coral by its base rock at one point, because I knew the crab's exact location, but I could not find the little bugger once I got the coral up to the glass.  Once again I observed the same kind of behavior.  The crab raked in polyps with the inside of his claw by making a wide sweeping motion (just like you or I would do with out forearm), pulling them into his mouth area.  The individual polyps appear to respond by closing, but re-open a couple of minutes later and resume normal behavior.  Again, I could not detect any damage from the activity that I observed, and it seems amazing to me that the Xenia colony doesn't respond in whole to the crab's activities.  Any time that I move the colony, or even blow a direct stream of water from my turkey baster by accident, the whole colony reacts. <There are many complex relationships on the reef... some commensal, some matters of tolerance, etc> I can add that I am certain that this crab is completely white, and its carapace is almost translucent.  I will keep watching, and will update the crew if there is any progress in determining if my crab is a friend or foe. Regards, Lou <Ah, good... best of luck! Anthony>

Xenia I wrote in recently asking for help with a Xenia that would not open up as fully as it did after I bought it. I think that I made my problem worse after a water change on Saturday. I did a 5 gallon water change Saturday. (It's a 30 gallon tank) Before the water change the SG was about 1.028 and pH 8.2 (Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrite all at 0). I did the water change and used Kent Marine Pro Buffer dKH and Kent Marine Essential Elements treatments according to the directions. (I did dose with Kent Marine Concentrated Iodine a week ago also) After the water change the tests were as followed: SG 1.026 Ammonia - .25 (Tested again today - Back down to 0) Nitrate - 0 Nitrite - 0 pH - 8.4 (Tested again today - In between 8.2 - 8.4 maybe closer to 8.2) Also added 2 tests Phosphate - .5 (Same today) GH/KH - 8 / 143.2 (Same today) Everything looked fine after the water change. I noticed that Sunday the Peppermint Shrimp looked like he had molted and the Xenia looked really pulled into it's stalk and had starting to turn white in color. Later in the day I saw the back half of the shrimp being eaten by a blue-legged hermit crab. I did not look like just the molt. It looked like the shrimp had probably died and the crab was eating him. I really didn't want to try and fish it out. I did move some of the Live Rock today to see if I could find the shrimp but could not. I figure that I've probably killed my little shrimp, but does my Xenia possibly have a chance to make it ? Have I just made a 'knee jerk' reaction in trying to get the water back correct?  <I'm confused as to why you have to add different types of buffer and iodide immediately after a water change. The water changes should reset your tank and take everything to the levels where they should be. You shouldn't have to do any buffering until after your tank has sat for a while. I might recommend doing another water change in a week or so and doing your tests to see where all the levels are. Also you might take a sample to your LFS for a recheck to be sure that your test kits are doing correctly. Good luck, MacL> Thanks again for all the help and all the great work you folks do !!

Xenia stung by Frogspawn 3/14/05 Hi there! Thanks for the great help you provided me so far! I only have two simple questions. 1- Is there anything I can do to save a pulsing Xenia which was stung by a Frogspawn??? (Only one branch was stung) <strong water flow is key> 2- I'd like to know if the Coralife Aqualight Power Center is a good timer. (I'd really like to know. It's the only timer of this kind available around here and it's 75 $ CAN, so I don't want to get something that wouldn't do...) Thanks a lot!!! Ivan <I don't have personal use with the timer or know of anyone close that has. Better for you, do check the big message board "Reef Central" for a consensus on customer satisfaction. Anthony>

Sick or dying coral - Xenia Stinks! I know you all are busy so I really try to find info from the FAQ's and Archives, but this one is something I haven't seen. My wife and I tried ordering a Xenia through the mail, we got it today. The water in the bag was a light pink or purple color and really stunk when I took the coral out. The poor thing was totally limp and has made no attempt to move any of its tentacles. It is in the QT tank for now but what I am wondering is if it is dying or will it recover from the stress of moving. I have read also that some people recommend putting corals directly into the display tank to reduce some stress from moving them repeatedly. I decided the QT tank was safer because of the weird colored water in the bag. Thank you for your help in advance, Jeff <Jeff, the coral is obviously stressed out. Putting in the quarantine tank was a good idea, until the coral perks up. My only suggestion would be to use the water from your display tank for the quarantine. It will be the same quality and will reduce acclimation time when the coral comes around. Also, the tank water will have more nutrients and food for the Xenia. If it doesn't come around in the next week you know the coral didn't make it. It will eviscerate in your hands. Good Luck MikeB.> 

Xenia eating snail?  Or snail eating xenia? First off 40 gallon Temp: 78 pH: 8.5 KH: 8dKH Gravity: 1.024 Ammonia: 0 mg/L Nitrite: 0 mg/L Nitrate 5mg/L Phosphate: 0.25 mg/L Cu: 0 mg/L Ca: 400 mg/L My tank is almost 6 months old (Day 186) Thanks for the calcium help I have effectively reached 400 mg/L CA. I have a question about xenia. I have several Xenia pulsing away, I have had them for about 4 months. A couple of days ago I noticed one of the xenia kind of wilting and looking constricted as it sometimes does. Wondering I reached in to examine, on the other side of the small piece of LR in noticed a snail shell, completely covered in coralline algae (White flesh) that the xenia had attached to holding it fast. I did not purchase this snail and the xenia has been wilted on and off since I got it. I twisted the snail free and placed it a foot away from the xenia. A day past and I noticed that the wilted xenia was recovering but another stalk was withering. Looking I found that same snail right beside the withering stalk. My question is, "Are there snails that eat or attack xenia?"  < Not that I knew of. But hey, maybe you found one. In this case I'd put the snail in a trap or remove it entirely and see what happens. >  The snail's flesh is white, the shell is covered in coralline so I can't tell what it is naturally, any help is appreciated.  < Well I think it would be fun to test this out. Keep the snail in separated from the Xenia for a few weeks, then put him back by the Xenia. See what happens. But this is really strange to me, as I've never heard of this happening. >  Thank you, Troy  < Blundell >
Xenia eating snail continued
Did as you said, I separated the snail for a day then released him into the tank. Within 4 hours it was right back on top with the xenia, and the xenia was withering. This is strange, I guess I will have to abandon the snail.  < Yep, I guess so. Crazy but I too would remove him. >  But I would like to positively id this little xenia stalker! Any ideas? < Nope, may want to continue searching. > Troy < Blundell > 

Xenia detaching 2/9/05 I really appreciated the website. I use it extensively. I bought a lovely piece of rock with three large Xenia stalks. They have been pumping and waving about and are quite beautiful. A few days ago I notice that one of them seemed to have a break in the stalk and this morning it had broken off altogether and was lying on the substrate, still pumping.  <Many possible reasons... not excluding a shrimp, crab or fish clipping it off> I replaced it in a crevice in the live rock hoping it would reattach since it still seems to be alive. Now today I notice that the largest of the remaining two stalks seems to be detaching itself and I fear the same fate for him.  <hmmm...> Other than that they seem quite healthy. I have searched the website and most of the questions seem to be about them not pumping or lesions or retracting/melting. I don't seem to find anything on them breaking off or detaching. Any words of wisdom? <Since they are still pulsing and re-attaching, it sounds like some creature is disturbing them... do watch at night with a red light> Also, I'd like to keep my pod population from being decimated but I don't have a sump. You suggested a pod cultivating kit but the website didn't give much information other than advertising a bottle of liquid pods, can't remember the name of it. <Without a refugium, you are mostly resigned to adding bottled supplements at times. Oceanpods.com or Seapods.com> Is it just a supplement you add to the tank or is it something you have to have refugium for? thanks for your help. Janie <Live cultures to boost your tank. Anthony :)>

Microcrustaceans eating Xenia? Hello Again, <Hey, Mike G here.> I'm Baaaack! (Said With the "spooky" Voice) Hope the crew is doing okay. Bob, Anthony, Marina, How are you? I'm good minus the disappearing Xenia, and a couple of critters that might be eating them. Since you guys are the experts, I'll let you tell me. <I'll do my best to help you out> Man, I am going for stupid king 2005. Over the past two three weeks, my xenia started to disappear overnight (in the QT). I did some watching, the big ones disappeared, little ones started to grow, and then all gone. <FWIW, It is somewhat common for Xenia corals to "melt" when in unfavorable conditions or after drastic changes in water parameters. From the descriptions you offer, this is what I am led to believe has occurred. Check the below link for more information on Xenia and Xenia "melting" (Note topic "Xenia Health about 3/4 down the page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs3.htm > Have one cluster left, moved into its own isolation tank after shaking off these guys. Pic1 is both of the critters I found. Pic2 and Pic3 are of the bigger one- easily ? inch in length. Is that what is eating the xenias? Bunch of the buggers in the tank! Huge! Then the top guy in Pic1 and Pic4 (Color is false image for better shape ID) are the 3/16 inch guys. Any ID help would be greatly appreciated. <I am happy to inform you that you have absolutely nothing to worry about, at least from the creatures of which you have attached pictures. Pictures two and three are of Amphipods, marine crustaceans of the genus Gammarus. Picture 4 is of a Mysid Shrimp, genus Mysis. Picture 1 is of both a Mysid Shrimp and an Amphipod. Both Microcrustaceans are welcome and benign inhabitants of nearly every marine aquarium. Check these two links for more information on Amphipods and Mysid Shrimp: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/amphipodfaqs.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mysidfaqs.htm Wonderful photographs, by the way.> Thanks in Advance as always, Dan <Glad I could be of assistance. Hope your Xenia problem clears up.> P.S. I can't wait until Bob's Book Arrives - Lot's of answers I bet! He He. <<And many more questions. RMF>>

Xenia not pulsing, and hermits eating a leather? Thanks for replying.... Well, after a few 5g water changes both leathers are open, even though one of them got two laser like incisions (I think there is weird shell-less snail) - some sort of Nudibranch that I saw 2 nights ago that might be the culprit. I also see some of my blue hermit crabs climbing on top of them and harassing them at night. Could it be that the hermits are eating my leather now? << Doubtful.  They may be eating the dead tissue on them, or accumulating detritus, but I doubt they are eating the coral. >> My alkalinity is still 160mg/L down from 190mg/L so I stopped adding anything - I assume Kalkwasser is out of question too? My Xenia is still not pulsing though - some of the tentacles retract - like a closing feast but they don't pulse like before. My pH is at 8.2 - 8.3.  I have been adding only the recommended dose of iodine, but it still won't pulse. << Don't add any more Iodine, unless you test for it and know what levels you have. >>  Is it normal for Xenia tentacles/arms to extend to 7-8 inches length? I've seen some in various LFS but none were extending that much like mine. I have them under medium current. << For Xenia to pulse I think you need 1) lots of light, 2) more light, 3) proper alkalinity, 4) low nutrient levels. >> Thanks. Dimitris << When in doubt, just give it time. Blundell >>

Mystery crab I had a nice xenia piece growing rather well in my tank and overnight I lost about 2/3 of the coral. I did an exhaustive search and never found a thing other than a stowaway crab that I never purchased.  I did some research and found out that it is most likely a Eriphia smithi crab, aka: red eyed reef crab, aka: liar crab. it is about the same size as my emerald crab, but reddish brown with red eyes. I've heard from web users that it is a carnivore and that it has probably been the cause of my missing snail phenomenon as well as my disappearing xenia trick. <May well be> unfortunately no one knows anything about the animal other than "he's bad" and its "carnivorous" all I can find on the web is in Russian.  and despite all the vodka I drink, I still cannot decipher the Russian. <Heee! Maybe try Babelfish (the program, not a drink)> if you have any info or links for me to read id very much appreciate the help.  I removed the crab and placed him in my fuge just to be safe. <Good move> but id like to know before I buy any more livestock if that was probably the cause of my problem.  the only thing else in my tank is:  green Brittlestar, percula clown, blue legged hermits, yellow tang, and assorted snails. <None of these likely implicated> any help would be appreciated. Edwin <I also know very little concerning this crab... or speak/read Russian... I do hope that its removal solves your mystery. In the meanwhile, do keep your eyes open, maybe take a peek during the night with a small flashlight to see if there's something else mallurking. Bob Fenner>

Iodine causing Xenia problems? Hey Crew, I had a problem with my red soft corals losing some of their color. My LFS sold me Lugol's iodine and I starting with very small amounts increasing to one drop a day four times a week (90 gallon tank). But now my once thriving pulsing Xenia are not looking so good. << Really?  They usually do better with Iodine.  I would do a water change and stop adding Lugol's for a while. >> It looks like some one let the air out of them. I stopped using the Lugol's and they are starting to look a little better. Do you think this was the problem. I thought Xenia love Iodine? << Yes, but maybe you have over-dosed the tank.  It is toxic at high enough levels. >> or should I be using a different produce maybe one that has Iodide? << No, don't try more chemicals. >> Also I had a problem with my skimmer. After reading your site for two hours I stumbled onto someone with a similar problem as myself. I have an over flow box with a few return jets up high for surface current. After bringing those down a bit my skimmer seems to be working more efficiently. Do you think this is the right move? << Hey if it is working better, then I guess so. >> Every time I see someone else's tank they seem to have a lot of surface current. Thanks again for all the free advise. If you ever decided to charge for this site. I would be the first on line. <<  Blundell  >>

Xenia troubles Hi all at WWM, Firstly a huge thanks for so generously sharing your knowledge on the web. Those of us in rural areas where the LFS won't stock marines because "they're too much trouble", have always suffered from a lack of immediate information. That was until this fabulous technology could bring us all together! My problem lies with my Xenia which I acquired attached to some live rock. The 45 lbs of rock was two days out of the ocean (I live on the Great Barrier Reef and got it from the local licensed collector) and one hour out of water for the trip home. It was quarantined under low light (40w) in a 50 gallon tank for four weeks. << I think this is a bad idea.  I wouldn't put Xenia in a low light situation. >> I performed 15/20% water changes daily using natural seawater for the first two weeks then display tank water for the second two weeks. The only fatality was a sponge that was bruised during transport. The rock was then transferred gently to the display tank. The display tank has been a FO for 10 years, << I hope you kept the rock submerged when you moved it from one tank to the next.  Otherwise, I think your sponge will die. >> I am hoping to turn it over to a reef tank. It is 160 gallons with 90 lbs of dead coral and rock, a plenum and sand bed currently at 2 1/2" as  I recently skimmed it and I am waiting on the sugar fine sand to top it back up to 4", three canister filters, one venturi, a huge protein skimmer with an Ozonator on for two 2hr periods daily, 160 watts (80 daylight, 80 actinic) on 14hrs daily, with two Regal Tangs (7yrs), one (softy) Lunar Wrasse (8yrs), two Green Chromis (6yrs) and eight boisterous hermit crabs (1yr). I know the light is low but I wanted to work up the wattage gradually so I don't shock anything. All water parameters are normal (Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrates 10-20 (went up when live rock went in), PH 8.3 (tries to go lower but water changes keep it in check), actual sp. gr.1.026 at 84F and carbonate hardness 140mg/L. I do 10% water changes weekly using natural seawater. The Xenia is placed 12" from the surface and 14" from the skimmer return for the movement. The small coral colonies on the live rock are going well, heaps of colour, and the tiny fauna are thriving. All the tiny Xenia (pinkie-nail sized heads) are open and strong, but the larger ones (av. 2" tall) have grey white bands, are bent and listless a lot of the time. Sometimes they close up like broccoli. They half heartedly pulse and appear to be gradually wasting. Please see attached pic. I have read heaps of info. in your FAQ's but I can't find these symptoms. I believe in water changes and avoid chemical interference wherever possible. I thought the water changes would take care of the natural iodine requirements and although the literature states Xenia like high PH I thought as they had just come out of the very place I source my water they would be OK at 8.3. Some info. I have read says they need light to feed and others say they don't. What can I do to help them? << Lots and lots of light.  And if that doesn't work, don't feel bad because for some reason many people can't keep Xenia.  And those who do, wish they didn't. >> Best fishy wishes! Hazel <<  Blundell  >>

Xenia troubles Hi, << Hi. >> I have a xenia colony that has four branches or stalks coming off of the base.  One of the branches in the last day has become shriveled up an slouched over.  It is also beginning to lose some of it's arms.   They just seem to pop off.  The rest of the colony appears to be very healthy, vibrant and continues to pulse away.  In fact, even the branch that's in trouble continues to pulse even though it's in bad shape.   Any idea what's going on?  Chemistry wise everything tests normal. << Well then I'm thinking we aren't testing for something.  I would certainly check alkalinity and temperature as those are two common xenia killers. >>   Have you every heard of this? I would think if it's a PH or any other water chemistry issue the entire colony would be crashing and not just one part. << Try adding a little iodine, keep your alkalinity up, plenty of light, your temperature low, and I can't think of anything else.  Good luck. >>  Any help will be most appreciated! Bryan <<  Blundell  >>

Xenia Woes 8/2/04 Hi, I've been an avid reader of your forums, and CMA, and I would like to say what a great source of info!!  Any problems I have had so far, the forum has cleared, but I'm stumped with my xenia. <lets have at it! Tally ho> First a few tank facts: Its 34 gallons a 3 gallon sump where I have a DIY Schuran Jetskim 100. <fantastic> In the sump I also have a bag of activated carbon. <do change small amounts of carbon weekly instead of large amounts monthly for best results> Water movement is created by an Eheim powerhead, and I also have a Fluval 304 serving as extra bio filtration.  The Fluval is connected to a spray bar that creates a great current in the tank. Lighting consists of  2 x 20 Watt 18000 Kelvin fluorescents and an extra 20 watt actinic, making a total of 60 watts. <this is extremely low for keeping cnidarians animals (corals/anemones). Waayyy too much blue light here.  The blue is used mostly for aesthetics. A general rule of thumb is a minimum of 5 watts per gallon of daylight  for reef corals. And of the 40 watts of non-actinic here, they are not only 110 watts shy of the mark,  but also too heavy in blue (as 18k K) themselves. Zooxanthellate corals and polyps will slowly starve to  death under these lights> Water temp tends to be around 24.8, but warm weather drives it up to 26. Ammonia    0 Nitrite    0 Nitrate    10mg/l Calcium    320 mg/l Alkalinity  12dKH Salinity   1.023 <allow the ALK to fall to around 10dKH and then push the Ca up towards 400 ppm (no higher needed)  for better results> pH (lab tested 7 hours after lights were off, so "night" time) 8.2 <very fine> I dose daily iodine, and weekly I dose with tropic Marin pro-coral elements, so called 70 trace elements to cover all needs. Livestock are: maroon clown, bicolor blenny, <Hmm... do be very careful here: blennies in general are not at all reef safe. They are nibblers on coral> six-line wrasse, 4 turbo snails, 5 blue leg hermits, 2 lumps of Palythoa, and 2 mushrooms, decrepit xenia.  So that's about it. My problem is that my xenia does not seem to open. It stays shriveled, and is very slowly  dissolving away. I did a water change to see if things would improve, but no luck.  All the other animals are very happy, the hermits are even molting, and I've never seen the mushrooms so expanded. <the mushrooms are actually panning for light. A very conspicuous sign of low light here> The xenia is in bright light all the time. But the funny thing is that, there are a few pieces of loose xenia polyps around the tank, out of the main light and they seem fine, <variable tolerance... all will suffer in time> just the large clumps stay closed. Also another question, does the bicolor blenny feed on xenia, because,  I can't find a culprit, but it might be that the blenny nips the xenia then it is closed. <very possible> What could be the problem, I know my calcium is a bit low, so I will try and increase that,  but it must be another problem! <true... no biggie> Please help, Thanks Chris Browning <best regards my friend, Anthony>

Xenia troubles Mike,  <Anthony is the ultimate xenia guru in the group, but I thought I would chime is since this is fairly common.> Having a bit of a weird problem here.  Earlier today my two xenias (actually turning into 4 xenias) looked fine, pulsing like mad, etc.  I did a 1 gallon water change (I do this every two days, tank size is 40 gallons) with a bucket of water premixed (been using this water all week).  About an hour later, the xenia started closing. <I am assuming no change in salt brand, etc. and that you have checked alkalinity.  Also consider if you have changed lots of salt within the same brand (Instant Ocean doesn't seem to be the same super consistent product it used to be.)>  That didn't bother me, as it sometimes closes when something annoys it (hermit crab, etc) but then it started "shriveling" (turning a dark purple and shrinking MUCH smaller than I've seen it before).  However, 10 inches away is another xenia doing just fine.  As I write this I'm pretty sure one of my xenia bunches is just about dead, and the other is fine.  Any ideas?  All other corals fine, too...don't see anything close enough to sting it.  Don't know what's wrong :( <Sometimes this seems to be cyclical/seasonal, so any noteworthy event could be co-incidence.  I have a variety of "giant xenia" that melts down at the drop of a hat (when others continue to thrive).  It drops polyps all over the tank, and in a few weeks tiny colonies are popping up all over the tank.  Overcrowding, changes in temperature, changes in water chemistry (especially alkalinity) have all been suspected as causes or triggers.  It is always fishy (no pun intended) when some declines while others thrive.  I hate to leave things without explanation, but this type of event is fact of life with xenia, and it is xenia after all.... in six months (or less) it will be back to being a pest.  If you want to try and run down the cause, do test your newly mixed water and compare the pH and alkalinity to the tank.  If you have an ORP meter, do also compare the RedOx of the new water vs. the tank and the tank pre and post change.  Do keep an eye on it... often it will recover, sometimes growing new colonies from the tiniest undetectable little scraps of tissue left on the rocks.  Hmmmm... looking back at this reply, it is a lot of non-committal fluff.  I guess the bottom line is that nobody knows.  I am a pretty serious xenia junky and read a lot about xenia on the boards, chat a lot about xenia with other addicts, etc. and have never heard a reliable, reasonable explanation. Regards, Adam>
Re: Xenia troubles
Actually I figured it out (stupid me).  There is an Aiptasia anemone hiding in a rock behind the xenia, and it must have stung it.  The xenia is looking slightly better, so hopefully it will live.  I'll have to get some Aiptasia eating Nudibranchs soon.  Thanks for the input guys.   M. Maddox<</p>

Shrunken Xenia 6/18/04 <Anthony Calfo in your service> Firstly I would like to thank you for the great book Conscientious Marine Aquarist, it's what started me off on a saltwater aquarium. <I agree... one of my fave books too!> I've kept freshwater aquariums for over 10 years, but I recently wanted to try my luck at a salt water aquarium. I've been running a 35 gallon aquarium with 10 pounds of live rock, another 20 pounds of tufa rock, and 2 inches of crushed coral. <Hmmm... the crushed coral can easily become a problem in time as it is rather coarse and traps detritus easily. Please do be sure to vacuum this very faithfully (weekly would be nice)> Extra filtration is a Fluval 304, Eheim powerhead for movement and a DIY Schuran Jetskim 120. <excellent skimmer> I have a small sump of about 3 gallons for the skimmer, where I also keep activated carbon. Its been running for 5 months now, and no problems so far. As livestock I have one maroon clown, a bicolor blenny and a sixline wrasse, also 5 blue legged hermits and 6 turbo snails. As I am new to saltwater tanks, I wanted to start slowly, so I bought a golf ball sized piece of brown Palythoa, and later a golf ball sized piece of pulsing xenia. All has been running great until I did a water change last week. I changed 20 liters, with aged R/O Reef Crystal water, pH was 8.4, salinity 1.024 and temp 25 degreed Celsius. We had some hot weather so water evaporated faster than normal, so my salinity in the tank went to 1.026 for about one day. That is when I noticed that my Xenia had shriveled, and the white bits turned bluish in color. <more likely a high temp than salinity problem. Xenia is sensitive to low salinity more so> I immediately added fresh R/O water to bring the salinity back to 1.022, <Yikes! that is too fast of a change for even hardy creatures... but would have stressed the Xenia if it was not already. Do avoid any such knee-jerk reactions. It can be a case of the cure being worse than the disease, so to speak> check water parameters, and pH was 8.5, 5mg/l nitrate, zero copper, and the rest was good too. <all good> The xenia failed to open, and now I've noticed a small area where it seems to be dissolving. Is my xenia dying from the increase in salt, the water change, too little light (I have 2 x 20 W 18,000 Kelvin T8 tubes and 1 x 20 W actinic). The xenia is about 5 inches from the surface in moderate water movement. <all good> It was pulsing greatly, and now it looks dead?? What did I do wrong. <many possibilities. I'm wondering if you have a low Alkalinity despite the high pH. DO check your dKH (under 10 would be flat)> The Palythoa is fine, and so are the fish. Please help, because I'm scared of buying more xenia and the same happening again. I don't add any additives, <calcium, buffer and iodine will likely be needed. Especially the iodine for Xeniids/soft corals> but the water change should keep trace elements up no?? <not unless you are doing huge weekly water changes.> Thanks, Chris Browning <best of luck, Anthony>

Xenia health, survival I have tried to grow Xenia in the past but without much luck because of an overly aggressive Coral Beauty and Maroon Clown.  I sold the fish and now I am in the process of trying Xenia again.  This time the Xenia (silver branch) did spread from the rock it was on to the rock placed next to it (some splitting did occur on a few of the corals).  That's all that happened.  Then after a period of time (1-2 weeks the base of the Xenia began to turn white and eventually it dissolved. <many possible reasons for this my friend... most common are low or flat pH or ALK (under 8.3 and/or much under 10 dKH)... and aggression from other corals. Xeniids are weakly aggressive> Amazingly I have had good success growing both hard and soft corals of all varieties.  The corals I currently have include torch and frogspawn, several varieties of mushroom coral, star polyps, button polyps, leather coral and others.   <yikes... you just names most of the top 10 most aggressive corals <G>. Seriously, your Xenia could be suffering from this unnatural and aggressive "garden reef" mix of corals. Do a keyword search of our website from the index page wetwebmedia.com for "garden reef" or "allelopathy" to see FAQs on similar challenges> Everything is reproducing but the Xenia. My tank parameters are: 90 gal show + 50 gal (20 gal overflow holding and 30 gal refugium) 440 watts of VHO (220 actinic, 220 aqua sun) on the 90 gallon CPR Protein Skimmer Calcium + 450ppm <hmmm if this Calcium is an accurate reading, it is on the high end unnecessarily IMO... do be careful .> Specific Gravity 1.023 - 1.025 Temperature 76 - 78 degrees Alkalinity 3.2 mg/l Ammonia 0 Nitrate 0 <you can allow some nitrates to linger to help feed corals/Zooxanthellae... 5-10ppm is fine> Nitrite 0 PH 8.2 - 8.4 <if this is a daytime reading, do check to see how low your pH goes at night. No problem here... but do try to make a habit of maintaining 8.3 for a minimum round the clock> I test for PH, Alkalinity, Calcium and Specific Gravity on a weekly basis.  In addition to adding calcium and a buffer I generally add trace elements and phytoplankton when I perform water changes (weekly). <you have listed no corals above except maybe the leather in tiny amounts that will eat phytoplankton... do focus more on providing zooplankton as the vast majority of corals are carnivores> However I haven't added trace elements or phytoplankton for several weeks as I was being cautious of over dosing and starting a micro algae growth problem.   <yes... very good/wise and correct> I have a bunch of macro algae that is growing like crazy in my refugium.  I don't use any charcoal for filtration. In fact my filtration consists of a protein skimmer, macro algae and floss to catch debris before sending the water back to the aquarium.  The tank has been set up for a little more than 2 years. <all good> Any ideas of what is happening?   <perhaps the tank is mature enough and simply has too many aggressive competitors. Its really a lot for such a small volume of water> I really like the looks of the Xenia and want it to grow but so far not much luck. <do try establishing it in a refugium instead. They will pose no burden on plankton as they cannot eat organismally> Any help is appreciated, Craig Walker <best regards, Anthony>

Xenia Hi Guys! <Hello! Ryan with you> Quick question 'bout xenia. Have you experienced xenia dying off without melting away but more like toughening and turning a bit yellow in color? I have a group of cuttings from the LFS. I've had them about one week. A few look great, others are as described. Thanks! <Becky, I have never seen xenia cuttings react like this to acclimation- Although as notoriously poor shippers, I would certainly give them time to adapt before raising the alarm. Did they all look the same upon purchase? If so, only time will tell- You may lose a few. But, the few that are strong will chop up nicely and be a great source of parent stock! Good luck, Ryan> Becky 

Unhappy Xenia 5/29/04 Hi Crew, <howdy> I hope you are enjoying the holiday weekend.   <I succeeded in avoiding overeating... now to resist the leftovers. Yikes!> I am having a little trouble myself so hopefully you can help.  Over the past week my Xenia have been disintegrating little by little.  For about two months these captive-raised Xenia were (apparently) doing great.  They grew to the point they were crowded on the existing rock so they began splitting and migrating to neighboring rocks.  The rock in the center of the attached photo "Sick Xenia.jpg" is the original rock and you can see how they have spread to the neighboring brain coral skeleton and the other live rock.  The dying Xenia is difficult to make out but I have circled it in red.   <many possible reasons for this... two most common being 1)water quality (usually prolonged low pH and/or Alk: as defined by pH below 8.3 and ALK below 9 dKH)... and 2) a pathogenic infection from damage or from an unquarantined animal (fish, snail, another coral, etc) carrying it in. Please do QT all "wet" entries without exception - 4 weeks> A few days after the Xenia completely broke away from the parent colony, a few polyps of the parent began to wilt, then shrivel and disappear.  This has since spread to many other Xenia stalks.  The individual colonies in this photo previously appeared to be a continual, massive group of pulsing Xenia. Water parameters check ok (at least those I am able to measure: Temp = 79F, Salinity=1.0235, pH=8.1, Ammonia=0, Nitrite=0, Nitrate<5ppm, Alk=6, Ca=380) <if the ALK reading is in dKH it is scary low... if it is in meg/l then it is scary high. Your pH at 8.1 is also rather on the low end if this is a daytime reading... drops even lower at night. Do consider using or using more regularly Calcium Hydroxide to improve pH, ALK and Calcium levels> and I have not noticed any fish, coral or invert assaulting the healthy Xenia.  There is a "eyelash blenny terrorist" in the tank that I have seen chomp at the dead/dying Xenia but I have never seen it bother the "healthy" Xenia. (this blenny is a real nuisance but I have been unable to catch it in my 180g tank with all the rock). <blennies truly are not reef safe as you have noticed. Most are nippy at something. We have some great tips for trapping fishes in the archives... do a key phrase search ("trapping fish") with the Google search tool on the home page> Several changes did happen about the same time the Xenia began showing signs of stress so I am unsure if one of these change might be linked to the Xenia  's demise.  The following were added: * One tiny new Xenia frag (appeared to be the same type as what I already had. I did not specifically want this new Xenia but it was included in a SPS + soft coral pkg) * Toadstool leather * 3 tiny Acropora frags * Derasa clam * Synchiropus picturatus * Synchiropus splendidus <we harp on this often here at WWM, but QT is critical for all new livestock. Otherwise, adding non-quarantined fish is like playing Russian roulette... no body wins the game, some people just get to play a little bit longer. Too many pests, predators and diseases can be added this way. Please QT> In addition, I isolated the 20g refugium from flowing into the main tank for about 5 days to get a Cyano problem under control in the refugium and I removed the filter pad from the wet/dry and placed in directly in the main tank (Mandarin food - filter was full of 'pods).   <excellent> I also dosed the main tank with strontium for the first time.  The Seachem instructions on the dry strontium indicate it is ok to add the powder directly to the main tank so this is what I did.   <yes... to a strong stream, of water or dissolved> I cringed as I watched the granules travel past the Xenia though as I was unsure of the effects this short-term highly-concentrated local strontium level could have on the Xenia.   <no worries here> The toadstool coral was my only other guess at a possible cause for Xenia stress as I have read that Sarcophyton can release chemicals that are toxic to certain other corals.   <ironically... Sarcophytons in culture with Xeniids seem to benefit the Xeniids (see Borneman, or references in my Book of Coral Propagation to this)> You can see the relative placement of the toadstool in the photo "Sick Xenia1.jpg". <truly no harm here> A few days ago I performed a 32g water change, removed the PhosBan that had been in the filter for a few weeks and added activated carbon.  I have noticed no change in the Xenia since doing this.  The remaining Xenia are pulsing like normal and appear healthy except for 1-2 colonies, which have wilted, are darker in color and are not pulsing.   <Pulsatory function (ceasing) has been associated with low pH and low ALK> These colonies will eventually die / disappear and other "healthy" colony will then wilt. Do you have any ideas what could be wrong or suggestions for what I can do to reverse this trend?  I am planning another 32g water change for later today but, other than that, I do not know what else to do. Thank you, Greg <isolate some pieces in QT and improve water quality in the main display. Best of luck! Anthony>
Unhappy Xenia II 5/31/04 Anthony, Thank you for your help with my Xenia problem.   <always welcome my friend> I guess I should have mentioned this previously but I do QT all new fish for 4 weeks after only "normal" appearance is observed.   <excellent, but do this for all livestock that comes in. Each/all have the potential for carrying pests predators and disease (in their bag/system water if nothing else)> Corals have been the only exception to this rule as my QT has been dosed with CuSO4 so I could not place corals in this tank.   <Hmmm... QT should not have any calcareous substrates (no sand, coral skeletons, rock, gravel, etc.) as this absorbs and interferes with medicants. As such, there is little or no worries about copper after a water change> Since all my corals were aquacultured, I was (possibly erroneously) not as concerned about their QT. <very erroneously my friend... you are assuming that the places you get your aquacultured corals from also QT their fishes, corals, etc. and did not add something infected days, hours or minutes earlier to their tanks before you made your purchase. This is how most people get their tanks infected with nuisance and predatory flatworms, Ich, nuisance anemones, etc> I did recently purchase your book "Reef Invertebrates" and have read several chapters (kudos on the great book!) <ah, thanks kindly> but I have not yet read much about proper quarantine of corals.  \ <we have recent articles on this topic here on wetwebmedia.com (see Scott Fellman's piece). Our book coverage of corals with anemones other cnidarians will not appear until vol 3 (2005?). But still... in the reef invertebrates book you have, we make it clear, redundant at times, that QT is for all living organisms without exception. This is a common mistake my friend. No worries... just don't make a habit of ignoring it or you'll get burned bad ;)> I have read about using an iodine dip or Lugol's dip for hard corals <this is generally not necessary or recommended. It can stress healthy corals and has little effect on prevention> but I did not realize corals also required QT. Could coral QT be done in my 20g refugium or should I be concerned about water-borne diseases or parasites from the new corals? <the latter, mate... this is as much about hitchhiking pests and predators as it is water-borne diseases> I use a Kalkwasser reactor so I do dose Kalk regularly (I lose about 1.5 gallons per day to evaporation).  I just re-measured pH at 8.15 and Alk at 5.5 meq (after last night's 15% water change). <the ALK is rather high (this is whats keeping your Ca and perhaps pH flat). Do a large water change and seek to have more even keeled ratio of Ca and ALK (350-425 ppm Ca and 3-4 med/l ALK but neither high at the same time... difficult and potentially dangerous (precipitous reactions))> Despite having adequate carbonate reserves and Kalk dosing, this is the consistent pH reading I always measure.  Possibly my test kit (or my interpretation of color) is slightly off.   <perhaps... do use other types/brands of test kits for reference. If all similar, it could be accumulated CO2 in your well-insulated home (see much about this in the WWM archives)> My Seachem test kit indicates, "although NSW alkalinity is around 3-4 meq, aquarium alkalinity should be maintained between 4-6 meq" so I had always assumed my alk readings were in-spec.   <really 4 is fine/best. The higher end appeals to folks with enormous stony corals tanks or bio-loads> You indicated my readings are much too high.  Do you recommend I try to lower my alk?   <yes.> I suppose this might allow me to raise my Ca level above 400 ppm. <exactly my friend! If interested, I have an article in the archives called "Understanding Calcium and Alkalinity". Do a keyword search with the Google search tool from the wetwebmedia.com home page for such items> I appreciate any comments / advice you can provide.  Also, is there anything you recommend in addition to possibly adjusting alk, to keep my Xenia alive? <when in doubt... frequent water changes. Truly the single best thing you can do most often in times of trouble. Anthony>

ANTHELIA DIE OFF I was hoping you might have some experience with an anthelia die off.  << I actually do.>> I have a 120 gal tank that has been running for two years.  I have not made much in the way of changes to the bioload since I set it up and stocked it over the first six months.  Over the last four months I have had a patch of anthelia just slowly wither away.  Also, I lost a lawnmower blenny that just seemed to waste away after a year of being fat and happy.  A great looking Tubipora grew like crazy, the started looking raggedy and wasted away (I think my yellow tang may have decided was tasty) and a Trachyphyllia that used to be inflated beyond anything I have seen (feeder tentacles were out 24/7) now just looks like ones I seen in the stores.   On the other hand, I've had Ritteri that is growing and thriving for well over a year (I don't feed it very often, is that bad?), a Euphyllia that has tripled its branches, xenia that is growing like weeds (any ideas on controlling it) a Pavona and two Pectinia that are growing, a Sarcophyton that I have trimmed drastically twice, and a Pocillopora that must have reproduced because there are now a dozen small colonies all over the tank.  The mixed bag of results has me worried that I am missing something.  On the other hand, some stuff is going gangbusters and I reluctant to change my routine, which isn't much except reef builder for alkalinity and calcium.  None of the shops has much in the way of advice.  Am I heading for disaster? << I don't believe so.>> Are there other additives I should be using?  << I don't believe Anthelia needs additives.>> Should I try another lawnmower (my wife's favorite fish).  Can you tell my how to I go back in time and decide pass on the small colony of pulsing xenia?  << Ah yes, the million dollar question.>> << Okay here is the first thing I would suspect.  Do you have any Peppermint Shrimp?  I didn't think they would eat Anthelia, until my peppermints ate all my Aiptasia.  Then sure enough, as my friend warned me, I saw them eating Anthelia at night.  If that isn't the case for you, my second guess it temperature.  For some reason when tanks get warm (I'll say above 80 F) I've seen cases where the Anthelia declined.  If that too isn't the case, please write back.>> << Adam Blundell>>
Adam, Thanks for the reply. I put some peppermint shrimp in when I started the tank.  I don't see them often and it's been several months since I've seen one.  The anthelia thrived for a very long time before it started to disappear.  << My anthelia did well forever, until my peppermints had eaten all my Aiptasia, and then all my yellow polyps.  Just something to keep an eye on. >> Most of the tank is fine with the exception of the anthelia, the Tubipora that suddenly crashed after doubling in size (maybe eaten by yellow tang?) << Very very doubtful that a yellow tang ate it. More likely some invert. >>a Lobophyton that looks good, just not nearly as good as it did a couple months ago.  Everything has been very consistent but a little low for the past eight months (I test weekly).  Alkalinity has ranged from 2.8 to 3.5, calcium between 300 and 200, and pH steadily fluctuates between 7.9 in the morning to 8.3 at lights out (meter calibrated every couple months).  My temp is consistently between 78 and 80 and the nitrates have never been above 10.  Like I said in my original email, my Ritteri is growing and hasn't moved an inch in four months, SPS and clams are all pretty happy, and I can's stop the pulsing xenia hordes,  so I've been reluctant to add a lot of stuff.  I just wonder if the there is something else I should be looking out for in terms of long term water condition.  << Many people like adding Iodine for their anthelia.  Are you dosing Iodine?  Be careful if you do, because it is easy to overdose. >> On another note, I am on the verge of committing to plumping through my floor and creating a first class sump system in my basement next to my RODI.  I am not the best at routine tasks except feeding and replacing top off water (hence my low numbers).  I am very good with weekly testing and scheduled things like replacing bulbs, prefilters, etc.  The purpose of going in to the basement is to give me more room to facilitate easy skimmer cleaning, water changes, top off, etc.  I am looking for a little advice on what is the most dependable, least crashable, set up.  << Yes I do have some advice.  First, you will need a very large pump to pump that far up to your tank.  And your plumbing lines will contain a lot of water, so to avoid a flood you need a lot of extra volume space in your sump.  For a lesser chance of crashes, and the best pH stability, I highly recommend a reverse daylight photosynthesis type of refugium.  Keep it half way filled with different algae species. >> I have pretty much decided on a chiller for peace of mind (if the A/C goes in my house it's all over, or at least no lights until it's fixed). I am looking for the best way to dependably maintain pH, alk, calc, trace elements without having to mess with stuff daily.  Ideally, I'd test the tank weekly (except for pH and temp which I have displayed near the tank), go down every night to check the sumps and equipment, but not have things running that, if they get stuck will crash my tank.  Any advice on dosing pumps, calcium reactors, Kalk reactors, pH controllers, UV, etc.<< I don't have any specific recommendations. Just take a look at other set ups and see what is working for others, and will work for what you are hoping to accomplish. >> <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Pulsing Xenia Help! <Ryan Bowen helping to today> I have some pulsing xenia in my 2 & 1/2 gallon, and they seem to be wasting away. I have 7.2 watts per gallon right now of pc lighting, for 18 watts total. It is positioned about 2 inches from the surface, with some lower-light tankmates on the bottom. The guy at my local fish store aquacultures the xenia himself, and he said that he thought the lighting would be sufficient. My parameters are excellent. Is there anything else that could be harming my xenia? Its tankmates are: Green, brown, and orange Zoanthids; green star polyps, and fluorescent green mushrooms. I was thinking that I may be having some chemical competition from one or more of these. How many watts per gallon do you recommend for xenia? Help me, please! <It sounds like a few things could be happening- Chemical competition, with no skimmer. Xenia is certainly the most delicate animal in your tank, and it's the "canary" of the reef aquarium. I'm glad you observed this early, it's a sign of things to come. In 2.5 gallons of water, you're ALWAYS walking a tight-rope. Things can go from balanced to devastating within a day or two. You should really provide more water volume, with better water quality if you wish to care for this animal. Also, you're going to need to do water changes every other day or so if you're not going to be using a skimmer.  Xenias also benefit from nutrients produced by reef fish. Sadly, the system you're running has no room for a fish- I would try some snails, hermits etc. to get some nutrients flowing. Good luck! Ryan> 

UFO on Xenia & Lobophyton 5/21/04 Last night I separated the Xenia from its base rock. It came off in 3 sections, including one that looks healthy, a tiny bit left from the branch that had previously had the most necrotic tissue, and a large double branched stalk, one of which has a weird porthole on its side with a pregnant bulge just below it. From the bottom, it looks as if one or more strands of the parasite have wormed their way up into the left, bulging side of the Xenia. http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia4.jpg  http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia5.jpg  I'm considering splitting that piece in half vertically to isolate the bulging side from the healthier side. <OK... seems like a sustainable move> Whether or not I do that, I'm unsure what to do afterwards. <the frags can be sewn to the next rock rubble with plastic sewing thread or thin fishing line, or they can be speared and impaled by a cocktail toothpick (the plastic jobs with the ornate ends that prevent an olive/coral from sliding back off)> This Xenia was in my large display tank positioned near 3 other prized Xenias which, like the one under alien attack, I'd raised from tiny frags. I have several other brightly lit tanks that contain corals but no Xenia. Do you think that would be a safe place to put them? <I cannot say, since the photos do not clearly reveal anything at all that could be parasitic. The pics simply show some necrotic areas. It could be stinging hydroids making their way up and through... could be another predator... or could simply be anomalies on a Xenia that is not being attacked at all, but rather is suffering from aggression from other corals in the tank, or low pH (below 8.3 at night)> Should I try to mount them to rocks now or wait awhile? <mount them immediately after fragging, and keep them away from other Xenia> My coral tanks have powerheads and hang-on filters, so they would be at risk of getting sucked into or up against an intake. (I've grown several Sinularia frags out of disgusting blobs that I pulled out of filters, but I doubt the Xenia would be that accommodating.) Thanks, Suzanne <beat regards, Anthony Calfo> 
UFO on Xenia & Lobophyton II 5/24/04
For awhile, I thought the mysterious roots growing at the base of my Xenia might have something to do with reproduction (though I'd never read of anything like that). Today, however, there are patches of necrotic tissue and sponge or sponge-like gunk around the base rock. <I see... agreed. Sponge-like indeed> The root-like strands appear to be coming in and out of the coral tissue. <irritating the Xenia and causing the necrosis> My impulse is to either start trying to remove the strands and sponge, or to cut off and try to salvage the healthy areas of the Xenia. What do you think? <the first at first, and the latter if necessary> http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia.jpg  http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia0.jpg  http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia1.jpg  http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia2.jpg  http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/xenia3.jpg  Also, some of my Sarcophyton and Sinularia sp. corals have long strands similar to spider web silk streaming off of them. I've read of a small jellyfish relative with tentacles similar to this. Is that what I'm seeing? Will they do any harm to the corals? <looks like a Hydrozoan of some sort... some such Hydroids are extremely (!) painful for you to touch. Remove carefully!> http://www.culturedaquaria.com/xenia/lobophyton.jpg  thanks, Suzanne Hathcock <best regards, Anthony> 

Dying Xenia 4/28/04 I tried putting this on the 911 site Saturday.  I kind of wrote it wrong.  Where I put Iodine below I put ammonia by accident. Anyway, here is the problem: My pulsating branch Xenia is not looking good at all. I really need some help. I have read several Q and A's on this site about Xenia problems and how to fix. I have tried everything. It looks like he is melting. He was doing great for 5 months until then. It started last Sunday when I did a water change. The only thing I did differently this day was I did the water change with R/O DI water for the first time instead of dechlorinated tap water (had a brand new one of these delivered to me last Saturday). Made sure my measurements matched the tank before I put it in. Measurements in tank Amm 0, nitrite 0, Nitrate 10, PH 8.3 SG 1.025, temp 78, calcium 350. <all good> Been putting iodine in every night as I always have, I moved him about 12" away from a green star polyp coral in my tank to see if that would help (he was about 8" away prior). <indeed... green star polyp is extremely aggressive (chemically noxious as well)> I have put in a Poly Filter since then to see if that would help (I always use carbon also). I have not put anything new in the tank and I can't see any marks on him either. If I can't find the problem soon he will probably die. Any help will be appreciated.  Thanks, Tom <when in doubt... do a(nother) water change. And with Xenia... focus sharply on pH. If 8.3 is your daytime pH... then your pH is too low. Many Xenia stress below 8.3 which is occurring after your lights go out (aim for 8.4-8.6 by day and no lower than 8.3 by night... use Kalkwasser to help achieve this). Do consider and try. Best of luck, Anthony>
Dying Xenia II 5/2/04
Anthony - I am kind of running into a little jam on this one.  I have a cup coral (LPS) in the tank and it looks like he does not react too good to Kalk (I usually use Aragamilk to keep my calcium up).   <this is really not the problem (Kalk)... it must be the way you are delivering it my friend. Millions of gallons of seawater and decades of aquarium use can't be wrong ;)> He usually opens right up, but when I started putting the Kalk in he did not open as much as he usually does.   <added too much or too fast. Do try smaller shots or a slower drip> This happened in the past with this guy also (he is fine with just Aragamilk, the Xenia used to be also).   <FWIW, I have little regard for the efficacy of Aragamilk> Also - I have tested my PH several times before the lights came on in the morning and it is 8.3.  I have an AquaFuge hang on refugium and keep that light on 24/7. I heard that helps to stabilize the ph in the main tank when the lights go down.   <true> So my tank is pretty much 8.3 all the time (if that is possible, could be my test kit).  I have another question for you.  Just thought of this.  When I put the R/O water in the tank for the first time I used Kent OSMO Prep to buffer the water.  I never used this before.  Always used Kent SuperBuffer.  Have you ever heard of any adverse effects that OSMO Prep may have on Xenia? <no information good or bad on it> Just to keep you updated on my tank, the measurements are all the same as they were before, except my nitrates are almost 0.  Using R/O DI water took them down pretty quick.  Thanks in advance for any help you can give me.  FYI - The Xenia is still hanging on, but nowhere near where he was before. Tom   <many possibilities still... finessing iodine, RedOx levels, allelopathy. The challenges of a 3-D environment. Anthony>
Dying Xenia III 5/3/04
Thanks again Anthony.  This hobby is definitely a learning experience. <like life... enjoy the journey :) Anthony>

White Xenia Hello all, <How goes it, Michael catching up on the inbox today>  I hope this won't be a complete waste of your time, but I haven't been able to find an appropriate answer to my xenia problem. <I'll do my best>  Around two weeks ago, I bought this gorgeous white pulsating xenia from my local fish store. <A white coral any species isn't always a good thing...usually means the coral has 'bleached' - expelled it's Zooxanthellae algae> It looked great and was pulsating like mad. I brought it home, and right off the bat it begins pulsating moderately. A couple of days later it ceased pulsating completely. I ran several tests and all checked out perfectly: 8.1 ph, 350 calcium, salinity in check...--everything was fine. So, I was wondering if something might be wrong with the system. <Most likely not if your parameters are up to par> I have a 37 gallon (tall) aquarium with Coralife fluorescent dual watt bulbs(130 watts) with one 10,000K and one actinic bulb. With that, I have a trickle filter with a built in skimmer. On a regular basis, I treat with Kent strontium-molybdenum, coral-Vite, calcium, and I feed the corals with Kent ChromaPlex and with black powder.  I have placed the xenia somewhat in the middle of the tank, and it's getting moderate water flow, enough to move it gently but not wipe it around. No other corals or mushrooms of the sort are near enough to touch it and burn it. So, maybe there is something with my placing it or maybe the light or water flow is off-key? So please, if you can, tell me what is going on with my xenia lest it is a worthless piece of hard-ridden trash! <Likely the coral has expelled it's symbiotic algae and could be dying...let me forward this to Anthony, as he knows infinitely more about corals than I do> Thanks, <No problem, hopefully Anthony will be able to help you further>  Alex Harris  <M. Maddox>  P.S. Also, I noticed several days after buying it, it has managed to lean over and has attached midway up the base forming a little bridge between the original base and the new one. Maybe stress is triggering a division or something? I don't know, this might be linked with the non pulsating problem.  Thanks again, Alex 

Black dots on Xenia 4/5/04  We have recently noticed small black dots on the stems and pulsing part of our xenia. It seems to be healthy otherwise. What could be causing this, is it something we need to worry about, and what can we do about it?  <with no description of the corals symptoms or the "dots" size, shape, etc... we cannot say much here. Best advice I can give you is to remove the specimen to a proper QT tank to observe and isolate. Anthony>

Bali xenia and tang prob.s 2/22/04 hi, I had a couple of questions about a recent problem in my tank.  It's a 30 g reef tank with a yellow tang, clownfish, and 3 pajama cardinals. <That's a lotta fish in a 30g!  The yellow tang in particular will very quickly outgrow your tank (If it hasn't already).> Lots of polyps, mushrooms, leather coral and a Bali xenia.  The tank was doing great and I did a 5 g water change last w/e.  Immediately afterwards the Bali xenia deflated and has been that way for almost a week (although hasn't died).  The yellow tang had some red splotches on its side that disappeared and then reappeared yesterday, but this time much larger.  There was also a long red mark close to his lower fin and covering part of the fin. If you look close it almost seems like blood vessels that make up the red marks.  I've been trying to come up with things that I've done differently recently.  First, I had added a few spoonfuls of baking soda to the water before I mixed in the salt to try to buffer it. <Adding additional buffers to good quality salt mix should not be necessary.  The signs that your fish is displaying sounds like ammonia toxicity or some other chemical irritation.  Freshly mixed artificial sea water should be aerated or mixed with a powerhead for at least a day before use.> The Instead ocean salt dissolved ok but there was a precipitate that never dissolved in the water (b/c the salt is old?). <This is a common occurrence, and not a problem.> And when I added the water to the tank, there water turned whitish and then was  clear the next day. <Probably from the additional buffer.> I also began feeding Mysis shrimp.  All the  polyps and other corals in the tank look great now.  Finally, I've gotten an algae bloom on the front glass, even though I added distilled water (this has never happened after a water change before).  I'm planning on doing another water change in the meantime and ordered a new PC bulb (run 2x96W) in case the lighting is off.  Any ideas?  thanks, Ben <I think the algae bloom is a co-incidence.  If you do additional water changes, be sure to mix and allow to "age" for a day or two before use.  If you get a repeat of what happened, test immediately for ammonia, nitrite and nitrate and alkalinity.  Best Regards, Adam>

Hanging by a Xenia! And...the Homeless Clownfish Hello Crew, <Scott F. here with you> I had purchased a Xenia from LiveAquaria.com, and it came in today, but I noticed that one was hanging by a limb.  What should I do?  It's just a small Xenia, about half an inch tall.  Should I cut it and rubber band it together with 2 small rocks, leave it, or do you know of a better way? I'm scared to cut it because of its size, and due to the stress of shipping, I don't think it will be able to recover from a propagation attempt. <Well, if it were me, I would leave it be for a couple of days.  If it does not appear to recover, you may want to excise the damaged portion and leave the remainder in an area of the aquarium where it can recover.  Xenias are extremely hardy (kind of the weed of the coral world!), and usually can recover from such traumas given time and good conditions.> Also, I have another question, too.  I had purchased a bubble-tip anemone for my Perculas because they were not happy without their own anemone like my Maroon clown.  Well, the Maroon wanted more property and took to both bubble-tips.  Is this normal? <Well, Maroons can be quite territorial, and can certainly take over a given area, including the anemones.> Is there any way that I can make him leave so my perculas might have a chance in having an anemone?  Thanks, Chris. <Short of removing him from the aquarium, probably not.  This is one of the reasons why we generally advise against mixing various clownfish species in one aquarium, particularly the Maroons as they can be quite nasty.  Well, keep a close eye on things and maybe the social order will settle down and everyone will be happy.  Good luck!  Scott F.>

Sluggish Xenia 1/27/04 Hi Guys and gals <howdy> I bought a little xenia frag a few months ago. It had a rough start with my Kole tang nipping at it and it adjusting to light etc but then it started doing great. I then added a refugium and another power head. I also took off the glass top so my 260 watts of power compact may be a touch brighter. All the water parameters and temps are stable so I am at a loss. Calc may be a little high 450-480 ppm.  Ph 8.3  temps 79. <temp is fine... pH is low if that's a daytime reading (dipping below 8.3 as it may be at night is a problem for Xenia and some other corals)... and the calcium is rather high indeed. I suspect your alkalinity is low because of the high calcium, and that's a problem too. If the Alk is lower than 10dKH, please do some water changes to dilute the imbalance and then slowly (!) resume supplementation of buffer if needed. Do read the article "Understanding Calcium and Alkalinity" here on our website wetwebmedia.com for perspective> Help my xenia, Joe Culler, <help is one the way :) Anthony>

Slouching Xenia Quick ? I have a brown pulsing xenia, and all the pics I see of them they pulse upward w/ the stalks pointing straight up.  My xenia has some pointing in all direction (up included), but about 1/3-1/2 down.  Ph is steady as well as 185 watts of pc about 3" from the stalks.  The xenia is in a medium-high flow area (because they are high in the tank).  They are in a tank with LPS corals, mushrooms, and 3 fish.  ---the xenia is pulsing fine <I wouldn't give it too much worry, and I certainly wouldn't move it at this point.  Is this a new addition to your tank?  Without some water measurements, it's going to be difficult to determine a problem.  Xenia is hardy, so leave it alone and it just may flourish.  If the conditions deteriorate, please get back to us, but include water test results, and a little about your maintenance routine.  Thanks, Ryan>

Can't keep xenia 1/10/03 Hello again, <Hi Steve.  Adam here tonight.> I have a full reef and can keep most sps coral as well as most softies but I have a lot of problems with xenia. I have tried 3 or four times and the colony usually dies within a few days. Any suggestions? (current, lighting, ph, alk, etc) Steve

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