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FAQs about Xeniid Disease/Health/Pests 3

FAQs on Xeniid Disease: Xeniid Disease 1, Xeniid Health 2, 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,

Xeniid Help RESEND 4/12/07 Hi all! I am sending this again via webmail to see if it makes it this time. No response first time around (Those web gods!!) <Thank you for this. Your first go "kind of" made it... but "trayless"... the short expl.: we'd have to re-send it through our system to respond...> I am an avid reader of your site and have been known to spend hours upon hours researching for the answers to many of my questions, most of the time with success; however, this one has me stumped. First the tank specs: TANK SPECS: 29 Gal BC with additional "baby powerhead" and external skimmer Salinity 1.26 pH Stable at 8.4 (taken consistently at 4:30 AM with pH monitor) Temp 79.4 day / 78.6 night Salifert test kit results: Calcium 460 Alk 13 dKH Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate > 5 Phosphate 0 I am currently using a PolyFilter and Chemi-Pure in case of chemical warfare <Okay... though these are more useful for inorganics...> RESIDENTS: 2 cleaner shrimp 1 fire shrimp One 1.5 inch maroon clown and one 2 inch yellow tang <Mmm...> (until they are big enough not to be eaten by V lion in the 240 gal) Presumed mantis shrimp due to skinned/diced Mandarin <Also mis-placed in such a small volume> (which was trained to eat frozen as well as flake food and was FAT), another story entirely¦ CORAL: Open brain Candy cane Torch Leather toadstool Finger leather Mushrooms Xenia which are at the top of the tank by water return and far away from any of my LPS and softies (which are still thriving) <A clue here> PROBLEM: My Xenia had been thriving for about four months now growing from three stalks to approximately 20 in this same time period; that is until five days ago, at which point they have been only bulbs which are now slowly deteriorating. I have been doing consistent 5 gal water changes every other day upon discovering this until two days ago when I upped it to 5 gal every day. I have even taken an 8 oz glass with tank water and added 1 drop Lugol's and gently poured it on the Xenia with no success (only once). I am wondering if there is some macroalgae growing within the Xenia stalks which may be the culprit. <Mmm, likely "after the fact"... but... are you sure this is an algae? Might be a Hydroid pictured here...> I have enclosed a picture which I hope you get. If not let me attempt to describe these things. They are long rigid stalks with a feather tip only, dark green in color and approximately 1 to 2 inches in length) They are very stubborn as I tried to tweeze one out thinking it was a human hair entangled within the Xenia and it did not break or budge!?!?!?!? <Bingo> I have no idea what these things are but if this is in fact macroalgae then do I just tweeze these pieces, or cut them with scissors? <May take more drastic action here... the cleaving of the Xeniid colony, scrubbing around the bases of the salvaged polyps...> Once again I have no idea what I am seeing or dealing with or if it is even a problem and the real problem lies elsewhere. Any insight would be greatly appreciated <Is something other than algae... a look through a microscope would help here... I'd remove the colony, clean out these pests, try to restore the pulsing corals health in isolation. Bob Fenner>
Re: Xeniid Help RESEND, hydroid ID 4/13/07 Mr. Fenner, <Kim!> I am honored to have you reply to my email; thank you. <Welcome... Geez, I must be getting old/er...> I would have never even thought hydroid as I always associated this with a very minute "thing with tentacles", but after doing more research and comparing pictures with what I have, I am in complete agreement. Looks a lot like Antennellopsis sp. <Possibly> I promptly removed the Xenia and scrubbed the areas that I could and took needle nose pliers to those buggers since the tweezers proved to be of no help. I managed to remove all that I could see plus the dead and dying Xenia stalks and now I will wait and see what happens. <Good> I feel bad that I was thinking environmental cause (reason for overkill with the PolyFilter, Chemi-pure, and extensive water changes) and my poor Xenia were being stung the whole time (I visualize myself being locked in a car with bees for a week). One more lesson learned to lock away in my head. <Mmm, not locked... but shared, released to other possibilities> As an aside, I would never even think of keeping my clown and tang in an environment this small for any extended length of time; however, the last attempt to add juvenile fish with the lion proved to be an expensive meal for the lion and a month to retrain him to eat prepared food again. These two fish are still smaller than my cleaner shrimp and I am sure would be consumed within one day by the lion if given the chance (lion is a good 6-8 inches). <Yikes> I do have a spare 55 gallon lying around that I could set up to "grow out these toddlers" if you feel this would be more appropriate. I really respect your opinion and thank you again for your keen insight. Have a Great Day! Kimberly <Ah, from the tenor and apparent intelligence of your writing, I fully suspect you are more than capable of "making the call" here re the observable behavior of these two and their need to be re-situated. Bob Fenner>

Re: Xeniid Help....HYDROIDS HAPPY UPDATE -- 4/28/07 Hello to all and thank you again for being there!! I have placed a copy of our previous correspondence below for reference. <Thank you for this> I wanted to let you know that because of your (Mr. Fenner's) ability to teach me something new my Xenia are back on track with new babies everywhere!! I am certain they would have died without your 100% accurate assessment, diagnosis, and treatment recommendations (which I followed to the letter) as I was treating for everything BUT hydroids and they kept going downhill. I have enclosed pictures of their incredible recovery!! (It has only been two weeks since their near death experience). Thank you again SO much for being there, you saved another life! If there is anything I can do to help you out in return, it would be my pleasure!! Kimberly <Thank you for sharing the news of your success. Bob Fenner>

Xenia Anthelia Collapsing. ]  3/23/07 Hello Crew, <Hi Brian, Mich here.> I hope life's been treating you all well. <Quite! And I wish you the same!> You all have helped me tremendously with my aquariums. Thank you for all of your hard work and willingness to teach others how to do these things. <You're welcome!> I sent an email about this earlier and I guess the photos didn't work out, sorry! This time I split it into a couple of emails so hopefully it will work. I had a couple of questions for you regarding some Xenia / Anthelia I have in my 90 gallon reef aquarium. Photos posted below. <Our system is still not happy about these photos.  Not sure why.> <<Me neither... but Bri has sent along otherwise thank goodness. RMF>> My concern here is in the second photo the Anthelia? coral is drooping considerably. Two weeks ago this coral was pumped up huge and it was a light brown color. Recently it has "dripped" to the rock below and now there are 2 new colonies growing there. <I'm not sure why your anthelia is drooping, but collapse is not uncommon in captivity.  May be unable to support it's weight, may be experiencing some allelopathy from neighboring corals, may be was reproducing these are but a few of numerous possibilities.> The Xenia in the first photo is doing excellent, pumping away and growing like a weed! <And many consider it so!> My water parameters are as follows: Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate <10 I just did a 25-gallon water exchange so it is probably lower now (the readings were taken before) Phosphate undetectable Calcium 420 <Allow to drift under 400.> dKH 12 PH 8.4 during the day haven't tested at night yet The water temperature stays between 75 and 77 degrees F. Lighting for tank: two 250 watt 14k metal halide lamps two 96-watt actinic power compacts 4 watts of moonlight all on timers, 2 hours of dawn (just power compacts), 9 hours of metal halide light, and 2 hours of dusk (just power compacts) All other animals in the tank are doing wonderful. Out of luck I grabbed a male and female "coco worm" and they recently spawned in the aquarium (really cool to watch!) <How awesome!> I also have two female cleaner shrimp with a male and the two females are now carrying tons of eggs, <Hermaphroditic, best kept in pairs.> my Nassarius sp. snails are breeding, <Excellent!> there are amphipods and copepods all over, my torch coral has nearly doubled in size since I got it about a month ago. <Wow!> My clams are growing and very happy. Even my Acropora corals are doing great, coloring up and growing as well. With so many things doing so well in the tank I can't figure out what could be causing the Anthelia coral to look so bad. I didn't notice any disease or parasites either. <A good sign.> Any insight you might have on that situation would be greatly appreciated. <I'm afraid I have nothing specific, there are numerous possibilities.> Thank you,
Brian Crenshaw

Xenia Anthelia Pt. 2, Sharing photos  3/23/07 Hello again, <Hello again Brian, Mich here.> In the last e-mail I sent I mentioned my torch coral and clams, my torch coral is in the photo below with a Cladiella sp. coral the edge of a clam and the male coco worm. The other two clams are in the next photo with my Nassarius snails. I also had one more question for you regarding a "critter" I found in the sump yesterday. I think though that I will send those in one more e-mail just to be safe, sorry for all these e-mail's! <The photos I could see were quite beautiful!  -Mich> Re: Photos to go with emails Xenia Anthelia Pt. 1 & 2 Mich, <Hi Brian!> Here are the photos that wouldn't load for you. Sorry for the inconvenience. If the attached files don't work please let me know and I will try  something else. <I think we're good.> Thank you,
<Welcome -Mich>
Brian  Crenshaw

Xeniid system/health Q's 3/19/07 Thanks so much for the advice. <I welcome you to our help in Bob's stead. GrahamT here.> <Heeeee! Welcome yourself! RMF> I will keep watching. I wonder if I could bother you with one or two more issues. <Well... I... guess so.> I cannot keep xenia. <You aren't alone, my friend. Many have problems with this coral. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs3.htm  > I know you have heard it before but I am determined.    <Good.> I keep trading Starpolyps for small pieces and came across some info I questioned.  I understood xenia to be one of the few (if any others) that do not participate in chemical warfare.    <Well, they participate, just usually on the receiving end. As I understand it, they don't broadcast their chemicals into the water column as most other warring parties do. They can still kill by direct contact, though. There are some good pieces available on the internet that document the war between soft and stony corals. There are very many more and better catalogued pieces at a nice library.> the piece I saw in Reef.com said they kill off Acropora easily.  Can you clear that up. <Just did, oops. See above.> Each time I add xenia it seems fine for the first 24 hours and then condenses to solid white polyps. My non-pulsing anthelia is reproducing and my xenia keeps turning into balls.    <Mmm, this is a clue, methinks. Anthelia is winning the one-sided war.> I keep playing with alkalinity and salinity making sure the rest of the reef does no suffer.    <There are those that swear by Xenia's need for iodine to thrive. I think that your water changes probably maintain high enough levels of iodine so that this is probably not the issue. I would consider adding some fresh carbon to the system and trying a small piece of xenia upstream (as it were) from the anthelia, though not in direct current. Sound do-able?> Do you have any suggestions for me? <Umm, yeah. (See above)> thanks Cathy <-GrahamT>

Pulsing Xenia died. Sys. comp. research, read! 3/6/07 Hi <Hello, GrahamT here.> I have been using your sight <Site.> as a much needed learning curve. I would much appreciate your advice. <I'm all yours.> I am a new reefer, 20 gallon tank ±3 months old. I recently purchased pink pulsing xenia. They were doing fine for 1 week and then stopped pulsing, closed up and shrunk. 2 days later they were dead and mucusy - I removed the stump. <Good plan.> NO2 ; ph 8.3; sg 1.024; salinity 31. <Need NO3 numbers, temperature...> It is a orca Nano tank. Living rock (1/4 of tank amount) and crushed shells base. The tank had a protein skimmer. Do I need to improve water flow <Probably...> or try your sites Kalkwasser? <Not without a means to measure the calcium first.> Lighting is not possible to change in this system. I had been using tapwater  and was fine with other corals i.e. recent purchased colt coral, 2x small toadstool frags, 2x Zoanthids and to button polyps, <All these species are much easier/more tolerant of poor water conditions.> do I  need to purchase ROD water would this help? <It won't hurt, and may be the cause, yes. I can't be sure without test results of the source water.> I do water changes ± 1 weekly, small amounts Maintaining same temp and salinity as tank. I have a cleanup crew :-1 cleaner shrimp, 2 orange hermit crabs, 3 turbo snails. <Xenia is not the easiest customer to keep in a small system. They do need moderate to heavy flow and near-pristine water conditions, among others. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs.htm read links in blue.> When Xenia was placed in tank it started pumping within first few hours. I added 2 ocilarius <Ocellaris.> clown fish and the shrimp became quite territorial. <How big is this Nano? Not big enough perhaps?> It's home is the same rock as the one the xenia were on. It kept flicking them making them close up. <Mmm.> The following morning after this I found the frag had been dislodged so I epoxied <Epoxy?> them on as advised by my LFS. They did not re-pulse. <I would chalk this one up to inexperience and ill-preparedness. Do your research and decide for yourself what your Xenia need(ed) and how you could make your system more habitable for it. You should plan your system around the species you want to keep, not what the LFS has in stock. Good luck! -GrahamT> thanks Louise
Re: Pulsing Xenia died. Sys. comp. research, read! (pt.2) 3/7/07
Hi thank you for your prompt reply, please excuse my spelling as I am preoccupied with the kids; i.e.., a quick email is all I can achieve at times. <Bless you! I *do* understand. Sorry for my lag in replying!> The xenia though both our choice was my son's purchase and we both would like to have them in the future, if I can get the tank conditions more suitable. Do you have a list of books (hopefully available in UK) that may help us to achieve xenia in our tank. <Oh yes! The "Book of Coral Propagation" by Anthony R. Calfo; "A Practical Guide to Corals for the Reef Aquarium" by Eric Borneman; "The Reef Aquarium: Science, Art, and Technology, Vol. 3" by Julian Sprung and Charles Delbeek. These are all very good reads, and I think any one might be the only one you need.> Any other options available for research; i.e.., in UK or is the web the best/accurate direction forward? <Well, the WWW will give you different opinions, which can be very useful, as long as your BS-filter is up to date and efficient. It is also blessed by being current and constantly updated.> My LFS, though highly recommended, just said to put them in the tank and give them a go, as they have no problems placing them in their main display tank. <I would bet their main display tank is very established and larger as well. Never trust anyone who says to just "give it a shot" without prompting you to do any research. I agree with what you find here on WWM about Xenia. It can be very low-maintenance, but some people have just the opposite experience. Either it grows like weeds, or turns to poop.> I am left worried about other future advice that may be needed. <Everything from retailers should be taken with respect to their position: they make money on the sale of livestock and equipment. That doesn't mean they don't know what they're talking about. To the contrary, they may be giving you the advice that they think you need, and believe to be right. At the end of the day, however, they depend on selling you livestock and equipment. Some stores look deeper than the end of the day, like the end of the year, and protect their investment in you by making sure you stay in the hobby. These are the LFS's to look for.> (ps I use Marine buffer to maintain my ph at 8.3 and feed Liquifry marine food for filter feeders; my temp is a constant 78; I will purchase the No3 and get a reading for you (do you have a recommendation of a best/easy to use test kit); no2 is<0.3mg/l) <I have been using the Sera NO3 kit, but really do hate color comparisons when there is a titration test available. The Sera low-range kit is simple in that, if you have any color develop, you probably need to take action. Salifert and LaMotte are some of the best, IMO.> Much appreciated Louise <Welcome! -GrahamT>

Why Can't I Grow Xenia? -- 02/21/07 Greetings, <<Hello>> I am having a problem with pulsing xenia. <<Not uncommon...some folks can't grow it...some folks have trouble getting rid of it...and sooner or later it all seems to just 'crash'>> Located in 30-gal tall octagonal tank attached to a 75 gal reef tank.  The octagonal tank has only a mated pair of mandarins, macroalgae and I had a large colt coral. <<Mmm, this last may be part of your problem...very noxious>> The xenia all of a sudden looked awful.  It took me a week to find the time to test the water...  Tested my pH and it was low for xenia, 8.0.  I immediately did a water change and after about 24 hours got the pH back to 8.3. Xenia looked better this morning and I got home from work tonight and it looks awful again.  I also decided to move the colt coral to the main tank. <<A good decision...although, with these tanks 'attached' the noxious chemicals exuded by the colt coral are still in the system water reaching the xenia>> Salinity 1.024, <<1.025/26 (closer to NSW) would be better appreciated by your corals and may be another factor re your problems here>> Temp 78-80, the pH is usually 8.3 but I did find it close to 8.0 two days ago before lights went on. <<I wouldn't think this to be much of an issue>> I am not sure why.  I drip Kalkwasser most nights (about 1gal) and had not for a few busy nights.  Never a problem in the past but concerned me the other day. <<When using this methodology, it is best to use on a 'continuous' basis for reasons of system stability...as you can see>> Ammonia and nitrates 0.  No way to test iodine so I started putting in 2m. each morning to help them out. <<2 milliliters?  Do be careful here...be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions closely...and get an iodine test kit>> The pulsing xenia look shriveled and almost like a chemical burn might seem to look if that does not sound too crazy. <<Not crazy...and may very well be so (remember that colt coral)>> Can you suggest some test I might perform. <<Not for allelopathy...but make no mistake, it is present in your (everyone's) system>> Why do you think I have such problems with pulsing xenia. <<Aside from the fact that these organisms seem to 'wax and wane' with the best of care,  xenia can be particularly sensitive to water chemistry/ chemical poisoning (some aquarists have stated to me they view their xenia as a kind of 'canary in the mine.'  Employing some purposeful chemical filtration will always help your system, and may make a difference with the xenia.  A dedicated canister filter with carbon 'and' Poly-Filter is highly recommended here>> I have a wonderful 75-gal reef tank with hard and soft corals.  All doing fine. <<And all 'fighting the chemical fight'...just likely more resilient mix of organisms than the xenia>> I know you are not supposed to mix but for 3 years I have been lucky I even (was afraid to admit) have a bubble anemone (3 years old) with clowns, Regal tang, Pseudochromis, Sailfin blenny, Ricordea, mushrooms, frogspawn, gorgonian, Zoanthids, dish coral, and star polyps. and Acropora. <<Mmm, indeed...I wish you continued good luck>> The hard corals are at one end and soft at another and it has worked out well so far.  Can you suggest any problem with xenia.  This is actually my third try. <<Ideally, separate the xenia system from the mixed garden reef system...else employ/add more chemical filtration to mitigate the effects of the chemical aggression.  And read here, among the associated links to get more info re others experience/opinions with this organism: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs2.htm And maybe do a Google search on our site re 'chemical aggression' and 'allelopathy.'  Regards, EricR>>

Who Done It? Xeniid death...   1/19/07 Recently I purchased my first coral ( xenia ) and my big rock that they came on is a coral wasteland now. They never opened all the way either... in fact the guy said if I had problems with them he would replace them on Saturday with a new one( so I'm not worried about replacing them.) <...> although I would like to know who knocked them off the rock and to the ground and ate the leaves of them. Here are the only candidates. Porcupine puffer ( generally unless its REALLY food and being put in with a net which he follows back and forth like a little puppy he doesn't pay attention to it what so ever.  Also while on the ground he doesn't mess with them he only likes living food ) <A definite possibility> Dwarf puffers ( they eat anything but haven't taken much notice to the coral ) <Can do so> Unidentified fish..... I have 2 that were gifted to me I'm told they are blue velvet damsels but they are the size of the average 5 month old Oscar and I haven't seen damsels get to <too> large. They change color from a white to navy blue. They bite at the coral corpses on the ground  Hope that helps <Not likely candidates> The anemones have taken hold elsewhere in the tank and haven't moved so they are in the clear. <Mmm, no... can/do affect other life, particularly Cnidarians, distally... chemically> Clowns liked to play with them as if they were anemones but never eat them that I noticed. Green Chromis... they are cute and harmless  ( I think ) never do anything wrong A devil damsel...... generally sticks to himself never really interacts with the tank Coral banded shrimp hasn't to my knowledge crossed the tank from his usual cave to do anything he usually sits waiting for food in his cave. On the lower left while the coral is in the upper right. <Stenopids are opportunistic feeders... could be at fault here> The scallop and snails I don't see doing anything <Some snails...> I just want to know since I am getting another one on Saturday which I should relocate to my sons tank as it could use a few more fish anyway. Just about anything in the tank is expendable to the other tank anyway cept the porcupine puffer the wife loves him... so I can't touch him but the rest I can deal with. <Likely one of the Puffers... but could be none of the above... Environmental lacking... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/xeniiddisfaqs.htm and the linked files above... And re the Systems, Compatibility of this mish-mash aggregation... each species. Bob Fenner>

Dead Xenia   1/3/07 I am new to this site and have read much of your excellent info. <Welcome!  Glad you found us!  Mich with you today.>   I'm hoping someone can help me out with a minor disaster currently happening in my tank.   <Minor disaster...jumbo shrimp...oxymoron?> I have had a pulsing Xenia for about 1 month that was doing very well.   <OK.> Overnight, it crashed and never recovered (PH was good during the day, did not test after extended darkness though)  As soon as the Xenia started to go south, both of my shrimp (cleaner and peppermint) died.   <Likely something else caused the death of all three.> My fish all seem fine, water levels are fine, and polyps are fine.   <These organisms may be more tolerant to whatever took out the Xenia and the shrimp.> I have a 100 gallon with 330 watts of light.  Could the Xenia have emitted something toxic that affected the shrimp?   <Again, unlikely.  Xenia is a good bioassay organism in that it will warn you of a problem by promptly dying, sort of like a canary in a coal mine.>   Any help would be greatly appreciated as I'd really like to have Xenia again. <Sounds like a potential contamination event.  Source could have been internal or external to the system.  Is there anything missing from your system other than the Xenia and the shrimp?  Did anyone in the household "help out" by wiping the walls of the tank down with a cleaner such as Windex?  I would review your recent activities around the tank... this may help identify the source of the problem.  I think you should be able to keep Xenia at some point in the future, but I would not add Xenia for a while.>   minus the melting. <Yes, not pretty, ...and even worse smelling!> Thanks! <Welcome and good luck!  -Mich>

Xenia Rebound?    11/4/06 Hello: <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I need some advice. I have a 12 gallon Nano tank 1 fish some  hard & soft corals. I got out of my routine and water parameters dropped  (salt, PH Calcium). <Yikes! I guess that serves as a good example for everyone about the high degree of diligence required when caring for "Nano" reefs.> Through water changes I am getting everything back to where  it should be. I lost a couple of hard corals. My Xenia is withering...does  anybody know if it will bounce back? <In my experience, Xenia has proven to be remarkably resilient. If it was thriving before, and if you can duplicate the conditions which it was thriving under, you can often expect it to bounce back with renewed vigor. I would keep doing what you're doing, be patient, and hope or the best! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Carpet Cleaned, Xenia Sick 9/13/06 Hello, Crew. <Hi> I am now seven months into my new saltwater tank in my office.  Three weeks ago they came and cleaned the carpets.  I came in on Sunday to check on things and the smell of carpet cleaning solution was strong. <Did this for a short while, chemicals used in commercial setting is pretty nasty stuff.> I opened all the windows and did a 10% water change and changed the carbon. <Good>  Things looked fine for awhile, but now my xenia and Montipora are dying and the first hint of nitrates (5) have appeared since finishing cycling. <Xenia tends to be very sensitive to these types of things, and probably so die-off on the LR fueling the nitrate increase.>   The pH previously cycled between 8.0 and 8.2 daily, now rarely gets above 8.0 (low 7.8 early AM).  I have added Seachem Buffer twice, but the pH drifts back down in a few days. <Something wrong chemically for sure.> I have replaced the carbon twice and done multiple 10% water changes. <Good> Today I removed the Chemipure filter media in case it was leaching toxins back into the tank. <Good idea.>  All other inhabitants look fine (Sinularia, mushrooms, yellow colony polyps, Lobophyllia,  rose anemone, Galaxea, Tridacna crocea, cleaner shrimp, one yellow tang, one damsel, one maroon clown, seven blue-green Chromis and multiple various snails). The tank is a 65 gal with 94# live rock and DSB.  Two 150W MH 14K lights.  17gal LifeReef sump and skimmer.  Temp 78-80, SG 1.024, Ca++ 340ppm, Alk 3.6meq/L, no phosphates, ammonia, nitrite. Do you think the fumes are the culprit? <Most likely.> Do I need to replace the DSB as a possible source of continued pollution? <No> Do I remove the Montipora (color fading, but no obvious necrosis)? <Would give it time, see if it comes back.>  Any other suggestions or just wait it out.   Thanks   Hugh <Keep up the water changes and carbon replacement.  Also try some PolyFilters, very good at removing chemical contaminates.> <Chris>

-Xenia in trouble?-  - 09/03/06 Bob and wonderful staff, <Todd, you have Justin tonight.> Update on my BTA getting caught in the powerhead:  It's been just over a week since I learned the hard way about NOT covering powerhead intakes with a BTA in the tank.  Well, powerheads are covered and the BTA appears to be doing well.  Thanks for all you help. <Good to hear, they can get themselves into very interesting situations cant they.  Glad yours is doing better.> Now with the another hard lesson learned by a new reef daddy.. DO NOT ADD AMQUEL+ to your tank!  I was starting to get a Cyanobacteria bloom due to increase in my Nitrate readings (0 - 10ppm to 10 - 20ppm).  So what did I do?  Added some Amquel+ to lower the Nitrate level to (in theory) kill off my Cyanobacteria problem.  Instead, my pulsing xenia within minutes beginning to look like something out of Tim Burton's Nightmare Before Christmas.  I immediately did a 20% water change and plan on doing another one today (the day after).  Is there any chance the xenia will pull through? All the other corals look good. <Tis possible, keep up the water changes and try not to move or overly stress the xenia.  Have a lot of current blowing near the coral, but not directly on.  Xenia is generally incredibly hardy if it "takes" to a tank, and can be considered a weed at times, so yours should bounce back.  Don't ever use any product to remove nitrate or ammonia in an established tank,  why waste money and risk tank health when a bag of salt and a water change will fix it all right up.> Thanks, Todd <Justin>

About Xenia... dis., comp.   8/23/06 I having problems to keep any species of xenia in my reef tank. I would like someone advanced aquarists to help me solve the problem.   I tried to keep a lots of different species xenia but no one can success. Water quality? <Possibly> Lighting? <Not likely> Water movement? <Could be> Nutrients? PH? I do everything but did not see the result. Still cannot keep xenia in my reef tank.   My tank size:   36"x18"x18" with 15gallons sump with feather Caulerpa filter with 24hrs daylight lighting. with Plenum and 4" 2mm sand bed. 20kg live rock in main tank.      equipments:   1 (Eheim) return pump 3396l/hr   2 (Seio) water movement pumps 2400/hr   1 (Aquanic) water movement pump 1500/hr   1 (AquaMedic) Skimmer with pump 2500L/hr   1 280watts chiller      This is my tank water parameter:   PH         - 8.3   Ammonia - 0mg/L   Nitrite      - 0mg/L   Total Nitrate - 20mg/L <A bit high... would keep no more than half this>   Phosphate  - 0mg/L   dKH         - 11-12dKH   salinity     - 1.0235 <Better near 1.025>   Temperature - 26.5C   Calcium       - 450mg/L   Magnesium  - 1300mg/L      * I use SeaChem Reef Plus twice a week to maintain the iodine and trace element, and Kalkwasser to makeup water.    <Might be something in how you're administering these last two>   Lighting:   1 14k T5   1 Actinic T5   1 12k  fluorescent (sera)   2 actinic fluorescents (Acadia)      Fishes:   1 yellow tang   1 blue hippo tang   2 clown fish   3 green Chromis   1 Sixline wrasse   1 flasher wrasse      others:   2 cleaner shrimps   1 blue legged hermit crab      corals:   LPSs: 1 open brain, 1 green galaxy.   soft coral : yellow polyps, different species buttons and different types of mushrooms.    <Very likely allelopathy with these other cnidarians>   Problem:   - every time I added new xenia into my tank the xenia not open sometime will melted within 2days.   - sometime the xenia looks unhappy and dry look then slowly die off.   -then I tried to buy the established xenia from the LFS. the polyps open very nice in the LFS established reef tank with only actinic light. <Don't need actinic...> When I put it in my tank 1st day still open but not like at the LFS. 2nd day the polyps open bigger then 1st day. 3rd and 4th day looks good polyps open nicely, but till 5th day it looks unhappy the polyps looks dry again.....:( is no reason every things is ok but only xenia. I really loves this coral but very hard to keep :( why? why? why?   - others coral in my tank doing very well and spreading very fast like button. Maybe I got no luck with xenia :(      Steve xxxxx <Mmm... I would try adding whatever Xeniid to a separate "go-between" tank, with only partial water from your system, the rest all new... adding some more tank water weekly... Please read on WWM re Pulsing Corals: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm and the linked files above, as well as searching, reading re the terms mentioned above. Bob Fenner>
Re: About Xenia... dis., comp., using WWM   8/24/06
Dear FAQ Crew,    <Steve>   Thanks for your advice.   Having some more questions.:      1. You said my NO3 level 20mg/L a bit high. Have to reduce it more then half of this. <Yes>   Current tank system is using 5 ways to reduce the NO3 level. 1. Protein skimmer (AquaMedic Turboflotor), 2. Caulerpa refugium (24hrs lighting), 3. Plenum system at the main tank, 4. ALGONE pouch, and 5. 10% water change every week. Last time my tank NO3 level was more then 100mg/L, now reduced to 20mg/L only. And I using so many way that still can maintain at 20mg/L only, so how to reduce more then half of this?    <Mmm... add a DSB, other macro-algae... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm and the linked files above>   2. You ask me to increase the Spg to 1.025. Is that will shock the live stock? <No... do gradually... with water changes> Is that have to increase a bit by a bit between few days? My LFS told me Spg too high the fish will infected saltwater Ich, is that true? <To some extent, yes> My clown fishes sometime got white spots, the day after they will gone by itself. Few days later the white spots will come back and infected my clown fishes again. If I increase the Spg, the white spots can be come more serious?    <See WWM re Cryptocaryon... you seem to have a latent infestation... best to deal with this...>   3. You said must be something I administering Kalkwasser and SeaChem reef plus to course failed my Xeniid. <?... possibly an influence, yes> This is the method to I administering this two. I tested my tap water is no nitrate so I did not use RO water. I add dechlorinator to tap water and mixed with Kalkwasser powder let it settle for few hrs. Extract the clear layer of Kalkwasser and drip it to my tank at night. I apply the SeaChem reef plus twice a week. <To? I would introduce this only through water changes> when reef plus added to the tank, I'll disconnected the protein skimmer for 1 hr. I using reef plus to maintain the iodine and trace elements for Xeniid as GARF website.   Is the method have any problem?    <Yes, possibly>   4. If the calcium level of my tank is not a problem 450mg/L and the dKH also in the right level 11-12dKH, how can I increase the ph level up to 8.4 an above? <... there are a few ways... posted on WWM> Can I using Kalkwasser to push the ph up? <I would not> coz last time I using buffer, problem is buffer will push the dKH up as well till the dKH level up to 17dKH. <Bingo... time to send you again... back to reading... on WWM re Kalk, Alkalinity, pH...>   5. About Xeniid. At night is the Xeniid polyps will close and not expand? Is that normal?      Thanks again      Steve XXXXXX <Please, learn to, use WWM, the indices, search tool... Bob Fenner>

Xenia disappearance   8/11/06 Hi Crew, <Tom> Overnight, it looks like one of the main stems of my month-old Xenia disappeared, leaving only an attachment stub (that still has two very small new "sprouts" showing).  Although I see no obvious signs of a struggle, I suspect foul play. <Could be...> Other tank residents include 2 Gobies, 3 Peppermint Shrimp (who did a remarkable job eating my Aiptasia, over the 5 weeks I've had them in there), one Fire shrimp, 3 (supposedly) algae eating Hermit crabs, and one unidentified hitchhiker crab, dime-sized or smaller. <... could be any of the crustaceans... or...> For what it's worth, the tank has also had a Sarcophyton for 9 months, and it has never had any problems. Thanks for your thoughts, Tom <And there are situations in which pulsing soft corals do "just fail"... sometimes quite rapidly. Please read on WWM re the propensity (Compatibility) for each of the crustaceans listed to get along, and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm and the linked files above for insight into captive Xeniid Behavior, Systems... Bob Fenner>
Re: Xenia disappearance   8/14/06
Thanks, Bob. <Welcome Tom> I removed all the Peppermint Shrimp, and two hermit crabs (one is unaccounted for, but I have not seen it since I removed the others).  I did notice one of these hermits munching on the stub of the Xenia that first disappeared, but he could have been just cleaning up. <Ah yes> As of today,  I see that I have lost at least one more Xenia stalk, and maybe two.  What seems odd is that the remaining stalks look just fine and very happy, while those that disappear do so almost completely, and at night. <Mmm... good to take a look/see with a small-beamed flashlight... perhaps a predator will be revealed...> There still may be a hitchhiker crab in there, and my next step will be to try to trap him. <Good> Is there any chance the Fire shrimp is the culprit? <Very small, but yes> Do you still think there is a significant probability that these stalks are "melting away" overnight? <Not likely... would all go... and during the day as well as night> In case it matters, the tank is a 30 gallon,  live rock, 192 watts (50/50 actinic/10000K), skimmer, 3 powerheads, bio-wheel filter, set-up for about a year. Do you think I should move this Xenia to a different tank (it's still easy, because it's only attached to the plug it came on)? <Is the easiest, surest thing to do to preserve it... is what I would do> (I'm down to two little stalks left). Thanks again, Tom <Bob Fenner>
Re: Xenia disappearance  - 08/15/06
Thanks, again, Bob. <Welcome Tom> It's 12:30 PM here, and I just came into the darkened room to look at the Xenia.  My light fixture has lunar lights, which were bright enough to just make out the shape of my hitchhiker crab right there, apparently working on the Xenia. <Ah ha!> I decided to grab him and pull him out.  I succeeded, but he took with him the rest of the Xenia stalk he'd been working on. <Arggghhh, the irony!> So now I'm down to one Xenia stalk, but presumably no predators in the tank. Thanks for what proved to be good advice! Tom <Mmm, hopefully your one Xeniid stalk will grow into many> P.S. I wonder why he had no interest in the Sarcophyton. <"Not as tasty"> P.P.S.  I wonder if all the hermits and Peppermint Shrimp can be deemed safe.  I suppose I should give the Xenia time to grow before I experiment. <Good idea. Cheers, BobF>

Xenia On The Decline?  - 06/20/2006 Hey. <Hiya! Scott F. here today!> I have been having problems with my xenias slowly dying off and not growing much lately.  They grew like weeds in my tank for about 2 years and within the last 2 months or so they have not been doing very well.  The only major change I made recently was adding metal halide lighting to my tank (yes I acclimated the corals to the lights slowly)  and I added several new corals (Fungia plate, Frogspawn, Open Brain, Zoanthids) a few months ago. <Could be a bout of allelopathy ("chemical warfare") going on, particularly from the Frogspawn- a very aggressive coral> After doing a little reading on WWM I've decided to try a Polyfilter to see if there something in the water effecting them.   <An excellent chemical filtration media, which can help in removing some of these noxious compounds.> I did a search on PolyFilters on Google and found that there are many Kinds and they vary greatly in price. <I think that you might be mistaken. Polyfilter is a patented, trademarked product manufactured by Poly Bio Marine. There is only one "formula", as far as I know. The pads are available in different sizes and shapes, however. Perhaps you were looking at "polyester filter media"?> I was wondering if you could tell me what type/brand you can recommend and maybe an internet site where I can purchase one. <Again, there is only one Polyfilter. It's available at most e-tailers.> I was also wondering what type of chemicals/water quality issues xenias are more susceptible to than other corals.  All my other corals (Zoo's, Mushrooms, Colt Coral, Frogspawn, Fungia, Gorgonia, Green Star Polyps, Open Brain) are doing well.  Thank you Jon <Well, John, there are a lot of theories about why Xenia does well for some hobbyists and not others. Theories ranging from pH to toxic metals in the water, lack of iodine, as well as water that is "too clean" (I never bought that one, myself) abound. These corals can be susceptible to the chemicals released by competitive corals (i.e.; terpenes, etc.). Be sure to provide adequate space between your corals, lots of good water flow, regular water changes with quality source water, and use of the aforementioned chemical filtration media (like Polyfilter!). The answer is out there, and I think that allelopathy may be playing a role in the apparent demise of your Xenia. Do some careful observing and a little research, and I'll bet that you'll find your answer! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Xenia and Yellow Polyps...Health  5/16/06 Bob: <James with you today.> I'm a new salt water/reef enthusiast.    I only started three months ago with two tanks... a 20 gallon and a 55 gallon.    I have CoralLife Compact Florescence with dual tubes @ 65 watts (Dual Day Light 6700K/10000K and dual Actinic 420nm/460 nm).    I have moderate to heavy water flow.    I keep pH higher than 8.0, Specific Gravity around 1.025, temperature at 78 F, keep my Copper below 0.25 ppm (one tank is zero, one tank has trace from when I introduced a Blue Tang that had copper medication on it), Ammonia = Zero, Nitrites = Zero and Nitrates > 40 ppm.    I provide Iodine, calcium, vitamins and adjust pH with Carbonates. I have had great success with fish, crabs, shrimp and some invertebrates (urchins).     I introduced a yellow polyp about three weeks ago and it was doing well until this week when it did not seem to open anymore.   I feed them twice a week by squirting with a medicine dropper with commercial phytoplankton.     Since they stopped opening, I squirt them once or twice a day.      They seem to have lost some individual polyps, but they seem to be retracting rather than growing.      They are also darker in color....when I got them they were light yellow, now, they are brownish yellow.    Is this the end for them? Last Sunday, I purchased a Xenia from a local store that is 45 miles away. I have read that Xenias do not do well in transit so I elected to get it from this store.    They do not have guarantees so I picked up one (they said that the coral was mounted only two weeks ago).       They packed them in a double bag but were not very careful about not "crushing" the coral.    When we got home, the coral was "under the rock".    I acclimated it overnight (in the dark).     This morning, the Xenia looks contracted and no movement whatsoever.    There were pieces of it on the surrounding rock (like white spots and some small tissues).       Can you provide some insights as to what is going on.    My understanding is that Xenias do not need to be fed, that they are totally photosynthetic. I appreciate anything you can help me with. <First question before we go any further.  Is the coral in the tank you are getting a copper reading from?  If so, I believe that is your problem. James (Salty Dog)> Noli

Xenia just vanishes overnight... Cnid. allelopathy  - 5/8/2006 I have been reading your forums for months and have really learned a lot from them!  One thing I can't seem to find is how Xenia can literally disappear in a matter of hours. <Mmm, can/does happen... not much to "pulsing corals" physically... seem to be able to "phagocytose" rapidly under dire consequences, influences> I have a 75 gallon tank with live rock and live sand. There are some hard corals like the pagoda cup, frogspawn, Alveopora and hammer. Also we have mushrooms, Sinularia, Kenya tree, yellow star polyps, green star polyps, Zoanthids and a large pipe organ. <Uh... this mix will "do it"> All of the corals are flourishing and the polyps and Zoanthids are spreading. All water readings are ideal and temperature is maintained between 79-80 degrees. Water changes done weekly. 0 phosphates. 0 nitrates and no ammonia. I add calcium daily as per instructions and Iodine weekly. Strontium as recommended. Essential elements every two weeks. PH stays consistent at 8.2. I check night time readings also. Now my dilemma. Every time I add Xenia to the tank it does fantastic for the first couple weeks pulsing away. Then it just seems to vanish by stalk overnight. There are no signs of anything getting to it and no debris or melting taking place. <Not uncommon given the circumstances of so much disparate Cnidarian life...> Water flow is good not too strong and the Xenia seems fine with it. I also have 6 fish in the tank. Two clowns, coral beauty, yellow tang, blue hippo tang and a blue damsel. We will relocate the blue hippo tang when he gets bigger. He is just a baby now. Reading the forums I can't seem to find how a Xenia would just vanish within a few hours overnight when all readings are good and does not seem to be any culprits in the tank that are damaging it?  These are fairly large stalks that are attached that vanish without any debris being left in the tank in the morning. Would appreciate any help you can give me. <Mmm, please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above... It may well be that the Xeniid colonies you're getting are impugned to begin with... placing them in with established "polyps", Zoanthids... is likely too much for them to compete chemically... You might have better success quarantining, gradually exposing such to your system through gradual water changes from this garden-mixed system... Bob Fenner>

Xenia Troubles  - 5/5/2006 Good day to all, <To you as well, Adam J with you tonight my friend.> Thank you for taking the time to help so many of us with your experiences. <Tis quite fun for me, you are welcome.> I have two questions that I hope you can offer your input on. <Will do my best.> Six days ago I was given a few fragments of Xenia from an established tank. <Okay'¦>   When I placed them in my QT they were looking great and pulsing well.  The following morning I attached them to some live rock fragments (superglue on the coralline they were attached to) turned the lights on and left for the day.  They may have been shocked by the lights: as on my return the tips were slightly white and they looked "insulted".   <That or possibly your acclimation procedure? Xeniids are quite sensitive to swift changes.> I moved them to a lower light position but they appear to be degrading each day and have not shown any desire to re-inflate and now have a brown slime cover.  The mother colony was very nice and it is a shame to loose these, but this is my first time with Xenia and to me they look too far gone.  Do you have an opinion? > your pic, it does appear this specimen has passed the point of no return I'm afraid.> QT data 96w PC on a 29gallon <Good.> ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 8 <All acceptable.> Alk 10 dKH ph 8.1 - 8.2 <A little low for Xeniids'¦.If I recall correctly I believe Mr. Calfo recommended keeping these at around 8.4-ish.> ca 380ppm temp 77 - 77.5 flow is moderate My second question is also for an opinion, there are many differing positions on DSBs. <Really two only'¦..but I know what you mean.>   I am going for nitrate reduction and the growth of critters in the substrate for supplementary food supply.  My plan is to place 5 inches (320lbs) of sugar fine oolitic in the 0.2 to 1.2 mm range in the display and refugium. <Sounds good.>   Some of the FAQs on the site state that less than 1mm grain size is too small and a blend from .5 to 2.5 mm is superior at 5 to 6 inches.   <Really? I tend to recommend and prefer fine sand as coarse sand seems to become a detritus trap.> I do have an option of placing sugar fine in the refugium and the larger substrate in the main tank, but the refugium floor is only 180 square inches and I am not sure I would see a NNR benefit with this small area.  Do you have an opinion on this as well? <I think you are okay at your present position.> Thank you for considering my questions, please have a great day. <You Robert
<Adam J.>

Xenia in trouble  - 02/25/06 Hi crew, I would like to thank you all for the great website and taking the time to answer my question. Last week I acquired a tank raised xenia from a friend. It took a good temperature shock (8 degrees) in transport but I drip acclimated and it did great for about two days (it even showed growth). After that a power outage caused it to shrink up. I also lost 4 degrees temp during the power loss. It is several days after the outage and it looks terrible. <I'll bet... Xeniids don't "like" being moved, rapid/large temp. changes...> The tank that it came from had very similar conditions to mine. The tank parameters are pH 8.1, Alk 5.0mg/l, nitrite 0, nitrate 0, calcium 375 ppm, and temp 78. I have the following equipment 30 gallons including prop tank, 80 watts pc lights, 200 watt heater, Bak Pak skimmer, Mag drive 5, and 30 pounds of live rock. Everything else is doing great. When the problems started I did a 5g water change two days in a row that had little affect. The only things I can think of are low iodine (my shrimp molts frequently) or I did add 2.5 ml and .5 ml of AmQuel an hour before each water change which made it worse. I add 9ml of C-Balance everyday. I am at a loss please help. ~Paul P.S. I hope the pictures help. <Mmm, likely just time going by, recovery is all that can be done/hoped for here. I take it you've reviewed the archived sections on Xeniids on WWM. Bob Fenner>

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