Ask the WWM Crew
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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
Â± 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
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:
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
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
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
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>