Please visit our Sponsors

FAQs about Xeniid Disease/Health/Pests 1

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

Melting Xeniids & Flatworms Galore Hi there WWM Crew. <Hey, Mike G with you tonight> Have been enjoying your site and links but have run into a couple of problems. To begin, let me give you the stats on the tank: <I personally thank you for giving me the stats on your tank. Out of many, many emails I have answered today, you are the first to provide such information. :-) > SG 1.025 <Fine> pH 8.0 in the morning (before lights come on) and 8.2 5 hours after lights on.. <You might want to find a way to remedy this. That is a large pH swing, and would cause undue stress to your pets.> NO2 (0) <Perfect> NO3 (20)  <Okay, but it could be a bit lower> NH3 (0)  <Perfect> Tank is set up with l MH l4000K and 2 65W 03 actinic along with a Bak Pak 2R protein skimmer that's skimming l/2 C of green stuff a day. Tank temp. fluctuates between 77.5 to 80F degrees lately. Water change weekly 15 gals. Sometimes time doesn't permit, and water gets changed every 2 weeks. <Sounds fine. I am left wondering how large your tank is, though.> Problem l: For some reason, my pulsing xenias are dying (melting) and I can't figure out why. Have had these Xenias now for almost 2 years pulsing and dividing away and now...  What's going on here? <This is a common problem with Xeniid corals, they seem to "melt" when in unfavorable conditions or after drastic changes in water parameters. Take a gander at the following link, namely the topic "Xenia Health" about 3/4 down the page. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidfaqs3.htm  > Problem 2: My frog spawn frag (originally only 2 heads - now 6 heads) has been invaded with oval shaped pumpkin colored flatworms - have no idea where they came from as I do quarantine any and all going into the main tank. I've  read that they come and go But, now they've migrated to my pagoda coral and I really don't want it to take over the whole tank (60 gal)!  <Ah, there we go, 60 gallons. Flatworms have a habit of overrunning marine aquaria.> On my next water change or sooner, can I do a fresh water dip or Lugol's iodine dip on these two corals without harming them and hopefully getting rid of the flatworms?  <That is exactly what I would have recommended you do.> Thank you for your help/advice. <Best of luck, Mike G>

Stressed Xenia? Check for low pH and ALK 1/21/05 Mr. Fenner, <Anthony Calfo in his stead> I have a problem here. I have 2 stalks of pulsing xenia, and as of yesterday they both have flopped there pulsing stalks over and are limp. they are getting a greenish brown color to the hands, and it seems like the hands seem to be bubbling up.  Is this normal? <It's hard to say without a picture... just speculating. Do check your pH (needs to be 8.3 minimum) and Alk (towards 12 dKH for Xeniids> It almost looks like the one stalk is ready to split again. I can see the stalk separating. what could be wrong? <if not pH or ALK, perhaps lack of water flow> placed as: middle of rockwork moderate - high flow lights 2x96w PC on a 46gallon parameters: ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 20 alk 1.9 meq/l ph 8.0 - 8.2 ca 500ppm temp 77 - 78.5 Please help, is my xenia dying? <Yikes! your pH is flat and your ALK likely low too because your Calcium is getting dangerously high (risk of precipitation soon... perhaps crash). Please ease up here mate. Do a large water change to dilute all and then resume with more balanced dosing (as with two part liquid supplements like ESV brand). What's worse is that this pH reading is likely a daytime reading and the level plunges much lower at night - double yikes! At least for Xenia, under 8.0 is scary. Aim for 8.3 by night and slightly higher by day. Kalkwasser dosing can help this. Anthony>
Floppy Xenia 1/22/05
Thank you, Mr. Calfo. <You are welcome my friend> I have had the xenias for 2-3 months now. and my pH has always been that low. <Yikes! please do correct this for long term success with this reef tank. Really try to avoid it ever dipping below 8.3 day or night> Should it take the xenias that long to get ticked off at a low pH? <Yes, easily... these are hardy corals, and simply suffer over time... hanging in there> And yes I am working in this situation as soon as I get ESV B-ionic, I am waiting on it to show up.  Hopefully Monday. <Excellent to hear! But know that it and no such products will magically correct an imbalance. They are mixed in balance and will carry you if the tank is in balance. You r best bet here is to do at least one large water change to bring your parameters back to even keel... then start to use the balanced 2-part mix. Also know that it is VERY important to shake and mix these bottles well before every use to insure balanced dosing (settling of densities occurs in some brands/bottles> actually my dKH has gone up a little from the original reading of .66 (Salifert) which is 1.9 meq/l to .63 which is a little over 2.0 meq/l why is my ca so high <Yikes! yes... the see-saw effect. Ca is way too high, and ALK is way too low here> I don't dose ca at all, but if I understand this correctly, Ca/dKH/pH are all related in the fact when your dKH/pH rise your ca will lower correct? <There is a loose inverse relationship that occurs in practical applications> So once I start with the ESV it should bring my ca down to 400ish.  And if it goes below then I will have to dose ca? <Nope... ESV is a fine product, but cannot "fill in" if and when needed. It simply is a balanced product. If you start with balance, you will carry on with balance. And vice versa :( Some big water changes are needed here my friend. With a normal brand of salt - Instant Ocean is very fine... do not use enriched brands in this case like Oceanic (scary high CA, low ALK) or Reef Crystals> 

Sick Xenia... Pathogen transmitted? 11/26/03 Hi: <cheers> I have (had?) many nice colonies of xenia that have been thriving for more than 10 months now and have threatened to take over the tank. At any rate, two days ago , I noticed yellowish lesions/scabs on many of them and they are beginning to wilt and dye. Attached are pictures. Do you know what it is and how to cure it? <it appears to be a pathogenic infection. I have had much personal experience with culturing Xeniids (had over 3K colonies in my coral propagation greenhouse for more than a few years which paid the bills... led me in part to write the Book of Coral Propagation, etc). Frankly... this has the "look" of an infection shared from another coral you recently brought into the tank without quarantine (Ack... say it ain't so! <G>). It could have been something so literal as the purchase of a Euphylliid (Hammer, Torch, Octopus, etc), Clove polyp, etc that didn't acclimate well and simply petered out... but not before sharing this bug. Or... it could have come from the introduction of anything recent without QT that is still healthy and simply served as a carrier. Please (!) do yourself a favor and read, understand and employ proper quarantine protocol for all livestock (plants, algae, fishes, corals, snails... everything). If not for the lives depending on you... then for the sheer value/investment in your tank> The tank is a 225 g with two refugiums (~40 g each) and deep sand beds in all three (~5 inches). An AquaC EV240 skimmer that is cleaned daily, 3- 250W 10K metal halides w/supplemental Actinic 03 PC. Water testing shows pH 8.3, no NO3, no PO4, CA 420 mg/L, Alk 4 meq/L., Iodine is averages 0.4-0.6 g/L, SG 1.025. I perform a 50 gal water change every 2 weeks. <all good indeed> The temp is about 78 winter, 82 summer. I probably need a chiller but haven't invested in one yet. <yikes! that is one heck of a swing... but forgivable if the trend is slow as I believe it is> Any advice is much appreciated. Thanks, Wes Combs <frankly... there is not much to be done presently. Daily iodine doses instead of larger less often doses may have a stimulating effect. The addition of ozone may be good too. But neither are likely to effect an immediate cure. You may lose some or all very quickly. Xeniids suffer infections poorly. Do examine your QT habits or lack thereof. Best regards, Anthony>

Xenia Question 11/22/03 I BOUGHT A NICE LITTLE TANK PROPPED XENIA PIECE FOR MY 90 GAL REEF/FISH TANK. <a brief mention here, Joe... please be sure to release the caps lock when typing e-mail correspondence (or any) as it is hard to read. A courtesy> IT WAS DOING OK FOR A FEW DAYS WHEN I CAME HOME FROM WORK AND THE ROCK  IT WAS ON WAS KNOCKED OVER AND IT WAS A LITTLE TATTERED. IT HAS BEEN A LITTLE MORE TATTERED EACH DAY. <indeed... they are volatile, easy to grow and easy to lose to injury just the same> I ALSO HAVE A PIECE OF HALIMEDA IN THE TANK THAT IS SUPPOSED TO BE UNFRIENDLY TO FISH. <not really... just distasteful for its high calcium content and other minor noxious properties> I BELIEVE THE CULPRIT IS THE KOLE TANG. <they are great nibblers indeed> I ALSO HAVE A HIPPO TANG, CINNAMON CLOWN, ROYAL GRAMMA, AND SCOOTER BLENNY. 6 RED LEG HERMITS, 2 SKUNK SHRIMP, 5 PEPPERMINT SHRIMP AND NUMEROUS SNAILS. <keep an eye on the hermits and especially the peppermint shrimp over time. They are not truly reef safe and often nibble corals or clams> I HAVEN'T ACTUALLY SEEN ANYONE BOTHER THE UNHAPPY XENIA BUT I DON'T THINK THE MISSING HANDS AND TATTERED LOOK ARE BECAUSE OF ANYTHING OTHER THAN AN OUTSIDE PEST. I ALSO HAVE A NICE  PIECE OF ROCK ENCRUSTED WITH POLYP CORAL THAT NO ONE IN THE TANK BOTHERS. WHAT DO YOU THINK?? <hard to say without any pic or specific description of injuries other than "tattered". Hard to say if it is pest or pathogen> Joe Culler, <Give it some time... and if you have a refugium on the tank, perhaps remove the coral to their for quit healing of the Xenia. Best of luck, Anthony>

Save the Xenia? - 8/28/03 Hello, I've been having a problem with my xenia.  When I first received it, the original xenia  colony grew and spread rapidly throughout the tank (and was pulsing). However, over the last month, the xenia has slowly stopped pulsing, no longer extends, and even the small brown polyps at the ends of the stalks look like they are deteriorating. <predation or water quality likely> The main xenia stalks have completely shrunken and now all that's left are the individual stalks. The strange part is that everything else in the tank seems to be doing quite well (leather, gorgonian, many mushrooms and polyps) <actually... the four Cnidarian groups you just mentioned easily make the top 20 list of most aggressive corals regarding noxious exudations. Your Xenia may very well be suffering from their aggression if your water change schedule and or chemical filtration has been light. Weekly water changes and small weekly/monthly changes of carbon are ideal> and  I've gotten coralline algae growing on the live rock and back of tank. <not a fair comparison... these are all completely unrelated organisms with different tolerances> I realize xenia require phytoplankton/light/iodine - I've recently started adding DT's (the problem started at least 1 month before this, though), Seachem reef iodide, there are 2 x 96 W power compacts (6500 and actinic O3).   <you are mistaken my friend... Xenia cannot even eat phytoplankton. They do not have fully formed digestive systems to eat organismal prey. In fact, they are one of the closest corals to being autotrophic as it gets... getting all they need from light and feeding by absorption> SG is 1.021-1.022.   <hmmm... the salinity is a little low. For coral keeping, please do stay at full strength seawater 1.024-1.026. A dilution in turn dilutes coral sustenance> Recently I've seen a white powder that doesn't dissolve when I make up new water w/ instant ocean (didn't see this a few months ago when the bag of salt was opened).  I also was trying to raise Ca2+ last month w/ Kalk and Seachem  calcium-gluconate, and also have used B-ionic.  I've also been doing 5 g water changes (30g tank) every 2-3 wks. Any suggestions for saving the xenia? <if the problem is not predation (tiny worms, snails etc).. then look at your pH and ALK. Xenia are very strict about high pH. Daytime readings should be *.4 or higher... and watch that night/morning readings do not dip below 8.3 (they will often stop pulsing like clockwork). Alk should be in the range of 8-12 dKH (preferably towards the higher end. Ca will be fine at a modest 350-400 ppm> Thanks for any advice. Ben <please take the time to read through our archives on this subject. Go to the main page www.wetwebmedia.com and type in Xenia into the Google search tool for our site at the bottom of the page. Best regards, Anthony>

Pulse coral not pulsing ? Hi, I wonder if you could give me advice about my pulse coral. <Xenia?> I've just come from holiday and have noticed that my pulse coral have changed to a darker colour and doesn't pulse any more. <Probably related to some water quality issue; pH, RedOx, or temperature are my best guesses.> Please could you advise what the problem is and what to do for it to get better. <Check your water. More than likely some aspect of your water quality has drifted out of whack while you were gone.> David worried! <No need to be worried. Merely identify the problem and correct. -Steven Pro>

Re: Xenia - Help! Anthony, or equivalent Marine Jedi... (Previous correspondence attached) <I do remember the other email.> My Xenia appear to be melting, the condition has been getting worse over the last few days, one has collapsed to a shriveled mass and the other has just compacted further. I am concerned that they are on their way to the big sea in the sky. <I agree.> What should I do? <There is nothing much you can do now. I was frankly surprised you were able to keep Xenia (or any other photosynthetic animal) alive under your previous conditions (180 gallon tank with 80 watts of NO lighting). And I am a fan of NO lighting. I use it myself, but I use 160 watts on a 55 and I am hampered/restricted to what I can keep. You have now abruptly upgraded to 320 watts of VHO and fried your animals. Nothing left to do now, but cross your fingers.> Regards, Mike <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Xenia Health Hello, I have had xenia flourishing in my tank for over six months and have shared many frags with others.  <very good to hear...especially the sharing part <G>> Three days ago, I noticed that several of the stalks have what appears to be some sort of injury...looks like some sort of wound with this crusty yellowish stuff. <Hmmm.... caution here. Can be rapidly infectious> The affected stalks appear to be dying and several more stalks look to be in peril each day. I have seen xenia crash or "melt down" in other tanks (as it seems to be famous for) but this is very different. I have tried to see if any of the tank mates are bothering the xenia but I don't see any. Everything else in the tank is as happy as ever. Any ideas? Thanks kindly, Jonathan Bush <yep... they are quite sensitive to water quality. A dip below 8.3 in pH or very low ALK (below 8 dKH) is often the culprit. Also lack of water changes and Iodine supplementation (colony reaches critical mass as nutrients are depleted with growth). And lastly... chemical burns from the accumulation of noxious allelopathic compounds in the water from aggressive corals (star polyps, mushrooms, colt coral, etc). Weekly carbon changes in stead of monthly, aggressive skimming, PolyFilters here for this. Best regards, Anthony> Jonathan Bush

2 questions... (Small reef system, Xenia) Hi there everyone, First off, I really enjoy the website and have gained much valuable insight from your responses.  <thanks kindly> Now to add my own query to the growing pile of information... I have a 25 gallon reef tank which has been up and running for about seven months now. I have a great colony of pulsing Xenia which has been rapidly spreading and dividing. Recently one of the stalks basically fell apart (shed polyps and disintegrated) over a matter of a few days. All the others look great and still appear to be growing/pulsing like mad. My setup and water quality is the following. 25 g tank with custom skimmer (some daily product) and 2x55w pc lights. 35lb live rock with 2 in bed of live sand. Ammonia 0 Nitrite 0 Nitrate 0-2 ppm pH 8.3 Alk 2.8 ml eq/l Temp 78 SG 1.027 <nothing stands out conspicuously here> I don't add anything to the tank other than RO water, and 1-2g water changes each week. Other than the Xenia, the other inhabitants of the tank are: 2 small Sarcophyton leather corals 2 Ricordea mushrooms 1 feather duster 5 Xmas tree worms 1 (spreading like mad) colony of Pachyclavularia polyps 1 True Percula Clown 4 Turbo Snails ~10 Blue Leg Hermits All the tank inhabitants have never looked better (even the rest of the Xenia). I was wondering if you had any ideas on why the one Xenia stalk would have crashed so suddenly (and why the others still look so good). <depressed pH is a common cause... is 8.3 your daytime reading? If so... test after extended darkness (first thing in the AM)... see if you are much below 8.3... quite stressful for some Xenia. Else... are there mushrooms or Starpolyps nearby? Xenia is quite passive and this colony may have succumbed to coral aggression> My second question concerns the Pachyclavularia polyps. On the corner of the rock on which they reside, there are several small holes (~1 mm diameter) from which periodically throughout the day a very small translucent tentacle whips out and nettles the stolon mat that is close to the holes.  <yep... barnacles if iridescent like fiberglass... else a worm of some sort... very cool either way.>  Since I've gotten this coral, the polyps near these holes never extend any more and even the stolon mat has receded a bit from this corner of the rock. Any idea what the heck is living in that rock that is nettling the coral? And further, how should I deal with it? The rest of the coral is doing great and spreading in other directions to other rocks. Thanks so much for your time, I look forward to reading your responses. Jeremy <best regards, Anthony>

Xenia elongata Help Please!!! Ok I have a 180 reef tank. All kinds of corals, frog spawn, bubbles (brown and white), Fox, clams, etc. Everything is doing GREAT .The problem is I can't keep Xenia. It got real small and died. Tried some more and same thing.  Water is in GREAT shape. Cal.450  KH 10, PH 8.2 every thing is good. Give the tank Iodine, DTs. It's on an ecosystem with 40watt.Uv, 440 VHO lights white and blue. (it's up top high) ANY IDEAS on why I can't keep this stuff ???? Thanks so much for your time, Chip <the strong presence of LPS corals is quite aggressive. Placement of the Xenia within 10 inches of many LPS species is a kiss of death for some Xenia (not all... some are quite durable). If the tank also is not skimmed aggressively to dilute the chemical toxins, or is water changes are modest (less than weekly)... then we may have your problem. Try keeping them in a refugium inline instead. A nice feature for the tank. best regards, Anthony>

Xenia Lost Their Zip! Hi Guys <Scott F. your guy tonight> I have Pulse Xenia and white star and some metallic green xenia all other corals bubbles, leathers and other polyps are quite happy. But the Xenia never seem to grow and the pulse stays contracted but still pulse? The green xenia looks like it may be dying off. Water quality is fine ,will additional strontium help? <I have not heard of strontium supplementation being beneficial to this species...> or am I missing something else? Thanks, Tim <Well, Tim- there are all sorts of theories as to what makes Xenia pulse. Some hobbyists swear that iodine supplementation is the key, others feel that light and current play a bigger role in this "behaviour". A valid theory is that Xenia tend to pulse at steady, higher pH. Xenia are thought to be autotrophic, meaning that they don't generally require supplemental feeding. What you need to do is to review your tank's parameters once again, checking that pH. Perhaps you are positioning your Xenia near other, more aggressive corals, and they are becoming victims of "allelopathy" (chemical "warfare")? You certainly could experiment with iodine- but do test for anything that you should add. Do pick up a copy of Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" for a thorough review of the care and propagation of Xeniids. Do a little research- you should be successful! Regards, Scott F.>

Xenia needs Guys I have a quick one ...what are the lighting requirements for pulsing xenia...will NO fluorescents be fine?? <depends on the species. If we are talking about common brown fast pulse... yes, with proper acclimation. If you have a white or pom pom species... very unlikely (requires bright light)> I have had them under MH for some time ,but they are growing like crazy and I would like to share with a friend with NO 50/50 only. <keep them within 6-10" of the surface and they will be fine> Thanks in advance. Joe <best regards, Anthony>

Help! Dying Xenia and out of control, overly helpful roommates Ok.. so hopefully you guys might be able to help me with my situation.. yesterday (3-17-2003) I came home from school and my roommate had cleaned my 100 gallon reef tank.  By cleaning, I mean he scrubbed the algae off the walls of the tank and used a turkey baster to blast loose particles off of the rocks and so on.  He then proceeded to drop 1/4-1/2 cup (I think closer to 1/4 cup) of Amquel (that stuff that supposedly brings down ammonia).   <Okay, first, tell your roommate that YOU are the primary caregiver and to NEVER add anything to your tank or blow stuff around without guidance. Scraping algae is fine if they understand not touching or knocking stuff around. Certainly no additives like Amquel!> By the time I got home all the corals in the tank were closed, the pulse corals were closed but their stalks were still water filled, so they looked like cream puffs with little balls (the polyps) resting on them.  The bubbles were closed, the colts and even the leathers torch coral were closed, as far as the galaxy, the torch and the frogspawn they were fully extended, but it looked as if the there was no water in the tentacles.. they were just flaccid and shifted with the water current. <May have been disruption, being blown around. VERY bad for those with hard skeletons and soft tissue like frogspawns, etc. Care must be taken here.> Ok, now that the stage is set, it's day 2 (3-18-2003) and everything in the tank has opened up fine.. it's as if nothing happened yesterday.. although for some reason my colt coral (Sinularia sp.) which is on the same side of the tank as the pulse corals has only been 2/3's open all day. So here's the kicker.. the xenia's look even worse now. I took a turkey baster and lightly blew them about a little in order to clean debris off of them.. I'm actually beginning to think that the debris may actually been pieces of the coral that fell off (is it possible for corals to be lepers?) <It is certainly possible to traumatize them with the turkey baster to the point of them reacting negatively. Also to react to chemicals needlessly added.> I mean it looks really bad.. even their stems have deflated.. ok.. so I have 2 colonies and they're both within 2-3 inches of each other and until yesterday (and for the past 3 months, that's when I acquired them) they opened, they pulsed, really fast too, and they were happy. Another thing I must point out. When I was blowing them with the turkey baster one of the colonies exuded this brown stuff (didn't look like jelly as it dissipated almost immediately in the water current) and strangely enough even the though the polyps look really fried at the moment I can still see some of their arms faintly attempting to pulse. <This could be expulsion of wastes or Zooxanthellae. I would fall back on the old stand-by, several largish water changes over several days to dilute/reduce Amquel and reduce ammonia. I would keep a very close eye on the ammonia/nitrites as the Amquel *may* have interrupted your nitrogen cycle. More likely a product of stirring up the substrate, rock, detritus, etc. which releases wastes, lowers ORP, causes reactions/stress.> Now for the aquarium.. I keep my pH at 8.3-8.5 (daytime, nighttime respectively) my calcium is 390, ammonia 1 (was 0 yesterday) nitrites and nitrates both 0, and I think that's it.. SG is 1.023 or somewhere about there. <You should know exactly where your SG is. Reduce ammonia with water changes as above.> The pulse corals are almost directly under (6" below) my 175w 10k MH and also a 110w super actinic VHO.  I have a QT tank, but it just so happens I received a shipment of corals today and I'm afraid to move the pulse corals to that tank as the corals in it are already stressed and I'm assuming more susceptible to any diseases or what not. Really appreciate any help. Oh yeah.. and I just received a rose BTA that's a little bigger than a half-dollar. How fast do they grow on average? Jonathan <These need feeding, good light and NO Amquel! They grow relatively fast with excellent water, light, and regular feeding. I recommend reading about anemone care at WetWebMedia.com. BEWARE of powerheads.  Good luck, and quarantine the roommate!  Craig>

Coral Calamity (RECAP day 3 (HELP!! DYING xenia corals) Ok.. so my pulse corals (both colonies) literally deteriorated.. and I'm assuming that the decay from the dead corals probably caused a spike ammonia.. <Very possible, when you are dealing with a lot of decomposing matter in a tank> Strange thing,.. all the leathers in my tank are expanded, but their polyps aren't extended at all and that one colt coral just doesn't wanna open at all.. another thing about the colt (Sinularia sp.) is that it had black spots (2 or 3 of them) that almost looked like slime algae.. .. I used a turkey baster to try and spray off the spots and it didn't work so I had to use my fingers by gently rubbing the covered branches. <I wonder if this was something other than algae...Hard to say from here. May have been some decomposing mucous or other material that "stuck" to the coral> Underneath the stalk appeared emaciated and colorless.. we also proceeded in doing a 25 gallon water change in which we did 5 gallon water changes every 20 minutes in order to let the water mix as to not change the parameters of the tank too much.   <Good idea...Sometimes, environmental lapses can cause a temporary lapse of turgor (i.e.; they become "deflated"). Usually, all that is needed to "perk them up" again is a water change> On a lighter side.. my rose BTA is expanded really nicely :) <well, ya got to feel good about that, huh?> Another question I have is that with Euphylliids and bubbles.. can they be housed with members of the same family?  I have an octo bubble and a white bubble that are relatively close together, but they have never touched (but if either decided to grow then we might have a problem.. and as for the Euphyllias.. I have a torch, elegance, frogspawn, and hammer.. can any of these corals be housed next to each other?  Or will they sting and kill each other.. and if not then can 2 hammers or 2 frogspawns etc. be housed next to each other? <Well, in all of the examples that you give, these corals are quite capable of stinging each other. Euphyllias pack a real wallop, and can send out really L-O-N-G sweepers...I'd make sure that you keep them quite far (like 10 inches or more) apart in an aquarium...They really do "defend" their territories, so keep this in mind when placing them.> Thanks again, Jonathan <Good luck with your coral community, Jonathan! Regards, Scott F>

Xenia Crash! Hi Bob and gang, <cheers> After almost a year of successful "xenia farming" (and selling to my LFS), my Xenia all suddenly shriveled up.  The bases look sort of melted on the rocks.  I am suspecting a pH swing as the culprit, <very likely... they are extremely sensitive even as high as 8.3 You should try to never dip below 8.3 when farming Xeniids IMO> along with perhaps a very frigid night here where my heater couldn't keep up and let the tank down to about 75!   <hmmm.. a sharp drop is stressful, but 75 F specifically is not> Everything else in this 55 gal reef tank appears to be ok. But the big question is, how in the world do I remove all of this dead xenia from the rocks now since they appear to be "melted" onto them?   <it decays so quick that anything firm is still living and quite possibly will recover. Gently siphon off loose matter, dose small daily amo9unts of iodine, keep good water flow and water quality> They are on nearly all of my live rock!   Will leaving them there harm anything?   <if they are rotting it could become infectious to other healthy coral> Will they just decay?  Heellllppp!!! Much thanks, and keep up the great work! Laura <best regards, Anthony>

Declining Xenia 6/7/03 Hello, <cheers> A few weeks ago I purchased two small colonies of pulsing xenia (not sure what specific kind).  They were placed in different areas of the tank in a med. to high current and both were doing fine for several weeks.  Probably five days ago they began to shrink in size.  The pom-poms are still opening during daylight hours but the stalk and each individual arm keeps shrinking. I have a 55 gallon reef tank which includes: 1 Chromis (due to a bout with ick, tank had been fallow for a month. This          fish just added a week ago) 1 star polyp (doing fine) 1 metallic green brain (added at same time as xenia, it's doing fine) 1 brittle star 1 banded shrimp 50lbs live rock 15 gallon sump w/refugium Prizm protein skimmer removing dark liquid daily ammonia 0 nitrite 0 nitrate 0 (or very close to it) dKH 10 ph 8.3 260w compact fluorescent lighting temp 79 salinity 1.25 -1.26 (not as stable as it should be due to daily changes in humidity and evaporation) 5% water changes weekly <nothing stands out as a problem with water chemistry... unless that pH is a day time reading in which case your pH may actually be dropping to well below 8.3 at night (bad for Xenia)> Concerned that iodine might be the problem I began using Kent's Tech-I (used as directed) a couple of days ago but there has been no sign of improvement. <lack of iodine can be a problem, but only here if the iodine is old (over 2 months)> It has been suggested to me by LFS that my tank may be too clean. <I guarantee you that is not the case... in any aquarium!> Not enough nutrients for the xenia to absorb and that I should add more fish. Something obviously needs correcting but I'm not sure what it may be. I really don't want to lose them! <lack of quarantine or acclimation to light is more likely a factor. Aggression from a neighboring coral even more so (Starpolyps or other coral within 10"? Shedding chemicals/allelopathy)> Thanks so much for your help, Bryan <best regards, Anthony>

Anemone identity please 6/22/03 Anemonia cf. majano? Hello. First I want to thank everyone for the website, it's information, and the crew for their excellent knowledge. <Thanks kindly... our pleasure to do so> I have done my share of research in the books, websites, and FAQs, but I still don't know what this creature is. Can you please help me identify it and give me some instructions on what to do with it? It appeared today (four days after purchase), on a small branch with Xenia (reason for purchase). It looks somewhat different now (pictures) then when I first discovered it. It was open all the way at first, longish tentacles with small bulbs at the end. The color is brownish/pinkish. When open, you can see the oral disc and mouth (the mouth is of white color). It is a bit closed in the pictures. I have a large bubble tip anemone in the tank (purposely purchased).  Could you please identify this creature for me, and tell me if it will damage my Xenia as it grows, and should I evict it from my tank, and how? I try to remove it, but it is quite stuck to the branch, and because of its near location to the Xenia, I'm afraid that I might damage the Xenia in my attempt to remove the creature.  I would approximate the creatures size at about .5" in diameter, fully open. Thank you in advance for your time and help.  Min Windhorst <Do look at a range of pictures of the species Anemonia majano and see if you don't they might be one in the same. Some variability of color, but a common nuisance with corals like this Xenia imported from Indonesia. Best regards, Anthony>

Red crab is eating my xenia. Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> I recently set up a 70 gal reef take to replace my existing 30 gal. I purchased about 50 lbs. of Fiji live rock from a local retailer which of course came with many pleasant surprises.  <yes...many such joys with fresh live rock> The tank has been running for about 5 months now. About 2 months ago I placed some green star polyps that are doing fantastic. Based on the success of the star polyps I figured I could start transplanting the rest of my corals into the new tank. I started with a small xenia and a Sarcophyton. This morning when I looked the xenia was gone and the Sarcophyton had a bite taken out of it. I looked with a flash light in the holes in the live rock and saw a red crab munching on the xenia.  <Arghhh> The crab is roughly the size and shape of an emerald crab but it' s bright red. Any idea what kind of crab this is and is it a notorious problem in reef systems.  <actually, most crabs including emerald crabs can be predatory in reefs. Most all are opportunistic predators. So... if hungry enough <G>> Other suspects are a 6 line and a peppermint shrimp. Any advice is appreciated. <the crab is by far the likely candidate. Do remove and resist even most "safe" crabs if you want great diversity of microorganisms in live rock and sand> Thanks John Allen <best regards, Anthony>

Xenia  Hi I hope you guys may be able to help me with a problem I am having with my pulsing Xenia. When I purchased them about a month ago they were open and colorful, and now closed up for the last two weeks. They are still firmly attached to the rock, but refuse to open. Could hermit crabs be agitating them, I have heard conflicting stories about crabs.  <I feel that it is unlikely that the crabs were any bother> I had my LFS test my water and everything was fine but my ph was at 7.9.  <bingo! Xeniids are notoriously sensitive to depressed pH. My colonies stop pulsing like clockwork when the pH dips below 8.3 and look very stressed when below 8.0. Do raise you pH SLOWLY over several days to a week to 8.4. Using Kalk or baking soda in small amounts may be a cheap and easy solution for you (either by night)> They tested for ph alkalinity calcium(480)  <the calcium reading is either inaccurate or scary high. You would be dangerously close to a "snowstorm" precipitation of calcium/carbonates). Do confirm and conduct water changes to dilute if necessary. If true it would suggest an abuse of some pH or calcium supplement> ammonia nitrites and nitrates. My salinity is 1.023. I have been buffering my water to 8.3 and they are still not open. I believe around that time my heater in the tank apparently stopped working and my temp went down six degrees.  <WOW... that is a drop. Indeed very stressful to many fish and inverts. Perhaps some weeks recovery is still needed> Since then I bought a new heater and I am keeping the temp at 81 degrees.  <very fine> Also my Bubble tip anemone seems to have shrunk to a third of its normal size in the last week. I had an out break of ick and the LFS told me to treat it with Greenex (that was two weeks ago). Could that be apart of the cause of my xenia and anemone?  <My goodness!!! You will be lucky if the treatment does not turn out to be fatal to your inverts. Greenex is an organic dye and VERY toxic to invertebrates. Don't let anyone tell you different. Yes... this is the primary cause for the stress in your animals. And please know that such medications should NEVER be dosed in the main display tank. Always medicate fish in a separate QT tank. You need to read a good book my friend about all of these issues before spending any more money on livestock. Please do consider reading or re-reading Bob Fenner's Conscientious Marine Aquarist. The tank since medicated has suffered a staining/contamination of the calcareous media (sand, rock, etc). I suspect that you will have significant troubles keeping or adding small invertebrates (shrimp, snails, polyps, etc) and especially filter feeders (sponges, feather dusters, tunicates, etc) in the near future. Please conduct strong weekly water changes for the next month to dilute the contamination. Also, add PolyFilters (Poly Bio Marine filter pads) for the next several months to try to extract much of the residual meds.> My yellow polyps, green star polyps, blue mushroom anemones, feather duster are doing fine.  <for now... we'll see in time if they pull through from the staining> I also ad weekly Iodine calcium and strontium along with weekly water changes with RO water.  <very fine. And do you aerate and buffer the RO water before using it... if not, a cause for your low pH> Do I just need to be patient and wait for them to come back or should I do more drastic water changes? <the latter> Ten gallon 1 32 watt compact florescent, 1 florescent both 50% actinic blue. Lees counter current protein skimmer,  <do upgrade the skimmer when you can. Many good brands out there. Steve Pro is reorganizing the wet web media FAQs on skimmers as we speak and will be posting a best of skimmer FAQs very soon> 125 penguin bio wheel. Three inches of live sand, fifteen pounds of live rock.  <add more live rock when possible... perhaps even remove/swap some of this contaminated rock> Eight hermit crabs five Astrea snails,  <my guess is that the snails are or will be inactive from the meds> 1 Percula 1 Six line wrasse and 1 Green Chromis. I would greatly appreciate your infinite wisdom, thank you Dave McCorkell.<best regards my friend. Anthony Calfo>

Xenia is dying Can you please help? I have a 150 reef tank. It's been set up about 2 years. I put in 2 or 3 pieces of xenia more than a year ago. It has grown and speed like wildfire. All of a sudden, they are turning white and shriveling up. Any ideas? <many possible reasons for this but far and away the most common is a low pH. Xenia are notoriously sensitive to low pH. They stop pulsing at 8.3 and really show suffrage under 8.0. A reef aquarium ideally (to me) does not drop below 8.3 at night (low point).> Thanks, Ricky Knapik New Orleans, LA <best regards, Anthony>
Re: xenia
Thank you guys, I changed about fifty percent of my water and put in new carbon and stepped up my skimming. Everything looks great but my xenia still has not opened, I believe they will soon.  <agreed... they are notoriously finicky! But rest assured if they were sick or dying... they would have wiped out like wildfire. You are safe> My question is about skimmers. I have a small ten gallon reef and I can not find out what would work the best for this tank. Every time I think I found a good skimmer I read a horrible review about it.  <quite frankly all skimmers for a tank this size are complete trash. Just marketing wizardry> Could you give me a list of hang on skimmers that would do the ideal job. I have searched high and low but do not and can not afford a real expensive skimmer.  <good things are seldom cheap and cheap things are seldom good. Don't bother buying a good skimmer for this tank. Small weekly water changes would serve you better> Also where would I be able to get that book by Robert Fenner.  <many places including several vendors on the Wet Web Media site. If you go to DI's aquatics (http://www.disaquatics.com) you can get a copy signed by Bob. They have a limited number of hardback copies too.> Thank you so much I appreciate the time, it is invaluable. If ever you are in Minnesota and around Minneapolis and your car breaks down I could repay the favor as I am an auto mechanic. Hehe Dave McCorkell <hope to meet you one day! Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Xenia Hi All, Hope your morning is going well. I've got a mystery on my hands. I did my water changes Wed. Almost everything is doing fine, the almost being the xenia in my 7g nano tank. Prior to the water change, the colonies were extending fully. Now, they're curled up into tight little balls and look real unhappy. I changed salt brands from Red Sea to Reef Crystals. The spg went from 1.024 to 1.025,  <no problem... all the better> it's strictly an invert tank, no fish. Besides the xenia there's a pair of turbo snails, mated gold coral banded shrimp, some "button polyps" (come to think of it, they haven't extended either) and I added 2 rather small blue leg hermits and 1 small long spine sea urchin (the tank has a hair algae problem, and I figured it would help spread the coralline by munching on it and spreading spores. when it gets bigger, it's going into the main display or finding a new home). I have about 8 lbs of LR, 1" of sand (oolitic), I keep the tank between 76-80, the ph is usually 8.3 (varies a bit during the day), 0 ammonia and nitrites, the nitrates are around 10 (all tests using a Red Sea kits). I haven't tested alk yet. The only thing I dose is a couple drops of Kent iodine a week, and B-Ionic 2 part (2ml, usually every other day). I use one of the Tetratec HOT units w/2 filter pads, I swap one out at every water change. I feed the shrimp a couple of brine shrimp pellets, a little of my home made food, or some Mysis, generally every other day to every three days (no luck so far on hand feeding them). The tank has been up now for about 5 months. I'm stumped. Any ideas? Thanks! PF <Hmmm... yes... a stumper/vague. I'm wondering if there was a touch of temp shock with the new incoming water? If not... SG accurate (not too low?). Plastic hydrometer or glass (preferable)? Else, a sharp drop in pH or Alk. Hmmm... many possibilities. Antoine>
Xenia shock
Plastic hydrometer. <many plastic hydrometers are complete crap, the best of them are easily corrupted with air bubbles on the weighted arm or from slight deposits from drying hard water. All hydrometers should be rinsed in distilled water after each use and/or soaked with vinegar water periodically to reduce mineral deposits. All in all... still not a likely cause of our problem here. FWIW I prefer glass hydrometers when a refractometer is not available> The make up water is heated to 80F, about where the tanks are most of the time. It's an Ebo-Jager heater , and keeps everything on a nice even temp. <yes... very fine> Since Friday the button polyps are back out and even begun to expand into some of the rock cleaned off by the urchin and the hermits. It was one of those weekends, so I'll test Alk as soon as I get home. The xenia hasn't melted down, but it still looks real unhappy. <good point... things can't be all that bad... a meltdown is easy enough to incur with Xenia. Best regards, Anthony>

A Non-Pulsing Xenia Hi there, I bought a White pulsing xenia last week. When I placed it in the tank it looked ok and pulsed like crazy. But at about 3 days I noticed that the middle stalk was rotting so I removed it by cutting the middle portion and left me 2 stalks that are still alive. <Smart move> Since then the my xenia's just stopped pulsing and is turning into a light pink color. Sometimes it pulses but very weak compared to when I first got it. The polyps are open but is thinner than before. What could be the problem? <A whole bunch of possibilities; iodine, low pH, low ORP, current, lighting, or temperature differences/problems.> Thanks <Sorry I could not be move definitive. -Steven Pro>

Xenia I am having an extremely tough time maintaining Xenia. Each time I have  purchase them, they seem to do well for about a week and then suddenly die. I  have a 110 gallon and am using 4 - VHO lights. 2 blue and 2 white. Each bulb  is 140 watts. My water readings have been as follows:  Ph - 7.0 - 8.3 Calcium 500+ Ammonia - 0 Nitrite - 0 Nitrate - 20  KH - 8 -11 What am I doing wrong? Do Xenia's prefer metal halide lighting? >> Lighting is relatively unimportant to pulsing corals... It may be your calcium has something to do with it... I would allow (through cutting back on supplementing) your levels to hover more around the 400ppm level... Do you utilize iodine supplements? I would, at least once a week, and in "the bag" or in quarantine/dips in acclimating new specimens. And do look for more "local" sources of Xeniids... those raised by hobbyists near by are much tougher than ship-ins.... these animals are notoriously poor shippers. Bob Fenner

Sick Xeniids bob....pulsing Xenia starting developing sores. these turned into yellow scabs that smelled to high heaven. have lost about six stalks so far. started flushing infested ones. not all of the stalks infested. still have about six or seven that are okay. any treatment. never had to ask for treatment of corals. have 55, sump, 15w UV; Berlin skimmer, 403 Fluval; 2-110 VHO; 2-40 actinic 03. have quit eating pizza's late with anchovies but we still have the flat black Nudibranch. haven't moved to Florida yet but am pricing 180 gal. for the new house. thanks, Jim nix >> Yeeikes... at first try, would change a huge amount of water (like half), stop all other additive use... but do apply a source of iodine to your water... a small amount... daily... If losses continue, consider taking colony out and dipping in half freshwater and seawater and half dose of malachite (freshwater Ich remedy) for ten minutes to arrest bacterial (secondary?) infection... Bob Fenner

Xenia problem Hello Bob! Just found your website - and read every FAQ I could find on corals... very helpful! <Thank you. Much more to post...> I recently went on vacation to Australia (maybe I saw you?) <Hmm, maybe! I was the third fish on the right!> and left my 25 gallon tank in the care of a friend who took great care of it.  I have retrofitted compact fluorescents in an Eclipse hood w/filter and also use a protein skimmer.  <Sounds good. Whose skimmer? Could you tell me/us how you retrofitted the Eclipse/top?> I have 2 colonies of mushroom corals (purple/blue and green), colonies of green button polyps, yellow polyps, large toadstool leather with 3 offspring that are growing profusely, large colony of cabbage coral and a Dendronephthya (Carnation Coral?)<Yep, one common name>, 3 scarlet legged hermits, a clown, yellow tailed blue tang, sand and live rock. All corals other than the Xenia are doing wonderfully! <Sounds good so far> I do bi-weekly 5-10 gallon water changes and religiously check my calcium, nitrate, nitrite, etc. and have virtually no problems. Calcium has been stable since I started the tank. I dose with Lugol's Solution once a week as well as feed phytoplankton and supplement with Reef Complete about once a week. My problem started (I'm assuming) when my heater went out and the warm, California weather I had left dropped to 38 degrees - and no heat on in the house. The Xenia had doubled in size in a little over 2 months and was pumping away....until the temperature dropped. Do you think it will come back? Or...sob...should I pull it out? <Yikes... this family of Soft Corals is tough, but what a thermal shock! Don't pull it though... it's been my experience (first and other hand) that Pulsing Corals do rally after/despite tremendous challenges... unless your colonies are flat out dissolving, I would leave them be> Thanks so much for your help! Maryann <Maybe a back up heater with its thermostat set a bit lower would help going forward? "These are the times that try (sic)(wo)men's souls"... You sound strong/perseverant... hang in there. No chemical/cathartic/restorative protocols needed or suggested otherwise. Bob Fenner>

Xenia rash ??Dear Mr. Fenner, I am writing you again to pick your brain. Question 1: I have a 125G Reef tank which is about 5 months old.  I purchased several "generic" Pulsing Xenia in the beginning of the reef.  I now know why no one else was purchasing them... THEY GROW LIKE WEEDS !!! And worst of all, I can't seem to get anyone to take the excess. Now that being said, I have been thinning out the "Crop" about ever 3 to 4 weeks by removing about half of the stalks.  The "Crop" is not getting any smaller even with the thinning.  I've come to terms with these little tan dancers and don't mind them in the tank, and actually have come to enjoy watching them. Now for the issue.  About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that some of the Xenia had what I refer to as a "rash", the base of the stalk looks fine but moving up, as you approach the branches, there is an area of pitting and blistering of the flesh.  They, are mainly symmetrical in appearance and vary in size from very small to .25" in diameter.  This is the case on about 90% of the Xenia in the Tank, young and old.  The Xenia are in small colonies spread from one end of the tank to the other; so I doubt that this is a case of physical aggression from another Coral body. If you disagree I will send a list of them, just don't want to bother you with an even longer message. I'm concerned because I have read that Xenia do not like, to the extent of fatality, high levels of Calcium.  I recently achieved calcium levels of 475 by increasing the frequency at which I add my 2 part B-ionic solution. I now add it every couple of days.<Hmm, could be the calcium... or some matter that has/is becoming rate-limited by the pulsing corals abundant growth... or possible predation of some sort... but I would not be overly concerned... A die-off is not likely imminent> Question 2: I've recently seen two snail like critter in the tank.  The first one was small and I removed. The second, have not removed and is about .75" long identical from the bottom (outside of glass) as the Astrea snails in color and physical appearance (head, foot, antenna).  But, it doesn't have a SHELL !!  instead it totes around what reminds me of a Medieval shield starting just above the head and ending about 1/2 way down it's back.  As I'm sure you can tell the heart of my question would be: what is it and is it "bad" for the tank ? <Likely not... I would enjoy it, and other life until they prove to be deleterious... the vast majority of such "recruits" are innocuous> Here are the stat's checked monthly; these have been stable for 4 months now, save Calcium: SpecGr = 1.024 pH = 8.4 Alk = 3.43 Ammonia = <.25 <Really? as in zero?> Nitrate = 2.5 Calcium = 480ppm I'll not bother you with the list of Corals and such, since this spans the entirety of the tank. Fish: 3 Green Chromis 2 Kupang Damsels 1 Yellow Tang 1 Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis (Dwarf Parrot Wrasse) I think 1 Cleaner Shrimp 1 Clark's Clown fish w/ Anemone 1 Bicolor Blenny As always, Thank you in advance. John John Boiger <You're certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Blue pom pom changing drastically? Mr. Fenner, I just have a quick question which I was hoping you could help me with. I have a blue pom pom xenia and the head of the stalk is turning a much lighter color white). I would suspect bleaching except all of the polyps remain open and pulsating. My tank was recently at 140ppm of nitrates. I have since reduced in half over about two weeks. This is when the xenia began to change.  <I'll bet!> I noticed the difference over night. I have also noticed slight changes in other corals but they seem to be doing better. My brown Capnella now has a green hue to it. I know that corals adapt to their systems but a sudden change in the corals appearance frightens me. <Learn from your fear... and anger... nothing unusual here...> My second question is on a business end. In your opinion what would be a fair price for a blue Zoanthid frag or a blue chalice Acropora frag. both were very hard to come by and seem to be in high demand? <Somewhere between free (to friends, fellow hobbyists) to ten-twenty dollars US depending on size...> Thank you very much, Ryan Alexaki <Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

(Not) Sick Xenia Dear Bob, I was surfing the internet looking for discussions on xenia diseases and came across your name. Since your book "Conscientious Marine Aquarist" was the one that kicked off my two year marine aquarium adventure (well, mania!), I thought that I should say hello and thanks! Also, how about a bit of advice... <Salutem dicit. Hello there> I bought a colony of pulsing xenia about a year ago. The colony grows and is expanding. Since it often splits and the partners move away from each other, the colony is not crowded. Every so often, the pulsing heads shrink, often fall off (disappear) and I am left with a fat stem and no heads. However, in a week or two, new heads reappear and I have normal looking colonies. This event starts with one colony and migrates to others-but not 100% of the time. I have digital pictures of the effected colonies if it would help identify the malady. No issues with the rest of the tank inhabitants. I am fairly religious about following your maintenance routine. Any thoughts? Dan Pilipauskas <Yes, not really a malady, but more of a combination "reflex defensive mechanism" for coping with periodic "poor conditions" (lack of "food", current, toxicity...) and device for distribution in space and time. In another way, this is nothing to be really worried about, happens in the wild... Bob Fenner>

Xenia Hi Bob I just mail ordered some white pulsing xenia. It came in pretty rough. <Typical... all should try to get this family of soft corals as local as possible... like from fellow aquarists with excess> The stalks limp to the side and look pretty bad. I put it 8 inches from the lighting and left them alone. Any ideas or suggestions to maximize their recovery?  <Perhaps a dose of iodine/iodide... and time going by> Water conditions are great. How do xenia normally look after shipping.  <Mush to okay> I know leather coral look real bad but will usually perk back out after a day or so. Well I hope some of the xenia makes it. I really appreciate all your help this past year. Your generous use of your time is a great asset to the hobby. The following are some updates on previous questions you have helped me with. The blue faced angel that was eating brains is doing great now. I took the brains and candy corals out for a month. I added the candies back to see if the fish forgot they were nibble worthy and he had. For the past few months the only things he really picks on is my huge colt that grows 3" or so a month. This is cool because now I don't have to cut it back so much anymore. The fish is doing great he just got the first yellow splotches in the back of his blue face. When I bought the fish it was in the adolescent color stage. Now it is turning bright yellow from the tail back. This is the neatest thing I've seen yet in the hobby. <Sounds great> My Evans Anthias are all doing great as well. The male is really pink now and herds his female around all day long. Its pretty funny. What do you think about adding another little yellow female or two so he can have a harem? They live in a 8 ft long 240g tank. <Yes to adding another couple or more females> Thanks Again, Everett <Thank you, my friend. Bob Fenner>

The one-armed Xeniid did it! <Lorenzo again, 'playing Bob'>
Just today I noticed that on my of my main stalks of pumping xenia one limb has turned a whitish-yellow and has shriveled to the base of the limb. Yet the rest of the stalk is fine, what could be wrong with it? I really don't want to lose it because it has been doing great and growing fine. Thanks for you time. <Probably somebody else 'took a taste'. Got any butterflies or angels? Xeniids of the pulsing sort are mostly hard-to-kill, unless your tank conditions are just horrible... -Lorenzo>

Pom Pom Xenia Hi Bob, I don't know if you remember, but you sent me few replies about my pom pom xenia and what I thought was a disintegration problem. I increased calc from 485 to about 540 and my PH from 8.3 to 8.4. I also increased my Iodine by about 50% and started adding it on a daily basis instead of once a week. All of this seemed to have helped as the xenia perked up a little and the "dissolved" tissue seemed to have healed up. But he was still not as open and nice looking as he was the first week, so I kept looking for something else. Well last night I found the it! About 3 hours after the lights went off I was looking at the xenia and noticed a piece that I thought was separating off, but it was a Nudibranch. It was actively eating the tissue at the base of the Xenia. It's body blended in perfectly with the xenia and the filter/hairs I forgot what they are called) on its back mimics xenia polyps very well! With its camouflage and the fact that it was living on/in the rock the xenia was attached to it almost seems like this thing is specialized to feed on xenia. I tried taking a picture of it but I don't have a dig camera and my connectix camera doesn't work for up close stuff. I have not heard of a Nudibranch attaching xenia or found any info on it. The bite marks which were quit raw last night healed up at least 50% by this morning and look smooth like the tissue has dissolved away instead of having been chewed on, so I reasonably sure that this has been my problem all along. You mentioned that you had some friend who propagate xenia commercially - do they have a web site or some way to order from them?- have they seen this before? Is it likely that there are more or that this one laid eggs? >> Have heard of Nudibranchs on pulsing corals, and do agree that this one is very likely a specialized feeder. Pretty curious as so much of the Xeniids are (appropriately) cultured at local levels around the planet. Not much chance for wild-predator introduction. May have laid eggs... you'll just have to keep your eyes open. A few propagationist friends do have sites, best for you to search them (and who knows who else) out via your search engines. Bob Fenner

Xenia I just added a pulsing xenia to my tank, but it is not pulsing. I have a  100 watt metal halide and two 55 watt PCs. It is a 40 gallon tank. I have  the xenia in medium-heavy current. What should I do? <Perhaps nothing, maybe a few things. I would move the animal out of direct "medium-heavy current" as this is more likely a problem than useful.  I might look into aspects of my water quality (calcium, alkalinity, phosphate, nitrate) and adjust them environmentally if way out of whack. Many pulsing corals respond positively to iodine supplementation. Do you use such? Lastly, have patience. If you have "just added" the specimen, it may well be in "transport shock". Give it a few days to get situated. Bob Fenner>

Xenia woes I appreciate taking time to answer my questions and others. <Chad... Anthony Calfo in your service> Some background: 110 Gallon tank, 330 watts of lights (mixed with Blue and 10k), protein skimmer. Tank Temp is around 77 degrees, Ph is 8.2, salinity is 1.22, 5ppm Nitrate, 0 Nitrite, 0 ammonia. Don't know what my Calcium numbers are but use Kent Marine Liquid Calcium (use 2 cap full per week), Kent Marine Strontium Molybdenum (use 2 cap full per week) and Lugol's Iodine (4 drops per week). Fed them Freeze dried Phytoplankton twice a week too. <hmmm? no mention of alkalinity or use of carbonate buffer? pH is too low for some coral like Xenia species... nothing under 8.3 during night-time LOWS (daytime is higher and 8.2 day reading is a bit scary> Critters: 1 Foxface, 1 Christmas Wrasse, 1 Ocellaris Clown, 1 Banggai Cardinal, 1 Lawnmower Blenny, 1 Regal Tang, 2 Cleaner Shrimp, 1 Green Brittle Star, Green Flower Pot, and a Large Leather. Problem. Purchased 3 stalks of Xenia's from a local Fish store. I read from previous FAQ's that they are very hard to move. <agreed, but grow like a weed once established. I fragged over 10,000 colonies in nearly a decade at my coral propagation greenhouse> Immediately I lost one stalk. <perhaps pH shock, among other possibilities (like handling with ungloved hand...big no-no> However the other two stalks seemed to establish themselves very nicely and started to grow. The flower pot and Leather both were big with no signs of problems. Then suddenly last week the Xenias shriveled up to nothing, stalks turned white and they all died. They weren't moved, they were in the middle to the top of the tank for light, good current movement. Ideas on what might have happened and how to prevent it from happening again? <above citations for alkalinity and pH. A well documented problem with Xeniids. Get a good pH and alkalinity kit and some buffer if necessary. Xenia enjoy (and pulse better) high alkalinity. Above 8.3 for deep night reading is bare minimum> Thanks again for the help, CV <my pleasure, bud. Anthony Calfo>

Injured xenia First of all, thanks for providing such a great wealth of knowledge.  <always welcome> I have had fresh and brackish water aquariums for the past eighteen years and have just started my first marine setup. The past 3 months have been quite involved, not just in setting up the aquarium but in trying to digest a huge amount of information available. I purchased the CMA and constantly use it as a reference (great book can't wait for the Reef version) <it may happen sooner than you think <G>> My setup is a 20 gal. reef that started out FOWLR but after receiving a "freebie" Ricordea frag that came with some reef janitors I decided to purchase some additional Frags. All was well until I noticed a cut near the base of a Xenia frag that severed one of the polyps. Within a few hours the frag had shrunk in size and was closed up for the rest of the day. I'm suspecting a crab did more than the usual cleaning......It opened partially today and still responds to light changes but doesn't look good, Is there anything I can do for it?  <infected Xeniids wipe out (as in dissolve!) with blinding speed (hours). If your animal is simply shriveled... be patient and just maintain good water flow and quality. A little iodine wouldn't hurt either> Also, I fabricated a light enclosure that has 2 -28w flat quad compact fluorescents with one 28w actinic quad, I've seen literature that says these 28w bulbs are equal to a 120w NO bulb. What is your opinion on the total wattage I should have available ?  <such figures/marketing are very misleading. In a VERY shallow tank (16" or less) the lights are fine.. else not strong enough to penetrate at depth no matter how many are atop (all to do with intensity... not quantity of lamps)> The tank has Ricordea, Mushrooms, Button polyps, Purple Ribbon and Xenia Frags  <WOW... you have a very incongruous group to survive in the long run. The Purple ribbon needs very nigh water flow to survive long term and the Zoantharians (buttons, Ricordea and mushrooms) and arguably inhibited by excess water flow. Please do research these animals before bringing them home and plan a targeted group in advance (Zoantharians, SPS, LPS, etc)> all are about 8" from the surface and seem to be happy there.  <excellent for the lamps you are using> I am not planning on adding anything else... already depressed about the Xenia. <yes... another incongruous species... high light Xenia while all else mentioned are mid to low light> Thanks for your help, Steve R. <best regards, Anthony>
Re: injured xenia
Anthony, Thanks for the reply, Iodine seems to have done the trick !  <very glad to hear it. There is a very strong body of anecdotal evidence in testimony to the merits of iodine with reef invertebrates (antiseptic, improves RedOx, etc). Just know that with iodine like most supplements... more IS NOT better. sudden brown diatom algae growth can be an indication of heavy handedness with iodine> the scarred Xenia seems to be healing and is open today. as for the Purple Ribbon it was not my choice, it came with a frag. package that was recommended when I bought The Ricordea.  <Ughhhh! I just hate hearing that... I just went off on a rant last week about some places (Gulfview and Tampa Bay Saltwater came up this past week) that think this is good business. I swear we get weekly e-mails from people mentioning or having inappropriate invertebrates "given" to them unsolicited to by dealers. A truly dreadful practice in the big picture that kills most of these animals forced to live in ill-prepared or entirely inappropriate tanks> I placed it closest to the water return with the Xenia to increase the flow which is strong enough to make it sway.  <helpful... polyp extension (regularity and/or cycles) will tell in time> The Ricordea and Mushrooms are farthest away from the outlet in a low current area. I have another question, I have noticed white spots approx. 1/8" in diameter on my glass that with a magnifying glass appear to have smaller yellowish color dots inside, Eggs of some sort? Snail maybe?  <many possibilities.. the wonder of live rock> I haven't been able to find any info anywhere. Also have seen a small worm in the gravel that looks like a tiny slinky, haven't been able to find anything on that either........ Thanks, Steve <Hmmm... do browse for your edification/amusement: http://www.reefs.org/hhfaq/pages/main_pages/faq_rock3.htm  and http://www.rshimek.com/odd_critters.htm

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: