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FAQs about Pulsing Corals, the Xeniids 4

Related Articles: Pulsing Soft Corals, Family Xeniidae

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

Reading...    10/17/10
Hi !
Does any one of you know what predators pulsing Xenia have ( either fish or inverts ).
Tony V
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/xeniidcompfaqs.htm

xenia... Reading   4/17/10
My name is Greg an I have recently purchased a medium sized xenia. Within a day it started to shrivel up a bit and get somewhat wrinkly. And after that started to form some bubbles on its main trunk. It lose a few pulsing heads, but the others are still out and waving around, but not pulsing.
I was wondering if it is dying or splitting?
<Much more likely the former>
Because I just did a test and everything was good, but maybe all I saw was the salt could have been low? Was just asking the ideal water parameters for them. Everything else, such as the Zoas and Kenya tree, are doing just fine,
<May be poisoning the pulsing soft coral...>
along with the shrimp and snails, but a new white blue-fined damsel is just laying on the sand. What may be wrong?
<... read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/xeniiddisfaq3.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>
Re: xenia   4/17/2010

So what can I do to heal/save it? I did quarantine it in it's own tank.
<Keep reading. B>

Xenia -health/behavior 10/27/08 Hello crew. <Hello.> About 2 weeks ago I bought a frag of xenia from a friend that had some extra. <Soon you will too!> Everything was doing great for the first week and then I started noticing some differences in its size. Everything is the same except for the size of the "petals". They were fully expanded for the first week but now they are just really skinny. They are still pulsing like they were before. I have not changed anything in my tank since I got them. I have kept everything stable so I am not sure what the problem is. <A new environment, not quite the same as old. The same corals will almost always appear different in seemingly identical systems.> The only thing that I can think of is lighting. I assumed that since the friend that I got them from uses T5's then I would be ok since I also use T5's. I placed them in the mid to high level of my tank after drip and temp acclimating them. Is it possible that they may be getting too much light and are contracting their "petals" to reduce the amount of light that they absorb? <Possible, but you would have seen this more quickly. So many variables, flow, water, how the stars are aligned.> Should I try moving them lower in the tank? <Where were they in relation to the light in their former home?> Everything is undetectable except for nitrates at less than 5ppm. <I assume Alk, Ca, PH and salinity are in order also? Do also get an iodine test kit and dose if needed, can have a difference here too.> Thanks for the help. <Welcome, Scott V.>

unhappy xenia  08/18/2008 hello thank you for all the great info <Anytime> I have a 125 gal saltwater tank about 70 pounds live rock and about 5 inches of live sand and crushed coral on the bottom. My inhabitants are 1 yellow tang I royal Gramma 3 ocellaris clowns 1 algae blenny 3 domino damsels 2 scooter blennies and 7 green chromis. I also have about 70 hermit crabs and about 15 mixed snails.4 feather dusters I frog spawn coral 1 mushroom rock button polyps that are doing great 2 pink star polyps and a Condy anemone. salinity is perfect Ph just tested yesterday at 8.4 nitrites ammonia are 0 and nitrates are 20 and cant get them to drop any lower. I got the xenia at the same time with frog spawn and they were sitting right by each other in the tank. xenia did great for the first 2 weeks( got it 3 weeks ago) if even started multiplying. but 3 days ago during the day it suddenly closed and shriveled. it is all retracted and it will not come out at all. I moved it 2 days ago away from the frog spawn but there is no improvement. My calcium is at about 420-440 if that can be the cause. It is still attached to the rock but it wont open. I run a refugium and a canister fluval fx5 so I have 2 outtakes at opposite ends so a lot of water movement. I don't know what caused it to stop doing well but I hope you can help me. Thanks, Alexandra <Please see http://www.wetwebmedia.com/QueryCorrsRefPg.htm, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faqstips.htm, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidbehfaqs.htm - M. Maddox>

Pulsing Xenia, black spots on some fingers Hi, I recently purchased a pinky/light purple pulsing xenia and i have noticed little black spots on some of the fingers, they seem to start at the bottom of the fingers and work upwards until there at the tip, then they go like a string then disappear (into the water i think), is this some kind of algae, should i be worried, the xenia seems fine and is growing, i cannot find the answer to what this is anywhere and i was wondering if you could put me out of my misery on what this is. Thank you Mark <I have seen something like this as well... in pulsing corals in the wild and captive circumstances... And don't know what it is either. Perhaps someone who has taken a closer look will write in with additional information. Bob Fenner>

Xeniids, reading re health, sys....  - 03/18/08 WWM Crew- <Paul> I love all the information on your website. It is very helpful. <... you should read more... re Xeniid sys., hlth.... the use of iodine, alkalinity... > I have a 90 gal tank with t-5 lighting (216 total watts-4 bulbs) I have a Kenya tree towards the top about 8 inches from the lights, and two xenia towards the bottom of the tank. I just had my water tested at a LFS and they said that it was great, only the silicates showed up just a little- suggested larger water changes. My xenia have stopped pulsing and the one has white spots on some of the ends. I have even notice some coming off when a fish turns and brushes up against it. Is it dying, normal behavior? <The ceasing of pulsing in Xeniids can be problematical> Do they regenerate themselves? <In good health... oh yes! Often too much so> Please help with some additional information- I love to watch the xenia. Do they need more lighting-from what I read it sounds like the t-5's give off pretty good amount. Thanks for any help. Paul <... Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/xeniidsysfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Xenia and Water Flow   5/25/07 Hi crew, <Hello, Mich here.> I recently just bought some xenia and I would like to know what kind of water flow does xenia prefer. I have read that they like medium to strong water flow but I just want to be sure. <When xenia is placed in high water flow areas it tends to stop pulsing.  I am presuming you find the pulsing a desirable trait so I would go with a medium or lower flow area.  More here and the many related links in blue:  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm Cheers, Mich>

Xenia comp.   7/26/06 Hello , excellent website ! Quick question since xenia do not have stinging cells nor release noxious chemicals. <Negative> Does it matter if another coral is right next to it? <Some species, yes> example: finger  leather or open brain thanks Layne from Texas <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/xeniidcompfaqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Xenia and the new tank 6/22/06 Amazing site! <Thanks> I don't have all the info I am sure you need but maybe you can still help. <Will try.>  I have a 40 gal salt tank, running approx. 2.5 months.  My filtration is a sump with a Mini G ASM skimmer. I have 40 pounds of Live Sand and 50 pounds of Live Rock.  After cycling (4 weeks) I added two snails, one CB Shrimp, and 3 hermit crabs.  I then proceeded to add 1 scooter blenny, <Bad choice> 1 blue tang, <another bad choice> 1 6-line wrasse, <ok> and 1 percula clown <ok>.  All about a week apart. <QT?, and too fast.> I just added a mushroom rock with these really cool blue lines and a star poly rock.  So far so good.  However, I also added a Xenia Frag.  First day looked great...the last 3 days horrible.  Also, the tops keep falling off of it. <Not good> Here are my WQ parameters, zero ammonia, nitrite, and nitrates, pH 8.3, SG 1.021. <Aim for closer to natural sea water, 1.026> I don't know the Ca and Alk levels, but I add a teaspoon of this stuff every other day. <What stuff?>  Is there any hope for the Frag? <Maybe> I do have a lot of algae too.  Mostly what looks to be Cyanobacteria (sheets of slimy looking stuff on some of the live rock and sand (dark green and dark brown). <PO4 problem?> Thanks in advance, Mike <There are lots of different types of Xenia, so its hard to say if it will be ok in the aquarium or not.  Best thing is to make sure the water quality is good, has proper lighting etc.  May just be shock from moving.  Please read http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm , http://www.wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm and associated FAQs for more.> <Chris>

- Xenia and the new tank, Follow-up 6/23/06 - Wow!  What a quick response!  Thank you very much.  I checked out the sites you recommended and I have one of the ones with the brown pinnules.  The other questions I have are why the scooter blenny and blue tang are bad choices? <The scooter blenny is not a blenny but a dragonette, and relies heavily on live foods. Your tank is too small and too new to keep this fish alive for very long. For the tang, the problem is similar - this fish can and will grow to the size of a dinner plate, much too large in size and personality for a 40 gallon tank.> The tang has decimated all my good green algae, but other that that he seems to be fine. <For now.> The scooter blenny seems harmless. <Unless you are a copepod.> I also forgot to mention that I have a CoralLife 192 watt lunar compact fluorescent set up.  Thanks for the links too! <Here are some more links: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/mandarins.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/paracant.htm > Mike <Cheers, J -- > Shipping Xenia 7.23.05 Hi to everyone and good day. <Cheers> I know Xenia isn't the easiest of corals to ship. Giving this to account what would be the proper way to go about this with the least amount of mortality?  Thanks in advance, Candy <It's rather simple my friend. Once established, most in this Family (Xeniidae) are not only hardy, but fast-growing. To ship and share these corals successfully, the key is to avoid handling living tissue... and to prevent the coral from repetitive contact with the walls of the shipping bag/container. Either stimulates the coral to produce mucus which is sometimes fatal in shipping (excess mucus invites potentially pathogenic bacteria to flourish). The easiest way to ship Xenia is to make a Styrofoam raft that is larger than the widest span of the specimen (footprint of base or spread of colony branches). Mount the coral upside down on this raft (rubberband the rock base to the Styro). In this fashion, coral tissue can practically never touch a vessel side wall. Best regards, Anthony> How to ship corals How do I ship live coral? Where do I get the supplies to do this? I got a butt load of pulsing xenia that I want to get rid of. I feel terrible for throwing it away (which I don't) and I rather see it in a good home.  < Good question. I'm not the most frequent shipper but hopefully I can help. Currently many people are using these small little thermos type containers. I think you can find them at Wal-Mart and they are typically Campbell's soup containers. Another option is a plastic bottle (like a Gatorade bottle). A bottle like this is best then placed in a Styrofoam box (Calfo uses wine bottle cooler boxes). That is basically it. Especially for xenia. Some SPS corals do much better when bagged floating upside down in the bag (attached to a piece of Styrofoam). Otherwise as long as you are quickly (overnight) shipping you should be fine. > Thanks, Patrick < Blundell >

Shipping Xenia, 4.30.05 How do I ship live coral? Where do I get the supplies to do this? I got a butt load of pulsing xenia that I want to get rid of. I feel terrible for throwing it away (which I don't) and I rather see it in a good home. <3 cups reef water in a double-bag, an icepack (during summer), and ship in 1 inch Styrofoam. 24-hour delivery. Smaller animals do much better than large ones. The receiver should keep some Lugol's solution on hand. You should be able to find these supplies at any saltwater store. Cheers! Ryan> 

Using WWM, Xeniid behavior Hello, I just bought a few stalks of pulsating xenia, they are pulsating but some are pulsating faster than others. If they pulse slower are they unhealthy or something? Is that an indication to coral health? I mean they are all fat not shriveled up or anything. I know pulsing has to do with how much flow is over them. If too much flow not a lot of pulsing. Just wondering if that is detrimental to them. Thanks! <This is posted on WWM. Bob Fenner> 

Refugium Dear Bob, Anthony & Staff, Thanks for all your help! My tank has improved so much since I found this site and your books. My problem is now things are growing too fast (especially my Xenia) I have given a lot away but they still grow back on the spots of the rocks were I cut them off. They truly are like weeds. My question is I have recently added a refugium with a DSB & Chaetomorpha (after reading Anthony's book) Do you think it would add any benefit to the refugium if I started to stock it with the Xenia? Thanks again.  <I think it would be very insignificant. James (Salty Dog)> 

Xenia photosynthetic? Yep... very! 1/5/05 Howdy all! Three big time cheers for the WWM crew on a superb site! <cheers!> I'm fairly new to the reefkeeping scene (6 obsessed months old) but have kept freshwater planted tanks since I was knee-high to a grasshopper, so you can get as technical as you want to so long as you don't go Einstein on me. <no fear from me - I'm still wearing Velcro shoes> I read on the Xeniid FAQ page http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidsysfaqs.htm) two comments by Bob that Xeniids are not photosynthetic (do a "find on this page" for that word and it's the first two hits). <simply a typo if so... I didn't peep the thread> This runs counter to everything I've read about Xeniids. <correct... they are in fact one of the most nearly/fully autotrophic cnidarians to be found in the hobby> I have had two small frags in my 15g nano with 80w of PC (50/50 and 6500K) along with star polyps, various shrooms, and a couple small fish and shrimp (all I need now is some crab legs and butter). I'd love to plop some Xenia in my 55 gallon fish/invert tank but it only has 4 NO tubes. What sayest thou? <the common Xenia elongata (fast pulse Xenia) is very hardy, highly adaptable and will easily live here> Many thanks for your help, both now and from the site!!! Cheers! Matt, Charleston SC <go for it, bro... I'm going to re-adjust my shoes now. Anthony> <<Yikes. RMF>>

Population Control/Parasite Issues (Xenia, Black Ich) Hello folks, <Hi! Ryan helping you today.> Today's email has two topics.  The first finding a way to control my pulsing xenia.  My tank is as follows: -55g (will be upgrading to a 120g soon) -4+ years old -80lbs live rock -Fish:  1 coral beauty, 1 six-line wrasse, 1 yellow tang -Inverts:  1 cleaner shrimp, 2 emerald crabs, ~15 Astrea snails, ~5 turbo snails, ~5 red-legged hermits -Corals:  Yellow polyps, White clove polyps, blue, orange, green, pink and lavender zoanthids, 1 toadstool leather, pink cabbage coral, red mushroom polyps, orange Ricordea, 1 mosaic mushroom polyp, various sponges, pink pulsing xenia -Parameters:  pH - 1.024, Ammonia - 0, Nitrite - 0, Nitrate - 0, temp - 79F (calcium, iodine, strontium, molybdenum, etc. all within acceptable levels) My problem is my pulsing xenia.  A little over a year ago, I bought 3, 1 inch stalks of it.  Now, I've got over 40 stalks of xenia and it's multiplying by the day.  It seems to be growing out of control, and taking over other desirable corals (the zoanthids have a hard time fighting for position).  I plan on taking rocks covered with it back to the store for trade (I've got a great local LFS near me), but would also like to trim some back where it's growing on rocks with other animals.  The problem is, when I cut it back, it just grows back again out of the remaining stalks.  I don't want to *scrape* it off, for fear of damaging the other animals and possibly releasing toxins into the water.  It can be chiseled off of some of my rocks, but some of the rock frags are too small to split and have some really great zoanthids on them.  Are there any other ways that this coral can be removed from rock that I've not seen? <Xenia is commonly seen re-populating previously deserted reefs...I bet you know why, huh?  It's reefer's crabgrass!  I have many friends who have similar issues with all varieties of xenia.  Pulsing Xenia seems to be a fast grower, but Anthelia is even faster in my experience.  As for removal, I would remove the entire rock from the water and scrape it clean with a plastic scraper of some type.  As you know, the smallest piece left can repopulate a xenia colony within weeks.  Scrape, and then rinse the rock with saltwater to eliminate small pieces from straggling.  Perhaps it's easier to remove the zoos first?> My next topic has to do with a case of black ich that I recently experienced.  I purchased a yellow tang not too long ago, and quarantined him for two weeks in a 20g nurse tank.  After he showed good health and eating and absolutely NO signs of disease, I put him in my display tank. About 1 month after that, I noticed very, VERY tiny black specs (smaller than pepper) on his side.  Turned out to be black ich.  I weighted the idea of trapping him from the display tank, but this would've wreaked havoc on the tank and would've really stressed out the fish.  I can't treat the tank with traditional methods, due to the softies in there.  So -- I did something that hadn't been recommended, but was a wonderful success.  I purchased a cleaner shrimp from my LFS.  It was a healthy specimen that had already setup a cleaning station in the LFS tank.  I brought him home and within a week's time, he had acclimated, setup a cleaning station and had removed every parasite from the tang.  The coral beauty and the wrasse have shown no signs of infection and the tang has not had a reinfestation.  This seemed like the most *natural* approach to the issue, especially since it was caught very early on and since black ich is one of the slower diseases in terms of damaging fish.  My question is -- am I just lucky that this worked out in my favor? <Lucky so far...Parasites have a life cycle that doesn't always include hosting on the fish.  Just be on the lookout for a relapse, and have a QT tank ready.> I'd hate to think that I gambled with this fish's wellbeing, but my goal was truly to cure him in a way that caused the least stress and disruption to my system.  If this is a reasonable approach to addressing an outbreak of a parasite, I'm wondering why I don't see this type of treatment recommended more often. <They're highly unsuccessful at eliminating disease long-term.  It's similar to adding an algae eater into an algae-filled pond and saying the problem is fixed.  Even if he eats all algae on the walls, cells still exist that could re-populate the colony!  You're either lucky or have a false sense of security.> I normally only see cleaners advocated for prevention. <Yes, they are wonderful for prevention and display!  Good luck, Ryan> Thanks as always.  You folks are absolutely fantastic! Deb Colella

Caulerpa and Xenia newbie <Hey Angela, Mac here> Ok so, I got the mix n' match special for IPSF.com which included 2 types of Caulerpa (Long and Short Feather Caulerpa), as well as their tang heaven. <Nice mix.> My question: I don't have a refugium and wanted to include these macroalgae directly in my tank for food, as well as some greenery.  <Sounds good.> I've been doing some reading on the site and so far most people with Caulerpa have it in a refugium with the lights on 24/7 to avoid the plant going "sexual"-which I assume can wipe out the tank. <It can be such a problem.> My lights are on 12 hours a day; will this cause an eventual toxic situation? <It possibly will go toxic, but you can watch it closely.  You watch for signs of it turning white and can clip off that portion, which will stop it from turning sexual.>  I don't have a reef tank just FOWLR. <The big questions is what kind of fish do you have in your tank.  Some tangs and larger angels will eat the Caulerpa.> Is there a particular type of Caulerpa that are more dangerous than others, or are the types I have ok? <Personal experience here, the grape went sexual very quickly on me.> If not I'll remove them immediately. On that note, as part of my IPSF.com shipment I got a "freebie"- a slow pulse which I believe is a Xenia.  <Sounds like it.> It was pulsing about an hour ago, but it was near the bottom of the tank and wasn't attaching to anything-it sort of fell to its side. Moved it near the top of the tank (good current but not too strong as its unattached). I think the move really stressed it out. It stopped pulsing and all the branches are open and drooping. I guess its dying. <Maybe not, it could be just traumatized.> The tank is a 90 gallon with 6-20 watt full spectrum fluorescents and 2-20 watt actinic blue bulbs. Ph is 8.4 during the day, ca 450, salinity 1.023. Thanks so much -Angela <Good luck, Mac>

Xenia 4/2/04 Hi WWM crew,  Your site has always been a great resource to me and thanks a lot for that. <Thanks for the kind words!> I've a question on Xenia that I can't quite understand.  I bought one Xenia half year ago and it is doing OK if not great.  It's not spreading mad but its polyp is fully extended and pulsing.  Last week, I bought another Xenia which is a different kind from the previous and place it in my tank, which is 1.5 year old.  My observation is the new one is not good as the whole stalk seems to have deflated.  Trying to keep it alive, I moved the Xenia to another location in the tank with brighter light and heavier water flow.  When I move the Xenia, I notice it leach out something (maybe some chemicals).  What's that?  Also, after the introduction of the new Xenia, the old Xenia collapsed yesterday.  Do you think this is a coincidence or they are actually related? <Do you know if your new xenia is captive raised or wild caught?  Wild caught xenias are notorious for not being very hardy, and introducing them often seems to be injurious to previously introduced xenias.  What you saw leaching from the xenia was probably either tissue fluids or actual bits of tissue.> Also, this is my third attempt trying to keep Xenia but all in vain.  I've also tried to keep mushroom twice but failed also.  I'm successful in keeping star polyp, Parazoanthus gracilis, bubble, frogspawn, cup coral and fox coral.  Do you have any recommendation what other kinds of corals likely that I can keep?  Thanks again.  Regards,  Manus <Xenia just doesn't do well for some folks, while it is a pest to others.  Alkalinity and pH are very important for xenia.  Be sure your alkalinity is 3-4.5 mEq/L or 9-13 dKH and pH stays consistently above 8.0.  Some folks have asserted the importance of Iodine and Iron, but many folks keep xenia successfully without adding these elements.  In my opinion, you will get plenty of iodine and iron with 10-20% monthly water changes.  Best Regards.  Adam> Odd...(xenia not doing well) 1/14/03 To the WWM staff- <Hi David. Adam here this evening.> I have a question for you in regards to a xenia colony I have in my 20H nano, and I hope you can shed some light on this issue for me.  I originally purchased the coral as a frag, and it grew very rapidly for about five months or so.  It slowly began to shrivel over the course of a few weeks, and now it does not open it's polyps at all....it only extends it's stalks a bit, although not a considerable length.  I believe the onset of this behavior coincides with the addition of a clown goby; this goby liked to perch on the xenia in particular, and I know it highly irritated the coral.  Since then it just refuses to open, even now after the perpetrator has been removed some 3 weeks now.   The confusing part is that the rest of the tank is thriving, this is what puzzles me the most.  I have a small anthelia colony in the tank as well, and this colony is growing at a rate similar to that of the xenia when it was in it's peak growth.  Is not the anthelia closely related to the xenia?  Does it not require similar husbandry overall?  The reason I ask is I figured the anthelia would react in a similar fashion if the problem was related to the tank's parameters.  The goby did not perch on the anthelia, only the xenia.  The rest of the coral livestock is as follows-A 2 inch lime green finger (beautiful!), a colony of Parazoanthus, and a purple brush gorgonian, a small colony of purple Shrooms, and a few Ricordea polyps.  I plan on stocking this tank with all soft corals, as I know it is best to stick to one general grouping, especially in a tank of this size.  No mixed garden reef here.  All of these other corals are thriving, the gorgonian has full polyp extension and is quite rapidly growing back to the base of it's stalk.  I know the success I am having with the rest of the corals should not be compared to the xenia, as they are all quite different.  The tank is very stable though, and I guess that is what I am trying to relate to you. On to husbandry. I skim the tank, I run PolyFilter continuously, and I change app. 3 gallons of water a week.  In addition, I have a reverse photoperiod refugium consisting of a deep sand bed, a nice crop of Gracilaria to help with nutrient export, and a healthy population of micro fauna.  I add 2 milliliters of c-balance daily, along with a dose of iodine and a dose of SeaChem reef calcium to boost my coralline growth.  As far as parameters are concerned...KH-11, ph-8.4(always), CA-350, nitrates do not even test.  I do not dose trace elements, nor do I dose other additives. Do you think the xenia could still be "pouting" after the month or so it had of the clown perching on it?  The coral is not infected, it is very healthy in appearance.  There are no lesions/etc. of any kind, the base is intact.  In fact, the coral is producing very tiny polyps still at it's base, so growth is still occurring.  Predation is out; I have nothing in the tank that would bother it, and I have examined the tank closely for any possible predators.  I know chemical warfare is probably quite prevalent due to the livestock I have, but I figured it would be diluted due to my husbandry practices.   If you could throw a thought or two my way, it would be greatly appreciated.  Your site is the greatest tool I have found in this hobby, and I am ever so grateful for it :) Sincerely, David Conners <What you have described is quite common.  Xenia is "fussy" and will go through periods of strong growth and periods of dying back or looking sickly.  Despite being closely related, anthelia and xenia can react quite differently to similar conditions.  Xenia can be sensitive to "chemical warfare", and this is a possibility.  I commend your water change routine, but it would take massive water changes to totally eliminate all possibility of chemical warfare.  Beware that predatory crabs can hide by day and stalk by night.  If there is a possibility that the xenia problems also coincided with the start of iodine supplementation, try withholding the iodine to see if that helps.  Best of luck!  Adam>

Looks Like Xenia to Me (12/18/2003) I recently bought my first coral as part of a mail-order shipment.  It was a last minute add-on to a fish order, and I left the final choice up to a salesperson, so I did not get a precise identification of what they were sending.  <Better to know what you're getting before you order, so you can learn how to care for it before you get it. Do you have any coral books? Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" or Julian Sprung's coral book would be a great start.> We had talked about "yellow polyps," but my coral is not yellow, so I'm not sure what it is.  Can anyone identify this?  I've looked through lots of documents on your site, but haven't found a close match.  Picture is attached. <Definitely not "yellow polyps. Although the polyps are mostly closed in the picture, it looks like a xenia to me. Start here to check & learn how to care for it: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm  Another possibility is Clavularia.> Also, the coral seems to be doing great in the tank, and seems to be budding, but it wouldn't stay on the rock where I tried to set it.  Is this a coral that should be on the sand, or can I attempt to get it up and attached to my on live rock? <On the rock would be fine. It should already be attached to its own bit of rock. You can affix it to the rock you want it to be on with aquarium epoxy. Where you place it depends on the depth of your tank and the lighting you have. See WWM for requirements.> Thanks in advance. <My pleasure, Steve Allen>

Hagen KH test kit... and Xenia Just like to say ahead of time, thanks for helping out!  Ok, here's my problem.  On the WWM website I have read many times that you want to keep the dKH around 8-10.  On my Hagen KH test kit it says that anything above 125 mg/L is too high.  When I convert 125 mg/L to dKH I get 7 dKH.  So, if I was to shoot for 8-10 dKH that would be at least 143.2 mg/L.  So what level am I supposed to aim for? <you want to aim for 8-10 dKH> My calcium is at 450 ppm right now and my KH is 130 mg/L (or 7.28 dKH). This is all assuming I did my calculations correctly, please feel free to double check my math! <Why don't you try a test kit that is not so confusing. Try Salifert or Red Sea pHarm. (the reason I say this is if the test is a pain to use you will more than likely not test as much as you should) Also if the test kit is old it will give you incorrect readings (there should be a date on the package with expiration on it.>   While I have you here, I have a question on a pulsing Xenia I have had my eye on.  There is a pulsing Xenia that I want at a LFS, but the LFS isn't really local!  It's about 1.5 - 2 hours away.  I heard that Xenia don't travel so well.  It's a large rock completely covered with Xenia and I would love to have it, but I don't want to get it home just to find I've killed it in transit.  Any help on how/if I should get it home would be great.  Thanks so much... again, and again, and again!!! <you should have no problem bringing the xenia home. I would say bring your own Rubbermaid (in case they do not have large styros) or ask the LFS to place it in a  large Styro and with lots of water.2 hours should be no problem. Remember to acclimate them slow once you get home. good luck MikeH> Steve

She wore "Blue Xenia", woh, woh, woh... Bob-can you tell me were I can buy any Sansibia blue xenia ?     Thank you             RGibson <Nope (don't know), but have heard there are bits about... for high prices... maybe the folks at Marine Center, or Doctors Foster & Smith can help you... or the BB's. Will send this over to Anthony... and missed you in NC over the wknd. Bob Fenner>

Xeniid shrimp id AntBuboine, can you id this Palaemonid for me? You had said someone sent you a pic recently... Boub

Hippolyte commensalis (Xeniid shrimp) Holy cow, Bob! How did you see this little bugger?!?!? <Found by the dive guide... I would gladly 'fess up otherwise 'twere it so> You are the man... seriously: Hippolyte commensalis <We're da fishmen!> a gorgeous critter on a gorgeous coral <G>. I should not be surprised to admit it... and it took me long enough (thanks mostly to your tireless efforts)... but, I'm a dreaming and a hankerin to do some serious (but safe <G>) reef diving. <Omigosh!> Still got tons to work out at home... as you know, my grandparents were/are everything to me. These years are precious. We took my gram to the docs today too for more tests... there are some sobering concerns re: leukemia now. Will be taking her for second tests next week :( And then to Cape May, NJ for a quaint retreat for a few days thee following week (Di knows/likes Cape May Point?... 'tis my speed :) <Okay> At any rate... the dive vacation that I promised myself after we finished NMARI... I will take after NMA RF <VBG>. Time and funds allowing :) Maybe Fiji. <Let me know when, and let's go> I thank you sincerely for your inspiration in so many ways to me, my friend. Antoine <The feeling's mutual compadre. Bob F>

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>

Pumping All Day! (Xenia Pumping Behavior) Hi, <Hi there! Scott F. with you today!> I've bought some Red Sea Pulsing Xenia from FFExpress, and it's been in my reef tank for about 2 weeks now and has largely recovered from the shipping process.  They are fully extending during the day and just look great. <Awesome! Wonderful corals for all sorts of hobbyists!> I have read about the factors that "promote" pulsing behavior in these species (namely pH/alkalinity and iodine).  I have noticed that when the xenia are almost completely or partially retracted (either in early morning as they awaken, or at night as they are almost fully retracted or partially retracted), they pulse. <Yep, I noticed that, too.> However, when the polyps are fully extended, they do not pulse (only in the semi-retracted state).  I have read that pulsing behavior occurs only when pH is > 8.3.  My pH is around 8.4-8.3 with a pH of >8.3 at night. <Interesting observation; one which has been made before. There may be some merit to this theory...> salinity is 1.023-1.024, Ammonia and nitrite is 0 and nitrate ranges from 5-10 ppm.  I do 10-15% water changes every week with charcoal  filter changes every 2 weeks.   <Nice procedure! Consistent, aggressive maintenance is so important to long-term success> I dose with B-ionic supplement about every 2 days.  Ca is 420 and I have about 2-3 inches of live Caribbean sand.  I was curious as to why the xenias are pulsing only at certain times of retraction/extension and what needs to be done to get them to pulse when they are fully retracted. <That's the $10,000,000 question! There are numerous theories on this, and you've touched on a few. I like the observation about pH and pulsing. I wonder if it may have something to do with current patterns (in nature, at least), which might vary from time to time. For much more on this subject, you might enjoy Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation", or Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals", not to mention the tons of information you can find on the internet about Xenia...Enjoy the research! Maybe you'll be the ONE to unlock the secret!>   Lighting is via 2x 96 watt power compact (1 daylight and 1 full actinic), and the xenia are in turbulent moderate water flow (definitely not strong since I also read that some xenia don't pulse when the current is too strong). <Well, direction may have something to do with it. The pumping may also serve to rid the colony of metabolites, so the amount of pumping may vary during the day...> They get light about 12 hours a day and extend for most of this period and retract about 30 minutes before lights go out.  Your input is greatly appreciated.  Thanks! Fil - Filemon S. Dela Cruz <Well, Fil- you guess is as good as mine! I think that the answer lies somewhere in between a number of the theories that we have discussed. Keep observing! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Xenia question 8/27/03 Hi Guys, Robert here <howdy> I need your expert opinion on a matter concerning Xenia's and a mentally ill clown. The Xenia has been in the tank for a while and is growing like a weed, it has been harassed by my percula clown since it has been in the aquarium, the clown rips the polyps of and spits them out somewhere else in the tank, and every time he does this it starts a colony somewhere else (and I thought that clowns are reef safe fish). <they generally are... but many are known to take residence in LPS corals like false-anemones and kill them... others nibble coral. Strange things happen in captivity... and Xenia are weakly noxious> This one has a personality problem and seems to hate any inverts, it is not just the xenia but he picks the hermit crabs up and drops them on the other side of the tank or he pushes them like a snow plough through the gravel leaving them shell shocked and even the green star polyps have felt the pain caused by this mentally ill clown. The only friend this clown has is the Green carpet anemone, that he cuddles up to. <ughh... how I dread to hear of anemones with corals. A bad long term mix for many reasons (do peruse the WWM FAQ archives on this subject)> Is this normal behaviour or did he loose one of the two brain cells he had during shipment. <I suspect she's just territorial> But this is not what I actually wanted to ask, My question is that the last two days I have seen the Xenia releasing what looks like small white eggs into the water and this is eagerly gulped up by the fish, I have no idea what this is, the pieces that are not eaten look sticky as they stick to the first thing it comes into contact with, Is this the Xenia trying to reproduce or is this some copepod or  worm thingy, The "eggs" are about 2mm in length. <it could be reproduction... has been observed in aquaria> I am no Marine biologist but I have never seen this before. They seem to be coming from the base of the Xenia between the polyps. They also seem to all be gone and when I check there are more of them again, The look like they have a sticky thread attaching them to the base of the Xenia and as soon as they move upwards and pass the polyps this releases and the "egg drifts in the current until it finds something to attach to, I checked under a magnifying glass to see if they are not a small worm or something but they do not move and have no legs or anything suggesting that they are animals and not part of the Xenia Any comments would be appreciated as always. Regards Robert. <it sounds like a thriving and well manicured colony ;) Enjoy... and please do consider pulling the anemone and clown to a separate species tank sans corals. Anthony>

Xenia propagation and shameless book plugs 8/4/03 I have been reading the entries on wetwebmedia.com (WWM) regarding Xenia propagation, and I have also been reading GARF's website. <hey... and don't forget my Book of Coral Propagation <G>: http://www.readingtrees.com/books_in_print.htm heehee... shameless... just shameless <G>> I understand that the pH should be relatively high (8.3+) and the temperature low (76F). <correcto... especially so on the pH... but not so critical on temp. Warmer temps can be tolerated easily even if not ideally> I recently added a very nice rock with 4 Xenia stalks on it and I would like to promote the growth of them in my tank. I have a very stable pH of 8.0 (+/- 0.2 day/night) and my tank temperature is 82-81 F (day/night). <the temp is fine... the pH is not going to work. Really very flat for success with most corals> I do not use a fan inside my canopy, but I am considering adding one. I think I can cool the tank by 3-4 degrees just by adding a small fan. In your opinion should I try to adjust the pH and the temperature? <the pH is a much bigger issue here for all. Do relax on the temp> I have attempted to raise my pH before using pickling lime and baking soda, but I only ended up with a very well buffered system (~6 dKH) with high calcium numbers (525 ppm) and my pH was still lower than my goal of 8.0. <have you read through the archives regarding pH and aeration (insulation of modern homes trapping CO2/affecting off-gassin of carbonic acid. Very common in the summer months with closed windows and doors. Do confirm this problem by aerating a glass of aquarium water outside for 6-12 hours vigorously... the pH should not move upwards (else a problem is indicated)> I wonder if high nitrate levels (20-30 ppm) could be the problem? <not a problem for Xenia. They can be found growing on the sewage effluent pipes of coastal hotels... seriously> I am addressing them with 40% water changes each weekend. <still excellent to hear> They are dropping and I will have them under control in about 2 more weekends. Shame on me for not getting a new test kit. <we have all made this mistake... good to hear you on the ball now, my friend> I have added more live rock to my refugium and will also increase the sand bed depth in the refugium from 1-inch to 3-inches. <hey... while I am shamelessly promoting books... see the info on the same link above for our book on "Reef Invertebrates". It has the most extensive coverage of refugiums/live sand, plants and algae in the hobby. See Amazon.com and the big message boards for reviews/perspective of both titles for your consideration :) > Your help is greatly appreciated! Jeff <best regards, Anthony>

Question on moving/removing Xenia >Hi Crew, >>Greetings, Marina today. >Thanks for all your invaluable information.   Need some help figuring out how to move a Xenia Coral.  It is affixed to two pieces of live rock that will be difficult to move together.  >>For those meeting its needs, this, it turns out, is not uncommon. >I need to clean a pump that is enclosed in a skimmer box and the rock makes it impossible to do.  I am new to coral and so far this coral is doing well so I am reluctant to move it but have to keep the water quality up as this pump feeds the skimmer.  Will this coral let go of one of the rocks or will I do it irreparable harm?  I have looked in Anthony's book but can't find this information.  Any help would be greatly appreciated. >>I believe that you can treat the necessary procedure as "fragging", typically when one removes a part or branch of coral (soft and stony).  With Xenia, I believe you can actually take a sharp razor, I would probably use a straight edge blade.  If yours are growing as I am picturing, then you can basically treat them like a head of broccoli, cutting at the base, pick the narrowest "connection", and hopefully you will only need one, maybe two cuts to separate the rock.  What I would think is worse is tearing them apart, much loss of life, I would think.  Links:  http://www.reefs.org/library/talklog/d_maughmer_110799.html http://www.fishprofiles.com/profiles/coral/xenia.asp Best of luck!  Marina

Pulsatory Functioning Xeniids 7/21/03 Anthony, you once told me (via faq) that there are many factors that regulate the pulsing xenias pulse.  Remember, I asked you, if it's acceptable to use it as a bio-indicator, specifically, ph.  You asked me, "why?".   <ahhh yes, I do recall. Agreed that Xeniids are categorically sensitive to such changes... just concerned for anyone that would gage tank health or even just one parameter (pH) by it when it is not clearly defined in hard science> and stated money concerns, but I already have it in the tank, so..... can I end ph testing.   <with all of the life and money you have invested in the tank, I would not recommend ceasing pH testing for any reason. Even if you could... it saves you little, costs so little to do... and takes so little time. There is also the required Ca, ALK, SG, temp, etc testing still to be done at any rate> I have a 55 gallon acrylic.   I was hoping you could spoon feed me what those factors are that affect the pulse.   <alas, it is not so clear in science. Just established anecdotally> also, I'm somewhat new to your site, can you tell a bit more about yourself, like, how old are you, where are you from originally, how many tanks do you have at home, what are your plans for the future?  not that I want a date or anything, I'm just curious about my most trusted source of info. <no worries... we all have our crew bios posted here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/wwmcrew.htm most of my professional experience was in a greenhouse farming corals for wholesalers. Of all things, Xenia elongata really was a staple for my business and is so for many others. A wonderful, attractive and saleable coral. Best regards, Anthony>

New tank, new xenia, can you say acclimate? I knew you could. - 7/17/03 Hello, we have a 65 gallon aquarium with 60#'s of crushed coral, 80-85#'s live rock, 5 Chromis, 40 micro hermits, 5 bumble bee snails, 4 Astrea snails, a feather duster and a  small xenia(3 stalks that are about 2 inches tall) <Very nice>.  The tank has been set up for approximately 4 and a half weeks.<Wow! A very young tank. Welcome!>  We purchased our first coral, the xenia, this weekend, and it was doing great. <Very cool>  Today when I woke up I noticed that it had little tiny pin head size or smaller black dots all over it,<dots or holes?> and had buds that look like they are the start of new stems on the bottom.<That's a good thing>  I am concerned that it is not doing well, because of the dots, but then it is still growing. <Xenia is a strange coral indeed. Some need very strong lighting and some don't. Eric Borneman and Anthony Calfo have some great information in their books regarding Xenia. I highly recommend both books. Sometimes a xenia colony will do great for 2 years and then suddenly just fade away for no known reason. My best advice is to leave the xenia nearer the bottom of the tank for at least a week. Also, it should be noted that they do tend to be hardy, but only after the initial introduction to new tank conditions and if the tank is a robust and aged system. They seem to do well with a good amount of flow. By no means do they need direct current straight from a powerhead, but good flow is not only good for the xenia, but also good for the tank.>   Any help would be appreciated.  Lighting is 2 -10000K Coralife bulbs, and 2 -actinic bulbs, both 36", The xenia is sitting in the current of the water return, and it is near the upper 1/3 of the tank. <Sounds good. Remember this is a new coral in a new tank. It is stressful to introduce coral no matter what the tank conditions are. Give it time to go adjust to the tank (new lighting, new flow, foodstuffs, etc) Time is what is needed, first, before we start to troubleshoot. Give it the rest of the week and see what happens. Keep a picture journal to log the events and changes. Could be very useful. Good luck - Paul>

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