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FAQs about Caryophyllid Coral Behavior 1

Related Articles: Caryophyllid Corals, Elegance Coral

FAQs on Caryophyllid Behavior 1, Caryophylliid Behavior 2, Caryophylliid Behavior 3, Caryophylliid Behavior 4,

Related FAQs: Caryophylliids 1Caryophylliids 2Caryophylliids 3, Caryophylliids 4, Caryophyllid ID, Caryophyllid Compatibility, Caryophyllid Systems, Caryophyllid Selection, Caryophyllid Feeding, Caryophyllid Disease, Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral Behavior,

Bubble Coral, beh. f' follow-up     6/30/10
Dear Bob and Justin, you've been so helpful over time with my questions.
I wanted to send some updates.
My bubble coral is much larger than it was when it began splitting, and it is still not completely split. I last wrote you about 9 months ago regarding it.
<I semi-recall>
It continues to grow. The color has changed. The color has gone from white/pink to a green with flesh stripes. It has large tentacles, all the time, and is living on Mysis shrimp and krill, still.
<Looks very healthy indeed>
The color change is probably related to my lighting change. We have now gone to 250 watt HQIx2, 20k.
<Ah yes>
I do not supplement with the compacts, although I do have actinics on and use them about 2 days a week, a couple hours only each day. I believe my tank is getting sufficient lighting. Any thoughts on spectrums where the bubble coral are concerned?
<Appears fine>
I've changed tanks, also. We moved it to a 75 Oceanic. It has better flow. Flow is still high, but not where the coral is located.
<Again, likely fine. I have encountered Plerogyras in very stagnant
settings in the wild>Here is the updated image of the coral. I've attached it. All the advice you gave me was sound and as always, very correct. I have removed much of the coral I had, and got rid of my LTA. It has spread out far more.
I just wanted to thank you for all the advice and share a photo of my green bubble. Notice all the small brown spots disappeared?
Interesting. I was not sure what they were...pigmentation or what, but with close examination, they were not moving and were actually pigmented into the skin. With more light, they are gone.
Thanks again,
PS- Here is my former contacts with you
<Thank you for this update Bonnie. BobF>

Torch coral... hlth? Beh.?  03/01/09 Hello good day to you. Have a small question today. I have a few Hammer and Torch corals in my tank. All are doing great, with excellent polyp extension. I provide them with moderate flow and moderate lighting. So far they look very happy and reward me with beautiful and healthy looking extension of their tentacles. However, I did notice something. One of my Torch and one of my Hammer Corals seem to have lost its stickiness on its tentacles. The others are doing fine, with sticky tentacles that enable them to catch Mysis and the occasional table shrimp. I just wanted to know if the coral is declining? I really hope not because it is one my favourite corals. I feed my tank 3 small portions a day, rotating between Mysis, pellets and my own blend of seafood. I have a healthy amount of fish that produce waste (I heard some corals like fish fecal matter?), and 20% water changes about once a week. Please advise on my situation..I do hope that they are still getting enough food via photosynthesis and the dissolved organics along with some very fine food that they might get through absorption. The only thing that they cannot seem to get hold of is bigger pieces of food due to their non-sticky tentacles. <Kai, I'm not even sure this seeming lack of "stickiness" is even a problem/concern. If the corals are not receding and are extending as normal, I'd assume they're ok. But you have a lot going on in a relatively small tank. You have a Moorish idol in a small tank with corals... maybe that's the problem. Or maybe your corals are just getting plenty to eat. Again, if you're not seeing any obvious signs of decline, I wouldn't worry.> Just a quick update on my Moorish idol since I am already writing to you. 2 and a half weeks old and going strong. Had fight off Ich and has gained good immunity against it (hopefully). Fat and alert, and have taken a strong liking towards New Life Spectrum pellets and Mysis enriched with Selcon. Feeds aggressively on = anything except flake which it seems to hate. <That's good. But you're still going to have to find another home for this fish.> Have a pleasant weekend. - Kai <Cheers, Sara M.>

Torch Coral, beh.   01/21/09 Is there anything that torch coral are particularly sensitive to? <Hmm, not anything I can think of that other corals wouldn't also be sensitive to. You might want to check all your water parameters to see if anything is off.> Right after I fed some Kent Microvert <I would not recommend this product.> and dosed some magnesium, the animal began to shrink. <Could you have accidently over-done the magnesium dosing? It's easy to do...> The rest of the tank inhabitants seem fine. I've been observing my xenia closing its fingers into tight fists about 1.5 hours before lights out. <This is normal.> It seems to be responding to these feedings by opening some and pulsing. Unfortunately I can only observe the tank the four days a week that I work when I get home @ 7:30 and the lights go out @ 9:00. On my three days off I can observe the tank pretty much all day. <Do observe your corals at night too. Many corals will start to close up before lights out... in anticipation of lights out. Best, Sara M.>

Frogspawn bubble?  4/26/08 Hello, In the last two days, my frogspawn coral has been closing during the day. Today I noticed that there was a "bubble" structure coming out of one of the polyps. I've attached a picture of the coral. <Mmm, nope> Is this "bubble" something I should be worried about, and what should I do if not? <Is likely a situation of "polyp bail-out"... See this term on the Net re corals...> My water quality is fine, calcium is a little low at 300ppm, I just administered a feeding of Coral Frenzy zooplankton at the suggested dosage before I began noticing the "bubble". Maybe that is a clue. Thanks very much! <Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Sweeper tentacles on a Euphyllia parancora -02/24/08 Hi Crew, I've looked through Eric Borneman's coral book, searched WWM extensively, and Googled the web for a picture of a Euphyllia parancora with its sweeper tentacles "deployed" with no luck. I have one (for 3 weeks now after a gentle drip acclimation of 3 hours) and I've yet to see any. <This is not unusual. It can take a long time before a coral starts to put out sweepers (if they ever do). It might also only extend them while you're sleeping or otherwise not looking.> Frankly, I'm not sure what I'm looking for and I can't find a description of what they look like nor a picture. <All sweeper tentacles from different corals look very similar. They basically just look like much longer versions of the normal feeding tentacles. Some are thicker or longer than others depending on the type of corals, but if you've seen then in one coral, you should be able to identify them in any coral. Just do a Google image search for "sweeper tentacles" and you should get enough images to give you a good idea of what they will look like.> I have noticed some unusual looking tentacles round tip instead of the typical anchor) but they are 2 inches long at the most and out during the day. Any help on this would be greatly appreciated. <This is normal. And some of the tentacles will have two "hammers" instead of just one. It's normal to have a few such "misshapen" looking tentacles.> And please forgive my lack of "tank parameter" info. I'm only seeking a description or picture of the sweepers. Thanks Ed <De nada, Sara M.>

Bugs inside torch tentacle  11/13/07 Hello, I made an ill-advised purchase of a torch that was not doing so well at the LFS. Anyway I have seen what look like little bugs swimming inside the tentacles themselves. Just little black dots going back and forth inside the tentacles. It is in a quarantine tank by itself. Just really strange looking. <Aieeeee! It sounds like it might spawn! :-D Please try to take some pictures and send them in if you can!! And I would keep it in quarantine... sometimes coral spawn can really mess up your water.> Thanks, James <My pleasure! Sara M.>

Hammer coral problem... just beh.     8/30/07 I have a younger branching hammer coral. It hasn't branched yet its still a single piece. As I was watching my tank tonight, aprox 15 min before the lights would turn off, I noticed that a few of the tentacles started to turn a dark brownish color and shrink in. Then a brownish, stringy film started coming straight out of the center of the coral. It would grow to about an inch or so then break off as it continued. Before the lights had turned off, the entire coral had shrunk up and doesn't look very healthy. <So long as it returns to normal by the morning, it's fine. Corals do this all the time. It's something like pooping (for lack of a better word). They also do it to expel Zooxanthellae.> This all took place 1 day after a 50% water change. Everything else in the tank is incredibly healthy and as vibrant as ever! What can I do? <You don't need to do anything. Hakuna matata my friend.> ~Mike F <Best, Sara M.>

Bubble Coral, hlth., fdg., beh.  8/29/07 Greetings Crew, I've had a bubble coral for about 2 months now and he has been doing very well. Recently with the last few weeks he is just not inflating very much. He has 5 separate stalks in which 4 of them will at times stretch out extremely far, but one very rarely extends. The bubbles themselves have not achieved the sized that I had recently had. I have them under power compact lighting in a 29 gallon BioCube ( 144 watt ) 2 actinic and 2 10000 k sunlight. My water parameters are as follows Ph 8.4 Nitrites 0 Nitrates 0 Ammonia 0 SG 1.025 Calcium 520 ppm <whoa, seriously?!> Phosphate 0 Temperature 78-79 F <What is your alkalinity?> I have seen my temperature climbing in excess of 81 degrees on occasion since I do live in Florida and it's summer. I've recently propped up the enclosure so I have a 3/4" gap around the tank and hood and opened the rear sump door and front feeding door to get in some more airflow to see if this alleviates some problems. I'm also feeding some I some silversides once a week to whichever stalks happen to have their "mouths" open. If it turns out not to be a heat issue, what else could it be. I also feed them phytoplankton and regularly does Coral-Accel and Coral Vita <Ok, no more silversides unless you chop them up as small as diced onions. A lot of people make the rookie mistake of thinking that because the mouth of the bubble coral is so big, it must want really big food. It doesn't. It's similar to the fact that you could probably fit a whole lemon in your mouth but getting it down is another matter. Try feeding the polyps much smaller pieces (Mysid shrimp are a good start). I'd ditch the coral-Accel and coral vital.> Missing info ... I have the coral skeleton in live sand at the bottom of the tank in mild water flow area. It is in the open so it is also receiving direct lighting. I rearranged the live rock a little bit so I could get him out of direct light per your article. <Also try to make sure that they can fully expand without scraping the sand.> Tim <Best, Sara M.>

Re: Bubble Coral, hlth., fdg., beh.  8/29/07 Lol... Yeh... I use a 2 part kit for calcium and alkalinity ( B-ionic ) I ran out of alkalinity test solution so I couldn't provide that :( <Yikes! Dude, how did you even measure that? My test kit only goes to 500ppm! lol Anyway... your alkalinity is probably dangerously low. You should get an alkalinity kit ASAP. If it's low you can raise it with baking soda (couple teaspoons at a time).> and yes I do chop the silverside up extremely small and the bubble eats it very very slowly <Ah, good... sorry I underestimated your sophistication. :-) Best, Sara M.>

Bubble coral troubles... just growth, normal behavior - 07/01/07 Hi Crew, <Wendy> I have a few questions regarding our bubble coral. We have a 60 gal. tank that we added a small (approximately 3 inch diameter) bubble coral to 4 months ago. Since then, it has grown to be about 12 inches in diameter! <Wow!> It is beautiful, and has lots of sweeper tentacles out most of the time. <Mmmm... do you wonder why? What their function is?> My concern is that it has now "stretched" almost down to the floor of the aquarium on one side. The bubbles are still present and look fine, but it's mouth area is clearly visible as the tissues are pulled down around it. Is this normal? I wondered if it would fragment itself off and start a new coral? <Is normal... is "protecting", extending its territory> My other question also involves the same bubble coral. It's stinging tentacle is about 6 inches long, and is causing us to move other corals even further away than we had originally. <Ah yes> (We had everything about 6 inches away from it.) This coral has become a beast and is quickly taking over our tank!! Is it possible to clip off the stinging tentacle without harming the coral? <Mmm, no. Not advised> Thanks in advance for your advice! Wendy <... A larger system in your future? Bob Fenner>

Tale of two polyps ... Plerogyra beh., hlth.  11/16/06 <Hi Brian, Michelle here.> Thanks again for answering another question.  Last week I purchased a small green bubble coral.  <I'm assuming you are writing about Plerogyra sp.>  Looked good at the LFS as usual. Placed him medium high in the tank, 2x96 watt PC 10k and actinic.  One polyp does exactly what I expect it to do. Nice bubbles during day, tentacles at night and readily accepts, Mysid shrimp and small pieces of squid.  <Sounds happy.>  The other polyp, not so good.  During the day, only sort of half fills up with bubbles. <I am assuming you mean the bubbles are only partially filled?   Lot of times the mouth looks wide open.  At night, it shrinks down to a white flesh next to the rock and it will not accept food. The tentacles sort of dangle. What's going on here?  <It's not happy.>  Is the one dead or dying.  <maybe, maybe not>  If you loose one, does the other one die? <If it is a separate branch, it should be ok.>    Any help would be appreciated.  <There are several reasons one branch may be unhappy, while the other is ok.  Some things to consider: water flow, neighboring corals (chemical allelopathy) and possibly injury to a branch during transport.   Thanks <You're welcome!> Brian F

Torch and Frogspawn sweepers 11/25/05 Hello. First, I'd like to say that this webpage has helped me a lot starting up my reef tank, keep up the good work.  OK, I have a torch and frogspawn in my 90 gallon reef for more than a month now.  They have both grown since I got them, and are very beautiful corals.  I feed them Mysis or brine shrimp once a week and I have 250w MH lights on my tank.  For some reason I have never seen one sweeper tentacle on those corals, even during feeding or at night.  My bubble coral's sweeper tentacles always come out at night and during feedings.  This may be a dumb question but are torch and frogspawns supposed to have sweeper tentacles like bubbles corals?, or do their arms act as sweeper tentacles? Ryan   <Some Euphylliids can produce sweeper tentacles, but it is unusual.  They have fairly long tentacles with a powerful sting to begin with, so sweepers are sort of "overkill".  Generally, the sweepers are just elongated normal tentacles.  Also, many corals that are capable of producing sweeper tentacles don't ever do so.  It seems to require specific stimuli for the corals to produce sweepers, and these stimuli may not be present in every tank.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Bubble irritating coral 8.30.05 Hi crew, I just noticed the hammer coral I bought a week ago tends to 'spit' a mucousy substance whenever I turn on the bubbles. <Hmmm... I'm not sure what you mean by "turning on the bubbles", but regardless... microbubbles and large bubbles alike are irritating to some corals like your Hammer for which exposure is unnatural (versus intertidal species).> Obviously, it doesn't like the current or bubbles very much - is the 'spit', or excretion, harmful to the rest of the corals? <It is mucous, and in this case (Hammer's are aggressive and noxious), yes... it can be harmful to other corals, aside from being stressful to the hammer.> (It looks just like spit.) Look forward to hearing from you. Thanks! Steph <Accomplish aeration instead via a protein skimmer and general high water flow (sans bubbles). Anthony>

Bubble coral 7/27/05 Hello all, <Justina> Just a quick question about my bubble coral. I have a 40 gallon tank which I relocated two weeks ago, everything has been looking great until today I noticed a piece of the bubble coral has either detached itself from the base or has grown out and is hanging "in the wind" - should I be alarmed? <Mmm, not necessarily. Are other organisms fine? This sort of "breaking off" behavior is one clever means of distribution in space and time (i.e. reproduction)> My ph 8.2, temp 79.9, calcium was low several days ago however I did a 40% water change and it is  currently at 320. <A bit low, but not likely a problem. Please take the read re the family, Caryophylliidae... on WWM: http://wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm and the linked files above... Bob Fenner> Thanks all Justina My dearest Hammer coral, when will you open up and embrace me? 7/23/05 I just recently added a green hammer coral to my aquarium and it hasn't expanded all the way yet.  About how long should it take for it to completely expand from the day I put it in?  Thank you so much for all your help. <Provided your water quality is up to par and the coral is experiencing the same 'type' of water current/circulation in your tank as it was in the previous system - it can take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. - Ali> Euphyllia tentacles with multiple heads? Hi Crew, Greetings from 'Down Under', still finding your site amazingly useful, thank you. I have searched the site, indeed the WWW for references to this phenomenon but have not found any. I have a Euphyllia parancora, it has lived for 6 months very happily in a mature 160 gallon tank. About 6 weeks ago the tentacles started getting extra heads, which I think is termed bifurcating? Now 50% of the tentacles have two heads or more, 10% of them have five heads! <Neat> I have a Catalaphyllia which is doing the same but not so prolifically. Is this documented in Euphyllia do you know? <Have seen it...> If so where? And why does it happen? <Don't recall, know... what sorts of advantages might there be to such a capacity?> Is it a response to the environment? I am really curious about this and would appreciate your input. Cheers Hazel <Interesting speculations... Perhaps a trip to a large college library, help of a reference librarian in the life science section... Bob Fenner>   

Frogspawn Bubbling Up Dear Crew <Mike G with you tonight. I personally apologize for the delay in response: our crew has been absolutely bogged down with queries for the past week or so. I hope you understand.> My Euphyllia shown in this picture is splitting on one of its colonies. However a bubble in the coral flesh has formed on what seems to be the divide between the splitting colony. Is this normal? <Absolutely normal for splitting LPS. Happens all the time in my tank. Sometimes they stay for quite a large period of time, but are nothing to lose any sleep at all over.> It has been prevalent for about three months. The coral has never been out of water and expands and feeds normally. Regards
<Best of luck in this wonderful hobby, Mike G>

Frogspawn 6 march 2005 - Partial Message, & Who Answered? Hello, I have a 10 gallon Nano reef with 40watts of PC lighting, I recently added a frag of frogspawn. Is it normal for the frogspawn to close tightly at night once the lights are off? Once I turn the lights on in the morning it slowly starts to open again and by late morning/early afternoon it is fully extended, it remains this way until around 7 in evening when it reduces to approx. 1/3 and remains that way until I turn the light off at which time it closes completely. I have a 12.5 hr period of light.  <It is normal but are you feeding it? Have you noticed pulling in or extensions after feeding?>

Frogspawn follow-up - 7 March 2005 - Answered by... ? No, I haven't fed it as of yet, I've only had in just over a week and I am getting conflicting advice regarding feeding, some people claim the light is all it needs, others say it should be fed.  <Many people feed them regardless. They feel that feeding seems to encourage them to thrive. I personally do feed mine. I usually used minced or diced food and not usually anything like brine shrimp because it doesn't have the proper nutrition. Mysis or other types of meaty chopped up foods.>

Torch Coral Question My torch coral over the last couple of days has been looking very stringy like.  During the daytime most of the tentacles open up fully; but around the bottom edge the they are very stringy like.  Should I move the coral down some ; I have it at the very top of my live rock structure. Also my torch has split a couple of times.  When I first bought it I could only see 2 mouths now their are 4.  And when you look at the base of the coral; you can see what looks like other polyps starting to come out of the base.  Should I try and propagate the coral or just leave it alone? Also my frogspawn has split twice I bought 1 mouth now I have three.  They are all attached to the same base.  Should I propagate them if so how? Thanks, S. Montgomery >>>Hello, The first thing you should do is check your water parameters. Next, how is the current? Euphyllia don't like to be pounded with strong water flow. They are tolerant of a wide variety of light conditions as well. If they have been kept under subdued lighting, then moved to stronger lighting, they sometimes stress if not acclimated properly. If everything is in line, I wouldn't worry. Sounds like they are doing very well and growing, good work! Euphyllia are easy to propagate, just break them. Torches and branching frogspawns are the easiest. :) Regards Jim<<<

Bubble Coral Excrement 11/22/03 Hey there crew! Thanks to all of the advice I have read and received from you guys I think my tank is doing very well. <good to hear> I recently added my first LPS coral, and it is a small green bubble. <a good and hardy choice> I have two other soft corals pulsating xenia and metallic green star polyp, both are doing excellent. The bubble appears to be doing ok so far (day two) but I did notice that out of an opening in the top the first day and just a minute ago, the coral excreted stringy brown stuff. Is this normal? Is it waste matter? <likely so... unless the acclimation to new lights was shocking (shallow water under new halides?). Else likely fine> Could it be stressed? I haven't started feeding it, <do so soon please... this hardy coral does still need fed several times weekly unless the fish/feces load is naturally very high> the only food I have on hand is frozen krill. Would that minced be appropriate for this coral? <yes... one good food. Do mince fine (1/4 bits). Most any meats of marine origin will do for variety. Find some frozen Mysid shrimps and feed them whole... very god stuff> I have no fish and although ammonia appears to be somewhere between 0 and 0.25 ppm the other water param.s are good as far as my test can determine. I placed the coral low in the tank in an area of moderate current. I can move it to a place of lesser current if you think it would be better suited. Thanks for any info, I hope that I do ok by this guy. <nope... best to leave it be so it can adapt. It is very stressful to corals to move them around repeatedly in the first week. No worries. Anthony>

Bubble Coral Polyps Appearance 11/15/03 Hi WWM Crews, <hello, Manus> I got a bubble coral for about half year.  I guess it is doing fine but got a very strange look (pls see attached).   <it appears to be healthy... good pigmentation and polyps extension is fine> Are there any way I can control how it looks? <water flow: manipulate is slightly (direction and volume). Just be sure to feed this coral small amounts weekly for long term success> Thanks and regards, Manus <kindly, Anthony>

Unusual Hammer Polyp Expansion 3/11/04 As you can see from the attached picture, one of the tentacles of the polyp is expanded to the fullest where you can actually see the skeleton, can someone tells me why this happen, is it a good or bad sign. <its not clear... although not uncommon either. Aquarists have sometimes observed this in concert with a pending release of the tentacle in a possible reproductive strategy (the tentacle may stick to another rock and settle)> The expansion is like a bubble it has been like this for a few weeks, getting bigger, even with the lights out the bubble is still there except that it is smaller. You can see the expansion on the left side of the right coral somewhere in the center of the picture.  Appreciate you comments. Thanks. DK <the coral overall looks good - color and polyp expansion. No worries at this point. But please do keep taking pictures. If you have any original, hi-res images of this event... I'd like to ask your permission to use them if you will send/share them? (future article or book). If so, please feel welcome to send them to me at readingtrees@XXXX, Thanks kindly, Anthony Calfo>

Unusual Hammer Polyp Expansion Redux 4/19/04 Dear Anthony, <cheers, Daniel> if you remember I asked about the hammer's unusual large polyp expansion and you have asked me for a picture which I have sent. <yes... thanks kindly> Since then, the bubble disappeared and the single polyp became THREE, you can see from the picture attached. if you want a higher resolution shot please let me know. What happened was that the polyp did not bail out, it expanded/or stretching the membrane causing/creating the "bubble", so when this bubble shrink, the membrane separates the single polyp into 3 parts/polyps, see picture. <very interesting> The bubble is just like a bubble gum, stretched and contract, when contract it split the polyp. Hope you can understand what I say in so many words! Regards, Daniel <fascinating nature... thank you for sharing my friend. Anthony>

Unusual Hammer Polyp Expansion II 3/17/04 Dear Anthony, <cheers> It's a pleasure to hear from you. I have just received your book on Coral propagation, fantastic book with a lot of invaluable info. pity the print is not big as a result it looks cramped. <good point indeed. In fact, I was concerned to make the book any longer for fear some folks would be too intimidated by its size to read it :p> You should get someone to finance publication of your book like Bob's so that your book can reach a wider audience. <perhaps> I have noticed there is another "bubble" coming out. I will take another picture over the weekend and have them posted to you. >much thanks for this my friend> the higher resolution shots are in excess of 1mb, is it Ok with you, I can send you a few if you don't have a limit to file size. <please do send... but just 2 or 3 at a time. We get so much mail that even my/our 25 meg mailbox gets clogged fast!> I have no problems for you to use the pictures. <thanks kindly... this will be a help to any> Regards, Daniel Kong <kindly, Anthony>

Turning my green eyes pink 4/2/04 Hey crew, I tried searching this but had no luck. I have two different frogspawn morphs, one with pink tips and one with green tips. They are close to each other, to the point where occasionally the tips of the two different frogspawn touch. I have noticed that some of the green tips are now turning pink. Some are completely pink, others are half pink and half green (like a yin/yang symbol). Are the  tips of the green frogspawn becoming "infected" with the pink Zooxanthellae? <There are no pink Zooxanthellae.  Zooxanthellae are army green to brown.  The bright greens, pinks and other colors we see in corals are the result of pigments.> I would think that if this is the case that the transmission would occur both ways, not only from pink to green, but also from green to pink, however this is not happening in this case.  Both colonies seem happy otherwise and I just found this interesting.  Thanks in advance. Steve <I have seen many frogspawns that exhibit the mixed coloration you describe, including one in my own tank.  Many things stimulate color changes in corals including lighting, alkalinity, nitrate, etc.  It is likely that your coral had the "potential" to exhibit the coloration that it does, but only does since some environmental change occurred.  I would guess that the coloration of the adjacent coral is coincidental.  Best Regards.  Adam> Why does my frogspawn close up during the day? Hi ya all! My new tank set up has been going good so far and I have finally added my first new coral too it =) My set up is a 40 Gal with 20 Gal sump/ref. I also have a Fluval 203 canister filter with half the media removed. My lighting is a PC 2x96 watt fixture which runs for about 10~12 hours a day...still fiddling with the timer. << This lighting is okay, but you may want to consider upgrading if you want a wider selection of corals. >> I also have 20 lbs of live sand and 20 lbs of aragonite sand" non live" I also have 40 lbs of live rock in the tank. So far as inhabitants go I have 12 hermit crabs and 20 Nass.. snails also 2 peppermint shrimp ( I had a Aiptasia problem on one of the rocks but it is gone now). All the parameters in my tank are checking out good everything from calcium to Ammonia. However I have never had a frogspawn before and its behavior is weird to me at least...It will open up in the morning (not very big as it is only one head and about an inch or so across) wave around for several hours but then about mid day it goes back into its hard shell and will reside there for the rest of the day...today I tried an experiment and half way through the day when it went back in I turned the lights out for two hours, when they came back on it came back out and waved around for the rest of the time the lights were on...  << I'll say it is feeding, and closes up when there is not food present.  Try adding phytoplankton and rotifers to your tank. >> It is closer to the bottom of my 40 Gal tank in mid current... Is it normal for frogspawn to do this or is it getting too much lighting? << Definitely not too much light. >> The LFS had it under 4 fluorescents but it was much clearer in color when I bought it then what it is now...Is it possible that it is not acclimated to my lights or what else could be an issue? << Yes, it could be "sun burning" under your lights, and taking a while to adjust to the spectrum and intensity. >> I want to make sure that my frogspawn thrives as it is one of my favorite corals but this behavior is not common to me as I am more used to softies =) thanks for the help << Not uncommon, and I wouldn't worry too much.  Just keep watching it for a few weeks. >> James <<  Blundell  >>

Coral behavior Hey guys, A few questions if I may: I have a hammer (Euphyllia ancora) which appears to be expelling (dead?) Zooxanthellae periodically, in small amounts.  Each week or two, a small, one or two inch column of clear mucus will be expelled from a mouth threaded with brown ribbons.  The coral has been in the tank for about three months and appears to be doing well, with a few small "daughter" colonies starting up on the same head.  It is fed well (four of five times a week with fine, meaty offerings) Is this normal behaviour? <the coral isn't bleaching, is eating well and is even producing buds... it doesn't sound like expelled Zooxanthellae to me... just metabolites/excrement> I also have a Porites head filled with Xmas tree worms in quarantine and I have noticed that the polyps have recently (and only recently) begun to luminescence under blue light.  Can you explain this interesting development? Best for a "thriving" new year! MP   <it is simply an adaptation to the new captive lighting and presence of UV or lack thereof causing a change in coral pigmentation. Enjoy. Anthony>

Torch half open, half closed. Hi, quick question? Why does my torch corals tentacles sometimes get very long? I now LPS corals are hungry so I thought maybe its reaching for food or is my light not strong enough? Sometimes one branch will be retract its tentacles fully while another branch is stretching them out to the fullest. I use power compacts and keep it on the top half of the tank about 9 or 10 inches down. Its seems to be doing well. I've had it for about a year now and haven't changed my bulbs yet.
<Thou shalt change thy bulbs every 8-12 months, the earlier the better. The super long tentacles are likely sweeper tentacles that they use to bother their neighbors. If some heads are deflated while others are inflated, keep an eye out for a nibbling Centropyge angel or other such fish. It could also just be doing a "water change". Also keep an eye out for the ever popular brown jelly infection that can wipe out a colony of Euphylliid in a matter of days. -Kevin>

Hammer Coral with spots! Hi Bob, <WWM crew member Anthony Calfo in his stead, mate> I have a real nice hammer coral iv had for 6 mo. now. He has been growing great for me.  <large polyped Scleractinians do not grow so fast in 6 months under the best circumstances (actual calcification). What most people see is expansion of polyps under lights that were not adequate from go or were, but have waned with age. If you have fluorescent lights over this coral, this is assuredly a contributing factor. The best of them from new only last 6-10 months and that assumes you have been wiping the bulbs down a few times monthly to keep salt creep, dust etc off of them. It also assumes that the bulbs were no farther than 3" from the water surface. Fluorescents kept above 3" off surface are weakly effective (a Lux or PAR meter will confirm this for you). If any such is the case with you, my friend, then your coral is suffering from a condition that many do in new aquaria or with newer aquarists: polyp extension panning for inadequate light is mistaken for growth. The very pale color of your specimen (with consideration for the actinic light) is proof positive that this animal has been lacking in light or feeding or both. Euphylliids like your need to be fed finely minced food weekly if not tiny amounts daily for long term success. Else they will hang in from 6-18 months typically before bleaching and starving to death> Until now he is pulling in to his shell more and more each day.  <could be attrition if this coral hasn't been target fed to support photosynthesis> I've found some small brown spots on the end of his arms. Any idea what it could be?  <not crystal clear from the photo but sure does look like Zooxanthellae clusters now evident through the shed iridescent pigments (shed because the lack of bright light/UV)< The guy at the store said that Kent Marine Expert series Tech.D (coral dip) would be good for it. <I disagree with the suggestion... I see nothing pathogenic in the photo or from your description> Tried it and did not see a dif. yet. Water is in great shape. everybody in the tank looks great too. Any help on this Bob would be great!!! here is a pic. of hammer. Thanks so much for your time. Chris <Chris... do consider if any of the above commonalities are applicable to you. All of this run by you at high speed :) has been covered in my Book of Coral Propagation if you care to check it out. Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Euphyllia glabrescens behavior Dear WWM Crew, I have a torch coral (Euphyllia glabrescens) that has produced a largish bubble on the mouth opening on one of the heads. It seems to be in good health and opens its polyps during the day. <hmmm... is the bubble clear? As if filled with air or water and lacks full pigmentation? If so... not reproduction. Possibly photoinhibition (excess photoperiod as from metal halides commonly or a recent change in light (coral moved upwards or bulbs changed fresh without acclimating the tank to the "new" brighter light)> One explanation I have been given is that it may be one of the heads splitting due to coral growth. <fission is common with this animal... but is simply an equal split... two mouths formed first then a growth/pinching in two. No bubble. If the bubble is reproduction, it would be a Polyp Ball strategy... an incused nodule of calcium carbonate is formed inside a fully pigmented bubble, becomes weighted and droops away from parent. This strategy is also commonly stress induced (damage, stinging neighbor coral, etc)> Have either of you experienced this before??  <yes... such bubbles are common but can be caused by several factors. If you can send us a picture I may be able to be more specific for you. Some history about the tank and coral too (hardware, age of coral, feeding schedule, etc)> Any info would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Brent. <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Euphyllia glabrescens hello again and thanks for the reply. <our pleasure> you were right in that the bubble is clear (as if filled with air/water). <OK> the coral has not been moved nor has the metal halide(150W/10K)bulb been changed. <but has there been a sudden change in water clarity just the same? A recent large water change or sudden addition of carbon after some weeks without?> the tank is 36"x12"x18" holding approx. 120 l including the sump which houses the heater stat, skimmer (turbo flotor 1000) and phosphate remover and some small pieces of live rock. the tanks filtration is Berlin style with approx. 20kg of Fiji rock and 10kg of live sand, also I have an Eheim 2227 wet/dry external filter, which is used mainly for its surging effect as it empties and refills (exceptional filter for small marine tanks). the lighting is a metal halide(150w/10k) and actinic03(18w fluorescent), with a total photoperiod of 12hrs. my tank stock is as follows: FISH- 1 yellow stripe maroon clown,1 Kole tang and 6 green Chromis. INVERTS-24 Astrea snails,2blue legs and 12 red legs,2 cleaner shrimp and 2 peppermint shrimp (that cleared up an outbreak of Aiptasia), also a sand sifting starfish. CORALS-finger coral, toadstool coral, torch coral and pulsing xenia. plus some button polyps and star polyps from the rock. <still many possibilities here> also while on the subject of stock, I have noticed a crab in the rock work that came in on some rock, possibly a Mithrax. are these going to do more harm than good?? and do you recommend removing them if at all possible?? I hope this helps Brent. <indeed , most crabs including so-called "reef-safe" Mithrax are fundamentally opportunistic predators. They will eat fish or coral possibly in time as microalgae wanes. I would not recommend any crabs for most reef aquariums. Best regards, Anthony>

Frogspawn issue I just recently got a new 125 gal tank (yaay!) and moved up from a 55gal. <Fabulous... quite an increase... Wish my "disposable" income would take such jumps!> I have a few corals and inverts, no fish. I had worked out a deal to have my LFS baby-sit my corals until the tank was alright for them, but alas they backed out at the last minute. well I have my corals in there after letting about 10 lbs of live sand cycle for a day of two. I'm gonna add live rock and substrate at a ridiculously slow rate so I don't get any large spikes. here's the question, my frogspawn used to be in a high current zone in the 55 and it loved it. I have a power head that is rated for a smaller setup (maybe 300-400 gal/h) and I'm using that as my pump from the sump. needless to say there isn't a lot of current in there. the frogspawn is now in a low current zone. anyways there are strange streamers coming from the central orifices (I have a branching subspecies). they look like a tubular mesh almost, either waste or reproductive cells. I've never seen such a large jettison of waste before. I've got nice lighting (Vitalites) and the water quality is surprisingly good. any thoughts? I'm also using iodide, strontium, and some other coral vitamin/lipid/protein/carbo.... and some phytoplankton. thanks Jon Trowbridge <These are defensive "sweeper" tentacles... the animal/colony is "asserting itself" in its "new" environment and will slow down this activity in a few days... Can you direct the discharge of the now-sump pump toward this specimen? Bob Fenner>

Torch Coral and Naso Tang Hey Bob, how are you doing? I have two questions. On my Torch coral one polyp doesn't seems to be inflating. The other one is inflating just fine, do you know why it is not inflating? <This does "just happen"... but do you feed this colony directly? Use vitamins? Has another animal touched this part recently?...> Also, I got a Naso Tang on Thurs. Fresh water dipped it when I got it home. It ate at the fish store and when I got it home, it started to pick algae off the rocks in my reef. Yesterday, Saturday, it is not eating and it is hiding in the back of the tank, not wanting to come out. Also, I saw some white dots on it. Ich?  <Maybe> I plan to drop salinity and raise temp. I have a cleaner shrimp in there so it might help. How would you try to get it started to eat?  <Please see the WetWebMedia.com site re foods, feeding, Naso...> I tried seaweed and flake food soaked in garlic oil, but it is not going for it. It is so frustrating 'cause I can't seem to be able to keep a Naso Tang. This is my fourth and all the pervious one died with the same symptoms. I greatly appreciate all your advise on these topics. Jackie <They need large tanks... try to secure one collected from Hawai'i... of an appropriate size (4-5 inches or so). Bob Fenner>

Bubble Coral Hi Bob <Cheers, my friend. Anthony Calfo in your service> I have a 34 Gal tank w/30 lbs LR, 2" Sand bed, Magnum 350 Canister w/carbon, CPR Backpack Skimmer and 2-55w PC's for lighting. (1-10k daylight, 1-actinic). All parameters are good. Having problems with a white bubble LPS. It's shrinking on me.  <a common occurrence with this normally hardy coral (very hardy in fact). Usually attributed to modest or absent feeding. Although photosynthetic, a very large part if this animal's dietary needs cannot be satisfied by Zooxanthellae/symbiosis. And so... such an animal operating on mostly or only "light" for feeding (assuming that the light is even adequate) will still starve to death slowly over time from a net daily deficit in carbon. Imagine if you could know that your bubble coral was 90% photosynthetic (which it is not)... that still leaves 10% daily that is met or indebted depending on your feeding schedule... indeed, slow starvation is common with many coral. Bubble corals (Plerogyra and Physogyra) are actually some of the "hungriest" coral... they need feed meaty foods of marine origin several times weekly if not daily. Finely shredded please... large chunks are taken and later regurgitated and the animal will still starve> It's placed out of the direct flow from the outputs of the skimmer and canister on the LR about 1/2 way up the tank on the side.  <all good> I also have a green star coral a little higher up in the center of the tank. The Star is doing great.  <it should... it is hardy and EXTREMELY aggressive (noxious allelopathy)> I turn the actinic on about an hour before I turn on the daylight and reverse the procedure at night. Lighting is about 10-11 hrs. Where should the placement of the bubble be?  <hard to say without a Luxmeter reading... about halfway or higher sounds reasonable to me in a tank not more than 24" deep> I've had him about 4 months and he just started this about 2-3 weeks ago. Any help would be appreciated. BTW there are no other corals that can get near him. No anemones either. Got two rock anemones on the other side of the tank towards the bottom.  Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Hope to see you at the Sacramento MARS meeting soon.  <I intend to be there as well... I'm talking in Danville/San Fran the night before and hope to bring some of the gang down from the BARE club. Hope to see you there!> Take care. Bob <with kind regards, Anthony>

Bubble Coral Hi Bob <Hello> I have a 34 Gal tank w/30 lbs LR, 2" Sand bed, Magnum 350 Canister w/carbon, CPR Backpack Skimmer and 2-55w PC's for lighting. (1-10k daylight, 1-actinic). All parameters are good. Having problems with a white bubble LPS. It's shrinking on me. It's placed out of the direct flow from the outputs of the skimmer and canister on the LR about 1/2 way up the tank on the side. I also have a green star coral a little higher up in the center of the tank. The Star is doing great. I turn the actinic on about an hour before I turn on the daylight and reverse the procedure at night. Lighting is about 10-11 hrs. Where should the placement of the bubble be?  <S/b fine where it is> I've had him about 4 months and he just started this about 2-3 weeks ago. Any help would be appreciated. BTW there are no other corals that can get near him. No anemones either. Got two rock anemones on the other side of the tank towards the bottom. Any help or ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Hope to see you at the Sacramento MARS meeting soon. Take care. Bob <I'll be there on the 21st! Yikes, better get my slides together. You don't mention feeding the Plerogyra/Bubble... Do you do so? Please read through the coverage of this species, its family and practical husbandry of stony corals posted on WetWebMedia.com Use the search tool at the bottom of the homepage if you don't find what you're looking for via the Index. Bob Fenner>

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