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FAQs about Feeding Caryophyllid Corals

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Related FAQs: Elegance Coral Feeding, Caryophyllids 1Caryophyllids 2Caryophyllids 3, Caryophyllids 4, Caryophyllid ID, Caryophyllid Compatibility, Caryophyllid Systems, Caryophyllid Selection, Caryophyllid Behavior, 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,

Tentacles open? Sticky? Here's a hungry Euphyllia cristata in N. Sulawesi.

Hammer, hlth.   - 10/22/2012
Hi crew!
  I have a problem with my hammer.  I've had it for about 4 months and it's been fine. In the last 2 days it has shriveled up to this. 
<Appears to be badly bleached, lack colour>
Parameters:  55 gallon, 30 gal refugium. Ammonia, Nitrate, Nitrites are 0. Phosphate at 0.
<Oh! Photosynthates, most chemosynthetic organisms require soluble nutrients... Uh, NO3, HPO4... not 0.0>

 Calcium 460, Alkalinity 3.5 meq, ph 8.0-8.2. 4 T5s (260 watts). The hammer sits in the middle (half way up) of the tank with a little flow on it.  I feed it Rod's maybe 2 - 3x/wk.
<A good food in my estimation>
  The problem I think is the salinity. It usually is at 1.025 but I checked it the other day and it was at 1.028. So I did a water change and it's back down to 1.025 but I fear that is what has done the hammer in.  Is 1.025 still too high?
<It is not too high... this is about ideal>
 Is there anything I can do to bring this coral back?
<Stop doing whatever you are doing to make the NO3, HPO4 zip>
 Everything else in the tank is doing great! Thanks crew!!  Jennifer
<Have you read on WWM re Euphylliid husbandry? I would do so. Bob Fenner>

Re: Hammer  - 10/22/2012
Hi Bob
 I'm not doing anything to remove the nitrites or phosphates. I do weekly water changes (I used Tropic Marin).
<My fave brand>
 I don't run a Phosban or anything of the like. Is there something I can do (or not do) to raise the nitrites and phosphates?
<Ah yes... a bit more "heavy" on the foods/feeding... till you register some nutrient presence>
 Thank you.
<Cheers Jen. BobF>
Re: Hammer - 10/22/2012

 I do run a protein skimmer 24/7. Would u recommend turning it off every once in awhile.
<Mmm, no; I'd run it continuously>
 I was reading an article on WWM on Phosphates and it said skimming can reduce, albeit a small portion, of phosphates. Also currently I rinse the frozen food (Rods and Mysis). Should I keep rinsing?
<Worth trying not rinsing>
 Lastly I'm using the SeaChem phosphate testing kit. Would you recommend another brand?
<The SeaChem test kits (actually all their products) are fine>
 Thank you
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Hammer - 10/22/2012

Thank you sir!
<Welcome! B>

Unwell bubble   1/21/11
Hello one and all, from across that large expanse of water we call The Pond. Yesterday I managed to negotiate the purchase of a large(5" round) Physogora
lichtensteini for a fiver(£5) of a local retailer. This coral would normally sell for about(£50-£60). As you might have guessed it is not in the greatest of condition. Probably 70% of the septa are showing,
<Do at times in the wild as well>
as yet with no algal covering, a lot of the exposed area a purple/red colour (any info. on the reason for this would be welcome).
<I suspect BGA... bad>
The green tissue that is left is in either circular colonies around a mouth, or in long strands again with a mouth. There is also tissue lifting off the skeleton in two areas, where you can see a little white colour on the underside. There is absolutely no sign of disease or infection anywhere. Also having had a really good inspection can see no critters on it having a nibble. I have it in isolation. My first question is in its obviously unwell condition is it worth possibly stressing it out further with a dip?
<It is in my opinion, experience well worth it>
Second question, the guy in the shop said it had been in there for as long as he could remember, and also told me they don't target feed any of their stock,
<... foolish>
is it possible it is starving.
<A certainty>
Next question, if you don't think its lack its lack of food, what are the other possibilities.
<Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/EuphHlthF8.htm
and the linked files above>
Fourth question, whatever your prognosis, what's the best method to attempt any rescue. And finally have I thrown my fiver away. Thanks in advance of any reply. Paul Tinkler.
<Do write back w/ specific questions after you've read. Bob Fenner> 
Re: Unwell bubble   1/22/11
Hi Bob, thanks for the link. The retailer I bought this coral from had all his frags in one large display, and colonies in another.
<Ahh, folks would do better/well to separate such bits by their likely chemical/physical aggressiveness>
I know he had a large GSP colony in with the bubble because my son asked me what it was. He may of had other soft corals in there too,
<Not smart>
I tend to "switch off" when I see softies as I have no interest in them. I'm thinking the demise of mine could be down to being exposed to long term allelopathy and not getting sufficient food. A possibility?
<Of a certainty, yes>
What to do with it is the priority, perhaps start with an iodine dip in tank water?
<I'd make/use one first outside the tank... slightly lowered spg (a couple thousandths), a few teaspoons of simple (pent-, hex-ose) per gallon, and a ten fold concentration of iodide-ate... AND add a double dose of this last to the system>
Then all I think I can do is feed daily and keep the water quality spot on. Do you agree?
Or is there more I can do?
<Not much else other than keeping the system stable, optimized>
Bearing in mind it probably only has 20-30% of its soft tissue left, and as I have said the remaining tissue is in small colonies dotted around the skeleton with decent sized gaps between them, what is your short/long term prognosis?
<Can still recover, regenerate the lost tissue. Have seen many times>
Is it likely to survive? What do I do if it starts to get an algal covering?
<Mmm, depends on cause... perhaps shade more>
If it does survive is it going to regain the exposed skeleton?
<Hopefully in time>
Sorry for all the questions. I will be much obliged for any answers. Thanks Paul.
<Welcome. BobF>
Re: Unwell bubble 1/25/11

Hello again Bob, I have discovered whilst target feeding the coral something unusual.
<Oh? Pray, do tell>
As I have said what tissue that is left is in "outcrops" dotted around the skeleton running either along lines or whorls of septa. What connects the septa is a very thin layer of what is probably some sort of
calcium deposit, presumably what the connecting tissue sat on. This layer is incredibly brittle. It can be cracked/broken with the end of a wooden kebab stick. Found this out when trying to maneuver a piece of food into one of the remaining mouths. Also when it is broken a large bubble of gas will appear then float to the surface. Is this normal?
<Yes... damaged tissue decomposition... gas-producing>
Sorry about the description, but do not know the correct terminology/biology of the coral.
Again any answer would be welcome. Thank you Paul.
<Do use a "baster" (ala turkey) to "spritz" ground up (small) suspended (in water) meaty foods during the daylight (or tissue-expanded) time once a day on this coral... BobF> 

Re: Torch Coral, foods  01/22/09 What is it about the Kent Microvert you don't like? What do you recommend? <I just don't think it actually feeds much of anything (except maybe some of the more indiscriminate filter feeders). Oyster eggs and live phytoplankton probably work a lot better. But this depends on what you are trying to feed with it. The particles are likely too small for the torch coral. For feeding corals in general, these links might help: http://www.asira.org/feedingyourtanks http://www.wetwebmedia.com/feeding.htm Best, Sara M.>

Frogspawn feeding problem 5/1/08 Hello WWM crew!<Hi Madison, Mac here> I recently got a frog spawn frag (about 1.5 inches long, 1 inch in diameter) for my 14 gallon BioCube. I read from your site that they eat small chunks of meaty food. While mine appears healthy (opens up during the day closes at night), any food I put towards its mouth, it slowly pushes back out. I do not think it has eaten anything since I got it 2 weeks ago. I have been trying to feed it small bits of krill and mysis shrimp. <Mine thrived using mysis so you are on the right track.> What should I do to get it to eat, or can it survive on photosynthesis alone? The tank only has 2 PowerCompact 24 watt bulbs (1 actinic and 1 daylight). <I think the power compacts are fine on a 14 gallon BioCube, if you have the coral set up fairly high in the tank toward the light.> These are the chemical parameters: Calcium 500 Ph 8.0 No nitrite, nitrate, phosphate, ammonia Temp: 80.6 F Salt: 1.025 specific gravity The tank has only been set up for a month or so, but I used water, bioballs, sand and live rock (about 10 lbs) from a tank set up for about a year. <A couple of thoughts Madison, what's the current like in the tank? Is the current pulling the food away? Is the mouth gaping open or just open a little like it is hungry? Are you actually seeing the food being pushed out or are you seeing it on the ground or around it later. Frogspawns do like some current but not too much so they can hold onto the food so that's one thing to look for. Sometimes you'll be surprised and see that a shrimp or other creature will be stealing the food away from the coral. And sometimes something, like another coral is irritating them and causing them to not want to eat. Look for some things like this and see what you are finding. Mac > Thanks for your time. -Madison and Brandon

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.>

Feed Me Seymour!!!  Trachyphyllia and torch coral feeding problem,   1/29/07 Hello guys, <Hi there Mark, Mich with you tonight.> Gotta say, I found your site a couple of weeks ago and have been reading through a lot of the FAQ's ever since and it's an amazing service that you provide! Great job!! <Welcome to WWM, glad you found us!> I have an open brain coral and a torch coral. The open brain seems to be doing just ok. We've had it for about 2.5 months now and it hasn't grown at all. It has these spikes (don't know the right word for it) that are all around the circumference and some of them are white now. The store told us to feed this phytoplankton powder stuff (please forgive the spelling if it is wrong) for all of our corals. <Less than ideal.> I've been reading on your site that we need to be feeding both the torch and brain corals with meat like krill or shrimp. Is this phytoplankton stuff sufficient? <Mmm, not really, there are better options out there.> I've been trying the meat at night about an hour after the lights go out but the little mouths aren't opening any more at night, and before the corals have a chance at the meat, the cleaner shrimp come along and steal the food. <Oh yes, been there, done that, and exercise in frustration so sure.> The torch coral is fairing less. It is turning white and the white is working it's way from the base of each torch and working it's way out to the end where the mouths are. I've been having the same problem with it since I've been trying to feed meat lately, the shrimp come along and steal it. Do you have any suggestions for how to feed these guys without the shrimp coming along and stealing it? <Yes, you will need to temporarily move these corals to try to rehab them.  Frozen mysis shrimp soaked in Selcon would be a good food source.  Use only the meaty parts, the liquid will just produce excess nutrients in your tank.  They need to be somewhere that the shrimp can not steal the food, one way of doing this is to place them high in the tank and keeping vigil over them while you are feeding them, scooting the shrimp away if need be.  I've also tried temporarily covering them during feeding time, but did not find this method terribly successful. These corals are not doing well, tissue recession is never a good sign.  You will need to be pretty vigilant to bring them back to health.  How are your calcium levels?  Have you been doing frequent water changes? If not, now is the time to start.>     Also, I've been reading that the open brain coral should be placed on the substrate, and it always has been, but the torch coral is placed on some rocks about mid way up the tank. We have a 90gal with VHO lighting, 2-40watt 10K blue actinic lights and 2-40watt 10K actinic white lights. <This is contributing to your problems.  This is not enough light.  Please read here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/setup/lighting/index.htm Please consider adding light to you tank if you plan on keeping corals.  Your ballast should be able to handle bigger bulbs if you are truly running a VHO setup and not just a normal output system.> The blues come on an hour before the whites and stay on an hour after the whites. Is this placement all wrong for the torch coral, should it be on the substrate as well? <Not necessarily, at this point these corals need intensive care.> Also, just FYI in case, the tank params are: ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrates 25, <I hope you mean 0.25 ppm here.> phosphates .2, calcium 460, alkalinity 4.5, <Elevated, less than 3.5 meq is desirable.> and PH 8.1. Thanks for all of your help!! <You're welcome!>    Mark

Re: Feed Me Seymour!!!  Trachyphyllia and Torch coral feeding problem   1/29/07 <Hello Mark, Mich with you again.> Thanks for the tips!! <Welcome!  I hope they help, and if you figure out something better, please share!> Here's some clarifications/questions to your responses. I was incorrect on the lighting, they are not 40 watt, they are actually the 48" 110 watt Coralife VHO bulbs. I must have thinking of my garage lights, DOH!! <Heeheee!  Something seemed inconsistent...> That should be enough for the size tank we have I would think... <Yes, much more appropriate.>   We do frequent water changes, 90 gal. tank about 18-20 gals changed per every 2 weeks. <Very good.> For the alkalinity, the Sea Chem test kit we have says it should be between 4 and 6 meq. I've been buffering it up to just a bit into that range since it also says natural sea water is between 2 and 3 meq. I figure it shouldn't be at the other end of the 4-6 range. I can back off a bit, but then pH drops to 7.9-8.0, too low from what I've been reading. <Nah, keep doing what your doing.> I will give your suggestions a try on the feeding. It looks like the corals mouths are open tonight, so hopefully they will eat good! <And well too!> Thanks for your help!! You guys are great!! <You're welcome!  Not great, just trying to make the world a little bit better.  -Mich> Mark

Response to Feed Me Seymour!!!  Trachyphyllia and torch coral feeding problem,    2/16/07 Hey WWM, <Hi there Johnny!  Mich here.>     I was recently doing my nightly browsing of your site and came across someone's question Feed Me Seymour!!!  Trachyphyllia and torch coral feeding problem,   1/29/07 and thought that I may be of some assistance.  Pretty sure other people probably use this method, but in order for me to keep my fish and shrimp from stealing the food off my Trachy, I cut off the top of a Gatorade Bottle about 4 to 5 inches down from the mouth.  I rinsed it thoroughly to get out all the additives and glue from the label.  Now, my open brain is bigger than the bottle circumference but with a little coxing it will retract and allow me to put the bottle over him and allow me to drop the chopped Shrimp or silversides onto the mouths with out the thieves getting to it. Hope this Helps... <Thank you for sharing.  -Mich> Johnny Droste

Reluctant feeding of a torch coral   9/26/06 I have a torch coral, Euphyllia glabrescens, for three weeks. Placement is in a 100 gallon tank 24 inches deep, with a 4 inch sand bed, placed at the bottom under a 250 watt 14,000 K metal halide. Circulation indirectly provided by a 6000 liter per hour Tunze Turbelle circulation pump providing an open gentle sweeping action (like watching a willow tree in a breeze). The zooxanthellae have increased in the initial three weeks and the coral is a darker shade of green. <Good> Initially on arrival it did accept small ¼ inch chunks of cocktail shrimp. It is rather indifferent to direct feeding now rejecting this if placed in the tentacles, after holding on to this for 5 to 10 minutes before releasing this, odd behavior for this coral.   <Yes> Finely ground cocktail shrimp mixed with flake or granular food and administered with a syringe as slurry will create a mucous net, but most will just float away once the pumps are turned on again. I stir up the sand bed lightly once a day and it does seem to respond to that by tangling its tentacles looking like a ball of elastic bands and then open up again. Two clown fish are resident in the coral. Only one other coral is resident in the tank, a Trachyphyllia Red open brain coral 50 cm away (which feeds very well). Other fish include an azure damsel, and two Chromis. Tank parameters, pH 8.3, Ca 420, Mg 1260, KH 9.6, ammonia 0 ppm, nitrites 0 ppm, nitrates 1 ppm, PO4 0.1, temp = 27 C SG 1.023 The question here is whether the torch coral is not feeding aggressively because it is more photosynthetic than three week ago and getting enough food indirectly, or unhealthy in some way. <Yes, this would be my best "guess", explanation... that and some input from the Clowns... fecal> All the Best...Mike Lomb <I would not be concerned here. I might try soaking offered foods in a vitamin complex per: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Frogspawn feeding question...   7/25/06 Dear WWM crew,   I've been reading the Euphyllids FAQs and have a question.   a) I tried feeding my Euphyllia Divisa (single polyp, 1 month old) more often than 2 times a week, but he seems to reject food if I offer it to him too soon! I feed 3-4 whole mysis per polyp per feeding -there is no mention of quantity anywhere -is this too much?   b) I just acquired a Euphyllia Paradivisa (5 polyps, 3 days old) that shows no interest in feeding. In fact, two polyps have there mouth exposed and a thirds has it open with white stringy stuff falling out of it. I placed strips of aluminum foil on top of the tank between him and the light to reduce the light, and yet all 5 polyps spit out zooxanthellae on the second day. I have more strips of foil now, but one polyp has the open mouth with the white strings coming out. They are not interested in feeding right now. Are their chances of recovery good?    The setup is a 20long with 130W PC, 3.5" sand bed, 15# live rock, 350gph quasi turbulent flow, refugium type setup with no fish, shrimp or crabs! Live stock includes a few mushrooms and zooanthids that hitchhiked on the live rock and the above mentioned Euphyllids. I just use 2oz carbon and change it every 3-4 weeks. I also have Chaetomorpha, red kelp and turtle weed. The temp is 78F-79F, specific gravity 1.024, PH -8.1ish, Ammonia, nitrate are both at 0 -I don't test for nitrite and haven't yet tested alkalinity. The tank has been setup since around march/April... Thanks, Narayan <<Narayan:  Frogspawns generally like medium light and medium flow.  That said, I have one that thrives under 400W MH lighting.  Nevertheless, when you introduce one to your tank, it can take several days to acclimate to your tank conditions.  Honestly, I don't think you need to specifically target feed yours.  A couple of times a week, I make a mixture of various foods and toss it into the tank after the lights are out for all the inverts.  For a tank your size, a table spoon should be plenty.  Since you are not testing alkalinity, you might want to test it in order to make sure you are within acceptable parameters.  Best of luck,  Roy>> Bubble Coral-feeding  11/13/05 Hi, WWB Crew <Welcome to "the frog!"> Thanks for such a great site and resource. After searching the site for information on feeding bubble corals. I was unable to find an answer to my question. I have a bubble coral that is not feeding good. <Or well> It fed once when I first brought him home and then with the next feedings he seemed not to be interested. I redirected the water flow a couple of times and I am feeding him Mysis, silver slides and zooplankton. (Whatever I can get him to eat) I also add live phytoplankton every other day. The main problem that he has is that he will not grab the food even when his tentacles are out. I've tried night feedings and day feeding. He dose not extend his tentacles much to begin with at night when they are out he keeps them very close.  The tank is young, 5 months old. It's a 50 gallon. Plenty of live rock and sand. Algae under control and with good water parameters. I have a frogspawn that all the branches have split and is thriving. And two SPS frags. Plating Montipora and a Stylophora. I also have a zoo frag and a star polyp frag. My lighting is 260 watts compact, good bulbs. When I added the Zoo frag. the bubble didn't like it  <A clue here> and I thought that maybe I may need to find an adoptive home for the Zoo. A couple of weeks ago I dipped the coral in an iodine/saltwater mix and after a day seemed improved. Also found a huge frilly worm retreating from him and thought that he was the source of irritation to the bubble (removed it from the tank, could not ID it) He is doing better, is expanding in the day. Also, what I thought was one bubble is actually 3. So they are all on the smaller side initially. Mysis seem the size for him and the zooplankton. The phytoplankton I add sparingly. The all seem to perk up with the addition and because the tank is new thought it would be beneficial. I am doing 10% water changes weekly and running a protein skimmer and carbon through the filter. Any suggestion on getting this reluctant feeder to eat will be appreciated......Maybe he's getting enough just in the water moving the zooplankton over him? He has expelled waste. Thanks in advance crew Mark <Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/caryophyllids.htm and the linked files above where you lead yourself. Bob Fenner>

Feeding Hammer Coral Hi crew: I have a question regarding the feeding of a Hammer coral. I currently have DT's and Mysis shrimp. I feed my perc clown the Mysis. Do I just add the DT's to my tank and if so, at what time of day. <Anytime once they are expanded.> I figured I should feed the Mysis in the evening when I see the feeder tentacles out. These are not feeder tentacles, they are sweeper tentacles used as a defense mechanism.> Also, how often should I feed my perc clown? Some suggest small amounts daily and others say every couple of days. <I feed mine small amounts twice daily.  James (Salty Dog> Any help is greatly appreciated in this wonderful hobby. Larry. 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.>

Bubble coral 3/19/04 Hi Sorry to trouble you <Hi Sandy.  No trouble at all!  That's what we're here for.> but I have had a reef tank up and running for 6 months or so - all seems well, pulse coral that is propagating itself - mushroom that we have propagated and they seem happy. I have a pearl bubble coral that once a week enjoys a small piece of shrimp that it devours. Today just as it was shutting down for the night, it's mouth became apparent and it seemed to purge a large piece of its insides out of the mouth, it then shrunk back inside the mouth but did this several times before it settled for the night. Is this usual?  Many thanks Sandy <This sounds normal.  Corals only have a mouth, and it has to serve as the way food comes in and waste goes out.  If the coral expels large pieces of undigested food, the pieces may be too large.  Bubble corals are pretty voracious though, and should be able to handle whole shrimp or silversides.  Large polyped corals will often expel excess zooxanthellae.  This usually looks like brown stringy snot.  Some coral will also occasionally expel and re-ingest mesenterial filaments (digestive organs).  This can be a sign of stress, but if it passes and the coral returns to normal without any other signs of ill health, it is nothing to worry about.  Best Regards.  Adam> Coral feeding - 3/17/04 I recently was given a few corals and am trying to figure out what to do to feed them. <Depends on the corals of course.> I only took corals that I knew were going to be reasonably easy to care for, but I have a question about the bubble coral's exact needs.<OK> I see that bubble corals need to be fed. <In my opinion they do.> Some things I read say to feed meaty foods, and others say they need zooplankton. <Maybe a mix, but more likely of the meatier variety> I have been feeding it by squirting a little Hikari Mysis shrimp <good> or blood worms <not so good> (I alternate every other day for my fish). I feed it about three times a week. <excellent!> It seems to eat it. Are these small enough for a bubble coral, or will it regurgitate these pieces? <I think mysids should be fine but if the pieces are too large than it might regurgitate. Have you noticed this? You could try Cyclops-eeze, baby brine, enriched brine (Spirulina enriched) and other frozen fish preparations> Would I be better off buying one of those liquid zooplankton supplements? <Unless you have other corals that could make use of the zooplankton I would save your money and buy fresh or frozen preparations as noted above> I do not have a refugium, so I doubt I have enough in the water to sustain the coral. <Most of us even with a refugium sometimes still don't have enough natural foods alone, to maintain corals. The use of frozen or fresh preparations seem to assist our abilities. Thanks for your question. ~Paul> Thanks! -Ken

How to feed a bubble coral 3/22/04 I have a bubble coral (Plerogyra sp.) and have had it for about4 months.  it used to open up every day and here lately I have noticed that it doesn't open up as much anymore.  How and should I go about trying to feed the coral. <Your bubble and open brain will benefit from feedings of small (BB-marble size) pieces of meaty food.  Simply place the food onto the corals when their feeding tentacles are extended, which is usually at night.> I also have a brain coral that was opening up well and now he doesn't open up as much (expand or get fleshy).  what can I do.  my water quality is good sp 1.024, calcium 450, ammonia 0, nitrite 0, and nitrates 0.25.  my setup is a 15 gallon high tank with 72 watts of lighting (actinic bulb, and combo actinic with 10,000 daytime bulb, power compact). <My first recommendation would be to do a water change and/or run some carbon.  Both of the corals you mentioned can be quite sensitive to water quality, and there are a lot of things that affect water quality that we can't test for.  Best Regards.  Adam>

Bubble Coral feeding I've recently added to my aquarium a bubble coral. My question is how to feed it? I was told once a day to feed it phytoplankton 1tsp per 15 gallons of water (my tank is 20 gallons). <I personally think that's a bit much. Would probable do it ever other day or so.> The way I  administer the food is pouring the 1tsp in the tank around 5 or 6pm just below the filter so the phytoplankton will flow out.   Am I feeding the right thing? <They can also eat a larger piece of meat, so you could add something a bit larger occasionally directly to it.> Should I feed at a different time? Am I administering the food correctly (under the filter)? <As long as the flow goes directly to the coral should be fine so it gets some of the food. Good luck, MacL>

Bubble coral feeding question / Fungia question, too I have a bubble coral that used to put out what I thought were feeding tentacles almost every night after the lights went out, <and they were most likely... bubbles retract and tentacles/vesicles come out at night> and I was feeding it small bits of cocktail shrimp 2-3x/week.  Recently, however, it just shrivels up to almost nothing every night.   <increase in water flow will do it> It seems fine during the day, maybe not inflating quite as much, but basically fine and sometimes accepts food in the daytime. <they can feed anytime they sense food in the water. Do add a small bit if meaty juice 15 minutes prior to target feeding to get tentacles out> No change in h2o quality: temp=80, SG=1025.5, Ca=460, alk=9.3, pH=8.4, no3=about 2, no2=0, po4=almost 0(need a new test kit I think).   <all sounds fine... Ca is getting a little bit scary high... its fine now but don't push higher for ear of precipitating Alk> Every week I add one tsp each of Kent's Tech-I, CoralVite, and Essential Elements/  oh, it's a 46 gallon, Does this sound like a problem or a normal variation?   <not normal... they feed heavily and daily for survival> Should I keep feeding it during the day, if it doesn't put out the feeder tentacles at night?   <no problem at all... please do if you prefer> Now, I'm feeding it much less often, maybe once very 7-10 days. <Yikes! Your bubble will last maybe 2 years this way before starving to death. several times weekly for maintenance. Daily feeding for growth> Other corals all doing fine except a Fungia who never puts out any tentacles any more( for many months); I was sure it was dying, but it, too, still accepts tiny bits of shrimp if I put them right by it's mouth. <Fungia is one of the hardiest corals... but also one of the hungriest. Under "perfect" lights it can still only get  less than 80% of its daily food/carbon from photosynthesis... the rest comes from food. This coral needs to be fed almost daily. If so, it will grow and reproduce wonderfully and live for many years> I'd appreciate any ideas.  Thanks in advance! <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Bubble coral feeding question/Fungia question, too Thanks, Anthony, but when you say "increased water flow will do it", do you mean cause it to shrivel up or to open up?   <exactly... they are easily inhibited by direct/laminar water flow in excess> In any case the water flow situation hasn't changed at all since I've had it, but its behavior has changed dramatically, so I'm still puzzled, but will resume more frequent feedings of the bubble and the Fungia.   <very good> The LFS where I bought the Fungia thought I could be overfeeding it, and therefore causing it to not "need" to extend its tentacles!   <wow... that is ridiculous. Not likely or possible. Do feed small amounts daily for optimum care> Sound like you're advising daily/almost daily feedings for both, yes?  thanks, again. <exactly. Most corals do not need such feedings... but LPS as a rule do and these two are documented to need it in particular. Best regards, Anthony>

- Torch coral decline - Hi Bob, <Actually, JasonC today...> Quick question. Have you ever heard of a healthy torch specimen dying from being fed a whole shrimp? <Not until today.> I have a been very successful with my reef tank for a decade or so and another decade prior to that with just fishes. I have advanced with the times. My system is a Berlin style with a sand bed, a full time dark refugium and a full time lighted refugium with various Caulerpa specimens contained therein. I also run a Knop calcium reactor.  My regular testing of the water shows no irregular readings. I keep all my water parameters within the normal and generally accepted ranges. The tank has basically been running itself for a long time (aside from regular water changes). Now to my point. I have a maroon clown fish that has adopted both a green bubble coral and a torch coral as his. This relationship has been going on for over a year. Contained also in the tank is his long time buddy a large Snowflake moray eel. The eel is fed a thawed large unpeeled shrimp twice weekly for the most part. One feeding however, the clown picked up the shrimp (a 16-20 count size) and fed it to the torch coral, which it dutifully digested. Within a day or so of this occurrence, the coral has withdrawn and appears to be dying. This occurred a few weeks ago. To the best of my knowledge the shrimp had no preservatives in it and was fully thawed. All other livestock are fully healthy and thriving. No other changes have been made in the tank. The frozen shrimp has been an eel staple for a couple years now. My feeling is that the coral is just dying and this incident was coincidental. <That would be my thought too. Quite often corals and clams can look in perfect health right up until the very last day, when in fact they've been starving to death... sometimes as long as a year.> One more piece of info, the main coral is the one that ate the shrimp, three other smaller heads on the piece are also dying. <My only other thought would be that the clown might have beat it to death. As nice as it is that the clown took up residence there, the problem is that the septa (walls that separate the polyps) in this coral are quite sharp and quite capable of damaging the polyps. The clown may have sped this along.> Any help would be appreciated. <Ahh well... keep the faith, the coral may just need some time to digest that chunk of shrimp.> Brett <Cheers, J -- >

Carnivorous coral on a vegetarian diet Hello Crew, I have a 80 gallon reef tank (Fiji LR 100 Lbs) with various leathers and stony corals.   <interesting mix> I did some research on the pretty but dreaded Euphyllia Torch Coral.  Of course, after reading I figure I can handle the little bugger.   <hardy, beautiful, fast-growing but aggressive> So I bought him.  I stuck his "trunk" or base in 3 inches on live sand, with moderate to moderate plus current (constant).  My pc's seem a bit far away for light but was under the impression it wasn't that big of a concern as they are found in various depths? <agreed... and more importantly, they feed so well and easily that many deficiencies in light can be compensated for with almost daily feeding here> (4 WPG 50/50).  Anyway, I have a healthy brain coral that puffs up daily.  He was smack dab in the middle of the sand as you specified in an earlier post.  I moved him on another sand bed surrounded by LR.  He may barely touch it as he puffs but if he does only 10-15%.  He's about 8 inches from the torch, plus the rock barrier, current is still moderate for the brain.  Is this o.k.? <all sounds very fine... will last more than a year if/until growth closes the gap> One more thing, I have had conflicting information on what the torch eats.   <hmmm... not much conflict here. The huge and aggressive polyps coupled with the history, behavior and locale of Euphylliids kames them decided and hardcore zooplankton feeders. The size and aggression of the tentacles is the giveaway. Power packs like that are not wasted on algae catching> I feed Spirulina flake once a day, and Phytoplex 2-3 per week. Occasionally I will throw in finely minced squid/oyster etc blended . Am I doing alright? <only the last meaty food mentioned is providing any direct or significant sustenance. Perhaps the flake food somewhat if it has a meaty component> By the way, the hermit crabs love this torch coral... (Blue and red tiny ones) what gives? <Natural behavior for scarlet red hermits, not surprising for blue> Thanks again (for the hundred and fiftieth time) Steve <always welcome. Anthony>

Feeding Food that is too large to Corals and Anemones Hi all, a quick question.  I have had Frogspawn Bubble Coral in my 125 for about 18 months or more.  It's has been doing great.  Last night I added a Xenia from a friend and I may have put it too close.  When the Xenia expanded it was very close and may have touched the frogspawn.  I moved it immediately, but the frogspawn contracted.  Over the next few hours, it almost turned inside out, and through it's two mouths, spit out food I had given it almost a week ago, I could still see the bits and recognized it as silversides, I cut up in small pieces and drop occasionally into the coral.   <really more like small chunks, no?> It also spewed out a large amount of mucus, I would guess the entire contents of it's gut.   <correct... and very common when aquarists feed food that is too large to corals and anemones... I preach this so often but hobbyists truly underestimate it. Often, the coral or anemone expel the mucous ball of waster at night and slowly starve to death even though the aquarists thinks its getting fed. Sometimes, the large chunks injure the cnidarian and kill it in time. The "rule" is feed small amounts frequently (3-5 times weekly is fine) but always finely minced (nothing bigger than 1/8 or 1/4 bits> It seems better today, but is not expanding to it's 10" plus size.  There appears to be no infection, or deterioration of the flesh.   <good to hear> The mouth is still rather large and partially open.   <Doh.... not good to hear. Duress indeed> Have you ever seen this before?   <very common> What are the chances of recovery?   <very good> Should I leave it alone or do you suggest intervention?   <leave alone bud and after a couple weeks resume feeding more often with finer bits> Thanks   Larry <best regards, Anthony>

Bubble coral Hi Anthony: <cheers, mate> First of all, I wanted to say how sorry I am that I couldn't make it to the Cleveland Zoo last night to hear you speak. I wanted to finally meet with you to personally thank you for all of the help you've given me and others, but had a conflict with work. <no worries... there was a last minute change. Your founder came in from out of town for a 30yr anniversary presentation. I will be presenting in November now on the 21rst (Thurs.) in Cleveland. The next day in Michigan I think> I wanted to bother you once again to ask you your opinion, this time about my bubble coral. It has been fine for years. Water quality is good, although calcium is a little low at 380 ppm. KH= 12, <your calcium is not low at all. With ALK on the high end of the 8-12 dKH recommended range, it is chemically very difficult to push Calcium on its higher range end concurrently. Your Ca/ALK looks perfectly balanced to me. If Ca goes up, then you must bring ALK down or risk precipitation> PO4=0, NO3=0. I feed it shredded meaty foods a couple of times each week. <all excellent> About a week ago, it looked like it started spitting out of its mouth what I'll call substrate, but it's not my substrate. (No way for substrate to get in because of the coral's location, for one.) The grains look like some type of calcareous compound with a grain size much smaller than my substrate. Looking at the coral very closely, the grains appear to be imbedded in a small stream of slime or gel that has oozed out of its mouth. The bubbles on the coral were deflated, especially closer to the "wound". <interesting... sounds like the product of trying to digest something larger. Did it eat a fish recently (or has a fish gone missing <G>. Or was there a recent attempt at feeding a larger chunk of food (silversides, krill, etc)? Such can be stressful if not damaging. Somewhat unnatural at least... large chunks of flesh/fish never fall through the water column of a reef unnoticed to reach a waiting sessile invertebrate. Too many sighted animals waiting. Bubble corals simply eat large zooplankton (amphipod size and the like).> The coral looks much better now. Bubbles are inflated, and it feeds readily. But the wound is still there (see photos, esp. close up). What is it or happening? Anything to be concerned about? What should I do? <A recent change of current to a more linear or laminar flow could cause some duress. Other than that, I'm not sure what else could be the matter just yet. I'm not too worried either. Bubbles are hardy and will heal fast when fed well.> Your friend, Jim <with kind regards, Anthony>

Coral feeding??? I recently purchased and elegance coral as well as a torch coral. I brought them home and then decided to look in a book about coral etc. They said that  you have to feed coral. Is this true and if so do you feed them krill or what. I thought they only feed off of light. >> Many people do feed their (family Caryophylliidae) Corals, whether they are photosynthetic or not. If you'd like to do so, meaty foods can be applied to their tentacles (when they're open)... and many people think this helps their Elegance and Torch corals to stay open more, during the day, and regenerate tissue, be more colorful... twice a week feedings should be a maximum.  On the other hand, other successful reef keepers rely solely on "incidental" feeding other than photosynthesis, keeping up biomineral, alkalinity and other nutrient levels... In refugium type settings, without excessive skimming and no feeding, these animals often do fine. Bob Fenner

Anchor Coral question or problems Hi Bob, hope everything is going well for you. I have a beautiful anchor coral I got from FFE about 6 weeks ago. It was the  only piece that I ordered that survived shipping and I am very attached to  it. It is beautiful. It arrived with the tissue almost perfectly intact on the outer base which is  very rare here in Jacksonville stores. Tank 55 reef with live rock. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, phosphate all 0.  Calcium 450. Lighting 3 110 watt VHOs which are all new with a new ICE CAP  Ballast. One actinic and two actinic day. Temp of tank 79 day, 75-76 at  night. I also use a Protein skimmer in the sump that runs all the time. My question is as follows: 1. I noticed a few small holes on the outer base tissue that seem to have appeared. Is the animal slowing dying? Will they heal. What causes this?  My water seems perfect Can I do anything to help this tissue grow back fast. 2. The animal has been opening beautiful but not in the first 2 hours. Takes up to 4 hours to fully open to the size larger than a softball maybe  half a basketball. Is this normal or to long to open? I have read they should open fully in two hours. 3. Some white stuff came out of the animal last night that I have never seen before. Still some on it this morning. In one or two spots on the stencils.  looks almost like a white stringy material in two small spots. I have seen some brown stuff come out at night but it quickly disappears. Is the white  stuff damaged tissue? The only thing I can think of is I knocked some salt off the edge of the aquarium when cleaning and it may have burned the animal  slightly? I do not remember doing this just trying to figure out if I did something wrong. I did clean the glass last night. Thank you for your help and sorry for the long message. I am just worried as  I am very attached to this piece and want to take great care of it. Thank you, Andrew >> Hmm, one of my favorite species of (Euphyllia) Corals... maybe you have some residual collecting/shipping damage... unlikely, but there might be a parasite... If it were me I'd not worry about the current appearance or the time frame of opening fully... I might be inclined to boosting the animals health by adding a vitamin and iodine supplement to the water though... The "fibrous material" you're seeing is likely no problem either... these animals have mechanisms for adventitiously apprising their environment... and these fibers are part of that "search". Bob Fenner

Hammer Coral Sorry to be such a pest! A question (and fascinating observation) regarding my hammer coral. This past weekend, while dropping frozen krill into the tank for the fish, a very large piece (almost a whole krill--about 3/4 inch long) fell on the hammer coral. The hammer is about 3-4 inches long (the stony part, that is). The hammer sucked it right in.  <Yes... Caryophyllids are voracious feeders> Tonight, it retracted its polyps on one end (about 3/4 of the animal is retracted), and the whole part that is retracted is covered with a white cottony slime. Is this just waste that it's purging, from having digested and eaten the krill? <Very likely yes> The soft tissue doesn't appear to be pulling away from the stony part at all, it's just retracted and slimy. Is that normal for after it has been feeding on a large meal? <Again, yes> The fascinating thing I've observed is that there is a small "porthole" near the bottom of the hammer coral that must be a mouth. I actually saw it sweeping the water for food. It has a virtually invisible "net" that looks like lots of "hairs" that repeatedly come out of that hole and pull back into the hole. I am only able to see these when the light reflects off of them just right. Very fascinating--and probably something that doesn't get observed too often, due to the fact that I have to look very intently even to see them come out and go back in. Amazing. <Yes... sweeper tentacles of sorts> Finally, the Goniopora has appeared very healthy since it was put in several weeks ago. Its polyps sometimes extend 4 or 5 inches on the sides--to get out from under its upper polyps and into the light. I realize now it was a poor choice--I need to do more research in the future before buying livestock.  <Yes, my anxious/curious friend.> It has a small area on the top where its external skin has erupted and is exposing its inner stony skeleton. Should I leave it alone at this point, or try the malachite green bath you outline on your site? (With two corals giving me concern, it's been a slightly discouraging day. . .) <I would leave it for now. More likelihood of trouble through manipulation> Thanks again for your help. <You're certainly welcome. Bob Fenner>

Friends Don't Let Friends Feed Brine Shrimp Thanks again for the advice, I have a follow up question or two: I bought some Spirulina enriched Frozen Brine shrimp and some frozen Krill. Would these work for feeding the Frogspawn & Open Brain? <The brine shrimp is of the right size, but nutritionally lacking. The krill is good, but too large. Please tear into smaller pieces.> Next question is how to feed it to them. What is the best method? I thought about thawing and mixing with tank water and then blowing lightly at them with a turkey baster? <Sounds good.> Also, I have a purple-Tip Sebae anemone, should I do the same with it? <Yes> Same food and same method? <Yes> Last question is how often of each. I am thinking about twice a week.  <2-3 times per week> Thanks!
<You are welcome. -Steven Pro>

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