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FAQs on Stinging-Celled Animal Stocking/Selection

Related Articles: Cnidarians, Cnidarians for Small Systems by Bob Fenner, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarians for Small Volumes, Anemone Selection, Stony Coral Selection, Zoanthid Selection, Mushroom Selection, Soft Coral Selection, Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarians 3, Cnidarian Identification, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Compatibility, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Feeding, Cnidarian Disease, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

A BTA and Maroon clown in captivity. Pic courtesy of Lucius Davis

polyps for a tank with no light but some indirect sunlight     5/29/17
Hi gang
Any suggestions for polyps or mushroom corals for a FOWLR tank with no light? One corner gets about 9-10 hours of indirect sunlight per day. Or is this simply a no-go?
<Mmm; do look about re warnings of using natural insolation... algae, heat... dark days; but some Corallimorpharians, Zoanthids; Clavulariids could go... Just keep your eye on them and MAKE SURE they're fed rather than relying on photosynthesis to keep them alive>
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Biocube Stocking; Coral        12/1/16
Hello WWM,
I'm looking for coral advice on a Biocube 14.
<Alrighty then>
I have a heavily modified Biocube that's been up and running for about a month. I removed the lid and hung a Radion XR15 gen 3 approx 10" above the tank.
Stock flow upgraded with Cobalt MJ900 power head. Additionally, I added a Vortech mp10w.
<Also good, but be careful about having too much flow... You don't want a coral tornado. Now that I think about it though, a "Coral-Nado" would be pretty cool>
This is not my first tank, but, it is my first small tank. Approx 10 lbs of rock, 90% of which was completely dried from an established tank that was broken down almost a decade ago, and a half pound elite live rock to seed and start the cycle. Live reef sand from a bag about 3" deep. All 3 chambers have been completely gutted, only a heater resides in chamber 1 and return pump in chamber 3.
<All sound good. I hope you let the dry rock cure really well with the new, live rock. It may be worth adding more live rock to the tank>
Water quality has been spot on since the cycle completed. Ammonia 0, Nitrite 0, Nitrate too low to test according to LFS and their cheap test strips. Water temp 80° SG: 1.024 and slowly trying to bring it up to 1.026 with water changes. 10% biweekly water changes using Instant Ocean Reef Crystals.
Livestock: CUC has, in my opinion, been introduced very slowly. I currently have 3 Nassarius snails (breeding like crazy), 1 Banded Trochus Snail, 1 Turbo snail (unknown specific type), 2 1/8th inch Blue Leg Hermit crabs (I already regret these).
<Ugh. You beat me to the punch on the crab comment... Watch out for those little buggers, they will trample and sometimes eat your corals>

Hopefully you haven't seen any issues yet because this is where I believe I screwed up.
<Seems fine other than the crabs. The turbo snails can get really big and knock corals off of rocks. They're usually fine when they're small, but it's something to watch out for>
Coral selection so far: 2 Green Star Polyps frags isolated on small islands in sand bed. Those are what I bought, everything else was a last minute toss in at 5$ per frag. Hammer Coral frag, about 1/2 inch diameter head. Devils Hand Leather, could fit inside a 1 inch ball. Random Birds Nest frag about 1 inch tall. The leather and GSP look happy and healthy (unless the hermits crawl on them). The birds nest still hasn't opened (its been 2 weeks) it's not changing color from when I got it (still pink) so I'm assuming it's alive. The hammer Coral has very, very slowly been fading in color and size. There's no skeleton exposed, but, it's definitely shrunken.
<Seems like a lot of coral to be adding all at once. Be careful with placement of all of them. Some corals have stinging cells that can reach pretty far. The GSP grow really fast too, so be ready to frag/trim as needed>
Now, I'm normally an add one thing at a time and wait and see how the tank stabilizes kind of guy.
<So what happened this time?>
Is it possible to wait this combination out in a Biocube 14?
<Might work but only time will tell. Just keep an eye on the parameters and make sure everyone is happy, healthy, and feeding>
On a side note the Hermits love walking on the Green Star Polyps causing them to close. They don't appear to be eating anything. Should I worry?
<Aha! This can cause a problem, and that's what crabs do. Keep an eye out for the GSP and make sure that they aren't constantly closed. This will stress them out and limit their ability to eat and could kill them over time>
I'm also hoping to add 1 fish soon, either a Green Clown Goby, or a False Percula Clown. Still on the fence there, what do you recommend?
<Depends on what you want to do with the tank. Little fish will be fine, but pick them wisely. As I'm sure you know, compatibility issues can arise with any specimen at any time>
Thank you for your time.
<My pleasure, James. Let us know if you have any other questions, but everything seems fair at the moment. Keep us posted. Cheers, Gabe>

Coral Community Planning    10/4/14
Dear WWM Crew,
Thanks for your previous advice on my plan to upgrade my tank (01/09/2014 email, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/movaqfaq5.htm ): things are going well with maturation, and moving day is approaching! I am now considering my long-term coral stocking plan,
so I can decide on the LR layout and acquisition of additional equipment, but I couldn't find all that much information out there about this sort of thing (invert-only seems not to be a particularly common thing) and some of it is conflicting or vague.
<Ah yes>
I don't really want to acquire corals that will pose a mortal risk to the others, and was hoping that your feedback/information might be able to help me in my decision making.
As a recap, my new tank setup will be as follows:
The tank be a 240l tank (48*18*20in) + 80l refugium, and employ a mixed filtration system, with a SSB (0.5in max) in the main tank, a DSB in the refugium, 20-30kg LR mostly in the main tank, and a Tunze 9006 skimmer. I intend to keep an invert-only tank with maintenance of the microfaunal population as both a food source and entertainment in their own right and the only apex predators will be the three Lysmata spp. shrimp I currently have in my old tank. My aim is to provide the main tank with high flow system (provided by at least a Vortech MP40w, MP10 and an Eheim 2000 pump) with high intensity light (provided by a custom LED build of 250-350W LED consumption, 60% emission at 450-480nm, will set/guess level according to coral response), and supplement ionic parameters with a three part system,
CaCl2, Na2CO3 and MgSO4 (apologies for the lack of subscripts). My existing corals, which will be the first inhabitants, are colonies of: encrusting type Porites (hitchhiked in on my LR) plating type Montipora, branching type Acropora, Seriatopora hystrix, Pocillopora damicornis, and an unidentified one that I think may be a Stylophora.
<With you thus far>
Overall, I would like to keep an "SPS" majority tank. Do you think I have enough flow and light-producing equipment for the corals I already have?
<Yes; if placed high up...>
Would I also be correct in thinking that other members of these genera would also generally be suitable for this tank?
<Mmm; yes>
Are there any other genera that you might also similarly recommend as significant contributors to the coral population?
<Mmmm; several... all this is archived (albeit disparately) on WWM>
For variety, I am also considering having a small number of "LPS" corals. I have thought about a couple of Faviids (say, Favia/Favites, Montastrea) and a moderate size Fungiid (it will probably be a Fungia) because I think these would be interesting to keep, but I understand these can be very aggressive towards other corals, particularly the genera I have already mentioned,
<Eh, not so much... and you have room... use some GAC sporadically; and you'll be fine>
and might not appreciate high flow. Do you think that these would be compatible choices for my system, if I site them separated from nearby colonies?
If the Faviids might be suitable, what is the minimum separation distance you would recommend?
<Six inches or so>
Is sweeper tentacle length relatively constant, or does it increase proportional with colony size?
<Pretty consistent per genus>
I also have a very small colony of hitchhiker Zoanthids (probably Zoanthus sp.) that I recently discovered in my old tank. Are they likely to be toxic, and should I remove them when I make the transfer over?
<Just don't over handle them>
Finally, should I be wary of overstocking when it comes to Scleractinians?
<Acclimate per the SOP I've written, stored on the site... no hoo hoo>

Apart from colonies stinging each other, insufficient food, calcium/alkalinity depletion, and allelopathy, are there any other problems related to high densities that you think I should be aware of?
<Not really... Oh! Should/shall we chat re Ca, Mg, alkalinity?>
Many thanks for your help,
<As many welcomes. Bob>

coral attached to overflows   12/23/13
Hi all,
<Hey Bill>
After a few years out of the hobby I'm getting back in again. Setting up a new 220G. Question: Some years ago I had a friend with a large (200ish) reef tank with the corner overflows covered in what I believe was frogspawn.
<Euphyllia? A stony? Unusual... perhaps a Xeniid; pulsing coral?>
 I would like to attempt doing this. Any tips on gluing, spacing or any other species I might use to accomplish this?
<Mmm, well, you could use fragmentation to make, place your own bits of colony... But I'd first have you read re the two genera listed above to ascertain what general species you're considering here. Bob Fenner>
Bill B.

Beginner corals    9/4/13
Hello wet web crew,    I have had my 30 gallon FOWLR tank set up for over a year now and I just emptied it of all of its inhabitants to make room for a mantis shrimp.  But as time passes I am having many second thoughts about the mantis.  I was thinking of adding of few corals and possibly an anemone to my set up?
<Not both>

  I know corals and the like are a whole new ball game but I believe I am up for the challenge.  I know my current light will not cut it so I am purchasing a 36" Coralife light with 192 watts between a 10,000 k daylight and an actinic bulb, I have around 30 lbs live rock, 30 lbs of live sand a Marineland BioWheel filter rated at 50 gallons and a Eshopps PSK-75 H skimmer rated from 10-75 gallons.  I might also add a sump to my setup soon.  I have been looking around online and in some LFS and I was wondering if I could add a Condy  anemone and some pulsing hand xenia? 
<Xenia... some downsides. Do see WWM re>
If these are bad choices what other corals are "beginner friendly" and would thrive in my setup?
<Let's have you read here:
Scroll down to Cnidarians for Small Systems>
 I am open to any type of coral I just have no idea which types would be a good match with a beginner like myself.    Thanks a million,        Erik
<Welcome; and when/where in doubt, keep reading. Bob Fenner>

Re: Are there any corals that can withstand 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees Celsius?      5/27/13
Thanks for the quick reply. The root cause of the problem for my country is population explosion.
<Ah yes; around the world. But we are not going to reverse this trend here, now... And India will soon have one fifth of the world's work force... under and un- and mis-employed. Your country's laws need to change, the financial institutions loosen up... REALLY, time for you to have some people in higher government that are under 65 years old. There are none currently>
 The city folks understand it and have only one child but the rural folks, religious extremists (all religions in India are to blame), bureaucrats (some have 7 kids) and politicians (who are mostly polygamous even though by policy they oppose it!) don't realise it. If population is brought down below 200 million we will be living in a paradise. So guess it is very hard to keep corals. But i have one question there is a reef near rameswaram
<http://tourism.webindia123.com/tourism/wildlife/nationalpark/marinenational park/index.htm?state=Tamil+Nadu&state_id=41&sub_cat=National+Parks> (the hottest place in tamilnadu) how can it survive.
<I see; twixt India and Sri Lanka... the water is cooler than the air, and it's constantly circulating... it doesn't get warmer than the eighties F, except perhaps in lagoons at low tide>
 Also one in Gujarat
<http://www.jamnagar.org/mnp.htm > which seem to do well even with all the pollution.
<Yes regarding this last... many corals do fine in "polluted water">
 I am no biologist but just curious. Also are you related to Robert m fenner of "the conscientious marine aquarist" book.
<I am that person>
I have bought his book costed me 6000 rupees ( the freight alone costed 3000).
 That was the book that started me into the hobby. If you are related to him please ask him to mention the temperature range less importance is given to that (don't blame him he lives in a much colder region).
<Ah yes; San Diego, CA... where I am now>
I didn't know about temperature until a local hobbyist told me so. Everytime i see people buying a magnificent anemone just because it is cheaper than a Bubbletip anemone. I am reminded of his book. If they had read it they would not buy it.
<Ahh! Hopefully>
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>
Re: Are there any corals that can withstand 115 degrees Fahrenheit or 45 degrees Celsius?      5/28/13

Thanks for the valuable insights you rock!!!!
<Ah, glad to share. BobF>

Atlantic / Caribbean Biotope (Corals?) – 09/23/12
Happy Friday…Hello WWM Crew,
<<Morning John, Sunday now…apologies for the delay>>
My wife & I went to a new LFS and they had a large quantity of corals (frags / large pieces, etc). Now my wife is saying that she wants me to set up a reef tank.
<<Lucky fella…it is usually “we guys” who have to convince our spouses re>>
I wanted a FOWLR Caribbean Biotope.

<<Hmm, okay…nothing wrong with that either>>
''If'' I go the reef tank direction, what Caribbean corals could I look for?
<<Jake Adams has a series of articles on just this subject posted on the Advanced Aquarist website…here’s a link to the first in the series (http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/12/aafeature2 ). Do also search our site, and the Net in general, with search-phrases like ‘Tropical West Atlantic Corals ‘>>
Thanks for your help.
<<Happy to share>>
John from Jersey
<<Cheers…Eric from SC>>

Coral compatibility/Allelopathy 4/22/12
Hi crew!
<Hello Jennifer>
I have a 55 gallon with a 30 gal refugium that is 7 years old. I am just getting into acquiring corals but was wondering if there is a coral compatibility chart?
<Mmm, not so much compatibility but degree of allelopathy effects.>
I have seen one for fish and inverts. I obtained a green Sinularia about 2 months ago. It was in the QT for 3 weeks and was doing great.
I put it in the main tank about 10 inches away from a green star polyp that I have had for years. The green Sinularia shrunk. I've read that they will do that for a short time as this is part of their "growing" period. But this went on for about 3 weeks. Last night I moved the Sinularia to the other side of the tank and this morning it began to unshrink and it is looking better than it has for weeks. Could it have been the green star polyps?
I've read that they are very aggressive and then I have read that they are the least aggressive.
<Can depend on the species as there are several species of Star Polyps. As far as allelopathy is concerned, some of the worst offenders are Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, Euphyllia, and Lemnalia species. Some good choices for allelopathic compatibility would be Xenia, Briareum, Dendronephthya, Anthelia, and Capnella species.>
Thank you...as always you guys are the best!!!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Re Coral compatibility/Allelopathy 4/24/12

Thank you James!
<You're welcome.  Your last name now has me wondering what happened to
John Burleson, a past contributor to this hobby.  Bob, any idea? <<Not publicly, no. RMF>>
James (Salty Dog)>
Re Coral compatibility/Allelopathy 4/24/12

I don't think anyone in the family is knowledgeable in reefkeeping although it sure would be nice. Unless he lives in the south he probably is not a close relative. While I got you do you recommend the EVS system to buffer alkalinity and raise pH?
<I'm not a fan of two part systems, would much rather dose separately.  I use a combination of Seachem and Tropic Marin products.>
Thank you!
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>
Re Coral compatibility/Allelopathy 4/24/12

Ahh thank you!
<You're welcome Jennifer.>

Coral Selection Question    3/28/12
Hi crew!
Currently I have a FOWLR 55 gallon, well-established tank and I want to add a variety of beautiful colors amongst the live rock.

I have 3 buying criteria and I was wondering if you had any selection recommendations:
1. The coral CAN NOT be any kind of Zoanthids (they spread and take over everything).
2. Types of corals that do not spread and take over your tank (like Zoanthids). More like Candy Cane coral types that are beautiful in color and stay where you put them!
3. Beginner, low maintenance types.
Your thoughts?
<Posted. Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/CnidIndex1.htm
scroll down... Cnidarian (and sub-group) Selection. Bob Fenner>
I appreciate your time,
Re: Coral Selection Question    3/29/12

Thank you!
<Welcome! BobF>

Red fluorescing and other color corals that fluoresce    3/28/12
<Evening Jenny, Bobby here>
I am an avid fan of your site. I have an established reef system with many sps and a few LPS that are all doing really well. Specifically, I have a Red Montipora Setosa that glows really bright red under the actinic lighting. It's beautiful.
<Indeed it is a beautiful coral.  Can  you please confirm what type of actinic lighting you are using?  Florescent Bulbs and type?  LED's?>
 My husband would like something with a similar color in his tank without duplicating and getting the same exact one. Could you recommend a bright red sps that glows as brightly as a Red Montipora Setosa?
<As you know, what you are requesting is a very aesthetic thing and in this regard, independent of general coral husbandry.  That being said, the color red in SPS is a fairly difficult color to obtain and especially retain.  In my experience, it is a color that remains under very intense lighting.  The Setosa is an exception here as you know and is unique in that way, which is one of the reasons it is so desirable.  In addition, although you may be able to by wild SPS (Acropora species) colonies that have red coloration,
as with all SPS, color will adjust dependent on environmental conditions.>
I would like something in my tank that glows bright blue. I have some blue sps that are growing and look pretty in daylight, but they don't glow under actinics.
<This is partially due to the fact that the actinic lighting is blue, and as a result, blue corals do not 'glow' under that same color lighting>
  Is there a listing somewhere(I couldn't find one on your site or the web) that lists corals that fluoresce brightly?
<No such thing really as this is a subjective question highly dependent on various lighting and other conditions>
 The corals I have that fluoresce very well are the Red Montipora Setosa, a Green Frogskin Acropora, Ricordea mushrooms, Alien Moon Favia, Bleeding Apple Scolymia, Purple Blastomussa, Rainbow Montipora, and my zoos(Red Zinger and Radioactive). My husband's glowing corals are his Purple Stylophora, Whisker Coral, Candy Cane Coral, Meteor Shower Cyphastrea, Prism Favia, Black Sun Coral(this turns a neat green color that fluoresces enough to make it very cool). His Ricordea and zoos(Hawaiian Tropics and Eagle Eyes) glow very brightly as well
<From my experience, most of all of these you mention have heavy green in them, which fluoresces VERY well under actinic lighting.  Let me say in closing that it is possible to work with varying spectrum's to impact the visual look of the corals.  Please remember that is what you are doing there.  For example, if you are using T5 bulbs, the 'Fiji Purple' bulb by KZ peaks in the spectrum that does help enhance some of the reds in corals.
 Do some research on the lighting spectrum, this will help you understand the process a bit more>> Thanks for all your input. I reference your site every time I have an issue and have learned so much. Our livestock is all doing very well, even the difficult ones attributed directly to the availability of information on your site and me following it!

Edible Corals? 11/23/11
Hello crew!
Though I must first clarify that I would never do such a thing, when I told my roommate that my mushroom corals were growing great, he immediately asked if they were edible. I laughed at this at first, but it was never something I had ever given thought to ha ha. I guess I'm just curious to know now if any corals could be eaten and were any ever used as a source of food?
<None that I know of... are mostly water... Some are toxic to ingest, even touch. There are some island groups where folks eat sea anemones...>
It sounds gross to me, but I have heard of people eating a lot of things that sound much worse than that. Anyone ever give it a go? No matter what the answer, I am in college so from now on I will definitely keep my room locked to keep any adventurous friends from eating my pets! ;) Never thought I would have to worry about that...
Thank you for your time,
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Adding coral to FOWLR tank 11/20/11
Hi all. I'm back to tap your generous expertise with a quick question.
I have a 65-gallon tank that contains a mated pair of ocellaris clownfish, a Banggai cardinal, a blue-green reef Chromis, and a royal gramma. Also, a coral-banded shrimp,
<Do keep your eye on this Stenopus... do become predaceous w/ growth/age... eating other invert.s, fishes>
two skunk cleaner shrimp, and a blue tuxedo urchin. Ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, and phosphate have all been zero for six months.
<"Corals" need measurable NO3 and HPO4... IF you're using chemical filtrants to remove these... stop>
Alkalinity is 10-12 dKH, calcium 380-420, pH 8.0 in the morning and 8.2 in the evening. Now that things appear to be stable, I want to add a few very easy beginner's corals.
After considerable research, I purchased and now have in my QT these:
Sinularia cabbage leather
Sinularia mushroom finger leather
Lobophytum devil's hand
<Ok... These soft corals do get very large in time... have some chemical/allelopathogenic activity>
But I've continued to research corals, and one thing worries me a little.
I've managed to choose three corals that all have unusually high production of toxins. I never plan to put stony corals in this tank; if I ever get into stony corals I'll have a dedicated tank for them. But will having three toxin producers in a 65-gallon tank harm my existing livestock?
<Not likely no; just start w/ small/er specimens>
Will these preclude later adding a few Zoanthids, green star polyps, or mushrooms? Any other problems?
<With these three, yes... Important that you acclimate them to each other over weeks' time. Do read here re: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and compatibility FAQs files for all you intend to add>
Thanks for your thoughts!
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Adding coral to FOWLR tank 11/20/11

>> "Corals" need measurable NO3 and HPO4... IF you're using chemical filtrants to remove these... stop <<
Bob - Thank you! I really appreciate you folks. You make it possible for frightened beginners to make their way into this wonderful but intimidating hobby.
<We're glad to help>
I am using chemical filtrants (Chemi-Pure Elite), but I must have SOME nitrate and phosphate, because I have enough algae growth to be annoying.
<Ahh! Likely this IS taking up available nutrient... with something else being rate-limiting>
It's not horrendous, but enough to make snails and hermits necessary. I assume that the algae I have is sucking up all available nitrate and phosphate, leaving zero for the tests to detect.
<Oh! Yes>
Anyhow, my big fear was that the three toxin-factory corals I was going to put in would harm my fish.
You have calmed my fear on this. If I am unable to put in Zoanthids, star polyps, and mushrooms, no big deal. I'm growing some in another tank, and I can dedicate that tank to just them. (I have a wonderful wife who never complains when I want to add just one more tank to the household!)
Thanks again! WetWebMedia is an incredible place.
<Some day (today!) you will join us. Cheers, BobF>

Foster/Smith, cultured coral purchase. Cave Canem! 9/24/11
Hi Bob,
<Hey James>
A while back I ordered some corals from Foster/Smith, one package in particular was a frag pack of four corals for something like 70 bucks. The frags were advertised at being 3/4" to 1 1/2". When I got them, two were of decent size but the other two appeared microscopic and sure were not the minimum advertised size of 3/4" (See pics).
I called them and complained and they offered to take 32 bucks off the bill. I took it but wasn't too happy about it as I still got the bad end of the deal.
Personally, I could never send anyone something like this, it's ridiculous.
Just a warning to others to beware.
<A rip for sure. BobF>

Beginner's Corals (Maybe not what you think) -- 12/08/10
Dear Crew,
<<Hey Sam>>
I am having a very hard time choosing a good beginner's coral suitable for a 28 gallon Nano.
<<Mmm yes, can/should require some thought beforehand -- as do any fish selections>>
I was initially looking at Zoanthids because of their aesthetics and hardiness,
<<Don't know that I would label them as 'hardy' myself. They are pushed on beginning aquarists as such, I know (same with Corallimorphs) -- but are better suited to at least moderately skilled/experienced hobbyists with a well establishes and stable system, in my opinion. I've seen many the new (and even not so new) hobbyist struggle to keep these organisms, especially as they try to amass aggregations of the differing varieties. And should they do well, there's often issues with excessive growth/overtaking of other corals -- especially with some of the Palythoa species>>
however after reading that (apparently) the palytoxin they contain leeches into the water under stress,
<<Allelopathy is indeed a prime consideration here>>
I'm not sure whether this would be a wise choice. It might be good to note that this Nano has 150 watt metal halide lighting in addition to some 462nm blue LEDs.
<<Metal halide is my fave lighting solution'¦can be configured to accommodate most any marine/reef system>>
Because it is a cube it is deeper than most 28 gallon tanks, however would this wattage be too intense for them, even towards the bottom?
<<This depends on several factors such as the depth at which the organisms were collected (difficult to impossible to ascertain), and whether or not you can adjust the 'height' of the light fixture. But for most of the systems I've seen that were 'dedicated' to this type of reef organism, less 'intense' lighting seemed to work very well>>
Or would I risk having them develop white spots and die off?
<<Even with the MH -- lighting is likely to be the least of worries here>>
The other I was really interested in are the Corallimorphs.
<<A yes, the other so called 'beginner's' reef organism. The problem I have with these is not that they are difficult to maintain (though Ricordea spp. are sometimes the exception), but quite the reverse. These organisms are often very prolific -- and being very noxious and aggressive, often prove quite deleterious to the other sessile organisms in the system. A new hobbyist, acquiring these on the advice of their LFS, often finds their system overwhelmed with such before long>>
I read that they too are hardy but that they are highly aggressive in terms of Allopathy.
Being that it is a 28 gallon would I be able to accommodate safely one of these mushrooms in addition to another hardy coral?
<<The problem is'¦it won't remain as 'one mushroom.' If you want to dedicate this tank to this particular genus then go for it -- if you want a variety of organisms, I would not add Corallimorphs>>
I can dose calcium, strontium, iodine etc. levels appropriately
<<Considering the size of the system, you can likely forego dosing and keep everything up'¦and in 'balance''¦with simple water changes. Should you decide to stock heavily with something that will deplete bio-mineral content, do test before adding anything>>
and adjust the flow so the main issues for me are whether these would be compatible in a cubic 28 gallon tank with 150 watt MH lighting, and of course which would be easier to deal with in the long run.
<<Both are trouble down the road in my opinion. Many hobbyists do keep them, and ultimately it's up to you to decide if you want to take on the challenge, but with your system I would recommend something like corals from the genus Montipora. There are branching species that once grown out to some size, would make for a stunning display in a system such as yours. Add to this a grouping (5-7) of small/smallish Cardinalfishes (Apogon leptacanthus, for example) to hover among the branches and the result could be quite spectacular. But honestly, there are many ways you can go here'¦ If you decide to pass on the Zoanthids and Corallimorpharians, keep searching for/researching what you think you might like and then feel free to come back for discussion re>>
Sorry for any questions that have been answered in the archives, however I can honestly say I read through the entirety of several articles before asking.
<<No worries mate'¦but do keep reading>>
Thanks for all that you do,
Sam Sutonovski
<<Is a pleasure to share'¦ Eric Russell>>

More questions! Sm. Reef, stkg... w/ Cnidarians, "corals" and anemone 7/10/10
Hi! Thanks for replying re: my plethora of previous questions. To summarise,
I now (soon actually) will have the following system:
24" x 15" x 15" tank (~ 22 gallons) with overflow weir
21" x 12" x 12" sump (~ 12 gallons)
110w compact fluorescent fixture (with a 10K 55w bulb and a 420nm actinic blue 55w bulb)
15" x 12" DSB (4 inches) over an eggcrate + PVC plenum (about an inch) as per Roy Meeke's article
Lots of 'dead rock' (previously live rock that has been cleaned and out of water for 2-3 years)
*On the way (ordered, paid for and excited!):*
AquaBee 3000 (sump return pump)
AquaBee 2000 (protein skimmer pump)
AquaC Remora Pro (only $20 more than the non pro so I snagged it!)
*Getting from LFS:*
Lots of cured live rock! I've seen it, doesn't look like I'll get any nice critters on it... oh well
*I would love to run a reef tank and I'm really after the most suitable corals for this system*. I understand that I need to introduce them first (after cycling the tank for at least a month). My only pseudo-requirement is that I would love to have the classic clownfish with anemone pairing at some point in this tank, so would prefer things compatible with this.
<I would leave off with any other Cnidarian ("coral") life here; just stick with the Anemone for the clown/s>
The rest of my livestock wish list is fairly unimaginative: Goby (yellow clown or watchman I think),
<See WWM re... the Watchman will too likely starve in this small volume, and Gobiodon's require live coral polyps of a few genera>
clownfish (hopefully with anemone!), royal gramma OR royal Dottyback and if you think I can get away with it, maybe a dwarf angel such as a flame.
<... please search, read on WWM before writing us. A C. loricula cannot live in this small volume well or long>
I would love to get something with the look of a Singapore angelfish or double saddleback butterfly, but from reading the articles on this website, they're not a good option in this sized tank.
<Ahh, correct>
I look forward to your suggestions of what corals are most appropriate for this tank (type and specimens if you wouldn't mind making suggestions). I think I prefer the look of the soft wavy anemone like corals, but if they're
totally inappropriate, I defer to your wisdom!
<Do read further re Anemones. Can be done, but are most often lost to a few categories of easily avoided issues>
Thanks again!
<And you Ben. Bob Fenner>

Cold Shipping Water -- 1/8/10
Yesterday I received a package of 4 frags. They were as follows: Acropora valida, Montipora capricornis, Seriatopora stellata, and Acropora tenuis. When the package came in, the water was very cold. I would say somewhere along the lines of grabbing a glass of ice water. I do not know the exact temperature of the water as my thermometer only reads to 66 but I do know that it was less than that and if I had to guess I would say the temp. was in the 40's. Would this low of a temp. kill these corals overnight?
<It certainly can, it is extremely stressful to them.>
It seems to me that this would obviously kill them but I need a second opinion. The Montipora is in bad shape, the center of it has about a nickle sized circle that was mucus and bleached out overnight. The has flesh just peeling of it about half way up. However, The looks perfect, nice and pink and the polyps were even opened up today. The jury is still out on the , it hasn't lost any of its flesh but it is brown and no polyp
extension yet. Thanks in advance, Terrence.
<I would take photos to document progression if you can, check the guarantee policy from the place they were ordered and contact them ASAP. A reputable shipper will pack these insulated, even with heat packs depending
on where they are going this time of year. It has been a fairly cold week nationwide, these should have been packed accordingly. Welcome, best of luck here, Scott V.>

Re: coral... sel., comp.... study of worth 10/14/09
Thanks for the reply. I read the information on the link provided. It still did not give any solid answers. From what I got out of it, it sounds like you can keep either soft, sps, or hard corals but should not mix them. Is
this correct?
<... no>
Is there any resource, book or link on WWB, that tells you what corals are best to keep together and which ones should be avoided?
<Info. too large, complex to be in one place...>
Like a compatibility chart for fish? If one does not exist, it would be a great thing for someone (hint, hint) to come out with because it sounds like a lot of us have the same question and it could potentially save some
corals in the process.
Thanks again,
<... For what all costs, people need to investigate more than a few hours.
Perhaps re-start here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>

Hot New Corals Available!!! Commercial -- 09/19/09
*Hey Everyone!
We just uploaded some great looking corals on our website!
Be sure to check out our Cherry Page for some ridiculous wellsos and brains-
Also got a new batch of HOT Pink and Red Palys in stock as well -
Orange Ricordeas are Always in demand -
Also have 2 vibrant red Carpets available under our Invert page -
Any questions, please feel free to give us a call or send us an email!
Aqua SD
Retail Store Address:
7202 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.
San Diego, CA 92111
Store Phone: 858-565-1910
Cell Phone: 619-665-2466
<I think we share the same bank/er. Bob Fenner>

Beginner Reef Tank Corals 7/8/09
Dear WetWebMedia Crew,
< Hello Wendy! >
Is there a type of coral which a beginner could grow in a reef tank with just a 48" T5 on 75 gal (20" deep), and which wont sting or hurt you if you handle it?
< Does " with just a 48" T5 " mean you are only running one bulb? If so that is not enough light for any type of coral. You would need at least a 4 bulb setup.>
Thanks for any info you can point me to, and for your great site. I found especially helpful and interesting some of the articles on hypo salinity and marine ich, as well as the article on 'controlled overcrowding' in the angel tank. It seems nearly every time I search the web for info, the search engines return a reference to your site.
< A couple of good beginners are Mushrooms (Discosoma sp), Clove Polyps (Clavularia sp.), Star Polyps and Xenia . Lots of others though. Please read. http://marineaquariummonthly.com/begginerscorals.html GA Jenkins>

Corals for warmer temps and low-light...(is it possible?) 4/4/09
G'day Crew...hope this email finds you well
<Middling, but thanks for asking>
I've got a slightly curly question that I would like an opinion on, namely:
"can you recommend some good coral species for a tank which has low lighting AND gets fairly warm in summer (up to 32 deg C)?".
<Mmm, possibly>
The tank in question is an 18-month old, 45cm deep 130L nano with 3x24W PL Compacts (currently a mix of 10k and actinics). The main occupants are a dwarf zebra lion and a Premnas clown in addition to a number of inverts including mini-hermits, brittle stars, cowries and other miscellaneous live-rock passengers (though the choice of tank-mates is obviously somewhat limited by the lion). Filtration is through a rear-sump trickle system (coarse sponge, Phosguard, Purigen, Seachem matrix and a small quantity of
bioballs), and also includes a skimmer and UV steriliser.
I've tried a number of cnidarians over the time I've had the tank, and with a bit of creative positioning to get them closer to the light the success stories (i.e. have been healthy for a year or more and / or have shown
significant growth) are:
daisy polyps
bubble anemone
Heliofungia (the tank has a bed of fine aragonite)
Sarco's (my first successful corals...have since been removed due to toxicity concerns with the LPS's)
finger leathers (as with the sacra).
The failures (did well in winter...started to bleach when it got warmer so had to be removed) are Klyxum, Lordhoweensis and some live-rock hitchhikers which I think are Zoanthids (they are brown, look very much like mini-anemones and have bulbous tentacle tips which are very responsive to small inverts like brine shrimp)
I am fortunate in that the anemone found its spot within a couple of days and hasn't moved since. However within a few months it had budded and I found myself with two which steadily expanded, and now dominate the tank to the point where I've had to reposition all my other occupants to keep them out of tentacles' reach. In addition both the lion and the clown have grown considerably which is starting to have an impact on water quality. So I've decided to move the clown and anemones to a different system, thereby giving me the opportunity to try something new in this tank. I'll also be taking the opportunity to add some fresh live rock and do a bit of re-arranging.
Any suggestions on coral selection, as well as general comments on the setup, are welcome. If the reality is that it is simply too impractical to find a selection of species which are compatible and can tolerate both
lower light and higher temperatures, I'm quite happy to look at the purchase of a chiller. I have also considered upgrading the lighting, however I've seen a number of low-light marine aquariums which have a
beauty all their own, so I thought I might enjoy the challenge.
<Mmm, okay... two Cnidarian groups, Zoanthids and Corallimorphs, are what I'd try here>
Oh, and two other quick questions:
What would you recommend as an ideal combination of PL tubes for the tank (I assume this will obviously depend on what you suggest as potential livestock)?
<See WWM re: http://wetwebmedia.com/marsetupindex2.htm
towards the bottom...>
Given that I've been utilising Purigen, is it necessary to utilise carbon as well?
My understanding is that Purigen is not as aggressive as carbon when it comes to removing desirable trace elements and organic compounds like amino acids
<Mmmm, better to rely on foam fractionation for removing such phobic molecules in abundance>
Thanks in advance for your feedback,
Leon (Brisbane)
<BobF, San Diego>

Easy coral reading, 1/14/09 Hi Mr. Bob.F, I will return the starfish first thing this weekend. Just another quick question.... as I'm fairly new to this hobby, are there any beginner corals I could try out? <Yes... posted> Mushrooms are easy, I have a few which do not seem to die no matter what I do to them. (There was once, during transportation, I dropped a rock with some mushroom corals on it about 1 story down a flight of stairs by accident, and it is still surviving, very well). I have tried some zoanthids, but had no luck with them so far. I feel like trying my hands on some bubble corals, maybe a hammer >.<, some candy canes? and my current favourite, sun corals. Now I have done some research, but am at a loss. Some say these corals are moderately easy, some say hard, some say otherwise. <Some are, aren't... much depends on the system, specimen selection, but some species are more/less aquarium suitable> Im quite confused, maybe you could help me? <You can help yourself best> I do not have a chiller, but my fish tank is kept relatively cool by the air-conditioner, at around 27-28 degrees Celsius. Sorry, I'm not sure what it is in Fahrenheit... <Easy to convert, find a conversion table on the Net> We use deg here. Please advice me on my few coral choices, and maybe some recommendations? >. <Try using the search tool here: http://wetwebmedia.com/WWMAdminSubWebIndex/question_page.htm> < if its not too much to ask for haha! BTW, I discovered something shocking tonight. My pair of false percs, which have been doing great together for a few months, have suddenly got into a huge fight! I am un sure what this thing is, there seems to be chasing, lip biting, and it looks really aggressive and painful. I have separated them for the time being, still quite unsure of what to do. I appreciate any help you have to offer, and am a big fan of yours and your team. Have purchased your book today, but have not started reading it in depth. I am very sure it will be of very good use =) <Start reading in depth. BobF>

Corals and Anemones, stkg. Cnidarians 11/15/08 Hi Crew, <Hello! Benjamin today> I have a 140 litres tank (L0.9m, W0.45m, H0.35m) with - sloped sand bed (2 inches front, 4 inches back) - live rocks (? kg) - a power filter (with wool, carbon, ceramic rings), a skimmer - total water circulation of about 2500 litres per hour - T5 light, 4 X 39W (2 actinic, 2 10000K) - use Red Sea Salt Mix, added sera Ammovec, Aquamarin - pH 8.3 - SG 1.023 - 29 degree C temp. - 1 Foxface rabbit - 1 Fire Clown - 1 Desjardin's Sailfin Tang - 1 Cleaner Shrimp (hope I've given enough info about my tank) The tank is about a year old or so. I'm currently looking into adding corals or anemones into my tank again... I've tried Zoanthids and Shrooms before, but they died months later. My tank specification should be suitable for these right? <Hmm, should be. What are your nitrate levels like? Were they placed in a well lit area?> I'm not sure what went wrong. zzz. So what do you think are the possible problems? <Could be inorganic nutrient poisoning, lighting, unhealthy specimens...> Do I need to change anything? such as the equipments... <If you don't have one, get a good test kit for NO3 and NO2> And what coral and anemone do u think is suitable and would recommend me to start again with? <I would recommend avoiding anemones until you have much more invert experience under your belt, and a tank specifically set up for one. As for corals, you might look into Sinularia spp...many of the 'leather' corals are good beginner choices...hardy and fast growing.> <Best of luck. Benjamin>

Medicinal Use for Aquacultured corals 7/25/08 Does anyone know of any practical/profitable medicinal uses for aquacultured corals? I can find many links on medicinal uses of coral, but it does not seem like there are any uses as of yet that show potential to be profitable to try and fill via aquacultured specimens. <Depends. Is this for a High School project, or are you thinking of going into business? If the latter, I'd have thought Wet Web Media would expect a commission if we're doing your market research for you! Good luck, Neale.>

Coral Lighting Question Coral/Anemone Stocking - 6/16/08 Hello! <Happy Monday!> Thanks for the information about my last question. I decided to get Aqualight Pro with 3X150watts MH, actinics and moonlight. Now I'm planning to put 1 anemone only for my pair of true percula. What is the best anemone for them that will not hurt my inverts (1 coral banded shrimp, 3 cleaner shrimp, 5 electric blue hermit, 8 blue hermit, 2 lion snails and 3 turbo snails. <All anemones have active cnidocysts which will sting protein-based material....corals, shrimps, etc. These creatures will most likely avoid the anemone, but you will always run some risk of injury to them. Corals are most often the victims of a roaming anemone. That said, many have good luck with the bulb-tipped anemone, Entacmaea quadricolor, or a Heteractis spp. I would recommend something in the Entacmaea family, as they are easier to care for and reproduce much more quickly on the reef- and can be purchased from another hobbyist or LFS as a captive-propagated specimen.> Also please suggest 2 hardy SPS and 4 Soft Corals that will get along with each other. <Soft corals and SPS really don't mix well, so I can't give you a list of compatibles. That said, with a tank your size you can probably get away with it. I would advise you do some research and decided what you like, whether it is suited to your aquarium and tankmates, and go from there. It's fun to choose your own stocking plan, provided it is a well-researched one.> Colorful corals will be nice and probably small to medium sizes. <Coral colors vary within species due to lighting, feeding differences.> I know that some have compatibility issues so I will leave it to the experts like you guys. :-) <If you really want to have compatible specimens, decided on either an SPS or soft tank. Although there is some allelopathy between members of these groups, you will have much greater freedom and healthier, more colorful specimens if you choose one group and then only stock its members in your aquarium.> Aquarium Info: 135 Gallons Tank 72"x18"x24" 125 lbs Live Sand 60 lbs Live Rocks 1 AquaC Remora Pro w/ Rio 1400 Protein Skimmer 2 Fluval FX5 4 Koralia #4 <You may wish to consider a larger skimmer down the road, especially if you have an anemone and corals practicing allelopathic behavior.> Thank you very much for all the help! <No problem Ray, it's a pleasure> Ray <Benjamin>

Corals, Stocking - 6/9/08 Hey there! <Good Morning!> Hope everyone is having a good day. =) <As do I. In the middle of a flood, myself. I like adventures, though.> I have a 55 gallon tank, Fluval fx5, AquaC Remora with Maxi Jet 1200, 2 bulbs T5 lights. About 40 lbs of live rocks, x lbs of live sand... Invert: 8 peppermint shrimp ( I think 2 of them are pregnant! ) <Probable, with that many. Don't expect any larvae to make it to adulthood, but they'll be great food for other shrimp, fish, corals, etc.> 2 skunk cleaner shrimp a few dozen of snails and hermits..( give or take a few that died ) fish: 2 true percula clown 1 six line wrasse Planning to add : a small red sea Desjardinii tang ( about 3 inches big ) <I think he'll grow…a lot….> some corals... <Look out, they're addictive!> Question is : What type of corals should I put in my tank for a beginner? <Many of the leather corals, Corallimorpharians, etc. are easy to care for and have relatively low demands. Zoanthus and Palythoa spp. Polyps can also be easy to care for, but their high toxicity is an issue> Would you recommend me starting a some corals now? <depends…> My tank had been set up for about 3 months...maybe 2 1/2 months. <mm…I would wait longer for this tank to stabilize, to master aquarium husbandry> If so which ones?? My live rocks are pretty low none of them are really stacked up high. <Aquascaping can be a lot of fun, plenty of info on the web re techniques for making a little rock go a long way and produce diverse, exciting shapes for you and your fish.> The upper half of my tank is pretty much empty with no live rocks. My desjardinii is probably going to grow out of the tank after a year or so... they grow pretty slow right? <Physical size is only one part of the equation. Tangs need space to swim freely, and he'll be psychologically cramped well before he outgrows the physical space.> I will most likely upgrade to a bigger tank later. <It seems we all do….> Would you make any alterations to my current system? <Just keep reading, tinkering…half of this hobby is science. The other half is a mixture of experimentation, DIY, and witchcraft.> Is drip acclimation the best way to acclimate? <Depends. Some things are better acclimated more quickly to avoid temperature/stress shock. Some things are better cold. You can read a lot about acclimation in the indexed articles and queries at wetwebmedia.com.> Do you think my Desjardinii be happy in there with the current crowd? <Only for a short time. I would consider a fish happier with smaller tanks and that will not outgrow this tank…perhaps one of the dwarf Centropyge angels.> I keep my salinity at about 1.022 - 1.023 for my fishes.. If I keep corals they should be at 1.026 correct? <1.026 is closest to natural seawater. Some people keep it closer to 1.025-1.024 to hamper pest algae.> Thanks!!! <No problem!> Fish Amateur <Benjamin>

Adding new corals -02/27/08 Love your site guys keep up the great work it has been a huge help to me. <Thanks> I have looked on the site and cant seem to find an answer can you help? I have a friend that is moving and is tearing down his tank. I told him I would buy all his coral aprox 50 pieces most small to frags a couple large pieces. Can I add these to my tank all at once or would this be detrimental. 75 gallon display, 45 sump, 60 gallon refuge. Water condition at a prime. What would be the best way to introduce this. <It's hard to say without knowing how heavily or lightly stocked your tank is already. But better safe than sorry. If you can add them over the course of a few weeks (rather than all at once) that would be better.> Thanks for all you help Chris <De nada,
Sara M.>

Coral Stocking/Compatibility 2/23/08 Dear Crew, <Andrew> Happy snow day to you from the East Coast. I hope you can help me with a coral stocking question. <Brrrrr! Will try> I would like to add some additional corals to my display but have read many times your admonitions regarding "coral gardens" and allelopathy among species. I have been searching for information on coral compatibility but all of the info I have found is pretty general in nature, is difficult to put together unless you know what, exactly, you're looking to keep, and, of course, does not address specific tank situations. The corals for sale in my area that I find attractive (bubble, hammer, torch, elegance, frogspawn, flower pot, and star polyps, to name a few) appear to be incompatible with, or at least pose a danger to, my existing corals. <Mmm, yes... mostly depending on the size, health of existing and new colonies, the volume of the system, gear, maintenance...> So, I thought I would ask the experts, who have a much better knowledge than me of what's available and compatible, for some suggestions/ideas. <You have read my general pitch posted here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm> I have a 110g display (48"x30"x18") with about 90lbs of LR and a 30g fuge (10 additional lbs of LR, 5" DSB and Chaeto). Filtration is by a wet-dry trickle filter and a Coral Life Super Skimmer. My lighting is a 760W fixture--2x250W HQI (20,000K) and 4x65W actinic PCs. I estimate that my water turnover (internal and external) is about 15/hr. I keep two bags of activated carbon (approx. ? cup each) in my sump, which I change out every 2 weeks or so. <Okay> I currently have about 16 small mushrooms (various types) and 5 large Rhodactis mushrooms. I also have a Capnella tree coral, a Pacific Open Brain, 2 small (but spreading) colonies of Xenia, and a Dendronephthya tree coral (alive for 8 months and thriving, and the subject of recent a narrative sent to/requested by Bob). <Yes> My fish include a Sailfin Tang, a Royal Gramma, a Brown Combtooth Blenny, a Gold Stripe Maroon, and a Copper Band Butterfly. I also have a number of hermit crabs and snails, a Sally Lightfoot Crab, a pencil urchin hitchhiker, and a Red Mithrax Crab hitchhiker. I realize that my mushrooms may limit the animals I can/should keep. I also want to avoid introducing anything that may adversely impact my Dendro, which I've been able to keep healthy for 8 months (this was sold to me as a Lemnalia sp. but I later found out this was not so). If possible, I'd like to find an anemone replacement for my Maroon Clown (I previously had a BTA, which I gave away), but so far the corals I have read about which could be replacements raise the issues cited above. Because of the height of my tank, my LR structure will not permit me to use the top half of my tank for placement. I have attached a picture of my display. I believe my lighting is sufficient for just about anything I could keep. I find the Pipe Organ, Candy Cane, Tube and Starburst Corals to be very attractive, and I believe these might be options? <Yes... worth trying... Do keep the Clavulariids isolated to pieces of LR of their own...> Although not a coral, I have always found clams to be very interesting/beautiful (but a clam sitting on the bottom of my tank would be about 36" inches from the light source). <Too far. You might want to consider a "tray" of some sort to hold a Tridacnid up higher, in shallower water...> I would very much appreciate some suggestions from the Crew. As always, I thank you for your time/efforts. Andy <I'd go slow here... acclimating new life by "Boris Karloffing" system water twixt and tween the holding/quarantine tank with new stinging-celled life here... Bob Fenner>

First try at Coral/Lighting 10/12/07 Hi, <Howdy> I have a 32 gallon Finnex M-tank running with about 30 pounds of live rock (forgot which kind of liverock it is, but it is lighter they said compared to similar sized rocks), 2 clownfish and a damsel (damsel is getting pretty big now and can be mean - not sure what kind it is but I attached a photo). I have a 3 inch sand bed and a refugium in he back of the tank (lights running 8PM - 8AM, turn on/off with main display lights) with sand and macro-algae and many of copepods and things. I also have a skimmer in the rear of the tank. <The damsel you can find here: http://wetwebmedia.com/neoglyphidodon.htm> For circulation I run a Hydor Koralia 1 and a Hydor Koralia nano on opposite ends of the tank, and a Microjet pump aimed behind the live rock to keep circulation behind the rocks. The return pump itself also make a nice current. Not sure if I have my circulation set up ok or not but the fish seem to enjoy swimming into the currents created by the Hydor's. For lighting I currently have a fixture with 3 x 55w compact fluorescents of various degrees for a total of 165W. The tank has run for about 10 months now without issue, but I am now planning on adding a cleaning crew and some coral. <Some... coral...> Water readings are always perfect, all 0's with nitrates usually between 0 and 10. Usually for a 10% weekly water change. My question is for corals, is the roughly 5 watts per gallon OK? <Mmm, for many species, depths, yes> Or am I limiting myself? <More so with this small volume> I was looking at the SunPod 150W metal halide or the 250W (like 8 watts per gallon) metal halide, both at 14,000 degrees. Do you think the 150W SunPod would better the 165W of Cf's or do you think the 250W fixture would be the better choice? <Don't think it really makes much difference here> I know I am only in a 32 gallon tank but I do not want to limit the kinds of corals I can have in my tank... <... this is counterintuitive... there are a few important groups of limiting factors in placing disparate cnidarians in close proximity in small captive volumes... poisoning, overgrowing, stinging mechanisms... All need to be taken into consideration in putting together a stocking plan> Do you see any holes in my plan? And for adding coral, what types to you suggest for someone new at reef keeping? <...?> Should I limit the number of different pieces I add to the tank at once? <Yes> In particular I was looking at the "starter packages" or "frag packages" for sale on several sites like LiveAquaria, etc. Do you think those are a good idea to start with? <This is an excellent company with many good people, practices> Thanks Dave Sheehan <I would study for now Dave... Here: http://wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm BobF>

Coral Selection...Where To Start? - 10/08/07 Thanks Eric for getting back to me. <<Quite welcome, Don>> I know you guys/girls volunteer and have regular busy daily life but I still need some help. <<No problem>> I have the 210 AGA with 3 250 watt MH and am starting to look/read about selecting the livestock choices I will need to make. <<Okay>> Can you send me links to the coral you think would fit this lighting because what I have read some are light/medium/heavy intense for lighting certain coral species? <<Indeed...and one reason I like to advocate "biotopic" systems replicating a particular niche on the reef. This way hobbyists collect a grouping of organisms that share similar environmental requirements...makes for better long-term success. Your lighting does allow more flexibility than you might think re species selection via your choices in lamp Kelvin temperature and lamp distance from the water's surface. As far as "links to coral" goes...I recommend you obtain Julian Sprung's book "Corals: A Quick Reference Guide." This book will help you with placement, lighting, and flow requirements of your selected specimens...after you done your due-diligence and researched compatible species/decided on a particular reef environment, of course [grin]>> I love to read but am certainly lost to what would be good to start off with especially because I don't trust some staff at the LFS. <<Decide what kind of system you want (stony corals, softies,...high-light/high-energy, low-light/deep reef, etc., etc.)...will take some time/research on your part, but once you have an idea of what you "want" we can discuss more>> Of course the coral selection needs other requirements like circulation and mix/don't mix with other livestock. <<Yep...>> Oh yea, I know you're going to tell me to pick what I want first then get the lighting but I figured it this way I could take out the 384 watts of actinic PC in the fixture with 10k bulbs if I really wanted low lighting species. <<Okay...but I can better help you if you can at least state what you think you want to keep/what you want to do with this system>> Better to have choices than get stuck! <<No argument here>> Thanks again. Don V. <<Am sure we'll be chatting. Regards, EricR>>

Lighting Question, Which Anemones can I keep? Possible Mysis Shrimp - 9/30/07 <Hello Brenda here> I have a two part question. I purchased a Satellite 24-hour lighting system with Dual-Daylight 6700k/10000k and Dual-Actinic 420nm/460nm for a combined 260 watts from my LFS. My tank is 48Lx18Wx21D. The guy that I was talking to said that I would be able to have my pick of anemone and a majority of soft corals. <Not true with Anemones. You will be fine with soft corals.> I would just have some troubles with most hard corals. <I would not attempt SPS corals. You will likely be okay with some LPS corals. Is this true? It is fine if it is I just want to make sure that I wasn't made to believe otherwise. <I would only attempt a Bubble Tip Anemone (E. quadricolor). This is also the best beginner anemone, although still considered difficult.> My second question doesn't have anything to do with lighting; I have roughly 70 lbs of Pohnpei live rock, and after I put it in the tank, I came back several hours later to check if anything had fallen or shifted, and I noticed several "bugs" that were approximately. 3mm long and clear. The best that I can describe them is that they looked similar to ghost shrimp in FW. <Likely a Mysis Shrimp, good to have. See here: http://www.reed-mariculture.com/mysidshrimp/ > I called my wife in and showed her them and her response was "How in the world did you see those?" <HeeHee! You will be finding all sorts of interesting things. Good luck to you! Brenda>

Re: Marine Aquarium Setup, cnid. sel. 7/6/07 Hi again Chris, <Hello> Sorry for all the trouble, but I was wondering which corals would best fit my tank as I described earlier if I had gotten rid of my anemone. <There are so many possibilities here it is really impossible to get into much detail. Its probably worth checking out Bob's and Anthony's Book "Reef Invertebrates" for specific information on specific corals.> I found that SPS might be one of the possibilities because large Angels are OK with them. <Can work.> Also, which lighting would best accommodate these corals based on their needs and the tank size. <Tough to generalize about so many different types of corals, but generally they need fairly strong lighting, usually metal halides.> Thanks again. <Welcome> <Chris>

Tentacle Thing... Ignorance, Arrogance and Irresponsibility 6/10/2007 Hey there Wet Web Media crew! <Jimmy.> I just got back from a trip to my local fish store. While there, I saw a critter I just had to have. I bought it and brought it home. Later a friend came over and told me it is some kind of jellyfish that swims upside down or something. <<... likely a Cassiopeia sp.. RMF>> Well, I got the critter home and pulled my old 5-gallon fish tank out from the garage and set it up. I added the water, dumped the critter in, and then added the salt according to the instructions on the bucket. Now my question is, what do I feed this thing? I used a pair of forceps to put a piece of shrimp in its tentacles but it didn't seem to want it. Thanks in advance for any information. Jimmy <Jimmy, I truly hope this is a joke. But I fear it is not. This behavior demonstrates the absolute apex of ignorance, arrogance and irresponsibility. I would be surprised if the Jellyfish is still alive by the time you get this email. I am hard pressed to think of anything you could have done more wrong. Obviously, you have never had a saltwater tank. If you did, you would certainly know better than to place the animal into fresh water and then proceed to add salt directly to the tank with the animal in it!!! This alone is likely enough stress to kill this creature. There is too much to go into in one email to tell you how to care for this creature. Your tank is uncycled and this alone would take weeks. If you keep this creature, it will die. If this animal is still alive, I implore you to return it to the store ASAP!!! Please do not buy any more animals be them finned, winged, or footed until you have done the appropriate research as the their care requirements. It is simply unfair to any living creature. Please, in the future educate yourself before assuming responsibility. Mich>

Next Coral 1/3/07 Hey there crew! <Hey there Nathan! Mich here today.> Just had two quick questions for you guys (and gals). <Cool! Thanks for the inclusion!> I have a forty gallon tank with a rock of mushrooms and a rock of Zoanthids, about 28 lbs. of live rock, A Tomato Clown, a Green Chromis, a brittle star, and a two and a half inch sandbed. <Three to four inches would be better, if you are going the deep sand bed route.> I was wondering first, what hardy coral would be good for me to get next? <There are many options here. It really depends on what you want to do. My best suggestion to you would be to try to find a local reef club that sponsors frag swaps. This will provide you an opportunity to learn, trade, and experiment in a responsible/conscientious manor.> And, second, how much live rock is a good amount for biological filtration? <Some is better than none. I think you could add more if you wanted. There is a lot of variability with the live rock itself, so there is no hard and fast rule here.> Anyway, hope you all are having a great weekend, <Great start to a new year! Wishing you the same! -Mich> Nathan

Red Sea Biotope 12/28/06 Bob, Thanks for the reply. I will follow up with SeaChallengers.com and would love to dive the Red Sea if possible. <Is> The book "Coral Reef Guide - Red Sea" is actually written by Ewald Lieske and Robert F. Myers <http://www.amazon.com/Coral-Reef-Guide-Red-Sea/dp/0007159862/sr=8-1/qid=1167330330/ref=sr_1_1/002-5564169-9292019?ie=UTF8&s=books> just in case anyone else wants to find the book. It is an awesome reference for the Red Sea. <Thank you for this> I think one of my biggest challenges now will be finding coral that actually comes from the Red Sea. <In the U.S., yes... you may want to become friendly with folks in the frag/hobby side in W. Europe... they likely can supply you best with the beginnings of pieces> Most of the coral is also found in other seas throughout the world and most dealers and wholesalers don't list many, if any specimens from the Red Sea. <Again... not in the U.S., but these can be found in some supply in Europe> If you have any recommendations where I could find actual Red Sea coral I would greatly appreciate it. I am in the grow-out phase of starting a coral farm and have a few wholesale contacts, so recommendations can be wholesale, or otherwise if need be. <The hobby groups... the Net...> I understand that virtually no-one would know the difference if I put an Indonesian, Fiji, etc. coral in place of an actual Red Sea coral, but I would know and I would like to exhaust all avenues to acquire Red Sea specimens before I am forced to go with others. Thanks again Todd L. <Bob Fenner>

Knowledge before possession, coral care requirements 12/27/06 Hi, <Hi Nick, Mich here.> I have written to you guys before and you're great! <Thank you for the kind word, I hope the sentiment continues.> This time I have a coral related question. <Alright.> I have a 54 gallon reef tank with 2 powerheads, one @ 90 gph, and a second at 100 gph. One is a PowerSweep so it goes back and fourth. I have good filtration, and the tank is kept at 78-80 degrees F. I have a question about some coral I recently purchased. I have mainly peaceful coral in my tank, except the pearl bubble coral, but he is away from everyone else. <Good, as you know he's not exactly peaceful.> I bought a small, 2-3 inch Pipe Organ Coral, and a 4-5 inch Elephant ear coral. I already have an elephant ear coral and I know they need a lot of room. <Watch your fish. These corals have a penchant for engulfing and killing any fish that comes within their grips. A 4-5 inch elephant ear can easily be hazardous to the health of you fish.> All of my nitrites and others are fine and Calcium and Alkalinity are fine. And I have a Coralife Lunar Aqualife lighting system. (Blue Actinic and Regular lighting). My tank is over a year old and I need to know about these new corals. They are sitting in the sand right now and I need to know where to put them and how to take care of them. <Always best to know this information before you make a purchase. Knowledge before possession...The way to being a conscientious aquarist. Pipe organ (Tubipora musica) is tolerant of various lighting conditions but bright light is always good. It needs decent water flow, but not so much that it is knock or pushed around. Tubipora seems to do best in turbid conditions where the water has a somewhat high nutrient content. Both of these corals could stay on the sandbed as long as they are not inundated with sand. They may also be elevated in your tank s they do OK under various lighting conditions.> Any help is appreciated, <Help is here today, but in the future please be familiar with the care requirements prior to assuming responsibly for any living creature.> Thanks again, <Welcome. -Mich> Nick Buying Corals 7/15/06 Hello there!!! I want to buy some coral frags and came upon a site called "www.garf.org". Have you heard of this site and is it safe to shop here? <Do know Leroy and Sally... nice, enthusiastic folks> I do not want to give away credit card info to false sites. Please let me know. Thank you!!! <As with all such "reviews", prospective purchases, I would ask your question on the large/r BB's like Reef Frontiers, Reefs.org... Bob Fenner>

Newbie Coral Keepers - 05/13/2006 Crew, <Mike.> What corals that are easy to take care of with Power Compact lighting in a 29 gal tank with 130 watts of pc.... <My three favorite for beginners are 'Shrooms and Zoanthus...maybe a small captive reared piece of Sinularia or Sarcophyton.> Nothing else in tank except LR and cleaning critters. will add a few fish but keeping it minimal <Okay.> Thoughts I like are mushrooms, leather and brain or maybe some torch. <Potentially good choices...do research the exact species as some of these terms are broad.> Not sure if they are compatible or the small space could cause problems. <Long term w/ growth there cold be problems, yes.> I would just like the Shrooms myself but my better half wants something that waves in the water current. <Try some green star polyps or clove polyps.> Any suggestions help. <See above.> The more I read the more confused I get as to which ones can do well in a small environment. If there is some place am missing on your sight to find the answers let me know..... <Just keep reading my friend, use the Google search feature on out home page.> Michael <Adam J.>

Re: Newbie Coral Keepers - 5/17/2006 Hey thanks for the quick reply. <Anytime.> did not know you guys worked on weekends. LOL. <Well technically we never work….hehe….we are volunteers.> I do wish I could have better coral names then the generic leather, brain and torch but well most LFS's that's how they list them. <Well that is why it up to you to research before hand and know what you are up against.> I will look into the green star polyps or clove polyps for something that waves along with the others that you mentioned.. But am not rushing to stock it, although am one that once its stocked its stocked. <Okay.> I do use the Google search on your site but most of the time am sifting through other aquarists questions that hmm don't seem to apply although I get some interesting information from the crew as well as some rather amazing reality checks too. Which means that no one knows everything there is to know about fish keeping and they are work and sometimes we fall short of maintaining them to there optimal potential and you have to work with what you got. <…> I might be a new b to the coral world but not to marine tanks or fish keeping in general. <Nothing wrong with being new to something…wasn't mean tot offend.> I have a marine tank for close to 9 years moved up from the 29 to a 55 and now a 92 gallon fish only corner tank, with 30 years of fresh water tank keeping, and still do, two of them one 70 the other a 29 too. Thought about making the 92 gal a reef tank but lighting stops me from it as well as one of the inhabitants would enjoy the corals as a gourmet meal. Right now by the FAQ crew standards this tank is over stocked. <Yeah….> With a yellow and blue regal tang getting ready to enter there 6th year under my care and a lunare wrasse and Huma trigger in there 3rd year ( I believe all are pretty much at there full size too. Not sure though as to exactly how to determine exact size? Is it from the tip of the mouth to the tip of the tail or just before the tail starts). Its a tight fit but all seem to be happy and healthy. All though am not sure what happy really is for a fish in captivity other then the fact that they move around constantly, grazing, and eating all the time when food is given to them. <Well what zies are the animals, I doubt they all are at potential size in these quarters.> I'd like to say am working on not making the tank overstocked but then right now getting a bigger tank, Id love one, just at this time isn't going to happen and with the fish being around as long as they have you cant just get rid of them. Besides which one(s) would it be all are very entertaining fish. Thanks for your reply and all the amazing info that is out there on your sight. Michael <Adam J.>

Anemone lighting... other cnid. choices - 04/16/06 Dear Bob (or whoever else might receive this FAQ), <Jodie here on this beautiful afternoon> My tank has been fully cycled (for the 2nd time) for about three weeks. It is 40 gallons and the current inhabitants include a yellow tang, goby, and domino clownfish/damsel. <This is a domino damsel (not clown) who, I hope you understand, will likely grow up to be a holy terror.> I upgraded my lighting to 175 watt power compacts with built in fans by JBJ. I want to add photosynthetic inverts such as corals or an anemone. <I cannot/will not recommend an anemone to you with this lighting.> In your opinion, which species of coral or anemone would you recommend for my relatively immature system? <No anemones, as they require stable systems and very intense lighting. Some good beginner softies would be 'Shrooms ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/corallim.htm) or the ever-popular Zoanthids ( http://www.wetwebmedia.com/zoanthid.htm). Both of these are pretty hardy, come in a variety of colors and sizes, and would give you some good (and needed) experience before moving on to more advanced-needs corals.> Thank you in advance. <And thank you for letting me flex my spell-checking muscles. Cheerio, Jodie> J. Ferrante
Re: Anemone lighting... other cnid. choices - 04/16/06
Thank you Jodie and just two more brief questions): Isn't that enough light that I have- according to my calculations, that's almost 5 watts per gallon? (well-- almost). To be exact - 4. 44444. Really, that isn't enough for an anemone? <This is a matter of personal opinion/experience for me. I was advised that 3-5 watts per gallon was needed, and yet both BTA and Condy failed to thrive. Added MH and voila! Happy anemone. You could try it, but be prepared in case of a similar scenario. You didn't mention the depth of your tank -- and yes, this can make a difference.> Well thanks for making me aware of that then. I guess you need halides for them. <Again, some may not but in my experience I would recommend it wholeheartedly.> And another thing- I read the pages you directed me to and is it ok to keep polyps in high nitrate levels ( about 35 ppm). How can I get them down if not? <Discussed at length on WWM. Read re: nitrates at http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nitratesmar.htm > Thanks again in advance, JF <John, if you want anemones then you should experiment with some hardy soft corals first, learn how to get/keep your nitrates down, and read-read-read. Be aware that they have a tendency to wander, stinging things along the way, and sometimes getting sucked into powerheads (yes, killing everything in the tank). They are beautiful and interesting, but also a huge commitment. Cheers, Jodie> (ahha - used spell check this time-- sorry) <Much appreciated! jb>

Cleaning Coral Skeletons, 4/6/06 Aloha WWM crew. Great site you have here. I actually have two questions I am hoping you can answer for me. Question number one: Can I use the bleach cleaning process on colorful dead coral skeletons without affecting the natural color? The second question: I live in Hawaii and here it is illegal to import live coral. Unfortunately (but understandably), it is also illegal to take any live corals out of the ocean. Do you guys happen to know of any other way to obtain coral legally for a hobbyist that wants to learn more about it? Thanks very much, and again GREAT site! -Mark <Aloha Mark, Ryan with you today. I would use a 1/10 Bleach, 9/10 water solution with a brush of sorts on the coral skeletons. That should do the trick without too much color loss or damage. As far as the coral situation, I'd give Indo-Pacific Sea Farms a try. They have an excellent stock of aquacultured soft corals, but I'm not sure if you can purchase without shipping. Not sure which island they're on, but they're in Hawaii! Thank you for the kind words, Ryan> <<Are on the Big Island... call Gerald Heslinga re... RMF>>

Re: coral ID - 03/18/2006 Hi Ted, <<Hello Mohamed. Sorry for the tardy response>> You mention "here is a list of MAC certified wholesale operations in Fiji and Indonesia", but where is the list? <<Refer your fish store(s) to the Marine Aquarium Council ( http://www.aquariumcouncil.org) to contact wholesale operators in Fiji.>> <This scam outfit has gotten the Fijian gov't to impose a tariff on all... RMF> To date, not one fish store (8 in total) managed to get me the coral.<<Sorry to hear that.>> Thanks Mohamed.

Re: Wanting to try coral - 01/03/2006 Thanks for the reply. <That's my job.> I will be sure to research more thoroughly. <Awesome.> I'm so excited to get into the coral area of the marine aquarium hobby. <Be warned, it is very addictive.> Thanks for taking the time to list the genera of the corals. <No problem.> It will help a lot when I am shopping for corals. <Yes best to have a "list" rather than buy on impulse. Adam J.>

Advice on coral stocking. 12-19-05 OK, here's what I was offered for a REALLY good price (<$200) from a local hobbyist who's moving: Hydnophora 1 large green finger leather 5 yellow toadstools chili coral pipe organ coral zoo rocks 2 large clumps of frogspawn 2 large clumps of hammer Yellow Scroll Coral Green pagoda cup Open Brain coral 2 large leather corals Star polyps Montipora digita green Montipora plate green Grooved brain whip coral various large and small mushrooms These came out of a 135 system and I have no idea how big they are, other than the pictures sent to me. The part I'm not sure if it would be wise for me to get them as I only have a standard 55 gal. w/60lbs. LR and 4"DSB. My lighting is 250W 10000K MH and 130W super actinic. 300gph return from sump and MiniJet900 for flow, currently, though I'm planning on adding a 600gph return w/SQUID (sp?). The only things in the system are,2" ocellaris clown, 2" domino damsel, 1" 4-line damsel; a few frags of: button polyps, zoos, xenia, anthelia; 2 Med. Kenya tree; and one 8" rock covered in Palythoa. I don't currently have a fuge setup, though that's been in the works as well. Is this just too much for my system? If so, are there any particular pieces you could recommend. If I do this I'll wind up giving up my plans to do an anemone/clown setup. Your advice is as invaluable as always. Thank you. Branon. <My advice would be to purchase the lot of it, as it is a great price, and share with your local reefers. How much will fit in your tank is really dependent on the true size of the pieces so I really can't venture a guess as to how much will fit in your tank. Heck, I have seen frogspawn so big they had to break it to fit it out the top of a 90 gallon. Travis>

Coral Selection and Placement in the Nano Tank 12/7/05 Dear Mr. Fenner, <Actually you get Adam J tonight, Bob is still out having lots of fun diving and hopefully getting some cool new pictures.> I have a 20gal.long nano reef. I have just started adding corals, so far I have a very small clump of green star polyps (about .5") I'm hoping that they will spread fast. <Oh yes they do, to the point o being a weed at times.> One fist sized clump of clove polyps (Clavularia sp.) That I added two weeks ago and are looking great (polyps fully extended and appears to be spreading already). <Cool.> One unidentified type of hairy mushroom that is about 3" in diameter and appears to be splitting. <I would attempt to identify it, some mushrooms get quite large and are "fish traps" ….yes they eat fish.> And three small Ocellaris clowns. <You're at your limit for fish already.> I also have about 30lbs. of live rock and some Blueleg hermit crabs. The filtration consists of one Aquaclear 200, (200 gph.) and one CPR BakPak 2 Protein Skimmer with a Rio 600 and preskimmer. <Watch the Rio pump they aren't of the best quality in my opinion, I would consider witching this one out for another brand, such as a Maxijet. I believe the Maxijet 900 or 1200 is compatible wit this skimmer.> The BakPak is working great and consistently getting about 1/3 cup of skimmate. I have a rotating powerhead that circulates 160gph. The lighting is a Coralife compact fluorescent lighting fixture (130 watts 2, 65 watt bulbs one actinic and one daylight). Okay now to the question. My LFS has a beautiful and healthy Lobophyllia and a beautiful and healthy bubble coral (Plerogyra sp.) I was wondering if it would be possible for me to have either one of these (not both). <With your lighting either one is an okay choice, however I would lean toward the Lobophyllia as the bubble has sweeper tentacles that can measure up to 6", and these will sting anything they touch. So the Lobophyllia would drastically limit your future sessile inverts in such a small tank. As for placement the bubble can be placed anywhere in your tank with moderate current, the Lobophyllia is best placed in the substrate.> If it would be possible were should I place them in the tank. My water is near perfect. And the live rock is teeming with invertebrate life. This would be my first stony coral. Thanks for your help <Welcome.> MDM <Adam J.>

International shipping query 11/11/05 Hi guys <Salud!> I am from Africa, South Africa to be exact (so excuse the English) <Okay> and spend most of my free time browsing your site. I have a quick question that I hope you would be able to answer. We have a really large support for the hobby of reefkeeping. The only problem is that we cannot find quality livestock. We are especially looking for frags that we can grow and one day propagate in order to supply fellow hobbyists, clams are also high on the list of demands. My question is if you know of any company that will ship internationally as this seems to be a major problem. Please assist if it is at all possible. Keep up the great work regards Robert <Mmm, likely some of the larger wholesalers, marine clubs in Europe are where you should look... Are there regular flights from Germany to "Jo-burg?" or other large town near you? Is there enough demand there so you can have a bunch sent to you/all at one time? This will greatly reduce costs. I would check with your local stores to see if they will co-op a shipment with you, others. Bob Fenner>

Coral selection & lighting 10/12/05 Dear Crew: I have a 54 gallon corner setup - FOWLR. I have about 8 fish - 2 tangs and some clowns and chromis, & cleaner shrimp. It's been running about 8 months. I'd like to add some corals. The lighting is a basic 30" twin tube Fluorescent - 17 watts each bulb (34 watts total). Could you recommend some easy to care for corals? Also, would you recommend upgrading the lighting to a 55 watt power compact or something different? <Mitch, please read here first. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/growingcorals.htm James (Salty Dog)>

Anemones And Sessile Inverts... Never A Good Mix - 07/29/05 My BTA has decided to attach himself to the bottom of my button polyp rock so that when he inflates he brushes against some of them. <<This is why most here don't advocate placing motile invertebrates in the same system with sessile invertebrates.>> They are turning white and I'm assuming that they are being stung. <<They are>> I only have a few corals in a 105 gallon tank and there are plenty of other rocks for him to choose from. <<This is not the fault of the anemone.>> Is there any way to get him off this particular rock? I have moved the polyp rock from the top of the tank where it was getting maximum light and current to the bottom shadier part of the tank to see if this gets him to move. <<This may or may not work, but you are now stressing both animals.>> So far, it's not working. I don't want to pry him off or hurt him. <<No, prying will likely damage/kill the anemone. They can sometimes be "gently" coaxed from smooth surfaces with a carefully applied thumbnail, but trying to forcefully remove them from rock is ill advised.>> Any solutions? <<Mmm...place the rock back where the anemone will be/was happy and accept the demise of the polyps...learn from the experience and treat the (any) anemone accordingly.>> Thanks! I've been reading your sight for hours and can't find the answer, so far. <<The "answer" is not to mix these critters in the first place my friend. Regards, EricR>>

Coral Selection Hi crew, hopefully this is just a quick question for you to answer. My setup is basically 150g tank, sump/fuge 50g, 2 x 250W HQI, 2 x 30W Actinic, tank dims are 60" x 24" x 24", 135lbs Fiji LR, 4" sandbed, livestock currently false percula, purple Dottyback, Turbos, Cerith, red leg hermits. Question is I'm looking to go reef, which coral type are best suited for this setup - Soft corals, SPS or LPS, I'm a big fan of all coral types I am not going to mix but am unsure which my setup best suits? <Dave, I think you will find useful info here. http://www.google.com/custom?q=Coral+selection&sa=Google+Search&sitesearch=wetwebmedia.com James (Salty Dog) Cheers, Dave

Coral Stocking 6/15/05 I have a hundred gallon (60x 18x 22) reef tank that has been set up for awhile. It circulates at 4200gph and has 940w of light (500w=MH 14k and 440w=VHO actinic). I use carbon and a phosphate remover in my sump, along with an AquaC 180 and a denitrator. Everything is very stable in the aquarium, with nitrates always under 5ppm, 0 nitrite, 0 ammonia, 0 phosphate, pH at 8.3, alkalinity around 11, and calcium at 430. I also have about 200lbs of LR and a little over 20" of fish in the aquarium. <All sounds great, although counting fish by the inch is a very poor estimate of actual bioload. Consider twenty 1" damsels vs. two 10" panther groupers. Quite a difference!> Now with all that said, I have only a few corals (a mushroom colony, Zoanthids colony, and a green open brain coral). I set up the tank so I could house some SPS corals and some clams. I have taken it slow so far but am ready for some corals. My question is how many SPS colonies can I put in at once and still be safe. I have an opportunity to hand pick corals and clams from a distributor but the thing is I will only have this one opportunity. Since I have this change to hand select from a large stock and get it at a low price, I want to take full advantage of it. <This is a great opportunity! The risk does not lie in bioload. The bioload of corals is pretty trivial since they don't feed heavily and because the zooxanthellae process most of the nitrogenous wastes. The real risk is in putting so many stressed and probably wild colonies together. It is not uncommon to for one dying colony to take out several. Also, the more corals you introduce at once, the greater the likelihood of introducing pests or predators.> I would like to purchase about 30 colonies of SPS corals, three clams, and maybe a half dozen LPS corals. Would this just be too much? <Yowza!! In my opinion, this would be way too much. If you don't suffer losses as described above, you will quickly have problems with corals growing into each other. Do consider how all of these colonies will fit when they are all two, three, five times their current size!> I monitor the tank very closely and I feel that I would be able to catch something before it turned catastrophic. I also planned to use a very large amount of carbon in the filter and changing it every three days. What do you think? <If you do get a large number of corals at once, I agree with the use of carbon and would also perform very frequent small water changes (perhaps 10-15% twice a week) for a couple of weeks. It may also be worth considering setting up a separate holding system so that you can better observe each colony for poor health, pests, etc. This way, each colony could be moved to the display based on it's individual appearance. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Corals for light Hey guys, How are you all? <Can't speak for anyone else, but I feel like a truck hit me... too much physical labor the last few weeks, and those beers and hot wings last night... yikes!> I have a question for you. I have a 30 gallon reef tank (or trying to be reef) right now its just one mushroom and a shrimp+ 40 lbs live rock. I have a PC fixture of 1-55w daylight and 1-55w actinic. I was wondering if you would be so kind as to put together a small list of corals that would be ok for my lighting situation. :).........I was thinking of xenia because they require moderate light and are mostly feeding corals. Anything would be appreciated. - Thanks for taking the time to read this -Aaron <Mmm, no. Please take the time to read through the "coral" (soft, hard, what have you) sections on selection, compatibility... posted on WWM: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/index.htm. There's more, much more, to this process than light consideration. Bob Fenner>

Stocking A Small World! Dear Sirs, <No "sir" needed... Just Scott F. here today!> Hello. I have a few questions for you guys that I hope you can help me with. First, I have a 30 gallon saltwater aquarium set up and functioning. The stats are as follows; 10 gallon sump (on its way to being an algae scrubber), 42 lbs. Caribbean live rock and 10 lbs. of Fiji. I have 192 watt compact fluorescent fixture (a 96 watt actinic and a 96 watt double daylight) a good skimmer and Penguin bio wheel. So far all I have in the tank is 2 Turbo snails and about 25-30 blue leg hermit crabs. My question is about stocking. I definitely want to have some True Percula clowns (I was thinking 2) and maybe one other fish. If you could help me select those that would be great. <I think a great fish for a tank like this would be either the colorful and hardy Royal Gramma (Gramma loreto) or some type of Blenny, like the Bicolor Blenny (Ecsenius bicolor). Both are colorful, interesting fishes that do well in smaller tanks.> Next is my big question. I want to turn it into a reef aquarium and have some soft corals and maybe a few hard corals. What would your professional staff recommend? (P.S. I'm not a total newbie so feel free to recommend what ever species you'd like. I have just dealt with Nano size reefs and don't know as much about larger setups.) Thanks, Andrew S. <Well, Andrew, I'd probably avoid mixing hard and soft corals in this sized aquarium, because the possible "chemical warfare" that can occur between the two would be magnified in this limited space. I'd start off with some very hardy corals, such as the "Mushroom Corals" or perhaps some Ricordea, both of which are colorful, interesting, and easy to care for. Other possible candidates would be Xenia or perhaps Green Star Polyps (although they can be a rather "aggressive" coral, overgrowing many other species. Do look into any of these types and make your selections from those. Hopefully, this will give you a good start for corals for your system. Good luck and have fun with your system! Regards, Scott F.>

Coral Stocking 5/17/05 Good Morning Crew! I would not be bothering you again, but after tons of research, I still feel clueless on what to do with the corals that I bought (on the advice of the LFS). <A QT tank was the first stop before entering your display tank, I hope!> I was very new to reefkeeping and bought everything they recommended, only to find out later that many of the corals are not good choices at all. Here is the scenario: I have a 55 gallon reef tank, around 80 lbs of Fiji live rock, dual BakPak skimmer, very large (not sure of size exactly) Skilter filter, <Please do consider a skimmer upgrade... Aqua C Remora is you prefer hang-on-the-back skimmers... or and ASM G2 or G 3 for sump models> live sand, reef supplements, no problems with water parameters, currently, have power compacts for lighting at 2.5 watts per gallon (I purchased the orbit metal halide reef lighting system for this tank but it is on back order until the end of this month) I also have a 20 gallon tank that I am preparing for sea horses in the future. <Do get your live food cultures well established many months before you even dream of doing seahorses. And plumb a refugium inline to the seahorse tank long before as well> Once my lighting system for the 55 gallon tank arrives, I can use my power compacts on the 20 gallon. The 55 gallon inhabitants include: 3 leather corals, 1 chili coral, 1 toadstool leather, 1 colony of button polyps, 1 flower pot coral, 1 maxima clam, 2 feather duster colonies, 8 small damsels & 1 false percula clown. <The Chili coral can be target fed baby brine shrimp or live rotifers several times weekly if you will help it survive/thrive. The Goniopora however is a dreadfully difficult coral. Needing deep beds of fine sand, etc.> It is my recent understanding that stony & soft corals should not be placed in the same tank <It's a bad habit long term, yes> ....should I place the soft corals (leather & chili) into the 20 gallon sea horse tank & keep the 55 gallon for stony corals only? <Hmmm... it depends. If you can/will maintain superb water quality via weekly water exchanges are weekly changes of carbon, etc... then you can get away with the mix> Are leathers compatible with sea horses? <Compatible yes... natural, no> Which tank would be best suited for the button polyps? ( all corals / clam have 6 - 8 inches between them and are fully open) <Any tank in this case> I currently have the clam placed high on the reef in the most light intensive spot & he also receives some stray sunlight from a window in the room (awaiting the arrival of the metal halides), the flower pot is on the sand, <All positions are quite excellent> (should I be placing the phytoplankton in a blender first before I feed this creature?) <It is helpful... especially with Phyto products that have shipped warm> & the chili coral is upside down, near the bottom of the tank with his base supported between 2 rocks (is this the correct positioning?). <Upside down... yes!!> I have learned a very valuable lesson about researching compatibility, husbandry, quarantine & selection PRIOR to purchase & I will not repeat these mistakes. <Kudos to you my friend> Can you please assist me in determining the best home/care/placement (20 gallon sea horse tank or 55 gallon reef) for these specimens, as I do not trust the advice of the LFS anymore. I know this is quite a great deal of information that I am requesting (I apologize), I promise no more questions for at least 2 months. =) Thank you kindly, Julie <no worries... specific questions are very welcome. Anthony :) >

Anemone + coral - who will win? - 4/25/05 Should I remove my sea anemone from my reef tank? I have a 90 gallon reef system that has been working quite well (thanks mainly to the information that I've read on this website). On a recent trip to my LFS, I was convinced to buy a sea anemone - they told me my clown would love it and it would keep the clown from bothering the xenia. From the little I've read on anemones, I've summarized that maybe an anemone in a reef tank is not 100% ok. I echoed these concerns to the LFS, but they told me that the LT that I'm getting would not move around and is quite reef friendly. <Not really any such things. It's completely unnatural to mix anemones with coral, as they are found in completely different habitats. Plus, the motility of anemones leads to the downfall of your coral, or vice versa> The first 2 days were fine...I fed it and it pretty much stayed within a small area of the tank. This morning however it decided to relocate...and looks like it burned a brain that it was up against. <Case in point :)> I moved the brain away and also moved the anemone to a safe area (i.e.. no corals around). My first reaction has been, lets return the anemone to my LFS, but wanted to get some thoughts from you before making this decision. <An excellent idea> The anemone is quite nice (LT, greenish, about 6 diameter when open). The reason I got it was for the clown...and so far the clown has stayed away, although this morning the clown looked a lot more interested in the anemone...but has yet to actually touch it. <I would advise a species tank if you want to keep it. I'm completely against mixing corals and anemones> Thanks for your help on this and all the other questions you've answered for me on your site! <No problem :) M. Maddox>

Re: Corals stocking selection question for MikeB - Hey! Hello Mike! Thanks for your reply! <Sorry that I haven't gotten back to you sooner, I have been out of the country.> In your answer, did you mean to say that if I introduce them slowly over months I CAN mix hard and soft corals in the end? <No, what I meant was that it would be best if you chose either soft corals or hard corals.> Regarding what you say about hermits and snails. That's what I first thought to do (more hermits and snails), but I've been cutting down after reading Shimek and discussing it with Mr. Fenner. The arguments were that they were eating stuff that was better left to smaller critters (micro-fauna like mini-brittle-stars, pods, worms...) and even eating these smaller critters. Maybe I should have said that I'll have a 4" sugar-fine Arag DSB and a 30-40gal refugium with DSB and macro-algae. <O.K. I understand now. Having a refugium will do much to stabilize your system.> I would be very interested to know more about your opinion on that. <No, Mr. Fenner is correct. Especially if you have a refugium.> I usually like to have complementary opinions and go middle ground. <That is good but remember there can be more than one effective way to maintain a fish tank and sometimes mixing the methods wouldn't work.> Otherwise, what selection and amount of snails/hermits you suggest? I sometimes was thinking of half a dozen Nassarius and half a dozen Nerites. <I think that would be best or maybe another half dozen if they can't keep up with the algae growth. Good Luck MikeB>

Adding corals to FO tank Hello! <Hey Michele, MacL here with you today.> This is my second time writing you, and I wanted to thank you for the quick response and the great information. I have a 55 gallon tank with 65 lbs. live rock, live sand, a protein skimmer, and a powerhead. I have a current USA power compact lighting system. In the tank currently, I have a lawnmower blenny, a Foxface rabbit fish, a Picasso trigger, and a snowflake eel. I was wanting to put something in to add a splash of color, and was contemplating adding either corals, sponges, mushrooms or another type. <I would say that with your lighting, in my experience, the easiest thing would be to put in mushrooms. Perhaps some star polyps as well. Both of these should add color and yet be easy to take care of.> What are the easiest to take care of, and what will coexist well with the fish already in the tank? I've done well with the fish that are in there, they've all pretty much been in there for about 8 mo.- a year except for the trigger which is new. Thanks ahead of time for all your help and insight. <Congratulations and sounds like you are doing marvelously.>

Corals stocking selection question Hi there! To any of the WWM crew member: I have made a selection of corals I'm interested to keep in my new 90gal reef tank. Of course I don't intend to keep all of them, but will take from this list as they become available in my LFSs. I based my choice on three factors: must contain symbiotic algae, must be rated peaceful (with the single exception of the "semi-aggressive" Acropora), and must match my aesthetic preferences. I also added the list of animals I intend to keep with them so you can tell me if there is a miss-match... Could you please tell me if I can organize any combination of corals from that list without too much problems. Please point out species that I should remove from list for any reason (including ethical issues: species that aren't aquacultured and on the verge of being threatened in the wild). <I will do my best.> Soft and polyps: -Starburst Polyp (Pachyclavularia sp.) -Pumping Xenia (Xenia spp.) -Waving Hand Blue (Xenia sp.) -Pipe Organ Coral (Tubipora musica) -Snake Polyp (Isaurus tuberculatus) -Blue Ridge Coral (Heliopora sp.) -Finger Leather (Lobophytum) Hard corals (SPS and LPS): -Acropora Coral, Neon (Acropora spp.) -Montipora Coral, Branched (Montipora digitata) -Stylophora Coral (Stylophora spp.) -Candy Cane Coral (Caulastrea furcata) -Fox Coral (Nemanzophyllia turbida) -Green Eyed Cup Coral (Mycedium sp.) -Lace Coral (Disticophora, Purple) -Pagoda Cup Coral (Turbinaria) One anemone: -Bulb Anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) = aquacultured Fishes: 1 Green Mandarin (Synchiropus splendidus) 1 Ocellaris Clownfish - Tank Bred (Amphiprion ocellaris) 1 Firefish (Nemateleotris magnifica) 1 Yellow Tang - Hawaii (Zebrasoma flavescens) 1 Clown Goby, Green (Gobiodon atrangulatus) 1 Kaudern's Cardinal (Pterapogon kauderni) Crustaceans: 1 Scarlet Skunk Cleaner Shrimp (Lysmata amboinensis) 1 Sexy Anemone Shrimp (Thor amboinensis) 1 White Spot Anemone Shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) 2 micro hermits (one blue-legged and one scarlet) 1 Coral Crab (TRAPEZID) and/or 1 pompom boxing crab Stars: 1 Marble Sea Star (Fromia sp.) 1 Red Sea Star (Fromia milleporella) Others: 2 Harlequin Bubble Sea Slug (Haminoea cymbalum) 1 Crocea Clam, Super Colored (Tridacna crocea) 1 Feather Duster Thanks in advance! Regards, Dominique <Dominique, the list you have is quite an extensive one!!! I think you would need more hermit crabs and maybe some snails. As per your request, I suggest that you pick your tank to be either soft corals or hard corals. If you must have them both you will run into problems. The soft corals will produce a slime coat that will bother the hard corals and they will not do well in the long run. Otherwise, if you add the fish and corals slowly (over a period of months) you should be OK. MikeB>

Coral Selection 2/28/05 I have a 29 and am beginning to purchase a few corals. Will these species live together, and will it be to many inhabitants for this size tank. Frogspawn, Torch, Fluorescent Green Mushroom, and Xenia. Thank you, Eric <You will have to take some care to prevent these from overgrowing each other in the future. Frogspawn and torch will grow slowly enough that their growth will be manageable. The xenia can be a problem, but excess is easily removed for sale/trade. Mushrooms generally don't grow fast enough to be a growth problem, but the do produce a lot of noxious chemicals and are capable of stinging and overgrowing just about any other corals. Since Frogspawn and torch are fairly sensitive to "chemical warfare" it will probably be a good idea to run small amounts of carbon to help remove some of those chemicals. Best Regards. AdamC.>

Are there any corals for a regular fluorescent lit tank? I have read through you're website extensively... and am always learning. I am having difficulty filtering through the information on corals and lighting. I have a 90 gallon saltwater Protein skimmer 90+lbs live rock mostly covered with red/burgundy encrusting algae (this is good... right?) << Yes, good. >> Two Clowns Two Gobies Coral Banded Shrimp Pistol Shrimp Sand bead ranges from 2.5 - 4" deep Canister Filter (suited for 125 gallon tank) My lighting is the basic fluorescent light included with the tank. << Definitely not enough for most marine tanks. >> Without upgrading to anything expensive... what can I get beyond invertebrates and fish for my tank? << Well you are even limited on them. Fish are fine. But many invertebrates will struggle. I think you are limited to shrimp, snails, crabs, worms and the like. >> Are any corals an option? << I don't think so. I can't think of any. >> Worms? << Yes. >> Clams? << No way. >> I love some of the colors on the clams. I've heard that a feather duster would be a good option if it has some moderate water flow. Any recommendations on some corals? I have found that the following website (linked from your site) www.liveaquaria.com <http://www.liveaquaria.com> seems to categorize some of the corals pretty good. Is this a good website that can be trusted for fairly accurate information? << I actually think it is a good website. Remember they are trying to sell you things. Clams are not an option. They require very high lighting which would require massive upgrading. Feather duster worms are okay, they need plankton and that is about it. >> Would I be safe going with any of there low-medium light required specimens as far as coral goes? << I really don't think so. >> Any favorites that you can recommend that would do well with just a plain old fluorescent light? As well, what is your opinion on moon lighting? Does it do any good to my marine life? Or is it more for effect and night time viewing? << It doesn't have any effect or do anything in your tank. It just makes your tank look really cool at night. >> Thanks a bunch guys... you're awesome! Dave << Blundell >>

Opening a saltwater/coral store 7/1/04 hi, I am trying to find a trade magazine or shows on purchasing equipment to open a store. I also need the most local fish and coral suppliers around the Jupiter, fl area. thank you very much. Deborah <do look for Pet Business, Pet Age and Pet Supplies marketing magazines online (Google search). Also, membership in the trade organization PIJAC for demographic info and support on writing and revisiting your business plan as the years go by, market data, info, warnings, etc. HH Backer puts on trade shows along that have been popular for years although not very focused on fishes/marines. The MACNA hobby conference is also on of your very best places to network with other retailers and manufacturers along with advance aquarists from across the nation. Start with these leads and delve into our archives here at WetWebMedia.Com with FAQs and info collected through the years (you'll see a link on the index page for "business" info. Best of luck, Anthony>

Starting With Corals Could you please tell me what corals would be best for beginners to purchase. So many people have so many different opinions and I would like info. from only the best! I already have a mushroom, some sun polyps, a flower pot coral (which I am having mixed thoughts about, now) and a pulsating xenia. Thank you! Connie <Wow, Connie- that's kind of like asking what stock to invest in! As you surmised, you'll ask 50 people and get 50 different answers! If it were me, I'd start with mushrooms (like you have), some hardy Sinularia leather corals, maybe Pachyclavularia violacea (Green Star Polyps), and possibly, a Sarcophyton leather coral. Xenia is a wonderful coral that can thrive under a variety of aquarium conditions. Most of the above corals are reasonably hardy, tolerate a bunch of different lighting and current schemes, and are reasonably forgiving. Perhaps most important, they are all available as captive-propagated specimens, so that the unfortunate failures that sometimes happen when we're starting with corals will not have a negative impact on wild reefs. Do read up on these corals to get an idea of their husbandry, characteristics, and proper placement in your aquarium. I love soft corals-you can make a gorgeous display with just hardy "beginner's" soft corals. Eventually, you could try some "large polyp stony corals", such as Caulastrea and Trachyphyllia. Have a lot of fun researching these corals on the WetWebMedia.Com site. Also, you should pick up Anthony Calfo's "Book of Coral Propagation" and Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals", which are two of the best guides out there for coral enthusiasts. Good luck! Scott F.>

Beginning Corals and fish Hello, My name is Kem. I am planning to set up a 46 gallon reef tank. But I do not know which kind of corals are best for the beginner. I would also like to know what fish are best for beginners also. Thanks a lot. <Hello, I would start with Soft corals, and maybe some mushrooms. Damsel fish are a good place to start. You might want to pick up a good book as well. Let us know if you have any questions along the way. Best Regards, Gage http://www.wetwebmedia.com/soft.htm >

Corals Selection (please let me know if I am using your service too much - I don't want to monopolize your time). I would like to begin adding corals to my tank.? What specie(s) do you recommend starting with.? I believe I have enough light (350 watts - full spectrum covered) and the tank appears to be very stable. Also, I know that minimal to no detectable nitrate levels are suggested for corals.? What is realistic in my 75 gallon world.? It seems that keeping it down to around 4ppm is pretty reasonable (and attainable). Thanks again!? And, do let me know if I'm "monopolizing". Scot >> No to the monopolizing (one of my fave board games btw). Have time (it is one of my principal jobs...) and an acute interest in these queries. Now onto the question itself... Kind of depends on two answers to further questions: 1) What do you consider a coral? and 2) Have you experience with these animals? And with the small amount of space/time allotted to me on this planet and forum, allow me to explain a bit: It's taken me quite a while to get used to the broader definition, but the hobby and business of ornamental aquatics refers to a wide swath of organisms as "corals"... Some not even Anthozoans... (e.g. the Hydrozoans which are "Fire Corals", Milleporina)... and so, if you consider the colonial anemones (Zoanthids/"Polyps",,,, there are other "polyp" groups, have mercy), mushroom or false anemones (aka, Corallimorpharians), and soft corals (Order Alcyonacea... like the leather, colt, devil's fingers, pulsing ...) as "corals", then I would start there, with them... rather than diving into the harder to keep true, or "stony" corals (Order Scleractinia)... especially if the answer to 2) above is "No, this is my first foray into trying to keep these organisms". If the answer is "Yes", then I definitely do have good, better, dismal choice selections to offer for the "real" corals as well. A bunch of all this (expanded blather) info. can be found in articles I've placed on the www.WetWebMedia.com site... Bob Fenner

Just your opinion I have a 20 gal. aquarium that has a plenum unit, I placed slices of pic pipe 1" tall on the bottom, then a piece of egg crate and screening over that, than I have a 1in layer of Florida crushed coral, then screen and then a 1 and 1/2" layer of aragonite sub. about 2-3mm. I have about 9lbs of Fiji LR, I have a BakPak sr2 which is a new unit, I have 72 watts of power compacts on a timer, 1:30-10:00 for the actinics and 2:00- 9:30 for the daylights. I have about a 6in umbrella leather, a green striped mushroom colony, metallic green zoopolyps, a silver gorgonian, and as far as fish goes, a Firefish, small maroon clown, and a 1in twin spot goby. My question is do think this system will do well? and will xenia do well in this tank? and lastly do u think I have the maximum amount of fish? As of now, all critters are doing extraordinary, calcium is at 450ppm and ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all at zero. thank you, {I am only 13}~kurt Baldwin >> Thank you for writing... For being such a small system, it sounds like you've got this tank wired. You might try some Xenia... but I think, if it were me, I'd be more inclined to start trading out some of my growing invertebrates for small "frags" of colonies of other soft and hard corals... than risk overcrowding the tank fish-wise. Bob Fenner, who is only 47!

Reef Corals Bob- I have set up a 55 gal. tank with 95 lb. of live rock, 50 lb. of live sand, 320 watts of compact lighting (combo of blue actinic and daylight), canister filter, power protein skimmer, and 3 power heads at 160 gph each. The water conditions have been stable for about a week, but I'm waiting a couple more weeks (just to be safe). I want to keep a variety of corals along with 2 clowns (Perculas), a royal Gramma and a few blue-green cosmos. My question: What types of corals are easy to maintain for a beginner and will thrive with these fish? And: Do I add the fish first or corals first? I have a couple books on corals, but I want a variety of colors and textures. Any suggestions? Carla >> Go with some of the simpler to keep soft corals and related organisms to start with... Some leathers, Lemnalia, pulsing corals (Xeniids), maybe a Zoanthid, some "polyps" (Star, Clove...)... and we'll chat in a couple of months. They should go in after the initial fishes... after the system/rock is thoroughly cycled. Bob Fenner

"Coral" Selection In your opinion, which species of coral would be a good choice for a novice reef keeper? Also, if possible, can you give me information on how to take care of the coral. Another thing, I have on my live rock what I believe to be mushrooms. what should I do to keep them alive? Thank you >> >> Of true/stony corals (order Scleractinia)? The members of the genus Euphyllia are my faves... Like Anchor, Torch, Frogspawn (family Caryophylliidae). For the mushrooms (order Corallimorpharia), just watch water quality... no specialized feeding (in my opinion... they'll get incidental food from feeding others)... and keep a "break" of space between their colonies and your other stinging-celled life... as they can be dangerously territorial. Bob Fenner

Coral for a Fish/Reef Tank? Dear Bob, Thanks for the great website and just as importantly for your frank advice making use of all of your experience. I have had a fish only tank for 7 years and because of a leak, have converted from 80 gallons to 100. <Ah, a lucky leak> My goal is to cautiously move toward a biologically balanced fish/reef system. My philosophy thus far has been to under load the tank to maintain water quality, and minimize intervention, i.e. chemical addition etc and fish stress. It served me well so far. <Yes> Just recently I installed an Icecap 660 driving 3 x 48" NO full spectrum and 1 actinic. Big difference to my eyes. From what I have read and your previous advice on the subject I would categorize the amount/quality of light to be medium. I could transition to VHO bulbs but want to experiment with NO bulbs unless it becomes too limiting. I have read an article from FAMA (Cohen?) <Ah, good old (even more than I!) Merrill> that I believe successfully used this kind of setup. As a result of the better lighting I've added a Trachyphyllia geoffroyi (rose open brain). What else would you recommend given these tank particulars and my balanced approach philosophy? Snails, Brittlestars, etc. for detritus? What about other zooxanthellae. corals ? <All the above groups would do fine here> ~20lbs live rock massive growth of Halimeda sp (greener more finely branched version of discoidea) some Halimeda discoidea significant Caulerpa p. 1 yellow tang, 1 fox face, 1 cinnamon clown, 2 blue damsels ~1000 gph total circulation canister filter w/charcoal driving 2 BioWheels airstone driven Coralife skimmer (lots of contact time as there is no forced flow) monthly water changes ~ 5% No algae problems and chemistry seems fine given long term stability. One other question, are those BioWheels doing anything? <Not much> There is some Bryopsis plumosa (grassy) kind of algae growing on the outlet which I suppose is doing some minimal algal filtration too. Being another San Diegan, do you ever speak in the area? Thanks!!!! <Oh yes... Maurice Bullock and the rest of the local Marine Club are friends, put up with me (have mercy!) quite often. Will cc Maurice here.> David A. Bidwell

First Coral Follow-ups <Greetings, good sir... Anthony here again. Got both of your follow up messages and for convenience I'll reply to both with this one. With regards for Bob's recommendation for Tree corals... it is conditionally true. Alas... not all of the specifics on invertebrates could be included in one book volume...thus, the generalization. Specifically, the Nephtheids ("tree coral family") include some reasonably to very hardy animals and some of the most extremely difficult animals to keep alive across the board. The distinction is essentially drawn along the lines of symbiotic (photosynthetic) versus aposymbiotic (filter feeding tough guys). The hardy tree corals are usually brown with shades of green and usually Nephthea or Litophyton species. The difficult Tree corals are colored magnificently (Pink, White, orange, etc) and usually belong to the genus Dendronephthya and are called strawberry or cauliflower corals in the trade. Please look up this last genus on WWM at http://www.WetWebMedia.com/dendrofaqs.htm. If we are still talking about the same colored tree coral and not a brown Litophyton like Tree coral... my advice would be to save your money on your local consultant until he learns a bit more, and buy Eric's, Julian's or my book> Could make some recommendations- If were pick out some other mainly colorful corals myself to start with. please be specific if you don't mind. I was paying a guy who is studying to be a marine Biologist <probably a sincere and nice guy... just needs to learn more before he starts handing out advice... let alone charging for it> and the mushroom and the tree coral were the first things be brought out. <one out of two was a great choice> He said they would be fine. He told me to move the tree coral out of the current. I don't think I'll be using him again. Thanks for the info! < I would love to recommend some corals for you but there are so many to pick from. If you want to, look on the net and through some references. I'd suggest you make a top twenty list of corals that attract you. Don't be surprised that most of the ones colored anything beyond brown, green or yellow will be temporarily out of your league or more work than you and I would probably care to do to keep them. No worries though...there are still hundreds of hardy and colorful ones left to pick from that are extremely low maintenance (lower than a freshwater aquarium!) Ballpark would include all colors of mushroom anemones, almost all leather corals and all colors of Zoanthid. Avoid most LPS and SPS corals for 6-12 months. And don't take any non-photosynthetic ones even for free (especially your Strawberry coral)! heheh... looking forward to hearing from you. Kindly, Anthony>

Which Corals To Keep? Hi Scott, <Hello again!> I'm happy as a pig in poop at your responses to my upgrades!! <Well- I'm thrilled to hear that! Just watch your step! LOL> I'd like your opinion on what would be the best corals to keep in my tank. <Well, that's a tough one! It really depends upon your level of confidence in your ability to provide optimum conditions for their growth. I'd stick with the LPS corals, including (but not limited to) some of the really cool Open Brain Corals. "specializing" in LPS is really cool!> I LOVE LPS corals, including my flowerpot, frogspawn and torch corals. I also love the neon green and purple Staghorn-type corals. <Nice corals, but they really require different conditions than the LPS species you mention, for long-term success...> Clams are not a must. Can you direct me to an article on WetWeb that addresses mixing these species? Any advice you can give on mixing these types of animals will help me a lot. <Well, there are no specific article regarding "mixing" of these kinds of corals, but there is a ton of information out there on keeping "garden reef" setups (which most reef tanks seem to be!). Just look on the WWM site for some information and advice from our resident coral guru, Anthony Calfo, as well as boards like Reef Central, Reef Frontiers, and the good folks ad fragexchange.org (WWM Crew member Mac L is part of that cool group). These are great places to start your research! Lots of cool pics and advice from fellow hobbyists who are working with these animals.> Thank you. James, Providence, RI <A pleasure, James! Good luck- and have fun! Regards, Scott F> First Coral in a Nano? Thanks Jim, But I got another ? for ya. Since your an experienced nano reef keeper, what would be the first coral I should buy? I'm running it with 8 watts per gallon , its been up for a month and the water is perfect. Is it too early for anything yet? I was looking for a nice leather coral, or some beautiful Acroporas!!! What do you think? >>>Hey Alex, I would go with green star polyps, or some kind of Corallimorph (mushroom) rock. Stay away from Acros and such, you don't have enough light, nor likely the required water conditions. Leathers, Sarcophyton species and such, get much too large. Jim<<<

Starter coral Hello. I have a 10 gall nano reef tank that I have just started!!! When the water checks out fine, what kind of coral should I start out with?? <Corallimorpharians, commonly called 'mushroom corals' are pretty much the ideal beginner coral.> I really like the yellow leather coral, <Most leathers are practically bulletproof, but I hear the yellow is delicate.> but I don't know if that's a good pick for a starter nano. Oh, I'm running it with 8 watts per gall <Your lighting should be fine for some low light corals: Mushrooms, Zoanthids, and the like. Good luck!> a Rio 600 and a Skilter 250. Thanks

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