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FAQs about Coral Placement 2

Related Articles: Coral Placement, Coral Feeding, LPS Corals, True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Propagation for Marine Aquarium Use, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Placement 1, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral IdentificationStony Coral Behavior,

Corals have a few defensive mechanisms to prevent "crowding". Here are stinging "sweeper" tentacles of a Plerogyra.... look out neighbors!

Rock Anemones and Breaking Rocks to Separate Corals   4/21/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Jim, Mich here.>    Here are two pictures that I would like your thoughts on. The first I believe is a small group of rock anemones. <Looks like a pest to me.> They are about 1/2 inches high. The aquarium is about 4 months old. I have two small groups of these, which don't seem to be doing much. Do you think that I should go out and get a couple of peppermint shrimp and try to stem it now or is it possible that they won't expand? <Depends.> I enjoy watching the micro fauna but don't want to risk all. I think of them as a weed-just a thing that is not growing where someone wants it but otherwise interesting. <If it were me/mine I would remove from the system.  If you allow to remain in the system, I would watch carefully, and be prepared to take action.  More here:   http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm  > Anyway the second picture there are two colonies of different creatures. Both colonies are expanding. <A good thing.> I keep reading that they may beat on each other and kill one or both colonies. <Is possible.> I wouldn't want that. <Me neither.> These just came on the live rock and started to grow. <Ooo!  A nice gift from the sea.> I would have to break the rock to keep them apart. Is this a viable solution or is there another? <It looks like the rock could be easily removed from your system.  If this is so, I think I would remove and use a chisel or better yet a Dremel, and remove and relocate one of these corals. <As far as ID's go I think this is Galaxea fascicularis, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/oculinidae.htm though Turbinaria http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm or Goniopora http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm could be possibilities, it is difficult to tell from the photo.> Thanks for your help as always. Lots of great reading!! <Welcome!  Glad you enjoy!  -Mich>    Jim


Re: Open Brain ID? - 04/11/07 Dear Eric, <<Jorell>> Thanks very much, I hope Bob can ID the Coral for me. <<Unfortunately no, as stated in his reply posted in the dailies...>>   The reason I would like to know, because of compatibility, I would like to buy a few more Open Brains and lay them besides/close to this one. Regards, Jorell <<Well Jorell, I can say with confidence that "compatibility" for this coral would be much as it would be for any Trachyphyllia or Lobophyllia species...aka "open brain coral."  But even so, positioning them "next" to each other is not wise.  These corals should never touch one another, and should be placed far enough apart to prevent the possibility of sweeper tentacles or mesenterial filaments from these corals reaching each other (4"-6" usually), though opinions seem to vary whether these corals actually "possess" these weapons.  Still, some physical separation is recommended...otherwise "mixing" the different "open brain" species in the same tank should be fine.  Eric Russell>>

Detaching A Euphylliid From A Rock - 03/16/06 Hi WWM, <<Hey there Tanya!>> Quick question(s) for you (I hope) - I recently purchased a hammer, but it came epoxied to a rather large piece of very unattractive lava rock that I'm having difficulty placing in my 29 gal tank.  What's the best way of removing it so I can reattach it elsewhere? <<Buy or borrow a hacksaw frame and go to the hardware store/home center and buy a carbide "grit" blade to fit the saw.  These usually come in two styles...one looks like a heavy wire coated with the grit...the other looks like a standard hacksaw blade with the grit coating on the cutting edge...either one will work.  Use the blade to saw the coral free from the rock near the base where it is attached.>> Can I just chisel it off? <<Possibly>> Do I do this in or out of water? <<out>> If out, how long do I have before I cause too much stress or damage? <<You can easily keep the coral out of the water for several minutes.  Do be sure to have the coral expel water/retract its polyps before removing from the water to keep from damaging the tissue by its own weight on edges of the skeleton.>> Thanks in advance! Tanya <<Welcome, EricR>> Give Those Acros Some Breathing Room! (Coral Placement)   2/2/06 Hi! <Hiya! Scott F. at the keyboard tonight!> I just had a quick question regarding SPS coral placement. How far should most Acropora be placed from each other? I do prune them and make sure they do not touch each other. Is a distance of 3-4 inches enough? Thank you so much! Sheen <Well, Sheen- everyone has an opinion on this one, but I would allow almost 6" plus between specimens. I've done it closer, and trust me- given time and the proper conditions, they'll still eventually grow into each other! Try at least 6", be patient, and you'll be rewarded with larger, healthier, and more colorful corals...Assuming, of course, that you can provide for their other environmental needs! Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

- Two Part Epoxy in Bulk - Hey crew.. Does anyone know of a good aquarium safe 2 part epoxy putty, that I can buy in bulk? <Have not seen the aquarium-safe varieties available in bulk but obviously they are to someone... I just don't know the source.> the 2oz pet store tubes  are just way to expensive. I'm not convinced there is anything special about them besides the color. they look just like the roll of two part found at my local hardware "which i have used with success," I was looking at the POR-15 and Milliput brand epoxies, which can be bought by the pound...Is there any way to tell if they are aquarium safe? I have contacted both dealers and they both said they are not designed for aquarium use although they will cure under water and bond to most anything... not much help. Thanks for any info.. A.J. <Perhaps someone reading our dailies will know where you might source this stuff. For certain it is available somewhere. Cheers, J -- ><<Go to Home Depot, Lowe's... look for name, address of manufacturer's... Not made by "fishy" folks, just re-labeled. BobF>>

Hammer coral question Hello WWM Crew, I am very new to this hobby and have learned so much from you! (I need to apologize upfront for my run-on paragraphs - my kids spilled on my laptop and the Return key does not work-he..he..). <Yikes... do either take it apart or have someone show you how to do this... can be cleaned, dried...> I have a 75 gal reef tank that just cycled. I bought 7 Turbos, 5 hermits, and 2 scarlet cleaner shrimp from my LFS about a week ago (after cycle) for a green algae problem. All my water parameters are fine (78 degrees; pH 8.2; 0 on Ammo., NO2, NO3; Alk-Normal; Calcium-460) so my LFS said I could add a Hammer Coral and pair of Percula at the same time. Everything was fine until yesterday. I added a 3rd Powerhead (CAP 800) the day before, and while positioning it, it blew some sugar fine sand all over-including a little on the Hammer. It seemed fine, but yesterday half of it retracted into its base and now all of it is retracted. Was it the sand? <Very likely yes> I am wondering if the current is bothering it now? <Not if it is not too brisk, direct> I adjusted the temp cooler for the algae problem and now the temp of the tank fluctuates from 77-82 when the two   250watt 14KMH lights are on - Is that a problem? <Mmm, yes... five degrees is a bit much... three is acceptable diurnally... you'd do well to look into fans for cooling the tank while the lights are on. To say this in another way, the daily temperature shift is likely adding too much stress> The Hammer is sitting on the sand for now, so I was wondering if I should pick it up and gently shake it to get the sand out, leave it alone, or what?  <Leave it alone... Has mechanisms for "dusting itself off"> Also, I plan to get a jawfish and watchman goby eventually, so I'd like to move the Hammer from the sand to a ledge. How high should I put it and how much current? Thank you in advance for your advice! -Stellaboom <Wait a good month before touching the Euphyllia, can be positioned about midway in depth here. Medium to low water current. Bob Fenner>

Coral Aggression: Galaxea 1/7/04 Brant here again, <cheers> I really appreciate having such an informative site.  I wanted to  mention in reference to my last e-mail about white band that I also got  a Galaxea at the same time.  I placed it on the top of a rock in the  center of the aquarium with some distance between corals.   <grumble, grumble... would rather have heard it was placed properly in a QT tank first for 4+ weeks. We might not be having this exchange if so <G>> The Stylophora  is only 3-4 inches away and is somewhat 'downstream' from the Galaxea.    <Yikes! The Stylo is soon to be Galaxy coral food> I've read a lot about sweeper tentacles <eventually 10" long from Galaxea... they are one of the worst> and was wondering if this had anything  to do with my Stylophora problem.   <very easily so> My salt level is low also, at about  1.019. <do get this up to 1.023-1.025 for corals> Besides the Stylophora problem, I was wondering if I could/should place my  Galaxea directly on the floor of the tank at the farthest distance from everything else?   <perhaps... they are one of the most aggressive corals in the trade> Your help is greatly appreciated. Sincerely, Chris Brant <best of luck, Anthony>

Adding Caulastrea - 11/17/04 Hi all, I have a 90 gal FOWLR that I would like to add some corals with lower light needs. I have a 50/50 pc with a total of 260 watts (4 bulbs). My tank parameters are: ph 8.15 - 8.35 nitrites 0 ammonia 0 nitrates 5 Alk 10dKH calcium  400 phosphates 2.0 I am interested in a Caulastrea furcata, but be willing to try some others. Please advise. <Go for the Caulastrea. Midway in the tank would be great. I also, like Sarcophytons (any of them would suffice) placed midway to upper portion of the tank, Xenia anywhere in the tank, polyps, also would be excellent. Palythoas are always cool. Try some of the various branching soft corals, yellow, white, or green Neptheas (NOT Dendros) colt corals, etc. Always, and I mean always, strive to acquire captive coral propagations. No excuses. These are the best suited for reefkeeping in all cases, in my opinion. Ask for them at your LFS! Also, do research your animals before purchasing. Use our site, other sites, too. Reference books, other reef hobbyists, forums, and or reef clubs. Do diligent research for the best results. Thanks for participating! ~Paul> Thanks Todd Lighting for corals, placement and the explanation on corals browning 10/21/04 Hi Bob,    I have the following set up: a 2.5 footer length by 18 inch wide by 18inch depth tank.    3 x T5 HO 24Watt tubes 20,000k white    1 x T5 HO 24Watt tube Actinic Blue    Temp: 26 degree Celsius    NH4/NO2 = O ppm    NO3 = 20ppm    PO4 = 0ppm    Alk = 8Dkh <nitrates are rather high here as the real nitrate levels (nitrate ion vs. molecule) is a multiple of 4.4X your test kit reading - this you have something approaching 90ppm - getting rough for inverts> I need some advise on my current placement of the following Corals and whether the following lighting is okay; 1 ) Elegance coral (conical shaped) on substrate btm <correct> 2)  Trachyphyllia coral (mid top ) <yikes! never... must be on sand bottom to protect polyp(s) against unnatural abrasion against hard substrates. This coral also has a conical skeleton indicating it is free-living on sift substrates> 3) Green star polyps , yellow star polyps ( top) <OK> 4) Open brain ( low inches off substrate) <sand bottom if conical corallum again> 5) Bubble (on substrate) <adaptable> 6) Mushrooms, ( where should this be placed , currently at the top and refusing to open big) <depends on species/genera: Ricordea need high light... but many Discosoma and the like prefer lower light>    I also have a Pink plate Fungia take was very pink when I bought it, also used to have a jewel stone coral (Gonio) that looks beautiful beige in colour. However this two have since turned brown and darker brown day by day. I am starting to worry that my other corals are turning brown too. What is the reason for the increased in Zooxanthellae in this case? Does that mean UV pigment is losing in these corals? Is it due to my lighting ? <it is not necessarily an "increase" in zooxanthellae, but rather the mere increased visibility of them in the absence of UV reflecting proteins that have been shed under your lights which are lower in UV than the coral came from (natural light)... or in he case of low light corals, proteins used to refract (low) light no longer needed in the presence of higher/better light>    The photoperiod is all 4 tubes on for 4hrs , then followed by 1 20000k 24W T5 HO + 1 actinic blue for another 2 hrs. Is this okay ? <its not about spectrum but rather PAR and intensity. See the new article(s) in reefkeeping.com magazine by Joe Burger. Part one is out already... part two next month I believe. All on this topic exactly> Thanks and Regards. Alex <kindly, Anthony>

Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens) placement I have a question about lighting requirements for the torch coral. Since placement on a sandy bottom is preferred,  <placement on the sand bottom is neither preferred or recommended. This Euphylliid occurs only on hard substrates in the wild and will suffer if forced to purge sand deposited by sifters. The confusion may stem from the fact that such coral care best often in the bottom 1/3 of the tank under metal halide lights. Indeed... they do not like or require extremely bright light. They do however need weekly feedings with fine minced meaty foods> would it get enough light in an 20" tall tank even though I am only using 2 96 watt 10K power compacts? Thanks <it may not get enough light here, but you can compensate for the lack of light to some extent with extra feedings (weekly instead of a few times weekly). Best regards, Anthony>

RE: Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens) Elegant Coral Anthony, <cheers, mate> I think I may have been confusing Euphyllia with Catalaphyllia (elegance), this is actually what I wanted to know about.  <ahhh, yes! You are correct my friend. Indeed they fare best on the sand bottom. The exception in the Euphylliid family> Can they thrive in low light conditions on the sandy bottom of the tank? My bad. <no worries... and yes, indeed they can thrive at the bottom of the aquarium. Especially if you have the purple tipped variety which is often indicative of a specimen collected in rather deep waters (60-80 feet down). The key to keeping elegant corals successfully is frequent feeding with very fine foods. They are one of the hungriest coral. If fed almost daily with small bits (never offer larger than 1/4-1/2 inch although they will take it), they will thrive and grow nicely. Your lights will be fine for this coral on the bottom of a 20" deep tank. Help all along with weekly water changes, good skimming and weekly changes of small amounts of carbon to maintain great water clarity. If you haven't read it yet... see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/fdreefinverts.htm and here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marlgtganthony.htm> Thanks Angelo <best regards, Anthony>

Coral Placement/Acclimation Query Thanks again. <No worries! Ryan back with you> You guys are lifesavers!! <Ah, shucks> I did read the article (I read a lot of your stuff, but ya know, it just always seems like there's something "special" wrong so sorry in advance if I'm asking something you've been asked a thousand times in a slightly different way). <Not at all> I called the LFS and wanted to know about placement. I've read on your pages about gluing them down, but I thought I should at least know a little about what I'm doing before I try that! <Very easy...super glue gel is my personal favorite, but you've got to wet it first with some reef water out of a bowl.> The LFS just said to sit them down approximately where I'd like them. I sat the yellow polyps straddling the gap of an intersection of two large rocks near the top of the tank, and was wondering if corals have a "base" that needs to be touching something. <Are they mounted on some sort of rock?  If so, it's probably a pretty good place for them, as it will get high amounts of flow.>  It seems like maybe it's laying on top of these two rocks with a space of about an inch or so, and maybe it doesn't like that?? <If it starts to show signs of deterioration, place him on a large rock, in the top 10 inches of water.  Use super glue gel to secure him in a nook.>  The star polyps have a harder composition than the yellow polyps, and I put them at the bottom of the tank They don't look so great, but the yellow polyps look like a hunk of chewing gum--albeit a very large hunk. <Doesn't sounds great...Star Polyps love light, they're like a weed in some of my tanks.  I'd place them in the top 15 inches of water, not at the bottom.  They're going to grow towards the light a bit, so keep that in mind when placing.  If they're in terrible shape, it may be a better decision to let them settle a bit before relocation.> In the future, how should these best be moved from the LFS to my tank? The fish store just stuck the corals in a plastic bag and put that in a paper bag. The corals were exposed to air while he was bagging them, and I'm wondering if this shocked the corals. <Sponges yes, corals no.> I really would like to get some corals growing, besides the ones that came courtesy of the live rock I started the tank with. <You're starting with some good beginner's stuff.  If these don't make it, don't beat yourself up!  I like to drip acclimate my inverts, into a large Tupperware.  This basically entails using a medical drip bag, and dripping my reef water into their container over the period of about 45 minutes.  Stir the water they're in, as oxygen levels can fall if the surface remains stagnant.  Then, place him in an area of your aquarium that received comparable light to his previous environment.  That's the cliff notes!> Thank you again for your advice. You wouldn't believe how much I stress myself worrying about my fish and marine life! R/Janet <Remember Janet, this hobby is supposed to LOWER your blood pressure!  Smile, enjoy it.  Cheers, Ry>

Help! regarding Elegance coral Hi there,         I was looking for more info about Elegance coral when I come across the very informative discussion that you put up on the web .     I would need some advice from you. I just bought a elegance coral today.    I need to know where is the recommended placement in the tank. << Most people put them on their sand, right in the front bottom portion of their tank. >> When you mentioned horizontal placement , does it mean that the coral is to be lie flat on its cone skeleton.<< Well, it depends on what you think looks good, but I like them facing up towards the light. >> Does this mean that if i place it on the substrate , it rest horizontally downward and its mouth is facing the front of tank? or is it supposed to be tilted at an angle?  << I've seen them in the wild and in tanks facing right up to the light.  This doesn't mean they need that, but I think that allows for the best photosynthesis.  Either way feeding it every week or so will also help out. >>    Also , is it true that elegance should not be placed near to Live rock ? << I don't believe that.  They do live in sandy areas, but to me live rock is good for everything. >> For your advice pls. Thanks and Best Regards. Alex <<  Adam Blundell  >>

Organism ID - low res original 5/31/04 Here's a bigger pic <Mathew, the problem here is that the original was shot at too low a resolution. Enlarging it to the sizes sent only grossly pixilated it. Do look at the same size on your pc and you will see this my friend. It literally looks like a paint-by-numbers painting. I cannot discern anything from it. Could be invertebrate egg mass, could be encrusting sponge, tunicate... all bets are off at this point. I wish I could be of more help here.> One other question, I have had a Goniopora for about six months and so far it seems to be growing. <do not mistake growth from expanding polyps, which commonly occurs as lights age, get dirty, canopy or lenses get dirty, water clarity degrades (lack of frequent carbon, ozone, etc. use) and simply inadequate light from go. I doubt you can/have seen actual calcification on this characteristically slow grower in a mere six months> It's about a foot across now and its rubbing against the side of the tank when extended. Should I move it so its got space all around or do you think it will be ok? <please do move it so that its polyps do not become abraded. Anthony>

Burned Tissue hello crew, <Hi, Ryan with you> I have this awesome green Trachyphyllia that was in contact with one of my Favia sweeper tentacles, <Yikes> I have moved the two of them further apart. The Trachyphyllias tissue is damaged in one area, skeleton showing , about 1/4" on the bottom ridge. Is there any thing i can do to prevent further loss and possibly help it grow back? <A nice large water change of 20%. That's about it> I have been feeding the other areas of the coral heavy with Selcon soaked Mysis shrimp, I've been trying to get the damaged polyp to eat as much as i can , the end mouth won't take in the food but the others next to the damage will eat. <Leave him be, it will re-grow> Iodine dip??? Coral dip??? <Nope> Kinda in a hurry , thanks a lot all...<no problem! See ya, Ryan> 

When Corals Attack! (Coral Toxin Potency)  Hi everyone !  <Hi there! Scott F. here today!>  Just would like to ask if polyps and mushroom coral stings could be harmful to people.  <Good question. Although for the most part, you don't hear about these animals causing a problem for humans, you can never be too sure. You may have a particular sensitivity or allergy that causes a very bad reaction upon contact with the animal. My advice when handling any and all coral is to use a pair of disposable gloves.>  I saw in one of the FAQs that one got stung by a Euphyllia and it got worse, and I got hesitant in getting a Euphyllia.  <Their sting can be nasty, especially if you've got an open cut or something of that sort...>  Are polyps and Mushroom Corals much safer than Hammer corals in terms of toxicity of the stings to people?  <With the above-referenced caveat- yes>  And are Euphyllia and anemone stings have the same level of toxicity?  Thanks for all the help !  Romel  <Good question, Romel. I'm frankly not sure if anyone has done a relative "toxicity" test for different allelopathic compounds produced by the animals in question. Many different corals produce all kinds of unusual combinations of chemicals as defenses, some are of uncertain makeup...I'd do some searching on the internet in regards to this question...Perhaps some researcher has done such a comparison, but it may take a bit of searching....Regards, Scott F>

Goniopora Ailment 4/12/04  Hello folks and thank you for taking the time to perhaps help me. I have a Goniopora stokesii, that has been in my tank for about six months and seemed to be doing well.  <they are free-living species and need to be on the sand bottom. If they are placed unnaturally on rock (like folks regrettably sometimes do with Trachyphyllia open brains) they seem to suffer in time (lack of micronutrients from substrate, abrasion from polyp cycles on rock, etc?). Most will go about 6 months on rocks ;)>  The problem is that when the lights are out and the polyps are retracted I have noticed that there is an area of missing polyps. I first noticed this about three weeks ago but as the area was very small and the coral expands beautifully I felt the coral was in no real danger. Over the last three weeks, however, the area of lost polyps is becoming larger. The rest of the animal opens very well, so well in fact that you can only see the damaged area after the polyps are retracted. There is never any 'jelly' infection and no slough tissue. Might there be something that would eat the polyps and section at a time?  <yes, but just as likely could be an injury from a fish or invertebrate that nipped it... expanding now>  The coral is in a 125 gallon SPS aquarium that is lit by 250 watt metal halides. It receives moderate to strong flow and as I said the rest of the coral opens completely and covers the damage. My water conditions are as follows: NH3, NO2, and PO4 are all zero as per Salifert tests.  <do allow some nitrates for good coral health/color. About 5 ppm is fine>  Calcium is around 450 ppm, pH ranges from 8.1-8.2, and alkalinity is 2.5 meq/l.  <your Alkalinity is flat because the Ca is so high (not needed). Do consider allowing the Ca/Alk dynamic to be more even keeled. 8-12 dKH for ALK and no more than 420ppm Ca (350-420). Neither should be at the high end of either range at the same time (no worries)>  There are sally Lightfoots, red leg hermits, two camel shrimp and an arrow crab.  <none of the above are truly reef safe. All are cited as nipping coral... the sally lightfoot in particular. Read about it in the archives FAQS>  The only fish are two lawnmower blennies and a Scopas tang.  <no trouble here likely>  Any insight you might be able to offer or any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thank you again. Matt Hall  <best regards, Anthony>

Frogspawn vs. frogspawn? Naw, the family gets along fine... (03/04/04) Hey crew, <Ananda here helping out...> I have two different frags of frogspawn, one has pink tips and the other has green. My question is will these two morphs sting each other if placed in close proximity (<6" apart)? <I've seen several sorts of frogspawn in a tank, living happily together. Well, as happy as corals get, anyway. I've seen frogspawn next to hammer corals with both doing well.> Thanks. Steve <You're quite welcome. --Ananda>

Green Nephthea hardiness and where to place in a tank- 2/3/04 Hello crew.... quick question on neon green Nephthea.  How hardy? <Always depends.... but easy to moderate with muted lighting and foods stuffs> I have an aqua c skimmer and 4X65 watt pc in a 75 gallon aquarium (1 50/50, two 10,000 daylights, 1 ultra actinic). <Should be fine. Place 1/2 to 3/4 up> Regular water changes. <Should always be doing that anyway. Not a feature of a tank but a responsibility> I am going to a frag swap in a few weeks and someone there is supposed to save me a frag. <great to hear of such responsible reef keeping.> where should I place this coral in my tank (top, middle, bottom)<again, 1/2 to 3/4 is ideal. Some say phytoplankton is a good food for Nephtheids but I have recently heard a little zooplankton is also a beneficial foodstuff. Do some reading and research and see what you find. I don't target feed mine per se, but maybe it benefits from the feedings of my other corals. Good luck ~Paul> Thanks for your assistance. HI, How far apart do leather corals have to be (Sinularia and Lobophytum)? The guy at the fish store says they can touch, grow together and be fine. I know they produce allot of chemicals, but I cant find very much info on how close they can be to each other.  Thank You  <Hello. I always recommend against allowing corals to physically touch. I would leave at least 6" between them if possible. I have seen them in physical contact many times, but chemical aggression is likely being aggravated, even if more visible signs aren't present. HTH. Adam>

Candy Trumpet Coral -- where do I place this guy? 1/8/04 Hey guys. <Howdy Steve> It's a simple question, but I don't see an answer anywhere on your site. <no worries... we are simpletons with simple answers ready at hand <G>> So, thanks for taking the time.  Do I put my trumpet coral in the sand or try to get his stony end into a hole in a rock?   <they only occur on hard substrates and have shown a clear intolerance of heavy matter/sand being showered upon them (as from sand sifting fishes when placed near the bottom of the aquarium. Please only place this coral in the top half of the tank in/among the rocks> I don't have a lot of places in the rock to put him and he's not balanced, so I was wondering if the sand would work. <at best, you can epoxy it to a very solid, flat rock if there is no risk of tipping or sand settlement. To be placed on the sand bottom then> I have a 12g nano tank with good lighting.  Thanks! Steve Johnston <best regards, Anthony>

Mushroom Madness! (Placing/Attaching Mushroom Corals) Hey Crew- got a question for ya: <Sure- I hope to have an answer for ya! Scott F. at your service!> A couple days ago, one of my friends who has an established reef tank gave me a couple of small rocks that were covered with mushrooms.  He said that I could take the mushrooms and position them around my tank on various live rock surfaces and they would grow and reproduce.  My reef tank only houses a few small leathers and a couple polyp colonies so it is pretty empty.  The mushrooms are opened and doing well but I can tell they are cramped on the small rocks.  I would like to move the mushrooms but don't really know how to do it. <Unfortunately, it's not too easy to do it. You really run the risk of damaging the animals if you attempt to "pry" them off the rocks. Better to either "coax" them towards an area that you want by placing some small rocks near the location of the mushrooms, which will begin to cover the rocks. Alternatively, you can carefully "chip" the rock around the mushrooms and epoxy the rock chips with the mushrooms to their new locations..> In the middle of the day when all Power compacts are on they are extended  from the rock and I can see they are attached by a circular placement about the size of a dime. What is the easiest way to move these mushrooms and then how can I place them on the rock so they don't blow around the tank? <As above... Prying them off and then attempting to use a glue or other compound to attach them is problematic, if not next to impossible...> I have a wavemaker that makes a lot of current so they need a solid foundation.  I was thinking about the Holdfast Epoxy to hold them down, but maybe they could attach with more natural methods? <Yep- the "rubble method" as outlined above. Also- try to keep them in a lower current area as well...> I have about 100 pounds live rock in a 75 gallon reef and a lot of open  space for these guys. Any help would be appreciated.  I don't really know the specific mushroom species, but they are all mainly green and red and blue and purple, some with small little "fingers" sticking up on them. Thanks Jonathan <Well, Jonathan-lot's of possible species matches here. You can get some great info. on Corallimorphs in Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation" and Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals", and you can find more stuff right here on the WWM site by using the Google search feature. Hope this points you in the right direction! Regards, Scott F>

Elegance coral placement 1/2/04 Thank you so much for your article on WWM. I recently purchased a green elegance and they gave good advice but your article gave me insight to its natural habitat. Now by  "point down" you mean the cone shaped tip of its hard skeleton right? <correct> I had it in the lower to mid section of the tank but is placing it on the  substrate best? <it is arguably necessary for optimal feeding opportunities (micronutrients from substrate) and care of polyp cycles (avoiding abrasion on unnatural rock)> Thanks. <very welcome... best of luck. Anthony>

Location and a sick coral 1/1/04 Hello there, <Hi Eric, Happy New Year!> I have been making use of the info on your site for close to a year now and  have found it to be very helpful.  I have 2 issues which I was hoping to get  your assistance with. <Glad you have found the site useful.  Lets see what we come up with....> 1.  I know that corals are not supposed to touch one another, however, I have a Sarcophyton that is now surrounded by mushrooms (due to growth) some of  which are in direct contact with the Sarco's stalk.  Everyone has been doing fine  for the past several months (all of the aforementioned corals have been in  the tank for at least 7 months - touching for about 2). Should I move the Sarcophyton? <As a general rule, corals should not touch, but if they have grown this way, and the interaction isn't harming either coral, I would leave it.  Do watch both parties for any bad reactions.  Also... Either coral may look fine, but the interaction may be causing a heightened chemical response.  Observe these and other corals in the tank for other wise unexplainable poor health.  Be prepared to move one or the other if things decline.> 2.  I had a mishap with my Goniopora (a sponge fell on it and was there for  most of a day while I was at work).  The Goniopora now has what appears to be a  brown slime infection.  I'm worried about doing a dip with Lugol's.  Would a  freshwater dip be advisable?  Have you ever used a product called Ruby Reef  HydroPlex and if so what did you think of it? <I have not used the Ruby Reef product, and am wary of any product that is not clearly labeled with ingredients and a description of what it does.  Freshwater dips are usually as or more deadly to corals than to infections.  A proper Lugol's dip is probably a good idea, but brown jelly usually proceeds so fast that by the time you get this and do the dip, it may be too late.  Try 10 drops Lugol's per quart of aquarium water for 15 minutes.> Thank you for your time and any answers that you may provide. <hope this helps, and good luck!  Adam> Sincerely, Eric Baker

Open brain question 12/30/03 I have a Trachyphyllia radiata, <FWIW... the genus Trachyphyllia is monotypic: only T. geoffroyi is valid> and was wondering the placement that is best for it.  I saw you say that they are usually attached to something hard.  They told me to put it on the sand bottom.  Should I do that and put a small piece of live rock rubble by it and maybe it will move on to it?  Or can it just be put on the sandy substrate?   <most specimens are free living as evidenced by their conical "skeleton" (corallum)... but some like the "radiata" types are cleaved from hard substrates and will do equally well on hard or soft footing. I describe this genus and its care at greater length in my Book of Coral Propagation (pp 268-269 for genus overview)> This is in a 29 gallon aquarium, 18" high with custom SeaLife power compacts, one actinic and one 10,000 k bulb, a total of 130 watts.  Does this light setup sound good?  Thank you very much for your help!! <please do a keyword search from our homepage WetWebMedia.com for this coral and you will find many FAQs on this popular animal. Take heed that they are critically needy of weekly (almost daily) feedings. Else they are fairly hardy and can be long lived in captivity. Best of luck, Anthony>

Elegant coral on rock? 10/8/03 I've read your article: Catalaphyllia; What's Wrong With Your Elegance Coral, Family Caryophylliidae and all the various FAQ pages and tons of various books and internet articles.  I would just like to know why the elegance can't be placed on live rock at all?   <they are commonly collected from mud flats (notice the conical skeleton of most) and require, in part, the living soft substrate for micronutrients in the very microniche of their placement on the sand> I have a specific piece of live rock that has a huge flat surface on top (sort of like a table-top) that I would love to put the elegance on it.  there's probably no risk of the elegance falling off and getting injured.   <its unnatural, and there is the added risk of wear and wounds to the living tissue from polyp cycles that come into contact with rock> that area of my tank has very light water flow that is very indirect and the pc lighting is 10-12 inches away from that flat spot.  should I lower the temp. of my tank?   <not relevant> it's currently at 80 degrees?   <no worries... just keep it stable> I have no fish or inverts yet, wanted to make the elegance work first, tank has been up for about 5 months now with just a clean-up crew of various snails.  I know... I've been very indecisive!  no amm. or trites, trates at... right now at 8ppm.  sp. grav. at 1.023-1.024.  I would love to be able to put the elegance at that spot but if it's not possible, please let me know... also where can I get some of that seagrass (Thalassia)?  thanks bob! Seattle hobbyist <now you are thinking, my friend... a deep sand bed, seagrass and a beautiful elegant coral placed naturally amidst it on the sandy bottom. For Thalassia, do check with your LFS that order from Fiji... Thalassia seed pods are available seasonally from the wholesalers for those that ask. Else, ask your LFS to contact their Atlantic supplier (the one that gets them Astraea snails and hermit crabs) for actual plants. Best regards, Anthony>

The Tang That Ate His Brain? (Pt.2) Thank you so much for your help.  I think it is fantastic that such a great resource as WetWebMedia.com exists. <We're so happy to be here for you!> Is it possible that the brain will heal if the trauma stops? <It certainly is possible...I'd maintain very high water quality and observe the animal carefully. If necessary, you may need to "protect" the coral for a while by surrounding it with a "cage", which can be nothing more than one of those plastic containers that fresh strawberries come in. water can get in and out, but not fishes...Either way- keep on top of things, and the coral will pull through fine! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.> Steven O. Garcia

Corals At War? I've been doing a lot of reading and haven't found a succinct answer to my question. In my tank I have small Yellow Polyp mushroom, Cup Coral, Brain Coral, Hammer Coral, small Green Star Polyp, Elegance and a small Maxima clam. Are any of those antagonistic to each other?  Thanks, Brent <Well, Brent, I'd say that the Hammer Coral, Elegance Coral and the Green Star Polyps can be quite aggressive and noxious towards other corals, and each other. If these animals are to be kept together (or with other corals), I'd suggest substantial space between them, as well as aggressive husbandry (water changes, carbon, Poly Filter, skimming) to keep water quality high and dilution of allelopathic chemicals at a maximum rate. Hope this helps! Fore more on coral aggression, you could check out Anthony's "Book of Coral Propagation", and Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals", both of which address this issue well. Regards, Scott F>

Galaxea - Aggressive Coral - 8/12/03 Hello to All! Recently I purchased a Galaxea coral. It's a very beautiful coral and nice addition to my reef.  On the downside, it's tentacles are sweeping 4-5 inches reaching my xenia, which I have previously read about on your FAQs. <the tentacles in time can extend to 10-12". This is a beautiful but very aggressive coral indeed!> I thought I had put him far enough away from all of my corals atop my live rocks.  Tonight, I realize that I thought wrong.  I am now dumb-founded on where I should place it.  My tank is 65g, 85lbs LR with 384w PC lighting..  With the tank being 24" deep, would I offer him enough light to be placed on the substrate?   <PCs do not penetrate water adequately at depth (below 12-16" is weak IMO). Perhaps position the coral on one of the flanking sides of the tank (within 16" of surface) to minimize its battlefront> Thanks Jason -Surfs Up! <best regards, Anthony>

BTA vs. Coral 8/7/03 Hello crew, <Howdy> Thanks for all the helpful info on your site ! I have a schweeet Bubble-Tip Anemone in my 110 gal reef tank hosting a pair of maroon clowns. It tends to move in and out of a small cave in the rock near the bottom. <yes... quite precarious/dangerous thing about anemones if mixed with other cnidarians (never recommended IMO... species tanks only)> It also has a tendency to stretch out its tentacles to the point where it looks more like a Long Tentacle Anemone. I originally placed corals a good distance away to give it some room. <Ughhh... its just a matter of time. They will usually wait until you go on vacation> However, it has gotten to the point where it has grown and it stretches further and further so it can touch an open brain coral that is (was) a good 6-8 inches away. I have noticed occasional discoloring on the coral. Is this a result of the anemone touching it ? <quite likely... and it doesn't necessarily mean the anemone is winning... both likely are suffering from the aggression/allelopathy> Is it safe for any corals to be near it such as blasto's or frogspawn? <unrelated corals should not be placed near each other> Can I place corals near it without endangering either ? <ahhh... no> Also, on a different topic, what is the best sand sifter to eat the brown algae in the substrate ? <many possibilities... but I really like the Bullet/Dragon gobies> Thanks in advance ! <best regards, Anthony>

Point-Counterpoint... Thanks for your time on this. <Our pleasure- we love this stuff! Scott F. here today> I have been doing a lot of research on marine aquariums (books and internet searches) and what I am finding is that there are a number of diametrically opposed views about the aquarium. <Different views? On marine aquarium keeping? Really? LOL> I have read enough articles on WetWebMedia to know what you believe and I would like your opinions on some of these differing thoughts. <Sure- I'd be happy to!> 1) It is a universally accepted principle that aggressive protein skimming is a must (1 cup a day) for nutrient and allelopathy export.  In addition, to successfully grow corals, micro-organisms such as zooplankton, phytoplankton, etc., (whether grown in a refugium, a reactor and/or green water additives) is also a must.  However, protein skimming removes these micro-organisms from the system and there some thought that protein skimming is as harmful as helpful.  The no-protein skimmer belief rests upon refugium/Caulerpa/seagrass and/or clams as a more natural mechanism.  Plus, there are less impellors killing the organisms (including powerheads). <Well, I am of the opinion that a well-tuned protein skimmer is absolutely essential for long term success in closed marine systems. I have heard from a number of people who yanked their skimmers-some have been successful for a while- many have gone back to skimmers. I like to think of the long-term with reef tank maintenance. Skimmers remove many noxious compounds and dissolved organics before they have a chance to degrade water quality. I have yet to see a very successful reef system that has been maintained for years without skimming. I do not consider  one or two years a success...The bottom line on skimmer use, in my opinion, is that if you are going to omit skimming, then you need to compensate somewhere- either with a much lower bioload, very aggressive water change schedule, alternative "filtration" techniques (like Steve Tyree's Sponge/Sea Squirt Cryptic Zone concept, etc.). It is a trade off, and one that I do not feel is worth it. As far as the impellers in pumps destroying valuable plankton is concerned- I have heard a lot of thoughts on this, and, quite frankly, I feel that the threat-although legitimate, is highly overstated. Most reef systems simply don't grow and support large enough populations of plankton for this to be a legitimate concern, IMO. Even with productive refugia and other supplemental systems, I just don't think that the impact is there> 2) To remove allelopathic compounds from the system, weekly carbon changes are suggested.  However carbon also leaches vital trace elements out of the system.  Once again, harmful and helpful. <I am a firm believer in the continuous use of small amounts (like 2-4 ounces per 100 gallons of tank capacity) of high quality activated carbon. Good grades of carbon, such as those offered by Seachem (my personal favorite), Two Little Fishies, or ESV do not leach phosphates into the system. Yes, carbon can remove small quantities of trace elements from the system. However, if you are following one of my other favorite practices in marine husbandry, frequent small water changes- you will be replacing trace elements on a regular basis. In fact, you will probably not experience a deficiency in trace elements if you practice these water changes> 3) Another universally accepted principle is weekly water changes.  When you have a 55 gallon tank, a 10% water swap is no big deal.  When you have a 125 with a 30 gallon refugium and 10 gallon sump, it is a much greater effort, requiring a large garbage can sitting in the living room overnight to allow the salt to fully aerate and mix before doing the swap.  Plus the swap tends to be somewhat stressful on the fish.  I am planning on buying a 300 gallon at the end of the year and turning the 125 into a large DSB/Live Rock sump. A 10% water swap on 425 gallons will be a huge effort! <As a fanatic about regular small water changes, I can tell you that the process is simply not that difficult. One of my systems has about 200 gallons total capacity. I change 5% of the water twice a week. This amounts to 2 10 gallon water changes, which I perform on Wednesday morning before work, and on Sunday mornings (unless the surf is good- in which case it's usually Sunday afternoon!). I will generally mix up the saltwater in a Rubbermaid container about 24-48 hours before, and then perform the change. I also perform minor maintenance tasks, such as a little extra algae scraping (if needed), coral pruning, etc. on Wednesday. This will take about 20-30 minutes to perform. On Sunday, I take a little more leisurely pace, and will clean the skimmer, replace carbon or Polyfilters if needed, change micron socks, or any other little things that have to be done. Maybe it takes about 45 minutes to an hour of pleasant labor. I have always done the additions of new water "manually", by pouring it into the tank from a pitcher. If I really wanted to do it quicker, I'd hook up a Maxijet 1200 powerhead to some 5/8 ID tubing, and "pump in" the replacement saltwater...it's a lot quicker. Frequent small water changes need not be a chore. Rather, look at them as an opportunity to regularly assess the situation in your tank. Anyone who maintains their own garden can relate to the labor involved. It is part of the "price of admission", IMO, and is simply not that difficult. And, when you see the difference in your animals, you'll realize that it's all worth it!> Lastly, I have and read about many a aquarist who has been very successful for years with minimal swaps, minimal effort by maintaining proper trace elements/calcium/alkalinity. <I have to quote Anthony on this: "Even a blind squirrel finds a nut sometimes!". It's just not something that you'd want to do. We are talking about living creatures here- which require us to provide the highest level of care. Closed systems are just that- closed, and unlike the ocean, do not afford the animals a constant influx of clean water. To those hobbyists who think that water changes are not required, I respond, "You wouldn't let your dog live in the same room for 5 years without cleaning out the waste, would you? Don't do it with your fish!"> 4) Bio-wheels and Bio-balls are sold in virtually all LFS and internet dealers.  They add a tremendous amount of stability to the system but also contribute nitrates because there is no anaerobic area for denitrification. Once again, stability vs. water quality, harmful and helpful. <These media are, in essence- "victims of their own success": They are so good at removing nitrites and ammonia, that they cannot provide a bacterial population to keep up with accumulating nitrate. Yep- it is a tradeoff. Frankly- I like to keep things simple, and use a more natural approach: Let the live rock and sand do your filtering, along with use of macroalgae in refugia, and protein skimming, water changes, and regular use of carbon and/or PolyFilter media.> 5) Allelopathy is another subject, not discussed at LFS trying to make a sale.  Some people claim that pictures of beautiful coral displays that are all over the internet will be very different a year from now because of allelopathy and others claim success for years in spite of pictures showing many corals side by side, touching each other.  Another subject in dispute. I have purchased very aggressive corals (not knowing better at the time).  I have multiple leathers, Ricordea mushrooms, 5" genitor, frogspawn, colt and bubble corals.  Is this a toxic soup, a ticking time bomb, or as others claim, no big deal. <Well, I would not call it a ticking time bomb, but it is not an ideal situation. This is an aggregation of animals that are rarely, if ever found in close proximity to each other on natural reefs, so there will be a certain amount of allelopathy. However, these animals can be maintained together in a certain "stand off" with use of aggressive nutrient export mechanisms (the aforementioned skimming, water changes, and use of chemical filtration media). It's much more ideal to develop a stocking plan that utilizes animals that live together in nature. However, as we often state, this is a closed system that we're talking about. It can be done-and done with some possible success, but it is not ideal. I have seen many successful "garden" reef systems over the years, so I can't say that it's not possible to do this. just not recommended!> As I plan for a big expansion of my system, these are the thoughts that come to mind.  Natural (refugium/Caulerpa/seagrass and/or clams) vs. mechanical (protein skimming).  I currently have both.  Is chemical filtration needed? <I believe that a "natural" approach, with a few technical props (skimming and chemical media) is the best approach for most systems> Are water swaps absolutely mandatory, which would dampen my enthusiasm for a larger tank.  Would removing some of the aggressive corals reduce the allelopathy problems or would the bigger tank mitigate them? <Yes, removing some of the aggressive corals could help, as would reducing the proximity between corals. However, it is still important to change water. I would have to say that it's mandatory! Please understand that it just is not that daunting a task...Small amounts often is not that difficult!> Long email.  Apologies.  Thanks for the time. <My pleasure! These were some excellent, thought-provoking questions that have stimulated many a late-night fish nerd conversation at a MACNA conference! I hope that you will be in this year's MACNA in Louisville so that we can discuss these things in more detail! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Coral aggression 7/21/03 Hello Crew: <cheers> Thank you again for your great support. <always welcome> I have a 58 gallon, reef tank.  Within the tank I have a green star polyp coral, that is spreading along the rocks surrounding it, a Colt coral, some polyp coral that started growing by itself and is doing really well, and a Clove Coral.  The Clove coral is above the star polyp and was doing very well, until recently, when it started to be less vigorous.  I have also noticed that the star polyp seems to be spreading to within the Clove coral. Will the Star polyp take it over and, short of removing the clove coral, is there anything I can do to stop it?  Thanks for your help. Scott <star polyp is one of the very most aggressive corals... separation is necessary here, alas, as you have suspected. Anthony> Scott A. Scher

Can't get it up: Brain coral that is... Howdy, first-time reef aquarist here. <Hey there! Kevin here with ya today> Please take a look at the attached brain coral and tell me what it is. LFS is not strong on the whole genus and species thing and I am not sure if I've got a Lobophyllia or a Trachyphyllia. <Your LFS needs to pick up a book, this is a very common critter and an extremely easy coral to identify! It's a Trachy. alright, commonly called Wellsophyllia also because it was once classified as such. Yours is likely a T. radiata>  Also, a couple of days ago it inflated for a day and now it looks a bit too deflated. I've read that it needs more than just light and water so I have been feeding with phytoplankton in a bottle, Mysid shrimp, Kent Zooplex & ChromaPlex, etc. (not all at once of course, alternate days) but it still looks a bit undernourished. <It is likely acclimating to your lighting and new water parameters. Don't expect normal behavior from any coral during the first several days after being introduced into your aquarium.> We have just started this aquarium. It's 175gal with about 230lbs of live rock and 3/4" average of live sand (deep bed refugium in the works). I've taken it slow and the only other inhabitants so far are 5 small Blue-green Chromis, 4" Sailfin Tang, a small Caulastrea and a small Sarcophyton along with the necessary complement of snails and crabs. All water quality parameters are in range and all of its tank-mates look great. I've also read that it's best to feed when the lights are out and tentacles extended, but unless the tentacle are very short, it only looks like it shrinks up in the dark with no tentacles that are obvious. Skimmer is working hard (too hard?) and I've got pre-filters in the overflows and a thin filter pad in the sump. Assuming that lack of food is an issue, does one need to run pre-filters in the overflows or any kind of filter pad at all? <It's not a lack of food, a once per week feeding with a small chunk of a meaty seafood is all that is required (if any at all!).> Do they rob food from the animals? <Mechanical filters do trap stuff that would normally be processed by the tank, so yes.> Should I shut off the powerheads and skimmer for a time during and after feeding? <Not necessary unless the skimmer removes a significant portion of the phytoplankton.> The tank has been running for two months without any ammonia or nitrate issues. The brain coral sits on the tank bottom on about 1.5" of sand. The tank is 24" deep with one of three 175W halides directly over it at 12" from the water surface plus a couple of 50:50 96W CF's on that half of the tank. <Your lighting is adequate for this critter so I would suspect that it's simply acclimating to your lighting. Good luck and welcome to the hobby! -Kevin> 

What's in a name or....a glue by any other name.... - 6/20/03 I found the following conversation you had with one of your clients. <Yep.>  I saw your answer about using Cyanoacrylate based super glue gels. <Yep> Can you be more specific? <Yep> I need the entire company and product names. <I love the Krazy Glue??? Gel products. Super Glue Gel is also fine. It will actually say Gel formula or something to that affect.>  I hate to jeopardize or kill all living organisms in the tank because of my ignorance and mistake. <Understood. Again stick with the Super Glue GEL or Krazy Glue GEL and things will be all right. (GEL is capitalized for emphasis)> I went to Home Depot today and found some instant Krazy Glue whose label shows "ethyl Cyanoacrylate".  Is that same as "Cyanoacrylate"? <Well, it is Cyanoacrylate, but not sure what the "ethyl" really means in terms of glue.> Is the Krazy glue one of the products you were talking about? <Make sure it says GEL on it. Simple as that. I am not at home at the moment so I can't tell you for sure the brand, but the GEL part is important as the regular formulas have a very watery consistency for reef purposes...... Paulo outta here->

Cuckoo for glue glue!!!! - 6/21/03 Thanks Paul for your prompt response. <We aim to please> Unfortunately, the glue I saw at Home Depot today doesn't say GEL on the label. <Yeah. I know Orchard Supply carries the Krazy Glue Gel brand (which incidentally is the brand I use. Yaaayyy!!!!>  Well, if you can get the name from the product you have at home and email that to me, I'll greatly appreciate it. <Krazy Glue brand GEL> Additionally, in one of your posting you mentioned you don't need to take the coral/rocks out to glue them together. <Correct> you simply put the glue/gel on your finger and put it on the rocks. <I put a dab on my finger and rub it onto the surface I will be placing the coral onto, then I dab more onto the coral piece (or the rock with which the coral is attached to) and mush the two together and.....presto!>  doesn't the glue dissipate/dissolve once it goes into the water? <Nope. Not if it is gel> or is the gel REALLY thick and sticky that it just wouldn't go anything but where you place it to? <Exactly! Thanks Adrian. Paul out - going to get some sun and XBOX time in while the wife is away!>

Gel Test - 6/23/03 I bought Devlon (I might have mis-spelled the name) super glue gel from Orchard Supply last weekend but haven't tried it yet in my tank. <No worries. I guess they sell different brands in different OSHs.>  I just suffered a disastrous loss to livestock in my tank. <What!????> I bought some cured live rocks from my friend and live sand from the store. <O......K.....>  I added them to the tank.  Within 2-3 days, I lost a regal tang, powder brown tang, yellow tang, and Naso tang although my fire shrimp and longnose hawkfish are still fine. <Holy smokes!!! Many possibilities here. I am deeply sorry for your losses. No quarantine, eh? Man, I am sorry. Keep an eye on the others.....Did you test the water? Well, again, there are too many possibilities here.>  So I'm going to wait few more days before I tested the gel. <I would wait a week or two. Good luck. Paul out> Thanks

Attaching Coral to Live Rock Dear WWM:        Thanks for all the help you have given me over the last few months, but I have another question. What is the easiest way to attach a small polyp (not attached to a piece of LR) to the LR in my tank? I have tried sticking it into crevices.<I would try to stand it up on a piece of LR and make sure it can't fall off-from water flow. fish...etc (before it attaches itself)> It was once attached to the rest of the polyps but mysteriously got ripped off but is thriving in the sand.<if it is thriving in the sand why move it?> Thank You<IanB> Bob Najdek

Mixing Corals and light at depth /14/03 Anthony, Thanks for the reply.  Haven't located the Aquarium Frontiers article yet (winter 1994), but will keep searching. <I recall someone saying that they are archived online somewhere... do some fiddling with keyword searches... if to no avail... I'll take my copies up to the big city :p and get them scanned> Regarding the species in the tank -- yes, the top 1/2 of the tank is dominated by shallow-water SPS colonies.  The bottom half is a mix of some SPS and some LPS that haven't objected to the SPS in the tank. <do be careful about the perception of "haven't objected"... much of the allelopathic insults between competitive species takes even a few years to be fully expressed (slow battles indeed). And even if we could say that the battle of unnatural tankmates will not be fatal in a given case... we have to still concede that the biological energies used to wage war chemically took away from more desirable functions/aspects like vigor or reproduction. Point being... simply resist mixing the deepwater open brains and Euphylliids with  ankle -deep Acropora and Porites species> The biggest issue was the lower 1/2 of the tank, as the tank is 36" deep. <agreed... a deep tank and candidate for 400 watt halides> Don't think we've quite hit the "obsessive" point in tracking PAR yet.  ;)  Again, thanks as always for the feedback! <always welcome, my friend. Anthony>

Capnella - 'Shroom contact? 4/11/03 Greetings from the Mile High City, Best wishes to "the crew". <cheers my friend!> Anthony, my friend, here's a scenario for ya; As you can see in the pictures, the large green 'shroom has grown large enough to actually rub against the Capnella. <will kill the Capnella in time... may take some months though> Over a period of time, (1-2 months), it appears to be irritating the area it touches. <oh, ya...Corallimorphs are deceivingly and exceedingly aggressive> Is the Capnella capable of dealing with this, or, should I remove it to be placed/attached somewhere else? What would you do? <the latter> Thanks, as always, "Live long & prosper" (watching Star Trek, it slipped out!) Your friend in Denver, Scott <peace and long life. Anthony>

Paper, clams, corals - 3/18/03 My question may sound simple but I  am about to buy my first clam or two. <Good for you. Do as much research about their environmental conditions and needs for successful keeping> My question is can corals hurt the clam's mantel if placed too close? <Absolutely! If not from direct contact to the tentacle, then just by close proximity through chemical release of toxins. Definitely keep them away from corals at a minimum of a 3 inches or more minimum.> I have nice place picked out for one or two  2-4"  clams but I also have a torch coral near by. <Definitely too close to this coral as the torch has the ability to sting quite severely as part of its procurement for food as well as an offensive and defensive strategy for territory. I just talked to Barry Neigut of ClamsDirect.com and he stated in his experience clams are very susceptible to chemical allelopathy and physical damage from sweeper tentacle nematocysts. "Keep a good amount of distance is the best policy"> If he grows well and so do the clams will it hurt the mantel if stung by the torch. <Absolutely! See previous note> Same goes for tube worms such as a feather duster. It is near some Xenia. Will it kill the feather duster? <Hmmm...... I would use a minimum of 3 inches if you can. Xenia can be very toxic. Congratulations on the new clams. Paulo> Thanks David

Coral warfare  3/14/03 I've read much about interactions between corals on this website, and much advice to stick with one kind of coral do a display.   <specifically... I am just suggesting folks focus on a group or niche, and not mix unnatural tankmates like deepwater Corallimorphs with shallow water SPS. Beyond issues of warfare, the mix is incongruous and a homogenized light/water flow scheme is impossible... one of the two will not thrive... merely survive at best. Hence the reason why so many folks complain they can get one group to grow but not the other when mixed> My question is this: do sweeper tentacles from one type or coral only affect members of different types of corals?  For instance, do LPS corals only have damaging affects on SPS and octocorals? <the issue is much bigger than sweeper tentacles... we are really talking about allelopathy- shed chemicals into the water that concentrate in a closed aquarium system. To answer your question, however... all corals will essentially respond to/sting any others that are not their species (including other species in their genus). Some will even sting others individuals in their own species if they do not belong to the same colony!> This seems to be the implication I get from the advice to not create a mixed garden display... <that part is correct... out goal is not to eliminate "coral warfare" but merely reduce it> or are you saying that the only way to stay safe is to only have corals from one family (i.e. only Acropora, or only Fungiidae)?   <no my friend... not that literal. It is simply that a tank a soft coral which includes species which might naturally occur together is likely to fare better IMO than a tank with unnatural species mixed together that would never see each other on a reef and thus are stimulated to fight excessively (chemical or physical) due to the unnatural sensation of an alien species in the shared water> I guess what I'm getting at is that I don't understand how sweeper tentacles from one coral can distinguish who or what they are being aggressive towards... <they don't need to distinguish... anything that is not their species/colony is a threat> and that it seems to me that an aggressive coral would be aggressive to ALL corals in the vicinity (not just different species)... it wants that space to itself at all costs. <exactly correct, bud. Thus the groupings of SPS only or LPS only or replicating a specific and naturally occurring biotope are better than having a mixed garden reef display> Thanks in advance, Jeremy <kind regards, Anthony>  

Getting Ready For A 125g Tank  3/14/03 hey Phil,<Hey Ty!> have another quick question.<Ready when you are...> now I really want to keep mushroom and polyped coral but I also still want to keep a flame angel a longnosed butterfly and a thornback cowfish I know these species have been kept in reef systems before but what are the chances of them completely destroying the mentioned types of coral. I know very little about the thornback but I assume he'd be the worst. is there anything I can do to get them from harming the coral any advise would be great.<I know you really want a cowfish/boxfish, but I would NOT keep them in a reef tank. All it takes is one toxic slime blast and its over.  Maybe setup a tank just for this amazing and deadly fish??...  The Flame Angel is a 50/50, some do fine others nip at corals.  This is the best out of the three.  Most Butterfly Fish nip on coral, so not a good idea.> Thank again, Tyler <Hope this helps, best wishes.. Phil>

Maroon clownfish fighting over an anemone! ...and coral questions (03/05/03) hi guys <Ananda here today...> let me thank you first for a very informative site. I have a question about clownfish and a colt coral. I switched to saltwater from fresh water because I am a great fan of the symbiotic relationship between clowns and anemone. <Uh-oh. This symbiotic relationship is best enjoyed in the wild!> After a lot of unsuccessful attempts I got two gold striped maroon clowns. After putting them in a quarantine tank for 3-4 days I placed them in the display tank yesterday where I already have a 4-5 inch bubble tip. <Argh. Any new fish should be in quarantine for a month, minimum. It can take that long for dormant ich infestations to become apparent.> They were exploring the tank together and it looked beautiful. I knew maroon clowns were aggressive but I saw to what extent yesterday. The two were nudging each other in the quarantine tank but I can say that they were living peacefully. The clowns are both about 2 inches. <When buying a pair of clowns, you should always get one that is larger than the other. The larger will become the female if it is not already female. Maroon clowns are more difficult to pair than most; as a relative beginner with marine fish, I would not get maroon clowns that were not already paired.> One of the clown is dark and more aggressive ( I think its the female) and the other one is light colored (probably male?). They are the same size but could they still be male and female. They were in different tanks at the store but they just got it too. <At that size, they are still juveniles. The more aggressive one may become the female. Also, I would recommend against buying fish that have just arrived at the store, as they are likely still quite stressed from shipping.> When I put them in the display tank the light colored one found the anemone first and it was going into it and I was really excited to see that but then the other clown wanted the anemone too. And this is when all the trouble started. They clipped each others fins and spiraled down from the top. And the aggressive one was chasing the other around. Today the aggressive one is in the anemone and the other one is at the other end of the tank but there is no chasing today. I just wanted to know if this is normal and the clowns will finally come together. <It's not guaranteed that they will. This is *the* most aggressive species of clownfish.> Or should I buy another bubble anemone for the other clown. <No! I would not suggest buying anemones at all! Please read more about these creatures in the articles and FAQs on the WetWebMedia site.> Also the light colored clown is not accepting any food from day one. Anything I can do beside keep feeding it. <Yes. I would consider returning it to the store. If the store will not take it back, and if you are determined to keep these two fish together, I would suggest you put the more aggressive clownfish back in the quarantine tank for several days and let the less aggressive fish get established.> These are the only fish I have right now but I am thinking of maybe adding an angel and/or yellow tang. <Neither is appropriate at this time.> I have a 30 gallon long tank with 1.024 sg and temperature between 78-82. I have 1 96 watt actinic power compact light and 1 96 watt 7100k power compact light. I am also switching the light interval to only 11 hrs a day. <This tank is too small for a pair of maroon clowns. I have a tank this size, and I've seen maroon clowns so large I wouldn't put even *one* of them in there, even if it was the only fish in the tank. I see no reason to cut the lighting duration...anemones need more light, not less.> I also have a green open brain coral, bubble coral, torch coral, xenia, several starburst coral, elegant moon polyp, Ricordea mushroom and various mushroom coral. <Keeping these corals in the same tank with an anemone is not a good idea - in the ocean, anemones are not found near corals. Also, there are several corals in this group that your clownfish might host with; in some cases (the stony corals), to the corals' detriment.> Also I recently bought a colt coral. It was brownish when I got it 2 weeks ago but now it seems to be turning white. Can you tell me what could be the reason for this? Is it due to stress of moving or do I have too much light in my aquarium? <If it has just started to turn white recently (i.e., within a couple of days), it is probably not moving stress. It might be too much light, if you have the coral near the top of the tank. A more likely possibility, however, is that it is suffering from the chemicals released by the other corals in the tank. You might try using carbon in a power filter to cut down on the toxins the various corals release.> I do see some growth in the coral. Please help me with this. I am thinking of using a marker to paint the plastic cover of the light just over the colt coral black to let only little amount of light through. <Hmmm. A better option than using the marker over the plastic light cover would be to add several layers of nylon window screening between the light and the coral. Then you can add or remove layers as necessary to adjust the light level in that area.> Also I have a green fluorescent mushroom I have had for about 2 months. It was a magnificent green color but some of it divided and maybe ever since then it is very light colored. Its only green at the end of the day when only the actinic is on. <Sounds like it may have expelled some of its zooxanthellae. This, too, may be a victim of the coral chemical warfare in your tank.> I am sorry to barge you with so many questions but I hope you will be able to help me some. thanks Gaurav <You're welcome. Do check out the various articles and FAQs on anemones and corals…. -Ananda>

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