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FAQs about Elegance Coral Compatibility

Back to Articles on: Catalaphyllia Coral, Caryophylliids, Large Polyp Stony Corals, 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians  by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  by Bob Fenner

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

Catalaphyllia infested with Waimanoa flatworms.

Elegance coral and bubble tip anemone, incomp.    2/9/10
Hi WWM crew!
<Howdy Adam>
I have a quick question regarding the speed and severity of allelopathic interactions between cnidarians and Euphyllia sp.
<Can be quick (hours) and severe to the max. (death)>
A friend of mine is moving but has a weeks worth of lag time between taking down his current tank and setting it back up in the new place. He has a much smaller holding tank that he's been able to put most of his coral in the mean time, but he also has a very small rose bubble tip anemone (maybe an inch and a half across) that decided it hated the smaller/dimmer temporary accommodations and began walking all over the place. In such small confines, he was afraid that it would either damage or be damaged by the other corals
<Mmm, Anemones/Actinarians aren't corals>
and asked if I would take it until his system is back up and running at his new place. I spent the entire day yesterday getting it to attach itself firmly to a small piece of rock, put mesh socks over my Vortech MP10's
(I've had bad luck with anemones in the past... one of the many reasons I don't want to own one) and stayed up till 1 in the morning making sure it wouldn't move.
However this morning, my otherwise incredibly robust Australian elegance coral wouldn't open. At all. The branching frogspawn on the other side of the tank was also a shadow of what it normally is half an hour after the
lights turn on. Is this kind of reaction this possible overnight?
<Oh yes>
The elegance coral is about 6 inches across when it's fully open and the frogspawn is at least a foot across when it fully extends. I know that cnidarians in the long term are not really compatible with other aggressive species, especially the Euphyllia,
<More so the Catalaphyllia>
but I had thought that such a great size disparity and short time around one another wouldn't have been a problem, or at least if it were a problem it would inhibit the anemone as opposed to the established tank inhabitants
(something I warned my friend of, though we thought it was the lesser of two evils at the time). Is immediate removal of that tiny anemone required?
<Yes I would... and water change/s, and use of chemical filtrants. Read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
and the linked files above...>
The only other thing that I can think of would be that yesterday I was also trying to bring my calcium levels up from 360ppm in to the 400ppm range. I was adding Seachem reef calcium and getting rather frustrated with how
little impact it was making on measurable Ca levels until I sat down and did the stoichiometry and realized that a) I would need like 150 doses of the stuff to make the change (more than a whole bottle) and b) it has something called polygluconate in it which even with the companies assurances that it's safe makes me nervous.
<Is relatively quite safe>
I did add the maximum number of doses of that product that it says you can add to a tank that size in one day (just under 15 capfuls), so I don't know if that could have had a compounding effect.
I have since ordered lab grade calcium chloride to make my own 2 stage additive as it's unbelievably more cost effective.
<Ah yes>
Other parameters:
approx. 100 gallon total volume
pH 8.2
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate under 5ppm
Magnesium 1250
<Mmm, high for your [Ca]>
Alk 10.6 (not going to raise it until I get the calcium)
SG 1.024
Thanks for the advice!
<Do read where you are referred... and soon. Bob Fenner>

Elegance Coral  9/25/08 Hi, <Hello> I just have one quick question, can more than one Elegance coral be placed in close proximity to one another with their tentacles touching? Will they sting each other? Thanks. <Very likely so. B... see WWM re Catalaphyllia... > Regards, Chris

Two Bits of Info/Comments. That Fish Place event/PA and Elegance habitat   4/19/08 Hey Crew! Hope all is well with you. I wanted to share some info that might be helpful to fellow hobbyists. That Fish Place in Lancaster, PA is holding a 35th anniversary extravaganza tomorrow and Sunday (4/18-19) with lots of sale items and presentations by the likes of Steven Pro and Anthony Calfo. Just thought people who live near this store might want to know/be interested. <Ahh, thank you for this> Also, I read a lot of posts/responses here about people keeping incompatible life forms together in their reef tanks. I got this month's edition of "Freshwater & Marine Aquarium" and there is a great article on efforts to restore/preserve reefs around the world, particularly in the Florida Keys. In any event, unless the photo has been photoshopped, there is a picture of (I think) an Indonesian reef site where some type of anemone (I believe a long-tipped--but it could also be an Elegance Coral, as I'm no ID expert) is right up next to/growing in between some plating Montipora. Maybe it's just my ignorance, but I was under the impression that these two animals were examples of those that don't live in close proximity and shouldn't be kept together. <This is so> I guess when you have the whole ocean, compatibility/allelopathy becomes less of a problem! <Perhaps... but... I have never seen any other Cnidarian species growing next to a Catalaphyllia in the wild... Elegance grow in "muddy settings" (actually with their apical/pointed end of their skeletons "dug into the muck"... with no Scleractinians et al. about in proximity. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm> Anyway . . . take care and keep up the good work. Andy <Cheers. Bob Fenner>

Re: Two Bits of Info/Comments  4/19/08 Thanks for the info Bob. Do take a look at the photo I referenced if you get a chance. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on what the picture shows. Andy <I do have a copy of the mag. at home... but am out in San Antonio giving a pitch at MAAST... will try to remember to take a look on my return. Cheers! BobF> Elegance coral concerns  12/15/2007 Hello WWM crew, <Tyson> First of all, like countless others, I have found your work to be an invaluable resource and I (and my tank's inhabitants) truly appreciate your efforts. My question is in regards to compatibility. I have an elegance coral in a one year old 30 gallon that has been doing very well and I plan on adding some corals in the coming months. <Mmm, well... you have close to the "top" of a "stinging" echelon of animals already...> The tank currently has two clowns a Firefish and yellow watchman (I will not be adding any more fish). The only other corals include Zoanthids, mushrooms and a Duncan. <I would not add more here> I know elegance corals are very sensitive to 'chemical warfare' that can occur when many species coexist in a closed system, particularly in such a small system. Some viable candidates that I have identified and am considering are Blastomussa, Ricordea and clove polyps. Do these seem like appropriate additions? I know leathers are out of the question and I am skeptical even of colt corals. <Again... I'd stop where you are... as all have apparently "recognized" and made some sort of uneasy peace with each other> One additional question I have is in regards to substrate. I have a crushed coral sand bed that is approximately one and one half inches deep. Can you recommend a good sand sifting candidate to add to my clean-up crew? <Mmm, yes... yourself. Given the size, the livestock make-up... I would leave the rest of the livestock as is as well> Also, what are your thoughts on vacuuming substrate? <Posted> How deep should I go? <Do half the tank each maintenance interval...> The jury seems to be out on this and I have seen corals go down hill after initiating a substrate cleaning regiment in the past. Presumably I stirred up too many toxins. <Or nutrient removal...> Thanks so much and happy holidays! Tyson <I would not be concerned with doing just part... though not too thoroughly... "Cleanliness is not sterility"... See WWM re. Bob Fenner> Elegance Not Stinging; Catalaphyllia vs. Butterfly fish -- 4/17/07 First of all what a brilliant site. You are all so smart. Hope you can help me. <Thank you, will try> I purchased a Catalaphyllia from my LFS a while back now. As of late I purchased a saddled butterfly of medium size and asked the store clerk "will this peck at my Catalaphyllia?" He answered with "no the coral will sting the butterfly". So I thought I would try it out and placed the fish into my tank while I watched waiting for it to settle in. The next minute the litter bugger started pecking at my elegance.  Did this coral not sting the butterfly?  A healthy Catalaphyllia is meant to have quite a bite, but all he had done was suck himself in. He hasn't been his normal self since. The butterfly has been taken out as soon as I could say boo and is happily adapting in my spare tank. <Wow!  Popular question tonight!  Butterfly fish should not be kept with corals.  They are known to eat corals and anemones that sting.> Also I am thinking about getting a bubble tip anemone for my clowns. Will this release its "chemicals" and affect the elegance? <It is more likely that the Catalaphyllia will sting and kill the anemone.  It is definitely not a good combination.> Thanks so much for your time. <You're welcome!  Brenda>

Elegance Nipping Damsel  11/15/05 G'Day Crew First of all let me congratulate you on your excellent website. The most useful and educational site (regarding marine information) on the net, well done! If you can answer my question it would be very much appreciated. <Will try> I have 6ft x 2ft x 28inchs high reef set up, this includes 3 250w 1400k MH, sump trickle filtration (continual battle with nitrates) + all the accessories large protein skimmer, chiller (for Queensland climate), ozone, U.V. etc etc. My inhabitants consist of mushrooms on the bottom right, a couple of leathers in the middle, one very large elegance on the left and a few Favias on the bottom center.  All my corals are very distant from each other with generous current. My fish, one orange tail blue damsel, two blue damsels, two yellow damsels, one domino, one three stripe damsel, two Chromis, one maroon clown, one lime green wrasse, one cleaner wrasse. All fish in my tank have been getting along with each other for quite some time, all my corals have done very well especially the leathers and mushrooms (I still have my original leathers and mushrooms from three years ago when I first started).  My question is on my elegance (wall type) that I bought six months ago; one of the yellow damsels (the bigger of the two) took up residence underneath the elegance. For a period of time there were no problems, until the other yellow damsel decided to take residency in the same spot. After a few disagreements with each other the two damsels now live happily together under the elegance.  But just recently the smaller of the damsels has started to nip on the end of the tentacles just above where they live. Always nipping in the same spot until the tentacles are withdrawn. Once withdrawn, he will leave it alone until the tentacles are extended again. So what is this behavior? <Not so atypical feisty Damsel activity...> Should I remove the guilty fish?  <Either that or the Elegance... it, the Catalaphyllia would be "happier" in a bit different setting... as you've likely read> What will be the end result with the elegance? <Likely continuing disimprovement, denuding of the flesh/skeleton... loss of vitality, death> Thank you very much for your time. Regards Mick <Cheers, Bob Fenner> 

Elegance Stinging soft corals  9/22/05 Hi,    Overnight 1 of my circulation pumps detached with the result forced 2 of my coral to land on an elegance.    The Helioporidae and Sarcophytons have been stung badly that the 2 has not opened for 2 weeks. Its heartbreaking watching these corals do nothing. Is there anything that I can do to revive these corals? <Not much, may possibly revive on their own.  I'd probably do 10% water changes weekly, starting now, to replenish lost trace elements. Keep an eye on them, don't want them dying unnoticed and fouling the rest of the tank.  James (Salty Dog)> Thanks     Mohamed.

False perculas Hi all, I have a mated pair of false perculas who have recently taken up residence in my elegance LPS. <oh-no> Since this (or immediately prior to) I have noticed a lesion on one side of one of the female, which is slowly getting bigger.  Over the past four days it has gone to a smallish white line, to a hole about 3mm across.   <hmm... could be because from the elegance, but if the clown lives... their presence in the elegant will kill the coral in time (abrasive against the corallum)> The tank is very healthy otherwise and stable. Could the coral be stinging it?   <yes... or even a wound got irritated by it> What do you suggest I do (if anything). <easy one... the clowns have to come out under any circumstance to save the coral and perhaps their lives. Put the pair I Qt and treat with antibiotics, water changes and good feeding> Regards, Michael <kindly, Anthony>

Elegance Coral Hi Guys and Girls <Hi Joe, MacL here> I just got a new elegance coral for my established reef tank. It is in a nice open sandy area so I am hoping it does well. However my needy clownfish has not unexpectedly taken up residence in it almost immediately. Is my newcomer in serious danger and is there anything I can do? <It can be a real problem. Often they host and don't irritate the corals but sometimes they do irritate the corals and indeed kill them. These fish can be deadly to corals and really there isn't much you can do about them besides find another host they will go to OR get rid of the coral. Sorry to be such a downer. It is possible that it won't irritate the coral at all, in which case you have a interesting situation to enjoy.>

Elegance coral risky to fish? 1/2/05 I have a question before I purchase a gorgeous specimen of C. jardinei. I had a terrible experience lately where my rose bulb anemone ate a $150 geometric pygmy hawkfish the day I got it! I was broken hearted over the loss of such a rare fish.  Nonetheless, I have moved the anemone to a different tank <Yikes!!  I feel your pain.  My carpet anemone has dispatched with about the same dollar amount in various shrimps and small fishes.  This is one of the many reasons that anemones aren't ideal community tank inhabitants.  Kudos for sucking it up and moving it!> but after thinking this through, what is to keep the stinging tentacles of a C. jardinei from capturing a perching fish such as a hawkfish as well? Do you guys have any reports of this coral taking fish?  Thanks In Advance! <C. jardinei has one of the most powerful stings of any of coral, and is more powerful than even some anemones (Mine has actually raised welts on my forearm!).  That said, fish capture doesn't seem to be a big problem.  However, I suspect that most folks are careful not to mix slow moving or perching fishes with this coral, and I would suggest exactly that precaution.  Best Regards.  AdamC.

Pajama cardinal/elegance coral Hello again Bob, I hope you can save the day again'¦ The little pajama cardinal seems to have taken a liking to my elegance coral Always hovering.. picking at it, yet I do not see damage and the coral does not recoil..  Is the coral safe?, should I be concerned? <These associate in the wild... no problems... the cardinals likely receive some protection from predation... Catalaphyllia sting like no tomorrow...> The little sweetie would be impossible to catch and a shotgun to a 20g nano might prove destructive'¦.don't you agree? <A twenty gallon system is too dangerously small for this Euphylliid> Thanks for being there. Ellen <Bob Fenner>

Pictures Steven mentioned over on WWF that he has had clowns hosting in an elegance, any chance of pictures? my internet surfing has turned up nothing so far, but one link that was just to frightening to think about. <You can see a bunch of pictures of my tank on the Pittsburgh Marine Aquarium Society, Inc. webpage. The link is http://www.pmas.org/ Hit "Enter Here" and then look for "Photos of Our Membership". -Steven Pro>

Peppermint Shrimp and Elegance Coral Dear Bob, <Steven Pro answering this morning.> I added 2 peppermint shrimp yesterday and today my elegance coral has shrunk considerably. The tank is 180gal. with plenty of rock and other corals including Aiptasia for the shrimp to eat. Could the shrimp be bothering the elegance? Thanks for your help and website. Robert McNinch <IMO, it is possible, but not highly probable that the shrimp are attacking you Elegance. There are reports of hungry Peppermint Shrimp eating LPS's, but there could be many other reason for your Elegance's shrunken size. Do investigate further using the WWM archives. -Steven Pro>

Elegance sting Bob, I normally am good about my research, but I can't seem to get a straight answer about this question: -Details: I have a med. to large elegance coral in a healthy 75 gal mini reef about 2 years old. A few months ago I removed a nuisance Condy anemone and my Maroon Clown started nesting in the elegance. Cool! The only problem is that the elegance seems to have become much more aggressive/venomous.  <I do not believe it is virtue of the clownfish> I was working with a little placement in the tank and it's tentacles grabbed on as usual and I washed my arms when I was done... That evening, I had about 11 sting marks on my arm that had grown into gigantic welts. They later became scars that haunt me today -3 months later.  <yes very serious indeed> I am not allergic to bee stings and I never went into any kind of shock, but there is one symptom I received that worried me both last time and tonight. - I become slightly disorientated and nervous...like a panic attack. (remember... I thought nothing of the first sting and was not worried at all) <you must be careful of repetitive stings... each will get worse and enough in a lifetime can theoretically send you into anaphylactic shock.> WHOA! -I have already consulted the appropriate doctors and all they can say is - "you can breath, you must be fine."  <they just have no experience with repetitive cnidarian stings> I certainly would understand any hesitancy to answer, but I'm just shooting in the dark. -Meaning, I would never hold your advise responsible. <yes... thank you. And I am simply saying that your concern seems to be warranted. My advice to you and all aquarists for the safety of you and your corals (from each other) is for you to wear gloves when working in the aquarium. Corals are protected from contamination from your skin, under nails, etc and you are protected fro pads, paws and claws> -Question: In your experience, can coral toxins have this effect? It's not a nervous shock by any means, just an in between state.  <having been a coral farmer for nearly a decade on a commercial scale, I am very familiar with this. Euphylliids like your elegant coral are some of the worst. My nemesis is a relative Euphylliid the torch coral (E. glabrescens). I have been stung enough times by such cnidarians that the slightest brush with he animal feels like a full wall current electric shock! Indeed... it amplifies/gets worse every time> Are there known euphoric effects these toxins have?  <I'm still looking...heehee> Are there any resources that discuss this in plain English? <hmm.... more than a studies on the derivatives of "toxins" from coral, but you haven't actually been poisoned with a toxin. You have been stung and the sensation that you feel is mostly your bodies reaction to being stung. Indeed... an allergic reaction. Like being asthmatic> Thanks for any hints on this -Best! Dan J.W. <advice: Tunze gloves...heehee. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: Elegance sting Thank you Anthony for the hints! <very welcome my friend> I'm certainly a careful person, but it just seemed harmless in the beginning. I'll be ordering gloves tonight in case I have to do any more shifting in the near future. <excellent!> You know, the sting can never be felt until minutes later. (I think my bodies nervous system just freaks out when there's something like that present. Similar to negative feelings I had at a few parties in college when someone passed around something cheap!) <Ha!> Any how, I'm a Graphic designer/developer for a large ISP in MN... If there's something small I could contribute as thanks... Let me know.  <how about a small, single, fair skinned girl that likes short hairy men of Mediterranean extraction who eats enough garlic to drop bats from eaves as he walks by?> I would be more than happy:-) <and I would too... in the meantime, your friendship is more than enough> -Best! <with kind regards, Anthony> Dan PS> You'll find my evil friend in the pic as he sat in a 55 gal last fall. ( I have plenty of sand room in my 75 to set him in now...) <indeed... such corals with conical corallums NEED to be nestled upon a spacious sand bottom. Kudos>

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