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FAQs about Elegance Corals 2

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Catalaphyllia jardinei in N. Sulawesi

Lagoon Tank Questions (keeping challenging scleractinians) 1/8/06 Hello, <Hi there> I set up a second reef tank a couple of months ago, a 58 Gallon (36L x 18W x 21H) with 3 inches of Carib Sea fine oolite sand, 80 lbs of Indonesian Rock that has several types of macro algae growing out of it and a refugium with 2 inches of mineral Mud topped by 2 inches of the same sand as in the tank. I seeded the refugium with a large chunk of Chaeto from my 75 gallon along with some live rock rubble from the bottom of the existing tank 2 weeks before adding the rock. The refugium has 2 18w compact fluorescents. The tank's lighting (PFO Shimmer Hood) consists of 2 175w 13,000k MH Venture bulbs along with 2 96w PC lights. Each PC has one 03 actinic and one 10k daylight bulb. I would have preferred 6500k MH bulbs like on my 75 gallon reef, but they came with the hood so I decided to use them. The refugium I bought on EBay came with a Jebo skimmer that is a CPR Bak-Pak clone. It skims a little, but nothing like the AquaC EV-180 with an Iwasaki 30 RLT that I use on the 75. This week I put a nice Physogyra lichtensteini on the rock, 2 Goniopora stokesii and a Lime Green Catalaphyllia jardinei on the sand bed and that's it for now. <All challenging species for aquarium use...> The shape of some of the rocks enabled me to construct a nice overhang on one end of the tank. My first question is about placement of the Lime Green Catalaphyllia. Is the color indicative of a deep water coral and if so should I put it under the overhang or leave it out under the lights? <Have you read my piece on this species posted on WWM?> My second question is about "right-sizing" the skimmer. The El-Cheapo skimmer doesn't extract much, which I would think is good for a lagoon tank or should I run without a skimmer to ensure that I provide enough DOCs for the types of Cnidarians I have in the tank. <This CPR unit should be sufficient here> The Physogyra would be content either way I would think, but I have read a lot about environmental requirements for Goniopora and Catalaphyllia and want to provide for their needs. I had both of these species in a tank 15 years ago and kept them for 5 years before having to sell the tank after being laid off from my job. <Wow, outstanding... not the job loss...> I guess they did well because the skimmer built into the sump I had then left enough DOCs for them to survive. When I got back into the hobby this year it was mostly to once again have an Elegance and Goniopora. I was really disappointed when I got caught up on current news and read how these 2 types of corals have done poorly in tanks the last 10 years or so. I've read all of the articles and forum postings I could find about how to provide for them. <Ah good> So I decided to set up the unused 58 gallon tank I had out in the garage with an environment that would hopefully enable them to thrive. I hope this tank does as well as my 75 is doing. Thank you, Bryan <Do agree with your view-points on DOC and these animals... would leave the Elegance as is for now... as hard to discern whether it was collected from shallow, sunny conditions or no... Bob Fenner>
Re: Lagoon Tank Questions  1/8/06 Hi Bob, <Bryan> Thanks for the comments, I really appreciate the feedback on this project. Guess I'm lucky that my wife understands my love of science and aquariums. But if she knew I just sunk almost $2000 into this second tank, I just might lose my cajones! <Yeeikes!> Originally I was going to buy an AquaC EV-120 for this tank, but I later decided that it would probably strip too much DOCs from the water for this type of tank. Don't really like the idea of running skimmerless either as I would think it's best to have some skimming in order to provide a nutritious soup of sorts but not so much junk in the water that it turns the tank into a cesspool. Hopefully the El-Cheapo skimmer will enable me to achieve that balance. <Yes... alternatively, consider the possibility of saltatory skimming... periodically (every few hours/days turning on/off a better skimmer)> The Catalaphyllia I had years ago was thick, meaty and a deep red like beefsteak with nice green streaks of zooxanthellae and got to about 10" or so. I fed it mostly small pieces of chopped popcorn shrimp and an occasional goldfish. I had a fresh water Xenetodon canicula in a tank with discus and would keep small goldfish to feed him as he grew too large for guppies to fill him up very much. As soon as the Elegance's tentacles would touch the goldfish they seemed to be paralyzed and it would then pull them into it's closest mouth. I was always careful to keep my forearm out of reach of the tentacles when cleaning the tank as I had visions of it clamping onto my arm and stinging the hell out of me. <You are wise here> It was always very sticky when touched with latex gloves and was kind of like some monster in a sci-fi movie. I really loved that big monster as the centerpiece in that tank. <Beautiful animals> I've attached a picture taken yesterday of the new one the day after I got it (Thursday). It was a Premium Aquatics "Cherry Pick" specimen and is a very different looking than my old Elegance. I had been eyeing it on the "Cherry Pick" page for 2 months and kept hoping it would still be there after the tank ran a few months. As you can see in the picture, it has zooxanthellae throughout and has pink tips. Hopefully it will grow into a monster like it's predecessor. I feed chopped up krill to my other Euphyllids (Plerogyra and Physogyra) and to my Trachyphyllia geoffroyi as well. The Elegance didn't respond to krill yesterday, but it did spit out some poop this morning, so obviously Premium Aquatics has been feeding it while they had it. <Good> Thanks again and have a nice weekend, Bryan
<Thank you my friend. Bob Fenner>

Elegance coral 7/10/05 Hello <Hello - Ted here>     I'm not sure if my inquiry is a cause for concern but I noticed a change in my elegance coral and i am not sure if I should be alarmed or not.  I have a 90 gal. tank with fish and corals using the mud system and over 125 lbs of live rock in the display tank.  i am using 2-175 watt metal halides with 2-110w actinics, my inquiry is this: my elegance coral seams to be separating from its skeleton........i am not sure if it budding or something else to be concerned about.  The coral routinely opens every day to about 12 inches and has excellent color, I would have noticed the separation if it was not for some routine cleaning. Should i be alarmed???? <I would be concerned. Elegance corals are not as easy to keep as advertised. They can look good in the store and at home for a few weeks and then begin to decline especially in the wrong kind of conditions. http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm is a good starting point for understanding the needs of this beautiful coral. Good luck - Ted> 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>

Elegance problems and alkalinity Dear Blundell, This is Diane, (Tom's wife), again. Sorry if I sounded flippant about names in the last letter but I didn't know that it says Tom's name right at the top of the e-mail. The only e-mails I send or receive are with you guys. Gotta get out more!  < No worries, I to spend much time conversing with reef nerds. >  (Besides the LFSs!) And you were right, when addressed to Adam got Adam, imagine that! And a very helpful chap too. Anyhow, per your suggestion I added one cup of Kalkwasser (Reef Evolution, Aquarium Systems, mixed per directions) to my top-off water, wrote back to say that my pH had not changed, got Adam, and had not done anything until yesterday because I was waiting for my test refills. If you can't test for it, don't add it! However, Yesterday (Feb. 8) one of my powerheads slipped and was blowing sand around.  < I hate it when that happens. >  (Talk about a love/hate relationship). After reattaching it, I was using my hand to "gently" waft the sand off my Elegance coral and pieces of his flesh blew away!!!  < Not the best of things to see. >  I immediately started a water test and water change of at least 10%. Before water change there were 0 nitrites, 0 ammonia, less than 10 nitrates (but higher than normal), pH less than 8.0, alk. 2 meq/L. After water change everything was the same except nitrates which dropped. And this morning everything remains the same except nitrates are less than 5 and I will do another 10% w/c. When in doubt, change some water!  < I tend to agree, but I'd be careful to not stress the fish or other inhabitants. >  The Elegance is almost completely gone. The coral's shell is approximately 4" and there is an area about the size of a quarter where the polyps are still there and inflated too. Also a few in between a couple of the flutes. Now, my order came today and with it the 2 part E.S.V. B-IONIC which both you and the Other Adam recommended.  < Great stuff. Although with those water changes you probably won't need to add any for weeks. >  In one reply you had said to add B-IONIC; we thought my calcium was between 375 and 425 so Let's assume that I am on the low end (I am awaiting my test refills which are on backorder, will be four days). Can you give me an opinion on the following and also any other suggestions for saving what I have left? I am going to change another 10% and add the B-IONIC according to the "starting dosage" recommended on the bottles, 1 ml. per 4 gallons of system water.  < Okay, but freshly mixed water is great. I don't think you will really have to add anything. If you do use the B-Ionic I would dose once a week and not once a day for a while. >  But it says to dose every day until reaching desired levels and was wondering if daily dosing was O.K. with just the alkalinity test.  < Yes, some people like to dose different amounts. Basically you want to have your calcium and alkalinity in the "good area" then just add equal amounts in small quantities. >  It is a 125 gal. acrylic but I figure with the DSB and all the rock that maybe it's closer to 100 gals. Also, I only have 175 watt single screw (mogul?) MH lights, 3 of them, 5500K with 2 36" blue PCs. < Wow, 5500 K? That is a super yellow light. Not bad, but rare. >  Could this be the problem? I know now is a hell of a time to ask, after I've killed everything! But since I can't change the wattage of the MHs just now I was thinking that when I replace them I could go with a "blue-er" K and change the PCs to 96 or 110 watt 10000K or 50/50? Something with more "daylight"? Again, thank you so much for all your help!!!  < I think switching the halides to 10,000 K in the future would be a good move. But not necessary, and not worth the money at this time. Also, the Elegance may not be your fault at all. They have a terrible survival rate, and I wouldn't mess up the whole system to save (or attempt to save) just one Elegance. > Sincerely. Diane. (P.S. The powerhead had only been down a couple of minutes and there was not much sand on the Elegance but I had not seen him/it yesterday as I was out most of the day and the day before he was retracted a while but had done that before and seemed no worse for it when he would re-inflate.) PSS Why is the mixed Kalkwasser good for only four days if its in a sealed container? just curious. < I've never heard that. Hmmm, sorry I don't know. > < Blundell >

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.

Elegance issues Hi Crew I have had an elegance coral for about 6 months now. everything has been great with it until recently. We have had 3 hurricanes in may area and the last 2 have caused power outages. I had a generator going but it was only enough to run the pumps on my 90 reef and 200 FOWLR, and run the lights some. I didn't run the chiller and to my dismay the temp in the 90 reef went to 85 The power was out for 2 days. a week after the power was restored I noticed in the center branch of the 3 branch elegance some of its tentacles missing, like they had been eaten? I then noticed the same on the left branch. The left branch has regenerated its tentacles but the center has deteriorated. much of the flesh has receded and exposed the skeleton. the tissue left looks fine and healthy, but there seems to be more exposed skeleton every day. the other branches seem healthy. what should I do?? >>I would do nothing other than your regular routine. Anything different will stress the coral more and it sounds like the damage is done, so best leave it alone to heal. Also, I am not aware of a branching elegance - perhaps what you have is actually a hammer or a torch or a frogspawn. Rich>>

Re: elegance issues > Hi Crew > I have had an elegance coral for about 6 months now. everything has been > great with it until recently. We have had 3 hurricanes in may area and the > last 2 have caused power outages. I had a generator going but it was only > enough to run the pumps on my 90 reef and 200 FOWLR, and run the lights > some. I didn't run the chiller and to my dismay the temp in the 90 reef > went to 85 The power was out for 2 days. a week after the power was > restored I noticed in the center branch of the 3 branch elegance some of > its tentacles missing, like they had been eaten? I then noticed the same > on the left branch. The left branch has regenerated its tentacles but the > center has deteriorated. much of the flesh has receded and exposed the > skeleton. the tissue left looks fine and healthy, but there seems to be > more exposed skeleton every day. the other branches seem healthy. what > should I do?? >>>I would do nothing other than your regular routine. Anything different >>>will stress the coral more and it sounds like the damage is done, so best >>>leave it alone to heal. > Also, I am not aware of a branching elegance - perhaps what you have is > actually a hammer or a torch or a frogspawn. > Rich>> it's an elegance. it is slowly dying I'm afraid. its recession is continuing. what a shame. it was so beautiful for the 6 months I had it. I'm sure it was the power disruption that began its decline >>Bummer. Let us know if it turns around. Rich>>

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>

Elegance problem Hi!  I have a problem.  My elegance, purple tipped, was doing wonderfully until one of my fish started nipping at him.  I removed the fish but the elegance has stayed sucked in in the middle where I saw the fish nip at him.  Now other fish, a yellow tang, has begun to pass by and nip at him.  I fear he will not recover.  I moved him a little higher on the rock as many of my fish do not go there as much.  Is there anything I can do to help him heal?  He's near the top of my 75 gallon tank.  Please help - I do not want to lose him. <Kara, elegances can be fairly delicate. Moving him up was a wise idea but you might also check on some of the discussion groups about elegance corals. I seem to remember someone, I think Eric Borneman doing a study on these corals. They are known to just begin having problems out of the blue. I believe I read about this on www.fragexchange.com and www.reefcentral.com. The coral will need stable water conditions and good foods to recover but should recover if the nipping stops. MacL> Elegance Hi! <Hello. Graham at your service.>   I have a problem. <Okay.> My elegance, purple tipped, was doing wonderfully until one of my fish started nipping at him.  I removed the fish but the elegance has stayed sucked in in the middle where I saw the fish nip at him.  Now other fish, a yellow tang, has begun to pass by and nip at him.  I fear he will not recover.  I moved him a little higher on the rock as many of my fish do not go there as much.  Is there anything I can do to help him heal?   <If the fish are bothering the elegance, either the coral or fish has to go. Unfortunately, once fish get the taste for the flesh of corals (Especially large polyped scleractinians, such as your elegance), they don't seem to give it up very easily. I can recommend, however, to feed the fish often, preferably small amounts throughout the day. This may stop the fishes urge to feed on the coral. Another point is that Yellow Tangs do not often nip at corals. Is the tang nipping at the fleshy area of the coral, or the skeleton? Secondly, how long does the coral stay "sucked in" after the fish nip at it? How long have you had the coral? Elegance corals are not very hardy, and many have a poor survival rate in captivity if not kept under certain water conditions. Generally, they prefer strong light and high nutrient levels, especially since the majority of elegance corals are being collected from shallow nutrient rich areas.> He's near the top of my 75 gallon tank.  Please help - I do not want to lose him. <I look forward to hearing a response from you. Elegance corals are indeed very beautiful. Take Care, Graham.>

Catalaphyllia EMERGENCY Hi Bob!! Just wanted to say a big THANK YOU for the advice and the services you provide online. Its great to see someone actually responding to emails coz I know a lot of message boards and FAQ's don't! Big Thanks! My Catalaphyllia elegance coral seemed to be doing okay lately. but One day all of a sudden when I came home, it looked terrible!! All my water parameters are good (except nitrates a little high but I'm working on that ~ 20mg/l). I have been feeding it Mysis shrimp, probably not as much as I should be .. last time I fed it was about 5 days ago. I've had the coral for approx a month and a half now and it seemed to be doing okay - It's had its ups and downs (when sometimes it didn't look as good) but its never been as bad as this. << Is there anything else you have changed recently? >>   Here are some pictures, I apologize for them being so big .. I'm not 100% sure how to shrink them, u probably don't have to look through all of them (about 10 pictures) but I've included one picture of it when its looking healthy and 9 of it when its looking pretty bad. As you can see, some patchy parts are swollen while other patchy parts of it are all shriveled up. Some of the oral disks are swollen and almost see-through. http://photos.yahoo.com/catalaphyllia/ Its a fairly new tank. Other tank inhabitants are 2 clown fish, a tri colored damsel (not sure if that's what its called), a Radianthus anemone, leather coral, brain coral, Goniopora sp and a torch and daisy coral (I think that's what they're called - Euphyllias). Also, the coral is from Australia. (I'm located in Sydney) would you have any idea what could be the problem? I don't think its a lighting issue although I think it would like it better with better lighting. << Please describe your lighting set up. >> But I have had the coral for about 1 and a half months in the same conditions but its never been this bad before. << It makes me think it wasn't really thriving before, but just taking its time to get to this point.  I would recommend moving the coral in the tank.  Nothing to lose.  Also, did you get it straight from the ocean, or did it come from a friend or a store.  If the latter, I would be comparing your tank to what the previous tank was like. >> Thanks Wallace << Sorry I can't be of more help. Adam B. >>

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  >>

Catalaphyllia Elegant coral excretion 6/16/04 I am sorry to disturbing you, <no trouble at all my friend> but I would truly like to know, if this was spawning occurrence of Catalaphyllia jardinei. Right after releasing brown eggs (?) most of them eaten by the maroon clownfish. Regards,  Aleksander <the excretion was... well... excrement. You now have the scoop on elegant poop :) And it is very common for reef animals to eat excrement as it is frankly nutritious. Many microcrustaceans like some copepods have to make multiple passes though various digestive systems before they are adequately broken down for digestion. All good. 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.>

Lighting for Catalaphyllia Elegant coral 6/9/04 I was wondering if you could help me with a question regarding elegance coral. I recently bought an elegance coral, and just found out from the web about how much harder it is to keep them than before (probably because of collection methods and location of collections). <seems to be some truth to this yes, but once you get any established, they can be quite hardy if well fed (weekly or better with very fine meats)> At the moment I have a fairly deep tank (about 30" deep). I'm have 4 light tubes. 2 blue, 2 white actinic 12000kelvin. <are these standard output tubes? If so, their light does not penetrate usefully for corals much below 8-10". Keep all coral at the top if possible excluding sand dwellers like your conical skeleton elegant perhaps> I have 2 powerheads and all my water parameters are good, however I just wanted to know the best location to put the coral. Currently I have it fairly high up, approx top 1/3 of the tank, but from my readings I have realized that this coral does not need strong lighting requirements and may die (?) . <halides can shock it... but not your fluorescents... not likely at all> Is it okay if I leave the coral where it is ? <depends... if this coral has a cone shaped skeleton (versus a cleaved wall), then it needs to be buried in the sand> or should I put it further down? in addition, is it okay if I put it on the bottom of my tank running the lights that I have? Thanks <no common fluorescents can really penetrate deep enough to keep any coral at the bottom of a 30" tank. We may have a compatibility problem here (elegant needs to be on the bottom but needs better/brighter light). Do feed well/extra in the meantime to compensate for light. Best regards, Anthony>

Elegance Coral Color and My lighting 5/26/04 Hey crew, <Whassup G-money?> Hope things are well with all of you. Been a long time since I asked a question. I know that elegance corals are kind hard to keep as of late but I decided to give one a try. He is only about 5-6" in length and 1.5-2 in diameter.  <if the corallum (skeleton) is conical, then it must be kept in the sand and likely needs lower light and more feedings (3-5 times weekly). If the skeleton is "wall" in formation and clearly sawn/cleaved from a reef... it may be higher light/tolerant> He opens up about twice the size during the day and shrinks at night. My problem is this: the coral seems to be losing its green and purple colors.  <this is no problem... simply a response to a lack of UV light in your lamps> I have it placed at about 10" from the surface on a rock (should I move it to the substrate?) light is about 3" from water surface. The water flow is very little just enough for the tentacles to move a little now and then.  <more water flow needed I'm sure> I guess another question is the tentacles. My elegance coral doesn't have long tentacles the shrink to about .25cm at night and are only about 1.0cm during the day. Is this a problem or are there elegance with short tentacles??? <polyp tentacle length is wholly influenced by water flow and changes accordingly. No worries :) > Thank you, Todd Hawman <Best regards, Anthony> Hey guys, Sorry for the second email I forgot to mention my set up. I have a 90 gallon tank, AquaLight 4 x 65 watt (2 x 65 10K, 2 x 65 actinic), <yikes! this is very low light even for LPS like Elegant. The "rule of thumb" is about 5 watts per gallon of daylight (actinics don't count here). Fluorescent lit systems need this much or more (than halides) for their poor penetration of water at depth. Your tank here has less than 2 watts per gallon of daylight (10K). Scary my friend... please do upgrade... and feed all corals very well in the meantime to compensate for the low light> ammonia 0ppm, nitrite 0ppm and nitrate about 10 ppm. 3 false percula, 1 algae blenny, 1 yellow tang, 1 royal dotty back, 1 green brittle star, <Doh! another flag here... if your star is O. incrassata, the infamous Green Brittle starfish, then you can expect it to eventually catch and kill something desirable in your tank (small fish, clams, etc.)> 2 cleaner shrimp, 1 banded coral shrimp 2 turban snails and various crabs. I have also been battling red hair algae. <most any nuisance algae can easily be cured in 2-4 weeks by better control of nutrients. Look to aggressive nutrient export like improved protein skimmer performance (tweak and tune it to produce daily dark skimmate or nearly so). Water changes and carbon/PolyFilter use will help too> Thanks again, Todd Hawman <kindly, Anthony> 

Elegance Coral Hey Steven, <Ryan in his place today> Just bought an elegance coral (purple tip) and was hoping to get a little more professional insight. <Fire away>  I read over some of the info here and on wetwebforums.com and found, what I hope is right, that they like little current, little light and a sand bed?? Don't elegance occur on a reef attached to the rock? <Typically- But varies><<Actually found in soft substrates. RMF>> I was hoping to place mine on a rock about 10-12" from the top near the back of the tank with lower current. <I would place it in the top 8" of water depending on your lighting>  My lighting, in case you don't remember as I know you get lots of questions, is an Aqualight 4x65 watt. <PC? VHO? Sounds ok, but I would recommend that you ask these questions BEFORE you buy for an animal. Thanks, Ryan> Hope you can provide me with some insight. Thank you in advance, Todd Hawman

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>

Elegance Coral 12/5/03 I just thought you would like to see some of the fruits of your advice. Here is my elegance coral.   <very nice... thank you for sharing :) > It is really a nice picture,  I think.  Maybe you could offer it for download if you like it.  If you see anything you are not comfortable with let me know. Thanks again Craig B. <indeed... the first impression I have is that the color is very pale. Most commonly cause by inadequate feedings: either a lack of food (needing 3-5 times weekly with very small meats/minced... Mysid shrimp are very good here)... or feeding with food chunks that are too large which get regurgitated in the night and lead to starvation much to the aquarists surprise. The second thing I notice is that this specimen looks like it has a conical skeleton. If so, it needs to be in the sand/bottom. Such LPS corals derive micronutrients from the substrate. Do consider, my friend. Anthony>

Elegance Coral 12/5/03 Thank you for telling me about placing on the bottom, I will try to extricate it after I ask for yet more advice.  It did come attached to the live rock though <interesting... perhaps best to leave it be> and it looked much worse, hardly any green around the edges and almost never opened at the LFS.  The only question I have is there are several stringy, bright, orange growths attached to the live rock and the skeleton of the coral, I am not sure what they are, and I am afraid if I break them it might be detrimental to the coral.   <they are not part of the coral... sponge or some other sessile invertebrate> I have spent several months getting to this state and would sure hate to hurt or kill it after seeing it recuperate this far.  If you know what the bright orange stringy growths are, I would sure like to know, and if I can safely move this coral to the substrate without damaging it. Thanks again Craig B.   <lets leave the coral in place if the skeleton is wall-like (not conical) and simply compensate by feeding it small portions regularly (weekly or better). No worries. Anthony>

Elegance placement Hi, <HI> say I sent out a question over the weekend about lighting over Elegance Corals ? Haven't heard from you , I know you get Lots of questions , but what I read here on the sight and other forums is controversy to what type of lighting is needed. Would like your opinion I have 90gl. reef of 5 years 2 175 watt metal halides 10,000k 2 VHO 110 actinics was wondering placement of this coral, some say lots of light others say shade it some! Thank you Brian <Brian, over the years of keeping this animal I have found them to do best in the substrate (out in full light), were they are found in the wild or near the bottom of the tank) MikeH>

Elegance coral care 12/3/03 Hello, I have an interest in purchasing an elegance coral, I have been reading much about their difficult survival rate and understand that lately this past year due to where and how they are collected this is changing. <hmmm... sort of. Really a matter fo being an educated consumer and knowing what to look for (avoid the pale greens with dark purple tips that are collected at great depth... or be prepared to keep such animals in specialized aquaria)> The question I have is on how much light they need? <depends on the depth of tank, type of specimen collected, etc> My reef tank of five years has 2, 175 watt 10,000 k and 2 110 who actinics on it, just what type of placement does this coral need for lighting? <under these lights, I'd say on a sand bottom at approximately 12-18" deep> some articles say shaded with little water flow and the sites to purchase from say ideal center piece with high light out put on them! <the conical skeletons clearly indicate animals that need to be placed in the sand/on the bottom. Some elegance (rarer( are collected from hard substrates though and have wall like corallums that have clearly been chiseled. They can be placed on rock. The slow water flow recommendation is incorrect and dangerous for most corals. Moderate flow (10X) minimum needed here> Just confused and would like a good idea on care and placement before buying this coral. Thanks Brian <more importantly... know that you must feed this hungry coral (like many LPS) 3-5 times weekly. Best regards, Anthony><

Elegance Coral 11/26/03 Hello! <Hi> My husband and I have a question about our Elegance Coral.  Normally she has beautiful long green tentacles but today we noticed that she looks "swollen" so to say,  She almost looks an anemone-as in she is "closing" like an elephant ear when they are eating.  Her tentacles stick out of the center of the "swollen' body about 1cm.  I've never seen her do this before.  Do you know what might be wrong? <sounds like a feeding strategy... have you gone light on feeding it as of late? This is a very needy/hungry coral. They can/will starve slowly over months if not fed several times weekly> Also, there is a tiny patchy of green "hair" coming up out of the sand, directly next to her.  It's only about 1cm high in a group no larger than a quarter.  Do you have any idea what in the world this maybe? <tough to say without a picture. Do send for ID if you can> Thanks! <best regards, 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>

Elegance coral and regrowth 9/29/03 Hey Guys!!!  Let me start by saying THANK YOU for such a great website and such great information.  I think I can say for all of us out here that your website is INVALUABLE!!  I am pretty new to this hobby, about 4 months, and I couldn't have accomplished what I have without you guys. <thanks kindly... do share your wisdom in kind> OK, Here's what I have for you today.  I have a Catalaphyllia jardinei (?sp?) <Catalaphyllia jardinei> that my girlfriend bought me for a present.  Unfortunately it is starting to slowly waste away.   <if you've had it for more than a few weeks... could be attrition. They need fed almost daily... at least several times weekly with finely minced meaty foods> It is secreting a lot of mucus and the brown jelly stuff. <ughh... a necrotic infection. This like all new livestock should have been quarantined. The brown jelly is highly contagious to other corals>   Per your website and everything else I have read, I put it in my hospital tank and gave it an Iodide bath, Cause Iodine is toxic right?   <ahhh... used properly, it is anti-septic/medicinal so-to-speak> I also supplement with SeaChem's Reef Plus, and Reef complete so it is getting some Vitamin C also.  I have read some people will cycle antibiotics also.  Is this worth a shot and if so, which one or ones should I use?  And is there anything I can do to save my precious present? <tetracycline has been used in bare-bottoms QT tanks with some success at mfg dose strength> Also, if it starts to recover, will it regrow over the spaces where the skeleton is showing through or not?  I sure hope so. <it can indeed in time> She is the one with the pink tentacles with the purple tips.  I had her at the bottom of my 40 gallon breeder in lower light with low water flow also.  I heard from your website this is the best placement.   <agreed... although not too low of flow. 10X tank turnover is the minimum> Oh, she was also placed on her back with tentacles toward the light too.  This is correct right? <correcto> My tank parameters are: pH 8.5,sg 1.025, temp 79F, calcium 450, Nitrates 0, Nitrites 0, and ammonia 0, phosphates .02.  You guys have taught me well!!!  (I hope so anyway!  Hahahha!)    <all good... although the Calcium does not need to be that high... wane lower is Alk is flat> I change 5% of the water twice a week also.  I think this really helps with my 40 gallon breeder.   Agreed, my friend> It's so easy and fast too!!!!  Thanks for all your help guys.  I know you guys get this question a lot, but everything that I read, and I read all of the responses and questions, didn't really hit on my question.  Thanks again guys.  Will be in touch. Oh yeah, I am attaching a picture so you guys can see what your knowledge has helped me to create. <thanks kindly... could not open the zip file though. Please send pics as web-sized jpegs. Thanks kindly, Anthony>

Spewing elegance 09/09/03 Hey crew!   <Hi Ryan> I just bought an elegance coral yesterday and it seems to be doing fine except that it is excreting a white cloudy substance every couple of min...  I know that other corals and inverts will excrete poison when stressed but I really need to know from somebody who knows more about them ....thanks Ryan <Well Ryan, lots to read, start here: www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm hopefully your animal will be ok. Unfortunately, elegance are no longer the easy to keep animals they once were. The stocks of hardy, shallow water animals have been harvested, and the animals coming in now are from much deeper water, and melting down under reef lighting, so speaks the voice of experience. Good luck, and keep us informed, PF>

Elegance coral 09/04/03 <Hi Vance, PF with you today> Hello Wetweb, I have a question about elegant coral, but first the data. I have a 125 gallon tank that has been up for about 6 months. We upgraded from the 55 gallon tank that was being out grown. The Set up is, two 175 watt MH, 2 160 watt VHO actinic for lighting. 100 lbs of live rock and a 2-3 inch live sand bed. We have appx a steady 1600 gallon/per hour flow rate from a combination multiple powerheads. A 55 gallon refugium for filtering and micro shrimp production. The system has been very stable. 1.023 - .024 sg,  8.2 -8.4 ph, Ca 342ppm. 0 nitrites and Ammonia and Nitrates around 10 ppm. I bought an elegant coral from my LFS that I knew was going to die if it was left in the store. It is about 12 inches in length and had already started to recede about 1 and a half inches. I read the article on your site about elegant corals. I placed it in the tank as instructed by the article, on its back with the mouths pointed up. It is in a moderate current, enough to gently move the tentacles, and it is very low in the tank. It is a purple tip, thus it is a deep water elegant coral.  I do not see signs of brown jelly, but the 1.5 inches was covered with a white skin like film. I bought this coral knowing that it would be difficult to save because of it's loss of tissue, but I really do not want to watch it just die off slowly. We are using the malachite green dip that this site recommended to another with a elegant coral receding, but have not seen an improvement thus far. Is there anything that I can do to try to save it? Thank you, Vance <Unfortunately Vance, I recently purchased an elegance that did the same thing, and was unable to save it. You might try an iodine dip, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/iodfaqs.htm. While no one has seen an elegance skeleton produce an anthocauli (hope I spelled that one right), I'm keeping mine in my tank, as no one had seen a Trachyphyllia do that till last year either. You might also want to shade the coral, in talking to Steven Pro, he theorized it might be a reaction to the tank lights. I know the store I purchased mine from kept theirs under actinics only, and when I came back 3 weeks later, the other 2 for sale were still alive. Good luck, PF>

Elegance Coral Decline and Royal Gramma Demise Hi Wetweb Crew, >Hola, Manny. I'm new to the hobby (3 months), but I have been reading articles and FAQs on your site from the start.  I have spent hours on your site, but still want some direct advice. >Alright, I'll do my best. Tank info: 55G with appropriately sized wet/dry, skimmer, UV sterilizer, 130 watts of PC, and two power heads.  40 lbs. of rock a .5 to 2 inch (depending on place) sand bed, mushrooms, leathers, sun polyps, and ELEGANCE coral.  Some hermits, an arrow crab, some snails, peppermints, and two cleaner shrimp.  I purchased the whole set up, including all corals and rock, for $600 (not bad).   >Pretty good deal, yeah. So the whole system is really more like 8 months old, including the corals.  The owner had no testing equipment, not even a hydrometer...he relied on weekly water changes with store bought salt water and he NEVER fed the corals.   >Eek! So everything in the tank was healthy and hardy. Questions: 1.  The elegance coral, which I have been feeding shrimp to for the last three months and which improved since I bought it, recently started becoming more transparent at the base of some polyps...I can even see the white skeleton showing through the body of the polyp.  It is not water quality, unless a slight and quickly corrected nitrate spike of 40ppm could do it.   >High nitrates can cause a decline, yes.  But what I'm not clear on is whether or not the elegance was already in the tank with the leathers, from the get go, so to speak. It is not current because the head with the lowest and no direct current looks almost as bad as the head that gets hit by the return and worse than the head that gets moderate current.  Could it be calcium??? >I would tend to see low calcium levels being expressed in a lack of growth, but it could indeed be a factor.  You should have calcium levels up around 400-450ppm. I have a test on the way to me.  Incidentally, your FAQs have denied this as a cause, but I recently added the shrimp, everything else has been there for months.  Could it be too much light?  No change in that recently.  HELP! >Lighting...could be, but my money's more on allelopathy with those leathers. 2.  I have had bad luck with fish.  My two ocellaris clowns died of ich because I didn't act fast enough or well enough with copper and my fresh water dips came too late.  I ordered a yellow tang that was practically DOA.  I now have a Firefish, doing great, and a royal Gramma, DYING!!!  They both came with either Amyloodinium or some kind of infection on the skin.  I treated with copper and antibiotic and pH temp adjusted freshwater dips for the Gramma only twice...I don't think he can take it now.  His tail half rotted, but that cleared up and he started looking better all around, but now he won't eat and he just sits upright at the bottom of the QT (like at night) coughing now and then.  He looks weak...should I dip him again and risk killing him, like my clowns, or should I just hope?  Any ideas on getting him to at least eat?  I've tried frozen brine shrimp.. he used to love it. >I wouldn't dip him again, I think that would be too stressful.  I am not normally a proponent, but many folks swear that garlic increases appetite, you may want to try it.  Also, nix the brine shrimp--nutritionally deficit.  A much better choice is Mysis shrimp.  Try fresh Mysis *if* you can get it (I know I can from a supplier locally), but I know that freshly cultured can be problematic.  I'm assuming that you're testing your q/t water religiously, and that ALL levels are at zero readings.  I would reduce lighting on him, keep the place a bit dim, try the garlic (some folks will spend lots of money on the extracts--since I've never used it I can't tell you if that is the way to go or if you can just make your own by crushing garlic), the Mysis, and keep treating him with a broad spectrum antibiotic.  My own preference is for Spectrogram, both gram positive and negative antibiotic. THANKS FOR THE HELP AND THE GREAT SITE!  Manny      >You're very welcome, and if you have a place you can remove the Elegance coral to, possibly in q/t, I would try that and see if it improves.  I will also recommend you get a good book on corals, the vote seems to go for Eric Borneman's book...can't recollect the name, though, but it should be easy enough to find on site.  Good luck!  Marina

Creature ID  - 2/11/03 I have a green hammer coral about 4 to 5 inch. in diameter and on the side off the hard calcified part there is a hard growth about 1 inch in diameter with a fleshy part all around the edge that sticks out about an 8th.of an in. all around that can contract. it is the same color as the tentacles on the coral I've read that these coral sometimes reproduce this way ill try and attach a picture <Budding is a very common reproductive strategy in this family of corals. The pictures sent, alas, did not come through clear at all. Do examine the growth up close with a magnifying glass or jewelers loop. A budding coral is unmistakable. Best regards, Anthony>

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>

Selecting elegance coral Hello Steven and all. Happy holidays! Here is my situation, I want an Elegance coral soooo bad, its pretty much that one coral I based my hobby on. I had two of them in the past and they both failed me. <Quite typical> I've read all sorts of things about them including what you guys have to say about their poor survival. I am thinking the only way to get one is from someone who has had one for several years and wants to sell it. Fat chance I know. <I would say slim chance. I just propagated mine about a month ago and sold it to another local hobbyist at a frag swap. I would look to a local aquarium society and see if anyone there has one to get a piece from.> I recently went to a place called Living Sea in Chicago and they had two of the most beautiful Elegance's I have ever seen. On top of that they were huge, at least 6" across. Anyhow, they looked very healthy and the owner is familiar with their mortality rate. He said they have been at his store in his tanks for about 2 weeks now and that if they were going to get the disease that they would have had it by know. <I do not subscribe to the theory put forth by Julian Sprung about Elegance corals succumbing to some mysterious infection. I believe the problems to come down to a difference in the variety of Elegant corals collected now and the artificial environments we subject them to. The typical purple tip, Indonesian Catalaphyllia jardinei is found in muddy substrate from deep water. Placement upon liverock under intense illumination kill an incredible number of these animals.> I'm wondering if that is a good sign for their survival or not? <I don't know his tank conditions, but two weeks is not a really long time.> He also said that he gets his corals shipped directly to him and that they are not put into a holding tank of some wholesaler, (I do believe him on that) <I believe him too about transshipping. A lot of stores do this, but again I don't believe the problem to be a disease.> but he said that is where a lot of the disease sets in on these corals, because of poor conditions, etc. What do you think of that as far as this coral surviving for me? <Do look at the holding conditions in his tanks. If the coral has been placed on rockwork or under heavy illumination, I would leave it at the store.> It is quite pricey and I've already had 2 of them, but am I crazy to think about getting it? I was even thinking about waiting maybe another 2 or 3 weeks to see then how these corals look then, and if they still look good would you take a chance on getting one of them? <If they lived a month, I would assume his conditions to be appropriate.> Thanks a lot. <Do take a look at the writings of Eric Borneman concerning this coral, its collection, and proper handling. His articles can be found on Reef Keeping (an online magazine). I would also look for any of the meandering wall variety. There are two varieties collected, one that grows attached to the reef and has a skeleton similar to a regular Hammer Coral (Euphyllia ancora). The other type is a free living form that has a skeleton similar to that of the Open Brain (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi). The attached forms seem to do much better for hobbyists. -Steven Pro>

Elegance Coral Hi, Steven Pro, how are you? <Not too bad. How are you?> My elegant is not doing well. I just got back from LA for Thanksgiving. I only went away one day. I don't know if it is possible to get you out to my place in La Mesa (near Lake Murray) to take a look to see what can possibly be going on and is there anything I can still do for it. <I am out in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.> Or maybe if you have a place at your place that you can try to raise it back to health. <There is probably nothing you, I, or anyone could do.> The store I bought from had it under 175 watt MH's at mid tank, about 12 inches below water surface. <That was its first problem. They should always be kept on the sand under low to moderate lighting.> The owner said he had it for 3 weeks, and it did look healthy. <They generally do. One of the bad things about these corals is they survive long enough to give th hobbyist false hope.> Like you said damage can be done at anytime, but I just can't believe with calcium reactor keeping alk/pH in check, that it can't make a recovery from whatever the damage. <Many Elegance has perished in recent years in the hands of very experienced keepers with well maintained tanks. It is the coral, its particular needs, and the care it received previously that are usually the problem. Never buy an Elegance that has been perched up on liverock, never place it on rock yourself, give it low to moderate amounts of water movement and lighting, and hope for the best.> Something else have to be the problem that's causing it to not improving. <Not really> I did find the cleaner shrimp (one-I assume is the same one), that was picking on it when I walk in the door today. <I would describe the behavior as opportunistic and not attacking. It is feeding on necrotic tissue, not attacking healthy tissue.> The cleaner shrimp I got is the kind that have 2 red stripe and one white strip in between the 2 red strips. So I immediately fed them and my fish and I am planning on feed the shrimps everyday if I can, and hope it stays away. I wasn't successful on catching it today. I always only see one shrimp picking on it at one time, so I assume it's the same one and maybe it developed a taste for it. Now after they all ate, the shrimps went in hiding. I do have a 10 gallon empty tank (no fish/shrimp), but there is water, live rock, and some Caulerpa with two 8 watts fluorescents on it. It used to be seahorse tank. One bulb is regular fluorescent (which doesn't help much with Caulerpa growth), and the other one is a Aqua-glow bulb (which Caulerpa likes). But, due to busy schedule at work, I sent the horses away. It does still get water change and power head still running, but no calcium reactor. It has a drop in air pump powered skimmer, which was turned off since no more seahorses are in it. If necessary, I can rinse old sand from my old 50 gallon and make a few inches deep sand bed for Elegance. I will have to buy another Aqua-glow bulb, I think if I want to put elegance in that tank. What do you think? <It might be best to quarantine this specimen now for fear of wasting away in your display.> I don't even know if you are in San Diego. I figure if you are partner with Bob Fenner, you probably close by. <Actually the other side of the country, The beauty of the internet.> But I could be wrong. If you can come check it out, I would really, really appreciate it. If possible perhaps this weekend. I don't know how long the coral will last. Probably no more than 5 days to 1 week. Please let me know ASAP. My cell number is 619-xxx-xxxx. If you are in town, I can go pick you up, if you don't feel like driving. I just hate to see things die on me. <I understand.> Thanks in advance. Hope to hear from you very soon. Sincerely, George <Sorry about your coral. On a positive side, our conversations have spurred me to begin an article discussing Elegance corals. Best of luck to you! -Steven Pro>

Elegance Questions Thanks for your response. I moved it to the bottom, partially bury in the sand, with both end's edge (coral is fan shape) about 1/4 inches or less from sand. It has been there since Saturday night. The 2 cleaner shrimps stick there pinchers into the opening between the meat and skeleton once a while, I guess there are something to eat in there. <This is not a good sign. They maybe feeding on necrotic/infected tissue. Nothing for you to do about it though. Just keep your fingers crossed.> But overall seems coral improved a little, compare to the way it looks like then and today. One thing got me worried is the articles I read from the link you gave me. It mentioned about nutrient rich environment. I don't like to super skim my water like some other people do, perhaps some corals need that kind of water quality. <There are many different niches and many different types of "reef" tanks.> I usually only clean my skimmer once a month or so. <I would like to see you clean it more often that this. I clean mine about every other day or so.> Since the tank just transferred with 60lbs of new sand at bottom, I believe it still balancing itself out. I still have diatoms and start getting some green algae growing now rather than just brown. I do have about 30 snails at work. One clam, one sea squirt thingy, a sponge, and a gorgonian filtering the water. <Depending on species of above you are going to need to take a proactive stance in feeding these animals.> Curious, what kind of animals do you have in the same tank as your elegance coral? <Mostly other LPS, a few SPS, a few soft corals, and mushrooms that I am actively removing.> What's your alkalinity, pH, nitrate, etc? <Specific gravity 1.025, pH ~8.2, ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate are all undetectable, alkalinity ~3.5 meq/l, calcium ~375 ppm, temperature For a tank that's not as nutrient rich, can feeding replace the nutrient it needs? <Yes, that is what I do.> Right now I think my tank has plenty of nutrients, since diatom and green algae is all over the place. <I am not so sure. This is a cycle of sorts for new tanks.> Coralline algae is starting to grow faster and faster now. <Excellent!> I do have Calcium reactor. <Great!> I do add buffer, mineral supplements, and iodine once every week. <Ok> I don't know if my test kit is ok or what. Yesterday I test my alk=11.2 (I tested 2 times), and calcium is 400 (which is lower than the 425 for sea water). <These numbers are fine. Just keep them consistent and you will be rewarded.> I think I probably need to have someone test it again for me. Thanks again. Let me know. Sincerely, George <Good luck! -Steven Pro>

Coral Treatment Thanks Steven Pro. I will be looking forward to your article. Do you think two 8 watt fluorescents are enough light or do I need more light in my 10 gallon? <Truthfully, I do not think it will matter much.> I probably need actinic too right or the aqua-glow plant light is fine or do I need PC light instead? How much light do you think is adequate for them in a 10 gallon? <My recommendation was to remove to QT so as not to pollute your system. If the coral lives for a week or more after the move, then you may want to consider spending additional money on it.> Or maybe I should keep them in my refugium (at planning stages, still try to decide if I want a refugium). Do you have a refugium? <Not on my current 55, but my new 120 has two.> I am going to do a water change today for my main tank. I will be doing a 100% water change for my 10 gallon, so I won't have to spend time get the coral use to the different water. Would you suggest anything I can try, maybe iodine (diluted)? <This may help.> Logically that not a good idea to me, because that probably stresses it out further and might end up kill the healthy one. <Iodine has some antiseptic value.> Well, I guess I just refuse to hear the phrase "there are nothing anyone can do at this point". So it is very lucky for you to even have your elegance survived. No wonder you are thrilled to have that growing the way it is. What do you think, is it worth even trying? <I would QT it in the ten gallon tank with water from the main display and hope for the best. The longer it lives, the better.> Would it do more damage like I think it will be, than good?   <I am not sure what you are referring to.> You know what. I won't give up. I will give it a try again. But this time I want to ask the store I bought from place it in gravel, low to med light and current. <You might be best off buying right out of the bag before it even goes in the dealer's tank.> I think that way we can give other hobbyists hope and who knows maybe one day our elegance will be some help to replenish their population. I tried to keep the regular and purple tip elegance before few years ago. Like you said, they live long enough to give most of us hope, than just die.  But I think that I had a regular one live for a while back than, but something happen to it and it died. Do you think purple tip is harder? <Yes, much harder.> If you can have one live in your tank, I don't see why wouldn't it in my or many of the experienced hobbyist's tank. <The specimen I have is an attached variety, one that grew attached to the reef. The ones you see most often are free living varieties. They come from deeper water and must be kept on soft sand.> I guess at this point of the time, I will need a lot of luck to find that special elegance that will live and grow like yours. Well thanks again for your patience. Yes internet is a great thing, it link us together no matter where you are. It probably saved and helped many sick corals, fish, etc. Let me know. Oh, do you think I should cut the part of flesh that definitely dying (kind brown in color). <I would probably touch it as little as possible. Many times doing something to help is the worst thing we can do.> On the other hand probably speed up the infection of other healthy tissue? I know it probably won't make any difference at this point, but I have to try. Who knows, maybe I will be as lucky as you were. Cross my fingers. Maybe I should talk to it more often, maybe it will get better.  :) Sincerely, George <Best of luck to you! -Steven Pro>

Elegance Coral Suggestions Hi Steven, how's things? <Not too bad. A little tired. Just got back with Anthony from a long, but fun and productive trip.> I hope my elegance can grow as good as yours. I notice a little receding on my coral. I don't know if it was because I had it side ways on the rock or it was already that way when I bought it. <Hard to say. The damage could have occurred at anytime.> It looked healthy and open up pretty good when I got it. Instead of in the sand, right now I just have it up right between rocks. <I would definitely move it onto the sand.> I will see how it responded to the change in the next few days. I notice in the picture, you have larger size of gravel. <Yeah. FYI, I don't like it. I have 300 pounds of Southdown in the garage for my new 120.> I have finer (sandy) gravel. <Good> The sand bed is only about 1 month old. Just transferred from a 50 tall to a 80 gallon. I have 60 lbs of new sand and dumped about 10-15 lbs of old sand to seed it. Do you think I should worry about some bristle worm or other worms that might attack my elegance? <If they do "attack" the Elegance it is because the Elegance is unhealthy.> There are cracks on the skeleton of my purple tip elegance. So, something heavy must of smashed it before and recovered. Do you think I need to use epoxy to fill in the crack? <I would leave it alone.> I have two 250 watt HQIs and the tank is about 24-25" deep. The HQI are in a 10" tall canopy. <I would definitely lower this coral to the bottom. They are lower light animals despite their striking color.> Well, now the coral is about 12 inches below the water surface sitting up right. I am crossing my fingers. If you have any other input/tips on keeping this coral, please let me know. George <You can start here http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm and then work your way through the FAQ files. I would also search for writings from Eric Borneman on the subject. -Steven Pro>

Bloated Puffy Elegance Body Hi Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Greetings from Malaysia. <and a kind welcome to you from America, fellow reef enthusiast!> Right I've ran through your FAQ about Elegance Coral and could not find any answer to my problem. My tank's condition is perfect for Elegance as per your articles on how one should keep them and the tank condition needed for it to survive. Here's the wee problem. The gorgeous green with pink tip fella did fine for the first 2 weeks... opened up proudly displaying its full splendour of vibrant colour. Then I think my bird wrasse knocked it down to the substrate accidentally one day (the Elegance's placed in mid section horizontally on a rock). <we may have our first problem here, my friend. Elegance coral are collected as free-living specimens (and have a conical skeleton) or as sessile fixed denizens (wall shaped skeletons sawn off of the reef proper). Most Elegance are collected as free-living individuals and should never be placed on rock. They will die in time from abraded tissue (polyps cycles) for having been placed on the rockwork. Even if you have a specimen that was collected from rock, it can be fatal for any LPS to take a fall and sustain torn tissue.> I got home from work and it was on the bottom of the tank between other rocks in 45 degrees positioning. Still it's opened fully with extended tentacles. Put it back to its original location. No signs of damage. Two days gone by and I noticed at the bottom of its tentacles, there're white stringy things coming out from its meat (is that how you call it?) and they're like attached to the meat itself. <yes... mesenterial filaments. Stress induced. Not a good sign, but not fatal either. Very noxious to other corals though> I know they are the inner parts of the coral that came out. Only parts of the coral has this clumps of white stringy things at the base of the tentacles. The rest opens up as normal. Following day, it started to close up and the stringy things are still there. This time with kinda like jelly thing sticking around the stringy clumps. I think it could be detritus from the water that got stuck to the sticky slimy white stringy things. <yes... or bacteria and the beginnings of a necrotic infection. Try to maintain good strong random turbulent water flow> Next day it opened up again... same condition with white slimy stringy things and jelly like stuff around these clumps. This time the coral opens up really large... it's like an inflated puffy balloon... really huge, without the tentacles extending. As day goes by, it shrinks and bloated over and over again in a days cycle. Tissue is not receding, just bloated with un-extended, "un-filled" tentacles, <yes...defensive, not feeding strategy> with clumps of white stringy things at the base of some tentacles, and jelly like things around it. Phew! there you go. That's the problem. Any idea what's wrong with this fella? <just trying to heal> Its body is so bloated and puffy now as I'm typing this. Looks like a big huge obese man with tiny short little very thin arms and legs. <you mean it looks like I will look in another 15 years of eating fatty foods?> Thanks a mill...Cheers...Steve <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Bloated Puffy Elegance Body Hi Anthony, Thanks a mill for the explanation on my wee Elegance Coral problem. <you are quite welcome my friend> Am I right to say I should just put it down to the tank's bed and let it sit there and wait for it to heal (hopefully)? <Yes... exactly correct. Although there is no guarantee of recovery, it is of far greater risk to leave it upon the rockwork precariously/unnaturally. Furthermore... free-living (sand dwelling) elegance are believed to benefit if not need the micronutrients available in limited amounts near the surface of the sand bed> BTW my heart aches looking at this fella all bloated up and can't do anything about it to help. If you or your team member wish to dive in Malaysia someday, do let me know. I'll be most happy to be your guide and all. <what a wonderful offer... we thank you very kindly and hope to have the pleasure one day soon. In fact, we will be attending the Aquarama conference in Singapore next year (May/June) which is only a hop away. Perhaps then :) ><<Yes... Pete and I were in Pulau Redang last year... and there are hundreds if not thousands more places to dive in Malaysia... are you near any of the big-name resorts? Bob Fenner>> That's the least I can do since you guys have been great putting up this advise service to everyone on this planet. <appreciated but not necessary... in shared admiration of the sea we all are (insert Yoda voice HERE)> But make sure you don't wait until you look like my elegance and come diving alright : ) <Ha! You've heard how well my family cooks! <G>> Best regards from the other side of the world, Steve <and soon to be seeing it for ourselves... best regards, Anthony>

Elegant orientation The elegance is already in the bottom third - it's actually a horseshoe shape, and I have it mounted above the sand, but horizontal, not vertical.   <really needs its natural orientation for long term success/survival (vertical here)> Really?  I misunderstood what I read, then - I was under the impression that it was best to mount elegance horizontal (that is, the horseshoe shape is parallel with the ground).  In the case of horseshoe, it's better to mount it vertical (meaning in the shape of a "U")?  I'll make the change tonight. <don't change anything just yet... perhaps I have misunderstood from the general terminology that we have been using. Lets be clear: the corallum (skeleton) of your coral has only one clear and natural orientation. This will be with the open ridge/envagination of the skeleton that holds the fleshy "meat" of the coral pointed straight up to the light. On the exact opposite end of this side, you will see the bottom of the skeleton where the coral was clearly sawn off the reef (place this downward). You can generally tell by incidental growths too on the skeleton which side was naturally upwards or otherwise shaded> As for the lighting, I will put the 20K's back tonight then (2 days on 10Ks hopefully won't cause a major problem with the change back), leave them with the normal photoperiod, and continue using the screens to acclimate (down to 8 layers! :))...thanks again for the advice...Arthur <awesome, bud... best regards! Anthony>

Catalaphyllia jardinei Hi all, I have been reading about the poor survivability of elegance corals. Anthony's book suggests to leave them alone until we can be assured of getting better quality specimens. In the May 2002 FAMA Julian Sprung suggests that it is a pathogenic bacteria infection that is the main cause of the problems, and treating with the two below antibiotics will cure the problem.  <You may well want to see the "continuing discussion" re this species twixt Jules and Eric Borneman in the August 02 FAMA> So (1) do you agree with his idea to treat the coral with Doxycycline or Nitrofurazone if it begins to waist away? <Not IMO/E... much better to utilize the dip/bath procedure on arrival detailed on our site here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/elegance.htm and in places in the linked FAQs files beyond> (2) I would like to buy one but have resisted due to all the bad "press", where do you get these antibiotics, my LFS has no idea.  <Furan compounds are still sold in the ornamental aquatics trade (Look for a shop that carries Aquarium Pharmaceuticals, Aquatronics, Argent Labs... lines. Doxycycline can be purchased over the Net... or through a M.D. or Vet.> Thanks Larry <I will forward your query to Anthony and Steve as well. Bob Fenner>

Catalaphyllia jardinei Hi all, I have been reading about the poor survivability of elegance corals. Anthony's book suggests to leave them alone until we can be assured of getting better quality specimens.  <yep... my general advice for the masses of casual aquarists. Dedicated folks that will study, specialize and quarantine are encouraged to do so. But know that elegant coral live in the wild in areas with VERY few if any species around them for a reason! If you are going to put this animals in a mixed garden reef aquarium... you are doing yourself, it and the industry a disservice. My advice is to have a dedicated refugium of grasses for it if not a species specific tank like one would/could/should do for anemones> In the May 2002 FAMA Julian Sprung suggests that it is a pathogenic bacteria infection that is the main cause of the problems, and treating with the two below antibiotics will cure the problem. So (1) do you agree with his idea to treat the coral with Doxycycline or Nitrofurazone if it begins to waist away?  <hmmm... I admit that something must be done. But for aquarists that cannot categorically determine the nature of the condition if pathogenic at all... the use of antibiotics indiscriminately is often a disservice to coral and world health. Do read Eric Borneman's response to Julian's theory here:  http://www.reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-05/eb/feature/index.htm as well as look at Julian's response in the June issue of FAMA> (2) I would like to buy one but have resisted due to all the bad "press", where do you get these antibiotics, my LFS has no idea.  <wow... get a different LFS: they at least have tons of Nitrofurazone on their shelves in several brands of medication! It is as common as dirt and has been around for years. It is a basic antibiotic that they should have been recommending to customers for fresh and saltwater fishes! Sheesh. Jungle brand Fungus Eliminator has it... as well as many other brands of meds with the name "Furan" in it. Easy to find... mail order if necessary> Thanks Larry <best regards, Anthony>

Elegance sting Hi Anthony, So here's a cold blooded question: (thank you for your time -let me know if I should ease up) Detail: This winter I acquired a fish from a friend who claimed rave reviews. ( he was moving to Washington State and I trusted him greatly _?*@!*# "I'll just give him the menace while I leave town!") It's commonly known as a Candy Hog (Bodianus bimaculatus). <OK> I didn't see the first murderous actions, but it's a stunning sight when a very large cleaner shrimp is jerking around with no legs and this fish is tearing at it's "thorax." Other cleaner followed shortly... <yep... they are funny that way> Question: I would think so, but can you confirm it was this fish that probably did the "deed?" I am aware most wrasses/hogs are likely... <An amazingly huge suspect!> Mobile creatures in tank at Time of Murder: -Small white hairy crab (still trying to catch) -Emerald crab or two -few multi hermits <dude... crabs are way scary. Never trust fully... most all are VERY opportunistic omnivores> -snails -two sand sifting stars -small serpent star <very nice... passive> -Maroon Clown <aggressive> -Blue Tang -Chevron Tang (aggressive at times-never warmed up to shrimp) <indeed> -Mandarin Goby -Watchman Goby -Candy Hogfish Ah heck, I'll just put an undulated trigger in there to clean house! (corals aside, certainly) <heehee... not recommended, but sounds like fun :)> **So if I find a "Goth" chick, where should I send her?  <Ha! Pittsburgh... we have a lot of overcast days and cathedrals... she'll feel quite at home>> Out side of your work, do you keep a tank at home?  <yep... I have a fishless reef display that generates enough zoo plankton to feed me> Ever been to the Monterey Bay tanks? <wanted too... been to SF Bay area twice in the last year but couldn't break away for the drive down to Monterey. I heard the drive is lovely. Looking forward to it!> (recently visited _poor reef displays though) <hmmmm... are they hiring :)> -Beans! Dan <too gassy... but thanks anyway. Anthony>

Re: Elegance sting, AKA: Goth Chicks, Garlic and Ich Not sure if the Nordics up here would go for that Garlic, but I'll send 'em your way if I run into anyone! :-) <excellent... and with the plethora of pretty fair skinned Nordics in your neck of the woods, I suppose I should refrain from the garlic anyway... I might run into a cool Goth chick that really is a vampire> Thanks again Dan <my pleasure> PS> is it true covering the tank in darkness for 24 hours may cure ich? Just a random comment I ran into.. <hahahhahhahahhhahhaha..... heehee... hahhahhahhahah.... ha...whoo hoo...hoo...heehee...ahhh... no.> Re: Elegance sting, AKA: Goth Chicks, Garlic and Ich Nice response . I'll remember to use that one... <heehee... figures you'd get the wise guy here> A parasite creating it's own food from light just didn't seem right. <in all seriousness, I'm glad that you asked. There are many such interesting anecdotes and legends out there. Some truth to some of them but often misguided. This definitely falls under the category of "too good to be true". Best regards, my friend> -Yeah, Goth would be the word! -Beans!


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