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FAQs about Trachyphylliid Corals 2

Related Articles: Trachyphylliid Corals, Trachyphyllia Reproduction Report,

Related FAQs:  Open Brain Coral 1, Open Brain Coral 3, Trachyphylliid Identification, Trachyphylliid Behavior, Trachyphylliid Selection, Trachyphylliid Compatibility, Trachyphylliid Feeding, Trachyphylliid Systems, Trachyphylliid Disease, Trachyphylliid Reproduction, Stony Corals, Stonies 2, Stonies 3, LPS Stony Corals, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, PropagationStony Coral Behavior,

A gorgeous colored specimen at Bao Le's store in Milpitas, CA.

Re: Trachyphyllia.. nutrition, health... RMF career 7/22/05 Good day Bob or whoever I may be speaking to today....I hope all is going great today... I have several things to throw your way today...I'm sorry if I've got a repeat question thrown in here. In regards to my Trachyphyllia: When food is offered to it, the mouths close up.  Except when I offered plankton. I haven't ever seen sweeper tentacles come out (even when it was doing normal cycles), Do you think it may be getting the nutrients it needs by me taking a plastic syringe and gently directing fine meaty foods at it... even without the presence of the tentacles? <Possibly, yes> The algae that is forming on small parts of the skeleton... could I try to gently remove it somehow or would this be advised against? <Directing a stream of water... as with a powerhead or small submersible pump is all I would do... don't physically touch> Is Iodide harmful to any marine animals or corals if used properly (that you are aware of)? <Not unless overdosed> I've got a rock that had several mushroom corals growing, a piece of the rock broke off leaving one of the mushrooms attached to the original rock as well as the broken off piece.  Is it best to let it be (it is hanging, I've propped it back up but it wont stay) or someone recommended I should just tear it off the original rock :( sounds painful but I'm not sure it feels pain like that? :) <I would "tear it off", move it to someplace safe, stable> Thank you in helping me on my journey, I swear I'm not trying to be hand fed... I just need a little help with this predicament (the brain). And the other questions are just thrown in there... my main concern is my brain though! On a bit of a more social level...what is your favorite dive location? <Mmm, there's a bunch... overall, the Red Sea likely> Bob... do you go and speak at seminars <Almost every month... for the last few decades... to hobby groups mainly, in the pet-fish and dive/adventure interests> or am I interpreting some info wrong.... at one point in one of your responses to someone's questions it sounded like you do seminars, if you do...have you ever found yourself in Indiana? <I think so...>   One more personal/social question... what is your career... How do you make it possible to go on all these wonderful diving journeys? Thanks guys!!! Codie S. <Good, friendly questions... I do five "things" for money, including two that are petfish related... am a content provider, selling writing and photography... But really, am retired in terms of having to "do" work... invested a part of what I earned, in stocks in good companies, real property... so I can/do travel about half the year. And I do encourage you to take up the dive, travel habit as well! Thank you for asking, sharing. Bob Fenner> Trachyphyllia pic 7/5/05 Dear Sir or Madam, we would like o ask for permission to use one of your pictures of Trachyphyllia for an article in a German science magazine, which is about corals and fluorescent proteins. Thank you very much, Daniel Veith University of Marburg <Mein Herr: My content is free to all non-commercial interests per our content use policy: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/WWMUsePolicyStmt.htm Robert (Bob) Fenner>

Trachyphyllia Troubles I hope you can answer this question, I have recently purchased a Trachyphyllia. Below is a picture of the coral. As you will note from the photo there are two open brains. The top coral seems to be doing very well. Within a day or so of introducing it to the aquarium the bottom brain has retracted from the skeleton. The edges of the soft tissue appear to be melting away it's mouth is gaping. Is the bottom brain dying and if so what should I do? The top brain is doing ok. Will the bottom brain get better? Any help you can give would be greatly appreciated?  <John, the problem appears to be that these corals are right next to each other. The one in poor shape probably got stung by the other. Separate them and all you can do is hope for the best. James (Salty Dog)> 

Open Brain Sliming Good Morning! <It's evening! Trying to trick me, eh...> I purchased a green/red open brain a couple of weeks ago. It looked good, has expanded more in my tank than in the LFS, but yesterday morning I noticed a bit of a translucent slime around one edge. This morning it had extended to enshroud approx. ? the coral. There is a bit of skeleton exposed on the edge that first exhibited the problem. The edge where this started is up against some live rock (wasn't touching when I placed the coral, but it has since expanded and now touches a bit - is that a problem???) <I would not allow the extended tissues to touch the rock, as it will become abraded in the extensions and contractions these animals perform day to day>  Is there anything I should be doing other than wait and watch? Tank params: 52 g - 20 in. tall Lighting: 2- 96w PC actinics, 2- 175W 20000k MH Ca/Alk: 405/2.9 Temp: 78 - 78.5 pH: 8.2 NO2/NO3 both 0 <If you have a coral of the genus 'Trachyphyllia' then the "sliming" behavior is perfectly natural. These corals excrete a mucus coating to trap floating particulates, and then ingest the entire coating. Make sure you keep it well fed - M. Maddox>

Re: Open Brain Sliming - Brown Jelly Disease Well, it turned out to be brown jelly. By this afternoon there was very little living tissue left - probably 2/3 of the skeleton was fully exposed and what little live tissue was left was breaking down and melting away. <Ack! Remove that coral ASAP! It may be possible to frag and save the healthy parts of the coral, but you do NOT want the 'brown jelly' (a protozoan) spreading!> Are any of the following organisms at risk from loose "jelly" being blown around in the tank (GSPs, mushrooms, hammer coral, trumpet coral, pearl bubble coral)? If so, is there anything I can do to lessen the risk? <All LPS are at risk - remove the coral ASAP. If you don't have a QT tank, just ditch the entire coral> I've started running charcoal - don't know if that will help, but I guess it couldn't hurt... <Never a bad thing, but it won't kill protozoans. Make sure to remove it ASAP, and keep a very close eye on your other LPS. In the meantime, set up a quarantine tank if you don't already have one!> Thanks, -Brian <Good luck - M. Maddox>

Re: Open Brain sliming & Brown Jelly Disease Follow-up I took it out a few hours after my last post - there was no healthy tissue left, but some of that stuff did get loose in the tank, some when I was removing it and some due to my peppermint shrimp slicing and dicing at it, so ... <Too bad :\ Quarantine next time!> I found an article that suggested as a follow up to dealing with an infection adding Vitamin C to the tank for 14 days according to some instructions but the link to said instructions was dead - how do I do this? How much and what form? Ground up C from the health food store?? An additional recommendation was good flow to reduce the chances of the jelly being able to collect, which I have. <Do not add ascorbic acid directly (i.e. don't use human pills) as it will drop your pH drastically. Instead, use a liquid\buffered supplement that can be found on any online retailer's site> Thanks, Brian. <Anytime - M. Maddox>

Open brain question Hi WWM crew - love your website; what a wonderful resource of information!  I have searched the archives, FAQs, etc. but not found enough specific info to answer my question . . . so here we go: I was recently (10 days ago) given an open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) by a well-meaning (but lacking any aquarium experience) friend.  I have a 125 g reef system, up and running for 18 months. Current creatures include: 4 clowns sharing 2 BTAs, 1 yellow tang, 1 royal Gramma, 1 cleaner shrimp, 1 coral banded shrimp, and usual assortment of snails. Corals include 1 hammerhead, 1 Galaxea, a small stalk of xenia, and 2 gorgonians (Diodogorgia nodulifera & Swiftia exserta). The BTAs are on one side of the tank, anchored mid-way up the rockwork and happy campers. The hammerhead and Galaxea are on the other side of the tank, about a foot apart and 8" from the top of the tank. The gorgonians are on the sand, one at each end of the tank.  I placed the open brain in the sand at the front center of the tank, where it gets light and low/moderate current. (current provided by 2 opposing Maxijet 1200s in the two back corners of the tank and inflow from a Rena XP3 (used for mechanical filtration), a Mag3 and no-name powerhead rated at 500gph also provide circulation (the Mag3 runs an Aqua C Remora protein skimmer) (total circulation = 15x tank volume).  Water parameters all test fine (0 ammonia, nitrates, nitrites, phosphates) with alk of 3.5 meq and Ca 300-350ppm range, depending on water changes/bi-weekly dosing. <Okay> Anyway, I didn't know anything about brain corals before receiving this one, so read everything I could find about them on your website. This coral doesn't have good polyp extension, the swelling barely covered the skeleton when I got him, so I figured he was probably hungry, and after several days to acclimate, I attempted feeding him finely diced shrimp & mussels (same mixture I feed the anemones).  I have gotten him to eat twice, but he doesn't have long or large feeding tentacles - they only raise like tiny bumps. It is a slow process that takes about 1 hour to accomplish, and I have to fend off my cleaner shrimp to keep him from trying to steal the food while the brain is working at engulfing it with the polyps/tentacles. I was guessing that maybe he is just starved and has tissue recession due to capture, lack of feeding, etc.  <This is my guess as well> But after the second feeding two days ago, he seems to have gotten worse. The skin seems to be tearing and ridges of the skeleton are poking through on two of the polyps. He is not even swelling at all during the day. The polyps are deflated and looking thin. Upon careful inspection I noticed that it appears he has had a slow tissue regression for some time. Can it be saved? <Yes> If so, what is the best approach? I have noticed what appear to be grains of sand in the skeletal parts that are exposed. Any suggestions? Thanks, Kevin <I do not see that you add iodine/ate here... I would definitely dose this at near maximum... I would re-direct your circulation to this animals vicinity and if possible increase the lighting directed toward it... other than this, I would not move it, would keep offering foods... Bob Fenner> 

Brain reproduction? Greetings Crew! <Happy Holidays Ray, MacL here with you> Hope you are in a warmer climate than I am right now (10F with wind-chill of -15).  Makes me want to climb into my reef tank where it is nice and warm!  <Its not quite that cold where I am, and Bob is in Hawaii.> OK, done a quick search and can't find the answer to my question.  I have an open brain coral in my reef tank Wellsophyllia/Trachyphyllia).  Anyway, been in there for about 8 months and has nearly tripled in size, grown 2 new "mouths" and developed several new folds. Lately I have noticed that two folds are growing towards each other so that if they keep going, they will divide the entire coral in two equal parts with several "mouths" on each side.   So my question is:  how do they reproduce?  By fragmentation/division or by sexual reproduction? <It's asexual reproduction, usually by budding just like what you are seeing.> Everything else in the tank is doing great so I am sure it is not an environmental thing. <No its a good thing, you should be proud.> The only oddity is that after a year, my yellow-tailed damsel has chosen a new rock to claim as his own on the opposite side of the tank......and all the other fish inhabitants (mostly my yellow tang and coral beauty) still ignore his little fits to defend his territory (small guy in the tank). Thanks again for all your help in the past! <Ray, congratulations you are obviously doing great.> -Ray Can I feed my brain too much? Hi there- May I say again how much I love your site? <Sure!...and Thanks!>   I really appreciate the resource.  I actually have five questions for you.  My tank is about 5 months old, 46 gallon, protein skimmer, Eheim filter, halite lights.  I do weekly 10% water changes.  Ammon, nitrates, and nitrites are 0, salinity is 1.024.  I have two perculas, one magenta Dottyback (eats my little Bristleworms, by the way), a cleaner shrimp, and various blue-legged hermits and snails.  I have a frogspawn and a hammer and a brain and some star polyps. They have all seemed to have adjusted well, and colors and extension are good, and they have all grown a little bit.  Here are my questions: 1) My brain coral is a pig.  I feed the corals Mysis shrimp weekly, and I'm not sure how much the brain would eat at one sitting.  It is about 4" in diameter, and I give it about a dozen shrimp.  Should I keep feeding until it stops engulfing?  It is growing the most. <I would err on the side of caution here, and underfeed.  If it's growing, it's happy, and overfeeding can pollute your tank.> 2) I had not been feeding my star polyp shrimp because I thought it was a vegetarian.  I accidentally dropped one on it a week ago, and it snatched it up, so I gave it about 3 more.  Now it doesn't look so perky.  Did I make it sick? <Doubtful.  GSPs go through cycles of closing up for no apparent reason sometimes.  If it stays closed up for long, then start to worry.> 3) My cleaner shrimp has molted 4 times in two months.  Is this bad for its health? <Not at all.  Good sign that it's growing and thriving.> I do supplement with iodine and the calcium level is about 600 (high, I know.  Trying to solve)  Should I be doing anything else for it? It eats like a pig, too.  I thought these guys were supposed to by shy... <The iodine addition is completely unnecessary IME, but it could be helping.  If paired with another shrimp these guys can molt as often as two weeks after they spawn.  Just need to feed them well.> 4) The tank has developed a bad hairy algae problem.  Do I have room to add something that would eat it, and if so, what would you recommend? <Rather than adding something to consume it, consider fixing the root of the problem--nutrients in your water.  Do you use RO/DI for top off and water changes?  What size skimmer do you have?  Are you overfeeding?> 5)  My tank evaporates almost 2 gallons a day (probably because of the hot lights).  Does this replacement water count towards water changes, by chance? <Nope.  Are you adding any type of calcium/alkalinity supplement?> Thanks again.  By the way, my frog spawn continues to excrete brown goo after shrimp feeding day. (I asked earlier if it was coral excrement) It seems to be doing really well, too.  My perculas have started to host with it. <Possibly 'coral poo', yes.> --Jill
<Cheers, Matt>

Trachyphyllia Health Hi Crew, (re-sending without attachment.  For some reason all my emails sent to "crew@wetwebmedia.com" bounce back if I include an attachment - even though the size is minimal [25kB]) I am a bit concerned about my Trachyphyllia.  I think I have a T. Radiata but, from the attached photo, maybe you can help me to verify this as well (it has a flat base - not conical and it does appear to have more "folds" than what I have observed in most photos of T. geoffroyi).  My concern is that I can see the skeleton nearly penetrating through the coral's tissue in many places.  This occurs during the day but the coral inflates to nearly round after the lights turn off and it appears "normal" at this time. << I wouldn't be surprised if it is eating at night, and therefore expanding. >> I have had this coral for about a month now and it does seem that the skeleton has become more visible during this time. This coral sits on the aragonite substrate of my 180g tank, with 520W of PC lighting (50% actinic / 50% 10,000K) and 3,000 gph flow (1,200 gph via alternating-flow manifold).  Water parameters: Temp=79-81 F, pH=8.1-8.2, alk=4meq, Ammonia=0, Nitrite=0, Nitrate<5ppm, Ca=400ppm.  I noticed my pygmy angel nipping at this coral for the first several days after adding the Trachyphyllia to the tank but, with over 200 pounds of live rock, I have been unable to catch this fish (I am open to any suggestions).  I am moving in six weeks so I will remove all such "nuisance fish" when I drain the tank at that time.  I am just concerned that this coral might not make it that long. My second concern is that I have never been able to see any feeder tentacles or polyps on this coral.  I had read that these corals are very hardy and that they require no external food so I had not been concerned about feeding it.  Tonight I read that these corals require feedings about three times weekly, with meaty foods and that they should only be fed when their tentacles are out. << The coral may not "need" to be fed, but feeding can certainly help them grow.  I would recommend weekly feeding. >> So now I am worried that I have been starving the coral and that I do not know how to feed it (since there appear to be no tentacles).  I have used a dim flashlight to check for tentacles on several occasions (after the tank lights have been out for a few hours and the brain coral was inflated). << You can directly target feed these types of corals.  You can use any type of small shrimp or even krill.  Simply feed your tank (the coral can tell when there is food around) and wait a few minutes.  Then, with your fingers take a piece of shrimp and hold it on the coral (near any mouth opening).  It may take a few minutes, but it will open up and ingest the food. Go to www.utahreefs.com and under Presentations you will find a PowerPoint on Feeding A Reef.  It has video clips of feeding brain corals. >> I have Eric Borneman's book "Aquarium Corals", in which I have read everything I could find about this coral.  Unfortunately, I feel that I am still missing something.  I have tried feeding zooplankton, phytoplankton, marine snow and mysids but I have never noticed any feeding response from this coral. << They are not the easiest corals to feed.  Unfortunately indirect feeding, and even semi direct feeding don't work well for them.  You really have to hold the food right on them. >>  I have even used a turkey baster to quirt these foods directly onto the surface of the coral but my cleaner shrimp always picks the food off the coral before the coral has a chance to react.  I have tried this during the day and at night, with the same results. Please advise how I should attempt to feed this coral and what might be causing the appearance of the exposed skeleton.  I am assuming this is not health appearance. << I would also see what other's are doing to keep these corals.  You may be able to pick up some advice from some friends in similar situations.  I for one like to have these corals in areas of high lighting. >> Thank you, --Greg
<<  Adam Blundell  >>

Follow-up: Trachyphyllia Health Adam (or crew member of the day), <Hi Greg, MacL here> Since my emailed photos are no longer being received via WWM email, I put the photo of my Trachyphyllia on a web page for you to view ( http://home.comcast.net/~greg.wyatt/trachy.htm). <Sorry you are having to do this. Some type of technical difficulties.> Hopefully this will help to clear-up my concerns. Since this is my first brain coral, I am unsure whether the white, nearly exposed skeletal areas around the mouths should be considered "normal". <Have you been to the website and looked at the section on these types of corals? http://www.wetwebmedia.com/trachyphlliidae.htm. This looks very similar to the ones pictured on this page. I can't see very well around the mouth because of the angle but you should be able to tell if its similar or not.> The pygmy angel that appears to think this coral is an appetizer and the apparent lack of feeder tentacles has me concerned. <I'm sure and pygmy's can be terrible pests to this type of coral. You might need to consider removing the pygmy. But let me ask? If you haven't seen him nibble on it why do you think he's the pest for it? Like Adam, I think you need to feed this coral. Is there anyway to keep the shrimp off of it? Perhaps even putting it in something to feed it? I hate to disturb them but I really feel you need to feed it some. I am a bit concerned that you are seeing through to the stony coral below. Although the fact that it is swelling at night does mean usually that it is feeding. I know that my brains feed much better at night.>If you have any additional input after viewing this photo, please advise. Thank you! <Hope this helped Greg, MacL.> --Greg
Trachyphyllia Problem II Hi MacL, <Hi Greg, got a little help from a friend to help you as well.> I wish I could remove the pygmy angel but, as I mentioned below, I have a 180 gallon tank with over 200 pounds of live rock. So, although I have tried many methods of capturing this fish, I have had no luck.<Well I know people who have gone so far as to try to catch them with a hook.> I certainly welcome any suggestion you might have for catching this fish! Otherwise, I do plan on removing it, my damsels and an eyelash blenny when I move to my new house in six weeks.  I must drain the tank at that time so I should be able to catch everything them. I am just concerned the Trachyphyllia will not last that long. <Well I've heard of an acrylic cage over them.  With lots of openings that water and light can go through but not the angel.> The reason I am concerned about the pygmy angel is because it nips at the brain coral daily.  Although I have never noticed it removing tissue from the coral directly, I am sure this nipping must cause some amount of coral stress.  <The Trachyphyllia is pulling it's flesh in so often that it's exposing areas of skeleton.  Trachyphyllia retract due to declining water parameters or some other form of irritation, usually nipping by fish or chemical warfare from other organisms.  Since this coral is not in the close proximity to other corals and (assumably) the water parameters are in check, the angel seems to be the culprit.> I tried again to feed the coral tonight.  I soaked freeze-dried krill in tank water and Selcon for 30 minutes.  I then cut the softened krill into small pieces and held one piece over the oral cavity of the Trachyphyllia. The coral did expand slightly but, even after 20 minutes, sweeper tentacles never appeared and it never ate the krill. <Maybe something smaller? like Mysis?> There are two openings on this coral.  I assumed both are oral openings.  Is this the case or is one an "entrance and the other an "exit"?  If so, I think I might heed to apologize to my coral! ;-)  Maybe re-hydrated, freeze dried foods will not be consumed by corals. My fish love them so I expected to at least get some response from the Trachyphyllia. Do you have any other suggestions? <You have got to find a way to protect that coral?  or perhaps a friend to keep it until you get the fish moved?  Good luck Greg, MacL> --Greg P.S. Please forward the issue about the file attachment to your ISP.  This was a problem a few weeks ago also but I was eventually able to get an email through.  For the past week I have been unable to get any email through if it contained attachments (even very small attachments). <Done>
Follow-up on Trachyphyllia Hi Crew!<Hi Greg> Good news today!!!  Regarding the problem with my Trachyphyllia, mentioned below - I moved this coral to my refugium and in only one day it looks like a completely different coral! <Wonderful to hear>  It is now inflated at all times, all tears appear to have mended and it has vibrant color.  [ I tried to attach "before" and "after" photos to this email but, once again, WWM email bounced the email with these small attachments.  You can view the photos at: http://home.comcast.net/~greg.wyatt/trachy.htm ] I guess the pygmy angel's nipping must have been irritating the coral to the point where it was declining rapidly.  The refugium lighting is closer to the coral and there is also an ample supply of Mysid shrimp, amphipods and copepods in the refugium as well, so maybe the coral is finally eating also. Whatever the cause, the Trachyphyllia has nearly made an instant recovery. My plan now is to just wait-out the next six weeks until I move to my new house.  At that time I will drain my 180g tank and remove the nuisance fish (the pygmy angel, three damsels and an "attack" eyelash blenny).  Then I hope the Trachyphyllia will find the tank a much better place to live. <Sounds like it!> Of course, the move presents challenges of its own - having several tangs, other fish, 200+ pounds of live rock, live sand and some corals! Anyway, I just wanted to follow-up with the good news!  As always, thank you for maintaining such a truly beneficial service in WetWebMedia.com! <Glad we could help.> --Greg

Brain Meltdown Hi, <Hello, Ryan Bowen with you today> I'm sorry if I am bothering you. <Not at all> I can't find the answer to this.  I have a 46 bow, water, temp., etc. good.  I had a small pink and green brain in my tank for a few days and it looked to be doing fine.  I went out of town for a few days and had a house sitter here taking care of everything.  When I got back, the brain was all white and a hard coral. <Do you mean that his skeleton was exposed?> I don't know what went wrong. I also have a colt coral and it's fine. <A much hardier specimen> Tank mates include clown, mandarin dragonet, Kole tang, humbug, coral beauty, emerald green crab, blue legged crab, yellow tang,, and things growing on live rock.  All fish are small right now. <Yes, but they grow!> If you can help me it would be great.  Thank you. <I'm not sure that you have adequate lighting for this coral.  What are you using?  Also, the coral beauty is a notorious nipper at clam and coral of this type.  Other than that, I'm going to need more specifics (Not just water's good) to get to the root of this problem.  Good luck, Ryan.> Kris

Coral names, questions 6/1/04 I have a couple questions and can't find the answers in your FAQs.  The first one: I have read about open brains and different scientific names.  I have a Wellsophyllia; is this an open brain? <yes... but that scientific name is not valid anymore. All such brains are Trachyphyllia, a monospecific genus> Also, does my Wellsophyllia need to be fed, and if so what? <yes, feed finely minced meats of marine origin weekly or more often. Whole foods like Mysid shrimp and pacific plankton from your pet stores freezer are also quite good> Another quick question.  What do you recommend to feed Fungia and what do you find to be the best method.   <the same as above... and feed all such LPS corals by adding a little bit of food or juice to the tank 15 minutes prior to feeding to stimulate a feeding (tentacle) response> Do frogspawn need to be fed as well or is good lighting sufficient (I have 1 250 watt metal halide and two 36 watt actinic bulbs in a 75 gallon corner tank).   <they also need fed, like most all large polyped corals. They have these large polyps for a reason! Form follows function as they say. As a rule, most corals need to be target fed unless the fish/feeding load otherwise is very heavy (rare)> Thanks!! Andrew <best regards, Anthony>

Coralline Algae Growth Hello Crew! <Hello, Ryan with you today> Just can't seem to find the answer to these in the FAQ's (sometimes TOO MUCH good information to find a specific question). <I know!  It's a bit overwhelming at times> 1.  I have an open brain coral that I feed meaty treats (shrimp, clam, squid) 3 times per week.  I noticed that it has 3 mouth-like structures that I put the food directly into and it gets sucked in.  I have to stand guard else my ever hungry clowns will snatch the food up.  Is it necessary to feed each mouth?  Can I just feed one or two of them and the nutrients will get shared to the entire organism?  The third is a little hard to see/reach and this direct feeding method is the only way I have found to feed it without others in the tank (clowns, shrimp) snatching the food for themselves. <The more each mouth eats, the better the entire colony will grow.  Corals grow in a very deliberate way; To make the most of a certain environment.  This said, I would either move the brain so that you can feed the entire thing, or make the extra effort.  As for snatching, it's highly frustrating.  Will a fish feeding just before will keep them distracted long enough?> 2.  On my live rock, I have tons of coralline algae growing.  Colors of purple, maroon, red, green and pink. On my glass, pumps and base rock (Tufa), I only have one shade of purple growing.  I would really like a mix of colors.  Any ideas on how to encourage this process or why only one is spreading from the live rock to other areas? <One is outperforming the others at this given time.  What's your calcium level?  Some varieties of coralline won't grow unless high calcium levels are met.  It's just a matter of luck, time and patience.  Perhaps you could graft the variety you like to unclaimed territory before the more aggressive types have the opportunity?> Thanks a lot.  You guys are a real credit to the hobby and I would be lost without you (or it least I would not have such a wonderful tank). <Great to hear!  Hope this helps, and good luck- Ryan> -Ray

Coral questions Hi, <Graham at your service.> I have a couple questions and can't find the answers in your FAQs.  The first one: I have read about open brains and different scientific names.  I have a Wellsophyllia; is this an open brain?   <Yes. Most likely your brain coral is in the genus Trachyphyllia.> Also, does my Wellsophyllia need to be fed, and if so what? <The Brain coral will benefit from regular feedings, however, it's not needed. If you wish to feed your coral, you can try to feed the coral at night when its feeder tentacles are out. Once these tentacles are out, you can place several small pieces of krill within these tentacles and the brain should consume the food. Silversides and lancefish may also work.> Another quick question.  What do you recommend to feed Fungia and what do you find to be the best method.   <If you feed your fish regularly, most likely the plate will be catching food particles. You can also place small pieces of meaty foods (krill, silversides, squid, etc.) within the plates tentacles. The tentacles should then push the food towards the central mouth where the food is then consumed.> Do frogspawn need to be fed as well or is good lighting sufficient (I have 1 250 watt metal halide and two 36 watt actinic bulbs in a 75 gallon corner tank).   <As I stated above, they will benefit from regular feedings, although it isn't necessary. If you choose to feed the coral, do so the same as you would as I described above with the plate coral.> Thanks!! <Take Care, Graham!> Andrew

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

Quick Trachyphyllia/Wellsophyllia question 4/23/04  Greetings!  <cheers>  Thanks again for a wonderful site. Got a quick question for you that I can't seem to find in the FAQ's. I am researching my next coral purchase (almost bought it out of impulse, instead put it on hold and decided to research it.....lessons learned reading daily FAQ's).  <very good to hear :)> I am almost decided on getting an open brain coral. I am almost certain it is Trachyphyllia radiata.  <the genus is monotypic... all such open brains are Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. T. radiata and Wellsophyllia radiata are not valid>  It looks healthy but I will examine it again when I go back to the store. Here is my question. I do have bristle worms in my tank.  <good. Seriously. They are helpful in small quantities (excellent for DSB health). If they are in excess numbers (enough to harm coral), then there is a nutrient control problem in the tank (overfeeding, inadequate water flow, poor skimming, weak water changes, etc). But rest assured, they are wholly limited by food/nutrients and well within your control>  None of them are too large (largest I have seen is about 2" long). Will this coral be harmed by them if I put it on my sand substrate?  <the coral must be placed on the substrate to live/survive. Never place Trachyphyllia on rock>  I have the perfect location picked out already. Plenty of light, not a lot of current and away from other corals. The worms are my only concern at this time. Thanks -Ray  <Be sure to feed this coral several times weekly with very fine minced foods. Crucial for this hungry coral. Anthony>

Open brain coral 2/9/04 Hey all I am hoping you can answer this question for me. I have had an open green brain coral for about two months and it seems to not want to expand like it use to. It stays pretty small during the day. I have noticed it open once at night but I have monitored it lately and it doesn't want to open. It isn't expelling any matter from its mouths and it isn't accepting any food. please let me know if you have any clues. <inadequate feeding is a common cause: not enough food (3-5 times weekly) or food bits that are too large (over 1/4" minced chunks) which get taken in at feeding but regurgitated at night leading to starvation to the aquarists surprise> reef setup is a 72 gallon aquarium with duel 175 watt 10k Ushio bulbs and two fluorescent actinic bulbs. <very nice lighting> Other corals include frogspawn colt coral long tentacle anemone pumping xenia finger leather and green star polyps. All other corals are doing fine.  Thank you  Stan. N <not fair to compare such unrelated corals and their health to the open brain. My other wonder is if this open brain has been mistakenly set upon rock? They should always be nestled in the sand and will often suffer if placed on rock for some months. Anthony>

Trachyphyllia anomaly Dear Crew <cheers> I have recently discovered what can only be described as a hard calcareous nodule on the base of my Trachyphyllia (please see photo). I have tapped it very gently with some plastic tongs and have got some definite resistance from it. <hmmm... tough to see from the photo, but could simply be a daughter satellite. Many stony corals reproduce by forming a small calcareous nodule that drips free once mature. Rather common with such free-living species as your Trachyphyllia> At first I thought it might be a hungry snail. Can you tell me what it is? Could it be reproducing? It has been in my tank nearly 18 months and has thrived in optimum water with weekly feedings all this time. <excellent to hear... yes, the weekly feedings are very conducive to good health, growth and reproduction> It has only come to my attention because the coral has been deflated for a few days. Something I know they do regularly to get rid of water. Your advice would be helpful. best regards, Jim PS the greenish nodule is in the middle just up from the bottom.  Thanks <I cannot fathom it being a problem. Nothing of concern here if not reproduction (just a sequestered damaged frag of corallum at worst). Anthony> Strange Bedfellows? (Clown/Brain Coral Relationship) Good evening Crew, <Scott F. with you today!> I've searched the sight and have not seen this question asked. I have a Green Open Brain (Trachy) in my 75G reef. About 3 weeks ago I introduced a Maroon Clown to the tank (after 4 wk QT). A couple days ago I noticed the Clown has taken up residence with the Brain. They both seem to be enjoying one another's company. To date, I've not read anything on Brain/Clown relationships. Is this common or an anomaly? Any enlightenment on the subject would be greatly appreciated. Greg, Chicago <Well, Greg- this is an unusual, but not unheard of behavior for the clown. I've seen and heard of these guys inhabit everything from Feather Dusters to Elegance Corals, and lots of stuff in between. It's pretty cool to see! Clownfish often like to have a "host" of some sort to call "home base". It provides them comfort and  As long as the Brain Coral is not being irritated excessively by the Clown, you should just enjoy this strange relationship! Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

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

Brain Bleaching? Hi I have a red brain coral I have had him for about a year now. I have noticed that his color is fading and he is turning a white color. He's not shrunken or shriveled, he just is turning white like the color is fading out. Any suggestions? <Well, there could be a number of factors at play. Check water quality, lighting (are the bulbs getting old? Too much light?), feeding habits (are you feeding the animal regularly?), current (excessive current?). Any potential allelopathic competition (like from Sinularia or other "noxious" soft corals). Is anyone in the tank "sampling" the coral's tissue? These guys seem very "tasty" to some fish...Lots of possible factors. Do a little checking, and adjust conditions as needed. The answers are out there! Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

The Tang That Ate His Brain! (Brain Coral In Trouble?) I have a brain coral (Trachyphyllia) and over the last few days I have noticed a white cotton like substance on it, a little smaller than the size of a pencil eraser.  It seems to be getting larger. The interesting thing is that when the lights come on it seems to suck into the brain coral and vanishes. Could there be a bite in the coral caused by my yellow tang taking a nip at it once in awhile or is this some sort of sponge? Thank you so much for your help! <Well, for whatever reason, these corals seem to be especially "tasty" to many fishes. I suspect that, as you surmised, this may be some localized trauma to the coral as a result of someone "munching". The abscess or traumatized area probably seems to "retract" into the animal when the tissue expands in response to "lights up"...Keep a close eye on the animal, and consider removing it if it is continuously harassed by the tang, or declines in health...Good luck! Regards, Scott F>

Trachyphyllia gone wild!!!! - 6/23/03 My favorite coral has not been doing well for a few weeks. <Sorry to hear> This afternoon I took the turkey baster to blow off the sand that the sand-sifting goby threw on top of the open brain. <Not good, my friend> I was going to move the brain away from the fish's den and when I lifted the brain to get a look at the bottom of the brain I discovered that the skeleton was showing. <I saw that in the picture. In need of TLC for sure> I decided to lift it off the sand with a piece of PVC. <Very good idea and I pray you moved it away from the goby's den?> I also noticed that there are hard tubes growing on the sides of the skeleton, like the ones that feather dusters build. <I have that on mine as well. Normal.... and as far as I can see, no harm no foul. Just opportunistic space requiring tube worms.> What should I do to help my brain??? Well, first be sure to move it away from the goby's den. Elevating is good. No algae blooms! Keep water clean through a frequent water change regime. Feed the coral if it will extend it's tentacles for feeding. Maybe even coax it by spraying a little Mysid juice before feeding. If not already, stabilize your lighting scheme, and lastly, be sure that if the brain were to expand, that it does not scrape against rocks or other corals. Even a healthy specimen can have a hard time with that. Good luck> Thanx in advance. By the way, if this pictures are helpful to you, you may keep and publish. <We'll do! thanks> -RY

Sponge taking over open brain coral 5/31/03 I have an open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) that has a sponge grow on it.  I first noticed the sponge about 5-months ago and about 3-months ago it split into two sponges.  Both sponge are approximately equal size. I left it alone as it was not hurting the open brain coral.   <actually, most all sponges are quite noxious... the warfare between most invertebrates is slow (weeks/months)> Recently, I noticed the open brain receding in the area near the sponge, as the sponge is growing larger.  I have attached some picts.  Do you know what type of sponge this may be?   <it appears to be a common yellow/green calcareous species that we often see in aquaria. Perhaps a Clathrina sp> Would it be possible to cut the sponge off along with some of the skeleton of the coral?   <yes... very good> I really like the look of the sponge and want to keep it, but I also don't want to lose my open brain.  Any other suggestions would be appreciated. <you have the right idea, my friend> I have a 46-gallon bow front tank and the open brain is approximately 6" by 5" shape.  All the water parameters are good; ph 8.2, calcium ~430, phosphate 0.3, no detectable amounts of ammonia, nitrite, and nitrate. Thanks, Alex <all good, best regards, Anthony>

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