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FAQs about Sea Mats, Star Polyp Behavior

Related Articles: Mat/Star PolypsBlue, Pipe Organ Corals,

Related FAQs: Polyps 1Polyps 2Polyps 3Polyp Identification, Polyp Compatibility, Polyp Selection, Polyp Systems, Polyp Feeding, Polyp Disease, Polyp Reproduction/Propagation,

discharge from closed polyps?      11/30/15
You guys do great work.
I have a ? for you I have not seen addressed in past.
Immediately after a water change
of 20 gal into my 90 gal reef, I noticed a smoke- like effluent coming from one area of polyps (which have been closed for some weeks). see photo . This continued for 5-10 min.
<Looks to be reproductive products. Could be the polyps or another life form within their area>
what is this?
thanks JS
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>


Green Star Polyps/Behavior 9/1/11
<Hello Caz>
I have a question about my GSP's. I recently upgraded from a 54w x 4 T5 setup to a 250w x2 mh and 65w x 4pc unit on my 75gal reef. I know its a tad strong but I couldn't pass up the deal. Currently I'm only running the Halides for an hour a day with an eggcrate diffuser directly under them (acclimating the tank to the new lights). My GSP's seem to stop waiving <waving> in the current when the Halides fire up. They all just seem to point straight up until the Halides turn off, then they go back to waving in the current. Unfortunately I can't move them down due to the rock they are growing on. Should I be concerned that they are getting too much light?
<Actually they are quite tolerant to both low and intense light. It may take some time for these corals to photo adapt to the new lighting. May want to try just leaving one halide on, preferably the more distant one from the polyps.
James (Salty Dog)>

Clove polyps turned white. Allelopathy most likely   7/28/09
Hi, thanks for all the information you supply-it's invaluable. Anyway, I have a 65 tall with a 25 gal. sump, a Euro Reef RS 80 skimmer, Mag 7 pump,2 Koralia3's, about 80 lbs. of live rock, hammer, frogspawn, xenia, many Zoanthids and mushrooms,3 green Chromis 1 royal Dottyback and a yellow head Jawfish. My question is about a colony of clove polyps that came with a piece of rock. When I got them about 2 months ago, they were light brown and had been in another tank for about a year. A few weeks ago I noticed
they were getting lighter in color, and now they are completely white. (see pic.) They appear to be healthy as ever(closing at night, opening fully during the day). They continue to spread along the rock. I have 4 39 watt T5HO bulbs(2 12K, 2 actinic) as well as a 150 watt 10K MH. The polyps are about halfway down in the tank. Ammonia, nitrite and nitrate are all 0, Alk. is 9.5 DKH, calcium is 420, Mg is 1300. Is this bleaching?
<Mmm, yes>
Or is it just normal and they are happy? Your help will be appreciated.
Thank you; Gary.
<These Clavulariids are "losing" to some other Cnidarians in this system... who is "winning?"... The Zoanthids or Euphyllias likely... Will the Cloves regain their Zooxanthellae? Maybe. Read here:
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Nice pic! RMF

Star polyp color variations  8/5/07 Hi WWM crew! <Joe> At the risk of sounding cliché? I love your site and all the efforts that the entire WWM crew puts into it from Mr. Fenner and everyone else. <Welcome> Ok, here is my question regarding some star polyps I got from the LFS. I just got these things in today, and they are adjusting like new corals do, and personally I am a bit surprised to have seen as many polyps open up in such a short time as I did today. I would say at least 1/3 of this HUGE colony opened up. <Neat> I thought these things were green, but didn't appear so with the stores lighting. The polyps did appear to be some shade of fluorescent green though. The stores tank is running a load of T5's, and about 75% of those lamps are actinic. <Much of their color is determined by ambient lighting> I have a JBJ bio-cube with 2X24W PC's that are 50/50 lamps; this is a 12 gallon nano tank, and I placed this colony very near the top. I am observing these polyps open up, and realizing this colony just might be tan. Then, I noticed for some reason, there are some polyps that were opening that are a lovely electric green. They are not in the majority, but it's like a select few are green, and the rest are tan. I have also noticed that there is some color variation in the centers as well. Some appear to be a fluorescent yellowish green and others are more phosphorescent green. Interestingly enough, I have noticed that with the more yellowish green centers, the basil stalks at the top (where the polyp is situated) tend to have a more brilliant color at that part of the stalk. What role if any do you think the lighting is playing with this or is this a matter of there may be more green later on when the colony becomes more fully acclimated with time or is this just simply a case of, it's tan and end of story with exceptions as noted? <Likely a bit of both... and some other factors... could be variation in the colony, even more than one species present... But will likely "turn" more the same color under the same lighting, feeding conditions over time> I don't know if expecting any real color change from tan to green is realistic or if it's just going to be more of a here and there thing. I would appreciate the insight. Regardless, I do intend on letting this thing fully adjust as I know for fact it can take time. As that happens, I am going to observe, though I am curious as to how a tan species (or seemingly so) can have greens within the same colony with the same skin. <Well... perhaps there is some "survival value" in having such differing colors... resistance from EMR that might "come about" in their environment let's say...> I don't suspect that anything is actually wrong with the colony; I am just observing what appears to be some anomaly for whatever reason(s). Thanks in advance. -Joe <Interesting to speculate eh? Bob Fenner>

Clove polyp problem  7/29/07 <Hello> Hi folks! Thanks for all your help so far in my reef keeping journey. I have a clove polyp that looked the way it should for about 2 weeks before becoming this. It keeps growing more and more polyps but it's all thinned out and doesn't look anything like a clove polyp anymore. Is it too much water flow or too much light causing this? <I looked at the pic provided and I must say it is definitely a healthy, growing colony of yellow striped clove polyps. I have the very same kind in my 180gallon mixed reef tank. The unusual growth pattern you are referring to is the fact that the tentacles became very long on the arms and are giving it more of a crazy polyp look. This is indeed from too much light. Every colony of clove (no matter the color morph) I have placed close to a 250watt Metal halide lamp has developed the very same characteristics as yours. I am adding 2 pics of before and after increased lighting to show the difference. I have never tried to reduce the amount of tentacles as I saw no reason for the attempt. If you are unhappy with the look you could try shading the cloves or moving to the sand bed and see if they change back.> <Thanks, Rich aka Mr. Firemouth>

Naso Tang & Colony Polyps, hlth. and beh.   7/12/07 Hello! I have some concerns about my tank and I hope you can help. I have been monitoring my tank levels and adding the appropriate chemicals as needed, but my orange colony polyps still are not opening up. <Hmm... which chemicals are we talking about here? what exactly are you putting in your tank and how much?> I read that they only like little to no current movement around them and I placed them in a low circulation spot. Do you know why they might not be opening up? <Impossible to say without knowing much more about your tank. What are your ammonia/nitrite/nitrate levels? What's your pH? alkalinity? temp? salinity?> I also had my Naso Tang die today. <Bummer> I did not see any parasites on him at all and he seemed to be happy in the tank and was eating ok. Any suggestion on why he might have died? <Again, pretty impossible to say without knowing so much more about your water.> He was a juvenile and only about 3" long. When I bought him he did have some discoloration to him (white spots all around), but I was told that is because he was a juvenile. <or stress> I have a 150 gallon tank that is six feet long. Thanks for your help in advance! <Please do write back with many more details so that we might help you more. Best, Sara M.> Jenny Hugi

Pink Star Polyp (Pachyclavularia sp.) 7/10/07 Dear Crew, A few days ago I purchased a pink star-polyp coral from my local fish store. About two days after acclimating it to my tank half of the polyps were extended, but I noticed that there was a film that seemed to come from mucous secretions of the coral. I thought this might impair the coral's feeding so I removed it by holding the coral directly under a powerhead. The polyps naturally retracted back and now only a few have come back out, but the film seems to have come back as well. I'd like your opinion on whether I should worry with this. Also, I have the coral placed in an area of relatively high flow (not directly under a powerhead, but close). Is this suitable for the coral? I plan to feed the coral DT's phytoplankton. Will this food be enough or should I supplement with something else? <No need worrying about the mucus, quite normal with a change in water parameters. As to water flow, they like a moderate flow and as for feeding, they are photosynthetic and no feeding is actually required, although the DT's may increase the growth rate of the polyps.> Thank you! Your reply will be truly appreciated. <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Green star polyp. New, beh.    - 07/03/07 I have a 3 month old, 14 gallon Bio Cube. I have a blenny, 2 false clown, a 6 line wrasse and a sea anemone. Four days ago I added a green star polyp with purple centre and 2 days ago I added a green star polyp with white centre. All the polyps have withdrawn when they were taken out of the aquarium in the store and they have not come out. Should I be worried? Too close to sea anemone? Nitrate about 15 ppm. No ammonia. Salinity 1.025 <No need to worry yet. Sometimes they can take as long as a week or more to come out (especially if you acclimated them in a hurry). As for the anemone, well, it probably depends on the type and size of the anemone and exactly how close they are. If they're touching, that might be a problem. But green star polyps can usually hold their own.><<Trouble. RMF>> Elaine <Sara M.>

Star Polyps Not Opening - 6/3/07 <Hi Jordan> I have had a starburst polyp (the yellowish brown color, not the green) in my tank for a little over two months now, and for the past three days it has stayed retracted completely. Up until this point it has been fully extended, and growing quite rapidly. <They can certainly do that!> My water parameters are all very good and everything else in the tank is doing very well. Besides the starburst polyp my 75 gallon tank also includes a short tentacle plate coral, a purple Goniopora, a long tentacle anemone, a blue damsel, purple Dottyback, Foxface, algae blenny, 2 percula clowns, turbo and Cerith snails, and some assorted dwarf hermits. I have not noticed any fish picking at the starburst, and the other corals and anemone are at least 12 inches away from it. I was just wondering if you had any ideas why it would have retracted, and any possible solutions to bring it back out? Any help would be appreciated. <Have there been any changes made recently re: position, lighting, flow, chemistry, etc? Quite often, water flow is the cause. They need good, random, flow to be happy. Sometimes the problem can be as simple as a grazing snail dislodging a powerhead. The polyps react to the interrupted flow by closing. Once that's corrected, they should start opening again (although it might take a few days). Also, you might want to check the colony for any built up detritus, hair algae, Cyano, Aiptasia, diatoms, etc. Any of these can be a problem. Detritus can be blown off using a turkey baster, while the algae, Cyano, and diatoms, can be lightly scrubbed off in a pail of SW. If it's Aiptasia, please see WWM for methods of eradication. Hopefully, the causative problem here is something simple, and can be dealt with easily. Let us know if after taking care of any of the above mentioned issues, the polyps are still not opening.> Thanks, Jordan <You're welcome and good luck! -Lynn>

Colony polyps   6/8/06 Hi there!!!  I have a question on my colony polyp.  I have noticed inside the stalks of some of the polyps are white particles.  It looks like they ingested the fine aragonite substrate.  I've read somewhere that white patches = loss of Zooxanthellae. <One possibility>   I don't know if this is the white patch it is referring to.  The sand like particles are on the inside of the stalk.   Any concerns here? <Not IMO/E. I would ignore these if your Polyps are otherwise doing/appearing fine. Bob Fenner>

Green star polyps ... beh. - 03/18/2006 Hello, <Hello Davie.> My question is about a colony of green star polyps that I HAVE had for about 3 weeks.  I HAVE noticed that the tips of tentacles have been curling up, and appear a lighter color. they are in a 30gallon tank, with two 96 watt pc bulbs, one actinic, one 10k.  I HAVE been giving supplements of iodine, strontium/Molyb., phytoplankton, zooplankton, calcium, vitamins (CoralVite).  I would rate the flow over them as moderate. All the water quality tests seem fine. Is this a poor prognosis? <Do read FAQ's here on polyp behavior.  http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypbehfaqs.htm They come out everyday and go in at night. Thanks for any help you can give me. <You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Zoanthid comp., star polyps...  3/15/06 Crew- <Craig> Any idea why the waxy mats of star polyps become brittle over time in my system? <Mmm, nutrition, water quality, allelopathy... the top three guesses for categories> The base of the polyps (mats) seem to lose some of their ability to adhere. I have used several different colonies of different species, <Negatively interacting with each other...> but all have exhibited similar tendencies. The colonies will drop trailers of polyps, but super glue has been the only way to get them to stick to rubble when I frag them. All water testing has not turned up anything suspicious, and I have tried various locations, lighting, and current with no significant differences to note. <Mmm, around the world where one goes diving, you never see but one species/colony in one close area...> Could bristleworms be blamed? <Not likely> How about their tankmates like SPS, Ricordea, and Zoanthids? <... Re Zoanthids: http://wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i1/blane-zoanthids/zoanthids.htm> Never have other corals been within 6" of any polyp colony, and sweeper tentacles are not able to reach where I locate my star polyps. I understand most people have "trouble" keeping them from growing too much. Have any of you ever experienced what I have been regarding star polyp colonies? <Don't have to be that close... are interacting chemically... There are a few things one can do to forestall the more-ill-effects of these negative interactions... Start all colonies small, about the same time, keep up water changes, use of chemical filtrants... Ultimately though, this becomes a narrower, more tenuous balancing act. Bob Fenner> thanks Craig

Star polyps and garlic 10/3/05 Hello guys, I just have a question on my Greenstar polyps that I purchased 2 1/2 mo.s ago. Everything is looking good and I can say that it's very happy since all the polyps are wide open swaying back and forth with the current. For some reason it just shut down! it's not opening for about 3 days now. I don't recall changing anything on my tank set up and cleaning schedules aside from the fish food that I'm now soaking in garlic (Mysid & seaweed) since one of my tang is recovering from "ick", by the way he is now well and very clean and getting its weight back...eats like a wild boar!!! anyhow, do you think this might cause the problem on my Greenstar? I already checked the water conditions and everything is ok.  It's just the same as the day I bought this coral 2 1/2 mo.s ago. Please advise. The rest of the corals are doing just fine also. Thanks in advance. Nemo1  <These corals occasionally close for periods of time.  It could be one of these normal cycles or it could be the garlic.  I would suggest stopping the garlic for a few days to see if the polyps return to normal.  In any case, I would not worry.  GSP's are very hardy and they will recover.  Glad to hear your fish is recovering!  Best Regards.  AdamC.>

Starburst Polyp 7/4/05 Greetings Mr. Fenner, <My hair might be long too, but it's not white and stringy and...how do ya like that one, eh Bob?!> <<Hey, my hair's not all white! RMF>> I have been browsing the WWM site, but have not come up with an answer as to my question yet, so I thought I would ask you. <We do have a bit of light reading here> You have been so helpful in the past when I had issues with things and needed your guidance. <Glad to hear it> Let me describe my setup. <With gusto> 100 gallon reef with 200 lbs live rock from Liverocks.com Critters: 1 pink spotted watchman goby 1 maroon clown 1 scooter blenny 1 purple queen Anthias 80 hermits: red legs, blue legs, zebras, and Scarlets 2 black longspine urchins 4 baby sea urchins, came with live rock) 8 zebra turbo snails 100 Nassarius snails 8 emerald crabs 25 red rock crabs (came with live rock) 1 red coral banded shrimp 1 red blood shrimp 6 peppermint shrimp 2 medium brittle stars Corals: pulsing xenia long tentacle anemone <I never recommend mixing anemones with corals - totally unnatural.  Consider a species tank for your anemone> 8 different kinds of mushrooms Hawaiian Featherduster green star polyps green button polyps brown button polyps branching hammer coral medium toadstool mushroom yellow polyps Christmas tree worm rock starburst polyps candy cane coral Water parameters: nitrite-0 pH-8.3 nitrate-.5 ammonia-0 calcium-500 phosphorus-.5 salinity--1.025 <your calcium is a bit high, but otherwise everything seems fine.  Is that 8.3 during the day, or at night?> Everything is doing really well so far, but I have noticed my starburst polyps have  not opened in a couple of days. I had to move the rock 2 days ago, and they have been withdrawn since then. I read that they need high light, so they are a little over 3/4 of the way up in the water, and I have a wave maker on the left side, that alternates the current across everything. I put in all Kent Marine supplements, some on even number days, and some on odd number days, and I only use Kent Marine salt. I change the filter floss in the overflow every other day,  My feedings consist of  every other night, with target feedings of the anemones, button polyps, & the brittle stars. My lights are VHO 110 watts apiece, putting 440 watts of light into the tank for 12 hours a day.( 5.0 watts a gallon approx.).  I think I am doing everything right, but I am concerned about my starburst polyps not coming back out. Am I missing something here, or am I just being too expect ? I do appreciate you Mr. Fenner, your website is a godsend. <I think that your polyps are just shy about being moved - maybe they feel fat now that they're more exposed.  Seriously - they should open just fine within a few more days.  Did you move them vertically much?  I've had mine stay closed 2-4 days before after a disturbance.  BTW, tonight you had the honor of addressing M. Maddox (I lost my head deflating tack earlier, sorry), up late waiting for the deep impact probe to hit.  C'mon, how can you beat a 500lb copper ball slamming into a meteor at 125,000 kilometers an hour?!> Sincerely, Dan Simpson Dayton, Ohio <Let me know if they don't open as usual in a few days - M. Maddox> Green Star Polyp Color June 06, 2005 Hi crew, <Well hello there> I have a green star polyp and when I brought it home from the LFS it was bright fluorescent green but now just the tips of the "grass" are bright green and the rest of the coral is dark purple. My water parameters are PH 8.1, dKH - 9, Ca 371. My mushrooms, xenia and yellow polyps are all doing fine. My tank is a 55 gallon with 2 VHO URI 95 watt each bulbs (1 white, 1 super actinic) on for 8 hours a day. How should I interpret the color change in my green star polyps ? <What kind of light was it under in the store tank?  Was a tank raised piece or freshly collected? They tend to like the 20k spectrum in my experience. I had a 20k 175 watt metal halide and a 10k 175 metal halide in a 75 gallon tank.  I split the colony in 2 and placed each under the different light.  The 20k turned a much brighter green. Good luck.. Eric S>

Green Star Polyp Color June 08, 2005 Hi Eric, <<Hello :)>> The green star polyps came from a store display that was much brighter than mine. I do not know the exact lighting configuration. It is a piece that is tank raised. Since my other corals are doing well and I'm not able to change the lighting right now I guess I will have to just deal with the color change, right ? << Not necessarily.  You could add some actinics to it.  The coral will be a lot brighter when just the actinics are on and the extra blue light will help to bring out the brighter green coloring for you.. best of luck EricS>>  

My green stars haven't opened in the last three days,  I have had then for over a year and have spread considerably since I got them. It appears to have some white stuff growing between the purple stalks as you can barely see in attached photos. << I would blow them off with a powerhead, to clean them up.  After that, I think as long as your tank parameters haven't changed, I would just continue waiting. >> Please let me know. Thanks Ronald << Sorry, Adam B. >>

-GSP's reaching for me!!!- I have a large rock covered in green star polyps. They are opening fine and have been in my tank for about 6 months. The mat in several places is lifting upward about 1.5 inches. <Could be new growth?> I am not sure but I am afraid it is coming off of the rock. <If it does, tying it down lightly with fishing line will do the trick.> I have a mixture of power compact and florescent lighting totaling 210 watts. I Regularly add calcium, iodine and strontium. Is this anything to worry about and if so what can I do? <More than likely it's growing, and the new growth may be lifting off the rock to 'grab' onto another rock to further propagate the colony. If I'm wrong then I'm not sure what's going on, but it's nothing that can't be fixed with a little fishing line. -Kevin> Thank you, David Bradley 

Pink star polyp Cheers Crew! I was reading the archives and came across a reply from Anthony about a similar problem I am experiencing.. quote: <many causes for extended polyp retraction on Star Polyp. Common causes, lack of string random turbulent flow or too much linear flow, diatom algae or like nuisance coating the stolon mat (scrub off with a toothbrush and don't be shy about it), sudden change in light or salinity (bulb change, carbon change after long period without which cause sudden increase in water clarity in tank <yellow to clear water>, some say excess iodine supplements, perching fishes (new Hawkfish to the tank or like species without swim bladder, OK... now I'm stretching <VBG>. Water flow and Lighting changes really are most common. Best regards, Anthony> What I think happened to me was after a water change (and carbon change), my star polyp's have been retracted for about 3 days now, with a few of the fringe ones extending for any length of time.  What is the usual timeframe for them to be retracted, as I'm starting to get a bit worried, but do not want to do anything rash to try and "fix" a normal event. thanks! Craig >>The length of time of the retraction is variable - one time mine retracted for two weeks! Don't worry yet! Rich>>

Starpolyps not opening Hi Robert; <Anthony here again> Well, now that you mention it... I had a stalk of Xenia (which I forgot to mention) near the Star Polyps which has now morphed into 3 stalks and each stalk is splitting again. It isn't necessarily impeding the polyps, but it is about 4 inches from the polyp colony. Could this be why they are shut tight?? <alas no... Xeniids are passive. Most all coral though should not touch and even 6 inches is too close for many (shedding invisible chemical warfare). Has your skimmer been poor lately. Daily skimmate collection is necessary or concentrations build over days/weeks to inhibit some corals> Thanks! Ed <best regards, Anthony>

Starpolyps not opening Hi; I have written in the past, hopefully you will remember me by my Subject: line. : ) <cheers!> I have a small patch of Green Star Polyps, that was given to me a few months ago by a fellow club member. In all of that time, I had never experienced any problems with them. Over the past 3 days, they have not opened... at all (day or night). The polyps are still a nice purple color, but closed tight. I have them in a 60 gallon hex, about 3/4 of the way up the tank, under a 175 W 10,000K Ushio. My tank parameters are as follows: SG: 1.0244; Temp: 80; pH: 8.3; Alk: 3.5; Ammonia: 0.00; Nitrite: 0.00; Nitrate: 0.00; Calcium: 400. <if they haven't been moved lately and another coral hasn't been moved (or grown) near them lately... then a lack of turbulent water flow may be the case. Moderate to strong random flow is necessary. Be sure there is no brown diatom algae growing on them... very irritating> I also have some mushrooms and a Green Finger Leather, and all are doing very well and without any incidents. I also have 2 Cleaner Shrimps, Blue Hermits, a Coral Beauty, 2 Green Chromis and a Tomato Clown in the tank. Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Ed <best regards, Anthony>

Coral polyps question Hi Bob - First of all let me thank you for your answers to my questions (and those of other aquarists) in the past. You single-handedly manage to help out half the aquarist community, I think! <An honor! Thank you for your kind acknowledgement> I am pretty new to reef keeping, but have kept marine fishes for several years. I purchased a piece of coral called simply as 'polyps' (brown star polyps?) about two weeks ago from the LFS. When I took it home, all of the many polyps were expanded. Now only very, very few show themselves. I have determined that the calcium in my tank was way too low, but now have it at an acceptable level, about 425 (Alk is about 3.2). Do the polyps have a chance of getting back to normal now that the water parameters are ok?  <Yes indeed... these are amongst the most resilient of stinging-celled animals> How long will this take?  <A few days to weeks> Everything else in the tank (from fish to crustaceans to mushroom rock), is doing fine. <Ahh, and they are located a ways from the Mushrooms I trust...> Thanks a million! Andre, (an aspiring conscientious marine aquarist) <"Nothing is decided (or named in truth) till it is done". By acting as one, you are. Bob Fenner>

Basic Star Polyp Question Bob, Once again, great website and great book. Tonight I finally bought my first Coral, a Star Polyp. Looked great at the store but after I got it home all it looked like was a piece of live rock!! No sign of any polyps. I assume that they are just hiding?? How long to they typically hide?  <Yes, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/polypfaqs.htm and the FAQs, links beyond> I know I'm worrying too much and should just wait until morning, but you can only imagine what my wife thought when I pulled what basically looked like a piece of live rock out of the cooler after I told her how cool the coral I bought was!! Thanks for your help again. Phil in San Diego (by the way Octopus's Garden seems to be a great little store) <Fabulous. The owner/mgr/chief clerk, Ron Elander is a good friend. Bob Fenner>

Button polyps Hey Bob I hope all is well with you. Once again thanks for your advice and expertise. My question concerns a colony of brown button polyps that I've had for about seven years. It seems that in the past year it has stopped opening except for the outer fringes. The piece doesn't seem to be growing anymore, and seems to have some kind of mucus in the center. Could this be a pruning problem? <Perhaps... or more likely some aspect of nutrient deprivation... or just senescence... "old age"...> Any advice you could give me would be greatly appreciated. By the way the daily pic's are great. Great Column Joe G. <Ah, will endeavor to "keep them coming". Do consider switching out, replacing some live rock, a weekly large/r dose of iodide, breaking the colony in two... tossing the "mucusy" part. Will send your message to AnthonyC for his input. Bob Fenner>

Brown polyps Bob, <Anthony Calfo... in your service> I have masses of puddy looking polyps. I have cut pieces off, and glued them on to other rock some are out, but the majority don't come out.  <Do be very careful... if they are common button polyps, they will have palytoxin (slimy brown ink observed with cuts?) which have varying degrees of toxicity up to fatal if ingested. I wrote a little about the poison in my Book of Coral Propagation, and Eric Borneman (Aquarium Corals book) is versed in many of the toxins of cnidarians. As to why they didn't come out... many possible reasons, but slash and burn isn't the friendliest technique for propagating Zoantharians if not conducted carefully between the stoloniferous webs of the polyps> I have other coral, fungal, very large elegance, lg. clam they are out to far. <very different animals with very different needs than your brown polyps... not a good indicator of overall tank health> The elegance looks like it is coming off the shell its so full,  <usually a bad sign with this species... but looks good to us. Often a sign of low light or aged bulbs (over 10 months)> the clam is wide open this has always been.  <excellent> I add calcium, I drip Kalkwasser, and trace elements. <you do add SeaBuffer regularly in addition to the Kalkwasser, no?> Could this have anything to do with mushrooms reproducing?  <Nope... available nutrients (feeding/overfeeding) grows Corallimorphs> PH is 8.1 help? <scary low pH, my friend. Peak daytime pH should be 8.4-8.6...night time not below 8.3 in captive systems. Sounds like you haven't been adding enough/any buffers. Could be contributing to the brown polyps irritation/slow healing. Kindly, Anthony>
Re: Brown polyps
Light:2@ MH 5600k over a 150 gal. I did not just cut them I only told you to let you know that things have had some success in my tank. Would a picture help? Plus the 1/2 of the cut ones are coming out.  <I'm sorry, my friend.. but I do not understand the above sentences... were the polyps cut or not? I may be able to identify the animal from a picture if you like> the clam being stretched complete open in good?  <yes...very good> What could I do (besides the PH) to help the elegance and the overall water quality? <2-3 times weekly feedings, consistent water quality (your good calcium levels as stared and follow up with alkalinity (10-12 dKH target). Best regards, Anthony>
Re: Brown polyps
I did cut them. It has been 1 or 2 months. I glue them onto another rock. They are spreading five times as fast as they were.  <agreed...but your question was about polyps not opening up. Are you saying that they are not often/ever open but are still growing?> My lack of experience makes me believe this is a good sign. Sorry for my lack of clear explanation. <no worries...best regards. Anthony>

Star polyps <cheers, my friend... Anthony here. Bob hasn't got rid of me yet <wink>> Is there anything in particular that would make green star polyps stay retracted and not come out? Thanks. Ron <many causes for extended polyp retraction on Star Polyp. Common causes, lack of string random turbulent flow or too much linear flow, diatom algae or like nuisance coating the stolon mat (scrub off with a toothbrush and don't be shy about it), sudden change in light or salinity (bulb change, carbon change after long period without which cause sudden increase in water clarity in tank <yellow to clear water>, some say excess iodine supplements, perching fishes (new Hawkfish to the tank or like species without swim bladder, OK... now I'm stretching <VBG>. Water flow and Lighting changes really are most common. Best regards, Anthony> 

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