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FAQs about Sea Fans 1

Related Articles: Sea Fans

Related FAQs:  Sea Fans 2Sea Fan Identification, Sea Fan Behavior, Sea Fan Selection, Sea Fan Compatibility, Sea Fan Systems, Sea Fan Feeding, Sea Fan Disease, Sea Fan Reproduction,

An epoxied Sea Fan heals in an aquarium

Disguising plumbing with live coral 10/16/03 Greetings from Denver, Anthony, I've recently gotten my new 75g/70g sump going & picked up some green star polyps to affix to the return input pipes. Question;  Would the corals cover the entire pipe faster by affixing them to the underside of the pipe, forcing them to strive to the reach topside to reach the light? Thanks, Scott <Briareum is quite hardy and adaptable and may very well grow here. Still... the lack of adequate light will be a great hindrance. You would be better off fixing a sponge here to grow. Best regards, Anthony>

Disguising plumbing with live coral II 10/16/03 Thanks for the quick reply Anthony, the water return pipe are in the tank about 4" away from the lights, I've already glued the purple mat of the Star polyps to the top side of the flare nozzles & various places along the returns, I want the corals to completely encrust the pipes, I just wondered if placing the coral on the underside of the 3/4" pipe would convince them to move towards the top side a little quicker.   <I understood/gathered as much/The concern is that the underside simply receives inadequate light for even such a hardy coral to establish. Hence the sponge recommendation (may sponges are weakly photosynthetic and will fare well in light or near dark. In your case (so close to the surface) its tough to say... perhaps yes, it will work. A lux meter sure would be handy right about now. Ha! Anthony>  

-Necrotic gorgo- Mr. Fenner (or one of the other WWM crew), I recently bought a porous sea rod from my LFS. I'm pretty sure it's a Plexaura sp., but there's a very slight chance that it's a Pseudoplexaura. <The latter has pretty fat branches.> Either way, after a few days, parts of it started "melting" (for lack of a better term). Excepting these few (maybe 3) areas, all the polyps are extended, night and day. It "melted" for a day or two very rapidly, exposing the skeleton, but has slowed down now. <You may want to start by running fresh carbon and changing it frequently, as there may be some toxins released in this decay.> What, if anything, can/should I do to prevent this from spreading, and can it heal? <I would start by removing it from the tank, and in a separate bucket of seawater, vigorously shake off all the nastiness, and if there is a blatantly infected area, clip it off. Make sure that no parts of the Gorgo are touching anything, and that it is anchored firmly on the substrate (don't want it falling over, areas laying on the rock will go necrotic fast). Make sure that it gets lots of water flow throughout the whole thing, this is very important, especially when you're hoping it will heal. I must warn you, they don't always do so hot once they're pretty well infected. Just keep removing any necrotic areas so the tank doesn't go foul.> Tank parameters are: 30 gallon 96 Watts PC Ammonia, Nitrite=0 Nitrate=barely detectable (less than 2) pH=8.3 I'm pretty sure it was damaged by rough handling, and not a tank condition, but I'm presenting them just in case. <Good luck! -Kevin> Any help is greatly appreciated.

Gorgonian (it's recovering!) 10/16/03 Thanks for the help. I'd already done most of that (a lot of which I learned from your site, so I thank you for that also), but I did redirect the current. I'm happy to report that, for the time being, it has stopped dying and is even growing back parts that had decayed or been cut away. If it continues like it is, you'll be able to add another notch to your "corals saved" display. Yours, An extremely grateful reefer <it is a great pleasure to hear of your progress and intuition. Thanks for the update, and best of luck! Anthony>

Buried Gorgonian depth 9/30/03 Hello Gorgonian Guru (Steve Pro ? Anthony Calfo?) <you rang, sir...[Lurch voice here]> I have a purple Gorgonian (I believe a candelabra) that I buried about 2 inches deep in my sand bed, up to where the polyps start. Will covering its two inch base of purple flesh in sand harm this guy? Thanks, SLC <Yowzah... it will indeed be a problem. Gorgonians occur on hard substrates and are not accustomed to being buried in the sand. Buried tissue will be stifled and become necrotic. Please do remove promptly. If you desire this specimen on the bottom... cable tie or glue it to a larger rock that can be partially buried. Best regards, Anthony>

Re: buried Gorgonian depth II 10/3/03 To Anthony Calfo : Yowzah is right ... the 2" of buried Gorgo-flesh has become putrid and necrotic, like most current Hollywood movies. <Arghhh... to the necrosis, that is... not the LALAland movie comparison. That we already knew> This border of decay seems firmly affixed at the previous burial line and is not advancing north <a good sign> towards the Land Of Good Purple And Polyps. <Minnesota?> Anything special I should do to help my otherwise healthy Candelabra? <definitely go pro-active and cut away tissue just slightly above the highest affected point (+1/2") and all below. Leave only the woody gorgonian stem - reason being, infections can quickly become systemic on gorgonians> I have removed this dead stuff with a Sonic Care toothbrush (no reef should be without one) <agreed... but save the floss for making bikini beach-wear> but anything else I can do (that you say to do ) I will do... <Hmmm.... you wouldn't happen to know where the love of my life is? Getting older but not necessarily wiser.> And howdy-do to you, too .... <and the horse I rode in on?> Thanks for the steady-stream-of-invert-life-saving advice you have given me, SLC <it's true... I switched to Invertebrate Sympathizer from being Republican - it wasn't a far stretch. Best regards, Anthony>

Gorgonian parasite Greetings WWM Gorgonian Guru: <I guess I am a whip specialist of sorts <G>> I have a recently acquired purple Gorgonian (thick, tree like branched version.) It's doing great, but there are 2 large parasitic-like algal growths growing out of it. <minor concern.... opportunistic on previous old dead spots> The algae itself looks like a regular Caulerpa type growth, the Gorgonian seems none the worse, and my Regal tang loves to munch on this algae. Should I leave the green tag-alongs alone, or can I clip them off ? Thanks, SLC <please do remove the algae for the benefit of the gorgonian. Anthony>

Gorgonian Care, 9/19/03 In my local pet store they had what was labeled as a Gorgonian Ribbon.  What is this and what is the care involved? Caryn <lets see if we can find its genus first... I wonder/suspect you may be looking at a Pterogorgia species (a sea whip...sometimes called "ribbons"). Use that genus to do a search of the web for pictures to see if it looks like a similar creature. If so, they are fairly hardy if given very strong water movement and medium to bright light. Fluorescent lamps will be tolerable if the aquarium is shallow (24" or less) with the gorgonian in the top half of the tank. Best regards, Anthony>

Keeping His (Corky Sea) Finger Where It Belongs! Hello. <Hi there! Scott F. here today!> I've searched your site, but couldn't find what I'm looking for.  I also posted my question to reefcentral.com... got lots of 'views', but no takers. <Differences of opinions...? Among reefers...? Nah! LOL> So here's my question...  today I acquired an unmounted Briareum asbestinum, which I understand is also known as an encrusting gorgonian or corky sea finger. Right now, I've got it sitting in a small rock inside a shot glass at the bottom of my tank. Can I use super glue gel on it to attach it where I want or should I leave it where it is for a while. If the latter, then for how long? <If it were me, I would secure the specimen where you want it with the super glue gel. Yes, they will encrust on their own, but it's hard to say how long it will take. Once they encrust, though, they do grow really quickly, and they can be quite toxic to other corals...Place it carefully, and allow distance for future expansion> Any addition info. re: placement in tank would be most welcome, too. From what I've read, it seems to be highly photosynthetic, so in the top 3rd of the tank seems appropriate.  But I've also read it prefers to latch on to substrate, which I would think would normally be near the bottom, unless one lived near a subduction zone. <I've mounted this species midway up the rock structure in strong current and pretty bright light, and it's grown like crazy! They are pretty adaptable animals...> Basic specs: 24" high 65 gal. w/440 watts VHO. Here's a pic. Thanks a lot. Warren <Glad to be of service, Warren! I'm sure that you'll enjoy this species no matter how you mount it! Regards, Scott F>

Another Statistic? Red Gorgonian 8/17/03 I bought a red gorgonian. From what it looks like, it is Diodogorgia nodulifera. <ughh... beautiful, but destined to die unless you have an advanced species-specific display set up for it. Culturing rotifers, unicellular algae, etc. Aged tank and DSB (over 2-3 years) with mature fishless refugium, etc?> The person at store said that if I have fish in the tank, I will not need to feed the gorgonian. <misinformation or a flat out lie> Yet, other say that this one needs to be fed even if the fish are in the tank. So... my question is please tell me how and what to feed it. <these are some of the most difficult cnidarians to keep alive in captivity. The point may be moot... yours will die in a community fish tank in less than a year unless than a year (mere months perhaps) of starvation. Let me strongly suggest you return this creature for a photosynthetic species instead (brown, grey, etc... like Erythropodium) or do some fast research on how to set up a species tank to keep this unfortunate animal alive. I personally feel very few should be collected and that none should be offered for casual sale to new aquarists.> Also, I've placed this one in the sand, a bit in a shade, medium water flow, is that fine? <they are indifferent to light if you can protect them from encroaching algae... but they do need extremely strong water flow. Give a strong laminar source from a far distance (no close powerheads please). Best of luck> Thanks, Luke <Anthony>

Another Statistic? Red Gorgonian II - 8/17/03 Anthony, thank you for your advice. Here's my follow-up. > I bought a red gorgonian. From what it looks like, it is Diodogorgia nodulifera. > <ughh... beautiful, but destined to die unless you have an advanced species-specific display set up for it. Culturing rotifers, unicellular algae, etc. Aged tank and DSB (over 2-3 years) with mature fishless refugium, etc?> Is that all it eats? <worse... science and the hobby do not exactly know what these creatures eat. Many theories and some limited data on the subject (bacteria, colloidal matter, flocci, nanoplankton too... none of which you or I have in necessary quantities in our aquariums). Rotifers and green water seem to help. But this is a large part of the reason why many folks feel it is unethical for the casual collection and sale of these creatures (aposymbiotic corals). They are almost entirely doomed to die of starvation in average community tanks> Will not assimilate left over fish food? <not a prayer. Literally impossible once you see/understand their polyp structure and known stimuli. Its like a squirrel looking a 2-story nut> By the way, where can I find info on culturing unicellular algae or rotifers. <Florida Aqua Farms, and Inland Aquatics would be good places to start with> Not sure what is the refugium for, should the gorgonian be in the refugium??? <my goodness... your LFS would have done you and them (future long-term business) a greater service to sell you a refugium kit rather than a gorgonian that will be dead in 6 months. The concept of a refugium is simple, yet lengthy enough to not be able to be fairly described in a brief e-mail. We dedicated about 100 of 400 pages in our new book, Reef Invertebrates, just to refugiums, plants & algae, and live substrates. Let me suggest that you use the google search tool on our home page http://www.wetwebmedia.com to do a search of our site for articles and FAQs on "refugiums". Much to be enjoyed/learned there> How about feeding it with commercial products such as: Phytoplex, Zooplex etc. by Kent Marine? <A complete waste of money in my opinion. The particle size is too big for most phytoplankton feeders. DTs is a better choice if you must use a bottled supplement.  The point may be moot... yours will die in a community fish tank in less than a year unless than a year (mere months perhaps) of starvation.> Are you saying that this Cnidarian should not be kept with fish?   <My apologies... I was not clear on the last point. The gorgonian can fare very well in a fish tank (and will likely benefit at least a small amount by their presence.. or rather, presents in the form of fecal matter). However, most fish tanks are community tanks that do not get fed live rotifers, do not have inline and gated fishless refugiums, etc... and as such, an aposymbiotic gorgonian will die in short order in this environment. Unfortunately, they are slow to starve and actually can look quite good for several months before (likely) losing a "sudden" battle with encroaching microalgae, if not becoming necrotic and dying outright. Let me suggest that you please research the needs of any fish or invertebrate before you buy them. LFS advice does not constitute objective research ;) Before you buy another coral, please buy a good book like Eric Borneman's "AQUARIUM CORALS". For all other invertebrates there is our "Reef Invertebrates" (Calfo and Fenner). It will be a worthwhile long-term investment in your success, my friend. Best of luck. Anthony>

Yellow finger gorgonian 7/18/03 Crew, First of all, Kudos to Bob and Anthony for the great Invertebrates book, I have read it cover to cover many times. <yikes... maybe we will too one day <G>. Thanks kindly :) > OK, I purchased a 6-7" yellow finger gorgonian coral at the local LFS (their not much to speak of compared to the So. Cal stores, but I'm stuck here in the Midwest) <Arghhh... a very challenging species. Not for the traditional home reef aquarium. Needs laminar flow and heavy daily feedings... really for experts only. I myself will not even bother to keep them. Most die within months of not weeks.> After getting home with this cheap purchase, I look up the requirements for this type of coral (Bob would not be happy with me for this hindsight) and see they require several of weekly feedings of newly hatched brine shrimp or similar food. <yes... quiet a challenge. Do employ a large fishless refugium to help with feedings of plankton ASAP> I have a small 29g with about 25lbs of LR, 3 small Damsels (1-1.5") and a huge copepod population. <excellent on the latter> It's been setup for almost a year, and I have well established populations of coralline algae, Caulerpa, and various encrusting filter feeders. My lighting/filtration and skimming are vast overkill (I used to work for Bob). <no concerns about lighting here... your gorgonian is aposymbiotic> Do you think I will still need to supplement for this guy (I have no other live coral in the tank)? <you'd be lucky with feedings only 3-5 times weekly... very sorry to say> Also, the base (3/4-1") of this coral had no visible substrate attached, but there were no breaks in the membrane. <alas... too common, but reassuring on the latter part> Thanks for your help,   Randy R. <wishing you the best. Anthony>

Devil's Hand and Sea fan: Cnidarian contact 5/30/03 Howdy! <Howdy back atcha, Cathy!> A quick question - can a Devil's hand and a Sea Fan be close to each other? <alas no... no stinging animals (cnidarians- corals, anemones, gorgonians, etc) can touch at all. And most cannot be allowed to stay within close range (less than 10 inches) without responding to allelopathy in Tim> Right now, about 3" away, but if they grow, they may even touch. <they are too close even now... the leather in this case will likely kill the gorgonian after some months or a year or two> I can move the Devil's hand, but it is in a great spot, as is the sea fan, where the circulation is best for both. <alas... it is the difficulty in our home aquariums (space). The leather grows so fast and large in the 3 year picture, that it gets my vote to be moved> Thanks!-Cathy in Texas <>< <ciao, babe :) Antoine>

Bubbles in my Briareum! A weekend full of "Tiny Bubbles" [sing to yourself] 4/19/03 Hey all! <cheers, Katherine>      I have tried searching google and thumbing through various books on coral, but I am stumped on a current problem with my tank.  I have a specimen of Briareum stechei in my tank, measuring about 5.5 x 4 inches (height varies) of which all of the polyps have remained shut for almost two weeks now.  From where the polyps are budding, there are swollen little "bubbles" in the tissue (looks as if an air bubble were under the tissue). Earlier in the year (2/16, removed 3/10), I had an anemone (Condylactis gigantea) in my tank which caused a similar reaction.  Other creatures in tank: Aiptasia, about 6 Blue Legged Hermit Crabs, 5 Turbo Snails (Astrea), Spaghetti worms (several attached to coral itself recently...could this be a cause??), several copepods, and isopods.   <I just replied to a similar question at length to be posted on the dailies tomorrow... is has been pasted below this message for your convenience... several possibilities for trapped air bubbles>      All parameters are within acceptable ranges, with the exception of salinity (1.026-1.028).  However, my Briareum has remained open through a period of 1.029 before, and I'm extremely worried about the length of time for which it has been withdrawn.   <With Briareum... water flow is a huge issue! They are very sensitive to the exact amount and delivery (tend to need moderate to strong random turbulent, never linear)> I do not think salinity is the cause of the problem, <agreed... although getting scary high if accurate> as the three propagated pieces in the tank (I'm experimenting with alternating flows on the coral) are doing relatively well. A hanging propagation is doing marvelously, with some polyps extended at nearly 5/8"! (Thank you, Mr. Calfo, for that suggestion!) <all good <G>> Any help or suggestions you might offer would be appreciated extremely! Sincerely, Katherine Almquist <With kind regards... Anthony>

Encrusting gorgonian "problem" 3/10/03 I purchased what my LFS calls an encrusting gorgonian 5 days ago. <Briareum is now the genus that encompasses both Pacific Starpolyp and one of the two common Atlantic "gorgonians" (the other is Erythropodium)> It very closely resembles star polyps. Problem is, it's retracted it's polyps and it's base has turned from light pink to an off-white color. I can see bumps all over the base, as if it is trying to extends it's polyps. The rest of the tank is in hale condition. Water params are very good. How long can I expect it to remain dormant? <without knowing anything about your water quality and other physical parameters (light, weekly carbon use, none at all, water clarity, etc) I can only speculate. The most common cause of poor polyps extension here is lack of dynamic water flow. These corals need very strong water movement, but it must not be laminar (no power head blasting it! <G>). Please do read the articles on water flow in the WetWebMedia.Com archives for more insight> Is it dying/dead? <not likely... you'll know it... it decays quickly> Are they pretty hardy corals. <very much so. In fact, they are considered a nuisance and a weed by many because they grow fast and over take rocks and kill corals. Still, I admit they are quite beautiful if kept in check (keep a rubble "campfire" around them)> The LFS seems to think that they are hardy and hard to kill. <agreed> Please advice. Best, Balachandran Chandrasekaran <with kind regards, Anthony>

Dying or Stressed encrusting gorgonian? 3/19/03 Dear WWM Crew: <cheers, my friend> Last week I wrote to Anthony regarding a newly purchased encrusting gorgonian. He suggested that I install an additional powerhead to obviate laminar water flow and run activated carbon to ameliorate the lighting conditions/intensity. Despite following his advice, the gorgonian's polyps remain retracted. <have patience my friend... some coral even take a couple months (Lobophytum are notorious for example)> It appears to be trying to extends it's polyps as there are bumps all over the surface. <ahhh... good sign. Slowly but surely> Today, I noticed that my red Lobophyllia started showing signs of die-off and I instantly moved the gorgonian to the QT tank and did a 40% water change. The rest of the tank look a little lackadaisical. <wow! Ahhh... I must say you need to be careful of such knee-jerk reactions. The tank overall may have a problem, but the gorgonian is not likely the cause. The gorg will be further stressed for having to deal with yet another lighting scheme in such a short period since purchase> Question: What does a dying/decaying gorgonian look like? <unmistakable... rotting, dissolving and foul smelling> Please advice and thanks in advance. Best, Balachandran Chandrasekaran <sudden or frequent moves of coral under any circumstance can kill newly acquired coral, my friend. Simply have more patience than one week for polyps extension.... even one month in a new tank. The move from QT to the display reset the clock so to speak. And now that its back, you still may not see polyp extension soon. If the tank overall looks pale, test all parameters and do a larger water change to be safe and buy time (25-50%). Best regards, Anthony>

Acropora and Sea Fan questions Hi all!  Thanks as always for a great site.   <our pleasure> I don't know where I'd be without my daily dose of WWM. <out of the Institution, perhaps?> My first question is really more just curiosity than a problem (I hope). I've noticed that my Acropora polyps are almost always out during the day.  They close after the lights have been out for a while or after a feeding. <feeding particulates that is... they prefer nanoplankton and feeding by absorption instead (some). Thus... no need or irritation by the turbidly of plankton at night or your feeding> I'm puzzled because the Acroporas that I've see in the display tanks at my local pet stores are always closed.   <varies by species, water quality, water flow, etc> The pictures I've seen are usually too small to distinguish the polyps.  What is the normal behavior supposed to be?   <varies> Do I have anything to worry about?   <nope> I've attached a picture so that you can see what my coral typically looks like.   <a handsome coral> I hope it's not too big, <if only I had a dollar for every time I had to say that [fill in your own joke here]> was the smallest I could make it without losing the detail. <[follow up joke inserted HERE]> I feed them a variety of meaty foods that I blend in a hand-held blender until very fine.   <a nice effort but likely little help. They do not eat phyto... and prepared meaty foods are grossly too large. They need nano-sized zooplankton. A fishless upstream refugium would be a much bigger help> I feed the tiny suspended food to my small polyped corals and sea fan, <yes... better for the sea fan indeed> and the larger crumbs that settle on the bottom of the bowl I feed to my sun coral. <good strategy> My sun coral, by the way, is doing very well and growing fast. <excellent. Do look in archives for the old article in Aquarium Frontiers by Joe Yaiullo on asexual planulation of this coral. Fantastic!> My second question is about my sea fan.  There is some Cyanobacteria growing on the fan -- but no where else in the tank, <yes... needs more random turbulent flow here... they have evolved by design to trap particles!> fortunately.  How can I safely remove it?   <just better flow bud... tweak your outlets but no laminar action here. Have two effluents converge above it perhaps> The Cyano is beginning to smother the fan, but otherwise the fan seems to be doing very well, even growing.  I've included a picture of the fan.  You can see the dark areas where the Cyano is growing. I have a 75 gallon tank with lots of live rock and about 3 inches of live sand.  I keep a protein skimmer and a small carbon filter running all of the time.  My protein skimmer is a Turboflotor 1000 multi.  The cup is filled about once a week (is that enough?).   <not really... (hence the Cyano). This is a skimmer with a good design that needs pampering and tweaking. There are even companies that sell modified Turboflotors. Browse the archives here and the message boards for modification tips and tricks.> For lighting, I have a 384 watt PC with two 10000K and two actinic bulbs. My water parameters are: >pH = 8.3 >dKH = 9.3 >Calcium = ~400 >Ammonia = 0 >Nitrite = 0 >Nitrate = 10 Thanks, Patrick <best regards, Anthony>

Re: Gorgonian Anthony, Thanks for helping me convince the world that it needs to revolve around...uh...Me! <heehee...> No, but, really a flare nozzle on the water input bulkhead should provide some tumbling motion 'eh? Powerhead maybe? <agreed>                       I just got back from the LFS, the fish dude there sold this (see attachments) as a hardy, "branching star polyp", looks like a gorgonian of some sort to me, what do ya think? <yup... looks like the knobby gorgonian Eunicea from the image (tough to be sure)> He also said to put it at the bottom of the tank with moderate water flow around <hmmm... moderate light is OK... but this coral needs moderate to strong water flow like most coral>                                                   As always, thanks! <kind regards, Anthony!>

10 year old Gorgonian... battle with Colt coral I jinxed it, no doubt, because now, it has mostly pulled its polyps in, and all I have is the bare gorgonian branches.   <bare as in denuded of tissue (rotted away)? Or are you simply referring to the lack of polyp extension (no biggie here)?> Other than being bare, the branches look fine.  The other inverts (Tridacna, star polyp, colt coral, shrimp, brittle star) look fantastic.  The water parameters are still great. However, the gorgonian had been in contact with a colt coral.   <Yikes!!!! Very bad for the gorgonian... Colts are wicked. Will take some time to recover. Keep up good water changes and strong water flow. > Although I can see where that might have caused problems, I am surprised at the timing, because the two had been touching for several months, with no apparent effect to either one.   <you are completely mistaken here my friend... it is precisely the prolonged exposure that creates a situation like this. Keep in mind that corals must war chemically and silently. They have no teeth or claws, can't throw a punch, etc. They just shed noxious chemicals over time to slowly poison each other (and themselves in some cases)> I did a water change, carefully removed the colt's rock from the tank and equally carefully removed the coral from the rock and donated it the colt to my LFS.   <actually a fine idea. Colts are beautiful... but they are one of the most severely noxious corals for aquaria!> That was yesterday.  The gorgonian tried to send a few polyps out, but overall a fairly substandard performance.   <no worries... all in good time. Weeks perhaps> I seem to remember something like this a few years ago with it -- I thought at that time it may have "shed" like the colt coral does from time to time.   <you are correct my friend... a waxy tunic of metabolites> Also, where one branch has grown against the front glass, the polyps don't come out and that small piece of branch looks a little "smushed"   <yes... it has formed a callus likely> On the chance that this area needs some water circulation I am going to rig a way to keep it from touching the side. Any ideas/advice? <I'd simply propagate/prune the branch shorter> thanks for your help, and happy holidays to all! Tom <and to you as well, my friend. Anthony>

Propagating Gorgonian corals Thanks for your help!  Now to the next issue.  It has been growing at a (recently) phenomenal rate, and I am going to either have to prune it or change tanks. The new tank thing is probably not going to happen soon, so how would you suggest that I cut back  the gorgonian octocoral?   <easy and hardy... read on> Should I cut it at a bifurcation?   <yes, but for aesthetics only. This coral will tolerate cutting most anywhere> After cutting it, should I treat it in any way? <little handling is needed or recommended. Cut clean through a branch with sturdy scissors or chicken scissors (cutting poultry in the kitchen). The parent is to be left in place and will heal over shortly with continued good maintenance and a clean cut. Take the cutting(s) and strip the lower 1/4 to 1/2 inch of tissue off of the woody gorgonin stem. This woody stem can then be epoxied or glued into place on another rock or piece of rubble. If you like, you can simply stick it in a matching sized hole in rock (drill one in rubble if you want). If you feel really frisky about propagating coral, I know of a good book on the subject <G>.> thanks, Tom <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Re: Propagating Gorgonian you guys are great -- I'll probably give a cutting to my LFS so there will be one less piece of coral plucked from the ocean... thanks again, Tom <and you are a fine aquarist to know my friend. Admirable sensibilities like that have helped you get to where you are with a reef over 10 years old and healthy. Kudos again. Anthony>

Coral ID and mature reef display...Kudos! Greetings!  Could you tell me what the large coral on the left of this picture is?   <it is an Atlantic Gorgonian Octocoral.. perhaps Muricea or Eunicea. One of the hardiest species. A delight to see> This is my 10-year old 45 gal tank.  The Scopas tang at the bottom will be 11 next month (that's how long I've had him, anyway.)   <outstanding my friend! Kudos to you. Very inspiring for the rest of us> Thanks, Tom
<best regards, Anthony>

HELP! Invasive Coral! I have what a local store calls "encrusting gorgonian" It is a pink hairy coral that is taking over my tank!  (220 gallon reef).   <yes... Erythropodium sp. Very invasive and beautiful.> When it get near my beautiful green star polyps...it takes them over. <wow... and Starpolyps are quite aggressive in their own right!> Suggestions? It is pretty....but aggressive! <indeed... in this case, there are no natural predators that would be safe with your other invertebrates. Manual extraction by pulling up the stolon mat may be necessary. Else, keep look rock/rubble at its growing edge and pull away the overgrowth as necessary> Thanks, Ron <best regards, my friend. Anthony>

Blue polyped gorgonian Hello Mr. Fenner or anybody else in the crew, <Oooh...Oooh! Pick me!> I am very honored to be able to finally ask one of you a question.  <shucks... the honor is truly ours that anyone cares to know our opinion :) > I enjoy the honest and educated information on your site. Your site has enabled me to be a more conscientious reef keeper and I thank you wholeheartedly.  <thank you kindly, please do tell friends about us and help our cause> Now to my question, can you tell me about a blue polyped gorgonian, in which I believe to be a pacific gorgonian that I saw in Eric Borneman's book of aquarium corals.  <correct... they are very difficult to keep and at this time may only fairly be kept in a species specific display or at least a dedicated refugium. They are likely to need live phytoplankton.. a full time drip from a UV moderated reactor would be ideal. Bottled phyto may be far more work that it is worth in an attempt to use as food (see archives or follow up if necessary)> It is available at my LFS and it is a beautiful specimen.  <beautiful... but I personally would not recommend them to many aquarists... almost every single one imported is dead within 12 months if not 6> They said that they have never seen it before and that their distributor has just obtained them.  <if they just got it to see it or have it on hand then I regret hearing it. They should be special order only IMO and it is irresponsible for them to display such animals for impulse purchases. I'm grateful that you are very sensibly doing your homework to research it... but how many customers that see or buy such animals do? Very few. If this LFS is not giving the animal specialized care and advising customers just the same then shame on them. What's the difference between a gorgonian being kept in a mixed reef tank and starving to death for weeks or months and the same store keeping a cat or bird in a tank and starving it? Merchants and people at large that have respect and empathy for life see no difference. Again.. I applaud you my friend for researching before buying... too many folks we chat with come to us after they have purchased the animal> Before I decide to buy this specimen I would like to know anything you can tell me about them, so that I can make wise choice.  <after all said above... you actually can keep this creature if you can meet its feeding needs. Essentially, we are talking about blending bottled phyto daily in an electric blender and dripping in (tedious and expensive in the long run) or building a phytoplankton reactor (expensive initially but well worth it in the long run). I'd suggest you search the message boards like ReefCentral.com for design tips. I have seen some great threads, photos and designs on such boards> Also, is it true that gorgonians cannot be exposed to air?  <Not all... but some species yes... safer to bag and transport the deepwater varieties like the one you have mentioned underwater at all times> Best luck to you all and have safe, enjoyable trips where ever you may travel to. <and to you as well!> Thank you for your time, Timmy Nguyen <with pleasure... Anthony Calfo>

Re: Blue polyped gorgonian Hello again Mr. Calfo, <Cheers, my friend> I appreciate the educational response and have decided to not get the gorgonian. I believe I can try to keep it, but I don't want to "experiment" on such a beautiful specimen or take part in a new Goniopora/flowerpot epidemic.  <heehee.. agreed, my friend. I am in fact one of those folks that does not believe in the restricted collection of any animal (non-threatened of course) for study or responsible pet-keeping. But I would prefer to see a significant raising of the standard of merchants to properly offer said animals and educate customers on the needs of such specimens. The offering of flame scallops, colored sponges and gorgonians, and other like "challenging" species from traditional LFS displays and mixed reef tanks with symbiotic animals is just irresponsible. It sends the wrong message to the uninformed and allows far too many impulse purchases to the ill-prepared. The irony is that the successful keeping of many of these animals is quite easy if the aquarist simply has the knowledge to set up the proper species tank to meet any specialized needs. In the case of this aposymbiotic blue gorgonian... I wouldn't recommend it to most because it is just too tedious and laborious to keep successfully. Most folks want a more casual hobby (no crime at all)>  Words cannot express the gratitude I have for you and your colleagues. It is very hard to find information that is honest and not an arrogant opinion based on meaningless nothings.  <thank you kindly... it is truly our desire and intent to help aquarists succeed for the greater good of all> And if you do post this, I would like to advise the readers that Mr. Calfo's book on coral propagation is an extremely intelligent, well written, enlightening piece.  <Hmmm... I can't remember if I paid for this flattery or not :P> I did have to put to use a good dictionary though, heh, but well worth it.  <heehee... yes, a little strong armed use of scientific and common names together:) > Well, thank you again and I hope to be able to keep in touch with you all. Respectfully, Timmy Nguyen <I'll look forward to making your acquaintance one day. Best regards in your endeavors! Anthony>

Yellow Finger Gorgonian Hi there Bob - just a quick question for you, if you don't mind. <Anthony Calfo... AKA coral boy, in your service> Diodogorgia nodulifera is predatory and non-photosynthetic so I'm just wondering - if light is not required by this coral and it can get rid of algae by shedding a mucous layer,  <well... not exactly, bud. It can shed waste products and some nuisance algae to an extent through mucus tunics. However, shedding excessive and unnatural growths of nuisance algae is not a primary function of mucus tunics... waste removal is> does it actually matter whether it receives bright light or dim light? <very good question. It is likely that if nuisance algae is not a concern or problem in the tank (causing an undue burden on resources to purge it), then residence in a more brightly lit spot will be little harm> Is placement an issue beyond putting it in an area of strong current?  <very good... strong current is key and for many Gorgonids...laminar flow> The reason I ask is because people seem to do well enough with corals like Tubastrea in shaded and in well lit areas and that particular coral doesn't even have the same capacity to rid itself of algae.  <agreed... although Tubastrea naturally occurs (say 10-20%) on brightly lit portions of the reef. Such animals simply are not as well adapted to fend nuisance algae IF they develop. So the key here is to run a tight ship and don't let nuisance algae establish! <G>> I recently acquired the Diogorgia and have it quite high in the tank although not directly under a 150 Watt metal halide. Your advice eagerly anticipated...... Simon Sleigh <do consider buying or building a phytoplankton reactor. Also know that if this animal is not in a species tank, but in a mixed reef aquarium with mostly autotrophic animals, that one is going to suffer likely. It would be hard to provide enough food for the aposymbiotic gorgonian without disturbing the symbiotic animals (excess DOC levels, etc) Best regards, Anthony>

Sea Whip Hi WWM Crew- <cheers, Anthony Calfo in your service> We purchased two sea whips (or what the LFS said were sea whips) they look like branches, one is red and one is orange with red spots.  <alas... the are challenging aposymbiotic (non-photosynthetic) species. Best kept in a species specific tank without other cnidarians (corals, anemones, gorgonians, etc). They need heavy feeding (perhaps live phytoplankton for you to culture or build a phyto reactor) and strong water flow> After searching your web site and your book, but we read a lot about sea fans. But these don't have the interconnecting branches that the sea fans do.  <too many species and genera to describe, but the care (unknown as much of it is) and level of difficulty is still quite similar> Could you advise about the care of sea whips,  <please do read a bit more here if you haven't already. Still... not much is known about their long term care. A challenging creature indeed. A shame that they are so inexpensive and tempting: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/seafanfa.htm> and whether or not they are toxic like sea whips if they die.  <likely moderate to very> Are they photosynthetic?  <no> Are they filter feeders?  <yes> Or do you have to hand feed?  <lot s of feeding indeed... phyto reactor or fishless refugium would be best> My mom found your web site and bought your book and now she quotes you at the fish store and the owner knows you by name, "But Bob Fenner says..." Your web site provides so much helpful information. <agreed... he is a wonderful living and published resource for our beautiful hobby> Thank you-Elaine <with kind regards, Anthony>

Purple Gorgonian necrotic patches Good morning everyone, Cheers from Anthony> I purchased a purple gorgonian (I believe it's Pseudopterygorgia bipinnata based on pix but I'm never 100% sure) from an online fish store. After I floated the bag I tried to open it to acclimate it by adding water from the tank. Being a sped, I cut the bag wrong and the whole thing busted open. It never acclimated properly (the note I got from the store said they keep their salinity at 1.017 and I keep mine at 1.023 (seahorse tank).  <wow... not a real big deal, but 1.017 is a fish only salinity... inverts fare much better at a more natural SG (1.024-1.026). And you are correct about the seahorses favoring more saline waters. As high as 1.028! 1.023 would be the low end for me with most species> So...... for the past three weeks the center part has been in decline. The top four inches and the bottom three inches are beautiful - purple with polyps extended. However, the center part is starting to show the spine  <most likely stress from import, but possibly inadequate current in your display. Be sure to provide very string water flow for gorgonians> (it looks like a little wire coming from the stem).  <yes... it is called gorgonian> I've been adding phytoplankton every other day to help it out but I don't think those center parts will grow back.  <actually they may, but not very quickly> Can I cut the top part and glue it on some rock and then cut the center part out in the hopes that the bottom will just grow better?  <absolutely... and be sure to cut a full 1/2 or more into good tissue (away from the necrotic area). Also, if you glue... use thick super glue and not epoxy... gorgonians respond poorly to epoxy!> Is scissors appropriate or a straight edged razorblade?  <either, although scissors may be best to cut through the woody stem> Should I leave everything alone? BTW, it's a 35 g hex with 56w PC. Thanks in advance for your help and thanks for answering everyone else's questions... they're really helpful! Ted <hmmm... if you really get into this coral propagation thing, I know of a good book <wink>: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/bkcorlproprev.htm Best regards, Anthony Calfo>

Gorgonian Shedding Waxy Material Hey Bob, how've you been?  <Bob is away traveling my friend... WWM crew member Anthony Calfo in your service> It's that 14 year old again (haven't emailed for a while).  <we should get along great... I act like I'm fourteen years old. Who do you like better... Nas or Jay-Z as a rapper?> This Christmas I got an Icecap to fire up some VHOs on my 38 gallon tank so I'm finally going reef.  <excellent> My only photosynthetic invertebrates are some green star polyps (Pachyclavularia) and some sort of photosynthetic gorgonian.  <kudos to you for the discipline to learn the Latin name of your coral! Keep up the good work> I've had the star polyps for about 3 1/2 weeks (already starting to spread), and the gorgonian for 2 1/2 weeks. The polyp extension has been good on both. But when I woke up today, there was this clear waxy material covering the gorgonian's rock. I thought only leathers shed this, but apparently the gorgonian did too.  <very common and profuse with gorgonians. A good sign to be shed, but the waxy tunic itself is highly noxious to other corals... remove whenever the skimmer doesn't take it out> What is it, and should I pull it off? Will it harm the green star polyps if it comes in contact with them? <green star polyps are actually very aggressive as corals go... but still, we want to avoid such aggression and contamination from the waxy buildups> Also, I have a Lubbock's fairy wrasse and an Atlantic pygmy angel (c. argi) in my 38 gallon. Would a neon goby or yellow assessor be a good last choice? Or should I skip a third fish all together? <the goby would be fine... but the assessor may terrorize the others. Yes, skip the latter.> Thanks Bob <best regards, Anthony Calfo>

What are sea fans made out of? <They are made out of a horn-like concentration of the protein gorgonin to make up a flexible endoskeleton. Anthony Calfo>

Beautiful but Bad Gorgonian Bob, <Anthony Calfo in your service> Thank you so much for your help in the past. <you are certainly welcome to all> I have recently added a yellow finger gorgonian (Diodogorgia) to my reef. I must say that it is a very beautiful specimen.  <agreed, but I'm truly sorry that someone sold it to you, most likely. They are extremely difficult to keep. Aposymbiotic (non-photosynthetic)... they are entirely dependent on feeding. It is not clear what they eat to survive and near 100% are dead within a year if not months... some struggle to live more than one year before "starving" to death. I have some good experience with reef invertebrate husbandry and have written a book on coral in aquaria... and I consider this animal out of my skill set (or interest for the tedious work trying to feed it). If you aren't already informed on the topic... begin doing research on phytoplankton reactors for generating food or buying a phytoplankton substitute (like DT's refrigerated)> However, ever since I have added it to my reef, my purple tang keeps nipping at it as if there is some sort of algae on it. There doesn't seem to be any. My flame angel is also doing the same thing. These two fish, which seem to be best friends since I added them at the same time, have never nipped at corals before. The gorgonian seems to be doing fine though. Is this something I should be worried about? <the gorgonian is safe in this regard... most are highly noxious and inedible to fish... the fish may simply be browsing for incidental material... or, if the animal is already beginning to die, they are scavenging. My apologies, Anthony> Regards, Keith 

Gorgonian question I have a red finger gorgonian (supposedly a Gorgonia sp) that came with slight damage on one of its branches. Now however, the damage is spreading and is now on other limbs (the skin seems to be coming off). Also, the gorgonian is getting overgrown by a filamentous green algae that I cannot remove without fear of damaging the gorgonian. The Baensch atlas mentions an algal overgrowth but does not mention what problems may be associated with such an event. What could be causing this? <Previous damage, infection... coupled possibly with less than optimal water quality, a lack of nutrition in your system... possibly competition, predation, chemical incompatibility with other animals... > Does touching by hands cause this? How can I remedy the problem and save the gorgonian? <Some drastic measure may have to be taken (cutting away the "lost" part... moving the colony to low light conditions (like a sump)... these species are not photosynthetic...> In my last e-mail, I mentioned a Daisy Polyp and a finger leather coral. They are both doing good now. The coral is completely expanded (I think the closed area might have been new growth). With the daisy polyps (or Xenia, I can?t tell, more on that later), I found what looked like small Nudibranchs. I pulled these off and the polyps have seemed to improve. <... perhaps a predator...> I need help identifying an invertebrate. It looks like the picture of Daisy polyps that is in your book; however, I can?t find anything that mentions Daisy polyps propagating by runners (which my polyps are doing). Do they do this? <Yes> As I was looking through the Baensch Aquarium Atlas I noticed that Xenia umbellata also looks similar, but Xenias pulsate and mine does not seem to do this. Any ideas about what this may be? <All sorts... but your description isn't specific enough to help me... Do take a look through Fossa and Nilsen's v.2 of The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium for now... Bob Fenner> Thank you,
Kevin Cossel

Briareum Robert, I acquired a piece of Briareum several months ago, the piece same to be doing fine. Then suddenly a brown dandelion looking creature started taking over. If I pull it off the rocks it will die back temporally. I can not identify the brown stuff nor can any of the local shops. The water chemistry is OK, I use only RO-DI water in my tanks. I am sending a jpeg photo in hopes that you can identify this monster and tell me what action to take, to fight it. With Best Regards, Shawn McCleery <Neat... this looks to be another encrusting gorgonian (Scleraxonia, Antholedidae...) of the genus Erythropodium (you can find pix of this on the Net, in marine aquarium reference books, even (why not?) on WWM: http://www.WetWebMedia.com/seafans.htm Control, eradication? Mmm, you might try manipulating your lighting, aspects of water quality to see if you can favor the Briareum, other life over the deemed-pest form. Bob Fenner>

Purple Gorgonia Dear. Mr. What you say about buy a purple gorgonian Saturday night and Monday morning this animal totally disintegrate your skin? When the bag is open in retailer we smell a strong odor (yes, I buy in the arrival day). Is the gorgonian dead on arrival? <Likely so> I have my aquarium with soft and hard corals and I have some invertebrates for 5 years. Thanks, Nelson <Hopefully you didn't pour any of the water from this shipment into your system... a good idea to quarantine even sea fans. Bob Fenner>

Pseudopterygorgia Gorgonian Hello Again Bob, Sorry for the long letter that follows...I know you must be busy. <Not so much... on dive/adventure/photo odyssey in Asia... in Senggigi, Lombok, Indonesia now...> In the past I have had a red slime problem that has since been stopped (thanks to suggestions from you and your website FAQs!!!) by turning down the CO2 to my calcium reactor and installing a larger pump feeding my protein skimmer. However, I think that the red slime injured my photosynthetic gorg. It started when the red slime started to grow on the gorg. Then more and more the gorg's outer purple skin died away exposing the black under-structure (not sure what you call it....skeleton ????). <Yes, and not unusual to have this damage by way of Cyanobacteria problems> The gorg still has patches of purple with white-brown polyps but there is much more black than purple. I would like to save the gorg and was thinking of cutting the "black skeleton" parts of the gorg that are void of purple skin/white-brown polyps thus making a few frags to try and propagate them. Is this a wise thing to do....or will the purple skin and polyps eventually grow back over the black under-layer ? <Both are valid possibilities... any evidence of regrowth? If not or things getting worse, I would consider the surgery> Alternatively I was going to try not cutting the gorg and start direct feeding and Vitamin C application. Is this a better alternative ? <See/read above> Also, do you think that this gorg's demise was due to red-slime problem or more likely black-band disease and/or bacterial? <Secondarily bacterial> Incidentally, the ich problem I had seems to be subsiding...after adding beaucoup cleaner shrimp as you suggested. Two nights ago my yellow tank had some white spots on his fins and the next morning ...viola they were gone !!! Same thing happened to my flame angel... these guys (cleaner shrimp) should be called the "medics of the sea"!!!! They are great...and I found that the Grabhami species is much less shy than the amboinensis species (sorry about the spelling). Thanks for your help on this and the red slime problem. <Glad to be of service/help... sorry this message is late> I also have set up a 10 gallon quarantine tank with a small 8W UV sterilizer and a colonized sponge from my sump. I keep it running continuously.. seems easier than tear-down/set-up/tear-down...... I think that the UV sterilizer is a good idea to maintain a sterile hospital tank...is there a problem with UV sterilizers in combination with copper therapy for ich ?  <Possibly... some chelated formulations are taken out via UV... read the manufacturer's label> A friend at a local fish store told me that UV would only be a problem with antibiotic medicines....do you concur ? <Hmm, not with antibiotics as far as I'm aware...> Thanks Again ! <Be chatting, Bob Fenner> Chuck Spyropulos PS: I will be going diving in Bonaire next month...any tips on good diving sites ? <A great part of the Caribbean... study up on the Internet re>

Marine advice please Hi, I have a 50g reef tank, it has a plenum, about 3" of sand, 15-20lbs of LR, My pH is 8.3, nitrates, ites and ammonia are all at 0. The tank has a Condylactis anemone, a small brain coral, a few mushrooms and polyps, a green brittle star, an emerald crab, an arrow crab, a horse shoe crab,  <Keep your eyes on these last two... the former as a real predator, the latter for dying "mysteriously" and polluting your system...> a cucumber, a couple snails/hermit crabs, a feather duster, a frilly gorgonian, and a purple whip gorgonian, I also have 2 blennies; one is a "lawnmower" the other is a bicolor. I have two questions. First do blennies breed in the home aquaria? (obviously not the pair that I have but just in general if same types are introduced), <Yes, a few species have done so... look over the Breeder's Registry records here> and secondly, What do you do if a gorgonian doesn't open?  <Not necessarily panic... unless they don't open for days, weeks... Do investigate the species... looks like a Pseudopterygorgia... for its natural history, captive husbandry... in books, listservs... and try to accommodate its needs... some are photosynthetic, others need vigorous water movement...> The purple whip has been in my tank for about a week and no polyps show. The frilly opens all day with polyps that seem to be getting larger. I feed 1cc phytoplankton, 1cc MicroVert every second day, and on the days that are skipped I feed frozen brine shrimp for the live stuff. The purple whip had/has some strings of hair algae on it (presumably from the FS because I have only minimal amounts) but nothing thick. Nothing is turning black. What do you think? <Perhaps a negative interaction between these two gorgonians... Please read over the FAQs and article posted on the group on our site: www.WetWebMedia.com for more here... and consider increasing water movement, using chemical filtrants, executing a large water change... perhaps changing the water temperature...> P.S. I am aware that the frilly's supposed to be photosynthetic but I feed just incase. <Good idea.> Thanks for your time. Dustin. <You're welcome my friend. Bob Fenner>

Gorgonian problem help!!!! Hi Bob! I Hope you can help. I have a orange gorgonian I purchased from the Flying Fish. I'm not sure of its name, but it has white polyps and about seven inches high and across. It was doing great at first. I have it in a good water flow area kinda high in the aquarium. I have a 29 gallon tank with power compacts. The gorgonian hasn't shown its polyps in a month and is starting to shed its outer skin exposing its skeleton. I moved it all over the aquarium thinking it was light . Nothing seems to help. I do regular water changes Ph 8.2 Alkalinity is at 2.5 and I fed it brine shrimp. I'm afraid it deteriorating will harm my other corals and few gobies? Any suggestions? Liz XXXX@yahoo.com <Hmm, actually... this is not likely a photosynthetic species... likely a Diodogorgia species... and you should try other foodstuffs... Most importantly one/some of the "phytoplankton" prep.s sold for the purpose (like DT's...), administered to your system water... during different times of day... with the pumps turned off to the filters (not the non-filter pumps though) for a good fifteen minutes... And yes, sea fans, gorgonians can prove toxic to all other life if/when they "fall apart"... you may want to remove this specimen (in a bag with water in it, w/o lifting it into the air)... to another system, isolated... Sometimes the "bad parts" of the "rind" of these animals/colonies can be excised to save the remainder... Please read over the "Gorgonian" section posted on our website: www.WetWebMedia.com and associated FAQs files as well... and do endeavor to get the name, know the basic husbandry of the animals you utilize ahead of their acquisition going forward. Bob Fenner>

Gorgonian appears to be dying back.. Mr. Fenner, I have a quick question regarding my Yellow finger gorgonian (Diodogorgia  Nodulifera). I purchased it approx. 1 week ago and at the store it had  been in the display tank for many months, the owner had become frustrated  because it wasn't growing or doing much of anything other than a couple of  white polyps here and there. I did some research and found out the they  like a brisk current and are relatively easy to care for. Although I did  find out that most people have had trouble with them. I purchased the 7"  tall by 8" wide gorgonian for $20.00 and it appeared to be in good health  at the time. I brought it home with some other corals which I'd purchased  and began acclimating them all. I took care not to expose it to air and to  acclimate it to the salinity and temp. I placed it in the middle of the  tank on the substrate gently wedged the base between two small rocks so  that it wouldn't fall over. There is a powerhead that discharges against  the glass directly above the gorgonian and provides a gentle and constant  flow. After about a day the white polyps began to come out of the red dots  in great numbers. This is something that I had never seen at the LFS.  Over the course of a couple days the thing really started to take off with  polyps on most of the branches. During day and night the polyps were out  and looking healthy. After about 4 days I started to notice that some  segments of the branches where polyps had not been, were thinning and  others were turning a dark red. As of today, the fingers which are appear  healthy have the polyps out, but about 20% of the branches are brown,  thinning at the tips and have no polyps. I've noticed at night that the  hermit crabs and amphipods have been climbing on the branches in fairly  large numbers ( hermits usually 3 to 4, and amphipods usually 6 to 10 at  any given time). I'm concerned that this is spreading and will eventually kill the entire  thing. Should I cut/break off the darkened branches? is this normal,  maybe some sort of molting? could it have been exposed to air at some  point? Thanks for your help in advance. John Boiger >> Could well be a few things going on here... Sounds like you did the due diligence investigation, and can't fault your process... but the "critters" in your system may be eating the sea fan... and/or it may be starving (a zooplanktivore if memory serves)... or, or, or... inadequate circulation, aeration... I would move it to a different system if you had one. Bob Fenner

Sea Fan selection, feeding Bob, what do you think of the Sea Fan. ( I mean the chance of survival in a home tank) Also, what do they feed on? Thanks. >> Some species do okay (Pseudopterygorgia spp. are almost standard offerings in western Europe for instance)... need to be collected and shipped carefully... Some are filter feeders, some are photosynthetic... Maybe read up about Sea Fans, aka Gorgonians on my site: www.WetWebMedia.com Bob Fenner

Gorgonians-bacterial infection? What can be done for a bacterial infection on a gorgonian? Calcium level is at 495. All other test except phosphates (1.2) are at parameters that they should be. Corals are being fed invert food. I have a 75 gallon tank, Emperor 400 and two 300 gph powerheads. Do you think this is enough current for the gorgonian? All other corals and sponges are doing fine. >> A few things... some have responded favorably to the administration of antimicrobials (mainly broad spectrum gram-negative antibiotics) either administered to their water, or soaked into their foods before adding to their tank. Sometimes a lowering of temperature seems to help... if the condition is spreading, some authors (myself included) advocate cutting off the distal, mal-affected area to save the rest of the animal... Bob Fenner

Feeding a orange finger gorgonian I recently purchased a Large Orange Finger Gorgonian (Diodogorgia nodulifera) and a small red one. I just read in my book that this are non-photosynthetic and require feeding. I have never kept a non-photosynthetic coral and do not no what to feed it. What should if feed it and how should I go about giving the food to it. Any help would be appreciated I do not want to starve this beautiful creatures. >> Something in the way of a "mash" of meaty animal material is what most folks use. Develop some sort of process of blending a bunch (as in a blender) material that you can freeze/store... defrost every other or third day... Turn off your filters, but not powerheads...(best on a timer) for a good fifteen minutes, and use a turkey baster (when the animal's polyps are extended) and gently wash the material in the gorgonians direction... Does this make sense? Bob Fenner

Gorgonians me again - just bought a gorgeous blue green Gorgonian octocorallian from work yesterday, I put it in the direct path of a powerhead, so it has plenty of circulation and movement, but there seems to be a lighting dispute - one of my co workers recommended low light conditions (which I thought to be ridiculous, because I know they contain zooxanthellae) but I read your article and I agree with you. What exactly are their light conditions? thanks Again, Chris >> Hmmm, really depends on the question of whether the species in question is photosynthetic or not (yep, some have endosymbiotic algae, other's don't). I suspect that you have one of the two more popular Pseudopterygorgia (from the tropical west Atlantic), that photosynthates... requiring moderate to bright lighting, brisk circulation... which most all forms/species will tolerate...but do confirm the species Bob Fenner

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