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FAQs about Sea Fans 2

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Related FAQs:  Sea Fans 1Sea Fan Identification, Sea Fan Behavior, Sea Fan Selection, Sea Fan Compatibility, Sea Fan Systems, Sea Fan Feeding, Sea Fan Disease, Sea Fan Reproduction,

Diodogorgia nodulifera preferred foods       2/20/19
Hello crew! Hope this finds you well!
<And you Joanne>
I do have a question but also wanted to share some information about my Diodogorgia nodulifera that will hopefully be helpful.
<Ah, good>
So, a few weeks ago I got a Diodogorgia frag as a "bonus" with an online purchase.
<Ugh; I really wish some folks in the trade wouldn't do this>
I know that they are not photosynthetic, but I have had a lot of success with various photosynthetic gorgonians so I felt I was up to the challenge.
I placed it in an appropriate spot - good amount of water flow, not too much light - and proceeded to attempt to feed it.
Well, over the next few days I tried various filter feeding mixtures, slurries, etc. and failed to get any feeding response whatsoever, even though the gorgonian had all polyps extended. This was really starting to worry me, but then I noticed that the gorgonian was snagging food every time I fed the fishes! It turns out that the issue was food size, i.e. it was ignoring tiny sizes but going for the larger pieces.
It will grab and eat bits of food up to about the size you would feed, say, adult White Cloud Mountain minnows! It seems to do especially well with flake food, as it is light and blows around the tank really well, giving it multiple opportunities to feed. There seems to be an upper limit on the size of pieces of solid food it can grab and ingest, but I have seen it eat surprisingly large pieces of flake food. If an especially large flake blows into the gorgonian, several polyps will grab hold of it and gnaw on it until it (usually) blows away again. Smaller flakes of approximately 1-5 mm it will just grab and swallow.
I feed the fish twice a day. Now that I know how it likes to feed, I make sure there are some food particles that are the appropriate size for the Diodogorgia. I estimate that about 25-30% of the polyps manage to feed every time the fish are fed. Additionally, I have some Ricordeas in the tank that are target fed a few times weekly with Calanus or similar foods, so when I do that now I also give a squirt to the Diodogorgia.
It looks well and healthy so far, time will tell. So, for my questions - does EVERY polyp need to grab food, or is the food shared over the colony?
<They share. Gorgonians are "rindkorallen"; have connected circulation>
I'm guessing the latter as there is that shared rind / skin covering the animal but I'm not 100% sure on that.
<Oh; yes>
Second question, does this amount of food sound appropriate?
Like I said it looks healthy, polyps extended, no bad/decaying spots, etc. but have not had it long enough to know for sure.
Thanks again for your advice, and I hope my story may be helpful to others.
*Joanne White*
<Indeed; thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Diodogorgia nodulifera advice       11/10/16
Hi Bob & Crew,
<Hey Nick>
You have been very helpful in the past so I was hoping you could once again assist me with some advice.
<Let's see if we/I have some>
I have recently inherited a couple of what I believe to be D. nodulifera (one red / one yellow) from a friends tank whose bicolor angel had developed a taste for them. Within 24hours the yellow had around 60% of its polyps extended so I have been target feeding with Vitalis soft coral food (micronised flake) but the red has some tissue loss at the base and the tip
of one of the branches and has not extended any polyps as yet, from reading WWM and anything else I can find it sounds as though this one may be a goner?
<Maybe; but I hate to give up... what have you tried so far? Additions of simple sugar/s? Overdosing of iodide-ate?>
If you have any advice as to actions for saving it or indeed at what point I should cut my losses and remove it I would be very grateful. (have read conflicting reports of them releasing toxins when they die).
<More pollution than toxins w/ this genus>
I have placed them both in the most shaded areas I can find that still receive a moderate amount of flow.
They have been in my friends tank for over a month and he was sold them with the advice that they would need to be fed twice a week on soft coral food.
<Mmm; I'd feed more frequently... and/or have a VERY large and vigorous refugium>
I have been reading up as much as possible on their husbandry requirements and it seems there are many different opinions on feeding regimes varying from twice per week up to continuously! (the gold standard I'm sure but not
achievable in my setup). I am planning to make my own food based on a recipe I saw on the GARF website consisting of mysis/brine, flake, SeaChem ReefPlus blended together and target fed. I was hoping that 1 feed per day would be sufficient with this mix but wanted to get your expert opinion on regime and recipe/alternative foods?
<I would definitely try the DIY recipe you list; and feed at least for minutes every other day... WHEN polyps are open>
Seems like this is one of those species best left in the ocean for those without an AZoo tank and I don't usually add anything to my tank without researching first but given they were angel food otherwise thought it best to try and give them a chance. Tank param.s listed below.
Thanks in advance
Tank param.s - 48"x18"x24" w/20g sump/fuge - Temp 25-26 C/ pH 8.1 / Ammo 0 / Nitri 0 / Nitrate <5 / Phos undetectable / Calc 440 / KH 8 / Mag 1230
Livestock - various soft corals leathers, xenia, GSP, PS Gorgs / CUC / 2 x ocellaris clowns
<Please read re the Glucose, I2 mentioned above... and let's re-chat in a day or two. Bob Fenner>

Gorgonian ID     1/30/14
Dear WWM crew,
I've just purchased a gorgonian about a week ago. I've always wanted one but everything in the shop seems to be NPS, which I don't fancy. This one looks photosynthetic and the seller confirmed it is.
It is happy in the tank and fully expanding during the daytime.
<Does look good>
This is my daughter's tank (24x12x12 inch/60x30x30 cm with soft and LPS corals, with LR and aragonite sand, Tunze 9002 skimmer, Fluval Edge HOB filter - running Blue Life ClearFXPro, Hydor Koralia powerheads of 900 and 1600 lph and MP10 at 40% in lagoon mode, 3x12W TMC AquaRay lights). The water quality is suitable for LPS, but not for SPS (nitrates 10-15 ppm).
I would like your help in IDing the gorgonian so I can figure out how to keep it happy in the long run. Please see the attached photos.
At the LFS it was sitting flat unattached. At the moment I've just kept it the same, with the base in a plastic ring attached to the glass with a sucker, unsure of how to proceed in attaching it to the rock,
<Best to leave as is for now; the foreseeable future... can/may be attached in a few ways weeks down the line>
as there are polyps down to the bottom (there is no surface without tissue and polyps on it). I've seen that usually it gets attached with reef putty, but I'm afraid that covering the flesh with putty might start an infection.
Should I remove part of the tissue at the base and then glue/putty?
<I would not do this; no>
Kind regards,
Andrei (big fan and avid reader of the salty section of WWM)
<My best guess is that this is some member of the genus Pseudopterygorgia; possibly P. elisabethae.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Gorgonian ID     1/30/14
Hi Bob,
<Dr. A.>
Thanks for the quick reply. Before asking, comparing with Google images and your website my best match was Pseudoplexaura. My gorgonian branches like a tree, not like a feather. When the polyps are retracted, the branch gets thinner and the place were the polyp is looks like a hole.
Flow wise, it is now placed in a gentle flow area in the tank (all the powerheads are on the opposite side of the tank). Should I expose it to more flow?
<Not for now; no>
Would it be an option to place a transparent acrylic pipe in a hole in the rock work and to fit the bottom branch in it without any gluing?
<Yes; or even to simply position rock with a gap amongst to fit the base into>
One more observation, I've noticed it capturing Mysis and even pieces of krill.
<Interesting. Do please see the FAQs sections on WWM re Poriferans in captivity... re issues as feeding, systems.>
Kind regards,
<And you, B> 

Re: Gorgonian ID    2/23/14
Good morning to everybody in the WWM team,
I thought it would be nice to come with a follow up. My gorgonian has been continuously happy, with good polyp extension and growth.
<Ah good...>
As I don't feed plankton, I assume it is photosynthetic after all.
<I would try... see the second query here:
The only problem is that it is still not attached. I've placed it in a PVC pipe with lots of cuts in it and let it be. My wife is not happy with it being attached with a suction cup to the glass.
<Try anchoring it then... gingerly place amongst supporting rock... or use a bit of methacrylate to attach it>
It seems to be very resistant and I had the chance to speak with the LFS I've purchased it from. Their experience with it is that it tolerates well fragging, it's a fast grower and that they attach it to the rock with superglue gel, within one week encrusting over the rock (I've seen this in their display tank).
I know that the LFS water is pristine and probably the likelihood of a bacterial infection is lower in a large tank than in my nano. So is this the best way to attach my gorgonian or is there any other recommended way?
<As above>
Please see a recent photo of my gorgonian. As a note, I live in UK. I assume the gorgonian's origin is Caribbean/Florida,  as I've recently seen a movie on YouTube with a Goliath Grouper swimming through vast areas of identical gorgonians that was filmed in West Palm Beach, Florida (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK3mzjuk91Y ).
<I do concur: Pseudoplexaura sp. likely>
Kind regards,
<And you, BobF>

"Leptogorgia sp"    10/14/13
Hey Crew!
I have been at WetWeb for some time this morning, and cannot find info on this species; "Leptogorgia sp" I bought one 4 days ago and have followed the sites "directions" but it remains closed. Can you provide me with a link ?
<Mmm, had to search the WWM site myself:
Don't know much re the genus, its care/use in captivity. What little I gleaned from a cursory review of the Net shows it doesn't typically do (as) well; even amongst the not-so suitable gorgonians period. Bob Fenner>
Re: "Leptogorgia sp    10/14/13

Although I was aware that this particular coral requires target feedings and specialized care (strong flow / low light)
I prepared for the challenge.
<Ah good. We had a very nice write in today re "Blue berry" Gorg. success.
Look for its posting in the AM>
But, if this coral doesn't even open, there's no way to feed it, correct?
<Mmm, yes; but you may be able to elicit a feeding response through introduction of food, liquid from same... from changing the colony's orientation, amount of current...>
I was wondering why it was so inexpensive ($15.00)!
Thanks Bob, I'll keep trying!
<Good. B>

Re: Leptogorgia virgulata, hey Bob!   10/19/13
Hey Bob,
Just wanted you to know, that the Leptogorgia virgulata coral is feeding!
Your advise to blow food in its direction worked!
Within 30 minutes of doing so, it opened up!
Thank you !
Pam Anderson
<Ah, congratulations on your success! B>

Cautious Success with Guaiagorgia sp.    10/14/13
Good Afternoon Crew,
Thanks for all you do. In the last 7 years I have grown in skill and understanding through WWM and would like to share some success with a Blueberry Gorgonian.
The specimen I purchased from the LFS here in San Diego was a vibrant, healthy looking specimen in a typical sea fan spread. The polyps were open at the store, and have been regularly here in my 75 gallon square tank the past three months.
The Gorg is placed mid-way down in my tank (30"x30"x18") about 16"  on center form  a Vortech MP40 running at 35% on "Tidal Swell". I have two MP40s on the back, each running at relatively low volume and anti-syncing.
The "Lagoon" program is used overnight.
In looking at the morphology of my specimen it was obvious that most of the polyps faced one direction, perpendicular to the fan. Based on the limited success of many reef keepers I decided NOT to follow the norm and pointed the polyps away from direction of water flow. I think this is a key element in my success.
<I agree>
All new growth to date (estimated 15%), both on the tips of the branches and on the "truck" near the base, have been away from the current. It seems to follow that although this specimen requires a brisk current to keep the branches free of debris, the mouths generally can only catch food in the more tranquil direction. If the specimen is oriented "backwards" from the start, feeding may be impossible.
The polyps are always open in the evenings... and most days, but can be enticed easily if closed with a small amount of Cyclop-eeze in the water.
Currently I am feeding Hikura Daphnia w/ Cyclop-eeze w/ H20 Life Marine Fusion. The new polyps are very, very small, so the "shotgun" approach to different feed sizes are an attempt to satisfy all, It appears to be working.
This is a mature tank, with ample copepod production to satisfy two Mandarins without supplemental feeding. I believe this fact plays an important role as well, especially for the smallest polyps.
<I concur here as well>
During feeding, I slow the Vortechs to 15% on Reef Crest. This is just enough to keep water moving randomly and let the "missed" food recirculate.
I use a large baster to target feed, but only trickle the food out and gently push it through the fan. In my experience these polyps will close up at from direct "blasts". This is easy to see when you use an empty baster.
I practiced feeding "empty" a few times to see how much flow the polyps could handle and still grab the food. It is not much!
I feed twice a day, religiously.
I hope these notes further the cause. I am "tech heavy" so an equipment list and parameters follow...
30"x30"x18" tank
24 gallon refugium /Chaeto (reverse lighting cycle)
3" DSB (med grain)
110lbs live rock
Apex Controller
pH x 2, ORP, Temp x 2, probes
Dual Ecoxotic Canons
Karollin 1502 Calcium Reactor
Overnight Kalk drip (to counteract the CO2).
Precision Marine Skimmer (runs 24/7)
Temp: 76.9 - 77.5
pH: 8.00 - 8.18
SG: 1.026
ORP: 310 - 330 (day/night)
Nitrates: 0
Calcium: 420ppm
Magnesium: 1260ppm
Alk/DKH: 9.3
Lights: 12hrs (inclusive of 150 min ramp time at each end)
Lunar: Apex module
<Thank you for sharing! Bob Fenner>
Re: Cautious Success with Guaiagorgia sp. 11/8/2013

Good afternoon Crew... after an additional month of observations an update on my Blueberry Gorg.
<Hey Steve>
As other reef keepers have experienced over time, my polyps started to extend less often, and for shorter duration. Water parameters have remained consistent, as well as feeding frequency and variety. So I started examining the effects of light intensity,
My first observation was that the polyps that were furthest from my light source (dual Ecoxotic canons) seemed to open sooner and longer that the polyps closer to the light source. Knowing that this species comes from a range down to about 75 feet or so, and often on sloped reefs,  I decided to shield the Gorg to create an imbalance in the lighting, skewing it towards
the 460nm range.
Initially, I put a third of the specimen in complete shade with two thirds exposed to the 460nm cannon (I blocked the10,000k). This initial step yielded an immediate improvement. After a week, the third that resided in total shade started to open regularly but not with the same vigor as the 460nm portion which was back to "normal". I have since placed the entire Gorg under the 460nm (again, no 10k) and the growth and polyp extension has resumed. Polyps are now open appx. 20 hours per day.
So in sum, here are my novice observations;
  - Have a mature, copepod producing tank.
  - Place is a diffused, moderately strong, random current.
  - Face the polyps away from the primary direction of flow.
  - Effect reversing tidal flow if possible.
  - Feed a large variety of food sizes.
  - Let the food float into the polyps, don't blast with a pipette.
  - Beware of even moderate, 10k+ lighting sources.

I feel fortunate that my light sources are so narrow, it makes the shielding fairly simple. I can see how in standard lighting systems with 48" T5s let's say, it would be difficult to create the right conditions.
<Yes; I would insert my usual statement here that most systems are overlit, too intense and too long duration; compared with naturally occurring parameters>
Often I've read how keeper's Gorgs stop opening and a quest for a "more enticing" food ensues. What I believe now is that the deterioration is due to the physical environment, and the Gorg's inability to adapt to typical tank lighting. More light... more stress...no polyp extension... no food...and the death spiral starts.
Temp: 76.9 - 77.5
pH: 8.00 - 8.18
SG: 1.026
ORP: 310 - 330 (day/night)
Nitrates: 0
Calcium: 420ppm
Magnesium: 1260ppm
Alk/DKH: 9.3
Lights: 12hrs (inclusive of 150 min ramp time at each end)
Lunar: Apex module
Happy reefing!
<I thank you again for sharing. Will update/addend your prev. post. Bob Fenner>
Re: Cautious Success with Guaiagorgia sp.   12/26/13

Closing in on 6 months with the Blueberry Gorg and we are thriving here in Southern California!
<Great news!>
This winter's calendar included a two week trip out of the country and my "fish tender" failed me at the last minute. So the Gorg (and other species) had to survive on just a couple of frozen food cubes every few days provided by my brother.
With no target feeding and a lack of personal attention, I resigned myself finding a decaying Gorg upon return... Ugh. Happily, although initially a bit unhappy with semi-closed polyps, the Gorg began to open as usual within 24 hours and feeding/growth continues.
The more I observe this species the more I'm convinced that failure to maintain health is due to the physical parameters of their environment and the maturity of the tank. Now that the lighting and current is dialed in, I am only target feeding a few days a week using ova, Coral Fusion and Cyclop-eeze. There are some sections of the fan that receive no target feeding at all (blocked pipette access) and they continue to thrive.
So my recommendation continues to be for those with Blueberry issues... stop focusing solely on the types of food. Reduce your lighting, create moderate random flow, and regular (daily not required) target feedings. A mature tank is a must!
Happy Reefing!
<Thank you Steve. Bob Fenner>

Ongoing Blueberry Gorg Success - Update     2/21/14
Good Evening Bob,
<Steve... your files... are an order of magnitude too large for our mail server. Please>
Things continue to go well here in San Diego!
<Ah yes... I live in Mira Mesa>
Thought I would share a couple of pictures about 8 months along. I estimate about 25% growth at this point, approximately 7" in diameter.
[image: Inline image 1]
These types of polyps, with the longer tentacles, typically form in high flow areas...
[image: Inline image 2]
Thanks again for helping us with this truly fascinating hobby!
<Thank you for sharing.... just smaller pic files going forward! BobF>

Appears to be a Hydrozoan at the yellow pointer

Sharing a Yellow Finger Gorgonian Success Story    1/27/12
Hello Bob and Crew,
Instead of asking a question this time, I wanted to share a success story.
My husband has a Yellow Finger Gorgonian at the center of his display tank.
 When we first received it, it was a beautiful bright yellow with the red dots and white polyps. We didn't see the polyps come out much, but we were feeding the tank daily and some would slowly but sporadically come out.
Then it started to turn brown very quickly. The polyps stopped coming out.
I knew they needed to be fed often, but somehow missed in my initial readings that each polyp needs to be target fed a variety of foods. So, I got a dropper and began target feeding daily with either Roti-Feast or Oyster Feast.  At first there was only one polyp out on one of the tips and the majority of the Gorgonian had turned shrively and brown. I knew from what I had read that the chances of it living at this point were slim, but I was not going to give up. I target fed the one polyp as well as the other polyps that were retracted. I'm not too concerned about water quality as we use AquaC EV-180 skimmers in our tanks that do an amazing job as well as lots of corals, pods, a starfish and filter feeders who all benefit from this target feeding as well. Anyway, the next day I dropped some drops of phyto plankton in and waited 10 minutes as this is what I do to signal the Sun Corals(Tubastrea sp.) in my tank that it's feeding time. To my delight there were about 5 polyps out at this point. I target fed them and the rest of the gorgonian as well. I followed this procedure on a daily basis for several weeks and now the Gorgonian doesn't even need to have the Phyto-Plankton drops to open although I do add it to the daily cocktail. By the time the moonlights come on, she knows it's feeding time, and very quickly becomes entirely covered with huge white wide spread polyps waiting to be fed each day. During the daylight cycle, there are polyps out as well, but nothing like when it's close to feeding time. I mix up the daily cocktail sometimes putting flake in it as well, I drop some Selcon drops in the cocktail as well. The Gorgonian began regaining it's yellow color from the base up, and is now once again a bright yellow with the red dots all the way through to the tips with the tips not completely recovered just yet but getting there. I am so happy I took the time to nurse this poor starving beauty back to it's magnificent self, and I urge others to do the same and hang in there. I feel very bad about my mis-step but feel a great comfort knowing I've saved it. I hope anyone else in this position has the same luck.
<Ahh, thank you for sharing. BobF>

"Purple fuzzy sea fan" question 11/10/08 Hello, <Hello, Jessy here> I purchased a new sea fan a couple days ago and I have a few questions about it. I am pretty sure it is non-photo synthetic but maybe you could verify that for me. I have attached pictures. I have been searching the internet for a positive identification but I can not find anything like it.  It has pale yellow skin with a deep purple colored polyp. I have a photosynthetic Caribbean gorgonian and a non-photosynthetic yellow finger gorgonian and they are doing well. <Great choices. They are the easiest gorgonians to care for> They eat Cyclop-eeze and rotifers and even the small piece of mysis. My new sea fan has much smaller polyps then the other two. According to the store where I purchases the feed it phyto every once in a while but I have read many places sea fans do not eat phyto. <Advice like that from stores makes me very very angry. Gorgs cannot live on phyto.> They said they have had it for a while and it was fully open and healthy looking. I tried feeding it rotifers, Cyclop-eeze and crushed flake food. It appears to have eaten this but some of the larger pieces it lets go. It did not eat as aggressively as my other two. Do you have any suggestions for feeding or thoughts on the phyto? <Its a great supplement for all kinds of corals, including gorgonians, but in no way is it enough to sustain this species.> I find Sea fans and gorgonians amazing and want to get as many as I can in my reef. <I agree, I love Gorgs as well and have kept many in my tanks. This species is not very hardy in a captive system. I fear you may only be able to keep this specimen for a time (months maybe) before it succumbs to starvation.  You are doing well by feeding multiple foods, you can try adding a few of these foods I've had success with. Prawn eggs (great for your yellow finger Gorg), Oyster Eggs (Reef Nutrition has a great new product, Oyster Feast), Coral Frenzy, and crushed flake foods. You should be target feeding and making sure they get a good variety of food. Please if you get more Gorgs, stay away from the non-photosynthetic kind unless you have a dedicated system and are well versed in the care for these animals. And for the record, never get a blueberry gorgonian. They won't live even with the special feeding I've given them. A good reference for types of Gorgs that are proven to survive in captivity http://www.garf.org/GORG03/WINTERGORG.html This piece is beautiful and I want it to thrive. As always thanks for all your help and sharing you experience in this matter. <Good luck. I don't want to sound all doom and gloom, but you will find that the smaller the polyps the less chance you have at keeping the Gorg long term.> Kind Regards,
<Regards, Jessy>

Dried Bahama sea fan flaking off in aquarium, is this toxic?    2/17/06 Hi guys, <And some of the tender gender> I need to know if the flaking off of the dried Bahama sea fan is toxic to a reef tank? <Don't think so... at least "not very"... Have used, seen these used over the seemingly eons I've been involved in our avocation> The fan has been removed, but it has created a mess, my mistake! Thanks so much, Mike <Think "this too shall pass"... or be collected, removed in time. Bob Fenner>

Sea Whips - Not for the Aquarium, She Wants Dead Ones I have an odd question. Do you know where I can purchase a few sea whips. Preferably dried and flat for framing.  <Try a dried flower shop/craft shop. James (Salty Dog)>  

Gorgonian Identification Hi, <Hi Kevin, MacL here with you today.> You seem to know a lot about gorgonians, so I was wondering what type this is, it came on a purple gorgonian that I bought. <Without the polyps being extended its very hard to tell Kevin. Can you get an additional picture with them out?> How much do you thing this little frag would go for? <That's a tough question because price fluctuates depending on the area.> thank you,

Feeding Diodogorgia - 4/14/05 Hey Guys.  <Hi. Paul helping out today> I need some help.  <What we do here.>  I got a Yellow Finger Gorgonian Coral a few days back, and I need some help feeding it.  <OK>  I saw on GARF.org the following instructions  <You could always call GARF. They are quite helpful Support (208)344-6163>  INGREDIENTS: Flake fish food - 1 tablespoon SeaChem Reef Plus - 4 tablespoons Fresh water - 1/4 cup Soak the flake food in the Reef Plus for one hour and then add the fresh water. Puree the mixture in a blender for several minutes. After you allow the mixture to set for several minutes you can pour the smallest particles off with the water. The larger particles will settle to the bottom of the glass and they can be used to feed the Gorgonians. I have no idea as to how to actually "feed" the coral.  <I would use a syringe (without the needle, of course) or a small turkey baster or baby snot ball,  and suck up a small amount of food and actually squirt around the extended polyps. Try with flow (pumps and skimmers) off first for 5-10 minutes then turn them on. I would feed once every three days or so.>  Do I feed it inside the tank?  <Absolutely>  Remove it?  <If it is easy you could but I would not>  I do not know. Any help would be appreciated.  <Hopefully I have helped. Please do take this opportunity to learn from this situation, and be sure to do as much research as you possible can before purchasing to save your bank account and yourself extra effort. Thanks for being part of it all. ~Paul>

Gorgonian in aquaria - 2/10/05 Greetings Bob & Crew!  <Greetings from sunny N. Cali> I have a question on coral compatibility.....rather is a coral compatible with my system.  <OK>   My girlfriend bought me a coral for my birthday. Luckily she had it held at the LFS until I am able to get the QT tank setup.  <Well.....encouraging to hear> Anyway, she bought me a yellow Finger Gorgonian (Diodogorgia nodulifera??).  I have a 55-gal reef that is thriving. It has a large space near the back with no corals, inverts, or anything staking out territory (except for my yellowtail damsel who thinks she owns the tank). It is a relatively high current area, which is why no corals are there. All other areas are occupied by corals or my anemone (hasn't moved in a year) so this location would be good from the standpoint of not coming near any other corals.  <Well, let's look at the needs of the coral first The finger coral comes in two colors, bright orange yellow with red calyces and white polyps and the other is red with darker red calyces and white polyps. Finger corals are rather brittle and will break. They usually only grow to about 25 cm (10 inches). They are not photosynthetic.> Lighting - Water flow: These corals are usually found in water deeper than 25 meters (75 feet) on hard-bottom in the Caribbean. They are attached to the bottom in strong current. Difficulty of Care: They need shade or indirect lighting with a strong current. They need to be fed at least once a week or they will starve. There is a lot of information on this coral on the web and in books. Usually can be kept successfully in captive aquaria.> My concern is lighting. This area is almost directly under one of my 175w, 20,000K MH pendants. From what I have researched, these corals are not photosynthetic.  <Correct>  I have read conflicting info regarding where they can live. Some say intense lighting is of no concern, others say that they cannot live under MH.  <I would be more worried about feeding and flow. Do some research (GARF.org seems to propagate these corals regularly and seem to have great success with keeping them> I do have one other area that could fit this coral (with room to grow) in a back corner. The problem is that this spot has a relatively low current flow. <Be more concerned with flow and feeding rather than lighting. Maybe you can place something above it to diffuse the light. Maybe a green Nephthea frag or something.> Can I house this coral in my system?  <I don't see why you couldn't. Flow and feeding are the most important aspects to be concerned with (which I have stated several times here already....I know)>  Do you have any advice on doing so/not doing so?  <I would go for it> Sorry, I guess this was not as quick of a question as I thought. Thanks for your help.  <Thanks for being part of it all ~Paul> 

Coral ID. Hi all, just have a quick ID question. The LFS sold this rock to me as "live rock" (sorry about the picture quality). <Not too bad, good enough.> I know it's not that, but I'm having a hard time pinning it down. It has pink, leathery skin and tan polyps that are about 3/8 inch high with 8 "fingers". The polyps retract at night and the skin becomes shiny. It is spreading to the other rock that it comes into contact with. <Yes, very prolific.> It's probably common but I haven't had any luck on the ID. Thanks for any help you can provide. ~Danny B. in Blanco, Texas <Well Danny, what you have there is likely Erythropodium, possibly Briareum, but my bet is on the former. It is a very fast spreader and rather noxious. -Steven Pro>

Help with coral ID Hola Robert :) <Hola, Edgar... Anthony Calfo in your service.. a fellow reefer, and reef author> Edgar From Mexico again :) hope the troubles with the page can be solved soon, I was really scared of thinking the page was gone. Now to business. I wonder if you could help me to identify a soft coral I have. Is an octocoral and I think is Clavularia sp, but some of my friends say might be anthelia or even Xenia (which, if its true, will make me happy :) ) the polyps are small (1 inch height), the arms (pinnules? are "branched". its color is light brown. and they close at night and retract the arms, leaving only a "bump". I have to pictures which I could send you if you like. thanks edg <please do send a pic, I suspect that it can be ID'ed quickly with a reasonably good photo. With kind regards, Anthony>
Re: Help with coral ID Anthony, Here are two pictures of how much the polyps have grown in 6 mo. picture 001 the lower mass is the newest, the piece up (center) is the original. it grows onto the rear tank glass (picture 002) some where around 10"+ in diameter. This is where I cut from and glued it onto other rocks. Can you tell what kind it is? As soon as I get a good tank picture I'll send it. Anthony, <Absolutely... nice picture too, thank you. It is Erythropodium...AKA "encrusting Gorgonian". a hardy and fast growing animal that is similar to Briareum from the Pacific but is distinguished by its smooth mat of fused stolons and usual brown/gray color (Briareum stolons are purple, calyces are raised). A little caution here as Erythropodium actively seeks some other corals to encrust upon and kill. But indeed fast growing and fun>
<Looking forward to it! Kindly, Anthony>

Orange Tree Gorgonian vs. Algae 1/5/05 Hi, purchased a Orange Tree Gorgonian for a 12g. NanoCube set-up almost two weeks ago. <Sorry to hear that.  These animals have terrible survival records in captivity.> I went out of town for a week for the holidays and upon return found my glass, rocks, substrate, and the gorgonian (not as much) covered in what I think is Cyanobacteria (slime to 'hairy' appearance and a dark red to brown color).  I did a 40% water change and removed some of the slime covered substrate and replaced with some live aragonite sand and cleaned the sides of the tank.  I might mention I believe the bacteria/algae outbreak was due to overfeeding the system before I left.  <Overfeeding certainly can contribute to algae or Cyano blooms.  Maintaining pH and Alkalinity on the high end will help prevent/combat these issues.> Anywho, the gorgonian I was wary to interfere with too much.  After reading some of your articles/forums I decided to take a chance to brush away some of the algae/bacteria with one of my watercolor brushes and it worked to a degree.  Also, the tips of three of the six branches are wearing thin, as in skeleton is all that remains.  I feed it once every-other day with Marine Live Phytoplankton and roughly 60% of the polyps come out regularly, even those near the decaying tips. <Unfortunately, phytoplankton is probably not a suitable food for this animal (too small).  Tiny zooplankton is probably more appropriate.  Some of these animals can be very specific in what they will capture.  Sometime Artemia nauplii will be captured, but you must observe that they are captured AND ingested.> I moved the gorgonian to be more in path with the one powerhead outlet in the tank so as all the branches are getting water flow. <These animals do appreciate a lot of flow, but those that grow in a flat "fan" are generally used to gentle sweeping and waving currents, not the blast of a powerhead.  Reproducing this kind of water movement is difficult even in very large aquaria with surge devices.> I read that it is sometimes wise to amputate the gorgonian to prevent any further decay.  Any thoughts or ideas as to the prevent further decay.  <I would snip off any branch tips that are fouled with algae.  This may slow the loss of tissue.> One last thing, I know that these corals are not the easiest, but I've had one tank going for more than a year now with no deaths so I thought this NanoCube would be easy, are the Tree Gorgonians relatively  successful in home aquariums or do most fail?  Thank you very much for your help in advance. -David H. <Photosynthetic gorgonians (usually gray and/or brown) are very hardy and generally do well in aquaria.  Most of the colorful ones are not photosynthetic and do very poorly.  Their strict requirements for food and water movement are very difficult to reproduce in captivity.  Sorry to be so negative, but non-photosynthetic gorgonians almost never survive.  Best Regards.  AdamC.>
Re: Orange Tree Gorgonian vs. Algae (?)
Do you believe it would be best for me to immediately remove the Gorgonian from the nanocube, or should I give it time and possible a chance to rejuvenate? <AdamC is out, so I'm responding in his stead. I would move this Gorgonian only if you have better circumstances for it elsewhere... larger, more stable, with more plankton... otherwise it is likely doomed... Do pay close attention to water quality...> I hate to just throw away $30 like this but I suppose it is my fault for not looking further into it. <Yes, if you're asking>   I do have a xenia that was given to me as a Christmas present, I was told it was a Pulsing Xenia, but I am not so sure it is.  Please view the attached picture. <Umm, please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/xeniidarts.htm and the Related FAQs (linked, in blue, at top)... Xeniids pulse or not... depending...> Also, can you recommend any corals that would do well in a 12 gal. Nanocube?  I was considering Colony polyps and maybe Green Grape Caulerpa or some other macroalgae.  Any suggestions welcome. Thanks again! <... Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/smmarsysstkgfaqs.htm and on to... the areas on WWM re coral selection... Bob Fenner>
Re: Orange Tree Gorgonian vs. Algae(?)
Ok sorry, one last question, I hate to abuse all of your time.   <No worries. Not possible> Thanks for helping me get things on the right track.  In regards to the Gorgonia, I do have a 44 gal. Pent. tank which has been established for one year now.  There is 'low' lighting conditions in this tank, it only runs with two  18", 15watt bulbs (50% 6000K & 50% Actinic 03 Blue).  Right now the tank is running with a Penguin powerhead that pushes 145gph, and I've got roughly 30-40lbs of LR with some good spots of Coralline going.  Would it be better to move the Gorgonian to this tank? <Yes... on two basic important counts... one, that it may help it to recover (move underwater, not in the air... in a bag...), and that if it does continue to slide, die, it will have vastly more water to do so in> Also, on a completely different note, I'm considering bolstering my lighting system on my 44gal corner pentagon.  The hood that came with the tank is pretty crummy and only has room for two light fixtures with 18'' bulbs.  I was considering buying a glass canopy for this tank so I could have more flexibility in lighting and not have it so that it only fits two rectangles 3.75''W x 18.5''L.  If I were to get this glass hood, and put a new PC lighting system on top would I leave space between the glass hood and the lights, or just press the light system flush with the hood and leave no space between? <The latter is much better. Bob Fenner> Thank you very, very much for all your help on these matters. Sincerely, David H.

Gorgonian ID Key, Stocking Query Dear crew! We are dealing with the animal husbandry and we've a lot of problems. Recently we purchased two unidentified gorgon Arians . The first one forms a bushy red colony with white polyps & thorn-like cups,25 cm tall. The second one is a tree-like brown colony with blue polyps 15 cm. tall. We assume that they are Muriceopsis flavida & Eunicea succinea, but we are far from to be sure. Could you send an identification key? <Mmm, no. Don't have. There are some in-print reference works (e.g. Alderslade et al.), but no such on-line source as far as I'm aware> Both they were in the quarantine about 2 month. Now they are melting, Their polyps are closed, & in the second species the tips of branches are shrinking. May this be a melting consequence? <Yes... I proscribe the keeping of just a few species for the trade, for sale... these are described, listed on WetWebMedia.com> Could you also inform us about the hydrochemistry, in particular, Ca, Sr, Mg and the with the other Cnidaria. <Posted on WWM> P. s. What do your think about the following livestock: 1 Euphyllia glabrescens (diameter (d)=10 cm), 1 Sinularia sp. (25 cm tall), 3 specimens of Alcyonium sp.(50 cm tall), 1 Galaxea sp. (d=5 cm.), 1 sphaeric colony of Goniopora (d=15 cm), <Am not a fan of the aquarium use of this genus> 1 colony of Cladiella sp. (25 cm. tall), 4 specimens of Sarcophyton sp.(2x20, 15 & 10 cm),2 specimens of Lobophyton sp. (25 & 20 cm tall)& 2 colonies of the gorgon Arians mentioned in 250 gal aquarium (assuming that all the other factors are normal one)? <Could, can be done, given space between all. Bob Fenner> Best regards, Interzoo.

Feeding gorgonians and filter feeders Hello I have just added to my 155 gal tank some finger corals, gorgonians, mushrooms, some Featherdusters, I have a plate coral, and some other anemones. All these are from the Atlantic side of panama in central America. I also have a Atlantic blue tang and 3 snappers. I added this in the past weekend. My polyps 2 of them don't seem to be very well. What should I be feeding them I was reading in your book that they filter feed and have to few days a week give them food. Should I buy those bottles they sell at the stores I think I saw one from Kent marine called Micro vert that feeds inverts its liquid style. And zooplankton what should I do? << I think all types of plankton foods like that are very beneficial to corals.  Live plankton better than bottled plankton, but all plankton is good.  Also, lots of light. >> Thank you much <<  Blundell  >>

Gorgonian and mushroom problem 8/10/04 Hi all, I am having a problem with the gorgonian.  Over a short time, like maybe a couple days, I have noticed some decay of on of the branches and it seems to be spreading. It started with sloughing of the skin and then progressed. Images of this progression are attached for you to see. I don't know what caused it or how to stop it from spreading except to cut off the infected branch. We are also thinking of doing a water change. <I would suggest cutting off the affected branch and discarding it. Water changes never hurt.> I have seen the emerald green crab on its branches at night and wonder if it's snacked on one. Please advise.  <Very unlikely.  I suspect the crab was just exploring.  There are much more accessible and tasty things to eat in your tank.> The tank specs are 45gal, 50lbs LR, aragonite fine grained sand, salinity 1.024, pH 8.2, ammonia 0, nitrate/nitrite 0, ca 400ppm, 82F. Bioload is mostly corals: gorgonian, green star polyp, cutting of brown star polyp, anthelia-type coral Adam says is really Clavularia with mushroom anemone, candy cane, Zoanthid cluster, mushroom cluster, single mushroom, and a small coral the LFS said was the poisonous p. toxica. The only fish is a green spotted false mandarin (s. picturatus) and looking into setting up a pod refugium for him as well. A peppermint shrimp (feed him shrimp pellets occasionally as concerned he might be eating the mandarin's pods, although I saw him catch and eat a big amphipod in broad daylight!) An emerald crab and a dark purple crab that stowed away in the LR. So not that much, just 8 corals, 1 fish, 2 crabs, 1 shrimp, and a bunch of Turbos. <I am not a fan of crabs in general, but I would look toward the purple one with particular suspicion.> Regarding the mushroom, it's foot seems to be stretched from the left. I thought they divide down the center to reproduce, but could this also be some form of reproduction or just trying to get a better grip?  Thanks for your advise, Daphne <The mushroom could be stretching out to bud off a daughter, could be creeping along the rock, etc, but it looks fine.  Do keep an eye out for daughters to sprout up!  Best Regards.  AdamC>

Interzoo Odessa - water quality param.s 7/31/04 Dear Anthony Calfo! This message repeats that was sent in 19 of July, and, perhaps was missed. <my apologues... it does seem so. I was out of town that weekend too for a rip/lecture in KY state> We were glad to read your answer. Let us represent ourselves. We work in aquarium husbandry in Odessa, Ukraine, and our staff includes experienced hydrobiologists. Not all literature in English is available here, and e-mail ordering is too unsure. <sorry to hear of the limited mail-order access> So, an on-line ID key would be preferable. Could you recommend us any web-site? <yes... http://www.coralrealm.com/ may be a good start> By the way, the livestock is supplied by international wholesalers and is licensed. Nevertheless, frequently it comes without exact identification. <this is sadly the standard> Our preliminary ID of at least one gorgonian species was wrong. It is Calycigorgia sp. instead of Eunicea succinea, the other species (Muriceopsis flavida (?)) still on question. Nevertheless, we had success with both them, including their active growth in our aquarium. <growth spurts are not uncommon with these animals... but they still suffer from attrition in less than a year or two for most aquarists. Very rare to get azooxanthellate species to survive one year in aquaria let alone two> The other deal, is our client. We have described his livestock. Sorry for misunderstanding, but we meant the species' compatibility, not their specific needs, assuming that they are satisfied completely. As we understand, the whole population seems you normal and not troublesome. In any case, thank you for your help! Let us ask you some additional question: - What are the basic hydrochemical requirements of gorgonians, in particular, regarding Ca, Sr, Mg, I? <there is variation on reefs around the world as to what is "natural" levels for such parameters... but most tropical reef cnidarians will tolerate a standardized water quality. Calcium can be supplemented to a range of 350-435 ppm (avoid excess/higher levels)... and Mg should be about tripe whatever your Calcium is (around 1000-1200 ppm is fine). Iodine and Strontium can be replaced perhaps with regular weekly water exchanges (20% or more of tank water)> - Could a melting of a given gorgonian cause shrinking of the branches' tips & prolonged closing of the polyps? <yes... and it can be contagious to other healthy corals in the system> - On separate locations of some Calycigorgia branches the brown film is appeared, and the branches in those places became thinner. Is it just melting or some abnormal process (infection)? <it sounds like the aquarium does not have adequate water flow (20X turnover or more is needed) and some diatom algae has grown onto the branches and is smothering them> - What's your opinion about the following parameters: [PO4---], [NO3-], [NH4+] - all them - 0 ppm; <a small amount of nitrates is needed to feed most cnidarians... 5-10 ppm is fine> [Ca++] = 400 - 420 ppm; <very good> pH = 8,1 - 8,2, <too low... especially if this is a daytime reading (it gets lower at night). Target 8.4-8.6 for stability> KH = 9o, S. G. =1,023, t = 82o F <very good> P. s. sorry for our English. Best regards, Interzoo, Odessa.                       <no worries at all... your English is quite good :) I wish you the very best of luck, my friend. Anthony>

Are Non Living Red sea Fans Aquarium safe? 4/28/04 Hello: I recently purchased some Red sea fans (non living, decorative) to use in my aquarium.  I was told by another person that these cannot be used in the aquarium because they will fall apart. I was also told that the Red portion of the Sea fan was the animal. Are these non living sea fans aquarium safe? Thank you <it depends... if the tissue has been stripped away and the gorgonian (woody) stem has simply been dyed or painted... then it may be safe. If there is still dried red tissue on it... then there will be some rotting. If the sea fan was packaged wrapped in plastic, then I suspect it was/is safe. Anthony>

Flower Anemone Baby 2/25/04 Cheers Crew, One again, the website is great and the information has brought peaceful sleep to me more than once, <Ahhh... good to hear!> but I've got two quick questions.  In my large reef tank I recently brought in (post quarantine) a purple sea whip and golden sea rod.   <hmmm... I'm content with the purple whip, but wonder/suspect the golden rod is azooxanthellate (night feeder) and as such, doomed most likely to starve to death in the next 6 months or so> Mounted them w/epoxy to small rocks to get above the sand, all polyps are out and healthy.  My question is I have an upstream refugium and a 6" DSB, is there any thing else that my benefit them food wise other than the occasional Artemia wash and the chopped krill/seafood mix I feed to the larger corals?   <occasional feedings of phyto like DTs brand phytoplankton> Also, just noticed a baby flower anemone--e. crucifier (@3/4" dia.), while feeding my colony of these anemones, is there anything to do for it besides let it live and grow.   <target feeding will help tremendously> It is attached just below the far edge of the mother's disk.  It was quite an amazing site to find, I guess I must be doing something right for the tank, best wishes to all, Joe Bales <kindly, Anthony>

Identification gorgonian 1/10/04 Hello to you WWM Crew :) At first I want to say sorry for my English; it's not my native language :). <Hello Petra!  No apologies necessary, your English is outstanding!> Pease can you help me to identify my gorgonian? I've looked all around the internet but I can't seem to find what species it is.  It has a bumpy white base, grows treelike and has small light orange polyps which come out at night. <Hmm...  Looks like Swiftia sp., but Swiftia is generally all bright red/orange.  Perhaps this is an odd morph or bleached.> (I hope they will come out in the light at sometime :)) <They may.  "teasing" it with food additions during the day may help in this regard.> I am feeding it with phytoplankton 3 times a week. At some of the tips the black skeleton is visible :(. Should I remove these parts or will the living tissue come back? <Since you are feeding phytoplankton, I guess you know that this gorgonian is not photosynthetic.  The problem is, phytoplankton may be an appropriate food, but it may not be.  These animals are very specific in the size and type of prey they will accept, and meeting those requirements is very hard to do.  You may want to try some other food sources (rotifers, baby brine shrimp, etc.), but unfortunately I suspect that it will continue to recede until it dies.  You can remove the exposed skeleton with a sharp scissors, and it may get re-covered by tissue, but probably not.> Well I hope I haven't asked to much questions at once, but your website has been very helpful so far. <Please ask all the questions you want, that is why we are here!  Best regards!  Adam> Hoping to hear from you soon, greetings, Petra

Grey Sea Rod 1/4/04 I am finding out that I keep returning to your site for more and more info.   <great to hear... please tell friends about us too> I just purchased a Grey Sea Rod and a few others and had them shipped in.  When I got the box the Grey sea Rod bag had busted and the only thing keeping it wet was paper towel.   <Hmmm... actually, moist packing (wet paper towels/newsprint but no water) is common and appropriate for many gorgonians. In fact, the mortality of some species during extended transit if shipped submerged can be quite high> I immediately floated it and began unwrapping it in my tank.  Most of the coral had disappeared and only the hard center left but there was about 2 - 3 inches left at the bottom so I began to frag which I have never done.   <my yes... does sound like it shipped badly for water reason; there's no living tissue at all when you get down to the woody gorgonin stem> Some of the tips of the coral I glued into slate and placed in a grow tank.  Will my mother colony make it through or is it doomed to die?   <I cannot say without a pic at least my friend. Gorgonians are resilient though> It looks pretty bad,  some of the polyps have opened but most are gone.  On my frags the are splotchy with some polyps remaining but the purple soft part falling away and revealing the hard core.  I have put calcium and Iodide in the water to try to help the healing process.  Any advice would be helpful.  I am knew to the hobby and need all the help I can get.  Also do you have any advice on re-attaching a piece of Red Ball sponge to rock.  At this time I have it's old base touching a rock and resting on top of another for support. Thanks, Jerry <At this point, my friend, the best advice I can give you is to please research animals thoroughly before buying them. The two choices mentioned here (Gorgonians and Red Ball sponge) are two of the absolute worst candidates for survival in any aquarium, and not to be recommended to beginners under any circumstance. Frankly, I will be very surprised to hear that the red ball sponge lives to see even 6 months in the aquarium. And if you meant other gorgonians with the grey sea rod above... I fear that you have taken some aposymbiotic species (Red, orange or yellow), which have an equally dismal track record in aquaria. Please do consider Eric Borneman's "Aquarium Corals" for a very good read and pic reference... or my "Book of Coral Propagation" for the fundamentals of reef keeping (first half of Volume one lays this all out... about 200 of 450 pages)... and of course, Bob Fenner's CMA for outstanding comprehensive marine keeping info. Best of luck, Anthony Calfo>

Seahorse Compatibility Hello I've got 90g cube tank, and I want to put in only seahorses and gorgonians. Will they live together? Best regards, Darek <Well, Darek- it is certainly possible to put these animals together. The seahorses will probably hitch on to the gorgonians at some point, which may irritate them, so do keep an eye on things. I'd also make sure that the gorgonians that you are contemplating keeping are species with a good track record in captivity. Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Gorgonian Grub Hello Scott, <Hi there!> I brought some Liquid Life BioPlankton today from my L.F.S. and I started with one pump for my 45 gallon tank!!!   I've read in some web pages that I should pump every other day, what do you think? It does not say in the bottle. <I'd tend to agree with that advice; although I'd make sure that you're keeping up the water quality in this tank. Do monitor the water chemistry, to assure that everything is up to par. You certainly don't want to pollute the water. Also, you may want to check on the net regarding specific applications for this product. Liquid Life, USA's owner, Ed Ramirez, is a nice guy who will be able to give you some good pointers on its use. Bon App├ętit! Regards, Scott F.>

Goin' For A Gorgonian! Good afternoon Scott, <Hi there!> I hope you had a great turkey day!!! <Typical...Ate w-a-a-y to much...!> Well Scott a got a question for you. I just brought  a yellow gorgonian!! <Sounds nice!> And I was wondering, I have a bottle of Selcon its that good feed for my gorgonian, or should I buy some Reef plus instead and feed once a week??? Thank you <Well, if you're referring to one of the Diodogorgia species (like D. nodulifera, which is frequently called the "Yellow Gorgonian" in the hobby, then feeding is very important. You really want to use plankton-like foods to feed these animals. Selcon is a great enrichment for many foods, but it is not really a substitute "food", in my opinion. I'd utilize a preparation like Liquid Life's "BioPlankton", or Frozen Cyclop-Eeze. They do require a pretty high level of care, or they will typically waste away in captivity. Do a little research on the 'net to verify the species that you have, and then give the animal a lot of attention, and you may experience some success...Good luck! Regards, Scott F.>

Encrusting gorgonian care - 11/24/03 Hi, I've had a small frag of encrusting gorgonian (sp?) in my tank for about 2 months. I cannot tell for sure if it is growing or not. <Depending on light and condition of the tank, could be a very fast grower but I have noticed mine growing slower these days. What a pain though. This stuff can move rapidly when very happy. Watch carefully. Will cover everything in its path and in some case will even irritate or sting SPS once it touches> The polyps usually open for the entire photoperiod. <Sounds OK to me> I have it on the top of my rockwork, where it receives current from two opposing power heads, and occasional turbulence from a small HOB filter. <Sounds like one of my setups. Indirect current right?> The guy at the LFS didn't really tell me anything about it's care ( no surprise huh?), <Well, no surprise but there are plenty of books, sites, and forum help out there to be educated that one shouldn’t even have to ask about it when buying. (Except for the water parameters of the source tank)> And I know it was my responsibility to know the care of an animal before I purchased it. <That’s right!!!> When I search on the internet, all I seem to find is information on regular branch gorg.s. <Don’t get me started. I see many hits when I use my favorite search engine. C’mon now.> I do weekly water changes, because I'm not too comfortable dosing anything just yet. <I wouldn’t dose anything you don’t test for. Save the money.> I have been feeding DT's in the tank as another source told me that would be good for it. <Not so sure. I have never directly fed mine> Do you have the proper name of this creature? <Well, do searches for it on the internet as there are few variances of encrusting forms of gorgonian. Some of these so called encrusting forms could even be misidentified. Check our page: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/seafans.htm> at least that way my searches could possibly be more fruitful. I really want my Gorg to thrive, and I hope you, or someone else could help me. <High lighting and various strong flows seem to help them thrive in my experience. No need to feed phyto.> It seems as if not too many people on the boards have these things. <'Cause they are a menace when they get loose!!! ~Paul>

Azooxanthellate gorgonian... another statistic 10/22/03 Greetings from Denver, Anthony, I don't know what's wrong with this gorgonian. Last month, it looked great (see pic), after moving to the new system, it looks terrible, with stringy algae like stuff. It saddens me to watch it die, is there anything I can do to save it? Looking forward to seeing you in Denver next month! Thanks, Stormbringer <not much to say mate. They all "look good" for some weeks... even a few months after import. And almost all of these non-photosynthetic gorgonians are dead within 6 months of collection. They should not have been collected, offered, or purchased IMO. It died like every one I've every seen has... attrition and giving up the fight to encroaching algae. We do not know or cannot provide what they eat (nanoplankton and smaller in some cases). Bottles phyto foods with at least some species (this one I believe) are a joke. Yikes... sorry to be so grim, but it is what it is. The red, orange and yellow sea fans are well-deserving of their reputation in captivity. My advice is to never buy another unless you can set up a species tank for it. On a better note... I am very eager to see you and meet the Denver gang next month! Sure to be a great time. Anthony>

Blue polyp gorgonian (Azooxanthellate species) 10/20/03 I have a blue polyp gorgonian (Acalycigorgia sp.). I have been feeding the same food that I my Tubastrea. Its Cyclop-Eeze and it seems to be really helping my animals. <it is a fine food> I was feeding Selcon soaked Mysis until about 2 months ago when I heard of Cyclop-Eeze. <the Selcon is tremendously nutritious... please resume> I do not have a refugium. I do know that a refugium will greatly increase the health of my gorgonian. <more than you know, my friend> Hopefully soon I will be using one. My question is will this gorgonian have a problem if it is lifted out of the water? <why bother... do play it safe and bag and move under water if it needs to be moved> It has grown a couple of inches in height and when I do a water change it is getting too close to being exposed to air? Can this gorgonian tolerate air or will it die if exposed? <Hmmm... I'm not completely certain. I suspect it will be fine. But is may be a good excuse to propagate it (cut off the growing tip and superglue into a hole in another rock). Best regards, Anthony>
Blue polyp gorgonian care 10/21/03 Hi Anthony, <cheers, my friend> Thanks for answering my questions about my blue polyp gorgonian ( Acalycigorgia ). I do have a couple of remaining questions if you would be so kind. <my/our pleasure> Would the Selcon soaked Mysis be a better food than the Cyclop-Eeze? Would you alternate? <Selcon is a very good supplement all ways around (fishes, corals, anemones, etc) - please continue to use here. But as nutritious as mysids are for many animals, I suspect they are way too large for gorgonian polyps here. Better for larger polyped animals and many fishes. Continue with Cyclop-Eeze> When I frag it can I use any old superglue that I get at the hardware store, or is there a marine type of superglue? <DIY superglue is fine... just be sure to use the thick gel for ease of application> When I add the refugium on this tank, will there still be a need for a plankton reactor? <that depends on the style of fuge you set up and how strict you are about keeping it safe from plankton predators (no shrimps, crabs, fishes, corals, etc in it)> Will the zooplankton population in the fuge, and my daily feedings be enough for this gorgonian to thrive? <quite possibly... install as large a refugium as possible: 20-40% the display size of you can> Thanks again for your help. There are a countless number of fish and corals that are still living because of WWM. Peace

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