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FAQs about Caryophyllid Coral Behavior 3

Related Articles: Caryophyllid Corals, Elegance Coral,

FAQs on Caryophyllid Behavior 1, Caryophylliid Behavior 2, Caryophylliid Behavior 4,

Related FAQs: Caryophylliids 1, Caryophylliids 2, Caryophylliids 3, Caryophylliids 4, Caryophyllid ID, Caryophyllid Compatibility, Caryophyllid Systems, Caryophyllid Selection, Caryophyllid Feeding, Caryophyllid Disease, Caryophyllid Propagation/Reproduction, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral Placement, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef Corals, Stony Coral Behavior,

Crazy hammer coral      2/5/14
Hey Bob and Crew!
Hello from frigid Denver! This hammer is a tad different than the many I've had the way he's opening up!
 Not sure if he's feeding or what, I've seen them with large mouths nothing quite like this.  One of the pictures you can see a white mass at the edge of his mouth not sure if it should be there polyps look receded.  Any help is appreciated!
<Mmm, the one "head" appears to be splitting. Happens. The specimen also appears to be healthy. Cheers and thanks for sharing. Bob Fenner>
Mike Snyder
www.thecoralshop.com <http://www.thecoralshop.com/>

corals ejecting pearl-like material  1/1/13
Hello and happy new year!
I have a new Euphyllia Glabrescens in a 10 gallon quarantine tank for the past week. It’s under a 96W power compact light. Yesterday evening when leaving for some new year’s festivities, I noticed both polyps with mouths gaping huge, releasing strings of wispy mucous with dozens of white, tiny pearl-like particles into the water. Looking into the mouths, I could see dozens more of these particles inside the polyps, as can be seen in the photos. I placed a bag of carbon, but being on my way out didn’t have time to do a water change thinking I would do it this morning. However today the coral looks absolutely normal with no signs of what it ejected anywhere in the tank. Either it broke down in the water, or the coral retracted it!?  Now I have in the past seen various corals release brown waste/perhaps Zooxanthellae, and other times mesenteric filaments, and video footage of coral spawning. This doesn’t seem like any of those, and as far as I know corals are not egg layers, so what do you think this is?
Thank You
<Mmm, yes; stress-induced release of planulae... Do search on Google or such with the string "stony coral ejecting planulae". Bob Fenner>

Re: corals ejecting pearl-like material  1/1/13
Thanks so much, Bob!
Funny, I had tried searching but found no explanation, and didn't think this was a reproductive event because these particles were too large to be gametes.
<Mmm, well, eggs are big/ger, not spermatozoa though>
Now, searching the term "planulae" there is lots of info to read!
Interesting that E. Glabrescens is hermaphroditic and can eject planulae while the other Euphyllia species broadcast gametes. Learn something everyday, Thanks again!
<Ah, welcome. BobF>

Torch coral withdrawn    3/21/12
Hi crew<Hi Jennifer, Bobby here>...I put a torch coral in my 55 gal about a month ago (after QT of course) and placed it as suggested by your site. In the sand and not in the direct line of fire of water pumps.  It was doing great, opening beautifully. 
However, in the last day it has completely retracted into a tight ball.  I have tried to feed it in the past but Mysis but of course the fish get at it first. I saw where someone suggested enclosing the coral with the top half of a Gatorade bottle and feeding it that way. I have cut the bottle and placed it over the coral but of course it as no interest in eating as of today.  The only thing that has been different in the last couple of days is I have been trying to slowly increase the pH and alkalinity. <What are you doing to try to adjust to the Alkalinity/PH and are you testing your efforts?>  I got a new pH meter (calibrated) and my tank has been measuring 8.0 in the a.m. but by 4 p.m. it's about 8.3 <This is a normal variation>.  I'd like for it to maintain an 8.3. <You will not be able to keep PH at one level 24 hours a day>  All of my other corals are doing fabulous. The pulsing xenia have never looked better. They pulse all night long. So could this be a feeding issue <Not likely a feeding issue.  Although 'LPS' type corals certainly can benefit from an occasional feeding, this behavior is not indicative of it being 'hungry'> or is it the water? <Possibly but not likely as the other corals are not responding negatively, if you can share  your water testing results it will help explore this question> My tank is 7 years old with a new 4 bulb T5 lighting system (UVA bulbs) and I do 15 gallon water changes weekly. Please let me know if you have any questions for me.<I would not be overly concerned with a coral closing up for a single 24 hour period. 
Confirm for us your water parameters: Ammonia, Nitrite, Nitrate, Alk, Cal,>
 Thank you. <You are welcome> 
Jennifer <Bobby>
Re: Torch coral withdrawn     3/23/12

Thanks for getting back to me to quick, Bobby.  Sorry I couldn't get back to you but AT&T has been down in our area since last night. Anyway to answer your questions, buffering alkalinity with Kent's Superbuffer. <Stop using the buffers. They have a very short term impact on PH and can wreck havoc on Alkalinity.  If you find a need to supplement Alkalinity and Calcium as a result of coral growth and consumption, a 2 part product is your best bet. 
A popular brand is by ESV> However, if the pH
bounce is nothing to worry about then I won't. Water parameters: Ammonia 0, Nitrate - 0, Nitrite - 0, Phosphate 0, Alkalinity between 8 and 9.
<Parameter appear good>  I need to get a new Calcium  testing kit but I do water changes weekly. The coral has opened just a little since I've covered it with the bottle. I did feed it Mysis and it appeared to grab the food but it is still rather retracted. <I would suggest you stop trying to feed it for now. Although it may appear that it is trying to eat, you may just be irritating it beyond whatever its problem is. Also, what fish do you have in the tank?  It is possible some are picking at the coral.  Sometimes you need to just leave them alone for a few days and see if it gets better or worse.  Your best intended efforts may be causing it more problems than you are helping> I'm going to do a water change in a day or so, perhaps that will help.  Also have you heard
of any issues with Instant Ocean lately? I've had a problem once I mix it in there's like this scum that forms on the top. I use RO water and place it in a designated "saltwater" rubber maid garbage can.  I let the water aerate for at least 24 hours before adding the salt and there is no scum until I add the salt. <It is a common issue with IO as well as other brands.  I am using a new batch of IO and have no issues with it in my LPS tank>  Thanks for all of your help!  Jennifer <You are welcome>
Re: Torch coral withdrawn     3/23/12

I have ceased all buffering and pH adjustments. All was going well before hand...you know the old saying..if it ain't broke...<Absolutely>.I have a Ocellaris clown, royal gramma, coral beauty <Very possibly a culprit.  Keep a close eye on him>, bicolor blenny, a newly acquired spotted mandarin (trying to catch to take back to LFS), and a Falco Hawkfish. The coral is still covered and still no change.<Uncover it and let it be>  I will do a water change tomorrow . Could it be it's not getting enough light? <Not likely, would not cause it to close up>
Would it be detrimental to move it to another location with less movement? <Cant hurt and may be part of the issue, they do not like a lot of flow.  Try this today>  Thanks again for your help!!
Jennifer <Welcome, Bobby>
Re: Torch coral withdrawn 3/21/12    3/24/12

Thanks Bobby...I will move it today.  And I will keep an eye out on the fish, as I type the coral beauty (Butthead) is picking all around the torch.  It's always something :) Thank you again!  Jennifer <You are welcome, and Good Luck!>

Frogspawn Question'¦Zooxanthellae or Waste Expulsion? -- 08/05/11
Hey Crew!
<<Hey Nathan!>>
Hope you're all doing well!
<<Can only speak for myself but'¦not so bad (if you discount the long hours at work'¦and the equatorial heat of late! [grin])>>
I acquired a Frogspawn coral within the last week. It opened all of its eight polyps/heads beautifully within the first three hours of adding it to the main display tank. I am keeping it in a 75 gallon tall tank, with a 30 gallon sump. I keep it about eight inches under 3x96 watt 10,000k PC bulbs in medium current.
<<All sounds good>>
Only other tank mates are small reef hermit crabs, Astrea snails, two Blue Green Chromis, one True Percula and a rock of about five small red mushrooms. It's been about a week since then and my single True Percula clown has started to host it.
I have been feeding it finely shredded shrimp and halibut every other day with the turkey baster method. Today as I got home from work, and sat in front of my tank to stare for a while as I usually do, I watched as a stringy brown substance was ejected from one of the polyps. My first thought was that it's getting rid of waste
but then also it could be expelling Zooxanthellae.
<<Another possibility>>
The polyps are full and quite healthy looking, and water conditions are good (ammonia 0, nitrite 0, nitrate 10 ppm, salinity 1.026) But it's been a warm summer where I live
<<Downright hot in many places>>
and the water temperature is a constant 81 to 79 at night.
<<Okay'¦not so bad'¦and hopefully the 'daytime' temps are no more than 2-3 degrees above this>>
So my questions are these: Is it expelling Zooxanthellae?
<<A possibility, yes>>
If so perhaps for what reason?
Some reasons for this (if this is indeed the case) could be stress form the attentions of the clownfish, excessive light (not too likely here), of stress from heat if the tank is heating up much more than shown, during the daytime. But more than likely, considering your feeding regime for this coral, it was just expelling waste as you first surmised>>
I have heard of some Caryophylliids eating clowns, should I be worried?
<<Unless this fish is very small'¦likely, no>>
I realize the temperature is a bit high, should I invest in some sort of cooling system?
<<A fan/fans for evaporative cooling certainly wouldn't hurt>>
Thanks so much!
<<Quite welcome>>
I've been a reader for the last 6 years,
<<Ah!'¦about as long as I have been a Crewmember>>
and I'm almost 20. You guys
<<and gals!...>>
are great! Sorry for so many questions at once!
<<No worries mate!>>

Hammer Corals... beh., rdg. 4/24/11
I have a nice piece of a pink tip hammer coral. It has four heads and was doing well. It recently has refused to fully open.
<Happens... for various reasons>
The ends of the tentacle's will not fully open. So it looks like a fat tentacle torch coral. I have Done two water changes, three weeks apart. The water is perfect, and I have fed it, and it has taken food. Have you seen or heard of this problem?
<Oh yes. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/carybehfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Re? Hammer coral... beh., rdg.? 4/25/11
This is a picture of my pink tip hammer coral. As you can see, the tips are not fully enveloped. The water parameters are perfect, and I have done two water changes. I've had the coral for about three months now, and they were normal for the first week, since then, it's been about 11 weeks of looking like short fat torch coral.
<Happens... Have you read where you were referred?>
I've moved them a few times,
<Not a good idea>
always keeping them in very good light, but out of strong current. I recently changed the light bulbs in my fixture, as it had been about 10 months with those lights, and thought that may have something to do with the problem. Any suggestions??
<... read: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/carybehfaqs.htm
and the linked files above. BobF>
It's a beautiful coral when full. I'd hate to lose it.

Re: Hammer coral... 4/25/11
I went to that site information and could not find anything of relevance.
What article are you referring me too?
Sent from my iPhone
<... the one linked above... as twice already stated. The family coverage.
Plus see the Health FAQs for Caryophylliids and Compatibility. B>
Re: Hammer coral... 4/25/11
As I have asked a few times now, and you answer a question with a question.
I checked the link several times for anything close to an answer to my hammer coral question, and there is nothing I have read that even addresses the issue for a hammer coral.
<Mmm, but this area does. Hammer coral is a member/species of Euphyllia, of the family cited, Caryophylliidae (actually currently Euphylliidae)...>
If you have heard of such problems, just answer the question if you can please.
<Okay... as you don't list actual data, this "closed polyp" issue could be simply a chemical and or physical imbalance... there are many such possibilities. Or, just about as frequently encountered, an example of allelopathy; your Hammer "losing" to other Cnidarians>
If not, just say you have no idea, and leave it at that. You folks have helped me very much in the past and I deeply appreciate it. But the smugness at which I have received for this last inquiry has been uncalled for.
Thank again,
<Please learn to/use the search tool and indices on WWM. DO read others experiences and our responses... IF you had, you would have provided more information (discrete, useful) and NOT moved this colony about. B>

Torch Coral... bail out... resp., relocation 3/25/11
> I have a few torch coral specimens, and one of them has detached from it's skeleton. Can I glue it back on to the skeleton? Or should I place it in the substrate to try to grow a new skeleton?
<... I would likely place it elsewhere, not back on the skeleton. B>

Euphyllia skeleton growing, polyps shrinking 2/7/11
Hello Crew!
<Hi Joe>
Thanks so much for your continuing wisdom. This will be a quick question today: does Euphyllia skeletal growth cause polyp shrinkage?
<Mmm, I guess it could. That is, if conditions favour the growth of one vs. the other>
I've been keeping a Frogspawn, Torch, and Hammer coral in my 54 Gallon Reef for the past year
<Mmm, these Caryophylliids do "fight" considerably amongst each other>
and would estimate that on average, about an inch of skeletal growth has occurred. My Frogspawn in particular, has shown considerable division, starting with two heads, dividing to about 6. As the year progressed, the polyps have slowly shrank! Upon close examination of the skeleton, it appears as if the division has caused the top (opening) where the polyps emerge to become significantly smaller which I would attribute to the skeleton slowly dividing.
I've included this week's system's parameters just in case:
Temp- 78 degrees F
SG 1.025
pH 8.5 - daytime reading (All test kits are API)
Ammonia 0
Nitrite 0
Nitrate- reads as zero
Mag- 1000
Cal. 360
DkH 10
Lighting is provided by one 150 Watt 10K HQI and 1 65 Watt 10K PC.
I wasn't sure if this is this was normal for this family of corals or not
<Under these circumstances, likely so>
<Do read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/carycompfaqs.htm
and here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm
As you will find, there are a number of things one can/should do to discount allelopathy.
Bob Fenner>

March 2010 Feb. 2011

Frogspawn color change ? 1/24/11
I have a green and white tipped frogspawn and a light green pink tipped " tri colored " and brown with white tips. If they are placed together can they revert to one color.
<Can, could>
I have had the green and tri colored ones together and they seem to look more similar . I have moved the tri colors up higher but less light and they seem to be more green. At one time when I introduced the tri color and the brown ,I had the green already, they looked different at similar depths and light. Common ?
<Happens! Especially under the same system circumstances>
Thanks Bob,
<Welcome... Bob Fenner>
Re: Frogspawn color change ? 1/24/11

Wow Bob, what a fast reply .Thank you so much for your time. They are currently in a 29 gal with pc's.
So then if I remove all but the green ones It will be more green than the tri colored ?
<Mmm, not necessarily, no. Whatever conditions (light, current, foods, chemistry) are more favoured... will trend the colour their way>
My favorite one was the real neon green with white tips . Or if I am able to separate far enough that they do not touch even the sweeper's. I am guessing my best results to is to keep just the one I want and remove others from the setup. I'm not sure if they change colors due to close proximity , or touching .
<I do think this is a factor as well>
Much ,much appreciation . Bob,
<Welcome! BobF>

Euphyllia, beh. -- 06/26/10
I have a frogspawn that seems to have a disease I can find nothing about.
For the past two days one of its heads (which recently split maybe a month back) seems to have its mouth wide open and it almost looks like the gastric chamber is outside of its body. It appears almost like a blister in the center of the coral.
<Have seen this>
I saw on one post that it could be an attempt to increase surface area as a way of getting more oxygen, however my tank has a sump which provides with plenty of surface area of oxygen to dissolve into the water. None of my
other corals are affected and I would hate for something to spread and wipe out my corals.
I thought about fragging it and moving the affected head into its own tank, but the heads aren't separated enough I'm afraid for them to make it.
what could it be? and what should I do?
<I think this may be some sort of mechanism resultant/helping with splitting. I would perhaps increase iodide-ate supplementation, feeding. Bob Fenner>

Tip On Goniopora <fdg., ltg.> And A Question On Frogspawn <beh., id.> 6/23/10
Greetings crew!
First off, your site is incredible and I use it as my saltwater aquaria bible.
<Thank you, and glad to hear.>
My first point is a tip with Goniopora or flowerpot coral since it seems to be a delicate creature and hard for some to take care of.
<I agree.>
I have had the red variety of Goniopora in my tank (55gal with skimmer, charcoal media filter and 29gal refugium and 216W T5 with 2 10K and 2 Actinic and moon lights on a 12hr timer) with Zoas, Palys, Xenia, multiple
LPS (Favias, FS, chalice), Rics and Shrooms, a few softies (chili and orange carnation), a rose BTA and a Tube Anemone. Fish are Six Line Wrasse, Black Saddle Perc Clown, Orange Perc Clown, fire goby and a Blue Hippo
Tang. Said Goniopora has been healthy, blooming and encrusting for 5 months now. I feed Mysis, brine soaked in Selcon then drained and seaweed (for the tang) and zooplankton (targeted) and phytoplankton (twice a week). The
phyto is for softies and Goniopora. I read a study, possibly on this site, that studies of dissected Goniopora in the wild found the majority of the stomach contents to be phytoplankton.
<I have read similar reports to that extent, and that Goniopora cannot survive on photosynthesis alone, but depends on phyto for 70% of it's diet.>
I also found that, my species in my tank, seemed to be very sensitive to light changes even light temp. Due to a mix up at the LFS I had to run 3 10K bulbs and 1 actinic instead of the 2 and 2 normal setup. This ran for 4 days before I could correct and caused my flowerpot to completely recede into the skeleton and close the openings to the polyps. Once I fixed the lighting temperature SNAFU, it started to bloom immediately! Hope some of this helps.
<Agree, actinic doesn't do much for photosynthesis.>
Oops, forgot tank parameters:
Nitrate-fluctuates between 0 and 10
Phos-0-0.25 I know...no readable phosphate.
weekly 5gal water changes of RO/DI
1/2 cup dark skimmate every 3-4 days
So my question about the frogspawn is this:
I have researched on your site and others regarding the anatomy and physiology of this species (mine is the green and purple branching variety) regarding feeding parts. I know about sweeper tentacles (mainly for defense and attack) and the mouth located at the center of the head. The part that I am curious about is a tube like opening on each head separate from the mouth. This opening can close and retract and when it is open a translucent fanlike appendage darts out, opens up and rotates to catch particulate and then retreats. This happens constantly through out the day and night; pretty cool to watch. I have not been able to find any info on this on your site. Is this a filter feeding mechanism to add to the photosynthetic algae and carnivorous eating habits of this LPS?
<Mmm, I'm not aware of that physical behavior, and in searching Borneman's book, came up with nothing. I know Euphyllias have developed several feeding strategies and whether this is one of them, I don't know. As crazy as it sounds, it seems as though you have a barnacle of some type growing in the Frogspawn. Your description of this sure resembles a barnacle to me. Bob, am I losing it, or do you have any input?><<Mmm, this IS likely a Cirripedian... a Barnacle; but could be a filter feeding member of other arthropod groups (crab, shrimp). RMF>>
Thanks for your time!
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>

Euphyllids... spatial orientation of skeletons, polyps, colonies 4/1/10
Hi, I noticed that Bob has seen many elegance corals in the wild, and they were all horizontally oriented.
<Mmm, vertically... V-shaped point down>
Does this type of placement in the wild hold true for other Euphyllids, such as the torch, hammer and frogspawn corals?
<Their skeletons... phaceloid-meandroid, are spatially oriented "upward" as well>
Andrew Angrist
<Let's go diving. BobF>

I think my torch coral spawned. 3/13/10
<... we ask folks to limit their attachments to a few hundred Kbytes...
you've sent along some ten Megs... Is there a full moon where you are?>
I think my torch coral spawned but I can't be sure as I have never seen anything like this before. Can someone please confirm that this is what's happened and if so what I can do to keep the little guys alive? Most have attached themselves to various rocks and structures in my reef tank and I would like to see a few make it.
<Looks more like it's egesting... defecating... "going potty"... Coelenterates (old name) only have one opening... serves for all purposes. Read here:
Sexual reproduction in Euphylliids/Caryophylliids is rare in captivity...
and looks different... the gametes being larger and smaller than what's pictured here.
Bob Fenner>

Re: I think my torch coral spawned. 3/13/10
I have had this torch coral for 3 years now, I have watched it "potty" many times. It's always brown and small it has never released anything like this before. This is the first time I see hundreds of different sized white balls be released in mucus strands and place themselves randomly around my tank. We don't have a full moon right now. We are in our new moon stage where I am. Hope this helps.
<Mmm, still not reproductive behavior as far as I know. Have seen Euphyllias reproducing in the wild... this is something else. BobF>
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