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FAQs about Identification of Faviid Corals 3

Related Articles: Faviid Corals,

Related FAQs: Faviid Identification 1, Faviid ID 2, Faviid ID 4 &, Faviids 1, Faviids 2, Faviids 3, Faviid Behavior, Faviid Compatibility, Faviid Selection, Faviid Systems, Faviid Feeding, Faviid Disease, Faviid Reproduction/Propagation, 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,

LPS Identification      1/6/15
Good Evening The fine crew at WWM,I was wondering if you could help me identify the coral in the middle of the picture. I was thinking some type of Favia or Favites, but now I'm not so sure.
<Maybe.... or a Caulastrea species?>
The light green polyps on top are the same as the rest of the coral. Is it common for younger polyps to have tentacles in the Favites or Favia Venus?
<Genus? Yes>
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a great night! Jason
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: LPS Identification      1/8/16
Thanks Bob for the speedy reply! I'll check into the Genus Caulastrea, not sure that is spelled right, but I believe they are not encrusting and what I have is.
<Some species are... Do you have any of Veron's works?>
Either way I believe the care is roughly the same so maybe exact species isn't necessary.
<Yes; tis so>
I have another question regarding water changes, currently I do 3 gallon changes daily on a 20 gallon plus 15 gallon sump. I have noticed that I'm starting to have brown diatoms growing on the glass, do you think that will subside in time?
<Mmm; possibly... a matter of balances... best to do what you can to increase RedOx, improve skimming, use (prudent) of chem. filter media; poss. use of competitors>
I know its related to the water changes. My source water is the primo water refills at Wal-Mart. The water there is suppose to go through a sediment filter, carbon block, to, and finally UV. I want to get an rodi unit but that will have to wait. If it wont go away on its own then what is the best way to remove silicates from the water.
<Ahh; do please search/see/read on WWM Re. Am out diving in Florida and hard to look u>
Thanks in advance for helping me with my questions and have a great night. Jason
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: LPS Identification     1/9/16

Bob, As always thanks for your time, effort, and help. I will definitely check on the 3 volume compendium, and thanks for the website. Jason
<Am very sure you will enjoy and gain by its perusal. A personal note; a dear (and unfortunately departed) friend, John Jackson, of Odyssey Publishing was very good friends w/ J.E.N (Charlie) Veron... in fact brought him out to the MACNA... was it in Boston? Years ago. I'd pre-purchased a set of this work, and John gifted me one of the hundred leather bound ones... I gave away the first, and yes; have written in the limited ones... as is my habit. BobF>

Diploastrea Feeding, Centropyge Suitability         3/2/15
Dear Bob (or other Crew),
I was wondering if you might be able to provide your opinion on a couple of questions I have.
<Let's see>
1) I have a Diploastrea, which has been in the tank for 2 months and is showing signs of what I assume is normal behaviour (polyp retraction/extension, light-sensitivity, eating behaviours, growth/polyp budding). However, I have also occasionally noticed it apparently "eating" fragments of various macroalgae pieces that have been floating around my tank.
<Mmm; most such corals... Faviid... now in a sep. family Diploastreidae?
Are nocturnal feeders... on zooplankton principally... can learn, do learn to open during daylight... not cultured as yet as far as I'm aware>
When doing this, the polyp involved appears to hold the algae in its mouth (at the centre of the polyp) in much the same way as it would do to its normal food when I target feed, and this hold appears quite strong as the local current can exceed 15cm/s. I have always assumed such corals are carnivorous, and I have never directly observed any polyp completely ingesting an algal fragment, so it could simply be a case of mistaken identity,
<Sure... there can be chemical cues on what appears to be "solely" algae et al.; that my contain other life>
and the algae is spat out later on, but polyps can sometimes hold onto the algae for at least an hour, which strikes me as rather deliberate behaviour. Is this normal behaviour, do you think, or could my coral be starving and thus desperate to eat
anything it can get its mouths on?
<I don't consider this behavior aberrant... i.e., I'd list it as normal>
2) I previously wrote to you about stocking my tank with a fish, and after hesitating, reading and re-reading what I could find on the subject, I think I have decided on a single Centropyge argi or aurantonotus for my tank. That said, I would like to run my proposal past you one final time, just to make sure my choice is actually suitable. Tank details as follows (apologies if some of it is superfluous):
My system is a stony coral reef tank of volume 240L (60gal) with a 0.5in SSB, and an upstream 80L refugium with a 4in DSB. The main tank (where the fish will reside) has a footprint of 48in*18in. The main tank contains about 25L of LR (estimated by measuring displacement), and I use a Tunze 9006 skimmer for nutrient export, although at 30% efficiency at present. I maintain tank temperature between 26 and 28 deg. C and water chemistry suitable for Scleractinians; from the fish's point of view, this is salinity 35-36ppt, nitrates consistently undetectable
<Cnidarians DO need some NO3>
and phosphates less than 0.03ppm (Salifert kits). Flow in the tank is somewhat chaotic with a total turnover exceeding 12000L/hr (i.e. 50x) provided by powerheads, and lighting is a DIY system sufficiently bright to support Acropora. The other intentional tank inhabitants are six Lysmata spp. shrimp,
<Keep your eyes on these... may be too many, walking over your stony corals>
various snails and a number of Scleractinians (Pocilloporids, Acroporids, Diploastrea and an unidentified, possibly Agariciid), and there will be no other fishes at any time apart from the dwarf angel. I have attempted to arrange the rockwork loosely, with caves and a couple of swim-throughs, but I didn't do it that well,
<Can be re-done; next time you get a hankering>
as most of these are quite cramped and I think will only just admit an adult-sized fish. There is, however, space to swim at the back and sides of the rock mounds. The LR itself was cured on purchase and 3-5 months old; it appears established with a fair amount of macroalgae (at least 20 species of which I hope at least some is edible) and a moderate coverage of sponges in the sheltered areas. The refugium (5 months old) also appears to be producing a fair number of Mysid shrimp in addition to other things and rocks placed in it will grow sponges in a number of weeks, so I can swap them out to provide extra grazing if necessary. I intend to feed the fish with what I feed my corals (DIY recipe, blended/frozen and mostly meaty = 30% fresh oysters, 30% other shellfish, 15% D-D clam/filter feeder powder, 10% reconstituted algae, remainder liquid vitamin mix), a pellet food (probably ON Formula Two) and dried algae sheets. I do not have a quarantine setup (I'm sorry to
say), but plan to dip the fish with freshwater/Methylene blue before introduction.
<Sounds good>
The reason why I would like a fish is primarily to provide some pollution to help feed my corals (I still can't increase nutrient levels above barely detectable despite regular feeding) and to graze some of my macroalgae, which I have only partially controlled in anticipation of it being a necessary food source. I expect the fish will also be interesting to observe, but to be brutally honest, I am more interested in corals/non-vertebrate life than fish, so this is only a secondary consideration. I understand that there is a risk with dwarf angels nipping or even consuming my corals, but I am willing to accept this (and to remove the fish if destructive) assuming the tank is otherwise suitable. The only negative thing I can think of is that the tank is on the smaller end of the acceptable range for small Centropyge species.
<Yes; the smaller-est>
So in total, do you think my tank is a suitable habitat for a C. argi or aurantonotus (or if not, any other dwarf angel species)?
Also, do you think it is reasonable to get one of these fishes mainly for the purposes of converting food/algae to waste in an otherwise low-nutrient reef tank?
<And yes>
If so, is my feeding plan sufficiently diverse for a dwarf angel?
<I do>
Many thanks for your assistance,
<A pleasure to share w/ you. Bob Fenner>
Re: Diploastrea Feeding         3/3/15

Dear Bob,
On 2015-03-02 15:44, WetWebMedia Crew wrote:
> I was wondering if you might be able to provide your opinion on a
> couple of questions I have.
> <Let's see>
Thanks for responding so fast (as usual).
> <Mmm; most such corals... Faviid... now in a sep. family
> Diploastreidae?
> Are nocturnal feeders... on zooplankton principally... can learn, do
> learn
> to open during daylight... not cultured as yet as far as I'm aware>
Heh. I didn't know about the reclassification of Diploastrea; thanks for letting me know about it. According to what I can find, it seems that Diploastraeidae was resurrected in 2012 in the following paper (Note: "Diploastreidae" without the extra "a" is used everywhere else including WoRMS, but it is not the spelling used by the following reference and by the authors in their works):
Budd A.F. et al. 2012. Taxonomic classification of the reef coral family Mussidae (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia). Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 166(3):465-529
According to molecular analysis conducted in 2008 by this group, most traditional Scleractinian family classifications are not clades (i.e. the corals within such families are not all descended from a common ancestor) and so a lot of genera are likely to end up being reclassified. Diploastrea heliopora is apparently genetically distinct and diverged early on in evolutionary terms from most other Faviids.
Along with analysis of various morphological characteristics suggesting that the skeletal structure is also quite distinct from other Faviids, there is strong evidence that this particular genus deserves its own family, thus the suggestion of Diploastraeidae. Apparently, the closest relative to these corals based on molecular analysis is Montastrea cavernosa, which is suggested to be the sole member of its genus and also in a separate family, Montastraeidae (all other Montastrea species
have been moved out to different genera).
I suppose I should say that this sort of reclassification is not necessarily correct either, given our lack of understanding of both horizontal gene transfer (i.e. genetic material passing between otherwise apparently unrelated corals) and the assumptions we make about mutations accumulating in genomes over time and the mathematical models we use to construct such evolutionary trees, but it seems very interesting nonetheless.
<I follow your gist; and agree w/ you>
As for culturing, I had assumed my Diploastrea was propagated artificially, based on the assurances of my LFS, but I guess you might be right that it could be a frag originally broken from a larger wild colony and then rehabilitated in a tank before sale.
<Have never seen this genus cultured; Faviids period... not easy to frag and slow growers; poor sellers>
It appears at the moment to be growing at a rate of 4-8mm/yr so I guess I might be able to propagate it myself if it gets big enough. Polyps tend only to open after lights off (sweeper tentacles only come out in absolute pitch dark),
<Ah yes; in the hundreds of times I've seen underwater... the same>
and often retract if a bright light (e.g. a torch) is shone on them. The exception is when target fed, when the coral is very quick to gorge itself on whatever is stuck to its mucus net.
> I have always assumed such corals are carnivorous, and I have never
> directly observed
> any polyp completely ingesting an algal fragment, so it could simply be
> a case of mistaken identity,
> <Sure... there can be chemical cues on what appears to be "solely"
> algae et
> al.; that my contain other life>
Do you know, I had a D'oh moment shortly after I sent the email when I realised this could be the answer: I think you might very well be right. Perhaps my coral is enjoying the equivalent of a lollipop, sucking off whatever is on the surface and then discarding the algal "stick" later on.
> My system is a stony coral reef tank ... nitrates consistently
> undetectable
> <Cnidarians DO need some NO3>
Heh; I know. I'm trying, honest, but the amount of food I am putting in there scares me. Even when the tank was a moderately stocked FW community tank, I don't think I ever fed it with nearly as much food as I do now. I guess it just goes to show how "reef" tanks set up like this can have a large capacity to store and process biomatter and waste, and that if you provide food/nutrients of whatever form to excess, there is likely to be some organism around that will take advantage of it. I'm hoping the angel will help reduce some of the corals' competitors in the tank through grazing them and pooping them out as nutrients, but we'll see.
> The other intentional tank inhabitants are six
> Lysmata spp. shrimp,
> <Keep your eyes on these... may be too many, walking over your stony
> corals>
Hm, yes. Now that you mention it, the peppermints do particularly graze on my Pocilloporas although they have never actually killed any polyps as far as I can see. I'll certainly bear them in mind if my corals start to look unhappy.
> So in total, do you think my tank is a suitable habitat for a C. argi
> or
> aurantonotus (or if not, any other dwarf angel species)?
> <Yes>
> Also, do you
> think it is reasonable to get one of these fishes mainly for the
> purposes of converting food/algae to waste in an otherwise low-nutrient
> reef tank?
> <And yes>
> If so, is my feeding plan sufficiently diverse for a dwarf
> angel?
> <I do>
Thanks for your feedback.
<And you for your input. Cheers, BobF>

Trying to find a ID   7/12/13
Hi someone told me I should try asking you guys if you can help id this coral. I have asked on many forums but no one can answer it. It came on my pagoda cup rock and seems to encrust. It can really bubbly at times and when it "in" it looks like some sort of brain. If you have any ideas I would love to hear them. Thank you
<Where and when in doubt w/ Scleractinians, shout out "Faviidae!" Average size of the corallites? Mmm, my guess is on Favites sp.
Bob Fenner>

Coral ID 3/4/12
Please ID, thanks.
<Paul, easily found on our site, please learn to use the search tool.  Your corals appear to be Faviids, Caulastrea.  See, scroll down here.
James (Salty Dog)>

Re Hitchhiker ID 3/5/12
I of course use the search tool on your website, it's the only reason I haven't asked more questions.  If you prefer I can seek my answers elsewhere, but I don't trust other sources half as much.
<Was not aware you have searched the site.>
 So, hopefully you'll indulge me once more, and only because hours of searching your site and others have not revealed what these creatures are.  I thought they were sponges, but they glow slightly in the center of the discs at the top.
They are also pushed slightly in the current.  And I have not seen any tentacles.
<I wish you would have replied to the original thread.  If I recall correctly, the original thread was coral ID, Faviids.  If you are referring to the 8-10 brownish polyps in this attachment, they appear to be solitary Zoanthids.  There are three growth forms of Zoanthids, solitary, connected (polyps joined by the stolon), or massive (polyps embedded in coenenchyme).  I cannot blow the picture up very much without excessive pixelization.  A close up may provide a more accurate ID.  If there is chemical allelopathy going on in your system, the tentacles may not fully extend.
Bob may also comment on the ID here.>
Thanks for the answers.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)>

Re Hitchhiker ID 3/5/12
Thank you,
 it's exciting to get new creatures without knowing it, WWM is a great site full of info which I consume daily.  These brown guys are different from the original thread, 'tis why I didn't respond to that thread.
<I see but you could have, was still coral ID.>
I tried feeding them Mysis shrimp and they ate the shrimp!  I have been staring at them quite awhile today, and I think a saw very tiny tentacles less then 1mm... and I also noticed when they close up they look like baseball bats with a hole in the top.  Do you think the ones that stay closed most or all of the time are in decline (there are only a few small ones staying closed)?
<Mmm, all depends on other Cnidarians present as I mentioned before, may be some allelopathy going on....other Zoas, mushrooms, etc.  May be lighting, too strong, not strong enough, too much water flow.  Best to search/read Zoanthids.>
Thanks again.
<You're welcome.  James (Salty Dog)> 
Live Rock Acquired Coral 2/12/12
Greetings, I purchased a small Live Rock to which an assortment of life was attached. This life included 3-4 types of worm, a couple of glass anemone, a clam, two stalks of what I assume to be seaweed, and 4-5 small groups of coral. My main question has to do with the coral and it's ID.
It has small brown tubular stalks with little vertical ridges. It also has small, translucent "fingers" that stick out of the top of the coral.
The only picture I found on the website that looked right is found here:
<The first pic... near top, center? Looks to be some sort/species of Faviid...>

I would also like to know how to care for this coral,
<... read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidsysfaqs.htm
and the linked files above>
and if the t5 24 watt 1 white and 1 blue lights are enough with a 28 gallon euro tank (about 19 inches tall, so right around 16 inches to the sand).
<Apparently so>
Also, while my tank is cycling, is there anything I should be doing to care for the other animals I acquired through the live rock?
<... Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/lrcurefaq8.htm
and the linked files above, part. "Water Quality">
Thank you.
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
Re: Live Rock Acquired Coral 2/12/12

Yes, forgive me, the coral picture found in the "Live Rock" article is the second picture you see scrolling down the web page.
<Oh... this appears to be another Faviid... of the genus Cladacora. You can search/read re its husbandry on the Net, books>
Also, I wanted to ask about what I think may be a sponge I got with the live rock. It is spongy to the touch, and has what looks like green plant stems coming up from it.
It's the size of a peanut and a dark blackish-green color. Any thoughts are appreciated. Thank you.
<... posted, gone over and over on WWM. Do learn to/use the search tool, indices. BobF>

cropped, expanded

Lighting and IDs 1/27/12
Hi Crew,
<Hello Rick>
I am after your opinion about my Lighting - currently I have 3 x 120W banks of LEDs as in the picture attached (LED Current).
The tank seems happy enough although it has only been set up for a few months. All the stock in it are out of several nanos I've had scattered around the house for about 5 years.
I've very good coralline growth in the new tank and bulk live Pods and Mysis shrimp due to the 300Lt fishless sump.
The tank contains a full reef with Live Rock, Fish, SPS and LPS corals.
The water level from where the lights are mounted to the top of the aragonite bed is approx 600mm.
I am a bit concerned I've mucked up the ratios of the LED banks and was after your opinion on light spectrum.
The new banks I'm thinking of building will look like the picture "LED New"
Can I ask your opinion on the light spectrum and ratios I'm considering?
<Sure. The 20K LEDs are not much use for growing corals, at least the corals we commonly keep in our aquaria. I would not waste the energy on these LEDs but direct it toward the usable spectrum need by corals (420-700nm). I would not use any LEDs below 400nm as you are then getting into the UV range which could/can cause molecular damage to some animals in
your system.>
In addition to the lighting configuration I'm considering , I am also planning on building 2 x Black Light bars at 18 Watt each to help fluoresce the tank.
<Would not use this as well as they are well into the UV range and will be hard on the eyes with extended viewing of your aquarium. Depending on the intensity, the black light may even damage your eyes if looking directly at them.
At what Wave length will I be exposing the live stock / bacteria to dangerous levels of U/V radiation?
<Anything below 400nm. UV is in the range of 10-400nm. Below 10nm is the X-Ray spectrum.
Do you think 360nm would be ok, would the 400nm be just as effective, or could I go lower?
<I personally would not use anything below 420nm.>
Two more questions regarding an ID. See picture "ID".
This animal has gotten into my sump obviously through live rock, it doesn't do any damage (except eating the occasional baby Bristle Worm}. The animal lays flat on the aragonite and very quickly closes up as food touches or floats over it. It is an Omnivore as I've seen it eat anything from bits of algae to shrimp. It's had a few goes at larger Bristle worms but lets them go after closing around a portion of them, however, it has no problem chomping up the babies.
<Appears to be a Rock/Flower Anemone, an Actinia of some type. Bob may input here with a more accurate ID.>
The next one is a coral that I haven't found conclusively what it is, It may be some type of brain but the closest pictures I can find suggest a moon coral. I'm unsure where to place it, whether on the aragonite bed or on the live rock. The coral fluoresces beautifully at night under the moon lights and exceptionally with a jigged up 360nm LED.
<Appears to be a Faviid species, possibly a Moon Coral. May want to peruse here.
As always your advise is appreciated.
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Rick (who just got his open water license and is about to dive the GBR J )
<Lucky you!>

Is this bubble algae?/what kind of coral is this? 7/15/11
Hello everyone at WWM,
I got this Zoanthid about 7 weeks ago at my LFS for $5.00. I had it on a rack and just moved it on to a rock. Is this bubble algae to the right of it?
<Mmm, yes>
I have never had that type of algae. I have not glued the piece yet so I can take it out and remove if that is what it is, don't want it spreading.
<Mmm, see WWM re Valoniaceans>
I also heard that it is easier to remove if the bubbles are bigger. In the second picture I won this at a frag swap and forgot to ask what it was.
Is it Favia?
<I do think it is of this genus, yes>
Thanks for your help it is much appreciated.
<Welcome! Bob Fenner>

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