Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Feeding Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae

Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae

Related FAQs: A Soft Corals of the Family Alcyoniidae, Alcyoniids 2, Alcyoniids 3, Alcyoniids 4, Alcyoniid ID, Alcyoniid Selection, Alcyoniid Compatibility, Alcyoniid Systems, Alcyoniid Behavior, Alcyoniid Feeding, Alcyoniid Health, Alcyoniid Propagation, Soft Coral PropagationSoft Coral HealthDyed CoralsSoft Coral Propagation, Nephtheids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids, Xeniids, Dyed Corals

Green Polyped Leather Coral Eating? Possibly more beh.  -- 11/23/09
I sure have learned much from your site, thank you! I have a 65 gallon reef tank that has been running over a year now. Everything in the tank is growing and happy. My question is in regards to the latest addition, a
green polyped leather coral. This coral is about two inches tall with a three inch crown. Its base is tucked into a crevice of live rock and it reaches out into medium level water flow. This coral is about 18 inches
from multiple lights. To get to the point here, we noticed a lighter shade "splotch" the size of a dime on the crown when the polyps were not extended. I guessed it was damaged before I purchased it and began to keep an extra close eye on it. Anyhow, this "splotch" would be in a different location throughout the day (when lights not on), every day. The coral extends small green polyps a few hours into the day light cycle and seems to be on a normal schedule of extending polyps during the day and closing up at night. When the polyps are extended the "splotch" goes away completely. Anyhow, very interesting.... late night and early morning we observe the coral and noticed that out of the "splotch" extends two six inch long, thin as a tread netting system. It is so cool! These long thread lines have around twenty smaller threads fanning out like a flag or really a fine toothed comb. The smaller threads are about 2 inches long.
When a small, tasty particle drifts into the thread net the thread is pulled in. It is amazing how it doesn't get all tangled up. I would need a really, really good camera to pick up the thin net. So, now the
question. Is this how the green polyped leather is eating or is there a crazy creature living inside the coral?
<The former>
I have not found any information on leather corals extending a thread-like net system to eat. What do you think?
<They "do this", but could also be reacting to the presence of other Cnidarians... competing with them>
The coral has been in the tank 4 weeks now and seems very content. The closest neighbors are a large hammer coral located 8 inches
away and a nice trumpet coral located 5 inches to the other side. These thread nets are catching food, do you think they sting too?
<Mildly. Alcyoniids, -arians (these "sorts" of soft corals) are more chemical competitors.>
Can't wait to read your response! Thank you, Wendy
<Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/alcyoncompfaqs.htm
and search WWM with the term "coral allelopathy", and read particularly re Euphylliids in this regard. Bob Fenner>

Colt Coral Feeding 11/7/07 Hi, <Hi Jason> I recently acquired a Colt Coral from my LFS. I've been looking all over the net for feeding info and am confused as to what and how often it should be fed. I'm supplementing weekly with iodine. <Strontium should be added also.><<Mmmm. Not necessary IMO. RMF>> My LFS recommended that I feed medium sized zooplankton once a week. They recommended a bottled zooplankton product by Brightwell Aquatics that is not refrigerated. Is this the best way to go? Is phytoplankton a preferred food over zooplankton for this species? Any help would be appreciated. Love the site. <Jason, since the Colt Coral (Cladiella sp.) is photosynthetic, no feeding is actually required as long as the light intensity is suitable. Some feel it is beneficial to do occasional feedings. My choice would be Marine Plankton With Cyclopeeze, made by Liquid Life. Is what I use on my corals and the product comes in a bottle with a pump dispenser. I leave mine in the freezer and it easily pumps the product. Keep in mind that Colt Corals are an aggressive coral and needs space between others and itself in the reef aquarium. Care should be taken to place Sinularia or Sarcophyton corals out of its reach, as the Cauliflower Colt Coral can easily kill and/or injure these species.> Thanks, <You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)> Jason

Coral Confusion… Paralemnalia... AdamJ's go Hi Crew, <How's it going Steven?> I am confused and in need of a little help. <That's what I'm here for…well confusion related to aquaria, not sure I'm much help in other areas.> I have a 250 gallon FOWLR that I have been adding a few corals for variety. <So we've upgraded from a FOWLR to a semi/simple reef then.> I am finished adding since I wanted to maintain a focus on fish and keep a sparse collection of "easy" corals. <Okay.> My current coral list is as follows:  1 rock with 4-5 very nice red, blue, purple small - medium Actinodiscus, one rock with 3 medium sized hair Rhodactis, one rock with two medium/large green Rhodactis, one medium Colt coral leather Cladiella, one medium Spaghetti leather Sinularia, and one Giant cup mushroom 10"  Amplexidiscus. <Those are all easy to care for, but watch out for those small 'shrooms thy can catch slow moving fish such as gobies and cardinals.> Recently I found a company called Reefer Madness which offers a very nice selection of corals.   <Am familiar with it.> I think they have a joint collaboration with Walt Smith <Sort of, they used to rent out an area of Walt Smith's LAX location and ship out of there but to accommodate the growth of the company have recently bought their own warehouse in the industrial beach city of Torrance, California.> and seem very knowledgeable and very helpful on the phone. <Nice people.> I ordered two corals from them as follows:  (1) Psammocora contigua beautiful SPS with the brightest neon green I have ever seen, <You're getting in to the demanding stuff. And careful these shallow water organisms do not mix with the corals you already have (especially the Sinularia and the acquisition mentioned below) long term.> and a Paralemnalia (Hairy Tree Leather).  Both specimens were shipped like no online supplier I have ever dealt with.  Huge box packed with individual large specimen bags full of crystal clear water, heat packs, and lots of Styrofoam peanuts to keep the bags stable in the box.  The corals looked great right out of the bags. <Cool.> I spoke to one of the owners of Reefer Madness and he gave me the info. on the corals before I purchased explaining that he personally picked the specimens from the ocean, <…Or Wholesaler.> what type of lighting they were in at his holding facility, their care requirements, etc.   <Very good practice.> As you might have noted from my original list of corals I had prior to this purchase, they are all photosynthetic and only require supplemental feeding, which I do once to twice per week according to what they need (phyto, zooplankton, or meaty pieces for the Giant cup).  I believe the info. on the Psammocora contigua is correct in that DT's phyto would work well once or twice per week along with high light.  What I am confused about is the Paralemnalia leather. the company said it is highly photosynthetic and would only need supplemental feeding.  I looked on WWM to find several (more than two) Crew members with contradicting information on this species.  Some Crew members say that it is weakly photosynthetic at best with a poor captive survival rate, while others say it is a good choice and highly photosynthetic.  FWIW Liveaquaria.com lists it as gaining most of its nutritional needs from photosynthesis.  Is it that within this species, there are some which are photosynthetic, while others are not? <Often this genus, Paralemnalia, is confused for "look-alikes" which are not photosynthetic, but if what you have is in fact a Paralemnalia sp. then you should find the care to be quite similar to your Sinularia. As far as feeding the phyto dosing large amounts weekly or biweekly is okay. Though this leads to a tendency to do it "too-much" leading to liquid pollution. The best way to feed phyto, if you do it at all, is on a continuous methodical drip. Of course an even better way to generate food for your coral is via a fishless refugium.>   Maybe someone here can put this one to bed for me. <Let me know if you need further clarification.> Thanks for your dedication and help. <Anytime.> Steven   <Adam J.>

Coral Confusion… ... Paralemnalia... BobF's go Hi Crew, Hope all is going well and thanks for your great volunteer help you offer this hobby. <Welcome> I sent an email a few days ago from another computer which has not been addressed, so I will re-send. <Okay> Questions: I recently purchased a Paralemnalia leather (hairy leather).  I have read contradicting statements on WWM regarding whether or not they are photosynthetic.  Some say yes a good choice, while others have indicated marginally at best and not a good choice.  On Drs. Foster & Smith they indicate that this species is primarily photosynthetic and only in need of supplemental feedings. <Mmm, not very photosynthetic... needs to be fed> I purchased them based on the advice of one of the owners of Reefer Madness, who was very helpful and also indicated this was hardy and photosynthetic. <Good folks IMO... but Paralemnalias are not easily kept> I am confused, is this species photosynthetic or not? <Is not much... can be more/less depending on acclimation/setting, auxiliary feeding> This coral came along with a Psammocora contigua and when I ordered the Paralemnalia leather as a medium they indicated they were out so they offered to send two good sized smalls, which I agreed to. I was told that the two Paralemnalias rocks could be glued together and they would grow together.   <Mmm I would place them distally, in the hope that differing conditions...> Instead of gluing them together, I glued them to the same rock in my display, but left the rocks they were attached to separated by a couple of inches.  When opened their branches are less than 1" away and eventually they will be touching. is this okay since they are of the exact same species. <Not really... better that they were of the same genetic make-up...> The reason I did not join their base rocks was because they are actually a little bit different in color, one is teal and the other is kind of rose color.  Will I have problems with them this close and should I move them? <I would move them> Thanks for your help on this.  And many thanks for what you do. Best regards, Steven <Please read here: http://search.msn.com/results.asp?a=e44a7d1edf2ab77f1c37cb562cde7f6169f9a885573f8d068f23f3971fbe47a0& ;RS=CHECKED&Form=HM&cp=1252&v=1&q=is+paralemnalia+photosynthetic%3F Particularly the first piece by Charley Delbeek. Bob Fenner> Colt Coral - formerly "Cladiella" species I have had a piece of Colt Coral - Cladiella species in my tank for approx. 6 month. <now to be called "Klyxum" as reassigned by Alderslade (2000, I think)> It was doing very well until recently. Over the last week - week 1/2 it has been closed. I have check the water quality which is fine and all other livestock are doing well. It does receive regular nutrients of micro-plankton 3x week. <I'm hoping this is from a refrigerated product or live from a reactor. If from a warm (room temp) bottle, I suspect you can do a lot better here> Today I noticed a couple of branches buried under the sand (my clown fish has a tendency to fan its tail in the sand to move it (sand) away from the anemone). I moved the sand away from the coral, digging out its branches to find that they were decayed and had fallen off. Once the sand had been removed from the coral, I noticed some tearing on the main stalk. I am concerned that infection may set in and would like to do what I can to save my coral. Any suggestions? Thanks for your help! <the necrotic areas are cause for concern as such infections can spread rapidly (even to other corals). You may want/need to cut out decaying areas to save the most of the colony. Loose frags will need to be stitched to a new rock/rubble (they are too slow to attach naturally). Removal to a QT tank may be best of all. Anthony>

Sinularia sp. questions 12/14/03 Dear Bob: <Adam here today.> I have been trying to find out some detailed info concerning a product I am  planning on ordering.  It's common name on the website is a Lime Green Leather. Gerald at IPSF tells me that it is a Sinularia sp. <Coming from IPSF, I would comfortably trust the ID, and kudos by the way for researching before buying!> Should it be  supplemented with anything special?  Is it totally photosynthetic?  Are there any other  special concerns for this coral?  Why am I having such a tough time finding specific info on the Sinularia sp.?  I have found very basic info on it, but  nothing detailed enough to make me feel comfortable with the husbandry of it.  I  just want to be totally ready prior to purchasing!   <Care for all Sinularia's is pretty similar.  They all will tolerate a wide range of conditions, but generally appreciate moderate light and current.  It is photosynthetic, but all corals do need to get some nutrition other than from photosynthesis.  Sinularia will do fine on the dissolved organics present in all reef aquarium systems without any special additions.  In general, Sinularia should be among the least demanding of all corals to keep, so if your system is designed to meet the needs of corals in general, the Sinularia should do just fine.> Thanks in advance! <Glad to help.  Adam> Steve

Food for soft corals Bob, I am new to saltwater and reefkeeping and have found your site to be most helpful. Started using chemi-pure and added Caulerpa (based on stuff I read on WWM) to both my tanks(55+90) and am doing pretty well so far.  <Ah, good> About 6 wks for the 55 and a little over 2 mos. on the 90. I did lose three Banggai cardinals in my 90 within a week of buying them. I don't know why they died, all water parameters are good and a yellow tang and a true Perc. are both doing fine. Can't decide if I will attempt to keep these in the future or not, they are high on my list of what I'd like to keep. <You might have gotten some "from a bad batch".> My question is can you recommend a invert. food for my soft (polyps/leathers/mushroom/colt) corals. I've seen on the site where you recommend feeding them. I have never fed mine and lately some of them close up during the day which they never used to do. I was leaning towards Phytoplex Phytoplankton by Kent or Invert. Smorgasbord by Coralife. I have not been able to find anything specific in the FAQ's. <The latter would be better... something more animal-based protein... If you think you might go through a bunch at some time... we can chat over making your own. For now, fresh or frozen/defrosted material, larger for larger collective colonies, will be fine store-bought.> Thanks again in advance for your help - Kevin By the way I asked for TCMA book for Xmas and I have spotted something that looks and feels suspiciously like a book under the tree. can't wait to read it. <Mmm, no shaking or peeking! Only a couple of days to go. Bob Fenner>

Re: Leather coral Mr. Fenner, Thank you for the quick reply and for referring my email to Mr. Calfo. He was so kind to respond in great detail about my concerns for my finger & toadstool leathers. <Yes... he is a treasure to our interest, the species, planet> In my last post I made the mistake of saying that I use an AquaC skimmer on my 125 reef. I use that skimmer on my 75 gallon FOWLR system. On my reef setup I use a RedSea HOB skimmer. I have it setup on the sump. Mr. Calfo spoke of how much skimmate I should collect daily. I was shocked by how little I do clean out. This is something I will look into correcting ASAP. <Mmm... a concern with large, many soft corals present... they can produce amazing quantities of materials that want removing expediently> You asked it I feed meaty foods to my leathers and the answer to that sadly is no. Another problem I shall correct right away. Another question was if I give the proper amount of Iodine to the water. I do dose bi-weekly to keep a consistent reading of 0.05ppm. <I would change this administration to once a week... and aim for twice the concentration then> I hope that is the best readings. I will read your information on Alcyoniids as soon as I finish this letter. I wanted to thank you first for all of your help! I will update soon if that is alright. Happy holidays and new year. Amy <Thank you for the update. Bob Fenner>

Sarcophyton Good evening, <Cheers!> Thanks for the food/feeding advice. By the way, the Brine Shrimp I use is soaked in some vitamin supplements and claims to be a full diet?? <wow... not only inaccurate... but a shameful marketing lie if stated as such. You have my personal guarantee with a lot of experience (commercial) behind it that if your fishes ate this so-called "full" diet as even a significant part of their diet let alone as the sole staple... they would barely make it a year before dieing of a dietary deficiency.. sooner in a tank with less or no live rock> Tank stats: 120gal reef tank with 120 pound of good live rock. PH 8.2, Ammonia < 0.1, and Nitrite 0, Nitrate < 5 ppm, temp. 24 centigrade, salinity 1.025. Tank established now for one month. 2 x 150 watt metal halides on for 10.5 hours each day. <too long for the halides most likely... notice any corals closing up (retracting polyps) early? 8 hours is rather typical and appropriate> I am a few weeks into stocking the tank with two false Perculas, small Kole Tang, pair of boxer shrimp a mushroom coral, a nice Lobophytum and a Sarcophyton soft coral. My question is about the Sarcophyton: After I brought him home, all look reasonably OK, after a day or so all polyps were out. After about a week all polyps disappeared, which I assumed was a UV shield re-build as it later turned out to be and after shedding the "stuff" all polyps were back out with better color and greater expansion.  <called a "tunic"> Two days later, all polyps have retracted and it looks like it's going through another cycle??  <simply a fast growth spurt/cycle> I notice that the tops of a few branches look like they have small "bald spots" like they have been damaged in transit or taken too much sun.  <could be photoinhibition from excess halides (they are static and do not move across the sky like the sun on a reef.... rather intense all day like that)> He's in a spot without too much current about midway down the tank (12" deep). Do you think he might be getting too much light, not enough current, both??  <yes... lack of current is all too common. Do aim for strong random turbulent flow from converging effluents (a great mixing like from 2 or 3 power heads aimed at each other)> Looks healthy apart from that (skin wise). The other corals/fish look great with full extension and great colors. <all have different tolerances> Great site and a regular (almost nightly stopover) for me, hope you keep it going. Best, Jordon <thank you... and look for possibly a big new addition/expansion soon! Shhhhhhhhhhsh! Its a secret <G>. Anthony Calfo>

Colt coral Dude!! thanks for the freaky fast response!  <always welcome! WWM mail getting back on track... we aim to please <G>> How do you know this much stuff!!!!!  <heehee... I wrote a book about corals... seriously! Ha!> Lets hope I can pull this guy out from circling the drain!!  <really... there is a very good chance you can> I was feeding him/other corals MarineSnow for awhile and still seemed to continue to shrink.  <in one recent study by an unpaid and seemingly objective observer (I happen to admire the man's work), the product you have mentioned did not perform very well against most others in the field. True or not, bottled phyto is admittedly difficult to dose properly. For it to work best, some folks believe that it should be purchased and kept refrigerated, must be less than six months old, and should be whisked in an electric blender to reduce particle size and efficacy of digestibility. If true, I find the "convenience" of bottled phyto "inconvenient" and would rather invest in a phytoplankton generator (DIY well under $200 and very low maintenance once running) or cultivate a thriving seagrass refugium which will have many other benefits beyond shedding epiphytic material> As for the plate coral.. yup, feed him at least 5 times a week. chopped shrimp pieces/mussel)  <outstanding! you da man <G>> I have been using black powder (heard mixed reviews on this product but was willing to give it a shot...it was free...but think I'll go back to MarineSnow.) Any other recommendation for foods? <wow, yes.. we can do much better. Basically, make a selection of meats of marine origin (krill/plankton, shrimp, squid, etc) and offer them very finely shredded... very nutritious!> Again thanks so much for the help.....(surf is up today!! beach time.....so have a good one) Aloha POG <thanks POG for the well wish, but I already have a good one... "what I need is a longer one" (George Carlin)... Aloha! Anthony>

Re: Colt coral OK final question....my hopes are up and am ready to save the little guy... <excellent...remember, this is one of the few popular corals we believe to be rather dependant on phytoplankton. Not so much meaty foods or like zooplankton substitutes. Hmmm... what island are you on again, bud? There are several research facilities in Hawaii as you know. Perhaps you could get a nice green water culture locally?> as for the marine meat mixture for food...should I blend it? Make like a slurry type thing?  <Yes... for the LPS corals like your plate coral (Heliofungia)> Just thinking of the water quality afterwards....once a week cool for feedings or a little every couple of days?  <yes... a very valid concern! This and most foods if abused will challenge water quality. Do feed very sparingly but several times weekly. Start with 1-2 times weekly for a month or two and see if you can work your way up to 3 or more weekly without aggravating nuisance algae (else re-examine efficiency of you skimmer and your water change schedule)> (hard to find your book here... <ahhh... yes, no dealer I am aware of although Helsinga at IPSF has a copy and so do the Troy and Doreen at Salty Waters Aquarium (all Kona)> did find the guru Bob's book though...next book buy for sure.....artist's life...feast or famine eh!.. Mahalo's for the kokua dude....I'll let you know how things turn out!!! POG
<excellent my friend... best of luck! Anthony>

Become a Sponsor Features:
Daily FAQs FW Daily FAQs SW Pix of the Day FW Pix of the Day New On WWM
Helpful Links Hobbyist Forum Calendars Admin Index Cover Images
Featured Sponsors: