FAQs about Soft Corals of the Family
Related Articles: Soft Corals of the Family Nephtheidae,
The Soft Corals of the genus
Dendronephthya, Soft Corals, Order Alcyonacea
Related FAQs: Nephtheids 1, Nephtheids 2, Neptheid Identification, Nephtheid Behavior, Nephtheid Compatibility, Nephtheid Systems, Nephtheid Feeding, Nephtheid Disease, Nephtheid Reproduction/Propagation,
Soft Coral Propagation,
Alcyoniids, Dendronephthya, Paralcyoniids, Nidaliids, Xeniids, Soft Corals/Order Alcyonacea,
Dyed, and likely dying... Vote with your wallet...
Newbie - Corals... Nephtheids to return
Hi - I came across your site while searching various forums. I am getting
all sorts of different answers so I hope you can help?
I bought these 2 corals yesterday - my lfs said they were easy
<Ah no.... these Nephtheids are NOT easy to keep>
as they know my tank has recently cycled and I am new to all this. When I
posted the pics on a forum to ask their names all sorts of replies came back
but mostly saying they are nps and very difficult to keep / need hand
feeding regularly throughout the day.
I contacted my lfs today and they said they are called and they said:-
"These are Neptheid soft corals, sometimes known as cauliflower corals. They
don't require brightly lit conditions but benefit from regular addition of
filter foods such as phytoplankton and small animal plankton”.
<This is factual as well...>
Is this correct information - as I have had so many mixed comments, please
can you advise me how to care for them and where to place them in my tank
(95L Kent bored).
<Better to have you read; but I would return these animals ASAP;
they won't be alive here for long.
and the linked files above; and elsewhere on WWM re "easy" corals. Bob
Thank you very much
Chili coral... does it regenerate
So the odd question. How do you know if your Chili coral is a
<The sad fact is, most of these are 'goners' as soon as they
leave the sea.. it really is just a matter of time>
Although I questioned it, a local LFS told me that this chili coral was
very easy to care for.
<It is not>
So I bought it.
<The oft repeated phrase/s..>
It seemed to do okay for a while, but now it has no polyps at all.
<Mmmm, have you read here?
http://www.wetwebmedia.com/nephtheidfaqs.htm. Water flow could be an
issue'¦ apparently it needs the 'right kind'>
From what I've read through the FAQs here it may have expelled its
<Mmmm, more likely they are retracted>
However, since the sponge itself was still holding its colour very well
and continuing to expand a little at night and shrink during the day,
I've kept it tied upside down in my Sun Coral tank.
The odd thing now is that it seems to be getting 'bumpier'
where before it seemed to be smoother. There appears to be little
'sticks' coming out.
I don't know enough about their makeup to understand what's
going on. Do they ever 'regenerate' polyps?
<Given the right conditions, yes, these will come out, grow
This coral has been in this tank for over three months with no polyp
<Then it is starving. The no.1 reason why they often die off. Even
if it was showing polyp extension, it would probably starve anyway.
Does your system have a refugium? Essential. Live food is what this
The sun corals are fed at least every other night if not every
The tank also houses a High Fin Goby and Pistol Shrimp.
The tank only receives ambient room light. When there were polyps I was
target feeding it a mix of phyto, coral food mix, Cyclop-eeze, oyster
feast, a bit of meaty bits ground fine (shrimp, clam, fish from seafood
market frozen first), Marine snow, trying to cover various food sizes
figuring it would reject what it didn't or couldn't eat,
hopefully consume the rest.
<Ok, all of these are good foods, but no substitute for the real
I was running a skimmer and small filter with carbon. At another LFS a
staff person said not to run those because I could be pulling out all
the nutrients the Chili coral needs.
Also, when I told him they weren't opening very often and that
every time I noticed the polyps were open I bombarded them with food,
he told me that maybe I'm feeding them too much and to feed less so
they'll come out more.
<No, this animal needs to be fed constantly, all day, not once a
day. Live food, from a refugium, is the only way to do this>
The tank is a 6 gal Eclipse with a 5 gal refugium.
<Too small.. there could be many potential reasons here. Temp/
salinity fluctuations, lack of food, nitrates.. this is a difficult
task you have set yourself.. try experimenting with some different flow
patterns.. maybe a Hydor Koralia>
The Sun corals were kept in the Eclipse which was a refugium for
another tank for over a year and when I upgraded rather than break it
I kept it running as a non-photosynthetic tank.
<Fine for Sun Corals, which are easy, and are probably hogging all
of the planktonic life here.. not so fine for a Nephtheid>
Bi weekly water changes of 1-2 gallons. Test weekly mainly alkalinity
and calcium. Alkalinity is normally around 9-10, and calcium runs
around 400-440. Test Magnesium monthly, last test was 1500.
<Way too high -- this will irritate corals.. could definitely be a/
the issue/ contributing factor here>
I use Seachem Reef Builder in the top off water <I would not. If
anything then just Kalk will do here.. dripped overnight only> and
dose B-ionic alkalinity and/or calcium if needed.
Thank you in advance for your help and insight
<No problem Debbie.. do write back if you make any changes and see
any results either way>
Carnation coral questions 05/19/09
Hello. I have a question. I have asked everyone and got a different
answer from each. I bought 2 carnation corals the other day. A pink
carnation and a pure white one. I did do research and decided to give
them a shot. My only confusion is feeding. Everyone gives me a
different answer. So I come to you for the final word. Thank you for
<Are we talking the Dendronephthya carnation here? If so, we really
don't know for sure what they eat... all we know is that it's
virtually impossible to feed them enough of whatever it is they do it
in an aquarium. The longest I've ever heard of someone
keeping one alive is maybe a couple years (with extraordinary effort!).
Typically, they die within a few months.>
Re: Carnation coral questions 05/19/09
Ok then. Thank you. Well I guess I will give it my best shot and not
ever buy them again.
<Yes, it's unfortunate we can't keep them in captivity
better. I do wish LFSs would stop selling them to people. But don't
feel too terribly bad, they grow back pretty fast in the wild...
Sara M. >
|Creative coral mounting?
11/1/07 This well-meaning coral vendor sent me this "chili
coral" which appears to be one of those impossible-to-keep
azooxanthellate corals. It was a "free gift" with my
actual order. <I abhor this practice> I know they were trying
to be nice, but it never makes sense to me to send someone an
animal they didn't ask for. I mean, now what am I supposed to
do with it? I didn't have anywhere to put this thing, so I had
to resort to this "creative" method of hanging it
upside-down in an area of high flow (which I think is the only way
to have any chance to keep them alive for more than a few weeks).
What do you think? :-)Sara <We're in agreement... as usual.
Free Chili, no thanks
Is This Coral OK? ...Nephthea'¦ Not
likely 10/21/07 I currently have a 75-gallon tank
with a mixture of corals. I believe I have two tree corals in my
tank also, but I was interested in what is called a pala Nephthea
<Palau Nephthea?> which is a bright green color. I was
wondering if this coral was ok for my aquarium and would not harm
other corals? I do not know if this coral is toxic or not. I
wanted to get your input before I bought the coral. <Nephthea,
if what you are looking at is truly Nephthea, can be quite toxic.
According to Sammarco and Coll (1987) there are 12 toxic species
and 7 nontoxic species of Nephthea. Nephthea brassica is capable
of moving at a rate of approximately 5 cm (2 inches) per week
(LaBarre and Coll 1982), and has been observed traveling across
Acropora hyacinthus, killing this coral along the way. Borneman
(2001) states that this genera produces some of the most diverse
and unusual compounds of all the soft corals. So to answer your
question... Maybe... depends what specific species you have. And
to add to it, Borneman (2001) suggests there are photo and
non-photosynthetic species, but reports that this genus of corals
generally have a poor record of survival in captivity.> Thanks
LeAnne <Welcome! Mich>
Re: Is this coral ok ...Nephthea'¦ Not
likely... Sarcophyton... better 10/22/07 <Hi LeAnne, Mich
with you again.> Thank you for the information you sent me
about the Palau Nephthea. <Welcome... hope it wasn't too
much.> I have one more question which I have done research on
but have gotten some confusing information. <OK, hopefully I
can help.> I want to know if the yellow Fiji leather coral ,
also known as Sarcophyton elegans would be a good choice in an
aquarium. <I guess the answer here is it all depends. This is
generally a hardy aquarium coral and is a much better choice than
the Nephthea as far as survival in captivity. But here again, you
run into the problem of allelopathy. This is another one of those
corals that can be highly toxic, in fact, it is one of the most
prolific producers of toxic chemicals, and this genus has some of
the most highly toxic of all species of corals (Borneman 2001). I
want to make sure it's ok to put in my 75 gal aquarium before
I buy it. <Depends on what other corals you have or want to
keep. This genus of coral can easily kill off other corals and
may even have toxic effects on fish as well (Borneman 2001).>
Also I have read that clownfish like other corals besides
anemones and I was wondering if this leather coral would be ok.
<Clownfish have been know to host in Sarcophyton, but unlike
the symbiotic relationship that the clown has with an anemone
which I would also encourage you to avoid) this hosting behavior
is typically not beneficial for corals.> Thank you
Re: Is this coral ok... Nephthea'¦ Not
likely... Sarcophyton... better'¦ How to learn
more'¦. 10/24/07 <Hi LeAnne, Mich
with you again.> I'm sorry to bother everyone again,
<No bother.> but I have one more question. <OK.>
Where can I look to find information that will tell me what
is toxic and what is not, as well as, what corals I can put near
each other. <The most useful book I have found on corals is
Aquarium Corals by Eric Borneman. There is a chapter titles
Secret Lives that is particularly useful. These charts are
included in the Borneman book
Article written by Borneman here: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/nov2002/cw.htm
You might try Googling "coral toxicity" as well.> I
have coral books and look on the Internet, but mostly they tell
you just how great they are for beginners, etc. thanks again!
<You just need to use the right terms. If you scientific name
of the coral you want to learn more about and toxicity you will
likely learn what you need to know. Hope that helps. Mich>
Q from GrahamT & Rick O. on Nephthea.
1/28/07 Has anyone seen the green Nephthea available as of late?
Here in Maine, we used to have a local propagator that supplied very
colorful soft corals before they went off the map. Rick says he has had
huge problems trying to get these coral in the past ten years, but I am
unsure of the dedication he put forth into the search. Anyone with info
will gain my gratitude. TIA -GT <Mmm... I haven't seen such
except on the Net on any regular basis... But will post this query for
others hopeful input... and want to tell you the nature of this field
is that new collecting areas (like getting a new outboard...) open up
surprisingly new varieties, species to collection... as does new
aquaculture techniques, promises of income... BobF> Re: Q from
GrahamT & Rick O. on Nephthea. Can crew members follow
their own instructions... Heeeheheheheeeeee... No!
1/28/07 <Hi Graham, Mich here, lets see how we can bust on
fellow crew members today.> Has anyone seen the green Nephthea
available as of late? Here in <M>maine, <Hehehehehe!!!! Please
use proper capitalization when writing into WWM!!!! We are busy and it
is time consuming to correct your mistakes!> we used to
have a local propagator that supplied very colorful soft corals before
they went off the map. <Have you tried a new map???>
Rick says he has had huge problems trying to get these coral in the
past ten years, but I am unsure of the dedication he put forth into the
search. <Heeheeee!!! Did you do a Google search like the directions
say before writing into WWM????> Anyone with info will
gain my gratitude. TIA -GT <Have you checked www.reefcentral.com
? I don't know that you will find a wholesale
propagator, but you should be able to find individuals with relative
ease. A search for green Nephthea over the past 6 months gave
the following results: Please read the following links...
just kidding... but there are some which may be useful to you...>
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R3?: Q from GrahamT & Rick O. on
Nephthea 1/30/07 Has anyone seen the green Nephthea
available as of late? Here in Maine, we used to have a local
propagator that supplied very colorful soft corals before they went off
the map. Rick says he has had huge problems trying to get
these coral in the past ten years, but I am unsure of the dedication he
put forth into the search. Anyone with info will gain my
gratitude. TIA -GT <<Graham...I have a friend in the trade who
has a couple parent colonies of a very nice fluorescent green Neptheid
it out and see what you think. Eric>>