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FAQs on Stinging-Celled Animal Compatibility

Related Articles: 'Coral' Compatibility: On Reducing Captive Negative Interactions Cnidarians  by Bob Fenner, ppt. vers: Cnidarian Compatibility: On Reducing Negative Cnidarian Interaction Parts: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5,  by Bob Fenner Cnidarians, Water Flow, How Much is Enough,

Related FAQs: Cnidarian Compatibility 1, Cnidarian Compatibility 2, Cnidarian Compatibility 3, Cnidarian Compatibility 4, Cnidarian Compatibility 5, Cnidarian Compatibility 7, Cnidarian Compatibility 8, Cnidarian Compatibility 9, & By Group Anemone Compatibility, Coral Compatibility, Zoanthid Compatibility, Mushroom Compatibility, Soft Coral Compatibility, Cnidarians 1, Cnidarians 2, Cnidarian Identification, Cnidarian Selection, Cnidarian Behavior, Cnidarian Systems, Cnidarian Feeding, Cnidarian Disease, Cnidarian Reproduction, Acclimating Symbiotic Reef Invertebrates to Captive Lighting

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Livestocking Pico, Nano, Mini-Reefs; Small Marine Aquariums
Successfully discovering, determining, picking out the best species, specimens for under 40 gallon saltwater systems.
Book 1: Principles, Algae, Invertebrates

by Robert (Bob) Fenner

Chemical Reactions Between SPS and Soft Corals -- 08/13/08 Thanks for all of your exceptional help. <<Happy to share>> As I recall I have read about chemical reactions between SPS and soft coral neighbors. <<Mmm, yes is referred to as allelopathy and more commonly known to/referred to among those keeping terrestrial plants. But the basics of the definition serve the same here 'the inhibition of growth by chemicals produced by another species'... Though I think this can be expanded for aquarists to include more than limiting growth but also causing the 'demise' of organisms and that such negative interactions can even be between individuals of the 'same species' in some cases>> I have a 330g tank with quite a few frags of SPS corals. I have made somewhat of an attempt to put SPS corals on one side of my tank and soft corals, polyps on the other. <<I want to note here that these organisms can detect substances in parts-per-million, even parts-per-billion ratios. If you have disparate organisms in the same tank, you can be sure they are aware of each other's presence (and doing battle); regardless of how far apart they are positioned. I'm not saying the physical separation isn't a good thing or isn't warranted as it may help reduce the 'level' of aggression I just want to make it clear that physical separation does not stop aggression, and that chemical fighting has no 'boundaries' within closed systems as all is reached and affected as the elements are moved/carried through the water column>> However, we do have a few areas of overlap in which polyps/soft corals come within 4-8" of a SPS coral. <<This physical separation is fine what needs to be considered is the overall 'volume' of disparate species. In other words, a large volume of chemically noxious polyps and soft corals will have a greater overall effect on a small volume of much less noxious Acropora species than if the volume/bio-mass were reversed>> These polyps/soft corals do not have full tentacle extension and have never looked great. My SPS corals all look fantastic and growing. <<Hmm it is highly unlikely in my estimation that the polyps/soft corals are being malaffected by the SPS directly (generally the case is just the opposite). I think it likely that either the polyps and soft corals are too close to/malaffecting each other or there is an environmental condition like water flow or lighting that is not to their liking>> Water param.s are excellent, <<This tells me nothing mate>> lighting is within 18-20" of 1600watts metal halides. <<Mmm, a lot of light... Do review your placement of your organisms re>> Could this be because of interactions between the corals or is the fact they are close to each other a coincidence? <<It's impossible to say without more than the very general organism descriptions of 'polyps and soft corals' along with more descriptive data about your system (water flow, water chemistry, et al) and the placement of these organisms from each other and within the tank in relation to the other environmental elements. My best guess here is that the malaffected organisms are too close/physically touching, or there are issues with water flow or lighting. From what you describe, I don't believe the SPS corals themselves to be a factor>> Best, Bryan <<Regards, EricR>>

Confused about coral stocking... Boris Karloff-ing to intro. new Cnid.s to Shrooms   7/23/08 Hi Crew, <Mike> I presently have a 54 Gallon reef tank with sump filtration, Deltec MCE 600 skimmer, 2 Koralia #2 power heads, and 130W PC lighting, 50 lbs. LR, and 40 lbs. LS. I also run Rowaphos and Carbon in the skimmer. <In the skimmer?> The system has been up for 10 months. Soon I'll be switching to a 24 " TX5 Aquatinic lighting system. Residents are a sixline wrasse, royal Gramma, 2 false Percs, and a banner cardinal. <Likely a Banggai> Inverts include 3 emerald crabs, <Watch these Mithraculus> 5 Mexican turbo snails, 4 Nassarius snails. Present tank parameters are as follows: Sp. G. 1.025, Ph. 8.11, Ammonia- 0, Nitrite-0, Nitrate-<2, Phosphate- 0.3, Calcium-429, Alk- 3.45 mg/l, Magn- 1260. I perform 20% h2o changes per week with RO/DI. <All this reads good> I have quite a few Discosoma growing in the tank that came in on the LR. I've always liked the mushrooms and have added some different types over the course of the year including a colony of Rhodactis and other Discosoma. <Do keep these isolated... on their own rocks...> At one point I added a Sarcophyton, which quickly displayed signs of burning and was removed from the system. <A loser to the Corallimorphs> I would like to know, given my modest lighting system and tank size, where I can obtain information regarding an appropriate stocking plan. <Mmmm, don't know exactly what you mean... but as far as I'm aware there is no clear cut, "this goes and this doesn't" sort of database. At best what we have presently are "guesses"/opinions re some likelihood that a given mix will get along in a set of circumstances...> From reading the WWM FAQs it would appear that not much at all can live close to Corallimorphs. <Correct... part. if they are well-established first> I've read various books (e.g.. Borneman), and it would appear that Zoas, GSP, Cladiella, Alcyonium, Lobophytum, etc., might be compatible with my lighting, tank size, and beginner status, but would certainly have difficulties with the mushrooms. Am I sort of stuck with a mushroom species tank? <To extents, yes... but you could easily try "acclimating" new Cnidarians to the present set-up and vice versa... introducing them over weeks time of mixing water back/forth through another/isolation system...> That's OK for me with so many different colors, types, etc. but will different colonies of mushrooms engage in chemical warfare? I see a lot of pictures on various websites with tanks loaded with softies and Corallimorphs that look great; I put a toadstool in my tank with a few mushroom colonies (although well established) and the poor thing nearly burst into flames. Any help, ideas, references are greatly appreciated. Thanks, Mike <Please read my ppt. pres. outline here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm  and the linked files above, until you understand the concept. Bob Fenner>
Re: Confused about coral stocking   7/23/08
Thanks, Bob. Quick follow up question. I do typically QT new additions in a smaller system using water from the display. With the method you proposed to acclimate new corals into my system, are you also suggesting that I introduce water from the holding system into the display system that already contains the Corallimorphs as well? <Yes, definitely so... each will "get to know the other" in this fashion... result in much diminished allelopathic behavior> Also, yes the MCE 600 has a chamber to hold media to hold Rowa, etc. I was concerned that the flow rate may be too high for the Rowaphos, but I haven't noticed any increase in phosphate from when I used to run it in a small canister filter (maybe flow rate was too high in that as well!). <Well... you do mention having sufficient detectable phosphate... I would not be concerned re it or the media use here> Thanks again for your help, Mike <Glad to assist you, BobF>

Cnidarian chemical warfare 07/22/2008 To WWM crew, <<Good afternoon Steve, Andrew today>> I have been reading your site for awhile now (best site for info!) occasionally writing in asking questions and using the advice given. This is going to be a statement more than a question. I woke up this morning to find all of my fish deceased in my reef tank. What happened? I'm pretty sure it was Cnidarian poisoning. You see I wrote in to you (WWM) about a yellow tang that wasn't doing very well (I had added around 4 different types of LPS corals all at once, and had no chemical filtration to speak of). Robert Fenner wrote me back explaining about what happens in a situation like this, and what to do. So after reading everything that he told me to read, I added the chemical filtration. Unfortunately, it was too late, my yellow tang passed despite my efforts. However, the rest of my tank did quite well afterwards. So well, that I thought the danger was over, so I added a more fish and they did well also. Then, this Saturday an LFS was having a grand opening sale in which they had a ton of stuff (really nice stuff on sale). So being the fish geek that I am, could not pass a couple of things up. One was a swallow tail angel (beautiful) and another was a green bubble tip anemone, very healthy. One thing that I need to mention is that this fish store does it's own quarantine, over two weeks, everything that I have received from them has been top notch. So I did not bother to quarantine them myself. I got these Two items home acclimated them over several hours and placed them in my tank. Everybody was doing great, even yesterday (Sunday) everything was great. Everyone should know that what I did was risky, placing a very powerful stinging Cnidarian, a mobile one for that matter, in a tank with a bunch of other cnidarians. I was so confident that the filtration that I had in place would work that I got cocky. What I did not count on was a hermit crab getting stuck in the intake tubing basically blocking it almost entirely. He must have gotten stuck after I went to bed. Over the next several hours the warfare that was happening in my tank killed everybody. I guess what I'm trying to say is that no matter how much you think you know, or how bullet proof you think your system is, don't think your above Mother Nature. These corals and anemones and everything else you put in your tank mean business, this is not a dress rehearsal for them. It was an expensive, painful lesson for me. Thank you guys for web site, and all your combined years of experience. Kind Regards, Steve Harris, Arvada CO. <<Steve. Your experiences, although tragic, do and can serve as a warning to what can actually happen, due to the random nature of our inhabitants, namely the crab who got stuck in the intake and blocked the pipe. The knock on effect is the lack of filtration for the display tank. It raises the question, if my filtration was not blocked and chemical warfare ensued in the tank, would this of been adverted? Am sure you have been asking yourself this question. On the whole, the answer would more than likely be a yes. Maybe future overflows will be protected by egg crate, or a meshing material to stop future errant crabs / snails from trying to go on vacation down to the sump. Thank you for writing in to us to share / pass on your experiences, short stories such as this are invaluable to us aquarists. Good luck with the re-building of the reef. A Nixon>>

Sponge ID... Uhh, worse  7/6/08 Hi Bob and Crew, Can you help us identify this thing (we think it's a form of a sponge) growing from under our Goniopora. All of our parameters have been good, we just noticed this one night when the Goniopora had gone in. Picture is at: http://photo.evasionoftruth.com/g1/aquarium/IMG_0849cropped Its directly in the center growing from under the frag disc. We are wondering if we should remove it, it appears to be a filter feeder as it does not retract when we touch it. <... is a Hydrozoan... and is stinging the bejeesus out of the Poritid... needs to be removed, scrubbed clean (with vacuuming if done underwater) entirely. Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/hyzoancompfaq.htm> Keep up the great work on the site, we use it daily to find out things about having a reef tank. Thanks, Buster
<Thank you for sharing Buster. Bob Fenner>

Re: Bristle Worm Execution -- 06/28/08 Thanks for the advice... <<I hope it was useful>> I find I need to ask another question about the same issue.... <<Ask away>> It's bad enough to find an eight-inch coral-eating firework (Shimek/Marine Invertebrates/p. 225) in your reef tank, but when you discover another one, well... They've eaten the anchor, the frogspawn, and the torch. We thought we were losing the corals to brown jelly at first, but there really wasn't any jelly. Never even considered it may be a worm problem, as (most) bristleworms are our friends. <<Indeed encountering problematic specimens/species is rare (considering)>> It was all a mystery until we saw the first worm I mentioned in my previous email, completely exposed on the sand bed in front of the tank. Easy to net! <<Hmm, not usually this bold/careless 'are generally cryptic in their behavior in my experience. Perhaps this one was already dying>> This one was just so huge and not the skinny red ones that we are used to seeing peeking out of the rockwork. We thought Fireworms were red or orange. <<Not always (many species), as you have discovered>> This one has a grey body and doesn't look so dangerous. <<This is variable as well 'though none should ever be 'handled' with bare hands>> After we looked it up in Shimek and saw what their diet was, it became all too clear what had really been going on. <<Kudos to you on the research'¦>> They are now suspected of also devouring a perfectly healthy crocea clam. <<Would certainly 'clean it up but may not have been the reason for its demise>> Gosh, if they've been spawning!! Yikes! <<This is a possibility I suppose. But I don't think it is as probable as with the more 'common' smaller detritivores we're used to seeing>> With the tank now devoid of fresh fleshy things, what would be the most enticing entree we can use for bait? <<Any meaty seafood should suffice>> I read that meaty foods in a stocking/net is the way to capture errant worms; however, the remaining worm doesn't seem so anxious to eat the krill we've been using in the trap for the past few days. <<Catching these critters can be trying. It may just need to get 'hungrier or maybe you need a better or bigger trap. A simple but effective trap can be manufactured easily enough from a plastic 2-liter soda bottle. Cut off the top third of the bottle and invert this and wedge/tape/glue/secure it in the bottom portion of the bottle creating a 'funnel' leading in to the bottle (much like a 'minnow trap' like you would find at a sporting goods store). Place some meaty food bits in the trap (if the krill isn't working, try some shrimp, squid, or fish flesh from the supermarket), position the trap near the rockwork in your tank and wait>> Do they only eat live flesh? <<Nope will scavenge when hungry/preferred morsels are not available>> What do you suggest we use as bait for Hermodice carunculata? <<The krill should do it 'but try the other options mentioned too>> Thanks again! Aviva G. <<Good luck with your hunt! Eric Russell>>

Angels and Corals (It's a Feedin' Time!) -- 06/26/08 Hello, <<Howdy James>> I have a 900 gallon system with fish, live rock. <<Very nice'¦and I think I recall that we've conspired before re this system>> I have tried various corals in the main tank to give the rocks some colour and interest. <<Mmm'¦and likely not too successful re, depending on your piscine choices>> Unfortunately, whatever I try my Queen Angel eats. <<And this surprises you? [grin]>> I then move the coral to another tank in the system where they are doing fine. She even started eating a carpet anemone <<Again'¦should be no surprise>> In the main tank I have one leather coral which she leaves for some reason as she munched on the others. <<Perhaps this one is more noxious than the others>> I also have six or seven different mushroom colonies. She ate all the red ones and left the rest. <<Differences in palatability>> So, my question is, is there any types of coral you think I could try that she will leave? I won't take her out as my fish always come first. <<Few choices I think'¦ You might try some very noxious Gorgonians as these are often left alone'¦some of the Zooxanthellate species from the genus Pterogorgia maybe. And, you may find that Pachyclavularia (P. purpurea, P. violacea), also known as Green Star Polyps, taste bad enough not to be bothered either. But still 'no certainties>> Thank you, James Barclay <<Happy to assist. Eric Russell>>

Possible Allelopathy -- 6/02/08 Hello. <Hello Allen, Brenda here! > I'm a newbie to your website and am amazed by the information to be found. I discovered your site in searching for reasons for green star polyps permanently retracting. I quickly found the possible answer; the introduction of a finger leather (Devil's Hand) five days ago. <How close do you have them to each other? > I have long been aware of the incompatibilities associated with different species coming in direct contact but was not aware that sharing the same tank could be problematic. <Sure can! > I have a recently established (4 months) 210 gal tank w/ 40 gal refugium/sump, VHO lighting, skimmer, (cycled rock and sand from an old tank) and have been slowly adding various soft corals (GSP, mushrooms, pulsing xenia, colonial anemone). I had thought that the large tank, low stocking and focusing solely on soft corals (as your site recommends) would minimize problems and permit things to grow/develop to the point where contact would stop further growth. The introduction of the leather proved me wrong. Within 2 days the GSP retracted and has not reopened despite being separated by over 3 feet. And, the leather remains shriveled/limp. <Is it getting any flow? > Adding carbon to the filtration hasn't seemed to help. From your site I understand that the allelopathy/incompatibility with mushrooms can be a big problem as well. <Yes, and also the green star polyps and leather coral. > Some of the FAQs on your site suggest that GSP, mushrooms and leathers are OK as long as the don't come in contact or are spaced appropriately; others appear to suggest that their allelopathy is so strong that they cannot co-exist. So, I'm a bit confused. <They can co-exist, however, you don't want to overstock your tank with them. > If I stay with soft corals am I better off eliminating the GSP or the leather, or both? Is it only a matter of time before the expansion of the mushrooms can have an allelopathic effect too, even without contact? Will the mere presence of these/any soft corals preclude me from introducing LPS corals at a later date even if there is sufficient space? Thank you for any suggestions you can provide. <I'm not convinced that what you have is an allelopathic effect. Please send me a complete list of your water parameters and a complete list of your equipment and livestock. If you can, send me a picture of your tank. Have you quarantined your coral and inspected for pests? > Allen
<Brenda > 

SPS and a Giant Toadstool -05/13/08 Hello Crew, My question is about Toadstool leather and SPS compatibility. <...or lack there of?> I have a 180 (280 gallons total) with a lot of sps. I get good growth, but not great growth (although it may be because there are so many pieces growing and only so much calcium, even with the reactor) Ca levels are 400 to 420. <As long as you can maintain your calcium levels, Ca availability shouldn't be a problem.> I also have a large toadstool (12 inches+ around) in the center of my tank (Tank is 6 feet long) with 2 inch+ polyps which my gold striped maroon clown hosts in: See below <typical> I really love this leather, but I think I love sps more. I have heard some ppl say they aren't good together, and even that leather can emit a chemical which inhibits SPS growth, <Yep, this is true.> but I don't think I have seen any ill effects (although I have had some browning of my SPS at times. hmm). <Hmmm... but how would you know if you've seen ill effects or not? If you've never seen them without the leather, then you might not realise any ill effect the leather is having.> I also run 2 phosphate and 1 carbon reactor and do weekly water changes of 25 gallons. <good> Looking for your thoughts because if it is even a possible issue for the SPS, I will remove. <I think you should remove it if you want to do right by your SPS. However, if you decide not to remove it, do run LOTS of activated carbon. This will help with the chemical warfare issues.> Thank you as always for your excellent advice! Mitch Philadelphia pa <De nada, Sara M.
Cleveland, OH>
Re: SPS and a Giant Toadstool Thank you Sara. That was exactly the confirmation I was looking for. Bye bye Toadstool. <Cool. You should be able to find someone willing to take it if you don't have another system you could move it to.> I do have one more question. I also have a neon green Sarco leather, <Oy, those are even worse... probably the most toxic of the leather corals.> which is much smaller. (About 2X2). I am thinking that I may as well get rid of this one as well. Thoughts? <Yes, I agree. You might as well, especially considering it probably won't stay small for long anyway. ;-)> Thanks again, Mitch <My pleasure, Sara M.>

Leather Coral- Victim of Chemical Warfare? 05/10/08 Hi, <Hey there! Scott F. in today!> I bought a Toadstool Leather coral a few weeks ago, at first it looked fine out and happy. It's on a piece of rock with 2 mushrooms and polyp colony been that way it's whole life. When we put it in our 40 gal. tank it might of touch the mushrooms, because after a few days it got 2 (I would say burn) spots on the edge near the mushrooms. So we moved the rock so it wouldn't be touching, now at that time the coral was still coming out just not where the spots were. Well now it won't come out at all and it keeps excreting and looks a little shrunken. I did take it out and smell it, it doesn't smell bad.(been reading) Everything else in tank looks great, Xenia, Mushrooms, Frog Spawn, polyps, hermit crabs, Purple Tang, Clownfish, Damsels, Sandsifting Star. Any idea on what could be hurting this leather coral? And if it does die how or should I take it out. Thank You, Kristy <Hmm.. hard to say, but you did indicate that you have Frogspawn coal in there. This is a very aggressive coral, and doesn't even need to be touching the Leather to affect it in a negative way. I'd consider removing the Leather or the Frogspawn. May be as simple as that! Once removed from the source of irritation (well, really chemical "warfare" called allelopathy), your Leather should start to open once again, bigger and better than ever, unless it was seriously damaged. Sounds to me like it was not, so you've got a good chance of getting the coral to fully recover. If it does die, however, you'd be best advised to excise the coral from the rock by slicing it carefully with a sharp razor blade or knife. Best of luck to you! Regards, Scott F.>

Expert opinion . . . and suggestions - coral stocking/compatibility 5/10/08 Hello crew, <Greetings Charlie> I need a little bit of help again. By the way, give Mr. Fenner a great big thanks for me. <will pass that on> My previously 'severely obese goby' has managed to slim down just a bit. At least no longer looks like he will explode.  At any rate, I'd like to add more coral to my tank and need a little guidance. I've included a picture of the one and only coral I currently have. It's about 3" high, 4" wide, and moves quite nicely in the currents. I think it's a Capnella. I was hoping you could confirm, and potentially add even more, if there is more (not sure exactly how this whole Latin scientific naming thing works). <Cladiella, Capnella, Lemnalia, and many other Octocorals are difficult to ID by a picture> I've read on your site how many corals are toxic to one another. I want to make sure I don't get anything incompatible with what I already have. If this is a Capnella (or whatever it is), are there any corals that I must avoid? My most favored corals are in the LPS group (elegance, torch, Galaxea, etc). These are all listed as having sweeper tentacles but nothing mentions chemical warfare. A few of the polyps also interest me - clove, starburst, anthelia. Most of these are listed as peaceful. <Faithful use of Granular Activated Carbon and water changes will solve chemical warfare issues> In time I want to add several more to the tank but it's a slow go - maybe 1 or 2 per year. For reference, we are speaking of a 155 gallon with about 180 lbs of LR. Spacing (sweeper tentacles taken into consideration) shouldn't be an issue since the tank is 6 ft long. I guess my main concern is the potential for chemical warfare. <See above. While we recommend stocking slowly, you can go faster than that if you choose.> Your site has mentioned numerous times that it's often best to stick with one type of coral, LPS, SPS, softs, etc. Though the ones I've mentioned above are from different groups, are they generally compatible? <LPS, SPS, and Softs are hobbyist terms. They don't exist in the scientific realm. As a general rule, it's best to not mix them. However, since you are taking into account sweepers and chemical warfare, I see no obvious problem with your favorites.> Your opinions and any suggestions would be greatly appreciated, as always. Thanks, Charlie <You are more than welcome.> <<Thanks Curt -Sara M.>>
Coral Compatibility 5/1/08 Hello there, I am having a problem with some new corals that I have and am hoping that you can help me out. I am relatively new to keeping corals and really didn't realize how toxic these creatures can be to one another. <Indeed> I have read many things on your site, and others in trying to find an answer to my problem, and have some ideas, but it is really hard to decide what my course of action is. So, I'm hoping with your expertise, you can help me. <I as well> I have a 55 Gallon Salt Water with appx 65 pounds of live rock. I have had the tank since July 2005, but it has been moved 3 times since then. Each time, I saved as much water as possible, and didn't lose any of our inhabitants because of the move. The tank has been set up here since Nov 2007. My tank "hardware" is 2 Maxi-Jet 1200's, Remora skimmer, CoraLife 260 watt PC lighting with 2 10000K, and 2 Actinic bulbs, a HOB filter that has newly placed carbon and ROWAPhos, <Do know that chemical filtrants can "remove too much" that is necessary, including soluble phosphate> and of course, a heater. There are 4 fish: 2 Ocellaris clowns, 1 Royal Gramma, and 1 Dwarf Flame Angel. There is ! bubble-tip anemone, <I take it you're aware of induced troubles twixt Anemones and other Cnidarians> 1 large Brittle Star, and a newly found baby brittle star, dwarf red-tipped and blue legged hermits, bumble bee, Astrea, Cerith, and Nassarius snails, 1 fighting conch, 1 red-footed conch, 1 sand star, and of course the other little critters that come along with live rock. <Ah yes> The corals are 3 colors of Zoanthids, 4 types of leathers- tree, finger, cabbage, and toadstool, xenia in 2 places, 1 Ricordea, 1 hairy mushroom, 2 blue striped mushrooms, 1 hitch-hiker polyp of some type, 1 open brain, 1 disk coral. Two weeks ago, I bought the brain and the anemone. <I would not place an anemone in this setting> I drip acclimated them and put them in the tank. All seemed well. One week ago, I bought the 4 leathers, blue stripped mushrooms, hairy mushroom, and the disk coral. Again, I drip acclimated and placed in the tank. Had to move some things around to find places for each coral. I tried to keep them all at least 6 inches apart, thinking that it would be enough spacing so that each coral didn't bother the other. <Ah, no> Well, about 3 days ago, my brain kind of shrunk and will not inflate, or release its tentacles for feeding. I have seen some of the white string, like spider silk, coming off of it. This is my reason for writing today. I can tell that it is now stressed and going to die if I do not do something. I have been researching, trying to figure out the problem and a solution. I have realized that i made a mistake buying the 4 leathers, especially at the same time; and possibly the blue striped mushrooms. I know that I will not be able to keep all of these corals, and that's fine. I would like your opinion on what is the probably culprit irritating my brain. With so much available online and in books, I have found many conflicting things. <Could be the Zoanthids, soft corals, the Entacmaea... don't have to be close/proximal in such a small volume> I have also seen the white strings on the blue-striped mushroom, and brown stringy stuff on the cabbage leather. Am I safe to assume since these 3 things have this stringy substance that these 3 are the ones irritating, or causing the irritation? <Yes... or the result from same...> Please, any help you can offer is greatly appreciated. Thank you, Shawn <Please read here: http://wetwebmedia.com/cnidcompppt.htm and the linked files above... You might "get away" with the present mix, by isolating some of the players, mixing water twixt systems for a few months... Bob Fenner>

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