Please visit our Sponsors
FAQs about Sea Fan Identification 3

Related Articles: Sea Fans,

Related FAQs: Gorgonian, Sea Fan Identification 1, Sea Fan ID 2, Sea Fan ID 4, & Sea Fans 1, Sea Fans 2, Sea Fan Behavior, Sea Fan Selection, Sea Fan Compatibility, Sea Fan Systems, Sea Fan Feeding, Sea Fan Disease, Sea Fan Reproduction,

Gorgonian ID     1/30/14
Dear WWM crew,
I've just purchased a gorgonian about a week ago. I've always wanted one but everything in the shop seems to be NPS, which I don't fancy. This one looks photosynthetic and the seller confirmed it is.
It is happy in the tank and fully expanding during the daytime.
<Does look good>
This is my daughter's tank (24x12x12 inch/60x30x30 cm with soft and LPS corals, with LR and aragonite sand, Tunze 9002 skimmer, Fluval Edge HOB filter - running Blue Life ClearFXPro, Hydor Koralia powerheads of 900 and 1600 lph and MP10 at 40% in lagoon mode, 3x12W TMC AquaRay lights). The water quality is suitable for LPS, but not for SPS (nitrates 10-15 ppm).
I would like your help in IDing the gorgonian so I can figure out how to keep it happy in the long run. Please see the attached photos.
At the LFS it was sitting flat unattached. At the moment I've just kept it the same, with the base in a plastic ring attached to the glass with a sucker, unsure of how to proceed in attaching it to the rock,
<Best to leave as is for now; the foreseeable future... can/may be attached in a few ways weeks down the line>
as there are polyps down to the bottom (there is no surface without tissue and polyps on it). I've seen that usually it gets attached with reef putty, but I'm afraid that covering the flesh with putty might start an infection.
Should I remove part of the tissue at the base and then glue/putty?
<I would not do this; no>
Kind regards,
Andrei (big fan and avid reader of the salty section of wwm)
<My best guess is that this is some member of the genus Pseudopterogorgia; possibly P. elisabethae.
Bob Fenner>

Re: Gorgonian ID     1/30/14
Hi Bob,
<Dr. A.>
Thanks for the quick reply. Before asking, comparing with Google images and your website my best match was Pseudoplexaura. My gorgonian branches like a tree, not like a feather. When the polyps are retracted, the branch gets thinner and the place were the polyp is looks like a hole.
Flow wise, it is now placed in a gentle flow area in the tank (all the powerheads are on the opposite side of the tank). Should I expose it to more flow?
<Not for now; no>
Would it be an option to place a transparent acrylic pipe in a hole in the rock work and to fit the bottom branch in it without any gluing?
<Yes; or even to simply position rock with a gap amongst to fit the base into>
One more observation, I've noticed it capturing Mysis and even pieces of krill.
<Interesting. Do please see the FAQs sections on WWM re Poriferans in captivity... re issues as feeding, systems.>
Kind regards,
<And you, B> 

Re: Gorgonian ID    2/23/14
Good morning to everybody in the WWM team,
I thought it would be nice to come with a follow up. My gorgonian has been continuously happy, with good polyp extension and growth.
<Ah good...>
As I don't feed plankton, I assume it is photosynthetic after all.
<I would try... see the second query here:
The only problem is that it is still not attached. I've placed it in a PVC pipe with lots of cuts in it and let it be. My wife is not happy with it being attached with a suction cup to the glass.
<Try anchoring it then... gingerly place amongst supporting rock... or use a bit of methacrylate to attach it>
It seems to be very resistant and I had the chance to speak with the LFS I've purchased it from. Their experience with it is that it tolerates well fragging, it's a fast grower and that they attach it to the rock with superglue gel, within one week encrusting over the rock (I've seen this in their display tank).
I know that the LFS water is pristine and probably the likelihood of a bacterial infection is lower in a large tank than in my nano. So is this the best way to attach my gorgonian or is there any other recommended way?
<As above>
Please see a recent photo of my gorgonian. As a note, I live in UK. I assume the gorgonian's origin is Caribbean/Florida,  as I've recently seen a movie on YouTube with a Goliath Grouper swimming through vast areas of identical gorgonians that was filmed in West Palm Beach, Florida (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eK3mzjuk91Y ).
<I do concur: Pseudoplexaura sp. likely>
Kind regards,
<And you, BobF>

Sea Rod Identification/Care/Health?    4/24/13
Mmm, can't open .png's... Please resend just two decent files of size as jpg's, bmp's, tiff's. BobF
Hi Crew,
NateG here. I purchased a sea rod last Saturday and was told that it was photosynthetic. I have another unidentified photosynthetic sponge in my tank that has been doing quite well so I figured I would add another for some more variety in my 60 cube. Picture #1 is during acclimation and is of the same color when I saw it under the LFS's halides. Pictures 2-4 are washed out under my blue and white LED's.
From the reading I've done on WWM I'm leaning towards it being Eunicea mammosa (aka swollen knob candelabrum). I tested the LFS salinity prior to acclimation and found it to be 1.033. I gave it a nice long drip while the collection cup was sitting within the water of my sump. Dripped to 1.025 then I introduced to my display without it touching the air. Can I mount this species to a rock out of water or is this a no no?
Pictures 2 and 3 show the general size and shape of it while showing what would appear to me as "normal" polyp extension. My concern for this coral is that is will periodically retract all/most of its polyps at strange times of day. I have yet see a trend in this aside from slight retraction after the lights come on. Today I noticed for a second time a few of the
polyps swelling (pictures 4,5). Are these the swollen knobs in the common name? Is it a good or bad thing?
So if we can I would like to find out what exactly it is, see if it is behaving this way simply to being a new addition to my system or perhaps something else. Or if there is anything else I need to provide it with in addition to my daily routine: 2-part, trace, iodine.
I just picked up an Aqua Medic Ocean Light 250w HQI pendant. Waiting on XM 20k and a new glass shield. Right now my photoperiod is on the lengthy side because my fixture is a weak. Actinics are 13 hr and daylights are 7.5 hr with a good amount of natural sunlight. Any recommendations  on the new photoperiod for the new halide?
Thanks for your time,
Re: Sea Rod Identification/Care/Health?

Oops sorry about that Bob. Windows 7 snipping tool defaults to png.
<My guess is the same as yours, Eunicia mammosa... Rarely does well in captivity. Bob Fenner>

Before and after
Re: Sea Rod Identification/Care/Health?    4/24/13
<My guess is the same as yours, Eunicia mammosa... Rarely does well in captivity. Bob Fenner>
One of those eh? Wonderful. I guess I'll have to keep a close eye on it.
Thx. -Nate
<Welcome. B>

gorgonian identification     9/14/12
Hi Crew
Have any of you any ideas of this species of gorgonian?
<Think this is a Muricea, perhaps M. laxa>
A fellow reefer I
know has it in his tank and is trying to ID it, we have asked on other forums but no one seems to know. It grows in a unique way that seems unfamiliar with other gorg species that are more readily available within the trade.
Many thanks in advance
<Cheers, Bob Fenner>

identification     8/15/12
Hi, I need help with this identification for a customer maybe you can help me he said that he never bought it, it just started to grow... and grow quickly it look like a gorgonia (it's hard like a gorgonia) here's some pictures  thank you
>?... looks like Pseudopterygorgia bipinnata... but why wouldn't you search WWM before just writing...? Oh... Bob Fenner>

Re: identification     8/16/12
I did... but didn't thought that the pictures look like the Pseudopterygorgia bipinnata or any other on the wwm website
that's why I ask for your opinion
<Ah, I see... well, this looks most like this to me from your pix... in any case, it is a gorgonian, photosynthetic... BobF>

Help with species ID 6/25/11
Hello Crew,
I have found about everything I have looked for on your site. I have to say though searching through all of that was time consuming and not a small task. I think I need some aspirin and maybe a chiropractor! :-) That being said, the information was awesome and I want to thank you for all you do and have done for so long now.
I'd like to ask your help with a couple of ID's. I am attaching a few pictures for your input. Thanks to your site I have been able to determine I have *St**aurocladia oahuensis *growing all over my glass. I was glad to read they are pretty much harmless. The first picture labeled "Hydroid on Rock" has two things I have questions about. First is what I believe to be another hydroid. Is this also *Staurocladia oahuensis,* just from a different vantage point?
<Likely so>
It is larger. The ones on the glass seem to be 2-3 mm at most, this one is closer to 5-6 mm in diameter. Also, although I could not get a good picture of one when you see it from the side the tentacles seem to l project up and out from the center. There does not seem to be much of a stalk. Again, this may be the same organism just larger and seen from a different angle. Thoughts? You know even when I find "harmful" stuff I am still amazed and I love it. I rarely try to kill stuff off and try to manage it. I have had bristle worms, Aiptasia, and a few other "pests" and I have found so long as I keep up the maintenance of the system these guys usually don't explode and I have not had them cause any harm. And quite honestly they are all very interesting and beautiful in their own right! Now red slime algae...that's another story! LOL
Also in that same picture there is a red tube structure that I know houses some type of animal. Any idea what it might be?
<Mmm, have seen this before... I believe it's an Ascidian, a sea squirt species>
I have seen these types of things before and I know they put out a mucous strand to capture food but that's all I know about them and I am not sure where to start looking and as I said I already need aspirin and a chiropractor!
The next series of pictures is of what I believe is an encrusting sponge.
This is a really cool animal. It comes out when my MH comes on and goes in when it goes off. In fact it has actually "learned" when to come out, because now it generally comes out a few minutes right before the MH comes on. Truly amazing! Anyway, I am attaching the following pictures of it (please excuse the algae on the glass, tomorrow is cleaning day!): "Sponge with tentacles out", "sponge encrusted rock", "Close Up of Sponge Tentacles", and "Sponge with Tentacles Retracted". What are your thoughts on this one?
<I believe this is an octocoral... summat like Briareum... an encrusting gorgonian>
Again, thanks to all of you for what you do to help us be successful in this fantastic hobby!
<Again, welcome; and thank you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

Gorgonian Identification 3/22/11
Dear Crew,
<Hey Joe>
Again, thank you so much for your dedication to the hobby! Your passion is a true inspiration!
<Ah good>
I just wanted to see if I could tap your expert opinion once again on a species identification. The attached pics are of a Gorgonian in a friends tank. I checked out Borneman and Sprung's texts and do think that this is a Caribbean Eunicea species, all though this is purely an estimation based on photos.
Thanks so much!
<I do agree re the genus here... this is a Knobby Sea Rod/Eunicea of some sort. My best guess is E. forma plantaginea or E. calyculata. Bob Fenner>

Mystery Gorgonian
Hello Lynn, hello Bob,
There's a message in German about a mystery gorgonian, one that looks like some sort of Diodogorgia to me. In any case, if either of you need help with the German, I have a little understanding and can help.
The message itself says: Hello from Germany. Please excuse me writing in German because my English isn't good. I have a picture of a supposed gorgonian here, but I cannot name this animal, perhaps you can help me. The gorgonian has polyps about 3 mm big, but feeding cannot be seen. Thanks in advance, all the best from Germany.
Cheers, Neale
Ein Hallo aus Deutschland
Bitte entschuldigt das Ich in Deutsch schreibe, aber mein Englisch ist nicht
mehr sehr gut.
Ich habe ein Bild von einer angeblichen Gorgonie bekommen, aber leider ist
es mir noch nicht gelungen das Tier zu bestimmen. Vielleicht könnt ihr mir
weiter helfen. Die "Gorgonie" hat bis zu 3mm groÃe Polypen, und eine aktive
Nahrungsaufnahme konnte nicht beobachtet werden.
Vielen dank im voraus, und beste GrüÃe aus Deutschland
<Neale... I do agree withy your guess re the genus. Would you respond to the querior... asking them to read here:
and the linked files above... as well as look for Daniel Knop's and Sven Fossa/Alf Nilsen's works on Rindkorallen?
Am asking MarcoL to translate and send this along as well. BobF>
Re: WWM: Mystery Gorgonian
Ah, Marco will do a MUCH better job than my rudimentary German.
Cheers, Neale
<Heeee! He IS a Deutschlander after all! B>
Re: WWM: Mystery Gorgonian
Reminds me of the "Ich bin ein Berliner" line... apparently translates into
"I'm a jelly donut".
Cheers, Neale
<"Jelly, yes, Mmmmmm." Homer/Bob>

crop to show detail

Re: Gorgonian ? 10/6/10
Hallo Harald,
die Teammitglieder Neale und Bob denken, dass es sich um eine Diodogorgia sp. handeln könnte und empfehlen einen Blick in Fossa und Nilsen, sowie Daniel Knops Bücher. Ich weià nicht um was für eine Gorgonie es sich handelt, empfehle aber bei Dr. Katharina Fabricus vom australischen AIMS nachzufragen (zusammen mit einem besseren Bild der Polypen und einer Angabe zur Herkunft). Sie ist eine Expertin für Weichkorallen und Gorgonien, weiterhin spricht sie durch ihre Studienzeit in München Deutsch.
Viele GrüÃe
Hello Harald,
my fellow team members Neale and Bob think it might be Diodogorgia sp. and recommend to check the Fossa and Nilsen, as well as Daniel Knop's book. I don't know what species this Gorgonian is, but recommend to ask Dr. Katharina Fabricius from the Australian AIMS (including a better picture of the polyps and the origin of the specimen). She's an expert on soft corals and gorgonians. Due to her studies in Germany she also speaks German. Cheers Marco.
PS: Neale's German is probably better than my English!
Re: WWM: Mystery Gorgonian
Marco, did you forward this (in German) to the sender? The original is in your infolder. BobF>
Re: WWM: Mystery Gorgonian
Yes, see sent folder just above this email. Marco.
<Danke. B>

Coral ID 1/22/10
Good Day.
<Hello Derek>
I have gone to a few 'boards' with this ID question, but I have yet to get a satisfactory answer. I hope you can help!
I purchased a piece of Idaho Grape Cap (Tyree) from a fellow reefer and he threw in this 'bonus' piece that he called a 'unidentified softy" (pls. see attached pic). I cannot for the life of me figure out what this is. It is on
a hard stalk, and the polyps come out like an encrusting Gorgonian or GPS...but when retracted it has a purple/white color.
Please help - I want to be sure of how to care for this little guy.
<I think you are on the right track thinking it is an encrusting Gorgonian and it appears to be a Briareum specie encrusting a dead coral skeleton. I have a growth of this myself and your coral is very much similar to mine. See attached photo I took for comparison. Bob may have a more accurate description and his input will show on the dailies. Bob, feel free to use my photo if you would like.>
<You're welcome. James (Salty Dog)>
Derek L. Rush

Gorgonian ID help 12/25/09
Hey everyone,
I just started my first reef tank and all I have in there is the live rock/sand from an aquaculturist in Florida (Gulf). Along with the rock and sand came several extras, including this Gorgonian.
I'd like you to ID it if you could, but failing that, do you believe it's a photosynthetic species or not?
<I think this may be a Eunicea species, perhaps E. mammosa>
What suggestions do you have on care and feeding? I'm going to try phytoplankton today.
<Mmm... don't eat phytoplankton...>
Tank: 15gal/10g sump; 130W PC; started on 12/22/09
<... This organism is not likely to fare well/live in this small (unstable) volume>
Thank you!
<Do take a look/see on the Net re the scientific name... Do you concur that this is likely the species? What useful husbandry notes do you find? Bob Fenner>

Coral ID 4/26/09
Hi there,
hope all is going great!
<Summat... flight out of Denver has been delayed... they're "looking for a plane" (not easy to hide I'd think)>
I had been for local collection trip on the Indian western cost (inter tidal zone).
where I found this lovely frag...
Was wondering if you could ID this coral, looks like an Acropora of some kind, its not very hard to touch, but quite firm as its very small (1in in height)!
pls see the attached file, and let me know what family/ species do you think this frag could be?
<Mmm, on close inspection this is an octocoral... I think it's likely a juvenile Gorgonian of some sort... am away from my in-print ref. works....
Bob Fenner>
thanks a lot, keep rocking!

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: