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FAQs about Stony Coral, Cnidarian Identification 11

Related FAQs: Stony Coral ID 1, Stony Coral ID 2, Stony Coral ID 3, Stony Coral ID 4, Stony Coral ID 5, Stony Coral ID 6, Stony Coral ID 7, Stony Coral ID 8, Stony Coral ID 9, Stony Coral ID 10, Stony Coral ID 12, Stony Coral ID 13, Stony Coral ID 14, Stony Coral ID 15, & Cnidarian Identification, Stony FAQs 1, Stony FAQs 2, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Coral Compatibility, Stony Coral Behavior,

Related Articles: Stony Corals,

Scleractinian ID 3/10/10
Hi Crew!
I have been lurking on WWM for a time now in an attempt to identify a stony coral that was hidden in my tank. It was obscured by a large rock that I recently traded to the LFS for a T. peltata specimen. This coral apparently hitchhiked into my tank about 14 months ago on some live rock that was aquacultured in Florida (according to the LFS; but it had Arca zebra on some rocks, so probably is correct) .
<A good clue>
The corallites are about 5mm diameter
<And this>
and the polyps are extended most of the time (please see the attached picture - between the duster and the snail ). Interestingly, the polyps facing upward appear to be dead, whereas the ones facing horizontally, or downward, appear to be fine. This coral is, and has been, about 24in below the lights under about 19 in of water.
My hope is that this is a zooxanthellate coral,
<Is, though not very "pretty" because of, eh?>
but I thought I would get a second opinion. It is a very nice addition to my tank and I would like to keep it healthy.
So far, my guesses are (in order of likelihood):
Montastrea annularis
Tubastrea spp.
Favia fagrum
<... Is a Faviid... likely a Montastrea... probably annularis>
Tank parameters: T = 78-81F, NH3 = 0, N02 = 0, N03 = trace, pH = 7.95-8.20, Ca = 420mg/l, Alk = 8dKH, Mg = 1300mg/l. 72 gal bowfront, Aqua C Remora, Fluval 305 w/Chemi-Pure . 10gal weekly water change with aged RO/DI and Oceanic salt mix. 2x150W HQI, 2x96W T5.
Thank you for your hard work on WWM! It is great to have a resource to dispel much of the misleading advice and bad science circulating in the hobby.
<Thank you for your kind, encouraging words, and sending along this ID note. Enjoy! Bob Fenner>

Type of coral? 12/16/2009
Hi Crew! I've been searching the internet for days trying to figure out what kind of coral I have! He looks like an LPS of some kind and I'm pretty sure he stings since the mushroom next to him had to be moved.
<Should not have been placed so near/adjacent>
I've had him about a month and he has 4 new babies growing on the sides. He seems to love my tank, but I just have no CLUE as to what he is! Can you help?
<Need better/more resolved image/s, but appears to be a Dendrophylliid at this point. See here:
and the linked files above>
The guy I bought him from said he isn't very common and got thrown in by accident with the shipment but he never told me what it was. I've attached a couple pictures (sorry about quality, all I've got is a phone but I did the best I could).
<Mmm, maybe borrowing a better...>
He gets really fat and bloated when he eats, sometimes his tentacles are green, sometimes they're peach, and he can suck himself back into his stalk. He's about 1 inch tall normally, 2 inches if he really stretches out and is about 1/2-3/4" in diameter.
Any help would be appreciated!
<Enjoy! Bob Fenner>

Tricky ID question -- 12/14/09
Hi Crew,
I've been trying to get a ID on this little hitchhiker little over a week now without any success so I'm turning to you as my last chance. Instead of mailing photos I'm just linking them from a local forum where I tried to get an ID first.
The story is that after moving a piece of rock slightly I found these 2 polyps and my first thought was that I had found 2 Majano anemones
<Mmm, no>
but as I have never had Majano before I asked about them in a forum before removing them and some of the other members thought I should leave them for now as they didn't think they looked like Majano.
I decided to leave them and turn the stone around so I could see them every time I went past the aquarium. When I turned the stone around I saw that they wasn't attached to stone but rather growing as a part of the stone.
<Yes. In both pics you can see a skeleton from what is likely another specimen>
In the second picture you can see remains of a dead polyp that I think is of the same type as the two living (I base that on studying the base of the polyp at night when it's retracted and comparing it to the base of the dead polyps).
Below the polyps in the second picture is another 5 remains of dead polyps that tells me it seems to grow in a branching way.
<Mmm, maybe. I suspect this is a solitary polyp species>
I don't think it's an anemone anymore and I'm guessing at some kind of LPS but I really have no clue so I'm looking for all help I can get on identifying this so I can give it the best possible place in my tank or if it's bad remove it before it gets bigger.
Thanks in advance & best regards,
<There are a few Scleractinian (stony coral) families that this might be.
See the Net, WWM re: Perhaps peruse here:
see the pix about midway down... and the families Rhizangiidae, Oculinidae.
Bob Fenner>

SV: Tricky ID question, Cnid., Scler. f's -- 12/14/09
Thanks for the link, the pictures half way down does look a bit like the once I have, mine is just much more brown. I have also found some pictures of Galaxea that looks a bit like the one I have but I think I'll have to wait with a better ID until it grows bigger/gets more polyps.
<Mmm, color can/does change with local conditions, mainly light factors and foods... The physical aspects of corallites is most useful for identification>
This far I have a feeling it's a "day-active" coral filled with Zooxanthellae as it completely deflates within 60 minutes after lights go out and it only starts inflating again when I turn lights on in the morning.
<This behavior/activity is also variable with the same "color" determinants as mentioned above>
I'll post again if I notice anything worth documenting :)
<Thank you, BobF>

Unidentifiable Coral -- 11/09/2009
<... why don't folks follow directions when asking our help? Why are you sending 16 megs of pix? Ho buoy!>
I have asked the owner, I have asked ReefCentral, and I have asked TheReefTank.com, and I have yet to get a straight answer.
<Mmm... what's the question?>
I have this beautiful coral which I believe is LPS, but could POSSIBLY be SPS.
<An artificial designation... of limited value>
I have a couple of different pictures of it.
The first is of the coral about 1 hour after it was first put in the tank.
The second picture is of it when it's completely and fully extended.
The third picture is another picture of the coral when it's completely and fully extended, but you can also see the corals calcium skeleton, I think that may help some?
The last picture is of it at night (lights out).
The best answers I have gotten are Tongue Coral and Encrusting Hydnophora.
<? I don't think so>
But it's still a small specimen and very hard to tell what it is.
It's about the size of a half dollar coin and is a lightish pink color.
Please and thank you!
<Looks to be some species of Symphyllia... a Mussid. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unidentifiable Coral -- 11/09/2009
I apologize about the pic size!
I guess I forgot about that rule.
<Heeeee! We're fresh out of disk space!>
But do you have a good comparison picture?
<Mmm, I'll look>
I searched for Mussids and Symphyllia on Google images and got nothing that looked like it.
<Mmm, no... just looked... All mine are large specimens, during the day, with flesh retracted. BobF>

LPS ID and phytoplankton product use -- 10/26/09
Hi Grew,
I'm one more person, who would like to say how great and informative your site.
<We share!>
I'm new in the hobby. My tank is 6 mo, however thanks to all your advices, everything is doing well. I read your articles almost every day.
I have a question regarding LPS ID. I found it in one local fish store under name Neon Green. A salesman could not give me any additional info. It covers a life rock, polyps a small about 3 mm in diameter and 2-3 mm tall. They retract when disturbed. Is it kind of Turbinaria?
<Mmm, need either better vision (no doubt actually) or a bit larger, more-resolved image here, but I am pretty sure this is a Goniopora (commonly called "Flowerpot") coral. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm
and the linked files above re this genus' care>
And one more question. In most of your articles you mentioned that corals eat zoo-plankton.
<Most all do to extents... along with no to some variable amount of photosynthesis>
What kind of coral eat phytoplankton?
<... actually very few of what passes as "corals", definitely not Scleractinians/Stonies consume much of any phyto>
An instruction on bottles with phytoplankton says, that it is food for filter feeders and corals.
<... A good point, statement... Most all such material is of limited (to the extreme) use in hobbyist systems. The bulk is taken out via skimming... Some soft coral groups (Alcyonaceans) consume "some" species, sizes of phytoplankton... and adding such products can lead indirectly to "better conditions" in captive systems... but most of it is a placebo>
Thank you for you time.
<And you for sharing. Bob Fenner>

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