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FAQs about Stony Coral, Cnidarian Identification 5

Related FAQs: Stony Coral ID 1, Stony Coral ID 2, Stony Coral ID 3, Stony Coral ID 4, 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,

Identification of lps/sps unknown to LFS owner 3/12/10
<Hello Travis>
I am looking to identify this bright lime green type of coral, and after a few hours of fruitless research I thought I'd ask the capable WWM crew.
LFS owner received a 3-4 inch diameter parent colony, from this he placed 1/4 in a display tank and sliced the remainder into frags to be sold,
<I would not have done this with this particular coral>
but the genus and species are unknown to owner and employees.
<Species unknown, yes, but I do think this is a Faviid, possibly a Favia. See each corallite has it's own, not a shared wall? This is a clue. Try here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/faviidae2.htm>.
I have attached three pictures of this coral: two from outside the aquarium, and one taken from above with an underwater camera. Note: these pictures were taken shortly after acclimation and the coral appears slightly more withdrawn than it did in my LFS.
<This coral appears bleached -- hence the unusual colour, and why I would not have fragged it -- puts unnecessary stress on an already stressed coral>
Information to help the identification: total colony is approximately 1/4 inch across with a 1/4 inch tall stony skeleton, each polyp is slightly larger than 1/16 inch wide;
<Very small>
it appears to have miniscule feeding tentacles(about 20/polyp, not seen in pictures) that are out during the day (exposed 10 minutes after placed in tank), these tentacles also have tiny white spherical nematocyst looking tips.
<Excellent observations, first class>
The colony looks like mini-Favia,
<Yes! The nail hitteth the head!>
if there is such a thing, except that each polyp is nearly a perfect circle. Coloration is highly fluorescent monochromatic lime green(picture makes it appear more yellow).
Cool pic note: in pictures 1 and 2 you can see some zooxanthellae goo that appeared seconds after turning the lights on for the pictures.
<You mean the brown spots?>
The colony currently looks more like picture 3, just add some tiny tentacles.
Thank you for the many answers over the last few months,
<And thank you as well!>

Coral Identification? -- 02/12/10
Hi Crew!
>Big J<
Any thoughts on what I might have in the attached photo?
<Mmm, maybe a Hydnophora. Read here:
It seems to me
like some sort of SPS based on how it has grown in the past 4 months that I've had it. What is interesting about it though is that where I'm used to the star shaped polyps of many of my other SPS, this has more like "worms" for what I assume are its polyps. Reminds me somewhat of photos of Millepora. Occasionally (usually at night) translucent tubes come out of it in a few spots and extend to a length of perhaps 2 inches or more. Usually only a few of these, whereas the coral is covered in the shorter wormlike and colored "polyps" as seen in the photo.
Also, any new or interesting thoughts on getting rid of hair algae?
<Just what's posted/archived on WWM. Need to know at least the Division...>
I have a few "fields" of it in between some SPS and higher in the tank where my Tomini Tang, Foxface Rabbitfish, Pacific Blue Tang, and Flame Angel can't seem to get to it. I have a Sally Lightfoot, a few random snails, and a couple of Emerald Crabs, but none of these seem to be taking to the fields of hair algae. Nitrates, Nitrites, Ammonia and Phosphates are all zero. Hardness is around 6/7. Calcium is up around 500.
Temp is 77 and salinity is 1.024. I use RO water and have not been overfeeding (from what I can tell). The hair algae I'm most worried about is the very thick bush of it growing in the middle of some SPS.
Thanks in advance,
Jon Hoover
<Keep reading. Bob Fenner>

ID hitchhiker anemones -- 09/26/09
On Sunday (it is now Friday) we added 200 lbs of live rock to our new system. The LR had been in a tank for 4 years and in a large trash can with power heads for a month. We picked up RODI water on the way home and
showed the rock to the LFS owner. He said the rock was in excellent condition and the tank would have little or no cycle time. All water readings have been 0 nitrates, 0 ammonia (both by our kit and the store's).
While we were at the store we noticed some anemones on the rocks at the top. The LFS owner looked at them and said he did not think they were Aiptasia. He stuck his finger in one and was not stung. My husband was
also not stung. There was another experienced hobbyist there and he could not ID them as well. I emailed the original owner of the LR and he was not very helpful. He said he had aiptasia in the past, but they had been under
control. He did not tell me if there had been other kinds of anemones in the tank.
We have done hours of searching, but can not find a picture or description that matched these exactly.
- They don't appear to sting.
- They have a fairly wide base compared to height.
- The base is a brownish/yellow color.
- The tentacles are clear with small white stripes and spots.
- The tips have a very small white ball.
They seem to like the tank and appear to be growing larger. We have not added any food to the tank yet since only what came on the LR is in the tank (snail, brittle stars, other stars, sponge, etc). We do not have the good lights on the tank yet. That will happen this weekend.
We would like to know what these are before we kill them off and then find out they were something someone else might have wanted.
Thanks for your help,
<These appear to have an underlying (calcareous) skeleton... I suspect they are either single polyp Dendrophylliids or Rhizangiids... Please see the Net and WWM re. Please see here: http://wetwebmedia.com/dendroidfaqs.htm
Bob Fenner>

Re: ID hitchhiker anemones -- 09/26/09
Thanks so much. No one else had any idea what they were. On the link page (for Bridget 11/2007) that is them! Except hers look orange. Do they change color?
<Yes, can>
Ours our clear, except for the base. They have been in a dark circulating tub for about a month before we got them. We are new to the hobby so I hope we can keep them happy.
You are awesome!~
<Mmm... Okay! Cheers, BobF>

Australian Coral Identification 9/17/08 Good Afternoon! Great website, has helped me plenty to advance in the excellent hobby of reefkeeping. Just a quick question this time. I am starting to get into the Australian corals now in the market. I try my best to avoid corals harvested illegally (I hear many are being harvested off the coast of Japan) and I am trying to better educate myself. How can you tell the difference between Lord Acans, Micromussas and Blastomussa? <Mmm, most of these Mussids can be distinguished from gross examination... do you have J.E.N. Veron's in-print works on Scleractinians? These are the paramount guides for ID here. Otherwise, free on-line work can be found by our own Sara Mavinkurve (Asira.com) and Jake Adams (Coralidea.com)> I bought frags off a local reefer and cannot identify them. Would pictures help? <Oh yes> Are there any characteristics that can be used to identify them? <... yes> From what I hear, Micromussas are just a smaller version (8mm or less) of Lord Acans. Any help is greatly appreciated! <Do see the ref.s above. Bob Fenner>

ID Assistance Needed for SPS Encrusting Coral Coral Id challenge - Need more info 10/9/07 <Hi there> So... I am on a mission. <I can relate to that!> I want to determine what an otherwise unknown species of coral in my SPS prop tank is. Unfortunately, I don't have much information to go on, and the photos I have taken are just about as good. Sorry, I need a macro lens. <Very helpful, indeed.> When I originally acquired this species, the person who sold it to me broke a chunk off of a rock. He was trying very hard to keep it intact, with little luck. It pretty much shattered. He told me he didn't know what it was, but he was told that it was supposedly rare. <Okay> I have scoured the Eric Borneman and Julian Sprung corals books. I have come up with nothing. Same for the web. Well, not quite nothing, but pretty darn close. Here's what I can tell you. This SPS coral is very much like Montipora. <My first impression as well...second guess - Porites.> So I am totally guessing it is some kind of Acroporidae. <Unless it's Porites (Poritidae), etc.> Of course, that doesn't mean much, and even if I am right, we're talking about thousands of possible species. <Yes, it's quite a daunting task. Distinguishing differences between corals usually involves heavy duty magnification of the skeleton/individual septa, not to mention some taxonomic nightmares.> How is it similar? Well... it's an encrusting coral with extruding polyps. The polyps are much denser and smaller than any Montipora I have personal experience with. <Have seen such before -- can vary greatly.> It grows the same way as Montipora, but possibly quicker. <Given favorable conditions, can grow very quickly.> It seems to layer itself. What does this mean? I glued a small chunk to a frag disc. The way it is growing now looks almost like the chunk melted. <Typical encrusting growth pattern.> There is clear growth on the disk, but it is very thin. As time goes by, it gets thicker. <Yep> This may also be a result of the small polyp size. <Mmmm> I also believe that the coral being so brittle is also a result of small polyp size. If you imagine the coral skeleton generated by this thing, the more polyps, the more holes. The more holes, the more porous it is. The more porous, the less structural integrity there is. <Yes, makes for lightweight/porous structure.> I took five nickel-sized chunks and glued them to a rock. The growth has really been good. The pieces no longer look like they have jagged edges. They have grown out so that the frags are all smooth on the rock and they are quickly moving toward each other. <Good growth rate/favorable conditions.> I really believe that within 30-60 days (sooner if I get my calcium reactor up and cooking) all the pieces will have fused together. <Happy corals!> Okay, so earlier I said I had found "pretty darn close" to nothing in my research. Here's what I found...I found a coral called "Leptoseris mycetoseroides": http://www2.aims.gov.au/coralsearch/html/201-300/Species%20pages/228.htm <Don't see the typical ridges/anatomy of this species in your photos.> A lot of the descriptions, of course, are meaningless because they are working on the macro, but I am working with the micro. <The great thing about the Whelk/Aims site is that it usually includes a skeletal photo - critical for identification.> Unless I let this thing grow out for years, I might never see some of the described growth patterns. <Or they might differ from what's shown due to variable such as current, light, etc.> This photo, however, seems to be have some similarities to me: http://www2.aims.gov.au/coralsearch/images/201-300/Large/228-05.jpg <Note the way, though, that the corallites in the photo are aimed out towards the perimeter.> Now, I did say this seems to be an encrusting coral, and in this photo, it looks like the coral is more of a plating variety. However, I have several plating Montiporas that, when they run out of something to grow on, they plate outward. Just a thought. <Montipora often show a combination of growth forms. I have several colonies of M. digitata that seem to grow/spread equally through branching, as well as encrusting/covering the rockwork.> I also saw a coral in the Borneman book.... Pavona clavus, on page 251. The guy I got the coral from agreed that this has some striking similarities. <Other than growth pattern, I'm not really seeing it -- again, need more detailed photo. See this link for comparison: http://whelk.aims.gov.au/coralsearch/html/201-300/Species%20pages/290.htm > OK, so let's talk about my crappy photos. <LOL They're not that bad...they show basic growth form - just need to see a lot more detail to refine search.> In unknown-1sm.jpg you can see the rock with all the frags glued to it. Not much good for anything but possibly the color and shape of the coral. In unknown-2sm.jpg there are two things to look at (you can see the larger colonies in the background) First, in the foreground there is a rock with two additional frags glued to it. You can see how the sides are all nice and rounded off now with new growth. <Yes> You can also see a good example of what these critters look like with full polyp extension. In the background is a ceramic frag disc that I glued one little chunk to. You can clearly see the "melted" look of this coral as it grows out onto the disk. <Typical> Nothing substantial, but growth regardless. <What I can see is consistent with a Montipora spp, but trying to identify these specimens by photo alone is a fairly insurmountable task. Here are several interesting/helpful links for coral identification: http://reefkeeping.com/issues/2002-04/eb/index.php, http://home2.pacific.net.ph/~sweetyummy42/CoralGenus.html, and http://www.advancedaquarist.com/2007/9/aafeature2#h4 Good luck! -Lynn>

Re: ID Assistance Needed for SPS Encrusting Coral Re: Coral Id challenge - 10/9/07 WWM (Lynn): <Hi there, JW - Lynn here again.> Forwarded your response to my original source of the frags, who responded: "Very interesting. One thing that I can recall of the coral is that the polyp structure did not resemble any Monti or Porites that I had ever seen. Monti and Porites are distinctively round where as the polyps on the mystery coral are more like tentacles than polyps. <Interesting. In cases like this, every clue helps.> I almost can predict what you will say, especially after reading the Borneman article, but just wanted to see if this rang any bells. <Like Quasimodo? <G> Well, what comes to mind are the more tapered, or needle-like, polyps of Pavona. I think your best bet at this point, however, is to ask Eric Borneman. He has a forum over at Marine Depot and is a heck of a nice guy. By the way, please let me know if/when you Id this coral!> JW <LZ>

Re: Coral Id challenge, follow-up 10/9/07 Lynn, <Hi JW!> I have emailed Eric Borneman, but not posted on the forums. I will do so tomorrow. <Sounds great> Thank you for all of your insights. <You're very welcome -- good luck! -Lynn>

Coral Identification 8/10/07 Dear WWM crew: <Hi Julie, Mich here.> Thank you for all the information your website provides. <On behalf of Bob and the rest of the crew, you're welcome!> I am new to saltwater, and have literally learned almost everything I know from your site. <Much of how I learned as well!> However, I do have an identification question that I have been having some trouble with. My LFS sells their live rock in a big tub with some stray corals mixed in at the bottom at live rock prices. We picked up some of these corals last weekend and to our amazement the corals still had some live polyps growing on them. Please inform us of what types of corals these are so that we can best care for them. <Coral1 looks to be a of the Family Faviidae, genus Favia. Coral2 looks to be of the family Dendrophylliidae, genus Turbinaria. These corals may be helped by target feeding with finely chopped fresh/frozen foods like mysis shrimp soaked in the vitamin supplement Selcon. Will take some dedication to get these to possibly recover. If you're seriously committed to rehabbing these corals you may want to employ the method sent in by one our readers. Please see here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendroreprofaqs.htm The query titled for feeding specifics.... Re: Feeding of Tubastrea.. Follow up to Baby Tubastrea Timeline 8/7/07 and the ones directly above for some results. Quite impressive!> Thanks again,
<Welcome! Julie

Coral ID, Acroporids sans pix? 7/13/07 Hi Guys, another question from a beginner. After much internet searching I am unable to find my little coral frag. The LFS guy I purchased the frag from didn't know anything about it. Any way it looks like acropora except for its top polyp. Instead of a polyp there is stringy hair algae type stuff growing out of it. I was tempted to pull it off but thought better of it. After days of observation it seems that this hair stuff is part of the feeding strategy of the animal. During the day it gets filled with debris and micro bubbles and in the morning its clean and floating. The coral itself is thickening, its flesh is encrusting the plug its on so I know the algae stuff isn't harming it. The corals top center seems hollow and the clump of algae is growing rather long, it has grown now as long as the frag itself. Its funny looking. Like a biker with long hair blowing in the wind. If this seems like a unfamiliar coral to you I will send a pic. <Bob, definitely need a pic. James (Salty Dog)> Thanks All Bob Carter

Id...Possibly Merulina ampliata -- 07/03/07 I can't find the following in any of my books, any ideas? <Hi Brian, I actually replied to this last night on your web site after listening to Bob's pod cast, which was quite good by the way! I tried to post this response but the site only allowed 300 characters. So I sent the second response.> http://bp0.blogger.com/_Saa3csugMNM/RogAXQq9gGI/AAAAAAAAABk/mJwEj4Tqbzs/s1600-h/2007+Jul+02+004.JPG <Greeting! Mich here from www.wetwebmedia.com> Anyone know what type of coral this is? <Hard to tell from just one picture. My best guess is Merulina ampliata> I checked all my books and cannot identify it. <I am glad to read that you have reference books! Good for you, and the creatures for which you care!> I was a bad reefkeeper and bought it without being sure what it was. <Not a good practice or the actions of a conscientious aquarist. 40 lashes with a wet noodle for you!> I highly recommend not doing this. <Me too!> Do your research ahead of time. <Sage advise! Life to you! Michelle Lemech> ===== Greeting! Mich here from www.wetwebmedia.com It is difficult to tell from just one picture. My best guess is coral may be Merulina ampliata. A little more info here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/merulinidae.htm Hope that helps. Michelle Lemech

Id...Possibly Merulina ampliata 7/4/07 <Hi Brian, Mich here.> Hmm...I looked at some pictures of the Merulina, looks different. <Could be. Multiple growth forms are possible, often within the same colony. Some pic's I thought resembled yours: http://www.aquarium-design.fr/Img/ImgTelecharge/Pt/1192.jpg http://www.meerwasser-lexikon.de/images/1375.jpg http://www.mailordercorals.com/displayPict.asp?cartID=1154 http://www.reefaholics.org/Sale/reefaholicsimages/images/PIC00088.JPG http://www.atlantisaquarium.net/images/merilina.jpg.JPG The corallites in this species tend to form ridges and valleys which radiate from the center, which is why I though this genus was a possibility.> I did stumble across Agaricia agaricites. Could that be it? <Unlikely, Agaricia is an Atlantic species and generally not available in the trade. Initially, I was think this might be part of the Family Agaricidae, along the lines of a Pachyseris, but the ridges and valleys tend to be more concentric. It is difficult to identify a coral by one photo alone, and for some corals it is outright impossible without skeletal examination. So perhaps it is a Merulina, but it may be something else too. Wish Mich>

Rock Anemones and Breaking Rocks to Separate Corals 4/21/07 Hi Guys, <Hi Jim, Mich here.> Here are two pictures that I would like your thoughts on. The first I believe is a small group of rock anemones. <Looks like a pest to me.> They are about 1/2 inches high. The aquarium is about 4 months old. I have two small groups of these, which don't seem to be doing much. Do you think that I should go out and get a couple of peppermint shrimp and try to stem it now or is it possible that they won't expand? <Depends.> I enjoy watching the micro fauna but don't want to risk all. I think of them as a weed-just a thing that is not growing where someone wants it but otherwise interesting. <If it were me/mine I would remove from the system. If you allow to remain in the system, I would watch carefully, and be prepared to take action. More here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/cav1i3/aiptasia_impressions/aiptaisia_impressions.htm http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/inverts/cnidaria/anthozoa/aiptasia/aiptasia.htm > Anyway the second picture there are two colonies of different creatures. Both colonies are expanding. <A good thing.> I keep reading that they may beat on each other and kill one or both colonies. <Is possible.> I wouldn't want that. <Me neither.> These just came on the live rock and started to grow. <Ooo! A nice gift from the sea.> I would have to break the rock to keep them apart. Is this a viable solution or is there another? <It looks like the rock could be easily removed from your system. If this is so, I think I would remove and use a chisel or better yet a Dremel, and remove and relocate one of these corals. <As far as ID's go I think this is Galaxea fascicularis, http://www.wetwebmedia.com/oculinidae.htm though Turbinaria http://www.wetwebmedia.com/dendrophylliidae.htm or Goniopora http://www.wetwebmedia.com/gonioporapix.htm could be possibilities, it is difficult to tell from the photo.> Thanks for your help as always. Lots of great reading!! <Welcome! Glad you enjoy! -Mich> Jim

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