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Pulsing xenia, what's going on?


Ok, so here is the deal. I acquired the clown and xenia's in the pictures back in May, and since then the xenia have seemed to be doing progressively worse. They are now more elongated and stringy in appearance and are not pulsing like they use to. I am wondering if I can contribute this to the violent and aggressive swimming the clown does in, out, and through the xenia? It kind of seems to me that he is beating them up, but I'm not sure if I should attribute this decline to something else instead. Any help would be great, I am new to the hobby and the site. Thanks!


It very well could be from the clown but also how is your flow? you dont want too much flow on them and also have you thought about getting your clown an bta to house in. pls tell us more about your tank so we can help you further

More info will help since no body knows your setup. How long its been up, how big, what kind of light, what kind of testing you do on your water chemistry, etc etc.

There could be a few reasons this might happen...can you describe your setup a little more? Size? Lights? Husbandry/water change schedule? Have you taken any water parameter measurements lately? Temp, ph, nitrate, phosphate...do you use RO/DI?

Yeah ok, so some more info on the setup. I set it up first week in May with a large amount of established live rock, and am currently running two canister filters for filtration and circulation. Initially I was using my old lighting setup which consisted of 128 W of regular T8 lighting and 96W actinic power compact (worked great for cichlids) that was the lighting at the time of the first pic. Now lighting is 4 X 65 power compact, 2 10,000K and 2 actinic in addition to the 96 W actinic (2nd pic). I have been changing out around 10 gallons of water a week, and nitrate has been undetectable.

Everything, aside from the xenia, seems to indicate the water chemistry is great. Test strips show good levels, and the palys, zoas, green star polyp, and kenyi tree have all been thriving. Water temp is 78-80. I have experimented with the flow and it hasn't really had any effect.

Try a different test kit. Those strips aren't really all that reliable. If you'd rather not buy a test kit, just take a water sample to a fish store, and they'll test it for ya. How often do you top off your tank with FW? also, what do you run your salinity at? How many degrees of temperature swing do you have during the day? Also, if you do use an RO/DI unit, what is your TDS reading? Xenia is a pretty hardy coral, I don't think the clown could be killing it.

+1 to fridaynightswings. Does any body remember seeing a post on how to ask for help with live stock with very detailed instructions.

What everyone is suggesting about checking tank chemestry is certainly worth a look. I will just comment on my experiences with clowns hosting in things other than anemones. I do not keep clowns at all anymore after having them host in and cause the ultimate demise of some of my corals. These corals where very healthy and vibrant and in the tank long before the clowns got there. I did not have an anemone in the tank and was told I did not need one. This much earlier in my reefkeeping experience. While a clown does not actually need an anemone to survive in a tank, they will certainly find a suitable replacement host if one is available. Many times that host is some form of soft or LPS coral that may not like this constant clown companionship at all. I found this out the hard way with the two clowns I had moving into one coral. After three weeks of the constant harassment, the coral just stopped opening up and died. They then moved onto another coral in my tank with the same result. As you might guess, I found another home for the clowns and no more issues with corals dying. I have no proof that the clowns killed these corals, but these were healthy corals that were thriving in my tank for more than two years until they moved in. I think this is too much coincidence that both corals were healthy for a long time and both died shortly after the clowns moved in. Water parameters were excellent during this entire process because it was the first thing I checked and checked a couple of times a week during this period. Also had not moved anything around in the tank or added any new livestock for many months before adding the clowns. Long way of saying that the clowns certainly could be responsible for the xenia not opening up like they used to. Skipper has some great advice there. Get yourself an anemone you know is favored by the type of clowns you keep and this should take care of the problem. Just remember the anemones can and will move from time to time, so this can create its own set of issues to deal with. Good luck. ๐Ÿ™‚

I agree with Landshark that the clown could very well be causing the problem, but I wouldn't run out and get an anemone just yet as some species can be very difficult to care for and require very good water quality and lighting. The general rule of thumb is that you should have a well established tank before trying to add an anemone. I would verify your tanks water quality first as fridaynightswings suggested and take a sample of water in to an LFS. You are in Omaha so I would suggest taking a sample in to Ruff Waters this Saturday when they are open...you could also maybe find another hobbyist on here who lives in Omaha who might be willing to help you out. I would suggest investing in a good water test kit (Ruff Waters carries some "all inclusive" reef test kits)...the strips aren't really worthwhile.


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