Make your own free website on Tripod.com

 

Reefkeeper's Frequently Asked Questions

Please note that this document maintains a copyright by its Owners. Please read the included information about its legal usage and distribution. This document has been modified only for hyper-text. (Well, more or less. Actually, this is a composite document written by many folks. It contains information each participant felt was basic information required for anyone considering maintaining a reef tank. In reality, it's turned into a bit of a reference document. Some of the information has been taken from public forums like the Internet UseNet *.aquaria groups. Credit to the authors of such information is given next to their contribution.) Note that starting with 1.12, new and/or changed items are marked with the symbol. Release 1.12 - 17 Aug, 1994 (more corrections and minor area expansions) Release 1.11 - 18 Apr, 1994 (some corrections and minor area expansions) Release 1.10 - 9 Sep, 1993 (Significant additions to test kit and protein skimming sections. Many spelling and grammar corrections, some style and format alterations.) Release 1.02 - September 1st, 1993 (Reorganized, split into 3 pieces) Release 1.01 - July 1st, 1993 (First Public Release) Release 1.00 - May 12th, 1993 *Copyright 1993, 1994, ReefKeepers, All Rights Reserved ReefKeepers, for purposes of the copyright, is the group of authors listed at the end of this 3-part document. Permission is granted for it to be copied (unmodified) in either electronic or hardcopy form by nonprofit organizations if it is copied in its entirety and used in stand-alone form. This document may not otherwise be published, posted, uploaded, replicated or copied by any method, electronic or physical, without the explicit permission of ALL of the listed contributors. The authors of this document have kindly spent the time to bring you their opinions. They are not liable in any form or fashion, nor are their employers, for how you use this information. Their opinions should not be construed as fact; don't blame them if your tank has problems. You may get the source of this FAQ via FTP from the following sites: percula.acs.uci.edu (128.200.34.15) /reefkeepers/faq *ftp.cco.caltech.edu (131.215.48.151) /pub/aquaria/FAQfiles/Reefkeepers

1.Water (Filters/Additives/Test Kits)
1.Source Water - City Mains Water Is Not Good Enough 1.Background
2.DI Filters
3.RO Filters
4.Further Comments About Water
2.Additives
3.Testable Parameters
1.Alkalinity
2.Calcium
3.pH
4.Nitrate (NO3)
5.Phosphate (PO4)
6.Specific Gravity
4.Water Changes
2.Filtration and Equipment
1.Live Rock
2.Protein Skimmers
1.Counter Current Air Driven Protein Skimmers
2.Venturi Protein Skimmers
3.Protein Skimmer Considerations
3.Granular Activated Carbon (GAC)
4.Other Chemical Filter Media (X-Whatever)
5.Mechanical Filtration
6.Under Gravel Filters (UGF)
7.Reverse Flow UGFs (RUGF)
8.Trickle Filters
9.Algae Scrubbers (somewhat long)
10.Live Sand
3.Lights
1.General Discussion
2.Detail Discussion
3.Lighting Data
4.Cost Estimates
5.Stock
1.Common to Scientific Name Cross Reference
2.Coral Aggression Chart
3.Corals [Cnidaria (Anthozoa)]
4.Shelled Things
5.Algae
6.Possible Problems
7.Questions and Answers
8.Book Review
9.Useful Tables
10.Credits

1.1 Water
1.1.1 Source Water


- City Mains Water Is Not Good Enough Background US EPA requirements for water quality from municipal sources are insufficiently pure for reef tank usage. For instance, the EPA standard for Nitrate (as NO3-N) is 10.0 mg/l, over twice the recommended maximum level. Extremely toxic (to inverts) heavy metals such as copper are allowed at levels as high as 1 mg/l. Most public water supplies have contaminates well below the EPA levels and some reef tanks have done fine on some public supplies. In general, however, it is recommended that some form of post processing be performed on public water before it is introduced into the reef tank. Although some people have access to distilled, de-ionized or reverse osmosis water from public sources, most will use a home sized system to produce their tank water. The two most common systems used are de-ionization resins, and reverse osmosis membranes.

1.1.2 DI filters
De-ionization (DI) units come in two basic varieties: mixed bed and separate bed. Two chambers are used in separate bed units, one for anion resins (to filter negatively charged ions), the other for cation resins (to filter positively charged ions). Mixed bed units use a single chamber with a mix of anion and cation resins. DI units are 100% water efficient with no waste water. They are typically rated in terms of grains of capacity (a grain is 0.065 grams). Once the capacity of the unit is reached it either needs to be replaced or recharged (using strong acids and bases). Recharging is normally only an option for separate bed units. A quick check of the local water quality charts (normally available free from the water supply company) will reveal the water purification capacity of a given DI unit. For example, if a unit rated at 1000 grains is purchased and the local water supply has a hardness of 123 mg/l (Missouri River, USA), then the unit capacity is (1000*0.065)/0.123 = 528 liters = 139.5 gallons of purified water. Water production rates for DI units varies, but is typically around 10-15 gallons/hour.

1.1.3 RO Filters
Reverse osmosis (RO) units are normally based upon one of two membrane technologies: cellulose triacetate (CTA) and thin film composite (TFC). CTA based systems are typically cheaper and do not filter as well (90-95% rejection rates). TFC based systems cost more but have higher pollution rejection rates (95%-98%). CTA membranes break down over time due to bacterial attack whereas TFC membranes are more or less impervious to this. CTA units are not recommended for reef tank purposes. RO filters work by forcing water under pressure against the membrane. The membranes allow the small water molecules to pass through while rejecting most of the larger contaminates. RO units waste a lot of water. The membrane usually has 4-6 times as much water passing by it as it allows though. Unfortunately, the more water wasted, the better the membrane usually is at rejecting pollutants. Also, higher waste water flows are usually associated with longer membrane life. What this means in practice is that 300 gallons of total water may be required to produce 50 gallons of purified water. Like any filter, RO membranes will eventually clog and need to be replaced. Replacement membranes cost around $50-$100. Prefilters are often placed in front of the membrane to help lengthen the lifetime. These filters commonly consist of a micron sediment filter and a carbon block filter. The micron filter removes large particles and the carbon filter removes chlorine, large organic molecules and some heavy metals. Of course, the use of prefilters makes initial unit cost more expensive but they should pay for themselves in longer membrane life. RO units are rated in terms of gallons per day of output with 10-50 gallon/day units typically available. Note that the waste water produced by a RO unit is fine for hard water loving freshwater fish such as Rift Lake cichlids. Some route the reject water to the family garden. The Spectapure brand of RO units has a good reputation.

1.1.4 Further Comments About Water

The ultimate in home water purification comes from combining the two technologies and processing the water from an RO unit though a DI unit. If a very high grade DI unit is used, water equivalent to triple distillation purification levels can be achieved. Since the water entering the DI unit can be 50 times purer than tapwater, the DI unit can process 50 times as much before the resins are exhausted. This significantly reduces the replacement or recharging cost of the DI unit. If only one filter can be afforded, and waste water is not a concern, then it is recommended that a TFC RO unit with pre-filters be purchased. If waste water is a concern, or if only a small quantity of make-up water will be required (say, for a single 20 gallon tank), then a DI unit would be the preferred choice. City water is unstable. Many cities modify their treatment process several times a year, dramatically changing its suitability for reef usage. For instance, Portland has great reef water - most, but not all, of the year.

1.2 Additives

Calcium (Ca)
- required addition. A range of 400-450 ppm Ca++ (10-11 mM) is recommended. The preferred method is the usage of Kalkwasser (Limewater) for all evaporation make-up water. The use of Calcium Chloride (CaCl2) is known to cause problems with alkalinity (provable by balancing the relevant chemical reactions occurring in the tank when CaCl2 is added). Still, CaCl2 is occasionally useful to repair serious Ca++ deficits. NOTE: This problem is simply eliminated by using our concentrated buffer- one level tsp CaCl to one rounded tsp Amazing Coral Reef's KHBuilder and you get the bicarbonate alkalinity that you want along with salt (NaCl) as a by product. Chelated calcium: The efficacy of chelated calcium products available for reef aquaria is questionable. To the best of our knowledge, there exists no scientific evidence indicating that chelated calcium is especially available to corals and other CaCO3 depositing invertebrates. Nothing is known about the uptake of chelated calcium products by coral. And most importantly, there exists no evidence showing that chelated calcium products support stony coral growth rates in excess of, or even comparable to growth rates documented in aquaria where calcium is supplied as aqueous Ca(OH)2 [kalkwasser.] Chelated calcium products also interfere with the ability to measure actual calcium levels in the aquarium. In particular, chelated calcium cannot be measured by any kit which uses EDTA titration, including the highly recommended HACH kit. Some people find the SeaChem kit, which does measure chelated calcium, to be impossible to read with any accuracy. Until such a time as vendors supplying chelated calcium products make available well conceived, carefully documented uptake and growth studies with their products, or the same experiments are performed and published by third parties, we regard the use of chelated calcium products in the reef aquarium to be experimental at best, especially when kalkwasser and other non-chelated calcium sources are KNOWN to us to support the growth and even reproduction of stony corals in the home aquarium.

Iodine (I) -
enhances soft coral growth. It is removed by skimming.

Strontium (Sr) - used rapidly by most hard corals (weekly additions usually performed). Amazing Coral's Strontium is 3 times that of Sea Chem

Buffers - increase alkalinity and control pH. Desired range is 2.5-3.5 meq/L (7-10 dKH) alkalinity. NOTE: We recommend 10-14 for hard stoney corals) Alkalinity can be raised by the addition of one of many commercial buffer compounds. The addition of kalkwasser (saturated Ca(OH)2 solution - also known as "limewater"), which is often done to maintain calcium levels, will also raise the alkalinity level. SeaChem's Marine Buffer, Reef Builder and Kent's Superbuffer dKH are popular. The Coralife and Thiel buffer products have had less favorable reviews. NOTE: Amazing Coral Reef's buffer-KH Builder is 8 times stronger than Sea Chem. We recommend a pH of 8.3 -8.4 or dKH 10-14 for stoney corals as calcification occurs best at a pH=8.4

Iron (Fe) -

Used by algaes. Add this if you want good macroalgae growth. Be sure that macroalgae growth is favored or else plaguel evels of hair algae may result. Note: All photosynthetic corals with symbiotic algae need iron along with coralline algae

Copper (Cu) - Used as a medication in fish-only tanks. Copper is highly toxic to invertebrates, even in very small concentrations. DO NOT USE THIS, IN ANY FORM, EVER, IN A REEF TANK OR ANY TANK WHICH CONTAINS INVERTEBRATES. PERIOD!
Note: Copper is a trace element only. That is in the range of parts per billion or parts per trillion.

Other additives, especially the commercial "secret formula" mixtures, are more controversial. Some people report good results from some of them other people report disaster or no effect. Experiment cautiously with them if desired.

1.3 Testable Parameters

Note: parts per million (ppm) and milligrams per liter (mg/l) are virtually identical in seawater and the units are used synonymously in this document. 1.3.1 Alkalinity Alkalinity is a measure of the acid buffering capacity of a solution. That is, it is a measure of the ability of a solution to resist a decrease in pH when acids are added. Since acids are normally produced by the biological action of the reef tank contents, alkalinity in a closed system has a natural tendency to go down. Additives are used to keep it at a proper level. rect alkalinity levels allow hard corals and coralline algae to properly secrete new skeletal material. When alkalinity levels drop, the carbonate ions needed are not available and the process slows or stops. alinity is measured in one of three units: milliequivalents per liter (meq/l), German degrees of hardness (dKH) or parts per million of calcium carbonate (ppm CaCO3). Any of the units may be employed but dKH is most commonly used in the aquarium hobby and meq/l is used exclusively in modern scientific literature. The conversion for the three units is:
1 meq/l = 2.8 dKH = 50 ppm CaCO3 [As an aside, there is an imperial unit of alkalinity and hardness which is 'grains per gallon'. The water softening industry uses this unit. 1 gpg = 17 ppm CaCO3.] A word of caution about the ppm CaCO3 unit is in order. The 'ppm CaCO3' unit reports the concentration of CaCO3 in pure water that would provide the same buffering capacity as the water sample in question. This does not mean the sample contains that much CaCO3. In fact, it tells you nothing about how much of the buffering is due to carbonates, it is only a measure of equivalency. Alkalinity is often confused with carbonate hardness since both participate in acid neutralization and test kits may express both in either of the three units. However, carbonate hardness is technically a measure of only the carbonate species in equilibria whereas alkalinity measures the total acid binding ions present which may include sulfates, hydroxides, borates and others in addition to carbonates. In natural seawater, though, carbonates make up 96% of the alkalinity so equating alkalinity with carbonate hardness isn't too far off. Recommended values for alkalinity vary depending on who's work you read. Natural surface seawater has an alkalinity of about 2.4 meq/l. Following are levels recommended by various authors. From John Tullock (1991) "The Reef Tank Owner's Manual": page 46 - Alkalinity range should be 3.5 to 5.0 meq/l. page 94 - Alkalinity reading of 2.5-5.0 meq/l is proper. page 188- Alkalinity should be about 3.5 meq/l. (In reference to maintaining Tridacna clams.) Albert Thiel (1989), in "Small Reef Aquarium Basics" recommends 5.35-6.45 meq/l. This is an Artificially high level which may initiate a "snowstorm" of CaCO3 precipitate. Most reef aquarists do not believe in such extreme and unnatural levels and recommend 3.0-3.5 meq/l as a good range instead. The chemistry of how alkalinity, pH, CO2, carbonate, bicarbonate, and other ions interrelate is fairly complex and is beyond the scope and detail of this document. Some recommended test kits for alkalinity are the SeaTest kit and the LaMotte kit. The SeaTest kit is very inexpensive and is one of the few SeaTest kits suitable for reef use. The SeaTest kitmeasures in division of 0.5 meq/l or, if the amount of solution is doubled, 0.25 meq/l. The SeaTest kit uses titration in which the acid and indicator are included in the same reagent. The LaMotte kit is a little more expensive, though still fairly cheap, and is somewhat more accurate. The unit of titration is 4 ppm CaCO3 although in practice, one drop from the titration tube may be up to twice this amount making the resolution about 0.15 meq/l. The Lamotte kit has a separate indicator tablet and acid reagent which is a nice feature.
NOTE: The Amazing Coral Reef dKH test includes the indicator with the acid making the test easier. It is also very economical due to the very large size of titrant (60ml). Accuracy is assured.

1.3.2 Calcium Calcium content is referred to as 'calcium hardness' and is measured either in parts per million of calcium ion (ppm Ca++) or parts per million equivalent calcium carbonate (ppm CaCO3). Calcium hardness is often confused with alkalinity and carbonate hardness since the 'ppm CaCO3' unit may be used for all three. As with alkalinity, a calcium level expressed as X ppm CaCO3 does not imply that X ppm of calcium carbonate is present in the tank; it merely states that the sample contains an equivalent amount of calcium as if X ppm of CaCO3 were added to pure water. The reading also does not tell you how much carbonate is present. Calcium hardness test kits are different from alkalinity kits. Some people have reported difficulties with the LaMotte calcium hardness kit. The Hach 'Total Hardness and Calcium' kit has not had these reports. Both express results in ppm CaCO3. The relationship between CaCO3 and Ca++ is: 1 ppm CaCO3 = 0.4 ppm Ca++ The results from a test kit reading in ppm CaCO3 may be converted to the molar concentration scale by dividing by 100. 100 ppm CaCO3 = 1 mM Ca++ 40 ppm Ca++ = 1 mM Ca++ Calcium levels of natural surface seawater are around 420 ppm Ca++ (10.5 mM). In a well running reef tank you will notice, sometimes dramatic, calcium depletion. Calcium addition in some form is essential. A calcium level above 400 ppm is required and a range of 400-450 ppm Ca++ is recommended. Most reefkeeping books (see bibliography) explain the options for calcium addition.
NOTE: The Amazing Coral Reef calcium test is simple accurate, sensitive to 10 ppm and contains a standard to test your reagents against It is also priced very well

1.3.3 pH
The suggested reef tank range is 8.0 to 8.3. The pH should hold its own unless alkalinity is low. If alkalinity is OK but pH is low there is probably a buildup of organic acids or a serious lack of gas exchange (low water surface area to volume ratio). NOTE: For hard stoney corals a pH 8.3-8.4 is best

1.3.4 Nitrate (NO3)
Two units are used to measure nitrates: nitrate (NO3-) and nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N or just N). The ratio is: 1 ppm NO3-N = 4.4 ppm NO3-. Nitrates themselves may not be a problem but serve as an easily measured indicator of general water quality. Many hard to test for compounds like dissolved organics tend to have levels that correlate well with nitrate levels in typical tanks. Different authors cite varying upper nitrate values permissible. No higher than 5 ppm NO3- is a good number with less than 0.25 ppm recommended. Unpolluted seawater has nitrate values below detectable levels of hobbyist test kits, so "immeasureable" is the goal to strive for. Most test kits measure nitrate-nitrogen. Do not forget to multiply by 4.4 to get the ionic nitrate reading. LaMotte makes a nitrate test kit that will measure down to 0.25 ppm NO3-N. Hach makes one good to 0.02 ppm NO3-N, about 10x more sensitive, but you must be sure to order the saltwater reagents. They will only sell you the saltwater reagents in addition to the regular kit with the freshwater reagents, not in place of them, which is annoying. This makes the Hach kit about twice as expensive in the end as the LaMotte kit but the 10x increase in performance makes this more acceptable. 1.3.5 Phosphate (PO4) Phosphates, along with nitrates, are a primary nutrient of algae. Tanks with "high" levels of phosphates tend to be infested with hair algae. All authors cite zero ppm PO4 as a good goal. An upper level 0.1 ppm is recommended by Tullock (1991) with less than 0.05 ppm given by Thiel (1991).

1.3.6 Specific Gravity Short form:
Specific Gravity is temperature dependent. See the next table for a quick lookup of the recommended hydrometer readings. They are based upon our recommended S.G. of 1.025 at 60 degrees F. Degrees F Hydrometer reading.
50 1.0255
55 1.0252
60 1.0250
65 1.0246
70 1.0240
75 1.0233
80 1.0226
85 1.0218 (rather hot for most tanks)
90 1.0210 (very hot for most tanks)
In more detail: 1.025 recommended for reef tanks. Note that virtually all hydrometers are calibrated for measurements at a temperature of 60 F. Included below is a short table of temperature adjustments. Add the value shown to your hydrometer reading to get an accurate reading. Degrees F Correction
50 0.0005
55 0.0002
60 0.0000
65 0.0004
70 0.0010
75 0.0017
80 0.0024
85 0.0032
90 0.0040

For example: If the hydrometer reads 1.0235 at 80F, the actual Specific Gravity is 1.0235 + 0.0024 = 1.0259 Note: If your tank is between 75F and 80F, this means you should try and keep your Specific Gravity around 1.0230 to 1.0235.
For all practical purposes, the scale is linear between data points, so you can simply extrapolate between table entries. For instance, 78F is 3/5 the distance between 75F and 80F; the difference in corrections is 0.0024-0.0017 = 0.0007. 3/5th of 0.0007 is 0.0004. Add the offset 0.0004 to the base value for 75F of 0.0017 and you get a correction value for 78F of 0.0021. It is fairly common in literature to see references to salinity in terms of Parts Per Thousand (PPT). For salinities in the range we are interested in, the conversion formulas are: Salinity = 1.1 + 1300 * (Temperature corrected Specific Gravity - 0.999) Temperature corrected Specific Gravity = ((Salinity - 1.1) / 1300) + 0.999; Here is a short table of some common values: Salinity Specific Gravity 20 PPT 1.0135 25 PPT 1.0174 30 PPT 1.0212 35 PPT 1.0251 * Typical Ocean Value * 40 PPT 1.0289
1.4 Water Changes
"The solution to pollution is dilution". Water changes are used to correct problems. Minimal changes of 5%/year when all is set up and running smoothly may suffice. Some feel that an occasional water change of about 20% every 1-3 month is a reasonable safety net that may help prevent contaminate buildup and trace element depletion problems. Others recommend 5%-10% per week.

2.0 Filtration and Equipment

Live rock is simply old coral skeletons that have become the home to multiple small creatures. Typically reef tanks have 1-2 lbs of live rock per gallon of capacity. Pieces vary in size and shape from baseball size to dinner plate size in typical tanks. In large tanks (> 500 gallons) very large pieces of live rock tend to be used. These pieces may individually weight up to 85lbs (about the limit of what one person can handle). The use of live rock greatly increases the bio-diversity in a tank. However, its primary purpose is to provide a home for bacteria that provide the biological filtration for the aquarium. Cheap rock has low amounts of coralline algae and tends to grow hair algae well. It may be suitable for a soft coral only tank. Hair algae free coralline encrusted live rock (high quality Florida and/or pacific (Marshall and Tonga Island) rock is highly desirable. "Berlin" style tanks use high quality live rock (and protein skimming) as the primary filtration method with great success.

2.2 Protein Skimmers

Required equipment. Don't undersize. Common wisdom is that you can't overskim a tank. Many of the more available commercial units are useful for tanks only in the 10-20 gallon range. Anything shorter than about a foot tall is essentially useless. Unfortunetly, there is no formula to determine the required size of a skimmer. Amount of organic waste generating organisms (fish, coral, live rock, etc.) will obviously be the primary variable. All skimmers should be filled with TINY bubbles and have a milky white appearance. Any skimmer that doesn't match that requirement is not working optimally. Two basic styles of skimmers exist: counter current air driven and venturi driven. Both styles work fine, both have tradeoffs. Both require tuning. Expect to spend some time over the first month or so learning how to keep your skimmer tuned. Below is some discussion about the two styles.
2.2.1 Counter Current Air Driven Protein Skimmer
These skimmers usually require three pieces of equipment typically not sold with them: an air pump, air stones and a water pump. Total skimmer cost depends upon the kinds of equipment needed to run the skimmer properly. The water pump injects the water to be skimmed into the unit. Some people use gravity to feed surface overflow water to the skimmer or divert part of the main circulation pump's return flow into the skimmer to eliminate the need for a dedicated pump. Otherwise a powerhead in the sump usually suffices for the water pump. The air pump must be large enough and a sufficient number of air stones must be driven to make the skimming column milky white. In some skimmers one medium sized air pump like a Tetra Luft G and one air stone will be sufficient. Other skimmers need more to perform optimally. Air driven skimmers should use limewood air stones which will need to be replaced from time to time. Cheap limewood air stones have a reputation of needing to be replaced much more often than high quality stones. Coralife limewood air stones have a good reputation. Air stone replacement rate depends on your tank and skimmer; some people need to change them every 2 weeks others only after 3-4 months. A.J. Nilsen recommends a 1x tank volume per hour turnover of both water and air by counter current air driven skimmers. Others feel each skimmer has an optimal rate of air and water processing and that if more skimming is desired then more or bigger skimmers should be added rather than trying to operate the current one beyond its optimal performance range. Some hold that any skimmer under 4' high and 4" in diameter is too small for anything over about a 20 gallon reef. 2.2.2 Venturi Protein Skimmers These skimmers use the Bernoulli effect of the venturi valve to inject air bubbles into the water. This obviates the need of an air pump and air stones. The penalty is that a relatively large, high pressure (read expensive and powerhungry) dedicated water pump is mandatory for the venturi unit to inject sufficient amounts of air. A particular commercial venturi skimmer may or may not come with a water pump. If it does supply a pump, it may or may not be sufficiently large to run the skimmer properly. At least some of the venturi skimmers easily available are not very well designed. Venturi valves require occasional cleaning of the air opening. This is as simple as reaming the opening out with pipe cleaner every few days. An acid bath may be required if the unit clogs or gets coated with mineral deposits. Most venturi style skimmers are more compact that CC skimmers. Manufactures state that they are more efficient, since they (supposedly) inject more air. Many suspect that design constraints (back pressure severely affects venturi performance) have more to do with the manufactured height (who would want a top injected 4' skimmer with air only in the top foot of water?). Properly designed venturi skimmers are tall to maximize air contact time, and require pumps that can handle backpressure.
2.2.3 Protein Skimmer Considerations
Below are some pros and cons of venturi vs. CC skimmers. Some people will debate some of the statements. Venturi skimmers, due to the large water pump needed, have a higher initial purchase price than CC units for the same amount of skimming. The operational cost of a venturi unit is basically just the electricity bill. A CC unit must sum in electricity consumption for the water pump and air pump (usually small) plus air stone and diaphragm replacement. Which one is more cost effective for you depends upon which equipment you had to buy to run the skimmer properly, your electricity rate and how often air stones need to be replaced. Most people find CC skimmers less expensive to both purchase and operate for the same amount of skimming. Venturi skimmers are less cumbersome in appearance and in operation. They are usually smaller and quieter. They are on the whole more hassle free. The powerful pump required for venturi skimmers may, however, add considerable heat to the water. One general note on water pumps: The amount of heat added to the water varies by brand, design, usage, and placement. Basically, the more efficient the pump (gallons delivered at a given pressure for a given power usage), the cooler it will run. Restricting the output of the pump will generally increase the water temperature. (Never restrict the intake of a centrifugal pump!) Obviously, an air cooled pump will increase your tank temperature less than a submersible (and therefore tank water cooled) pump will.


2.3 Granular Activated Carbon

Some debate about its usage. Most use it at least a few days a month, some continuously. Many brands have problems with phosphate leaching.
2.4 Other Chemical Filter Media
X-Nitrate, X-Phosphate, Polyfilters, Chemi-pure, etc. - probably not needed in established, balanced reef aquaria. A prominent manufacturer of these materials was either unwilling or unable to supply capacities for removing the named compounds from seawater. May cause adverse reactions in some inverts.
2.5 Mechanical filtration
This is an area of interest currently being debated. Originally the FAQ stated: Good idea to pre-filter skimmer water. Floss works fine and is cheap and disposable. Sponges work well, but require cleaning twice a week or so. Natural sponges with a medium fine or fine pore size are recommended. Some people don't use mechanical filtration, allowing detritus to settle in places for removal by siphoning. Some of these people make dedicated "settling tanks" to trap debris in a convenient place. Julian Sprung suggests not pre-filtering skimmer water as skimmers will remove particulates (rather than trapping them as a pre-filter would do). Spotte confirms this and terms this filtering mechanismas 'froth floatation'. Many members of the group of authors do not use mechanical filtration. They believe that such systems filter out the plankton that is used as food by many marine organisms. Some members use "live sand" setups, with detrivores. Others routinely siphon accumulated detritus. Use of a mechanical filter for short periods may help when attempting to resolve specific problems, such as a hair algae outbreak.
2.6 Under Gravel Filters (UGF)
Not appropriate for a Reef Tank. Although they will work for 6 months or so, eventually detritus buildup will cause a nitrate problem. Long term, it's virtually impossible to keep nitrates below about 40 ppm NO3- which is way too high for corals.
2.7 Reverse Flow UGFs
An attempt to solve the detritus buildup problem associated with normal flow UGFs. It's a good idea that doesn't work well in practice. This system has problems with uneven water flow due to channeling within the bottom gravel. 2.8 Trickle Filters Also known as Wet/Dry Filters. An improvement over UGF and RUGF filters. Nitrates can be kept low (say, around 5 ppm) with adequate water changes. It does not seem to be possible to keep nitrates very low (less than 1 ppm) if a trickle filter is the sole biological filtration. Those that report less than 1 ppm normally have adequate live rock, and find that their Nitrates remain low even (and often get lower) when they remove all the bio-material from their trickle filters (turning them into plain sumps, useful for holding carbon and as a water reservoir). 2.9 Algae Scrubbers (long) Summary: the jury is still out. May help, may hurt, not currently recommended, especially as the sole filter. The topic is controversial. Below is some discussion about it. In most healthy natural communities, particularly coral reefs, dissolved nutrients are scarce. In aquaria, by contrast, nutrients in the form of dissolved inorganic nitrogen, or DIN, (a collective term for ammonia, nitrites, and nitrates) accumulate very rapidly as fish and other organisms excrete these wastes. The most basic problem in any aquarium is limiting the accumulation of DIN. In reef aquaria, DIN is consumed by the community of organisms on the live rock. It is uncertain what relative contribution is made by bacteria as opposed to algaes, but it is certain that the live rock community as a whole can remove a substantial amount of DIN from a reef aquarium. In fact, it is quite possible to run a reef tank with no biological filtration (DIN consumption) other than that which takes place on the rock. This method is part of what is now known in the United States as the "Berlin school" of reefkeeping. Other schools of thought utilize additional biological filtration in separate filters. Traditional reef tanks supplement the filtration provided by the reef (often not acknowledging the role of the reef itself) with bacteria-based trickle filters. Many readers probably learned this technique first, as it has been the dominant method in the United States amateur hobby for some time. Yet another approach uses algaes, which are also capable of utilizing inorganic nitrogen directly. An algae filter, or algal scrubber as it is usually called, is simply a biological filter which utilizes a colony of algae rather than bacteria as consumers of inorganic nitrogen. Algal scrubbers are not new; they are discussed in Martin Moe's (1989) excellent _Marine Aquarium Reference: Systems and Invertebrates, for example. However, algae filters have been regarded in the past as too bulky and inefficient to be the sole filter for a aquarium. The recent surge of interest in algal scrubbers seems to have been generated by Adey and Loveland's book _Dynamic Aquaria_ (1991). They discuss both techniques which allow an algal scrubber to be compact and efficient and also a number of arguments as to why they are preferable to other filtration methods. One reason to use an algal scrubber according to Adey and Loveland is that it mirrors the way DIN is cycled in nature. They claim that perhaps 70-90% of the DIN in reef communities is consumed by algae, rather than by bacteria. The two methods produce rather different water chemistry; for example, algae are net producers of oxygen and remove carbon dioxide, while a bacterial filter consumes oxygen and produces carbon dioxide. They argue that it should be easier to maintain the type of water chemistry found over a natural reef by relying on an algal scrubber. Also, algae remove the nitrogen from the water in order to build tissue, while filter bacteria simply put it into a less toxic form. The excess nitrogen can be removed completely by periodic algae harvests, while dissolved nitrogen in the form of nitrate is not as easy to remove. Adey and Loveland claim that their methods can bring levels of DIN down to a few hundredths of a ppm, far below (in their opinion) the levels reachable with other methods. A related argument in favor of algal scrubbers is that stability in natural ecosystems seems to come from locking up nutrients in biomass, not in allowing it to be free in the environment. An algal scrubber does precisely this, while a bacterial filter converts it to free nitrate dissolved in the water. A final reason to use an algal scrubber according to Adey and Loveland is that many other kinds of filtration (including protein skimmers) remove plankton from the water. An algal filter naturally does not do this, and can actually provide a refuge for some forms of plankton. The importance of this effect is, however, a matter of some debate. As compelling as some find the above arguments in theory, there seem to be serious problems with algal scrubbing in practice. Many attempts by public aquaria at implementing reef tanks using only algal scrubbing have been failures. In particular, it seems difficult to find successful long term success with Scleractinia (stony corals) in such tanks, and those success stories which can be found are quite difficult to verify and often contradicted by others. Various public and private aquaria have used algae scrubber filters on their reef aquaria, with disastrous results. The microcosm at the Smithsonian Institution has yet to keep scleractinia alive for more than a year. While Dr. Adey has stated how well corals grow in this system, those viewing the system have failed to find these corals. In an interview with Jill Johnson, one of the techs responsible for the Smithsonian tank, she stated to Frank M. Greco that frequent collecting trips were needed to keep the system stocked with live scleractinia. The Pittsburgh AquaZoo also has a "reef" tank based on Dr. Adey's algal scrubbers. This tank is nothing more than a pile of rocks covered with filimentous green algae, and the water is QUITE yellow (as is the Smithsonian tank) from the presence of dissolved organics (ORP readings have been around 165). As with the Smithsonian tank, scleractinia do not survive longer than a few months. The same applies to soft corals as well. When I (Frank M. Greco) saw this tank on May 3, 1993, there were NO living corals to be found even though a collecting trip to Belize was made several months earlier and 81 pieces of living scleractinia were brought back. There were, however, two piles of dead Atlantic scleractinia: one right behind the tank and the other in the greenhouse housing the algal scrubbers. The Carnegie Science Museum (Pittsburgh, PA) also uses an algal scrubber system, but with significant modifications. This tank looks the best of the three. There are several species of hardy Scleractinia and soft corals that are doing quite well. The water is clear (a bit cloudy). The major differences between this system and the other two is the use of carbon, a small, barely functioning algal scrubber, about 1000 lbs. of excellent quality live rock (Florida), water changes, and the addition of Sr and Ca. The last system I know of that uses an algal scrubber is the Great Barrier Reef Microcosm in Townsville, Australia. As of this writing, the system is not maintaining live Scleractinia, and frequent collecting trips are needed in order to replenish the exhibit. It should also be noted here that while Dr. Adey has claimed in his book Dynamic Aquaria that corals have spawned in this system, what he doesn't mention is that the corals which spawned were collected only months before the known spawning season. From these few examples, it should be clear that algal scrubbers are NOT to be used in systems containing live scleractinia. Possible reasons why algal scrubbers seem to fall short center around the observation that it seems difficult to control hair algae growth in scrubbed aquaria. Hobbyists have for many years seen their stony corals slowly pushed back off of their skeleton and killed by encroaching algaes, and much effort in the hobby has been devoted to controlling this growth. Only with strict control of algaes does coral survival seem possible. Most or all reefs with algal scrubbers seem to have heavy algal growth in the tank as well, which the experience of the hobby suggests is incompatible with stony coral survival. The main method used by hobbyists to restrict algal growth is to reduce nutrient availability; in fact, the claim that other methods cannot reach the same low levels of DIN achieved by algal scrubbing is probably not true. Advanced hobbyists are beginning to use better tests, such as HACH's low level nitrate test, and are finding that they can achieve nitrate levels below 0.02 ppm. Berlin methods seem particularly able to reach these levels, which are comparable to that on natural coral reefs. If low nutrient levels can be achieved by both methods, then why is algal growth a much greater problem with scrubber methods? The answer is not known, but there are two factors which probably contribute. First, the discussion so far has mentioned only inorganic nitrogen. Algaes seem to release much of the inorganic nitrogen which they take up in the form of dissolved organic compounds (DON), which can also be later utilized by algaes. The very low levels of DIN measured in scrubbed tanks may mask the very high levels of DON which persist, providing nutrients for strong algal growth. This is borne out by many reports that the water in scrubbed tanks often has a pronounced yellow cast, characteristic of dissolved organic compounds. Since the water over natural reefs is very low in DON, high levels may be directly harmful to many corals, in addition to promoting uncontrolled algal growth. Another possible effect of algal scrubbing is more subtle. Algal growth is never completely halted in any marine tank, merely reduced to the point where macro- and micrograzers can keep them in close check. The net rate of new growth depends not only on the availability of nutrients, but also on the amount of existing algal growth releasing free-floating cells into the water to colonize new sites. Even if the rate of growth of individual algal colonies is equal, a scrubbed tank has a growth of algae in the scrubber much larger than a reef tank with little algal growth anywhere in the system. This possibility suggests that the presence of the scrubber itself and not merely high levels of DON is an obstacle to the successful long-term maintenance of stony corals. The weight of evidence at this point seems to be against the use of algal scrubbing in reef tanks, and the method should be considered to be highly experimental. Beginners particularly are advised to avoid this technique until they have considerably more experience with reefkeeping. The advanced aquarist may well wish to experiment with this interesting and controversial method, but it would be unwise to risk the lives of an entire reef tank full of coral. Such experiments should progress slowly, beginning with the most hardy of inhabitants. Many of the objections center on stony coral survival, and it is possible that scrubbed tanks with fish and hardy invertebrates may do quite well.

2.10 Live Sand
Of relatively recent interest in the hobby is the use of "live sand". Live sand consist of small grain (0.5mm-1.0mm) coral sand that is populated with crustaceans and bacteria. It is normally used at a rate of 10lbs per square foot of bottom area - which yields about a 1" deep covering. Variations from 1/8" to 3"s of covering have been reported. If you decide to have a live sand substrate bottom, you should include several creatures that will turn-over, or otherwise, move the sand around. Recommendations include: Sea Cucumbers, Brittle Starfish, Serpant Starfish, Golden Headed Sleeper Gobies, Yellow Jawfish, Watchman Gobies, and other detrivoirs. A mix of the above is recommended, since each creature moves the sand around differently. Live sand has a reputation of eliminating the final traces of nitrates in otherwise well run tanks. It also provides an environment for additional bio-diversity in the tank. Additionally, some feel that the chemical balance and stability of a tank's water is improved when live sand is present. Note that live sand usage should still be considered experimental. Usage is dependent upon have the sand sifted and otherwise moved around to prevent detritus from accumulating. Many people have reported problems keeping their turn-over creatures alive for long periods of time. Some have not seen the reported nitrate reductions. Keep in mind that many reef tanks have operated for years without a substrate and have no detectable nitrate concentrations.

3.0 Lights 3.1 General Discussion A rough "rule of thumb" is 4 Watts/gallon with successful tanks using from 1.5 - 6 Watts/gallon.
1.Fluorescent fine
(some prefer) for shallow (<20") tanks. Use mix of bulbs (50-50, 03s, etc.)
2.Metal Halide (MH)
required for deeper tanks.
3.Mercury Vapor, Halogen, HPS, etc. - avoid, wrong spectral output
. 3.2 Detail Discussion
For most aquarium lighting applications, the bottom line is getting the needed intensity and spectrum of light at the lowest cost while remaining within aesthetic limits. A lighting analysis is now presented. Everyone has their own sets of numbers they would plug in here, for now lets assume the following for comparison. Many will debate specifics found below. Feel free to substitute your own numbers, but the methodology is sound. Bulb cost and performance: NO lumens per lamp = 2600 (Phillips F40D daylight, initial) NO watts per lamp = 40 (ditto) NO cost per lamp = ~$20 (from memory, DLS actinic day) VHO lumens per lamp= 5940 (Phillips F48T12/D/VHO daylight, initial) VHO watts per lamp = 110 (ditto)

(NOTE: WHEN USING THE ICECAP BALLAST CHANGE THESE NUMBERS TO 60 WATTS USED WITH 110WATTS OF LIGHT OUTPUT-ACR)

VHO cost per lamp = ~$30 (ditto) MH lumens per lamp = 36000 (Philips MH400/U, initial) MH watts per lamp = 400 (ditto) MH cost per lamp = ~$70 (from memory, Venture 5200K) operate lamps 12 hours/day replace lamps once per year electricity cost = $.09 / KWH (your mileage may vary) Annual cost per lumen: cost = ( cost-per-lamp / lumens-per-lamp ) + ( watts-per-lamp / lumens-per-lamp ) * 12 * 365 * .09 / 1000 NO cost = .0077 + .0061 = .0138 dollars per year per lumen VHO cost = .0051 + .0073 = .0124 dollars per year per lumen MH cost = .0019 + .0044 = .0063 dollars per year per lumen Basically, in fluorescents, the VHO lamps give a higher operating cost (Not true with the Ice Cap Ballast -MH use more power) but a lower replacement cost for the same total amount of light. But it's close, and you should plug in your own numbers to see what's best for you. If you replace lamps more frequently then VHO is better, if you pay more for power, NO is better. There is a greater variety of lamps available for NO than VHO. OTOH, it seems that NO lamps can be operated at VHO power levels, with a somewhat shortened lifetime (the higher replacement frequency is offset by lower lamp cost), so this may not be an issue. The initial installation cost (basically the ballast cost) is higher for VHO, even in terms of per-lumen, but this is a pretty small part of the total cost of the lighting system over the years. NO requires more lamps for a given total light intensity, so you may not be able to fit enough NO bulbs in your hood if you need a lot of light. MH seems to be a winner in both replacement and operating costs, but there are a couple of caveats. The math ignores the effect of the ballasts on power consumption, whereas I've measured fluorescent power consumption as less than the lamp wattage (even on conventional transformer ballasts) and MH power consumption as slightly higher than the lamp wattage. The other caveat is just the EXTREMELY limited choice of spectrums for MH, which is why few people use MH without any fluorescent. MH vs fluorescent also gets into the aesthetic and biological considerations. Water surface ripples causing light ripples in the aquarium and room are pronounced with MH lighting. Many people appreciate this effect. Some (e.g. Julian Sprung) feel the variation in light intensity is actually important for some photosynthetic organisms. Many people are under the impression MH runs hot, whereas fluorescent doesn't. In reality, the efficiencies are similar, with MH producing slightly LESS heat than the equivalent fluorescent. The difference is MH dumps all the heat in a small space so the local temperature rise is greater. But if you want to try to get rid of the heat it's actually easier to do it if the heat is concentrated in one spot, since its easier to get rid of a small amount of very hot air than a very large amount of warm air. A separate issue, so far only applicable to fluorescent, is the selection of a conventional ballast vs an electronic one. There is no doubt the electronic ones are more expensive to purchase, but the savings in electricity offset the high initial cost in a year or so. Also, if heat production is an issue, the electronic ballasts are to be favored. The Icecap VHO electronic ballast is widely advertised, however its advertised claims are also frequently questioned. Advance makes a series of NO electronic ballasts. There are yet two more issues, for which there are a lot of questions and too few answers. Specifically, the short term flicker in light intensity, and radiated electromagnetic fields. Fluorescent lamps on conventional ballasts flicker at 120 Hz, which is above the human visual response, so we don't see it (actually, the flicker is both in intensity and spectrum). But that doesn't mean other creatures can't see it, or whether they benefit or are disadvantaged by it. Electronic ballasts cause flicker at ~30 KHz; it is seriously doubtful that any creature can detect this, so it would appear constant. The flicker doesn't have to be visible to have an effect: it causes any movement to appear strobed, and this may affect the feeding efficiency of visual hunters. The fields issue is even more obscure. At least many cartilaginous fish (sharks, rays, etc) are known to be extremely sensitive to electric fields, and many crustaceans are sensitive to magnetic fields (crabs with pieces of magnetite in internal sensory organs). Fluorescent lamps, with the large area they cover, tend to radiate (using the term pretty loosely) fairly strongly, but MH, and the wiring, and the ballasts can radiate too. It's unknown on how significant this could be in an aquarium (but its known sharks preferentially attack undersea cables because of the fields, so there is at least indirect evidence its an issue worth some thought). BTW, a grounding device reduces the level of induced voltages in the tank, but this is achieved at the expense of increased induced current, so its effect (if any) may depend on the species. Also, note if you have a titanium coil chiller on the tank, it is probably already grounded through the chiller, and an additional ground may in fact increase the electric current. This should not be an issue with epoxy or ceramic coated chiller coils.

5.0 Stock
5.1 Common to Scientific Name Cross Reference
The following cross reference was originally provided by Steve Rader: Bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa Closed Brain coral Favia sp, sometimes Diploria sp. Clubbed Finger coral Porites porites Colony anemonies Telia sp Common Star coral Montastrea annularis Cup coral Turbinaria peltata Dead brain coral Favia sp Elegance coral Catalaphyllia jardinei (was plicata) Elephant Ear coral Rhodactius sp Elkhorn coral Acropora palmata Fire coral Millepora alcicornis Fire coral Sinalaris sp Flower Pot coral Goniopora sp Flower coral Eusmilia fastigiata Frog's Spawn coral Euphyllia cristata, E. glabrescens Euphyllia divisa (Veron) Giant Mushroom polyps Rhodactius sp Gorgonians Gorgonacea sp Grape coral Physogyra lichensteini Hammer coral Euphyllia ancora, E. fimbriata Knobbed Brain coral Diploria clivosa, D. strigosa Labyrinthine Brain coral Diploria labyrinthiformis Large Flower coral Mussa angulosa Large Star coral Montastrea cavernosa Leather coral Sarcophyton sp Lettuce coral Agaricia agaricites, Turbinaria sp Mat anemonies Zoanthus pulchellus, other Z. sp Moon coral Galaxea fascicalaris Mushroom anemonies Actinodiscus sp Mushroom coral Fungia actinoformis Mushroom polyps Actinodiscus sp, Rhodactius sp, Sarcophyton sp Open Brain coral Trachyphyllia geofroyi Orange cup coral Balanophyllia elegans, Turbinaria sp Pilar coral Dendrogyra cylindrus Porous coral Porites astreoides Rose coral Manicina areolata Sea Mat anemonies Ricordia sp Small Bubble coral Physosyra lichensteini Staghorn coral Acropora cervicornis Star polyps Clavularia sp Strawberry anemonies Telia sp Tooth coral Catalaphyllia jardinei (was plicata) Torch coral Euphyllia ancora, E. glabrescens (Veron) Tree coral Sinularis sp Waving Hand coral Anthelia sp Xenia coral Xenia sp And going the other way... Acropora cervicornis Staghorn coral Acropora palmata Elkhorn coral Actinodiscus sp Mushroom anemonies Actinodiscus sp Mushroom polyps Agaricia agaricites Lettuce coral Anthelia sp Waving Hand coral Balanophyllia elegans Orange cup coral Catalaphyllia jardinei Elegance coral, Tooth coral Clavularia sp Star polyps Dendrogyra cylindrus Pilar coral Diploria clivosa Knobbed Brain coral Diploria labyrinthiformis Labyrinthine Brain coral Diploria strigosa Knobbed Brain coral Euphyllia ancora Hammer coral, Torch coral Euphyllia cristata Frog's Spawn coral Euphyllia divisa Frog's Spawn coral (Veron) Euphyllia fimbriata Hammer coral Euphyllia glabrescens Torch coral (Veron), Frog's Spawn coral Eusmilia fastigiata Flower coral Favia sp Closed Brain coral, Dead brain coral Fungia actinoformis Mushroom coral Galaxea fascicalaris Moon coral Goniopora sp Flower Pot coral Gorgonacea sp Gorgonians Manicina areolata Rose coral Millepora alcicornis Fire coral Montastrea annularis Common Star coral Montastrea cavernosa Large Star coral Mussa angulosa Large Flower coral Physogyra lichensteini Grape coral, Small Bubble coral Plerogyra sinuosa Bubble coral Porites astreoides Porous coral Porites porites Clubbed Finger coral Rhodactius sp Elephant Ear coral, Giant Mushroom polyps Ricordia sp Sea Mat anemonies Sarcophyton sp Leather coral, Mushroom polyps Sinularis sp Fire coral, Tree coral Tubastrea sp Orange Cup coral Turbinaria peltata Cup coral Telia sp Colony anemonies, Strawberry anemonies Trachyphyllia geofroyi Open Brain coral Xenia sp Xenia coral Zoanthus pulchellus Mat anemonies Zoanthus sp Mat anemonies 5.2 Coral Agression chart Also provided by Steve Rader: I've typed in a useful table from SeaScope (winter, '92) in which Michael Paletta discusses coral aggression in reef aquaria. It describes the two major aggressive mechanisms of corals: the release of terpenoid compounds and the use of sweeper tentacles or mesenteric filaments. I found it useful because it includes a majority of imported live corals. The entries marked with a tilde are my additions--Telia anemonies are placed above open brain coral because I've observed them burn my red open brain coral. Both types of colonial zooanthid anemonies listed seem to release terpenoids that keep mushroom polyps at bay somewhat. Also, I've included other common names I know of in quotes. Relative Aggressiveness of Commonly Kept Reef Invertebrates MOST AGGRESSIVE... 1) Elegance Coral (Catalaphyllia jardinei, "Tooth coral") 2) Hammer Coral (Euphyllia ancora, E. fimbriata, "Torch coral") 3) Other Euphyllia (E. glabrescens, E. cristala., "Frog's spawn coral") 4) Bubble Coral (Plerogyra sinuosa) 5) Grape Coral (Physosyra lichensteini, "Small bubble coral") 6) Mushroom Coral (Fungia actinoformis) 7) Flower Pot Coral (Goniopora sp.) ~) Telia Anemonies (Telia sp, "Strawberry anemonies; Colony anemonies") 8) Open Brain Coral (Trachyphyllia geofroyi 9) Cup Coral (Taxbinaria peltata 10) Moon Coral (Galaxea fascicalaris 11) Closed Brain Coral (Favia spead brain coral") 12) Star Polyps (Clavalaria sp. 13) Leather Coral (Sarccphyton sp 14) Tree Coral (Sinalaris spFire coral") 15) Gorgoniana (Gorgonacea sp.) 16) Waving Hand (Anthelia sp.) 17) Xenia (Xenia sp.) 18) Giant Mushrooms (Rhodactius sp., "Elephant ear coral") ~) Sea Mat Anemonies (Zooanthus sp., "Sea mat rock") ~) Ricordia Anemonies (Ricordia sp. "Sea mat rock") 19) Mushroom Anemonies (inodiscus sp., "Mushroom polyps") ...LEAST AGGRESSIVE Key to Stock detail Key sp. - generic species description. cdf - captive difficulty 0-9 0=beginner, 5=experienced, 9=advanced fll - florescent lighting (50% tri-color white and 50% actinic) 0-9 0=1.5 watts/gal, 5=4.5 watts/gal, 9=7.5 watts/gal Multiply [fll] values with applicable inefficient factors. non-48" tubes ((watts/gal) * 1.3) HO tubes ((watts/gal) * 1.3) VHO tubes ((watts/gal) * 1.7) non-tricolor tubes ((watts/gal) * 1.3) dff - distance from florescent 0-36 inches mhl - metal halide lighting 0-9 0=1 watt/gal, 5=3 watts/gal, 9=5 watts/gal dfm - distance from metal halide 0-36 inches wcu - water current level 0-9 0=stagnant, 5=medium, 9=turbulent hac - hair algae comptatability. 0-9 0=none, 5=some algae, 9=heavy algae fod - food source sym - symbiotic algae nutrients mpl - microplankton zpl - zooplankton (baby artemia) lfd - liquid coral foods chf - chunk frozen foods add - additives required str - strontium iod - iodine cal - calcium irn - iron vit - vitamins mlb - molybendium ptm - potassium note - This is not a listing of all known corals. Just those for which some data is known concerning captive requirements. Cnidaria [Anthozoa] a SubClass Zoantharia [Hexacorillia] Order Scleractinia [Madreporaria] (true stony corals) ~2,000 species. Family Poritidae Porites (pore) sp. - (xmas rocks) Encrusting growths. Extremelly small polyp. Most are brown but can be green, blue, pink and purple. Massive, branched or encrusting. cdf=6, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >10 wcu=1-6, hac=0, fod=sym, add=cal/str Goniopora (flowerpot or daisy) Goniopora are similar to Alveopora, except that Goniopora have 24 tentacles on each polyp, and Alveopora have 12. lobata - (flowerpot) Medium-polyp. Skeleton shapes are varied. Very difficult and rarely kept more then two years. Flower-like polyps extend out from base. cdf=9, fll=5-9, dff= <20, mhl=1-7, dfm= <30 wcu=2-6, fod=sym stokesi - (flowerpot) Medium-polyp. Longer polyps than lobata (10-15cm). Polyps extend out very far. Brown, gray, green or blue. Skeleton is spherical or half spherical in shape. cdf=9, fll=5-9, dff= <20, mhl=1-7, dfm= <30 wcu=2-6, fod=sym Alveopora (flower) sp. - Medium-polyp. Very similar to goniopora but polyp ten- tacles are shorter. Brown or bluish. Stung by Euphyllia and Plerogyra. Alveopora has 12 tentacles on each polyp while Gonipora have 24. cdf=7, fll=5-9, dff= <20, mhl=1-7, dfm= <30 wcu=2-6, fod=sym/zpl Family Pocilloporidae Pocillopora (cauliflower stony) sp. - Very small polyp. UV pigments green, turquoise or pink. Most are arborescent, ocassionally massive or encrust- ing. Branched ecomorphs have rounded tips. cdf=9, mhl=5-9, dfm= <15, wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Seriatopora (bush) sp. - Small polyp. Pink, white, brown or green. Long, slender and tapered btanches. Stung by Actinodiscus and Cladiella. Can be propagated by fragmentation. cdf=5, mhl=4-9, dfm= <15, wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Family Acroporidae Acropora (finger and branch) sp. - Small-polyp. Most have branching ecomorphs. Rare massive and encrusting growths occur. Branching forms include staghorns, clusters, plates and tables. Colors include blue, green, purple, pink, cream, yellow, brown or red. Well over 100 species exist. Can be propagated by fragmentation. Stung by Actinodiscus cdf=8, mhl=4-9, dfm= <15, wcu=4-9, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str palmata - (elkhorn) Atlantic. Stout thick branches or encrust- ing. Flattened horizontally. Can be fragmented. cdf=8, mhl=4-9, dfm= <15, wcu=4-9, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str cervicornis - (staghorn) Atlantic. Long thin branches. Very rapid growth rate. cdf=8, mhl=4-9, dfm= <15, wcu=4-9, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Family Faviidae Favia (moon or star) sp. - Medium-polyp. Leaf, flat or half-sphere forms. Polyps in large cups. Tentacles unfold at night. Brown, white or yellow. UV pigments green. Can sting other corals with tentacles or secretions. cdf=4, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-6, dfm= <24, wcu=3-7, hac=2, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Favites (moon or star) sp. - Medium-polyps. Leaf, flat or half-sphere forms. Polyps in large cups. Tentacles unfold at night. Brown, pink or red. UV pigments green. Can sting other corals with ten- tacles or secretions. cdf=4, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-6, dfm= <24, wcu=3-7, hac=2, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Leptoria (closed brain) phrygia - Small polyps. Massive growths. Tentacles retracted during day. Brown or green. Patterned valleys. cdf=5, fll=5-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3 dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Diploria (closed brain) sp. - Massive and rounded. Can be flattened or encrusted. Yellow, brown, greenish or gray-brown. Tentacles ex- pand out at night. cdf=5, fll=5-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Manicina (folded) areolata - Large-polyps. Very similar to Trachyphyllia geofroyi. Tentacles extend at night. cdf=3, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Caulastrea (tooth) sp. - Large-polyp. Branching coral. Each branch end has a large rounded polyp. Tentacles extend out a night. Green, brown, gray and blue. Similar to some Euphyllia species. cdf=5, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Family Oculinidae Galaxea (crystal or scapel) fascicularis - (crystal or galaxy) Medium-polyps. Small rounded heads. UV pigments green. Tentacles extended during the day. cdf=7, mhl=0-6, dfm= <36, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Family Agariciidae Pachyseris (phonograph-record) speciosa - Large-Polyp. Valleys form grooves. Green or red natural pigment. cdf=4, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/mpl, add=cal/str Family Caryophylliidae Euphyllia (bouquet) fimbriata - (hammer or anchor or ridge) Large-polyp. Straight tentacles with u-shaped or hammer shaped tips. Can extend tentacles out very far and sting other corals. cdf=6, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-7, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=1, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str crista - (bubble-tentacled) Large-polyp. Beige or light brown. Some are green. Tentacles branch into 3 or more twigs at end. Rounded tips are white. Can extend tentacles out very far and sting other corals. cdf=5, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-7, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=1, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str glabrescens - (torch) Large-polyp. Straight tentacles with white tips. Can extend tentacles out very far and sting other corals. cdf=7, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-7, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=1, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str divisa - (frogspawn or wall or vase) Large-polyp. Green or light brown.Tentacles sub-branch with numerous rounded bumps. These are white or yellow. Can extend tentacles out very far . cdf=5, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-6, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=1, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Catalaphyllia (wonder or scalloped) jardinei - (elegance, meat, wonder) Large-polyp. Tentacles alway extended. Have white or red tips. UV pigment green. Can sting very strongly. cdf=2, fll=4-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-7, dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Plerogyra (bladder) sinuosa - (bubble or bladder) Large-polyp. Expand to bubble polyps in day and tentacles at night. Natural pigment white. Can be green or pink.Very strong sting. cdf=1, fll=3-9, dff= <24, mhl=0-5, dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=1, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Family Mussidae Lobophyllia (umbel) sp. - Large-polyp. Fleshy mantle. Olive to dark green. Some- times pinkish or red. cdf=3, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-2, dfm= <36, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Isophyllia (atlantic folded) sp. - Large-polyp. Deep red natural pigment for deep specimens. Green, beige or turquoise for shallow water. cdf=3, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-2, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Scolymia (caribbean goblet) vitiensis - Large one polyp coral. Fleshy mantle. Tentacles out at night. UV pigments green. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=2-5, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Cynarina [Acanthophyllia] (goblet) lacrymalis - Large one polyp coral. Fleshy mantle. Tentacles out at night. UV pigments green. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=2-5, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Family Dendrophylliidae Tubastrea (red or yellow cup) aurea - (red or yellow cup) Natural pigment yellow to shiny orange. Medium large polyp. Tentacles partially extend- ed during day and fully at night. cdf=1, fll=0-4, dff= <30, wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=zpl/chf, add=cal/str Turbinaria (dish or crater) sp. - Large-polyp. Vase shaped, leaf, fans or folds. Brownish, yellow, white or green. Tentacles partially or fully extended during the day. cdf=5, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Family Trachyphylliidae Trachyphyllia (large polyp or open brain) geofroyi - (open-brain or crater or puff) Large-polyps. Natural pigment color gray-green, beige-brown, rust brown to deep red. UV pigment green, torquoise or blue. Ten- tacles extend at night. cdf=3, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-3, dfm= <36, wcu=2-6, hac=3, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Family Fungiidae Fungia (mushroom stony corals) sp. - Single large-polyp. Pale-brown, pink, purple, blue and green. Short tentacles are usually retracted during the day. Usually round but can take on different eco- morphs. Elongated forms have groved mouth. cdf=8, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-5, dfm= <36, wcu=3-8, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Heliofungia (plate) actiniformis - Single large polyp. Gray, blue or green long tentacles always extended during the day. Paler tips. Prefers sandy substrate. cdf=7, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-4, dfm= <36, wcu=2-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Polyphllia (boomerang) talpina - Large-polyp. Extremelly elongated. Tentacles extend- ed during the day and short Has central groove. Brown or paler in color. cdf=4, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-5, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str Herpolitha (hedgehog) limax - Large-polyp. Extremelly elongated. Tentacles extended during the day and short Has central groove. Brown or paler in color. Very similar to Polyphyllia talpina. cdf=4, fll=3-9, dff= <20, mhl=0-5, dfm= <36, wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl/chf, add=cal/str - Order Corallimorpharia (mushroom or false corals) Family Actinodiscidae Actinodiscus (disk anemones or mushroom coral) malaccensis - (brown or fuzzy) Surface covered with small bush like forms. Light or beige brown and gray green. Brown specimens found in deeper water. Gray green will fade if light to low. cdf=1, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-4, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit mutabilis - (color changing) Light to dusty brown. They are often speckled with green and with irridescent edges. Can change some color. Smooth surface with wide bumps. In nature, below 10 meters. cdf=1, fll=3-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit ferrugatus - (red-brown) Color is from red-brown to rust-brown. Smooth surface with wide bumps. Do not like direct metal halide. In nature exist at around 10 meters. cdf=1, fll=3-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit ruber - (reddish-fluorescent or mettalic red mushrooms) Pink to bright fluorescent red due to UV pigments. Do not like direct metal halide light. Radial groves and very small bumps on smooth surface. cdf=1, fll=3-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit nummiferus - (burled) From light pink through reddish brown to a dusty violet. Darker ones occur in shallow waters. Slightly fluorescent. Small bumps on smooth surface. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit cardinalis - (shiny red) Deep red. Darker red bumps over smooth surface. Expensive and rare. Like actinic light but not direct metal halide. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit marmoratus - (marbled or green marble mushrooms) Found in less than 5 meters. Slightly rough surface with numerous bumps of different color. Do not like direct metal halide light. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-3, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit coeruleus - (shiny blue or metallic blue mushrooms) Smooth blue surface with faint radial lines. Very small bumps can occur. Very deep dwelling > 20 meters. Never tolerates direct metal halide light. Can expand very large. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit striatus - (striped) Many different color patterns. Beige-green ones have symbiotic algae pigment dominate the uv pig- ment and assimilation pigment. Can have perfectly smooth disk or contain small bumps. All have radial brightly colored stripes. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit punctatus - (dotted) Main surface body smooth and brown. Have very large colorful bumps with uv pigment. Direct metal halide light could be fatal. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit Ricordia (caribbean disk anemones) florida - (caribbean or flower anemones) Colors range from light green to a very beautiful dark green to blue and orange. Surface is covered with short tentacles which can in- flate to become bubble-like. Usually found between 10 and 40 feet in the ocean. When tentacles on rim of disk extended will accept small peices of brine shrimp, etc. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= <36 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/chf, add=iod/vit Rhodactis [Discosoma] (elephant ear) viridis - (green elephant ear) Luminescent turquoise-green ten- tacle disk. Like a giant fuzzy mushroom. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-4, dfm= <36 wcu=2-6, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/chf, add=iod/vit neglecta - (caribbean elephant ear) Green with some surface. Radial lines and bumps along with sharp points on edge. Can become ballon shaped greedy eaters. Do not like direct metal halide light. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-5, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/chf, add=iod/vit maeandrinea - (large or folded elephant ear) Very large with a diameter greater than 15 cm. Can grow to 40 cm in cap- tivity. Sandy to dark brown or gray green. Smooth disk with vertical smooth tenatcles. Do not like strong current or direct metal halide light. Can catch fish or shrimps in ballon-like trap. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=1-5, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/chf, add=iod/vit plumosa - (carpet elephant ear or carpet mushrooms) Large fuzzy coral with bushy tentacles. Will eat some chunk food. Can form bubble trap. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= <36 wcu=2-5, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/chf, add=iod/vit - Order Zoanthiniaria [Zoantharia][Zoanthidea] ~300 species (Encrusting anemones) Family Epizoanthidae Parazoanthus (yellow polyps) sp. - Small polyps with very long thin tentacles. Bright yel- low to dark yellow. Polyps not connected. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= <24 wcu=4-7, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/vit Epizoanthus sp. - Medium sized small colonial polyp disks with medium sized tentacles. Fedd mostly on zooplankton. Brown to cinna- mon colored. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= <24 wcu=4-7, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/vit Family Zoanthidae Zoanthus (encrusting anemones) sp. - Small circular colonial polyps which have a ring of short tentacles around the rim. Shallow water species have UV pigmentation from red, green, turquoise, lemon yel- low to orange. The mouth, disk and tentacles can be of different coloration. Polyps connected at base. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= <24 wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/vit sociatus - Small circular colonial polyps which have a ring of short tentacles around the rim. Turquoise to yellow- green. UV coloration will remain under metal halide or actinic lighting. Polyps connected at base. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= <24 wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/vit Palythoa sp. - Larger polyp disk than Zoanthus with long pointy tentacles around the rim. Beige-brown, cinnamon to dar "milk cof- fee" brown, graygreen or shiny green. Might not tole- rate direct metal halide. Polyps connected at base. cdf=1, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-4, dfm= <36 wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/vit SubClass Alcyonria [Octocorallia] Order Alcyonacea (leather and soft corals) Family Alcyonidae Alcyonium fulvum - (yellow encrusting leather) Encrusting beige-yellow to ivory-colored leather coral often many millimetres thick. Finger-like projections develop which have 2 to 5 cm long polyps with 8 flower tentacles. Polyps resemble Sarcophyton species polyps. cdf=2, fll=7-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >10 wcu=3-6, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod Sarcophyton sp. - (mushroom leather) Mushroom shaped leather coral. Grow better in fluorescent lighting. Need adaption time to tolerate long photoperiods of metal halide lighting. Can be propagated via cuttings. Long polyp stems with small flower-like tentacles. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod trocheliophorum - (trough leather) Very attractive. Folding lobes of leather coral with short polyps. Can double size in one year. May not tolerate extended metal halide photoperiods and need adaption time. Will shed skin regularly. Can be propagted via cutting from edge lobe. Lives primarily in reef pools and can reach a diameter of more than one meter. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod lobulatum - (leather) Flat, mushroomed-shaped leather. Medium brown base. Similar to mushroom leather coral with very small polyps and larger overall size. Can be propagated via cuttings of base. Will become lighter under adequate lighting. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod latum - Dish-like with thick, lobate projections. Polyps are beige- yellow to shiny green. Shallow water coral. Can be propagated via cuttings. Also similar to trocheliophorum in morphology. Will grow fast under metal halides. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-8, dfm= >12 wcu=5-8, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod glaucum - Common mushroom shaped leather coral. Beige to sandy color- ed or olive to bottle-green. May need to be slowly acclimated to bright metal halides. Can be reproduced by cutting of entire mushroom cap. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=5-8, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod sp. - Mushroom based leather coral with high, upward-arching lobate edges. Long pure-white polyps. Mushroom from light beige to sandy grey or light yellow in color. Need lots of light for polyps to extend. When acclimated to metal halides, polyps will extend to 5 cm and have star shaped tentacles. Can be cultivat- ed with cuttings. cdf=3, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-8, dfm= >12 wcu=3-6, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod ehrenbergi - Similar to glaucum. Mostly pure white, occasionally yellowish or greenish gray secondary polyps. Tentacles of polyps easily distinguished. Skin shed less often. Needs slow acclimation to metal halide lighting. Can be fragmented via cuttings bu is more sensitive. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod Carotalcyon sagamianum - Carrot-like leather coral. Deep water orange to crim- son red. Has a carrot like body appearance with large polyps which extend out from the body. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-5, dfm= >12 wcu=5-8, hac=1, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod Sphaerella krempfi - (christmas tree) Resemble evergreen tree and lack symbio- tic algae. Brown color. Like strong current and do best on substrate. cdf=3, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= >15 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod Lobophytum pauciflorum - Encrusting leather with lobed, finger-shaped and occa- sionally bushy projections or folds. Can be propagated via cut- tings. Grow well under flouorescent lights. Have calcareous needle growths. cdf=2, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-3, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod/cal/str crassum - An encrusting leather coral similar to pauciflorum. Thick- er polyps. Very robust coral. Can also be propagated via cut- tings. cdf=2, fll=4-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-3, dfm= >12 wcu=4-7, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/mpl, add=iod/cal/str Sinularia sp - Branching soft coral with a flat body on a thick column 3-4 cm tall. Finger-like appendages extend from body and have polyps. Prefer to grow out horizontally. Color is ivory to light gray but under intense light will become symbiotic brown. Occasion- ally sheds skin. cdf=3, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= >15 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str macropodia - Branching soft coral with thick-fleshed foot and base. Thick branches rise from this base and branch into finger like projections. These are densly covered with polyps. Color is light-beige or grayish white to light brown. Shed skin once a week. Do not like direct halide lite. Can be propagated via cuttings. Contain calcareous needles. cdf=3, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= >15 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str notanda - This corals morphology lies between the above generic species and macropodia. Grows well but introduce to halides slowly. See sp. for info. hirta -(dark brown sea hand) Similar to generic species with stubby fingers and fat nobbed appendages. From shallow water. Grow rapidly under metal halides. Color is ivory to cream white when retracted, turn milk coffee brown when extended. cdf=3, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str prodigiosa - Similar to macropodia but fingerlobes branch out twice into secondary branches. These are thickly set with polyps. See macropodia for info. frondosa - Flat crusts with nobbed extensions. Will produce finger like appendages in low current areas. Under intense light will grow long fingers with large polyps. Like metal halide. cdf=3, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str dura - Solid cushion like bodies with burled to stubby finger pro- jections. See sp. for info. brassica - Colonies resemble cauliflower heads. Dark brown polyps on short stalks. Branches and base are creamy white to light beige. cdf=2, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=1-4, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str asterolobata - Morphology that resembles macropodia. Strong polyp- less base column splits itself into two or more secondary co- lumns from which long finger like branches protrude. These branches can divide again. Branches are round and thickly covered with delicate polyps. Will shed skin. Base color from ivory, light grey or light olive. Will develop uv protection matter under halides which is yellowish to greenish and slight- ly luminescent. cdf=2, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str polydactyla - (many fingered) Squat column from 20 to 50 mm tall is polypless. On upper side of column is a flat polyparywith 40-50 mm long fingers which are thickly polyped. Base color is gray-white to creamy-yellow. Polyps are light to dark brown. Under halides polyps will become darker and then symbiotic algae are released which lightens the color. Grows well under fluorescent lighting. cdf=2, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str Cladiella sp - Squat column from which many branches extend and divide fur- thur upward. Base column lacks polyps while they become more dense closer to the ends of branches. Polyps are 3 to 4 cm large. Can be propagated via branch "pinching". Can be acclimat- ed to halides. Will grow very fast toward surface of captive reef. Do not shed skin but will release mucus. Not very com- patable with hexacorillia. cdf=4, fll=2-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >8 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=sym/lfd/zpl/vit, add=iod/cal/str Alcyonium sp. - Bushy or crusty short tree like soft coral. Color is bright yellow, orange or red. Shady locations. Reach 40 to 50 mm tall. cdf=3, fll=2-7, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= >15 wcu=5-9, hac=1, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str sp. - Encrusting orange colored bushy soft coral. Very small orange polyps on bushy orange base. Can be propagated via cuttings. cdf=3, fll=2-7, dff= >5, mhl=1-2, dfm= >15 wcu=5-9, hac=4, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Family Xeniidae Xenia (also Cespitularia) sp. - Large polyps with thin stems connected at the base. Polyps do not fully retract. Very tiny calcareous needles or complete- ly lack skeleton. Polyps can be up to 15 mm long under intense lighting. Tentacles are pinnated. Some will move polyps in rhythmic motion to help exchange gases. Color is beige, cream or light brown. Will develope uv protection matter under ha- lides and color will be red, green, blue or irridescent. Can be acclimated to halides well. Can do well under fluorescent if high levels used. Can overgrow stony corals. Propagated via cuttings. cdf=5, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=4, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/cal/str umbellata - Mushroom shaped with seperate polyped branches up to 50 mm long. Polyps will open and close in rhythmic fashion. Tentacles are short and wide and form little cups on thin branches. Branches radiate out from base. cdf=5, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=4, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/cal/str elongata - Similar to Xenia sp.. Has a more branched form. See sp. for info. Anthelia glauca - Very similar to Xenia sp.. Has large polyps. Colonies grow very fast. cdf=5, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-7, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=4, fod=sym/lfd, add=iod/cal/str Family Nephteidae Litophyton arboreum - Standard bushy and tree shaped soft coral. Must be acclimated to halides slowly. Will do well under fluorescents. Can be propagated via cuttings. Pale colors with symbiotic algae. May not be compatable with hexacorillia. cdf=3, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-6, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Nephthea sp. - Tall bushy like soft coral. Smooth thick base with numerous small thickly polyped smaller branches extending from main trunks. May not be compatable with hexacorillia. cdf=6, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-6, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Lemnalia sp. - Tall tree-like soft corals. Polyps are not as dense as Nephthea. Long finger branches extend out from main clolumn. Must be slowly acclimated to halides. Might not be too com- patable with hexacorillia. cdf=7, fll=6-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-6, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Dendronephythya sp. - Very colorful tree-like corals. Deep water or cave corals which require low lighting and frequent feedings of zooplank- ton. Will collapse occasionally. Calcareous needles are visi- ble in branches. Thin secondary branches extend from main stem. cdf=9, fll=3-7, dff= >10, mhl=1-2, dfm= >20 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=sym/lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str rubeola - Ployps are very thick on short secondary branches which protrude from main column. Prefer sand or silt substrates. Need frequent feedings and will open polyps if substrate stirred up. Brightly colored coral from low light areas. cdf=9, fll=3-7, dff= >10, mhl=1-2, dfm= >20 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str mirabilis - Snowy white polyps exist in thick groups protruding from short secondary branches. Form similar to rubeola. No symbiotic algae. Need very low light. cdf=9, fll=3-7, dff= >10, mhl=1-2, dfm= >20 wcu=5-9, hac=2, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Order Gorgonacea (gorgonians) Family Plexauridae Anthoplexaura (also Euplexaura) sp. - Flexible thin branched tree-like skeleton. Composed of horny or calcareous skeletal elements. Polyps embedded in crusty layer of living material which surronds skeleton. This gorgonian species has few branches and are thickly polyped. Some species from caribbean sea contain symbiotic algae. Will shed skin. Polyps are up to 5 mm long. Only feed zooplankton when polyps are open. Can stir up sediment to entice polyps to open. cdf=6, fll=3-7, dff= >10, mhl=1-2, dfm= >20 wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Family Gorgonidae Eugorgia sp. - Very similar to Plexauridae. Branches are thicker. cdf=5, fll=3-7, dff= >10, mhl=1-2, dfm= >20 wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=lfd/zpl, add=iod/cal/str Order Stolonifera (pipe corals) Family Tubiporidae (organ pipe corals) Tubipora musica - (red organ pipe) Flower polyps in red tube-like calcareous systems. Will do well under metal halides. Colonies should be whole and not broken off (statement questioned by some). cdf=2, fll=7-9, dff= >5, mhl=3-9, dfm= >10 wcu=3-6, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd, add=cal/str Family Clavulariidae Clavularia viridis - (green pipe, green star polyps) Encrusting colonies of small pipe shaped flower polyps. The tentacles are very bright green and a calcareous webbing connects the polyp stems. Coral is found in fist sized colonies existing in shallow water. Will maintain bright green color under metal halide lighting. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-9, dfm= >10 wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd, add=cal/str Family Cornulariidae Cornularia sp. - (brown pipe) Encrusting colonies of small pipe shaped flower polyps. The tentacles are brown and lack the calcareous web- bing found in Clavularia viridis. A horny protective shell is built around stolon. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-9, dfm= >10 wcu=4-8, hac=0, fod=sym/lfd, add=cal/str Order Telestacea (branched pipe corals) Family Telestidae Coelogorgia palmosa - (branched pipe) Appears like branching gorgonian corals. Branches have short stems from which polyps extend. cdf=2, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-9, dfm= >10 wcu=5-9, hac=0, fod=sym/zpl, add=cal/str Order Pennatulacea (sea pens) Family Veretillidae Cavernularia obesa - (sea pen)Cylinder shaped coral from which large tentacles extend. Color can be orange, yellow, buff or white. These animals are not very compatable to reef tanks due to half- sessile existence. Require thick substrate. cdf=3, fll=3-8, dff= >5, mhl=1-3, dfm= >20 wcu=2-5, hac=0, fod=zpl, add=iod/cal/str Order Coenothecalia Family Helioporidae (blue coral) Heliopora coerulea - (blue coral) Beige to olive colored coral. Smooth sur- face with small calices. Polyps are hair-thin tubes about 1 mm long. Very small tentacles. Sheds skin. Grows very well under metal halides. Shapes can consist of nobs, columns, fingers or thick lobes. Dead corals are blue colored. cdf=4, fll=5-9, dff= >5, mhl=1-9, dfm= >10 wcu=3-7, hac=0, fod=sym/mpl, add=cal/str d Anemones

5.4 Shelled things a Clams Tridacna Maxima (expensive) Purple, blue, green, pink, or combination. cdf=3, fll=5-9, dff <18, mhl=1-7, dfm= >8 wcu=1-5, hac=5, fod=sym, add=cal/str Tridacna crocea Purple, blue, green, or combination. cdf=5, fll=5-9, dff <6 mhl=1-7, dfm= >5 wcu=1-5, hac=5, fod=sym, add=cal/str Tridacna squamosa brown, yellow, usually with green rim, black and red??. cdf=3, fll=5-9, dff <18, mhl=1-7, dfm= >5 wcu=1-5, hac=5, fod=sym, add=cal/str Tridacna derasa brown, sometimes with green strips. cdf=1, fll=5-9, dff <18, mhl=1-7, dfm= >5 wcu=1-5, hac=5, fod=sym, add=cal/str Tridacna gigas almost always brown with tiny blue dots, very rarely green, blue or combination. cdf=3, fll=5-9, dff <18, mhl=1-7, dfm= >5 wcu=1-5, hac=5, fod=sym, add=cal/str Hippopus hippopus Very light cream-color mantle with many short tan lines. Shell is lighter in color and much smoother than Tridacna clams. I believe the H.h clams are at least as hardy has the hardy T. clams. They are also supposed to be tank-raised. They are certainly the cheapest costing at most 1/3 to 1/2 that of a similiar-sized Tridacna (excepting derasa which are almost as cheap). The mantle of Hippopus sp clams does not extend beyond the shell as it does in Tridacna sp (Delbeek). b Snails c Crustaceans 5.5 A LISTING OF THE MORE COMMON coralline ALGAE (Rhodophyta) FAMILY: Chaetangiaceae GenSpec: _Galaxaura marginata_ (Lamouroux) Des. Small, mounded seaweed of loosly compressed blades. Dichotomous branches often show faint cross banding near the tip. Lightly calcified . Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Galaxaura oblongata_ (Lamouroux) Des. Bushy, creamy red plant having cylindrical smooth dichotomous branches with flexible joints. Well calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Galaxaura subverticillata_ (Kjellman) Des. Cylindircal, dark red dichotomous branches ringed by minute hairlike filaments, giving the algae a fuzzy appearance. Moderatly calcified. Range: Caribbean FAMILY: Corallinaceae GenSpec: _Jania adherens_ (Lamouroux) Des: Fine, cylindrical, pink segments connected by flexible joints. Dichotomous branching. Forms small tangled clumps. Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Jania rubens_ (Lamouroux) Des: Rose red somewhat straight segments tightly connected by flexible joints. Branching is dichotomous with narrow angles (branches almost parallel). Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Haliptilon subulatum_ (Johansen) Des: Small, compressed plants, feather-like in appearance. Composed of brittle, chalky segments connected by flexible joints. Segments appear ringed. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Amphiroa fragilissima_ (Lamouroux) Des: Dense clumps of entangled, fragile, thin jointed branches. Generally yellowish pink in color. The dichotomous branches form very wide angles (broad "Y"'s) at each joint. Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Amphiroa rigida var. antillana_ Des: Open, brittle species with thin, narrow cylindrical branches. Light, off white clumps. Branches dichotomous. Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Amphiroa brasiliana_ (Decaisne) Des: Pink, joited, dichotomus, somewhat flattened branches. Highly calcified Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Amphiroa tribulus_ (Lamouroux) Des: Thin, brittle, flattened, sparse branches, forming pinkish red bushy clumps. Edges of branches are often flattened. Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Amphiroa hancockii_ (W. Taylor) Des: Irregualr to dichotomous branching. Colour is pinkish purple. Branches composed of thick, flattened segements. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Neogoniolithon spectabile_ (Setchell and Mason) Des: Hard, stony pink plant forming knobby hemispherical clumps tighly attached to rocks. Branching is irregular to dichotomous, and segments are thick. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Neogoniolithon strictum_ (Setchell and Mason) Des: Hard, brittle pinkish red plant with blunt branching and no joints. Branches thick, and tend to grow upright. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Lithophyllum congestum_ (Foslie) Des: Pink to purplish branched, headlike plants that look similar to coral. Branches are crowded, stout, projections, and are wafer-like. Heavily calcifed. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Mesophyllum mesomorphum_ (Adey) Des: An encrusting coralline algae. Dark red to pink over- lapping shelves or lobes. Fragil. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean, Indo-Pacific GenSpec: _Titanoderma_ sp. (Chamberlain) Des: An encrusting coralline algae found growing epiphytically on many species of algae. Forms thin, pinkish crusts. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Fosliella farinosa f. callithamnoides (Chamberlain) Des: An articualted coralline algae found growing epiphytically on many species of algae. Forms thin, dichotomously branched colonies. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Titanoderma prototypum_ (Woelkerling) Des: Cream coloured to red encrusting algae, often with a circular pattern present. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Titanoderma bermudense_ (Foslie and Howe) Des: A grayish to pale red encrusting algae consisting of overlapping layers. Often with striations or greyish lines present on the surface. Heavily calcified. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Porolithon pachydermum_ (Weber-van Bosse & Foslie) Des: Pinkish grey encrusting algae often containing holes (caused by a chiton). An important reef builder. Heavily calcifed. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Sporolithon episporum_ (Dawson) Des: A reddish brown encrusting algae, often growing in layers that overlap each other. When broken, exposed surface is white. Heavily calcifed. Range: Caribbean GenSpec: _Hydrolithon boergesenii_ (Foslie) Des: A purple/lavender knobby encrusting algae. Highly calcified. Range: Caribbean FAMILY: Squamariaceae GenSpec: _Peyssonnelia_ sp. Des: A dark red to maroon encrusting algae. Edges sometimes raised above substrate. Range: Caribbean

5.6 Possible Problems a Mantis Shrimp b bristle worms 5.7 Hermit Crabs BY Gregory Schiemer: The hermit crabs I'm listing are the ones that I know are safe inhabitants for a reef aquarium. They are all relatively small (less than one inch), eat algae, will not bother other invertebrates or fish (although they occasionally each other during molts), are mostly active at night, are generally long-lived, and definitely fun to watch. All have been offered for sale at one time or another, but never regularly. So, here they are: From the Caribbean and Tropical Atlantic: Red Hermit Crab (Paguristes cadenati)- A bright red body and legs with yellow eye stalks. Very pretty, but active usually after the lights go out. Found only on the reef as solitary individuals, never in aggregations. My personal favorite. They gently remove micro-algae from in and around corals and polyps. Gr Usually stays on the rocks, but will sift through the substrate. Orange-Claw Hermit (Calcinus tibicen)-Has a dark red or orange body with one slightly enlarged claw. Found both on coral reefs and rocky substrates, never in large numbers. Very good at eating micro-algae and some macro-algae. Bolder than the Red Hermit, as it will be active during the day. Grows to one inch. Spends almost all of it's time on the rocks. Polkadotted Hermit (Phimochirus operculatus)-Has a distinctive polkadot red and white, greatly enlarged claw, and blue eyes. Found on coral reefs. This is probably the most aggressive and active of the small hermits. Also eats algae and sifts through the substrate. Grows to about one inch. Red-Stripe Hermit (Phimochirus holthuisi)-Similar to the Polkadotted Hermit. Found on coral reefs. Active and bold. Will eat algae and anything else it can gets it's claws on, but doesn't seem to bother corals. Grows to about one inch. Red, White and Blue Hermit (Paguristes sp.?)-Blue legs with a touch of red, white and black. Found in large aggregations in the sand along the shore line. This is the crab that is being sold in quantity from Florida dealers. They are active all day, but more so at night. They will feed on detritus and micro-algae. Bolder and m not as much as the Polkadotted Hermit. They will occasionally climb on corals, but apparently cause no harm. It's strange that although they are collecin the sand, mine have spent the majority of their time on the rocks in the aquarium. Grows to about three-quarters of an inch. From the Pacific (including Mexico): Red-Leg Hermit (Calcinus californiensis)-Has rrange legs and a greenish black body. Found on rocky inshore substrates in large aggregations. Will eat micro-algae and other bits of food missed by the fish. More active at night, but will forage when the lights are on. Relatively bold and aggressive. Grows to about three-quarters of an inch. Blue-Eye Hermit (Paguristes sanguinimanus)-Orange body with bright blue eyes. Found on sand flats and patch reefs in aggregations. Good micro-algae eater. Grows to about one-half inch. Blue-Spotted Hermit (Clibanarius digueti)-Reddish-brown legs with bluish spots. Found on rocky inshore substrates where it feeds on algae. Grows to only one-half inch.

Credits The original document was created by the joint effort of many individual people, sharing a common interest in "Reef Keeping". Those who allowed their names published were: Patti Beadles Craig Bingman Kevin Carpenter (editor) Gary Dudley Frank M. Greco Ken Koellner Dustin Laurence (FTP site sponser) Teresa Moore David O'Brien Paul Prior Keith Rogers Mark Rosenstein Greg Smith Spass Stoiantschewsky Anthony Tse Steve Tyree John Ward (FTP site sponser)

CompanyAddress

Electronic mail
General Information: kaptnk@yesic.com
Sales: kaptnk@yesic.com


Hit Counter