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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
i have a medium sized colony of pulsing xenia. when we brought it home from the fish store it was doing great! it was fully extending its polyps and pulsing alot during the day and at night would just close up its fingers but remain extended.

as of 3 weeks ago its been acting really odd. it squishes itself really small after the halides turn off (like its been disturbed) and doesnt fully extend anymore. it partially extends its arms but the fingers usually remain shriveled looking and dont pulse.
we tried moving it to another location but it didnt make it any better.

is this normal??? will it go back to normal soon?

params are all normal, and the colt coral is perky and doing great

any suggestions??:confused:
 
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xenia either thrives or dies...i couldnt keep it in my tank for 1 1/2 yrs....then i got a frag a month ago and it still lives....i think it is very hardy in the right conditions....if it starts to melt i think you lost it till then place it in a nice area med light med current and see what happens
 

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I had a colony of xenia that for about a week deflated and looked pretty sick. Eventually it regained its old form. I think many people have had a similar experience. Not sure what caused this behavior.

I believe its normal for Xenia to shrivle up when the lights are off, so I wouldn't worry about that. If it is showing this behavior during the daylight hours it may reacting to some form of stress.

Where in the tank is the colony located? MH lights could be too intense if the coral is placed high up in the tank.

Any surrounding algae that may be bothering the coral?

Any suspects in the tank that may be nipping? Crabs, fish or urchins? I once had a long spine urchin completely consume an entire colony of Xenia in one sitting.

Like MN said, make sure the conditions are correct. Aside from light, water current should allow the polyps to gently sway to and fro. To much current may cause the coral to retract its polyps.

The pulsing action is not completely understood and often stops. Until more is understood about the pulsing phenomenon, we will not know whether or not we can control it.

And sometimes, for what seems to be no good reason, the coral fails.:confused: Hopefully this isn't the case.

Good Luck
 

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I've heard that Xenia are very nitrate sensitive and higher nitrates will cause them to cease to pulse. However, keep in mind that the pulsing (alledgedly) is an effort by the xenia to increase water flow around itself, so if it is getting plenty of flow from outside, maybe it just doesn't need to. Xenia seems to be one of those hit or miss corals, either it flourishes and takes over your tank or it slowly dies.
 

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I wouldn't worry that it isn't "pulsing", more that it isn't opening up, a you say yours is not. Mine will do that for short periods of time, but even during the night hours it will open up again. I seem to be able to grow any type of xenia in mass quantities, but I have no idea why. I doubt my nitrates are that low, as I still get good amounts of algae on the glass. It is very true that xenia is hit and miss with people. Basically if you take 2 shots at xenia and both times it just dies, it will probably end up dead all times in the future and you probably just want to group yourself into the "can't keep xenia" group.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
thanks for the replies everyone, it doesnt look dead yet, just a tad irratated. i think my peppermint shrimp may be picking on it, im going to move it again and see if that helps
 

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Xenia really seem to like it if you add Iodine to your tank. I add .2 ml of kent iodine to my tank daily (55 gal) I can hardly keep the xenia under control, and certanly can't kill it. I usually cut a stock off about 1/2 in off the base and then zip tie the new bit to a small rock. Then the 1/2 in base in less than a week will have new polyps and start growing back and the new one will be ready to sell! HTH
 

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From what I understand, Xenia incorporate nitrate into their metabolism, and some people actually use them for nitrate export (grown in a refugium)... maybe the problem is you don't have enough nitrates in your water. :)

The first colony of Xenia I bought didn't do well... 4 out of the 5 stalks melted away, and the last one is really small compared to it's original size.
The second colony I bought I put high in my tank (under halide) and they're doing great and starting to spread.

Xenia is just like that... very hard to predict...

What other inhabitants do you have in your tank? They may be affected by the terpenes given off by other soft corals (though this is just speculation). The only difference I can think of in my tank is that I had a large pink tree coral in my tank for a long time which I removed about a month ago... and now everything is doing great.
 

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I must say I have never added iodine and it still grows like mad. Again it is hard to pin down something it really likes!
 
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