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Old 10-04-2005, 12:45 PM   #1
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Xenia Causing a Tank Crash

After reading about Rev's horrifying experience, I have to ask if Xenia are well known to cause a tank crash. I am in the process of switching over to a reef tank, and I was thinking of adding Xenia. Thanks.
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Old 10-04-2005, 01:51 PM   #2
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I've heard about that too. In the Xenia section of Bornemans coral book he refers to sudden and rapid Xenia crashes. How this could impact the other corals in the tank... I don't know, but it is not unrealistic to presume that this could have an impact on other corals in the tank. Any one else had any experiences with this?
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:05 PM   #3
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Borenman also says that wild xenia is more prone to crashing than captive raised xenia. Also noted that tanks with more nutrient depleting stony corals tend to experience xenia crashes. Said that "without noticeable changes in conditions, colonies fail rapidly, almost as though they had exhausted some as-yet-undiscovered factor in the water".

My tank is full of it. Way behind on my pruning. I'd better get to it, I guess.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:09 PM   #4
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All I can say is that over the past 6 months or so I have been know in my are as the "xenia man" because I had so much in the main, and in the prop that I sold, traded, and gave away. People call me all the time for it. Anyway, I have had my experience with it and I know how it smells when its healthy. It has a not so nice odor when you cut it. Well, take that smell and multiply it 10 x's..that was how the tank smelt including my whole house. I had to take 2 large rocks covered in xenia, red zoos, encrusting monti and throw it in a bucket on the back porch because of the smell....

I do not know if this was the first domino in my crash to fall, but I believe it was. I still have xenia in my prop tank. I will be setting up a xenia only tank soon...
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:15 PM   #5
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this is all speculation and theory on my part so keep that in mind...


I think that any tank with a high population of a single form of life could experience a similar "sudden crash", much like what rev went through. If something happens in the tank's chemistry that causes that particular life form to die, the whole coloney will die and the resulting toxins/ammonia/unknowns released as a result, in a large quantity can have any number of negative affects on your tank.

In rev's case, he had a high pupulation of xenia. to his best guess, something happened to cause the xenia to die. Since all of it died at the same time, the abundance of "whatever" resulting from their death caused a chain reaction. their chemical release (again, toxins/ammonia/unknowns) triggered other life forms to die with caused additional and perhaps different chemical releases, etc. and things just get worse and worse.


so to say xenia caused rev's crash could be at least partially true, but a more correct answer is likely that something caused rev's xenia to crash, which started a chain reaction. JMO.

But to say xenia in general can cause a crash, is no more true (or false) than saying zooanthids can cause a crash. Given similar circumstances, zooanthds could quite likely cause a full tank crash. If a tank has a large amount of zoo's and something detrimental to zoo survival occurs in the tanks chemistry... they all die, at the same time. The same negative domino effect could then occur as well.

but, as I said, that's just my theory based on the observations given.
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Old 10-04-2005, 02:27 PM   #6
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You hit it right on the head Billy.

I do not know if the xenia caused the crash, or something caused the xenia to crash and then crash the rest of the tank. Most of tis is in theory because I have no evidence of what caused the initial break down. I do however know that Friday night all looked well, and the xenia looked great. Next day cloudy and dying....

Would I put xenia back into my tank? No. The reason has nothing to do with the crash but has to do with the fact that I could not control it. If you can by all means. I love the coral. Cant wait to show off the all xenia tank.......

In conclusion Billy your right on.
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:08 PM   #7
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That's a very plausable theory. I'm seeing trends that concern me.

1) "Xenia crash". Ref: Borneman, Rev.
2) Toxicity in Sarcophyton sp. and other soft corals. Ref: Borneman
3) Toxicity in some zooanthids. Ref: Borneman.

Do I stay away from these and stick with only LPS and/or SPS?
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:12 PM   #8
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Do I stay away from these and stick with only LPS and/or SPS?
SPS tanks also go through "crashes", "RTN", LPS have bouts with "brown jelly". You are going to have potential issues with any type of tank that you decide to have.
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Old 10-04-2005, 05:20 PM   #9
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its pretty tricky to try and capture a tiny chunk of the biggest most complicated eco system on earth. there will always be struggles ( and victories ) just like the whole ocean. my opinion is get what you like and learn everything you can about it. i have had some success when i should not have and some failures for no reason.

good luck

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