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Old 02-25-2006, 10:55 AM   #1
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Xenia Struggling

My Xenia has all of sudden sterted losing it's tips and does not expand when the light comes on. I have done several PWC's and all water parameters are good and the same as it always was.

I did move a few things last week, and relocated both of my power heads for better circulation, but the wtare flow around the Xenia is pretty much the same.

All other animals are normal.

Any ideas?
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Old 02-25-2006, 09:34 PM   #2
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Have you ever dosed iodine?

Xenia usually need iodine dosed into the water occassionally. BE CAREFUL!! Iodine needs to be accurately measured. This is something that can't be done haphazard. It can kill everything in the tank if overdosed. If you aren't knowledgeable on iodine, then read up on it before practicing maintenance dosing. In the mean time, you can put in a little dose (a quarter or half of what is directed on the bottle) and see if the xenia perk up some.

Also...you might want to snoop around the tank at night to see if there's a crab pestering the xenia. Sometimes people end up with unwanted hitch hikers from the live rock and there are crabs that deliberately cut up such soft coral. In the wild reef, these crabs may play a role as a natural means of propagation, but can be disasterous to coral in an aquarium.

You should always test the water for the basics...ammonia, nitrite, nitrate, pH, and SG whenever anything 'wrong' is suspected. This will confirm or deny a problem with basic water quality. Calcium and alkalinity should also be tested in reef tanks with inverts.
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Old 02-25-2006, 10:48 PM   #3
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I do not dose with iodine, but the trace elements that I add have iodine in it.

I have been watching to see if anything is bothering it, but I have not looked at night. I have 2 emerald crabs and one of them is fairly big.

I test for all that you mentioned except calcium. I perform weekly 10-15% PWC with Instant Ocean and was told by a lfs that calcium should not be a problem (I had been supplementing weekly up until then)

My wife saw something (on the internet somewhere) that it's proximity to my mushrooms could be a problem.

I have relocated it back to a spot that it had previously thrived at. And I will be getting a calcium test kit...just to make sure I am within acceptable parameters. I will also check and see if anything is picking on it after 'lights out'.

Thanks for your help
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Old 02-26-2006, 03:11 AM   #4
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The emerald crabs aren't going to bother the coral. I'm talking more of the ones you may not know you have. The joys of live rock...LOL. The photo really doesn't indicate a crab though. The xenia doesn't look chopped up...just curled, but still doesn't hurt to look.

Definitely test the calcium especially since you have been adding it to the system. Calcium level in a reef should be 450 (no higher). Too much calcium can cause problems.

There are hairy mushrooms that will make good ideal borders for the xenia. The xenia doesn't seem to cross them. Though the mushrooms aren't gonna jump and attack anything. Just don't have them touch other coral. Hairy mushrooms do sting.

You could still try to put a small dose of iodine to see if the xenia does perk up. What is in the trace elements may or may not be enough. Won't know until you try. See if your LFS would give you a little bit instead of buying a whole bottle. Some places might if they use it themselves and have a store use bottle opened. Doesn't hurt to ask.

Do you run carbon in the filter? If you do, take it out. Reef systems should not have carbon 24/7. It can rob the system of trace elements. It's better to run reef grade carbon about a week once a month if you use carbon at all.

How long have you had the xenia?
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:08 AM   #5
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Have had the Xenia for 4 weeks. It was small when I got it, and grew rapidly for the first 3 weeks. It had at least doubled in size, was pulsing, and spreading to nearby rock.

I do have a filter with carbon in it. I didnt know that I should not be running it 24/7. I am planning a pwc today, I will take it out and see if things change.

Thanks for your help

see pics from 1 week and 2 weeks ago
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File Type: jpg xenia_test_1_196.jpg (129.6 KB, 22 views)
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Old 02-26-2006, 10:34 AM   #6
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After the water change dose with some trace elements. What you've been adding may very well have been absorbed by the carbon. A lot of people don't know about the carbon absorbing trace elements. I recently found out about it too. When you deal with live rock and coral, trace elements become more of an important factor in water chemistry to maintain the life of rock and the coral. Fish aren't nearly as dependent on these trace elements as the coral are. Fish do benefit however from the growth they eat off of the rocks that are nourished by these trace elements.

Very nice specimen. Hope it recovers.
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Old 02-26-2006, 12:41 PM   #7
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thanks for the help
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