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Old 05-25-2008, 07:11 PM   #1
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Will my favia brain coral grow??

I have a green favia brain coral. How do I know if it is thriving It looks just like when I got it. will it grow? what will help it thrive? How do I know if it is even alive what does it look like dead. Is it a carnivore? what does it eat? will it feed only from the water column? It does nothing and always looks the same will it attach to my rock? will it get bigger> I feel like it is just going to stay the same forever. Is there anyone who has experience with a green favia brain coral that can shed some light on what to expect long-term with it.
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:53 PM   #2
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I recommend you read "Aquarium Corals," by Eric Borneman. In the meantime, Favia species are found in numerous quantities at various depths within the reefs; therefore, they accept a wide range of lighting schemes (preferably bright lighting). Those colorations with red, orange, etc seem to prefer lower, indirect light levels. Keep the flow moderate so their tissue is constantly flushed. They will accept small meat items (mysis, krill, squid tentacles, golden pearls, cyclop-eeze, roe, fish, etc) and will eventually expand feeding tentacles once their food response is triggered; Once or twice weekly feedings is all that is needed. Healthy tissue will be expanded from the corallites and main skeletal body in uniform fashion and will gain in mass by their skeletal structure bonding with the live rock in mat form; Reproduction is either asexual or budding. Anything else feel free to ask
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Old 05-25-2008, 10:55 PM   #3
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I don't have any LPS in my tank, but maybe I can give some general answers.
It will grow, but like any coral with a hard skeleton, it needs good alk, ca and mag levels.
If it has color, as in not pure white, it's alive. At night you should see it extend some sweeper tentacles.
I think just about all corals are carnivores, just the meat they eat is tiny, as in zooplankton sized. Phytoplankton is a plant, so I'm not sure how that figures in there.
It will eventually attach to what ever rocks touch the edge of it. They grow out from the ends, sort of in an encrusting manner.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
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I think just about all corals are carnivores, just the meat they eat is tiny, as in zooplankton sized. Phytoplankton is a plant, so I'm not sure how that figures in there.
Not exactly. Most Octocorals, soft corals and gorgonians, feed upon phytoplankton, bacterioplankton, and microscopic organic matter within the water columns. They simply do not have the required nematocysts to capture moving prey such as zooplankton. Most Scleractinians on the other hand, feed upon zooplankton as a greater percentage.
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:32 PM   #5
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That's why I said "I think", and mentioned the phyto
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Old 05-25-2008, 11:33 PM   #6
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You've only had that thing about a month, haven't you? In my tank, seems like it takes 3 months minimum for something to just "get used" to its new home and start looking any different whatsoever.

The one you have should spread out from the edges, and if it's laying on a rock it should encrust whatever it's on once it leaves the rock it's on now. But we're talking like 1 or 2 inches a year, I'm guessing. That's hard to see on a week to week basis. Take pictures every month and compare - I'm sure you'll see a difference.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:43 AM   #7
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So how does it swallow the zooplankton where does the food go? I would think If I just squirted some food at it that it would just roll right off. I haven't yet seen any tentacles.
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Old 05-26-2008, 11:03 AM   #8
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Are you looking at it at night after the lights have been off for an hour? That's when you should see the sweeper tentacles come out. That's also when you should feed.
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Old 05-26-2008, 01:02 PM   #9
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If you baste the coral during daylight hours it will eventually be triggered to release feeding tentacles; This may take several days or more. When the corallites, round crater-like projections, unfold their feeding tentacles, that is when you want to gently place food so that the tentacles can pull it into the main body cavity and it is digested (in a nutshell).
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:40 PM   #10
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Thats interesting I have had it about a month and fed it nothing at all I am worried now that it may not be ok.
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Old 05-26-2008, 07:57 PM   #11
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Post a pic if possible
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:21 PM   #12
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My camera batteries died here are 2 pics the first is about 3weeks ago and the second was the pic when it was at the LFS





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Old 05-26-2008, 08:25 PM   #13
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Tissue looks just fine from that side in your first pic. You can keep trying to tease them out through basting (have patience) and as long as you do not notice any recession I do not see a problem. These corals are photosynthetic so if it does not feel the need to feed than just keep optimal water quality
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Old 05-27-2008, 12:01 AM   #14
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You don't need tentacles exposed for it to feed... it will pull stuff into its mouth via the mucous coat you can't see.

Granted, I don't have the same type of coral as you, but with my brain (platygyra) I baste it once a week with a little bit of Little Fishies Zooplan, about an hour after lights off. No visible tentacles appear nowadays, but within about 5 minutes of feeding I see the mucous coat pulling food into the mouths. In the first few months, tentacles would appear on the polyps around the edge of the colony. Now I don't see them. I think between the lighting and the "gunk" in my tank, it's getting most of what it needs without the feedings. The feedings are just like a little treat!

Don't expect to see a bunch of growth. As Innovator mentioned, as long as you don't see recession or any other signs of trouble, I think things are fine.
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Old 05-27-2008, 11:10 AM   #15
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I think regular feeding (1-3 times weekly) of larger food items (such as mysis shrimp) will help accelerate growth rate with LPS such favia, as it provides the coral with nutrition in addition to what it is receiving via light and ideal water parameters (calcium, biocarbonate, etc). With that said, they can also thrive without regular feeding.

As previously stated, feeder tentacles typically extend at night or when food is sensed in the water (and these food items are readily captured and consumed when contacted by these tentacles).

I prefer to target feed my favia. Each individual polyp is actually capable of consuming multiple mysis shrimp. Larger food items can only be consumed when the tentacles are extended. I've actually seen my favia capture live foods in the tank as well (such as copepods and the tiny nocternal mysid shrimp which came into contact with it). Here's a pic of my favia with its short feeder tentacles extended:


Have you viewed your coral maybe an hour or two after the lights have gone out? (you've mentioned you haven't seen them extend the feeders but didn't elaborate as to when you were observing your coral).
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Old 09-14-2008, 03:21 PM   #16
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Its been like 4 months now and this Favia brain coral looks the same as it did the day I got it not really attaching to the rock or growing at all coloration is still the same I know it doesn't grow fast at all but Shouldn't it grow eventually? In 20 years will it look the same? do they live that long? I don't feed it I just let it get what it needs from the water column.
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Old 09-14-2008, 04:16 PM   #17
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Quote:
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...regular feeding (1-3 times weekly) of larger food items (such as mysis shrimp) will help accelerate growth rate with LPS such favia...
Give this method a try. Target feed as many polyps as possible.
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