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Old 01/10/2007, 09:45 PM
gkelly gkelly is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Charlotte, NC
Posts: 56
Help me understand 'chemical warfare'...

Ok - I'm pretty confused here and I hope you can help.

I'm trying to figure out what can go with what, and how to keep the corals from poisoning each other. I'm talking about softies only at this point.

The tank is a BioCube29 nano. 20 pounds of LR, and 2 osc clowns. Misc hermits and snails.

So far I have some
Devil's hand coral.

Noting is touching, all are (minimum) 5-6 inches apart at this point.

So my questions are:
1.) Is what I have compatible or am I headed for trouble?
2.) Given what I have (small frags of each) what can\should I add?
3.) how can I lessen\eliminate the chemical warfare?
4.) Am I making too big of a deal about this?

Sorry for the long post. Maybe I've been reading too much but I have about 10 different opinions on this. I seem to get the best answers on RC, so I came here...
Old 01/11/2007, 12:57 AM
c1truz c1truz is offline
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Posts: 53
Im no expert but ive seen mushrooms, zoas, and xenia all touching each other without a problem. Seen many rocks with polyps and mushrooms all on the same rock. I do know that xenia will if given the chance can smother other corals.

As far as the devils had im not sure.
Old 01/11/2007, 03:06 PM
pink_floyd pink_floyd is offline
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Well i think regardless of whatever species you have, you should have them far apart from each other... most if not all corals sting each other so the key here is to make sure they do not touch each other.. imo, all the corals you have can co-exist with each other...
Old 01/11/2007, 04:07 PM
jbittner jbittner is offline
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Location: Humboldt, NE
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Generally chemical warefare is between softies and lps and sps. IMO most softies can be place together, most LPS can be kept together and most sps can be kept together. It is when you start mixing the three that problems arise. I have a mixed reef, but I keep SPS, LPS and softies in different areas of the tank (although I have mushrooms everywhere). I do run alot of carbon and my SPS growth has been minimal. IMO if you just keep softies and run carbon you should see good growth for your system.
Old 01/11/2007, 07:23 PM
gkelly gkelly is offline
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Location: Charlotte, NC
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Cool. I run carbon all the time so it looks like I'm good to go.

Definitely no SPS in this tank, and LPS is far in the future.

Thanks for the help!
Old 01/12/2007, 10:43 AM
jbittner jbittner is offline
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Looks like you sould be able to keep all sorts of softies in that BioCube
Old 01/12/2007, 08:36 PM
gflat65 gflat65 is offline
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Location: Montgomery, Al
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I've kept completely mixed tanks before with no issues (running carbon 24/7). Chemical warfare wasn't an issue for me at all. it was getting lighting and flow right for everyone (hence a 125 primarily SPS and a 120 primarily LPS/softie, but both are somewhat mixed)...
Was it for this my life I sought... Maybe so Maybe not.
Old 01/12/2007, 08:49 PM
Gary Majchrzak Gary Majchrzak is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: upstate NY
Posts: 20,987
Allelopathy is the word used to describe chemical warfare amongst corals. Recent findings show that stony corals (as well as soft corals) produce toxic compounds.
Corals don't have to physically touch each other in order for such metabolites to have an effect.
read myth #8 in this article by Eric Borneman:
and a related article by Ron Shimek:
some common aquarium nuisances: Bryopsis,Derbesia(hair algae),Cyanobacteria(red slime), Diatoms(golden brown algae), Dinoflagellates(gooey air bubbles),Valonia (bubble algae)

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