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  #1  
Old 12/23/2007, 02:32 PM
maroun.c maroun.c is offline
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Sea Fans

Any info on Sea fans would be greatly appreciated?
are they hardy? do they require feeding and what lighting and flow do they prefer?
Are those considered soft corals or not?
Thanks for any info
  #2  
Old 12/23/2007, 02:52 PM
tydtran tydtran is offline
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No expert, but my impression is that these do not live in our aquarium. They are not photosynthetic and require food that can be filtered from the water.
  #3  
Old 12/23/2007, 04:43 PM
awestruck awestruck is offline
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I have 2 gorgonians: 1 blueberry (nonphotosynthetic) and 1 purple ribbon (photosynthetic). Blueberry gorgs. are very difficult; they require regular feedings (everyday) and low to medium lighting (but not in total darkness like a cave). And, they need very high flow. Both of mine are doing well but I keep a really close eye on the blueberry. I've only had it 3 months so we'll see how it goes. It is growing new buds so that's a good sign. There are some really beautiful photosynthetic gorgonians that are considered fairly easy. Personally, I like gorgonians; they give your tank a nice mixture of size, shape, and texture, and they move. HTH
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  #4  
Old 12/23/2007, 05:00 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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As awestruck wrote there are two types photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic. The photosynthetic gorgonians are fairly easy to care for - good light and nutrients in the water column and that is about it. The non-photosynthetic are extremely hard and most do not live long in the aquarium. I have a species tank of non-photosynthetic gorgonians and a very large tank, this is about the only way they can get proper care without polluting your tank (They take constant feeding).

So if I were you I'd get the photosynthetic gorgonians first and if you really like them then try a non-photosynthetic species - both are beautiful IMO .
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  #5  
Old 12/24/2007, 11:14 AM
dendro982 dendro982 is offline
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awestruck and ReefArtist:
Is it possible for us, non-photosynthetic corals keepers, set a thread for all of us - share experience, setups, problems and ways of their solving, post useful links?

I am particularly interested in non-photosynthetic tanks setup, filtration and automatic feeding, flow configuration, particularities of their biology, and so on.

My blueberry didn't last long (not starvation), would like to try another setup, if you share the information.

maroun.c:
As was said, there are photosynthetic and non-photosynthetic kinds, tan-colored polyps for photosynthetic, and white- or bright colored polyps - non-photosynthetic.

Both require relatively high flow and some feeding, the first - bright light, the second - more food and filtration/skimming (or small coral in a big refugium-type tank).

Both are doable.

I recently bought photosynthetic purple frilly gorgonian, and not happy with it:
- It looks lavender under MH, where polyps are opening only after the lights are off, and in my low light tank they are open all the time, while the food is present. The last thing I need - one more drab coral in my tank.
- It's big - 1 ft H,
- bleeds like milkweed after handling - no such problem with NPS gorgonians.

I have NPS gorgonian for more, than year - since Aug 2006 (red finger gorgonian).
Much more pleasant creature, observable content of the large transparent polyps, if place it close to the glass. Easier to find food, then for a corals with finest polyps (it should fit the mouth), less mouthes to feed. No light or low light tank even preferable, IMHO - less chances to get algae growth on the corals.

Even higher I value the other NPSG, new, summer find - Swiftia. Bright, glowing tangerine color. Relatively large polyps, but smaller, then of red or yellow fingers, algae is not growing on it, all time open for a feeding, very reliable. Only handle with care - thin skin, and don't dry it too much during fragging. I had it in direct sun, and in no light at all tanks - doesn't matter.

Another reliable NPSG, recommended by others - Menella.

Blueberry was dead for the most of NPS keepers - this is why I'm asking about any positive input on its keeping.

There are Non-Photosynthetic gorgonians thread in Advanced forum, and Non-Photosynthetic corals - at Soft corals forum.

Another nice thing to have, but not in a high flow - NPS tube anemone, really bright and you can buy 12" size for a price of one coral. Pity, that they require different flow.

HTH.
  #6  
Old 12/24/2007, 05:13 PM
awestruck awestruck is offline
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I would love to be a part of a nonphotosynethic thread. But, please know that I am FAR from knowing a whole lot of anything, even after 3-1/2 years of reefing.

Before purchasing my blueberry gorg. I tried to do a lot of research because Drs. Foster and Smith state that they should be left to the experts. But dang, they are SO beautiful I wanted to try one. I have only had mine for 3 months so that's not long at all. The blueberry sits on the sand bed with a few small rocks aroung it so it doesn't fall over. There is a koralia pump about 8" behind it, continually blowing right at it. My tank is a 58g. with t5s (4 x 39w.--10,000k.) When all of the lights are on it closes. When only the actinics are on it opens fully and is absolutely stunning. Sometimes it opens when the lights are off and sometimes it doesn't. I did try placing it in a fairly dark spot and it didn't open at all. I spot feed it zooplankton everyday, but only once a day. Again, I've only had it for 3 months so I'll see if I'm doing right by it. I'm sure trying, I can tell you that! And, it probably is my favorite animal (along with Juliet, my cowfish).

One thing I have considered is designing a ledge made of tonga rock. I thought maybe the rock could filter much of the daylight yet allow enough in to keep the blueberry's polyps open all the time. I'm not sure. It really opens beautifully with just the actinics so I'm unsure as to whether the tonga rock would be really doing anything when the daylight lights are on. I don't know...
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  #7  
Old 12/25/2007, 11:11 AM
dendro982 dendro982 is offline
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Thank you so much!
So, it will be direct flow through and actinics only.
Which Koralia - 1, 2 or 3?
And which zooplankton, anf its amount?

I had damaged coral, direct sunlight and PC (10,000: actinic = 3:1), and reflected from the glass 150gph flow. And swiftia with rapid tissue necrosis in the same time, unfortunately.
  #8  
Old 12/25/2007, 01:39 PM
awestruck awestruck is offline
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Hi dendro, you're welcome (FWIW)

Yes, mine seems to be very happy w/the actinics. You know, it's a beautiful blue so maybe the blue in the actinics is something it needs??? Again, I simply do not know.

I bought Koralia 2. Also, please allow me to explain the flow in more detail. Ok, the blueberry sits on the very left side of my tank and in the front so I can see it well. Behind it is a tall rock (leaning on the left side of the glass) and behind the rock is a powerhead blowing directly at the front left corner of the tank. However, the rock is blocking most of the flow--not all of it, but most of it. Then, the koralia is softly blowing at it from behind (at a bit of an angle). For some reason the blueberry isn't being bombarded which, to be honest, I don't understand. When I first got it I placed it differently, with stronger water movement, and it was too strong thus it wouldn't open.

The lighting seems to be very tricky. My t5s are strong, but MH seems to be even stronger so if you got one you would probably want to put it in the darkest part of the tank. Regarding the actinics, yes, mine thrives when only those are on. Now, here's a confusing part: the blueberry thrives under the actinics but I have no idea if other nonphotosynthetics would.

When I bought the blueberry the vendor sent a bottle of zooplankton (for free). Unfortunately I just ran out of it two days ago so I don't remember what brand it is. I also have Rods Reef food, which has zoopl. in it so I have been using that until I can buy another bottle tomorrow. I use a turkey baster and just feed whatever amount comes when you pump the turkey baster one time. Reefartist makes an excellent point about having a large tank, or at least very good filtration, because a lot of zooplankton is going to pollute your tank.

When I feed the gorgonian I first turn EVERYTHING off, let the water settle, and then feed it. I leave everything off for at least 20 minutes so that the gorgs. food doesn't blow away.

Does this help? Also, perhaps reefartist will chime in and tell us what he or she does, especially since his or her tank is designed for nonphotsynthetic gorgs. Very cool idea btw!
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  #9  
Old 12/26/2007, 12:27 AM
dendro982 dendro982 is offline
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Thank you - very helpful. If you have pictures - post, please.

Here are photos of my tanks, as they progressed: link , no light, and low light dedicated non-photosynthetic nano-systems (sounds good, but just tanks with sumps), medium-high light - filter feeders tank (Christmas tree rocks), and, when run out of space - placing some NPS corals in a big 90g tank, low light too.

A lot of people are keeping non-photosynthetic tanks, for example:
DannyfromHolland , Jens - old tank, new tank. Not much photos, but other NPSC keepers are, as you likely know, in Dendronephthya thread. GARF , Chuck , and this gorgonian tank has a nice food - Fauna Marin, many of the listed above keepers are using it too. Dan, not the best link, but he posted a lot. Ron's blog, cmsargent gorgonian tank, and others. Did I bored you already?

You know, after having both - small and big tanks, I'm still big fan of nano-tanks - less troubles. Compare keeping clean: a car or a market square, after weekend

Keep posting, please - anything, that may help to keep them.
  #10  
Old 12/26/2007, 08:27 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I believe and Iím not alone on this thought, the only way to remotely keep the non-photosynthetic gorgonians is with a very large tank or equipment stated below. Calfo, Fenner and others believe having the corals in a species-specific display tank connected to the larger will allow feeding and proper water flow. To feed these azoozanthellate specimens in a traditional tank with zoozanthellate corals is almost impossible. The problem comes in the feeding of these corals as they require VERY heavy feedings. Iím able to heavy feed my Diodogorgia and others because all flow will go into my other 500g+ tanks and feed other corals without the irritating and burden (water quality) small tanks would suffer from (algae growth which is deadly to gorgonians). Most underestimate the amount of water flow and heavy feeding to sustain these filter feeding inverts. Normally the laminar water flow that is required and the high volume will put so much stress on other reef inverts they will ultimately die. Iíve been there and tried everything to keep these alive in a normal display tank. After talking with experts and reading numerous articles and books on the subject I have found it mainly impossible. The main point is staying alive for say 18 months while starving is not success. That said, this is how we learn Ė by not making the same mistakes as others before us. Lots of reefers keep Deodronephthya alive for years now that we have the proper foods available, but they are larger mouth inverts and are much easier to feed. Gorgonians have much different requirements, water flow, lighting and feeding.

They require nearly continuous plankton drips (at least this is the thought) for filter-feeding gorgonians. The flow must be adjusted according to how the polyps respond to the changing flow. Then you have the pattern of the flow and from what I understand laminar flow is best for gorgonians that are in the shape of a fan or flat surface. For the other gorgonians itís more turbulent flow.

As far as lighting Ė from my understanding most are found in deep waters or under cliffs. They may tolerate higher light but that also brings more algae and the death of the gorgonian.

I feed mine very heavy with rotifers, baby brine and marine snow. From feeding other corals they also are getting Phytoplankon,

Equipment required to handle the feeding of azooaanthellate gorgonians would be a very good protein skimmer, RDSB to handle the high nitrates, lots of flow and water changes. You need equipment to export all the nutrients and high nitrates of greater than 5ppm is not good. Having these inverts in a tank for 2 years is not success; these inverts in their natural environment live for decades, not months.
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  #11  
Old 12/27/2007, 07:17 AM
dendro982 dendro982 is offline
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I deeply respect the right of an individuals to have an own system of beliefs, as long as I'm not denied the same.

Not too many people can afford keeping 500g tanks or live in mansions, most are tied for a life to a more cramped spaces.

Note, that non-photosynthetic corals keepers are very careful about do not use word success: and even without it, the discussion about keeping particular species is replaced by lecturing about impossibility and difficulty of keeping them in less then (list here your own) gal tanks with special equipment.

Note also, that in these lectures rarely mentioned for how long the lecturing person keeps these corals, which of them, what solutions were found, what unusual or rarely described behavior was observed, new possibilities for improvement.

On this any constructive discussions ends.

I still propose to make a place/thread about keeping them (and not about not keeping them or setting arbitrary unrealistic tor many of us gallons plank), without lecturing.
  #12  
Old 12/27/2007, 08:06 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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So you will not listen to others and the equipment needed to keep these beautiful corals. Yet another beginners down fall, not willing to listen to all the requirements. Lots of very good information can be found in Anthony Calfo's new book "Book of Coral Propagation" - but you my think he's just giving you a lecture. In the book by Fenner "The Conscientious Marine Aquarist" great information also - but you would only think they are lecturing. There's a reason you have algae growth and I was only informing you of the equipment needed to keeps these corals because of their feeding requirements. Please do not dismiss others just because they disagree with you or your limits. The death of a coral is not success so yes they speak of it all the time in those links.

We have learned a lot about keeping these corals but unfortunately some will never listen to the professionals - we do this for a living not just a hobby. I'm not lecturing just trying to save another coral, you need to open your mind and see where others have failed and until you do so other lovely corals and fish will die. We learn from our failures and posting our failures others (some) will learn not to make the same mistake but only if we open our minds. Posting only the positive we learn nothing. You are saying if the requirements are found by many be a 200g tank with a 20g species off it and a very large protein skimmer and refugium - you would take it only as a lecture and dismiss all information as "setting arbitrary unrealistic tor many of us gallons plank" and continue the road many of us have already traveled - we have learned a lot.
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  #13  
Old 12/27/2007, 08:41 AM
dendro982 dendro982 is offline
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Thank you for informing me. BTW, "you will not listen to others and the equipment needed", as I can see, too.

"Please do not dismiss others just because they disagree with you or your limits." - to you too.

"unfortunately some will never listen to the professionals - we do this for a living not just a hobby." Sorry, what places professionals above the others - in hobbyist community? And, you listed in occupation - engineer and artist. Now you are reef livestock trade employee.

I would learn a lot, if you post a lot - not generalized information, and two books your had read. I still do not see what non-photosynthetic corals you are keeping, for how long, what was wrong, and where you failed. If not failed - contribute with what worked for you.

This is my last post in this kind of discussion with you, sorry.
  #14  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:11 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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His corals look better then most non-photosynthetic corals reefartist. I don't see where size of the aquarium has anything to do with keeping these corals. If you stay up on water quality, how do these corals no if there in a 10 gal tank or 300? I don't see your point on equipment and tank size at all
The larger the tank, the easier it is to be lazy IMO
Nitrates don't build up as fast in a larger tank is all.

Here are the keys to my success
Laminar flow...pulsing laminar flow
Reef Mariculture foods IE Clamshell diet and Rotipheast
Good water parameters, not as good though as I would keep them for a sps tank. Soft corals tolerate more then sps.
and more flow
Erik
  #15  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:14 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I'm not here to call names - did you read my build thread - no and as others have found with my other equipment it has not worked with gorgonians. I have not read any great success stories with gorgonians using the present food or equipment - except having a species tank off a larger tank.

I'm not dismissing any information and not sure where you thought I was???

Mmmm - did I list the type of engineer? I've been in this hobby probably longer then you've been alive - yes I'm an old fart.

I post all the time just not in the same threads as you that does not mean I don't post information. Please RC is not the only reefing site with very valuable information.

I only posted those two books as they are easy to abstains. I have read hundreds of articles and other books on this same subject. Information on the web is good but everyone can post anything they like - be it true or not. That's the problem with general web information. There are great sites that are more for the LFS/aquaculture professionals and are full of information on this subject. Yes they have larger systems just like Garf and others.

I'm not stating professionals are above hobbyist - they just have a lot more at their disposal to test and learn.

Sorry that you took my post as being above you just because I have a larger tank - that was not in any way my point.

My point is - Gorgonians as it seems take constant feeding - this takes larger equipment to remove the nutrients.
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  #16  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:15 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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And another thing about the refugium, They don't seem to work wel in a non-photo tank. The phyto we feed seems to out compete the macro algae in the fuge for nutrients to live. So your macro then doesn't grow much and is pointless imo.
Erik

I also feed, blended mussels and oysters. I'm guessing the food is less then 200 microns. The corals were seen through a mesoscope feeding on the slurry.
  #17  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:17 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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I feed 3 times per day, Im working on a drip system though to feed small amounts 24/7
My tank is 360 gals, with 50 gals in the sump
Erik
  #18  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:18 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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this non-photo frag is now fully encrusted on the plug in 3 months time. When the lights come on today I will get a picture of that
Erik
  #19  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:26 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Kreeger1 - yes that is the problem "Nitrates". They will get you at one time or another. The problem with smaller systems as I and others have experienced is the buildup of nitrates. These nitrates are not easy to get rid of once high levels have been found. I'm installing a RDSB to fight this and the hope is keep my nitrates at a reasonable level. I really feel that installing a RDSB on smaller tanks could really help fight this buildup and if it's a species only tank might help us keep these corals long term. For me this is just a test to see if it works as we still do not have the knowledge to keep these gorgonians alive for any length of time - flow, food etc.
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  #20  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:35 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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Look at these pics and enjoy, he uses vodka for nitrate removal
Corals from his tank just passed the 1 year mark
Enjoy
Erik
http://www.twilightreef.com/dendrotank.htm

And on nitrates in a smaller tank, its easier to handle IMO with a 50% water change, on a 400 gal system, I'd get my butt kicked doing a 50% water change. small tank no prob
Lets keep the information flowing !!!
  #21  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:35 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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Very nice Kreeger1. I'll post a few pic later as I'm in the middle of my tank build and I have corals in locations not normal for them.

That is great polyp extension and a beautiful coral. Do you keep these with your other corals? Just wondering because I have lots of both SPS/LPS corals and I know the feeding requirements and lighting will not play well with my other corals.

I'm wondering about the RDSB (Remote deep sand bed) and a believe the nutrients my just pass on through. I do use 100 micron socks but still not sure if everything is going to be caught.
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  #22  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:39 AM
Kreeger1 Kreeger1 is offline
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I would ditch the 100 micron sock. Dendros feed on smaller then 100 micro material so your stopping the flow of that food source.

I keep lps such as Goniporas and Avelaporas in the tank too. along with a few other soft corals.
My lighting is 10 hours for vho's- 2 6 footers, and 2 250 watt mh for 4 hours a day each
  #23  
Old 12/27/2007, 09:57 AM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I just read your current tank - yes with a 360g dedicated tank we'll be learning a lot from you. I'm not willing to give up my other corals yet and as I've been reading having a species tank off my display could really help both. I just have to be careful with the nitrates in the display but I really do feel it will work with the volume I have.

I was planning on two T5's at 54W for the species tank as that should supply more then enough. Only time will tell if all will work but I've been planning this for a very long time.

Thanks for all the information - yes we need to keep this flowing regardless of tank size. My belief is - the ocean can keep these corals alive and the next step (JMO) is the larger tanks. Once we have had success I believe in time it will not be as hard as it is now for smaller systems. It's very hard to keep all the parameters in check in a small system (without constant water changes) but I think the answer is out there.
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  #24  
Old 12/28/2007, 03:41 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I tried to get a few photos but not the best. I did get manage to get a decent shot of my Blue Berry though. All are under either VHO's or T5's and some are under PC (with Sea horses). Some are NPSC and some are not - I hope someone enjoys:











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Last edited by ReefArtist; 12/28/2007 at 03:58 PM.
  #25  
Old 12/28/2007, 03:49 PM
ReefArtist ReefArtist is offline
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I'm in the process of moving everything - so they are not where they normally would be located:












One of my sea horses with a gorgonian


Morph colored Goniporia with a goby in the bottom center



These are the ones I could get shots of right now after the move I hope to get better shots and some that I missed. I have had most for a few years now and they for the most part are doing good.
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