FRAGS, need help please
I am new to saltwater and have a question about frags, I am thinking of buying pulsing Xena frags and zoanthyd polyp frags from a private seller, is there any cons or dangers in buying frags or any special advice I should know about :mrgreen:??
First are the concerns. What lighting do you have and how many watts? How much flow do you have and what type of filtration? What size is the tank and how old is it and what are your water parameters? SG, phosphates, nitrates, and so forth.
Now regarding the Xenia. Be aware that they (And Zoanthids) can take over a tank. If you are planning on getting some you have to examine: what's the quality of water, lighting, and where do i want to go with the tank. IF you chose to continue with different corals and you allow Xenia or the Zoas to grow out of control, it's a pain in the but to get rid of most, because you will probably not get rid of all. Second, if you get the Xenia and everything is "Good", well... Xenia are very specific and they grow in some tank and die in others and there are only theories, as far as i know, as to why they are dying. Parameters can be the same with the same lighting, water flow and movement, and filtration and they will live in one tank and die in another. (Very interesting).
Zoas, great corals for the beginner, but be aware and don't squish them. They have a Polytoxin in them and it can kill. I know that sounds dramatic, but it's true. If your dog gets a hold of it, or cat, and eats it, they are dead, unless you can fix the problem. I know a guy that boiled his Live Rock (LR) and there were zoas on it... he inhaled the fumes from the toxin and he was hospitalized for a month and he's still suffering from the stuff. Don't cut it while you have an open wound, don't pull it from the water and play with it and don't squish it and get the juice to squirt out because it's fun. They are fairly safe if you get them, rubberband them to a rock, or superglue gel them, and put them into the tank. Many frag them and never have anything negative to report, like me. It's just a warning.
Zoas are very good corals. Colorful, easy to maintain, don't require a lot of light, and can handle poor water quality (Doesn't mean they will thrive, but they will survive it). Check the rock before you put it into the tank. You will be looking for things crawling around on them that look like something you've never seend before. There are many zoanthids to choose from, but always be aware that there are indeed pests for them. Zoas spiders, Zoanudibranchs and others, easiest thing to do is to get interceptor, put it into a quarantine tank and let it soak for a day. Make sure this is in a quarantine tank and not in your reef. Then dip it into clean saltwater and then add it into the tank. This will ensure you don't get pests onto it.
Hopefully i didn't scare you from the though of getting these to corals because they are in my reef now, and have not had any issues, but i checked for pests before i put them in and they are thriving.
thanks for all the detailed info. You haven't scared me....BUT, I think I will not go with the Xenia
Here is a bit of info about my tank:
20 Gallon - about 7 weeks old
tomato clown - been in the tank for about a month now
4 hermit crabs - been in tank for about a month now
1 camel shrimp - been in tank for about 2 weeks
and a few small green stripe mushrooms - in tank for about 2 weeks
30 lbs of live rock ( was fully cured when I bought i)
protein skimmer = seaclone 100
2 power heads
nova extreme lighting 2 actinic and 2 flo - 96 watt total
only test kit I have so far is for ammonia, nitrite, nitrate and PH ( i do plan on getting a calcium and alkalinity test shortly)
ammonia = 0
nitrite = 0
nitrate = 5
All seem to be doing very well, so far, I check the water levels often and inspect all living inhabitants closely every day.
and funny you mention dogs....I have 2, but don't think they can get into the tank, so no worries there
so what are your thoughts?
Pasfur also recommended star polyps, which are one of my favorite, are these any safer/easier ?
Wait, you have camel shrimp in with soft coral? Anticipate issues down the road with stuff getting munched on. Mushrooms are relatives of anemones(I think) and thats probably why they have stayed safe. Camels do enjoy zoos and leathers and wouldnt be surprised if they ate xenia as well.
Star Polyps are a great coral. Suffer from the "we will take over" problem that xenia does. Thankfully alot of LFSes take trade ins on frags. I am one of the ones Kellsindell mentioned who cant keep xenia to save my life, but keep SPS and goniporea with no problem.
Kellsindell-why was that person boiling LR? Did he take the name too literally(supposed to stick it in a heated bucket for 6 months in the dark to kill off the bad stuff while leaving good biomass)? Sucks about the vapors though.
camel shrimp will eat coral and just about any easy soft coral can *take over* a tank-this can be a good thing or a bad thing, it's your personal preference's that should be the deciding factor. local reefers are a great place to get new corals, the prices are often much lower than at a lfs or online seller, just be very clear before hand about what you are buying and how much you are paying ;)
hope that helps some :)
I started with one small xenia frag in my 29 gallon, now, I have a forest! Fortunately, it was contained to ONE rock that I was able to remove.
They are pretty, but dang, do they multiply quickly!
On the otherhand, my zoas kind of disappeared. Some types/colors seem hardier than others.
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