Coral Photos and Videos
On 5/21/08, I got my first corals. These are the four I got and how they did.
1. Green zooanthids - Despite being the "easiest corals," mine have yet to fully open as of 5/25/08. They do partially open and then close back up. Update 6/7/08 - about half of them are doing well while the other half closer to the light barely open or do not open at all. By 7/4/08, they seem to be doing better. By 2010, very few remain. By 2011, all are gone.
2. Green mushroom - They are of the type that looks like a short anemone. There are two of them. The first morning, they were the only corals to open fully. They seemed to do great for a few days and then put out this muddy stuff out of the middle of them. Then, one began to sag and fall off the rock. Not so good. They fell apart and died. I tried moving them to the floor of the tank with less light but all that was left was some stinking slop which I removed on 5/26/08.
3. Duncan LPS (long polyp stony) coral - This one peeked out of its tube a few times but never opened. I think it is a goner. I removed it on 5/27/08 after the innards fell out.
4. Star polyps - This coral stayed mostly shut for a few days but then recovered and was the only coral that is doing well. It fully opens within a few hours of the lights coming on and closes each night. Update 6/7/08: On 6/5/08, the colony had fallen off the rock while I was at work as the epoxy came off. They were damaged but within a few days were mostly as good as before.
On 6/16/08, I got six more corals.
1. Zooanthids - Two species on one rock. One is a beautiful orange and one is a larger green one. There are also three little feather dusters on the rock. Due to algae, by 2010, these zoos are really struggling to survive. I pull what algae I can each week.
2. Brown mushroom corals - a small rock had three tiny brown mushroom corals on it. The two smaller ones seem to have faded away but the remaining one seems healthy. There are also two things on the rock. They look like snails except they never move, just a hard shell affixed to the rock. I cannot figure out what they are. There is also some pink stuff on this little piece of rock. It might be foraminiferans?
3. Duncan LPS coral - Unlike the last one, this one has done great! He is an active feeder and opens up wide. Every few days, he looks all icky (closed up, discolored), poops out some brown waste, and then is better the next day. Around 7/18/08, this coral started to have "babies" growing out of its neck, about four of them. Eventually, they will become new mouths. By 8/14/08, the mouths are actively feeding but still small. By 9/12/09, there are about 20 mouths. Update 5/22/10: That was either an exaggeration, or Duncan has not grown in a while because I just counted 18 heads. In July, my tank seemed to be struggling and even the Duncan stopped coming out every day. I did not know what was wrong so I did a total cleaning of the 12 gallon tank on 7/31/10 including a 50% water change. The Duncan went downhill and started to die in early 2011, completely gone by September 2011. How could it go from thriving for two years to death? The algae in the tank were not causing it much trouble; I change the lights yearly; the water quality is the same as always.
4. Pavona SPS (short polyp stony) coral - He said it was a Pavona but looking on-line, mine does not look like those. It seems to be doing well but they do not do much! The star polyps started to sting the SPS coral in August of 2008 so I finally moved the SPS coral over a few inches to the other live rock on 8/30/08. About 15% of it was burnt from the star polyps. In its new location, as of 9/12/09, the SPS coral has spread out over the rock about an inch. By 2010, it spread a few inches out from where it started. It was growing really well and then the front half of the original cells bleached for some reason in June of 2010. In November of 2010, it is starting to regrow over some of the dead parts. By 2011, the poor coral is 100% dead.
5. Star polyps - I just loved my first star polyps so the guy "fragged" me off a nice piece of star polyps. They are doing well. On 6/28/08, when I cleaned out the tank, they closed up, not unusual. But, they took four days to open again! I thought I lost them but they seem fine. The star polyps have plopped their purple foundation down on to the live rock and have started to spread. They were growing fast.
On 9/12/09, I cut my first coral. The green star polyps had an arm that was touching and stinging the Duncan coral so I cut off the arm with coral scissors. I felt really bad thinking it hurt the coral. I epoxied the arm on to a shell and put it in the 6 gallon tank. By the end of the day, the parent polyps were partially reopened but the arm had not opened at all. By 2010, the parent star polyps had stopped spreading and were not opening as much as they should. By November 2010, the star polyps in the 12 gallon tank rarely open and are dying while those in the 6 gallon from the same animal are still spreading and thriving like mad.
6. Sun coral - It has an orange tube and yellow polyps that only come out at night. That guy must be fed because he has no symbiotic algae like most corals. I put him sort of in the cave on the floor. I have been trying to feed it at night but it almost never opens and then barely so. It seems these corals are hard to keep alive so it already be too late. As of 7/19/08, the sun coral is opening more at night. It has burst a few smaller heads out of its side and seems to be growing now. I feed it a few times a week and hope it is eating okay. In time, the sun coral opened less and less. I waited for it to open to feed it. When it did, it would not take the food. Eventually, it stopped opening at all. By October, I think it is pretty much dead. It was too hard to take care of for me. I feel really bad. By November 2008, all the sun coral flesh was gone.
I found it interesting that my star polyps seem to be able to tell time. The older batch of them can tell anyway. That is because they shut up right before the lights go out at night. The only way they would know would be if they can tell time. The newer star polyps often stay open all the time as well as the Duncan.
On 7/6/08, I got two more corals.
1. Pineapple brain coral - It is very small and does not do much. By 7/19/08, it looks like this coral may have some bleaching around the edges. My other corals are doing so well so I am not sure why this one is unhappy. It seems to lack a real mouth like the others, just minute things. By June of 2010, the coral was alive but exactly the same size as when I bought it two years earlier. About 10% of this coral became bleached at this time. I hope the rest does not die.
2. Xenia - A basic unknown species. It is very small and flopped over when I got it after the cashier bashed them around. After a week, the two largest parts were still sagging down. By 7/19/08, the xenia are upright. They pulse on and off, opening and closing. On 10/18/08, something awful happened by accident. I was using the tubing to suck up planaria, and as I moved the tube from the front of the small tank to the back, the Xenia was sucked up the tube for just a moment. This caused the soft tissue to elongate but not break off. The poor thing looks horrible. It is trying to pulse but is bent over. I hope it can recover. I was so upset. It did recover and was almost normal within a week. Update 5/9/09: The xenia is thriving and now has something like 15 "hands." By 2010, it is dozens. It has spread and grown a lot.
The morning of 11/22/10, I noticed Zeby (zebra hermit crab) was walking past the Xenia coral. The coral was shriveled back and expelling clouds of something. I thought maybe it was releasing waste. The Duncan coral does that but the Xenia never had before. Then, I thought maybe it was releasing gametes. But, no, it was obvious by that night and the next day that the poor Xenia was dying! Why?! It has always done so well while the other corals have suffered. It was totally fine the day before. It has collapsed, lost most of its volume, and stopped pulsing. I am hoping that part of it might come back at some point but, for now, it is degrading quickly. It never came back. ;-(
On 8/12/08, I got one coral for my new 6 gallon nano:
1. Mushroom coral - so far, so good. I put this green mushroom loose on the live rock, and it anchored within a few days. In fact, when the light failed soon after I put the mushroom in the tank, I could not pry it loose to move it to my other tank where it could get some light. It was in the dark for 3 weeks before they sent a new lid with light! It survived that and thrived. Interestingly, the day I put the new below corals in the six gallon tank, this first mushroom detached itself from the rock! It floated around in the current and settled on the sand. It was not attached to it within a week so I put it back where it had been. It again floated away. I swear this mushroom is capable of deciding where it does and does not want to be! It does not like its new friends!
On 10/4/08, I received two "nano coral packs" from Live Aquaria with a total of 14 small corals and/or live rocks with corals.
1. Mushroom corals - Seven arrived. All went in the 6 gallon tank. These include a green Ricordia mushroom and an orange and purple Ricordia mushroom, both absolutely gorgeous. I hope they do not eat my clown goby or sexy shrimp! They are not that big but are bigger than the other five corals. Those include two that were spotted. Both have a brown/purple base. One has one white spots. The other has blue spots. Then, there is a purple mushroom that I beat up quite a bit trying to get it to stay somewhere as it was not attached to anything (neither was the orange Ricordia and the next two mentioned mushrooms). Finally, there were two regular sorts of mushroom corals; one was brownish and one green. I had to just set them on the rock loose even though the current may move them because they have nothing attached to them!
A week later, and the new mushrooms are all doing well. The loose ones have anchored (not strongly though).
The largest mushroom coral (the regular brown one) detached a few weeks ago in certain locations. It had a huge "foot" or stalk that was attached over a large area but part detached. Now, it is obvious that the two small blobs of flesh that it left behind when it partially detached are now developing in to separate mushroom corals. I do not know if that sort of movement is common as a mode of asexual coral reproduction.
The orange and purple Ricordia died from trying to kill Aiptasia in 12/2009.
2. Polyp corals - Seven arrived. They were supposed to send five polyp corals of mixed types. Two of the pieces were tiny and obviously broke off the bigger pieces of live rock. I was worried I would not get any zooanthids. Well, all but one were zooanthids! I thought they would send some yellow colony polyps which I wanted and star polyps. I did not want more star polyps unless they were a color other than green. What I did get was one larger green button polyp while the others were all green zooanthids (at least the ones that opened that day; some have yet to open). Each one or two inch rock only has two to ten zoo polyps on it, not a lot. I epoxied the two small frags in my 12 gallon tank. The four biggest pieces were epoxied in the 6 gallon tank while one was set loose near the bottom. It was hard finding places for all of them. The corals are kind of crowded along with the mushrooms but they are all slow growing and non-aggressive.
A week later, two of the zooanthid colonies are fully open during the day and doing well. One has just one polyp that opens! Another had one that opened the first few days but has had none since them open at all. The button polyps have four heads. It took about five days but two of them finally opened. The other two heads separate from the other two have released some slime; I think they died.
I think my tanks are all coraled out now! I am sure I will be moving some of the new corals around especially the mushrooms which are not anchored.
As of 2012, most of the corals have died in the 12 gallon tank. The corals are still doing okay in the 6 gallon tank.
On 2/27/12, I added a small brown zooanthid colony on a ceramic plug to the 6 gallon tank. It did fantastic and then up and died in just a week in late June, 2012 for no reason!
On 4/25/12, I bought two new corals from Mr. Coral for my 12 gallon tank. One is a favia coral that is orange with a green center. The other is a zooanthid colony that is red with brown edges, very pretty. A tube worm and feather duster worm are on that piece as well. Those zooanthids died in early July 2012 for an unknown reason.
On 5/12/12, I bought a Pagoda cup coral. Cuppy is really nice. He has 32 heads and is a LPS coral. I put him where my precious Duncan coral used to be in the 12 gallon tank. This coral did not live for long.
On 5/15/12, I got a Live Aquaria order. Here is a description of the corals that I got. I ordered one soft coral pack (four corals) and one nano polyps pack (5 corals). Some of the zoos were busted in to pieces.
For the 12 gallon tank:
1. 1 Spaghetti leather coral - they said it was either a thin finger leather coral, tree coral, or Kenya tree; it would not stick via reef epoxy to the live rock so it ended up on the floor; it has tiny white polyps but has only rarely opened; I do not think it will make it. I just called it a tree coral until 1/14/13 when I found out that it is a spaghetti leather coral.
2. 1 Dead coral stick with about four zoo polyps on it that have yet to open (think they are yellow); I broke off the other half of the dead coral using a vice as it had no zoos but instead it had two majano pest anemones on it!
3. 1 Zooanthid colony of half a dozen polyps on a half clam shell; they are red with brown edges
4. 1 Little stray zoo that I do not think will make it
For the 6 gallon tank:
1. 1 Green striped mushroom coral (that folded over on itself and may not make it); this piece of live rock also has a ton of strange and scary tube and feather worms; one large tube has shiny tendrils coming out
2. 1 Green star polyps (certainly didn't need that one!); I just set it on the floor until I come up with a better plan
3. 1 Yellow polyps; these are nice; a few feather dusters on the dead coral stick too (this time two of the corals were on dead coral sticks which are hard to place)
4. 3 Nice zooanthid colonies; all have green edges; one center is light pink; one is light orange (died by 6/16/12); and one is light purple; they seem to change daily though; I glued these to the top of the live rock
On 2/21/16, at Petco, I happened to see a small Goniopora on a ceramic plug for only $15. I did not really have room for it but it was so cute! I put it in the 6 gallon but have the option of moving it if I can find a better spot. The coral tried really hard but the mushroom corals kept touching it. I kept cutting the mushrooms back and finally moved the coral but it never could recover, and I thought it was dead by August of 2016. Amazingly, a few months later, and it has some new growth. Even though it is in a darker area, the mushrooms are not touching it, and it survived until eventually giving up.
In February of 2019, all the green star polyps in my 12 gallon tank stopped opening and presumably died when they still were not open after a month. They covered the entire top of the live rock and up on to the glass. I had to remove them when the water quality got much worse, and diatoms were growing like mad. The only surviving corals are the brain coral, the spaghetti leather coral, and one zooanthid colony which just hangs on.
On 3/21/19, I added three small zooanthid colonies to my 12 gallon tank. Two are dull green and one is a brighter green.
On 3/23/19, I added a pulsing Xenia to my 12 gallon tank. As of 3/29/19, it has not opened all the way or pulsed. By 9/25/19, it is thriving so much that I had to trim one of its dozens of arms off. As for the pulsing, I have yet to see it so I would say that I got jipped and got a non-pulsing Xenia.
The photos on my reef photos page show the entire tank so there are coral photos on that page too which is now split in to my 6 and 12 gallon nano tanks.
Photos are listed from oldest to newest. Photos are in the 12 gallon nano tank unless otherwise noted.
These photos are all from 5/25/08.
The two mushroom corals and the LPS coral
(bottom left) - nice algae crop too!
The star polyps opened
A view farther back - shows Nemo the clowfish as well as the three previously mentioned corals
A view farther back - shows all the corals
A view farther back - shows Nemo the clowfish as well as the three previously mentioned corals
The sagging mushrooms and closed LPS coral
The zooanthids - that is as far as they have opened but they do close up more at night which seems to indicate that they are still alive. There are some red algae branches with them.
Here are some photos from 5/31/08:
Zooanthids and live rock - note the bubbles on the live rock; that is nitrogen gas from the live rock trapped under sheets of dead diatoms (I took a toothbrush to it after the photo). The scarlet reef hermit crab is also at the top of the photo.
Zooanthids after cleaning (so they are not quite as open as they get). I wish you could see the little feather duster worm too (he is at the bottom middle of the colony)! You can see the green piece of macroalgae? at the top left of the colony.
Here are some photos from 6/13/08:
Star Polyps - also one of the scarlet reef hermit crabs on the left, coralline algae at the top of the photo, note how I overdid the reef epoxy to hold the polyps on!
Zooanthids plus the macroalgae and two feather duster worms that are growing on the colony, note all the bubbling algae again
These photos from 6/16/08, I took the day I got the corals. That means that the sun coral and
polyps were fully closed, and the Duncan LPS coral was half closed.
New zooanthids - green and orange ones!
New corals - the star polyps (closed in the back), Duncan LPS coral (partially open, front left), and the SPS coral (right). Jose is also in the photo.
New mushroom coral
New sun coral
I took more photos on 6/17/08 with the corals open.
Entire tank - the star polyps are open.
New corals - the star polyps (in the back), Duncan LPS coral (front left), and the SPS coral (right). Jose's rear is also in the photo.
This photo from 6/21/08 shows both colonies of star polyps and the Duncan coral. The SPS is
barely visible since it lays flat.
These photos are from 6/28/08:
Corals - Duncan coral on the right, big star polyps on the upper left, little star polyps at the bottom, nice coralline algae above them, SPS in the background, zebra hermit crab posing too!
Corals - view of the same corals and other animals (hermit crab, an Astraea snail, and Nemo) from the front of the tank.
Corals - top view of the same corals, a totally different perspective!
These photos are from 7/4/08:
Animals - starting from the upper left and going clockwise, you can see part of Jose, the big star polyps, the SPS coral, the Duncan LPS coral, the smaller star polyps with coralline algae above them and the little dwarf zebra hermit crab, and Nemo.
Star polyps - the older batch of star polyps with the dwarf zebra hermit crab.
Dead brain coral - part of the live rock I put in my 3 gallon tank.
Pineapple brain coral
Zooanthids and Xenia
Corals - Duncan on the right, star polyps on the left and bottom left, other corals in the background.
Duncan LPS coral
Sun coral - polyps open
Mushroom coral with hermit crabs visiting
Zooanthids - with a hermit crab visitor nearby too.
These photos from 7/19/08 show some new developments:
Baby coral - new "heads" on the Duncan coral coming out.
Star polyps spreading - they have now affixed themselves to the live rock. I took the photo when they were closed because you cannot see the spread well when they are open.
From 7/29/08, I took these photos because of the strange growth (turned out to be
Zooanthids and Xenia
Zooanthids and Xenia
My first coral in my new 6 gallon nano reef was added on 8/12/08:
From the 12 gallon tank on 8/15/08:
Zooanthids - the bottom colony which now has Caulerpa macroalgae growing in it too.
On 8/30/08, I moved the SPS coral over near the older zooanthids and away from the green star
polyps that were stinging it.
Corals - moved SPS coral on the left, older zooanthids (closed up, just did a water change) in the front, xenia in the back right.
Top view of the 6 gallon tank showing the mushroom coral on 9/20/08.
Duncan coral and others on 9/20/08 in the 12 gallon tank. You can see how the Duncan coral now has "babies" all around its base. In the photo can also be seen (but not well) the two colonies of green star polyps, the brain coral, the SPS coral, and Nemo in the back left corner.
These photos are from 10/4/08 when I got the coral packs:
Seven polyp coral rocks during drip acclimation. None of the polyps are open. The eighth rock had no coral but was put in to the six gallon tank anyway.
Seven mushroom corals during drip acclimation.
6 Gallon Tank after the new corals were added. The next four photos are also in the 6 gallon tank.
Two of the polyp rocks in place in the bottom of the 6 gallon tank. There is also a sexy shrimp in the photo.
Green Ricordia mushroom
White speckled mushroom and a sexy shrimp
Zooanthids and sexy shrimp.
Zooanthids in 12 gallon (just a little piece).
This is a top view of the 6 gallon tank on 10/6/08 showing the new mushroom corals:
This front view of the 6 gallon tank on 10/10/08 is not very clear. It shows some of the new
corals and Grabby (emerald mithrax crab) on top of the live rock:
New corals - top view of 6 gallon tank
6 Gallon Tank from the front.
New corals - front view; the button polyps are open; the green Ricordia mushroom looks nice.
I took these photos on 11/30/08 for the shrimp but the mushroom corals in the 6 gallon tank can
also be seen:
Mushroom corals - view from above.
I wanted to get some good coral photos of the Duncan (since it was fully open) and Xenia so
are some from 12/24/08:
Duncan coral with green star polyps behind.
Duncan coral with green star polyps to the left and behind and the Pavona SPS coral and pineapple coral to the right.
Xenia with the zooanthids in the front and the SPS coral to the left.
Duncan coral and green star polyps, view from above.
These photos are from 3/2/09:
Corals - SPS coral (top left), zooanthids (right, closed up all the way), and Xenia on the right in full pulse mode.
Corals - Duncan (he is getting big!) and SPS on the right.
Corals - top view of the Duncan, part of the SPS, and two colonies of green star polyps which are fully closed.
Xenia close-up and open on 4/11/09. It is too bad that my camera refuses to focus on it! I just looked at some old photos of this coral and cannot believe how tiny it used to be!
Green Ricordia mushroom fluorescing under the LED night lights in the 6 gallon tank on 5/2/09.
These photos of the 12 gallon tank are from 7/18/09:
Duncan coral and green star polyps, view from above. The Duncan is really growing!
Corals - the SPS coral which has spread out over the live rock as well as the first zooanthids I added which have not spread at all, the Xenia which is closed, and the brain coral in the back.
Pineapple brain coral which has not grown at all.
This photo from 9/13/09 shows the piece of star polyps that I cut off of the biggest coral in the
gallon tank and moved to the 6 gallon tank:
Green star polyp arm
Here is the Xenia on the same day, 9/13/09:
I took this photo on 10/24/09 to show my new firefish but it also
Xenia and zooanthids well:
Xenia and others
I took these photos on 10/26/09 of my new purple firefish but they also show most of the corals
in my 12 gallon tank:
Bristleworm in the 6 gallon tank on 1/26/10. It looks like he is coming out of a closed-up mushroom coral! You can also see the open green Ricordia mushroom coral with Dip, my male sexy shrimp sitting in it.
Xenia on 5/19/10. Absolutely perfect!
Corals - 1339 KB, mpg movie.
This video taken 5/29/10 starts with the Duncan coral and green star polyps behind that, past the SPS coral (which does not move), and to the pulsing Xenia coral.
Duncan coral - side view, 5/29/10.
Duncan coral - top view, 5/29/10.
Photos of the corals during the 7/30/10 12 gallon tank cleaning can be seen on this page.
These coral photos are from 1/15/11:
Duncan coral - still hanging in there but not thriving.
Green star polyps - in the 6 gallon tank that have grown over the fake coral and on to the back wall of the tank, view from the front of the tank.
Green star polyps - view from above in the 6 gallon.
On 2/27/12, I got a little zooanthid colony for my 6 gallon aquarium. Here they are acclimating
two astraea snails on that day:
Zooanthids - on the left; they are on a ceramic plug.
I took these photos on 2/28/12 of the 6 gallon tank with the new zooanthids (in the middle of the
You can also see one of the new astraea snails (first photo), the green star polyps, mushroom
pink hair algae, green button polyps (upper right), and sponges (the black slimey things on the
I also took a photo of the old zooanthids in the 6 gallon tank on 2/28/12. They are hanging in
despite the pink hair algae smothering them.
These photos are from 4/26/12:
New corals - a favia coral on the right and a red zooanthid on the left.
Red zooanthids - there is also a feather duster open on the left of the colony
On 5/12/12, I got a Pagoda cup coral.
Pagoda cup coral - closed.
12 gallon tank - including open Pagoda cup coral.
Pagoda cup coral - open.
A lot of corals arrived on 5/15/12, and here are their photos. All of the corals were closed.
In drip acclimation:
Corals - the piece of live rock with zooanthids and a majano anemone
Corals including the spaghetti leather coral
Corals - all the zooanthids
In the 6 gallon tank:
Corals - new zooanthids
Corals - new yellow polyps at the bottom of the tank
Corals - new striped green mushroom coral
In the 12 gallon:
Corals - new spaghetti leather coral
Corals - new zooanthids on a clam shell; you can see part of Nemo too
On 5/18/12, I took photos of the now-open new corals:
In the 6 gallon tank:
Corals - new zooanthids on the right side and old green star polyps and mushroom corals plus a sexy shrimp
Corals - new zooanthids and old green star polyps and mushroom corals plus a sexy shrimp
Corals - new striped mushroom coral with a lot of new worms living on its rock, new star polyps on the left
Corals - new yellow polyps
Corals - new zooanthids (all three sets) plus green star polyps, mushroom corals, and a sexy shrimp
Corals - new yellow polyps, close-up
In the 12 gallon tank:
Corals - new spaghetti leather coral
Corals - new red zooanthids on the clam shell; you can also see Nemo
Corals - new spaghetti leather coral with the polyps just opening for the first time
Corals including new zooanthids and old green star polyps in the 6 gallon tank on 5/27/12.
These photos from 5/28/12 show the new corals.
In the 12 gallon:
Pagoda cup coral
Spaghetti leather coral
Spaghetti leather coral
In the 6 gallon:
Yellow polyps and mushrooms
Spaghetti leather coral and favia coral on 7/17/12. The spaghetti leather coral is a real beauty!
Spaghetti leather coral on 11/30/12. It is getting big.
6 gallon tank on 7/20/13, view from above. Look at all the mushroom corals, zooanthids, and green star polyps!
6 gallon tank on 9/14/13. I love this tank! It is so full of mushroom corals, zooanthids, and green star polyps growing on the back wall.
Green zooanthids in the 12 gallon on 2/28/15.
Goniopora on 2/23/16.
Goniopora on 2/27/16.
Goniopora on 3/2/16.
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