photo by Mike LaPorte,
last twp photos by Bob Fenner
Common names: pulse coral, Xenia
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 1):
Though generally very easy to care for, these corals can be somewhat
unpredictable. Some colonies show impressive tolerance and forgiveness
of varying conditions while others do not. They are also notorious for
sudden and unexplainable death and do not ship well.
feeding habits are largely unknown. They are thought to absorb
nutrients through their soft tissue (possibly aided by the pulsing of
Lighting (Level 6 to 10):
Xenia can adapt to a wide range of lighting conditions, but seem to
prefer more intense lighting. As always, be sure to properly acclimate
to knew lighting.
Water flow: Moderate to high water flow is important. Higher water flow may increase pulsing activity.
Though not aggressive corals, like star polyps, they are relentlessly
fast growing when healthy. They can become a nuisance in tanks with
slower growing stony corals. When injured or dying, they can release
toxins. Carbon filtration and prompt removal of injured/dying species
can help control any ill-effects of this toxic release.
activity is something of a mystery (its function and mechanism are
currently unknown). Xenia in aquariums sometimes stop pulsing (often
without observable cause) but continue to live and grow regardless. Some
aquarists have noticed a cessation of pulsing with low pH and/or
alkalinity. Polyps will close at night and when stressed. They may take a
few days or even weeks to open up in a new environment.