View Full Version : Mystery coral ID

12-19-2008, 03:18 AM
This is now growing on some live rock I got. You can see the skeleton of dead heads around the two live ones. They looked dead when I got them but were apparently alive enough. Yes, the algae is bad (there are 4 scarlet reef hermits slowly getting it taken care of and I will be switching to RO/DI soon since I will be able to get it for free at work). The heads are about 1/4-1/3" in diameter, not counting the tentacles. Yes, they remind me of mojano anemones too but they definitely are not. Any ideas?

12-19-2008, 03:57 AM
maybe a glass anemone?


12-19-2008, 04:02 AM
It appears to be an LPS to me.

The structure of the skeleton resembles branching tubastraea or possible relative. Due to the reflective glare in the pic, it's hard to discern its true color. What color is it in person? (as is, it doesn't appear to have the typical colors of tubastraea). Another non-tubastraea feature it has is the apparent 'bulbed tip' at the end of the tentacles. But perhaps that just a color difference, vice shape.

To sustain it (whatever it is), you may want to target feed it regularly (I'm not sure if you already do that or not).

I recommend manually removing as much of that algae as possible.

12-19-2008, 04:06 AM
Those are the same as mojano anemones, this definitely isn't one.

I do manually keep the algae off the corals. It is already eating NLS flakes (watched him grab one the other day). The pic shows the color.

All the sun corals I have seen stay closed all day (except at feeding time), these are always open (haven't checked at night).

12-19-2008, 04:19 AM
Sun corals will open if 'food' is detected in the water column, even during lighted hours, though being extended continuously isn't a typcial tubastraea trait.

It could be a relative of a tubastraea, since to my knowledge sun corals don't come in that color but the skeletal structure of the dead ones are very similar to branching tubastrea, but the tentacle tips are not.

In any event, if your intent is to restore it, target feed it regularly (as it may not be photosynthetic). It will grow and perhaps its identity will become more apparent when it is larger or more developed.

12-19-2008, 04:22 AM
No, these guys are ALWAYS open, I have never seen either closed. So it doesn't sound like a sun to me. Hopefully identification will become more obvious as they grow.

12-19-2008, 04:49 AM
It could be a relative (i.e., in same Family, Dendrophlliadae), due to the skeletal structure. I'm not aware of any other stony which has a skeleton like that. Might even be some sort of coral not normally collected in the hobby, but ended up as a hitch-hiker.

It's also plausible (though more evident if seen in person), that it could be an entirely-unrelated coral growing on dead tubastraea skeleton, but I'm not aware of one with that sort of polyp that is opened pretty much all the time. Very unique piece there.

How long has it been in your system? It'd be great if it is able to reestablish itself on the existing skeleton and adjacent rock.

12-19-2008, 07:58 AM
dunno if it's the same stuff but i also found something similar on some LR. they are absolutley minute and always seem to be open.

12-19-2008, 02:00 PM
That rock came in when I first setup the system, about 6 months ago. I thought about it simply residing on the skeleton and not being the original species, but the basic structure of the coral seems to match that of the skeleton (the coral looks like it would have that skeleton).

12-19-2008, 02:56 PM
Is there any chance you can get a picture where the center of the polyp is not washed out? Being able to see the construction of the polyp would make ID easier.

12-19-2008, 03:57 PM
Yea that doesn't look like a majano to me but I can't tell what coral it is.

12-19-2008, 10:49 PM
I can try again, but it sits far back in the tank. The center is white with a small mouth, about zoanthid size mouth, maybe a tad larger.

12-20-2008, 04:38 AM
I'm not inclined to think this is actually a LPS of some sort. Most corals are not as white as yours appears to be. Even white Pipe Organs are an off white. The Zooxanthelae generally provides some color. Your mystery coral looks completely bleached out. I'd almost suspect it of being a non-photosynthetic organism.