Gonopora

Paul B

Premium Member
A gonopora is a coral that most people, Including me, have problems keeping for more than a year or two. I am really determined to find out why because it just annoys me. These things should live forever.
I have read all sorts of things about them and it seems that it is all incorrect.
I personally have not observed them much in the sea although I have seen them.
Even if I did, I would not be able to look at it long enough to watch it eat, if it even does eat.
The literature says they eat a variety of foods and in a tank will eat brine shrimp. I have not found that to be the case. I don't feed adult brine shrimp but I have been feeding them new born shrimp for a couple of months and I got to say that even while watching very close with a jewerer's loupe and squirting live shrimp all over them many times, I have yet to see them swallow one shrimp. I will stare at one polyp, very close up and using a pipette place shrimp right on it's tentacles and they just swim away. The tentacles are not at all sticky like an anemone and any food just falls off.
I know they live in water with a lot of detritus but they don't seem to consume that either.
I did however get a few polyp's to eat a small piece of live blackworm.
I will put a piece of a worm on a tentacle but it has to be a tentacle that is upright because the worms will just slide off. Then, if the worm stays there for a minute or two, the polyp will wrap it's arms around it like an octopus and in 15 or 20 minutes it will swallow it.
Yeah I know, you really got to be nuts to kneel in front of a tank with your face against the glass while wearing a jeweler's loupe squirting pieces of worm at a stupid animal that does not want to eat anyway.
So in an hour, I got two tentacles to eat an eight of an inch of worm.
I am not even 100% sure the thing is eating it or just being annoyed by it.
It seems to eat it but it is very hard to tell because after it wraps it's arms around the worm, the tentacle shrinks and gets covered by other polyps.
Of course this is just a test and I am not getting a full time job trying to feed this thing. Eventually it's going to have to eat pizza like the rest of us. :dance:

Gonopora017.jpg
 

Michael

NTTH Rookie Help
Premium Member
interesting point paul, mines is well over a year old now, so i suppose i need to start keeping an eye on him now, more so than ever.
 

kevantheman35

New member
i would love for someone to figure out the secret to these beautiful specimen, because i love them but am too afraid to try
 

Fishamatank

New member
I bought one by mistake and am hoping to keep it alive for a while.
I fed a mix of rotifers, phytoplankton and brine shrimp today. I will probably replace the brine with oyster eggs or cyclop-eeze, but the LFS did not have any today.
 

ento-reefer

New member
I have kept a red goni for almost 2 years. I gave up trying to target feed it as it never seemed to be eating. This coral has grown and shows no signs of stopping. I think the red varieties seem to do well. Mine is hosting a pair of black occ clowns and hasn't been bothered the least by them.
 

Michael

NTTH Rookie Help
Premium Member
i squirt reef snow in the middle of mine and occassionally myiss, and tbh ive never seen it actually eat anything, ive assumed it has as its still alive after more than a year in my tank,its grown as well and is pretty large, im a little worried about it now for sure paul.
 

Paul B

Premium Member
Mike, I have kept quite a few of them over a year without feeding anything but a year is not that great.
I like experimenting and when I get the bug, I go nuts
 

Big E

Premium Member
John Kelly is the expert on Gonis. He has kept all the species, saved many & made frags that survived. He used to have a website with all the info. I'm not sure it's still up.

He gave me info on feeding when I had a G. stutchburi--------

"Liquid life marine plankton works well except I don't care for the oily layer that develops on the water surface of my tanks that are not using a surface skimming overflow; plus, it is expensive for what you get......, but it does work well and is easy to use. DT's oyster eggs work well for the smaller polyped goni species and is easy/quick to use, but it is EXPENSIVE for what you get and doesn't last that long. Mashed frozen cyclopeeze is good and cheap, but you have to prepare it before each feeding; unless you prepare a larger batch of it and freeze it.
Even though I don't like the slick marketing spew of "Reef Roids", it would also work well for the small polyped stutchburyi and is easy to use. My favorite food is finely shaved raw shrimp mixed with "GP 5 - 50 Micron Reef & Larval Diet" from brineshrimpdirect.com. It is a very inexpensive mix to make and Goniopora seem to really benefit from it................, but it isn't as quick and easy to use as commercially prepared foods. Sometimes I mix oyster eggs with it; sometimes cyclopeeze, sometimes both. I take raw shrimp and RO/DI water and liquify it in a blender, then pour it into a shallow bowl to keep in the freezer. When I make up some food to feed, I shave some of the shrimp off while it is frozen and then mix it with some GP Diet in a separate bowl. It works well.
I have used a lot of different frozen foods, flake, liquid, freeze dried, oils, home made foods, and emulsions. Goniopora will eat just about any meaty type of food that gives off a "fishy" smell, but with stutchburyi it needs to be made very small."
 

Paul B

Premium Member
There are several larger-polyped species, specifically Goniopora pendulus and Goniopora stokesi (the "œgreen Goniopora"), that really are not appropriate aquarium corals; unfortunately, they are the most common species in the hobby.

Big E, thanks, I have read that before. Unfortunately the gonopora I have is the most difficult and so far I have not really seen it eat.

There are several larger-polyped species, specifically Goniopora pendulus and Goniopora stokesi (the "œgreen Goniopora"), that really are not appropriate aquarium corals; unfortunately, they are the most common species in the hobby.

I don't give up though. It may be that the thing don't have to eat or that it can get enough of it's nutrients from the water which may be the reason they are found in water that is sort of turbid.
I wish I studied them longer while I was diving with them but I must have been distracted by someone in a string bikini or something because I don't remember too much about them in the sea. ;)

I will get back under water with them though.
If you want to learn about an animal. the sea is where you will find the best information, not the internet or a book.
I like to see for my self because many people who write about these topics have never been underwater. If that is the case, they are not giving you the entire picture.
 

Big E

Premium Member
Paul,

Why not try some of the foods mentioned..........that may be why it's not eating. Or maybe how you are presenting the food isn't right. You could create a feeding dome over the coral & squirt some food in the water & see how it reacts.

The polyps on mine reacted more strongly if I kept the food in suspension over the polyps so they could grab it verses me trying to place food in the polyps.

On the diving part.........It would be interesting to see what other corals are around them in the wild. That might give you some clues on their habits.
 

Paul B

Premium Member
You could create a feeding dome over the coral & squirt some food in the water & see how it reacts.

I do that

.........It would be interesting to see what other corals are around them in the wild. That might give you some clues on their habits.

That is what I want to do. Of course I am married and my wife has to agree on our vacations. Now that we are "older" not all of our vacations are dive trips like the previous 37 years. Now we have to see places like Germany, Italy, England, not the dive locations I have in mind. I want to get back to the South Pacific. Thats the only real diving.:fun2:
 

Dionae

New member
Feeding Gonoporas

Feeding Gonoporas

Hi Paul,

I have kept several different species alive for over 2 years until my tank crashed while I was on vacation. I currently have three gonopora frags in my tank now that are growing and developing new skeleton.

For me, the trick for growth is to provide them with additional feedings once per week. I use Eric B.'s mix of finely blended seafood...frozen, then thawed.

The key is to turn off the circulation and pipette the food directly on the gonopora. I have Vortex pumps in my tank and turn these off completely, leaving only my return flow to provide some oxygenated water into the tank. Protein Skimmer remains on, but the collection cups is removed (again, for increased oxygenation of the water). I usually do this right before I go to bed and turn the Vortex on in the morning (flow is off for approximately 8 hours- simulating a slack tide). If you have hermit crabs or other scavengers, then a feeding cone might come in handy.

In my opinion, gonoporas have a slow feeding response and if the food moves off the polyps too quickly, they are not able to injest and internalize the food. If you care to stay up and watch the process, you will notice the food slowly being incorporated into the tissue, sometimes lasting 2-3 hours.

By the next day, my gonopora frags will look engorged and growth spurt will occur soon after that.

On a side note, I have noticed that the tissue on gonoporas are particularly delicate to tearing. I try not to handle these corals too much with my bare hands. It takes them a long time to heal from the laceration. If the gonopora is unhealthy, it will loose tissue due to an infection.

I hope this helps. Please report back your results.

Tuan
 
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