Hydnophora-Branching and pipe organ lighting & feeding?


New member
I have a Hydnophora-Branching and a pipe organ that was introduced about 3weeks ago and I am finding that they are looking poor and one arm of the Hydnophora has gone completely away and 1/3 of the pipe organ has closed up can anyone help.


King of the white corals
Premium Member
hydnophora doesnt need directly fed anything but light

not sure about the pipe organ, I think its more or less the same requirements but Ive never had one so not sure........but I bet your problems are not food related and more water parameter related

A little more info about your tank....like all major parameters and the tank set up might help get an answer


New member
My tnak had been set up for 4 yrs. It is a 75gal. with a sump and about 80lbs. of rock and 2 1/2" deep sand bed. It was a fish only setup for a while and now I have:

2 yellow tangs- doing great
1 scarlet cleaner shrimp- doing great
yellow polyps-doing great
sun polyps-doing great
Red Mushrooms- doing great
Frog spaun- doing great
Hammer 8 stalks-doing good
Spagetti leather-doing ok now that I got it more light
toadstool leather- doing great great polyp extension
yellow fiji leather-doing ok polyps come out but stays a little clamped up
Yellow Monti w/blue polyps-looks good and polyps are always out
white pipe organ- getting worse every day
hydnophora- getting worse everyday
5" dersa clam- looks Great

water paramaters are:

ammo: 0ppm
nitrites: 0ppm
nitrates: 20-30ppm
PO4: 0ppm
Alk: 2.75-3.25
Calcium: 380-420
Mag: 1100-1270
gravity: 1.022
TDS: 001
Temp: 78-79

Water is clear and looks good there is a little cano on the right side of tank where there is not as much flow but no hare, slime or bubble algae. I use a 7stage RO/DI unit with a UV Steralizer for water changes and top off. I cant seem to get the Nitrates to 0ppm. I am going to try some micro algae this week in my sump.

I have a Korillia 3 aon the left side blowing thru the rocks to the right side. A Maxi jet 1200 with conversion kit for 1200gal per hour nozzle on the right side blowing to left and front. A Iwaki 70 returning water from sump the twin line lock nozzles blowing from back to front and 2 small powerheads at the bottom of tank.

I have 2 150 watt 14,000k bulbs and a coralife fixture w/ 2 65watt 10,000k PC and 2 65watt 03 bulbs for lighting.

Hope that someone can help


New member
I feed everyday a cube of frozen food directly to my yellow and sun polyps and the leftover goes to the fish an shrimp. I also feed DT phyotoplankton every other day and an ocasional flake food when the fish are looking hungry.

I forgot to mention that I have 2 sand sifting star fish and 15 or so snails and 15 or so hermit crabs.

I dose
B-Ionic every day about 30 mil.
Aquavitro IONS for mag. one a week
Kent Marine Stronium once a week
Seachem Iodide once a week

one cap full only

I do water changes every 2 weeks approx. 10 gal. EVERY 2 WEEKS!!!

chris wright

In Memoriam
Firstly, you need to get your nitrates down, they are way to high. A 2 & 1/2" sand bed will do nothing to help nitrates, it's to shallow to benefit. If you want to run a DSB, you need a minimum of 4" IMO to benefit from it.

I would also try to raise your calcium to around 450ppm, magnesium to 1350ppm and salinity to around 1.025-1.026. These levels are much closer to NSW.

Also with your dosing are you testing for stronium and iodine? I wouldn't add anything you can't test for.

Feeding may help turn the Hydnophora around, phyto and finely minced marine products. I would recommend it, and see how things go.

As for your Tubipora (pipe organ) well this is a harder species to keep. Tubipora need strong flow to prevent detritus and algae from settling among the tubes. Another one that benefits from phyto and zooplanktons.

I have a tubipora, that only had a few polyps when I bought it and it was an impulse buy. It has not grown any more polyp in the year I have had it, but I found that with increased flow the polyps have expanded more regularly. These are not an easy coral to care for.



New member
Thanks for the input. I have tried some things to get the nitrates down and they have come down ever slowly. I am ready to introduce a new sump with a 6" sand bed on one side w/ micro algae and live rock on the other side. I didnt realize that the pipe organ was so hard to keep or I would have waited longer to put something like that In. I have to kill things in my tank!!!

As for the hydnophora it can shipped to me in a busted bag so I wondered how it would do. There were 2 pieces that broke off of it and are doing fine but the main piece look to be dying. The base looks strong and puffs up during the day but 2 arms are dying from the middle to the tip. The main branch and other 2 arms look fine.
Everything else looks good in the tank except the yellow fiji leather. The polyps come out but it just looks matted to the rock all of the time.

Anyway Thanks for the tips I will raise the salinity and calcium and alk. maybe this will help. Do you think the micro algae will help with the nitrates? Enough to lower them 20ppm?

chris wright

In Memoriam
A 6" DSB will help in the long term, so the macro algae's would be a great idea.

As for the dying tips, I would cut them off. Keep only what is healthy and keep your water paramters in check and things will turn around for.

Leathers are funny corals in the sense that they look fine then can retract and look sick. I wouldn't worry about it unless it goes on for more than a week. But leathers are tough, and you'd see other corals etc decline before losing your leather.


New member
I moved the new sump into the system today and the yellow fiji leather is already looking better than it has for over a week. I checked the nitrates today and they are a about 20ppm. I have 3 different test kits and all have you compare the colors and are somewhat subjective and the colors jump from 5-10-20-50 and so on. I think it looks to me like it is between 10-20. Does anyone know of a good test kit for nitrates?

I will be adding micro algae tomorrow to help w/ the trates. Does anyone know if I add another clam if that will help! My tank is 75 gal. Click on red house for pics of layout.

chris wright

In Memoriam
I like the Salifert kits, they seem the most reliable for the price you pay. There are better, but I'd imagine you'd have to pay alot more money for these kits.

I'm assuming your adding Macro algae, such as chateo or caulpera. Micro algae is easy to grow if you feed the tank heavily with poor maintenance, such as hair algae :(

I wouldn't add another clam, clam's filter the water yes, but it's should be good water, not nutrient rich.

To post pics, right click on the bottom box in your photobucket pictures, which is on every picture (IMG code). Then click on copy. Come back to RC and right click in your reply box, click on paste and it's done. It will come up with the img tags and info. Then it's ready to preview or submit.