Xenia pollution

steelpat

In Memoriam
I've had my tank for about a year now. I started with some green stars and fish. Things went great so I got some Xenia. It grew, but slowly. Bought a damaged favia and a damaged yellow porites cheap from LFS. Both were holding their own, though the porites is starting to really grow.

Bought Reefermadness 20 pack SPS (awesome for the price). Aside from initial casualty of one acro, everything looks happy and growing, and some are really taking off.

The only problem is the Xenia (I have a lesser problem with the green stars, but I think I can deal with that. It migrated to the primary reef area and polluted a beautiful 10 lb piece of rock (pretty much completely covered) and I am starting to see tiny colonies in 5-6 place in the tank.

I wish I hadn't experimented with the Xenia, but, being a noob, I didn't want to kill SPS right off and had no idea Xenia could be so invasive. It seemed like a good candidate - interesting, pretty, non-aggressive (well, except for overgrowth).

I feel like I should break down the reef and remove the green stars and Xenia. The LPS/SPS species seem much more manageable. Before I do that, any suggestions? Should I sell/trade in the major colonys to the LFS and put the affected rocks with the tiny colonies in the dark in the sump for a month or so? I hate to give up on that beautiful rock the Xenia calls home, but I have no idea what to do - especially as some folks have such trouble growing it.

I guess I should count my blessings and be happy I have a nice maturing tank, but in hindsight I would stress to anyone starting out to take better care than I in choosing their livestock. I asked for species that are easy to grow, starting with softies and moving forward from there. I got what I asked for.
 

lvpd186

Reefing in NE
Why dont you frag the xenia and take it to your lfs for credit or something. It would probably be better then trying to kill it off.
 

steelpat

In Memoriam
lvpd186

I intend to do just that. What about the 10 or so 1- or 2- polyp colonies sitting on the face of my main rocks? I can't frag the backbone of my reef. I've tried scraping, but they grow right back. Further, I think scraping a small colony off a rock has caused the microcolony problem because Xenia seems to be able to regenerate from even a tiny piece of tissue. I guess I just need to keep at it.

For clarification, I would prefer to kill none of it. I would love to frag all of the colonies and trade them in for store credit or swap it with others. I just don't want it in my main reef and can't figure out what to do with the tiny colonies other than killing them before I end up with all Xenia and nothing else.
 

lvpd186

Reefing in NE
Someone please correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the SPS will use it's "chemical warfare" to keep the xenia away from it. If anything your problem is having something thrive in your take (LOL), I think there are alot of people who would love to have that problem. :rollface:
 

orionsmamma

Premium Member
I have had the same problem in the past. I tried pulling it off the rock (works sometimes) and peeling its "foot" up with a razor blade (again, works sometimes).

Xenia is a great nutrient export, and alot of people let it grow in thier sump for this reason.

I bet it would grow great under this light:

http://www.melevsreef.com/fuge_bulb.html

If you wanted to try and use it for this purpose.

Anyhow, the way I finally rid my tank of it was to turn the rock upside down, so that the xenia had no light. It sloooowly thined out, shrunk up and disappeared. (of course I pulled/scraped it out zillions of times just to have it grow back before I turned the rock upside down)

HTH,
Donna
 

steelpat

In Memoriam
LVPD186

Don't get me wrong, I am counting my blessings that I have this "problem."

Donna,

Thanks, those are great ideas. I didn't know Xenia could be used for nutrient export (I had my tank on an automatic feeder, and have what I hope is a temporary hair/macro algae problem - perhaps that is why the Xenia is growing like mad).

I just set up a divided 75g tank in my basement as a refugium/sump, etc. (I know its overkill, but I now have room for everything, and I like the idea of the larger, more stable water volume vs a tiny sump). I bought HDs Lights of America 6500K 65W outdoor system to light the refugium (similar to Melev's setup) and plan to add Chaetomorpha. I'll just throw the overgrown rock in the sump with some LR rubble and try to sell/trade the Xenia. Perhaps I'll shade the big rock and put rubble right next to the rock in light to get the Xenia to move off. Perhaps I'll pull it off and let it attach to the rubble and then just shade my nice piece of rock for a month or so in another part of the sump.

Turning over the rock is a good idea, but it'll take some re-arranging, which I understand can be good. I'll have to really bury the microcolonies, though, bc even in the "shade," the Xenia is growing fast under those t5s.

Thanks for both of your comments.
 

orionsmamma

Premium Member
Letting it grow out in your sump and onto a bunch of rubble could be a really great way to always have credit at your LFS too :) Im always suprised how much my LFS gives me for those mushroom invaders that I cant get rid of :D

The auto feeder sounds like it is feeding both your xenia and your algae problems; it sounds like you may have found the source :)
 

rustybucket145

New member
When you pull the small colonies of xenia off the rock w/ tweezers just put a dab of superglue gel over the spot where the xenia was. This will kill off any remaining tissue that may still be on the rock. Over time the corraline will grow over the superglue and it will look like rock or.... after you are sure the xenia tissue is dead you can pop the superglue right off the rock with a butter knife or similar tool. That seemed to work well for me.

And for future reference it is easy to build a rock barricade around your xenia so that when it jumps to one of the rocks you can remove it and trade it for something at the LFS.
 

stgla

Premium Member
I've had xenia really move around on me. Turning the rock upside down might just slow down the xenia but not kill it. In fact, as it moves up to the lighted side it could leave colonies behind.

I wonder if there is a xenia specific sessile predator, sort of like peppermint shrimps with aiptaisia or mithrax crabs with valonia.
 

steelpat

In Memoriam
I've been considering a predator. My 2 Emerald Mithrax's certainly don't fit the bill though. I don't really know what they do other than entertain little kids when they can be seen. I guess they need to eat something to survive, but its not corals. Peppermint shrimp seem innocuous enough, though - so long as they don't get a taste for the SPS (I don't remember seeing anywhere that they do). In any case, I am not wanting to add a new factor (fish, crabs, etc.) into the grand equation yet.

The superglue (or perhaps epoxy) might do well.

I like the rock barrier idea too, but the Xenia is just too mobile. I'm finding new colonies three feet from the parent.

I'm just going to put it all in the refugium, trade frags for store credit and, unless I hear something better, use the scrape/superglue trick to clean up the rest.
 

steelpat

In Memoriam
Sorry, you said "Xenia specific sessile predator" like PS and EMs ... Someday I'll learn to read. At least I got to flame those lazy crabs.
 
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