Critter warfare

Discussion in 'General Discussions and Advice' started by RocketRooster, 21 Dec 2012.

  1. RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    Hi guys,

    Talk to me about critter warfare - specifically the corals and things which don't get along or fight for real estate. I've seen some doccie footage of corals performing chemical warfare where they touch, trying to see who can digest the other at a faster rate.

    It's fascinating stuff!

    Do you get aggressive corals (ones that will try and creep/grow towards others and attack them)?

    How about defence mechanisms? What tactics do these critters employ?

    Thanks!
    Riaan
     
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  3. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi Riaan - yes. You do indeed.

    The more aggresive corals are one's that can extend polyps/tentacles quite a distance, and then "burn" the other corals in their "reach".

    Some of the corals that I know of that does this, are:
    - galaxea coral
    - frogspawn LPS coral
    - hammer coral
    etc...

    Soft corals do not usually "attack" so much as "defend" themselves. As does SPS corals.
     
  4. OP
    RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    Cool, I'm gonna google those names now. Thanks for the info! Keep'em coming! :)
     
  5. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Just be mindful that anemone's also do the same thing as the long tentacled LPS corals.
     
  6. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    In al honestly, its all war down below the surface, mostly a battle for real estate to be in the best position for resources. To be honest, I cannot think of any coral species which do not exibit some form of agression in its endeavour to get the best "spot." Perhaps a clam, but not sure if that counts as a coral.....

    Even soft corals are heavily involved on the battlefield, whether it be simply overgrowing other corals or releasing deadly terpines like sarconin into the water, allelopathy is a reality.

    Do a search on coral allelopathy and you'll keep being amazed. Problem is in our systems the whole thing is exasperated due to the large variety of species we keep in our small tanks with very little in terms of dilution.
    Bottom line is that most corals when touching or coming into proximity with one another will enter the genetically defined code to do battle.
     
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    RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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    Do corals ever call it quits and decide to stop fighting, or is it a fight to the death?
     
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    RocketRooster

    RocketRooster

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  9. irie ivan

    irie ivan MASA Contributor

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    Its a never ending story. What seems to happen after a while is that the loser focusses his energy towards growth on the opposite side of the. Attacker and they reach some kind of "balance"
    You seldom have a colony totally wiping out another, except in severe cases.
     

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