ID please and is it toxic?

Discussion in 'Soft Corals' started by Fishfood, 1 Aug 2009.

  1. Fishfood

    Fishfood

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    I recently got this coral (the one in the middle).
    I know a lot of ppl call this a pincushion but is it a sarcophyton (hope I spelled that right) leather and if so should I get rid of it?
    I have a mixed tank (softies,LPS and SPS).
    I have read on some sites that it can be toxic to some tank inhabitants.
    What exactly they mean by can and some I don't know?
    [​IMG]
     
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  3. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    Its a wonderful coral to keep:) i got a leather as my very first coral when i started out:) really lovely corals to keep. They are actually quite placid, in terms of chemical warfare, just dont let it touch any others and you'll be fine:)
     
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  4. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Thanks Scuba!
    Great to hear that - I like the little guy and he's growing well so good news to hear he's safe to keep in the tank
    :thumbup:
     
  5. sunburst

    sunburst

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    They are great survivors, and do look cool having their hair blown back in the breeze. They grow fairly quickly...However if you are keeping sps, word out their has it, that chemical warfare can have negative effects.
     
  6. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    It is a very good beginner's coral, but the advice is correct - it CAN be toxic to SOME other corals. What usually happens is that if it grows to a size where it touches other corals, then the corals will start to wage war, and the one with the most potent weapons will win the fight. Hard corals wage war by "burning" the other coral by injecting toxins into the "enemy" with it's stinging nematocycts. Soft corals, such as this leather, wage chemical warfare, by releasing the toxins into the water, where it can poison other corals in close vicinity, without actually touching the "enemy".

    This really is not a problem if the corals are kept some distance apart (say more than 50mm...). If you want to make absolutely sure, then you should run some activated carbon in a filter - this will adsorb most of the toxins if it is released.

    Hennie
     
  7. Tony

    Tony

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    I have a huge one and it really leaves the other corals alone
     
  8. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Not too keen on the idea of something releasing chemicals into my tank at all.
    This boy's going to find a new home.
    Hopefully LFS will swap him for something, otherwise if anyone has something interesting to swap (preferably a nice SPS frag) let me know
     
  9. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Thanks Tony
    Now I'm really confused :huh:
    Think I'll rather be safe than sorry
     
  10. scubaninja

    scubaninja

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    fishfood its not as bad as it sounds. all tanks need carbon anyway and the threat is really small in your situation. just keep it:)
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  11. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

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    Just about every single coral available to us has some form of defence mechanism, 90% of it is by chemical warfare. That green caulerpa in the pic is more dangerous than the pin cushion.

    Don't worry, it's a beautiful coral and will grow into a beautiful specimen.
     
  12. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Oh yes
    another question
    How will you notice that other corals are being affected by leathers toxins.
    My Sun Coral has started to behave a bit weird which has me worried.Only a few of his polyps are extending - all used to extend every night.Maybe I'm being paranoid and it's just because he was fed very well a few nights back?
     
  13. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Thanks
    I've never ever used carbon in any tank i've ever had - and I've always managed without it.
    Always tried to go the most natural route possible.
    Then again maybe it's time for a change :eek:
     
  14. Tony

    Tony

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    Fishfood, mine is about 40cm across and next to acros, xenia and a whole lot of other corals wiht no problems. Like Viper said most corals produce toxins as a defense mechanism and for space in reefs. Don't stress about him and enjoy the coral
     
  15. Tony

    Tony

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    Try using carbon to remove the yellow tinge your water will develop. Skimmers also remove a lot of these toxins produced by corals before they get out of hand
     
  16. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Thanks Tony
    Just had a look at yours in your pics - that is huge - mines a newborn in comparison.
    I'll keep him.
    So you guys think it's a good idea to use carbon anyway - won't it remove all the good trace elements from my system too? And I've heard some types leach phosphate - which brand should I go for?
     
  17. Reef Maniac

    Reef Maniac MASA Contributor

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    Hi again. Fishfood. I really did not mean to scare you with my previous post - as I stated, the leather will only become a problem IF it is touching another coral, and that other coral starts to sting it. I too would suggest that you keep it (I've had two huge ones in my tank for many years now, and have not had any serious problems with either).

    Yes, using activated carbon is good - not only will it remove toxins, it will also remove some heavy metals, and the substances which makes your water yellow, thus allowing for better light penetration into/through the water. It will remove some beneficial elements as well, but that is yet another unnecessary "hype" - as an example, it will remove iodine, but your food adds more iodine back into the water, so that is not a problem...

    Again, what you've heard is correct - most (all?) carbon will release some phosphates into your water. This is again not a serious problem if you manage it well, Tthe food you feed also releases phosphates, quite a lot more than a good quality carbon does, and you don't stop feeding because of this :whistling:

    You should rinse (boil) the carbon in some RO water before using it - this will remove some of the phosphates. Long-term, you will most likely need to use a "phosphate sponge" such as Rowaphos to keep the phosphates down if you do not have an adequate macro algae nutrient export system (such as a refugium, or an algae scrubber).

    As with everything else in our tanks (and in life in general...), one must keep a healthy balance.

    Hennie
     
  18. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    Thanks Hennie
    I feel a lot better bout it now and will be keeping the little guy
    Thanks for the info on using carbon - definitely going to start using it
    :thumbup:
     
  19. jacquesb

    jacquesb Retired Moderator

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    Hi FishFood - the okes gave you some awesome advice. Believe me - the WHOLE sea is FULL of chemical warfare. If you are scared of "chemical warfare" you should not be keeping marines mate. ;)

    Don't worry about it - some people are (for some reason) a wee bit TOO overzealous..... they are scared of ANYTHING and EVERYTHING in life.

    Don't be - do what you have to do - and see how life develops, in the tiny microcosm we keep in a tiny glass box! ;) :thumbup:
     
  20. Manic

    Manic Moderator

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    I've got acro's, mushrooms, zoa's and xenia growing right next to mine and haven't had any problems. The only time I have problems is when the sarcophyton sheds and the mucus goes on some of my corals, but it doesn't kill anything. In fact I've heard that some chemical warfare can make some corals grow faster. Xenia and sarcophyton also make each other grow much faster and I've tested this. By adding a sarcophyton to a tank with xenia in, they both seem to benefit each other and in turn they both grow faster than they would by themselves...
     
  21. Fishfood

    Fishfood Thread Starter

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    They always do Jacques (including you) :thumbup:
    Not worried anymore now that I know.
    Dude there's no going back from marines ;)
     
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