Success with Dendronephthya

Discussion in 'General Coral Care' started by Broder, 9 Oct 2009.

  1. Broder

    Broder Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    Has anyone kept these difficult corals for any extended period of time? I know that phytoplancton is the required food, but it has to be a constant supply.
    I'm trying one in my tank. It's been in for a week and seems to be opening. At least what I can see of it, as it was really tiny when I got it. I figure that if it grows, it'll be an indication that scrubber run tanks can supply all the food that our corals need and still remove the unwanted nutrients.

    [​IMG]
    This is the coral a few days after introduction. I'll update on a regular basis.
     
  2. AdS Guest




    to hide all adverts.
  3. viper357

    viper357 Admin MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    4 May 2007
    Posts:
    27,982
    Likes Received:
    777
    Are you talking about those microscopic orange bits in the pic?

    With no skimmer you definitely stand a slightly better chance, but I think it will still need supplemental feeding, possibly something like cyclopeeze.

    I tried one, it lasted about a month or two and eventually died.
     
  4. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    Yeah, I know I should probably supplement feeding. But I think as an experiment, I'll just see if the tank is producing enough food. It looks to me as if that may be the case, as there's already slight growth after a week.
     
  5. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    [​IMG]
    Still the same a week later
     
  6. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    Update? Still alive?
     
  7. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    OK... I've since been corrected in that it's actually schleronephthya and not dendronephthya. No Jaco, it isn't doing well. In fact it has receded. I bought a larger colony at about the time that I received this one, but it's also not doing very well. The chili coral did great to start with, even showing some growth in the first couple of months. It hasn't grown anymore in the last while though. It seems that even without skimming, one still needs to supplement feeding. I'm reluctant to go down that route though, as I'd be adding sporadic bio-overloads to a finely balanced system. What are your findings regarding feeding and water quality? Am I being over cautious?
     
  8. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    Oh, sorry to hear that. Yes, you are between a rock and a hard place here. This is the main reason that I reccomend not mixing NPS and "other" corals.

    Although possible, one can never really meet the feeding requirements in a mixed reef. Hell, I'm running full NPS and I struggle meeting the needs. How big is your Chili? My Chili has probably grown five fold in the last three months from when I got it. It has even started to frag, and form other colonies. I also go another chili that was almost dead from my LFS, and this has also trippled in size within three weeks.

    One needs to note however, that Chili's only become so big (tall rather) then they just bush out and form other colonies. IMO, if your chili extends well every day, and has huge polyp extension you are doing fine.

    On the schleronephthya front, well, being the cousin of dendro, you might sit with a problem. :p They really require additional feeding, and lots of it. Even though easier to keep than dendro's, they are still a very difficult coral to keep for a non dedicated system.

    Personally, I would NOT start feeding your tank to meet the requirements of this one specific coral, and risk the whole system.

    I am really feeding like a demon, really I am. I think I am also really playing with fire a bit wrt water quality. Let me give you a quick rundown of my feeding a water quality params. (note my tank is only about 300litres...)

    Feeding: Twice a day:

    1/2 tsp Cyclop Eeze, 10ml Phyto, 5ml Reef Snow, 1x Cube Mysis, 1x Cube Brine Shrimp, 2x Cubes Rotifier. These are all target fed to the corals. As I get more coral, I would have to increase feeding quantities even more.

    Filtration:

    Daily dose of microbacter and carbon source.
    DSB
    Algae Scrubber (too small for my system, and I am building a larger one)
    Water changes - 10% per week.

    So, from this I have found that a skimmer is not a must, just the oppisite in fact. Having a LNS or ULNS is also not possible with this type of feeding. If you have these types of coral, you do need nutrients, and alot of it. BUT, you also need to get the nutrients removed before it causes much harm.

    This is where the gamble comes in, and having i.e. SPS with them, is just going to tip the scales into either one's favor.

    You are not over cautious at all. Having such a lovely reef as yourself, I would also not want to take that risk to increase feeding.

    If possible, rather just get rid of the NPS corals, as I fully understand the dillema you are having.

    Hope that helps... ;)
     
  9. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    Yes that really helps to know more about the feeding requirements of NPS corals. I'll admit that I was really taking a gamble, thinking that the system was self sufficient enough to sustain these corals. I'd really love to try a beautiful NPS system such as yours, but I don't think I'd have the time or patience to feed as often as you do.
     
  10. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    Yes, I never really understood terms like "these corals are not for the lazy hobbiest" or "if you do not have the time available, do not keep" etc etc etc

    It really is hard work, and yes, one can probably just broadcast feed, but then you'd have to tripple the amount of food, just to make sure all corals are fed, and by trippling the food supply, you tripple the bio load... :p

    IF you really want to keep a single NPS coral like the schleronephthya, you could try and target feed once a day minimum with phyto plankton, but even then I don't think that feeding is enough. The advantage again, is that because you target feed, the coral takes up most of the food, and this is less of a bio load. Your gamble though... ;)
     
    Broder likes this.
  11. Kunhardt

    Kunhardt

    Joined:
    21 Oct 2008
    Posts:
    5,234
    Likes Received:
    90
    Location:
    East London
    Either of you thought about auto feeding? I think this would apply more to you Jaco, but if you want to go that route maybe you as well Broder.

    A guy in EL set up all the Brightwell foods like phyta-gold, reef snow, micravore and zooplankton to a dosing pump and it fed his tank so much of each every interval...apparently it was working very well and his corals were blooming. He had a Huge skimmer on his system so I guess that helped, maybe the ATS would do just as well? Although I think this initial setup would be very costly as the dosing pumps are a couple grand if I remember correctly. Still it dose supply a continuous supply of food to the system and gets rid of the hassel of having to target feed :)
     
  12. Jaco Schoeman

    Jaco Schoeman MASA Contributor

    Joined:
    22 Dec 2008
    Posts:
    2,241
    Likes Received:
    48
    Location:
    JHB
    True Kunhardt, all is fine what you said. This would be amazing on normal mixed reef tanks, and I would also suggest doing that. Yes, a three stage dosing pump costs about R3500, and one 250ml bottle of Brightwell food costs about R120 each.

    BUT, on a NPS system, broadcast feeding is another story IMO.

    Let me show you why:

    If you have 10 hungry polyp mouths to feed, you may use 15 mysis shrimp when target feeding (taking misfeeding into consideration.)
    To feed the same 10 mouths while broadcast feeding, you'd need to feed say 50 mysis shrimp, then the rest gets taken out by the skimmer. What a waste!!!

    So, firstly, having a huge skimmer helps taking out the food, but why do you feed it in the first place then?

    A 250ml bottle of BA Phyto / zoo / snow lasts me just under a month currently. Dosing higher quantities of that, would cost me an arm and a leg. For this reason, I have started culturing my own Phyto, and aim to "broadcast" feed about 1 litre per day, as I know about half of it if not more will waste into LR etc. Luckily there is no more skimmer to take out most of it. Skimmers are like big black holes... :p

    Anyway, to drip 1ml of food every 1 hour or so would be fine on a mixed reef, but not on a NPS, you really either have to feed heavily and have a huge skimmer (which to me is just too expensive and wasteful) or target feed and not have so much waste.
     
  13. Broder

    Broder Thread Starter Mudshark

    Joined:
    13 Sep 2007
    Posts:
    2,087
    Likes Received:
    32
    Location:
    East London
    My fish would ensure that the skimmer didn't have to work too hard:lol:
     
Recent Posts

Loading...
Similar Threads - Success Dendronephthya Forum Date
Has anyone used these LED lights successfully Lighting 10 Nov 2014
Long term success sps with LED experience. Lighting 7 Jul 2014
success with Golden angels (Centropyge Aurantia) Marine Fish Discussions 17 May 2014
Has anyone ever had success with raising a Juvenile Regal tang General Discussions and Advice 17 Feb 2014
Any success Bergia Nudibranche. General Discussions and Advice 23 Aug 2013
Who's had success in keeping Featherduster/ tube worms General Discussions and Advice 19 Jul 2013
Any 1 have successfully kept a pair of maroon clown fish Marine Fish Discussions 22 Apr 2013