View Full Version : coral of the week { genus gorgonia) sea fan

12/20/2000, 06:15 PM
Week number four. Coral of the week genus gorgonia (sea fan). There are three species commonly kept in the hobby g. ventalina, g. flabellum and g. mariae according to the book the modern coral reef aquarium vol 2. I just want to let everyone know this is not all the corals that go by the common name of gorgonians. Just wanted to clear that up so I dont see post on corals like purple frilly, sea whip etc.

Every week I will post a new coral and I want you to post everything you know about this particular coral. Everything from common names, how hardy they are, water temp, water flow, lighting, water parameters, fraging, spawning, related corals, scientific names, feeding, best ways to ship, etc. Post your pictures for identification. Please tell us about your system so others can duplicate your success. Also email me for request on which corals you would like to see in this section.


12/20/2000, 06:32 PM
I will start it out this week since I have kept these in the past. I will start out with a description of them. These corals are fan shaped, almost flat in a single plane with webbing. They almost look like a spiders web. I find these corals are hard to keep but can be hardy if kept in the right conditions. They liked to be placed perpendicular to the current. I think this is why they are so hard to keep. If there is any algea floating around in the tank this coral seems to trap it and if not removed grow on the coral. Almost every single one I have ever seen in a lfs has had algea growing on it and when this happens it will soon overtake the coral. But I think in sps tanks this coral would thrive due to the lack of algea and nutrients. This coral is protected in the usa and alot of other places thats why I think this coral would be a good candidate for propogation. I also rarely ever see it for sale anymore. I think this would be an awsum coral for places like atlantic aquatics, Dr mac and sons, Coral dynamics etc. to propagate and sell. I have a huge respect for these people because some day these places may be the only way to get some or all of these corals. We should support these people and if any of you read this and want one of these please post and request one, maybe some one that reads this can get you one. I think this coral is starting to become rare and may get some higher prices.


12/20/2000, 06:51 PM
Is this a photosynthetic gorgonian? I thought some or most gorgonians were non-photosynthetic. Is this true?

12/20/2000, 06:57 PM
This is a photosythetic coral. It is also listed in julian sprungs Corals a quick reference guide on page 202.


12/20/2000, 07:02 PM
Dave, great post! Also, they rely on their zooxanthellae mostly but also open up at night to feed. They are highly trainable, turn the lights out, put a little food in the water, wait until they open, and put in the rest. Do this every night at the same time. They are usually shipped upside down hanging from styro. They are also highly regulated here. As you mentioned, they all seem to be very hardy under the right conditions.

"I think this coral is starting to become rare and may get some higher prices." You are not the only one thinking this. Jerel

Brad Ward
12/20/2000, 07:50 PM
As far as I know, nobody can even import these due to collection restrictions. I have never seen one at the wholesalers here or when I lived in S. Florida and went to All Seas. Maybe there is no demand.

I do happen to have a small colony of G. ventalina that originally came from Puerto Rico on a chip of rock. It was collected by a Airline Pilot and dropped off at a LFS after he found out he couldn't keep it alive in a fresh water tank. I got it and another Atlantic coral after I told them that the Fish and Wildlife officials would take a dim view of them having it. ;)

Anyway, It has been a slow grower, and lost its holdfast a couple of years ago. I have had it for at least 5-6 years now. I will see if I have a pic and post it.



12/20/2000, 08:36 PM
I agree with everything that has been said. I currently keep and frag two different color sea fans one with a brown fan and one with a bright purple color both have there polys out day and night and they are easy to frag they tend to grow little ofshots perpendicular to the fan structure when these get to a dime size I slice them of and glue to a rock in three months they will triple in size.

12/20/2000, 08:43 PM
Jon, they all seem to be very hardy under the right conditions ;). PS. I'm still working on that other thing. Jerel

Brad Ward
12/20/2000, 09:05 PM
Here is a picture of the colony that I have. I misidentified it in my previous post. It is a G. Mariae. Julian Sprung picked right up on it when he saw it in my tank a couple years ago and asked how I got it. ;) This species from what I understand, is a little less common.


[Edited by Brad Ward on 12-20-2000 at 11:52 PM]