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ocram
06/25/2014, 08:29 AM
Hi,

I have read tons of information about keeping and feeding NPS and have read many threads about NPS-tank-projects.

I did this with the intention of deciding, if it is possible to successfully keep NPS large-polyped, Gorgonians, Sponges, Clams and Soft Corals in a dedicated reef tank.

What i found out: No, it is not possible until now, except from a few large-polyped species.

Why? I havend found out about a single reef tank that had long-term success with gorgonians, sponges, clams or even softies.

Sure, there are some beautiful tanks (e.g. the one from "uhuru") that succeeded in keeping NPS corals alive for about 1 year and had some growth from a few easier to keep gorgonians. And sure, there are many more NPS-keepers that claim that they "successfully" kept dendro's for half a year. However, what they normally do is not "successfully keep" them but "slowly starve" them.

NPS tanks with long-term growth and success (lets say more than 2 years) - There is not a single one.

Am I wrong?

Allmost
06/25/2014, 08:37 AM
unfortunately you are correct.

any success has just been a claim so far. some in Germany claim they grow, and frag bluberry gorgonians ... yet cant back it up with anything.

I tried for a year. I think I learned alot about them , but didnt make it happen at the end and gave up. just ALOT of feeding and ALOT of water changes dont seem to be the way to go with these guys ... maybe we need stronger bacterioplankton systems ?

noy
06/25/2014, 06:22 PM
I am going respectfully (partially) disagree with Allmost.

I would classify commonly collected NPS corals into three broad categories:

1) Sun Corals and Related LPS (Tubastraea, Dendrophyllia, Rhizo's)

I have absolutely no doubt these can be kept and will thrive with some basic husbandry and regular feeding. I have Tubastraea colonies that are over 2 years old. My dendros (arbuscula) are closing in on 2 years. They are absolutely thriving and have spawned and multiplied in heads. I have purchased rescue colonies and raised them back to full health. See my thread for proof.

2) Gorgonians and Sea Fans

The long term viability of these corals depends on the particular species.
These require a dedicated environment where the corals will get steady food from water column. The challenge is that the copious amount of foods put into the water column will degrade water quality. The increase in nutrients will lead to algae/cyano growth which then cover the coral.

The photosynthetic ones are easier but they can be very frustrating and will sometimes die with no reason.

Some like the fabled Blueberry Seafan (Acalycigorgia) have only isolated stories of success. I have one but don't have it long enough to make any claim of success. I would personally put the red seafans in the gorgonian genus in the same category.

Some like Swiftia and Diodogorgia are demanding but manageable and you can find people who have kept specimens for over 2 years.

Others like Menella - I find to be a lot easier.

I started a gorgonian tank recently. Check with me in a couple of years.

3. Soft NPS corals

I would put Chili corals (Nephthyigorgia), Carnation Corals (Dendronephthya) and Flower Tree Corals (Sclernonephthya)'s in this category.

I would tend to agree these are near impossible to keep. There are a few success stories but these are few are far between. I have kept one for about a year - but I really wondered how my efforts were really prolonging the inevitable.

Nemato
06/26/2014, 12:47 AM
I am going respectfully (partially) disagree with Allmost.

I would classify commonly collected NPS corals into three broad categories:

1) Sun Corals and Related LPS (Tubastraea, Dendrophyllia, Rhizo's)

I have absolutely no doubt these can be kept and will thrive with some basic husbandry and regular feeding. I have Tubastraea colonies that are over 2 years old. My dendros (arbuscula) are closing in on 2 years. They are absolutely thriving and have spawned and multiplied in heads. I have purchased rescue colonies and raised them back to full health. See my thread for proof.

2) Gorgonians and Sea Fans

The long term viability of these corals depends on the particular species.
These require a dedicated environment where the corals will get steady food from water column. The challenge is that the copious amount of foods put into the water column will degrade water quality. The increase in nutrients will lead to algae/cyano growth which then cover the coral.

The photosynthetic ones are easier but they can be very frustrating and will sometimes die with no reason.

Some like the fabled Blueberry Seafan (Acalycigorgia) have only isolated stories of success. I have one but don't have it long enough to make any claim of success. I would personally put the red seafans in the gorgonian genus in the same category.

Some like Swiftia and Diodogorgia are demanding but manageable and you can find people who have kept specimens for over 2 years.

Others like Menella - I find to be a lot easier.

I started a gorgonian tank recently. Check with me in a couple of years.

3. Soft NPS corals

I would put Chili corals (Nephthyigorgia), Carnation Corals (Dendronephthya) and Flower Tree Corals (Sclernonephthya)'s in this category.

I would tend to agree these are near impossible to keep. There are a few success stories but these are few are far between. I have kept one for about a year - but I really wondered how my efforts were really prolonging the inevitable.

I agree in all. It's a good scheme.

Suns and rhizos are very happy with good waterflow and food. Maintained some for about 5 years now. Had made the test of let one colony without food for more than a half month and it was ok after that, so that's another probe ( to count towards the once you gave) of how hardy they become if well kept.

Some gorgs are easier, other practically impossible.

I just disagree in two points:

- Diodogorgia being as difficult, it's may be the only gorg I've seen thrive in a lfs for months without showing any sign of sickness. Seen the "relatively easy" Menella loose small pieces of branches there.

-Nepthygorgia. Just tried to keep one. It was not in the best shape and totally covered in filamentous algae. It was 4 years ago... Still with me :)

Trichome
06/26/2014, 08:01 AM
I have to agree with Noy on this one. I have had my NPS tank up for over 3 years now. Go though my thread (http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1911276) and check the dates. I put coral in my tank around 12/18/2010. You can see the growth of my corals as the thread progresses. I am not only keeping the coral but they are thriving. I started with a couple heads of fat headed dendro and now i am farming them. I have well over 30 heads now. I have had really good luck with sun coral, blanophilia, and aussi branching dendros. I have also managed to keep my West African Red Polyp Pink Sea Fan (Echinogorgia sp.) since 12/06/2011 and West African Colangia (Colangia sp.) since 02-25-2011.


Holy **** where has the time gone...

ocram
07/08/2014, 11:04 AM
Thanks guys for these comments. It confirms the impression I got from reading through a variety of threads.

Anybody know whats the status with xmas tree worms / porites corals? Has there been long term success or even sucessful reproduction?

GreshamH
07/08/2014, 03:57 PM
I kept my poritesand Christmas tree worms for about a decade, then I took the tank down. The colony and worms still live in another's tank to this very day, marking about 14 years in captivity.

ocram
07/08/2014, 04:01 PM
Hi gresham, wow cool! How did you do that? Was it mixed reef tank, sps or nps? Did ypu feed the worms? Any pictures or a fts? Thanks

GreshamH
07/08/2014, 04:57 PM
I'll see if I can drag up some pictures.

It was a mixed reef in terms of SPS and LPS. I did have 3 softies in there and some gorgonians.

Tank was a standard US 30g tank with 10g sump. I ran a CPR BakPak protein skimmer, lit it with a combo of t5 actinics and 150w DE 20KK MH. The flow was provided by an Eheim return pump and two of the smallest Tunzes (those ball like ones - when they first came out and had bad mounting brackets that fell apart)... of course I cannot recall either model numbers of the pumps :(

I work for Reed Mariculture and many of our Reef Nutrition feeds were developed and tested on this tank. I used the tank to determine the upper dosage we felt conformable recommending. I kept the maintenance down to what an average hobbyist would do, so no excessive water changes or GFO/Carbon changes.

I fed it all kinds of stuff, so you can pretty much state I fed the heck out of the tank. The current owner does not feed and both the porites and the worms look great. Its about 5.5" round now (from what the owner has told me) and was a 2" half dome when I got it.

The things both the current owner and I had in common are flow (good flow) and placement (high up, allowing for more flow and more light).

ocram
07/08/2014, 11:58 PM
Hi graham

That sound very interesting, thanks. And working at reed is very cool of course :-)

From what ive read, these worms mainly feed on phytoplancton and probably very tiny bacterioplankton/zooplankton. Do you think that's what they need in captivity? Did you regularily feed phyto? The cryo preserved algae paste?

Strong laminar flow, as you had it probably at the top of thr tank, also makes perfect sense from what I've read since these animals often life in such conditions, e.g. in tidal pools.

I would love to keep these animals in my next reef tank but I want to be perfectly sure I offer them the right conditions. From the articles that Ive read, they are pretty hard to keep and in many tanks they show poor survival rates.

Marco

GreshamH
07/09/2014, 11:04 AM
I fed Phyto-Feast, but also the heavy feeding of my tank really kicked the amount of bacterioplankton in my tank as the media of most Reef Nutrition products is a carbon source. I also played with carbon dosing. However, the current owner does not feed much at all (despite getting free food from me) but his tank does have a decent amount of diatoms due to water source (high silicates). One thing I did note is that porites colony sluffed a lot of mucus and the worms always seemed to capture it. I swear they eat it.

I think where they were collected, how they were handled, etc. The CoC (chain of custody) plays a roll in their long term survival. I know where mine was collected, and I received it on this end. I was working in wholesale at the time, and the collector was one my boss was training divers for, so we had great control over all aspects besides the airlines and weather :lol:

GreshamH
07/09/2014, 11:07 AM
I should note that I did baby that colony and routinely blew it off with a turkey baster, or redirected the return pump across the colony for even greater flow, on a weekly basis. The new owner doesn't do that.

Allmost
07/10/2014, 03:37 PM
unfortunately you are correct.

any success has just been a claim so far. some in Germany claim they grow, and frag bluberry gorgonians ... yet cant back it up with anything.

I tried for a year. I think I learned alot about them , but didnt make it happen at the end and gave up. just ALOT of feeding and ALOT of water changes dont seem to be the way to go with these guys ... maybe we need stronger bacterioplankton systems ?

I should have noted that my post was about the other end of NPS corals, like carnation tree. and of course not sun corals :)

ocram
07/10/2014, 03:41 PM
Hi almost, yes I understood that correctly :-)

ocram
07/10/2014, 03:42 PM
Gresham, If you could find some pictures or a full tank shot that would help me to see hoe your sucessful system looked like

Dave & Monica
07/18/2014, 12:12 AM
gresham, if you could find some pictures or a full tank shot that would help me to see hoe your sucessful system looked like

+1

ocram
07/18/2014, 05:02 AM
Comon greham! :-)

ocram
11/01/2015, 05:02 AM
up!

rhdoug
09/01/2016, 07:14 AM
My tank late 2014:
http://i1254.photobucket.com/albums/hh610/rhdoug/2015%20TOTM/FTS%2005%201-13-15_zpssdvpnfvw.jpg

I wanted to revive this thread and see how those who had nps corals a couple of years ago are doing with them today.

My 17 year old tank is not a purely nps tank, unfortunately even less so today. I had several nice sun coral colonies, the first were added in 2006, and the last were added a couple of years ago. The newer ones didn't last very long. Most of the older colonies did well for about 5 years, babies cropped up here and there, and then began a slow decline. There was an overnight "event" that affected only the sun corals, which occurred several years ago when I lost a few colonies. One morning some of the corals were "melting", and the some others "insides" were protruding throughout their bodies. It only happened once. Dunno what it was.

My feeding routine is a variety of frozen foods, mixed with some of the small particle dry foods like ZoPlan, Reef Roids, etc. via turkey baster. I feed multiple times a day since I work from home and the tank is in my office. The sun corals are target fed once every day or so with "Julian's Thing". I also hang Julian's Thing from a hook inside the canopy so that the tip is near one of the mp10's, causing the food to drizzle out slowly over the course of about an hour and disperse through the tank. The strong flow near the pump prevents the fish from getting all of it at once. I change about 5-8 gallons of water every 7-10 days (58 gallon tank).

Anyway I am now down to 2 sun coral colonies (the ones in the upper left of the photo) but they don't look nearly as good as they did then. There are also a few babies that are still growing, most of them are at least 7 or 8 years old. I'd like to get more to replace the ones I have lost because I love them, but not sure they are worth the effort to be honest. The rest of the tank looks the same, the LPS and softies still going strong.

Thoughts and comments welcome.

laga77
09/01/2016, 09:41 AM
My Sun and Dendro corals are thriving even after three years. There are babies everywhere. The Black Sun corals are propagating in the 50G tank. . I Have one photosynthetic gorgonian going on four years old and another two that are two years old. My Chili coral is 18 months old and doing great. It can be done.

dartier
09/30/2016, 11:22 AM
For people interested in keeping NPS corals, I would urge you to google for the DyMiCo filters. This filtration technology seems particularly well suited to NPS. Glenn Fong has a very nice NPS tank (using a DyMiCo filter) and that is with no water changes, ever, on the tank.

Dennis