Xenia Problem

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Xenia Problem

Postby Hopper21 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:42 pm

I have/had a good bunch of xenia probbly about the size of a basketball in the left corner of my 125. 2-250W MH. I got it bout 5 MO ago and it started to spread quick all up the glass and everything like planned. With that said I did an investagation of the tank one night a few days ago and relizes it has shrink in size about half. It looks like it is just shriviling up and disapering. I just checked all water peramiters tonight and they are spot on. Mostly because of a 30 gallon water change about 2-3 weeks ago. I have all kinds of coral and fish Including SPS and everything is doing good to great. I have herd of some kind of nudi that may eat this stuff? I don't know if this is true. I NEED HELP! thanks for your time. Justin
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Re: Xenia Problem

Postby Socratic Monologue on Fri Nov 23, 2012 10:09 pm

Historically, Xenia has been pretty famous for colony crashes. Last I heard there was no accepted reason for this; people suspected things like trace element depletion, autotoxicity, allelopathy... nothing conclusive. Likely nothing you're doing wrong. You might try running carbon or a Polyfilter, to take out anything organic that might be discouraging the Xenia. IME, if the colony crashes, wait a few-six months and restart it, and it'll grow fine again.

I have heard folks say that if your tank grows SPS, it won't grow Xenia. Too low nutrient load, perhaps? Xenia are moderately heterotrophic, and feed on dissolved organics.
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Re: Xenia Problem

Postby muskee82 on Sun Dec 02, 2012 12:52 pm

Two factors.....

First, Socratic is correct on the nutrient load thing. If your tank grows xenia like wildfire it's probably not the best for sps etc... When my tank is in tip-top shape parameters wise I can't grow xenia for anything. When I get lazy and it's in less than fantastic shape - it grows like mad. In general it does best in a tank with other softies. I remember reading about the nutrient thing so good call on that....

Second, a xenia colony itself will grow to a specific size and then start dying off. It might be tank related, it might be the size of the rock, flow, other conditions etc... that determine that. You would think it would just grow that big and stop and stay there but it doesn't - it's a situation where if it's not multiplying it's dying off. Regardless, you actually need to stimulate division and reproduction to keep the colony growing. This is most easily done by taking a razor blade and making a small slice between larger stalks that were already dividing. I forget the science behind it but cutting xenia releases some sort of chemical that stimulates reproduction/division. When I first got in to saltwater tanks, I bought one larger stock of xenia and the SW store I bought it from told me about this. I traded in sooo much xenia over the first 2 years that I pretty much stocked my 24g nano completely off trades.
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