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  • Pablo

Many saltwater hobbyists get into the hobby primarily for corals. Coming from a fish only tank I was visiting my local pet store many years ago with the intention of buying a new fish, but something else got my attention, it was a coral that it was captivating me with their pulsing motion. Watching the pulsing action of this xenia soft coral was pretty breathtaking so I decide to purchase it, and this how my journey started into reefing.

The pulsing xenias also known as a pumping xenias are soft corals with eight-tentacled polyps and sturdy stalk. In theory the polyps pulsing action it is believed to be related to the disposal of waste.

The xenias are soft corals which do not have skeleton structure like the SPS or LPS corals and they are photosynthetic so they will require not feeding. In the past xenias were coming from Indonesia or Australia but now mostly all the xenias are aquaculture. Aquaculture xenias are hardier and easier to keep than the wild ones. Some species like the Red Sea xenia will grow faster than some other corals and they will take over to a point of no return so exercise caution with this specie and place them away from adjacent corals or rock if you don't want them to take over the entire space of your reef. A good strategy will be to place the xenias in their own isolated rock island away from other corals where they can be trimmed regularly as they grow.

Xenias come in different types of varieties. These are the 5 species that we grow at Marine Farmers: Red Sea Pulsing, Ruby Xenia, Giant Bali Xenia, Blue Cespitularia xenia and the Blue African Xenia.

Xenias are not all equal. Many discriminating reefers wrongly believed that they are all bad and that they will take over the entire reef tank. Some species like the Red Sea xenia will spread all over if they are leave unattended. This is not the case with Giant Bali xenia which it is noninvasive as the xenia previously mentioned. This is a very interesting and hard to find coral. The Giant Bali Xenia is one of the finest pulse corals I have ever seen. That is why this xenia is so exciting to keep and grow. It has an attractive white/cream tone and large fluffy hands. The Giant Bali Pom Pom definitely one of our best aquaculture corals.

Once acclimatized, most xenias soft corals are easy to keep and quite adaptable to aquarium life including low or moderate lighting. You can find pulsing xenia on every list of best corals for beginners.

Stable Alkalinity and Ph are a key to keep xenias happy. At Marine Farmers we keep the Giant Bali Xenias on each of our tanks since they are great indicators on low pH or Alkalinity. If you notice that your xenia stops pulsing check to see if you are parameters are running low.

Soft corals still need to have proper chemical levels for proper growth. Adding trace elements helps to keep those nutrients in the water which benefit them. Maintain pH at least at 8.3.

Another great pulser is our Ruby Xenia. The stalk and polyps of this xenia have a reddish color which is highly noticeable when this xenia is expose to heavy blue spectrum lighting. This variety tends to grow in larger clusters and is less invasive than the Red Sea Xenia counterpart.


There is not necessary to feed xenias since they have a symbiotic relationship with an algae known as zooxanthellae, where they receive most of their nutrients.

Moderate to strong water flow is recommended. Lighting con also be moderate to high.

Not all Xenia pulsate, but these species have an awesome coloration like the Purple Cespitularia. Cespitularia is a type of soft corals that has a several long stems incorporated in just a single branch. Another not pulsing variety but in my opinion one of the nicest and extremely rare soft corals is the True-Blue African Xenia. This coral's color ranges from powder blue to light green with reddish polyps, depending on the lighting and is noninvasive.


Propagation of xenias is very easy. You can try the Razor blade method. You will snip small branch and secure it with a rubber band or toothpick to small piece of rubble rock. Place the frag on a low flow area in your aquarium and withing a week or so will get attached. Then you can move the frag to their final location.

We try to give as much info we can regarding our beautiful xenias. These Soft Corals are a fantastic option for new hobbyists and with the correct water conditions this coral will thrive and will give to your reef an awesome look!

Happy Reefing!




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After your tank is properly cycled and you are ready to bring live and movement to your reef, there are a few beautiful corals you can add to quickly to start enjoying your aquarium.

Marine Farmers Corals for Beginners is where you’ll find a wonderful selection of popular reef corals in one convenient spot plus these corals are proven to be hardy inexpensive corals.

Today, I am reviewing 10 different beginners corals that you can buy for under $50


These corals are the best choices for your tank’s centerpiece. Toadstools, Capnella, Cabagge, Sinularia will add movement to your reef. Leathers are great starter corals, being adaptable to moderate light and turbulent water flow. They do not have a calcified skeleton making them a little more tolerant of some water parameter like calcium. The leather corals contain zooxanthellae inside their body, they will be able to get most of their required nutrients through the tank lighting.

This is a bulletproof coral. It’s very hardy and easy to care for.

The mushrooms can adapt on any light and flow condition and they can also be fed which will accelerate their grow. Some varieties are very colorful and highly desirable

This corals can be propagated easily. All you need is razor blade to cut the center of the mushroom and place them in a cutting tray filled with ruble rock. When the pieces attach to rock then you can glue them into a frag plug and move them to any location on your reef.


Aquacultured Xenia, is much hardier than wild species. For that reason Marine Farmers only offers tank raised xenias. Some xennidae have the ability to "pulse" or push water away from the colony in a constant, pulsing motion. Other xenias lack the rapid pulsing motion but they have unusual color form which make them desirables for the reef tanks, like the Red Sea Pulsing Xenia or the Purple Cespitualaria sp.


Start Polyps

Beautiful, cheap and hardy. The green start polyps is an incrusting species that will create an awesome background on you reef aquarium if you attach it to the glass.

Green Star polyps are also known as Startburst Polyps. Is one of the most popular soft corals within the reef keeping hobby.


Zoanthids

They are also known as zoas for most reefers. Zoanthids aver very unique and they come on wide variety of colors combinations like the Rastas zoas. These zoas are easy to keep ang great choice for the beginner reef aquarium.

Reefers become addicted with collecting of different color morphs with just as many crazy names to illustrate them. Many will create amazing zoanthids Island by growing several types of zoas and palythoa on a large rock and placing it as an island on their sand bed.

Zoanthids will grow and reproduce by budding.


Duncans

These Large Stony Coral (LPS) is very tolerant of all kinds of environments.

This coral is peaceful and does well on any reef aquariums. They are great choice to add colors to the low areas of your reef. Feeding small fish pellets or brine shrimp will increase grow on this coral.

Single polyps will grow more heads around creating a beautiful central stalk.

The Duncan coral is a deep water specie that is popular because a low to moderate lighting is all that is needed to maintain the awesome and easy to care coral.

Marine Farmers is currently growing two types: one is the green specie and the Alien Duncan pictured below.


Alien Duncan (AKA Whisker Coral)

Clove Polyps

Clavularia is specie of a Soft Coral that forms a colony of many individuals polyps connected together.

The clove polyps come in an incredible color combinations, like neon yellow, orange and fluorescent green. Some other common names for the Clavularia are Palm Tree Polyps, Eight Tentacle Polyps and Fern Polyps. This coral is good for either beginners or experts in the hobby depending on what they are looking to accomplish. It is a good filler for empty spaces in your aquarium. If you want to keep them under control, you can place them on a isolated rock away from the rest of you rock structure and soon the coral will grow into a beautiful colony.

Propagation is accomplished by cutting a few polyps from the colony and glue them to their final destination.


Trumpet Coral

Also known as Candy Canes are easy and very tolerant of polluted water which make them a good choice for beginners. There are a few popular color morphs or trumpet coral varieties available online. The most common are green, neon, purple and brown with green center.

It is always a good idea to place them in relatively lower light intensity and gradually increase the intensity over time. Feeding will increase their grow rate. At Marine Farmers we use small fish pellets to target feed them when lights are out and tentacles are hungry and looking for food.


Bubble Coral

The bubble coral It's beautiful and exotic looking. Is also known as Pearl Coral or Grape Coral.

They very hardy and easy to care for, and it becomes a favorite of most reef aquarists. Care should be taken with the placement of these corals as they can send out transparent sweeper tentacles at night to deter other corals from growing near them.

Even though bubble corals are a photosynthetic stony coral, they will benefit on weekly feeding. At night when tentacles are out looking for food we use small fish pellets to target feed them.

Marine Farmers have been fragging Plerogyra Sinuosa (aka Pearl Coral) for sometime now.

The amazing aspect makes them a beginner favorite because they look like a cluster of bubbles.


Bubble Coral

Hammer Corals

This is another popular coral for beginners. It belongs to the Euphillia family like the Torch and Frogspawn.

Euphyllia are classed as an LPS coral. These are slow growers when you compared them against the soft corals but they will offer beautiful color and amazing movement to any reef. The hammer corals come in a variety of colors like gold, purple and green, orange as well as bicolor combinations.

The Hammer Corals are a photosynthetic coral and do not need to be fed but they benefit with occasional feedingHammers like low flow and medium light. Once you get it in the right spot, they are pretty hardy. At Marine Farmers will keep them around 100-125 PAR.


If you need more information about adding soft corals to your reef tank, it is recommended to visit the Marine Farmers online store. You may also contact us to discuss your requirements and all the options

we offer. If you have any queries, write to us and we will be pleased to clear your doubts and help you

to make the remake the right choice. If you have any queries, write to us and we will be pleased to clear your doubts and help you make the right choice.








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Stereonepthyas are among some of the reef's most exotics corals, and the Mulberry is a rare species of stereo. The name of this beautiful rare soft coral comes from the purple polyps part of the coral.

There are, of course, several types of Stereonepthyas with different colors combinations like the Yellow with purple polyps also known as Pink Lemonade Stereonepthya.

Stereos are easy to keep in the aquarium but they are slow growers when compared to the most common soft corals. They seems to do better under medium random flow which allows them to catch more food. A random flow will provide the right type of flow. Moderate intensity ensures that you that the delicate polyps of the will be fully extended.

The Stereonepthyas coral gets some of its nutritional needs by absorbing nutrients from the water as well as by capturing tiny plankton. Feeding this coral with fresh phytoplankton should boost growth.

They are very lenient on the light levels. At Marine Farmers we keep the colonies between 100-150 PAR

Some species of stereo are in fact NPS. At Marine Farmers we only grow photosynthetic species of Stereonephthyas. Our colonies are about 4-5 inches tall with branches growing from the base.

We have four color varieties of the photosynthetic Stereonephthya aquaculture by us and we occasionally offered them on our website, a light purplish one with lavender polyps, a yellow one with purple polyps, a white one with bright purple polyps and an white one with bright orange polyps.

The Stereonepthyas can be fragged easily with a sharp blade, by simply cutting a branch off and then placing the limb on small container with rubble rock. In a few days, the cut branch will attach itself to the rock or rubble and start growing by itself and then the frag can be moved it to their final location in your reef.





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