The beautiful pulsing Xenia coral is a stellar addition to a reef tank or an absolute nightmare. It’s often referred to as the Pom Pom Coral for the pulsing motion of it’s tips. Consider the pros and cons of this engaging coral before you pull the trigger.
Beginners may initially love this coral and be overjoyed by it’s rapid growth, only to become overwhelmed. It’s not uncommon for Xenia to have to be pruned and the excess tossed on a regular basis. They love dirty tanks and it’s not uncommon for a beginner tank to be a little dirty. Veterans maintaining SPS corals may struggle to keep them alive due to having tanks too clean.
Growth is typically rapid, especially in the right. conditions. It loves good lighting, good flow, and dirtier tanks. Zero nitrate tanks may find it less happy. That’s not necessarily bad since a clean tank will help control it’s growth. Xenia coral spreads in your reef tank by adhering to rock work it comes in contact with as it grows. It attaches itself to the new rock and either breaks off from the original clump, or it will remain attached if relatively adjacent. Xenia is almost like stretching bubblegum, but in slow motion. When it’s time to remove some Xenia it’s relatively easy to do by either slowly pulling or using a fingernail or something similar around it’s base. Be sure to remove ALL from rock that you don’t want Xenia on as even the smallest of pieces will begin to grow. While it’s not hard to remove if you can easily access it, ensuring it’s all been removed is almost impossible in those hard-to-reach spots.
Xenia Control Tips
- Place Xenia on “island” so that it can’t reach other rock work easily and spread
- Place Xenia higher up in your tank as it will not typically spread down
- Be prepared to throw some out from time to time
- Try to keep phosphates and nitrates low to help control rapid growth
- Consider a Xenia-only tank
- On occasion, a lone Xenia stalk may release from it’s attached rock work and float to a new home in your tank
- Keep an eye out for roaming Xenia in difficult to reach places and remove as soon as possible
- You may be able to find some aggressive corals to keep it contained
|Lighting||Low - Moderate|
|Water Parameters||Salinity: 1.025
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