Keeping Gorgonians

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

Liquid Breathing
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Need advise on how to keep Gorgonians. Don't have them yet but may get a frag latter this month.
Hi wespastor ;-)
Prior to give you any advice about keeping gorgonians we need to know which species you are thinking of to determine if they are non photosynthetic or photosynthetic, this makes a huge difference. Dr. Ronald Shimek recently visited us here in Portugal and made a presentation about his experience with Diodogorgia nodulifera, a non photosynthetic gorgonian and one thing is immediately clear, it requires a special tank not available in the trade, laminar currents and lots of food to survive and it is not compatible with reef systems. I have in my computer the presentation he made called Tis a Puzzlement and it has some videos in which he shows us his prototype tanks and how the gorgonian in cause feeds which is why it needs laminar currents, but without the permission I can't put it here
For the time being you can have a look here and here and here a glimpse of Ron's work with Diodogorgia nodulifera and what he is presently doing.

We look forward to read from you with more details so that more accurate information and help can be provided.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
 

cowfish

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IMO avoid the non-photosynthetic gorgonians unless you have a large, well established reef which is regularly fed planktonic foods. The photosynthetic gorgs are pretty much "plug and play." Give them sufficient light and water quality and they will grow.
 

wespastor

Copepod
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Hi wespastor ;-)
Prior to give you any advice about keeping gorgonians we need to know which species you are thinking of to determine if they are non photosynthetic or photosynthetic, this makes a huge difference.

...

We look forward to read from you with more details so that more accurate information and help can be provided.

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
The good news is that I don't have it yet. I am told it is a yellow Gorgonian and that mean I suppose that iit would be this one:ee attatchment.
 

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ellebelle

Lissa
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That yellow gorgonian is non-photosynthetic. I agree with Pedro - they are difficult to keep in the long term. You are much better off going with one of the many attractive, photosynthetic varieties. I have five different species of photosynethic gorgs in my tank and they all look great. If you want something in the yellow category, I recommend the Spiny Orange Sea Rod (Muricea elongata).



personally, I like the purple plume gorgonian (Muriceopsis flavida) and I have a huge one in my tank:


(You can see it on the left).

I also have these types:







... amongst others.
 

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

Liquid Breathing
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The good news is that I don't have it yet. I am told it is a yellow Gorgonian and that mean I suppose that iit would be this one:ee attatchment.
Hi wespator ;-)
It's a good thing you do not have it yet because if I'm not mistaken, that's Diodogorgia nodulifera yellow colour morph with red polyp chalices...Please follow the wise advice/suggestion given by both ellebelle and cowfish.
I'm sure that following Dr. Ronald Shimek researches a lot will improve and develop, but so far it's almost a full time job to keep one of these living jewels in good condition...so unless your planning to date the Diodogorgia nodulifera:flirt::flirt::flirt: or become life devoted to it and willing to go out to the sea rain or shine no matter what, to collect live plankton to feed it along with rotifers, artemia nauplii, etc...well I think you got the "picture" and would not be surprised if after all you decided no to date:flirt::flirt::flirt: de Diodogorgia nodulifera for the time being :):)
The laminar current is essential as it maintains the polyps open and above all, causes a depression around them that drives the food towards de centre of the mouth opening, so the tentacles of the polyp have almost no stinging capacity and depend on this effect to collect food, as shown clearly in the videos that Dr. Ron Shimek showed us in his presentation.

I hope this helps you and others as well.
At www.reefforum.net I have a Thread were this is minimally explained but visitors have no access so you would have to register with your real name, like you have in your passport for instance, to respect forum rules and then you can access it as it is fully translated in both English and Portuguese
Any way today Dr. Ronald Shimek granted me permission to translate and publish the presentation Tis a Puzzlement in reefforum.net, so I'll inquire about the possibility of extending it to partner forums so that if both Manhattan Reefs and Reefforum.net become partner forums, the information will then be available for both.


Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
 
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Domboski

No Coral Here
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The good news is that I don't have it yet. I am told it is a yellow Gorgonian and that mean I suppose that iit would be this one:ee attatchment.
I have two of these guys and Pedro is not far off with the dating analogy. I have to feed them often. For a rigid gorgonian it is very sensitive to algae growth, specifically cyano. Even if you only have minimal to no cyano in your tank this gorg seems to be a magnet. There are many hardier and just as beautiful gorgs that require less maintenence. I have over 15 species in my tank.
 

ellebelle

Lissa
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Any of the photosynthetic ones are easy. The ones that are less bulky need to be in reasonably good flow just to stop them from collecting algae. That would be my only caution.
 

Jdubbs

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I've actually had the yellow one for about 6 months now.. collects algae easily but has survived with little deterioration, I just realized algae deteriorates its skin and cleaned it off. i Almost never feed him directly until recently and its polyps are coming out more now.
 

LeslieS

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There was a great article about gorgonians in Coral magazine last year. According to the article, open polyps is not always a sign of health. If they are starving, they will either wait to open their polyps when water conditions are just right or as a last ditch attempt to get food, keep them open all the time.
 

ellebelle

Lissa
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Sometimes my photosynthetic gorgonians will close up for a while. During those times, I'm careful to keep them clean of debris and they eventually open up again ... just like leather corals.
 

Pedro Nuno Ferreira

Liquid Breathing
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There was a great article about gorgonians in Coral magazine last year. According to the article, open polyps is not always a sign of health. If they are starving, they will either wait to open their polyps when water conditions are just right or as a last ditch attempt to get food, keep them open all the time.
Hi LeslieS ;-)

Is this the magazine or is it another one? Which? Who's the author of that article about Gorgonians?

Cheers
Pedro Nuno ;-)
 
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LeslieS

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Hi Pedro,

Yes, that is the magazine. The gorgonian issue is volume 3 number 6. There are several articles by different authors.

It's a great magazine. This reminds me that I need to renew. :)
 

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