Other Pulsing Xenia Names:
Pumping Xenia, Xenia
Pulsing Xenia Scientific Name:
Pulsing Xenia Ease of Care:
Water Flow Requirements:
Primarily found in the Red Sea
Pulsing Xenia Lighting Requirements:
Medium to High Lighting
Pulsing Xenia Hadriness:
Sometimes picky over water and light quality. Sturdy and fast growing under good conditions.
Pulsing Xenia Growth:
Grows in a branch-like pattern.
Pulsing Xenia Diet & Nutrition:
This species thrives primarily on Zooxanthellate and light.
Pulsing Xenia Recommended Supplements:
None needed, but some have had success with iodine.
It is easy to see why the Xenia Soft Coral is a favorite of many marine aquarists and reef keepers. This species propagates easily and is particularly beautiful.
The health of a Xenia Soft Coral is normally indicated by the coral's pulsing motion. In a healthy coral, the each polyp will rhythmically open and close. In a failing coral, the polyps are still. Often, upon introduction to a new aquarium, the Xenia Soft Coral will not pulse; however, once it is acclimated, it will set itself in motion. Moderate water motion is necessary for the health of Xenia. Some may even thrive when placed directly in strong current, unlike many species that cannot tolerate such strong current. Most aquarists consider strong lighting to be important to Xenia; however, these corals may also do well in moderate lighting. Because most Xenia Corals will not accept foods, direct lighting is particularly important, since photosynthesis is the only source of nutrients for these corals. Xenia is not a particularily aggressive coral and is safe for most miniature reef systems. However, they should not be placed too near other corals, since they may grow and spread to large areas and shade neighbors from necessary light. Also, most Xenia Soft Corals will split into new colonies. They tend to spread new colonies in the direction of the water current they are positioned in. By directing water current over your Xenia Soft Coral strategically, you can often encourage it to spread in the direction or area of your tank you desire. Although most are hardy, some apparently thriving specimens may suddenly go into irretrievable decline. Different reasons have been proposed for this; however, it may simply be that Xenia Corals do not have a long life span. Some people hypothesize that regular thinning of Xenia Soft Corals by cutting away polyps to propagate can help prevent this. Others propose that regular supplementation of iodine may prevent the sudden decline of Xenia Corals.
The Xenia Soft Coral polyps are normally silver-gray or some light shade of brown. Some are a light shade with darker brown borders. The overall appearance of this coral resembles a tree or cluster of trees. They have tall, branching shapes and may grow in 3 inch (8 centimeter) long stalks from the base of the coral. The polyps at the ends of these stalks may be 1 to 2 inches (3 to 5 centimeters) long. They are delicate and feathery and open and close in the pulsing motion characteristic to this coral.
Pulsing Xenia Propagation:
Xenia Soft Corals are considered to be easy to propagate. Conditions in the aquarium should be kept ideal, with strong lighting, strong water current, and good levels of trace elements like iodine. Most aquarists place reef plugs or rocks on which they wish to grow Xenia corals, in an aquarium immediately next to a Xenia Coral. Once the coral spreads onto the desired rocks, the rocks are removed with polyps attached. Xenia Soft Corals may also be propagated by the removal of polyps from a parent coral. A polyp is snipped with sharp scissors from the parent and placed on a reef plug or rock, then attached by wrapping the entire structure with fine netting. The netting may be secured with a rubber band. Propagation has also been achieved by snipping polyps from the parent and placing them on a base rock, held in place by a broken piece of Plate Coral skeleton. Within several days, the Xenia Soft Coral should have attached to the base rock. While securing the new Xenia Coral so it does not pull away from the base rock, the Plate Coral fragment may be removed.
Pulsing Xenia Toxicity:
Not terribly toxic