Sessile Invertebrates (20G)
Light Purple Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
A delicate pastel blue/purple with a flat texture. Prefers indirect light and minimal current. Tends to shrivel when exposed to too much light. Buds easily. Lone individuals which have dropped off the main colony have maximum expansion.
Bright Red Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
A bright red color with a slightly bumpy texture. Can tolerate bright light, but must be given time to acclimate if switching to a light with higher intensity. Minimal current for full expansion. Buds easily.
Brown Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
Brown with metallic/fluorescent striations. Small blue dots can also be seen on the larger mushrooms. Smooth texture. Prefers indirect light and minimal current. Doesn't seem to propagate as quickly as the Bright Red or Light Purple mushrooms in my tank.
Watermelon Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
Pale tan with a lime green fluorescence emanating from the center of the mushroom. Large nodules/extensions cover the surface of the mushroom. Can tolerate bright light and will adapt to moderate current. Readily closes up around food and directs it toward its central mouth. Looks like a fig when it's closed up. Two in tank have grown in size, but there has been no budding. Largest diameter mushrooms in tank.
Dark Purple Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
Dark purple with a textured surface. Thicker than other mushrooms. Most receptive to bright light and best able to handle high currents. This mushroom doesn't appear to fold over in high currents. When disturbed, spews the highest amount of white mesenteries of all the mushrooms. Morphology and adaptive qualities leads me to believe this mushroom is found on the more brightly lit and higher current areas of the reef than the other mushrooms in the tank. Hasn't budded yet. Reacting very well to increased intensity of PowerCompact fluorescent lights.
Striped Purple Mushrooms (Actinodiscus sp.)
Smooth purple mushroom with lighter purple fluorescent stripes. Tolerates medium light. Prefers lower current.
Green Star Polyps (Clavularia sp.)
Medium Green fluorescent color. Color becomes brighter and takes on a fluorescence during warmer weather. Have seen green star polyps with a darker green color which I hope to pick up for the 50 gallon tank. Eight tentacles. Polyps close up at night. Polyps withdraw into a dark purple encrusting mass which spreads very quickly. Purple mass spreads and then polyps grow out of the mass. Purple encrusting mass is easy to remove from smooth surfaces such as overflow boxes and the sides of an aquarium; it just peels right off. But the mass is very difficult to remove from textured surfaces like live rock. Fastest growing polyps in the tank. Polyps prefer medium to hard random current.
Brown Star Polyps (Clavularia sp.)
Chocolate brown fluorescent color. Exact same morphology and environmental preferences as the green star polyps. The only difference is the color of the polyps are chocolate brown instead of green. Encrusting mass is still purple. Makes a nice contrast to the green star polyps. Green and brown star polyps are constantly trying to grow over each other in one section of the tank.
Large Green Button Polyps (Palythoa sp.)
Green button polyps with striations across surface. Tentacles on edge of polyps. Maximum diameter is the size of a nickel. Able to handle high light levels. Actively grabs food which falls within the grasp of polyp tentacles and closes up. Generates copious amounts of slime when disturbed. Have noticed bleaching of polyps during hot weather the past two years. Green color comes back during the fall. Transplanted two polyps to a new rock and hoping they will spread.
Green Open Brain Coral (Trachyphillia geoffroyi)
Fluorescent light green color. Pointed hard underside. A large polyped stony coral. Multiple mouths eagerly accept food. Rarely feed the coral. Have to make sure neon dottyback is well fed before feeding the coral since it will grab food out of the coral's mouths. Tentacles on coral come out at night. Doesn't like too much light. Shrivels and curls in the presence of too much light. Will probably move into a low light section of the 50G. Clownfish has made this coral its surrogate anemone. Have found coral fully wrapped around clownfish a few times, but the coral doesn't seem to make any motions to eat the clownfish. Will move this coral to 50G so that it can feed in peace.
Red Open Brain Coral (Trachyphillia geoffroyi)
Fluorescent light red color. Same morphology as green open brain coral. Red specimen much smaller than green specimen (3 inches in length vs. 10 inches in length). Have read that red open brains have different light requirements than the green open brain. Both open brains often bloat and expand to maximum dimensions after a water change.
Small Green Button Polyps (Zoanthus sp.)
4 mm diameter dark green polyps. Overgrowth of hair algae killed off some of the polyps. Grows close to surface of rock. Some these polyps have a dark black center. Other ones have a orange center. Don't know whether they are different species.
Light Brown Button Polyps (Zoanthus sp.)
Light brown button polyps were also on the same rock as the small green button polyps and they are growing on the back of the 20G tank.
Flowerpot Coral (Goniopora sp.)
I noticed in the fall of 1998 this coral growing from a small speck on the rock where the Flowering Star Polyps previously existed. I didn't know what it was at first since all I could see was a small circle with polyps growing from it. But the polyps finally exhibited the shape and 24 oral tentacles of the Goniopora sp. It has been growing ever since and I'm very pleased with it since I've heard Goniopora is so difficult to maintain. I wonder where the speck of Goniopora came from and how long I'll be able to maintain it. The only concern I have is that it is growing on the edge of a thin piece of rock. If it grows very much larger, I may have to transplant it or secure the rock so that the Goniopora doesn't tip it over because of its weight.
Vermetid snails and red foraminiferans have colonized many areas of the tank. A large white sponge was growing well for a while. It's size and shape was that of half a golfball. But the sponge suddenly disintegrated over the course of two weeks. Small white filter feeding organisms have colonized all the surfaces on the inside of the surface skimmer box for the CPR BakPak.
R.I.P., rest in peace. Notes on sessile invertebrates that existed in the tank, but have departed to that great big reef in the sky...
R.I.P. Flowering Star Polyps (Clavularia sp.)
Pastel white and pink polyps. Look like delicate little wildflowers. Seem to prefer high light and random moderate current. Many of them killed off my hair algae, but the survivors looked strong. Unfortunately, all the flowering star polyps have died out. Encrusting mass under these polyps, but looks more porous and less thick than the purple mass under the green and brown star polyps.
R.I.P. Green Open Brain Coral (Trachyphillia geoffroyi)
Initially had two green open brains, but after a year, one of them started developing tissue necrosis and I removed the brain before it could pollute the tank.
R.I.P. Yellow Polyps (Parazoanthus gracilis)
Overtaken by red slime algae. I would like to reintroduce this type of polyp to the aquarium again in the future since there's now a lack of yellow in the tank.
R.I.P. Thin Bar Xenia (Xenia sp.)
These Xenia crashed early on in the existence of the reeftank. I think it was due to the lack of Iodine since I didn't add Iodine supplements when I first started the tank.