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I think this rock isnt a... um rock.


tiepilot68

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tiepilot68

I've had this "rock" in my tank since the beginning... someone at my LFS threw it in for free when I bought my clown... said it would help start the growth of the coraline algae on my rocks. Nice of em..

 

 

Well.... take a look... its been sliming up when touched an feels very velvety to the touch. Is it just a rock with different coraline algae on it or some sort of coral I've not seen?

 

IMG_1381.jpg

 

I'm not sure "sliming up" is a good way to put it... it seems to shed a very thin clear layer of "skin" for lack of a better word. I put it on top of my tallest rock to get it some light.

 

Any ideas on what this purple fella is?

 

Thanks much!!! :)

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Reef Gator

I'm pretty sure it's coraline. I have some just like it. It seems quite a bit thicker than most coraline, and like you said it sometimes sloughs off a layer. I'm tagging along though in case someone has a more educated opinion.

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OOh, ooh, ooh, look what I found!:

 

http://biology.binghamton.edu/pueschel/research.htm

 

Excerpt:

 

"The members of the order Corallinales are the most important group of calcifying red algae. Besides being a large carbon reservoir, they consolidate sediment and build landforms, and they occupy more hard substrate in the world's oceans than any other group of photosynthetic organisms. I am particularly interested in a unique type of specialized cell found in this group, the epithallial cell. These cells have specialized structures that physiologists believe are involved in nutrient uptake, but the cells die and slough off regularly, a process that ecologists believe cleanses the thallus surface of epiphytes and other fouling organisms. We are considering how the structure and turnover of these cells relate to calcification."

 

I wonder if that's related to what you're observing? Very interesting website, anyway. Perhaps you could contact Dr. Pueschel and ask him about your rock. :)

 

--Diane

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tiepilot68
OOh, ooh, ooh, look what I found!:

 

http://biology.binghamton.edu/pueschel/research.htm

 

Excerpt:

 

"The members of the order Corallinales are the most important group of calcifying red algae. Besides being a large carbon reservoir, they consolidate sediment and build landforms, and they occupy more hard substrate in the world's oceans than any other group of photosynthetic organisms. I am particularly interested in a unique type of specialized cell found in this group, the epithallial cell. These cells have specialized structures that physiologists believe are involved in nutrient uptake, but the cells die and slough off regularly, a process that ecologists believe cleanses the thallus surface of epiphytes and other fouling organisms. We are considering how the structure and turnover of these cells relate to calcification."

 

I wonder if that's related to what you're observing? Very interesting website, anyway. Perhaps you could contact Dr. Pueschel and ask him about your rock. :)

 

--Diane

 

WOW, you the..... WOMAN!

 

Thank you so much! Your awesome. :D

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formerly icyuodd/icyoud2

it looks like it used to have some sort of sponge coloney growing with the coraline. i have sponges in my sump that are white, and cover anything they touch (very thin layer) they spread in a mat. it would account for the slime and shedding.

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^^^^That was actually the first thing I thought of...but then I tend to call any unidentified amorphous tissue in my tank a sponge... :) I wonder if one could tell by looking at the shed tissue under a microscope?

 

--Diane

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althefishguy

Imo, its encrusting gorgonian thats dyingpost-13936-1183832368_thumb.jpg

feels velvety to touch I have some that my flamingo lip snails eat so I'll get a pic of the dying parts

 

Here are the best pics I could get right now will try to get better when my truck is returned !

If You notice it loses the polyps first then it starts to peel notice the white looks like flesh under the purple

its actually calcified it will encrust entire rocks I'm actually going to order some for tues. if I get any rock pieces

I'll post pics. You get it alot as a hitchhiker in live rock most of the Fla. divers sell it cheap it loves purple up.

I buy it as food for my snails. post-13936-1183839136_thumb.jpgpost-13936-1183839238_thumb.jpg

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RayWhisperer
Imo, its encrusting gorgonian thats dyingpost-13936-1183832368_thumb.jpg

feels velvety to touch I have some that my flamingo lip snails eat so I'll get a pic of the dying parts

 

Here are the best pics I could get right now will try to get better when my truck is returned !

If You notice it loses the polyps first then it starts to peel notice the white looks like flesh under the purple

its actually calcified it will encrust entire rocks I'm actually going to order some for tues. if I get any rock pieces

I'll post pics. You get it alot as a hitchhiker in live rock most of the Fla. divers sell it cheap it loves purple up.

I buy it as food for my snails. post-13936-1183839136_thumb.jpgpost-13936-1183839238_thumb.jpg

Still, no corralites or polyps. Look on your pics, polyps and corralites are visible. This has a completely smooth surface. As Icy and Diane suggested, it may be covered by some sort of sponge that is sloughing off the surface. Still, it's undeniably coralline underneath.

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althefishguy

No its just a bad pic thats dust from the pistol shrimp no polyps left .purple stuff gets darker, hard and shiny not velvety once its dead.

While its still alive it slimes of the layers I was just offering a possibity.

 

Sorry Al

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tiepilot68

Thanks for the opinions all. I emailed Dr. Pueschel to get his thoughts like you suggested Diane. Thanks again for that link.

 

The dying off part of the rock seen in the pic was the side that has been facing down in my sand bed for a week.. so lack of light is what has caused it.

 

Its also quite heavy for its size.

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Helfrichs Chick

Um just break it in 1/2 see whats in the middle. If its rock in the center your question is answered. If its a creamy center it may be a snickers, maybe a baby ruth.

;)

 

Honestly its IMO just coraline. Ive got some just like it.

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Tie,

 

Actually, before I found Dr. Pueschel's page, I had found another coralline site that had less info but did have a list of coralline researchers, and on a whim I selected one who sounded like an English-speaker (they were located all over the globe) and sent him a link to your thread here.

 

I'd almost forgotten about it when I just now rec'd a reply! I wrote him back with thanks and asked for permission to post his letter here, which he gave me:

 

************************************************

Hi Diane

 

The purple rock is indeed a non-geniculate (or encrusting) coralline alga.

The phenomenon of the flaking whitish skin being observed is called

"sloughing". This coralline (like many corallines) is shedding its outer

epithallial layer of cells. It is known to be a response to two scenarios.

First, it is a way of getting rid of old, dying, infected cells, or simply a

way of ridding of grazer-damaged surfaces. Second, it is a mechanism to

remain clean particularly when there is the potential of being overgrown by

fleshy algae/seaweeds and microscopic algae (such as diatoms). Coralline

algae are very slow growing and in order to prevent being overgrown by the

faster-growing fleshy algae and microalgae, the corallines will often slough

their outer surfaces. It is a trade-off that allows their continued

existence on reefs. This is also the way by which the coralline increases

in thickness because their meristematic (growth) tissue often lies just

below this layer. As they shed this layer, new growth occurs and a new

layer is formed that may be shed again some time later.

 

By the way, please tell the person who queried this to please place this

coralline back in the position it was before. Many corallines are sensitive

to bright light and the new position may adversely affect it. If it was

growing well in its previous position, it is best to leave it where it was.

 

In so far as saying which species it is, this is very difficult because

coralline algal identification relies on an investigation of the internal

anatomy, particularly the reproductive structures.

 

I hope this answers your query.

Best wishes

Gavin W. Maneveldt

_________________________________________

Gavin W. Maneveldt (PhD)

Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

University of the Western Cape

P. Bag X17

Bellville 7535

South Africa

 

Website: http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/staff/gavin/

 

***************************************************

 

I removed his email address for safety, but can pm you with it if you want it.

 

--Diane

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tiepilot68
Tie,

 

Actually, before I found Dr. Pueschel's page, I had found another coralline site that had less info but did have a list of coralline researchers, and on a whim I selected one who sounded like an English-speaker (they were located all over the globe) and sent him a link to your thread here.

 

I'd almost forgotten about it when I just now rec'd a reply! I wrote him back with thanks and asked for permission to post his letter here, which he gave me:

 

************************************************

Hi Diane

 

The purple rock is indeed a non-geniculate (or encrusting) coralline alga.

The phenomenon of the flaking whitish skin being observed is called

"sloughing". This coralline (like many corallines) is shedding its outer

epithallial layer of cells. It is known to be a response to two scenarios.

First, it is a way of getting rid of old, dying, infected cells, or simply a

way of ridding of grazer-damaged surfaces. Second, it is a mechanism to

remain clean particularly when there is the potential of being overgrown by

fleshy algae/seaweeds and microscopic algae (such as diatoms). Coralline

algae are very slow growing and in order to prevent being overgrown by the

faster-growing fleshy algae and microalgae, the corallines will often slough

their outer surfaces. It is a trade-off that allows their continued

existence on reefs. This is also the way by which the coralline increases

in thickness because their meristematic (growth) tissue often lies just

below this layer. As they shed this layer, new growth occurs and a new

layer is formed that may be shed again some time later.

 

By the way, please tell the person who queried this to please place this

coralline back in the position it was before. Many corallines are sensitive

to bright light and the new position may adversely affect it. If it was

growing well in its previous position, it is best to leave it where it was.

 

In so far as saying which species it is, this is very difficult because

coralline algal identification relies on an investigation of the internal

anatomy, particularly the reproductive structures.

 

I hope this answers your query.

Best wishes

Gavin W. Maneveldt

_________________________________________

Gavin W. Maneveldt (PhD)

Department of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology

University of the Western Cape

P. Bag X17

Bellville 7535

South Africa

 

Website: http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/staff/gavin/

 

***************************************************

 

I removed his email address for safety, but can pm you with it if you want it.

 

--Diane

 

Great! Thanks a ton Diane!

 

You have been more than helpful!

 

Lon

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Oh, this was great fun! It's nice to learn something new, and to think about a common lifeform, something we usually take for granted, in a different way. Pretty cool rock you have there!

 

Now if only MY coralline would learn to shed its diatoms... :angry::)

 

--Diane

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