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billygoat

Gorgonians receding?

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billygoat

Recently I've noticed that my purple plume gorgonians (Muriceopsis flavida) seem to be receding at the tips of their branches here and there. The flesh at the tip turns white, and then begins to gradually peel back over the course of a few days or weeks, exposing the white skeleton underneath. Here's a pic (sorry for the low quality; I had to take it before the lights came on in my tank):

 

InkedIMG_2987_LI.thumb.jpg.561b60cacc6bd174703b953127490a2f.jpg

 

The strangest part about it is that these animals otherwise seem to be flourishing. In the daytime they look like this:

 

IMG_2935.thumb.JPG.bc2b225867bc87c18bc9a62099a5939e.JPG

 

The fact that they have such enormous polyp extension during the day leads me to believe that the cause is not environmental (e.g. too much light, not enough flow, etc.) but perhaps may be the result of some pest or parasite on the gorgonian. My internet searches on the subject have so far turned up nothing, though. Does anyone have any experience with this phenomenon?

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WV Reefer
7 minutes ago, billygoat said:

Recently I've noticed that my purple plume gorgonians (Muriceopsis flavida) seem to be receding at the tips of their branches here and there. The flesh at the tip turns white, and then begins to gradually peel back over the course of a few days or weeks, exposing the white skeleton underneath. Here's a pic (sorry for the low quality; I had to take it before the lights came on in my tank):

 

InkedIMG_2987_LI.thumb.jpg.561b60cacc6bd174703b953127490a2f.jpg

 

The strangest part about it is that these animals otherwise seem to be flourishing. In the daytime they look like this:

 

IMG_2935.thumb.JPG.bc2b225867bc87c18bc9a62099a5939e.JPG

 

The fact that they have such enormous polyp extension during the day leads me to believe that the cause is not environmental (e.g. too much light, not enough flow, etc.) but perhaps may be the result of some pest or parasite on the gorgonian. My internet searches on the subject have so far turned up nothing, though. Does anyone have any experience with this phenomenon?

That is some serious extension!! 😀

hopefully it’s nothing major because it looks great otherwise. 

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billygoat
4 minutes ago, WV Reefer said:

That is some serious extension!! 😀

hopefully it’s nothing major because it looks great otherwise. 

I know, right!? That's why it is so confusing. I wonder if I am looking at this situation completely backwards, and this white-tip "recession" is actually how they grow? But that seems wrong to me somehow. It just doesn't look right, seeing the skeleton like that... 🤔

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mcarroll

We also have very little to base our opinions on unless you give us more info about the tank.  Usually this means relevant test results and at least one good tank pic that shows the coral and major tank hardware.

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billygoat
36 minutes ago, mcarroll said:

We also have very little to base our opinions on unless you give us more info about the tank.  Usually this means relevant test results and at least one good tank pic that shows the coral and major tank hardware.

Don't sweat it too much! After upgrading my pump from a Koralia 240 to an MP10, things are looking much better for gorgonians in my tank. I have still seen a bit of these weird recession issues but only in that one particular species (Muriceopsis flavida), and they are much less pronounced than before. Variable indirect flow seems to make a big difference for longer-polyped gorgs.

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