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Pulse Corals (Xenia sp.)

Pulse Corals (Xenia sp.)

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Xenia is a genus of photosynthetic soft marine coral in the family Xeniidae. They resemble a mushroom, with "arms" coming out from the top that ends in many-fingered "hands". It is unique among corals because of its ability to use its "hands" to "pulse" or push water away from the colony in a constant, grabbing motion. Common names include fast-pulse Xenia. Species of Xenia are sometimes referred to as pulse corals.

Xenia corals are one of the first corals to colonize a new reef. They have the ability to detach from the substrate and attach in a way that allows them to move ot a completely new location. Xenia coral also tend to move higher in the home aquarium until they have reached the top of the water or have run out of surface in which to climb. Xenia corals also tend to grow better in aquariums that are lightly skimmed or not at all. This is due to their use of dissolved nutrients in the aquarium. Although it is currently unknown why Xenia corals pulse, I have had Xenia corals pulse extremely fast but not grown in one aquarium with low nutrients and grow really fast but not pulse as fast in another aquarium with not using a skimmer.

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