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Purple Pipe Organ Coral

This magnificient Tubipora musica

provided by: Canada Corals May 2018

Since Tubipora frags have not grown naturally on reefs: extreme care must be taken when mounting them on cookies. Cutting the brittle calcified tubes requires skill because this Soft Coral must be mounted flush with it's support and be completely sealed at it's base...

It is an Art that Canada Corals masters ! 

Shipment was received at 1:30 PM (03/05/2018).

At 2:30 PM we mounted it on a flat rubble rock and placed it in tank... 15 minutes later the first polyp opened up... By 4:30 PM all polyps were open... At 8:30 PM all polyps were fully extended...

Now this is what we call a healthy coral !



Most soft corals emit and are sensitive to Terpenoids... A chemical war ensues between various species. So it is best to group them according to Genus, Family and Specie in a given tank. This minimizes the risk of accidental contact. Terpenoids also accumulate in the water: so regular water changes are a must in any tank containing corals. 

Many authors recommend the use of Protein Skimmers to eliminate Terpenoids... However they also remove everything that is good in sea water: Zooplankton, Phytoplankton, Amino Acids, Vitamins, etc... Unfortunately some Corals can only survive WITH ALL those essential Nutrients present !

And this is the case particularly with Tubipora musica. So we took the gamble at SBMarine to rely solely on regular water changes to keep terpenoids accumulation under control... We will know soon enough if it is a valid approach.

Three months later...

Have the specific requirements for Tubipora been met in a Marine Biological System ?

First let's have a closer look at this perfect specimen from Canada Corals. It was fully developped to it's base all around. There were no broken tubes, missing polyps or signs of degeneration... It opened within minutes when placed in tank which only happens when no parasites annoy them (black reef crabs etc...). When we mounted it on rubble rock with epoxy we sealed it's base once again. As you will see in the following photographs: an SBMarine Biological System performs nicely    :)


- Water Chemistry requirements were fully met: Tubipora' s tubular skeleton develops under the same conditions as Stony Corals and Calcified Algae... 

- Nutrients, Vitamins, Trace Elements are available as constant and stable supplies...

- Our manual Top Off methodology assures that Water Chemistry remains stable between water changes...



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After two months: growth is remarkable

After three months: new polyps entirely cover epoxy

So... did you miss the obvious from these observations ?

Tubipora Sp. are like every other known specie of Soft Corals. They must first anchor their foot, polyps or mat firmly to the rock below in order to prosper !!! Tubipora does not grow FROM a tubular skeleton: the tubes grow AROUND the Polyps !! We have a 64 dollar question now about this... what do we make of a long tubular strucuture with polyps at it's top only and no visible polyps attached below on rock ??? Any hope of seing new polyps develop towards the bottom of frag ??? 

And how about the so-called dreaded bristleworms: what role do they play exactly in their interaction with Tubipora ??? The EOS tank (and all SBMarine tanks) are populated with what we refer as - standard orange & purple bristleworms - that can grow to about 10cm. They are everywhere...


We have observed several such bristleworms foraging about this Tubipora seemingly doing what bristleworms do best: scavenging meaty leftovers. This coral was target fed now and then and bristleworms soon learn the feeding schedules and stick around corals or anemones that are hand fed... Nothing unusual or menacing here since bristleworms are SCAVENGERS...

Nothing in our opinion would prevent this spectacular specimen from living many decades... 

Nevertheless mysteries remain