written by Dave Burr
Pom Pom Xenia are one of the few corals that moves under their own power. Their eight-tentacle polyps can pump, or pulse, opening and closing rapidly. The reason they do this is still a mystery. Depending on lighting, food, and water parameters colonies of Pumping Xenia may not always pulse. Do not be alarmed if they cease to pulse, it is not necessarily a sign of poor health.
Placement: Mount the Pom Pom Xenia using IC gel glue, or putty, on an exposed rock or ledge in the bottom half of the aquarium where they can reproduce and grow new colonies that stretch up the rock. When provided with proper water conditions and iodine colonies of Xenia can grow quite rapidly. Make sure that moderate currents will be able to supply them with necessary nutrients and trace elements. Leave several inches around the Xenia colony as they will need room to expand their colony.
Feeding: Although symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae hosted within them supply most of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis, they do require supplemental feedings of phytoplankton and marine snow.
Reproduction: Colonies of Xenia reproduce by fission (splitting) and new stalks usually grow next to or above the parent Xenia.
Lighting & Flow Requirements: The Pom Pom Xenia requires low to moderate water flow and low to moderate lighting (PAR 80-250). T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow Xenia when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
Care Level: Easy
Lighting Requirements: Low to moderate (PAR 80-250)
Water Flow: Moderate
Range: Indo-Pacific, Grown in California
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: Providing additions of iodine will help Xenia grow. Most good salt mixes will provide enough iodine through water changes. It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.
Dosing: Vivid Aquariums uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.