on it. I love the lush appearance of the
star polyps, but I don’t want the colony to
overrun my whole tank. After the surgery,
all the polyps withdrew, and they have not
reopened since. Is this an unusually long
time for this coral to stay closed up? Is
there a chance the colony won’t recover?
I’d say it’s almost certain that
your green star polyps, most
likely a Pachyclavularia species,
will recover and re-emerge none
the worse for wear. A week or so of staying
closed is nothing to worry about with this
coral. In fact, I’ve had a colony close up and
remain that way for several weeks in response
to pruning or a change in its environment,
such as a lighting upgrade or major water
change. I’ve even seen them begin to re-emerge
one or two polyps at a time only to close up
completely again. Ultimately, they always
seem to come back around, so I wouldn’t
worry. Star polyps are practically bulletproof
as reef invertebrates go, and yours will likely
re-emerge soon, looking as healthy as ever.
The exceptionally hardy green star polyps
Pachyclavularia sp. are not likely to be
permanently harmed during pruning and will
re-emerge given time.
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I’m 9 years old, and I am
really fascinated by the ocean.
My parents have a really big saltwater
aquarium, and I get to help feed the fish. I
think it’s really neat the way clownfish live
in anemones! Are there other animals that
live together in the ocean besides clownfish
The way clownfishes and
anemones live together is a
special relationship called
symbiosis, and there are lots of
animals that live this way in the ocean. For
example, threespot damselfishes, which are in
the same family as the clownfishes, hide in sea
anemones when they’re small. Then, there’s the
Banggai cardinalfish, which likes to hide in
long-spined sea urchins.
Some other neat examples of this kind of
symbiosis include the tiny anemone shrimps,
which, as you might guess from their name,
hide in sea anemones as well as other ocean
invertebrates. There are also little crabs,
called porcelain crabs, that live in anemones
also (anemones sure house a lot of different
creatures, don’t they?). Of course, we can’t
forget the different species of shrimp gobies—
fishes that share burrows with pistol shrimps.
And that’s just scratching the surface! D