Gorgonian; Photosynthetic vs. nonphotosynthetic




Prone to algae growth.
Good site for visual ID is here.
Swiftia kofoidi:

These are frags:

Not prone to algae growth, but may have tissue necrosis in bad conditions, treatable by fragging and disinfection.
Indo-Pacific, while orange-yellow Swiftia excerta is Caribbean, if memory serves.
Blueberry gorgonian, most difficult, if not impossible:

Its cousin, smaller polyped pink Muricella plectana:

3 months life span in captivity (Waikiki aquarium).
Finest red whip gorgonian, likely Leptogorgia punicea or Leptogorgia miniata:

Lower flow, then for the rest of them. Catches all crud in the tank, like velvet fabric. Loses soft tissue at the ends of branches, if conditions are unfavorable. Out of scale with other gorgonians and IMHO looks not as good:
Sold as starburst gorgonian:

Actually, not gorgonian at all, but Carijoa riisei. Should grow like a weed, but mine didn't survive. No particular requirements.
Does anybody have growth (other than encrusting at the base) or reproduction (not propagation) of non-photosynthetic gorgonians? Post photos and tips please.


happityLogan: post, please, how it will do solely on phytoplankron. Just curious, usually zooplankton or its substitutes are used for a corals' feeding.
Its doing fine as of now, I've only had it a week though, I may look into getting some zooplankton...my lfs has had this piece for a couple weeks, and all they feed it was chromaplex. They suggested I get that, its just a higher better grade of phytoplankton, but I will keep you updated...
If it is deteriorating, how long will it take to show signs?


Active Member
My Muriceopsis flavida does very well with phytoplankton. Although my advantage is that its a photosynthetic species of gorg, I have increased its growth rate by spot feeding, and the most significant growth has been seen using phyto.
I LOVE...Swiftia kofoidi gorgs but I have never seen any for sale anywhere. Do you have any idea where to buy them? My apprehensiveness to them would be because they are non photosynthetic but... I would like to try.


Muriceopsis flavida is photosynthetic, diodogorgia - non-photosynthetic.
Time to decline for Diodogorgia nodulifera: hard to say, I had decline only once, when they were kept for a 1 - 1.5 month in a low flow with once a day feeding. If your flow is good, it may be much longer.
Signs: skin loses glossy appearance, then becomes looking rough. Central core is likely partially dead this time. Photos for red morph of Diodogorgia are here.
My yellow morph looks skinny all the time, but grows new branches.
If you wish, take a look at Plexaurella grandiflora, Plexaurella dichotome and Pseudoplexaura at Image Search, if they look like yours. Don't have them, though.


New Member
Does anyone know what this guy is? http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/694/img20110830210835.jpg/


Active Member
This is an old thread but Oh well. I just bought this guy yesterday for my NPS tank but I am not sure that it is NPS after examining this thread. I think this may be photosynthetic.

It is not out as I just bought it. It was in a tank with blue LEDs that were pretty bright and it was completely fluffy. It's in a tank in a lit room but with no light and this AM it is out maybe 10%.
Do we think it's NPS or Photosynthetic?
If it's photo, I will move it to my well lit reef.


New Member
Hi All,
Yesterday I purchased a purple gorgonian coral... It is a deep purple color, with branching pieces. They are ROUND.
It opened up this morning, and has purple flowers (that cover all the branches).
It is branchy.
I do not know if this is photosynthetic or not. I do not think this is photosynthetic.
Is it photosynthetic?
Also, it has 10 "branching pieces", and 1 of those pieces looks, "dead"....
The "dead" piece, is greyish, and does not have the "flowery/soft" covering on it...
It looks like a much lighter version of the purple, and does not look good.
Should I snip that branch off?
What do I do?


Active Member
I bought another one, great price, though it was not doing well. I know nothing about this, I am assuming it's non-photo but if not, it'll go to the large tank. The purple, after it was identified was moved to the large reef under LEDS and is doing great!
Here is the new guy. It's hard to tell but it's a pretty dark purple with some white and some orange colored polyps. Some of them have been out but I have not been able to get the polyps all the way out. I snipped some damage off, and then the two large droopy sections appeared yesterday (I've had it about 72 hours now)
What is it and what should I do?
front left
left view
center "healthier" area