Pulsing Xenia Question


I purchased a small rock with some pulsing xenia on it about a week ago. "ve read all the information I could find on here about them, but haven't seen anyone with my problem.
Tank parameters:
Size: 75 gallon
Nitrates: 20 ppm
Nitrites: 0
Ammonia: 0
Alkilinity: 250 ppm
pH: 8.4
Temp: 76 F
Salinity: 1.025
Lighting: Two 96 watt PC and
Two 64 watt PC half atinic
My problem is the xenia's aren't pulsing when I think they should. When the lights are on in the tank the xenia fully opens up, almost like button polyps, and they don't pulse at all. However when I turn my lights off they pulse like crazy. I have two powerheads that I can change where the water flows and I have tried putting the water next to them, on them, not on them, etc. As for the lights, I've tried moving the xenia to the light, away from the light, and hiding them under a rock ledge. What gives? I've also been adding a PH buffer to see if thats what they need, but they still don't pulse unless the lights are out.
Any information you can give me is appreciated.


I have a few polyps of Xenia in my tank and I can tell you that mine pulsates when water movement is poor. at night they close down into a ball, during day time they are opened to the light. If you want it to spread in a particular direction simply aim a small water stream to the polyps. Within a few days they move leaving a root behind which becomes another polyp.
There are several different types of Xenias. Not every single one act the same way. From time to time I put a drop or two of Iodine in the water and they open up to absorb it. But be carefull with your invertebrates. Iodine causes invertebrates to shed their skin.


Active Member
Addition of iodine isn't a proven fact that it will help or add in the pulsing of xenia.....I've been told it has to do more on the PH.....and besides iodine can be toxic and shouldn't be dosed unless tested for......


New Member
I agree about the PH thing. Mine seem to pulse more with a higher PH and out of direct water flow. Also noticed a big difference when I started using REEF CRYSTALS salt instead of CORALIFE salt. Thats just my experience.


Active Member
On the pH thing. My xenia pulse like mad and my pH is on the low side. Usually about 7.9. They pulse in high flow and low.
Xenia is and always will be a mystery it seems.


My xenia grows like Kudzu. I don't think I could kill it. Lots of flow, and no other specal care. I pull some monthly and carry to the LFS.


Active Member
bottom line is nobody really knows why they act like they do ... as stated, it's a "Xenia mystery."


my xenia does great and i have some pretty crappy lighting... after a week I noticed new stalks growing on the bottom..


Active Member
Mine pulse equally when all my flow is on and when I turn the pumps off for feeding.
It could be you have a Xenia type that doesnt really pulse.


Active Member
Originally Posted by clown316
my xenia does great and i have some pretty crappy lighting... after a week I noticed new stalks growing on the bottom..

IME...Xenia seems to thrive on less than perfect conditions..


Active Member
Sometime is hard to tell what is wrong with them they just go through slumps and recover sometimes but then it will die off where it is known as a melt down. Anything can be the cause but as far as I know they come and go so just keep waiting it out it will might turn around eventually. The pulse thing is just a mystery they either pulse when they feel like it or complete stop but just keep your alk and ph in check which most are assuming that what is usually getting it to pulse.