Tubastrea Question

Discussion in 'NPS Corals' started by inwall75, Jan 27, 2012.

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  1. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

    Sep 10, 2003
    I have been having great success with NPS animals as of late. I'm actually enjoying this little challenge.

    One of the things I've noticed recently is the growth pattern of some of my tubastrea (sun coral). I've been telling people for years that each and every polyp has to be fed because each cup is a solitary animal. However, I've noticed that their tissue tends to grow together....almost like a coenenchyme. If that's the case, then one polyp can share nutrients with another.

    So what's the deal? Can they share nutrients or not?
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  3. Servillius

    Servillius Montipora Digitata

    Feb 7, 2011
    Houston, Texas.
    I have no expertise, but I've heard this before and had trouble accepting it. It seems like an evolutionarily awkward innovation. It would also mean that an otherwise healthy colony would regularly or more frequently than is apparent in nature, have starving members. Since the death of individuals is detrimental to the colony, someone would have to point out some offsetting benefit to not sharing nutrients before I give up my scepticsm.
  4. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

    May 24, 2009
    They might be able to share nutrients, but I would bet they still all need to be fed. If you compare them to other corals that use photosynthesis, even though the polyps grow the flesh together parts well so die if shaded.
  5. khowst

    khowst Bangghai Cardinal

    Mar 14, 2011
    FLW, Mo
    I think this could be a close comparision to the 'surviving' vs 'happy' debate we see with large fish vs small tanks here on the forum. Whats good and whats optimal.

    With connective tissue I would definitely agree there is some nutirtional value being transmitted, it would only make sense. Think of it like the twins that are born connected at the head. Gross yes, but follow my example.... They do share blood, and there for carry nutrients between the two, but feeding just one wouldnt sustain them both. Both heads would require feeding for them both to remain healthy and grow since the main digestive system and organs are seperate.