Pom Pom Xenia, Xenia umbellata, is the crown jewel among xenia species. It's hardy and very attractive with fast pulsing action. It does not grow as fast as other xenias, but pulses much quicker then tree xenia and has a nice white/pink color exact color depending on water chemistry and lighting conditions. Like all Xenia they are colonial animals with multiple individual polyps attached to a piece of solid substrate. The Xenia we ship you is many generations aquacultured. They have lived there entire life under aquarium lighting and with aquarium type water flow and movement. 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. It loves good lighting, good flow, and dirtier tanks. Zero nitrate tanks may find it less happy. All Xenia corals spread in a reef tank by adhering to rock work they come in contact with as they grows. They will attach themselves to a new rock and either break off from the original clump, or will remain attached if relatively adjacent.
We aquaculture our own Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia, Xenia umbellata, here at Aquarium Creations. Unlike most cut and snip coral frags of others, all of our Xenia is Aquacultured in house, sold only when fully developed. Aquacultured Corals have many advantages. The Xenia we ship you is many generations aquacultured. This is very important since aquacultured Xenia is hardier than wild-collected specimens and are without the potential to carry sea born infections, or disease to your tank. They have lived there entire life under aquarium lighting and with aquarium type water flow and movement. They are fully adjusted to reef aquarium lighting and the properties of artificial salt water.
Always wait at least 30 days prior to fragging any new corals, giving plenty of time to become very stable in your reef aquarium. To frag, use a brand new razor blade. Find a section that can easily be cut and removed from the existing coral. When placing your cut fragment back into the reef aquarium you can more or less put it where you want it in the aquarium in a crevice and it will usually adhere to the rock in less than an hour. Be aware to choose a location with not to much flow in that spot so it will stay put until it adheres. Occasionally Xenia will release and float around until it finds a home it prefers but this is rare. Usually that only happens when initially placing it. After a few days as long as the Xenia is securely attached to a piece of rock you can move the new Xenia to another location in the tank. We always suggest not moving a new Xenia out of its original aquarium for at least 30 days. This allows the new colony to become strong and healthy.
Lighting & Flow Requirements
The Red Sea Pom Pom Xenia, Xenia umbellata coral requires a moderate level of water flow and a low to moderate level of lighting. Lighting can be Power compacts, T5's, LED's or even Metal Halides. All lighting can grow Xenia Corals as long as the proper level of light is provided. If a Par meter is available the appropriate lighting level is anywhere from a Par 80 all the way to a Par 250. Which is a wide range of acceptability. For lighting spectrum use between a 14-20K color spectrum for your bulbs for best coloration.
Placement can be any where in the aquarium as long as it receives adequate water flow and lighting levels. Also be certain to leave enough room around your corals that they have room for growth without infringing on another corals growing room or lighting.
Diet and Feeding
Xenia corals receive the majority of their nutritional requirements through the process of photosynthesis, which simply means their lighting creates symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae in the body of the leather coral which provides its nutrition. We do recommend providing supplemental food such as micro-plankton or foods designed for filter-feeding invertebrates.