The Fish Guru

The Mesmerizing Pulsing Xenia Coral: A Guide to Care and Growth

The Pulsing Xenia Coral: A Gentle and Active Soft Coral

Have you ever heard of the Pulsing Xenia Coral? This fascinating soft coral is known for its captivating movement and ease of care, making it a popular addition to many aquariums.

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into different aspects of the Pulsing Xenia Coral – from its history and characteristics to its care requirements and growth habits. By the end, you’ll have a newfound appreciation for this beautiful and active soft coral.

Background on Pulsing Xenia

The Pulsing Xenia Coral, scientifically known as the Xenia elongata and Heteroxenia fuscescens, is native to the Indo-Pacific region, where it grows in shallow waters. This particular species of coral is called “pulsing” because it has the ability to rhythmically contract and expand its polyps, creating a unique and mesmerizing movement, similar to the pulsing of a heartbeat.

Pulsing Xenia in the Aquarium

Aquarists have cultivated and propagated the Pulsing Xenia Coral for many years, leading to the availability of aquacultured specimens. This breed of the coral can be easily propagated by fragging or cutting the coral and then attaching it to a piece of live rock or reef.

However, aquarists must be vigilant with the placement of this coral, as it can quickly become invasive and outcompete other corals for nutrients and space. This corals growth rate is fast, and it can quickly overtake space in the aquarium.

Therefore, aquarists need to keep an eye on it and regulate its growth. For instance, they can prune its branches regularly to maintain its size or move it to a larger tank if it starts taking over space in the current setup.

Factors to Consider When Deciding on Purchasing Pulsing Xenia Coral

Before purchasing Pulsing Xenia Coral, several factors to consider include your tanks available space, the presence of aggressive corals that compete for resources, and the management of the corals growth. If you want to add this coral to your aquarium, organize it into a specific zone or island and begin monitoring it from that position.

Moreover, Pulsing Xenia Coral releases a toxin that is harmful to other LPS (Large Polyp Stony) corals and some SPS (Small Polyp Stony) corals. That being said, it might be a better fit in your sump or quarantine tank before introducing it in the main display tank.

Characteristics of Pulsing Xenia Coral

Now, let’s dive deeper into the characteristics of Pulsing Xenia Coral. Scientific Name and Common Names:

The Pulsing Xenia coral primarily has two scientific names, Xenia elongata and Heteroxenia fuscescens.

It has a few common names such as Waving Hand Coral, Pulse Coral, and Pom Pom Coral.

Coral Type, Care Level, and Activity:

The Pulsing Xenia coral is an active, peaceful, and easy to care for coral that is considered a soft coral.

This type of coral is best suited for intermediate and beginning level aquarists. Lifespan and Temperament:

The lifespan of Pulsing Xenia Coral in a well-maintained aquarium can be up to ten years.

This species’ temperament is peaceful, making it a great addition to almost any aquarium. Minimum Tank Size, Temperature, pH, Salinity, Lighting, Flow Rate, Water Type, and Color:

Pulsing Xenia Coral’s minimum tank size can be any size since it doesn’t grow too large, and it can enhance any sized tank.

To maintain a healthy Coral colony, keep the temperature between 73-81 Degrees Fahrenheit, the pH between 8.1-8.4, and the salinity between 1.023-1.025. High-quality lighting is required for Pulsing Xenia Coral, but not direct LED lights which might bleach or burn the corals polyps.

A moderate-to-strong flow is best suited for Pulsing Xenia Coral, as it can help distribute nutrients and keep the coral’s polyps clean. Pulsing Xenia Coral thrives in saltwater and comes in shades of grey, pink, tan, and white.

Diet and Breeding:

Pulsing Xenia Coral primarily grows by pulling nutrients and minerals out of the water rather than feeding directly on food. This is called water absorption.

They also have a unique way of breeding, referred to as splitting. During normal growth cycles, this coral often splits itself into two polyps if necessary.


In conclusion, the Pulsing Xenia Coral is a unique and fascinating soft coral that is easy to care for and comes in a variety of beautiful colors. Although it can become invasive in the aquarium if not monitored, its active, peaceful demeanor, and unique movement is what makes this coral a popular addition to many aquarists’ tanks.

Remember, if you’re thinking of adding Pulsing Xenia Coral to your tank, consider your space and growth management before making a purchase. With proper care, this coral will flourish and become a showpiece in your aquarium.

3) Pulsing Xenia in the Aquarium

If you are thinking of adding Pulsing Xenia Coral to your aquarium, it is essential to understand the coral’s hardiness, growth rate, and success tips for keeping it healthy. Moreover, having troubleshooting tips at hand will help you address common problems that arise when keeping Pulsing Xenia.

Hardiness and Growth Rate

In general, Pulsing Xenia Coral is perceived as a hardy soft coral that can withstand minor changes in water quality. With that said, low nitrates and phosphates can hinder the growth and proper coloration of Pulsing Xenia Coral.

Xenia Coral responds better to high nutrient levels where it consumes nutrients present in the aquarium system to grow and spread. Moreover, other factors, such as water chemistry and lighting, can also affect Pulsing Xenia Coral’s growth rate.

Generally, a minimum of moderate lighting should be provided, but direct LED lighting, T5s, or Metal Halides can easily bleach out the polyps or even burn them.

Success Tips for Keeping Pulsing Xenia

Having Pulsing Xenia Coral aquacultured means purchasing a healthy colony of this funky coral is easier than ever. The use of frag plugs can help contain the growth of the coral and reduce the chance of it becoming too invasive in your tank.

Moreover, regular trimming is necessary to prevent Pulsing Xenia Coral from spreading too much in your tank’s space. Moreover, providing enough space for the coral to grow freely will help boost its growth and prevent overcrowding.

It is essential to keep Pulsing Xenia Coral away from aggressive corals that can compete for space and nutrients, causing it to shrivel up and die.

Troubleshooting Pulsing Xenia

Invasion can occur if Pulsing Xenia is not monitored correctly. If it starts encroaching on other corals or overgrows its limits, you need to act fast.

Before taking any drastic measures, try containing or trimming the coral. Its important to remove as much of it as possible rather than just trimming, as Xenia can propagate from even the tiniest of pieces.

4) Alternative uses for Pulsing Xenia

While Pulsing Xenia Coral is a beautiful addition to almost any type of reef system, there are alternative uses for it that make it beneficial for specialized aquarium setups.

Pulsing Xenia in Refugiums

Pulsing Xenia Coral’s ability to absorb high levels of nitrates and phosphates makes it an excellent choice for a refugium. This type of tank is designed to provide a secluded area for macroalgae growth and different types of filtration media.

Pulsing Xenia snuggles amongst the macroalgae and provides a perfect hiding place for other marine species that can’t coexist comfortably in the main tank.

Pulsing Xenia in Specialized Tanks

A Xenia only tank is another example of a specialized aquarium setup that highlights Pulsing Xenia Coral’s beauty and unique movement. With the right lighting, water chemistry, and a specific type of live rock, Pulsing Xenia can truly shine on its own.

It can also create a hypnotic motion as it pulses to the rhythm of the water current.

Pulsing Xenia with Other Inhabitants

In aquariums with clownfish, Pulsing Xenia Coral can provide a great hiding place for the fish while adding an aesthetic appeal to the aquarium. Pulsing Xenia Coral can also be introduced to a tank that already has aggressive corals.

Although Pulsing Xenia Coral can release toxins that hinder the growth of LPS corals and some SPS corals, it works well with zoas and mushrooms. In conclusion, Pulsing Xenia Coral is an attractive addition to any reef tank, whether it is a refugium, Xenia only tank, or even in a community tank with other marine species.

The coral’s unique movement, combined with its hardiness and easy care, make it a popular choice among aquarists worldwide. With the correct lighting, water chemistry, and placement in your tank, Pulsing Xenia will thrive and become a beautiful showpiece in your aquarium.

5) Personal Experiences with Pulsing Xenia

The personal experiences of readers who keep Pulsing Xenia Coral are as unique and varied as the hobby itself. Whether it is a fascination with its mesmerizing movement or its beautiful coloration, Pulsing Xenia Coral has won the hearts of many aquarists.

Sharing experiences and photos will help inspire and educate others interested in keeping this coral in their tanks.

Reader Experiences and Photos

Over the years, readers have shared their experiences and photos with us, highlighting the different ways that Pulsing Xenia Coral has enhanced their aquariums. One reader, John, shared a picture of his Pulsing Xenia colony that he has been keeping for over three years.

John said that he was initially hesitant about adding Pulsing Xenia Coral to his tank, but the coral’s captivating movement and vibrant coloration quickly won him over. John also mentioned that although Pulsing Xenia Coral can get invasive, he has had no problem keeping it under control by regular trimming and monitoring.

Another reader, Katy, shared how she uses Pulsing Xenia Coral in her refugium setup. She explained that the coral helps absorb nitrates and phosphates, allowing her to keep her fish healthy and her water parameters stable.

Katy also shared how adding Pulsing Xenia Coral to her refugium provided a hiding place for her clownfish, creating a homey feel in her aquarium. In addition to readers’ experiences, some photos displayed the beauty of the coral if placed correctly with the right lighting, flow, and water chemistry.

The photos show how the Pulsing Xenia Coral blends in seamlessly with its environment, providing a stunning visual appeal. In conclusion, reading the experiences and seeing the photos of fellow aquarists who keep Pulsing Xenia Coral can inspire and educate those interested in including the coral in their aquariums.

From adding color, intricate motion, and filtering capabilities, Pulsing Xenia Coral has much to offer any tank setup. With proper care and maintenance, this quirky and captivating soft coral will mesmerize and captivate aquarists for years to come.

In conclusion, Pulsing Xenia Coral is a fascinating and popular soft coral that offers a unique and mesmerizing movement that has captivated aquarists worldwide. Its hardiness, fast growth, and ease of care make it a great choice for beginners and experienced hobbyists alike.

However, its invasive nature requires monitoring and containment to succeed in the aquarium. By considering factors such as lighting, flow, placement, and other inhabitants in your tank, you can provide the optimal environment for Pulsing Xenia Coral to thrive.

Whether in a refugium, a Xenia only tank, or a community tank, the personal experiences and photos shared by fellow aquarists showcase the beauty and versatility of this coral. Therefore, one-key takeaway would be that researching a coral before adding it to your aquarium is paramount in ensuring its success and aiding its growth.

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