The Pom Pom Xenia is unique in its growth pattern. It grows on compact stalks unlike other Xenia. It has a pinkish tan coloration with light-colored polyps with eight tentacles. The Pom Pom Xenia, also known as the Red Sea Xenia, is found in the Indo-Pacific and (you guessed it) the Red Sea. The Pom Pom Xenia frags sold here are aquacultured by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, these corals are grown in aquariums, which comes with benefits that we will discuss later.
Xenia is about as easy as it gets when it comes to coral care. However, there are some basic things you should know about if you want to give this coral the most ideal conditions.
Let’s start with lighting. Xenia can be placed under low to high lighting. They aren’t picky. The type of light doesn’t really matter either. Just choose what looks best visually or what is needed by other corals. Certainly do not let this coral determine your lighting.
Xenia are known for their pulsing motion. For a long time there were back and forth explanations of why this happens. A study in 2013 by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem concluded that the cause is flow. Flow is important for corals to exchange gasses, but sometimes adequate flow is not available. This is why Xenia pulses. It creates its own flow. The Pom Pom Xenia prefers moderate to strong flow, however the pulsing motion may not occur with strong flow. If you want to see that behavior, dial down the flow. However, not seeing the pulsing motion actually means you are giving the coral the proper amount of flow. Refer to this article for more information.
Xenia prefers higher than normal nutrient levels. For this reason, it is best to keep this coral with other nutrient loving corals, but low nutrients isn’t going to be a problem either. While the coral prefers relatively high nitrates and phosphates, low nutrients will likely only cause slightly slower growth.
If you have a low nutrient system, but you want this coral to grow faster, you can feed it. Feeding is not necessary as the coral gets most of its nutritional needs from its zooxantehllae, but it will cause a faster growth rate. Because this coral is already very fast growing, you will likely not want this.
That is the one downside to Xenia; they are very fast growing. Under certain conditions they can grow even faster than macroalgae. For this reason, you should be careful where you place this coral and be ready to trim it regularly. For some hobbyists, this coral can grow so fast that it becomes a pest. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get this coral, but it is something you should be aware of when making your decision. The good news is that this coral is incredibly hardy. If you’re a new hobbyists, this could be the perfect coral for you.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere.
Lighting: Low to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong.
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Aquacultured corals such as this Pom Pom Xenia from ORA are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. They are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. Keep your aquarium free of pests and do your part to decrease the impact our hobby has on the ocean by choosing aquaculture.