THE KLYXUM SP. SOFT CORAL

Description: The soft corals of the genus Klyxum are always finger shaped, and consist, with few exceptions, of a trunk from which individual branches stem. One of the characteristics of these invertebrates is the large brown polyps that protude from the trunk or the branches. The corals of this kind are capable of inflating themselves, reaching enormous dimensions by filling their hollow parts with the water surrounding them (hydrostatic skeleton). If they are disturbed they shrink, becoming insignificant heaps of tissue, releasing great quantities of a viscous secretion. This can be felt also on the skin after a brief contact, and it is a remarkable characteristic through which the genus is easily distinguishable from others with a similar development pattern (for example, Sinularia). About 15 years ago, the corals of this genus were defined in aquariology as “Cladiella”. Later it was found to be actually part of the genus “Alcyonium”, before being modified and creating the new genus Klyxum. In the aquariological market this coral is offered under the non-matching generic name of “Cladiella” or “Alcyonium”.

Klyxum

Lighting: Medium to high, it grows equally well under both fluorescent lamps and metal-halide lamps, but with the latter it shows more intense development.

Water movement: Medium, sometimes also strong.

Water quality: Not sensitive, it tolerates quite well water with a high organic matter content. Feeding: Not necessary, it mainly lives off the products of the symbiotic algae.

Cohabitation with fish: Without problems, as long as they are not coral eaters (for example, angel fish).

Cohabitation with invertebrates: It can cohabit with most other invertebrates, especially it can be kept with other soft corals without problems.

Breeding problems: Some nudibranch parasites often end up in the aquarium together with Klyxum corals that have just been imported, for example Dendronotus sp. The tissue regeneration of corals, when the aquarium is in good condition, is excellent, but the presence of parasites on other soft corals in the aquarium can be a problem. In this case, fresh water baths and natural predators like wrasses are advisable.

Artificial reproduction: With this genus, cutting individual branches is complicated. The fragments do not grow well on the new substrate, and the cut surface can easily contract infections that will turn into necrosis, causing tissue decay. Therefore, to make it propagate it is more favourable to place a rock next to the coral, to make it adhere to it, in order to later separate it slowly and without wounding it by using a nylon string (tightening it every two days). Obviously this procedure should only be done if the aquarium is in good condition, meaning when the mother colony is open and growing optimally.