The Bushy Sea Rod is a more aquarium friendly gorgonian that should be housed in a tank that is at least 100 gallons. The lack of light in this video is to help the gorgonian adjust. They grow to over 3 feet (1 meter) and need straight moderate water flow, moderate to strong lighting that has 350 to 550 nm for best absorption and 0 phosphates. They can be easily overtaken by cyanobacteria and algae. Avoid the Flamingo Tongue snail and snails form the Murex genus, as these corals will be eaten by them.
This video shows many of the characteristics of the Pacific Encrusting Gorgonian. Great for beginners, this encrusting gorgonian mat has green polyps, as opposed to the tank or brown Briareum of the Atlantic. The Pacific Encrusting Gorgonian has a pale gray or even a slight cast of purple as can be seen in this video. Green Star Polyps have a dark to bright green polyp and a purple base, so they are easy to tell apart
The Encrusting Gorgonian, while sometimes having a blue to green cast, is typically cream or light brown. They area easy to care for and will spread onto any surface they come in contact with. They do well with most water movement and do need light to survive and will grow quicker in strong lighting and feeding. They do not need to be fed if there are fish in the tank. Position them away from other corals, as they will overgrow them.
This video makes us all want to run out and buy one of these beautiful gorgonians! Before you do, you may want to use this check list! First, your tank should be at least 50 gallons, since they can grow to 16 inches. Your tank should be at least a year old with very stable water conditions and 0 phosphates. Turn your light down or put them somewhere else in the tank that has dim lighting. When kept in a brightly lit tank, cyanobacteria seems to quickly cover and kill the Finger Sea Fan. Feed everyday with small planktonic foods or finely minced thawed frozen foods. They do not have a good record for survival, often starving or death by cyano, algae or too much handling by the aquarist.
The commentary on this video is helpful. The Finger Sea Fan eats every day and uses it's white polyps to take in very small foods. They do not need much light and tend to become covered with cyanobacteria, which is hard to see on this particular color for obvious reasons. Water quality should be high and 0 phosphates. Do not buy a Flamingo Tongue snail, as it will quickly eat your beautiful gorgonian!
The Purple Bush Sea Fan is the only other plumelike Atlantic gorgonians. They have cylindrical branchlets which sets them apart from Pseudopterogorgia. They are found in shallower waters in various habitats and can be brown or yellow, however purple to purple-gray are the most common. They are not as easy to care for unless the water quality is good. They will shed their outer layer and rind periodically, appearing to be dead, so do not throw it away too soon!
This video is quite relaxing! The Purple Sea Blade, found in the same waters as the Purple Bush Sea Fan compliment each other! Purple Sea Blades are a little less "fluffy" having flat blades, which help slow down water and the floating yummy foods it carries. Their polyps grow on the edges of the blades and even though the polyps are white (which non-photosynthetic have), they actually are a photosynthetic gorgonian. This Purple Sea Blade also has a "sister, P. citrinia which is bright yellow, orange or brown with white polyps, and the olive colored morph is the most commonly collected for the marine trade. They need to be fed daily, have strong water movement, strong lighting, ZERO phosphates and good water quality.
This video shows an amazing grouping of Red Gorgonians in the wild. The polyps need to be fed so often that the water quality of the tank will suffer. Once they loose 10% of their polyps, death is imminent. These are best left in the ocean, since they are quickly overgrown by algae even in the best aquariums.
While many other gorgonians are shown in this video, making it worth watching, the Splendid Knotted Fan Coral close up is amazing! Sadly this coral has a dismal record of surviving in even the most pristine aquariums. They need heavy feeding, which in turn pollutes the tank, fouling the water. These are best enjoyed by watching amazing videos such as these. There are other similarly colored gorgonians that do better in captivity.