Decisions… or, Fluke Tabs and Sad Clowns?



I’ve got a small dilemma. Per usual, as in, every summer, I get a little lax about tank maintenance. So this last week has been spent doing a bit of cleaning, water changes, scrubbing, scraping, rearranging, and what not. The dilemma is this: Xenia umbellata. I know it’s the scourge of many reef tanks out there, but I like it. I dislike most forms of Xenia, but the Red Sea variety, in my opinion, is a spectacular animal.

Over the last couple months, it has been spreading like mad. I’ve had a patch of it in my tank for +2 years, but it is just now that it has decided to take off, and it getting a bit out of hand. So that leads me to a related dilemma: my clownfish. My pair of A. percula took this Xenia as home within 24 hours of being put into the tank, and the momma defends it to the death. I’ve been considering fluke tab removal of the Xenia, but I don’t want to deprive the clowns of their home.

My 2 thoughts have been a) once the tank gets back on track and I’ve manually removed as much as possible form the areas I don’t want it, possibly the once again clean water will keep it contained as it used to be. Or, b) remove the rock w/ Xenia that the clownfish host in, QT it, fluke the tank, and then put the rock back in. The issue I have with ‘B’ is that I am afraid any leftover trace of the fluke tabs may kill of the Xenia I wanted to save… but the plus side of ‘B’ is that I also have some anthelia and GSP that I definitely want no trace of, ever again, and the fluke tabs may take care of that…
decisions, decisions…

Off to do some reading on experiences with fluke tabs… here’s a video (cloudy after extreme maintenance). See, how could one possibly take the clowns from that xenia… I think they’d be devastated :). Check out the Ecsenius stigmatura about 1:30 in, cleaning out the kicked up sand from his hole. Also think I may have to hack down the M. capricornis a bit to re-position that rock.
*Post Script - I’ve halted all dosing of Fauna Marin products while I continue renovation. I am still running a reactor / stones, but have stopped all Power Trace, Bak, AA’s, etc. Until I get a grip, just sticking with bi-weekly doses of Prodibio bacs and carbon source.