Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Porites

Porites


Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Poritidae, Genus Porites

Common names: boulder coral, Christmas tree worm rock

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 3 to 4): These corals can be quite unforgiving and intolerant. They are not impossible to keep but demand well established aquariums and experienced care.

Feeding: A small polyped coral, they have poor prey capture ability and feed only on very small particle food. In a well fed tank with a variety of food, additional feeding might not be necessary.

Lighting (Level 7 to 10): Though adaptable to some degree, these corals usually need more intense lighting conditions. The ideal lighting for any particular coral will depend on the species and/or the depth and clarity of the water where it was collected or cultured. As with any zooxanthellate coral, coloration can change in response to changing lighting conditions. As always, sudden changes in lighting conditions can result in bleaching. Be sure to acclimate properly.

Water flow: Strong, turbulent water flow is important for effective feeding, good health and to prevent sediment damage.

Placement: Not a particularly aggressive coral in captivity, they can easily be overgrown by more aggressive tank mates.

General: In the wild, Porites corals grow to be quite massive, some being several thousand years old. To increase chances of survival, keep only in well established aquariums that are at least a year old. Steady tank parameters and calcium levels of at least 420 ppm will promote coral health and growth.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals. \

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water. Step

3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Pocillopora

Pocillopora (and Stylophora)


Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Pocilloporidae, Genera Pocillopora and Stylophora

Common names: cauliflower coral

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 3 to 4): These corals can be quite sensitive and intolerant of unstable conditions. Though not impossible to keep, they require experienced care and well established aquariums.

Feeding: Small polyp corals, they have poor prey capture ability and need food of very small particle size. In a well fed tank with a variety of food, additional feeding might not be necessary.

Lighting (Level 6 to 10): Though adaptable, Pocillopora spp. tend to grow faster and fair better under more intense lighting. The ideal lighting for any particular coral will depend on the species and the depth and clarity of the water where it was collected or cultured. As with any zooxanthellate coral, coloration can change in response to changing lighting conditions. And as with all corals, sudden changes in lighting conditions can result in bleaching. Be sure to acclimate properly.

Water flow: Like Acropora spp. and Montipora spp., these corals need strong water flow for effective feeding, health and growth.

Placement: These are not aggressive corals and can be overgrown or out-competed by faster growing or more aggressive neighbors.

General: Some species are confused for branching Montipora. Fortunately, care requirements are mostly similar for both corals. Steady tank parameters and calcium levels of at least 420 ppt will promote coral health and growth. Pocillopora spp. can grow relatively fast under favorable conditions. A brooding coral, Pocillopora can sexually reproduce in captivity.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Pipe Organ Coral

Pipe Organ Coral


Class Anthozoa, Order Alcyonacea, Family Tubiporidae, Genus Tubipora

Common names: pipe organ coral, organpipe coral

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 3 to 4): These corals can be difficult to keep because they are difficult to feed. They tend to fair better in established aquariums with well populated sand beds. The manner of collection may be a factor in the difficulty of maintaining these corals in aquariums. A coral that is well established on a rock base will usually fare well while a coral that has been collected by being sliced from the top of a colony in the wild will not.

Feeding: The coral's feathery polyp tentacles help it catch food suspended in water. They appreciate food of smaller particle size, but shouldn't be target. Oyster eggs and other such small particle foods are recommended.

Lighting (Level 7 to 10): Though adaptable, these corals prefer more intense lighting. Ideal lighting will depend on the depth and clarity of the water at which the coral was collected or cultured. As always, please acclimate to new lighting conditions.

Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is important for effective feeding and to prevent sediment damage.

Placement: Pipe organ corals are not aggressive. Provide enough space for the coral polyps to extend without inhibition. Polyps can reach up to a foot in height when fully grown and fully extended.

General: The polyps of these corals retract into red, pipelike structures held together with calciferous (calcium carbonate containing) horizontal plates. This often leads new aquarists to mistake them for stony corals when they are actually classified as soft corals.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1:

Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2:

Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3:

Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Problems with Aquatic Plants.

If you grow your aquarium plants at optimal light levels and the proper temperature, provide the proper pH and water hardness as well as supply them with all the needed nutrients you will probably never see plant diseases or deficiencies. Incorrect care is often the main cause of stunted growth and plant damage. Here I will discuss the different problems we encounter with plants, their causes and remedies.

Nutritional and trace element imbalances.


Errors made with supplying plants with the nutrients and trace elements can lead to plant damage and damage to the aquariums ecosystem. You should try to avoid these mistakes if at all possible.

Carbon Dioxide Deficiency. (CO2)

  • Symptoms: The plants stay much smaller and grow more slowly than plants fertilized with CO2. Rough Calcium deposits on the leaves. Breakdown of the pH system causing a rise in pH.

  • Causes: A lack of CO2 can arise even with optimal care. All plants use CO2 in their respiration process and it is difficult to maintain an equilibrium. Vigorously Aerated or agitated water increases CO2 loss, as the gas escapes into the air.

  • Remedy: Regularly fertilize with CO2 and try to limit the amount of aeration and water agitation in your tank


Excess Carbon Dioxide CO2.

  • Symptoms: The fish gasp at the water surface for air, as if they are suffocating.

  • Cause: Oxygen deficiency resulting from over fertilization with co2, dirty filter material, poor lighting, too large of a fish load and bad tank maintenance.

  • Remedy: Check all your maintenance procedures and filters, look for dead animals and plants. If you use an automatic CO2 fertilization system, adjust the amount released and make sure it does not run at night when the lights are off.


 

Oxygen Deficiency.

  • Symptoms: The fish go through many bouts of disease and have a loss of vigor. With a long term deficiency the plants become stunted and the tank has excess algae growth.

  • Causes: Insufficient nutrients or light, as a result the plants are not able to produce Oxygen from the assimilation of Carbon Dioxide. The Nitrogen cycle of the tank slows due to the aerobic bacteria not working or slowly working. The results are water overloaded with waste products and an excess of CO2.

  • Remedy: Check the filters, lighting, fish population, all other tank maintenance procedures and especially your feeding habits. Make any needed alterations or corrections.


Potassium Deficiency.

  • Symptoms: Yellowing of the marginal sections of the young leaves. Trace element deficiency, usually Iron Chlorosis.

  • Cause: Your local water supplier or your Reverse Osmosis/DI filter removes the Potassium from the water. So a deficiency may arise.

  • Remedy: Regular fertilization.


Excess Phosphate.

  • Symptoms: Production of the Iron Phosphate causes the leaves to turn Black or Brown and to die. In addition if there is an excess of Nitrates your tank will experience an Algae bloom.

  • Cause: Not performing your water changes on schedule or not changing enough water.

    Remedy: change a large portion of your water right away. Then modify your tank maintenance routine to include larger water changes or more frequent ones.


 

 

Cryptocoryne Disease
Cryptocoryne Rot.


  • Symptoms: In the early stages small holes develop in the leaves or along the leaf margins. Advanced stages will affect the entire plant or group and cause the breakdown of all the leaves.

  • Cause: Not known for sure, but excess Nitrate is a factor. Unclean water, improper nutrients and insufficient light also contribute to the onset of this disease. The odd thing about this disease that by trying to correct the above stated causes, often triggers this disease. Not regular maintenance, but for example doing a water change after a long period or changing the lights well after they were used up can bring about the onset.

  • Remedy: Immediate improvement to the aquarium set up. Large water change, cleaning of the substrate, removal of all dead and decaying plant material. Don't baby the plants, just leave them alone and they should recover in a few weeks.

  • Prevention: Get on a regular maintenance schedule, do the water changes, keep up with the fertilization and change your lights when the recommended time arrives.


Iron Deficiency
Iron Chlorosis


  • Symptoms: Yellow leaves that become brittle and glassy and finally fall off or rot away.

  • Cause: Potassium deficiency, too little fertilizer and over-fertilization with Phosphate. In well fertilized aquariums it can be caused by an overly high amount of total Carbonate hardness in conjunction with a pH over 7.

  • Remedy: Regular use of an Iron rich fertilizer compound or a substrate which contains Iron additives. If needed lower the Carbonate hardness of the water.


 

 

Manganese deficiency.

  • Symptoms: Leaves turn Yellow but the Veins stay Green.

  • Cause: Unbalanced Iron fertilization.

  • Remedy: Use a fertilizer that contains all compounds needed by plants not just an Iron rich fertilizer.


Incorrect care and its end result.


Plants can often suffer from deficiency problems caused by the wrong choice in the aquarium substrate lighting and other accessories.

Problems in the substrate.

  • Symptoms: Gas bubbles rising to the surface any time the substrate is disturbed, stunted plant growth, poorly rooted plants and rotting roots that are Black in color.

  • Causes: The bottom material is too fine and/or has compacted. The Nutrients in the substrate have been used up.

  • Remedy: loosen the bottom material and add some heavier grade material as well as a substrate fertilizer like Laterite. If this does not improve the conditions a replacement of the entire bottom material may be needed.


Wrong water temperature.

  • Symptoms: If the water temperature is too cold the plants will cease to grow and eventually die. Too high of a water temperature the stem plants will have small leaves and long spaces between them and the Rosette plants will show little growth.

  • Cause: Malfunctioning or broken aquarium heater. Using a heater with too little wattage to properly heat the water.

  • Remedy: Purchase a new aquarium heater designed to handle your size tank. Keep a close eye on your temperature and watch for swings that could tell of a heater problem. For detailed information on heaters please go to the Basics section of the site.


Insufficient light.

 

  • Symptoms: The plants are weak and spindly, the leaves are pale Green to Yellow and the stems are frail and thin. On the Rosette plants the stalks are weak and the leaves are small. Stem plants have only a few leaves and long spaces between them. Growth closest to the light is strong and compact, lower sections could be bare of leaves. A fine layer of Diatoms begins to grow.

  • Causes: Not using enough wattage for your tank or not enough bulbs. The Fluorescent bulbs have lost there lumen output. The photoperiod is not long enough. Wrong spectrum lights heavy on the Red side, will cause tall and leggy plants. Blue spectrum bulbs will cause low squat growth and those in the Yellow/Green range will cause stunted growth.

  • Remedy: Add more lighting, replace your tubes or increase the time your lights stay on. Purchase the right full spectrum bulbs, the so called plant bulbs are a poor choice.

Pectiniidae

Pectiniidae


Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Pectiniidae, Genera Echinophyllia, Oxypora, Mycedium and Pectinia

Common Names: chalice coral

Natural Origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 2 to 3): Though not exactly beginner corals, most are tolerant and forgiving. Please note that they have delicate skeletons that break easily. Handle with care.

Feeding: Most species feed at night with long feeding tentacles. They generally have impressive prey capture ability and can feed on a variety of finely chopped sea foods, mysis and brine shrimp.

Lighting (Level 3 to 6): Though adaptable, moderate lighting is preferred. The ideal lighting for any particular coral will depend on the species and the depth and clarity of the water where it was collected or cultured. As with any zooxanthellate coral, coloration can change in response to changing lighting conditions. As always, sudden changes in lighting conditions can result in bleaching. Be sure to acclimate properly.

Water flow: Relatively gentle, but constant flow is ideal. Be sure that debris and sediment do not collect on the coral.

Placement: These can be aggressive corals. Please place with care, leaving several inches of free space around each specimen. They should also be placed at a slant to help keep the coral free of debris.

General: Members of this family are copious mucus producers and are probably not good candidates for smaller tanks less than 15 gallons. In small volumes, excessive coral mucus can cause fowling of the water and threaten the health of the whole tank.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Pavona

Pavona (Cactus Coral)


Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, Order Scleractinia, Family Agariciidae

Common names: cactus coral, lettuce coral, potato chip coral

Natural Origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 2): Though scarce in the aquarium trade, these corals can be relatively forgiving and tolerant in healthy aquariums.

Feeding: These are very small polyped corals. They feed on very fine particle foods (no need for targeted feeding).

Lighting (Level 6 to 10): These corals can adapt to a range of lighting intensities over time but generally prefer more intense lighting. As for all corals, changing lighting conditions can sometimes result in color changes in the coral. Note that when one of these corals changes color, that doesn't necessarily mean the coral is unhealthy. The coral may simply be adapting to your lighting conditions. This is true even of aesthetically unfavorable color changes. As always, take care to acclimate to new lighting conditions.

Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is important for feeding and to prevent sediment damage.

Placement: These are peaceful corals. Place safely away from aggressive corals. Be mindful of fast growing encrusting corals that will compete for space.

General: These corals have thin, fragile skeletons and interesting growth patterns that often look like clusters of petals. Contrary to normal wild behavior, in captivity, many species extend their polyps during the day. Though not especially fast growing, their resistance to disease upon breaking makes them good corals for captive propagation by fragmentation.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.

Montipora

Montipora


Class Anthozoa, Subclass Hexacorallia, Order Scleractinia, Family Acroporidae, Genus Montipora

Common names: velvet coral

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 2): Though not exactly beginner corals, they're usually considerably more tolerant than their Acropora cousins.

Feeding: These corals have nearly invisible polyps and rather poor prey capture ability. They fed on food of very small particle size. In a well fed tank with a variety of food, additional feeding is usually not necessary.

Lighting (Level 6 to 10): Most Montipora species can adapt to a considerably wide range of light intensities but tend to prefer and grow faster under stronger lighting. Like all photosynthetic corals, changing lighting conditions can sometimes result in color changes in the coral. Note that when one of these corals changes color, that doesn't necessarily mean the coral is unhealthy. The coral may simply be adapting to your lighting conditions. This is true even of aesthetically unfavorable color changes. As always, failure to acclimate to new lighting can cause bleaching.

Water flow: Plating species can be especially susceptible to sediment damage. Both branching and plating types need strong water flow.

Placement: These are very peaceful corals. Keep safely away from aggressive corals and be careful of fast-growing encrusting corals that will compete for space.

General: Different Montipora species can be encrusting, plating or branching. All three growth forms can grow very fast when kept well. Steady calcium levels of approximately 420 ppm are best for coral health and growth.

Sensitivity:

Level 1 - These corals are easy to care for, good for the novice aquarists.

Level 2 - These corals require slightly more attention than level 1 corals, but are generally tolerant and forgiving.

Level 3 - These corals require stable, established aquariums and care by an experienced aquarist.

Level 4 - These corals should only be kept by the most experienced aquarists.

Level 5 - These corals are not known to be able to survive in aquariums even when under the care of the most experienced aquarists

Note that this scale is not set in stone, but based on the numerous experiences and reports of professional and hobby aquarists. The sensitivity and tolerance of any given coral in your tank will depend on species, health when collected/purchased, how long it's been in captivity, and other factors that may or may not be knowable.

Lighting Scale (approximations):

Level 0 - no light

...

Level 3 - one foot below modest VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 5 - two feet below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

...

Level 6 - one foot below extensive VHO or T5 fluorescent lighting

Level 7 - two feet below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Level 8 - one foot below 250 watt single ended MH light (or 150-175 watt MH with HQI ballast)

...

Level 10 - one foot below 400 watt single ended MH (or 250 watt MH with HQI ballast)

Note that this scale is quite crude and only meant to provide a rough idea of the different levels of light intensities. How much (and what kind of) light actually reaches the corals in your tank also depends on the type of reflector in the light fixture, the temperature of the bulbs/lamps, the clarity of your tank water, etc.

It's also important to note that different individual corals, even of the same species, can have very different lighting requirements and ideals. Often times, the same types and species of wild caught corals come from different depths and different water clarities. It's nearly impossible to know what kind or how much light was getting to your coral when it was first taken from the wild. One advantage of aquacultured corals is that you can know what light they were grown under. Beyond health, the color of any given zooxanthellate (photosynthetic) coral will change and adapt in response to the lighting it is placed under. All corals are vulnerable to bleaching if not allowed to acclimate to a change to more intense lighting. If your coral begins to bleach, move it to an area of lower lighting and feed it especially well.

Acclimation:

Please, always take the time to acclimate new corals.

Step 1: Float the bag with the coral in the aquarium water (away from lights!) for about 20 minutes.

Step 2: Open the bag and test the salinity of the bag water.

Step 3: Add about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of tank water to the bag every 10-20 minutes until the bag water and tank water are approximately the same salinity. You can add less water over longer periods of time to acclimate more slowly for more sensitive animals (or when the bag water and tank water have substantially different salinity).

Acclimation can also be done in a bucket (rather than the transport bag). However, the bucket water temperature can get closer to room temperature than tank water temperature (especially for slow acclimations). Insulating the bucket in a Styrofoam box or cooler during acclimation should help.

To acclimate to new lighting conditions, first place the coral in a less light intense area of the tank. Every few days, move the coral towards more direct lighting until it is where you want it to be. If it begins to bleach at any point, move it back to a less light intense area. After the coral recovers, commence moving towards more direct light more slowly.

General "Disclaimer"

These care sheets are a brief presentation of the needs and characteristics of a variety of commonly kept aquarium corals. Though there's a lot of science in reef keeping, the hobby itself has always been and continues to be an imperfect science. Much is still unknown and there is often more than one way to do things. Please take what's written here as a starting point, but always keep an active and curious mind.