Button Polyps, or, Palys

Scientific Name: Protopalythoa sp.

Common Name: Palythoas, Palys, Button Polyps

Type of Coral: Softie

Lighting: Moderate and Moderate to Low

Flow: Moderate and Moderate to Low

Care Level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful to Semi-aggressive



These corals can come in a wide range colors and color combinations. While the heads can range in size from ½ to 2 inches, and the colony can grow at a fairly fast pace.  The edges of the heads can have a different texture when compared with zoas, however, for the most part palys are very similar in appearance to zoas.


Water Conditions

The below link highlights typical water conditions palys will require.  I have had the best luck when they were kept in water with 1 to 2 ppm of nitrate when lighting and flow requirements were meat and all other water parameters in line as described in the below link.



General Information

Palys are a colonial coral, meaning they form a colony of many individual polyps all connected together. As they do not have a calcified skeleton structure, they can be more tolerant of swings in the alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium when compared to other corals.  However, they will not be very tolerant to swings in pH, Temp, or salinity which is no different than any other coral or fish..  This makes palys are a very hardy soft coral placing them amount the easier to keep corals and making them an excellent choice as corals for beginners. They have also been known to grow very fast, almost like an invasive coral. Palys are also the least aggressive when it comes to defensive abilities. They can quite frequently become damaged and even start losing heads when they fall victim to another coral’s sting or exposed to those toxins.  In addition, the protective slime like coating that is on the palys can sometimes be a delicacy among the “coral nipping” fish.  This corals typically dies when a fish removes the outer slim coating from the coral.

The exterior slime coating on some types of palys is among the most toxic to humans as compared to other common corals in the hobby.  For this reason, please handle palys with care.  I would recommend wearing rubber glove whenever you handle corals



Palys can be easily fragged with very high success

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>