Scientific Name: Goniopora Sp.
Common Name: Flower Pot Coral, Goniopora, Sunflower Coral
Type of Coral: LPS (Large Polyp Stony Coral)
Care Level: Moderate to Moderate / Difficult
Temperament: Peaceful to Semi-aggressive
As the name suggests, the flower pot coral can look like a bouquet of flowers when all of it’s polyps are open and extended. The base of the colony will be rounded and the polyps will extend far beyond the base. The polyps will also have small tentacles on the ends giving the coral its flower like appearance. They can also have a verity of colors from greens, reds, and even yellows as examples.
The below link highlights typical water conditions flower pot corals, just as with most LPS, will require. As this is a moderately difficult coral to keep, you should ensure your dKH, Cal and Mag levels are maintained at all times with minimal nitrate and phosphate levels. As this coral also has a calcified skeleton (or base), it will consume at least some calcium from your water. In set-ups with a good amount of LPS corals, it is not uncommon to have to dose dKH and Cal in order to keep the water parameters in line. With only a few LPS corals, a good water change schedule may be enough to maintain your parameters as well as replenishing trace elements. Some studies have also suggested the flower pot coral may to better (long term) with slightly elevated nitrate levels between 1 and 5 ppm.
Flower pot corals should be added to mature aquariums. Provided all their requirements are met, they colony can grow to about 7 to 9 inches. This is a not a very aggressive LPS coral but it still can sting other corals. A distance of 3 or 4 inches from other corals would be a good idea.
Clownfish have also been known to host in flower pot corals in aquariums that do not have anemones. Although this will not harm the clownfish, this can sometimes stress the coral to the point where it could become damaged and prone to infections.
These corals can also benefit from the occasional feeding of micro-planton. Although the below link shows how to spot feed clams, the same process can be applied to spot feeding flower pot corals.
As with all corals, the exterior slime coating can be a skin irritant or even highly toxic to humans so please, handle all corals with care. I would recommend wearing rubber gloves whenever you handle corals
Flower pot corals can be fragged.