Category Archives: Corals


Zoanthid Corals ( Zoas )

Scientific Name: Zoanthus SP
Common Name: Zoanthids, Zoas.
Type of Coral: Softie
Lighting: Moderate and Moderate to Low
Flow: Moderate
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Peaceful to Semi-aggressive

 

Appearance

These corals can come in some spectacular range colors and color combinations, among the most amazing colors to be found in any soft coral.  Some zoas can have up to three different colors on them: one around the outer edge of the head, one on the head, and a third in the center of the head.  Zoas stay fairly small in size (less than 1 inch) but the colony can easily grow and expand.

Water Conditions

The below link highlights typical water conditions zoas 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. They have been known to tolerate higher levelers of nitrate for shorter periods of time.

https://www.reefaquarium.com/2013/the-basics-of-marine-aquarium-water-parameters/

 

General Information

Zoas are colonial type corals, 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 zoas 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. Zoas 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 zoas are a favorite delicacy among the “coral nipping” fish.  This corals typically dies when a fish removes the outer slim coating from the coral.

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 glove whenever you handle corals

 

Fragging

Zoas can be easily fragged with very high success

 

Clove Polyps

Scientific Name: Clavularia Sp

Common Name: Clove Polyps.

Type of Coral: Softie

Lighting: Moderate and Moderate to Low

Flow: Moderate and Moderate to Low

Care Level: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

 

Appearance

They only get to about 2 to 3 inches in height and have a head size of about ½ to ¾ inch.  These two can have slight color variations.  The heads can have a bright almost neon coloring to them while the tentacles branching off the heads can have a colored line running down the center of them that may or may not have different coloring as compared to the coloring in the center of the head. In contrast, some glove polyps will only have one solid color throughout the whole coral. The heads can retract into the base of the coral making it look like a purple lumpy spot on your rocks.

Water Conditions

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

https://www.reefaquarium.com/2013/the-basics-of-marine-aquarium-water-parameters/

 

General Information

Clove Polyps are colonial type corals, 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..

Clove polyps 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. Clove polyps 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.

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 glove whenever you handle corals

 

Fragging

Clove polyps can be easily fragged with very high success

Colt Coral

Scientific Name: Cladiella SP

Common Name: Colt Coral, Cauliflower Corals.

Type of Coral: Softie

Lighting: Moderate and Moderate to Low

Flow: Moderate and moderate to high

Care Level: Easy

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

 

Appearance

Generally speaking, leather corals are a soft skinned coral with visible polyps all over their skin.  A leather coral can look one way in a aquarium and then (over time) look very different when placed in another tank based only on the water parameters, lighting and flow.

Colt Corals can look similar to a finger coral, but the shape of the polyps and the tips of the fingers make it look more like cauliflower.  They will more commonly range in color from a brownish red to a light pink with the polyps a little brighter color than the base. They don’t get quite as big as a finger leather but will still need 12 to 14 inches of space in your tank based on its size potential and growth rates.

 

Water Conditions

The below link highlights typical water conditions this leather coral 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 met and all other water parameters in line as described in the below link.

https://www.reefaquarium.com/2013/the-basics-of-marine-aquarium-water-parameters/

 

General Information

As they do not have a calcified skeleton structure making them a little more tolerant of some water parameters like calcium. However, they will not be very tolerance to swings in pH, Temp, or salinity which is no different than any other coral or fish.  They are a very hardly coral making them a good choice for people new to the hobby. Most leathers have some very effective defensive abilities.  Leathers commonly have the ability to sting other corals and some fish along with emitting chemicals to ward off other corals from entering their space.   For this reason it is very important to understand how big your leather coral can get and plan for enough space between your leather coral and other corals.  Just leaving a few inches may not always be enough as some leathers can get surprisingly large. It would also be a good idea to have some carbon in your set-up in case your leather will start to emit defensive chemicals.  This is one coral that will be the least likely to be picked on by most fish in the hobby.

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 glove whenever you handle corals

 

Fragging

This leather can be easily fragged with very high success

 

feeding corals

Feeding Corals

Corals (with a few exceptions) will do very well without being feed when provided with the proper environment within a mature set-up.  Feeding corals will often accelerate their growth. When it comes to feeding, I will place corals into one of two groups, those with large mouths (large polyp corals like brains or plates), and those with very very small mouths (like stony polyp corals).  I have a different approach to feed each.
Continue reading

Spot Feeding Marine Clams

There are a lot of different opinions out there about the manual feeding of clams. I have had great success with weekly (or so) feedings until the clam is about 4 inches in size. I only feed monthly from 4 to 5 inches, following the below process.  The below process can also be used for the spot feeding of other filter feeders and some corals.
Continue reading

Good Corals For Beginners – Leather Corals

Leather corals are another very hardly coral making them a very good choice for people that are new to the hobby.  They are readily available throughout the hobby and they can also grow to become a great looking addition to any set-up if kept in the correct conditions.  These corals are very popular with both new hobbyist starting with corals for the first time, and advanced hobbyist as well making them among the most popular corals in the hobby today.

Generally speaking, leather corals are a soft skinned coral with visible polyps all over their skin.  The do not have a calcified skeleton structure making them a little more tolerant of some water parameters like calcium. There are hundreds of different species of leather corals. Properly identify the exact species can sometime be very difficult as their shape can altered due to environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, light intensity and water movement to name a few.  A leather can look one way in a aquarium and then (over time) look very different when placed in another tank.
Continue reading

Good Corals for Beginners: Mushroom Corals

Mushroom corals are a great choice for a beginner coral. They are a soft coral and among the hardiest of corals commonly found in the hobby today which can tolerate less than idea water conditions for short periods of time.  Mushrooms can also be found in a wide verity of colors and sizes making then a very great choice to add some color to any reef aquarium.   They are also readily available in most local fish stores and on-line reef stores.

There will be a few more articles posted on other easier/simpler corals to care for, so stay tune, more to come.

The below will outline the requirements to keep mushroom corals healthy and thriving in your tank.
Continue reading

Coral Diseases

Background

This is a very difficult topic to learn about, as for the most part, not enough scientific study has been completed yet. Coral disease research really did not get a lot of focus until the mid 1970s with many of the common diseases only becoming properly identified in the early 1990s. With the increasing levels of pollutants in the waters of the coral reefs, combined with the effects of global warming, more and more diseases have be developing, along with the frequency they are being found in among the ocean’s coral reefs.

This is (IMO) a very serious threat to the long-term health of our coral reefs today. For example, White band disease has had a devastating impact in the coral reefs in the Florida Keys (killing ~95% of all Acropora SPS corals), and in the Caribbean (infecting ~50% of the shallow water, mostly Elkhorn SPS corals within the first five years after this disease was discovered there). During the past 10 years, the Caribbean coral reefs are being affected more and more each year. New diseases have even started to surface that affect coralline algae (Coralline Lethal Algae Disease) which could also have a significant impact on health of our coral reefs.

Continue reading