Cabbage Leather Coral
Quick Care Facts
• Care Level: Easy • Temperament: Semi-aggressive • Waterflow: Moderate to Strong
• Placement: Any • Lighting: Medium to High • Color Form: Tan, Green, Pink Blue
• Supplements: Strontium, Iodine, Trace Elements • Water Conditions: 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Origin: Fiji, Indonesia, Indo-Pacific • Family: Alcyoniidae • Species: Soft Corals
Native Habitat and Species Information
Cabbage Leather Coral native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.
The Cabbage Leather Coral (Sinularia dura) is found widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific, where it takes on a variety of shapes and color forms. The most common colors are tan and green; however, Cabbage Corals will also exhibit pink and blue coloration depending on lighting and other tank conditions. Cabbage Leathers are ideally suited for aquarium life as they will readily adapt to a wide variety of tank conditions.
This makes the Cabbage Coral perfect for beginning reef hobbyists and for mixed reef tanks that have more aggressive fish species. Larger fish species like Large Angelfish who can be very destructive towards many species of corals containing polyps will not generally bother leather corals like the Cabbage Leather. The flexible nature and hardy disposition of the Cabbage Leather Coral make it well suited for any sized reef aquarium and most community fish aquariums as well.
How to successfully keep Cabbage Leather Coral in the home aquarium.
Cabbage Leather Coral can tolerate a wide range of lighting and water flow conditions, which allows for flexible placement within the aquarium. Cabbage Corals will do best with moderate to high lighting and medium water flow; however, they can also tolerate low lighting and water flow conditions as well. Lower light conditions will slow the corals growth rate and can have an affect on the coloration exhibited.
Hobbyists should experiment with positioning within the aquarium as the optimum position within the tank will vary depending on lighting and water flow. Cabbage Leather Corals require a rock or hard shell surface on which to grow and encrust. They should be placed at least a couple of inches from neighboring corals in order to avoid causing damage to them. Cabbage Corals will shed their waxy coating from time to time in order to remove detritus buildup, during which time they will appear to shrink up.
However, this is a natural occurrence and does not reflect on the overall health of the coral as they will open back up within a few days to a weeks time. In addition to the basic tenants of good reef keeping (clean, stable water parameters), Cabbage Leather Corals will appreciate the addition of trace elements, strontium and iodine which are replenished during partial water changes.
Feeding & Nutrition
How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Cabbage Leather Coral.
The symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within the Cabbage Leather Corals body provide the majority of its nutritional needs from the light driven process of photosynthesis. However, the Cabbage Leather Coral will also benefit from additional food such as micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates, such as marine snow or other plankton based solutions. The addition of strontium, iodine, and other trace elements to the water, will also ensure ongoing good health.
How to successfully propagate Cabbage Leather Coral.
As the Cabbage Coral propagates naturally by splitting off a portion of its base and then encrusting or growing onto nearby rocky surfaces, it is very easy to speed this process up within the aquarium via cuttings. By simply cutting off a portion of the coral and placing it on a rocky surface, the Cabbage Leather Corals has the distinction of being one of the easiest coral species to propagate within the marine aquarium environment. Simply use a sharp razor blade or pair of scissors to cut off one or more of the corals heads.
The cut head can then be glued to a frag plug or piece of coral rubble using super glue gel or similar product. It is also possible to place cut coral head into a rocky crevice with low water flow and it will attach itself to the rock in a matter of days. Leather corals in general lend themselves well to fragging and are even suitable fragging candidates for beginning reef hobbyists.
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