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Christmas Tree Coral

(Sphaerella spp.)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Moderate   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Waterflow: Strong
• Placement: Bottom   • Lighting: Low   • Color Form: Tan, Brown
 • Supplements: Iodine, Trace Elements, Strontium   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Origin: Indo-Pacific   • Family: Paralcyoniidae   • Species: Soft Corals

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Christmas Tree Coral native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Christmas Tree Coral is also commonly referred to as the Medusa Coral, Snake Locks Coral, or French Tickler within the aquarium trade. It is a soft corals species that is usually a shade of brown, tan, or gray. This species of coral is moderately difficult to care for in the aquarium environment, mainly because it requires active feeding and medium to strong water currents near the bottom of the aquarium, where this species should be placed.

However, since this species does not utilize symbiotic algae as a food source, lighting is not crucial and in fact this species can thrive with low levels of light. This species is commonly found within the hobby and can be a very rewarding addition to an established reef aquarium if its basic needs are met.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Christmas Tree Coral in the home aquarium.

The Christmas Tree Soft Coral is overall a peaceful coral, but it will need space between itself and other species within the reef aquarium. This additional space is needed to avoid incidental contact of sweeper tentacles and the fact that it will often increase and decrease in size. The Christmas Tree Coral will often close up its tentacles at night, resembling a round or oblong potato and unfold its branches during the day resembling a Christmas Tree with drooping branches.

Placement in the sand, gravel, or rubble at the bottom of the reef aquarium where the light levels are lower and with adequate water parameters and medium to strong water movement should help it to thrive. For continued good health, it will also require the addition of strontium, iodine, and other trace elements to the water.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Christmas Tree Coral.

Christmas Tree Corals do not contain symbiotic algae, thus lighting is not as important a factor as it is with many other corals. However, this means the Christmas Tree Coral must be actively fed, since it does not produce its own food source. A proper diet for the Christmas Tree Coral should include live, baby brine shrimp, micro-plankton, and other small foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates, in order for this species to survive and thrive in the reef aquarium.

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