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Starburst Polyp

(Pachyclavularia sp.)

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 Quick Care Facts

• Care Level: Easy   • Temperament: Peaceful   • Waterflow: Moderate to Strong
• Placement: Middle to Top   • Lighting: Medium to High   • Color Form: White, Brown, Green
 • Supplements: Iodine, Trace elements   • Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
• Origin: Indo-Pacific   • Family: Clavulariidae   • Species: Polyp Corals

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Native Habitat and Species Information

Starburst Polyp native habitat, distribution, behavior & aquarium compatibility.

The Starburst Polyps are also commonly referred to within the marine aquarium hobby as Star, Eight Tentacle, Mat, or Daisy Polyps. They are generally purchased encrusted to a piece of live rock that can then be placed within the reef aquarium, where they will begin to grow out onto nearby rocks. They are usually white or brown with a white dot in the center of each polyp, although, some of the more rare Starburst Polyps are green.

The green specimens have been called Clavularia viridis; however, they are now identified as a Pachyclavularia sp. They have the distinctive eight-leaved tentacles on each polyp and are colonial animals with several individual polyps attached to a single piece of live rock. Starburst polyps are relatively easy to maintain in an established reef aquarium with relatively strong water currents and intense lighting.

Aquarium Care

How to successfully keep Starburst Polyp in the home aquarium.

Starburst Polyps are encrusting colonial corals, in that under proper conditions they will rapidly grow over adjacent rock work, coral and aquarium glass. Therefore, they should be carefully placed where they will have both proper lighting and water movement, but also area to expand without conflicts with other coral species. They are a peaceful coral, but they are armed with the defensive capability of being able to retract or deflate each of their polyps in response to predation. They will not harm other corals that are placed close to their colony, but are susceptible to being damaged by any aggressive corals in the reef aquarium.

They require intense medium to high light level (metal halide or power compact) combined with a medium to strong water movement within the aquarium and should be placed from the middle to the top of the aquarium. In an established reef aquarium, they are easy to maintain and make an excellent candidate for both beginning and advanced reef aquarists. To provide for their continued good health, they will also require the addition of iodine and other trace elements to the water.

Feeding & Nutrition

How to feed and provide proper nutrition for Starburst Polyp.

The symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within their bodies provide the majority of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. This makes high quality intense lighting very important for this species as it will allow them to produce the necessary amounts of food. They also benefit from weekly feedings of micro-plankton or other foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.

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