Species Profile Sections: Info, Discussions & Photos
Info  Quick Care, Species Info, Aquarium Care & Photos
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Button Polyp
(Protopalythoa sp.)
Quick Care FactsCare Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi-Aggressive
Waterflow: Medium
Placement: Middle or Bottom
Lighting: Moderate
Color Form: Brown, Green, Tan, Yellow, Blue, Pink
Supplements: Iodine, Trace Elements
Water Conditions: 72-78° F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12
Origin: South Pacific
Family: Zoanthidae
Species: Polyp Corals
Species Information
The Protopalythoa Button Polyp Corals, are also commonly referred to within the aquarium hobby as Moon Polyps, Encrusting Anemones, or Sea Mats, are generally brown or tan in color, but may also be green and fluoresce under actinic lighting. Button Polyp Corals are a colonial animal with multiple individual polyps attached to a piece of live rock or coral rubble. Over time with proper aquarium conditions Button Polyp Corals will grow out with more and more colonies being produced and over time can create a mat or carpet like appearance.
Aquarium Care
Button Polyp Corals are very easy to maintain in an established reef aquarium with only moderate water flow and lighting being required. Their polyps have the ability to sting other animals and are semi-aggressive; therefore, they need to have space between their colony and any other neighbors. Button Polyp Corals grow rapidly and will crowd out their neighbors including any sessile life; it is this rapid growth and the resulting appearance that gives them the name Sea Mats.
Button Polyp Corals will reproduce easily in the reef aquarium by budding (splitting off a portion of their base or mouth), which will increase the size of their colony. For continued good health, they will also require the addition of iodine and other trace elements to the water. As with other semi-aggressive fast growing corals, be sure to place this species where it will have room to grow without coming into contact with other specimens.
Feeding & Nutrition
Button Polyp Corals receive most of their nutrition through the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within their bodies, which provides the majority of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. Button Polyp Corals will also benefit from weekly feedings of micro-plankton or brine shrimp which should be fed to each individual of the colony.
Additional Photos