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Montipora Capricornis
(Montipora capricornis) Moderate Peaceful Strong Middle to Top Moderate to High Green, Purple, Pink, Orange, Tan Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025 Indo-Pacific Acropoidae SPS Hard Corals Montipora Capricornis is a popular species of SPS coral that is often referred to as a plate coral or vase coral, due to their distinctive outward growth pattern that resembles a plate or vase like shape. When grown under the proper lighting, water flow and water chemistry conditions Montipora corals are considered to be fast growing. Hobbyists should carefully consider initial placement of the Montipora Capricornis in order to allow room for it to grow both outward and upwards. Many hobbyists use Montipora Corals to create horizontal ledges off of the main reef rock work, which creates a very pleasing aesthetic. Montipora Capricornis can exhibit a wide variety of coloration's; however, the most common color forms are green, orange, purple, pink and red. It is also worth noting that Montipora Capricornis can exist in a variety of shades of each of these colors and can have outside edges of the coral that are a different color from the the rest of the coral. Montipora Capricornis will do best in reef aquariums that have strong lighting and strong laminar water flow. Strong lighting via metal halides, high-end compact fluorescent or high-end LED lighting systems is required to provide enough photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) for the symbiotic zooxanthellae hosted within the coral to be able to produce adequate food for the coral. Strong laminar water flow will both remove waste products from the surface of the coral and provide supplemental filter feeding opportunities. When placing the coral hobbyists need to keep in mind the fast growth rate, outward or horizontal growth pattern and lighting requirements of the coral. Hobbyists with reef tanks that employ strong lighting will often place Montipora Capricornis near the bottom of the aquarium in order to give it room to grow up and out, while hobbyists with less lighting will need to place the coral closer to the surface to provide enough nutrition for the coral. A good way to determine if the coral is happy in it's current location is to look to see if the corals outer edge has a white hue to it. This means that your coral is growing, which is a good indicator that the coral is happy and growing. Propagation of the coral is handled like most other SPS corals and is considered to be relatively easy. Hobbyists need simply cut off a piece of the parent coral and attached to a frag plug or piece of rock rubble to anchor it while it grows out. Propagation of Montipora corals is particularly easy as one need simply grab an edge of the coral and snap a piece of it off. Once the piece is removed it can be glued onto another area of the live rock or a separate location for grow out. It is okay to have your coral out of the water for several minutes while the glue is applied and to let it dry before being placed back into the tank. Montipora corals utilize photosynthesis to produce the majority own their own nutrition from the available aquarium lighting. They also contain polyps that will extend into the water column in order to filter feed on small plankton like food drifting through the water. It is important that proper lighting and water flow is provided so that the Montipora capricornis can both produce food and remove waste products from the surface of the coral. While not required, supplemental feedings of foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates will increase the already fast growth rate of the coral.
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Cauliflower Coral
(Pocillopora damicornis) Moderate Semi-aggressive Strong Middle to Top High green, brown, tan, pink Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025 Indo-Pacific, Fiji Pocilloporidae SPS Hard Corals The Cauliflower Coral (Pocillopora damicornis) is from the classification of Small Polyp Stony or SPS corals. Within the aquarium hobby they are referred to by a variety of names including: Lace Coral, Cluster Coral and Brush Coral. They vary not only in name, but also in color as they come in green, brown, tan or pink fluorescent color forms. Cauliflower Corals are best kept by hobbyists who have at least intermediate level experience keeping corals and reef aquariums. While they are not difficult to maintain, the Cauliflower Coral does need moderate to high lighting and strong water currents as it is a filter feeding specimen that takes much of its nutrition from organisms filtered from the water column. The Cauliflower Coral is also intolerant of poor water conditions, which makes them better candidates for well established reef aquariums. However, they will grow quickly in aquariums with adequate lighting and filter feeding opportunities. Filter feeding species like the Cauliflower Coral should be kept in mature reef aquariums that have ecosystems capable of supporting the micro-plankton organisms on which most filter feeding species feed. The Cauliflower Coral should be placed in a location on the reef to ensure that it receives plenty of moderate to high intensity lighting and so that it is well situated within the water column to filter food from the passing currents. Water flow should be strong and intermittent, not directly focused on the coral so that it does not create a constant pounding on the coral. Cauliflower Corals will spread onto nearby reef rock and will grow upwards and outwards, but do not extend larger sweeper tentacles that would damage nearby neighbors. They are considered to be a semi-aggressive coral species, which means that they do not have long sweeper tentacles but do grow outward towards their neighbors. They should be placed in an area on the reef where their "hairs" do not touch their neighbors and where their neighbors tentacles do not touch the Cauliflower Coral. As they use calcium to build out their skeletal structure, Cauliflower Corals will need calcium levels to remain steady between 400 - 440. Consistent high quality water with low nitrates, phosphates and silicates is crucial to their long term health, along with proper water changes and replenishment of trace elements from time to time as their levels decrease. Once acclimated into the aquarium, the Cauliflower Coral is considered one of the more hardy SPS coral species. Cauliflower Corals are a filter feeding species, that in the wild catch plankton and other small organisms from the water column using their hair-like tentacles. In the aquarium environment, they will need to be provided with plenty of strong in-direct water flow from which they can filter plankton, micro-organisms, baby brine shrimp, cyclopeeze and other foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. Well established reef aquariums may contain enough naturally occuring micro-plankton to satisfy the needs of the Cauliflower Coral; however, most reef aquariums will require supplemental feedings twice per week. Cauliflower Corals also receive a good portion of their nutrition from the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within their body, so they will need moderate to strong lighting.
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Guttatus Birdsnest Coral
(Seriatopora guttatus) Moderate Peaceful Medium to Strong Middle to Top High Orange, Green Calcium, Magnesium, Strontium, Trace Elements 72-78° F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12 Indo-Pacific Pocilloporidae SPS Hard Corals The Guttatus Birdsnest Coral (Seriatopora guttatus) is a truly beautiful coral that combines contrasting colors between the coral body and polyps. The main body of the coral is a deep orange color, that when contrasted with the neon teal green of the polyps makes for an amazing contrast in colors. It is this contrast in colors that give the coral it's scientific name of "Guttatus" which is Latin for "speckled". Guttatus Birdsnest Corals are considered to be fast growers (even by SPS standards) that when provided with strong lighting and moderate turbulent or intermittent water flow will grow rapidly in an established reef aquarium. Hobbyists should place this coral in an upper portion of the reef that allows plenty of room for future growth; as well as, to allow for plenty of water flow to pass over the coral. Substantial turbulent water flow is critical to SPS hard coral species as it moves waste products generated from the coral away, so as to allow the coral to grow and maintain good health. Like other SPS corals, the Guttatus Birdsnest Coral does best when kept in an established reef aquarium with stable consistent water parameters. They need strong quality lighting that is designed for the marine reef aquarium. Suitable lighting systems include: Metal Halides, High Intensity LED's, Power Compact fluorescent and T-5 fluorescent. Proper lighting systems should consist of 10k to 20k lighting mixed with actinic blue lighting in order to provide a full lighting spectrum at multiple aquarium depths. The Guttatus Birdsnest Coral should be placed high on the reef if kept with fluorescent lighting or within a deeper aquarium, while they can be placed in the middle portion of the reef when kept with Metal Halides, High Intensity LED's or if kept in a more shallow aquarium. In order for the Guttatus Birdsnest Coral to thrive and grow, it must be provided moderate to strong varied water flow in order to both remove waste products from the coral and to bring micro-planktonic food items in contact with the coral for supplemental feeding opportunities. It is best to provide turbulent water flow via multiple water flow sources intersecting near the coral or through the use of a wave maker or similar water flow controller and pumps. Lastly, the coral should be placed in a location on the reef where it will have room to grow and will not come in contact with sweeper tentacles or polyps of more aggressive coral species. Guttatus Birdsnest Corals receive most of their nutritional from photosynthesis, via photosynthetic symbiotic zooxanthellae algae hosted within its body. They will also benefit from micro-planktonic foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates, that they can filter from the water column. Hobbyists should provide weekly supplemental feedings of phytoplankton, zooplankton or equivalent foods to the Coral in order to provide them a complete nutritional diet for improved health, coloration and growth rate.
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Fijian Green Acropora
(Acropora humilis) Moderate Peaceful Strong Middle to Top High Green, Purple, Blue Calcium, Strontium, Trace elements 72-79° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025 Fiji, Indo-Pacific Acroporidae SPS Hard Corals The Fijian Green Acropora (Acropora humilis) is a compact and slower growing form of Acropora coral that exhibits a brilliant green and purple coloration. Like many species of coral, the Acropora humilis will vary it's coloration between green and bluish/purple depending on the lighting used and the corals proximity to the lighting source. This species can thrive under various lighting types and intensities, but always does best with strong water flow. Strong water flow should be considered an absolute requirement for the Fijian Green Acropora to thrive and grow within the reef aquarium. Fijian Green Acropora (Acropora humilis) is not recommended for beginning reef aquarium hobbyists and is considered a difficult species for intermediate reefers and a moderately difficult species for advanced hobbyists. Acropora humilis is categorized as moderate to difficult because of it's requirement for very stable water parameters and very strong turbulent water flow, which require a mature reef aquarium with advanced powerhead / controller systems to achieve. Fijian Green Acropora's are a peaceful species of Acropora coral that are well suited for upper reef placement within well established reef aquariums. They should be placed in an upper area of the reef away from more aggressive species of corals that may sting it with sweeper tentacles. Acropora humilis is a slower growing compact species of Acropora coral which is highly dependent on strong water flow and strong lighting (500 to 600 par) in order to grow and thrive. High placement on the reef in conjunction with lighting suitable for a reef aquarium will allow the Fijian Green Acropora's symbiotic algae zooxanthellae to provide the vast majority of it's nutritional needs. The trick with this coral is to provide it with very strong turbulent water flow that will allow for the removal of waste products from within the compact structure of the coral. However, this needs to be achieved with water flow that is both very strong and at the same time turbulent, and not just pounding the coral with direct non-stop flow. Lastly, the Fijian Green Acropora requires that the aquarium exhibit very stable and consistent water parameters that typically require a mature reef aquarium and an advanced reef hobbyist to achieve. The very stable nature of their native environment has made the Fijian Green Acropora intolerant of sudden change; however, aqua-cultured specimens may be more able to deal with aquarium life better than wild collected mother colonies. Fijian Green Acropora (Acropora humilis) contains the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae from which it receives the majority of its nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. It generally does not require any supplemental feedings but may pick up micro coral foods or micro-plankton foods designed for other tank invertebrates.
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Purple Acropora Coral
(Acropora sp.) Difficult Peaceful Strong All High Purple Calcium, Trace Elements 72-80° F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12 Fiji, Indo-Pacific Acroporidae SPS Hard Corals Purple Acropora Coral represent a particular color form of the widely varied and popular Acropora Coral. Purple Acropora Corals vary in color from deep dark purples to lighter almost violet shades of purple. They are one of the more uncommon color forms found within the hobby, which makes them both highly desirable and more expensive than more common color morphs. Acropora Corals in general include a wide variety of different species of Acropora corals with many different color and growth forms. Acropora corals found within the aquarium hobby (including Purple Acropora Corals) are available in a variety of growth forms that are according to size and shape of the branches, the position of the branches, the number of corallite septa and the nature of the coenosteum. The most commonly available aquarium species tend to fall into the following growth forms: branching, bushy, cluster, finger, bottlebrush and tabular, with bushy being by far the most commonly available within the hobby. Prices for Acropora Corals also vary widely based on the size, growth form and coloration of a specific specimen, with lighter purple colored bushy corals representing the least expensive and finger, branching and tabular specimens with a dark purple coloration making up the high end of the market. Purple Acropora Corals are available within the aquarium hobby, but are considered semi-rare which typically brings a higher price tag and limited availability. The Purple Acropora Coral is considered a difficult species to keep within the home aquarium due to their requirements of strong intense lighting and strong (non-direct) water flow. To properly recreate these conditions within the marine aquarium environment is often difficult and expensive as high-end lighting systems and sophisticated controlled water pumps are costly. However, when provided with the correct environment Acropora corals are fast growers that will spread quickly over the reef. Generally speaking, Acropora species with thick branches are normally more difficult to keep than those with thin branches. This is most likely because of the inability of reef aquarists to provide enough water flow that the thick branched species need to thrive, thus making these species more prone initially to problems. Water flow is important to corals as it provides them supplemental food sources like phyto & zooplankton and removes waste products excreted from the coral. This is especially important in the case of the Acropora Coral as it is a fast growing species which creates more waste products then other corals, which need to be quickly and efficiently moved away form the coral in order for it to thrive. Brown specimens, bottlebrush and thin branched species tend to be more tolerant of the lower water flow and light level conditions. Tabletop species are among the most difficult Acropora species to keep in the home reef aquarium, with staghorn specimens being somewhere in the middle. Captive-bred or frag specimens seem to be generally healthier and easier to care for than wild specimens. Nonetheless, all Acropora specimens seem to prefer strong, random or mixing type water current with intense lighting and high levels of calcium and strontium to promote maximum growth and health. Water quality should also be excellent and very stable, thus Acropora do much better in established reef aquariums where water parameters are generally more stable. Purple Acropora Corals receive most of their nutritional from photosynthesis, but also benefit from planktonic foods that it filters from the water column. Hobbyists should provide weekly to bi-weekly feedings of phytoplankton, zooplankton or equivalent foods to the Coral in order to provide them a complete nutritional diet for improved health, coloration and growth rate.
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Pavona Coral
(Pavona decussatus) Moderate Semi-aggressive Strong Any Moderate to High Green, Tan Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025 Indian Ocean Agariciidae SPS Hard Corals The Pavona Coral is from the classification of Small Polyp Stony or SPS corals. Within the aquarium hobby they are referred to by a variety of names including: Pavona Coral, Lettuce Coral, Potato Chip Coral and Cactus Coral. They vary not only in name, but also in color as they come in green, tan and fluorescent color forms. Pavona Corals are best kept by hobbyists who have at least intermediate level experience keeping corals and reef aquariums. While they are not difficult to maintain, the Pavona Coral does need moderate to high lighting and strong water currents as it is a filter feeding specimen that takes much of its nutrition from organisms filtered from the water column. Filter feeding species like the Pavona Coral should be kept in mature reef aquariums that have ecosystems capable of supporting the micro-plankton organisms on which most filter feeding species feed. The Pavona Coral should be placed in a location on the reef to ensure that it receives plenty of moderate to high intensity lighting and so that it is well situated within the water column to filter food from the passing currents. Water flow should be strong and intermittent, not directly focused on the Pavona Coral so that it does not create a constant pounding on the coral. Pavona Corals will spread onto nearby reef rock and will grow upwards and outwards, but do not extend larger sweeper tentacles that would damage nearby neighbors. They should be placed in an area on the reef where their "hairs" do not touch their neighbors and where their neighbors tentacles do not touch the Pavona Coral. As they use calcium to build out their skeletal structure, Pavona Corals will need calcium levels to remain steady between 400 - 440. Consistent high quality water with low nitrates, phosphates and silicates is crucial to their long term health, along with proper water changes and replenishment of trace elements from time to time as their levels decrease. Pavona Corals are a filter feeding species, that in the wild catch plankton and other small organisms from the water column using their hair-like tentacles. In the aquarium environment, they will need to be provided with plenty of strong in-direct water flow from which they can filter plankton, micro-organisms, baby brine shrimp, cyclopeeze and other foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. They also receive a good portion of their nutrition from the symbiotic algae zooxanthellae hosted within their body, so they will need moderate to strong lighting.
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Staghorn Acropora Coral
(Acropora sp.) Difficult Semi-aggressive Strong All High Large variety of colors Calcium, Strontium, Trace elements 72-78º F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 South Pacific Acroporidae SPS Hard Corals The Staghorn Acropora Coral is one of the more popular forms of Acropora SPS hard coral. Its coloration varies between different shades of purple and is typically bushy in appearance with short compact branches. While other growth forms such as, bottle brush are possible, the bushy short branch form is most often seen within the reef aquarium hobby. While there are many different species of Acropora Corals, the Purple Staghorn Acropora Coral is one of the most unique and colorful. Due to its vibrant purple coloration, the Purple Staghorn Acropora Coral is highly sought after species of Acropora within the reef aquarium hobby. This species of coral is suitable only for advanced reef aquarists with well established reef aquariums. Staghorn Acropora Corals have some strict requirements when it comes to lighting and waterflow. The ideal conditions require an established reef aquarium with bright intense lighting provided by preferably metal halides or high end power compact fluorescent lighting systems. However, if you are using a compact fluorescent lighting system, you need to place the Purple Acropora Coral high in the aquarium. Strong intermittent water flow is also required for this species to thrive in the reef aquarium, which is usually best achieved through the use of wave makers or multiple rotating powerheads. Under the right conditions, this species can grow much more rapidly than most of the other corals found in an established reef aquarium. Growth consideration should be taken into account when placing this species, so that it does not come into contact with neighboring corals. Purple Acropora Corals require a high pH, alkalinity and calcium levels, and very low phosphate and nitrate levels to thrive. If conditions are ideal, it can also be cultured and grown into a new colony from living fragments or broken pieces. Acropora corals receive the majority of their nutritional requirements from photosynthesis, which makes proper lighting extremely important. They will also benefit from the additional feedings of various types of phyto and zooplankton or other foods designed for filter feeding corals.
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Montipora Velvet Coral
(Montipora nodosa) Moderate Peaceful Medium All Medium Brown, Green, Pink, Purple Calcium, Strontium, Trace Elements 72-78º F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4 Indo-Pacific Acroporidae SPS Hard Corals The Montipora Velvet Coral is a small polyp stony (SPS) coral often referred to within the marine aquarium hobby as either Cabbage, Lettuce, Velvet, Rainbow Montipora or Velvet Rock Coral. It is a relatively fast growing coral, and under the right conditions will spread across the rock work in the aquarium. Montipora Encrusting Coral variety is bright purple, which will fluoresce under actinic lighting. This is a very beautiful hard coral that is only moderately difficult to keep and does not require ultra intense lighting or water currents. Within the reef aquarium, the Montipora Encrusting Coral is peaceful and can be placed in close proximity to other similar peaceful corals. Montipora Encrusting Corala are relatively easy to maintain with only modest lighting and water-flow requirements, but should be housed in a mature reef aquarium to provide adequate micro-plankton within the aquarium currents as this is its primary food source. The Montipora Encrusting Coral will require medium lighting combined with a medium water movement within the aquarium. For continued good health, it will also require the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the water. Montipora Encrusting Coral is a micro-plankton feeder, filtering its food from the passing water currents. In addition to what it can filter from the currents within the aquarium, the Montipora Encrusting Coral should also be fed additional food weekly in the form of micro-plankton foods designed for filter feeding corals and invertebrates.
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Birdsnest Coral
(Seriatopora hystrix) Difficult Peaceful Medium Middle to Top High Pink, Purple Calcium, Trace Elements 72-78°F; sg 1.023-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4; dKH 8-12 Indo-Pacifc Pocilloporidae SPS Hard Corals The Birdsnest Coral is also commonly referred to by many names within the reef aquarium hobby including: Seriatopora Bird's Nest, Needle, Finger, and Brush Coral. The Birdsnest Coral is a small polyp stony (SPS) coral with very delicate, thin branches with needle-like tips and is found in a variety of shades of pink. This species is very delicate, but offers a very attractive coral that has diverse shapes and bright coloration. The Birdsnest Coral should only be kept by advanced reef hobbyists with established reef tank systems. The Birdsnest Coral requires both strong lighting and moderate water current to maintain proper health and bright coloration. When kept under the right conditions, the Birdsnest Coral can grow quickly and obtain a variety of different shapes. It is important to place this species within the aquarium to allow for its growth and still provide it with the strong lighting and moderate water flow that it needs to thrive. For continued good health, it will also require the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the water. When kept in an established reef aquarium with proper lighting, water chemistry and movement, the Birdsnest Coral will not require additional feeding. However, it will feed on micro-plankton and foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.
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