Care, Growth, and propogation of Chalice Corals Chalice corals are a Large Polyp Stony (LPS) coral belonging to the families (enchinopora, enchinophyllia, oxypora and also i am going to put in pectinia since the care requirements are the same) These corals have been in the hobby a long time, but in the last 5 years have grown in desire, mostly due to the outrageous colors they come in Here is my list of care requirements for these corals Lighting - In general they prefer subdued lighting. Form follows function, which with corals that plate out such as chalices they do this to capture the maximum amount of light. Most chalices are collected between 40 and 80 feet of water. In our systems this means that newly acquired wild specimens should be started out at the bottom of the tank in a shaded area. Frags that have been purchased should be set in the same lighting situation as from the sellers tank. My personal tank runs two 250w 20k radiums that are about 3 years old now. I have by trial and error been able to figure out where they do best in the system. Most of them the optimum placement is about 20” or greater away from halides. Water Flow - The chalices prefer a flow that is enough to keep debris from settling on them. The best would be alternating flow. Don’t have so much flow that you can seen the tissue blowing or to the point its so much you can see skeleton poking up through the flesh. Feeding - Chalices are very active feeders.... at night! If you take a look at your system 2 hours after the lights have gone out, your chalice will be a mass of tentacles. This is a great time to feed, it keeps the fish from stealing the food. I feed mine a mix of brineshrimp and small mysis (PE mysis which are very popular are almost too big) We want to make sure the chalice can get the food inside the mouth and close the mouth in less than 5 mins. This is important because it will hopefully keep any other hungry inverts from tearing open the mouths of the coral. The ideal feeding situation would be to use a cut open 2 liter pop bottom and feed through the top of it. This does a good job of keeping other inverts, fish, etc out while the coral feeds. The chalices in my system are fed every 3 days. I dont try to feed every mouth, i just give the coral a good squirt of food and let it capture what it wants. Water Parameters - Your system should be an established tank of at least a year before you add any chalice corals. The water parameters should be standard for a reef tank system. You can keep the levels up with calcium reactor, two part dosing, kalkreactor, water changes etc. Be sure to keep your magnesium in the 1400ppm, low magnesium tends to lead to tissue loss around the edges of a colony. In regards to nutrient rich and nutrient poor systems. Personal experiece chalices normally dont do well in nutrient poor systems (SPS systems). I have tried to grow chalices alongside SPS corals in an SPS propagation system and they did poorly. Slow growth and poor tissue expansion. That system did not have any fish and only snails and hermits for algae control. The system i setup just for chalices is high nutrients (ie fish and snails to provide nutrients) along with a skimmer set to run a wet skim. I also dont run carbon, but do run phosphate remover. A 20 gallon water change is done every two weeks. This has kept the system running fine for over 4 years now. Chalice growth - Chalice growth is really dependent upon the specimen. Some species such as enchinopora lamellosa (aka hollywood stunner) with paper thin skeletons have a very rapid growth rate. Oxypora sp. (aka usually have one large central mouth surrounded by small mouths and grows in a circle) are fairly slow growers and tend to have a thicker skeleton. Flow rate will play a role in chalice growth. If the coral needs to develop a thicker skeleton due to strong currents, the growth rate will slow and vice versa for low current. Most chalices will increase the production of mouths (eyes) as they grow. This does seem to be dependent upon the amount of feeding. If you feed a lot, more mouths develop. If you feed less, more tissue, but less mouths develop. You can also influence the direction the chalice will grow to an extent by feeding the mouths on the side you want the coral to grow. Chalice propogation - Chalices are fairly hardy corals to propogate as long as you follow some steps along the way. Here is how i frag mine Take the colony you want to propogate and determine where you want to make your cut. Try to find an area where you won’t cut through any mouths Flip the colony over and use a dremel or other cutting blade to score the back of the skeleton. Once scored, it should break by a gentle bend. Do this by having the underside of the coral facing you and bend down (so the coral flesh halfs come together. Now flip the coral to the flesh side and use a scalpel to cut the flesh along the score line. You should now have your frag removed from the main colony. Take the frag and main colony and dip in saltwater / iodine solution (or what ever coral dip you want to use) Mount the frag to a rock, frag plug, etc with superglue. Try not to get any superglue on any living tissue. Place the frag in low light and medium flow to heal. Most chalice corals will heal in about a week. Place the main colony back in its original spot on the reef. Regarding frag size. I try to make most of my frags have atleast 2 eyes in size. If you can only get one eye try to make sure the frag is atleast the size of a dime or larger. I hope this helps some of you with your chalice care. Those who have yet to try this coral.... Go for it! It is a beautiful coral and easy to keep.