Coral of the Month July '06 -Sun Coral (Tubastrea)

Discussion in 'Coral of the Month' started by Brandon1023, Jul 1, 2006.

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  1. Brandon1023

    Brandon1023 Fire Goby

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    July Coral of the Month - Sun Coral!

    [​IMG]

    Type: LPS
    Origin: West Indies, Bahamas, Africa, and mostly imported from Indo-Pacific.

    Aquarium Needs

    Lighting: Of no consequence. These corals are not photosynthetic and lack zooxanthellae.
    Water Quality: Good to high. They can be sensitive to nitrates.
    Current: Moderate to strong.
    Feeding: Require regular feedings 2-3x a week. Will accept frozen foods such as mysis shrimp and brine shrimp, or reef snow. Will also filter the water for phytoplankton.
    Growth: Can be rapid with regular feedings.
    Aggressiveness: Does not bother other corals. Polyps can extend 1", and are usually out when other corals are retracted.

    Personal Observations

    Frankly, I love this coral. It is hands down, in my book anyways, the most beautiful coral so far in my reefing experience. Because it requires regular feedings, and is not photosynthetic, it has no specific lighting demands. It has been argued that it needs to be in a shady area, but this has not been my experience.

    I admit the polyps on mine only come out at night, but that is because I work during the day and have not had time to train them otherwise, and so I feed them at night. They do come out a little during the day when I feed my fish brine or mysis shrimp, I guess because they can "smell" it and that is the same food I feed them. With time, however, they can be made to extend during the day.

    When you first get this coral, it will take some time to get the polyps to come out. The method I used, and still do when I feed them, is to first turn off the power-heads that create a current around them. This is because when you first try to feed them, you don't want the food to go blowing away. Drizzle some brine or mysis shrimp, or whatever your food of choice may be, over the coral. With no current, it should float down and rest on the retracted polyps, which will coax them out. They may not come out all the way the first few times you do this, but in about a week or so they will be ready and hungry.

    My colony is a little bit bigger, and so it easily goes through 3 cubes of mysis or brine shrimp each feeding (I will probably start using 4, actually). I usually mix them together. I fill a small teacup with aquarium water, put 2 cubes of brine and a cube of mysis in it, let it melt, then use an eyedopper to stir it together. Then I suck some up in the eye dropper, and start to feed each polyp one by one. Each polyp must be fed, and it takes me a good 15-20 minutes. It might sound like a lot of work, but it is worth it in the end. Especially for me when at night the rest of the corals are retracted, and this most beautiful and awesome coral is out in all its glory!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 3, 2006
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  3. rickzter

    rickzter Torch Coral

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    Cool coral, but be ready to feed these guys like there is no tomorrow. 2-3x a week seems reasonable, but will flourish with more. I can't afford to have a rise in nitrates. Eeek! ;D
     
  4. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Great writeup Brandon! :clapping:

    I agree, if you can keep up on feedings, this is one beautiful coral.
    That's intesting about your lighting comments. I always thought they were a shady coral too. So where do you have yours?


    Thanks for helping 3reef! :)
     
  5. coral reefer

    coral reefer Giant Squid

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    Tubastrea can be placed anywhere in your tank though they come from the lesser light areas in the ocean possibly under overhangs and entraces to caves. I had a colony of these which were unbelievable but what was happening was I had to much food in my water column which would settle to the bottom and form a red/brown algae. So I sold it and purchased a nice tri-colored Acropora!!!!Complete with its own Acropora crab.
     
  6. jtReef

    jtReef Ritteri Anemone

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    I always wanted to get my hands on one of these.
    Looks like next time I see one I will have no choice.
     
  7. Brandon1023

    Brandon1023 Fire Goby

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    I have mine in the front of the tank, on the sand, and it isn't shaded. When I first got it it was in shade but IME that made no difference. So now it is up front and in the light, and I am going to make an effort to train it to come out during the day in the coming weeks. Yea you risk nitrates but once you get them to come out all the way, by time you feed each polyp there isn't anything left on the sand or whatever.
     
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  9. karlas

    karlas Fire Goby

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    Really nice coral thats beautiful.:beer: cheers on that one
     
  10. Monacle

    Monacle Skunk Shrimp

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    Nice write up. Very well done.
     
  11. TinFury

    TinFury Fire Shrimp

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    Well I've seen them in the wild. A huge colony just about a foot or less from the surface. Not in an overhang or anything. I've seen orange and white colonies.
     
  12. QTYPIE424

    QTYPIE424 Spanish Shawl Nudibranch

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    Brandon very nice on the sun coral ...looks awesome!! You have inspired me to keep workin at it. Thanks
    Q