COTM August 2009: Cyphastrea

Discussion in 'Coral of the Month' started by GuitarMan89, Jul 30, 2009.

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  1. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    Cyphastrea (Cyphastrea sp.) I don't know of a common name for this coral, there are several marketing names such as "Emerald City" Cyphastrea or "Blood Red" Cyphastrea, but I am unsure of what this one would be called.

    Type: SPS (There may be some debate as some varieties have larger polyps and may be classified as lps)
    Origin: Indo-Pacific
    Lighting: This coral enjoys moderate lighting, but usually will be able to adapt to higher lighting conditions.
    Flow: Moderate flow, but as with most corals, it doesn't like to be blasted by a power head. Chaotic, random flow would be best for health and growth, but as we all know, this is very difficult to achieve in a home aquarium.
    Aggressiveness: Peaceful

    Feedings: This being an sps coral, it is really more of a filter feeder. I target feed it a good quality filter feeder food, but foods like phytoplankton or cyclopeeze will work very well. It will not accept large pieces of meaty food as I have not seen any sort of sweeper tentacles coming from this coral. With regular feedings, I have noticed an increase in the growth rate.

    Hardiness: I have had not problems with this coral. After acclimating it for about 45 min. I placed it in my tank and within minutes the polyps had extended and it seemed happy. Generally, it is a fairly hardy coral. This coral will do well in normal reef conditions, temperature, ph, calcium etc.

    Form: Cyphastrea usually occur in an encrusting form, but there are a few species, such as cyphastrea decadia, that actually have a branching form. These cyphastrea look similar in appearance to certain acropora corals as the polyps are on the end of a branch of the coral. You can differentiate the different species by counting the number of individual septa on the polyp. I have not gotten a definitive count on my specimen, but I believe it has ten, which would make it a cyphastrea microphthalma. However, I am not sure, and in reality, it doesn't really matter.

    Reproduction: As with many encrusting corals, you can easily frag this coral by either cutting it from the base or break of a small piece of the coral and underlying rock. I have not attempted to frag this coral yet so I cannot give any personal experiences.


    Personal Observations
    I have had this coral for a few months now and really like it. I actually won it in a raffle a local club was holding. I have noticed that it has care requirements similar to a Montipora, although they have been known to keep their color better under a wide variety of lighting. Mine has a really nice, sky blue base with green/blue polyps, although they do come in a wide range of color morphs. It is an encrusting coral and will encrust over any rock you have it placed on. It is a moderate grower and requires that you maintain proper calcium and alkalinity levels in order to provide it with the proper raw material to grow and prosper. I would not recommend placing this coral in the sand as the sand particles seem to irritate the polyps. Mine has adapted very well to the home aquarium and has grown quite a bit already. It has also maintained its color very well so far under my T5 lighting. Overall, I highly recommend this coral, although it seems to be harder to find at lfs, at least ones in my area.
     
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  3. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    excellent article Guitarman

    can you describe the growth in terms of a percentage increase of mass over the time you have had it please?

    Steve
     
  4. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    I will try. I have had it for about 2 months now and the picture is of when I got it. Right now, the areas of the rock have been encrusted and it has actually started to follow the contour of the rock and grow under it. I would guess it grows about 5-10% a month.
     
  5. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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  6. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    thanks Guitar man

    Steve
     
  7. steve wright

    steve wright Super Moderator Staff Member

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    bumping this as coral of the month - deserves a Karma shower I believe

    Steve
     
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  9. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    It also looks like a Pogoda or a Cup coral. Luna
     
  10. Dr.Fragenstein

    Dr.Fragenstein Panda Puffer

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    Nice piece guitarman... Most cyphastreas I have seen are green, lime green at that but nothing super cool.

    It is debated as an LPS or SPS....Kind of like pagodas and hydnophoras.... Hydnos look more like LPS with SPS growth forms if you ask me but thats off topic.

    Nice article and piece!
     
  11. GuitarMan89

    GuitarMan89 Giant Squid

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    Yea, a lot either have green polyps, like mine or a base. There is really cool one IMO called Meteor Shower Cyphastrea that is blue with red polyps.
     
  12. lunatik_69

    lunatik_69 Giant Squid

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    I would like to see that one..........hint....hint;D


    Luna