January 2011 COTM - "Stylophora pistillata"

Discussion in 'Coral of the Month' started by 2in10, Jan 1, 2011.

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  1. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Stylophora pistillata

    [​IMG]

    Domain: Eukaryota
    Kingdom: Animalia
    Subkingdom: Radiata
    Infrakingdom: Coelenterata
    Phylum: Cnidaria
    Subphylum: Anthozoa
    Class: Anthozoa
    Subclass: Zoantharia
    Order: Scleractinia
    Suborder: Astrocoeniina
    Family: Pocilloporidae
    Genus: Stylophora
    Specific name: pistillata
    Scientific name: Stylophora pistillata

    Status: Near threatened by IUCN, listed in CITES Appendix II

    Common names: Cat’s Paw, Club Finger Coral, Hood Coral, Smooth Cauliflower Coral

    Range: Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea to the Central Pacific

    Habitat: Shallow reef flats

    Care Level: Moderate

    Recommended parameters:
    Specific gravity/Salinity – 1.024 to 1.027 or 34ppt to 36ppt
    Temperature – 78 to 84
    PH – 8.1 to 8.3
    Ammonia – 0
    Nitrite – 0
    Nitrate - <5
    Phosphate - <.03
    Calcium – 380ppm to 450ppm
    Alkalinity – 7 to 12dKH, 2.5 to 4.3meq/l
    Magnesium – 1250ppm to 1500ppm

    Temperament: Semi-aggressive, sweeper tentacles although I have never seen any

    Lighting: Moderate to high, this coral has been under 130W power compact, 192W power compact and from 216W to 324W T5HO lighting. It has always been placed at or near the highest point on the rocks. It did not show a lot of the current coloring under the 130W PC, but did show a fair amount of the coloring under 192W PC, the color maximized under 216W to 270W T5HO and faded under 324W T5HO (photo inhibition).

    Flow: Strong

    Growth: Rapid for SPS coral given parameters are maintained in the preferred ranges. Growth is affected by the flow the coral encounters. Light flow it will grow thinner and more spaced apart, heavier more compact and thicker.

    Feeding: In our aquariums the majority of food comes from light, its polyps can capture small prey items commensurate with their size such as small copepods, rotifers, Cyclops, bacteria and phytoplankton. I only recently have starting regular weekly feedings of Coral Frenzy. I cannot tell if it has contributed to increased growth or not due to other husbandry changes in conjunction with the new feeding regime. I feel it most likely does have a hand in the growth though.

    Hardiness: I would rate this coral hardy. It has experienced extended low calcium levels, high specific gravity levels, and some photo shock from too much lighting. During these times its growth has slowed and color faded but showed no sign of dying off as some of my other corals did. I feel that this would make an excellent first SPS for all reefers.

    Frag difficulty: While I have not attempted to frag this coral given the hardiness it has displayed I would expect it to recover quite well and start growing quickly. Given its growth style I would expect that cutting frags could be difficult with standard frag cutting tools. It has a dense growth to the skeleton.

    Personal observations: This is an easy, hardy, forgiving, fast growing coral that can become a center piece of your aquarium. In my research on this coral I have found corals of this species offered with pink, purple, green, blue and white polyps. I have seen flesh colors available besides the rainbow you see on this coral of pink and green. This one is called Rose Stylophora by some retailers. This was the first intentional SPS coral I bought and it has been a joy to have.

    Here is a photo of the coral shortly after I got it. All of the rest of the photos were shot yesterday, so you are seeing 14 months of growth.

    [​IMG]

    Without aquarium lights, just the camera flash.

    [​IMG]

    Without light correction for tank lamps.

    [​IMG]
     
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  3. Vinnyboombatz

    Vinnyboombatz Giant Squid

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    Very cool. Thanks for the write up.;D
     
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  4. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Vinny
     
  5. jonjonwells

    jonjonwells Great Blue Whale

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    Aggression: Medium

    This coral is fairly aggressive. It will kill most coral that it comes in extended contact with. In fact, the only coral that I own that is more aggressive is my Poccilopora.
     
  6. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That was the description I found on all the sites I could find. It most likely is relative to all corals including LPS and anemones. I would venture that if you were talking only SPS then aggressive would be appropriate.

    I have a Pocillopora and it is near a member of the Favia family and it gets thumped when the sweepers from the faviid make contact.
     
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  7. Corailline

    Corailline Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It is a dry heat, yeah right !
    Excellent write up.

    For a little over a years growth it appears to have done really well in your tank. I noticed the areas recieving the most light in your piece seem to have the most coloration.

    I too have not noticed any sweeper tentacles. I had mine next to an acropora and it would have lost the war had I not moved it.
     
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  9. inwall75

    inwall75 Giant Squid

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    Awesome write-up!!!

    If the branch is thin enough, the toenail trimmers for large dog breeds works better than other fragging tools. If it's too thick to fit in those, a diamond cutting wheel on a Dremel works. If it's even too thick for that, you can use a lapidary bandsaw with a diamond band.
     
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  10. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks, it is a very quick grower for certain. The ends where the presumed growth is seem to have the most color and the ends that get the most light definitely have the most color. It appears that way on all of the photos I have seen.

    Thanks, I had thought about the Dremel tool but not the diamond cutting wheel. I like the lapidary bandsaw suggestion.
     
  11. jonjonwells

    jonjonwells Great Blue Whale

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    Pic of mine.
     

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  12. 2in10

    2in10 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks for posting, it makes me very happy that I got a frag of a purple Stylophora.