Thorn Coral (Stylocoeniella)

Discussion in 'Coral of the Month' started by mikejrice, Oct 22, 2014.

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  1. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Colorado
    Distribution: North Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Papua New Guinea
    Coloration: Specimens may be found in many colors including green, yellow, orange, purple and pink
    Care level: Medium difficulty
    Lighting requirements: Cryptic to medium
    Flow: Moderate to high

    SG: 1.023-1.026.
    Calcium: 400-500.
    Alk: 8-12.
    Magnesium: 1350-1500.
    Temperature: 76-82
    Growth: Comparable to most species of encrusting montipora.

    Stylocoeniella is an encrusting small polyp stony coral. It forms a smooth skin which protrudes past the corallites where growth is active. Corallites are extremely small and do not protrude from the skin. Thorn coral has very long polyps when compared with other SPS species. They are each capped with thin tentacles surrounding their perimeter.

    I found this one at MACNA 2014 hiding among the corals in Jason Fox's flat. It was, of course, aquacultured by him, and my plan was immediately to continue spreading this rare species throughout the hobby. I started by cutting the post off of the frag plug and splitting the plug head in half to increase the growth perimeter's length and get it going quicker. I glued both of these to larger disks and stashed them in my 30 gallon cube for a later date. At first I was only hoping to keep them alive, but to my surprise they're growing about as fast as any encrusting montipora I've ever seen.

    Stylocoeniella is a cryptic zone coral which leads me to believe they would fair well and most likely have richer color under lighting levels comparable to conditions suiting cyphastrea or many species of chalice. So far mine has been housed right alongside my chalice collection with great results in both growth and coloration. When I acquired this piece, it was a muted pinkish tone but has since picked up a dark purple in its skin and a brighter pink at the polyps. As with all SPS, Thorn coral requires medium to high flow levels in order to keep it's skin clear of debris. Stable conditions are a must with alkalinity and calcium being the most important. Fragging this one is just like cutting up any encrusting montipora.


    Two months ago:
    _DSC7381.JPG


    Today:
    2014-10-22 09.40.51-2.jpg 2014-10-22 09.40.58.jpg
     
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  3. Billme

    Billme Eyelash Blennie

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    Looks like it's doing well. Same feeding as most sps?
     
  4. mdbostwick

    mdbostwick Vlamingii Tang

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    It is pretty awesome looking!
     
  5. zesty

    zesty Sailfin Tang

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    Whoa! Very cool!
     
  6. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    I assume so, but can't be sure.
     
  7. Ballgame

    Ballgame Millepora

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    Awesome. But how'd you know this was rare? Seems hard to me when you're looking and hundreds....maybe thousands of corals at that event.
     
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  9. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    I'd never seen it before, so I assumed it was rare. Only thing at the event that jumped out at me.
     
  10. Matt Rogers

    Matt Rogers Kingfish Staff Member

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    Berkeley, CA
    Mike thanks for taking on a Coral of the Month! :coolglasses:
    Great write up and color selection.
    I wonder if the Thorn coral is as aggressive as my Undata?
     
  11. mikejrice

    mikejrice 3reef Affiliate

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    I'm not sure... hope I never find out.
     
  12. ingtar_shinowa

    ingtar_shinowa Giant Squid

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    Location:
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    after a few years of hardcore reefing anything you don't recognize or have never heard of is rare. Cool write up I didn't see it!!!!
     
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