middle two photos by Bob Fenner
Common names: moon coral, brain coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 1 to 2): Sensitivity depends a bit on the species, but most are quite tolerant, forgiving and easy to care for.
species have considerable prey capture ability. All have feeder
tentacles. However, like many corals, they can take some time to "settle
in" to a new home. They should be fed at night since this is when they
will usually extend their feeder tentacles. If after several weeks your
coral is still not extending feeder tentacles, you can try to encourage a
feeding response with night-time target feeding. When doing this, wait
one hour after lights go off before feeding. Turn water flow off so that
the food can fall and rest onto the coral. Give the coral an hour or
two to "grab hold" of the food, then turn water flow back on. Do this
regularly until feeder tentacles extend regularly in anticipation of
feeding. Once your coral is readily extending feeding tentacles, it will
be able to catch food from the current without any assistance.
Lighting (Level 4 to 7):
These corals can adapt to a range of light intensities. Like any coral,
they can bleach if not properly acclimated to a sudden change in
Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is best. Stronger water flow may help encourage feeding tentacle extension.
corals seem to do best when placed on a hard surface or up on rocks
(sand can cause irritation). Aggression varies considerably
between species. Some have sweeper tentacles (stinging tentacles that
can extend several inches), but some don't. Don't assume that your coral
does not have sweeper tentacles just because you haven't seen them.
They may only extend them at night or when you haven't been watching.
General: This is a huge group of corals including the Favid and Favites
genera. They are often confused with Blastomussa, Micromussa,
Acanthastrea and other similar appearing corals. If not otherwise
explained, slow tissue recession may be a sign of starvation. Careful
target feeding as described previously may help this situation.