top photo by Mike LaPorte,
bottom photo by Bob Fenner
Common names: cactus coral, lettuce coral, potato chip coral
Natural Origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 2): Though scarce in the aquarium trade, these corals can be relatively forgiving and tolerant in healthy aquariums.
Feeding: These are very small polyped corals. They feed on very fine particle foods (no need for targeted feeding).
Lighting (Level 6 to 10):
These corals can adapt to a range of lighting intensities over time but
generally prefer more intense lighting. As for all corals, changing
lighting conditions can sometimes result in color changes in the coral.
Note that when one of these corals changes color, that doesn't
necessarily mean the coral is unhealthy. The coral may simply be
adapting to your lighting conditions. This is true even of aesthetically
unfavorable color changes. As always, take care to acclimate to new
Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is important for feeding and to prevent sediment damage.
These are peaceful corals. Place safely away from aggressive corals. Be
mindful of fast growing encrusting corals that will compete for space.
These corals have thin, fragile skeletons and interesting growth
patterns that often look like clusters of petals. Contrary to normal
wild behavior, in captivity, many species extend their polyps during the
day. Though not especially fast growing, their resistance to disease
upon breaking makes them good corals for captive propagation by