photo by Doni Marie
bottom photo by Gene Schwartz
Common names: pipe organ coral, organpipe coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 3 to 4): These corals can be difficult to keep because they are difficult to feed. They tend to fair better in established aquariums with well populated sand beds. The manner
of collection may be a factor in the difficulty of maintaining these
corals in aquariums. A coral that is well established on a rock base
will usually fare well while a coral that has been collected by being
sliced from the top of a colony in the wild will not.
Feeding: The coral's feathery polyp tentacles help it catch food suspended in water. They appreciate food of smaller particle size, but shouldn't be target. Oyster eggs and other such small particle foods are recommended.
Lighting (Level 7 to 10):
Though adaptable, these corals prefer more intense lighting.
Ideal lighting will depend on the depth and clarity of the water at
which the coral was collected or cultured. As always, please acclimate
to new lighting conditions.
Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is important for effective feeding and to prevent sediment damage.
organ corals are not aggressive. Provide enough space for the coral
polyps to extend without inhibition. Polyps can reach up to a foot
in height when fully grown and fully extended.
polyps of these corals retract into red, pipe-like structures held
together with calciferous (calcium carbonate containing) horizontal
plates. This often leads new aquarists to mistake them for
stony corals when they are actually classified as soft corals.