Marshall Island Goniopora (Goniopora sp.)
Family: Poritidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: These corals are found in a variety of reef habitats, and the Portidae are the third-largest contributor to reef formation. Goniopora is an opportunistic settler of new reef areas.
Light: High Water Flow: Medium Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Difficult Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: These corals have zooxanthellae which provide much of their nutrition. It is believed they also feed on microzooplankton (phyto and zoo) and directly absorb some nutrients from the water.
Natural History: Goniopora skeletons are generally round or or massive. Their skeleton is porous and their polyps are long (up to 12 inches). Polyps are generally extended by day and retracted at night. Colonies may reach almost 20 inches in diameter. Some species attach to their substrate while other species are free-living. They tend to be found in areas of higher nutrient content.
Husbandry: The Goniopora are aggressive corals and can sting neighboring corals. They prefer medium current and moderate to strong light. On reefs, half the food intake by Goniopora is likely phytoplankton. If not cared for judisciously, it may decline after 6 months to a year in an aquarium. Turbulent water flow helps to keep the polyps free of debris. This species may benefit in captivity from higher nutrient loads and the absence of a protein skimmer. If an anemonefish adopts a Goniopora as a surrogate anemone, the Goniopora will likely die from its inability to extend its tentacles.
AKA: Flowerpot Coral, Ball Coral, Daisy Coral
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