Dendrophyllia (Dendrophyllia sp.)
Family: Dendrophyllidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Found in protected areas of rocky zones with low to moderate water flow.
Light: Moderate Water Flow: Moderate Space: 20+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: These corals are entirely heterotrophic.
Natural History: Dendrophyllia are very similar to the Tubastraea which is one of the most widely recognized corals in the world. Dendrophyllia are reported to have larger polyps that grow on much larger heads than Tubastraea. They have lightweight tubular orange skeletons but are ahermatypic (not reef-building). Dendrophyllia are reported to be azooxanthellate (non-photosynthetic) and exist entirely by feeding on plankton.
Husbandry: The Dendrophyllia feed with tentacles extended day and night on plankton as large as brine and mysid shrimp. If they are not regularly fed, their tentacles will eventually fail to extend and they will begin to waste away. Low to moderate currents and light levels, along with regular feedings are considered important to its captive survival. A good protein skimmer will likely be required to handle the nutrient load from the frequent feedings.
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