Brain Coral (Symphyllia sp.)
Family: Mussidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Reef slopes in protected areas.
Light: Medium Water Flow: Medium Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Caution
Diet: These corals have zooxanthellae which provide much of their nutrition. It is believed they also feed on microzooplankton and directly absorb some nutrients from the water.
Natural History: Brain Coral have wavy and meandering skeletons that are covered by "meaty" polyp tissue. The valleys between polyp tissue have a distinct groove that runs the length of the corallite ridges. They extend their tentacles whenever food is present. They are observed in dull colors, including brown, cream, red, and green.
Husbandry: The Symphyllia prefer bright but indirect light and low to moderate water flow. They are generally less vulnerable to being stung by neighboring corals than their relatives. Some soft corals may adversely affect their growth. They will extend their tentacles in captivity whenever food becomes present, sometimes producing dramatic appearances as they inflate their polyps and tentacles to feed.
AKA: Closed Brain Coral, Dented Brain Coral, Meat Coral, Pacific Cactus Coral
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