Fire Cracker Coral (Tubastraea sp.)
Family: Dendrophyllidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Found on the ceilings of reef caves in areas of high water flow, and in areas of higher light with strong water currents.
Light: Low Water Flow: High Space: 10+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: These corals are entirely heterotrophic.
Natural History: Due to their bright yellow and orange tentacles and polyps, Tubastraea are one of the most widely recognized corals in the world. They have lightweight tubular orange skeletons but are ahermatypic (not reef-building). They are frequently found in areas with higher nutrient levels, such as cave entrances and ledge edge areas, where water current are strong. Colonies may reach 5 inches in diameter. They reproduce asexually in the reef aquarium.
Husbandry: The Tubastraea lack zooxanthellae and feed, mostly at 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. Strong currents and regular feedings are more important than vertical placement. A good protein skimmer will likely be required to handle the nutrient load from the frequent feedings.
AKA: Orange Cup Coral, Sun Coral
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