Horn Coral (Hydnophora sp.)
Family: Merulinidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Lagoons and protected turbid reef areas.
Light: High Water Flow: Medium Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Aggressive
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: Horn Corals possess a distinct skeletal feature called the hydnophore. The hydnophore is a conical bimp formed by the fusion of adjacent corallite walls. Polyps are generally extended by night. Their short blunt tentacles arise from the base of the hydnophores. Colors are greens and creams that may fluoresce. They can hold and digest small crustaceans on their surface. Their sweeper tentacles are potent. Colonies can reach 1 meter across.
Husbandry: Hydnophora prefer bright light and moderate water flow. It produces sweeper tentacles that can damage other corals so it must be given space in an aquarium. They can digest large prey directly on the surface of their polyps. They produce a thick mucus layer that protects them from common coral maladies. Fragmentation is common and produces new colonies that anchor to the substrate.
AKA: Velvet Horn Coral, Knob Coral
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