Open Brain Coral (Trachyphyllia sp.)
Family: Trachyphylliidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Outer reef marginal areas, unattached as adults on sediment bottoms.
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: Trachyphyllia produce meandering and wavy skeletons. Their polyp are ruffled with convoluted shapes and bright colors. Their base is generally cone-shaped which allows them to anchor in soft bottoms. They are aggressive in that they catch small fish and crustaceans and eat them. Their colors are often fluorescent.
Husbandry: Open Brain Corals must be kept clear of sediment or they expend excessive energy to clean their surface and slowly decline, eventually bleaching. Jawfish and gobies that move sand may be harmful to this genus. They benefit from moderate water flow which helps to keep the polyps clean. They do not transport easily and may rapidly decline after tank introduction. Red varieties may come from turbid locations and thus require less light than other varieties. Moderate light seems to encourage the best growth. This genus may benefit from targeted feeding. This genus may also be the target of polyp nipping by tangs and angelfish.
AKA: Folded Brain Coral, Crater Coral
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