Tree Coral (Nephthea sp.)
Family: Nephtheidae (Octocorals)
Habitat: Steep reef slopes with surge
Light: Moderate Water Flow: High Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Difficult Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Nutrient uptake from the seawater and feeding on microplankton, some species may have zooxanthellae
Natural History: Nephthea are bush and upright soft corals with sclerites in their polyps but not in their stalk. This is sometimes the only distinguishing feature (requiring dissection) that differentiates this genus from some other soft corals. These corals are most commonly found on reefs with high water clarity and steep slopes that have strong surge. Nephthea Tree Corals produce a variety of toxins for chemical defense. Some members of this genus are reported to be capable of moving by detaching from the substrate and drifting to new areas.
Husbandry: Nephthea can be difficult to transport and should be acclimated slowly. They must be fed small particulate foods by blowing planktonic food through their polyps. Aiptasia is reported to kill this genus of corals. Water flow and lighting should be moderate to high.
AKA: Cauliflower Soft Coral
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