Brown Star Polyp (Pachyclavularia violacea)
Family: Tubiporidae (Octocorals)
Habitat: Inshore and submerged reef flats, often in lagoons.
Light: High Water Flow: High Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: The octocorals are generally polytrophic - getting nutrition from zooxanthellae (algae) in their tissues, nutrient uptake from the seawater, and feeding on microplankton.
Natural History: Brown Star Polyp colonies can appear somewhat like a brown astroturf on the reef. Their polyps are retractile and thin, not feathery like Clove Polyps. Their mats of stolons are rubbery in texture. They are fast-growing and tolerant of a number of reef conditions. They can overgrow other corals, possibly through rapid growth rates and the production of toxins (terpenoids and diterpenoids). Brown Star Polyp can be stung by other corals.
Husbandry: Brown star polyp gets most of its food through photosynthesis of its zooxanthellate algae but they will require food if housed in dim light. Lysmata and Saron may feed upon them. Batophora green algae may cover them. They prefer bright lighting and moderate to high water flow. They may die back in low water flow areas. Colonies may reach 12 inches in diameter.
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