Pagoda Cup Coral (Turbinaria sp.)
Family: Dendrophyllidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Turbinarians include a vastly varied group, both in structure and habitat preference. Locations are extremely varied, but growth patterns are related to habitat preference. Shallow water varieties are compact and upright with upward facing polyps spaced across the colony.
Light: Medium Water Flow: Medium Space: 100+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Moderate Temperament: Peaceful
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: Pagoda Cup Corals are often shaped by their environment, making species identification difficult in this genus. They include massive, columnar, laminar, and foliaceous forms. Most species extend polyps to feed at night, with one exception (T. peltata). Shallow water specimens are generally convoluted whereas deeper forms are more plate-like.
Husbandry: Turbinaria includes extremely variable forms, but most prefer reduced light and may change shape if moved to a new habitat with different environmental conditions. The more convoluted varieties tend to be more difficult to keep. Polyp extension usually indicates a healthy turbinarian. They must be kept free of accumulating detritus. Large colonies may grow to a meter in diameter.
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