For a long time, Goniopora were nearly impossible to keep. They would look great for a month or two and then suddenly die over night. The great thing about these aquacultured Goniopora specimens is that they don’t exhibit these problems. Goniopora aquacultured by ORA are some of the hardiest there are.
Most Goniopora originate from Australia or Indonesia, but these Goniopora frags are aquacultured by ORA, of course. Aquacultured corals are grown in aquariums instead of being taken from the ocean, which comes with benefits that we will discuss later.
The Red Goniopora has orange-red polyps with bright purple centers. When placed near a competing the coral, the Red Goniopora will “supercharge” its tentacles with nematocysts, which gives them the glowing white appearance. While this is awesome, be careful not to put other corals with in reach of this coral. It is advised not to risk coral warfare for better aesthetics, as fighting coral won’t look great either way.
While these Goniopora corals are much easier to keep, there are stills some general care requirements you should know about.
Goniopora are not super picky about light. The greatest mistake you can make is giving this coral too much light. However, to maintain the bright coloration, medium to high light is required. Before placing this coral under medium or high light, acclimate it first. Start the coral in dim light and gradually move it into more intense lighting. Doing this will greatly reduce the risk of bleaching.
What about flow? With corals that have long tentacles, it is tempting to blast them with flow to get that coveted movement. While Goniopora need some flow, too much can cause receding tissue that will likely result in lots of die-off. It is best to promote a moderate amount of flow to keep the coral clean while also bringing out some movement. Ideally, the flow should be indirect and irregular. This will prevent dead spots and promote proper growth.
Because this is a stony coral, it requires elevated and stable levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. If you only have a few smalls stony corals, this can be easily achieved with water changes. However, with more stony corals, you will likely need to use a calcium reactor, dosing system, or kalkwasser, all of which are methods that require caution, knowledge, and experience to be used properly. Rapid changes can be devastating for any coral, especially stony corals. If you are learning how to use these methods, remember that less is often more until you become more familiar with water chemistry.
Shoot for nitrates between 1-5 ppm and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. This is just a general guideline and not a strict rule. Many hobbyists have great success with even higher nutrient levels, so it just depends. The provided range is simply a good place to shoot for. Keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Finally, let’s talk about feeding. Goniopora get a large portion of their nutritional needs from the products of their zooxanthellae. However, they can greatly benefit from feeding. You can experiment with different coral foods, but they typically react best from dosing or gently spot feeding phytoplankton and amino acids.
Purchase Size: 1″
Placement: This coral tends to do best on the bottom or middle of the aquarium.
Lighting: Medium to high.
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
Aquacultured corals such as this Red Goniopora from ORA are better adapted to aquarium conditions and more likely to survive in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pest and disease, although you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. What’s more is that they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.