There are generally two color variants of Caulastrea, also known as candy cane coral or trumpet coral. This Caulastrea from ORA has reddish-brown polyps with white stripes and a bright green center.
Caulastrea are found all over the Indo-Pacific, but the frags sold here are maricultured by ORA in the Marshall Islands. Instead of being collected from real reefs, these corals are grown in aquariums or offshore in controlled areas separate from real reefs.
These are easy to keep corals, great for beginners. However, there are some basic requirements you should know about to keep the coral happy.
To start, Caulastrea is tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions. Because their color stays consistent under any type of aquarium lighting, there is no need to provide intense lighting. They do best under low to medium light, though you can acclimate them to slightly higher light if needed. Just remember, it is almost always better to err on the side of low light than too much light. If you have lots of other LPS corals, these corals will probably fit right in where lighting is concerned.
Moving on, this coral requires a moderate amount of water flow. You need to provide enough water flow to keep the coral clean and to bring food to it but not so strong that the coral recedes. Again, this coral will fit in well with flow that is typically found in an LPS dominant system.
Caulastrea don’t need to be fed because of the photosynthetic zooxanthellae within them. However, you can feed meaty foods and/or phytoplankton, as this coral has a fairly strong feeding response. Just make sure to practice restraint when feeding, as too much feeding can cause nutrient spikes.
Being a stony coral, Caulastrea does require at least somewhat consistent levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. However, if you only have a few stony corals, you can easily replenish these base elements with water changes. As for nutrients, this coral is pretty tolerant of relatively high nutrient levels. However, a good range to shoot for is 1-5 ppm of nitrates and phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. This range ensures there are enough nutrients to keep the coral happy without risking lots of algae growth. Keep your temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow requirements are met.
Lighting: Low to medium.
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
This coral is maricultured by ORA at their Marshall Islands Mariculture Farm. These corals are better able to adapt to aquarium life and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from real reefs. They are also more sustainable and environmentally friendly.