The Space Invader Pectinia from ORA is a must have for any LPS lover. It has tremendous coloration with a unique and rather elegant growth pattern. It is mostly green with bright yellow spots around its mouths. The coral has this speckled pattern that gives it a galaxy-like appearance. Space Invader Pectinia has vertical plate like branches that grow in an irregular shape. Pectinia are found in the Indo-Pacific, but the frags sold here are aquacultured by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, these corals are grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to hobbyists such as yourself.
Pectinia isn’t a particularly difficult coral to care for, and most hobbyist are capable of keeping them successfully. However, there are some things you should know. Let’s start with lighting. Pectinia prefer low light, though they can be put under medium light if acclimated very slowly. Ideally, this coral should be under 30-50 micromoles of PAR. Again, they can be put under slightly higher lighting, but there is no benefit to this and can risk bleaching. For water flow you need to provide just enough to prevent detritus from building up on it. Other than that, this coral does not need lots of flow. Low to moderate flow with some randomness is best.
Regarding feeding, this coral does benefit from feeding, especially in low nutrient system. You can feed phytoplankton either by dosing or spot feeding or you can feed very fine coral food. One could argue that phytoplankton is better because it is excellent for feeding corals, but it doesn’t add nutrients to the water, if that is something you struggle with. Speaking of nutrients, this coral does best in aquariums with plenty of nutrients in the water. Tanks with ultra low nutrient systems may not be best for this coral, but again, feeding can help. Ideally, your nitrates should be around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates should be around 0.01-0.10 ppm. This range is high enough to keep the coral health without risking lots of algae growth. Higher nutrients won’t directly hurt this coral, but it can cause algae blooms which can turn into problems for your corals. Of course, the Space Invader Pectinia is a stony coral, so it does require calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium to grow. It isn’t as picky with these levels as Acropora or montipora, but you should still keep them as stable as possible. All of the information we’ve covered at this point is fairly standard for LPS corals. However, something that is more specific to this LPS coral (though not exclusive to) is its aggression. Space Invader Pectinia can release long weeper tentacles that can severely sting nearby corals. For this reason, be sure to give lots of space between this coral and others.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Bottom to middle.
Lighting: Low to medium.
Flow: Low to moderate.
Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
Because this coral is aquacultured ORA, it is better adapted to aquarium additions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry. Aquacultured corals are overall hardier than those collected from the wild. They have a much higher chance to survive and do well in your aquarium. These corals are also far less likely to carry pests and disease than their ocean counterparts, though you should still dip and/or quarantine just in case.