Pachyseris is found in the Indo-Pacific, but this particular variety sold here is aquacultured by ORA. Aquacultured corals are grown in aquariums instead of being collected from the ocean. This comes with several benefits that we will discuss later.
This coral is often classified by the hobby as a small polyp stony coral. Its polyps are not visible. It has dense ridges parallel to the growth edge giving it the appearance of elephant skin. It looks similar to leptoseris but grows similarly to Montipora capricornis.
In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping stony corals like this coral, let’s go over the basic care requirements.
To be clear, this coral isn’t technically an SPS coral. Remember that the terms SPS and LPS are not specific scientific groups, but rather general groups that corals loosely fit into. Corals like leptoseris, pavona, and Pachyseris don’t fit well into the “SPS” category, but it’s understandable why they are often put in this category. Regardless, these three corals are very similar in their care requirements. If you are familiar with keeping leptoseris and pavona, Pachyseris won’t be too difficult.
This coral can be placed under medium to high light. They will do fine under medium light, but they may display better coloration under higher light. Wherever you decide to place this coral, make sure you acclimate it to the light first. Do this by starting the coral in lower light and gradually moving it to where you want. Giving a coral too much light too fast is a great way to bleach it, so make sure you acclimate your corals!
Next, let’s talk about flow. This coral needs moderate to strong water flow. It is important to ensure that detritus is not allowed to settle on the coral. Flow is also important for delivering needed nutrients and base elements. Ideally, the flow should be irregular and random to promote proper growth and to avoid dead spots. While this coral likes a lot of water movement, there is such thing as too much. As the coral grows, it may start to plate out. The plates can act as a sail for the water flow, causing the coral to lift off the rock. For the reason, it is important to make sure the coral is properly secured and not to provide too much flow.
Moving on, let’s discuss feeding next. Pachyseris contains zooxanthellae which provides the coral with nutrition via photosynthesis. The coral essentially has organisms within that make its food. However, it is beneficial to feed this coral, especially if you have an ultra-low nutrient system. The polyps for this coral are pretty much invisible, but it is believed that it consumes food with its mucus. Lightly dusting this coral with a powdered coral food or live phytoplankton while the pumps are off is a great way to feed this coral. If you are going to use a powdered food, make sure you don’t overdo it, and make sure that the food is eventually blown off the coral.
Pachyseris is a fairly slow growing coral, so it doesn’t consume a lot of base elements. However, it still requires elevated and stable levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium like any other stony coral. If you have or plan on having lots of other stony corals, you will likely need to supplement those base elements with a calcium reactor, a dosing system, or kalkwasser. As for other parameters, keep the temperature around 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. This coral may do better at slightly higher nutrient levels as long as there are no algae issues.
Purchase Size: 2″
Placement: Bottom to middle.
Lighting: Low to medium.
Flow: Low to moderate.
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
Because this coral is aquacultured, it is better adapted to aquarium life than corals collected from the ocean. These corals are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases, though you should still dip and/or acclimate them to be safe. On top of all that, they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.