Many Gorgonians come from the Atlantic ocean around Florida. These Gorgonians are usually more difficult to care for because many of them are non-photosynthetic. The Rumphella Gorgonian, on the other hand, is from the Pacific ocean and photosynthetic, making it much more reasonable to keep in a reef aquarium. This particular strain sold here is aquacultured by ORA. Instead of being collected from the ocean, this coral is grown in aquariums and then fragged to be sold to hobbyists such as yourself. We’ll talk about the benefits of aquacultured corals later.
The Rumphella Gorgonian has long, vertical growing pink branches with dense polyps that give it a fuzzy appearance. The exact coloration can vary depending on the lighting used.
Because this is a photosynthetic Gorgonian, it is relatively easy to care for. However, there are some things you should know. Let’s start with lighting. Gorgonian’s aren’t picky about lighting. They prefer high lighting, but you can start the coral in low light at the bottom of the tank, and it will grow upwards, reaching higher light. The important thing is that the coral can grow into higher light and is not shaded or under anything else.
Regarding flow, Gorgonians require moderate to strong flow. It is best to provide irregular flow or a pulsing, wave pattern. Your Gorgonian should not be blasted to one side. Instead, it should be swaying back and forth. Flow is important because it keeps the coral clean and provides it with food. The swaying motion of the coral in strong water flow is also visually pleasing, so don’t skimp out on flow.
Let’s move onto feeding. Although the Rumphella Gorgonian is photosynthetic, it can still benefit from occasional feeding. Feeding can promote better coloration, faster growth, and greater overall health. Broadcast or spot feed fine powdered foods or live phytoplankton. The great thing about live phytoplankton is that it is excellent for feeding your corals but won’t cause nutrient spikes. Dosing amino acids will also benefit this coral and all your other corals. If you are feeding powdered foods, make sure your nutrient levels don’t get too high. If you already have high nutrients (nitrates above 10 ppm and phosphates above 0.1 ppm), then avoid feeding until you bring the nutrient levels down.
What should the nutrient levels be ideally? Well, for nitrates keep it between 1-5 ppm and for phosphates keep it as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. Keep the temperature at 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2 ”
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere that receives light and has lots of flow. However, placing the coral towards the bottom of the tank will allow it to grow to an impressive height.
Lighting: Low to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong.
Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Aquacultured corals such as this Rumphella Gorgonian are well adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water parameters. They are also overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. Aquacultured corals are far less likely to carry pests and disease, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. On top of all that, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Doing whatever we can to rebuild our oceans and planet as a whole is crucial, so do your part, keep your aquarium free of pests, and choose aquaculture!