Leptoseris is found all over the Indo-Pacific off the coasts such as Fiji, Tonga, the Solomon Islands, and on the Great Barrier Reef. The frags of Green Leptoseris 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. There are many benefits that come with aquacultured corals which we will discuss below. Leptoseris is an encrusting small polyp stony coral. It is fairly easy to care for and adapts to a wide range of conditions, but there are some conditions that are more preferred than others. In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Leptoseris, we’ll go over the basic care requirements. To start, let’s talk about lighting. Leptoseris prefers low to medium lighting, which translates to 40-125 micromoles of PAR. It will have a brighter coloration under the upper end of that range, but it will do fine under low light as well. It will maintain the same color under low light, but it may not be as intense. If you want to keep Leptoseris under the 75-125 micromoles of PAR range, make sure you acclimate it to the light first by starting the coral under low light and gradually moving it into higher light. This is done to avoid bleaching. Regarding flow, this coral prefers low to moderate flow. You need to provide just enough flow to keep the coral clean of detritus and that’s it. If you notice that the coral looks “pulled back” or sucked in, this is a sign of too much flow. Unlike some other encrusting corals such as montipora, Leptoseris will inflate slightly when the flow is right. It might be a tricky thing to look for but certainly try. Being a stony coral, Leptoseris does require stable levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. If you are dosing or using kalkwasser or a calcium reactor, be careful not to overdose. At the same time, don’t let the levels get too low. Sudden fluctuations with these three parameters can be devastating for this coral. As for the other parameters, keep the temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Maintain your nitrates around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. Lastly, let’s talk about feeding. Leptoseris have small mouths and very slowly feeding responses. It is unlikely to consume even a small amount of coral food before something else steals the food. Fortunately, it is photosynthetic like most corals. It contain a photosynthetic algae within it called zooxanthellae which provides most of the coral’s nutritional needs. Spot feeding might by useless, but dosing your aquarium with phytoplankton and amino acids can be very beneficial.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
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
So, what’s the point of buying aquacultured corals if you can purchase corals collected from the ocean for cheaper? Well, aquacultured coral can actually save you money in the long run because they are more likely to survive and do well in your aquarium. This is because they are well accustomed to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and water chemistry. They are also overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. Along with that, they are far less likely to carry pests and disease, putting your other corals less at risk. However, you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. In case that isn’t enough, aquacultured coral such as this Green Leptoseris from ORA are more sustainable and environmentally friendly!