ORA’s Asterospicularia coral can grow quickly once it is established, just like other octocorals. Asterospicularia adds a lot of texture and movement to the reefscape. This coral looks similar to Star Polyps and Xenia, but does not grow nearly as aggressively. Its scientific name, Asterospicularia, roughly translates to “Star Spike,” which aptly represents the appearance of its star shaped polyps.
Soft corals, which are also called Alcyonacea, don’t make skeletons out of calcium carbonate. Instead, they have spine-like skeletal parts called sclerites that give them some support and give the outside of their bodies a grainy or spike-like texture that scares away potential predators. What they lack in calcium skeletons, they make up for in variety and texture!
Many soft corals, like Asterospicularia, do well in nutrient-rich aquarium water. They also do not require extremely intense lighting. This makes them very hardy, which is ideal for beginning reef keepers. Like many soft corals, Star Spike gets most of its energy from zooxanthellae. This is the algae that works to provide the coral with food. While Star Spike is not a filter-feeder, they will benefit from additions of OceanMagik Live Phytoplankton.
The ORA® Asterospicularia Coral does best in a reef tank system that has already cycled. Like most corals, the more mature the system, the better! Star Spike corals will require moderate lighting. T-5 fluorescent or LED fixtures are ideal.
To provide Star Spike with the best care, it is crucial to keep the water parameters stable. The reef keeper should ensure that the pH, alkalinity, and calcium levels are consistent and do not wildly fluctuate. It is also necessary to keep the phosphate and nitrate levels as close to zero as possible.
Along with quality lighting and consistent water parameters, the ORA Asterospicularia will flourish in a reef tank system with moderate water flow. This is easily accomplished with powerheads, wavemakers, or pumps that circulate the water throughout the system but without so much intensity that the polyps are retracted.
Although the ORA Asterospicularia has symbiotic zooxanthellae algae that meet most of its nutritional needs, weekly dosing of our OceanMagik Live Phytoplankton and other foods made for filter-feeders is encouraged. This is especially true for Star Spike corals kept in reef tank systems without fish or too few fish. For the best health of Star Spike corals, iodine, strontium, and other trace elements should be replenished through small, routine water changes. The ORA Asterospicularia grows in mats and can easily be adhered to rocks in the reef tank.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Level of Care: Easy
Temperament: Not aggressive
Reef Safe: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 10 Gallons
Placement: All ranges
Light: Low to Moderate
Water Flow: Moderate to High
Water Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025