The Pink Damicornis from ORA is a Pocillopora. Pocillopora are one of the most common corals in the ocean, second only to Acropora. They are essential reef building corals. They can be found all over 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. There are many benefits to aquacultured corals, which we will discuss below.
Unlike other, more intimidating SPS such as Acropora, Pocillopora are easy to keep. They grow fast and are resilient. However, there are some basic care requirements you should know to get the most out of your coral. First, let’s talk about lighting. The Pink Damicornis requires medium to high lighting. For this reason, it should be placed in the middle or top of your aquascape. Make sure you acclimate the coral to the light before putting it in its final placement. Do this by starting the coral low and slowly moving it up until it is in the ideal place. Regarding flow, provide moderate to strong flow. This coral grows in a compact round shape with short branches close together. This makes it easy for detritus to get trapped on the coral, which is why it is important to provide lots of flow. The flow will also deliver needed nutrients and elements to the coral. Ideally, the flow should be irregular and random to avoid dead spots and promote proper growth.
Pocillopora are not particularly picky about calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. This coral can handle some fluctuations, though you should keep those levels as stable as you can. This coral has an interesting adaptation called polyp bailout where the polyps will detach and find somewhere else to grow. This only happens under extreme stress, but it is still neat. As for your other parameters, keep the water temperature at 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates at 1-5 ppm and the phosphates just barely detectable but not 0. Pocillopora can be fed if the food particle size is extremely small. However, you may not see the best feeding response. These corals contain zooxanthellae, a photosynthetic algae, which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. If you are serious about feeding this coral, you will likely see the best results with broadcast feeding or dosing phytoplankton or amino acids.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: Middle to top.
Lighting: Medium to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong
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
Why should you care if your corals are aquacultured or not? How do aquacultured corals benefit you and your aquarium? Aquacultured corals are better adapted to aquarium conditions such as lighting, flow, and parameters. They are also overall hardier than corals collected from the ocean. This is because they are grown in aquariums, making them adjusted for aquarium life. This means these corals have a much higher chance to survive and do well in your aquarium. They are also far less likely to carry pests or diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. What’s more, they are more sustainable and environmentally friendly!