Stylophora is like a mix of Seriatopora and Pocillopora. It grows dense branches with rounded ends, similar to pocillopora, but the branches are more distinct, similar to seriatopora. Stylophora is found all over the Indo-Pacific, but this particular variety is 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 later.
The Pink Stylophora has a rich pink coloration with less noticeable polyps compared to other Stylophora. The brightness of the pink coloration can vary depending on the lighting conditions.
In case you’re unfamiliar with keeping Stylophora, let’s go over the basic care requirements. To start, we’ll go over lighting. This coral can be given low to high lighting, though the color will change under different conditions. Under lower light, the color might be more dull, though still pleasant. However, if you want the splendorous magenta coloration, you should place this coral in higher light. If you place this coral under medium or high light (you probably should), you need to acclimate it first. Do this by starting the coral in dim light and gradually moving it into higher light. This will significantly reduce the risk of bleaching.
Moving on, let’s talk about flow. Stylophora require at least moderate flow when they are smaller, but as the colony grows larger, stronger flow will be needed to keep the coral clean. The dense growth form of this coral is great for trapping detritus and waste, so lots of flow is crucial. Ideally, the flow should be irregular and random to promote proper growth and to prevent dead spots. Water movement is also important because it delivers needed nutrients and base elements to the coral.
Speaking of base elements, let’s talk about water chemistry next. Like all stony corals, Stylophora require elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium that are at least somewhat stable. This coral is less sensitive to swinging parameters than acropora, but you should still aim to keep the levels as stable as possible. Frequent swings may stress the coral out, causing it to lose color, bleach, or even die. Maintaining stable water chemistry often requires a calcium reactor, dosing, or kalkwasser, but be careful as these methods can cause even larger fluctuations if they aren’t used properly.
Stylophora, like most corals, get their nutritional needs from the products of their zooxanthellae. However, it is beneficial to dose your aquarium with live phytoplankton and amino acids. Doing this may bring out better colors, faster growth, and greater overall coral health.
For other parameters, keep the nitrates around 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. As for temperature, keep it between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Purchase Size: 1 – 2″
Placement: You can place this coral anywhere as long as its lighting and flow needs are met.
Lighting: Medium to high.
Flow: Moderate to strong.
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
Aquacultured corals such as this Pink Stylophora from ORA are better adapted to aquarium life and better able to handle the stress of shipping than corals collected from the ocean. They are also far less likely to carry pests and diseases, though you should still dip and/or quarantine them to be safe. To top it off, aquacultured corals are more sustainable and environmentally friendly.