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Belonging to the Class Anthozoa and Order Alcyonacea, Leather Corals exist in the colonies consisting of a large group of individual organisms, called Polyps. Their unique & fleshy body structure and vibrant colors add immense visual appeal to an aquarium. Fresh Marine, one of the best online markets for aquarium products, offers several interesting types of Leather Corals. However, prior to moving on to them, let us have a fundamental idea about the key features of Leather Corals.Compatibility.
Leather Corals are Semi-aggressive in nature and do well with peaceful tank mates and Hard Corals.
Habit & Habitat. Leather Corals exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit Reef Slopes and Lagoons. Leather Corals often act as a host to Clowns, in case they do not get a Sea Anemone for the purpose. There comes a phase when Corals shrink their Polyps, and secrete a layer of mucus on their body, to be sloughed off later. The mucus coat prevents any algal growth on Leather Corals.
Morphology. Leather Corals are moderately hardy creatures, which make interesting addition to an aquarium due to their unique fleshy body and colors, especially Browns and Grays. Leather Corals do not have an exoskeleton and their skin has a tough, leathery touch. These Corals are basically a group of several independent Polypoid organisms. Leather Corals secrete several types of chemical toxins, called Terenoids Toxin, as a defense mechanism. Therefore, it is important that there is ample space around a Leather Coral and that no other coral should come in touch with it.
Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Leather Corals grow well in an already established Reef Aquarium with a temperature range of 72-78°F; Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. The aquarium water should be clean and should be treated well with Chemical Filters. Leather Corals require moderate light and water current. Keep ample space, approximately 8”, around the Leather Corals to proliferate unhindered.
Aquarium Feeding. Keep replenishing Strontium, Iodine, and the other Trace Elements in the aquarium water.
Aquarium Breeding. Leather Corals can be cultivated easily in an aquarium. Just slicing the Corals helps their number multiplication. Leather Corals easily breed in an aquarium.
Care. Leather Corals are easy to maintain and can be handled even by a novice Reef Aquarist.Now lets take a look at the various Leather Corals available at Fresh Marine.Genus – Sinularia.
Cabbage Leather (Sinularia dura). Also known as Flower Leather, Cabbage Leather Coral, Carpet Coral, Flat Leather Coral, and Flower Leather Coral, these Leather Corals are Hard Corals. Available in Cream, Brown, Tan, Purple, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Gray colors, these Leather Corals have a short stalk and a slightly striated body texture. These Leather Corals have flat lobes resembling to that of a cabbage in appearance and therefore the name.
Spaghetti Leather (Metallic) (Sinularia flexiblis). Also known as Gold Leather, Flexible Leather Coral, Finger Leather Coral, Soft Finger Coral, and Thin Finger Coral, these Leather Corals have a unique shape and long wavy Tentacles. These Leather Corals are Soft Coral of Polyp type. Available in Cream, Brown, Bright Green, Bright Yellow, Gold, and Tan colors, these Leather Corals have a slimy surface, a long, and a thick stalk, which is round in shape. These Corals have very long, thin, flexible, but strong Tentacles with White or Brown colored short Polyps. Genus – Alcyonium.
Chili Coral (Alcyonium species). Also known as Chili Sponge, Strawberry Coral, Red Finger, and Encrusting Leather Coral, these Leather Corals are Soft Corals. Growing up to a maximum of 6” long, these Leather Corals come in Purple, Yellow, Orange, and Red colored varieties. The Alcyonium species has finger shaped lobes or offshoots from which extend White colored feeding Polyps.Genus – Lobophytum.
Finger Leather (Soft) (Lobophytum species). Also known as Sinularia Finger Thick, Finger Leather Coral, Devil's Hand Coral, Devil’s Hand Leather, Devil’s Finger Leather Coral, and Cabbage Leather Coral, these Leather Corals occur in Brown, Tan, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Gray. Finger Leather (Soft) has a flat surface with many ascending fingers. Genus – Paralemnalia.
Hairy Leather (Hard) (Paralemnalia species). Also known as Tree Soft Coral, Green Hairy Leather, Finger Leather Coral, and Hairy Finger Leather Coral, these Leather Corals are Hard Coral. Available in Yellow, Cream, Tan, and Brown colors, these Leather Corals are encrusting mat like mass. These Leather Corals require a marine aquarium of the size twenty-two Gallons or hundred Liters. Genus – Sarcophyton.
Toadstool Leather (Sarcophyton species). Also known as Mushroom Sarcophyton Leather, Elegant Umbrella Leather Coral, Mushroom Leather Coral, Elegant Leather Coral, Trough Coral, Leather Coral, Mushroom Coral, and Green Crown Leather are a type of Soft Corals. Available in Brown, Tan, Cream, Pink, White, Yellow, Gold, and Green colored Polyps, these Leather Corals have a cap called Capitulum and a Stalk.
Yellow Fiji Leather (Sarcophyton species). Also known as Yellow Leather Coral, Elegant Leather Coral, Mushroom Leather Coral, Mushroom Coral, Toadstool Leather Coral, and Green Crown Leather, these Leather Corals are Soft Corals with small Stalk.
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