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Small Polyp CoralsSmall Polyp Corals

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Small Polyp Corals

Small Polyp Corals are one of the most popular, reef compatible organisms for Marine Aquariums. Belonging to the Class Anthozoa, Small Polyp Corals exist in the colonies consisting of a large group of individual organisms, called Polyps. Their small, unique branched 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 Small Polyp Corals. However, prior to moving on to them, let us have a fundamental idea about the key features of Small Polyp Corals.

Compatibility. Small Polyp Corals are Peaceful to Semi-aggressive in nature and do well with other peaceful marine invertebrates.
  • Habit & Habitat. Small Polyp Corals exist in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit front and back Coral Reefs and Lagoons. Small Polyp Corals are key contributor to the hard structure of Coral Reefs as they secrete the required base of Calcium Carbonate. These Corals are usually nocturnal in habit.
  • Morphology. Small Polyp Corals are moderately hardy creatures, which are extremely beautiful due to their unique body and striking colors. Small Polyp Corals consist of a Coral Head, which is a group of several independent small sized Polyps. The Head grows when a Polyp undergoes Asexual Reproduction. Each Polyp has some Tentacles, laced with stinging cells called Nematocysts. These Tentacles are used to catch Prey or as a weapon of defense. Each Polyp has a central cavity, which acts both as a Mouth to ingest food as well as an Anus to expel it. Usually Long Sweeper Tentacles surround this opening. The thin and perforated walls of each Corallite consist of interconnected Rods and Spines.
  • Ideal Marine Aquarium Environment. Small Polyp Corals grow well in an already established, nutrients rich Reef Aquarium with a temperature range of 72-78°F; the Specific Gravity of 1.020-1.025; and the pH level of water within 8.1-8.4. The aquarium water should be clean and be treated well with Chemical Filters. Small Polyp Corals require high intensity light and strong water current. Keep ample space, approximately 8”, around the Small Polyp Corals to proliferate unhindered.
  • Aquarium Feeding. Corals are Carnivorous and feed upon Plankton. The primary source of nutrition however, is the food manufactured by Zooxanthellae, the Acellular Photosynthetic Alga living inside Coral Polyps. Keep replenishing Calcium, Iodine, and the other Trace Elements in the aquarium water, along with the other nutrients. Small Polyp Stony Corals (SPS) require low nutrients level and therefore, should not be kept with Large Polyp Corals requiring high level of nutrition.
  • Aquarium Breeding. Small Polyp Corals usually breed asexually in aquarium by the means of Fission.
  • Care. Small Polyp Corals are difficult to maintain and should be handled only by experienced Reef Aquarists.

  • Now let us browse through the different type of Small Polyp Corals available on Fresh Marine.

    Family – Acroporidae
  • Acropora Coral - Color Tip / Neon Color (Acropora species). Also known as Staghorn Coral and Super Colored Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Purple, Cream, Yellow, Green, Pink, and Blue. The branched skeletal structure of the Acropora species gives it a bushy or clustered appearance. The Acropora Corals are susceptible to diseases, recession, and bleaching and therefore, is quite prone to death at the colonial level.
  • Velvet Coral - Assorted Color / Green / Orange (Montipora species). Also known as Montipora Plate Coral, Montipora Encrusting Coral, Cabbage Coral, Velvet Finger Coral, Velvet Branch Coral, Lettuce Coral, and Velvet Rock Coral, these Small Polyp Corals have tiny Polyps on the Coral surface, which give them a velvety appearance. The Montipora species occurs in Purple, Blue, Cream, and Brown colors. The skeleton of the Velvet Coral is hard, branched, and spiked, resembling the shape of a mountain.

  • Family – Pocilloporidae
  • Bird's Nest Coral (Seriatopora hystrix). Also known as Brush, Needle, Pink Nest, Seriatopora Bird Nest Coral, and Finger Coral, this Small Polyp Coral occurs in Brown, Tan, Pink, Green, Purple, and Yellow colors. Seriatopora hystrix is nocturnal in habit and is hardy.
  • Cat's Paw Coral – Pink (Stylophora species). Also known as Stylophora Coral, Brush Coral, Club Foot Coral, Club Finger Coral, Gypsy Coral, Cluster Coral, Bird’s Nest Coral, and Stump Coral, this Pink colored Small Polyp Coral resembles the shape of a Cat’s Paw and occurs in Brown and Tan.
  • Pocillopora Coral (Pocillopora species). Also known as Cauliflower Coral, Brush Coral, Bowl Coral, Lacey Coral, Bird’s Nest Coral, Clustered Coral, Lace Coral, Warty Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Brown, Tan, Cream, Pink, and Green colors. The Pocillopora species has a cylindrical and vertically branched, Calcareous skeleton which is forked at the tip of its branches to give the Corals a bushy look.

  • Family – Stylasteridae
  • Disticophora Assorted Coral (Distichopora species). Also known as Lace Coral, Disticophora Lace Coral, Purple Stick Coral, Ember Coral, and Stylaster Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Purple, Salmon, and Yellow colors. Disticophora Assorted Coral has a Purple colored, hard exoskeleton composed of Calcium Carbonate, which has many lacy branches with blunt ends that resemble the appearance of a fan.

  • Family – Merulinidae
  • Hydnophora Coral (Hydnophora species). Also known as Green Horn Fluorescent Coral, Branch Coral, Knob Coral, Horn Coral, Velvet Horn Coral, Thorny Coral, Horn Coral, Neon Green Horn Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Cream, Green, and Pink colors. Hydnophora Coral is aggressive in nature and stings any aquarium inmate that comes in touch with it.
  • Merulina Coral (Merulina species). Also known as Lettuce Coral, Cabbage Coral, Ruffled Coral, Merulina Cup Coral, and Ridge Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Brown, Tan, Gold, Neon Green, Blue, Grey, Green, Purple, and Pink colors. Merulina Coral builds reefs and is shaped like a Fan, Plate or irregular Lobes. These Small Polyp Corals have a ruffled, ridge like surface.

  • Family – Poritidae
  • Porites Coral (Porites species). Also known as Finger Coral, Honeycomb Coral, Jeweled Finger Coral, Clubbed Finger Coral, Mustard Hill Coral, Lumpy Coral, and Lobe Coral, these Small Polyp Corals occur in Yellow, Brown, Tan, Cream, Blue, Pink, Purple, and Green colors. The Porites species exist in large, mound shaped or branched or plate like or encrusting, plocoid colonies imparting it a fuzzy look.

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