This is one of the more difficult-to-find Cyphastrea color morphs. The coral has a purple body, yellow tentacles, and red polyp centers. Like other Cyphastrea, it survives best in low light. Cyphastrea frags are roughly 3/4"-1" in diameter.
Cyphastrea Coral Care
Cyphastrea are sometimes referred to as a Meteor Coral however most reef aquarists today simply refer to them by their scientific name. The most common color variant of Cyphastrea is a blue base with red polyps called a Meteor Shower Cyphastrea. It turns out though that there are many rare color variants of this beautiful coral that are every bit as spectacular. Cyphastrea are a very low light coral and do poorly when exposed to high light. In our systems at Tidal Gardens, we try to find the dimmest locations to keep them. Please see below for additional care tips for Cyphastrea as well as checking out ourTop 5 Tipsfor setting up a reef.
Cyphastrea does not require as much light as some other corals. In fact, they tend to do very well in extremely low light conditions. In our experience this coral does poorly in medium to high light reef aquariums.
Low light translates to about 30-50 PAR
Medium Light is between 50-150 PAR
High Light is anything over 150 PAR
Lighting is a loaded topic, so for a more in-depth discussion of lighting, please see ourDeep Divearticle.
Moderate water movement is recommended.
Cyphastrea relies heavily on the products of their zooxanthellae. This coral may benefit from the addition of phytoplankton as a food source. While the coral itself may consume some phytoplankton, the real benefit is the increased population of rotifers that feed on the phytoplankton. Rotifers make a good meal to a vast array of corals. If phytoplankton is not readily available, you may attempt to feed the coral finely ground meaty foods. The food should almost have a paste-like consistency before being administered.
This genus for the most part has been propagated extensively in captivity and is an excellent candidate for aquaculture.
Proper acclimation is extremely important considering the stress imposed on the animals by the shipping process. Please take a moment to review ourAcclimation Guide.
The images were taken with a Canon 5D Mk II and 100mm macro lens under T5 Fluorescent lighting. Quite a lot goes into how we go about shooting the corals and anemones you see on Tidal Gardens. For an in-depth look at our methods, check out our comprehensiveReef Aquarium Photography FAQ.