The beautiful Tubastraea coral, otherwise known as Cup Coral, extend their 3/4 inch long tentacles to feed upon zooplankton at night, delighting snorklers and divers that are lucky enough to witness this extraordinary event. The beautiful Cup Coral are often found in the waters of Hawaii, Eastern Asia and Figi, and require moderate care when added to a reef aquarium.
Cup Coral Appearance
The Turbinaria Cup Coral is a small polyp stony (SPS) coral. The genus name, Turbinaria, is derived from the Greek word turbinatus (cone-shaped) because it usually grows in a cup shape while living on the reef. It may also appear as ruffled ridges, plates, vases or scrolls. Cup Coral may be bright yellow, green, brown, gray, or cream in color.
Cup Coral Care
The most difficult to care for of the Cup Coral are those that are highly convoluted or have thin plates. It should be provided ample space in the aquarium because it does grow quickly. Cup Coral is a peaceful reef inhabitant and does not bother other corals that are placed in close proximity. Moderate lighting is required, as well as moderate water movement, for optimum health.
Cup Coral Tank Requirements
The Cup Coral require moderate lighting, with tank temperatures between 72 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. A pH value of 8.3 and 8.4 and a specific gravity of measuring between 1.023 and 1.025 should be maintained. Trace elements should be checked regularly and replaced as needed. If water current is present, Cup Coral thrives in low or moderate water flow.
Cup Coral Growth and Feeding
In order for most Cup Coral to survive, they require feedings at least twice per day, usually once in the morning and once at night. Cup Coral tends to benefit from brine shrimp or plankton added to their diet. Food is primarily caught by the tentacles, but the mouth may open widely to allow the stinging cells of the gastrovascular cavity to trap food.
Cup Coral Overview
Many hobby marine reef enthusiasts love the Cup Coral because of their beautiful appearance and wild array of colors. Divers and snorklers report that watching these corals feed at night in the wild is an amazing experience. Cup Coral are considered moderately easy to care for if the correct tank environments are accomplished, and ample space is provided for them to grow and stabilize within the reef.