Echinopora, or chalice coral, can be found surrounding the islands of the Indo-Pacific region, including Figi, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef. This stony coral has been maintained within captive reef systems in the United States since 1996. Echinopora is a favorite amongst hobby level aquarium enthusiasts.
Lighting Requirements Of Echinopora
Echinopora requires intense lighting for the overall health and best coloration. Reef experts have found that the lighting intensities offered to the Echinopora coral directly affected the intensity, or lack thereof, of the coral. Metal halide lighting or a large bank of output fluorescent or compact fluorescent bulbs will dictate the color intensity of the Echinopora. If not provided proper lighting, the colors of the Echinopora may fade, or even perish if they do not receive enough energy.
Echinopora Feeding And Health
Echinopora relies heavily on the products of their zooxanthellae. This type of stony coral may benefit from the addition of phytoplankton as a food source. While Echinopora itself may consume those phytoplankton, the real benefit is the increased population of rotifers that feed on the phytoplankton. Rotifers make a great meal for a vast array of corals. Echinopora may also benefit from finely ground meaty foods, but they must have an almost paste-like consistency before being administered.
Aquarium Aclimation Of Echinopora
The proper acclimation of Echinopora to the aquarium environment is very important, considering the amount of stress the coral goes through before arriving at your door. Turn aquarium lights off, as the Echinopora will have spent at least the past day in total darkness. Float the bag containing the Echinopora in the new aquarium water, then gradually introduce it to the new aquarium. Corals are very sensitive to pH balances in the water.
Water Circulation Surrounding Echinopora
Many aquarium enthusiasts like to add Echinopora to their aquariums due to its hardy nature. However, water movement in the reef tank is quite possibly one of the most neglected areas of reef keeping. Echinopora can only thrive with proper water circulation, as that is how it is provided its needed gas exchange and nutrients, and sweeps waste products away from the corals.
Echinopora Conservation And Preservation
There are many captive grown fragments of the Echinopora that can be found in the United States. Steve Tyree started one of the best and most well kept Echinopora colonies back in 1996, and continues to be one of the nations most knowledgeable people that understand and can successfully grow this type of stony coral.