Our newest corals come mostly from the recent coral swap in Lansing, but also from our LFS. We have learned to dip any new corals in a coral dip before putting them in our main tank. You can read about a Xenia eating worm we discovered after dipping our Pulsating Xenia in this previous post. We also place all of our corals on the sand bed for a couple of weeks when we first bring them home. We feel this allows them to adjust to our tank and we can get a feel for what kind of lighting and flow they prefer based on their response on the sandbed.
The first coral we purchased is a Maze coral. From what I read, Maze corals also go by the name of worm, closed brain, or bowl coral. They are large polyp stony corals (LPS) that have bright green maze-like channels (that look great under moon lighting!) in their skeletons. They have sweeper tentacles that come out at night, so we try to keep it away from other corals it can reach to sting. Maze corals require moderate flow and lighting and are a good beginner coral. We feed many of our corals, and this coral responds quickly when introduced to food.
We also purchased a “Lobo”, or also known as Lobophyllia or Brain coral. This coral is also an LPS that is reported as easy to care for. They range in all colors, but ours is mostly orange and pink, with bits of yellow and blue. Lobo’s require moderate to high lighting, and moderate water flow. I have read that they can have sweeper tentacles that come out at night, but I have yet to see one on this coral. We also feed this coral, but he is not as responsive as other corals in our tank.
We purchased a couple of frags with multiple types of Zoanthids ranging in color from neon green, to pink and orange. In my experience, and from talking with other aquarists at the Lansing Coral Swab, you either have luck with Zoanthids, or you don’t. One vendor at the swap said that he can grow Zoanthids in abundance in one of his frag tanks, but none in another. They seem to be very finicky coral, and their requirements depend on the specific kind you have. This new Zoanthid coral seems to enjoy the light, so we placed it high in our tank, where we are currently having luck with most of our other Zoanthids. There is one Zoanthid colony we have, which I believe are Blue Eyed Devils, that have slowly been disappearing or moving over the side of the frag they are glued to. We decided this may be because there is too much lighting for it, so we moved the frag to a more shaded location. We will wait to see if it bounces back, or completely disappears.
One thing I will make sure to do next year at the Coral Swap, is to write down the exact name of the corals we purchase, as well as each vendor. There are so many people, vendors, and coral to look at that by the time I get home I can’t remember who I bought which coral from, or the name they gave them!