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squirt_12
08-16-2008, 10:22 PM
I really like the look of the Sun Coral and have been doing some research on them and think that it would be a great addition to my reef tank. I have a few questions on them though. I want to make sure that I have the correct conditions for one.
What kind of flow do they like? I have heard on the internet from low-high flow so I wasn't really to sure on which one.

They need to be fed daily or can it be every other day?

Can they be fed these thing: frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, cytoplezee (sp?)? Anything else they need/can be fed?

They are not photosynthetic so they like to be in the shade to be opened up during the day? Or will they still be closed up during the day no matter where they are? In my tank I have a spot where I have a little archway at the back of the tank where I could stick one in there but I am not sure if it will get enough flow or not.

kaybee
08-16-2008, 10:51 PM
I'd recommend moderate to high flow.

They can be fed every day, but that isn't necessary. 1-3 times a week will suffice, so every other day is a good schedule to have them on.

They can eat the foods you've listed, though mysis and cyclopeeze are probably best for them and nutrition-wise should be provided over brine shrimp. I primarily provide mine mysis shrimp. They can eat a lot; each polyp can accept 3-5 mysis shrimp (I usually feed the polyps 1-3, though).

When their tentacles are extended they are capable of capturing and consuming food particles, such as flakes or pellets intended for the fish (if that is what you feed your tank). Additionally they will capture and consume live micro-crustaceans such as copepods, amphipods and mysid shrimp if they are in your tank.

Feed as many as the polyps as possible. All of the polyps do not necessarily need to be fed if they're attached to the main colony (since the coral is capable of disseminating nutrition to adjacent polyps), but any heads that are solitary will require specific target feeding.

Being nocturnal I've found that the exposure to light doesn't really affect them much. They may be prone to open up or open earlier if kept under a ledge were the light is dim (however in areas like that in my tank it would be hard to feed it). The polyps will come out when they sense food in the water and can be 'trained' to open up if certain conditions occur daily at a particular schedule.

squirt_12
08-16-2008, 11:08 PM
I figured that they required a higher flow. That can be done though.

Thats good to hear that they only need to be fed every other day. It will make it a little easier on me if I get them to do it that way.

I have heard that brine shrimp isn't very nutrition in SW as it is in FW. Ok so mysis shrimp I can get and I will have to look for cyclopeeze. Is cyclopeeze just a SW product or do you think I will be able to find it in a FW LFS?
With feeding, would I feed the same thing always or every other time you feed switch it up? What all do you feed yours Kaybee and do you change what they eat often? As in feed mysis shrimp one day and like cyclopeeze another day?

It wouldn't really matter then if I placed the coral out in the direct light or in the shade. That would make it much easier to feed that way.

Now a big very important question, do you think that a 3.5g would be big enough for a sun coral and to support it? The tank has been up and running for about 2-2.5 months and has supported a Green Hairy Mushroom for roughly a month. So far I have no livestock in the tank but plan on getting some soon.

kaybee
08-17-2008, 12:34 AM
Oh, the tank is 3.5gal?

A sun coral in a tank that small may contribute to water quality degradation due to the amount of food it requires and the water volume of your system (this is assuming, of course, that the sun coral you plan is comprised of a dozen or more polyps).

A moderate sized sun coral can consume 1 to 2 cubes of mysis per sitting (or 3-6 cubes per week if feeding every other day; might be a little too much for a 3.5gal tank). I'm not sure what type of nutrient export methods you have in place, but you may have to increase the quantity and/or size of your water changes if deciding to go with a sun coral in that tank.

You could provide a variety of food if you want. I have no problem feeding them mysis shrimp exclusively, but I use cyclopeeze aperiodically (about 1-2 times a month) if I happen to be pressed for time (my method of target feeding mysis shrimp takes time, and squirting cyclopeeze on them is quicker).

Cyclopeeze can probably be found in speciality shops FW or SW (it comes in at least two forms, frozen bar and freeze dried; I prefer the frozen bar).

Placement really doesn't matter (in my opinion), since light doesn't adversely affect them. You could keep them shaded, but for me it's easier to feed them where they're out in the open (at least with the methods I use to feed). But if you can feed it in a dim section, go for it.

If you have a branched form of sun coral, the branches may get assailed by nuisance algae if conditions in the aquarium promote algae growth. Not a problem if those conditions don't exist.

I'd actually recommend a photosynthetic LPS rather than a sun coral for a tank as small as yours from a water quality standpoint.

squirt_12
08-17-2008, 01:00 AM
Thanks Kaybee. I was worried about my tank being too small for one by the amount of food that I have to feed one. Maybe I can get one when I upgrade to a bigger tank in the future. So would you say a 10-20g would be best for one??

Thanks for all of the awesome information. It has helped me alot and I have learned tons of stuff on them.

What would some suggestions be for some LPS? For lighting I am running PC at 5wpg.

kaybee
08-17-2008, 02:27 AM
Regarding the minimum tank size, it depends on what type of nutrient-export methods are employed (protein skimmer, phosphate reactor, sump, refugium, etc) and the initial quantity of polyps.

A trumpet/candy cane coral frag (1-3 heads) would work with what you have. There are others as well that could be considered.

With hard corals, though, you'll have to monitor your calcium and alkalinity levels.

squirt_12
08-17-2008, 03:01 AM
Regarding the minimum tank size, it depends on what type of nutrient-export methods are employed (protein skimmer, phosphate reactor, sump, refugium, etc) and the initial quantity of polyps.

A trumpet/candy cane coral frag (1-3 heads) would work with what you have. There are others as well that could be considered.

With hard corals, though, you'll have to monitor your calcium and alkalinity levels.
Well I don't have a protein skimmer or any of the stuff you listed there. That coral looks nice. Considering that I would have to watch the calcium and alkalinity levels in such a small tank, I think that I will just stick to an easier coral for now.

Thanks for all the help!