This particular species of large polyp stony corals are quite common in the aquatic industry within the UK.
At present we at Atlantis Aquatics have not attempted to propagate this species as the impact on the natural reefs due to importation is minimal according to most ‘experts’.
This species is abundant in nature and is very possible to reproduce in the home aquarium by asexual budding and planula release.
However, as a growing concern with reef conservation we believe that animals imported from the wild should be cared for by aquarists in the best possible way to minimize imports as well as lowering losses by hobbyists due to poor information and starvation of these most exquisite corals.
In our experience we have found that live foods bring the best in these corals, meaty frozen foods soaked in a vitamin before feeding also make these animals ‘show’.
Below is a feeding method used by ourselves with newly imported animals using newly hatched brine shrimp. Adult brine shrimp are as good but rearing the shrimp yourself on a nutrient and vitamin enriched diet is preferable.
This animal is relatively dormant after import.
A coke bottle with the bottom removed and a supply of live newly hatched brine shrimp are the tools for this particular feeding method.
Ensure you have sterilised your bottle BEFORE you enter the water.
Slowly lower your bottle over the specimen to be targeted.
Seat the bottle firmly over the animal but do not push too deep into the sand bed if you have one. As you can see, the animal is starting to react to the change in environment already.
Begin to pour the live food into the removed bottle top. This will fill the chamber with food as you have secured the bottom to stop any release.
Almost immediately you can see the polyps start to emerge. This pic was taken within the first 45 seconds.
Again, the animal is reacting to the influx of food. Note the stony corallite under the base of the polyps that is covered in flesh.
99% of the polyps are are or have extended now and the animal is actively feeding.
After passing food to the gut via nematocyst laden polyps, the polyps soon extend again for second helpings!
Note the mouth protruding to the extent of showing the gullet (pharynx). This concludes that the animal was and still is hungry for nutritious foods.
We hope you can learn a little from this page. The method we use can be adapted for deeper tanks using a little common sense and ingenuity.
Remember that Sun corals have no zooxanthellae and cannot use light as a source of nutrition. Target feeding is a must even in a well established mature system for best results.
Thanks for reading.