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Orange Plate Coral, Short-tentacled

steelhealr

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Common name(s): Orange Plate Coral, short tentacled

Scientific name: Fungia sp.

Family: Fungiidae

Location: Indo-Pacific

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Tank Placement: Substrate

Water Flow: Low to medium

Light: moderate

Care: The short-tentacled orange plate coral is becoming a little more difficult to find in the trade. The coral has a beautiful orange color and prefers to sit on the substrate to avoid sharp edges and injury to it's tissue. Placing it on the rockwork could cause tissue injury and death. This coral has very short tentacles, less than a cm but if it contacts another coral, it can sting. The orange plate coral likes to have moderate light, so, if you have a deep tank and/or low lighting, you might have trouble with this coral. Otherwise, it is somewhat hardy. Be careful handling it as the corallite skeleton can be fragile. Lift it from below.

This coral has an interesting characteristic in that it can inflate itself to almost 2X it's regular size, expand and actually move. I've seen this a few times and it is an odd thing to observe. The coral will do this either to clean off sand or debris on it or to move to a better location.

Feeding: The short tentacled orange plate coral contains zooxanthellae (symbiotic algae) and is therefore photosynthetic. However, it will benefit from feedings. I feed the plate coral 1-2X per week with various combinations of Cyclopeeze, enriched baby brine shrimp, mysis shrimp or squid. Another unusual feature of this coral is that when the tentacles catch the food, they will slowly hand off the catch from one tentacle to the other, moving it centrally until it is drawn down into the plates opening into the gastric cavity.

Propagation: A Dremel with a stainless steel cutoff wheel following the septa to make pie shaped wedges works best.





Opening to gastric cavity:

 

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