Orange Tube Coral Pet of the Month
🐶 The Poll is Open! 🦎 Click here to Vote! 🐰


Hug a mod Nano Reef Moderator
Retired Moderator ⚒️
Dec 27, 2004
Reaction score
Long Island, NY
Common name(s): Orange tube coral, Sun Coral, Orange Cup Coral, Orange Sun Coral

Scientific name: Tubastrea aurea

Family: Dendrophylliidae

Location: Indo-Pacific

Temperament: Peaceful

Tank Placement: Bottom

Water Flow: Medium to high

Light: Low

Care: The tubastrea aurea coral is a very beautiful coral to add to the reef aquarium. It adds bright color to the reef and when fully open it is a sight to see. This coral is NOT photosynthetic and MUST BE FED. It prefers to be out of direct light, substrate placement, and also prefers good flow. After you acclimate it, this coral might not open right away and may need some coaxing (see below).

Feeding: If you receive your coral via shipping, it may initially need coaxing to open. This can be done by placing it in a bowl of tank water after acclimation and flooding the container with food. The corals eat by opening up and extending their tentacles. The tentacles capture the food, withdraw it into the oral disc and each tube will then swell with water and engulf it. It's fascinating to watch. Once they feed for the first time, they will usually open after lights out. They can be 'trained' to open in daylight by stimulating them with a spray of food. Each head must be target fed. This coral will eat mysid shrimp, enriched brine shrimp, baby brine shrimp and Cyclopeeze. It can eat almost any other meaty food if the morsels are small. What makes this coral difficult to care for is that you must feed it at least 3X per week or if it opens (hungry). Also, if you have small inverts, they learn to rush to the coral during feeding time and try to steal the food. If you move the coral, make sure you lift it from below as it is a delicate coral.

Methods of feeding include:
  • spot feeding with a pipette
  • removing the coral frag from the tank and feeding it in a bowl
  • placing a ring of a cut CocaCola plastic bottle around it to protect it from "robbers"
Propagation: If fed well, the tubastrea aurea will propagate by growing new heads. The rock that it is growing on can then be fragged.

Comments: If you are adding a Sun Coral to your nano reef, be aware that although a coral is not a fish, the food it consumes will be digested similarly and will result in additional nitrates being added to your tank. Pick a small frag if given the chance to choose.




Most reactions