Chili coral / Cactus coral


New member
I just picked one up. I have it hanging upside down in a shaded area. It will have moderate flow as soon as I redirect a loc-line nozzle. I'm hopeing the polyps will extend tonight so I can feed it. Anyways just wondering if anyone who has personal experience with one has any tips or comments about them. I do realize that they can be somewhat hard to feed according to some people, but I don't think I'll have an issue with it. Think target fed marine snow will be sufficient or should I go withing something else such as pure phyto? If they open tonight I'll feed micro-vert since I'm out of everything else. Should be good for at least tonight if not all other feedings? Not sure. What do you personally recommend for feedings?
I've had my chili coral for about a year now and mine does fine all on it's own. I haven't been feeding it, but my system is pretty mature.
It was a huge piece when I first bought it, around 8" colony (retracted) with maybe 24 fingers. When I got it home, I put it in my tank where I thought there was plenty of space. It expanded that night and Wow! it became 3x it's size. The extended fingers, polyps with white tentacle tips are so much more beautiful than the deflated stubby dark red stumps. Color brightens up to a lighter red too. I wish I could get it to stay like that in the daytime. In the morning, they fully retract within 15 minutes of the lights going on. After about a month of unsuccesful early morning feeding attempts, it started to stop expanding at night. Dark cyano started growing on it and it looked like it was starting to go down hill. I tried marine snow, phyto, even cyclops to stimulate a feeding response but it doesn't seem to react to any of that. I finally discovered online that stirring up detritus in the sandbed just after lights go out seems to stimulate expansion, so it must be a bacteriavore or filter feeding on the detritus. I started doing that a couple time before going to bed and it's been happily expanding at night ever since. I've fragged mine a couple times now and placed a couple pieces in my nano tank. It seems to be even happier in there. Probably more nutrients in the water and the detritus in that tank is a milky grey color. They haven't grown much since I got them, but they haven't declined either.
Now that I also have sun corals and have been feeding those at night, I might reattempt feeding the chili after expansion to see if it makes any difference. Anyone have any luck with that?
How did you go about fragging it? Just cut off a branch and glue it to a rock? How was the tissue regeneration time and recovery of the mother colony?
flomojo: Can you post pictures of the whole tank with the coral? To see what conditions chili requires.

MMM33732: I only wanted to add the link of interest, other keepers about chili.

I also have different chili corals, the oldest is close to 2.5 years, but always have problems with them. Have to feed heavily, several times a day, dried crustaceans and enriched fish food (ZoPlan, Cyclop eeze, Formula Two crushed flakes sometimes, sometimes rotifers and baby brine, decapsulated brine shrimp eggs - anything I can find). MicroVert is too small (IMHO) and is only phytoplankton.

But all my tanks are bare bottom. And the chilis are doing the best in the dark tank, no lights, but also it is not shaded from the ambient light (in basement). The corals are in relatively high flow.

I also fragged one of them: just cut off the branch by sharp blade. But this coral has many thick sclerites, be ready to some sawing. I rubberbanded the frads, they eventually attached themselves to the rock. The wound on the big chili was visible for a very long time.
Ever since I started keeping Carnation, I use an automatic feeder to feed my tank 4 times a day, a pinch at a time with freeze dried rotifiers and spirulina powder. When I bought my Chili, I placed it in a cave. It will only open at light. My tank has 10x water flow and it doesn't seem to have any algae grows on it. BTW, I wonder how fast will they grow.