coral of the week { palythoa sp. }


Premium Member
Coral of the week {palythoa} . This coral is pictured on pages 181 to 183 of Eric Borneman's aquarium corals. This weekend I will post some info and pictures of this coral. So untill then post what ever info and pictures you have.

Every week I will post a new coral and I want you to post everything you know about this particular coral. Everything from common names, how hardy they are, water temp, water flow, lighting, water parameters, fraging, spawning, related corals, scientific names, feeding, best ways to ship, etc. Post your pictures for identification. Please tell us about your system so others can duplicate your success. Also email me for request on which corals you would like to see in this section.

Dave Polzin
Well here is a picture of some palythoa in my tank.


As you can see it grows in clumps similiar to zoanthus but the polyps are attached at the walls. They seem very tolerant of any type of water flow, but prefering a medium flow. I have grown this coral under fluorescent light as well as metal halide. Its color can be pink, tan or white. It is a very easy to care for and can grow at a pretty good rate. It is also easy to propagate by cutting a few polyps off and using a rubberband to attach to a rock. The polyps attach very quickly.
Dave shred5
Here is a lousy shot of mine, some of these are as large as half dollars. They seem to like it under the 175 55k bulbs. Gentle current blows across them, they do seem to reproduce much slower than some of my others. They are very hardy , hammer colony fell on them stung the dickens out of them and in a few days they opened up full force again.

Petpoor those are protopalythoa. Very similar but a little different. If you look at the picture those are more like #1 and #2 were palythoa are more like #3.


I am happy you posted that picture because it allows people to see the difference. By the way I think it is a good picture.

Dave shred5
Here's my two palythoa's currently in the tank. (At least I believe they are!! especially after this thread, I referenced my book and still believe they are, especially the brown ones. The green ones have a little more stalk, but they definately have a rather large area of "base" tissue) The dark brown one started as a single tiny hitchhiker on the live rock on startup and now has 9 polyps surrounding it. The bottom is a greener variety that I acquired in a trade with vilas. The brown ones have been halfway up, moderate light, moderate to light current. The green ones rest on the sandbed, mainly because 2 rubberbands later (both rotted over time) I gave up on trying to get it to mount. It's doing fairly well otherwise, and hopefully it will someday attach to the rocks down where it is.

oh yeah, both also like a little direct feeding at times, whenever I feed the tank I make sure I blast 'em with the turkey baster of goodies, they always swallow the food rather quickly.
Is this a palythoa?


The picture was taken at night, so it's a bit fuzzy. The stalks for each polyp are very short and it seems to be very slow-growing. It likes lower light and lower current, and I feed each polyp every couple of nights, which is when its tentacles are fully extended.
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I tend to move things around a lot (too much) in my tank. They seem to do well everywhere I put them. More light the better, although I don't have very strong lighting.
This is Palythoa
from Karim See here

I don't think most of the posted pics are Palythoa. They should have a thicker 'mat', like in Dave's pic

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Gareth is right on those pics. When closed you can tell the difference even more. The coral look very smooth with no stalks at all. It almost looks like a sponge. palythoa is commonly misidentified. I ran into at least a half dozen web sites the had protopalythoa labeled as palythoa. It is good that these were posted so people can see the difference. With sps's it gets even harder to identify a coral.
Dave shred5