The Australian Red FlowerPot Coral (Goniopora sp.), with its crisp sharp red color and mesmerizing motion, this out of this world aquatic marble is joy to watch.
All species of Goniopora are a challenge to care within a reef aquarium. This type of coral is not recommended for novice aquarium hobbyist. They are infamous for being difficult for being difficult to care for. Many hobbyist find it difficult to keep alive for more than a year, though some experienced reef enthusiasts have been successful at keeping them for years on end.
Through evolution, the Goniopora Corals, like other large polyp stony (LPS) corals, have developed intricate feeding strategies. Which includes; having a symbiotic relationship with marine algae, known as zooxanthellae, from which they receive much of their nutrients, and the Goniopora Corals capture planktonic organisms, food particles from the water column, and absorb dissolved organic matter. One also must beware that this species of coral are infamously finicky eaters that sometime require direct target feeding.
Reef building hard corals such as the Flowerpot Coral require proper calcium carbonate levels in the tank in order to build a strong skeletal structure. This coral is made up of tiny animals with a tubular body and an oral gap fringed with tentacles. These tentacle are equipped with nematocysts, which are poisonous cells often used to sting and disable prey, and used to feed on small marine organisms ranging in size from zooplankton to small fish. Much of the energy requirements of the coral is provided by photosynthetic organisms that live in its tissue, called zooxanthellae. Zooxanthellae supply the Goniopora Coral's polyps with needed oxygen and food, and are responsible for the color of the corals In return, the corals provide a protected living area for the zooxanthellae.
In captivity, these corals benefit from liquid nutrients like Marine Snow, Phytoplex, as well as, lipid-rich phytoplankton substitutes. The Goniopora Coral would also consume Zooplankton, but it is not a good idea to serve that as a main food source. Phytoplankton could provide this coral 1/2 of its daily nutritional requirements.
People are often drawn to Goniopora specimens because of this coral's long, stunning and exquisite polyp, which guarantees to make this species the centerpiece in any aquarium.
The Flower Pot Coral (Goniopora spp.) belong to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Cnidaria, Family Poritidae, Genus Goniopora and Species lobata. These corals also go by the colorful names of Sunflower Corals and Ball Corals. All of the species of Goniopora species have 24 polyps and are usually different shapes and colors. This coral extends their polyps throughout the day, yet are partially retracted at night. Another interesting fact about the Flower Pot Coral is that their nervous system is very elaborate. For instance, as a defensive mechanism, if one side of the coral is touched, it sends impulses to the rest of the coral, and the other parts will pull in their tentacles.
The Flower Pot Coral is a very popular import from Indonesia, were it is quite common. This distinctive coral are often grouped together by aquarists because they have similarly elongate polyps with daisy-like heads.
Just like its name suggests, the Green Goniopora Flower Pot Coral has large polyp stony or LPS coral, that, when open, this stunning and delicate coral mimics the appearance of a bouquet of daisies. The tentacles on each polyp are usually green. The appearance of this beautiful coral conceals its aggressive behavior, many individual coral polyps, (anemone-like animals that secrete a skeleton), form colonies which join together at the base of the skeleton. These corals have a very pretty and distinctive appearance, and in the wild they are mostly columnar or massive, but some can also be encrusted. Their skeletons are lightweight porous, but their distinctive features are the elongated polyps topped with a fringe of tentacles adjoining the mouth area.