Most Goniopora originate from Australia or Indonesia or nearby regions. At one point, Goniopora were known for being difficult to keep. They would look great for about 3 months, then suddenly die overnight. These difficult to keep Goniopora usually originated from Indonesia. Many of the more resilient varieties come from Australia. However, the Goniopora sold here are maricultured by ORA. This variety is one of the hardiest of Goniopora. This strain does not have tissue erosion problems that other strains are notorious for, which makes this coral much easier to care for.
This Goniopora strain has shorter tentacles with a branching growth pattern. It is available in color morphs of yellow, pink, and green, which look great when grown together. While these Goniopora are easier than some other strains, there are still some general care requirements that you should know about.
To start, let’s discuss lighting. Goniopora can be placed under a wide range of lighting conditions from low to high light if acclimated very slowly. However, it is recommended that you place your Goniopora under medium light, around 75-125 micromoles of PAR. If you are unsure, err on the low side because placing a coral under lighting that is too high greatly risks bleaching. When you first add this coral to your aquarium, it is best to start it in low light and slowly move it into higher light during a month or even a few months.
Next, let’s talk about flow. Although seeing lots of movement from Goniopora is fun, you have to be careful not to provide too much flow. Too much flow can kill off tissue, resulting in large amounts of die-off. Ideally, you should provide a moderate amount of indirect flow with some randomness to it. This will promote proper growth and prevent dead spots.
Being a stony coral, Goniopora requires elevated levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. If you only have a few stony corals, you can likely replenish these elements with water changes alone. On the other hand, aquariums with lots of stony corals almost always require dosing, a calcium reactor, or using kalkwasser. You should aim to keep these levels as stable as possible, which requires monitoring of the levels. If you are supplementing these base elements, make sure to test frequently until you get the dosage right.
As for the other parameters, keep the temperature between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable. Keep the nitrates between 1-5 ppm and the phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. You can have much higher levels of nitrates, up to 20 ppm, but this may cause algae problems.
Lastly, let’s discuss feeding. Although Goniopora contain photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae that provide them with energy, they still greatly benefit from feeding. No, it’s not absolutely required for this particular Goniopora, but it will promote better overall coral health and better coloration. While Goniopora don’t usually react well to large foods, dosing or gently spot feeding phytoplankton and amino acids is a perfect way to feed.
Purchase Size: 2″
Placement: This coral tends to do best on the bottom or middle of the aquarium.
Parameters: 72-78° F, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
This Goniopora coral is maricultured by ORA, making it hardier and easier to care for. Maricultured corals are better able to transition into aquarium life and are better able to handle the stress of shipping. They are also more environmentally friendly. By purchasing maricultured or aquacultured corals, you are reducing the impact the hobby has on the ocean.