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FAQs about Elegance Coral Reproduction/Propagation

Back to Articles on: Catalaphyllia Coral, Caryophylliids, Large Polyp Stony Corals

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Sand dwelling anemone??? Elegance Coral Repro.  11/9/05 First, let me say that I have been reading WWM for months and your wealth of knowledge is truly something to not to be scoffed at. Now on to the question. Six months ago I bought an elegance coral from a local supplier, upon bringing it home I noticed a small hitchhiker about the diameter of a dime. The tentacles fall over the sides of the base and this is how I base my measurements. This little guy has a base like a long tentacle anemone, reddish/orange in color with thin CLEAR tentacles that bulb at the ends with a pink sphere on each end.  My system was not perfect to say the least and I lost everything except a Christmas tree rock, this guy, and my fish. I chiseled him off the skeleton of the elegance and left it on the floor of the tank. When I upgraded to a 125 w/ 55 sump I added it to my new tank. It ended up buried in the sand for 2-3 months. I mean completely buried in the sand. 2 days ago one of my snails that sifts the sand (4 inch substrate) uncovered the unknown miracle. It has doubled in size, and seemed to have no ill-affects. I left it on the floor of the tank in full light (2 150w MH, 4 65w 20K actinics, in a 5' 120 tank) and it seemed to shy from the light. I then moved it to a crevice in the rocks, when the tentacles stuck to my hand and didn't want to let go, where it seems to be doing well. My question is what the heck could this be??? <Likely a "clone" reproductive event of the Elegance/Catalaphyllia... this species rarely tolerates others in close proximity...> As I said before it had absolutely no light for 2-3 months, and as I can assume no food. So my guess is it isn't an anemone, or any other kind of light loving coral. But since it was attached to an elegance, which from what I've read are being harvested from deeper and deeper water, this thing could thrive in lower light. I just can't figure out what could live under the sand for months and survive. As I said before it has a base like an anemone, with sticky tentacles, and a central mouth. It also catches flake food now and consumes it in seconds. Please any help in the identification of this creature would be greatly appreciated. It has endured so much that I don't want it to die now. <Mmm, I'd just "keep on keeping on"... Elegance do live in/on the soft substrate... will likely color up, add mouths, typical morphology with age, growth. Bob Fenner>

Creature ID  - 2/11/03 I have a green hammer coral about 4 to 5 inch. in diameter and on the side off the hard calcified part there is a hard growth about 1 inch in diameter with a fleshy part all around the edge that sticks out about an 8th.of an in. all around that can contract. it is the same color as the tentacles on the coral I've read that these coral sometimes reproduce this way ill try and attach a picture <Budding is a very common reproductive strategy in this family of corals. The pictures sent, alas, did not come through clear at all. Do examine the growth up close with a magnifying glass or jewelers loop. A budding coral is unmistakable. Best regards, Anthony>

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