top photo by Mike LaPorte
bottom photo by Jason Huber
Common names: pineapple coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 2): Care difficulty for these corals depends on species, but most are tolerant and forgiving when healthy.
Feeding: These corals have good prey capture ability and can feed on a variety of meaty aquarium foods. Smaller chunked meaty foods are preferred. These colonies can sometimes look like colonial anemones when their feeding tentacles are fully expanded.
Lighting (Level 3 to 6): Though they can adapt to a wide range of light intensities, these corals come from deeper waters and do best in less light, or indirect light. If they must be placed under intense lighting, they should be acclimated to this light as slowly as possible.
Water flow: Moderate water flow is recommended.
Placement: These are peaceful corals. Place safely away from aggressive tank mates. Most are not great competitors for space and will lose battles for space with more aggressive or faster growing corals.
General: There are only two species of Blastomussa, B. merleti and B. wellsi, which are easily distinguished from each other by the size of their polyps. The polyps of B. wellsi are much larger (~1-3") than those of B. merleti (<1"). Some species (such as Blastomussa merleti) have long, pipe-like polyp skeletons (corallites) that connect at the base of the colony. These types of skeletal structures allow for easy breaking off of single polyps or small polyp clusters. This makes fragmentation and propagation easy.