Carnation Coral

Class Anthozoa, Class Alcyonacea, Family Nephtheidae, Genera Dendronephthya, Scleronephthya sp.

photos by Bob Fenner

Common names: carnation corals, cauliflower corals, tree corals
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 5): These soft corals do not survive long in aquariums. Even the most experienced aquarists find them  nearly impossible to keep alive for very long.
Feeding: They are azooxanthellate corals with exceptionally heavy feeding requirements. This demanding feeding requirement is probably why they don't survive long in aquariums. Heavy feeding of phytoplankton and very fine particle foods in tanks with large, well-populated sand beds may help delay death. However, even with the most ambitious efforts, they almost always perish within less than a year.
Lighting (Level 0 to 6): These corals don't need light. Too much light can be detrimental.
Water flow: Strong, alternating, laminar water flow is crucial.
Placement: Contrary to how most aquarists place them, in the wild, they are usually found growing "up-side down," hanging off rock ledges.
General: Unless you are an exceptionally experienced aquarist wishing to do some thoughtful experimenting, please do not purchase these corals. Even science is not entirely sure of their nutritional needs or what all they feed on in the wild.