Gonipora, commonly known as "Flowerpot Coral," is a genus of small polyp stony corals (SPS) that belongs to the family Poritidae. These corals are known for their attractive appearance and delicate, flower-like polyps, which makes them a sought-after choice for reef aquarium enthusiasts. Here are some key characteristics and information about Gonipora corals:
Appearance: Gonipora corals have a distinctive appearance with delicate, flower-like polyps that extend during the day, creating a captivating and colorful display. These polyps can come in a variety of colors, including shades of pink, purple, green, and orange.
Polyps: The polyps of Gonipora corals have a feathery or tentacle-like appearance. They are equipped with small, stinging cells called nematocysts, which are used to capture tiny planktonic organisms from the water for feeding. The polyps retract into the coral skeleton at night.
Care in Aquariums: Gonipora corals are popular among reef aquarium enthusiasts, but they can be challenging to keep in captivity. They require stable water parameters, excellent water quality, and strong, consistent lighting. Additionally, they can be sensitive to changes in water flow and quality. Specialized care and attention to their needs are necessary to maintain their health and vibrancy in an aquarium.
Water Flow: Adequate water flow is essential to ensure that the polyps can capture food effectively and prevent debris from settling on the coral's surface. However, too much water flow can stress the coral, so it's essential to find the right balance.
Feeding: Gonipora corals are primarily photosynthetic, relying on symbiotic zooxanthellae for much of their energy needs. They also capture small food particles from the water column with their polyps. Some hobbyists choose to target-feed these corals with planktonic foods to ensure they receive adequate nutrition.
Placement: When placing Gonipora corals in an aquarium, it's important to consider their lighting and water flow needs. They typically do well in the upper to middle areas of the reef aquarium, where they can receive the right amount of light and water movement.
Gonipora corals are known for their beauty, but they are considered more challenging to maintain in an aquarium compared to some other coral species. If you are interested in keeping Gonipora corals in your reef aquarium, it's advisable to do thorough research, provide them with the proper care, and monitor their health closely to ensure their long-term well-being.
Care level: Moderate
Lighting: Moderate to High
Water flow: Medium
Common Name: Flower Pot Coral
Latin Name: Goniopora
Size: 4" inches