We’re not sure what’s more exciting about the announcement of red flowerpot coral frags from ORA: that we’ll all have easy access to this beautiful, hardy strain of Goniopora stutchburyi or that this ten year old captive coral strain undermines the widespread belief that flowerpots are “impossible” to keep. The red goniopora is nearly an overall metallic red color with red tentacles and a purple mouth/oral cone. “not only is this flowerpot coral strain hardy, ORA also states that the “Red Goniopora tends to be an aggressive coral and when placed near a competitor it will supercharge its tentacles with nematocysts which will give them a white tipped appearance.” Follow the break for a short Q&A with Dustin Dorton about the new red flowerpot frags from ORA.
RB: can you tell me a little about how you chose this strain? Why has it taken 10 years to get into production?
DD: Good question. It took so long because we had to build up enough broodstock pieces to start cutting up, I never thought we would actually get it into production. Initially we were working with buds that dropped off the mother colony. We didn’t start cutting it up until a couple of years ago.
RB: What conditions have you found this gonipot to prefer, what kind of flow and light do you keep it in?
DD: As far as conditions, I would treat it like any other fleshy lps. It needs just enough flow to keep the tentacles moving without bashing them around too much. If you put it in high flow it will adapt but it will not open up very much. As for light we grow it right alongside the rest of our SPS corals. If you give it too much light it bleaches out a bit and looks more translucent pink. You have to keep it away from other corals, it is really aggressive.
RB: Do you have to feed it to get more noticeable growth?
DD: We do not feed them at all, never even tried.
RB: Can you give me any rough indication of average growth rate? Is it primarily encrusting/ submassive or both?
DD: As far as growth form, it would call it a hemispherical clump, like the traditional green flower pots. When first cut up, it spends quite a bit of time encrusting onto the new surface, then it starts to grow up like a finger before rounding out. They grow faster than I ever expected but that is not saying much.