The American reef aquarium hobby is always looking for the latest and greatest new strain of corals to grow and exalt. Strains of very familiar corals like the Homewrecker Acro and Kun Pao Monti may turn some heads and have the potential to be propagated and shared, but there’s a whole world of unknown corals that are even more ‘exclusive’.
We’re talking of course of the nonphotosynthetic stony corals, most often referred to as Azoox corals. Most aquarium reefers are fairly familiar with the Tubastrea sun corals and the more readily available larger polyped Dendrophyllia. But there are so many more species yet to be discovered by the aquarium hobby at large.
These corals include a very wide range of species from large solitary Rhizotrochus to the small and colonial Arcohelia. You would be hard pressed to find any of these corals at once, but with an ear to the ground it’s possible to come across a few pieces periodically. The best place we’ve found to admire most of these Azoox corals is usually while diving in caves and overhangs where a wide variety of weird corals can be seen.
But thankfully, over the last ten years we’ve been lucky to write about and encounter a nice handful of these corals in the hobby. So if Azoox reef tanks ever take off this is what a population of these carnivorous corals would look like and we can only hope that one day the ‘dark side’ of corals can get a chance to come into the light.