If you want a super easy soft coral for a low-maintenance tank, a nano, or a beginner tank, then look no further than the Jasmine Coral, Knopia octocontacanalis. The Jasmine is the only member of the genus Knopia and was described as recently as 2007, although we’ve seen them appear frequently in shipments of farmed corals from Indonesia in the last couple of years.
The Jasmine Coral is most closely related to Clove Polyps, Clavularia spp, both genera having eight tentacles each. Clavularia is known and recognizable by the frilly pinnules on each tentacle, however, for Knopia, the pinnules are fused. There’s no escaping the fact that Jasmine Corals are brown, but the saving grace is the green coloration at the center of each polyp which glows neon under blue LED light.
Good space filler
Knopia is an encrusting soft coral that spreads over rockwork, and are good space fillers for new tanks. They are not aggressive and will grow through and spread alongside Clavularia, Briareum, and Xenia, a combination of which provides 100% rock cover, a natural look, and can be easily achieved by beginners. Advanced aquarists on long-term projects may want to confine it to its own rock to prevent it from taking over. Most authorities recommend it is suitable for lower flow and lower light although ours has grown toward lighting of 250 par and toward the outlet from a return pump.
Knopia is cheap enough to buy as a 6”x4” colony, and very cheap when bought on a single frag plug. Mari-cultured colonies will benefit from a dip to remove any pests and a fellow reefer found Phyllodesmium – a genus of predatory sea slugs, in his recently imported colony. Phyllodesmium mimic the octocorals they prey upon and his looked just like the Jasmine polyps it was residing in.