soft corals

True pink Nephthea is Japan’s best kept secret

There’s a gorgeous pink Nephthea soft coral that seems really common in Japanese reef tanks, but yet seems virtually unknown in American or European reef aquariums. We’ve been drooling over the pink Nephthea that can be seen in many photos of…

Get to know the leather corals: Sarcophyton, Lobophytum and Sinularia

Leather corals are a group of soft coral which includes the genus Sarcophyton, Lobophytum and Sinularia. Leather corals are easy to care for and a great addition to any tank, and within these groups, there are several species of leather corals…

Reef Building soft coral has the thickest stony “branches”

Soft corals are called “soft corals” because they are kind of like corals, and they are primarily soft. We know that there are always exceptions to every rule in the animal kingdom, and the most notable of these in the Octocorallia soft…

Xynosphaera: the Parasitic Nephthea Shrimp

Green Nephthea is one of the most colorful and popular soft corals in the aquarium hobby, but most aquarists (and scientists) have never heard of the curious crustacean which calls it home. The above illustration [credit: Bruce, 1994] depicts Xynosphaera colemani,…

Some idiot planted Xenia on a Venezuelan reef to awful effect

We reefers have long considered Xenia species to be a particularly weedy species in our aquariums. There once was a time when any Xenia was worth its weight in gold but now you’d be lucky to get $10 a pound, and…

Why Did My Pulse Corals Stop Pulsing?

Pulse corals (e.g., Xenia and Heteroxenia spp.) are among the more enigmatic sessile invertebrates. Many hobbyists and non-hobbyists alike find their rhythmic, hypnotic pulsing behavior fascinating and relaxing to observe, but precisely why they pulse the way they do has…

Two new coral species found off West Coast of North America

Two new species of octocoral have been discovered off the Pacific Coast of the United States and Canada. The new corals were discovered in a tide pool in San Diego and the other off the coast of British Columbia. Octocorals are…

Pulsing Xenia mystery solved

The pulsing Xenia has been a scientific mystery for that last 200 years since it was first discovered by Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744-1829). Why does this particular coral spend so much energy pulsating? Corals are extremely efficient organisms and do not waste energy…

Photosynthetic Gorgonians for the Home Aquaria

Of all the amazing corals that are available to the reef aquarium hobbyists nowadays, gorgonians are frequently overlooked when choosing corals for our aquariums. In the wild they are a vital part of the environment; they filter water, provide sanctuary…

True Efflatournaria appears in the Diver’s Den, looks more like Xenia than Cespitularia

Finally, true Efflatournariahas appeared in the aquarium trade, as a maricultured coral in the Diver’s Den no less. Efflatournaria is a genus of soft corals whose name has been misapplied to various corals in the trade in recent years. Xenia, Hetroxenia and Cespitularia have…