Chalice Coral Care
Chalice corals come in a wide variety of colors and shades and make a stunning addition to any aquarium. When designing my setup, I couldn’t decide what to use as my centerpiece until I found a beautiful chalice coral fragment. Now, it has shelved out and serves as an eye-catching focal point in my display.
Thankfully, chalice coral care is quite easy and, with the information provided here, anyone should be able to incorporate this striking array of colors into their aquascape.
Chalice Coral Feeding
Figuring out the right food and feeding schedule is an important aspect of chalice coral care. Thankfully, chalices obtain much of the nutrients they need by absorbing things like calcium and other trace elements directly from the water.
Additionally, most types of chalices are classified as photosynthetic, which means they are able to derive life-giving nutrition from light. Actually, the interesting thing about chalices is that they cannot photosynthesize directly. Instead, they have microscopic organisms called zooxanthellate that live in their structures and produce sugars when they photosynthesize. The chalice can then absorb these sugars for food.
Chalice corals can also feed by catching food in a mucous membrane that covers their surface or by sweeping up food particles with tiny tentacles and dragging it into their digestive filaments located in distinctive polyps.
Most chalices don’t require additional feeding, but if you want to increase the growth rate of your coral, you can always try target feeding. This is a method where you use a pipette to distribute food such as phytoplankton or Mysis shrimp directly above the chalices’ polyps. This increases the chalices’ chances of catching the food while minimizing the possibility of upsetting the balance of the tank by over-feeding the whole system.
Chalices mostly feed at night, so an hour or two after the lights go out is the best time to try target feeding. You should be able to see a plethora of tiny tentacles emerging from your chalice as it tries to catch and absorb the food.
Chalice Coral Lighting
Most varieties of chalice coral are very adaptive to different light settings, so you shouldn’t stress too much about finding the right color and wavelength balance. Varying the colors in your lighting spectrum rarely changes the colors produced in a chalice, so simply providing your coral with a moderate amount of light already used in your system is a good start.
Having said that, corals can become bleached out if exposed to too much light. If you’re trying to figure out the right level of light intensity, it’s always better to start lower and slowly increase the exposure as needed. This way you avoid the possibility of over-exposing your coral and having to nurse it back to normal from there.
Additionally, most corals are florescent and look stunning under blue lighting – one of the main reasons they are so popular – so you would be really missing out if you didn’t view yours under some form of blue spectrum LED light.
Chalice Coral Water Flow
Chalice corals also aren’t very sensitive when it comes to water flow rates. Just like lighting, you should plan out your chalice coral placement so it is exposed to a moderate to slightly higher flow.
Certain species of chalice can grow into bowl-like shapes, and you need to ensure the water flow is enough to prevent sand or detritus from settling into this area.
If the water flow is too fast, though, it can kick up sand and possibly lift the chalice off its rock by catching the large horizontal or bowl-shaped head. A little trial and error and some observation should let you know if the water flow needs to be adjusted over time.
Chalice Coral Placement
The chalice coral may not be picky when it comes to flow rates and lighting but picking the right placement in your tank is an important part of chalice coral care.
As a general rule, chalices need a lot of room to themselves. If placed against a wall, some species will encrust the vertical surfaces they run into. Most species, though, are better off being placed in the open where they have space to grow and expand.
You should also keep in mind that some chalice corals are considered semi-aggressive due to the long sweeper tentacles that they put out to guard their territory. These can be harmful to other corals in the vicinity of the chalice, so you’ll want to make sure there is sufficient empty space around your chalice if it is one of these more aggressive varieties.
Chalice Coral Growth Rate
The rate of growth varies between the many different varieties of coral chalices. However, as a whole, they are generally considered to be a slow-growing coral.
Chalice coral growth rate will vary depending on a few external factors. A high flow rate can slow growth in a chalice coral as it needs to devote time and resources to building up a thicker skeleton. Corals that are in low flow areas or have naturally thin skeletons will grow and plate out much faster.
Feeding also plays a role in getting your chalice coral to grow. Target feeding will increase the rate of growth and can even influence the direction of development as well. This is because chalice corals tend to grow more mouths or polyps in the areas they are fed. So, if you want your chalice to plate out more to the right, you can try target feeding the polyps on that side.
We hope this article about Chalice Coral Care has helped answer any questions you might have. Considering the fact that chalice coral care is quite simple compared to other corals species, you would really be missing out if you didn’t look into this interesting coral for your own display.
These corals are truly breathtaking in their variety of glowing colors, and as long as they’re given some space and a moderate amount of light and water flow, they will add a stunning element to any saltwater aquarium.