Chalice Corals Care Guide
Chalice corals are one of my absolute favourites. There are SO many different morphs available
that they really could make a stunning display if you chose no other species
but these. I’ve never really fathomed
why they aren’t as popular here in the UK market as they are in the rest of the
world but I think we are catching on as to just how special these corals are.
‘Chalice Corals’ is a bit of a broad name that comprises of a
group of similar species. When we talk
about Chalice Corals we are referring to Echinophylllia, Echinopora, Oxypora
& Mycedium. All of these species
have pretty similar care requirements and general identification can be tricky
even for the experienced eye. So for
ease ‘Chalice Corals’ it is.
Chalice Corals are almost like the lower light loving,
aggressive LPS version of Montipora.
They come in a huge range of colours and patterns that can be eye
poppingly bright and grow into large plates.
They tend to be collected from deeper waters so wild colonies prefer a
shadier spot in aquariums. As with all
LPS it is extremely important not to light shock your new Chalice. If your tank has particularly strong lighting
it is worth ensuring that you acclimate the coral to the light slowly over a
period of weeks/months. Always start
them off in a shady spot, out of direct lighting to avoid bleaching.
Feeding our Chalice is one of my favourite jobs to do in the
fish house. They are pretty slow feeders
so be prepared to leave all flow off for at least an hour but trust me it is
worth it. Dropping a few EasyReefs Easy
LPS Pellet or Vitalis LPS Pellet onto their body will trigger them to extrude a
net of mucus. The mucus entraps the food
and they then drag the whole net back into their mouths. For a coral that looks like a static shelf
when you slow things down and really look they are extremely dynamic. Due to their shape they need a little help
when it comes to getting rid of the products of their meal! A moderate flow over the top of the colony
will help to keep it free from detritus build up.
As I mentioned earlier Chalice Corals are aggressive. If another coral happens to accidentally fall
on top of a Chalice my money is on the Chalice!
So a top tip is to ensure all neighbours are well fixed to their rocks
and give the Chalice plenty of grow out space.
Chalice Corals are classed as a ‘LPS’ or ‘Large Polyp
Stony’. In order to grow they need for
Calcium, dKH & Magnesium levels to be stable. As they grow they will use up these elements
so testing and dosing either manually or with a calcium reactor/doser is
essential. Other important parameters to
monitor are Phosphate and Nitrate. Both
of these need to be kept on the lower side, but not at zero. Chalice Corals do not thrive in an extremely
low nutrient water.
A last note about Chalice is make sure you have a period in
the evening where you can view your tank under blue LEDS – this is the absolute
best way to view them and their beautiful colours.