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RT Scolymia

Scolymia: An in-depth guide

Scolymia, commonly known as Homophyllia australis, are stunning corals that add vibrant colors and unique textures to reef aquariums. Originating from the Indo-Pacific region, these corals are sought after by hobbyists for their fascinating appearance and relatively easy care requirements. However, to truly appreciate and care for Scolymia corals, it’s essential to understand their specific needs and behaviors. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into everything you need to know about keeping Homophyllia australis in your reef tank, including care requirements, feeding, placement, and more.

Understanding Scolymia:
Homophyllia australis, commonly referred to as Scolymia, belong to the family Lobophylliidae and are often confused with similar corals like Acanthastrea and Micromussa. However, Scolymia can be distinguished by their distinct circular shape, large polyps, and often vibrant and contrasting colors. These corals come in a variety of hues, including shades of green, blue, red, orange, and even combinations of these colors, making them a captivating addition to any reef aquarium.

Care Requirements:
To ensure the health and longevity of Scolymia corals in your aquarium, it’s crucial to provide them with optimal water conditions and lighting. Here are some key care requirements to keep in mind:

  1. Water Parameters:
    • Temperature: Keep water temperature stable between 75°F to 82°F (24°C to 28°C).
    • Salinity: Maintain salinity levels at 1.025 specific gravity.
    • pH Levels: Aim for pH levels between 8.1 to 8.4.
    • Alkalinity (dKH): Maintain alkalinity levels between 8 to 10 dKH.
    • Calcium and Magnesium: Ensure calcium levels of 400-450 ppm and magnesium levels of 1300-1400 ppm.
  2. Lighting: Scolymia corals thrive under moderate to high lighting conditions. LED lighting fixtures with adjustable intensity and spectrum are ideal for providing the necessary light for photosynthesis and coral growth.
  3. Water Flow: Moderate water flow is recommended for Scolymia corals. Avoid placing them in areas with strong water currents, as this can cause tissue damage and prevent them from fully extending their polyps.

While Scolymia corals obtain some of their nutrition through photosynthesis, they also benefit from supplemental feeding. Offer a varied diet consisting of small meaty foods such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, chopped squid, and zooplankton. Feedings can be done two to three times per week, ensuring that the coral captures and consumes the food particles with its tentacles.

When placing Scolymia corals in your aquarium, consider the following factors:

  1. Lighting: Position the coral in an area with appropriate lighting intensity based on its coloration. Avoid placing them directly under intense lighting to prevent tissue bleaching.
  2. Water Flow: Place Scolymia corals in an area with moderate water flow to ensure sufficient nutrient uptake and waste removal.
  3. Spacing: Provide ample space between Scolymia corals and other corals to prevent aggression and stinging tentacles from causing damage.

Regular maintenance is essential for keeping Scolymia corals healthy and thriving. Monitor water parameters regularly using test kits and make adjustments as necessary. Perform regular water changes to replenish trace elements and remove accumulated waste.

Homophyllia australis, or Scolymia corals, are prized for their stunning appearance and relatively easy care requirements. By understanding their specific needs regarding water parameters, lighting, feeding, and placement, you can create an optimal environment for these captivating corals to flourish in your reef aquarium. With proper care and attention, Scolymia corals will reward you with their vibrant colors and striking beauty for years to come.

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