• LIGHT: MODERATE (100-150 par) is what we find best although this coral seems fairly adaptable. It is important to keep in mind that it is far easier to damage coral with too much lighting so in our opinion when it comes to lighting, less is often more for LPS corals. You can learn more about Lighting and it's overall impact on your reef tank in our article Lighting and your Reef Tank

  • FOOD: SPOT FEEDING. This coral will benefit from occasional spot feeding and will readily take in any available meaty foods like mysis or brine. Like most corals they capture nutrients from the water and will do best when supplied a healthy amount of food. Our method is high import, high export. You can learn more about Feeding and Filtration in our article Feeding, Filtration and your Reef Tank.

  • FLOW: LOW-MODERATE. Cynarina corals benefit from moderate water movement which will be enough to keep the coral clean of any detritus and debris while bringing food to its hungry mouth. You will know the cynarina is happy when it is inflated fully. Too much flow, especially direct flow, can cause cynarina to retract and even cause damage to the corals tissue or an inability to capture food. You can read more about Flow and its overall impact on your reef tank in our article Flow and your Reef Tank

  • DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED. Cynarina are slow growers and there for are not readily available in aquaculture. These corals do not frag well and are one of the more sensitive varities of LPS corals. They require good parameter stability for long term success. Like with all corals, specimens have been seen to do well in captivity when the right combination of Food/Light/Flow and Filtration are achieved. 

  • PRICE: HIGH. Cynarina coral's are not readily available in aquaculture, are difficult to keep, and are fairly popular among hobbyists. They have very striking and unique colorations and a translucent almost opalescent look to them. Cynarina's come in mini and full size varieties. Even basic colorations of large cynarina's can cost north of $150, the more exotic varieties tend to go for $300 or more.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cynarina is a genus of stony corals in the family Lobophylliidae.

  • AGGRESSION: MODERATE. They are not the most aggressive coral but they are equipped with sweepers that will increase in size with the specimen. They are also aggressive feeders and especially like meaty foods. We recommend providing at least 3" space from other types of coral species but as always you should monitor it.

  • NATURAL TEMPERATURE: 82 °F / 28 °C  although most corals can adapt and survive in temps as low as 77 degrees and as high as 84 degrees. You can read more about temperature and how it affects your reef tank in our article Temperature and your Reef Tank.

  • PH: Recommend 8.0-8.4, we tend to run around 8.2-8.3 over 24 hours. You can read more about pH in our article pH and your Reef Tank

  • NITRATE: 5-10, try to keep stable. You can read more about nitrate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • PHOSPHATE: 0.05-0.1, try to keep stable. You can read more about Phosphate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • ALKALINITY: Recommend 8-9 dKh. You can read more about how we maintain our alkalinity in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank

  • CALCIUM: Recommend 400-450. You can read more about how we maintain our calcium in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank

More About Cynarina Corals

Cynarina lacrymalis, commonly known as “Doughnut corals,” “Button corals,” or “Cat’s Eye Corals,” are large polyp stony (LPS) corals. A Cynarina coral secretes its own little stony cup base and exists as a single polyp nesting in the corallite cup. This is one of the largest, single-polyp corals out there. A Cynarina can grow up to 6 inches in diameter.  These corals are often mistaken for Scolymia. They usually have a single oral opening present in the center. Some species may have more than one.  A Button coral can grow up to 6 inches in diameter. Cynarina can be found in a range colors from bright red, pink, green, brown, or gentle pastels. The center can be the same or a contrasting color. Another cool thing about Button corals is their ability to change the surface of their polyps from dull to glossy.

When introducing a Cynarina coral into your reef, location is very important regarding lighting and waterflow. Button corals prefer moderate lighting. We recommend between 100-150 PAR. Bear in mind that many corals can be gradually acclimated to lighting beyond their normal range. Low to moderate water flow is also recommended. Higher flows could cause damage to your Cynarina coral's tissue. Lower flows also provide more opportunities for your Button coral to catch a meal, so take that into consideration. Most reef keepers will choose a place on the bottom of the tank for their Cynarina corals.

Through their symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae, they receive many of their nutrients. They also filter-feed on the nutrients in the water column. It is a good idea to provide your Button coral with additional meaty foods like brine shrimp or krill. To maintain good health, calcium, strontium, and other trace elements should be monitored and added as needed.

Cynarina corals are solitary corals. While not an outwardly aggressive coral, they need their own personal space.  At night, stinging sweeper tentacles will emerge from this coral and insure nothing is encroaching on that personal space, so make sure to give your Button coral enough room to grow and thrive.


Leave a comment

Your title

Write or copy/paste HTML code