• LIGHT: LOW (50-125 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: We haven't noticed that any specific feeding strategy is required for Cyphastrea corals. 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: MODERATE. Cyphastrea corals benefit from moderate indirect water movement which will be enough to keep the coral clean of any detritus while bringing adequate food to its smaller polyps. Too much flow, especially direct flow, can cause damage to the coral's 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: BEGINNER. Cyphastrea corals are available in many variety of aquaculture specimens and are typically fast growers. This means that hobbyists have found great long term success with keeping Cyphastrea and making them thrive. 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: LOW-MODERATE. Cyphastrea corals are widely available via a variety of aquaculture specimens. These corals are highly sought after by hobbyists due to their fast growth rate, success in captivity, and unique color varieties. Price will vary based on size and coloration of specimen.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: Cyphastrea is a genus of massive reef building stony corals in the family Merulinidae, commonly known as brain coral.

  • AGGRESSION: PEACEFUL. We haven't noticed any specific aggressions out of this type of coral however we still recommend allowing some space for growth and health. We recommend providing at least 2-3" space.

  • 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 Cyphastrea Corals

Cyphastrea are large polyp stony (LPS) corals that currently belong to the Merulinidae family. Their polyps are MUCH Smaller than typical LPS corals and so sometimes we classify them as SPS although their overall care requirements are more in line with LPS specimens (such as lower light, moderate flow). It's important to remember that "LPS" and "SPS" are hobbyist/industry categories and have no basis in the science. Cyphastrea corals grow by encrusting and can be found in a variety of vibrant shades. A hardy species of coral, Cyphastrea is known to be a fast-growing coral under optimal conditions.

Cyphastrea corals require low to moderate lighting.  We recommend around 100 PAR. Bear in mind that most corals can be gradually adapted to lighting conditions outside of their normal preferences. Cyphastrea corals also prefer moderate water flow, enough to ensure debris doesn’t build up and cover them.

Through their symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae, they receive many of their nutrients. To maintain good health, calcium, strontium, and other trace elements should be monitored and added as needed. Please note, these corals are very sensitive to changes in water parameters. Any changes you implement must be gradual.

When placing your Cyphastrea, please remember that these corals are aggressive and may attack other corals with their sweeper tentacles. Be sure to provide enough personal space for your Cyphastrea corals to grow, expand, and thrive.

CoralCoral care guideCyphastreaLpsMerulinidaeReefReefchaser

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