• LIGHT: LOW-MODERATE (100-150 par) is what we find best. Goniastrea are an encrusting coral variety that is similar in appearance to favia. 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 don't feel that Goniastrea corals require any special feeding regimen although they are sure to benefit from occasional spot feeding. They will catch and consume most food particles in the water column. 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. Goniastrea Corals benefit from moderate water movement which will be enough to keep the coral clean of any detritus and debris while bringing food to it's mouths. Too much flow, especially direct flow, can 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: MODERATE. There aren't a tone of varieties of Goniastrea corals available through aquaculture due to its slow growth rate. This does not mean it's an overly difficult coral to keep, 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. Goniastrea is a slow growing coral and is not readily available from aquaculture. This typically means you are buying larger, more wild/conditioned colonies which can cause them to be a higher price. That said, they arn't the most sought after coral in the hobby but can still be striking in coloration and appearance.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Goniastrea is a genus of stony corals in the family Merulinidae. Species belonging to the genus Goniastrea forms massive colonies, usually spherical or elongate, with well developed paliform lobes. Polyps can be seen only at night

  • AGGRESSION: AGGRESSIVE. Goniastrea are similar to favia corals and can be aggressive to nearby neighbors. We recommend at least 3" away from other species, potentially more. 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 Goniastrea Corals

Goniastrea is a genus of corals that belong to the Merulinidae family. Goniastrea are large polyp stony (LPS) Brain corals that are sometimes confused with Favia corals, but have a slightly different shape. The corallites of Goniastrea are arranged in deep valleys with walls that are a bit taller than the walls found on a Favia coral. Goniastrea are a hardy specimen of coral that can appear in a variety of colors and patterns. 

Goniastrea 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. Goniastrea corals also need moderate water movement.

Through their symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae, they receive many of their nutrients. Goniastrea corals benefit from targeted feeding of meaty foods like Mysis shrimp or brine shrimp. To maintain good health, calcium, strontium, and other trace elements should be monitored and added as needed.

When placing your Goniastrea coral, please remember that these corals are known to be a little aggressive. They have long sweeper tentacles that can extend to sting other corals that get too close. Be sure to provide enough personal space for your Goniastrea coral to grow and thrive.

Brain coralCoralCoral care guideGoniastreaLpsMerulinidaeReefReefchaser

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