Leather Corals are soft corals primarily found in the Alcyoniidae family. This family consists of soft corals that are also called “Leathers.” When we talk about Leathers, there are 4 main genera of corals that we’re concerned with: the genus Sarcophyton - which contains toadstool leathers, the genus Sinularia - which contains most of the “finger leathers,” the genus Lobophytum - which contains the “devil’s hand leathers,” and the genus Cladiella - which contains colt corals and other types of finger leathers.
I know it seems like a lot, but the good news is that all of these corals have similar care requirements and are known to be hardy corals. There are hundreds of species of leather corals. Generally speaking, they have soft flesh covered in small polyps. Leathers are predominantly found in hues of yellow, red, green, purple, brown, and orange.
When placing your Leather coral, it's good to consider lighting and water flow. Leathers prefer low to moderate lighting. We recommend 100-150 PAR. Leathers also need moderate water flow to bring them food and keep them clean.
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 them with additional foods like microplankton or other foods designed for filter-feeding invertebrates.
Leather corals can be aggressive toward other corals. While they do not have sweeper tentacles to sting with, they can emit a toxic mucus to harm other corals that are too close. When choosing the best spot for your Leather coral, be sure to give it plenty of room to grow and thrive.