Scolymia corals are large polyp stony (LPS) corals. Scolymia corals are round in shape and found in cup, saucer, flat, or dome-shaped variations. They usually have a single oral opening present in the center. Some species may have more than one. A Scolymia can grow up to 4 inches in diameter. Scolys come in a variety of patterns and vibrant hues, with some corals having a combination of multiple colors. The most prized specimen of Scolymia are the "Master Scolys." What is a Master Scoly? Expensive, that's what! haha! And it is purely up to the grower/seller/beholder to determine Master status. While there is no specific standard, the general rule seems to be this: A Master Scoly will have 4 or more colors present and/or have exceptionally intricate patterns comprised of at least 3 vibrant colors. The Scolymia coral has many names: "Doughnut coral," "Scoly," "Disk coral," "Artichoke coral," "Button coral," etc. But this coral's actual name - at this moment - is Homophyllia australis or Australis. I understand that basically all reef keepers are still calling them "Scolymia," so for the love of the hobby, that's what I'm calling them in this guide.
When introducing a Scolymia coral into your reef, location is very important regarding lighting and waterflow. Scolymia corals prefer moderate lighting, but on the lower end of moderate. It is recommended that you introduce your Scolymia coral in lower lighting and then gradually move it to or increase the lighting to a more moderate level gradually. Too much light can damage this coral. We recommend 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 Scolymia's tissue. Lower flows also provide more opportunities for your Scolymia 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 Scolymia 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 Scolymia 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.
Scolymia 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 Scolymia coral enough room to grow and thrive.