• LIGHT: LOW-MODERATE (75-125 par) is what we find best although this coral seems fairly adaptable. We have successfully kept scolymia as high as 200 par. 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. 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. Scolymia 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 many polyps. 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: BEGINNER. Although they are extremely slow growers and there for are not readily available in aquaculture these corals are still relatively easy to keep healthy long term in captivity. 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. Scolymia coral's are not readily available in aquaculture and are extremely popular among hobbyists. They have very striking and vibrant color combinations and can grow decently large. It is for these reasons that scolymia often wholesale at a minimum of $150.00 dollars even for basic varieties.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific


  • AGGRESSION: MODERATE. They are not the most aggressive coral but they are equipped with sweepers that will increase in size with the specimen. 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 Scolymia Corals

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.

AustralisCoralCoral care guideHomophylliaLobophylliidaeLpsReefReefchaserScolyScolymia

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