Tubastraea (Sun Coral) Care Guide

Tubastraea are large polyp stony (LPS) corals in the Dendrophylliidae family. They are also referred to as “Sun corals.” Sun corals  start out as single polyps, but they typically develop into colonies that are colored red, orange, yellow, and sometimes pink. The tentacles of a Sun coral may be the same color as polyps or lighter in color.


Tubastraea corals are non-photosynthetic, so they require no lighting at all. Bear in mind that most corals can be gradually adapted to lighting conditions outside of their normal preferences. In the wild reef, Tubastraea corals are mainly found growing in low light areas, such as caves. However, they have also found growing in direct light sometimes, but usually will be pushed back by zooxanthellate corals that compete for areas with optimal lighting. Sun corals should be placed in lower light areas, then slowly moved out/up into a more brightly lit area over a period of several days to a couple of weeks depending on the intensity of the lighting in your reef. Sun corals also prefer to be placed in areas with moderate to stronger water flows. This allows them more opportunities to feed - and these corals get hungry.


With Sun corals being unable to receive nutrition from zooxanthellae, they have to rely on catching food particulates in the water flowing around them. This may not be enough for your Sun coral depending on the variety of zooplankton/food in your reef.  It is recommended that you target feed your Sun corals with Mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, or some type of food preparation daily - and may need several opportunities to eat for larger colonies. To maintain good health, calcium, strontium, and other trace elements should be monitored and added as needed.

Sun corals are not aggressive to other corals.  That said, they have poor defenses against other corals who possess sweeper tentacles.  Be sure to provide a little space for your Sun corals to grow and thrive.

CoralCoral care guideDendrophylliidaeLpsReefReefchaserSun coralTubastraea

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