• LIGHT: MODERATE (100-150 par) is what we find best. These corals are happiest down on the sand bed. 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 FEED. Trachyphyllia corals 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: MODERATE. Trachyphyllia 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: ADVANCED. Trachyphyllia are not available in aquaculture and that should tell you something about the long term viability of these corals. Still, plenty of folks have had success keeping them healthy for years. They are extremely slow growers and are not easily fragged. For these reasons we rate this coral as ADVANCED. 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. Due to the lack of aquaculture availability, the success rate of wild specimens in captivity and the overall coloration, size and desirability of these corals the price is often high. Advanced reef keepers may be able to find great long term success with keeping trachyphyllia but one should know that it is not the easiest kept coral.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME: The open brain coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi, Trachyphyllia welso) is a brightly colored free-living coral species in the family Merulinidae. It is the only species in the monotypic genus Trachyphyllia and can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific.

  • AGGRESSION: MODERATE. They are not the most aggressive coral but they are equipped with sweepers that will increase in size with the colony. We recommend providing at 4-5" space from other 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 Trachyphyllia Corals

Trachyphyllia are large polyp stony (LPS) corals in the Merulinidae family. They are also sometimes referred to as “Open Brain corals.” At different times, they have been called both “Trachyphyllia” as well as “Wellsophyllia.” According to the World Register of Marine Species, Trachyphyllia radiata and Wellsophyllia radiata are all now grouped under the Latin name “Trachyphyllia geoffroyi.” So if you hear or read about “Trachys” or “Wellsos,” the content is referring to Trachyphyllia geoffroyi. Trachys can be found in vibrant shades of blue, green, yellow, red, brown, and even multi-colored rainbows.

Trachyphyllia corals require moderate lighting. We recommend around 100-150 PAR. Bear in mind that most corals can be gradually adapted to lighting conditions outside of their normal preferences. Trachyphyllia corals also prefer low to moderate water flow. Too much flow could damage the tissue of their fleshy polyps. It is recommended that you place your Trachy on the substrate instead of on a rock.  As a Trachy contracts and expands, it could tear its fragile tissue on the rock.

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

Trachyphyllia corals have short tentacles and are pretty peaceful corals. Be sure to provide a little space for your Trachyphyllia corals to grow and thrive.

Brain coralCoralCoral care guideLpsMerulinidaeReefReefchaserTrachyTrachyphylliaWellsoWellsophyllia

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