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Goniopora is a type of coral that is found in lagoons and very turbid water conditions. Goniopora always has 24 tentacles that have the capability of stinging and there are usually 24 polyps, which are the fleshy endings, coming out of the tentacles. Goniopora also live in colonies close to one another.


Goniopora is a very difficult type of coral to keep alive and is not recommended for a beginner going into coral breeding. The short greenish colored coral are less sturdy and durable which makes it much harder to keep alive than the pink and purple corals[1]. However, it is very seldom that either of these types of color will last longer than 12 weeks and usually last a much shorter amount of time than that. To keep Goniopora in a tank there are many precautions that must be taken. First, they must have moderate to high lighting because they are very sensitive to the kind of light that they are receiving in the tank. They must also have some water movement so their polyps will be able to move freely in the water however, it should not be directed right at the polyps or the movement might be to vigorous. There is also a set temperature that must be kept which is between 77 degrees Fahrenheit and 84 degrees Fahrenheit. Chemicals such as calcium and iron in the tank must also be kept at a moderate rate to help skeletal development. Placement in the tank is also crucial. They must be perfectly positioned on a sturdy rock because if they suffer a fall they rarely survive or recuperate. When placing Goniopora it is important to keep in mind that they get larger after they start growing and should be placed somewhere that their tentacles will be able to grow without touching any other rocks or corals that can damage them. These types of coral come from all different environments and water types so it is best to place the Goniopora in the tank and then see how it is doing over the next few days and if it seems to be shriveling up you need to re-place the coral to a different lighting in the tank.


Most Goniopora die because they have a nutritional deficiency. However, it is still unknown what that deficiency has to do with. There are many different ways to feed your Goniopora. For example, you can directly feed them using a syringe (don't do a hard, straight flow into the polyps or they will close up in defense) or you can sprinkle the food on the top of the tank and let it gently go into the Goniopora on its own. However, the coral seems to grow much faster and larger when it is directly fed[2]. In Goniopora foods it is important to feed them foods that are high in Maganese along with certain levels of Iron[3]. Feeding is very important in keeping this type of coral alive. They are very high maintenance in the sense that they are always feeding. Another idea is to put plankton in the tank and turn off all filtration systems so the food does not get swept away. It is essential that you turn the filters back on after one to two hours to keep the tank clean and livable for all of the creatures.


Fragging is a type of asexual reproduction. Some Goniopora corals grow daughter cells on them. This is their way of breeding. The mother corals have wounds from the daughter corals that usually heal up in about two weeks. The daughter corals grow about 1 millimeter a month. These are very slow growing corals however, when you find a way to control the fragging it can be very useful to coral farmers. Some scientists are suggesting that the daughter Goniopora were just the living cells inside of the mother coral that eventually broke out and started growing on its own. It still remains very difficult to breed your own coral and keep them alive. [4]


There are many issues that go along with keeping Goniopora. The first one is that it is very hard to locate and buy. The red species is the rarest type and is extremely difficult to get a hold of. The green, blue and purple species are much easier to locate than the red but they are still difficult to find. Goniopora grows in all sorts of water such as murky, clean and salt water so it is very difficult to be able to determine what your individual species will need and be accustomed to. They are all very different which makes this type of coral so difficult to maintain and keep alive for long periods of time.


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