Frogspawn coral care
The Frogspawn coral, Euphyllia divisa, is an LPS coral relative of the hammer coral and torch coral. The frogspawn is very similar,in appearance, to the hammer coral, except that the polyps are branched with round lobes, as can be seen in the images on this page.
Frogspawn corals are generally hardy and are a good addition to most reef tanks. They are the perfect blend of stony coral and soft coral, sure to be a pleasant addition to any reef aquascape. Costs will vary a lot based on the local market and mark-ups, but I have historically seen it in the $50-$70 range for a colony. Frags cost a lot less, of course.
Light and Flow
Frogspawn corals prefer moderate to strong lighting and should be placed in the aquarium appropriately. To avoid shocking the coral, try to place it in similar conditions to the local fish store and gradually move the coral to your preferred final location.
In terms of water flow, these corals also prefer a low-to-moderate flow. Too large a flow will cause the polyps to retract, or be damaged and may also encourage sweeper tentacle issues (see below for more information about that).
Reef tank canaries in the coal mine
If polyps aren’t expanded, you should check the water flow and water parameters. If the polyps are retracted, this may be a bellwether of less than ideal water conditions. Check those last entry in your reef journal and look for changing water parameters. Do a partial water change and see if you can fix the problem. Click here to read more about the ideal water parameters to keep the Frogspawn coral. Follow my board Frogspawn coral on Pinterest.
Never lift a Frogspawn coral out of the water with the polyps inflated or they will get damaged, tear and you could potentially lose the entire colony. The Frogspawn coral is prone to brown jelly infections.
Sweeper tentacles are an issue with the Frogspawn coral. It is a relatively aggressive coral and the sweeper tentacles pack a sting and will damage nearby corals. Sweeper tentacles can get long with this species, so it is best to give the frogspawn coral a wide berth–like 6 inches on every side–to be safe. If you cheat and try to stack other corals too close to the Frogspawn coral, you will regret it, because the coral will simply burn its way into the aquascape.
The biggest challenge with caring for the frogspawn coral–Euphyllia divisa–is the 6-inches rule
That reminds me of a game we played as kids. Did anyone else play a barbaric game as a kid called 6-inches?
If you want to properly care for this and other corals, you should place all other corals at least 6 inches away from the Frogspawn at any given time…that means when you newly place the frag in your tank…one year down the road and 3 years down the road, too, when all the corals are growing together. Yikes.
The one exception to this rule is with other similar Euphyllia species, like the anchor and torch corals, which should not be damaged by the sweeper tentacle of a neighboring colony. So if you can at all manage it, try to put other similar species nearby. Here’s a tip I picked up in Borneman’s book, Aquarium Corals:
To keep the formation of sweeper tentacles down, avoid placing these corals in a spot with exceptionally fast water flow.
These corals will accept food and should be fed a couple times per week to fuel maximum growth. Traditionally, I tend to feed LPS like Euphyllia divisa with a thawed, meaty frozen food, like mysis shrimp.
However, there is no reason it has to be a thawed, meaty food. I have also seen these corals take pellets as well (whatever pellets the fish won’t steal from it).
Frogspawn coral care: how to frag
The branching variety of frogspawn coral is fragged fairly easily by snapping, cutting or sawing the branches near the base and using a cyanoacrylate glue to affix the frag to your preferred piece of live rock.
Written by Albert B. Ulrich III–author of The Reef Aquarium Series of books: The New Saltwater Aquarium Guide, How to Frag Corals, 107 Tips for the Marine Reef Aquarium Follow me on Google +, Twitter and Facebook