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Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Faviidae, Genera Favia and Favites

Common names: moon coral, brain coral

Natural origin: Indo-Pacific

Sensitivity (Level 1 to 2): Sensitivity depends a bit on the species, but most are quite tolerant, forgiving and easy to care for.

Feeding: Most species have considerable prey capture ability. All have feeder tentacles. However, like many corals, they can take some time to "settle in" to a new home. They should be fed at night since this is when they will usually extend their feeder tentacles. If after several weeks your coral is still not extending feeder tentacles, you can try to encourage a feeding response with night-time target feeding. When doing this, wait one hour after lights go off before feeding. Turn water flow off so that the food can fall and rest onto the coral. Give the coral an hour or two to "grab hold" of the food, then turn water flow back on. Do this regularly until feeder tentacles extend regularly in anticipation of feeding. Once your coral is readily extending feeding tentacles, it will be able to catch food from the current without any assistance.

Lighting (Level 4 to 7): These corals can adapt to a range of light intensities. Like any coral, they can bleach if not properly acclimated to a sudden change in lighting.

Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is best. Stronger water flow may help encourage feeding tentacle extension.

Placement: These corals seem to do best when placed on a hard surface or up on rocks (sand can cause irritation).  Aggression varies considerably between species. Some have sweeper tentacles (stinging tentacles that can extend several inches), but some don't. Don't assume that your coral does not have sweeper tentacles just because you haven't seen them. They may only extend them at night or when you haven't been watching.

General: This is a huge group of corals including the Favid and Favites genera. They are often confused with Blastomussa, Micromussa, Acanthastrea and other similar appearing corals. If not otherwise explained, slow tissue recession may be a sign of starvation. Careful target feeding as described previously may help this situation.

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