Subclass Alcyonaria, Order Stolonifera, Family Tubiporidae, Genus Tubipora
Common names: pipe organ coral, organpipe coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 3 to 4): These corals can be difficult to keep because they are difficult to feed. They tend to fair better in established aquariums with well populated sand beds. The manner of collection may be a factor in the difficulty of maintaining these corals in aquariums. A coral that is well established on a rock base will usually fare well while a coral that has been collected by being sliced from the top of a colony in the wild will not.
Feeding: The coral's feathery polyp tentacles help it catch food suspended in water. They appreciate food of smaller particle size, but shouldn't be target. Oyster eggs and other such small particle foods are recommended.
Lighting (Level 7 to 10): Though adaptable, these corals prefer more intense lighting. Ideal lighting will depend on the depth and clarity of the water at which the coral was collected or cultured. As always, please acclimate to new lighting conditions.
Water flow: Moderate to strong water flow is important for effective feeding and to prevent sediment damage.
Placement: Pipe organ corals are not aggressive. Provide enough space for the coral polyps to extend without inhibition. Polyps can reach up to a foot in height when fully grown and fully extended.
General: The polyps of these corals retract into red, pipe-like structures held together with calciferous (calcium carbonate containing) horizontal plates. This often leads new aquarists to mistake them for stony corals when they are actually classified as soft corals.