Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Trachyphylliidae
Common names: lobed brain coral, open brain coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 2): These corals are generally tolerant, but need to be fed well.
Feeding: Trachyphyllidae have impressive prey capture ability. They will ready eat a variety of meaty aquarium foods. Be forewarned, they can even eat small aquarium fish!
Lighting (Level 4 to 7): These corals seem to prefer moderate lighting. They can adapt to more intense lighting if allowed to do so slowly over time. As with most all corals, sudden changes in lighting can cause bleaching.
Water flow: Moderate to stronger water flow is ideal.
Placement: These are very aggressive corals best placed in a sand or rubble bottom. Give them plenty of room. Sometimes tangs and hermit crabs will nip at and/or irritate the coral's soft tissue. Keeping the tank well fed can help prevent competition for food.
General: Slow tissue recession can be a sign of starvation. Though these corals have impressive feeder tentacles, in captivity, it may take them some time to get "settled in." If after several weeks you still do not observe an extension of feeder tentacles, you can try to encourage a feeding response with night-time target feeding. One hour after the lights go out, turn off circulation during feeding so that the food can fall onto the coral. Give the coral an hour or two to "grab hold" of the food, then turn the water flow back on. Do this daily (or every other day) until feeder tentacles extend regularly in anticipation of feeding.