Class Anthozoa, Order Scleractinia, Family Dendrophylliidae, Genus Turbinaria
Common names: pagoda cup coral, turban coral, vase coral
Natural origin: Indo-Pacific
Sensitivity (Level 1 to 2): These corals are generally tolerant, forgiving and without much need for specialized care. Always avoid purchasing dyed corals.
Feeding: Turbinaria spp. have medium-sized polyps and good prey capture ability. They feed on a variety of foods including cyclopeeze, mysis and brine shrimp and other meaty aquarium foods. When healthy, the polyps of many species extend and expand quite a bit. When fully expanded, the coral looks "bushy" with tentacles.
Lighting (Level 4 to 8): Turbinaria can adapt to a wide range of lighting conditions. As always, to prevent bleaching, be sure to acclimate to new lighting.
Water flow: These corals can be particularly vulnerable to sediment damage (especially when in the cup-shaped juvenile formation). Position the coral to minimize collection of debris and place in areas of moderate to high water flow.
Placement: If cup-shaped, place the coral such that the cup is on its side (rather than sitting "up-right"). Orienting the coral this way will help keep debris from getting trapped in the "mouth" of the cup. Lighting also determines the cupping of these corals. The higher the light levels the more closed the cup, the lower the light levels the flatter. Leave plenty of room for full polyp extension. They are not aggressive corals.
General: These corals feed during the day. Tentacles usually close up at night. It may take several days or weeks for the coral polyps to open up after being introduced into a new home or environment, or after being stressed.