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Galaxy coral, Galaxea ssp.

Galaxy coral Galaxea CoralIntroduction: Galaxea colonies can take many forms, including but not limited to plates, encrustations and branches. Tentacle colors range from green, pink and brown. The tips are normally bright white. They are perhaps best known for their ability to produce rather long sweeper tentacles and their potent sting which is capable of damaging nearby corals.

Due to their easily broken skeleton and relative abundance, they are easily collected and commonly available to hobbyists. However, they tend to have a poor survival rate, partially due to specimens arriving with tissue damage that occurred during the breaking of the skeleton. This damaged tissue quickly becomes necrotic. For that reason, we recommend captive propagated specimens, which are becoming increasingly more available.

Light Requirements: Galaxea are zooxanthellates, meaning that they contain zooxanthellae and are therefore dependent on light to produce most of their energy.

Galaxy corals will do best in a strongly illuminated aquarium. Metal halides or high output T-5 systems will provide the proper PAR value (photosynthetically active radiation) required for energy production.

Water Parameters: In a reef aquarium, you should maintain a specific gravity of 1.024-1.026. The pH should be kept at 8.3-8.4. Your alkalinity should be between 9-15 dKH and your calcium should be no less than 420 and no more than 500.

Obviously your ammonia (NH3) and nitrites (NO2) should be zero. Nitrates (NO3) should remain as close to zero as possible, but are acceptable up to 10 ppm. Phosphates should be no higher than 0.3 ppm but it is better if they are at an untestable concentration.

A reef aquarium will do best with a temperature between 77-80 degrees. It is important that this temperature does not fluctuate more than 2 degrees in a twelve hour period and should stay within the mentioned parameters

Water Movement: Water movement should be moderate, but indirect. You do not want forceful water aimed directly at your coral, but you do want it circulating well. With Galaxea, strong water currents tend to promote longer sweeper tentacles. To reduce the length of the sweepers, place your coral in a calmer portion of the aquarium.

Feeding: Galaxea will be able to meet most of it's energy requirements via a process similar to photosynthesis due to the presence of zooxanthellae.

If you choose to supplement their diet, you may do so with cyclo-peeze, baby brine shrimp or other small invert foods.

Spacing: As you can see in the above photo, the sweeper tentacles of Galaxea are long and can reach 12 inches in length. They have a powerful sting that is capable of damaging surrounding corals. You should give Galaxea at least 12 inches of space between other corals, also keeping in mind that as new polyps form, the sweeper tentacles' coverage will increase.