Don’t you think the Frogspawn coral looks incredibly beautiful? Well, you are not the only person who feels that way about it. This is a popular choice among owners of reef aquariums for this very reason!
However, you might not know where to start. How hard is Frog spawn coral care? How fast does it grow? Worry not because we are here to help by answering all the questions you might have about it.
There is a ton of misinformation going around about this particular topic. New owners should understand proper guidelines in terms of water parameters, placement, lighting, and more.
You are in luck because we will address all of those things in this guide. By the end of it, you will know everything you need to know to ensure that your frogspawn coral will thrive.
What are you waiting for? Let’s dive in to know more information about Frog spawn coral care!
What Is Frogspawn Coral?
The scientific name of frogspawn coral is Euphyllia divisa. It earned its nickname because its multi-tipped tentacles look similar to a bunch of frog eggs.
Aside from this popular moniker, it also goes by these names: grape coral, wall coral, honey coral, and octopus coral.
In 1979, this species of coral was first described by Pichon and Veron. It is a relative of the hammer coral and torch coral. The frogspawn coral is a species naturally found in different parts of the globe.
It is native to the reef regions of the Indo-Pacific, Australia, the Ryukyu Islands, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, and Southeast Asia.
These corals form colonies in deep turbid waters and enjoy bright indirect lighting and planktonic matter.
What Does Frogspawn Coral Look Like?
One thing that sets it apart from other plants is that its polyps remain out all day long, so it will always look nice in a tank.
Frogspawn coral usually has an array of colors on the tentacles. Green, yellow, and brown are among the most common, although they typically have cream, white, lavender, or pink tips.
The corallite walls emerging on its outer edges are sharp and thin. Some colonies can grow as long as 3 feet.
The Euphyllia species boast long tentacles, which is evident when they are fully extended. There are short branches with many small round knobs on the branches.
The tentacles themselves are lumpy, long, and thick. Some of them branch into single or double skeletal heads at the end of the tips.
Aside from these features, it is also notable that it has a flabello-meandroid skeleton.
Where Is Frogspawn Naturally Found?
Frogspawn coral is usually located 120 to 140 feet deep in the water. However, keep in mind that it prefers murky areas and does not thrive in sandy areas.
While it is a fairly aggressive species known to edge out other corals in terms of space, the size of its colony tends to be modest.
How Does Frogspawn Coral Behave?
This type of coral is known to be hostile when lying close to other coral species. It likes to compete for space in an ecosystem, so you should leave enough space between it and other corals in your tank.
While it is considered hostile to other genera, it does not behave that way with species in the same genus.
The polyps tend to extend in the day fully. However, they only extend partially in the nighttime. In bigger colonies, their sweeper tentacles can extend as long as 25 cm when they feel pangs of hunger.
Keep in mind that this is a threat to other corals due to the power of the sting they deliver. It is also worth noting that shrimp species can enjoy some protection from their tentacles via commensalism.
Are Frogspawn Corals Hard To Keep?
All in all, it is quite a hardy species. It is capable of tolerating a range of water conditions and parameters. However, this downside is that many people overestimate this characteristic and deliver insufficient Frogspawn coral care. As you can imagine, this comes with serious consequences as well.
Where Do You Put Frogspawn Coral?
There are a couple of things that you should keep in mind when choosing a tank for frogspawn corals.
These requirements should be met if you want the species to thrive in captivity:
The smallest tank size that you should consider is 20 gallons or 80 liters as a rule of thumb, the bigger the tank, the better. After all, this will give you enough space to spread out the corals. On top of that, larger tanks offer better water parameter stability at the same time.
Try to follow the 6-inches or 15-cm rule. It involves placing other corals 6 inches away or more away from your frogspawn coral. There is only one exception to the rule: you can place similar species closer since the sweeper tentacles will not damage them. This can be done with hammer corals, but torch corals might inflict damage on your frogspawn corals.
Even though frogspawn corals can tolerate a large range of intensity, it is best to go with moderate lighting if you want to see the best coloration and growth. High lighting is all right, but you will see better results if you opt for LED lighting and fluorescent bulbs.
They will be able to meet the energy and lighting requirements of frogspawn coral. As much as possible, avoid metal halides since it lets out too much heat and can damage the tissues of the coral.
As a tip, make sure to place the corals at an angle. After all, they naturally attach to vertical surfaces and might not get enough light like that. If the branches do not get enough light, they will stop growing. In fact, the head might not even sprout!
You should make an effort to keep the water temperature within the range of 76 °F to 83 °F or 24 °C to 28 °C. Avoid fluctuation as the optimal temperature will be constant and consistent. You can even say that this is even more important than its actual temperature.
The optimal pH level of the water is anywhere from 8.1 to 8.4. You should also take care not to make the tank go through rapid swings in this aspect. Keep it as consistent as possible at all times.
Ideally, the water flow will be moderate, neither too strong nor too weak. Overall, it must be strong enough to prevent detritus from building on the body of the corals.
Ensure that the corals are not struck by water flow directly. Otherwise, the corals might suffer damage, and the polyps might not fully extend.
If the water flow is too low, the corals will inflate themselves by taking on more water, which will result in more space between tissues and loss of coloration.
For the best results, you should keep the water hardness value in the range of 8 to 12 dKH. All in all, it might take some trial and error before you finally find the right spot in your tank.
Keep changing its placement until you find the perfect area that will allow your frogspawn coral to extend its polyps to the fullest and properly feed as needed.
Do Frogspawn Corals Need To Be Fed?
The frogspawn coral, just like other big polyps, has its own way of feeding. These strategies develop over time so that the coral can obtain the nutrients it needs.
Let us compare how the species feeds when it is in the wild and in captivity.
In The Wild
When the frogspawn coral is in the wild, it forms a symbiotic relationship with a marine alga known as zooxanthellae.
This helps it get the required nutrients by converting light to food. By doing this, the zooxanthellae make enough nutrition that can sustain both themselves and the coral.
The coral also captures food particles and planktonic organisms in the water column. Last but not least, its body can absorb organic matter as well.
Things are, naturally, different when you grow the frogspawn coral in captivity. It can grow through photosynthesis, but manual feeding will help it grow better. Most people use chopped-up shrimp, small fish, or krill to feed it.
Hobbyists might like to chop up the feed, but these corals are capable of consuming entire meals as well. You can even feed huge pieces of meat to it.
Is Frogspawn A Good Beginner Coral?
There is no need to worry even if you do not have much, or even any, experience caring for corals in the past.
As a matter of fact, frogspawn and other Euphyllia corals are good choices for beginners. Not only do they look great in the tank, but they are also hardy creatures.
This species will withstand most small errors you make as long as you meet the proper conditions inside the tank. On top of this, it is also priced reasonably.
How Do You Care For Frogspawn Coral?
Frogspawn coral care is quite simple. Try your best to carry out water changes of anywhere from 20 to 25 percent a month, 10 to 15 percent every two weeks, or 5 percent a week. This is going to ensure the quality of water and replenish trace elements necessary for growth.
Aside from this, inspect the corals frequently. It might seem like a small thing, but it is helpful in detecting infection, damage, or behavior changes.
When you have an unhealthy or sick coral, separate it from the rest and quarantine it in a different tank. By doing this, you should be able to limit the spread of infection. Regular water changes and inspections are imperative to ensure optimal water chemistry and good coral health.
Below are the ideal proportions of trace compounds and elements that will ensure good coral growth:
|Calcium:||400 to 500 ppm|
|Magnesium:||1250 to 1350 ppm|
|Nitrates:||Below 1 ppm|
|Phosphate:||Below 0.05 ppm|
|Salinity or Specific Gravity:||1.023 to 1.025|
|Strontium:||8 to 10 ppm|
Calcium is extremely important since an insufficient amount of it will hinder the growth of your coral.
On the other hand, magnesium helps maintain the level of calcium in the tank. If the calcium is insufficient, it will make up for this deficiency.
The others are important guidelines to remember as well. Phosphorus should be avoided since corals do not generally take to it well.
What Should I Look Out For?
Any hobbyist should become familiar with possible problems. This will allow for early detection and recognition.
Below are common problems among frogspawn corals and their corresponding solutions:
This acoel worm is either rust-colored or tan-brown with a red dot. It is known to grow as big as a quarter of an inch. These organisms are oval and elongated, with a posterior characterized by two tail-like appendages.
Their growth is rapid in high-nutrient aquariums, so you might find them attached to the body of your frogspawn coral. What’s worse is that they prevent light from reaching the tissues.
You can keep these organisms at bay by retaining low nutrient levels. This can be done by using carbon, increasing water flow, and protein skimming.
It is also a good idea to quarantine new corals before introducing them to the ecosystem.
Natural predators such as wrasses and blue velvet nudibranch will help with this problem too.
If you already have an infected colony, dip it in dechlorinated freshwater for five to ten seconds. However, you must ensure that the temperature and pH level of the solution is similar to the water in the aquarium. This will ensure that the colony does not experience too much stress.
Brown Jelly Infection
This common affliction can be identified by jelly-like brown masses that look like they are floating on the coral surface. Most of the time, brown jelly infection happens due to poor water quality and tissue damage.
Watch out because it can cause rapid tissue necrosis, which will then spread to the rest of the corals in your tank.
You can treat brown jelly disease by applying a broad spectrum to the affected areas. Before anything else, take out the infected colony from the tank, scrub it off, and then siphon the brown jelly.
Next, treat it in an iodine or freshwater dip of 15 ppt before you put it in a quarantine tank. Once it recovers, you can finally put it back in the main tank.
Do everything in your power to handle the corals with great caution as you frag, place, relocate, or transfer them. This is going to minimize any risk of soft tissue damage.
While you are at it, you might also want to avoid using a bone crusher or scissors to frag corals. This is an excellent way to prevent splinters into the polyp area. You can instead use a bandsaw, allowing for a more precise and safer cutting process.
Corals experiencing severe stress due to an environmental factor might experience bleaching. This means that the coral is expelling the zooxanthellae. This might mean that the coral is placed too directly below the white-hot aquarium lights.
It depends on how bad the bleaching is, but you might be able to nurse the coral back to good health. All in all, this will be avoided if the tank has the right conditions based on the guidelines mentioned earlier in the article.
How Does Frogspawn Coral Grow?
First of all, keep in mind that the frogspawn coral is both male and female. This is yet another characteristic that makes the species unique. It is capable of reproducing both asexually and sexually.
Let us take a look at how the two modes of reproduction take place to understand the species better.
The species reproduces sexually when it is in its natural habitat. The reproductive glands release eggs and sperm in one go. The fertilized egg then develops into a free-swimming larva.
Planula larva later sinks to the bottom of the sea and turn into plankters. A tiny polyp then forms and produces calcium carbonate before it develops into a coral.
On the other hand, the corals bud off small groups of polyps with little skeletons attached. They can pinch off tentacle parts that later stick to each other. This is how they form a new colony.
In order to spawn, pick a healthy coral with clear polyp visibility and no signs of damage whatsoever.
Sear off at least 1.5 to 2 inches of the tentacles and glue the frag to a plug or rock to ensure that the slime doesn’t make contact with a different coral. You should take note of the type of frogspawn coral you have. The wall type makes propagation more challenging, but it is certainly not impossible.
In general, beginners will fare better with a branching type as it is more receptive to the process. It is also necessary to have tools of good quality to prevent unnecessary damage from occurring as you cut the coral.
How Do You Frag and Propagate Frogspawn Corals?
Allow us to walk you through the process step by step. While it might sound simple, you should be as cautious as possible to avoid damaging your coral.
- Wash your hands or slip on a pair of gloves before you handle the coral. If you hold it with your bare hands, you might get a skin rash, so take this step seriously.
- Identify a healthy, decent-sized coral.
- Remove the coral from the tank and irritate it so that the tentacles will retract. Frogspawn corals are pretty sticky, so you have to be careful not to rip off the feeder tentacle.
- With an electric bandsaw, split the coral into a couple of parts. Do this by cutting through the specimen at least two inches or 5 cm away from its top.
- Using two-part epoxy adhesive or cyanoacrylate gel, attach the frag to a live rock or coral frag.
- Return them to the aquarium and ensure that there is good water flow.
How Long Does It Take For Frogspawn Coral To Grow?
Several factors will affect the growth rate of your frogspawn coral.
Specimens with dense skeletons often take much longer than those with less dense ones. The latter is known to develop as many as 30 heads a year if its requirements are met.
Denser skeletons typically produce less at approximately 10 heads a year. If you want to prevent growth, cover the skeleton with a rock to reduce its growth rate.
Where Can You Purchase Frogspawn Coral?
You should be able to order frogspawn coral at both brick-and-mortar pet stores and credible online vendors. Take it upon yourself to enquire and inspect extensively to ensure that the corals are healthy. After all, you do not want a specimen with soft tissue damage.
Several factors such as size and color will affect the price, but you can expect to pay anywhere from $50 to $200 for a head.
All in all, frogspawn coral is a beautiful species that will make a great addition to any tank. Anyone who sees them in the water will be impressed.
On top of that, Frogspawn coral care is quite fun.
However, the process might not be extremely easy. It requires a bit of a learning curve, but it makes for an excellent introduction to the world of reef keeping.
You cannot go wrong with buying some frogspawn corals for your tank! At a reasonable price, it will significantly enhance the overall visual appeal of your tank. It should be a breeze as long as you follow the guidelines and tips mentioned in this guide.
Remember, the key to making the coral thrive is consistency. Keep this in mind, and you should enjoy its beauty for a long time.
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