By Bob Goemans
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Real Reef Rock 

Family Tubiporidae

Briareum (Pachyclavularia) violacea

Green Star Polyps or Starburst

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-Pacific Ocean

Natural Environment: Found in shallow to moderate depths along upper reef edges

General Husbandry: Has a temperature range of 72 to 83°F (22 - 28°C). This photosynthetic green or brown encrusting soft coral is very popular and easy to maintain. Under the right conditions it can spread at a rate of about one-inch per month or more. As it spreads, one can see tiny pin points of white in the purple looking layer of matter that slowly extends outward and over the adjoining surface of rock or even the sides of the aquarium. These "points of white" quickly develop into new polyps in the coming weeks as the expansion continues. Does best under medium light intensity, and requires good water movement to keep the cluster of polyps free of detritus. It will not tolerate hair algae, and can overgrow corals and kill them. In fact, I've had it completely cover a small leather coral within a few months. Color is greatly enhanced under lights that are high in the blue spectrum. Growth seems slowed when calcium levels fall below natural seawater levels, i.e., 400 mg/l, and alkalinity falls below 3.0 meq/l.

 Briareum (Pachyclavularia) violacea (Green Star Polyps or Starburst)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Subergorgia sp. Tubipora musica
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