By Bob Goemans
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Family Alcyoniidae

Sarcophyton elegans

Moser, 1919

Yellow Leather Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean

Natural Environment: Inhabit shallow reef tops, lagoons, and reef slopes receiving moderate water flows and seen at depths between 10 to 25 feet (3 - 8 m).

General Husbandry: Even though collected in shallow water, have found it to do better in bright, yet indirect lighted areas.

Does not ship well, sometimes coming in with dark necrotic areas due to injuries received in collection or shipping. Putting a damaged specimen in the aquarium is chancy.

Has formed 'buds' on the back of my specimen, which dropped off and formed new specimens.

Requires good water circulation, yet not as hardy as other Sarcophyton species

Needs sufficient space between its neighbors.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Octocorallia

    Order: Anlcyonacea

    Suborder: Alcyoniina

    Family: Alcyoniidae

    Genus: Sarcophyton

FYI: Can reach 24 inch (61 cm) heights.

Often imported from Tonga or Fiji.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Diet: Photosynthetic/Absorption of nutrients

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe:With caution

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: Yes

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy

Calcium (Ca): 380 - 430 mg/l

Alkalinity: 2.5 - 3.0 meq/l

Phosphate (PO4): <0.05 mg/l

Magnesium (Mg): approx. 1350 mg/l (relate to specific gravity)

Strontium (Sr) 8 - 10 mg/l

Temperature Range: 68 - 83°F (20 - 28°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 150 gallons

Lighting: PAR 350 - 450+

Water Movement: WM 2 - 3

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

Iodine/Trace Elements Monitor/as necessary to maintain quality seawater.

 Sarcophyton elegans (Yellow Leather Coral)
Photo © Bob Goemans
 Sarcophyton elegans (Yellow Leather Coral)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Site Supported in Part by:
Aquarium Systems (Instant Ocean)