By Bob Goemans
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Family Alcyoniidae

Sarcophyton trocheliophorum

(von Marenzeller, 1886)

Elephant Ear Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Widespread.

Natural Environment: Inhabit shallow reef tops, lagoons, and reef slopes and usually seen in depths between 6 - 15 feet (2 - 5 m).

General Husbandry: Probably the best looking of all leather corals. It is sometimes referred to as the Ruffled Leather because of its frilly/ruffled edges.

Requires strong light good water circulation.

Not something for the 10 gallon aquarium!

Does not usually require hand feeding, as its nutrient requirements are met with nutrient absorption from surrounding waters and photosynthesis.

Needs sufficient space between its neighbors.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Octocorallia

    Order: Anlcyonacea

    Suborder: Alcyoniina

    Family: Alcyoniidae

    Genus: Sarcophyton

FYI: Easily propagated from cuttings.

Mariculture specimens available in the trade.

Can attain 48 inches (120 cm) in height and 36 inches (90 cm) in width.

Experience Level: Beginner

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: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 400 - 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 trocheliophorum (Elephant Ear Coral )
Photo © Bob Goemans
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