By Bob Goemans
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Caulastrea echinulata

(Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849)

Torch Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Malaysia to Australia.

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow turbid areas having flat substrates that are mostly protected from wave action and generally seen at depths between 3 to 65 feet (1 - 20 m).

General Husbandry: Occasionally available in the trade.

Some forethought needs to be given to newly received specimens as to their initial lighting requirements. Cultured specimens may not have been raised in shallow waters, therefore, begin by placing the specimen where it will receive moderate light, e.g., 250 - 300 PAR. Move to slightly higher PAR levels only after becoming fully acclimated to initial surrounding conditions. Overall, does best with medium to bright light and moderate water movement.

Even though capable of producing most of its nutritional needs via photosynthesis, plankton-like foodstuffs fed occasionally when feeding tentacles are displayed is beneficial/promote quicker growth.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Scleractinia

    Family: Faviidae

    Genus: Caulastrea

FYI: In the wild, has small colonies with upward curved branches with irregular shaped corallites and usually tan to dark brown with pale oral discs. Has a more compact growth of corallites than other family members.

Maricultured specimens available.

If cultured specimens have intense colors, ask under what conditions it was grown in so you may continue to see it maintain its health/colors!

Experience Level: Beginner

Diet: Photosynthetic/Plankton feeder

Temperament: Peaceful

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: 73 - 81°F (23 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Lighting: PAR 250 - 350+

Water Movement: WM 1 - 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Caulastrea echinulata (Torch Coral)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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Boyd Enterprises