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By Bob Goemans
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Fungia

Fungia scutaria

Lamarck, 1801

Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral, or simply Fungia

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Widespread.

Natural Environment: Inhabits fairly shallow soft sand and coral rubble zones on reef slopes and lagoon flats, and interconnected sandy reef areas that are protected from strong wave motion and usually seen at depths between 3 - 100 feet (1 - 30 m).

General Husbandry: Common in the trade.

Best placed on sandy or course substrate in areas receiving bright light and moderate water movement. Even though photosynthetic, it should be fed at least once per week meaty foodstuffs, e.g., fortified brine shrimp, mysis, products containing Cyclop-eeze or similar products, and/or other marine diced/graded meaty foods. However, its normally short tentacles are usually only slightly extended during the day, with further extension in evening hours. Feeding, if feasible, should be at timeframes when tentacles are the most prominent.

Keep in mind that these corals are phototaxic, i.e., move towards light, and can move (even up a slight grade) up to 12 inches (30 cm) per day. Should they touch another coral other than their own genus, it may generate mucus that could cause damage to the species touched. And since they are capable of moving, should not be placed on ledges where they can fall and be injured.

Taxonomy:

    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Scleractinia

    Family: Fungiidae

    Genus: Fungia

FYI: This is a solitary and usually saucer-shaped photosynthetic single polyp stony coral with a slightly raised central dome, and a single central mouth.

Juveniles are often attached to rock or coral and become detached, as they grow larger. The most common color is green, however, other colors or combination of colors are occasionally available, sometimes with varying degrees of purple or red. I've never seen specimens larger than 5 inches (12.5 cm) in the trade; however, they can attain twice that size in the wild.

Do not remove a specimen with inflated flesh from the water as the weight of the water in the flesh may damage/tear the flesh. Gently shake the specimen and allow the flesh to retract before removing.

Experience Level: Beginner

Diet: Photosynthetic/Plankton feeder

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: With caution

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

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: 74 - 83°F (23 - 28°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 300 - 400+

Water Movement: WM 2

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Fungia scutaria (Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral, or simply Fungia)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Fungia repanda Halomitra clavator
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