By Bob Goemans
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Heliofungia actiniformis

(Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)

Plate Coral, Long Tentacle Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Range: Indian Ocean: Southeastern India to Tropical Western Pacific, and from Australia north to Ryukyu Islands

Natural Environment: This is a free-living photosynthetic stony coral (except for juveniles) and is usually saucer-shaped. It is a single polyped coral with one central, striped mouth and long anemone-like tentacles, which remain extended day and night. Inhabits fairly shallow soft sand and coral rubble zones on reef slopes and lagoon flats, and interconnected sandy reef areas protected from strong wave motion. Juveniles are often attached to rock or coral and become detached, as they grow larger. The most common color is tan with white tipped tentacles, yet I’ve see other colors or combination of colors, such as white with pink/violet tips and varying colors of green with white tips.

General Husbandry: Because this is a free-living stony coral and is accustom to living on areas of soft sand and/or coral rubble, its preferable to locate this species on the aquarium’s sandbed where it will receive bright light and gentle water movement. It is not known for its aggressiveness, however, itself can be harmed by other aggressive corals, so provide it enough space from other corals to keep it safe from being damaged. Do not place on ledges where it could fall and injure itself, as once having visible damage, some do not recover. As to directly feeding it, even though photosynthetic, it can be fed occasionally. Once a week would suffice if additional growth were desired, and meaty products such as enriched brine shrimp, mysis, and products containing Cyclop-eeze would suffice nicely.

 Heliofungia actiniformis (Plate Coral, Long Tentacle Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral)
Photo © Bob Goemans
Halomitra clavator Herpolitha limax
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