Saltcorner
By Bob Goemans
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Blastomussa

Blastomussa merleti

Wells, 1961

Pineapple Coral, Moon Coral, Blasto

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Red Sea, Eastern Africa, and north to Japan.

Natural Environment: Inhabits lower reef slopes and usually seen in turbid waters.

General Husbandry: Even though corallites are tubular and extend outwards from a common base, when polyps, which are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) are fully extended, it can appear like a solid mass of polyps.

A very hardy, non-aggressive coral and better located in areas receiving low to moderate water movement and low light. Often, specimens located in aquarium areas where there is swift water movement and an abundance of light experience very poor growth, or waste away! In fact, I've found side areas of aquariums or rockwork the best location for this species. Also keep in mind it is very susceptible to aggression from other corals, even mushroom corals!

Can be handfed when feeding tentacles are displayed by directly dosing the polyps with meaty foodstuffs, e.g., fortified brine shrimp, mysis, products containing Cyclop-eeze, and/or other marine finely diced/graded meaty foods. Several feedings weekly is recommended.

Fragging this species is quite simple by separating existing corallites!

Taxonomy:

    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Scleractinia

    Family: Mussidae

    Genus: Blastomussa

FYI: Cultured frags widely available.

Experience Level: Beginner

Diet: Photosynthetic/Plankton feeder

Temperament: Peaceful

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Coral Safe: Yes

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: 74 - 82°F (23 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Lighting: PAR 250 - 300+

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.

 Blastomussa merleti (Pineapple Coral, Moon Coral, Blasto)
Photo © Bob Goemans
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Hikari