By Bob Goemans
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Galaxea fascicularis

(Linnaeus, 1767)

Star Coral, Galaxy Coral, Crystal Coral, Tooth Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Red Sea to Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and south to the Great Barrier Reef, Fiji and Samoa.

Natural Environment: Inhabits reef environments protected from strong wave action and often seen at depths between 10 to 50 feet (3 - 15 m) where it forms massive colonies, sometimes over 3 feet (1 m) in width.

General Husbandry: Occasionally seen in the trade, with colors varying, yet green being the most prevalent. A highly aggressive species!

Placement should not be within 6 - 8 inches (15 - 20 cm) of another coral. After the lights go out it extends many long sweepers that can kill or severely sting any animal close by/downstream. During the day, the tentacles of each polyp are about three-eighths of an inch long and are tipped with white.

Prefers medium light, moderate water movement, will not tolerate hair algae, and benefits from occasional feedings of zooplankton, such as enriched adult/baby brine shrimp, with two feedings per week sufficing.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Scleractinia

    Family: Oculinidae

    Genus: Galaxea

FYI: Stinging sweeper tentacles can exceed 10 inches (25 cm).

Experience Level: Intermediate

Diet: Photosynthetic/Plankton feeder

Temperament: 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: 72 - 82°F (22 - 27°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Lighting: PAR 250 - 400

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.

 Galaxea fascicularis (Star Coral, Galaxy Coral, Crystal Coral, Tooth Coral)
Photo © Bob Fenner
Galaxea astreata Oculina diffusa
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