By Bob Goemans
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Pocillopora damicornis

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Cauliflower Coral, Lace Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific and Eastern Pacific Ocean: Widespread.

Natural Environment: Inhabits shallow water environments, such as exposed reef fronts, mangrove areas and even wharf structures and is seen at depths between 3 to 50 feet (1 - 15 m).

General Husbandry: Common in the trade.

As to placement in the aquarium, moderate water movement and very bright light is necessary to keep this commonly found coral looking its best.

Depending upon the intensity of its color, it may be best to begin its placement in areas receiving about PAR 350. Then after acclimated, move to higher PAR locations so that color is maintained. Keep in mind this species is often exposed at low tides, therefore bright light is very important in its on-going existence in the aquarium.

Capable of producing its nutritional needs via photosynthesis, yet benefits from once or twice a week feedings of various plankton-like foods, such as Oyster eggs, cyclops, baby brine shrimp, Spirulina, enriched adult brine shrimp and mysis.

Even though deemed 'peaceful' it has short 1 inch (2.5 cm) sweeper tentacles, therefore give sufficient distance between it and neighboring corals.

Maricultured specimens available.


    Kingdom: Animalia

    Phylum: Cnidaria

    Class: Anthozoa

    Subclass: Hexacorallia

    Order: Scleractinia

    Family: Pocilloporidae

    Genus: Pocillopora

FYI: In the wild, usually pale brown, greenish or pink.

Experience Level: Intermediate

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: 72 - 83°F (23 - 28°C)

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Lighting: PAR 350 - 500+

Water Movement: WM 2 - 3

Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025

pH: 8.0 - 8.4

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

 Pocillopora damicornis (Cauliflower Coral, Lace Coral)
Photo © Wayne Shang
 Pocillopora damicornis (Cauliflower Coral, Lace Coral)
Photo © Wikimedia
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