Rescuing Dying Corals: Cladocora, A Non-Photosynthetic Coral

The inspiration for this website was actually to share my successes and failures in rescuing corals that were dying.  So far, I’ve only posted about how to save photosynthetic corals, but I’ve been rescuing non-photosynthetic corals for several years.  I came across this coral in a fellow reefkeeper’s tank that had severely declined.


Cladocora on 22 May 2012

Cladocora corals are actually in Family Faviidae and bear a close resemblance to the “Trumpet Coral” (Caulestrea), which are also in the same family.  According to Veron’s Corals of the World, “Most Cladocora species do not have zooxanthallae.”  I’m unsure if this particular coral is non-photosynthetic, but I decided to treat it as such as a worst case scenario.

Since I didn’t know much about this coral and its usual pests (and the pests already known in the previous owner’s aquarium), I did the usual dip and quarantine.  Other than some Aiptasia (pest anemone), I didn’t find anything of note.

Initially I fed the coral every day, for about the first two weeks (more info on feeding here).  Once the coral started regularly extending tentacles, I reduced feedings to about three times per week.  Like Veron’s book states, the tentacles extend day and night.  Although the coral is mostly brown, it has beautiful green striping on the tentacles and oral disc.


Cladocora on 30 June 2012

Based on the quick healing of this coral, lack of pests, and all the new babies popping up, I would consider it a pretty easy rescue.

2 pings

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