written by Dave Burr
Aquaculture: We farm Japanese Leather Corals here at Vivid Aquariums by cutting off a piece of the parent's crown and attaching it to a frag plug with string or glue. Smaller specimens are shaped like a mushroom, however as they grow larger they will take on an interesting folded appearance. When fully open the tops of these leather corals are covered with numerous green polyps about 1 cm in length.
Shedding: As with most leather corals they may go through periods when their polyps do not extend. They may shrink and shed some of their outer skin. Do not be alarmed if this should occur as it is a natural process that they go through. These leathers may remain closed for several days at a time but will reopen bigger and more beautiful than ever.
Placement: Mount the Japanese Toadstool Leather Coral using IC gel glue, or putty, on an exposed rock or ledge in the middle third of the aquarium where they will receive moderate currents and moderate to high lighting. Leave a few inches around them and consider that they will often begin to shade corals around them as they grow larger.
Although symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae hosted within them supply most of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis, they do require supplemental feedings of phytoplankton and marine snow.
Lighting & Flow Requirements: The Japanese Toadstool Leather requires moderate water flow and low to moderate lighting (PAR 80-250). T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow Leather Corals when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
Care Level: Easy
Lighting Requirements: Moderate to high (PAR 150-300)
Water Flow: Moderate
Range: Australia, Grown in California
Water Conditions: 75-80° F; sg 1.024-1.026 (1.025 is ideal); pH 8.1-8.4 Ca 420-440 ppm, Alk 8-9.5 dKH, Mg 1260-1350, Nitrates <10ppm, Phosphates, < .10ppm
Water Chemistry: Providing additions of iodine will help the Japanese Toadstool Leather grow. Most good salt mixes will provide enough iodine through water changes. It is important that proper calcium (420-440 ppm), alkalinity (8-9.5 dkh - run it 7-8 if you are carbon dosing) , and magnesium levels (1260-1350 ppm) are maintained. Raising magnesium levels gradually up to 1400-1600 ppm can help to combat algae outbreaks, just keep CA and Alk in line as you raise the Mg. Nitrates should be below 10 ppm and phosphates should be below .10 ppm. We recommend doing a water change when Nitrate levels rise to 10 ppm. It is important to replace your phosphate media when phosphates rise to .10 ppm. Media Reactors make the most efficient use of your phosphate media by fluidizing it.
Dosing: Vivid Aquariums uses and recommends dosing pumps to automate the dosing of additives and keep your levels more constant. A dosing pump can alleviate the chore of manually dosing your aquarium with Ca, Alk, & Mg 2,3, or 4 times per week and will benefit your aquarium by keeping your levels constant through frequent small additions of Ca, Alk, & Mg. Our tanks all progressed when we switched from 3 manual dosings per week to 70 automatic dosings per week and we got a lot more work done.
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