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Purple Candalabra - Photosynthetic Gorgonian

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How to Care for Purple Candalabra Sea Fan

written by Dave Burr

The Purple Candalabra is a Photosynthetic Gorgonian grows in beautiful fan-like formations. Its branches are purple colored and covered with white polyps. This is one of the easiest gorgonians to keep. We have some that have been growing strong for 6 years now.

Placement: Take the time to mount the Purple Candalabra, using glue or putty, towards the middle of the aquarium where it will receive high water flow and low to moderate levels of light (PAR 150-250).

Feeding: The Purple Candalabra Fan can be target fed foods for filter feeders including marine snow, phytoplankton, and zooplankton 2-3 times per week. The Purple Candalabra is a photosynthetic gorgonian and gains much of its energy from light therefore it does not require such heavy feeding as other non-photosynthetic gorgonians.

Care Level: Easy 
Lighting Requirements:
Low to moderate light (PAR 150-250)
Reef Compatible:
Filter Feeder/ Photosynthetic - Planktivore
Indo Pacific
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

Lighting & Flow Requirements: The Purple Candalabra Gorgonian requires high water flow and moderate lighting (PAR 150-250). T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all maintain the Purple Candalabra Gorgonian when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.

Water Chemistry: 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.