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Vivid's Branching Psammocora
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How to Care for Branching Psammocora Coral
written by Dave Burr
Aquaculture: We grow and frag the Branching Psammocora coral here at Vivid Aquariums. It prefers conditions similar to encrusting Montiporas such as the Superman Montipora.
Placement: Mount the Branching Psammocora coral using IC gel glue, or putty, on an exposed rock or ledge in the aquarium where it will receive direct flow and light. Darth Maul Porites coral will encrust the rock and makes a great accent coral. If you are worried about it "growing out of control" just mount your frag on a larger "grow out" rock 3"-6" in size that is easy to remove from the aquarium to frag. This method prevents encrusting montipora coral from covering your main rock structure if you don't want them to.
Feeding: Vivid Aquariums recommends feeding Psammocora corals with Oyster-Feast and/or Roti-Feast. Target feeding gets the corals fed using less food while keeping your nitrates and phosphates lower.
Lighting & Flow Requirements: The Branching Psammocora coral requires moderate to high water flow and moderate to bright lighting (PAR 250-450) to maintain its color. T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow montipora when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration.
Care Level: Easy in SPS tank!
Lighting Requirements: Moderate to high (PAR 250-450)
Water Flow: Moderate to high
Range: Indo-Pacific, Grown in California
Family: Montipora tuberculosa
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: 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.