With its wild and unique colors, it’s no surprise that the Frogspawn Coral (Euphyllia divisa) is one of the most sought-after corals by reef aquarium owners.
Caring for this coral is not too difficult, but with incorrect or misguided information floating around online, it’s easy to make mistakes. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide about frogspawn coral care. We’ll talk about proper tank size, water parameters, lighting, and other factors that affect the health of frogspawn coral!
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Frogspawn coral can be found in several places around the world, including Australia, Fiji, Southeast Asia, the Soloman Islands, and the Ryukyu Islands. It is sometimes referred to as wall coral, grape coral, octopus coral, or honey coral but is most commonly known as frogspawn coral.
Unlike other coral species, frogspawn polyps stay out 24/7, making them perfect for viewing in home tanks. This species is quite hardy and tolerant of a wide range of water parameters but beware – they can still succumb to poor care.
In the wild, frogspawn coral is found in depths of 120-140 feet. Sandy bottoms and low-muck regions are not suitable habitats for them.
The appeal of frogspawn coral lies in its attractive appearance. Structurally, it has a branching growth pattern that can extend and grow quickly, or form more of a wall-like structure. The colors of frogspawn coral can vary dramatically, but usually have a mix of green and yellow. The tentacle color will often be either white or pink.
Rarely, you will find blue or orange-colored frogspawn corals. When placed in the right lighting conditions, frogspawn coral creates a bright, almost neon effect in the tank thanks to its colorful polyps.
Frogspawn coral requires a tank of at least 30 gallons. While small tanks (20-50 gallons) are theoretically possible, larger tank sizes are recommended for long-term success. Frogspawn coral grows rather quickly and needs some extra space to spread out.
Proper water parameters play a large part in successful frogspawn coral care. Temperatures between 72-78°F, pH levels between 8.1-8.4, the water hardness of 8-12 dKH, and specific gravity of 1.022-1.025 are ideal.
Invest in a reliable water test kit to track any unexpected shifts in water parameters and take corrective action promptly.
This coral prefers moderate water flow, and higher flow can even be tolerated if necessary. However, high water flow should be avoided as it can stunt the growth of the frogspawn coral and negatively affect the health of its polyps.
Moderate water flow also helps to show off the coral’s colors better.
Like many other corals, a moderate amount of light is best for frogspawn coral health. All types of lighting can work (T5, LED, etc) as long as they are powerful enough and the right spectrum of light. A 12-hour photoperiod (with 8 hours of darkness in between) is recommended.
Frogspawn coral requires both primary and supplemental feeding. For primary feeding, the natural current should provide enough floating particles that are within reach of the coral’s tentacles. You can supplement this with small pieces of meaty food like brine shrimp, planktons, and fish eggs. Feed 2-3 times a week in small amounts.
Frogspawn coral should usually be placed in the middle area of the tank, since that’s the area with the most balanced lighting, water flow, and particle flow. It’s worth mentioning that this species can grow to a width of nearly 10 inches, so plan accordingly!
By following the basic principles of frogspawn coral care as outlined in this guide, you should be able to keep your coral alive and healthy in your tank. With its flamboyant colors, unique structure, and relatively low maintenance requirements, it’s easy to see why this species is so popular among reef aquarium owners!
Potential Problems: While this species of coral is generally very hardy and easy to care for, there are a few potential problems that you should be aware of. It is especially important to monitor water parameters closely as sudden shifts in conditions can cause the coral to recede and die. Furthermore, frogspawn coral can be sensitive to copper-based medications, so take extra caution when adding any medications to the tank.
Fragmentation: Fragmentation is necessary for the growth and propagation of frogspawn coral. It is the process of breaking off small pieces of coral and placing them in new locations in the tank. Before doing this, however, make sure the coral is firmly attached to the live rock and healthy – any unhealthy coral should not be propagated in this manner.
Pests: Several pests can attack frogspawn coral, particularly fireworms and Aiptasia. Fireworms can be identified easily by their size and by the distinct ‘spitting’ sound they make.
To treat them, use a predator such as the commensal shrimp Lysmata amboinensis or manually remove them with tweezers. Additionally, Aiptasia can be treated with products like Joe’s Juice Aiptasia X or kalkwasser.
Compatible Species: Frogspawn coral can be kept with other corals, but more aggressive species should be avoided. Good coral tankmates include sponges, lettuce corals, mushrooms, leather corals, and shrooms.
Additionally, friendly fish such as clownfish, gobies, and wrasses can be kept with frogspawn coral with no ill effects.
Propagation: To propagate frogspawn coral, the head must first be cut off into two or four pieces. Next, these pieces are placed onto a live rock and allowed to attach themselves. After a few days, the coral should begin to grow and spread.
Regular fragmentation leads to increased growth and subsequently, an increased likelihood of successful propagation.
Clean-Up Crew: A healthy tank requires a dedicated clean-up crew to keep things clean. This includes snails, crabs, shrimp, and other scavenging creatures who will eat living and dead organic matter.
Most importantly, they play an essential role in helping to keep water parameters in check.
Water Changes: Regular water changes are an important part of frogspawn coral care. This helps to keep water parameters stable and also reduces nitrate levels. Aim for at least 10-20% water changes every two weeks for optimal health.
Flow Direction: As mentioned previously, frogspawn coral likes moderate water flow. However, it is important to pay attention to the direction of the flow within the tank.
A uniform direction and avoiding areas that create too much turbulence are best.
Coral Products: There are various products available on the market designed specifically for coral health. These provide macro and micronutrients, trace elements, and hormones required for healthy coral growth.
Always read labels carefully and use them in moderation as overuse can lead to negative consequences.
Light Cycles: Proper lighting is essential to the health of frogspawn coral. However, light cycles should be altered over time to mimic natural day/night cycles. For instance, you can gradually reduce light intensity over an 8-hour period, simulating sunrise and sunset. This will give the coral a more natural, stress-free environment.