Frogspawn corals are the kinds of corals that may look intimidating at first to take care of. But let me enlighten you; it’s one of the easier ones.
It comes in charming colors and simply makes your tank a sight for sore eyes. However, you should take a few key points into consideration if you want to keep your Frogspawn coral healthy.
If you are confused and have questions regarding their care, do not worry! I have covered all the grounds regarding their temperament, feeding habits, placement, propagation, tank mates, etc.
|Quick Species Facts|
|Scientific Name||Euphyllia divisa (wall); Euphyllia paradivisa (Branching)|
|Other Common Names||Honey Coral, Octopus Coral, Fine Grape Coral|
|Max. Size||10-12 inches wide|
Frogspawn corals are mostly found in the Southeast Asia (SEA) regions of Indonesia and the Philippines.
They are also found near Oceania around the volcanic island group of Fiji and in parts of Australia exclusively in the Great Barrier Reef, Tonga, Houtman Islands, Ryukyu Islands, and the Solomon Islands.
They inhabit turbid reefs situated at 130-140 feet in depth with low turbulent waters. They receive enough sunlight, but the brightness is slightly lowered due to the murkiness of the surroundings.
Well, they are not very big and take a long time to grow. The size of their polyps varies but the whole coral body can attain a size of 10 to 12 inches in width in captivity. In their natural habitat, the average size they grow to is around 18 inches.
Some have also been reported to grow to 3 feet. But it all depends upon the age and the amount of competition it faces with food from other corals in its vicinity.
They belong to the family of Large-polyp Stony (LPS) corals, so they have a hard calcareous skeleton primarily made up of calcium carbonate and the polyps emerge from inside the structure.
Most polyps generally have a single tip. But some can even grow up to two to three tips, which may vary in length.
The polyps and tips come in different colors. There are a few combinations that are popular among aquarists-
Their bodies come in shades of green and their polyp tips are purple. These are the most common types of Frogspawn Coral for both branching and wall varieties.
This shade of green has a neon-like glow when exposed to specific lighting conditions. They have a darker green polyp body with a lighter green tip.
The polyp body has a dark purple-pinkish hue and the tips are colored light pink. It appears to have
a yellow fluorescence. It is considered a rare and expensive variety of Frogspawn Coral.
Types of Frogspawn Corals
Frogspawn corals fall under two categories- wall and branching. The branching is the more common one.
Wall Frogspawn Coral (Euphyllia divisa)
These varieties grow in such a fashion that they resemble a wall, hence the name. They expand their surface area rather than their length.
These are much harder to care for and grow very slowly. So that’s why you will hardly see them in household aquariums. But also, they are much more attractive than branching ones.
Branching Frogspawn Coral (Euphyllia paradivisa)
Branching Frogspawn Corals are easily recognizable because they look like trees. They have the same calcium carbonate base and the polyps appear to have emerged from it individually.
Unlike their relatives, it grows quite rapidly and is much easier to handle. So, it’s an easy choice for people when they decide to go for a Frogspawn coral.
It is hard to estimate their life expectancy because if the conditions are good, they will not die off easily.
Some researchers have studied a few specimens that have an age of more than 500 years and are still growing.
Sexual Dimorphism in Frogspawn Coral
An individual Frogspawn coral produces both male and female gametes for sexual reproduction. So, they are hermaphroditic in a manner.
They possess special polyps that can produce either male or female gametes. And a single one will have both kinds of polyps that look identical.
So, there is no gender determination when it comes to Frogspawn corals.
Frogspawn corals can reproduce sexually using gametes in captivity, but they do that when the conditions are very close to their natural reef environment.
It is very hard to simulate those conditions artificially, so you have to use a different way to get new coral from your existing one.
Vegetative propagation is a type of asexual method that can be used to get more Frogspawn corals. This might be somewhat complicated at first for newcomers.
Using a saw or a sharp blade, cut a healthy piece of a tentacle. Ensure the portion is big enough. If it is too short it might die off. Also, try to get a clean cut; otherwise, it will take more time to heal.
Now that you have got your tentacle for propagation, place it in a disinfecting bath containing Povidone Iodine to kill off any harmful microorganisms. Then keep it in a different tank where it can slowly heal up without any external stress.
Once healed, place it in your main tank. Make sure to affix it to a rock so it stays in one place and grows undisturbed.
Author Note: Branched Frogspawn corals are easier to propagate than the Wall variety. To propagate the Wall Frogspawn, you have to cut a large chunk of it which may prove to be lethal for the coral. The chances of the fractured part surviving are also quite low.
Frogspawn Corals come in different price ranges, which all depend upon their color combinations. Green branching Frogspawn Corals with purple tips is the most common, with a price range between $70 to $90.
The more exotic ones, such as Wall Frogspawn coral and Branching ones with rarer colors such as blue, peach, or orange, may be sold at a higher price.
|Quick Care Facts|
|Propagation||Easy to Moderate (Depends on the variety)|
The Frogspawn corals can naturally make their food. They house Zooxanthellae in their polyps, which are small dinoflagellates that formed a symbiosis with the corals over a long period of evolution.
These produce food for them in exchange for protection. But the food isn’t enough for the coral to sustain themselves. So, they should be fed periodically (every week) when kept in captivity.
The coral has special polyps that help them catch plankton in the sea. So, the food items are given directly to these polyps when we are feeding them in tanks.
A few food items that are suitable for them are-
- Brine shrimps
- Mysis shrimps
- Fish pellets (high quality only)
Quick Tip: It is not recommended to use your hands while feeding them. Hands are big, so when they sense it, they get scared and retract their tentacles. Try to use squirters or feeding apparatus made for feeding corals and anemones.
Placement of Frogspawn Coral
Placement can be a vital factor when taking care of coral. The coral must get proper light and water flow in order to live healthily.
The best place to put Frogspawn corals is in the middle or upper section of the tank. This ensures it gets enough light.
Also, if you decide to put another type of coral in the tank, a separation of at least 6-8 inches should be maintained from the Frogspawn corals.
Temperament & Behavior
Frogspawn coral is of the aggressive kind. They are territorial and do not appreciate the presence of any other coral around them.
Frogspawn corals have a special “Sweeper” polyp that can hurt other coral tentacles if caught in their vicinity. This is done to clear their territory of any competition.
They are the only kind that do not retract their tentacles. Even if they do, they do not retract it completely. The feeder tentacles are always flowing out in the open to catch food.
Although Frogspawn diseases are hardy coral species, they still are susceptible to diseases. Their soft polyps can acquire infections very easily, especially if they are injured.
A few common diseases that can affect them are-
- Skeletal Eroding Band (SEB) disease
This disease is easy to spot and is characterized by an unusually dark-colored band on the coral body. This is just a band of dead cells caused by a bacterial infection. This band continues to kill more and more healthy cells, increasing their width.
- White Band Disease (WBD)
It has an appearance like the skeletal eroding band, but the band is white in color. Similarly, it destroys the cells of the corals, killing them if not treated early.
- White Plague
This is very deadly. It rapidly eats away most of the cells in the body. This exposes their sensitive skeletal system to harsh water, which basically means death. This disease is caused by a gram-negative bacteria- Aurantimonas coralicida.
There are a few steps that you can follow to ensure your coral doesn’t catch any mortal infections-
- Replenish water by 20-30 % on a bi-weekly basis
- Move the coral to a “hospital” tank with disinfectants (copper-based) and antibiotics if you suspect any injury or unusual color
- Provide a good and varied nutritional diet
Moreover, you have to keep an eye out for unwanted guests that can harm and possibly kill your coral if not taken care of. A few of them are listed below-
- Red Bugs
- Isopods & Amphipods
- Sundial Snails
- Brown jellies
- Montipora-eating Nudibranchs (Sea Slugs)
|Quick Tank Facts|
|Water Temperature||76 – 82 °F|
|Minimum Size||50 gallons|
|Water Hardness||8 – 12 dKh|
|pH Level||8.0 – 8.4|
|Salinity or Specific Gravity||1.022 – 1.025|
|Nitrite||1 – 10 ppm|
|Calcium Conc.||350 – 450 ppm|
|Phosphorus Conc.||0 ppm|
|Magnesium Conc.||1250 – 1350 ppm|
|Strontium levels||8 – 10 ppm|
|Lighting||Moderate (50 – 150 PAR)|
If you want to keep a Frogspawn coral, you need to have at least a medium-sized reef tank.
They need a good amount of space around them to feel less stressed. So, it is recommended to have at least a 190 to 200-liter tank to keep a single one or a pair.
All kinds of plants are suitable for them as long as they do not block the lighting. Try to avoid surface-floating plants and lean more towards small substrate-based plants.
Plants that are a viable option are-
- Anubias Nana Petite
- Java Moss
- Blyxa Japonica
- Dwarf Sagittaria
- Dwarf hairgrass
- Water Cabbage
Lighting is very crucial for Frogspawn Corals. If they don’t get enough light, they might not survive. And if the light is too bright, it might lead to bleaching phenomenon of the coral, causing their colors to turn pale.
They tend to stay healthy in moderate lighting, with intensity being around 50-150 PAR (photosynthetic active radiation).
Try to choose a softer substrate over gravelly or rocky ones. You don’t want your coral to get injured while they are moving their tentacles.
Sandy substrate is generally preferred when keeping coral. A few good ones are-
- Red Sand
- Flourite Black Sand
- Aragonite Sand
- River White Sand
Decorations are completely optional for your tank. Put in whatever you like to make your reef tank more attractive.
Just try to keep them away from the coral tentacles, especially if they have sharp edges.
A simple back filter will prove to be enough. Also, it is not advised to put protein skimmers as they remove useful protein particles from the water. These free-flowing proteins are used by the Frogspawn corals which acts as a food source for them.
If you want to simulate their natural conditions, keep a moderate flow of water in the tank. If the water flow is low, they will inflate, which will cause them to look unappealing and lose color.
And if the water flow is kept high, they could suffer damage to their tentacles. This may even cause polyps to detach from their bony base.
You can use a device known as the Wavemaker, which can maintain constant turbulence in the water. This helps maintain a natural feeling for the Frogspawn coral.
Water parameters are very crucial and should be maintained at all costs. Even if the coral is hardy, improper water conditions will lead to death.
As you know, reef tanks are more complex than freshwater tanks. So, you have to monitor different ion concentrations and ensure that their levels don’t drop or go up.
The criteria to keep your Frogspawn Coral healthy are as follows-
- The temperature should be between 23 and 28 °C.
- The water hardness should be around 8 – 12 dKH. 10 dKH is optimal.
- The pH should be alkaline, between 8.0 to 8.4
- Salinity should be strictly maintained at 35 ppt (parts per thousand). This is a very important parameter for saltwater organisms.
- Calcium levels should be between 350 and 450 ppm (parts per million). This is important for the coral as calcium is used to maintain its skeletal structure.
- Trace elements like Strontium should be at very low concentrations of 8-10 ppm.
- Magnesium levels should not exceed 1350 ppm. Too much magnesium can make creatures lethargic.
Helpful Tip: Dosing pumps are special equipment that can be used to maintain the tank parameters, especially for reef tanks. A readymade solution can be put into it, which it automatically releases into the water from time to time.
- Some Wrasses (like Yellow Coris Wrasse, Fairy Wrasse, etc.)
- Tangs (like Powder blue Tang, etc.)
There are also other marine invertebrates that can be kept with them-
- Sea Anemones
- Mushroom Corals
- Ricordea Corals
- Other Frogspawn Corals
However, there some species of fish should be blacklisted as tank mates for the Frogspawn Corals. If kept together, they will bite the polyps and kill the coral. Some of them are-
- Crabs (Emerald Crab, Hermit crab, etc.)
Frequently Asked Questions
Are Frogspawn Corals hard to keep?
It depends on the experience of the aquarist. If you have worked with corals and reef tanks, you will be familiar with them. But if you are just starting out, it may prove to be difficult at first.
Does Frogspawn Coral grow fast?
No, they have a slow growth rate. It takes a long time to grow to a significant size, even if the conditions are good.
Why is my Frogspawn Coral not opening?
It could be due to proper calcium and magnesium ion concentration in your water. Deficiency in those could lead to stress. Calcium levels should be maintained at 400 ppm and magnesium at 1300 ppm approximately.
Reef tanks are inherently appealing, and keeping a Frogspawn Coral only adds to that. It’s a very niche coral species for a tank.
Caring for corals can sometimes prove to be too much for both experts and newbies. But as you get the hang of it, it becomes easier to maintain them.
Feeding them is also no fuss, and they can eat fish food that you generally use. Moreover, they don’t eat a lot, so you don’t have to spend a lot on food.
Overall, it is a good choice for your reef tank, especially if you like to aquascape.