Our Big Polyp Blastomussa Wellsi Coral from Australia, is also known as the Blastomussa Coral, Wellsi's Brain, and Big Pipe Blastomussa, and the Blasto coral. A wonderful coral for the beginner to advanced aquarist, it often becomes the centerpiece for the reef aquarium. Very hard to find, Blasto's come in solid colors and also have amazing color combinations including reds, yellows, blues, purples, greens, and even pink. Found from the islands of the Indo pacific ocean including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, all the way to the Great Barrier Reef. The vast majority of ours come from Australia's Great Barrier Reef found on lower reef slopes protected from heavy wave action and turbid environments. Perfectly suited for the home reef aquarium. Though they are slow growers, they are easy to moderate to care for and easy to frag. If you forget to feed them, it's okay. They can be fed directly and that will make them grow faster, but they are also content to take nutrients from the water column. Finally, the Blastomussa wellsi is one of only two members in the Blastomussa genus. The other species being Blastomussa merleti. The blastomussa wellsi is distinct from its relative blastomussa merletti because of its thick, fleshy, swollen polyps that are extremely larger than the merletti. The thickness of the blastomussa wellsi's tissue makes its general appearance similar to many types of brain coral (including Caulastrea) at first glance.
Aggressiveness This is an aggressive species, extending their sweeper tentacles at night. There needs to be plenty of space between it and other corals.
Blastomussa Wellsi needs a low water current.
Low lighting is preferred (if a Par meter is available a Par level from 20 to 30). The wellsi needs to be acclimated to high lights in a tank, as it is not usually exposed to intense lighting in the ocean because of its depth. Start out with low lighting, positioning the polyps to face out (versus upwards) or at least shaded by another substrate within the tank. The lighting can gradually move up over time- the blastomussa wellsi will adapt easily.
A well-feed, well-matured, live rock/reef environment is what is needed for the Blastomussa Coral, along with some fish for organic matter production, and dissolved organics. It needs to be placed among the rock work, rather than on the sand.
Diet and Feeding
The Blastomussa genus, like other large polyp stony (LPS) corals, have developed several feeding strategies. Through a symbiotic relationship with a marine algae, known as zooxanthellae, they receive some of their nutrients. They also capture planktonic organisms, food particles from the water column, and can absorb dissolved organic matter. In captivity, B. wellsi does very well being fed zooplankton, mysis, cyclopeeze, and other very small minced shrimp or fish. Feeding several times a week can help Blastomussa grow faster. Each polyp is its own animal, so make sure you are feeding all the polyps.
Since the blastomussa wellsi reproduces naturally in the wild through asexual fragmentation, the same approach can be used when propagated in a home environment. Simply divide pieces of the skeleton with one or more polyps included on the broken piece. This piece can be placed in another part of the tank until it grows into its own blastomussa wellsi colony.