The Cabbage Leather Coral, (Sinularia brassica) is the perfect beginner or novice coral for a first reef aquarium. Other names for this hardy soft coral for beginners is the Flower Leather Coral, Flat Leather Coral, Lobed Leather Coral, Carpet Coral, Cabbage Coral, and Lettuce Coral. As its common name suggests, the Cabbage Leather grows on very short stalks, it stays close to the rock with a flat, lobed, growth habit resembling the ruffled leaves of a grocery cabbage, and yet they have a delicate look to them, almost like a flower. Unlike Toadstool Leathers, the Cabbage Leather does not grow a long stalk; rather it grows close to the rock work. When fully open the tops of these leather corals are covered with numerous short polyps. Found widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific aqnd the Red Sea, where it takes on a variety of shapes and color forms. The most common color is tan however, Cabbage Corals will exhibit pink and blue coloration with the correct lighting and other tank conditions. Cabbage Leathers are ideally suited for aquarium life as they will readily adapt to a wide variety of tank conditions.
Lighting & Flow Requirements
Cabbage Leather Coral can tolerate a wide range of lighting and water flow conditions, which allows for flexible placement within the aquarium. Cabbage Corals will do best with moderate to high lighting and medium water flow; however, they can also tolerate low lighting and water flow conditions as well. Lower light conditions will slow the corals growth rate and can have an affect on the coloration exhibited.
Diet and Feeding
Leather corals receive the majority of the nutritional requirements through the process of photosynthesis, which simply means their lighting creates symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae in the body of the leather coral which provides its nutrition. We do recommend providing supplemental food such as micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates.
Most leather corals go through a natural process of cleansing, once in a while. Leather corals will shrink smaller and the outer skin will look strange as it sloth's itself off, shedding the top layer as it cleanses itself. Leathers may remain closed from just a few days to even a week or longer depending on the aquarium flow and other conditions, but they will reopen larger and even more beautiful than they were before.