The Devil's Hand Leather Coral is also sometimes called a Finger Leather Coral, a Lobed Leather Coral, or a Cabbage Leather Coral. A super hardy, easy to care for leather coral, a perfect coral for even the beginner reef aquarist, but the great variety of colors (Cocoa, Blue, Yellow, Green) and shape of this genus makes it a desired coral for even the most advanced aquarist.They are a peaceful coral that thrive in a wide range of water conditions. Their growth pattern makes them a unique addition to any reef tank. Found around the islands of the Indopacific from Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, all the way through the Great Barrier Reef there are so many different variations of the Devil's Hand Leather Coral found, that it's extremely difficult to tell if its a Lobophytum or Sarcophyton genus. The stalks of the Devil's Hand Leather are fat and short, with compact "heads" or clusters at the top of the coral. These clusters are crowded together, tending to fold or create finger-like extensions or lobes.
Lighting & Flow Requirements
The Devil's Finger Coral Lobophytum sp. requires a moderate to high level of water flow and a low to moderate level of lighting. Lighting can be Power compacts, T5's, LED's or even Metal Halides. All lighting can grow Leather Corals as long as the proper level of light is provided. If a Par meter is available the appropriate lighting level is anywhere from a Par 100 all the way to a Par 250. Which is a wide range of acceptability. For lighting spectrum use between a 14-10K color spectrum for your bulbs for best coral coloration.
First allow two weeks time for the The Devil's Finger Coral Lobophytum sp. to adjust itself to its new reef aquarium. If desired you can then mount the Devils Hand Coral using IC gel glue, or putty, on an exposed rock or ledge in the middle third of the aquarium where the coral will receive moderate currents and moderate to high lighting. Leave a plenty of room around them. They are totally peaceful but as they grow they will shade corals around them.
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.