Saltwater Aquarium Corals for Marine Reef Aquariums: Chalice Corals
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Chalice Corals

Chalice Corals are a broad genera of corals that are loosely jumbled together. Several different genera of corals are represented ranging from Echinopora, Oxypora, Mycedium, and more. Because its a broad collection of corals loosely jumbled together, the care requirements are going to be generalized more than with other corals because these are very different corals that all get lumped in together as a Chalice coral. Although the exact classification of the Chalice coral is cloudy, the excitement the Chalice coral has brought to the in the reef aquarium hobby is crystal clear! Chalice corals are one of the most exciting, most desirable, large polyp stony corals in the industry. Chalices present both colors and patterns like amazing paintings. The intensely fluorescent colors and striking patterns look like neon colors painted on canvass.

Lighting We recommend a moderate lighting level of no more than 100 PAR. We also recommend the addition of actinic blue LED lights to bring out the chalice corals fluorescents. Most types of chalice corals are adaptable to different lighting intensities, but the best rule of thumb is "less instead of more", don't fry your coral with too much light. We see it happen way to often. Just a short period of overexposure in lighting intensity can cause your chalice to bleach-out or worse. Remember it is far better to begin with less light intensity and slowly over a period of time adjust the light level or placement of the chalice coral.

Aquaculture Possibilities Often found for sale in small fragments, chalices can easily propagate through some very simple techniques. For plating chalices, you can simply cut or snap off a piece from their thinner structure, making sure to remove a fragment that has one or more “eyes” or feeding polyps. Some cultivators utilize a wet operating band saw to cut sections from larger colonies in an attempt to minimize inducing stress upon the piece. This technique works well for encrusting chalices. In my opinion the best way to culture chalice corals and especially the more sensitive specimens is by suspending the chalice colony on rocky overhangs. This technique will cause them to 'drip' tissue from the main colony site creating an entirely new colony.

Chalice Feeding The Chalice's diet is very easily managed. They are capable of gaining nutrition through three different ways. Chalice corals can absorb microscopic food like phytoplankton and Nannochloropsis (1-15microns), as well as capture larger food items like mysid shrimp and oyster eggs. The second way of feeding a chalice is called more difficult but sometimes very rewarding, called “target feeding.” The growth rates of chalice corals are highly influenced by target feeding. Pulling the larger prey items to digestive filaments lying underneath each polyp site, This process involves the use of pipettes to administer coral food directly over each polyp location. Though chalice coral are normally nocturnal feeders, they will quickly adapt to a daytime feeding schedule and this ability makes their presence in the tank during lighted hours that much more rewarding. Finally it is not always necessary to feed the Chalice coral. Chalices harbor zooxanthellate symbionts and so will derive additional nutrition through photosynthesis. With proper lighting accommodations and diverse feeding opportunities chalice corals can achieve excellent growth and striking color combinations. For continued good health, your Chalice Coral will benefit from the addition of calcium, and other trace elements.

Picture of Reef Farmers Blue Chalice Coral, Aquacultured, Echinpora lamellosa
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Reef Farmers Blue Chalice Coral
Aquacultured, Echinpora lamellosa

Picture of Hollywood Stunner chalice, Aquacultured, Echinpora lamellosa
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Hollywood Stunner Chalice Coral
Aquacultured, Echinpora lamellosa

Picture of Tyree Pink Watermelon Chalice, Aquacultured, Echinophyllia sp
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Tyree Pink Watermelon Chalice
Aquacultured, Echinophyllia sp

Picture of Easter Egg Chalice,Aquacultured Oxypora sp
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Easter Egg Chalice
Aquacultured Oxypora sp

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Aussie Red Lava Chalice
Aquacultured echinophyllia aspera

Picture of Mummy's Eye Chalice Coral, Echinophyllia sp., Aquacultured
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Mummy's Eye Chalice Coral
Aquacultured, Echinophyllia sp.

Picture of  Tyree Alien Eye Chalice Coral, Aquacultured, Echinophyllia sp.

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Tyree Alien Eye Chalice Coral
Aquacultured, Echinophyllia sp.

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Photos are representative of each species. All marine life is unique and your coral may not look identical to the image provided.