Leather corals are very popular due to their low demands towards water quality and other factors which make them easier to care for. They will thrive in less than optimal conditions where most hard corals would not survive. There are a number of different leather corals available; most are very hardy in nature. Good choices for the beginner would be Sinularia (finger leathers), Lobophytum (cabbage corals), and Sarcophyton (toadstool leathers).
Generally speaking, leather corals are a soft skinned coral with visible polyps all over their skin. The do not have a calcified skeleton structure making them a little more tolerant of some water parameters like calcium. There are hundreds of different species of leather corals. Properly identification of the exact species can sometime be very difficult as their shape can altered due to environmental factors such as temperature, salinity, light intensity and water movement to name a few. A coral may look one way in a aquarium and then (over time) look very different when placed in another tank.
As these corals contain zooxanthellae inside their body, they will be able to get most of their required nutrients through your tanks lighting. This is why it is important to have at least moderate levels of lighting in your tank. T5 Flourescent's, Power compacts, LED Lighting, or Halides all will do well.
A typical reef environment is what is needed for Leather Corals. They are generally very hardy and will thrive in a properly maintained reef aquarium. Most need a moderate to strong water flow. This is best accomplished with a single or multiple powerheads dependent on tank size. If you want to get fancy you can even add a wave maker!
All mushrooms are semi-aggressive and require adequate space between themselves and other corals. Placement can be any where in the aquarium as long as it receives adequate water flow and lighting levels and leaves enough room around your corals that they have room for growth without infringing on another corals growing room or lighting.
Diet and Feeding
Leathers can also get nutrients from the water. They can collect microplankton and zooplankton with their polyps to obtain the nutrition they require. They would certainly benefit from the occasional spot feeding. You can compensate for lower lighting with manually feeding a leather to sustain for short periods of time. Most leathers will do best when they get their needed nutrition from both the water and your tank lighting
Our Reef Aquarium Leather Coral Package contains 4 of the 8 listed below depending on availability
(*) Finger Leather Coral
(*) Polyping Toadstool Leather
(*) Green Cabbage Leather
(*) Red Chile Coral
(*) Colt Coral
(*) Rasta Leather Coral
(*) Kenya Tree Coral
(*) Rose Leather Coral