Our Aquacultured Painted War Coral, Blue, Purple, Red and Green, Favites pentagona is an amazing compliment to any reef aquarium. The aquacultured unique version of a War Coral is a fairly quick grower and will produce a significant amount of new growth every year. Our original mother colony was purchased many years ago. Continually fragged and grown out, it is now many generations removed from the original wild colony. Captive grown means the coral is hardier and acclimates easier to a reef aquarium. An excellent choice for any beginner to advanced reef aquarium.
Difficulty Moderately easy to care for.
Aggressiveness The War Coral has potent sweeper tentacles that it will extend out well past its base, keeping other corals from growing too close and will sting anything within reach with its nematocysts. Because of this, you should take care to ensure that your coral has enough room both now and in the future, once the corals in your tank have begun to fill-in the available space.
Like most large polyp stony corals, the War Coral benefits from moderate, Medium level of water flow.
War Corals requires moderate lighting levels (from PAR 150-250). T5's, Metal Halides, or LED's can all grow a healthy coral when the proper PAR levels are provided. We recommend a 14-20K color spectrum for best coloration. If it will be exposed to brighter lighting it needs to be kept within a shaded rock area to cut back the lighting levels.
Placement of the War Coral is consistently in the lower two-thirds of the aquarium with ample distance given from other coral species. A mature, well-fed live rock/reef environment is what is needed for the War Coral, along with some fish for organic matter production, and dissolved organics. As a general rule, caution should be used when mixing leather coral. Large polyp stony corals protect themselves by wielding their sweeper tentacles. Many of the leather coral species, by comparison produce and release toxic chemicals, called terpenes, into the water to stunt the growth of other species.
Diet and Feeding
It is not necessary to feed a War Coral, although they are capable of eating fairly large (by coral standards) meaty foods. The fact that they are biologically able to consume rather large, meaty meals, suggests to me that feeding should be strongly encouraged. However favia can be kept successfully in a reef tank without any feeding at all, as long as adequate lighting is provided, because their symbiotic zooxanthellae will sustain them. If you want to feed, they will eat mysis, fortified brine shrimp, rotifers, Cyclopeeze and other similarly sized meaty foods. Larger pieces than a typical mysis is not digestible, and although the animal "accepts" it, it will regurgitate it up later in the night.
War corals and all Favia corals have a large coral skeleton and can use a lot of calcium so keep an eye on the levels to ensure that it has enough calcium for good growth. Having a higher than normal level of calcium in the aquarium will not help the coral grow any faster but will cause other problems like not being able to keep KH at the desired levels. We try to keep the calcium levels between 400ppm and 420ppm and KH around 8. Having a calcium reactor can really help in keeping a stable calcium level and will even help KH levels in the reef aquarium. As far as trace elements, doing regular water changes will help replace the trace elements that the War Coral may need for good growth.
War Corals are fairly quick growers and will produce a significant amount of new growth every year. Fragments can be taken, and in our experience the easiest way is with a straight-edged razor blade. With the blade perpendicular from the edge of the coral, cut inwards about an inch. Repeat about an inch away from the first cut, then snap off the section between the two incisions. Even small frags tend to be extremely hardy and easy to acclimate.