Rusty Gorgonian also known as Muricea elongate is an attractive, hardy octocoral that thrives in some of the most adverse environments in the Florida Keys. There is quite a bit of natural color variation in this species. Colors go from a rusty, burnt orange color to sometimes be more yellow than orange. As with most shallow water gorgonian, this species is photosynthetic, so it will do best in a well-lit tank. Supplemental feeding with plankton, some sort of commercial invertebrate food, or your own mix of food will be necessary in order to maintain optimum health.
The Rusty Gorgonian is good for a dedicated beginner, its fairly hardy, as long as it is fed and the water is kept clean and stable. They are easier than many photosynthetic gorgonians.
Aggressiveness Very peaceful, poses no threat to any other corals or gorgonians. However, other gorgonians can over take it, so they will need to be kept at a distance. Adequate space should be provided between them and other corals that can extend sweeper tentacles as well.
Requires a moderate level of water flow.
Does best in a well lit tank. It has been shown that lighting that has 350 to 550 nm , which is the blue phase, is the most beneficial.
Place anywhere which provides the required water flow and lighting level.
Diet and Feeding
An Omnivore - The Rusty Gorgonian in the wild captures planktonic organisms and microscopic food particles from the water column, and can absorb dissolved organic matter. Unlike a lot of other Gorgonians, the Pacific Pinnigorgia Gorgonian has a symbiotic relationship with a marine algae known as zooxanthellae, where they receive a portion of their nutrients from.
In captivity, the Rusty Gorgonian can be fed enriched Artemia nauplii, rotifers, dust-sized pellet food, copepods, daphnia, and other similar sized foods. Marine Snow is also a good food source. Stirring the substrate to suspend edible particulates is helpful, along with the presence of fish which can also help nourish it. Feed every other day depending on appearance.