The Folded Brain Coral,(Wellsophyllia radiata), is a Large Polyp Stony (LPS) coral, sometimes referred to as the Pacific Rose Coral, Wellso Brain Coral or Flat Brain Coral. They are not connected to the substrate and can be easily collected from the reef when mature. They are characterized by their irregular round shapes, deep impressions and fused walls with numerous folds. Their polyps are large fleshy mantles, and they come in varying shades of brilliant metallic greens, metallic reds, and pinks. The Folded Brain coral can have up to 3 separate mouths reaching up to just over 3" across, but the width of the valleys are just under 1/2" across. The septa, or the "teeth" on the inside of the corallite wall, are large and form a ridging look under the flesh.
Difficulty The Welsophyllia radiata is moderately easy to care for, they only need a low to moderate light and gentle water movement. They must not be placed where sand or debris will collect on its surface, or on rockwork where it can fall, or anywhere sharp objects can lacerate its tissues. The most important care that must be exercised for a long lasting and healthy coral is feeding. They are voracious eaters, and if not fed well can start to recede.
Aggressiveness It is peaceful, with no sweeper tentacles. There needs to be plenty of space between it and other corals that have sweeper tentacles so they cannot get stung.
It requires gentle water flow.
Provide Low to moderate lighting. If it will be exposed to brighter lighting it needs to be acclimated to the high lights in the tank very slowly, as it is not usually exposed to intense lighting in the ocean because of its depth. Start out with low lighting, positioning the polyps to face out (versus upwards) and have it shaded by rock or something within the tank. The lighting can gradually get stronger over a long time period (Months not days), make small changes very slowly.
A mature, well-fed live rock/reef environment is what is needed for your Folded Brain Coral, along with some fish for organic matter production, and dissolved organics. Have an area of substrate that is free from rocks or other sharp objects to put your Wellsophyllia Folded Brain coral on. Placing it in rock work can cause the flesh to be lacerated, leading to disease and death.
Diet and Feeding
In captivity, the Brain Coral can be fed at night when the tentacles are out, but they will come out during the day as well, if it senses food in the water. Feed it daily. 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. The most important care that must be exercised for a long lasting and healthy coral is daily feeding. They are voracious eaters, and if not fed well can start to recede. The polyps tentacles come out at night to feed, and may come out during the day when food is present.
In captivity the Aussie Brain coral is responsive to fragmenting. It was once thought that when fragging, a mouth must be present on the newly cut section. This has been shown not to be the case. Choose an animal that has been well fed and is very healthy. Using a water cooled saw, like a ceramic tile cutter, works great. The cut needs to be clean and prompt. From a grapefruit sized colony, you can harvest about 8 to 12 frags.