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Alveopora Coral: Alveopora gigas

Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species:
Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Poritidae Alveopora      gigas

Common Names:  Alveopora Coral, Branching Flower Pot Coral

Scientific Name:  Alveopora gigas

Veron Corals of the World:
Characters: Colonies are composed of blunt-ended irregular columns.  Corallites have thin, highly perforated walls of interconnected rods and spines.  Polyps are up to 100 millimeters long and 20 millimeters diameter when fully extended.  Color: Oral discs and tentacle tips are white, the rest of the polyps are brown or greenish-brown.  Similar species:  This is the largest Alveopora.  A. allingi has similar skeletal structures and A. catalai has similar polyps.  Habitat:  Protected turbid environments.  Abundance:  Common and conspicuous at the Houtman Abrohlhos Islands, south-west Australia, uncommon elsewhere.

Description:
Colonies are composed of irregular blunt ended branches with large tan or greenish tan polyps that can reach up to 4″ long.  The oral discs and 12 tentacle tips are a lighter tan or white in color.  A similar Genus Goniopora is sometime confused with Alveopora, but it can be differentiated by the fact that it has 24 tentacles rather than 12.  While not brightly colored, Alveopora can have an elegant look to it.

Natural Environment:
Typically found in low to moderate current areas such as lagoons.  Sometimes associated with turbid water conditions.

Hardiness
A. gigas as with all Alveopora is a fairly delicate coral, though survival may be somewhat better than the related Goniopora corals.

Lighting
Prefers moderate, not too intense of lighting.  May bleach under intense lighting and should be acclimated carefully to brightly lit tanks.

Water Current:
Prefers fairly low water motion that just gently moves their polyps in the water current.

Aggressiveness:
Appears to be low.  While they have a fairly long reach, I have not observed them fighting with their neighbors.

Feeding:
Alveopora is photosynthetic and it is unknown whether they will take any offered foods.   There has also been some anecdotal evidence that they may generally prosper better in tanks without strong protein skimming due to the higher levels of detritus in the water which might more closely match the turbid waters that they are found in naturally.

Supplements & Water Chemistry:
Salinity should be maintained between sg 1.024 and 1.026.
Alkalinity should be maintained in the dKH 7-12 range
Calcium should be maintained at 400 ppm or higher.
pH should be maintained between 8.1-8.4

Temperature:
Does well within a range of at least 74º to 84º F

Tank Positioning:
Best positioning is in low water flow, in a moderate light area of the tank placed either low on rocks where it won’t fall or placed on the sand bed.

Propagation:
The branches of the coral can be cut to fragment and propagate the coral, but I am not aware of anyone propagating this coral commercially.  The broken skeleton would need to be glued to a plug to keep it from floating away.

Acknowledgements:
All pictures by ReefCorner © All Rights Reserved

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