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Mark Martin on Euphyllia Quick Fixes
Mark Martin is Director of Marine Ornamental Research at Blue Zoo

Sexy Shrimp
Frogspawn coral (Euphyllia paradivisa) is a popular, hardy coral with specific husbandry requirements.

We’ve been selling a lot of Euphyllia species of coral recently as part of a promotion we have been running, and I wanted to take a moment to talk about these great animals and especially their needs when it comes to a couple of husbandry points.

Quite honestly, a book could be written about these corals, so I’m not even going to attempt a comprehensive discussion here. Instead, I will touch on the most frequent issues I hear about when talking to customers on the phone, and there are at least a couple Euphyllia calls every day! The biggest problems aquarists seem to deal with when it comes to Euphyllia species are bacterial infections and tissue damage and regression secondary to too much flow being directed at the animal. Perhaps not surprisingly, this tissue damage and regression also often leads to bacterial infection.

In the case of infection, Iodine dipping is a primary cure. Iodine can also be used as a preventative measure when dosed according to the Iodine supplement manufacturer’s instructions. Good exporters run heavy ozone to keep ORP at about 380 in their shipping water, and this goes a long way toward minimizing bacteria in the water. Exporter’s that don’t do this, run the very real risk of their shipping bags containing Euphyllia species turning into Petri dishes. In these cases, bacteria present in the shipping water will quickly consume the tissue of the coral. Always, always, always look for tissue damage when obtaining a specimen (we take care of this step for you when you buy from Blue Zoo).

Based on the conversations I have with people about this genus every day, I am convinced 90% of the problems people experience could easily be dealt with by adjusting the placement of the coral in the tank respective to water flow patterns.
This genus simply hates what I call “laser beam flow.” While they have to have strong flow, it must be intermittent. The genus, in my opinion, has a relatively bad reputation because people just don’t get this concept, and the great news is that it is such an easy “problem” to fix by simply relocating the coral or adjusting the flow in your tank.

If you can control bacteria through dipping and/or ozone and/or UV to some extent and provide the flow the coral needs, it is very hardy and long-lived. We certainly love it!

If you have a question you would like answered in my weekly “Ask Mark” column, please e-mail me at mark@bluezooaquatics.com. To see all of the past “Ask Mark” tips, please visit the Blue Zoo Aquatics Resources page.

Published 22 July 2008. © Blue Zoo Aquatics

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