Are you looking for a beautiful coral to add to your tank? You can never go wrong with the frogspawn coral. It is a trendy coral among hobbyists of different levels due to its stunning looks, ease of keeping, and lack of aggression.
However, you have a role in ensuring the coral stays healthy. You must understand the best species for you, good water quality, food, and other parameters.
Here is an in-depth guide to help you get started and succeed in keeping frogspawn corals.
Scientific name: Euphyllia divisa
Common names: Frogspawn Coral
Frogspawn coral is a commonly occurring species found all over the tropical waters of the Pacific. It is readily available in Southeast Asia, Fiji, Australia, the Ryukyu Islands, and the Soloman Islands.
Unlike the other coral species that retract completely at some point in the day, frogspawn remains out all the time, which makes it ideal for viewing in a home tank. It only changes the length of polyps between day and night.
Even though some people might refer to the frogspawn coral with different terms, like grape coral, octopus coral, wall coral, or honey coral, the common name remains the most accurate. You can also opt for the scientific name if necessary.
The frogspawn coral is hardy and can withstand various water conditions and parameters. It doesn’t present a lot of challenges concerning the care needed. However, you should still pay attention to them.
In the Wild
Natural habitats for frogspawn corals include the Great Barrier Reef and the Indo-Pacific islands of Fiji and the Solomon Islands. The majority of the species live in waters up to 40 meters deep. They develop into colonies that populate the coastal clay and slope formations.
Compared to other corals, frogspawn corals form colonies of average size. They never occupy sandy surfaces; instead, they prefer the rockier slopes. They are also fond of muddy waters with a touch of muck. These tend to come with nutrients ideal for growth.
The corals prefer areas with mild currents for access to other food particles. Also, while they are observable during the day, they are deep enough to avoid direct sunlight rays.
The Appearance of Frogspawn Coral
Frogspawn is one of the most preferred tank additions due to its killer appearance. Paired with the right lighting combinations, it looks even better.
The coral derives its name from its polyp clusters. It forms round lobes that combine to resemble a bunch of frog eggs. The tips of the tentacles appear differently from the base to give them that distinctive look. It grows in a branch-like manner that multiplies and can grow into a wall when the tentacles stick together.
Frogspawn corals are very fleshy and move almost similarly to soft corals. They have the innate ability to retract into their skeletons; they extend entirely during the day and only partially during the night. This stretching allows them to reach for food in the current flow.
What stands out about the frogspawn coral is its color. It comes in various colors, some easy to track down, others not. Some of the standout colors on the coral are green and yellow. The tentacles come in light colors like white or a variation of pink for the super looks.
There are also rare orange and blue frogspawn corals. The orange ones are quite hard to acquire, while the blue ones look less exotic in the tank.
The corals with brighter polyps come with a more neon look when placed under low-lighting schemes. They look best with the waving tentacles in a moving current.
Varieties of Frogspawn Coral
There are two main types of frogspawn coral: wall (Euphyllia divisa) and branching (Euphyllia paradivisa).
Wall (Euphyllia divisa)
This contains species like torch corals and hammer corals. Also known as frogspawn LPS coral in a reef tank, this variety has a calcium carbonate base. They don’t grow too much, nor do they spread too widely.
The wall coral extends in a single direction and is a little tricky to care for.
Branching (Euphyllia paradivisa)
This is the most popular frogspawn coral variety, and you will likely find it with most hobby tank keepers. They have polyps that emerge as single skeletons before maturing into thicker corals. They grow quickly and mature within months. They also spread throughout the tank.
There are instances where local or online stores classify the corals based on colors like green or blue. The more exotic color morphs are more expensive. However, this classification can be inaccurate because the coloration depends on the lighting spectrum.
Frogspawn Coral Care
Even though you need knowledge on how best to care for the frogspawn corals, you don’t necessarily have to be an expert. The rules to follow are simple and easy to adhere to. They include:
Recommended Tank Size
The recommended tank size for the frogspawn coral is at least 30 gallons. With the decent growth the coral has, it needs ample space to stretch out. While some keepers prefer smaller sizes of 20 gallons, these are not recommended because they can be restrictive after a while, preventing it from reaching its full potential. A smaller tank also limits the number of corals you can add.
Proper Water Parameters
Proper water condition is necessary irrespective of the frogspawn coral species you keep. Since corals live and do everything in an aquatic environment, the water quality will determine how well they thrive.
The perfect water setup for these corals is:
- Water temperature: 72° to 78°F
- pH levels: 8.1 to 8.4
- Water hardness: 8 to 12 dKH
- Specific gravity: 1.022 to 1.025
- Calcium: 400ppm
- Salinity (measured as specific gravity): 1.025
- Ammonia, nitrates, and nitrites: 0
Frogspawn Coral Placement
Before rearing the coral, you need to decide where to place it. While it does not come with stringent requirements, proper coral placement is crucial to providing good care.
In general, you want to create an ocean-like environment that acts like their natural habitat. The ocean has waves, tides, and currents responsible for food, oxygen, and nutrients. They also sweep away waste while the sun provides light to sustain growth.
To recreate such surroundings, you can use LED lights for the sun and aquarium pumps and powerheads for water flow. You should also include live rocks and some fish in the tank.
Place the frogspawn coral in the middle or top areas of the tank. They have tentacles that grow six inches longer than the base. The tentacles have stinging cells (nematocysts) on the tip that can damage other corals. Its sweeper tentacles clear space and can injure any other coral on their way. To avoid such a war, give the frogspawn coral ample space, a 6-8inch buffer zone.
Avoid placing the frogspawn coral on a sandy substrate because it does not anchor well and can tip over on its base. Place the coral at an angle to give it sufficient space for its vertical growth.
The water flow is one of the determinants of how well your frogspawn coral grows. While this coral prefers moderate water flow, it can withstand some degree of higher flow when necessary for other things like keeping the different habitats of the tank healthy.
Extreme water flows can damage coral polyps, while too little flow means less oxygen supply, limiting their growth.
Moreover, a moderate water flow allows you the best chance to enjoy the beauty of the corals. The slowness of the water allows the corals to move around while highlighting their colors.
Amount of Lighting
Like water flow, frogspawn corals do well with a moderate approach to lighting. A good light source is crucial for their growth and survival.
Unlike other coral species that might need you to go all out with the lighting, the frogspawn can tolerate a little filtering. Moderate lighting levels of 50 to 150 PAR can work perfectly.
You should also consider the lighting conditions at the location where you obtained the coral frags. A sudden change in lighting conditions can cause irreversible stress and eventual damage.
If you have an existing tank, you don’t have to worry about installing new lighting systems when introducing the frogspawn coral. You only need to regulate your placement to match their needs. If the light is too much, place them in a lower part of the tank.
Avoid using metal halides on the corals as they tend to produce too much heat, which can lead to stress, bleaching, and eventual death of the corals.
How you integrate the frogspawn coral into its new environment determines how well it grows. It doesn’t matter how perfect your tank might seem; you must find a way to ease it into the new setup slowly.
Stress can be caused by any significant immediate change in the environment. Make sure the new habitat is similar to where you got it. Set the lighting and water flow to what the coral is used to, then gradually increase the intensity to achieve the best results for you. This gives the coral time to adjust to its new surroundings.
Sweeping Stings: Are Frogspawn Corals Aggressive?
Frogspawn corals might look easy on the eyes; however, they are no pushovers. They have adapted over the years to develop ways to protect themselves from competition in their surroundings.
This coral has sweeper tentacles and nematocysts that can sting and burn other species. Even though it’s likely to defeat its competition, the warfare will lead to stress, which can lead to bleaching.
The best options to contain an aggressive coral are trimming it, relocating the colony, or providing enough space.
There are several feeding options for a frogspawn coral in an aquarium. Naturally, they rely on symbiotic zooxanthellae. They get nutrients from algae (which undergoes photosynthesis), while it also provides them with glucose.
However, it needs additional nutrients for healthy growth. It thus stretches its polyps against the currents to absorb organic matter and food particles trapped in the flow. The polyps remain open 24/7 and can always attract food whenever needed.
For healthier frogspawn corals, you have to supplement their food. Use common foods like microplankton, nine shrimp, and meaty frozen foods full of proteins. Consider adding some pellets to top off the feeding.
Most coral owners have yet to agree on the effectiveness of the pellets. While some find it very effective, others feel it wastes time. The best way to go about it is to try it out and monitor the results.
You can choose to spot or target-feed the frogspawn from time to time. Direct feeding helps protect them from other fish and invertebrates stealing their food. You can buy specialized devices like the Sea Squirt to assist in direct feeding.
Understanding propagation is at the heart of everything you need to understand to keep a frogspawn coral successfully. Most first-time owners prefer frogspawn to any other species, so finding the correct information is crucial.
The first step to propagating this coral is understanding the type you are handling. When compared to the branching options, the wall ones are more difficult.
Once you have found the best coral option, the next step is identifying a healthy coral. Go for a solid color with good polyp visibility and no damage.
Cut a few inches from the chosen piece using a sharp, easy-to-use saw. A sharp saw makes for faster cutting and avoids unnecessary damage.
Once you have your healthy pieces, it’s time to move them to the new environment. Find the perfect habitat by understanding the current conditions under which you are removing the corals. Let your tank match these conditions. You can always adjust them later to fit your needs and those of other tank occupants.
After that, you only have to watch the corals grow and give them proper food and sunlight.
Frogspawn corals are excellent options for hobbyists of any level. They are available in a wide range of colors, are easy to care for, and are not excessively aggressive; hence, they can coexist with other occupants in the tank.
These corals necessitate close attention to detail. With the right attention and care, it will thrive in your tank for a long time without any issues.
Are frogspawn corals hard to keep?
The frogspawn coral is not hard to keep but is moderately difficult to maintain as it only thrives in optimum conditions. You have to provide it with the perfect balance of sunlight and water flow within the aquarium. You might have to give it supplements through food, minerals, and other trace elements in the water for proper health.
Is frogspawn coral a good beginner coral?
Frogspawn coral is a great option for beginner keepers. While it might need proper conditions to thrive, it is not so demanding. You only have to understand the previous conditions under which it thrived and mirror them to get started. At the same time, feed it proper foods and provide moderate lighting. In general, you don’t need to be an expert to keep frogspawn coral.
What corals can frogspawn corals touch?
Frogspawn corals can be quite aggressive toward other corals. However, a peaceful coexistence between this coral and hammer or torch corals can exist. Generally, the frogspawn coral can safely touch any coral with the scientific name Euphylia.