Elegance coral, also known as Catalaphyllia jardinei, is a beautiful, large polyp stony coral that is popular in the aquarium trade. This coral is native to the Indo-Pacific region and is found in both shallow and deep waters. It is closely related to other Euphyllia species such as frogspawn and torch corals.

Elegance coral is known for its long, flowing tentacles that resemble those of an anemone. Its polyps are extended during the day, showing off its vast array of color-tipped tentacles. This coral is truly unique and interesting, making it a popular choice for both beginner and experienced aquarists.

Due to its popularity in the aquarium trade, there are many resources available for those interested in keeping elegance coral. From care guides to online forums, there is no shortage of information on how to provide the best possible environment for this stunning coral.

Overview of Elegance Coral

Elegance coral is a unique and interesting species of coral that is highly sought after by aquarists. This coral is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral that belongs to the Catalaphyllia genus and is scientifically known as Catalaphyllia jardinei. It is commonly referred to as ridge coral, elegant coral, or wonder coral.

Scientific Name

As mentioned earlier, the scientific name of elegance coral is Catalaphyllia jardinei. This coral is closely linked to members of the Euphyllia species, including the frogspawn and torch corals. It has a distinct appearance and comes in various colors, including green, blue, purple, fluorescent green, brown, and lime green.

Natural Habitat

Elegance coral is found in the Indo-Pacific region, primarily in the waters surrounding Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. In the wild, it is commonly found in shallow waters, typically at depths of 10 to 25 meters. It prefers areas with moderate to high water flow and bright light.

Physical Characteristics

Elegance coral has a distinct appearance that sets it apart from other corals. It has long, flowing tentacles that resemble those of an anemone, although it is more closely related to the stony corals. The tentacles are tipped with small, sticky cells called nematocysts, which the coral uses to capture prey. The coral’s skeleton is also unique, with ridges and valleys that give it a textured appearance.

In terms of size, elegance coral can grow up to 12 inches in diameter, although most specimens are smaller than this. It is a slow-growing coral that can take several years to reach its full size. When kept in captivity, elegance coral requires a stable environment with consistent water quality and lighting. It is also important to provide the coral with moderate water flow and space to grow.

Overall, elegance coral is a fascinating and beautiful species of coral that can make a great addition to a reef aquarium. With proper care and attention, it can thrive and provide years of enjoyment for aquarists.

Aquarium Requirements

Tank Size

Elegance coral requires a minimum tank size of 30 gallons (114L) to thrive. A larger tank is always better as it provides more stability for the water parameters and allows for better placement of the coral.

Water Parameters

The ideal water parameters for elegance coral include a pH level between 8.0 and 8.4, a temperature between 75°F and 80°F, a KH level between 8 and 12 dKH, and a nitrate level below 5 ppm. It is also important to maintain stable levels of calcium, strontium, and iodine.

Substrate and Placement

Elegance coral prefers a sandy substrate, which allows it to anchor itself firmly. It is important to ensure that the coral is not placed too close to other corals, as it can extend sweeper tentacles that can harm its neighbors.

Lighting Conditions

Moderate lighting is sufficient for elegance coral. It is important to avoid placing the coral in direct sunlight or under excessively bright lighting, as this can cause the coral to bleach or lose its color.

Water Flow

Elegance coral prefers moderate water flow. Too much flow can cause the coral to retract its tentacles, while too little flow can cause debris to accumulate on the coral’s surface. It is important to ensure that the coral is not placed in a dead zone, where there is no water flow.

Overall, providing the correct aquarium requirements for elegance coral is essential for its health and longevity. By following the guidelines outlined above, aquarists can ensure that their elegance coral thrives in their reef tank.

Coral Care and Maintenance

Caring for elegance coral is essential for keeping them healthy and vibrant in a reef tank. Proper coral care includes feeding, growth and propagation, and dealing with common issues.


Elegance coral is a photosynthetic coral that also feeds on small meaty foods such as brine shrimp, krill, and mysis shrimp. It is recommended to feed them twice a week. You can also target feed them by using a turkey baster to squirt the food directly onto the coral’s tentacles.

Growth and Propagation

Elegance coral growth rate is slow, and they can take up to a year to grow an inch. Propagation of elegance coral can be done through fragging. It is recommended to frag the coral during its dormant phase. When fragging, make sure to use a sharp, clean tool and to wear gloves.

Common Issues

Elegance coral syndrome is a condition that can affect elegance coral. It is characterized by tissue recession, loss of color, and excessive mucus production. To prevent elegance coral syndrome, it is recommended to quarantine new coral before adding them to the tank and to acclimate them slowly.

Another common issue is tissue recession, which can be caused by poor water quality, inadequate lighting, or improper feeding. To prevent tissue recession, make sure to maintain good water quality, provide adequate lighting, and feed the coral properly.

In conclusion, elegance coral care and maintenance require proper feeding, growth and propagation, and dealing with common issues. By following these guidelines, you can keep your elegance coral healthy and vibrant in your reef tank.

Compatibility and Interaction

Symbiotic Relationships

Elegance coral is known to form a symbiotic relationship with various marine organisms such as fish, clownfish, and polyps. The coral’s tentacles provide shelter for the fish, while the fish provide nutrients for the coral. The symbiotic relationship between the elegance coral and clownfish is particularly noteworthy, as it is similar to the relationship between the anemone and clownfish.

Reef Tank Companions

Elegance coral is compatible with other LPS corals such as frogspawn and torch coral. However, it is important to note that the coral can sometimes be aggressive towards other corals. It is recommended to keep the coral away from other aggressive corals such as those with sweeper tentacles.

Aggression and Defense

Elegance coral has a moderate level of aggression and defense. The coral’s tentacles have a moderate sting and can cause harm to other marine organisms that come in contact with them. However, the coral is not known to be overly aggressive and can coexist peacefully with other marine organisms when given enough space. It is important to keep the coral away from other aggressive corals to prevent any potential harm.

In summary, elegance coral forms symbiotic relationships with various marine organisms, is compatible with other LPS corals, and has a moderate level of aggression and defense. When placed in a reef tank, it is important to keep the coral away from other aggressive corals and give it enough space to thrive.

Special Considerations

Color Variations and Morphs

Elegance corals are known for their stunning colors and patterns. They come in a variety of colors such as green, brown, purple, and blue. The Australian elegance coral, in particular, is highly sought after for its vibrant green color. There are also several color morphs of the elegance coral, which are the result of selective breeding. These morphs include the gold torch, dragon soul, and hulk morphs.

Challenges and Solutions

While the elegance coral is a beautiful addition to any reef tank, it can be a challenging coral to care for. It is not recommended for beginner aquarists, as it requires stable water parameters and moderate to high lighting. Additionally, the elegance coral is a fragile coral and can be easily damaged during shipping or handling.

One of the biggest challenges with the elegance coral is its feeding habits. It requires regular feedings of small meaty foods such as mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and krill. It is also important to ensure that the elegance coral is not placed near aggressive feeders, as they may steal its food.

To ensure the health and longevity of the elegance coral, it is important to maintain stable water parameters and provide it with the proper lighting and feeding regimen. It is also important to handle the coral with care and avoid damaging its delicate tentacles.

In summary, while the elegance coral is a stunning addition to any reef tank, it requires a certain level of expertise to care for. Aquarists should be prepared to provide the coral with the necessary lighting, feeding, and water parameters to ensure its health and longevity.

Environmental Impact

Elegance coral, scientifically known as Catalaphyllia jardinei, is a popular coral species in the aquarium trade due to its bright green polyps and long tentacles. However, the collection of wild elegance coral has resulted in a decline in their population in some areas, such as Japan, Micronesia, and Mozambique.

Aquaculture and Sustainability

To combat the negative impact of wild collection, some aquaculture facilities have started to breed elegance coral in captivity. This method of cultivation can help reduce the pressure on wild populations and ensure the sustainability of the species. In addition, some companies have developed sustainable practices for harvesting wild elegance coral, such as using hand nets and avoiding the use of chemicals that harm other marine organisms.

Aside from collection, the environmental impact of keeping elegance coral in aquariums also needs to be considered. Elegance coral requires specific conditions to thrive, including appropriate lighting and water quality. Some hobbyists use actinic lighting or LEDs to mimic the natural light conditions of the Pacific Ocean, where elegance coral is typically found. Additionally, adding marine algae or “reef roids” to the aquarium can provide the necessary nutrients for the coral to grow.

Live rock is another important factor in the sustainability of elegance coral in aquariums. Live rock serves as a natural filter and provides a habitat for beneficial microorganisms that help maintain water quality. However, the collection of live rock from wild reefs can have a negative impact on the overall health of the reef ecosystem. Some aquaculture facilities have started to produce artificial rock that can provide the same benefits as live rock without harming wild reefs.

Overall, while elegance coral is a beautiful and popular species in the aquarium trade, it is important to consider its environmental impact. Sustainable aquaculture practices and responsible aquarium keeping can help ensure the long-term health and survival of this species.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should Elegance Coral be acclimated to different water flows?

Elegance Coral is a hardy species that can tolerate a range of water flow conditions. However, it is important to acclimate the coral gradually to changes in water flow to prevent stress and damage. When introducing Elegance Coral to a new aquarium, it is recommended to start with a low to medium flow and gradually increase the flow rate over the course of several days. This will allow the coral to adjust to the new conditions and prevent it from detaching or closing up.

What type of skeletal structure does Elegance Coral have?

Elegance Coral is a Large Polyp Stony (LPS) coral, which means it has a hard calcareous skeleton. The skeleton is made up of calcium carbonate and provides the coral with a sturdy structure to support its soft tissue. The skeleton also protects the coral from predators and helps it to withstand changes in water conditions.

Can you explain Elegance Coral Syndrome and how to prevent it?

Elegance Coral Syndrome (ECS) is a condition that affects Elegance Coral and other species of coral. It is characterized by the loss of tissue and coloration, and can lead to the death of the coral. ECS is believed to be caused by a combination of environmental stressors, including changes in water quality, temperature, and flow. To prevent ECS, it is important to maintain stable water conditions and avoid sudden changes in temperature or flow. Regular water testing and maintenance can also help to prevent the onset of ECS.

What other marine life might be at risk from Elegance Coral stings?

Elegance Coral has long, fleshy tentacles that contain stinging cells called nematocysts. These stinging cells can be harmful to other marine life, including fish and invertebrates. It is important to provide enough space between Elegance Coral and other marine life to prevent accidental stings. It is also recommended to wear gloves when handling Elegance Coral to avoid getting stung.

What are the ideal lighting conditions and PAR levels for Elegance Coral?

Elegance Coral requires moderate to high lighting conditions to thrive. The ideal PAR levels for Elegance Coral are between 150 and 250 PAR. It is important to provide a consistent light source and avoid sudden changes in lighting conditions, as this can cause stress and damage to the coral.

What are the main factors contributing to the endangerment of Elegance Coral?

Elegance Coral is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, like many species of coral, Elegance Coral is threatened by a range of environmental stressors, including ocean acidification, rising sea temperatures, and pollution. Overfishing and destructive fishing practices can also have a negative impact on coral reefs, including those where Elegance Coral is found. It is important to take steps to protect coral reefs and the marine life that depend on them to ensure the survival of species like Elegance Coral.

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