Merulina Coral - Merulina species - Lettuce Coral - Cabbage Coral
Merulina Coral - Merulina species Merulina Coral is a beautiful and attractively colored coral which enhances the visual appeal of your marine aquarium considerably. Its difficult maintenance, however, requires the introduction of Merulina Coral into a mature reef and the coral should be handled by an experienced aquarist only. Taxonomy:
Merulina Coral belongs to the Kingdom Animalia, Phylum Cnidaria, Class Anthozoa, Family Merulinidae and Genus Merulina. Scientific names:
The scientific name of Merulina Coral is Merulina species. A commonly occurring variety of Merulina Coral is Merulina ampliata. Other common names:
Merulina Coral is also commonly called as Ruffled Coral, Lettuce Coral, Merulina Cup Coral, Ridge Coral and Cabbage Coral. Coral Type:
The Merulina species is a Hard Coral of Small Polyp Stony (SPS) type. Origin or natural range:
Merulina Coral originates in the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean and the Red Sea. Color:
The Merulina species occurs in brown, tan, gold, neon green, blue, grey, green, purple and pink colors. Compatibility:
Merulina Coral is semi-aggressive towards the other marine aquarium invertebrates. Habit & Habitat:
- The Merulina species is not readily available and is never available in abundance.
- Merulina Coral builds large reefs and is therefore called hermatypic.
- The Merulina species is found on lagoons or on the shady regions of reefs in the marine water body it abodes.
- The Merulina species is nocturnal in habit and therefore, spreads itself at night.
- Merulina Coral is flat and is shaped like a fan, plate or irregular lobes.
- The surface of the Merulina species has valleys originating at the center and lasting all the way up to the edge.
- The covering over the skeleton of Merulina Coral is quite transparent and the skeletal framework is visible.
- The Merulina species has sweeper tentacles that measure around six to eight inches when spread fully.
- Growth enabling environment in your marine aquarium:
- Temperature of water: Seventy-four to eighty-four degrees Fahrenheit.
- Specific gravity of water: 1.019 to 1.024.
- pH of water: 7.8 to 8.4.
- Water flow in the aquarium: Merulina Coral needs intermittent, strong water movement in the marine aquarium hosting it.
- The Merulina species requires high intensity lighting in the marine aquarium it inhabits.
- Metal Halide lighting or Actinic lighting in blue shade are recommended for your marine aquarium hosting Merulina Coral.
- The color of the Merulina species may vary according to the intensity of light it is exposed to.
- Habit & habitat:
- Merulina Coral should be introduced to an already established marine aquarium.
- You can place the Merulina species anywhere in your reef tank.
- Give ample space to Merulina Coral so that it can expand itself fully without any obstruction. Keep the other corals away from the Merulina species as it may sting them upon contact.
- Feeding & Nutrition:
- Merulina Coral derives its nutrition mainly through photosynthesis, which is performed by zooxanthellae, a photosynthetic alga living symbiotically within the coral.
- The Merulina species is Carnivorous in feeding habit and filter feeds at least twice per week, when open.
- Merulina Coral eats acellular marine invertebrates, brine shrimp, zooplankton and phytoplankton.
- Add Calcium, Strontium and trace elements as dietary supplements for the Merulina species.
- Keep very low levels of Phosphates and Nitrates in the aquarium water.
The Merulina species is very difficult to maintain as the coral cannot stand variations in its environment. Caution:
Keep the other corals away from Merulina Coral because it may sting them if they happen to touch it.