I’ll be upfront and honest here – this was probably one of my most impulsive and least responsible coral purchases as my time being in this hobby. I saw this beautiful coral one day in my Local Fish Shop (LFS) and I wanted it.
This purchase was at the beginning of my career as an aquarist so I did have the sense to ask the staff what type of coral (SPS or LPS) to know if I could house it in my aquarium – I only had LPS corals at that stage. And the staff member did tell me about what the name of the coral was, but to be honest it went in one ear and immediately out the other. I was too caught up on the bright neon green polyps staring me in the face. So I was stuck – I didn’t know what the name of this coral was or the specifics on how to care for it.
As the weeks passed, I had to watch the coral like a hawk – making sure it wasn’t looking sickly and moving about the tank to see if the light parameters were suited to it’s requirements. Fortunately I am a part of many marine hobby Facebook groups who discuss and trade frags of corals in my local area and one of the members posted a Blasto for sale! My problem was solved – I knew what my coral. It was a Blastomussa Coral! Now I could research how to properly care for the purplish green Blasto Coral and care for it the proper way.
In this article I will discuss my findings about how to care for Blastomussa Corals (Blasto for short).
Blasto Corals – Origin
If you are hoping to see these guys in the wild, you will be best served to dive in the coral reefs surrounding Australia in the Pacfic Oceans. Blastomussa Corals do best in the shallow coral reef waters where it can receive some moderate lighting to feed the zooxanthellae housed in the coral.
Other names that the Blastomussa Corals can go by is a Pineapple Coral or Swollen Brain Corals. They are sometimes mistaken as a Brain Coral, however these guys are more fleshy and can swell up with water to increase the surface area that is exposed to the light.
Blasto Corals – Appearance
The color range on these guys is great for many aquarists as there is a huge range of colors and color combinations of Blastos available. They can come in blue, red, purple, green and brown – often showcasing a few different colors within the one polyp.
I mentioned earlier that I have the neon green centers with a purple outer edges. The green really pops under the blue lights and gives off an iridescent glow at night. Check out a picture if my Blasto below.
I mentioned before that they are sometimes referred to as a Pineapple Coral – which is easy to see why – all it needs is a few leaves sticking out from the top. Otherwise some hobbyists confuse it with a Brain Coral – again the similarities are obvious.
The Blasto Coral will grow into a big clump of polyps, so ensure you have enough room around the coral. My Blasto almost double in size within 4 months and I had to move it away from more aggressive corals to protect it.
Blasto Corals – Care Guide
These guys are generally considered a beginners coral with few maintenance requirements. They are relatively tolerant of less than ideal water conditions (which makes them a great coral to begin with) and don’t require a regimented feeding schedule.
|Diet||Photosynthesis and Voracious|
|Tank size||At Least 30 Gallons|
|Lighting||Low to Moderate|
|Temp||75 – 83° F|
|Gravity (Salinity)||1.023 – 1.025|
|Water Flow||Moderate Strength|
|Calcium||400 – 450 ppm|
In general the Blasto Coral doesn’t have high lighting demands. To be safe it would be advisable to place the Blasto in a moderate level lighting position and re-position if you feel it isn’t looking as optimal as it should.
I have my Blasto placed high in my tank with quite a lot of light exposure – however this is only because I found it responded well to the position. I also had to move it away from the sweeping tentacles of my Torch Coral – which has done it’s fair share of damage to my other corals. You can read about it here.
Again you should be trying to place your Blasto Coral in a position where it will receive a moderate flow. It shouldn’t be too strong as the high pressure of the flow can cause the polyps to close up and it will not receive the necessary nutrients it requires to survive.
I mentioned earlier the Blasto Coral has Zooxanthellae housed in the coral itself. When these algae photosynthesize the light it receives, it feeds the coral with the necessary nutrients it requires to thrive and grow.
Even though the Blasto doesn’t require feeding, it can benefit from some spot feeding of foods that you would generally feed a filter feeding animal (such as a Porcelain Anemone Crab). The Blasto will draw any nutrient foods it can find in the passing water column – which is why it is good to have it positioned in a moderate flow.
I love my Blastomussa Coral! It adds such a pop of color to my tank – especially under the blue lights.
Given the easy care requirements and peaceful nature of the coral, I definitely recommend looking into adding one of these fantastic corals to your reef.
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