Welcome to our friendly guide on caring for the stunning Blastomussa Corals. These vibrant and resilient corals are a true delight to have in any saltwater aquarium, and we’re excited to share some essential tips to ensure their thriving presence.
These beautiful creatures possess a remarkable ability to expand and contract their polyps, adding a mesmerizing dynamic to your underwater oasis. Are you ready? Then let’s embark on this coral adventure together and discover how to create the perfect conditions for these colorful beauties to flourish!
Table of Contents
The Blastomussa coral is known by its scientific name as Blastomussa spp, and other common names include Blastos, Big Polyp Coral, and Pineapple Coral. Part of the Mussidae family, this species can be found in the Indo-Pacific, specifically Australia.
With an appearance similar to that of brain, mushroom, and candy cane corals, the Blastomussa coral is known as a large polyp stony (LPS). When you add in the different types of Blasto corals, you have your pick of the bunch for your aquarium.
- Blastomussa omanensis. Dark red with hard-to-miss green oral discs is the usual appearance of Blastomussa omanensis. It can also be found in pink, brown, orange, or dark gray with white margins. Furthermore, this coral features formations in a groove and tubercle style.
- Blastomussa wellsi. The Blastomussa wellsi is usually found with a red body and a teal starburst-style center. Other colors may include purple and green. You can also find sweeper tentacles on this coral.
- Blastomussa vivida. You can find bright, vibrant colors on Blastomussa vivida, including red, green, and purple. While this species was only identified in 2014, its popularity continues to increase because of its beautiful colors.
- Blastomussa loyae. Blastomussa loyae is endemic to the Red Sea, so most aquarists can only enjoy its beauty in photographs. This species features a dark red oral disc, white spokes, and bright green tentacles.
- Blastomussa merletti. Blastomussa merletti is another stunning species in this coral family. For instance, you can find coral with pink skirts and neon green centers, which are perfect for adding color to any aquarium.
- Blastomussa angulares. The Blastomussa angulares is another species that was recently identified, but it has not been added to aquariums as of now. With its radiating stripes and skeletal features, this species is similar to the loyae coral.
- Iron Man Blasto. Yes, the Iron Man Blasto was named for the popular Marvel character, Tony Stark. With its red and orange shades, how could it not be named Iron Man? In addition, the unforgettable body of this coral features a round, swollen shape.
In the proper environment Corals can live 500 years or even more, and due to this there is no exact evidence of the lifespan of Blastomussa coral in captivity. Just imagine how many family generations would be needed to take care of the aquarium to keep track of the coral?
While the specific size may vary per type of coral, the average size of the Blastomussa coral’s individual polyps ranges from 1 inch to 5 inches in diameter. In a colony of six to seven heads, your coral can grow up to a width of 1 foot.
Blastomussa Coral Care
Blastomussa has an easy-to-moderate care level, but you still need to ensure you follow the guidelines for your type of coral to ensure your colony gets the care it needs.
The ideal tank size to hose a Blastomussa Coral is at least 30 gallons. However, a 50-gallon tank is recommended if you want to provide plenty of room for your coral to grow without any issues. You should especially choose a 50-gallon tank if you plan to add other fish and coral species to your aquarium.
Water temperature: 72–78 degrees Fahrenheit (22–26 degrees Celsius)
pH levels: 8.1-8.4
Water hardness: 8–12 dKH
Specific gravity: 1.023-1.025
While you want the flow strong enough to send food particles to your coral’s mouth, it is best to keep the water at an indirect low flow for their safety.
As for lighting, you want low-to-moderate lighting of 75 to 125 PAR, which is another important factor for creating a safe, healthy environment. Low-to-moderate lighting is also great for encouraging your corals to open and extend their polyps, allowing you to admire their gorgeous colors.
Author Note: If you have recently purchased your Blastomussa coral, you want to place them in the darkest section of the tank as they get used to their new surroundings. You can transition them to a lighter spot after a few weeks.
You also want to keep the nitrates and phosphates at stable levels to ensure your coral is getting enough nutrients, here are some guidelines.
|5 – 10||0.05 – 0.1||400 – 450 ppm||1200 – 1350 ppm||8 – 10 ppm|
For the aquarium itself, place your coral’s designated rock at the bottom of the tank or on a sand bed. The corals attach to rocks instead of sand, so they need that hard surface. It is also essential to provide plenty of space and rocks for your corals to grow. Otherwise, they may grow over occupied rocks, and they may become damaged if they fight with other corals.
Are Blastomussa Corals Reef-Safe?
The Blastomussa corals are reef-safe, and they are even found on reefs in the wild. In fact, they make great focal points in reef aquariums, especially on a rock at the bottom of your tank.
Author Note: In case you were wondering, Coral and Reef are not the same (I was a bit confused when I first learned all of this). Reef is where corals live while corals are live animals.
Common Possible Diseases & Prevention
The Blastomussa corals are not as susceptible to diseases as other species, but poor living conditions can be harmful to them.
For example, a strong water flow may cause damage to your coral’s flesh. They may even retract and become difficult to feed.
You also need to ensure the lighting is strong enough to allow the zooxanthellae algae to grow, or your coral may not get enough nutrients. On the other hand, too much lighting may cause your coral to retract or become damaged.
Moreover, a lack of calcium, magnesium, micronutrients, and trace elements can also lead to sick or dying coral.
Author Note: One common disease is Brown Jelly Disease although this one primarily affects Euphyllia corals. With this the internal tissues along with the polyp dissolve to form a gelatinous compound. There are not many cures for this and unfortunately, the only solution might be to dispose of the infected area.
Food & Diet
You do not have to stress over feeding your Blastomussa corals because they feed off the zooxanthellae. Another option is to add target feeding to their routine, which should start every three days and transition to every other day. While target feeding is a great way to encourage growth, this is an optional step.
If you choose to target feed your corals, turn off all flow sources to ensure they can easily feed. Blastomussa corals enjoy a varied diet such as phytoplankton, mysis shrimp, marine snow, and reef chili. You need to feed each individual polyp using the target feeder. After about 30 minutes, you can restart the flow in their tank.
Behavior & Temperament
The Blastomussa coral is a peaceful species because it does not invade reefs or aquariums. While these corals do have stingers on their sweeper tentacles, they do not usually win fights with other corals.
To prevent your Blastos from growing over occupied rocks or becoming damaged in a fight, you want to keep them at a safe distance from other corals. If you keep them away from other peaceful corals, they can grow and thrive in their aquarium.
Blastomussa Coral Tank Mates
When provided with enough space to isolate and grow, the Blastomussa coral can co-exist with several fish and livestock species.
- Snowflake Clownfish (very similar to the Ocellaris Clownfish)
- Blonde Naso Tang
- Cleaner Shrimp like the Peppermint Shrimp and the Red Fire Shrimp
- Pink-Streaked Wrasse
- Pink Skunk Clownfish
- Blue Chromis
- Orange Spotted Goby
If you are interested in the Blonde Naso Tang, you need to provide a tank size of at least 180 gallons.
Author Note: There are several sub-species that can be dangerous for your corals or other species. This is why it is important to select your sub-species of anemones, angelfish, butterflyfish, starfish, urchins, and wrasse with care. Some I would stay from are the Emperor Angelfish and the Chocolate Chip Starfish because they are known for feeding on coral. Another not too bad is the Red Coris Wrasse which may inadvertently damage coral when moving nearby rocks and structures.
Reproduction and Fragging
The Blastomussa corals are hermaphrodites and reproduce through genetic cloning, which means the corallite has the same genetic code as the parent. The eggs and sperm are produced and released into the water column together. Once the gametes combine, they hatch into planula larvae. Eventually, the planula larvae settle, evolve into a polyp, and start forming a skeleton base. Therefore, the clone is formed, and it becomes an independent structure as it matures.
The cloning of Blastomussa corals is interesting and different from other methods of reproduction, but this method is not as common in aquariums as it is in the wild. Fortunately, fragging provides another way to breed your corals.
Start by dipping your coral into a mixture of tank water and Lugols Iodine Solution to disinfect it. Next, look for a natural division between the branches. Then, cut the frag along the corallite wall using scissors, a Dremel, or a bone saw. It is important to be careful of the tissue and flesh. You also want to avoid using your hands to break the branches because this could damage the frag.
Once the frag is cut, dip the coral in Restor Brightwell Aquatics or another restorative solution. This way, you can help your coral heal from any cuts or injuries sustained during fragging. Place your Blastomussa frag in a safe spot with low water flow and moderate light, and your coral will grow on its own.
Author Note: Make sure to have enough knowledge about fragging before trying this method and if possible keep a separate tank for fragging your corals.
We hope this guide has provided you with valuable insights into caring for the exquisite Blastomussa Corals. It was interesting to learn that these amazing corals are known to develop intricate and captivating skeletal structures, creating a breathtaking visual display in your aquarium.
By providing them with proper lighting, water quality, and regular feeding, you can witness the growth of their stunning coral formations over time. Remember, maintaining stability in your tank and providing adequate space for expansion will contribute to their overall health and beauty.