Neon Green Nephthea
Nephthea Coral Care
Nephthea tree corals are one of the most highly sought-after leather corals because of their beautiful neon green coloration. At one time these corals were nearly extinct but propagation efforts brought them back from the brink and now they are a fixture in the reef hobby today. They are very similar to Sinularia and are sometimes difficult to distinguish. Please see below for additional care tips for Nephthea as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.
Indo-Pacific - Islands of the Indo-Pacific including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Medium lighting would suffice. Nephthea does not change color much but the coral tends to extend better in moderate light as compared to intense light.Low Light
Low light translates to about 30-50 PAR
Medium Light is between 50-150 PAR
High Light is anything over 150 PAR
Lighting is a loaded topic, so for a more in-depth discussion of lighting, please see our Deep Dive article.
Strong water movement is recommended. Nephthea will periodically retract its polyps and form a waxy film. This shrunken state may last a couple weeks before the film is shed and the polyps re-extend. We believe this shedding is a healthy process that Nephthea employ to prevent nuisance algae from growing on it. This process can be aided by greater circulation around the coral.
Nephthea relies heavily on the products of their zooxanthellae but also may feed on phytoplankton and similarly sized microfauna in the water column.
A Word of Warning
It has been shown that these soft corals release toxins that may damage more sensitive stony corals. This by no means excludes the possibility of a mixed reef, but it is important to know that a reef full of Nephthea may inhibit the full growth rate of some stony corals in the aquarium. A balanced stocking scheme and judicious placement of the various colonies will help as will the use of chemical filtration. The most toxic soft corals come from the Genus Sarcophyton, Lobophytum, and Lemnalia. Members of the Genus Cladiella, Sinularia, Nephthea, and Cespitularia are variably toxic while Anthelia and Capnella are rarely highly toxic.
This genus for the most part has been propagated extensively in captivity and is an excellent candidate for aquaculture. It is reasonable to believe that a sustainable harvest can be achieved in time.
Proper acclimation is extremely important considering the stress imposed on the animals by the shipping process. Please take a moment to review our Acclimation Guide.
The images were taken with a Canon 5D mk II and 100mm macro lens under T5 Fluorescent lighting. Quite a lot goes into how we go about shooting the corals and anemones you see on Tidal Gardens. For an in-depth look at our methods, check out our comprehensive Reef Aquarium Photography FAQ.