Purple Pipe Organ Coral
Pipe Organ Care
Pipe Organ Corals of the Genus Tubipora are a unique soft coral in that they grow a network of calcium-based tubes that take on a bright red color. The red tubes resemble pipe organs. While most soft corals are very hardy, pipe organ corals are a little on the sensitive side and require clean water with good flow. In poor conditions, their beautiful red pipes collect algae readily which can strangle out the coral. Please see below for additional care tips for pipe organs as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.
Indo-Pacific - Pipe Organ Coral of the Genus Tubipora can be found throughout the western Pacific. Most of the varieties found in the aquarium trade are collected in Indonesia.
Tubipora like many soft corals do well under medium to low lighting. They often have bright feathery white polyps that remain remarkably consistent in color regardless of the type of lighting provided.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.
We recommend keeping Pipe Organ Corals in moderate to high flow areas. Although Tubipora is a soft coral, they have a bright red calcium-based skeleton that tends to grow algae that suffocate the delicate polyps. Stronger water flow past the coral tends to help ward off nuisance algae by keeping detritus from settling on the skeleton. Having said that, the skeleton is rather light weight, so when placing it in the rock work be sure it is secure because strong flow can move the colony.
Tubipora can be fed very small pieces of plankton. The cloudy supernate from thawing frozen fish foods and planktonic dry foods such as Coral Frenzy or Reef Roids are good things to feed.
This coral is relatively easy to frag. The skeleton breaks apart easily and the polyps heal quickly. Tubipora are not the fastest growing corals however so long-term sustainable propagation may not be cost effective.
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.