Joker Trachy Brain
Trachyphyllia Brain Coral Care
Trachyphyllia Brain Corals, sometimes called Open or Folded Brain Corals, come in a wide variety of colors and shapes. These slow growing corals make excellent centerpieces and thrive in a wide range of conditions. Please see below for additional care tips for Trachyphyllia Brain Corals as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.
Trachyphyllia Brain Corals are found in the islands of the Indo-Pacific including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef. Our Trachys typically come from Australia or Indonesia.
While some corals are more light loving than others, Trachyphyllia tend to be less demanding. In fact, they probably fare better in less intense lighting conditions. We primarily keep Trachyphyllia in low to medium light intensity here at Tidal Gardens which is around 50 to 100 PAR. If your tank is higher in light, it will take some time for this coral to adjust to its new surroundings. When in doubt, try lower lighting intensities until it is clear that the coral is stable before ramping it up. Trachyphyllia coloration can vary somewhat based on the intensity and spectrum of lighting provided but is generally not dramatic.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.
Trachyphyllia appreciate low to medium flow. There are two things that I am looking to accomplish with flow for this coral. The first is to give it enough flow to keep it clean. Detritus build-up can cause the coral to die back where it collects. Providing elevated flow around the coral can prevent this accumulation. Even moderate flow can serve to keep the coral clean as the coral does a good job of slugging off debris that settle on it.
You will know if you are overdoing it if the flow is slamming one side of the coral and it is drawn tight to the skeleton all the time. If this sort of flow isn’t adjusted it can cause the coral to die as the tissue will rub against the skeleton causing damage.
Providing periodic low flow or even zero flow is beneficial for this coral for the purposes of feeding.
Like most coral, Trachyphyllia Brain Corals rely to a large extent on the products of their zooxanthellae, however, in our experience, they also benefit from direct feeding. There are a variety of frozen fish foods available that make outstanding meals for Favia. We like to feed a mixture of meaty foods such as shrimp, fish, and squid with vitamin additives and highly unsaturated fatty acids (HUFA). The size of the food must be small enough that the polyp can fully ingest it.
In terms of propagation, this genus has been successfully fragmented however care should be taken not to damage the individual polyps as recovery time can be long. Trachys are an extremely slow grower and take many many years to recover their desirable shape after being cut if the cut is successful in the first place. One future solution may well be sexual reproduction and with the advances in the area happening rapidly. Sexual breeding could also potentially produce some interesting hybrids and color morphs. It’s all food for thought and an exciting area that the hobby is advancing towards fast.
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.