Purple and Yellow Oulophyllia
Maze Brain Coral Care
Maze Brain Corals grow dome-shaped colonies and can grow very large in home reef aquariums. Be sure to give them plenty of space because they are known to send out sweeper tentacles to fend off neighboring corals. Please see below for additional care tips for brain corals as well as checking out our Top 5 Tips for setting up a reef.
Indo-Pacific - Islands of the Indopacific including Fiji, Tonga, Solomon Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef.
Medium to high lighting would serve this species of brain coral well. Maze brains do not change its coloration much depending on the lighting provided unlike many other stony corals. Maze brains may require a longer acclimation period to intense lighting such as metal halides.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 the coral in a relatively low flow area of the reef display. Too much flow could cause this particular species to become stressed and not extend fully.
Like most coral, Maze brains 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 Maze brains. 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.
A Word of Warning
Maze brains are one of the corals that extends long sweeper tentacles. Sweeper tentacles are often used as a means of defense against other encroaching coral colonies. Their white tips contain a concentration of nematcysts that can damage more delicate tank mates. Most of the time, this is not a major problem but to be safe, we recommend placing it in a location far from other corals initially.
In terms of propagation, this genus has been successfully fragmented however asexual reproduction in this way is a slow process. While efforts to aquaculture Maze brains are to be praised, it has yet to be shown that they can be propagated cost effectively. Perhaps in time new methods of propagation or even sexual reproduction will be available. For now however, it is unlikely that they are a sustainable harvest in captivity. The main issue is they are naturally a very slow growing coral.
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.