Star Polyps Neon Green
Great for Beginners and experts alike
Star polyps are grass-like in appearance and they blow in the current light wheat in a field. They grow by spreading a light pinkish purplish mat of tissue, called stolon, over the surface of whatever they are growing on. The grass-like polyps extend from this stolon. At night and if disturbed, star polyps retract their tentacles and all you see is the stolon. This is how they behave in transport as well. They are a little slower than other corals extend their tentacles during the day or after being disturbed. Sometimes it may even take a few days for them to extend after you first put them in your tank. Never give up on a star polyp if the stolon looks healthy.
Lighting: Star polyps require light but are adaptable and do well under moderate fluorescent lighting. If you have metal halides, it is best to place them in the shade of rocks, equipment, or other corals. Actinic blue lights make star polyps glow green—especially when the daylights are turned off. If you have separate switching for your lights, I recommend a period at the beginning and end of each day where you only have the actinic lights on.
Feeding: Star polyps feed by filtering the water and don’t require target feeding. Generally, whatever you are feeding your fish and other corals is enough for them.
Placement: Sense star polyps cover things as they grow, wherever you place them, they will cover that surface. They may also cover other corals, so beware. Star polyps can be used to disguise equipment in your tank or cover the back wall. Just tie, wedge, glue, or otherwise attach some polyps to the bottom of your equipment or wall and let them grow up towards the light.
Water Flow: Star polyps like a swift current and may not extend their polyps if they are not receiving adequate water flow over them. A swift current will remove detritus from them and keep them clean and prevent algae growth on them. If you see anything growing on them, remove it. Sometimes a hand waving will do the job that inadequate pump current isn’t doing. If hand waving doesn’t work, try a new soft tooth brush in the morning before polyp extension. Swift current doesn’t mean water jet. No coral does well in a jet of water.
Propagation: Star polyps are easy to frag, just cut pieces off the mother colony and place them in a new location. They will stick themselves to whatever surface you put them on. Sometimes a ball or glob of stolon will grow out of the middle of your colony. This ball will grow over and cover older parts of the colony. If this happens, you should remove the overgrowth. It will choke off light from part it grows over and kill it making the colony no larger than before. Worse, the dead part will rot. When you cut the glob off, you can place it elsewhere and start a new colony. For pictures of this, visit Coral Profile: Star Polyps, Pachyclavularia
Aggression: If they encroach on other corals in your tank, cut them away to let the other coral have space. Otherwise, the star polyp stolon could cover the other coral and suffocate it.