Pocillopora corals have been in the US aquarium trade since the beginning of SPS importation into the US. They are generally considered to be one of the easier corals to keep. Ranging typically from pale yellow, green, pink and reddish in color, Pocillopora have been known to sexually reproduce in the aquarium environment.
The most common species in the trade is Pocillopora damicornis. The growth form is cauliflower-like and the branches are often densely packed together. Common names include; Cauliflower Coral, Brush Coral, or Cluster Coral. Cluster Corals are some of the most sought after having longer hairy polyps which are green in color and differ from the primarily yellow coloration of the species.
Pocillopora damicornis is commonly aqua-cultured and is considered peaceful. It is capable of being placed in close proximity to other similar peaceful species of corals such as Stylopora pistillata. Aqua-cultured Pocillopora will grow rapidly if provided with the proper lighting and water parameters. Medium intensity lighting combined with a medium water movement is advised. Like other stony corals, the addition of calcium, magnesium and other trace elements is required.
Pocillopora benefits most when fed weekly with plankton or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates. If you are new to SPS keeping then consider Jason Fox’s Lemon Lime Pocillopora as a great starter SPS coral for your aquarium. It can be found here on Jason Fox’s website.
Below are some images of some of the more typical colorations found in Pocillopora damicornis corals.