What you see is exactly what you will get! This Colony is Huge!
Physogyra lichtensteini, commonly known as the Bubble Coral or Pearl Bubble Coral, is a fascinating and visually striking species of stony coral found in the marine environments of the Indo-Pacific region. It belongs to the family Euphyllidae and is highly sought after by reef aquarium enthusiasts for its unique appearance and mesmerizing behavior.
The Bubble Coral derives its common name from the numerous bubble-like vesicles that cover its large polyps. These vesicles, known as vesicules, are translucent and often have a pearl-like or bubbly appearance, giving the coral a distinct and captivating texture. The coloration of the Bubble Coral can vary, ranging from shades of green, brown, cream, and even fluorescent hues, depending on the individual specimen and environmental factors.
One of the most fascinating aspects of the Bubble Coral is its feeding behavior. During the day, it extends its large fleshy polyps, which are adorned with the bubble-like vesicles, to capture small prey and particulate matter from the water column. These polyps possess numerous stinging cells called nematocysts, which immobilize and secure the captured food. This unique feeding strategy, combined with the coral's intricate appearance, makes it a mesmerizing centerpiece in both natural reef ecosystems and aquarium setups.
Physogyra lichtensteini typically forms large round or dome-shaped colonies, which can reach sizes of up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) in diameter. The coral's skeleton, composed of calcium carbonate, provides a sturdy framework for the colony's growth. It attaches itself to the substrate or other hard surfaces using its basal disc, anchoring firmly in place.
In terms of care, the Bubble Coral requires stable water parameters and adequate lighting to thrive. It prefers moderate to high water flow to help remove debris and provide sufficient nutrient exchange. Additionally, it benefits from regular feedings of small meaty foods, such as brine shrimp, mysis shrimp, and other finely chopped marine-based foods, which help supplement its diet and promote growth.
When provided with optimal conditions, the Bubble Coral can display impressive expansion, with its polyps fully extended and the bubble-like vesicles inflated. This expansion showcases the coral's intricate beauty and creates a visually stunning spectacle within the aquarium.
Due to its unique appearance, feeding behavior, and relative ease of care, Physogyra lichtensteini is highly regarded among coral enthusiasts. Whether in a natural reef or a carefully maintained aquarium, the Bubble Coral adds a touch of elegance, vibrancy, and visual intrigue, making it a sought-after species that enhances the overall beauty and diversity of marine ecosystems.
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