Corals & co.
Mushroom polyps are among the least demanding creatures suitable for the Nano Cube habitat. Due to their symbiotic algae, they require nothing but light and gentle water movement. Suitable varieties include the beautifully coloured Ricordea florida as well as Discosoma and Rhodactis. Some varieties have adapted to life with little light and thus also colonise darker areas of the reef.
Button polyps form extensive colonies. They often occur in two different colours and look like a colourful "carpet of flowers" – as illustrated by the particularly recommendable example from the Zoanthus variety.
Thanks to their symbiotic algae they are not reliant on any additional feed, although many varieties will accept feed and will grow more quickly as a result.
Button polyps are highly robust and undemanding creatures which are fond of a somewhat stronger water flow.
Button polyps should always be handled with the greatest of care. Some varieties contain a highly toxic bodily secretion – palytoxin (first and foremost the Palythoa and Protopalythoa varieties).
Handling these varieties without adequate protection may result in serious injury.
Soft corals of the Xenia variety are very popular, particularly the types whose polyps "pump", i.e. whose tentacles perform a rhythmic closing motion. Flower corals of the Litophyton, Nephthea and Capnella varieties are among the most interesting corals for the Nano Cube. They possess symbiotic algae and are easy to breed. Soft corals are always eye-catchers, swaying gracefully in the water flow.
The umbrella-shaped toadstool corals of the Sarcophyton variety are very robust and undemanding, as is the Sinularia variety. They have been firmly established as standard stock for sea water aquaria for many decades. When disturbed, they are able to retract their polyps entirely.
Tube corals take their name from the tube-like latticework from which the flower-like polyps spring up.
The daisy polyp of the Knopia variety, named after the German aquarium expert and author Daniel Knop, is one of the prettiest corals at home in a Nano Cube by dint of its flower-like appearance. Similarly to the tube corals of the Clavularia variety, they are ideal for all sizes of Nano Cube.
Sea fans are also known as sea whips or Gorgonians. They grow upright and with thin branches, as illustrated by Pseudopterogorgia americanum, for example. Some Gorgonians, which possess symbiotic algae, are ideal for Nano Cubes. They are also simple to breed. Close relatives of the sea fans, the star polyps (variety Briareum) embellish the rock substrate with a pretty cushion covering. They are extremely hardy and undemanding. Their flower-like appearance makes them a must in every Nano Cube.