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Star Polyp

Star Polyp
(Briareum stechei)

Did you know that this invertebrate is actually a gorgonian? It is very beautiful, easy to acclimate and maintain. Ideal for beginners in reef aquarium!

Scientific name

Briareum stechei

Common name

Star Polyp
Pacific Encrusting Gorgonian
Green Encrusting Octosoft

Origin

what are its countries of origin?

Origin: Pacific and Atlantic Oceans

Kind

quel type de corail ?

Kind: Soft Coral
Form: encrusting or arborescent. Its carpet is pale and decorated with green polyps, resembling long grass-like tentacles. It looks «hairy»

Group

group

Briareidae

Volume

what is the minimum volume for this species?

100 L / 22 imp gal / 26 US gal

Water parameters

what are the water parameters for the maintenance of this coral?

T°: 20 à 24°C or 68 to 75°F
pH: 8 to 8.5
Density: 1023 to 1025

Difficulty

difficulty

Easy

Size

what is the maximum size of this coral?

up to 1m (39") high

Brewing

Brewing

Average to strong

Minimal lighting

what brightness is needed?

Average to strong

Aggressiveness

Aggressiveness

Strong (colonization)

Food

How to feed the Briareum?

Food

How to feed the Briareum?

In the wild, Briareum stechei can absorb dissolved organic matter. They also capture microscopic food suspended in the water by making a layer of mucus with which it will filter the water. Every 10 days or so, they retract their polyps to allow the mucus to escape and prevent bacteria and sediment from accumulating there. It keeps this capacity in our aquariums.

Also note that unlike many other gorgonians, Briareum has zooxanthellae that feed it. These are microscopic algae that are formed through photosynthesis.

To feed your Briareum stechei, feed it with alive and enriched artemia nauplii. It may also consume phytoplankton. Stir your substrate so that edible particles for Briareum are in suspension. Frequency: once a week.

Note that the presence of fish contributes to its feeding (organic waste).

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Briareum?

Cohabitation

Who can live with the Briareum?

Normally, only one coral is enough to populate your aquarium. Be careful that the Briareum does not invade other species of corals (they can cover other corals, taking their shape). To limit its expansion, isolate it on a «rocky island» apart from other corals and use a sandy substrate that will stop its progression (it is able to grow on gravel for example). Leave at least 10 cm or 4 inch of margin all around your gorgonian.

Watch out for cohabitation with snails of the genus Cyphoma and fish of the genus Chaetodon or (butterflyfish) which are natural predators.

Breeding

How to breed the Briareum?

Breeding

How to breed the Briareum?

Pretty easy, this soft coral multiplies spontaneously. You can take a piece or branch off the colony and position it further. The growth of this invertebrate is quite fast, it can grow from 4 to 10 cm per year (2 to 4 inches). Its total size can reach 1 meter or 40 inch in height.

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Briareum?

Its aquarium

Which aquarium for the Briareum?

Given its size, it will be necessary to choose a tank high enough to allow its development.

Ideally, install your Briareum in a mature and stable aquarium of at least one year. The Briareum will find its place among a decoration of rock, algae and corals. In nature, the currents that carry it vary greatly, sometimes medium, sometimes strong. Similarly for water quality or lighting, extremely variable. This natural condition makes it a very robust and adaptable species. However, if the current is too slow constantly, the Briareum can be attacked by cyanobacteria or algae. Conversely, if it is constantly strong, it will hinder the extension of the polyps and the ability of the coral to feed. For these reasons, opt for a moderate flow.

On the lighting side, the more it is under direct light, and the faster it grows.

It can be placed directly on the substrate if it is hard enough (gravel for example) or on rocks. Attention to its expansion (see «cohabitation»). In general, it will be installed in the lower part of the aquarium.

Good to know

Good to know

Find all additional information!

This species is often confused with Pachyclavularia. However, it is differentiated by the color of the inner tissue: dark pink for Pachyclavularia sp. and rather beige to brown for Briareum sp.

Easy to acclimatize, robust, fast growth and obvious beauty: this species is ideal for beginners.

Briareum may be sensitive to algae and cyanobacteria on their branches. It may then declare infections related to this accumulation of cyanobacteria. To avoid this, a moderate brew will be a good preventive remedy. If however your Briareum still has the disease, you can cut the affected part and hope that the rest will recover. It should also be noted that freshwater baths are an effective treatment because they kill cyanobacteria.

Alternative species

Alternative species

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