The Open Brain coral is a brightly colored, highly attractive, unique stony coral. While these corals are able to form colonies, they tend to be solitary. The Open Brain coral comes in a great variety of colors including bright green, blue, pink, red, or yellow and are usually attached to something solid like a stone or a shell until they mature, get heavier, and become free-living polyps with large fleshy mantles.
Moderately easy but with some potential issues to watch out for, as listed below.
Open Brain corals have voracious appetites. They are able to feed by receiving some of their nutrients through zooxanthellae. In the wild, they also capture food particles and plankton and are able to absorb organic matter once it is dissolved. In captivity, it’s important to feed Open Brain corals every single day with meaty foods like rotifers, mysis, and fortified brine shrimp. Although their tentacles will emerge when they sense food in the water during the day, the best time to feed this type of coral is in the evenings when their tentacles are out naturally.
To keep the Open Brain coral happy and healthy, it is important to do water changes of around 5% every week, 10% twice a month, or 20% once a month. If a weekly water change of 5% is conducted, many of the needed additives will be replenished, but if not, it is beneficial to add trace elements like strontium and calcium to the water. Open Brain corals do well with moderate to strong lighting and moderate water current. They enjoy a mature live rock or reef environment with some fish to produce organic matter.
This type of coral is susceptible to life-threatening diseases like brown jelly disease, white band disease, and bleaching, especially when they are stressed or when they are improperly placed. If these corals are in an area of the aquarium where detritus and sediment can accumulate on their surface, they may have to forcibly remove the particles, which could sap energy and weaken them. Algae could begin to grow on the exposed skeleton, further weakening and possibly killing it. Another potential issue is in moving the Open Brain coral. It is important to gently shake the coral when it is removed from the water until the flesh is retracted. If not, the weight of the flesh filled with water could tear against the sharp skeleton once it is exposed to air.
Open Brain corals are relatively peaceful and don’t have sweeper tentacles. It is possible for these corals to be affected by more aggressive leather corals unless the water is filtered well and carbon is used to reduce the toxins produced by the aggressive corals. Besides potential compatibility issues with leather corals, some angelfish and tangs have a tendency to bite Open Brain corals.
Some of these beautiful creatures have a fluorescent protein that makes them able to glow brightly under actinic lighting like UV, blue, or violet light.