The Kenya Tree coral is one of the best corals that beginners can keep. It is almost invincible once it’s established in the aquarium, it is low maintenance, and it grows really quickly. Also known as the Cauliflower Soft coral, the Broccoli Soft coral, or the African Tree coral, the Kenya Tree coral has a thick trunk with branches growing out of it, giving the coral a tree-like look. This type of coral is not vibrantly colored and is usually drab brown or pink. The rarest and most sought-after Kenya Tree corals are green. This coral grows so well that experienced hobbyists often give some of theirs away to newbies.
Kenya Tree corals get their nutrition through photosynthesis. They capture tiny plankton and absorb nutrients from the water. This may be enough for survival, especially since it is a particularly hardy type of coral, but most hobbyists supplement their coral’s diets with foods like marine snow, phytoplankton, and microplankton.
The ideal habitat for this type of coral is a typical live rock or reef environment with moderate lighting and medium water flow. To keep the Kenya Tree coral happy and healthy, make sure the aquarium is well stocked with fish that produce organic matter. Water should be changed at a ratio of 20% per month, 10% every other week, or 5% per week. Kenya Tree corals don’t do too well under bright metal halide lights and should be shaded from the glare by being placed under rocks or larger corals. However, these corals are so resilient that even in adverse aquarium conditions, they usually adapt and thrive.
This type of coral is extremely strong and simple to keep, and there are very few potential challenges with it. The only real issue is that it propagates so quickly and easily. More experienced hobbyists eventually move on from keeping the Kenya Tree coral because of this and because it doesn’t have particularly striking looks. It also has a habit of showing up in areas of the tank where it’s not wanted and it’s often impossible to get rid of it once it’s introduced. Some hobbyists even end up calling it a weed.
The Kenya Tree coral is semi-aggressive and gives off chemical toxins to ward off encroaching corals. It is also susceptible to the toxins of other corals. Although it doesn’t have sweeper tentacles or any other way to overtly hurt its neighbors, it will grow onto other corals and completely cover them. It moves around tanks at will, detaching and dropping branches that become attached to the substrate. Compatibility with other corals depends on the size of the colonies and the type of coral. The Kenya Tree coral doesn’t usually thrive as well as expected when there are large populations of Xenia. The coral has no known predators.
Because it grows so well, the Kenya Tree coral often ends up unwanted and is regularly given away at reef or aquarist clubs.