Space Invader Pectinia
Placement: Bottom to Middle
Light: Low to Moderate
Care Level: Moderate
Growth Rate: Moderate
Special Care: Should be kept away from aggressive corals
Space Invader Pectinia are a beautiful color morph of a relatively rare coral type. Pectinia corals, also known as Antler corals, have a unique growth pattern, combining both plating and pillar structures. Its growth pattern has been described by many reefers as elegant. While they do not encrust the rockwork, they will spread over the rock or substrate in a plating form. The Space Invader Pectinia has a neon green base with bright yellow eyes.
Pectinia corals are found in the Indo-Pacific region. They are most common on lower reef slopes in relatively turbid waters. Due to its growth pattern, it is found most commonly on horizontal surfaces. Pectinia corals available for purchase in the saltwater hobby tend to be a combination of wild caught and aquacultured specimens. As this coral has become more popular, aquacultured options have become more widely available. This is especially true of particularly stunning color morphs, such as the Space Invader Pectinia.
Because they are found in deeper waters in the wild they prefer lower levels of light in a home aquarium. They can be placed on either the substrate or a large flat ledge in the lower half of the tank. They generally will not plate into open water like Montipora and require a surface to grow on. Flow should be sufficient to prevent the buildup of detritus in the folds of the coral. The need to find an area of low light and moderate to high flow can be one of the challenges of keeping this coral.
Pectinia corals are photosynthetic and generally do not require any supplemental feeding. They likely would benefit from the addition of phytoplankton or other small food to the tank but do not respond well to spot feeding of pellets due to their small mouths. Like all LPS corals, they build their stony skeleton out of sodium bicarbonate so it is important to monitor levels of alkalinity, calcium and magnesium and dose as necessary. They are fairly easy to propagate, and small frags can usually be either cut or carefully broken off the plates or pillars quite successfully.
Pectinia corals are relatively new to the reefing hobby but with stunning varieties such as the Space Invader Pectinia becoming more widely available their popularity is exploding.