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Reef Trends – The Chalice Coral Craze

Hello, Cory here with a short blog on an interesting new wave in the world of reefing, the new obsession with Chalice corals.  A couple years ago, Chalice Corals were not very popular or in demand type of coral, despite the ease of care and collection. They were offered around the country, at very reasonable prices. This is no longer the case. With the influx of ridiculously colorful specimens in the market, the Chalice Coral craze has begun!

The Chalice Coral’s appearance can be difficult to describe. Chalice corals are part of the Pectiniidae Family, more specifically the Genus Echinophyllia, but Mycedium and Oxypora species can also be considered in the group. Chalice Corals can be very easy to Crazy orange Chalicekeep. They require low to moderate light, with a few species needing a bit more to help bring out some of the intense coloration. Due to the ability of Chalices to adapt to most lighting conditions, you must try to replicate the lighting conditions of the store or person before you, or the coral may change it’s colors completely. After a few weeks to a couple of months, you may have a coral that looks nothing like the one you purchased. Too much and too little water movement can have negative effects, but don’t worry too much. They can be tolerant of most currents as long as they are more turbulent rather than laminar. These corals can be very aggressive, but most lack very long sweeper tentacles, so the space around them can be manipulated. Since thier growth is relatively slow, you don’t have to worry about them encroaching upon your other prize corals. However, always remember over time they may eventually converge with a neighboring coral and the battle will begin. They primarily feed at night, preying upon small, meaty foods such as cyclops and oyster eggs.

For the past year or so, Chalice Corals have become the popular corals to keep, like Acans and Zoanthid polyps before them. Prices per frag range from 15 to 20 dollars for the standard variety. The more uncommon varieties are ranging from 50 to as muchMiami Hurricane Chalice as 300 dollars or more per frag, depending on the size!  One example, the Tyree LE Bumble Gum Monster Chalice can be as much as 250 dollars per ¾ inch frag! Recently, an extremely rare species, coined the My Miami Chalice frag was auctioned for 2000 dollars on eBay. The frag was close to an inch in size. My collection includes two variants at the moment, the Sour Apple and the Christmas Chalice. That Fish Place carries a few varieties such as the Miami Hurricane and the Rainbow Delight (Jason Fox frags)with many others hopefully to come in the future.  Check them out!

Until next time,



  1. avatar

    wow…it seems that true hobbyists have been knocked out of the trade by vendors who see the chalices as an excellent way to make a living off of reefers. Me and my friends still share things that grow in our tanks, but maybe that’s because we have real jobs and don’t live in our mommy’s basement. Boooooooo to the people who try to earn a living selling things that live in our oceans at ridiculous prices.

  2. avatar

    So, I’m new to the saltwater aspect of the hobby.
    I put together a 125 gallon tank
    dropped in 100 # of live sand and 150# of live rock
    Set up the fliter and light and realized that half the lights weren’t working – coralight 4 bulb setup
    Someone gave me a watermellon and kenyan tree.
    I dropped them in and they did fine

    NEXT, I bought a pair of 225 LED blue and white panels and set them up on top of the tank <about 2 inches from the glass.
    The watermellon is HUGE – bigger than ever!
    The Kenyan Tree is almost as big as before.

  3. avatar

    Dan, LED lighting is just getting started for aquariums, we will start to see some really cool things in the coming months and years.

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About Cory Shank

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Cory is one of our Staff Marine Biologists and has been with the company since 1999. He has always had an interest in fish and inverts started soon after his employment began, and laid the path for him to earn his Marine Bio degree From Millersville University just a couple of years ago. Since graduation, Cory has been propagating many different corals including LPS and SPS and maintaining both his own reef aquaria and several at our retail store. His interests besides propagation include snorkeling, environmentalism, travel, and anything relating to reefs and oceans.