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 keep. 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 much 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,