Favia is a genus of corals also referred to as brain coral. It’s a pretty popular category of corals in the aquarium hobby, and for good reason: whether you’re a beginner looking for a hardy first coral or a more experienced reef keeper, this is a very attractive choice.
Let’s go into Favia coral care and growing this species in your own aquarium!
|Name (Common, Scientific)||Favia coral, brain coral, pineapple brain coral, moon coral, Favia sp.|
|Temperament||Will sting neighbors|
Favia coral appearance
Favia is often referred to as brain coral, and we can see why. In the wild, many Favia coral species are spherical, growing to huge diameters. The texture of the genus’ corallites (an individual coral polyp’s skeletal ‘jacket’) really is reminiscent of the texture of a brain! Their colors can vary from a duller brown with accents of green and yellow to bright neons like blue, pink, purple, red and orange.
Favia has a pretty wide natural range, occurring in both the Indo-Pacific and the Atlantic. They’re found in different habitats and at varying depths.
Favia coral care
Caring for Favia coral is not too challenging, making this a good choice for beginning reef keepers. The most important thing is to keep the water quality high, but this applies to any coral species. Don’t neglect regular aquarium maintenance.
What exactly your Favia coral needs in terms of lighting, flow and the like depends a lot on the individual species. After all, in the wild, the genus occurs in a wide range of habitat types! Because not much is known about the individual care requirements for the different Favias, it’s really a matter of experimenting a bit.
You could start out by giving your Favia coral a spot that gets medium to high light, which should usually work well. They host zooxanthellae after all, and can use light to photosynthesize nutrients. In terms of flow, they like that moderate as well. An overly strong current can damage your Favia, so be sure not to overdo it.
Don’t forget: corals need some personal space. Many species use long sweeper tentacles to annoy and even damage their neighbors in the never-ending battle for the best aquarium real estate. Favia coral is particularly good at this, so make sure you don’t place it too close to your other prized corals.
Feeding Favia coral
So if Favia coral carries zooxanthellae, unicellular algae that allow it to photosynthesize, does that mean it doesn’t need additional feedings? Unfortunately, no. Although the zooxanthellae definitely help, your Favia will absolutely benefit from regular additional snacking.
A happy and hungry coral will extend its polyps in search of any tasty morsels that flow by. A few times a week, you can take a special coral food or just some thawed mysis or brine shrimp, and squirt it close to your Favia coral using a coral feeder or just a turkey baster. Feeding at night is often recommended, and you can consider turning off the flow for a bit so the food doesn’t get swept all over the tank.
How to frag Favia coral
This species is not exactly known for being the quickest grower, so don’t expect to be able to start fragging and selling off pieces of your Favia coral any time soon. And due to their mound-shaped growth pattern, even when they are large enough, they’re not the easiest species to multiply.
If you’d like to frag your Favia coral, you’ll need some specialized equipment. Some kind of saw, like a band saw or a dremel, is almost a must. It’s important to make clean cuts and disinfect with water with added iodine. After this, you can mount the polyps you removed on a frag plug or a piece of rock.
Aside from their aggressive disposition, Favia corals are model citizens. They’re not too demanding in terms of light, flow and feeding and they’re also reasonably forgiving. Still, maintaining a reef aquarium requires knowledge and time! If you just want to enjoy your tank without all of the hassle, we can help. You can contact FantaSEA Aquariums here so we can chat about designing, building and maintaining your dream reef.