Our Green Stardust mother colony clone is finally growing good sized. I picked up the original colony from a shipment of imported Australian corals back in October of 2018; I have always had an affection for unusual corals even if they aren't that popular with customers at first and I could tell early on that this leather was something different. As it grew out in my reef tank the green body really colored up and the tentacles were so fluffy with starry tips. I had seen cream toadstool leathers like this before, but never a green one. The original colony grew out to almost 7 inches across, but one day a water chemistry fluctuation irritated it and it began having damaged tissue in the center that I couldn't save it from. Sadly I eventually had to cut it up and even chop off the base to stop the necrosis. The mother colony clone I have now is from one of the larger pieces I saved and all of the babies I have sold are from tiny pieces of the base that grew up from the live rock. It's such a stunner and I'm very happy to have it growing well again.
Original mother colony
One thing that some people don't realize, is even though toadstool leathers can grow under a variety of lighting conditions; most of them (especially the ones with green in their body/tentacles) love moderate to high lighting. It's also important that they receive moderate to higher, *indirect flow. When leather corals are only kept in low flow they have a tendency to retract their tentacles once a week or so, then shed a thin mucus membrane to remove any dust or detritus that may have accumulated before opening up their tentacles again. When they are kept in stronger flow they will only retract their tentacles when the lights go off.
If you have any questions about caring for leather corals or propagation feel free to get in touch with me.
Stardust Leather mother clone
Close up of tentacles with starry points perfect for grabbing tiny particles of food
*Pro Tip: You may be wondering, what exactly does indirect flow mean? This means when you place your hand in front of a powerhead before a coral, the flow is not hitting the coral directly, but creating a moderate amount of current around it. Very direct flow can cause tissue damage that's why indirect flow is important.