Brain Corals…




Brain Corals (Common Name)

Many Species


Suborder: Faviida, Others

Family: Faviidae, Others




Size: Colony to 10ft+ (Personal Observation/published data)

Known Depth Ranges: 2-200 Feet (Published data)

Known Temperature Range: 70-84 (Known temp range where collected)

Known Current Range: 0-3 knots (Personal Observation)

Known Silt Tolerance: moderate to low tolerant (From site conditions)

Known Salinity Range: 1.019-1.027 (From tank Conditions)



Transplant Documentation:


High success rates in Puerto Rico and Curocao.  Often, must use a modified coral adapter plug with wider top (made with the plug in a cup method) to accommodate the larger sizes of imperiled corals.  Slowest growing hard corals.  Encrusting varieties

Photo: (technique for making larger plug adaptors)


form more rapid attachments to Reef Balls.


Propagation Documentation:


There are several methods to propagating Brain corals. Many species of brain corals naturally form “Teardrops” near the bottom edges.  These can be pruned off to create propagated plugs.  Encrusting corals often have “shelfs” on the growing edges where the same can be accomplished.  NOVA Southeastern University is experimenting with core techniques where plugs are drilled out from mother corals…this is an advanced technique and is not recommended for non-scientific groups due to potential damage to mother corals. 


Other Notes:

Care should be used when dealing with mother corals since these are the slowest growing of all corals.  They also considered mass reef builders.  Larger brains which have been dislodged by storms can be cemented directly to hard bottom…there is usually not much morphology changes with Brain Corals so movement is not as critical as with branching corals.  Use a hydraulic cement mixed underwater in a zip lock baggie to attach these larger brains.  There is no need to pH neutralize this cement when working with adult colonies. If they are overturned by storms, they should be up-righted as soon as possible after the event.  If they have survived for more than a year after overturning, leave them alone as they will reorient themselves.


Resistance to Algae Overgrowth


Resistant: high survival of corals with slow growth rates like Montastrea annularis. (Boulder Star Coral).