A Hardy, Attractive New Aquarium Coral from the Family Flabellidae
We are very excited to offer this coral from the genus Rhizotrochus to you. Sometimes simply called Rhizo, these are relatively new to U.S. retailers and frequently very difficult to get. Commonly collected near Japan, hardy Rhizotrochus species are indigenous to the Indo-Pacific south to Australia. It is a stony coral from the suborder Carophylliina and the Family Flabellidae. Obviously it isn't a "new" coral, but it is relatively new in the aquarium trade. Eric Borneman writes in Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry, and Natural History (T.F.H. Publications 2004)—a book no reef keeper should be without—"None of [the flabellids] are available to the aquarium trade..."
Now they are!
All flabellids (called flabellids because generally the corallum is fan shaped, and flabellum is Latin for "small fan") are solitary in growth form and never form colonies. This is a deep water species and, as such, is not photosynthetic. Rhizotrochus species reproduce by budding, and some reef aquarists have reported success with captive reproduction. The Rhizotrochus will send out a root-like structure from its skeletal base and attach itself to live rock if tucked into a rock crevice or placed on the sand. Make sure it is provided with medium to strong intermittent flow. These corals come in various colors like red, pink, green, yellow and, most commonly, stark white. Because it is non-photosynthetic, this coral will require frequent feedings of meaty foods two or three times a week.
Published 20 May 2008. © Blue Zoo Aquatics