Birdsnest Seriatopora


Bird’s Nest Coral (Seriatopora hystrix)
Placement: Mid to High
Light: High
Flow: Moderate to High
Care Level: Moderate
Type: SPS
Compatibility: Peaceful
Growth Rate: Fast for an SPS
Photosynthetic: Yes

Purchase Size 1” – Purchase color: depending on stock availability

The Bird’s Nest Coral gets its name from its growth pattern, which resembles a bird’s nest. They are also sometimes referred to as a Finger or Brush Coral. They are found in shades of pink and green with the pink colouration generally being predominant. They grow multiple thin fingers in seemingly random directions. This is what gives it its nest-like appearance. It is fairly hardy coral provided tank parameters are stable, but it is also very delicate due to the thinness of its branches. Therefore, care should be taken when working near it to avoid accidentally fragging it! All in all, this is one of the easier SPS corals to keep and a good introduction to the world of hard corals.

The Bird’s Nest Coral is native to Tonga in the Pacific ocean but due to its speed of growth it is also commonly available as an aquacultured specimen. It is usually found at shallower depths or on reef slopes. In a home tank, they should be placed in the upper third of the tank on an exposed rock ledge. While they do not have any sting, they should be placed far enough from other corals that they will not come into contact with them. Because this is a fast growing coral this does require some planning.

Like most SPS corals the Bird’s Nest coral requires high levels of light and moderate to high levels of flow. It is not, however, as light demanding as other SPS corals such as acropora. A coral that appears to be brownish may not be receiving enough light and one that is faded or white may be receiving too much light. The flow is necessary to keep the coral free of detritus as well as to deliver food and nutrients. The Bird’s Nest Coral is photosynthetic and all of its energy needs can be met through appropriate lighting. It will feed on solutions designed for SPS corals, but this is generally not necessary.

Bird’s Nest Corals are very easy to frag. In fact, this often happens accidentally while working in the tank! A piece can simply be cut and glued to a frag plug. Because the branches are so thin many hobbyists will glue the frag horizontally on the frag plug to maximize the surface area exposed to light.

As with all SPS corals it is important to monitor calcium and alkalinity levels and try to keep them as stable as possible.