The Blueberry Gorgonia is absolutely stunning and makes a great centerpiece for any reef aquarium, provided its feeding needs can be met. Also known as the Blueberry Sea Fan, the Blue Gorgonia or Blue Tree Coral, is difficult to keep but highly rewarding. It has the appearance of a miniature tree and its red or orange branches, combined with bright blue polyps, give it a look unlike anything else in a reef tank. It will benefit from the addition of iodine, calcium, strontium and other trace elements to the water.
Gorgonias are found throughout the world’s tropical oceans and since they are non-photosynthetic they are found at deeper depths than many other corals that would be kept in a home aquarium. In a reef tank, they need low levels of light, but high levels of waterflow, which is sometimes a difficult combination to achieve. Most hobbyists will use a piece of epoxy to attach the base of the gorgonian to the rockwork in an appropriate area of the tank. They are filter feeders so they should be added to a mature tank. Blueberry Gorgonias are peaceful and no stinging tentacles or chemical defences but they should be placed far enough from aggressive corals to prevent them from being damaged by their neighbours.
Blueberry Gorgonias are deep water corals so they require low levels of light. In fact, even moderate light levels can be toxic to them. They are usually placed in the upper third of the tank, in an area that is protected from direct light by either rockwork or other corals. Flow, on the other hand, should be strong since they rely on water currents to bring them food particles. This combination of low light and high flow can make placement of Blueberry Gorgonias tricky.
Blueberry Gorgonias are non-photosynthetic and must be fed, often every other day. They can be fed microplankton, baby brine shrimp or other foods designed specifically for filter feeders. Some hobbyists also find that occasionally agitating the sandbed will help to suspend food particles in the water column.
The Blueberry Gorgonia is undeniably beautiful and if its care requirements can be met they are a standout centrepiece in a reef tank.