Colt Coral is a term used to describe a wide variety of soft corals with a similar “finger like” growth pattern. Colt Corals are also known as the Soft Finger Leather Coral or Blushing Coral. Regardless of the specific type, they will grow as small colonies and encrust the surrounding rock and their “fingers” are slippery to the touch. They are available in a number of different colours, but pink and tan are by far the most common. Their polyps are fully retractable and are usually a similar colour to the coral’s flesh.
Colt Corals are found on reef slopes in the Indo-Pacific region in a wide range of water and lighting conditions. They are most commonly found at depths of between 10 and 20 meters. Because they grow so quickly and are so hardy, much of what is available for sale in the reefing hobby has been aquacultured, rather than wild collected. They can be placed almost anywhere in a home aquarium but they are semi-aggressive and can grow fairly large, so it is important to carefully consider initial placement.
Colt Corals require moderate to high levels of light and medium to strong flow. They are also capable of surviving in lower light areas of the tank but they may not grow as quickly. They are often placed on an exposed ledge in an area where they will have room to grow. Flow should be sufficient to encourage the polyps to extend to help the coral feed.
Like most corals, Colt Corals are photosynthetic and are able to use aquarium lighting to meet their energy needs. They can, however, be fed food specifically designed for soft corals. Like many soft corals, Colt Corals often will grow faster in tanks that have a higher nutrient level.
Colt Corals can be fragged by cutting a branch from the mother colony and placing it with a piece of rubble rock or frag plug in a low flow area of the tank until it attaches. Some hobbyists will also use an elastic band to hold the frag in place, as they cannot be glued.