Cyphastrea corals come in a wide variety of colour patterns but all have a single colour encrusting base with contrasting coloured polyps. The different colour morphs of Cyphastrea available include such names as Meteor Shower, Bling Bling and Kermit the Frog. The Meteor Shower morph is generally regarded as the first widely available variation in the saltwater hobby.
Cyphastrea is primarily an encrusting coral and will grow over live rock. Under certain conditions they also will often grow a central mound. They can be placed on an exposed rock ledge in an aquarium or on a rock on the sandbed. Care should be taken if they are placed on the main rockwork, as their quick growth rate means that they can take over a large area in a short period of time.
In the wild, Cyphastrea are found in the Indo-Pacific region in both tropical and subtropical regions. They are generally found at depths of between 3 and 40 meters with the specimens most commonly available in the hobby being found at shallower depths. Different colour morphs are also extensively aquacultured due to their growth speed and ease of fragging.
Cyphastrea are tolerant of a wide range of lighting conditions but should not be exposed to extremely high light levels. They also should not be placed in excessively shady areas of the tank. They do best with moderate amounts of flow that is strong enough to move the polyps as well as keeping detritus from settling on the coral. Cyphastrea are photosynthetic and are able to meet their energy needs from the aquarium lighting, but they can also be spot fed dissolved coral foods. In this case, the pumps should be turned off so the coral has a chance to eat before the food is blown away.
Cyphastrea can easily be fragged either through cutting or by placing a frag plug or rubble rock next to the coral and waiting for it to be encrusted. The plug or rock can then be removed. Some hobbyists also place aquarium decorations in their tanks and allow them to be encrusted by Cyphastrea.