The Galaxea Coral is also sometimes known as the Galaxy Coral or Tooth Coral. It gets its name from galaxaios, the Greek word for “milky”. This is in reference to the tips of a wild colony’s polyps, which can appear milky white in colour. It usually grows in a dome shape but will also slowly spread as it grows larger. It is available in a wide variety of colours but the most common is green. It is not a true encrusting coral but due to the fact that it spreads outwards it is commonly thought to be one. Its polyps grow close together and extend up to a half inch from the base.
Galaxea Corals are found in the south Pacific at depths between 2 and 15 meters. It is usually found on reef slopes where wave action is less intense. Wild colonies can grow up to 1 meter in diameter. Due to their bright colours and increasing popularity, they are also available as aquacultured specimens. Their placement in a home aquarium depends on the intensity of the tank’s lighting. In a tank with moderate lighting levels they should be placed in the mid to upper half of the tank but in a tank with high light levels they can be placed in the lower third or even on the substrate. Flow should be sufficient to keep them free of detritus and the polyps should move gently.
Like the vast majority of corals in the saltwater hobby, Galaxea Corals are photosynthetic and can meet their energy needs by utilizing aquarium lighting. They do, however, benefit from periodic feedings of zooplankton based foods or chopped meaty foods. Most hobbyists find that LPS pellets are too large to be accepted.
Fragging Galaxea corals is not as simple as propagating branching LPS corals. Generally, it requires the use of a dremel or bandsaw to carefully cut between the polyps and avoid damaging the flesh. It should also be noted that Galaxea Corals are quite aggressive and due to their growth pattern it is important to ensure that they will not come too close to any other corals.
Galaxea have stinging tentacles are very long and pack a punch. As with all calcifying corals, it is important to monitor calcium and alkalinity levels and ensure that they stay stable.