The Green Tongue Coral is a large polyp stony coral that is commonly referred to as the Tongue, Mole, or Hairy Tongue Coral. It has scientific name as Polyphyllia secies, which is derived from polys means many and phyllon as leaf that describes the leafy shape of its calcareous skeleton. The Green Tongue Coral requires additional supplements in the form of calcium, strontium and trace elements in order to build its calcareous skeleton for the proper growth. It is named appropriately as ?slipper? or ?tongue?, since it has colonies shaped long and narrow, arched or flat. The Green Tongue Coral is solitary, aggressive coral with short tentacles tipped in white that inflicts serious damage to other corals in contact. It is best to place it on the bottom of the reef aquarium, and requires bright lighting combined with moderate water movement. The Green Tongue Coral needs fine sandy substrate with adequate space between it and neighbors. It is easy to keep and care, and that makes the Green Tongue Coral a good choice for a beginner aquarist. It thrives well in a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and pH of 8.1-8.4. Strong water flow may hamper the complete opening up of this species, so it should not be placed in an area of high current flow. Placing it on a hard surface may stress this Polyphillia species leading to its demise eventually. The Green Tongue Coral prefers to move around in the aquarium, therefore ample space is recommended for its locomotion without any hindrance. It derives its nutrition chiefly from photosynthesis that is done by the entrapped zooxanthellae in its tissue. The Green Tongue Coral expands its polyp to shift its base to a well illuminated region of the marine aquarium while photosynthesis.
The tongue coral is an easy to keep beginner coral. There are some similar species such as the Herpolitha or Ctenactis species.The Polyphyllia spcies can be elongated, oval or have an x or y shape. The axial furrow is often indistinct. The tentacles expand in the daylight.Herpolitha are elongated and may have round or pointed ends. There are more numerous, longer tentacles over the surface. In captivity this species may become very similar to Polyphyllia.The Ctenactis specis can be identified by the pronounded septal teeth and costal spines.Place this coral on the sand bed and provide moderate - high lighting and moderate to strong water flow. Add marine snow or zooplankton to the water column. Brine shrimp may be offered also.Keep this coral 4 inches from other corals to prevent stinging.There is no choice for species- it is limited to what we have in stock.Corals are part of a biological group known as Cnidaria. Most Cnidaria have a mouth,or mouths, that opens into one big body cavity. Due to the lack of a true digestivesystem, this cavity acts in its place and after the food is broken down thenutrients are then sent through the rest of the body as food. There is also noexcretory system; therefore the waste is sent back through the mouth or secretedinto the surrounding water.Tentacles of varying size will usually surround the mouth of Cnidaria. Most Cnidariahave tentacles with stinging cells that can shoot tiny poison darts into their preyor can even be used as a defense mechanism. Some corals lack tentacles and insteadcover themselves with a thin layer of mucus and use that to collect bacteria andplankton as food. Some corals even use both of these methods. Cnidaria can either bean individual animal or members of a complex colony. These "Colony Corals" share thefood and nutrients taken in by each individual.Corals have tiny living organisms that actually live in their tissue. These arecalled zooxanthellae and they are the reason why such strong lighting is needed inthe saltwater aquarium. These algae-like creatures provide the coral with oxygen andother nutrients that are produced during photosynthesis. During this process, thezooxanthellae take up carbon dioxide and provide nutrients to the coral.Corals can use two different types of defense mechanisms. One of which is a sweepertentacle wherein the coral reaches its tentacles out to try to damage another coralwith nematocysts. The other is when the coral releases a minute amount of toxin intothe water to poison another coral within certain proximity. Most "Hard Corals"should not be placed within reach of another coral.