The Cabbage Leather is also commonly known as flower leather coral, or carpet coral, or flat leather coral. It is named thus since its lobed appearance resembles a cabbage leaf. The Cabbage Leather is semi aggressive and needs a space between itself and other corals. It is an easy-to-maintain coral, something that makes it a very good choice for a beginner aquarist. Some are toxic to stony corals and thus need to be kept at a distance from other corals. The Cabbage Leather requires medium to high lighting requirement combined with moderate to strong water movement. It looks great under actinic light, when its fluorescent effect comes to action. Its presence makes a beautiful addition to any reef tank by adding a stunning splash of color. The Cabbage Leather requires additional supplements of strontium, iodine, and other elements to the water for its growth and development. It is an encrusting coral and reproduces easily on its own in the reef aquarium by splitting off a portion of its base. The Cabbage Leather also has zooxanthellae dwelling inside its tissue which manufactures food using light energy. Although it is photosynthetic, feeding it additional foods such as micro-plankton, baby brine shrimp, or foods designed for filter feeding invertebrates, helps it thrive well in the community. The Cabbage Leather grows well in a temperature range of 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit, and pH of 8.1-8.4. Like all other leather corals, it also goes through phases when it shrinks by shedding its outer coat, which removes any built up detritus on the surface and the coral is then renewed. During its shedding, a toxin called terenoids is said to be released, which harms other corals. Therefore a strong chemical filtration should be applied to your aquarium.
These Leather Corals are usually a group of undulated cactus-like colonies. Like most Leathers these corals are very hardy and can be kept in aquariums without a strong light source.Leather Corals live in the shallow waters of Tropical Seas & Oceans in all parts of the world, and inhabit Reef Slopes and Lagoons. Leathers will go through a phase when they shrink their Polyps, and secrete a layer of mucus on their body, to be shed later. The mucus coat prevents any algal growth on Leather Corals. Moderate flow must be provided to help them shed this mucus layer or it can suffocate the coral.Leather Corals are moderately hardy creatures, which make them interesting additions to your tank due to their unique fleshy body and colors, especially Browns and Grays. Leather Corals do not have an exoskeleton and their skin has a tough, leathery touch.These easy to care for corals are great for the beginner and do not require high lighting. They do need moderate light and moderate flow.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 digestive system, this cavity acts in its place and after the food is broken down the nutrients are then sent through the rest of the body as food. There is also no excretory system; therefore the waste is sent back through the mouth or secreted into the surrounding water.Tentacles of varying size will usually surround the mouth of Cnidaria. Most Cnidaria have tentacles with stinging cells that can shoot tiny poison darts into their prey or can even be used as a defense mechanism. Some corals lack tentacles and instead cover themselves with a thin layer of mucus and use that to collect bacteria and plankton as food. Some corals even use both of these methods. Cnidaria can either be an individual animal or members of a complex colony. These "Colony Corals" share the food and nutrients taken in by each individual.Corals have tiny living organisms that actually live in their tissue. These are called zooxanthellae and they are the reason why such strong lighting is needed in the saltwater aquarium. These algae-like creatures provide the coral with oxygen and other nutrients that are produced during photosynthesis. During this process, the zooxanthellae take up carbon dioxide and provide nutrients to the coral.Corals can use two different types of defense mechanisms. One of which is a sweeper tentacle wherein the coral reaches its tentacles out to try to damage another coral with nematocysts. The other is when the coral releases a minute amount of toxin into the water to poison another coral within certain proximity.