News / Company News / Meet the Purple Stick Distichopora (05/03/10)

Meet the Purple Stick Distichopora


Wed like to present to you the Purple Stick Coral (also known as Lace Coral or Distichopora sp.). This often overlooked coral is a unique find in tanks and those who have discovered it find it to be the perfect coral to uniquely spice up the visuals and colors of a reef aquarium. At night, tiny clear polyps extend from the exoskeleton, making this secretive coral even more fascinating.

The Purple Stick is non-photosynthetic, which means its lovely color will remain bright under a variety of different lighting conditions. Although, it prefers to be in dimly lit areas so that it doesnt have to compete with algae which can easily overcome the tissue of the coral and suffocate it. For the same reason, placing the Purple Stick in a cave or underneath an overhang will help its longevity. These corals do best in a heavy water flow where food will be able to continuously pass through their polyps. While most aquarists with established tanks will likely not need to do any specialized feeding for the Purple Stick, those who have newer tanks are recommended to supplement their feeding regimes with a dry or live phytoplankton food product.

Due to its hard skeleton the purple stick is often misidentified as an SPS, or small polyped scleractinian, whereas it is actually a hydrocoral. Fortunately, unlike other hydrocorals (such as the fire coral) it does not possess the ability to sting, so aquarists dont need to be concerned about their own well being when handling the coral.