There are many amazing cool types of polyps, most are
very easy to keep and grow. All are colonial or semi-colonial.
The two main types are those that grow with connecting material
(tissue) at their bases and those that grow as independent,
single animals, not connected into a large mass.
Though many types superficially resemble one another, they are often not closely related.
A variety of button polyps, sand polyps, star polyps
Most are octocorals, soft corals without a calcerous skeleton.
Just the polyp, a rather oversized and sturdy one compared to
many others, able to rough it out without a skeleton. Often
chemical warfare is not above them however. Some can secrete
a deadly toxin (Palytoxin from a Palythoa), though this seems highly
limited to types most of us won't get or see. As a rule they
are harmless in your tank, but remember everything is best handled
with gloves. I have handled a hundred types of zoas, thousands of times,
without gloves, without issue. Often with hands full of open clam
and rock cuts and slices.
There are the Star Polyps (which are white,
green, metallic, or brown) of the
genus Pachyclavularia; the Sand
Polyps, which are usually Zoanthids
or Parazooanthids (which can be
green, red, or yellow or amazing combos);
and (brown or green) Button Polyps (Palythoa and
Protopalythoa); the Daisy and Glove
or Clove Polyps (Clavularia); and, the
Pacific Briareum, and others.
Note, that even amongst
similar-appearing star polyps,
there is tremendous variation of
form and, actually, undoubtedly,
many species involved. They all
share one thing in common ...
they are easy to keep!
Almost all polyps will do well
under less than halide light ...
that is daylight or 50-50's and actinics,
compact fluorescents, T5's, HO and VHO,
will all suit them just fine.
Water flow and movement
is more important, as
is often the case. I feed them my
"free invert food" and it seems
they quite like it.
There are short-tentacled and long-stalked types;
long-tentacled and short-stalked varieties; colored tentacled, stalked, or centered types.
Many polyps are shipped to
the U.S. dry, out of water.
This is because they are
attached to big heavy rocks
that weigh a lot already.
Star, Button, and Sand Polyps,
as well as Yellow Polyps are
all shipped from across the
Pacific out of water.
Some are wrapped in wet
newspaper, some are not.
There are virtually
no DOA's whatsoever.
If only everything in
water shipped so well!
They often live in tidal
areas where they are dry
for part of their day routinely.
Although, Clove or Glove
and Daisy Polyps must be
shipped in water.
So, here we offer a selection of photographs
of the different types of polyps that are widely
available. Hopefully this can help you
identify them as well as see their beauty too.
Polyps add beauty and color to a marine
aquarium or mini reef, are easily cared for and admired.
If you are interested in learning about ordering
an assortment of polyps (along with other coral
varieties), please see links below for more details.
Polyp colonies or polyp rocks are
generally a piece that is approx. 3 x 5" to 4 x 6"
with usually a hundred or even often a couple of
hundred of polyps (depending on the type of polyps.)
Except when the fancy rare super-colored types,
when you get a smaller piece for more money.
If we all wanted brown, those would cost most,
but since red and blue is our heart's desire,
those are. With them you may get a 2 x 2" piece
with 25 to 50 polyps.
Enjoy your polyps!