If you are looking for a fast-growing coral that will add some great color to your tank, the Blue clove polyps is a perfect choice.
Blue or Purple clove polyp corals are very hardy and don’t require any special water conditions or specific needs. They are a great coral for beginners and look amazing in any reef tank.
This article covers everything you need to know about keeping Clove polyp corals. They are easy to care for providing you follow their basic needs.
But be warned. They are a fast-growing coral and can easily take over your tank in a short amount of time.
Blue Clove Polyps Appearance
The Blue clove polyp coral is also known as the blue Anthelia coral and resembles some types of xenia corals. They are blue and purple in color and form a mat similar to the Green star polyp coral and pipe organ. They have very small stalks with soft feathered polyps.
Although these corals look great and are easy to keep, many people in the hobby don’t like to keep them due to the fact they grow so fast and can cover rocks, sand, and many other things in the tank. It is very easy for polyps to blow to all areas of the tank and grow. A small frag of Clove polyps can grow to a full colony in a few months.
I am actually a huge fan of these corals and keep a colony in my 120-gallon reef tank. I don’t mind the fact that they grow and cover a sand bed or rocks. They look amazing.
The issue you can run into is if they take over areas where you have other corals that could be bothered by them. I have never had this problem but many others have. I know several hobbyists that won’t keep them due to their high growth rate and invasiveness to other corals.
How to feed Blue Clove Polyps
Under regular conditions, Blue clove polyps will grow just fine. They are photosynthetic and receive their nutrition from zooxanthellae. It is not necessary to feed them but you can spot feed if you wish. They will pull food from the water column and you can provide phytoplankton for them to feed on.
How much water flow do they need?
Blue clove polyps will do well with a moderate to high water flow. If you have low flow in your tank, one thing to keep in mind is detritus can build up around the coral which is removed easier by stronger water movement.
Lighting requirements – Blue Clove Polyps
Blue clove polyp corals are not too picky when it comes to lighting. They will adapt to the lighting you have on your tank. I don’t recommend very high lighting but a low to medium light will be fine. Aim to have anywhere from 50-150 par and these corals will do well and grow fast.
How long does it take Blue Clove Polyps to spread? What is their growth rate?
As mentioned, these corals will grow fast. If you have a larger area of the tank for them to spread out, that would be best. They will grow over rocks, sandbeds, equipment, and glass.
They will grow noticeably each month and a small frag of Blue cloves can reach large colonies within a year. I bought a 1/2” frag of these corals 8 months ago and they are now around 12-14” across and covering several rocks in my tank.
Ideal water parameters for Blue Clove Polyp Corals
Blue clove polyps are a very hardy coral and will thrive as long as your water parameters are within normal limits. You don’t need to have pristine water conditions. In fact, they are difficult to kill and you would have to have pretty poor conditions for them not to do well. Keep your water parameters within these limits and they will do just fine.
Calcium: 400-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-11 dkh
Magnesium: 1200-1350 ppm
Phosphates: Close to 0
Why are they closed and not opening-up?
If your Blue clove polyps are not opening up, you may have something really wrong with your tank conditions. It is really rare for them not to do well. Like any coral, they will get stressed and not open up from time to time. If another coral is bothering them or if you are moving them, they will not open up well. Also at night when the lights are off, they will not open.
How to frag
The Blue clove polyp corals can be difficult to frag as they tend to cover rocks and there is nothing to cut except the rock itself. I have placed frag plugs or discs next to the colony and they will quickly grow onto them. Then you will have a frag. You can also try to break a rock into tiny pieces with the coral attached creating multiple frags. They are not ideal for typical fragging and can be difficult to remove.
Where to buy Blue Clove Polyps and cost
These corals are commonly available and are not difficult to find at saltwater fish stores and online. Many people will trade or sell them as they expand in their tank. A small frag of ½” will cost around $30.
You can find them online at Tidalgardens.com.