My Favorite Faviids

Although the members of family Faviidae make up the second largest group of stony corals, few people outside the aquarium hobby (and SCUBA divers) recognize them on sight.

Brain corals are faviids, as are many other, less quickly recognized species. They tend to be colorful, slow-growing, and fairly easy to raise in captivity (under proper conditions) which makes them ideal specimens for reefkeepers like me. Beaked fish, like triggers and parrotfish, frequently chew on stony corals, but since my aquarium hosts no coral eating species, I can indulge in a faviid or two.

One of my very first corals was a faviid (the species’s common name is “Pot of Gold”). Rare faviids can be expensive, so I bought only four “heads” (the faviid is the bluish/pink splotch below and to the right of Max):

13C Max and baby favid

Two years later, the colony has grown substantially larger (it’s the one on the right in the photo below), and shares its rock with two other faviids. The purple and chartreuse beauty in the center is “Dragon’s Revenge” and the blue and red one to its leftone of my favorites – but I can’t remember its name!

13C Favids

Here’s a closer shot of the blue and red:

13C Blue favid

Last weekend I noticed a beautiful new faviid colony at Your Reef (the local reef store where I buy all my corals and fish). The coloring reminded me of a watermelon, greenish around the colony walls and pink in the center (where the coral’s mouths are located). As it turned out, the store’s owner had never seen the species before either – but he sold it to me on the condition that I bring him back a “frag” (the term for a piece of a colony) when it had grown out enough to split.

I gladly agreed, and now I have a new favorite faviid:

13B Watermelon Favite

My tank may be getting crowded, but there’s always room for something new and special on the reef!

What’s your favorite coral? Did you know about faviids? Would it surprise you to know that the skeleton underneath those colorful mouths is actually hard and razor-sharp – capable of cutting a diver’s hand like a razor?



4 thoughts on “My Favorite Faviids

  • March 6, 2013 at 8:57 pm

    Hard to get excited about faviids when Emperor Maximum Angryfish is around – love that guy! 🙂

    • March 6, 2013 at 10:02 pm

      You know, Tez, I have to agree – Max is one of my favorite fish. He’s probably the most opinionated fish I’ve ever had, and I doubt I’ll ever have a tank without a watchman goby from here on out. There will always be an Emperor Max.

      • March 7, 2013 at 2:38 am

        He’s the Grumpy Cat of the marine world, bless him 🙂

      • March 7, 2013 at 2:11 pm

        Totally. And yet, somehow, he always makes me smile.

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