Purple Leather Rescue on the Reef

About 6 weeks ago, I returned from the fish store with a coral that wasn’t supposed to survive. Toadstool leathers (Sarcophyton sp.) are soft corals of the family Alcyoniidae, and generally good corals for beginners. Although they do engage in “chemical warfare”–releasing toxins that can harm other corals (including other leathers) if placed too close together, leathers have amazing regenerative powers, and can recover from fairly serious injuries, given time and the right conditions. Despite this, the local reef store owner was having trouble persuading a heavily damaged toadstool leather to recover in his tanks. (This is highly unusual, because he farms many

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