This cats paw coral was the first coral of this kind i have ever purchased or kept in one of my reef tanks. Being one of the more interesting and rather pretty coral pieces I own, I wanted to document it’s growth pattern and appearance over time, in a way, keeping a log of it’s life. if this is one of the corals you are interested in keeping, please come back often to view the updates I add to this blog post.
About the cats paw coral
The cat’s paw coral or Birdsnest coral is a Stylophora coral, they are members of the Pocilloporidae family. They typically grow in a ‘bush’ patter with blunt tipped finger-like branches. They can be various colors, and the growth pattern will vary depending on the light and water flow. due to their ‘fuzzy’ soft look and flat base with branching ‘fingers’ they have been give the common name of a cats paw.
My first Stylophora
I purchased this cats paw coral in May 2017 from AQUA-SD, and at the time I honestly didn’t know too much about it other than it looked nice and it was listed as an SPS, which i desperately wanted to try to keep.At the time, my tank was pretty immature, and my equipment was designed more for keeping LPS. Since then I added a Maxspect Gyre pump, completed my lighting upgrade to Kessil A360WE LEDs, and switched salts to ESV B-Ionic Seawater system (See my review here)…all my coral seem to be growing nicely, but it is most obvious on this piece. take a look at the then and now pic below and see what you think.
I will add additional photos to capture it’s growth over time