Sty-N001: Stylopora pistillata. I acquired this piece because I like form. And the form of stylos has always been intriguing to me, especially when intermingled with the various forms of the Acropoid brethren?cous-ren, whatever. They’re always attention getters and seem to shout ‘CORAL REEF, HERE!’ to both hobbyists and non-hobbyists alike. I think this is because everyone is familiar with them as dead, bleached decorations. Again, it’s that form. It kind of sticks with you. This one came from Vivid. I was particularly drawn to it because I thought its color was more intense than normal. I placed it rather high up on the rockwork under intense lighting. As far as water flow is concerned, it issurrounded by several taller acros so it’s hard to tell. It has kept its color pretty well though. Hopefully, that means it’s happy where it is. About the only troubling aspect concerning the piece is that it has grown very, very slowly. So much so, that it is now hard to see amidst the acros, which I find as a waste. I mean, it’s so cool looking. I want to SEE it. So, obviously I have to seriously contemplate moving it. I’m not sure where yet and I’m getting mixed messages in response to whether this coral tolerates lower light or not. Like I said before, it seems happy where it is. Unfortunately, I don’t have anymore ‘where it is’ unless I make a few drastic changes and I’m not really feeling that either. So right now, I’m just thinking, planning, and looking. If this piece grew only twice its size, and kept its color of course, it would be one of my very favorite corals in the tank?provided I could see it. At some point soon, I’m really going to try to make that happen.
Sty-N002: Stylopora pistillata: Well, here’s an interesting variant. It came from Atlantis Aquarium and was STM as their Ocean Blue Polyp Stylo. The polyps are actually bluish while the background color is a deep maroon. I had a piece of this coral previously, in what was then, my refugium and I recall that it really looked stunning under actinics. I currently have this piece on the bottom and under a bit of an over hang where it shares a piece of live rock with a Cyphestrea. Neither seem to be doing any harm to the other so I just let it go. The light it receives therefore is indirect and the water flow is moderate and alternating. Very few non-hobbyists pay any attention to this coral. But, once noticed, other hobbyists go wild. I’ve been offered much more than the little colony is worth to sell it outright but I won’t. Right now, the coral is readily available on Atlantis’ and a couple other respectable vendors website so I really can’t see what the Limited Edition-like frenzy is all about. You want some, go get some! It’s a very lovely coral and, especially when view up close, those crazy bluish polyps are quite spectacular.