Wild coral ID - please help me identify!

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I'm planning a new reef tank as a Maldives biotope, aiming to replicate a few 'cameos' I saw while snorkelling on the shallow reefs.
One strong possibility is shown in the attached images (which are stills from a video). It shows a group of 5 clarkii clownfish in a bubble-tip anenome.
But I have so far failed to identify the coral growing all around the anenome. Can anyone help?

It has an unusual growth form of vertical laminar plates ending in fingers, a bit like raised hands. In some ways it is reminiscent of the 'blue coral' Heliopora coerulea but in other ways it's different.

The location was on the inside of an island reef, in shallow water not exposed to surges.

The coral seemed to be thriving; this was unusual at this depth where around 80% of the corals were dead following the 2016 El Nino.
The dominant surviving corals were huge boulders of Porites, so I wondered if this branched coral could be Porites cylindrica. But the growth form doesn't seem right for that either.

Any ideas welcome!

I could try and link the video if that would help.

Cheers,
Paul
40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

fr499y

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Reply #1

Hmm even with colour balance i can't work it out. Was it a SPS or softy?

Mol_PMB

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Reply #2

It was rigid. So it's either an SPS or it's Heliopora coerulea (which is a hard softy...)
Sorry for the rubbish pics - I should have bought a better underwater camera!


40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

fr499y

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Reply #3

Does look like a Heliopora couerulea. Could be growing differently due to the low flow area it was in?

Mol_PMB

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Reply #4

Thanks :-) I think it's either a Porites species, or Heliopora. I haven't found a perfect match yet but having looked at more photos of Porites cylindrica I'm warming to that.
40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

fr499y

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Reply #5

that was my original thought but isn't there more obvious polyps on them?

Mol_PMB

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Reply #6

Based on my observations of the boulders of Porites which were commonplace, the polyps aren't always out. Indeed in the daytime they're usually retracted. I did find a few 'furry' boulders though. I think the polyp-eating fish are active in the daytime!
40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

Asco1104

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Reply #7

I have a green porites



Tim

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Reply #8

That's a nice one :-)
40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

Thanks:


Asco1104

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Reply #9

It was doing ok but it’s got a bit of stn now, think it’s from a swing I had after a water change.

I noticed on ur you said about reefworks having some, do you know they will be wholesale only by the end of the year?


Tim

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Reply #10

I didn't know that, and I'm disappointed! Thanks for the tip-off. I've had some good stuff from them in the past.
40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

Asco1104

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Reply #11

I was disappointed to, it’s not to far from me so I was going to go there on a pay day.
It’s on there fb page and I think it was on ur too, they have purpose built unit now to cater for wholesale.


Tim

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Reply #12

Millepora alcicornis?

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Reply #13

Thanks - that's the closest pic I've seen so far :-) Ultimate Reef also suggested a Millepora.
I'm not sure if I want to keep a Millepora in my new tank though. Could be interesting and different, but perhaps a bit risky...

40L: Tiger pistol shrimp and Wheeler goby trio, peppermint shrimp, zoas, ricordeas, gorgs, tree
Plans for a new 250L Maldivian biotope...

Asco1104

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Reply #14

Why risky Paul?


Tim

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