Easy Beginner Corals Part 2: Pocillopora; A Very Good Starter SPS
Pocillopora, or pocci for short, is a very good starter coral for reefers having a go at keeping SPS. They are as hardy as the wildly popular monti, and I recommend them over montis because poccis have no known pests. In addition, poccis come in a variety of colors and is easy on the wallet.
It can be difficult to tell pocci apart from bird's nest coral. Took a while before I noticed that bird's nest do not encrust whereas poccis do. Then I realized the growth pattern of bird's nest is up and out, whereas the growth pattern of pocci is generally round or bushy. Because of this unique growth pattern, a colony of pocci doesn't take up a lot of space. Pocci only creates a little shading which lets me place corals around and even under it, packing more corals into an already full tank.
Pocci looks like a sweet coral but it can pack a punch. IME, the polyps on the pocci can give hell to stylocoeniella and even leptastrea. Yes, you heard it right. I was surpised myself when I saw die off on my John Deere Leptastrea in the area facing my purple green pocci. However, this is nothing to worry about. Pocci is not a fast grower so it wouldn't just up and finish off another coral. If there's die off, let it be. In fact, welcome it because that gives the reef tank a wilder look.
Care Sheet for Pocci
Lighting: Medium to high. If given too little light, colors will dull out.
Flow: Medium to high.
Pests: No known.