This leather coral is one of over 40 species in the Lobophytum genus. They have fully retractable polyps and this genus has a short wide low stalk and has folds across its upper surface that are crowded planted or fingerlike. The shapes of this genus can be bowl, dish or upright and shed mucus that should be kept off of other corals. Moderate light and moderate water flow and good calcium levels will help this coral grow quickly. Feed them foods that filter feeders eat.
The Cabbage Leather Coral, Sinularia brassica (inaccurately called dura) is one of the species that reproduce by dropping branches or fragmenting. These toxic corals will not be bothered by angelfish! They should not be kept with Acropora and Porites as they will stunt or inhibit their growth, often killing these stony corals. Even LPS like Euphyllia, Catalaphyllia and Pleogyra will die from the Sinularia genus' toxins. Some colonies of Sinularia can be over 100 years old!
The Colt Coral is in the Cladiella genus. There are 40 species and many are referred to as Colt or Finger Leather Corals. While color is not a good indication as to whether they are a Cladiella or Alcyonium, typically Colt Corals are cream to grayish white with brown or greenish brown polyps. That, along with shorter lobed projections, encrusting with a very short stalk and a heavy and lumpy appearance can help identify the Colt Coral.
This is a cool video of a Hippo Tank enjoying a "rest" on this Devil's Hand Coral. These corals give off very strong toxins that can retard the growth or kill stony corals. If the tank is hundreds of gallons, they may be okay together. When they sloth off their mucus, make sure it doesn't land on any other corals or it will kill them. Tank size for just this coral is 50 gallons, and being subtropical, the L. pauciforum will require a chiller to keep the temperature lower than 73˚F.
The Common Toadstool Coral grows to 4" if it is a male and 24" if it is female! There is no way of knowing the sex, so an aquarist may find themselves either fragging or giving away their giant female Toadstool Coral! In some instances, such as adding a small Common Toadstool Coral to a tank that has larger and more mature softies, the growth may be stunted. While their toxins that they emit into the water is detrimental to stony corals, they can be stung by corals that come in contact with them. If your tank is 30" deep and at least 24" front to back, give it a go!
The Elephant Ear or Green Toadstool Coral grows to 3 feet across and 3 to 4 feet if it is a female and much smaller if it is female! Unlike the Common Toadstool, the polyps are shorter. There is no way of knowing the sex, so an aquarist may find themselves either fragging or giving away their giant Elephant Ear Coral! In some instances, such as adding a small Elephant Ear Coral to a tank that has larger and more mature softies, the growth may be stunted. While their toxins that they emit into the water is detrimental to stony corals, they can be stung by corals that come in contact with them. If your tank is 4 feet deep and at least 36" front to back, give it a go!
The Finger Leather Coral can grow a foot or more, though it depends on the other softies in the tank. They can stunt the corals growth and if the coral grows too tall, it can be easily trimmed, propagated and sold for a profit! They have lobes, fingers or crests with polyps that siphon food from the water. Do not house with stony corals unless the tank is very large or your softie is small.
The Flexible Leather Coral, Sinularia flexibilis, is different from the Finger Leather Coral in that the branches are longer, thinner and more erratic. The polyps are not as "fluffy" as the Finger Leather Coral and when you see them side by side it is obvious. While they can grow up to 10" (25 cm), they tend to reproduce and spread horizontally and can take up an entire aquarium, making for an interesting display! Grab yourself a green one, let it multiply and then frag, sell and cha-ching!