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Sun corals of the Genus Tubastraea get their name from their bright yellow coloration and sun-like appearance of each polyp. Despite their bright sunny name, these corals are non-photosynthetic which means they do not get any energy from the light. In fact, they are probably the most well-known non-photosynthetic coral in the hobby. Their popularity is rooted both in their beautiful appearance as well as the challenge to keep them alive and thriving.
The challenge of keeping Tubastraea, or any non-photosynthetic coral for that matter, is keeping it properly fed. Often times, hobbyists grossly underestimate the amount of food is necessary to keep these corals alive. The result is the coral slowly starves. Over time the sun coral opens up less and less for feeding, ultimately leading to its death. Luckily, of all the non-photosynthetic corals in the hobby, Tubastraea are some of the most aggressive feeders that can be fed a wide array of meaty foods. There are similar non-photosynthetic corals to Tubastraea such as Balanophyllia and Dendrophyllia with roughly the same care requirements. The black variety of Dendrophyllia can be a little more difficult to get eating but it too can be kept once it starts feeding regularly.