Hydnophora exesa

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Encrusting Horn Coral
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Encrusting Horn Coral
Species Hydnophora exesa
Difficulty Moderate
Required Lighting Moderate/High
Temp. 72-78F
Placement Midground
Coloration Cream, Green
pH 8.1-8.4
Specific Gravity 1.023-1.025
Water Hardness 8-12dH
Temperament Aggressive
Water Flow Medium

Alternative names

Encrusting Horn Coral, Knob Coral, Velvet Horn Coral, Branch Coral

Tank compatibility

This SPS coral is highly aggressive. One of, if not the most, aggressive coral available in the trade. It has been known to live in peace with other corals for months before going on the offensive. Once this coral's attack is triggered the death of the neighbour almost always follows. 5.1cm (2") Hydnophoras have been known to kill every coral in its area regardless of size. It extends white threadlike strands called mesenterial filaments from the base that pack a potent sting.


Mostly feeds on phytoplankton or zooplankton. It also gets some energy from photosynthesis as it has symbiotic algae within its tissues and therefore requires light to survive.

Feeding regimen

Feed this coral once a week at least, the more you feed the faster it will grow but the tank's water quality will suffer as a result of heavy feeding, possibly resulting in the death of the coral. Most SPS eat small planktonic animals and algae spores. Some will accept BBS or larger bits of meaty food. Like all corals, this SPS will react positively to being fed a wide range of foods from zooplankton to phytoplankton and BBS.

Environment Specifics

This is an aggressive coral, if it touches another coral it will deliver a powerful and most likely lethal sting. Make sure to give it enough room in the aquarium setting to prevent damage to other corals.


You can easily id this coral by its stout sweeper tentacles and soft coral look. If ordered it is easy to see after arrival why it is a hard coral but after being in a tank a day or so it stretches out its sweeper tentacles and fills with water and almost looks like a soft coral.

External links