Chalice Coral Care Guide

Chalice Coral Care Guide

Chalice Coral Care Guide


“Chalice” is the common name given to a number of corals primarily from the Echinophyllia genus but includes a few corals from other genus’s as well, such as Echinopora Lamellosa. For hobbyist purposes they will almost always be labelled as simply Chalice.

Chalice corals are colonial corals that encrust in thin plates with many mouths.  Additionally, chalices have some of the widest ranges of available colors among corals. Which leads to the ever-increasing popularity in reef keeping. Just about any color in the spectrum can be found in chalices, everything from bright green and purple to downright insane rainbows.

Below I’m going to touch on the basic needs of Chalice corals to help you keep these stunning pieces in your home aquarium.


Water conditions

Much like other corals we will touch on in these guides Chalice corals will require a lot of the same conditions.

Salinity: 1.024-1.026 specific gravity

Temperature: Around 78F

Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH

PH: 8-8.4

Calcium 400-450


Lighting and Water Flow

Chalice corals can adapt to higher or lower lighting intensities, but I like to start them around 90-120 Par. Most often I won’t move them from this range but occasionally there will be one that needs to go down in par and others that need to go up. Chalice corals will tell you quickly if the lighting is to high.


Water flow is important to chalices as it is what helps keep them clean and free of detritus. Medium flow is a good place to start, as long as it’s enough to prevent detritus from settling on the chalice. When the chalice grows it can sometimes grow in a cup or bowl shape, in this case make sure there is flow directed to prevent detritus from settling inside of it.


Chalice Coral Feeding

Chalice corals are photosynthetic and will receive most or all of their required nutrition by light. They are also capable of eating but can be hit or miss. When I feed my Chalices, I will essentially dust them with whatever I’ve prepared, usually a small particle powdered food in this case. Because Chalice corals don’t have polyps that catch food, they can have a more difficult time eating. If you watch closely though, you can see the mouths sucking food in. Do not worry if they don’t all do it, oftentimes it will only be a few mouths out of potentially 50+. Turning off all the flow is usually necessary to get food to stay on the Chalice long enough for it to start eating.


Chalice Aggression

Chalice corals can be highly aggressive.  Most Chalices do not have sweeper tentacles, but the ones that do you will want to make sure they can not reach other corals with them.  Chalice corals without sweeper tentacles still have the ability to sting with the body of the Chalice itself. In these cases, you want to make sure another nearby coral doesn’t have polyps that will get blown into the Chalice.

In both cases, Chalices are strong and will easily injure or kill most other corals.  Paying attention to coral surroundings is always key to having a beautiful full looking reef aquarium.

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