What are green star polyps and how to care for them?
Tags Soft Coral

What are green star polyps and how to care for them?

Are you looking for an interesting, easy-to-care-for addition to your reef tank? Look no further than Green Star Polyps (commonly shortened to GSP)! These vibrant little creatures are sure to add some pizzazz and personality to your underwater paradise. GSP will attach and grow on any rock or hard surface such as the back glass, resembling a stunning field of glowing grass waving in the wind once the colony is large enough. Not only do they come in a few different colors, but they also require minimal care and maintenance. Keep reading to learn more about these amazing soft corals and how to provide them with the best home!

What are green star polyps?

Green Star Polyps (GSP) are a type of soft coral that is native to the Caribbean and Indo-Pacific oceans. They can be found in various shades of green including a very bright neon! These small invertebrates vary in size from about 1/4 inch to huge colony mats and have multiple tentacles arranged around their mouth. GSPs use these tentacles to catch floating food particles such as detritus or phytoplankton. They also contain symbiotic zooxanthellae algae which give them their vibrant hues when exposed to light.

These corals self-propagate by budding off smaller polyps onto adjacent rocks or surfaces - making it easy for you to create your own mini GSP garden! And don't worry; they aren't harmful towards other animals in your tank like some stony corals may be. In fact, many aquarists find Green Star Polyps especially beneficial for cleaning up excess nutrients and improving water quality overall!

Lighting and water flow for green star polyps

When caring for Green Star Polyps, it's important to keep in mind that they prefer medium-high lighting and gentle water flow. Moderate light will help the polyps maintain their vibrant colors while still providing enough nutrients from zooxanthellae algae photosynthesis. As far as water flow is concerned, a moderate current should be sufficient to provide oxygenation and keep detritus from settling on your GSPs. Too much turbulence can cause stress or damage to these delicate corals; so aim for gentle indirect flow instead of strong random currents!

In addition, it's recommended to feed Green Star Polyps live phytoplankton or rotifers at least once per week. They will get all their necessary nutrition from photosynthesis, but this tends to benefit them their ability to thrive and reproduce - meaning more beautiful GSP for you! And if you want an even better chance of success with these critters, make sure your tank parameters are within acceptable ranges (specific gravity 1.024-1.026; pH 8-8.4). With proper care and maintenance, there's no doubt you'll have happy green star polyp colonies in no time!

Feeding green star polyps

Feeding your Green Star Polyps is an important part of keeping them healthy and happy! As mentioned previously, these corals benefit from a diet consisting mainly of live phytoplankton or rotifers. You can easily purchase these items from your local fish stores or online retailers. It's also possible to culture your own live food with the right equipment if you're feeling ambitious!

When it comes time to feed your GSP, simply add a few drops of the liquid suspension directly onto the polyps. Be sure not to overfeed as this can cause water quality issues - always use caution when dosing any food or nutrients into your tank. In addition, supplement their diet with trace elements such as iodine for optimal health and growth.

Green Star Polyps colony growth

Green Star Polyps are easy to care for and can quickly form large colonies in your reef tank. In fact, it's not uncommon for them to spread over the substrate or rockwork within a few weeks! This is thanks to the purple mat base (or stolon) that encrusts outward from the colony and allows GSP to bud off small polyps onto adjacent surfaces - creating an ever-expanding purple mat of coral!

But don't worry; you're still able to control the size and shape of your GSP colony. Simply prune back any rogue sections that may be spreading too far out. This helps keep your tank looking tidy while also promoting healthy growth among all of your corals.

Propagating green star polyps

Green Star Polyps are easy to propagate and make great gifts for fellow aquarists! To do this, simply cut a piece of the main coral colony with some scissors or a razor blade. Then attach it onto a small rock or frag plug using super glue gel - making sure to leave enough room for future growth. Finally, place the new frag into your tank and you're all set!

It's important to remember that these corals can be quite delicate; so try not to move them around too much once they've been attached. Also, be sure not to overcrowd your tank as GSPs need plenty of room to spread out and form healthy colonies.

Acclimating green star polyps

One important key to having successful Green Star Polyp colonies is proper acclimation! Before adding them to your tank, it's important to slowly adjust the water temperature and parameters of their new home. This can be done by floating the bag in the aquarium for around 15 minutes before releasing them - allowing both temperatures to equalize and any potential stressors to dissipate.

It's also a good idea to treat all incoming corals with a coral dip - this helps prevent any unwanted intruders from hitchhiking into your tank! Once you're sure that everything is safe and sound, simply add your GSP into their new home and watch as they thrive! For a more in-depth guide to coral acclimation, we’ve made a separate post you can read here.



Q: What type of food should I feed my Green Star Polyps?

A: GSP require a diet consisting mainly of live phytoplankton or rotifers - which you can easily purchase from most pet stores or online retailers. Besides strictly food, Iodine supplements have also been shown to positively affect many soft corals including GSP. 

Q: Are Green Star Polyps invasive?

A: No, these corals aren't considered to be particularly aggressive or invasive towards other animals in your tank like some stony corals may be. However, it's important to keep an eye on their colonies so that they don't spread too far out and overcrowd other inhabitants in your tank.

Q: Why won't my Green Star Polyps open?

A: These small invertebrates require bright lighting, gentle water flow, and plenty of nutrition to stay healthy. Make sure that you provide adequate levels of light for photosynthesis, moderate flow for oxygenation and prevention of detritus, as well as regular feedings of live phytoplankton or rotifers at least once per week. You should also check your tank parameters (specific gravity 1.024-1.026; pH 8-8.4) to ensure they are within acceptable ranges - this will give them the best chance of success in their new home! If they are a new addition to your reef tank, they may still need some time to settle in, barring any other issues your GSP should open up within a week or two.




In conclusion, Green Star Polyps are a great addition to any reef tank whether you’re a beginner or seasoned aquarist. With their vibrant colors and easy-care requirements, they make the perfect showpiece! Plus, they provide many benefits such as cleaning up excess nutrients and improving water quality overall. Now that you know more about these amazing corals, we welcome you to check out our GSP frags for sale!

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