Green Pocillopora


The Green Pocillopora Coral is an extremely fast growing coral even by SPS standards.  Once the coral is established in your reef tank its growth can be explosive once you have provided the right water flow, light, calcium, and other trace elements to the water. Green Pocillopora coral growth resembles thick lumpy branches covered in fuzzy polyps which is why it also known as “Cauliflower Coral”.

Thick Lumpy Branches resemble Cauliflower

Common Names: Green Pocillopora

Skill Level: Moderate

Classification: SPS

Disposition:  Semi – aggressive

Light Level: Moderate to High

Water Flow: Medium

Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025



I have seen it listed from Semi – aggressive to completely peaceful on a variety of forums and websites.  The only “test” that this has been put to in my own tank was when a hammer coral frag touched my Green Pocillopora frag. The Green Pocillopora frag lost.  Any place the hammer coral touched the Pocillopora the coral branches died.  While this could indicate that the coral leans more toward peaceful than aggressive side I’m still listing it as Semi – Aggressive since I have seen it referenced that way on to many other websites to ignore.  Because this coral tends to be a fast grower, you should leave adequate room for its expansion. Be on the safe side and allow plenty of room between the Green Pocillopora and your other corals.

Pocillipora lost vs Hammer coral

Even though this particular article is in regards to the Green Pocillopora coral you can also find this coral in several different colors. I have only seen it in green and pink but research on this particular coral shows that you can also find it in yellow, orange and blue variations.  You can see below my Green Pocillopora has blue tips on the polyps.


Propagation of this coral is handled like many other SPS corals.  I personally use clippers and break off pieces from the main mother colony. I usually break off the branches where they “fork” off.  Once the piece is removed I glue it onto another piece of live rock or a frag plug. It’s okay to have your coral out of the water for several minutes.  Once the glue is dry place your rock back into the tank.  Give your coral several days before you begin to see full polyp extension.

Green Pocillipora Frag


Interested in buying a Green Pocillopora frag? Buy Green Pocillopora Frag

Need a simple fragging Kit? View fragging kit on amazon



16 thoughts on “Green Pocillopora

  1. Hey, I got a 30 gal reef, have four t5 lights, I purchased this Pocillorora coral from the petstore, looked all fuzzy and nice, put it n my tank towards the top, all fuzz went away. In the mornings it was fuzzy, but at the store it stayed fuzzy. Everything is fine in my tank such as nitrates, cal, alk, everything. Been in salt for 15yrs. Never had a 30 gal reef, but wondering if it being 5″ close to the t5 could be it?

    1. Yeah I would guess that it’s too close to the lights, are you noticing the coral losing any color besides the polyp retraction?
      Drop it down to the bottom of your tank for a few days and see if the polyp extension returns with the lights on. Once the polyp extension returns i would slowly start raising it in your tank over the course of a few weeks till it is used to the light level you want it to be at.

      1. Thanks Tom for the reply. Yeah, that’s what I did, it was 5″, moved it down so its bout 10″ now, man everything is brown, but not extremely fuzzy like at the store. In doing research I come across a lot saying it can take some time getting acclimated to a tank but once does it takes off. I purchased 8 3-5″ tall frags, got a rock, drilled several holes in it then glued em to the rock, looks like a rock with a tree growing out of it, so maybe doing that and being too close had something to do with it. I’ll keep ya informed bout whats going on. Thanks man.

        1. Tom, forgot to mention, at the shop they keep their corals for sale in a good size tank, maybe 5’x24″x18″ tall but they have two metal halides with two t12 bulbs over the tank, seems like the lights are maybe 3′ from top of tank as well.

          1. Hi Ryan,
            If you have little polyp extension looking brown is fine, the “skin” of a green pocillipora is a brown or tan color. The bushy polyps are what gives off the green. As long as your water params are fine my guess would be that the coral was too close to the light and thats why the polyps are retracted. Give it several days before you move it and hopefully you will see the polyp extension come back.
            Good luck and thanks for writing!

  2. Tom, hey man I was looking at my pocillopora today, noticed on a few branches which are all still brown but there’s some neon green in various parts. Also noticed I have got several polyp extension as well, so guess it’s getting settled in it’s new spot. But guess what I’m asking is this neon green I see something good maybe? It’s not algae, but a neon green skin like, sorta looks as if it belongs to the coral, kinda pretty looking. It doesn’t appear to be the polyp, but the skeleton of the coral Itself.



    1. Hi Ryan,
      Yes the neon green is a good thing. It means a few things. First it indicates that your tank is not overloaded with nutrients which generally makes corals brown. Second it can mean that the light spectrum on your T5 bulbs will promote the growth of
      “Pretty” looking Zooxanthellae instead of a drab brown color which is more common with 10k bulbs. This could also indicate that while your coral will look very pretty the growth may be a little slower. A fair trade though if you ask me.

  3. Cool, thanks Tom. I think I’ll leave it alone and sit back and see what happens! I’m eager to see the outcome now. What I need to do is quit starring at it daily, just forget about it for a few days and then check on it, then I’ll notice a lot of things have changed. It’s just so hard not to stare at it, haha. Thanks again Tom.

    Take care,


  4. Tom, I last wrote you the end of march, about my pocillopora coral not getting fuzzy. Well Tom, they are finally fuzzy! I have recently switched to Hamilton technology t5’s royal blue and their ice white. Royals in middle, ice whites on the ends. Awesome bulbs, gorgeous color and great growth. Jus don’t understand why all I see on the Internet is this ATI brand, since Hamilton has been around over 20 yrs? I really like these bulbs, and my corals seem to as well. Jus wanted to let ya kno Tom how things are going with my pocillopora coral now.


    1. Hi Ryan,
      That is great news, I bet it really starts to take off under those new bulbs!
      Make sure to take a few quick pictures so you can look back in a month or two. You will notice a lot of growth which you cannot see day to day.
      I believe that the ATI brand is often toted the best because it is believed they put out the highest par with their single reflectors and fans keeping the T5 bulbs cooled to the correct temperature. However that being said I have seen dozens of tanks using other brand T5’s which have great color and growth, so if your corals are fuzzy and happy i wouldn’t worry about it!

      1. Hey Tom. Yes! These Hamilton bulbs are awesome! I got 6 on a 30g tank. Here’s my combination front to back;

        Royal blue

        The 50/50 bulbs are a Hamilton actinic sun, they are a 6500k with actinic(50/50) so I got two of the 50/50’s in the middle, and things are going crazy! My candy cane coral looks so full as if its ready to burst! If you have an email Tom I’d be glad to send you some pics.
        Also yes I’ve taken pics almost daily and review them months down the road for comparison.
        My person I deal with at Hamilton compared the ATI and their Hamilton royal blue with a PAR meter and he said the ATI was jus a fuzz higher, but not by a lot. Said color of the two were exactly the same.
        Thanks for all the help Tom in the past months and ill definitely be keeping ya informed!!

  5. Tom sorry for the duplicate post, didn’t kno it already sent. But do have another question. I have a yellowish lime green looking acropora coral, It seemed to be doing awesome under a 10k bulb then I had put in a 6500k and soon after it started to get a reddish brownish looking algae on it. What’s ur opinion on that. It’s under t5’s, about 4″ away from the lights and been like that since February then the bulb change got algae growing. Any suggestions? It’s alive, polyps are out at night, looks great besides the algae.

    1. Hey Ryan,
      Things sound like they are really doing well in your tank. That’s awesome news. I bet the corals are loving the 6500k bulbs for growth! Nems would really like that light spectrum as well. Reddish brown algae sounds like you might be describing cyano. Is it sort of thin and wispy looking? I would knock that algae off it or it will end up possibly spreading and killing off all the parts of the coral it touches. Dont read that like it’s a tank killer or anything. Most reefers get it at some point or another if the nitrates and phosphates are a little high in a tank. In regards to removing it from your coral you could do a few different things.
      1. frag the piece which the algea is attached to, and move it away from the main coral to isolate the algae.
      2. Try blowing the algae off the coral with a turkey baster or move it near the power head, just make sue you dont put it under such pressure it blows the tissue off the coral.
      3. You could take the frag out and give it a few dips into a solution of 1/2 tank wanter and 1/2 hydrogen peroxide. I have done this many times and it will kill off the algae and the coral should be fine, but i’d do that as a last resort.

      Oh and the email i check here on the site is – I’d love some pics of your tank!
      Thanks Ryan

  6. Sent ya a bunch of pics Tom. Hope ya like me. Hey do have a question, these Hamilton technology t5 bulb called “actinic sun” it’s called a 50/50 bulb, half 6500 k and half actinic, what do you think bout that compared to the royal blue by Hamilton? The royal blue is basically just like a ATI purple something they call it, ATI has jus a fuzz more par, that’s it but u think the 50/50 would be more beneficial than the royal blue?

    Thanks Tom


    1. Hi Ryan,
      I wish i could answer this better but i don’t have much experience with any 50/50 bulbs. When you look at lighting you cant just look at PAR of the bulb. While Par is very important , the spectrum of the bulb also matters. I can see from your pictures it looks like you have very healthy and happy corals, and on the montipora i can see growth rings, which would tell me your corals are taking advantage of the 6500k bulbs. However if you were to switch to the royal blue bulbs i think that would increase some of your corals coloration and “pop” in your tank. The trade off is that your coral growth might slow down some. I have tried ATI purple and would just instead go with a blue bulb, i think they look better personally but its all about what you want for your tank. What your doing so far looks good, i would only change things up if you want to try to get a little more colors out of your corals.

  7. Hey wow great article very informative. I got A green frag from my local fish shop and it seems to be doing well. My phosphates are near 0 and nitrates under 3 ppm. Just make sure calcium is above 400 or it won’t grow. Also they are particularly sensitive to temperature change so I’d recommend a chiller if you’re in a warmer climate.

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