Pink Anthelia Coral

Tenticles sprouting from stalks

Pink Anthelia Coral are a common coral for beginners.  This coral encrusts to rock (or anything else it can touch) and once a large colony is established it brings a lot of wavy purple/pink movement to your reef. This coral is sometimes referred to as glove coral or waving hand coral and gets its name from the eight-leaved tentacles sprouting from its stalks.

Common Names:  Pink Anthelia , Glove Coral, or waving hand coral.

Skill Level: Beginner

Classification: Soft Coral

Disposition:  Peaceful

Light Level: Low to Moderate

Water Flow: Strong

Disposition: Peaceful

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

Pink Anthelia Colony

While the disposition of this coral is considered peaceful it is important to know that the coral should be placed so that the growth of the coral can be easily managed.  This coral grows quickly and many reef tanks have been quickly over taken.  Placing the corals on small “islands” of rock in the tank will keep them from spreading out of control. Although you will still have to “prune” this coral often as it will attach to the floor of the tank (even if it’s glass) and will continue to spread.

Pink Anthelia growing up side of tank

Growing up side of frag tank


Pink Anthelia coral contain zooxanthellae within their bodies to provide for the majority of their nutritional requirements through photosynthesis. This basically means that they have the ability to get their food from the lights on your tank.  This coral requires a strong water flow and will do even better if your reef can produce a strong pulsing water flow (wave maker or wave box).

When it comes to lighting there is such a thing as too much light. For this posting I did a quick experiment and moved some of the shading off of a section of pink anthelia coral growing in my frag tank. In the image below there is a 400 watt MH above the coral and without a screen to cut down on the light you can see that the coral is rejecting the strong light.  The Green area still has shading between the coral and the light, the red section the shading has been removed. While it may be possible to acclimate the coral to very intense lighting I have found based on my experience, this coral prefers low to medium light.


Red area is the coral under to much light, green area the coral has some shading


Example placement Image for Pink Anthelia per lighting and water flow.

Propagation of this coral is very easy.  The coral can be cut near the base of the rock with scissors, placed into a basket on top of rubble rock and it will quickly attach to the rock within a few days.  During this healing and attaching process allow the coral to have low water flow so the newly cut frag doesn’t blow out of your basket.  On a side note you will notice the smell this coral can put off is pungent! Even easier than cutting the coral for fragging I place rubble rock around my mother colony and as the coral spreads out it attaches to this rock. Once the coral is fully attached to this rubble rock and established I remove this piece of rubble and replace it with a new piece.


Clown hosting in pink anthelia

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