Aquacultured Watermelo Psammocora is WYSIWYG
Small corallites, one millimeter, with meandering ridges and valleys. Psammocora colonies can take any shape and with nine known species including digitata, clearly this is a very versatile coral that can adapt to its environment. Further identification notes for Psammocora includes shallow valleys which generally contain multiple corallites while the septocostae tends to flow between the corallites. Other corals which are close to Psammocora but upon closer inspection easily identified differently based on deeper valleys as well as more profound ridges include Pavona, Leptoseris and Pachyseris. More closely related to Psammocora is Coscinaraea, the main difference between the two is Psammocora with it’s small corallites, Coscinaraea has two to four millimeter corallites and a more granular look and texture between the corallites.
Generally Psammocora comes in lush rich green and brown colors more commonly, however gray, purple and pinkish red colors occasionally get imported. Psammocora often times in the aquarium will encrust an area of reef to which they are attached to before building massive thick pillars. When polyps and much of the flesh is retracted deep within the stony fortress the rather flat corallites look like small flowers in appearance. This makes Psammocora at least in my opinion one of the most interesting small polyp stony corals while resting. During the day small short tentacle polyps extend soaking up as much light and zooplankton as possible before resting at night.
Psammocora even though they are found throughout all different reef zones, they are typically found on the front sides of the reefs. For this reason it is best to keep Psammocora in an area of high to medium high flow with medium high to medium light. Flow is very important to this animal and helps to encourage strong thick pillars. Failure to provide correct flow will encourage Psammocora to spend more time encrusting as the colony as a whole searches for a more adequate flow.
Asexual fragmentation is generally the most common practice for propagation of Psammocora. This can be accomplished by using water-cooled band saws, using a dremel like tool cutting through the colony or simply by breaking the colony.
Psammocora should be kept apart from most other cnidarians as they are very docile in temperament. They seem to do fine in close proximity to Seriatopora, Pocillipora and most Acropora species.
This coral will thrive in systems with stable normal ionic balanced reef conditions. Supplementing calcium, magnesium and a full alkalinity (both borate and carbonate) is optimal for this corals overall health. For improved coloration proper potassium and manganese levels are important, while dosing strontium will ensure sturdy thick pillars that fish and/or flow will not be able to break easily. Supplementation of amino acids as well as weekly feedings of phytoplankton or ultra-fine zooplankton will improve Psammocora color and growth.