These are mostly photosynthetic corals, which are approximately 1-4 inches in diameter. They can be round, oval and or hour glass in shape many times having one or more mouths. They are among the easiest of all corals to maintain because they do enjoy somewhat nutrient rich waters. They can be found in all types of colors, form different shades of orange, to blue, green, purple, yellow, gold, lemon lime, pink and any combination under the rainbow. They are not true anemones, nor are they true corals, however, they are somewhere in between or better characterized as a morph.
It is fairly easy to identify the difference between the two and it can be done in many ways. One of the easier differences to identify is the raised oral cone or opening and the presence or lack there of polyp pimples or tentacles also know as verrucae. The Florida Ricoreda will display a smooth raised oral cone and typically but not always will have a contrasting color to that of the base of the main polyp. Where as the Ricordea yuma will display the verrucae up the raised oral cone up to the opening. Another easy way to identify the differences, but not always accurate is the size and pattern of the verrucae or polyp pimples. Florida Ricordea typically have symmetrical polyps of similar shape and size, where as a Ricordea Yuma will display virrucae in random sizes, shapes and orientation on the main base polyp. I personally have noticed a distinct difference in feeling or touch of the morphs. I find F. Ricordea to be less fibrous or muscle like in touch to the R. Yuma.
The Florida Ricordea and Ricordea Yuma originate from different locations. The Florida Ricordea can be found from the waters of Southern Florida down to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean's. Ricordea Yuma can be found throughout the Indo-Pacific region or "Coral Triangle". Both species can be found in locations that range from shallow sunlit waters to deeper waters where they tend to be less colonial than there shallower counter parts.
Although Ricoridia are not considered rare there are certain color morphs that are less common and therefor highly sought after. These unique color morphs can fetch top dollar with in the hobby. Ricordea Florida tend to be more common and can be more affordable as they are propagated with in the United States.
Ricordea in Captivity
The Florida Ricordea and Ricordea Yuma are very hardy and forgiving species of coral. Through proper care and husbandry they can be kept in our captive reefs for many years. Ricordea will tolerate temperature ranges from 74-84 degrees, and salinity from 1.024-1.027. However, they do best when stable water parameters are maintained.
Ricordea are not aggressive and make very good tank-mates in just about any reef tank. Avoid placing them too closely to other coral species. It's a good idea to give all the corals in your tank plenty of space to grow to avoid chemical and physical aggression among species.
Once properly acclimated to your tanks lighting specifics, they can be kept in very different locations throughout your reef. I have mine under T5 lighting at the moment, in all locations in my display. Although Ricordea are mostly photosynthetic, they will respond to tarket feeding. I have found Ricordea to enjoy everything from Rotifers, to zooplankton-like foods such as Cyclop-eeze and baby brine shrimps and even tiny Asterina Stars!
Both Florida Ricordea and Ricordea Yuma can be kept in low to medium high flow patterns in your reef. Much like acclimation to the light, the polyps will require some acclimation to your flow strength and direction. You will find that some will do quite well in medium to higher flow areas in the tank. And others will require less flow or more subdued currents. Propagation
Propagation is quite easy with Ricoridea. There are natural ways through reproduction of the polyp. As the polyp travels, much like an anemone, it will leave bits of its foot behind to grow out, and they can simply sprout babies. Other ways to propagate this coral can include the use of scissors or an Exacto knife to simply cut the polyp in half or from a rock or parent colony.
There is also longitudinal or gravitational propagation. This can happen naturally or be induced by man. This form of propagation typically happens when the base or foot of the coral becomes attached to two independent pieces of substrate. The gravitational pull of one of the pieces of substrate forces the polyp to stretch and eventually split into two polyps. I have personally tried all forms of propagation through experimentation, and have found there to be an extremely high success rate for survival.
Special Thanks for Use of Photos: Argent and Coralmorphologic.com