Candy Cane Coral. The technical name for this unusual coral is Caulastrea furcata. They are also very often called Trumpet Coral. These are a brightly colored coral with large branching stalks with tips that are brightly colored and quite unique in appearance.
Something a lot of people don't realize is that coral is actually alive. Candy Cane Coral has a very large mouth that leads to another large digestive track. After the food is digested in the digestive cavity the remaining waste is literally shot back out the mouth. Once out it is simply washed away by the surrounding water.
Stinging tentacles of various sizes surround the mouth of the coral and sweep forth. This enables the coral to feed by stinging its prey and immobilizing it for a short time period. Enough time to scoop it up into the mouth and then its on its way to the digestive tract.
Most coral live in an actual colony which enables them to share the rewards with the other coral in the group. This better enables them to survive in the harsh environment of the wild.
When a person makes the choice to add Candy Cane Coral or any coral to their saltwater aquarium they must provide extreme lighting because coral actually has living organisms that coat the coral's body. These organisms are called zooxanthellae. They are actually algae like in character but they perform a very much needed function for the coral and cannot be allowed to perish. These small algae like creatures provide the coral with oxygen. If they die then the coral dies. They also provide a wide variety of nutrients that the coral need and flourish with. All of this is accomplished during photosynthesis. They take up carbon dioxide and return oxygen and convert everything else into nutrients. So I cannot stress how important it is to have a top notch lighting system for your salt water environment. If you are even going to consider purchasing coral which is a huge financial investment then you must make sure that you have everything just right for it to survive. This can be a very tricky business.
Candy Cane Coral originated in the waters off Fiji. In captivity it enjoys brine shrimp for its diet.
You can purchase this lovely coral for anywhere from twenty to sixty dollars depending upon the size that you are interested in. It can be a wonderful addition to any saltwater setup. It is easier then a wide range of coral that is available to care for. This is not to say that its extremely easy because all coral requires moderate to extreme care to make it flourish but it is a a good choice for a beginner who wishes to try their hand at raising coral.