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Darwin here with another article. Mostly a story/ discussion as to what comes out of my reefing head. I haven't done a write up in a while and I was inspired to start this one up after seeing a couple of posts on Facebook coral groups. Excuse any grammer errors or thoughts going everywhere as I wrote this while waiting for my car at the dealership. This might strike you guys as odd as to why I'm not talking about zoas, but this encruster has been my latest addiction. Let's talk about what I think is one of the most beautiful, unique, and underrated corals... Favias!
Oh my... Hello beautiful.
So... what about them? Well, they come in all sorts of colors, grow fairly decent, are fun to feed, and are relatively easy to care for. Think of any color in the rainbow, and there's definitely a favia that fits that spectrum. There's a whole bunch different shapes that they come in and each one has their own "special" needs (mostly lighting and space, watch those sweepers!). The different variations in body shape is as fascinating to watch grow as seeing different acropora structures take off. Some grow smooth, while others grow large "eyes" and ridges. The colors they attain vary from the amount of lighting they take in with some preferring moderate light and some preferring very dimly lit tanks. Their sweepers and fleshy bodies add movement to an otherwise stale area of your reef. They're a popular recommendation for the intermediate reefer that's looking to get away from softies due to their low lighting and care needs (think of war coral, every store has them!). And for kicks and giggles, you can feed them fleshy foods and watch them engulf a meal. Feeding fish is fun, and feeding coral is just as fun (especially when you have someone who isn't in the hobby watch. "WHAT?! CORAL EAT THINGS?!?!?!")
Om nom nom nom. Feed me.
Now, even though I've listed some awesome reasons why favias are well... awesome, favias aren't exactly new to the hobby, nor are they a "hype" coral right now. The demand for favias isn't as high as shrooms or sticks are right now. Not many reefers are looking to build up a favia collection and collect every slight variation like how reefers are willing to pay a few extra hundreds for bounce type shrooms or "reef raft" looking type acroporas. No, favias are set on the back burner with only a handful of people who are as obsessed with collecting them as the rest of the hobby is for shrooms, zoas, and acros. It's a bit perplexing to me as why people don't love them as much as I do, but it does make some sense when I think about it. There's not as many variations between favias to make them as fun to collect as other corals. Only a small handful of favias that come in look truly different from the rest that are in the hobby already. They fall in that oddball category like how some people collect chalices, only less pricey and much less sought after. Their sweepers (some of which reach 6" across") also mean less real estate in their reef. You can't cram as many favias into one area like you can with non-lps pieces like zoas. They're also aggressive to other corals, meaning you have to give them room of their own to grow. Also, not everyone has a bandsaw that they can frag and trade their pieces with fellow reefers. Cutting a zoa or snipping a stick is far easier to do than investing in a bandsaw.
But I mean, the same can be said with plenty of other lps, with chalices being the most comparable. Chalices encrust, need a bandsaw to be fragged (nicely anyways, lol), take up oodles of real estate, like lower lighting, and have sweepers that look like six inches of death under blue moonlights. And yet, chalices are highly sought after. I attribute the demand for chalices because of the insane prices that came with them a couple of years ago (the grandpa reefers used to pay $200+ and eye for miami hurricane). The high prices tell reefers that chalices are "desirable," and so the craze for them took off just like all the other high demand corals in our hobby. Favias however didn't get the same craze and so just plateaued into a small group of appreciators.
At $200 an eye being the regular back then, other chalices similar to it would follow suite.
Anyways, let's move onto some highlights as to what I believe are some of the most popular pieces, along with a few of my personal favorites that aren't as known.
Cherry Corals Darth Maul Favia:
This is a very interesting favia, as it sports a golden yellow body with red eyes. More along the colors of the super hero Ironman, but named after the horned black and red sith lord. This piece gets green in different lighting, but prefers to be lower to the sandbed to achieve the golden yellow color. Loves feedings and has relatively decent growth. I found some threads of it being in the hobby back in 2010, but even after 6 years it still demands a very hefty price tag.
Jason Fox DayGlo Favia:
Released back in November 2013, this piece has a light pink body, neon green eyes, and a yellow ring around each eye. The stunning contrast of colors and its uniqueness is what made it so sought after. When it was first released, the colors on the colony were extremely bright pink. It's a bit of a mystery as to what lighting level the DayGlo prefers to keep the hot pink, as many reefers have trouble attaining the full potential of the piece.
Heck, even we can't bring out the hot pink. LOL.
We also noticed that the original colony had a bit of blue on it. In a trade, we received a JF DayGlo that was half blue. We decided to isolate the blue coloration thinking it might be a graft and after many frags, we think it just might be! The blue grows independently of the pink just like a WWC Grafted Monti Cap would. We haven't had the blue throw off pink, but the pink does throw off very small blue streaks once in a while.
The original colony, with hot pinks and a wee bit of blue on the top left.
A perfect half blue and pink frag, showing the clear difference between the two and maybe proving it's a graft.
This is the another new favia that's been grabbing people's attention. Named by Unique Corals I believe, it has a yellow to green body with red eyes. Basically the color scheme of a CC Darth Maul but with a different body type (larger eyes) and with green on the ridges. Pieces with yellow are more sought after and is usually seen with the growth rim. There's a handful of wild pieces coming in and vendors are giving them their own names to establish lineage, but I'm just going to group them all together as "fascination" types because well... they all look the same.
Here's a piece that Unique Corals posted, just to show the original piece.
And now FX Sour Apple
Here's a wild one we got in
And now that wild piece we got a few months later, notice how it's gotten more yellow?
TCK Good Luck Favia. The original colony from TCK was all yellow, but it turns green after being fragged.
War Coral Favia:
One of the staples of any local fish store. This piece come usually with a red base and glowing green eyes with the occasion of blue streaks. Whether or not the blue splashes makes it a different piece altogether is unsure, but we tend to just group either all red pieces or pieces with both colors War Coral. This piece is easy to care for an is a great starting LPS piece to recommend someone looking to try something "harder" (get what I did there? like hard coral, hahaha... yeah. Sorry).
Dragon Soul Favia:
This piece used to be very sought after since there was an "original" lineage for it. But now that it's being commonly imported as wild colonies, the price and demand for it went down. It's still a stunner with it's psychedelic color scheme and is a well known piece in the hobby.
One of the trippiest looking corals in the hobby. Usually has huge eyes like acans as compared to the previous favias that have smaller eyes.
Now onto some of my favorites pieces in my own personal stash!
LC Ferrari Enzo. A smooth all red body with glowing golden eyes.
Gonzo's Spicy Lemon Favia. One of the up coming popular favias. Bright red body, blue eyes, and glowing green rings.
LC Subzero Favia. Icy blue with a red outline around each head. Very cool piece!
Supreme Reef's Mighty Max Favia. Basically a rainbow chalice that's a favia.
LC Starry Night. One of my top 5's, but surprisingly not many other reefers like it. Has a midnight blue body, EXTREMELY glittery center, and glowing green eyes. It's a beautiful piece in person.
Rain of War. I'm not quite sure who is the originator of this piece is. Most frags come with the burning orange and radioactive green eyes, but we were able to secure a frag with green as well. Just like the JF Day Glo, the two colors seem to grow independent of each other but can mesh.
Reef Raft USA Brimstone. Another all red with yellow eyed favia. Sometimes green comes in but eventually changes to yellow. Much larger eyed piece compared to the Enzo.
FX Yellow Brick Road Favia. Probably my favorite piece of all time. Yellow-Orange body that reminds me of a fire, a glittery green center, and a purple-red ring that surrounds each eye. It is by far the slowest growing favia, with the piece being left alone for 1.5 years. That's forever for a favia!
Let me know what you guys think of favias whether you hate them, love them, or maybe have a new appreciation for them after checking out this post. Please post some photos of some of your own favias or pieces that you hope to own.
This Article is Sponsored by Legendary Corals.