How can I expect this green Pavona to grow?

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Willbiker

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I picked up a few frags online and I got a green pavona as part of a bundle pack. I know it needs high flow and medium light but its currently flat as a pancake and starting to grow off the side of the plug.

If I Google green pavona, some grow upwards and some look like they plate. The one I have is flat. How can I expect it to grow? wide and flat spreading across a rock or will it start growing outwards too?

It looks exactly like this.

20201228_231142.jpg

Thanks
 
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Nano sapiens

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There are something like 13 different species of Pavona. The most common encruster-types (at least when they are small) tend to grow outwards and can form small flat plates at the edges and often on the surface in lower light. With enough light, a few of the more common encruster-types can also throw up 'planar extensions' after they have spread themselves out a bit such as P. varians, P. decussata and P. frondifera.

Medium to medium-high flow is fine. Pavona are very adaptable and forgiving, but watch out for the potent sweeper tentacles (typically 1-1-/2" long) that can injure nearby corals.
 
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Willbiker

Willbiker

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Thanks! So where do you think it is best place to prompt upwards growth and not just outwards? Would it be ok ok a single small rock on the sandbed? Or is it more likely to thrive higher up the tank?

If I place it on the edge of my live rock, will it plate out off the side of the rock supporting its weight? Right now it look like its growing down and under the plug rather then extending off of it.
 

Nano sapiens

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Thanks! So where do you think it is best place to prompt upwards growth and not just outwards? Would it be ok ok a single small rock on the sandbed? Or is it more likely to thrive higher up the tank?

If I place it on the edge of my live rock, will it plate out off the side of the rock supporting its weight? Right now it look like its growing down and under the plug rather then extending off of it.

The growth forms that you mention are opposing things.

Typically encrusting coral in 'lower light' will tend to grow outwards as it will try to get as much light as possible. When in higher light, it can afford to grow downwards following the rock contour.

To send up upward sprouting growth is energy intensive, so the coral needs a good amount of nutrition, primarily 'higher lighting' (which provides nourishment from the zooxanthellae).

If I were you, I'd try a medium light location and see what it does.
 

Nano sapiens

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Great thank you!
YW

Here's my 'Mint Green Pavona' (possibly P. frondifera) which has sprawled out over the years (started as a quarter sized frag). Note the start of vertical plating up top as well as some outward plating down below:

12g Right Side  123119.jpg


12g FTS2_121920.jpg


~ 150 PAR up top and maybe 100 PAR for the lower areas. The orange coral directly up above is Pavona maldivensis at around 190 - 210 PAR and you can see how it is growing downwards at the edges (it'll begin plating at around 150 PAR).

Different species of Pavona often have different requirements and behave differently, but this should at least give you an idea.
 
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