Cactus Corals (Pavona sp.) are also known as Lettuce Coral, Potato Chip Coral, or Leaf Coral. Their colors will vary between individual species and are found in green, yellow, brown, and various others. Small polyps decorate all sides of the coral and, when fully extended, look very impressive. These corals can be encrusting or form thin, leaf-like plates.
The Flowering Leaf Coral (Pavona maldivensis) is a unique species within the Pavona genus. It is usually bright green, red or orange and has larger ring-like corallites than most other species.
Pavona corals need sufficient lighting, generally 3 to 4 watts per gallon, to thrive. They can generally adapt to a wide range of conditions but more intense lighting is needed to maintain brighter color. An area of moderate flow keeps the coral free of detritus that may cause infections if left to rot on the coral body. As with other hard corals, calcium is a very important part of the reef ecosystem and needs to be kept around 350-400 ppm.