Green Star Polyps (GSP) Coral Care: The Complete Guide

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If I have to describe the Green Star Polyps Coral in one sentence, I would say:

Green Star Polyps is one of the hardiest corals for a reef tank, tolerant of less than ideal conditions, and an excellent choice for a beginner saltwater aquarists.

And, in this article, you will learn everything you need to know about Green Star Polyps care. Of course, if you are interested in keeping these soft corals.

So if you want to have success in taking care of GSP, you’ll love today’s guide. 

Let’s get started. 

Related: Acan Coral Complete Care Guide

green star polyps


Green Star Polyps (GSP) Coral Care

Green Star Polyps (Pachyclavularia violacea) is a soft coral, often referred to as the best starter coral in the aquarium hobby. It’s native to the Indo Pacific Ocean, where it inhabits rubble areas of reef and lagoons. 

Taking care of the GSP won’t be a difficult task. It’s pretty straightforward. Provide them the right conditions and you will see them grow in no time. They’ll grow on almost every surface. That’s why is so important to find a perfect position to place them, to keep yourself from troubles in the future. More on that, later in this article.

Green Star Polyps Coral Placement & Lighting 

Speaking of GSP Coral placement, it’s pretty critical, both in terms of the coral itself and on you as a hobbyist to find a good spot. Indeed, perfect placement might seem like it doesn’t matter at the beginning. However, it will have a huge impact down the road. Let me explain it.

If you provide them with the right conditions, these corals will grow fast and they’ll be invasive to other corals in the tank as well. Not like LPS coral, of course, however, give them plenty of space and they will populate the whole tank. What can you do in this situation? 

Actually, there is a simple solution. But, first, you need to know what do you want? Some aquarists want a field of GSP laying on the bottom looking like grass. In some cases, you’ll see tanks with green star polyps back wall. 

Others want that coral in the tank, but not all over it. In that case, isolated islands are the best solution. 

Once you’ve figured out what is your goal, it will get easier from that point. Bottom line is that the GSP coral is one of the hardiest among them and will grow on almost every surface. 

When it comes to water flow, moderate to high flow will give you the best results. In higher water flow the Green Star Polyps Coral will thrive, it will grow faster and it will look healthier. Higher flow tends to do better because it will keep detritus from settling on them. 

Like any other coral, the Green Star Polyps as well requires light to survive. However, it is quite adaptable to different varieties of lighting systems. You don’t need to break the budget to have success in taking care of these corals, in terms of lighting.

Green Star Polyp Feeding 

I assume that you’ve set up the tank with all the necessary equipment like it should be, including the lighting. In that case, you’ve done most of the job, when it comes to GSP feeding. 

These corals contain zooxanthellae within their bodies, and through photosynthesis get most of their nutritional requirements. Of course, you can target feed them if you want to see faster growth. In my opinion, it’s not necessary to feed it that often, because it will grow fast either way.

GSP Possible Problems 

You’ve bought a GSP, days have passed, and the green star polyps hasn’t opened since. Now, you are probably thinking that’s something wrong with that particular specimen. It might be, but most probably it hasn’t acclimated yet. Take your time. Usually, it will open in a couple of weeks. 

If that’s not the case with your coral, you need to consider that something is wrong with the water conditions in your reef tank. The Green Star Polyps Coral is a great indicator of your water quality. If you’ve noticed any unusual behavior check the PH and alkalinity. 

If you see detritus on the coral you should increase the water flow. In general, GSP is one of the most durable corals, and I’m confident that you’ll have success keeping them healthy. 


No doubt that the Green Star Polyps Coral is a great coral to start with if you want to keep corals, without having prior knowledge before. It’s relatively inexpensive, available almost everywhere and if you make an early mistake won’t cause you too much. 

No one wants to lose corals and that’s a fact. However, it might happen. Choosing beginner corals such as the GSP that’s tolerant to less than ideal conditions will save you from discouragement at the start of your reefing journey. 

I hope that this guide will be enough to make your reefing journey easier. 

Featured Image: Robert Howie CC BY-SA 2.0

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