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Heteropsammia

Heteropsammia is a genus of large polyp stony corals. Heteropsammia cochlea is the only one common in the aquarium. They live freely as single polyps on sandy substrates. The peculiarity is that they live in symbiosis with sipunculoid worms of the species Aspidosiphon corallicola, which live in a cavity inside the up to 2.5 cm large coral and drag it over the substrate. If the worm dies, hermit crabs sometimes take its place. Hetropsammia are apozooxanthellate - specimens from low water live in symbiosis with zooxanthellae, while specimens from deep water - below 40 m water depth - lack symbiotic algae.

They belong to the family Dendrophylliidae and therefore have similarity in body structure to Dendrophyllia, Balanophyllia and Tubastraea. Important for keeping is a free sandy area, with distance to stinging species because the coral is moving. Active supplementary feeding is possible, the food can also be coarse - the animals also eat salps and other larger chunks in nature. Symbiotic worms do not survive coral dips, but corals on the other hand survive in the aquarium without their worm.

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