Muricea elongate, also known as Rusty Gorgonian is an attractive, hardy octocoral that thrives in some of the most adverse environments in the Florida Keys. They are usually a rusty, burnt orange color, but can sometimes be more yellow than orange. As with most shallow water gorgonian, this species is photosynthetic, so it will do best in a well-lit tank. Supplemental feeding with plankton, some sort of commercial invertebrate food, or your own mix of food will be necessary in order to maintain optimum health. This is a fairly hardy gorgonia and would be a good starter gorgonian if you want to start keeping them in your reef tank. There is quite a bit of natural color variation in this species but we try to send the most rusty orange color. Most gorgonians like currents, so keep that in mind when placing them in your tank.
All of the gorgonians we sell have been kept successfully for many years in all kinds of reef aquariums and have passed the “test” for being suitable for marine aquaria. They are hardy, attractive, easy to care for, and will feed on must types of foods designed for plankton feeders. Because they are photosynthetic, they will derive much of their nutritional needs from the lighting in your aquarium, so they don’t require large amounts of supplemental food.
Also, all of our gorgonian will have some sort of base to them, which you can mount onto a rock with super glue or epoxy. I prefer to use epoxy because it is less likely to fall off after a few months, but gel super glue works too. Most gorgonians can be safely pruned if they get too big, and the cuttings will grow and survive if mounted on something stable. This particular gorgonia will actually develop new attachment holdfasts on branches that touch non-living things in your tank, so they are easy to prune and propagate.
We have started to also get frags from colonies in the ocean which means it is possible that you will get a gorgonian on a frag plug. It just depends where I went diving and what was available.
Nano: 2 to 4 inches
Medium: >4 to 8 inches
Large: >8 to 12 inches