Order - Alcyonacea
Unlike stony corals, most soft corals thrive in nutrient-rich waters with less intense light. Almost all use symbiotic photosynthesizing zooxanthella as a major energy source. However, most will readily eat any free floating food, such as zooplankton, out of the water column. They are integral members of the reef ecosystem and provide habitat for fish, snails, algae and a diversity of other marine species.