Birdsnest Coral Turning White ( How To Revive Them)

Taking care of birdsnest corals is somewhat different from other corals. The main reason is they cannot produce food on their own. So, it can be frustrating at times. 

Why is your birdsnest coral turning white?

Mostly, birdnest coral turns white due to the temperature rise in the aquarium. The water flow of the aquarium also affects the color of the coral.

You’ll see the change in color in the primary stage. After that, you have to cut the branches of the coral or change the water flow. It would be best if you also focused on lighting.

We know this isn’t enough. So, read along to understand why birdsnest corals are turning white. Also, how to prevent bleaching?

Reason Behind Birdsnest Coral Turning White

The corals we see in the ocean live by symbiotic means. They depend on algae for preparing food and energy. They also provide algae with the shelter they need. This process is symbiosis.

When the temperature rises, algae cells are destroyed. So, they cannot produce the food they were about to.

Thus coral cells eliminate algae. For this reason, the color starts fading from the coral. 

Though turning white means they are not dead. But corals cannot produce any food for themselves. 

Birdsnest corals are known as Small Polyp Stony corals (SPS coral). These are different from the corals in the ocean. These are born with colors like yellow, pink, purple, brown, etc. They usually consume micro-planktons. 

Though SPS corals are high maintenance. Birdsnest corals are the easiest to maintain. But any irregularity in the setup of the aquarium might harm the coral. 

There’s another term for corals turning white. That is bleaching—birdsnest corals bleach for mostly 3 reasons.


Temperature is a huge factor for all corals. The temperature of an aquarium is maintained by lights. Birdsnest corals turn white if the temperature drops.

It’s best to keep the temperature in the aquarium between 27-32 degrees centigrade. Therefore, they must be close to the lighting setup of the aquarium.

Water Flow

When you start growing the colony of corals, you need to maintain the flow. Birdsnest colony can be created from a small branch.

But it requires utmost care. The flow should be moderate or high. Otherwise, it will start bleaching.

Algae Attack

Algae are responsible for the bleaching of birdsnests as well. This is because algae are seen in unclean water. 

So, if the aquarium water is not changed or cleaned regularly, the corals will start bleaching. 

Many other corals also die or get sick due to algae attacks, such as frogspawn coral dying.

Now that you know about the reason behind birdsnest bleaching. Let’s move on to the remedy of the problem. 

Solutions For Birdsnest Coral  Bleaching

Even after maintaining the natural habitat of a birdnest, it could still start bleaching. Don’t worry! We got it all covered for you. 

Though maintaining the natural habitat is not so difficult. But, sometimes, an error occurs, and the corals get sick. This happens mainly because of the algae attack in the aquarium. 

Also there are other reasons as well. You’ll need to follow some methods if the coral starts bleaching.

Cleaning The Water

A clean environment will keep you protected from algae. So, cleaning the water is compulsory. Also, the coral might get sick due to some pests. 

So, you’ll have to use a good coral dip to remove the pest attack.

Coral dips are mixed with a water solution to kill the pests from the aquarium. Changing the aquarium’s water is an efficient process to prevent the corals from bleaching.

Cutting The Affected Branches

After you notice corals turning white, you should wait. First, you have to let it spread to some branches. It’s recommended to wait until two or three branches to spread. 

Otherwise, you might cut the joint. Cutting the branches will help you prevent it from spreading.

Remember, never cut the joints. Corals wouldn’t grow further if you missed the junction. Also, after cutting the branches, you should change the water.

Increasing The Water Flow 

Birdsnest corals grow best when the water flow is the highest. Therefore, the stronger the water flow, the better it is for the branches to grow.

So, if the branches turn white, increase the water flow. Also, increase the water flow after cutting the branches to boost the coral’s growth.

Now that you know about the remedy for birdnest coral bleaching. Let’s move on to the prevention of birdnest coral turning white.

How To Prevent Birdsnest Coral Turning? ( 4 Factors To Consider)

For all corals, it’s important to know their natural habitat. Also, knowing the living style will help you to take care of them quickly.

Otherwise, giving all the respect in the world won’t work.

We’ll be discussing the factors which should be taken care of to prevent bleaching.

Lighting Of The Aquarium

This depends on the habitat of the specific coral. Such as, a yellow birdnest can tolerate moderate lighting. Because they live in deeper areas in reefs. 

So, heavy lighting is not needed for the yellow birdnest.

Whereas pink birdsnests would bleach and start to get sick if there’s insufficient lighting. Because pink birdsnests usually stay in the shallow part of the ocean. 

Whenever you see a pink birdnest bleaching, you should change the lighting setup—for example, bringing the coral closer to the t5 aquarium bulb.

For other colors of birdsnests, you’ll have to provide them with moderate lighting. But less light is generally terrible for all birdsnest corals.

Chemistry Of Water

Water parameters should be given the highest priority because the environment of corals should be made as it was in the reef.

You’ll need a high-quality aquarium salt reef mix to create the environment. To make the perfect setting, you’ll have to maintain the following levels.

  • Alkaline 8-12dkh
  • Ph 8.2-8.4
  • Salinity- 1.025 Specific Gravity
  • Calcium 400 ppm
  • Ammonia, nitrites, nitrates, phosphates, silicates 00 ppm

Maintaining these levels will help you create the natural habitat for the birdsnest coral. That’s how you’ll prevent the birdnest from bleaching.

Now, you’ve learned all about treating and preventing birdsnests from bleaching. 


Question: Why do corals in the ocean turn white?

Answer: Some corals are dependent on algae for food. They also take the color of algae. So, when the temperature rises, algae die, and corals bleach.

Question: How fast do birdsnest coral grow?

Answer: Birdsnest corals are known to grow fast. Maintaining the water flow will help them grow faster. Their growth is around one inch per month.

Question: Where to put birdsnest corals?

Answer: We recommend you bring birdsnest corals to at least a 6-month mature reef tank. They grow best in bright lights and high water flow. 


By now, you must’ve understood everything about birdsnest coral turning white. 

One last tip, you should not keep other corals in the same aquarium. Birdsnests don’t like company. So it’s recommended not to keep different types of corals with birdsnests.