If you have a reef tank, it’ll be incomplete without bubble coral. Naturally, it’s very concerning when your bubble coral deflates and shows signs of dying.
How do we stop bubble coral from dying?
Your bubble coral dies due to stressful tank water parameters and punctured bubbles.
To prevent its death, you must carry out water checks and update your tank and water parameters. Lastly, you need to give your bubble coral some special attention.
If you’ve got the time, please continue reading. We’ve explained the pressing signs and helpful tricks to help you and your bubble coral.
So let’s take a dunk and see what’s happening.
Why Is My Bubble Coral Dying, and How Do I Save It?
The Water Is Too Clean
As with most corals, they need some nitrates and phosphates in the water. This is simply to replicate their natural environment.
We understand that you’d like to keep your tank clean. This way, your other creatures aren’t affected.
But bubble corals like a little ‘dirty water, mainly nitrates, and phosphates, to help them grow.
Test And Wait
The solution is pretty simple. You need to test the water for nitrates and phosphates.
See if the parameters are 0 or not. Make sure to use a highly-rated phosphate test kit for the job.
If that’s the case, increase the nitrate and phosphate levels in your tank. You can add them by letting your tank sit for a day or two.
You can also adjust your filter to a lower setting. This way, it won’t instantly remove the nitrates and phosphates generated.
The main aim is for the nitrates and phosphate levels to reach between 0.3 and 0.5. This is essential because nitrate and phosphate levels help with the growth of cells.
Stress Punctured Bubbles On Coral!
A healthy bubble coral will have a uniform, inflated bubble-like projections.
Bubble coral also has algae on its skeleton to help it produce food. However, these bubbles can get punctured due to stress.
Punctured bubbles are a sign of bubble coral death. Once punctured, it’s prone to infections. This is due to the bacteria and other disease agents in your tank.
The other problem is algae. When a bubble punctures, the exposed parts of the skeleton become welcome grounds for algae to smother it.
If algae cover the skeleton, the remaining polyps cannot photosynthesize. This can then lead them to starve and die.
Give The Tank A Water Change And Remove The Algae
Firstly, you need to do a full water change. This will remove the algae. After this, you must remove the bubble coral from a separate tank.
Then, look for infections and remove most of the excess algae. Infections can present as brown patches or look like decaying matter.
After reintroducing it to the tank, give it two days to see if the bubbles inflate. Beyond this stage, you need to keep an eye out for the bubble coral.
You need to remove a little bit of the algae that grows on the skeleton. Do this cautiously to avoid damaging any soft tissue.
Try to use a tweezer or small tongs for this. This should help your bubble coral from death.
The Bubbles Are Starving
Bubble corals adore special care. Therefore, even when it can survive on light, sometimes the bubbles will deflate dramatically.
This is usually a sign of distress. If nothing is done, it may die rapidly due to starvation.
Spot Feeding For The Win!
If your coral is dying off due to its stubbornness, try pampering it. Spot-feeding corals is always a good idea. Feed small chunks of seafood like shrimp and chopped clams to your coral.
The best way to achieve this is to inject the food into the open vesicles using a pipette. Do this three times a week and see if your bubble coral improves.
If you’re unsure about which pipette or baster to use, take a look at our options. Any one of these options should get the job done.
If you are worried about overfeeding, observe if your bubble coral is throwing up the food. If you see that, simply stop.
The Light Is Too Bright!
In the ocean, coral tends to stay in relatively shaded regions. Too much light, over 130 PAR, can stress them out and lead to their deaths.
Since your tank needs to replicate its natural environment, lighting is crucial. You need to act fast here because too much light can speed up their rate of dying.
Keep It Shady
If you have different types of coral in the tank with your bubble coral, buy a specialized light.
You can buy a handy t5 bulb to help coral growth. These lights are specifically designed to meet coral requirements.
If you don’t want to buy another light, move the bubble coral. You want to move it to a shady region between larger rocks and plants.
Give it two to three days. Your bubble coral should bloom and thrive back to life.
High Flow Is to Blame!
If your bubble coral dies, the water flow may be to blame. While the fish and other organisms in your tank may prefer a high flow, your bubble coral surely doesn’t.
High water flow can damage the polyps of your bubble coral. Consequently, this can cause the coral to die out fast.
Keep It Slow And Let It Flow
For this, you need to slow the flow in your tank. You can either do this with the help of a pump or relocate your coral.
If you’re using the pump, buy a filter that helps reduce the flow. This can be tricky to get right.
If you’re a newbie, this can harm your other species in the tank. If you have good tank knowledge, you might give this a try.
The easier way is to relocate it simply. Try to place it somewhere low in the tank. Make sure there are rocks and driftwood to keep your bubble coral secured.
Now you know all the essentials about helping your bubble coral. We’re almost done.
Question: Why are my soft corals dying?
Answer: Soft corals are very susceptible to water temperature or flow. They need cool waters and low flow to stay healthy.
During water changes, avoid rapid changes to temperature and flow.
Question: How do I know if corals are dying?
Answer: With most corals, signs of death are more or less similar. These can include brown jelly on your corals, indicating infection of some kind.
It can also include bleaching and whitening of the coral, which indicates stress and expulsion of polyps from the coral surface.
Question: Will a bubble coral eat fish?
Answer: If a fish is small and clumsy enough, a bubble coral might devour it. However, it’s very rare.
Bubble coral adores meaty foods. They’ll consume small chunks of meaty fish if it’s spot-fed.
Now you know all about the steps needed to stop bubble coral from dying.
A simple look at your tank parameters and coral’s eating habits is key to preventing their death.