Beginners Care Guide For Goniopora Not Extending!

I bought a Goniopora on a whim but didn’t know how to take care of it. The most common problem you’ll face is that you’ll take care of it, but it still won’t grow.

Taking proper care is challenging, but it’s not impossible.

Why is my Gonipora not extending?

Well, it takes dedication to grow these flowerpot corals. Mainly what Goniopora needs is low to moderate light and gentle water flow.

If you place it under too much light, it will shrink and not extend. The feeding habit of your Goniopora is essential, and you should check if it likes direct feeding. 

Still not convinced? Don’t give up on your coral yet. We’ll help you to grow your Goniopora into a beautiful colony. 

We prepared a detailed article just for your convenience. So let’s get started. Shall we?

Possible reasons Your Goniopora is Not Growing

Several factors are important while you’re trying to grow your Goniopora.  We have listed a few reasons why your Goni might not be extending to your liking.

You just have to follow these, and your flowerpot coral will thrive.

So, without giving too much away, let’s look at them.

Factor 1: Location of the Coral

Your Goni might not be extending because of the place where it is kept. Many Goniporas don’t open because of this.

It is seen that this coral prefers the middle to the lower bottom of the tank.  Therefore choosing the right spot is critical. 

Factor 2: Feeding Habits

Gonioporas tend to eat a lot. So you have to give them food at least 5-6 times a week. But you’d have to keep an eye on what they eat and whatnot.

There are a variety of products in the market made just for Gonioporas.

Keep a check on how you feed these Gonioporas. Some Gonioporas, like the red and green ones, like to be fed directly.

Other more sensitive Gonioporas don’t engage in active feeding habits as it seems forceful. 

But if you have a matured Goniopora that is not extending anymore, direct feeding with a syringe is the best decision. If you do that, you’ll see increased growth and extension. 

Factor 3: Water Flow and Light

The probable cause that your Goni is not extending is the lighting. The lights should be dimmed if you see your Goni is not responding well.

They come from turbulent waters, so lights should not be too bright. You can upgrade your light to Biocube 32. 

Baby Gonioporas also like low water flow. After a few months, you can switch to moderate flow if your Goniopora is not extending.

This is the most crucial aspect, as the flow must be right!

Factor 4: Condition of your tank

Another vital part of Goniopora’s growth is the Condition of the tank. If your tank is new, it is not mature enough for a coral-like Goniopora.

Your tank needs to be at least two years mature with other planktons, copepods, and amphipods.

You can try dosing your tank with mild carbon and refugium. Make sure the nitrates and phosphates are zero in an API test.

You need to lower the magnesium in your tank too. Try not to use a skimmer and mechanical filter in your tank. Instead, use an ATS and activated carbon. 

Factor 5: Fishes in the Tank

Gonioporas are like murky waters. So don’t worry if you have fish in your tank. But the problem arises when they’re near the baby Gonioporas.

If your Goni is mature, you don’t need to worry about the fish.

While feeding your Gonis, you’ll notice that the fishes come within proximity too. If your Gonis is shrinking away from the fishes, you should separate them. 

So these were all the possible factors why your Goni is not extending.

Try out these instructions, and you’ll have a healthy and growing Goniopora colony in no time.

Additional  Tips For your Goniopora 

Here are some additional tips for you. Try them out, as they will give you an idea about what you might want to go ahead with.

Identify the Goniopora Species

If you see that your Goni is not doing well, try identifying your Gonipora. Gonioporas have unique feeding habits.

Their desired range of water flow varies within the species. And some might not extend up to your liking. So the best course of action is to identify your coral.

Inspect before buying

If you buy another coral, please inspect the colony or the fragment you’re buying. First, you should look for tissue growth in the frag.

In this way, you’ll know what you’re getting into. Check the edge of the Goniopora’s skeleton. 

If you notice any contraction, then don’t buy that one.

Food for Your Goniopora

As we have said before, Gonis like a lot of food. So try experimenting with what you give them. If your Goniopora is not extending correctly, it could mean it is not eating.

Gonioporas like zooplanktons the most, so add them to their diet. 

So these are a few tips that you should follow. Gonioporas are very sensitive. That’s why people thought they were impossible to take care of.

But now you have a lot of info. Just follow them, and you’ll be good to go.


Question: How often should I feed my Goniopora tank?

Answer: You should feed your Goniopora tank a few times a day. This will keep your aquarium nutrient-rich.

Run the GFO to reduce Phosphates, and don’t change the water too much as Gonis thrives in semi-dirty water. 

Question: Can I feed Reef-roids to my Goniopora?

Answer:  Yes, reef roids can be suitable for your Goniopora as they contain natural zooplankton species. It is best to feed Reef-roids using a syringe. Turn off the tank’s circulation when you do this.

Question: Is there a possibility of an allergic reaction if I touch Gonis?

Answer: Yes, there is a high chance of an allergic reaction. Don’t touch the Goniopora with full polyp extension.

The worst case scenario is that hives can break out all over your body, and you’d need medication.


Now you know everything about Goniopora not extending. So, take care of your Goniopora, and don’t worry about murky waters. Gonioporas like it. 

We wish you luck with your flower pot coral project!