Torch coral is a popular species of LPS (large polyp stony) coral that is commonly found in saltwater reef aquariums. The coral’s long, flowing, fleshy polyps that emerge from a calcified stone base make it an attractive addition to any aquarium. The torch coral is also known as Euphyllia glabrescens, and it is native to the Indo-Pacific region.
Beginner aquarists often choose torch coral as one of their first LPS species to keep, as it is considered easy to care for. Torch coral is photosynthetic, meaning it relies on light to survive. It can be fed with small pieces of meaty foods, such as brine shrimp or mysis shrimp, but it also gets much of its nutrition from the zooxanthellae algae that live inside its tissues.
While torch coral is generally easy to care for, it does require specific conditions to thrive. It needs moderate lighting and moderate water flow, and stable water parameters. In this article, we will explore torch coral care in more detail, including the best placement, feeding, and light requirements to keep this beautiful coral species healthy and happy in your reef aquarium.
What is Torch Coral?
Torch coral is a popular species of Large Polyp Stony (LPS) coral that is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Trumpet Coral due to its appearance, which resembles a trumpet or torch. Torch coral is a photosynthetic coral that relies on light for its survival.
The coral’s polyps are long, thick, and fleshy, and they emerge from a calcified stone base. The polyps are usually green or brown, but they can also be pink, purple, or red, depending on the species. Torch coral is an aggressive coral species that can sting other corals within its reach, so it is important to place it in a suitable location in the aquarium.
Torch coral is a relatively easy-to-keep coral species that is suitable for beginners. It is hardy and can tolerate a range of water conditions, but it requires stable water parameters to thrive. Torch coral also requires moderate to high lighting and moderate water flow to maintain its health.
Types of Torch Coral
Torch coral is available in various types, each having unique characteristics and requirements. In this section, we will discuss the three main types of torch coral:
Indonesian torches are a popular type of torch coral that comes in different colors, including green, gold, and orange. They have longer and skinnier tentacles. These corals are easy to keep and are ideal for beginners. They can thrive in moderate light and water flow conditions, making them a great addition to any reef tank.
Australian torches are similar to Indonesian torches, but they have thicker tentacles with bigger tips. They are hardy corals that can adapt to a wide range of water conditions. They require moderate light and water flow to thrive. These corals are easy to keep and are a great choice for beginners.
Cristata torches are a unique type of torch coral that has a distinctive shape. They have a crown-like appearance, with tentacles that are shorter and thicker than other torch corals. They come in different colors, including green, gold, and orange. These corals require moderate to high light and water flow to thrive. They are a bit more challenging to keep than other types of torch coral, but they are a great addition to any reef tank.
Overall, torch coral is a great addition to any reef tank. They come in different types, each having unique characteristics and requirements. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced hobbyist, there is a type of torch coral that will suit your needs.
Torch Coral Care
Torch coral is a popular addition to saltwater aquariums due to its unique appearance and ease of care. In order to keep your torch coral happy and healthy, it is important to provide the right lighting, water, and flow conditions.
Torch coral requires moderate to high lighting conditions to thrive. We have had success growing our torches under only radions as well as a mix of t5s and radions. You can see our full reef tank lighting set up on our blog post.
Proper water conditions are crucial for the health of torch coral. The ideal water temperature range is between 75°F-80°F. The pH level should be kept between 8.1-8.4 and salinity should be maintained between 1.024-1.026. Alkalinity levels should be kept between 8-11 dKH, while nitrates should be kept below 10 ppm and phosphates below 0.10 ppm. Calcium levels should be maintained between 420-440 ppm, magnesium levels between 1260-1350, and strontium between 8-10.
Torch coral requires moderate flow conditions to simulate its natural environment. It is recommended to provide a moderate to strong water flow to allow the coral to expand its polyps and feed. We have had the best success with an indirect flow that changes in intensity. If you have too strong of flow for too long your torch will become stressed and oftentimes die.
Feeding Torch Coral
Torch corals are photosynthetic and can survive without being fed. However, feeding them can boost their health and growth rate. Torch coral can eat a variety of foods, including mysis and brine shrimp, or coral powder foods like Reef-Roids.
Although it is okay to broadcast feed your corals, target feeding ensures that they are getting a good meal. Target feeding involves using a feeding tool, such as a turkey baster or pipette, to place food directly on the polyps of the coral. This method allows the coral to capture the food more easily and reduces the amount of uneaten food in the tank.
It is important not to overfeed torch coral, as this can lead to water quality issues. Overfeeding can cause an increase in nutrients, which can lead to algae growth and other problems. A good rule of thumb is to feed the coral once or twice a week, depending on the size of the coral and the number of polyps.
Common Issues and How to Solve Them
Brown Jelly Disease
Brown jelly disease is a common issue with torch coral. It is a bacterial infection that can quickly spread and kill the coral. The symptoms of brown jelly disease include brown, slimy patches on the coral’s surface, and the coral’s tentacles retracting.
If the coral is already infected, it is best to remove it from the tank and place it in a separate container. The infected areas should be removed with a sterile tool, and the coral should be treated with a coral dip solution. The coral should be closely monitored for any signs of re-infection. When taking out the coral it is best to turn off your flow, use a turkey baster and suck off any brown jelly before removing it.
Pests and Predators
Torch coral can be vulnerable to pests and predators, such as bristle worms, crabs, and snails. These creatures can damage the coral’s tissue and cause it to become stressed or die.
To prevent pests and predators from harming the coral, it is essential to maintain good tank hygiene. Regularly clean the tank and remove any debris or uneaten food. It is also recommended to dip and quarantine any new coral before introducing it to the tank to prevent the introduction of pests.
If pests or predators are already present, it is best to remove them manually or use a pest treatment solution. We recommend you use Bayer 2 way for the best results. It is essential to follow the instructions carefully and to monitor the coral closely for any signs of damage or stress.
Torch coral is a beautiful and popular addition to any saltwater reef aquarium. It is a large polyp stony coral that requires proper care and maintenance to thrive. Keeping the water quality high is crucial for the health of the torch coral.
Is Torch Coral Easy to Keep?
Torch coral is a relatively easy coral to keep, but it does require some specific care to thrive. It needs moderate to high lighting and moderate water flow. It also requires stable water parameters, including temperature, salinity, and pH. Torch coral is photosynthetic and relies on the symbiotic zooxanthellae living inside its tissues to convert light energy into sugar. Therefore, it needs to be placed in a well-lit area of the aquarium.
Is Torch Coral a Beginner Coral?
Torch coral is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral, which means it has a hard, stone-like surface. It is a good choice for beginner reef keepers who have some experience with LPS corals. Torch coral is relatively hardy and forgiving of minor water parameter fluctuations, making it a good coral to start with. However, it is important to note that it can be aggressive towards other corals and needs to be given enough space to thrive.
How Aggressive is Torch Coral?
Torch coral is an aggressive species and will protect its territory by killing any other corals that try to invade its space. It needs to be given enough space to grow and thrive without harming other corals in the aquarium. When it is placed too close to other corals, it can extend its long, stinging tentacles and damage or kill neighboring corals. Therefore, it is important to place it in an area of the aquarium where it has enough space to expand without harming other corals.