Kenya Tree coral is often viewed as the perfect option for beginners. With scientific name of Capnella sp., this soft coral is hardy and pretty tough. It is tolerant against different kinds of living condition and water parameter. The coral is the type that is fast to grow too, so if you are thinking about growing one, you should be able to do it in no time. In terms of colors, the coral isn’t as colorful as other types of corals. With pink or brown frag, the coral can be pretty drab or blah. However, this coral does have the green color, but it is rarer although it is more favorable and desirable.
More about Kenya Tree Coral
There are several reasons why aquarists love having this kind of coral. First of all, they are hardy. Second, they are tough. They have the ability to live well in all kinds of situations. They aren’t fussy or demanding. Third, you can call them the frag machine because it’s so easy to grow an entire colony just from one small piece of the branch. You have the option to frag the coral or they can do it on their own. This natural fragging mechanism tends to happen on its own even without you helping them so you can be sure that they can grow and form colonies quite fast.
It’s so easy for the new colonies to be made, especially from the new and fresh buds. Moreover, when the coral is doing self-frag, meaning that it somewhat snaps its own branch, the pieces may detach themselves from their basic place and then float away with the current. They know how to search for a better spot. This can be a good or a bad thing. It can be good if you are hoping to get them grow fast, even when they are doing it everywhere, basically. It’s possible that your tank would be filled with this coral only. On the other hand, it can be bad if you are trying to keep the balance of the tank. They can go out of control.
So, what should you do?
Well, first, you need to monitor the coral constantly. Don’t let your eyes off them. And second, it would be a good idea to prune them, so you can maintain them under control. However, this is a great coral if you just start out your journey as an aquarist. Kenya Tree coral is also a great option if you are into coral propagation or coral fragging. You can learn everything you need to know about fragging from this coral.
Quick Facts about the Kenya Tree Coral
Here are some things you should know about Kenya Tree coral. Aside from that general name, some people may call it Capnella coral too. The scientific name depends on the different species within Capnella genus. In terms of care level, they are quite easy to care. A lot of beginners or people with super early (and simple) tanks claim that this coral is very nice to care for. As it was mentioned before, propagation or fragging won’t be a problem with this type of coral. It can frag itself or you can do the fragging on your own. This flexibility is one of the factors that make people love this coral so much.
Corals are animals so they need to eat. Do you need to feed it? Yes, you do. Although this type of coral is photosynthetic, it also depends on the feeding and how they get their foods. So, you should still feed it in the proper manner and regular interval.
Kenya Tree Coral Guidance Care
This leather coral is native to the Red Sea and also Indo-Pacific Ocean. They are usually found in deep reef regions having clear water. They also like strong water flow so they can float away and create their own (big) colonies. This coral has impressive adaptability feature. You should be able to place them under different environments and conditions, and they will strive quite well without fuss. However, they would live just perfectly under medium water current and moderate lighting intensity.
As it was mentioned before, this coral is pretty tough and resilient. Place them in any water or tank, and they are doing just fine. They will live well in any tank (any size at all!), even the one in nano aquarium. But here’s the issue: Because of the coral’s easy nature to propagate and grow, they may dominate the tank and take a big space over. This is one reason why you should watch over the coral as well as doing some pruning, so the size will be maintained under control. Basically, you want to enable just enough space for them, so they can grow well, but without overgrowing the neighbors.
In terms of water parameters, the coral is pretty resistant and tolerant. As long as it goes as the standard water parameter, they should be good to go. If you can imitate the water condition of the reef, it would be even greater! But if not, here are some of the recommended settings:
- The temperature should be between 73 degrees Fahrenheit and 82 degrees
- The pH level should be around 8.2
- The salinity should be around 1.025 specific gravity
- The alkalinity should be between 8 and 12 dKh
- The nitrites and ammonia should be 0 ppm
- The nitrates level should be low, but it is also possible to have it above zero. Just make sure that it is low.
This Kenya Tree coral needs a perfect placement, which should be under moderate lighting and within an area with moderate water flow to high one. They don’t exactly need the high level of water current or whatsoever, but the level from moderate to high would be acceptable. They don’t require any high intensity of light either. If you install the LED and there is halo created from the placement, somewhere along the perimeter of the halo would be okay.
Don’t forget to acclimate them first. If you do this properly, you can have them in stronger current or higher light intensity. But rest assured that the coral will grow well on its own even without you putting them in the best condition, so it’s best to save the resources and just do well with what’s available. Moreover, it would be best if you can keep them shaded, especially from the hottest part of the tank’s lighting. If you have metal halides, keep them shaded. Place the coral under bigger corals or under the rocks.
As a photosynthetic creature, Kenya Tree coral has this symbiotic zooxanthellae which is responsible for the photosynthesis process. It is converting light energy to food so the coral still gets the nutrition it needs to grow and develop. Moreover, many experts believe that this coral also gets the extra nutrition from the water as they capture tiny planktons along the way. However, you should feed the coral as it boosts their growth. They will develop and grow much better and also much faster with proper feeding.
Compatibility and Tank Mates
How aggressive is this coral? Well, quite aggressive, really. It is a semi aggressive coral that may overgrow the neighbors and dominate them. This coral doesn’t have any sweeper stinging tentacles that can hurt the neighboring corals. The only way this Kenya Tree coral can hurt the neighbors is through overgrowing them. And let’s not forget the fact that they may drop branches here and there, attaching those tiny frags to the substrate for new colony.
Some aquarists even call this coral as weed because they have the tendency to spring up in many areas. Many aquarists don’t like it because the new growth isn’t exactly wanted. If you are new to this, you should really watch over this coral. Yes, it is fun to experiment with and you can learn a lot from it. But if it goes out of control, you will also learn that dealing with an uncontrollable coral growth isn’t exactly a fun thing to do.
The Facts about Fragging Kenya Tree Coral
Capnella species is known for dropping their branches and buds here and there to create mini version of themselves. When a piece of the branch is cut off, it will float until it is trapped and can’t be moved further. There, it will attach itself to the substrate and then grow. If you want to have them under control, it’s better to prune them and then place the frags within the desired location. Just use a sharp blade to frag them without any drama or fuss. When you attach the frag to a shell, rock, or plug, you will see that it will naturally attach itself to the rubble or rock, and then start growing.
Watching over the coral can be quite exciting and fun. They may look shrivel and unhappy. They may look doubled because they are inflated. They may drooping or dropping their branches. If they look somewhat different but resume their regular look or habit, there is no need to worry. But if the problem persists (the shrink continues to the point of being damaged, or the dropping is too much), then you need to do something about it.
If the corals shrivel up for extensive and excessive time (all day long within several days), it is possible that they are sick or even dying. Healthy coral would puff up. Their branches would extend and they seem inflated with the water. They would open up. If they don’t open up after several days, your coral is likely to be sick. It’s possible that your coral isn’t happy with its current location or it isn’t happy with the water parameter. It is also possible that it is being bullied by other corals or even fish. If you suspect that your coral is sick, it would be best to remove it to a quarantine tank so you can learn what’s wrong with it while preventing further damages being done.
The Pros and Cons
Having the Kenya Tree coral has its own benefits and downsides. What are the benefits, really?
- They are hardy and tough
- They are easy to grow and care
- They are pretty adaptable to different living conditions
- They are easy to propagate, through fragging
- They can grow pretty fast
- They are inexpensive. In fact, if you join forums (hobbyists and aquarists), you may get the frags for free
However, the coral isn’t perfect as it has several downside natures:
- The coral won’t be able to stay on its place. With detached buds or branches, they easily grow anywhere
- Their fast growth ability may dominate, even take over, other corals’ growth
- You can’t get rid of them when you bring them into your tank
- It would be difficult to keep them within the same place
This coral is definitely an interesting species. You can grow it fast and see how marvelous it is for them to expand and create new colonies. Make sure you really understand this Kenya Tree coral nature, including the pros and cons, so you really know what you are getting to.