Torch coral is a unique coral species that can really add some appeal to your home fish tank. They are a part of LPS (Large Polyp) Stony coral that comes with various colors and shades. But before you even begin to add the coral to your home aquarium, it is always a wise thing to learn the details of the creature. By knowing the in-depth of their nature, you can decide whether it would be a perfect type of coral for you or not.
The Quick Facts Torch Coral
Their scientific name is Euphyllia Glabrescens, meaning that they share similar genus as Bubble, Frogspawn, and Hammer corals. Besides being known as a Torch coral, they are also known as Trumpet or PomPom coral. However, common names can be challenging because some corals turn out to have the same names. To be on the safer side, knowing the scientific name would be a great help. Seriously.
They aren’t fussy so the care level is around moderate. The coral loves moderate lighting intensity; just right. Not too high and yet not to low either. It likes moderate water current too. The coral, however, can be quite aggressive. They are known to sting the neighboring corals. However, they are okay with other Euphyllia corals and they won’t bother those corals. But don’t mix them with other species of corals.
Deeper Insight of Torch Coral Matter
As it was mentioned before, Torch coral is a part of LPS coral that is native at Indo-Pacific reef regions. With scientific name of Euphyllia Glabrescens, the stony polyp coral has this long and glowing (fleshy) polyps extending from the (stony and calcified) base. Thus, getting the name. When placed in moderate (water) flow, the corals would look like a torch – flowing and glowing in the water. That’s why some aquarists are adding the corals to their tank because of the dramatic appeal presented by the creature.
Many reports have mentioned that this coral can live in various water conditions and they strive pretty well. They can live in murky and turbid water to crystal clear water with crisp and bright light and they are doing just fine. It shows that they have impressive adaptability which makes them ideal for beginner aquarists. Whereas most corals are considered difficult and hard to grow, this one seems to be quite different from the rest of the pack.
Many professional and expert aquarists also state that Torch coral isn’t fussy for home aquarium setting. They don’t have anything challenging or particular for the requirements, and yet you can still expect successful growing and keeping. The water parameter is pretty standard and typical, such as 78 degrees Fahrenheit for the water temperature, specific 1.025 for the gravity, around 8.2 pH level, and also calcium level around 400 ppm.
And just like other LPS corals, this one likes moderate water flow. If you place the coral in high water current, their polyps would be retracted all the time and even under inflated. It’s because their big (and flowing) polyps are sensitive to rip. If the current is too low, they won’t be happy either. Place them in a moderate current, and they would be happy and healthy.
Torch coral is included as photosynthetic coral. It has zooxanthellae (a photosynthetic organism with single cell manner) living inside its tissue. The coral is able to convert light energy to sugar. The zooxanthellae will then divide their harvest to feed the coral. Does it mean that you can keep the coral without feeding it? Yes, you can. But then again, you need to remember that corals are basically animals, and animals should eat. If you want your corals to grow well and healthy, it would be a good idea to feed them, according to the proper coral standards. There are many sources about how to feed the corals, including what kinds of size of food you should give to them. Check those sources. Learn from the available videos. It shouldn’t be difficult to do.
As it was mentioned before, this coral is about moderation. It should be placed in a spot where it gets moderate lighting intensity as well as moderate water current. You don’t want them located on super strong current or with too much blinding intensity of the light. You just want them to be properly placed on the just about right perimeter.
Guidance Torch Coral
If you check the corners or fringes of the fish tank, it should be the area with the lower light or the lower flow. Well, unless the corners are next to a light source or powerhead directly. Then, the areas in front of the powerheads or the gyre pumps flow (just directly) are the ones with the highest flow. You should avoid placing your corals at those places. Test it out. When you place the corals, they should be able to extend their polyps fully. If they do, those polyps should show gentle swaying movements, like in a breeze. If they show movements like bending or even completely still, then the location isn’t the right one for them. Remember, swaying gently.
Areas on the upper side of the live rock (which means high up within the tank) and also areas under the LEDs are typically the areas with highest light intensity. If you have high quality Metal Halides, T5s, or Reef LEDs, those areas would be perfect for corals that crave for tons of lights. Certain SPS as well as the brightest colored corals would love to be placed on those top side areas.
So, where should you place the Torch coral? Make sure that they are located on the middle side (of your tank) to the lower sides. In this way, they can still get bright light, but not too intense and it wouldn’t be direct (or straight). Your corals would be doing just fine without having to worry about too much light.
It would be best to place the corals in the areas where they can get moderate water flow as well as moderate lighting. You can make experiments on your own. Many aquarists say that the corals are somewhat looking happier and healthier when being situated in the sand when compared to being glued to the live rock aquascape (mid level type). You should try it yourself, and see when your corals look the happiest.
Tank Mates and Compatibility
This type of coral is considered friendly. They are just fine with any saltwater reef fish that won’t see the corals as food. However, you can’t say the same toward other corals. Torch coral is aggressive and they have aggressive sweeper tentacles for protection. They aren’t afraid of using those tentacles maliciously toward close-by neighbors. Not to mention that their tentacles can extend much bigger. Plus, they are packed with stinging cells. If you put other types of corals too close to them, they would zap those other corals. If you want to have other types of corals, make sure to provide enough space between them.
However, as it was mentioned before, the corals are quite friendly toward the similar Euphyllis genus. So, in the event that you want to include Frowgspawn or Hammer corals right next to the Torch, the Torch would be just fine. They won’t mind sharing the space with similar genus.
Moreover, you may want to consider the option when you think about adding leather corals into the same fish tank. The general leather coral would produce (and then release) terpenes. It is a type of toxic chemicals that are meant to protect themselves and to stunt other species’ growth. You should check your Torch. If you see that some part or sections have died, it’s possibly because of the lack of light and starvation combo. It’s also possible that there is somewhat a ‘chemical warfare’ among the coral species. That’s why you should always monitor and observe your corals and the general welfare of your fish tank.
Because of the aggressive sweeper tentacles, you want to make sure that your corals have enough room, currently and for the future. Remember that your corals grow and you want to make sure that they will have enough space for proper growth.
Reproduction, Propagation, and Fragging
Fragging is possible, considering that it is a type of branching (stony) coral type. You can basically cut, snap off, or saw a branch. Just leave it be and it will grow to a completely new colony without you having to do anything. Most aquarists believe that pruning the corals are okay. And if you don’t know what to do with the frags, you can always trade them (or give them) to the local fish stores. It would be even great if you can join a community where aquarists join so all of you can help each other.
Torch Coral’s Biggest Issues
Keep in mind that this coral needs enough calcium level. In fact, they are quite demanding for their calcium requirements. Lack of calcium will lead to the coral’s failure to build up skeleton. It’s not advisable to lift the coral out of the water either. There is always a possibility that you may tear the polyp. Torn polyps are sensitive to infection. Even worst, it can be followed by tissue’s deterioration or necrosis.
An unhealthy and unhappy coral will contract their polyps. If it happens for too long, the polyps would recede and they will turn to brown goo. It is also possible that they may suffer from brown jelly infection. If you have viewed this thing from happening, move the coral to a quarantine tank. Cut the healthy branch if you want to save the entire colony.
In the end, this coral is pretty easy (to moderate) for beginner aquarists. But it doesn’t mean that you should underestimate it and leave your tank (and your coral) without supervision and monitor. Just make sure that your Torch Coral is well cared for and you should be good to go.