The goniopora coral is beautiful looking coral that has a wide range of color variants available while also being cheap and relatively easy to keep. Although some people do class the goniopora coral as a beginner friendly coral, we usually do recommend that you build up some coral keeping experience with other corals first prior to getting a goniopora coral.
This is partly why we see so many people asking questions about various problems that they are having with their goniopora coral each month.
We have already published an article on goniopora coral not extending but we have also noticed a number of people reaching out with problems about their goniopora coral not opening.
Thankfully, unlike some other common problems that people can have with their goniopora coral, it is usually easy to work out why your goniopora coral is not opening as well as fix the problem to get it to open.
Why Is My Goniopora Coral Not Opening?
The majority of the reasons that our goniopora coral may not be opening are related to water parameters in your tank and although these are easy to fix, it can be a pain to work out exactly what parameter is causing the problem.
On top of that, there are also a number of other, less common causes of a goniopora coral not opening so we have decided to go over the main problems that you may have in your tank below.
Water Parameters Changing Too Quickly!
One of the main problems that we see people having with their goniopora coral not opening is a sudden change in the water parameters in their tank.
As we briefly mentioned above, the goniopora coral is very sensitive to changes in water parameters and even a small change can cause them stress which will result in them closing up.
A rapid change in water parameters is usually due to an accident or due to having to do any water change that is over 50% of the water volume in your tank. Over the course of a week or so, this should sort itself out and your goniopora coral should open.
A Lack Of Essential Nutrients!
While the goniopora coral is not as demanding as some other corals when it comes to nutrients, they still do need a good supply of them in order to stay healthy and open.
A common problem that we see people having is that they are not using a good quality coral food which can lead to a number of nutrient deficiencies in your goniopora coral.
In addition to that, it is very difficult to correctly setup a self sustaining tank that offers your corals plenty of nutrients until you have a couple of years of experience with coral keeping.
This means that a large amount of the corals that people keep are malnourished and the coral not opening is an early sign of this. Provided you get a decent coral food (pretty much any that a local fish shop will stock) and start feeding it to your goniopora coral quickly, it should open within two weeks.
Issues With Water Flow!
The goniopora coral needs a moderate amount of water flow to stay healthy and open but goniopora coral can work well in some low water flow setups too.
The issue is high water flow tanks that can quickly cause your goniopora coral to close up and refuse to open again until the water flow levels are turned down.
In most cases, this is an easy fix but if you have something in your tank that has to have a high level of water flow then you will usually need to move your goniopora coral into another tank else it will probably perish within a week.
Light Intensity Problems!
The goniopora coral is not a demanding coral when it comes to light intensity but they do still need some light in order to stay healthy and open.
This means that if you have your goniopora coral placed too deep in your tank then it will slowly start to close up and refuse to open again until it is moved higher in the tank or you increase the light intensity in the tank.
For the most part, a moderate light intensity should let a goniopora coral thrive in a tank but the water can reduce the light intensity in deeper tanks so keep that in mind.
Poor Placement Of The Coral!
Compounding some of the problems above into one, we sometimes see people having problems as they have not placed their goniopora coral correctly in their tank.
The main thing that you need to take into account when placing your goniopora coral is that they do best when they are placed in an areas of moderate water flow and light intensity.
As we covered in our light section above, placing your goniopora coral too deep in your tank can cause it to close and refuse to open. Putting your goniopora coral too close to your pump or filter can also cause issues with water flow keeping it closed too.
The Ammonia Cycle!
This is one of the most common problems that we see people having with their goniopora coral and it is a problem that can quickly become lethal to your coral.
The ammonia cycle is a natural process that happens in all fish tanks but it can cause some serious issues for your corals if it is not kept in check.
The main issue that you will have is that the ammonia in your tank will slowly rise over time and this will cause your goniopora coral to start shutting down and eventually die.
The easiest way to properly fix this problem is to do a partial water change of around 20-30% of the water in your tank and then keep an eye on the ammonia levels.
If you see the ammonia start to rise again then you will need to do another partial water change until the levels are back down to 0ppm.
Both nitrates and nitrites are also a part of the ammonia cycle and you can check all of their levels with a water test kit to keep their levels in line.
The Tanks Water Temperature!
The water temperature in your tank is something that you need to keep an eye on as the goniopora coral will not do well if the water gets too warm or too cold.
For the most part, the goniopora coral will do best in a water temperature range of 77-84 degrees but they can survive in slightly warmer and cooler waters in some setups.
The main thing that you need to take into account is that if your water temperatures do start to fluctuate a lot then this can cause some serious issues for your coral.
The easiest way to fix this problem is to use a aquarium heater to keep the water at a constant temperature or you can use a chiller if the water is too warm.
An Unsuitable pH Level!
The pH level in your tank is something else that you need to keep an eye on as the goniopora coral will not do well if it gets too high or too low.
For the most part, the goniopora coral will do best in a pH range of 8.0-8.4 but there is a small amount of wiggle room.
The main thing that you need to take into account is that if your pH levels do start to fluctuate a lot then this can cause some serious issues for your coral. A goniopora coral not opening is usually an early warning sign of something potentially serious if it is not corrected.
The easiest way to fix this problem is to use a aquarium buffer to keep the pH at a constant level or you can use a pH controller if the pH is too high or too low.
Tank Mates Nipping The Coral!
This is a problem that we see from time to time and it is usually caused by either fish or inverts nipping at the coral.
The main thing that you need to take into account is that the goniopora coral will not do well if it gets damaged too much and this can quickly lead to death.
Always try to make sure that your tank mates are all reef safe but even then, there is always a small number of fish or inverts whos species is classed as reef safe that will bite and nip your corals.
A Summary Of Why Your Goniopora Coral Is Not Opening!
- Water Parameters Changing Too Quickly!
- A Lack Of Essential Nutrients!
- Issues With Water Flow!
- Poor Placement Of The Coral!
- The Ammonia Cycle!
- The Tanks Water Temperature!
- An Unsuitable pH Level!
- Light Intensity Problems!
- Tank Mates Nipping The Coral!