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How To Stop Your Birdsnest Coral Turning White!

A number of the entry-level fish keepers who got into the hobby a couple of years back with the huge surge of popularity that the hobby saw back then are starting to get into reef tank keeping.

It is great to see people building up their initial experience with freshwater tanks prior to moving to reef tanks as they can be more difficult and we do see people reaching out and asking about their birdsnest coral turning white.

The most common cause of your birdsnest coral turning white is due to bleaching that is usually due to poor water parameters and a lack of essential nutrients being provided to the coral.

If you catch bleaching in your birdsnest coral early enough then you should be able to correct the issue quickly but the longer the bleaching has to take hold the more likely your coral will have long term issues.

The majority of people who look to keep a reef tank will be fully aware that they should be using a decent reef water test kit to monitor their water parameters for a number of reasons with reducing the chance of bleaching being one of them.

One common problem that we see time and time again with people looking to keep corals is that they fail to realize that you usually have to provide them with nutrients with something like reef roids that can prevent your coral turning white.

Why Your Birdnest Coral Is Turning White!

The majority of birdnest corals that end up turning white of having problems with bleaching is due to nutritional problems with a lack of food or an unsuitable food being the most probable cause.

In some situations, poor water parameters can also be a problem that can cause bleaching in your birdnest corals but this is definitely rarer than problems with nutrition.

One thing that we see time and time again with people keeping corals in their reef tank is that their fish will eat their coral food prior to it even being able to get to their coral.

This is overlooked so much with many people new to keeping reef tanks putting the time and effort into researching the requirements of their corals but failing to purchase a cheap coral feeder that is usually only $10 to make sure the food gets to the coral and is not eaten by your fish when added to the tank.

Although rare for birdsnest coral, in some situations, the placement in your tank and over-exposure to light can also cause bleaching.

This is generally due to the coral getting too much light of the water temperature being too high if it is a heated lamp but we usually consider water temperature issues to be a problem with water parameters rather than lighting issues.

“Green Birdsnest Coral” by Franklin Dattein is marked with CC BY-NC 2.0. To view the terms, visit

How To Stop Your Birdsnest Coral Turning White!

You can usually stop your birdsnest coral from turning white by making sure that its water parameters, lighting, and nutrition is correct with these points often being much easier to fix than most people realize.

In some very rare situations, a non-reef safe fish may be eating your coral and turning it white too with the removal of the fish being the best option to take in this situation if you want to focus on growing corals.

As we touched on earlier in the article, it is usually more common for birdsnest corals and other corals to start bleaching due to nutritional problems rather than problems with water parameters when kept in a reef tank.

A quick and easy fix for this is to pick up some reef roids to use as food for your birdsnest corals as well as a cheap coral feeder to make sure the food actually gets to your coral and is not eaten by your fish as soon as you add it to the water.

Some people new to keeping reef tanks will get a cheap water test kit to monitor their water parameters but in most cases, the cheaper kits only test for basic parameters.

This is why we usually recommend that you try to go with a decent reef water test kit that will usually only cost you around $20 but test for a wide range of potential problems.

We have seen some people have bleaching problems with their corals due to water parameter problems even though a cheap $5 water test kit says the water is fine simply due to the test kit not testing all parameters.

Is Bleaching Common For Birdsnest Corals?

Bleaching is generally not as common for birdsnest corals as it is for some other coral species as it is generally a more robust species of coral.

Birdsnest coral can tend to tolerate minor fluctuations in water parameters and temperature without issue but poor nutrition will often be the problem that causes bleaching in birdsnest corals.

Depending on the exact setup of your reef tank, there are ways that your tank lighting or even tank water flow levels can cause bleaching in your birdsnest corals.

One rule of thumb to try and follow is that if you are seeing bleaching in your birdsnest corals then this is a warning sign that some of your more sensitive corals may end up having some serious problems with whatever is causing the coral to turn white so you really should be taking action.

Birdsnest coral bleaching does tend to be less common for experienced reef tank keepers who are used to how sensitive and temperamental reef tanks can be.

That said though, keeping a reef tank is definitely a step up from a freshwater tank or general saltwater tank so coral bleaching no matter the specific species can be common for people new to keeping a reef tank as there is a large amount of things to get right from the very start.


That brings our article going over why your birdsnest coral is turning white to an end and we hope that we have been able to help you. We have gone over the most common reasons that your birdsnest corals may be turning white as well as the various ways that you are usually able to stop the bleaching of your corals. If you are new to keeping corals and reef tanks then consider this a learning experience as it happens to a large number of people but the issues are usually easy to correct in the majority of cases.