Due to their unique look and colors, bubble coral is becoming an increasingly popular addition to various aquarium setups with it being one of the fastest growing corals kept within the fish keeping hobby.
Unfortunately though, bubble corals are not as easy to keep as some of the other popular beginner friendly corals such as zoas so we often see people reaching out for help with their bubble corals with many people asking about their bubble coral dying.
The two most common problems that can cause bubble coral to start dying are high water flow in the tank and a puncture to the coral.
Two more less common causes of bubble corals dying are due to poor water parameters and poor nutritional levels in the tank that will commonly cause the melting effect on a bubble coral.
Depending on what is causing your bubble coral to die, you may be able to easily correct the issue but if the problem is due to one of the bubbles on the coral being punctured then it is highly likely that the coral will unfortunately die.
It is possible to save a punctured bubble coral but it can take a large amount of time, effort, and in some cases money due to punctures to the bubbles being one of the more common problems with the corals.
How Do I Know If My Bubble Coral Is Dying?
The most obvious sign of a bubble coral dying is the melting effect where the coral will start to melt into its skeleton but more subtle signs that can act as an early warning of there being a problem include the coral bubbles turning black or a matte, dull white as well as visible damage to the bubbles on the coral.
All three of these are signs of problems with your coral that will lead to its death so the cause should be investigated and corrected as soon as possible.
Although the melting effect is the later stages of a bubble coral dying, provided the coral is not punctured or damaged and the problem is due to water flow, nutrition or water parameters, you should easily be able to correct the problem and many bubble corals can recover.
If your coral bubbles are turning black or matte white then there is a good chance that you have more time to find the problem giving you a much higher chance of actually correcting the problem.
In some less common situations, there may be a slime forming on your bubble coral and this can also be a sign of the coral having problems but it does not necessarily mean that the coral is dying.
We would highly recommend that you look for signs of bacterial infections on your bubble coral if you do notice slime forming on it as that is the most common cause of the issue.
Why Is My Bubble Coral Dying?
Having high water flow in your tank or a non-reef friendly tank mate that has damaged the coral are the two most common reasons that a bubble coral will start dying.
Although bubble corals are relatively hardy when it comes to water parameters as far as corals go, poor water parameters and a lack of nutrients in your tank can also be reasons for your bubble coral starting to die too.
One of the main problems with tanks with high water flow is that the water flow pump has been added for a specific reason, usually due to a fish or other coral or live plant needing high water flow but bubble corals really don’t do well with high water flow.
If this is the cause of your bubble coral dying then you will often have to make a choice between your bubble coral and the reason you installed the high water flow pump as the two will rarely work together.
If you have a tank mate such as a fish, shrimp, crab, or even snail that keeps harassing your bubble coral then that will usually have to be removed from the tank to protect the bubble coral too.
Even a slight puncture to one of the bubbles on your coral can end up in it having serious problems and potentially even dying over the coming weeks with punctures and damage to bubble coral being one of the more difficult problems to correct with bubble corals.
How To Stop Your Bubble Coral Dying!
The majority of problems that can cause your bubble coral to die can usually be fixed by reducing the water flow in your tank, removing non-reef safe tank mates, correcting water parameters to have a small amount of phosphate and nitrates in the system, and topping up the nutrient levels in the tank.
This may sound a little too simplistic but it really can be that simple and in many cases, taking these steps will help your bubble coral make a full recovery.
Just keep in mind that bubble corals do usually need a small amount of phosphate and nitrate in their water to live a long and healthy life.
This is commonly overlooked by people new to keeping bubble corals who are set on keeping their water as “clean” as possible.
What is optimal for fish is not necessarily optimal for corals and due to corals usually being far more sensitive than most fish species, fish keepers who keep bubble corals will usually tweak their water parameters in favor of their bubble coral.
Another very common thing that people new to keeping corals overlook is that in the vast majority of aquarium setups, you will have to take steps to actually feed your coral.
Something like reef roids will often be enough to provide your coral with all of the nutrients that it requires but it is rare, especially for someone new to keeping reef tanks and corals to be able to create a natural eco system that is self-sufficient providing the coral with everything that it requires.
That brings our article going over how to stop your bubble coral dying to a close and we hope that we have been able to help as many of our readers as possible who are looking to keep a thriving bubble coral in their tank. Unless your bubble coral is dying due to damage, you should be able to help your coral make a full recovery with proper care and time so there is a high chance that your coral will be fine provided that you take the correct steps moving forward.