Reef keeping and coral keeping are becoming increasingly popular amongst fish keepers with many people starting their own dedicated coral only tanks in recent years. These tanks can look beautiful when fully grown out with many photographs and videos of tanks with coral in them going viral on social media due to their unique look pulling more people into the hobby.
There are a huge range of different types of coral that you are able to add to your aquarium but the digitata corals being a very popular option and although they can be beginner friendly, they do usually need stable water parameters. The bubblegum digitatas are very popular and can usually be picked up for a very low price so we wanted to put out a few key pointers about maintaining a bubblegum digitata colony to try and help any of our readers trying to get their own frag to grow.
If you are brand new to aquarium keeping then we usually recommend that you spend a year or two keeping a more beginner friendly tank without corals due to even the entry level corals usually being challenging for someone who is brand new to aquarium keeping. This can often confuse people new to the hobby as they presume that beginner friendly means that anyone can keep them but corals can be very sensitive and usually require you to at least have some experience with maintaining steady water parameters and lighting conditions and the bubblegum digitata coral is no different.
Bubblegum Digitata Nutrition!
Bubblegum digitata does require nutrition to live a long and healthy life with many people new to keeping corals often overlooking this. Depending on the setup of your aquarium, you may have to supplement the natural levels of nutrients in your aquarium with various supplements or coral foods to help your bubblegum digitata grow at optimal rates.
In some situations, something like Reef Roids or one of the similar products on the market can be used to help various corals grow at optimal rates. More advanced coral keepers can sometimes make their own foods for their corals though but this is often complicated and homemade food is not recommended for people new to keeping corals as it can be difficult to balance everything that your bubblegum digitata will require.
You should also maintain suitable calcium and nitrate levels in your aquarium with a bubblegum digitata to promote healthy growth. It can be common for people new to keeping corals to keep their nitrate levels too low for what most coral species require so it may take a little time to work out the right balancing act for the nitrates to support your corals while keeping them low enough to prevent issues with your fish.
Bubblegum Digitata Growth Rate!
In the absolute best conditions, you can see bubblegum digitata coral grow at a rate of around 3cm per year but it can be difficult to optimize an aquarium for such rapid growth rates. You will usually see a growth rate of around 2cm per year in the majority of tanks but if you are balancing conditions for multiple corals with different needs, a low growth rate of 1cm per year can be normal.
One thing that can have a huge effect on the bubblegum digitata growth rate that you can expect from your coral is the initial coral frag that you use. There are a number of people selling low quality coral frags who are trying to cash in on the recent trend of people getting involved in coral keeping. Always try to get your bubblegum digitata coral from a reputable seller to make sure your coral will be free from the more common problems.
The three most important factors to optimise in your aquarium for the best possible bubblegum digitata coral growth rates are the water parameters, the lighting intensity, and the nutrient levels in the water that we will go into more detail in below. You also have to factor in the tank mates if you are keeping a reef tank rather than a dedicated coral only tank as non-reef safe tank mates may nip or harass your coral stunting its growth rate.
Bubblegum Digitata Placement!
You should place your bubblegum digitata coral in an area of your tank with higher water flow with moderate light intensity to ensure that the coral is comfortable and will grow at an optimal growth rate. If your tank setup can only offer moderate water flow then most bubblegum digitata corals will be fine but there is minimal wiggle room on the light intensity and anything other than moderate lighting will usually cause problems with the coral.
Once your coral placement is optimized with its water flow and lighting conditions nailed, you have to look at nutrient levels as some of the tank mates in your aquarium may feed on the same things that your bubblegum digitata needs to eat. Due to the high water flow, the nutrients may be pushed away from your bubblegum digitata in some setups too so all of this has to be factored in.
You can use either aquarium safe glue or putty to secure your bubblegum digitata coral frag in place with both having their advantages and disadvantages over each other depending on your tank layout. You usually want to place your bubblegum digitata coral on a rock or ledge in your aquarium where it will be getting optimal amounts of light and water as covered above. It shouldn’t take long for your bubblegum digitata coral to encrust the rock and start to grow if you use this strategy when placing your coral.
That brings our article going over how you can successfully set off your bubblegum digitata colony to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you as we often see people making mistakes with their corals resulting in problems with their corals failing. Provided you follow the points that we covered throughout our article then you shouldn’t be having problems with your bubblegum digitata coral growing without issue.