As the popularity of keeping corals in aquariums continues to increase, we are seeing more and more people add a coral to their existing marine tank, start a brand new reef tank or try their hand at a small coral only tank.
With duncan coral being such a popular coral amongst people of all levels of coral keeping, we always see people asking questions about it and we already have an article going over helping duncan coral that has closed up.
More recently though, we have noticed more and more people asking about their duncan coral dying and although this can often be a result of prolonged exposure to the same reasons a duncan coral may close up, there are a number of other potential causes.
Due to this, we decided to publish our own, dedicated article going over the common reasons that you may have problems with your duncan coral dying. Our hope is that we will be able to help as many of our readers as possible who are keeping duncan coral in their tanks.
Bad Water Quality!
We have said it time and time again, water quality is absolutely essential to the success of keeping any coral in your reef tank and this is especially true when it comes to duncan coral.
Duncan coral are known to be very sensitive to changes in water quality and parameters and even a slight change can cause them undue stress which can often lead to the coral shrinking away and eventually dying.
We recommend that you check your water quality at least once a week, if not more often, to make sure that everything is within the ideal range for your corals. If you noticed a change in your water quality, take action to correct it as soon as possible.
One of the most common reasons that we see people have problems with their duncan coral dying is due to elevated levels of ammonia, nitrites or nitrates in their aquarium but we will cover the ammonia cycle in more detail later in the article.
If you notice an increase in any of these parameters, we recommend doing a large water change as soon as possible and then taking a look at your aquarium set up to try and identify the source of the problem.
A good rule of thumb is to do a water change of at least 10-20% every week to help keep your water quality in check and to prevent any problems from occurring.
As we mentioned before, the ammonia cycle is one of the most common reasons that we see people have problems with their duncan coral dying.
The ammonia cycle is a natural process that occurs in all aquariums and is started when fish waste and other organic matter breaks down and release ammonia into the water.
Ammonia is incredibly toxic to both fish and corals and can cause serious problems if it is not kept in check.
The good news is that there are a number of bacteria that will consume ammonia and convert it into nitrites and then nitrates.
This process is known as the nitrogen cycle and is essential to the success of any aquarium.
One of the most common problems that we see people have with their duncan coral dying is due to an ammonia spike in their aquarium. Ammonia spikes can be caused by a number of different things but the most common cause is overfeeding.
Overfeeding your fish can cause them to produce more waste than normal and this can often lead to an ammonia spike which can stress or even kill your corals.
Another common cause of an ammonia spike is when you first set up your aquarium and add fish before the beneficial bacteria have had a chance to build up.
This is why we always recommend that you cycle your aquarium before adding any fish or corals.
If you notice an ammonia spike in your aquarium, we recommend doing a large water change as soon as possible and then taking a look at your feeding habits or your aquarium set up to try and identify the source of the problem.
Issues With The Food Supply!
In the wild, duncan coral get the majority of their nutrients from the water column in the form of microscopic plankton.
In the aquarium, we need to provide our corals with a suitable alternative food source and this is often done in the form of commercial coral food or live brine shrimp.
One of the most common problems that we see people have with their duncan coral dying is due to a lack of food.
Duncan coral are very active feeders and need to be fed at least 2-3 times per week in order to thrive.
If you notice your duncan coral shrinking away or not looking as healthy as they should, we recommend increasing the frequency of their feedings.
Water Flow Problems!
Another common reason that we see people have problems with their duncan coral dying is due to water flow problems.
Duncan coral need a moderate amount of water flow in order to thrive and if they are not getting enough, they can often start to shrink away and eventually die.
If you notice that your duncan coral are not looking as healthy as they should, we recommend checking and adjusting the water flow in your aquarium.
Water Parameters Changing Quickly!
One of the most common problems that we see people have with their duncan coral dying is due to water parameters changing quickly.
Aquariums are very delicate ecosystems but a large, rapid change in water parameters due to a 100% water change or anything over a 30% water change can sometimes cause problems with the coral.
We recommend always doing a gradual water change of no more than 30% per week to help prevent any problems from occurring.
Issues With Light Intensity!
Duncan coral need a moderate amount of light in order to thrive and if they are not getting enough, they can often start to fade away and eventually die.
If you notice that your duncan coral are not looking as healthy as they should, we recommend checking the light intensity in your aquarium and making sure that it is suitable for coral growth.
Problems With pH Level!
Duncan coral need a pH level between 8.0 and 8.5 in order to thrive and if the pH level in your aquarium is too low or too high, it can cause problems with their growth.
If you notice that your duncan coral is looking like it is melting, you may want to check the pH level in your aquarium and make any required adjustments to correct any problems that you may find.
Tank Mates Eating The Coral!
One of the most common problems that we see people have with their duncan coral dying is due to tank mates eating the coral.
Duncan coral are very slow growers and if they are constantly being eaten by fish or other invertebrates, they will never have a chance to reach their full potential.
Due to their sensitive nature, even consistent nipping from tank mates can cause your duncan coral to start to decline. Over a number of weeks of consistent nipping or biting, your duncan coral can start to die.
This is a difficult problem to solve though as you usually need a separate tank to sepeate your duncan coral and whatever it eating it. Most people don’t have access to this so they end up having to just leave their duncan coral to be eaten.
Summary Of Why Your Duncan Coral Is Dying!
- Bad Water Quality!
- Issues With The Food Supply!
- Water Flow Problems!
- Problems With pH Level!
- Water Parameters Changing Quickly!
- Issues With Light Intensity!
- Tank Mates Eating The Coral!
- The Ammonia Cycle!