Skip to Content

Why Your Flower Pot Coral Is Not Opening!

There is a large number of people within the fish keeping hobby starting to keep reef tanks or even coral only tanks resulting in more and more people adding some sort of coral to their aquarium.

Although a number of specific types of coral are seeing a spike in their popularity right now, flower pot coral just keeps on going from strength to strength and after publishing our article going over toadstool coral not opening, we have decided to publish this article going over why your flower pot coral is not opening.

The most common reasons that your flower pot coral may not be opening is due to problems with water parameters, water flow, lighting conditions, and nutrient levels in your aquarium.

Less common reasons that your flower pot coral may not be opening includes issues with salinity levels in the tank or fish and shrimp biting or nipping your flower pot coral.

Depending on your location, both Alveopora and Goniopora coral can be referred to as flower pot coral and although both are usually classed as flower pot corals with Alveopora being the 12 petal variant and Goniopora being the 24 petal variant, some locations may not class Alveopora as “flower pot coral”.

Although this is generally not important in the grand scheme of things due to both having very similar looks, the care requirements for Alveopora are far more beginner friendly than that of the Goniopora flower pot coral and we would not consider Goniopora a beginner friendly coral so if you are new, be sure to go with Alveopora flower pot cora as it is easier to get it to open.

Why Is My Flower Pot Coral Not Opening Up?

Most of the problems that will prevent your flower pot coral from opening up revolve around problems with the water parameters in your aquarium.

This can range from the water parameters just being too far off from what your flower pot coral requires to the toxicity levels in your aquarium changing too frequently with both being common problems for people of all levels of coral keeping experience.

This is almost always due to people using the cheap sub-$10 water test strips that can not only be highly inaccurate but don’t actually test for everything that can affect your coral so you may have poor water parameters for your coral without even knowing.

For just under double the price of the cheap test strips, you can get yourself a reef tank water test kit that will test all water parameters in your tank giving you a much better idea of what could potentially be preventing your flower pot coral from opening up.

Flower pot coral can be picky with its lighting conditions and usually has to have a consistent level of moderate light intensity or it starts to have problems and make refuse to open up.

This is a common problem due to many beginners putting their flower pot coral in an area of their tank where there is simply too much light as they think it will improve the viewing of the coral but ends up resulting in the coral just refusing to open.

How Can I Get My Flower Pot Coral To Open Up?

The most difficult part of getting your flower pot coral to open up is actually working out what is causing it to stay closed, once you know the problem, the majority of issues are usually relatively easy to fix in most cases.

Getting your flower pot coral to open up can be as easy as correcting water parameters, water flow, or water temperature or it may be more complicated if the problem is a fish in your tank eating or nipping the coral.

One common problem that we see time and time again with people new to keeping corals no matter the actual type of coral is that they will end up having problems with overfeeding their corals. This can cause swelling that will then lock the coral up and prevent it from opening.

Although some corals do require you to feed them to provide nutrients depending on how you have your tank setup, overfeeding corals is common.

If you suspect that this could be the issue that you are having then you can cut back on both the amount of food and the frequency that you use when feeding your flower pot coral to see if it helps the coral open up.

In some cases, the issue may be due to the tank mates such as your fish or shrimp nipping and biting the coral making it feel threatened and refusing to open up.

This is often the most problematic reason that your flower pot coral may refuse to open up and will often require you to do your best to get the offending tank mate out of the aquarium and into a spare aquarium.

How Long Does It Take For A Flower Pot Coral To Open Up?

The timeframe between removing the issue keeping your flower pot coral closed and your flower pot coral opening up will depend on what the issue was.

The usually window is anywhere from one week to one month but if the issue has been causing the coral problems for a prolonged period of time it can take considerably longer than this but in most cases, this does tend to be rare.

If the problem with your flower pot coral is due to nutrition or overfeeding then you can expect your coral to open up within about a week or so of correcting the problem.

On the opposite end of this, if the problem is due to a fish or shrimp in your aquarium eating your flower pot coral then it could take considerably longer, potentially even a month for your flower pot coral to open up.

The other problems such as issues with the water parameters in your tank or problems with the light intensity all usually fall in between the one week and one month time period.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to offer more accurate time frames for your flower pot coral to open up as there are just far too many variables at play that you have to factor in with each playing their own role in the recovery and eventual opening up of the coral.


That brings our article going over why your flower pot coral is not opening to an end and we hope that you have found it helpful. There are a number of problems that may be causing your flower pot coral not to open with each having their own treatment and recovery time as explained in the article above. The most important thing to do is correctly identify the correct cause of the issue rather than rush into a treatment as soon as possible as you may end up trying to wrong treatment and just wasting time and money when a little more time in the planning phase could get the problem solved quickly.