More and more people are starting to add corals to their aquarium tanks be it in a regular marine tank or a reef tank.
Due to there being so many people who are new to keeping corals in the hobby right now, there has been a steadily increasing number of people reaching out and asking about how they should go about caring for their corals.
With SPS corals being more and more popular these days, we have noticed a number of people specifically asking about their SPS coral bleaching.
Due to the bleaching of SPS corals being a potentially serious problem that is common, we have decided to publish this article to help any of our readers who are having problems with their SPS coral bleaching in their tanks.
Is It Normal for SPS Corals to Bleach?
Before we start talking about how to stop your SPS coral from bleaching, we first need to answer the question of whether or not it is normal for SPS corals to bleach in the first place.
The answer to this question is both yes and no depending on the situation that the coral is in.
In a nutshell, if the coral is bleaching due to stress from the environment that it is in, then no, it is not normal and this is something that needs to be fixed.
However, if the coral is bleaching due to a change in the light spectrum that it is receiving, then yes, this is considered to be normal behavior and nothing to worry about.
Why Are My SPS Corals Bleaching?
So, with that being said, let’s take a look at the two different types of bleaching in more detail so that you can better understand what is going on with your coral.
Environmental Stress Bleaching
The first type of bleaching that we are going to discuss is environmental stress bleaching.
This type of bleaching occurs when the coral is under stress from the environment that it is in and is a result of the coral not being able to cope with the conditions.
The most common cause of environmental stress bleaching is due to water quality issues such as high levels of nitrates, phosphates, or other pollutants in the water.
Other causes of environmental stress bleaching can include sudden changes in water temperature, changes in the light spectrum that the coral is receiving, or even aggression from other tank mates.
If your coral is exhibiting any of these signs of environmental stress, it is important to take action to correct the issue as soon as possible.
Light Spectrum Bleaching
The second type of bleaching that corals can experience is light spectrum bleaching.
This type of bleaching occurs when the coral is exposed to a different light spectrum than it is used to and is a result of the coral not being able to adapt to the new light.
Light spectrum bleaching is most commonly seen when a coral is moved from an aquarium that has a blue light spectrum to an aquarium that has a white light spectrum.
While this type of bleaching is not harmful to the coral, it can be quite stressful for the animal and it is important to give it time to adjust to the new lighting conditions.
How To Stop Your SPS Coral From Bleaching
Now that we have covered the two different types of bleaching, let’s take a look at how you can stop your SPS coral from bleaching.
The first and most important thing that you need to do is to identify the cause of the bleaching.
Once you have determined the cause, you can then take the appropriate steps to correct the issue.
For example, if the bleaching is due to environmental stress, you will need to take action to improve the water quality in your tank.
On the other hand, if the bleaching is due to a change in the light spectrum, you will need to give the coral time to adjust to the new lighting conditions.
It is also important to make sure that you do not add any new stressors to the coral while it is trying to recover from bleaching.
This means avoiding things like sudden changes in water temperature or moving the coral to a different location in the tank.
Bleaching can be a stressful experience for both the coral and the hobbyist, but by taking the proper steps to correct the issue, you can help your coral recover and prevent it from happening again in the future.
Can SPS Recover from Bleaching?
The good news is that, yes, SPS corals can recover from bleaching.
However, it is important to understand that the coral will be quite weakened after the experience and will be more susceptible to disease and other stressors.
Because of this, it is important to take steps to help the coral recover and prevent any additional stress from occurring.
One of the best things that you can do for a bleached coral is to provide it with plenty of food.
Coral food is rich in nutrients and will help the coral to rebuild its tissue and regain its strength.
In addition, you should take care to avoid any sudden changes in water parameters or exposure to light that could cause additional stress to the coral.
By taking these steps, you can help your coral recover from bleaching and prevent it from happening again in the future.