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Why Your Torch Coral Is Turning White!

As the popularity of keeping corals in aquariums continues to increase with each year that goes by, the number of questions that we see about caring for various types of coral also increases.

Torch corals have seen a sudden spike in their popularity recently with it being a very popular coral to keep, especially for beginners even though torch coral is more of an intermediate level coral to keep so it is only natural that people will have problems with their torch coral turning white.

The most common reasons that your torch coral will turn white include problems with tank lighting and problems with water parameters in your tank.

Secondary less common problems that can cause the issue include problems with water temperature, issues with water flow, and low levels of nutrients in your aquarium that can also contribute to your torch coral turning white.

Unfortunately, a number of people have been selling sub-standard corals recently in a bid to cash in on the spike in popularity with many of these low-quality corals having various problems with some of them turning white due to even slight problems in their environment.

Always purchase your torch coral from a reputable seller to prevent this issue as if you get poorly grown coral there really is little to nothing that you are able to do to try and recover your coral once it has turned white and bleached.

What Causes Torch Coral To Turn White?

Bleaching in corals causing them to turn white can be common with lighting intensity and water temperature being two of the more common problems with issues with water parameters being a very close second.

In some aquarium setups, you can also have problems with water flow and nutrient levels in your tank or even fish biting or nipping the coral that can contribute to it turning white over time.

When it comes to water parameters causing your torch coral to turn white, a very common issue that we see with all levels of experience from total beginners to keeping coral all the way up to seasoned coral keepers is the test kit that gets used.

The cheaper paper test strict are not only inaccurate but will often also have problems with testing all water parameters that sensitive corals need to have maintained to thrive in your aquarium.

Considering that a decent reef tank test kit is only around twice the price of the cheaper ones but is far more accurate at reporting your tanks water parameters while also testing for more toxins than the cheaper ones.

This can be a quick and easy win for you if you are having problems with your torch corals turning white as you may think that your water parameters are fine due to using a low-quality test kit when in actual fact, there are problems with your tank water that your specific kit simply does not test for.

How Can I Stop My Torch Coral Turning White?

You can stop your torch coral by turning white by making sure that the water parameters are within expected parameters as well as the coral having moderate levels of water flow and light intensity.

These three factors will be able to solve the majority of problems causing torch coral to turn white but adjusting your water temperature, salinity levels, and nutrient levels in your aquarium may be required.

If you are new to keeping a reef tank then you may have accidentally added a non-reef safe fish or shrimp to your aquarium that may bite, eat or nip your torch coral.

Although this will usually cause the coral to shrink and “melt”, it can also cause it to turn white in some situations too.

This is an overlooked issue with all types of coral that many people don’t realize can cause problems but they can be difficult to confirm as your fish may only bite the coral once or twice per day.

Placement of your torch coral can be a big issue too as many people place their torch coral in an area where they have far too much light with the goal of the aquarium keeper often being to improve the lighting for viewing their corals.

This can quickly cause bleaching in your coral, especially torch corals as they only require moderate levels of light intensity so placing your torch coral in an area with less light and a lower level of water flow may be enough to prevent your torch coral from turning white.

Should I Be Worried If My Torch Coral Is Turning White?

If your torch coral is starting to turn white then it is often an early warning sign that there is something wrong with your setup but this is not always the case.

Some torch corals will naturally have a white tint on them that may only start to show as the coral grows so a torch coral turning white may actually be total natural for the coral.

This can be another thing that may catch people out who are new to keeping corals as not all corals show their full color range when they are young and additional colors can develop on the coral as they grow.

Torch corals naturally developing a white color as they grow does tend to be rare but it is not impossible so the white tint on your torch coral may just be the natural color of your coral.

In all other cases though, you should be worried if your torch coral is starting to turn white as it is an early warning sign for potentially serious problems.

With torch corals being a sensitive coral species, this can result in the coral dying if the issues are not corrected but the same issues in your aquarium causing problems with your torch coral can quickly start causing problems with your other corals in your tank.


That brings our article going over why your torch coral is turning white and how to prevent it to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you realize the issues in your tank that may be causing your torch corals to turn white with most of these issues being very common with beginners to reef tank keeping. Even some more experienced reef tank or coral keepers can have some of these problems to though so we hope that we have been able to cover something for everyone.