Coral keeping and reef tank keeping are increasing in popularity right now as more and more people try their hand at keeping a range of different corals in their tanks.
Trumpet coral is considered on of the easier corals to care for and the beautiful look of trumpet coral makes it a big hit with many coral keepers but we often see questions about trumpet coral dying.
The vast majority of problems people have with their trumpet coral dying will be due to issues with water quality, light intensity, water flow levels, and nutrition in their tanks.
In less common cases, tank mates of your trumpet coral may not be reef safe and could be eating the coral causing it to start dying too.
Thankfully, provided you catch these issues early enough, it is often possible to save your trumpet coral and stop it from dying. In this article, we are going to look at the 4 main reasons trumpet coral dies in reef tanks and what you can do to stop trumpet coral dying in your own tank.
Are Trumpet Corals Difficult To Care For?
Trumpet corals are not difficult to care for and many beginners keep trumpet coral without any problems.
Most of the issues people have with trumpet coral and the other beginner friendly corals are simply due to oversight and a lack of knowledge or experience with their being totally normal if you are new to keeping corals.
As we have said time and time again, just because coral is “beginner friendly” does not mean that it is as beginner friendly as some species of fish such as a guppy.
A beginner friendly coral will presume that you have experience keeping aquariums and are able to provide and maintain stable water parameters for the coral without issue.
Another thing that is commonly overlooked with all corals, not just trumpet corals as that that they will need nutrients in their tanks.
This nutrients can come from a variety of places such as fish food, other corals, and commercial coral foods. Trumpet corals do not need a lot of nutrients but if they are not getting enough nutrients in their diet it can lead to trumpet coral dying eventually.
How Do I Know If My Trumpet Coral Is Dying?
A dying trumpet coral will usually display a number of key signals such as the color of the coral fading, the coral shriveling up and losing mass, and in some cases, the coral may secrete a mucus membrane too.
In the early stages of a potentially serious issue, you may also notice that your trumpet coral may start to look “tight” rather than the normal firm look the coral has.
If your trumpet coral is having problems with algae or parasites on it then there may be a slight fuzz over the skin of the coral too.
If you see any of these signs with trumpet coral it is important to take action quickly as the sooner you act the better the chance you have of saving your trumpet coral.
Unlike some other types of corals, it is usually obvious that there is an issue with trumpet coral giving you plenty of time to act and save your coral but if you are unsure then always seek advice from an experienced coral keeper.
Why Is My Trumpet Coral Dying?
The 4 main reasons trumpet coral die in reef tanks are due to water quality issues, light intensity issues, water flow levels, and a lack of nutrients in the diet of the coral.
These all usually cause the same symptoms to be displayed in the coral making it obvious that there is a problem.
None reef safe tank mates with also eat your tumpet coral causing it to die. The bite marks on the coral will be a giveaway that this is the problem and the size of the bite marks on the coral can also help you identify the offending tank mate too.
Please note that just because a particular fish, crab, shrimp, or snail is considered reef safe, does not mean that every single one of that species is reef safe and will not eat your corals.
A small number of animals from species that are considered reef safe will still eat corals and cause problems in your reef tank so you have to keep an eye on all your tank mates if you do notice problems with your corals.
How Can I Stop My Trumpet Coral Dying?
Due to trumpet corals being more hardy than some of the other commonly kept corals, it is usually easy to save a dying trumpet coral and they will often make a full recovery.
Focusing on fixing problems with water parameters, lighting intensity, water flow levels, and nutrient levels in the tank should usually be able to do the trick.
Trumpet coral need pristine water quality to thrive and survive. The water parameters they need are pH level of 8.1-8.4, specific gravity of 1.023-1.025, and temperature of 78-82 degrees Fahrenheit depending on your tank.
If the trumpet coral’s water quality falls out of these ranges, they will become susceptible to dying but symptoms will be visible with plenty of time to correct the issue and save your coral.
Trumpet corals need bright lighting to survive and thrive in a reef tank. The more brightly the trumpet coral is lit, the more color it will display. If the trumpet coral is not getting enough light, it will start to lose its color and may eventually die.
You should aim to have a moderate light intensity for your trumpet coral but they can be acclimatized to live in a higher light intensity tank with some acclimatization.
Trumpet corals need a moderate water flow level to thrive and survive. If the trumpet coral’s water flow falls out of the moderate range, it will become susceptible to dying but symptoms but some tank setups can be tweaked to help a trumpet coral thrive an a low water flow tank is needed but this will usually need a more experienced coral keeper.
Trumpet corals need a moderate amount of nutrients in their diet to thrive with this usually being easy to meet with a commercial coral food and standard feeding practises.
Some people who are more experienced with keeping a reef tank can set up a self sustaining reef tank eco system in their tank where the tank will provide all the nutrients their coral requires but this is difficult and beginners should not attempt this type of a setup.
Many people do not know that trumpet corals can be eaten by their tank mates. This usually happens when a fish, crab, shrimp, or snail is not considered reef safe and gets accidentally added to the tank.
As we touched on in the article though, even some “reef safe” tank mates can still take bites out of your corals.
Is It Easy To Recover A Dying Trumpet Coral?
Trumpet corals are usually easy to save because they are a hardy coral. If you notice that your trumpet coral is starting to die, you should start to implement your treatment plan immediately. The sooner you start to treat an issue, the easier it is going to be to save your trumpet coral.
Even someone new to keeping corals should still be able to easily treat any problems with their trumpet coral and get their coral to make a full recovary. Just remember to pace yourself as a recovery takes time, especially if there have been problems in the tank for some time.
Many people expect a quick recovery but this is very rare and unlikely. The majority of experienced coral keepers will plot out a four to eight week recovery timeline for any coral that is having problems. If you are new to keeping corals then your timeline will probably longer so plot out twelve weeks and remember that with corals, slow and steady usually wins the race.