Whether you’re a beginning reef keeper looking for a suitable first LPS coral or an experienced aquarist in need of something not too challenging, you’ve found the right species. Euphyllia glabrescens, also known as the torch coral, is a colorful and popular choice.
Let’s go into torch coral care and what you need to know to grow it in your own aquarium!
|Name (Common, Scientific)||Torch coral, pom pom coral, trumpet coral* Euphyllia glabrescens|
*Trumpet coral is also a common name for the genus Caulastraea, which is why we like to use scientific names for clarity!
Torch coral appearance
Euphyllia glabrescens, or torch coral, is a large polyp stony coral that has long been a classic in the aquarium hobby. It’s related to the even more popular hammer and frogspawn corals, which are members of the same genus and similar in appearance: elongated polyps with a colorful tip.
Naturally found in tropical areas of the Pacific Ocean, torch coral can be found in a range of colors. It’s a decorative addition to the aquarium because of the way its polyps sway in the water flow. The tips of their tentacles almost appear to glow under the right lighting.
Did you know? Clownfish tend to love torch corals almost just as much as they do anemones and will often make them their home.
Torch coral care
In the aquarium, torch corals prefer a spot with both moderate flow and moderate lighting. The tentacles on your torch should be swaying, not whipped in all directions! If you’re using quality reef lighting, then somewhere in the middle to lower area of the tank should work well.
One other thing you’ll have to keep in mind when trying to find a suitable spot for your torch coral is their aggression level. These guys do not play nice with their neighbors! If you’re looking for a friendlier coral, you’re better off having a look at our list of peaceful corals.
Torch corals are considered aggressive because they possess long sweeper tentacles, which they can send out to sting and bother other nearby corals. There is one exception to this, though: they grow next to other members of their genus (Euphyllia) without issue. As mentioned earlier, this includes the popular hammer and frogspawn corals.
Tip: Don’t forget that although torch corals are a bit more forgiving than some other LPS coral species, they’re still very sensitive to less than ideal water quality. Plenty of calcium is also important.
Feeding Torch coral
Like many other coral species, torch corals contain zooxanthellae. They have a symbiotic relationship with these single-celled organisms, which are able to photosynthesize and provide nutrients for their host this way.
Does this mean that you don’t have to feed your torch coral? Nope! Although some aquarists let them rely on photosynthesis, this coral does appreciate regular feedings. You can use small, meaty foods around twice a week to keep your torch coral well-fed. (Thawed) frozen foods like brine shrimp or mysis shrimp are perfect.
Did you know? You can target feed corals using a turkey baster or even a specialized coral feeding tool. Their tentacles will reel the catch right in.
How to frag Torch coral
As far as fragging (multiplying) goes, torch corals are great candidates. This is a branching species, which means you can relatively easily remove a branch and regrow it into a new colony.
If you have a band saw, this is a great tool to use to propagate your torch coral. If not, a pair of bone cutters should also work well. You should be able to separate branches without doing too much damage to the fleshy bit, meaning low risk of infection.
After separating a piece of torch coral, simply glue it to a frag plug or a piece of rock and place it back into the aquarium. In many cases, the frag will keep growing as if nothing ever happened!
An amazing reef aquarium filled with LPS corals like the torch coral is a beautiful sight to see, but it does require knowledge and maintenance to keep the water quality high. But what if you could enjoy a reef tank while keeping your hands dry? FantaSEA Aquariums can help! Just contact us here with your ideas.