Bubble corals are found in various locations in the Indo-Pacific, but this particular variety is found in Micronesia. This bubble coral is maricultured by ORA at their Marshall Islands Mariculture Farm, which means it is grown on a mariculture farm either on land or offshore in the ocean, separate from real coral reefs.
Bubble corals are classified by the hobby as an LPS coral. The only reason this matter is that it has similar characteristics as other LPS corals, though there are certainly exceptions. LPS corals such as this bubble coral are typically easy to care for and beginner friendly, though they tend to require more care than most soft corals.
In case you are unfamiliar with keeping bubble corals, let’s go over the basic care requirements so you feel confident in adding this coral to your reef tank. To start, we’ll go over lighting. Bubble corals are one of those corals that are given too much light more often than they are given too little light. However, the coloration matters. Bubble corals with softer, less intense coloration such as this one should be given less light than those with a bright coloration. Give this coral low to medium light. If you want to keep this coral on the higher end of “medium” light (which typically means 50-150 micromoles of PAR), make sure you acclimate it to the light first. Start the coral in low light and gradually move it into the desire placement. This is done to avoid bleaching caused by too much light exposure too fast.
As for flow, provide indirect low to medium flow. The vesicles should only be slightly swaying. If the coral appears to be sucked in or not fully extending, this could be a sign of too much flow.
The last thing to keep in mind in terms of placement is coral aggression. Like many LPS corals, bubble corals can release long sweeper tentacles that can severely sting nearby corals. For this reason, you should provide plenty of space between this coral and other corals. Keep your other corals safe!
Because this is a stony coral it requires at least somewhat consistent levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium. While this coral is more tolerant to fluctuations within these levels than Acropora or montipora, you should still keep them as stable as possible. Keep your nitrates around 1-5 ppm and your phosphates as close to 0.01 ppm as possible but not 0. The temperature should be between 72-78 degrees Fahrenheit and stable.
Lastly, let’s talk about feeding. Bubble corals contain a photosynthetic algae called zooxanthellae which provides the coral with most of its nutritional needs. However, additional feeding can promote better growth, coloration, and overall health. Gently spot feed small meaty items or coral foods a few times a week, but don’t feed too much, as this can cause nutrient spikes. Alternatively (or additionally), you can dose your aquarium with phytoplankton if you want a method that won’t raise your nutrient levels.
Purchase Size: 2″
Placement: Bottom to middle.
Lighting: Low to high.
Flow: Low to moderate.
Parameters: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, salinity 32-35 ppt
Calcium: 350-450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-12 dKH
Magnesium: 1,250-1,350 ppm
This Micronesian Bubble coral is maricultured by ORA. Maricultured corals tend to transition into aquarium life better than coral collected from real reefs. They are also overall hardier. Along with that, maricultured coral are more sustainable and better for the environment.