Candy Cane Coral

Trumpet Coral Colony

The Trumpet coral gets its name from the way the skeletal structure grows as a strait tubular stalk and ends in a bulbous fleshy polyp resembling the end of a trumpet.  This coral is found normally in several different shades of bright green, purple, and blue. This coral will fluoresce under actinic lighting adding vibrant color to the reef.  Candy Cane corals do have tentacles but they are very short so unless you have a coral fall directly into your Trumpet coral it’s not likely that other corals will be stung. Which is why this coral is considered peaceful.

Common Names: Candy Cane coral or Trumpet Coral

Skill Level: Beginner

Classification: LPS

Disposition:  Peaceful

Light Level:  Moderate

Water Flow: Moderate

Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025

Examples of Blue, Purple, and Green Trumpet Corals

Candy Cane corals are a photosynthetic coral and do not need to be directly fed. The coral produces its food from the lights on your tank. However you can feed your Trumpet coral and it will accept pieces of meaty foods by catching them in its tentacles. Normally the tentacles are extended while your tanks lights are turned off or right after feeding your fish and the coral has sensed there is food in the water.  Once a week I will shoot small pieces of shrimp into the tentacles of my Candy Cane. I have noticed a large difference in growth rate when feeding the coral directly.

Candy Cane Coral with tentacles extended

It has been my experience that too much flow will make the fleshy part of the trumpet coral retract.  For this reason i would say that moderate water movement is best.  My Candy Cane corals are places on the floor of my tank in moderate water flow.

Trumpet coral propagation of the coral is handled like many other LPS corals. Using snips cut the skeleton to separate the heads from the main mother colony where they “fork”.  It’s okay to have your coral out of the water for several minutes.  Give your coral several days before you see full polyp extension.  Trumpet coral propagation is handled the same way you would a frogspawn coral. For a more in depth description please click here.

Picture of the stalks where you would snip to propagate this coral.

Update – 04-02-2013
Caught this picture of a Trumpet coral head catching a Bristleworm. I would of thought the Bristleworm would of been too sneaky to ever get caught in a trumpet corals tentacles but i guess this one was out of luck!

Click here to view a video of Trumpet Corals being fed.

Click here to view more information on Candy Cane Coral.



3 thoughts on “Candy Cane Coral

  1. Hey Tom, I am new to the game. I have a10 g reef, and I am having trouble with my corals.
    I have a marineland 125-150 filter, a heater set to 78 and some expensive LED lights that my LFS recommended. I have some zoas, I have two mushroom frags, I have a type of soft branch corals, a bubble coral and a frag of candy cane that has about 5 heads on it. Lately, the candy cane has been receding into its skeleton, not just shrinking, but almost desolving! My bubble is showing a different color on the bottom where it attaches to its base (although it opens fully). I have a 1″ maroon clown, a dwarf angel, and a bicolor blenny. I also have a tuxedo urchin, 3 emerald crabs, 3 hermit, two margarita snails, 4 trumpet (elephant) snails, a sand sifter star, 2 peppermint shrimps, and an arrow crab! I test the water every 2-3 weeks at my LFS, and it always shows perfect. I do my water and filter changes every 4 weeks. Lately, I have had a hair algae problem, so my LFS guys advised to cut down the fish feeding to once every two days, and to cut down my light duration. The hair algae problem was gone within 5 days, but my candy cane is suffering now. I don’t know it it’s a coincidence or not. I am feeding my fish a quarter of a cube of frozen mysis shrimp every other day, alternated with frozen angel fish frozen (meaty) food. I also cut down the Kent coral food to once a week. I am also adding all kind of stuff for the corals’ health (trace elements, vitamins, iodide,…all made by Kent). This is my first aquarium and I love it. I just hate to see things die. I also have a small recordea mushroom that I baught (about 0.25″) in diameter that is not attaching to anything, and doesn’t look healthy. I really like your forum and experience, and am willing to do anything to save my little friends. Please help.

    1. Algae is a water problem. Not a light or food problem. 4 weeks is too infrequent. Try 3 because your tank is so small, but 2 is optimal. your small tank need the “nutrients” in the water that the reef salts provide. your corals may be consuming them sooner than 4 weeks too.

  2. Hello Change your filter or clean your sponges more often and do at least a 10% water change every two weeks in a small tank you don’t have much room for error so id do small water changes a few times a week over big water changes monthly that will throw your biological filter off balance every time you make that water change Even in 30-50 gallon tanks smaller daily changes has better results for me and at least clean your filter once every 4 days rotting bits of food is bad news especially if you don’t have a skimmer.

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