Why Is My Torch Coral Dying? (Possible Reasons & Solutions)

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The torch coral is one of the most popular corals among reefers. They add a lot of movement to the tank, have vibrant colors, and it’s always fun to watch them swaying their tentacles in the current.

Unfortunately, torch corals are not recommended for beginners due to their higher demands. 

It’s not uncommon to see your torch coral die overnight, which could discourage a lot of new hobbyists.

Seeing your torch coral dying without knowing the reasons is one of the most frustrating parts of this hobby.

Especially when you’ve done everything to provide the best possible conditions, not to mention the price of these corals has gone up a lot in recent years.

What should you do if you notice your torch coral dying? What may the possible reasons be?

There are many reasons why your torch coral is dying, but the most common ones are salinity, alkalinity, or pH swings, inadequate flow or lighting, and pests or diseases.

Now, let’s look at these possible reasons more closely and learn how to save a dying torch coral.

Torch Coral Dying

Water Parameters

The first thing you should do when you notice a problem in your reef tank is to inspect your water parameters. 

Investing in a good testing kit is one of the best decisions you can make in this hobby. I use the Salifert test kits, but other affordable tests kits are also available on the market.

Check your salinity first and see if it’s on point. The salinity in your reef tank should stay stable at 1.025. There is no point in measuring other parameters if your salinity is out of the desirable range. The salinity affects other parameters such as alkalinity, calcium, and magnesium.

If your salinity level is on point, proceed with testing the other parameters. Torch corals are sensitive to large swings, most predominantly alkalinity and salinity. 

If you have a large swing in your parameters, gradually correct them. Otherwise, you may worsen the problem.

But, whatever you do, just don’t chase numbers. Corals can adapt to a wide range of conditions, but they don’t take large fluctuations well.

Flow

The second most important thing for torch corals, after the water parameters, is the water flow in your reef tank. To have success with keeping torch corals, you need to provide proper water flow.

Torch corals like moderate flow, not too much, not too little. If you have problems with your torch corals, the flow might be the problem. 

You want to hit the sweet spot for these corals. How do you know what the sweet spot is? Your torch coral needs to sway its tentacles in the current lightly. Too much flow and your torch won’t open; too little flow and your torch coral may collect detritus.

Lighting

Inadequate lighting may be another reason why your torch coral is dying. High light intensity may hurt your torch coral and cause it to retract its tentacles.

Place your coral in the lower parts of your tank and slowly acclimate it to higher lighting.

Pests

There are many coral pests, and if you have been long enough in this hobby, you probably encountered some of them.

When it comes to torch corals, the Euphyllia eating flatworms are the ones you need to pay attention to.

Fortunately, you can get rid of these pests by dipping your corals.

Disease

Brown Jelly Disease is not actually a disease but a group of symptoms caused by bacterial infection. If your torch coral got a brown jelly disease, I am afraid there’s no coming back from that.

If there are still healthy heads on your coral, you may frag it to prevent the spread. Other than that, it isn’t easy to revive a coral from that point.

Magnesium

Magnesium is essential for all corals, especially LPS, such as the torch coral. Stony corals consume this element daily, so if you have a lot of LPS corals, your magnesium levels might be low. 

To succeed with stony corals, you need to keep your magnesium levels stable, either with water changes or dosing.

Final Thoughts

Once a torch coral starts to die, it’s very difficult to save. But, at least we can try. 

We invest so much time and money in this hobby, and it’s always sad to lose a coral. It’s even more painful when we lose coral by our mistakes.

On the bright side, we can learn from our mistakes and move on. The next time we will hopefully have better knowledge of handling these situations.

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