Candy cane coral the underrated lps coral perfect for beginnersThe Cane Cane Coral is one of the many coral species that fall under the LPS or Large Polyp Stony Coral. It is known for being superbly resilient and tolerant of beginner mistakes when it comes to setting up and establishing a reef tank.

However, this coral is still not impervious to the negative effects of poor water and environmental parameters. As you continue reading, you’ll learn all about the Candy Cane Coral and what it takes to successfully make this organism a part of your home reef aquarium.

What Is a Candy Cane Coral?

The Candy Cane Coral is a strange but appealing flute-shaped LPS coral that originated from the reefs of the Indo-Pacific and now thrives in the lower levels of most saltwater tanks. It has ovate or circular hardened borders formed around a solid center, having green, brown, and blue colors.

Candy Cane Coral Stats

To jumpstart your knowledge of the Candy Cane Coral, here are some quick statistics and facts about this lovely organism.

Ideal Temperature Range 73 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit
Light demands Low Lighting
Growth speed Fast
Ideal PH range 8.1 to 8.4
Ideal GH range 8 to 12
Cultivation difficulty The Candy Cane Coral is highly recommended for beginner reef aquarists due to its resilience and adaptability.

Aside from understanding Candy Cane Coral’s general requirements, you should also learn more about its taxonomic classification. Doing so will aid you greatly in the housing of this Coral with suitable tank mates later on.

Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Subclass Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Merulinidae
Genus Caulastraea
Species Furcata

Candy Cane Coral Care

Candy Cane Corals are relatively easy to care for, since they are not the most demanding of coral species, and many beginner aquarists have successfully raised them in captivity.

In this section, you will learn how to set up a suitable aquarium for your Candy Cane Corals, where to place them, how often and what to feed them, as well as how to keep them as stress-free as possible.

– Tank and Water Parameters

The first step to caring for a Candy Cane Coral properly is to prepare a suitable reef tank for it. You will need to have an aquarium with at least 20 or 30 gallons of capacity to comfortably house one or two Candy Cane Corals. In addition, you need to set up the tank in such a way that its calcium value registers at least 400ppm, and other elements like nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia in the water measure as close to 0ppm as possible.

While Candy Cane Corals are extremely hardy, they can still be shocked and suffer from adverse effects if they are placed in a poorly set up aquarium or in a fairly new reef tank. Be sure to introduce your Candy Cane Corals to a saltwater aquarium that has been active for at least eight to twelve months.

Placing your Trumpet Corals in a young and unestablished tank will result in the corals losing their color quickly, struggling to adapt to their new home, or else dying altogether. You will need to cycle your tank regularly even before you introduce your Trumpet Corals helping you have a more reliable set of water and tank parameters.

This will also train you to clean and filter your aquarium water religiously even before you start setting up your own reef. Continue performing water cycling or water changes to maintain ideal parameters for your Candy Cane Corals.

– Light Requirements

The area you choose for your Trumpet Corals should have only experienced low water flow and moderate light intensity at first by doing so, the new coral feels more comfortable in its new home. The main rule you should remember when it comes to Candy Cane Coral placement is that it prefers the lower levels of your aquarium where it is shielded from strong water flow and intense lighting.

Once your Trumpet Corals settle down successfully in your aquarium, you can increase the water flow to a moderate level. You can do this on a gradual basis so as not to shock your Candy Cane Corals and resist any drastic color changes.

Remember to treat your Candy Cane Corals with the same gentleness and care that you would offer to more delicate LPS or SPS corals. Furthermore, the Trumpet Coral might be hardy, but it is not indestructible.

– Substrate Requirements

Candy Cane Corals prefer soft, sandy substrates, moreover, you may also keep them in aquariums with a gravel-type substrate. Another option is to place your Candy Cane Corals on platforms of flat rocks, providing them some elevation, nonetheless, keeping them at the lower level of your aquarium to prevent stressing them out from too much light exposure.

As with all types of corals, you should keep your Candy Cane Corals at least six inches away from the next neighboring colony. This is especially true if you plan to house your Trumpet Corals in the same area as a particularly aggressive coral.

– Fertilizing Requirements

While your Trumpet Coral is certainly capable of feeding itself, you should still endeavor to fertilize it or supplement its diet with the occasional doses of coral food and even meaty types of food such as Mysis Shrimp and cut-up pieces of fish.

The Candy Cane Coral growth rate is known to be quite fast. You can have a single colony with two heads only during the first month and then notice that it has grown four or five more after around six to eight months. Like a lot of other LPS Corals, the Candy Cane Coral benefits from the occasional feeding and diet supplementation to retain its unique coloration and health.

The Trumpet Coral has two main ways of feeding: through photosynthesis and with the use of its tentacles. During the day, the zooxanthellae that coexist within the Candy Cane Coral help to process the light and turn it into energy for the coral. At night, on the other hand, the coral opens its polyps and extends its tentacles to catch available food particles that may have remained uneaten by fish and other aquatic creatures.

Alternatively, you don’t need to feed your Candy Cane Coral every day, instead, you should set up a Candy Cane Coral feeding routine that will help keep your Trumpet Coral healthy and happy without becoming heavily reliant on target feeding or nutritional supplements. You can begin by feeding your new Candy Cane Corals at least twice a week and adjust your routine based on whether they seem to need more or less.

– Trimming

When you notice your Candy Cane Coral not opening for more than a few days, this is a sign they are under a lot of stress. If your Candy Cane Corals refuse to open, they will be unable to feed and they will soon weaken and start to lose their colors. You can prevent this problem by creating a stress-free environment for your Trumpet Corals.

One of the things you can do to keep your Candy Cane Corals stress-free is to trim them on a regular basis. This accomplishes two things: it keeps your Trumpet Coral looking clean and pretty, and it also prevents your coral from unintentionally trespassing into the territory of other fish or corals in its vicinity.

In turn, having a trimmed and clean Candy Cane Coral ensures that it grows well and does not cause or suffer from the stress brought on by chemical exchanges between warring corals.

– Propagating

The process of Candy Cane Coral fragging is simple, all you have to do is remove a mature colony of Trumpet Coral from your main aquarium. Take a pair of sharp scissors or bone cutters, after this, cut off a portion of the coral as close to the base as possible. You may opt to attach the fragmented coral to the live rocks in your tank for added stability.

On the other hand, if you just want your Trumpet Corals to propagate naturally, all you have to do is wait. After about three or four months, you will notice an occurrence called Candy Cane Coral splitting, as this happens, the Coral propagates itself by splitting one polyp head into two. These two polyp heads will later split into four, and so on until you have an entirely new colony of Candy Cane Corals.

Tank Mates

Candy Cane Corals are some of the easiest corals to house in a community reef tank. This is because they lack the long sweeper tentacles that most aggressive coral species use to punish any other coral that encroaches into its territory. That said, there are some aquatic species that are sure to make the best neighbors.

On the other hand, there are some fish and corals that you should avoid pairing with your Trumpet Corals if you want to maintain a peaceful aquascape.

– Ideal Tank Mates

Some of the best tank mates you can provide for your Candy Cane Corals are the Clownfish, Gobies, and small shrimp. These reef aquarium residents are unlikely to harass your Trumpet Corals. Furthermore, they should have a mutually beneficial relationship for as long as they are together in the tank.

Clownfish are almost recommended as perfect tank mates for peaceful LPS corals. They will gently swim through or above coral reefs and push food particles towards a coral’s mouth with their natural swimming movements. Likewise, Gobies won’t bother the Coral, and will likely make them a source of shelter or shade instead. A Goby’s neutral color tones can also provide great contrast in a tank that is full of colorful Trumpet Corals.

Other ideal tank mates for your Candy Cane Corals include starfish, peaceful species of Tangs, and even SPS Corals that have been proven to thrive in mixed reef aquariums.

– Tank Mates To Avoid

In contrast, you should never house your Candy Cane Corals with aggressive LPS corals such as Hammer Corals, Torch Corals, and Bubble Corals. If you really want to experiment with having all of these LPS corals in the same aquarium, you will need to provide them with a lot of space to prevent them from fighting each other and causing water imbalances that may affect other members of the tank.

Aside from these corals, you shouldn’t pair your Trumpet Coral with large and boisterous fish that move around a lot in the tank or with smaller species of reef species that like snacking on coral polyps. Including such marine animals will only stress out your Candy Cane Coral and make them prone to illness and color fading.

Candy cane coralIn particular, keep your Candy Cane Coral away from Parrotfish and Butterflyfish as these fish are notorious for eating through entire reefs and causing irreparable coral damage. Be mindful of smaller fish and crustaceans that like to feed on corals as well; you might be able to get away with housing a few of them with your Coral but having too many of them will be harmful to your coral detriment.


There’s certainly a lot to learn about the unique Candy Cane Coral. Below is a quick recap of the key points that we covered in this article:

  • The Candy Cane Coral is an LPS Coral that hails from the reefs of the Indo-Pacific.
  • It is almost always recommended to beginner aquarists because of its high tolerance and hardiness.
  • Candy Cane Corals should be placed in the lower levels of your aquarium where they can receive low to moderate light and water flow.
  • This type of coral does not need to be fed on a daily basis but will definitely benefit from the occasional target feeding sessions or nutritional supplement doses.
  • You should always keep your water and tank parameters within the ideal range if you want to raise happy and healthy Candy Cane Corals.

With all that you have read about the Trumpet Coral, you should be able to begin caring for this organism well and without stress at all.

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