Mirconesian Torch Coral
Placement: Low to Middle
Light: Medium to High
Care Level: Moderate
Growth Rate: Moderate
Special Care: This coral has a powerful sting
The Micronesian Torch Coral is a branching, colonial coral from the Euphyllia family. These torches differ from their more well known cousins in that their tentacles rarely exceed more than 1” in length and are more tightly packed together than Indonesian or Australian torch corals. This has led to them sometimes being called “stubby torches”. They are also available in unique colors such as teal and blue. This unique coloration and distinct polyps make this torch an unusual addition to a home reef tank.
Micronesian Torch Corals are, as their name would suggest, found in the waters off the group of islands collectively known as Micronesia. These include Palau, Guam and the Marshall Islands. They are most commonly found in the same habitat as other types of torch coals, on reef slopes at depths of up to 40 meters. However, there is an extensive aquaculture industry and much of what is available for sale has been aquacultured or maricultured in Indonesia or the Philippines. These captive grown corals have the dual advantage of being more likely to survive in a home aquarium than wild collected specimens as well as reducing stress on natural coral reefs.
In a home aquarium, Micronesian Torch Corals should be placed in the bottom half of the tank where they will receive moderate amounts of light and flow. Flow should be sufficient to cause the tentacles to sway in the current, but not so strong that they are blown about aggressively. Flow that is too strong may cause the tentacles to remain retracted or even tear. Finding the appropriate level of flow is key to long term torch coral care.
Like all other torch corals, Micronesian Torch Corals are photosynthetic and are able to use aquarium lighting to meet their energy needs. However, they will happily eat LPS specific pellet foods as well as chopped meaty foods. This can help with their growth speed and may increase long term survival in a reef tank. Like all LPS corals, they build their skeleton out of sodium bicarbonate so it is important to monitor levels of calcium and alkalinity, as well as magnesium, and dose as necessary.
With their unique polyps and availability in colors not usually found on other torch corals, the Micronesian Torch coral is an interesting and unique addition to a home reef tank.