Spawning Torch Coral
I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with torch corals. What I mean by that is that I love seeing how beautiful they look in stores and online and hate watching them die in my tanks. I’ve lost torches in a Fluval Sea under stock lighting, an Innovative Marine Lagoon tank under an AI Prime and in a loaded Red Sea Reefer System with a G5 Radion Pro. Basically, I was a perfect 3 for 3 in killing torch corals. After I set up my Reef Casa Studio 12 I promised myself I was done with torch corals, that I wouldn’t ever, ever buy one again. That promise lasted about 2 months and soon I had bought a NY Knicks torch that, to my surprise, immediately thrived. Emboldened by this success, I took a leap and added a Hellfire torch, which has also thrived and has quickly split into 2 large heads. I am running the Reef Casa Halo light and the stock return pump on a Studio 12 tank and am enjoying the first success I have ever had keeping torch corals.
The other night I came downstairs in the evening to feed the fish and do my nightly check on the corals and tank. To my surprise, I saw small white spheres attached to a stringy substance emerging from the top of my NY Knicks torch into the water column.
After a quick google search, I concluded that my torch coral was, in fact, spawning. Grabbing my camera, I snapped a few pictures before moving on with my evening. The next night the same thing was happening and, this time, I was able to take a few short videos of the spawning event. While I don’t think any of the eggs will survive (my Bangaii Cardinalfish was making short work of them) it got me wondering why not only were the torches doing well in the Reef Casa tank, but thriving to the point that they were spawning.
I think the answer is the simplicity of the Reef Casa setup. In my other tanks the torch corals were supposed to be centerpiece corals and I was constantly adjusting colour balance, wavemaker placement and flow patterns in order to create conditions that were “just right” for my torch corals. In doing this I think I stressed them to the point of killing them. The simplicity (and effectiveness) of the Halo light and the stock return pump meant that there wasn’t much to adjust and the torches in the Reef Casa tank were just left alone to adapt. While I am also a reef gear junkie and love spending time adjusting and calibrating my Apex system, reprogramming my Radion lights to simulate moon phases or creating unique flow patterns with my Nero wave makers I am getting some of the best growth I have ever had out of my Reef Casa system. It could also be that I know a bit more now and (hopefully) make fewer mistakes, but it has also caused me to reflect on the beauty of simplicity in reef tank design, something that my Studio 12 tank definitely illustrates. I’m not sure if it will ever happen again, and I’m pretty sure my tank isn’t going to be overflowing with newly spawned torches, but it was definitely a very cool thing to see.