How Fast Do Torch Corals Grow?

So your Torch Coral has just arrived, and now you are wondering how fast it will grow into that epic Torch Coral you have seen online…Or maybe it has already been one month since it arrived and it hasn’t grown much and you are wondering why. 

Well, that is because Torch Corals are an LPS coral that will never win the race, they like to grow slow and steady!

The Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens), also known as the “Pom-Pom Coral”,  comes from the large polyp stony (LPS) group. 

Torch Corals get their common name from their notable long fleshy tentacles that sway elegantly with the water flow, each with a glowing contrasting-colored bubble tip, resembling a torch. 

Related to some of our favorites, the Frogspawn and Hammer Corals, Torch corals are known for their mesmerizing colors, ease of care, hardiness, and aggressive temperament which make them a popular coral for both beginners and coral experts. 

How Long Does It Take For Torch Corals To Grow?

Probably the most common question when keeping torch corals is how fast you can expect this particular coral to grow. With any coral in the world, the speed of a coral’s growth depends on the environment it lives in and the type of species it is. 

There are no guidelines as to how fast Torch Corals will grow, and this is because every aquarium hobbyist is different, which is not a bad thing! What it does mean, is that every hobbyist in the aquarium trade will have a slightly different aquarium setup, which can influence the growth rate of corals. 

Once your Torch Coral arrives you need to be patient, which we know can be difficult, as getting a new coral is very exciting, and we want to see them blossom straight away. But, remember that corals also take time to settle in (acclimate), particularly after shipping as this can be a very stressful time for your Torch Coral. 

So, sit back and wait – your Torch Coral will eventually grow, just much slower than many other corals you may have in your aquarium. 

Typically, Torch Corals have a slow to moderate growth, usually growing up to a maximum 10 inches in width and 10 inches long in their tentacles.

However, do not expect them to grow this big overnight, corals are one of the slowest growing organisms – they like to grow at a snail-pace, but the end result is totally worth it!

The reason Torch Corals take so long to grow is still a gray area, however, it is likely from the amount of energy it takes for your Torch Coral to grow its fantastic skeleton. Your Torch’s skeleton, which is made up of calcium carbonate, is essential for its survival by providing protection and support.

Fragging Torch Corals

Torch Corals are a branching stony coral species. When they are fully established, it becomes easier to propagate/frag them. To frag your Torch Coral you can use a saw, pliers, or gently snap off a small branch – watch out for your fingers when you do this, gloves are highly recommended! 

Once you have your piece of tiny Torch Coral, place it in a spacious area (remember, Torch Corals can be quite aggressive!) and wait. Within approximately 12 months, you should have a new single multi-head colony grow. 

Factors That Affect Torch Coral Growth

The growth rate of Torch Corals depends on several factors such as light, water flow, and chemical stability. 

Water Conditions

Stable water conditions are key to good growth. 

As you already know, your Torch Coral grows a calcium carbonate skeleton, however, to achieve this, bicarbonate is required. If your aquarium water is too acidic (low pH), then it can melt away your coral’s skeleton – just like what happened in Australia on the Great Barrier Reef. So, now would be a good time to get yourself a good testing kit (API is great!), to keep an eye on pH levels (and other key parameters) inside your aquarium. 

In addition to pH, consistent levels of calcium, alkalinity, and magnesium (and trace elements) are important for your Torch Coral’s skeleton growth. 

Food & Nutrition

Many hobbyists have found that feeding Torch Corals a few times a week with some meaty treats, resulted in increased growth, more body tissue, and longer polyp extensions.

Some foods great for LPS growth include mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and additional feedings of amino acids. 

Lighting & Water Flow

All corals require lighting to survive and LPS corals usually prefer low to moderate lighting (PAR 100-250). Your Torch Coral, on the other hand, requires moderate to high lighting for optimum growth and coloration, and for your coral to maintain good health. However, be careful not to blast your Torch Coral with too much light, as this can cause it to start bleaching, which will affect its growth.

For your Torch Coral to grow “to the max”, water flow should be low to medium, approximately 10-15 times the aquarium volume, avoiding shooting the water flow directly at your Torch Coral – aim for water flow that goes around it. 

Can You Speed Up Torch Coral Growth?

There is still not enough research, however, micro-fragmentation may speed up coral growth by 50 times the rate corals grow in the wild. Naturally, corals expand in colonies, however, if you were to “frag” your Torch Coral, a process scientifically known as micro-fragmentation, your Torch’s growth rate should dramatically speed up its growing process as already mentioned above. 

Conclusion

The growth rate of LPS corals like your Torch Coral depends on several factors, such as light intensity, water flow, and chemical stability.

When it comes to Torch Coral’s growth, be patient, and it will be worth the wait, trust me! It is often the most beautiful ones that take the longest to grow. 

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  • Roy Lee

    I have an unhealthy obsession with reef keeping and maintaining successful tanks. If you haven't noticed from the website, I love everything related to saltwater tanks like coral, fish, and everything else in between.

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