Are you considering adding some corals to your aquarium but unsure if they will get along?
Torch (Euphyllia glabrescens) and Frogspawn (Euphyllia divisa) Corals are beautiful LPS (large polyp stony) corals that originate from the Indo-Pacific region. They have now made their way into many saltwater reef aquariums worldwide because of their fantastic swaying tentacles, brightly colored polyps, different morphs, and relatively easy care and maintenance.
Some corals can be aggressive, and often different corals will attack others by stinging them to survive or to outcompete for space. Some, however, don’t mind having a neighbor, which is usually true if you place two of the same species of coral together.
Many corals can grow and thrive close to other corals, even touching, without causing chemical warfare. Understanding what corals can be kept together is important to keep your corals happy and healthy.
Can Torch Corals Be Placed Next To Frogspawn Corals?
Corals are animals that can have weird and wacky personalities.
How your coral behaves will determine if they can have close neighbors, or if they need to wave at them from a safe distance. Some hobbyists claim that Torch Corals can be kept right next to Frogspawn Corals, however, many disagree and say they are not compatible – this is usually after their Frogspawn has received some damage from neighboring Torches.
Euphyllia Corals, like Torches and Frogspawns, can sting other corals, as their tentacle tips contain many stinging cells.
However, Torch Corals are definitely more aggressive than Frogspawns (and Hammers), so always allow enough space between them in your aquarium if you do decide to keep them together. Placement is key – many hobbyists recommend that 6” is enough to prevent damage to either coral.
Hammer corals, also part of the Euphyllia gang, do, however, make great neighbors to Frogspawn Corals. Because Hammer and Frogspawn Corals lack very long sweeper tentacles, they are more likely to live together in harmony than Torches and Frogspawns.
In addition to placement, you also need to consider the water flow. If your water flow pushes your Torch towards your Frogspawn, it may not end well for your Frogspawn Coral.
Will Torch Corals Sting Other Euphyllia Corals?
The answer to this is a little complicated. Generally, if corals are in the same family, they can be kept close enough to touch each other. However, as we know Torch Corals can be very aggressive, they could sting other Euphyllia Corals like Hammers.
As Torches are known to cause trouble, it is best to keep them separate from other corals in your aquarium. But, if they are next to other corals, keep a very close eye on them in case they misbehave and start their attack!
Signs Your Corals Are Being Attacked
So, you have followed the guidelines to give them space and have checked the water flow, but what are the warning signs to a potential aquarium war?
Unfortunately, your Frogspawn, (or any other coral being stung), cannot shout “ouch” in response to being ‘hit in the face’ by another coral.
Even though they cannot verbally communicate with you, there are a few things you can look out for if they start to feel threatened.
- The coral victim may close their polyps in an attempt to take cover from their neighbors ‘dangerous’ long sweeper tentacles.
- Brown spots may appear on your coral’s polyps due to stress.
- Your coral may start shedding (also known as sloughing) its head where they have touched.
- In severe cases, your coral may start turning white due to damaged tissue.
Solutions To Corals Fighting
If you notice one of your corals unhappy, you can give them more space by trimming them back, fragging your coral, or relocating your coral frag or colony to an open area of the aquarium.
Using carbon in your filter media may also help. Running carbon helps absorb dissolved contaminants in your aquarium water, including toxins that corals release during chemical warfare.
How Much Space Do Torches & Frogspawn Corals Need?
The general guideline is to leave 6 inches between two different corals. Creating enough space ensures your corals will not stretch and sting each other and offers adequate space for growth.
When you place your corals 6” apart, while it may look far apart now, that will soon change at night when you are tucked into bed and your corals are most likely wide awake. This is because, at night, your corals are usually busy feeding. As they feed, they extend their tentacles as far as they can to reach particles in the water – some corals can double in size during this time, hence the need for a minimum 6 inches spacing!
Spacing does however depend on the type of coral you have. Of course, if you have peaceful corals, then they can be kept closer together, however, always monitor their temperament.
Remember that corals are animals, not plants, therefore they have different personalities, some are friendly, while others can be less affectionate to others.
Although it is recommended to keep space between Torch and Frogspawn Corals, some hobbyists have been successful in keeping them next to each other without Torches stinging Frogspawns. If you do keep them together, monitor their behavior.
Despite some people’s success, it is always recommended to leave at least 6 inches between other corals to prevent any aggressive issues – as a hobbyist, I’m sure you would agree that a happy coral makes a happy keeper! Learn more about torch coral care techniques to make sure you’re providing a stable environment for your torches to thrive!