Candy Cane (Caulastrea) coral generally make a good coral for beginners as they bounce back from some of the mistakes beginners make. They are also referred to as: torch coral, catseye coral, bullseye coral, and trumpet coral. Their scientific name is Caulastrea furcata and they are found in the Fiji, Indo-Pacific, and Solomon islands.
They have gained the name “Candy Cane” because of their striped, alternating color appearance. They are a very beautiful coral and are quite popular amongst many hobbyists. They are also fairly simple and easy to frag, which is a benefit if you like to trade and share corals.
Ensuring that your aquarium is stable before introducing any corals or other inhabitants is very important.
Requirements and Care
Care Level: Easy to moderate. So long as you are giving them the things they need, they do very well. Plus, if you happen to make a few mistakes, they generally come back from these well, and start thriving once more. You should do your best to make sure detritus and stuff doesn't build up between the colony branches. Ease of care and how well they thrive will depend on you and your aquarium's stability.
Also, doing 5-10% weekly water changes will replace some needed trace elements and compounds that will help your corals.
Behavior: They are not aggressive. They have shorter, sweeper tentacles and so long you keep them away from aggressive corals, and give them room to grow they do fine. They can be semi-aggresive if placed too close to other corals, so their space is important. They are considered reefsafe, still.
Lighting: They need moderately intense lighting, and moderate is sufficient when they are placed higher in the aquarium. T5's, VHO's, and metal halides are suggested. However, if you're using metal halides make sure they're out of the direct light as they can be sensitive to this. If you're using power compact lights, be sure to move them up very high in the aquarium.
Water flow: Moderate flows, that make it easy for them to feed at night; too much flow will make this difficult for them.
Feeding: The Candy Cane coral does best when it is fed regularly. Feeding it regularly will help it to grow and stay in good health. When feeding you want to wait until night time when the lights are off and their tentacles are out. Then, you will want to target feed them very small pieces of fresh marine foods (you can use mysis shrimp, brine shrimp, and things of this nature). If you find that they aren't getting enough of their food, cut off your water circulation devices for a few minutes while feeding. Gently push the food toward their tentacles.
Also, when you're feeding you want to remember to not over do it, or else you will just end up polluting your tank. The minimum you should feed Candy Cane corals is twice a week, more is better.
Fragging: When fragging this coral you want to cut the branches as low as possible and then attach them to a frag plug or a piece of liverock.
Calcium : 400 - 450 ppm
Alkalinity: 8-11 dKh, with 10 being the best
Temperature: 75°F - 82°F (24°C – 28°C)
Salinity / Specific Gravity: 1.023 - 1.025
Water region: Middle
Minimum Tank size/length: Nano tanks and larger
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