Kenya tree coral is the common name of the Capnella species belonging to the family of Nephtheidae which are popular hardy soft saltwater corals, known for their ability to self-propagate and dense population.
They are said to be tolerant of a wide variety of temperatures but looking after them and maintaining this rapidly growing coral might be something you need to prepare for beforehand before you dive into the idea of having a Kenya Tree Coral in your reef aquarium.
This article will give you a quick what-to-expect from your Kenya Tree Coral.
About the Kenya Tree Coral
The Kenya Tree Coral is a soft, saltwater coral existing in pink and beige colors and very rarely in green. They do not have the most colourful appearance and are often considered as “drab” by most aquarists.
It is commonly found in the Indo-Pacific Ocean region and Red sea in deep reefs with clear water.
Since they are tolerant of most water temperatures and conditions, it is cited as something beginners can get familiarized with.
How to care for kenya tree coral
The three major points to be ticked-off while setting up the Kenya Tree coral in your reef aquarium are as follows:
- Water parameters
- Light and placement
As mentioned earlier, the Kenya Tree Coral isn’t sensitive to water conditions and is tolerant to almost any type of habitat. But ideally the following parameters are to be followed:
- Temperature: ~73-82 degrees F
- Salinity: (measured as specific gravity 1.025)
- Alkalinity: 8-12 dKh
- Ammonia: 0 ppm
Nitrites: 0 ppm
- Nitrates: low but possibly above zero
In tanks with moderate water-flow in any tank size would be a good choice to grow Kenya Tree Coral.
Light and Placement
The Kenya Tree Coral should be placed in areas of moderate to high water flow with moderate lighting. They can be laced near other coral species but due to its rapidly growing ability by means of shedding off their buds, which are inherently capable of forming whole corals by itself, its best not to cluster too many of these corals in one space.
A low to moderate reef lighting, which can be set up with the help of LEDs are preferred. Make sure to place them along the periphery of the halo of the light. Do not place them directly under harsh light.
As long as they are allowed to acclimate, they could be kept under somewhat stronger lighting or flow conditions, but they will grow well without. It is advisable to keep the Kenya Tree Coral under the shades of rocks or other larger corals.
The Kenya Tree coral have the symbiotic zooxanthellae which provide the major source of nutrition for the coral. They basically act as a means of vehicle that photosynthesizes, convert light energy into sugar and feeds the coral.These corals also absorbs nutrients from the water,captures phytoplankton. Feeding this coral with fresh phytoplankton tends to boost its growth.
Propagation and Fragging
The Kenya Tree Corals propagate by shedding off buds and branches, which moves along the water current and attaches itself to a substrate and grows.to have a more controlled propagation, they can be fragged periodically with a sharp blade, by simply cutting a limb off. The next step is to attach the Kenya tree frag with a rubber band to a frag plug, rock, or shell. In a few days, the cut branch will attach itself to the rock or rubble and start growing by itself.
Possible difficulties encountered with Kenya Tree Corals
- Although these corals do not have sweeping tentacles which attack neighbouring corals, their virtue of self-propagation can cause disorganization of the existing corals and can sometimes curb their growth and nutrition, colonize new areas and take up a major space of the tank. Hence make sure “weed out” the pinched out buds and fragments and keep a close eye on them.
- Look out for shrivelled or if the coral hasn’t opened up. A shrivelled for a prolonged period of time coral, persistent shrinkage indicates some sort of disturbance to it. Might be physically damaged by an aggressive fish or stung by a neighbouring coral, or altered water parameters. Identify the problem and resolve it immediately.
- A dying coral would smell like rotten-fish and slowly withers away, eventually dissolving in the water so if you suspect a problem, removing the colony or frag to an isolated tank can help prevent damaging the other corals in your system.