Due to its similar appearance with a torch light, this coral is named the Torch Coral. Sometimes, it might be confused with the species called the Hammer Coral Branching for having branched polyps. The Torch Coral is truly beautiful and features long flowing tentacles protruding from branching skeleton. Its polyps have tan-brown stems with green tips. It needs proper care and with proper water flow and lighting conditions in the aquarium, the Torch Coral will thrive. It needs a supplement of calcium, strontium and other trace elements into the water which aids in its proper growth and development. The Torch Coral is a great coral to keep as a beginner and makes a terrific addition to any aquarium. It forms large colonies with corallites walls which form on the outer edges. Polyps of the Torch Coral extend during the day and only partially at night. It acts as a water quality indicator, and will warn you that the water quality in the tank is less acceptable. The Torch Coral is mostly present in colonies and share each others food and nutrients. They have tiny living organisms in their tissue which are called as Zooxanthellae. This is the reason why there is need of strong lighting in an aquarium where these corals are the inhabitants. These Zooxanthellae undergo photosynthesis and provide oxygen and other nutrients produced during the photosynthesis to the coral. If provided with proper water parameters, it does well in the home aquarium. The Torch Coral needs sufficient lighting and moderate water flow for its proper growth and development. It needs an ample space for its growth and to avoid any stinging behavior with other corals present in the aquarium.
The Torch Coral is truly beautiful with its long flowing tentacles coming from a branching skeleton. Its polyps are single tipped and usually colored in green or brown.Corals are part of a biological group known as Cnidaria. Most Cnidaria have a mouth, or mouths, that opens into one big body cavity. Due to the lack of a true digestive system, this cavity acts in its place and after the food is broken down the nutrients are then sent through the rest of the body as food. There is also no excretory system; therefore the waste is sent back through the mouth or secreted into the surrounding water.Tentacles of varying size will usually surround the mouth of Cnidaria. Most Cnidaria have tentacles with stinging cells that can shoot tiny poison darts into their prey or can even be used as a defense mechanism. Some corals lack tentacles and instead cover themselves with a thin layer of mucus and use that to collect bacteria and plankton as food. Some corals even use both of these methods. Cnidaria can either be an individual animal or members of a complex colony. These "Colony Corals" share the food and nutrients taken in by each individual.Corals have tiny living organisms that actually live in their tissue. These are called zooxanthellae and they are the reason why such strong lighting is needed in the saltwater aquarium. These algae-like creatures provide the coral with oxygen and other nutrients that are produced during photosynthesis. During this process, the zooxanthellae take up carbon dioxide and provide nutrients to the coral.Corals can use two different types of defense mechanisms. One of which is a sweeper tentacle wherein the coral reaches its tentacles out to try to damage another coral with nematocysts. The other is when the coral releases a minute amount of toxin into the water to poison another coral within certain proximity. Most "Hard Corals" should not be placed within reach of another coral.