Also known as the Candycane Coral, the Trumpet Coral is a very popular and widely available LPS coral. This coral species has a central base stalk that, over time, will branch out into numerous heads. At the end of each branch is a large head that resembles a trumpet. The heads are also capable of splitting, leading to a wide variety of growth patterns. Trumpet Corals are found in a handful of different colour combinations with the most common combinations being tan/red flesh surrounding a green centre or an all green variety. There is also a very rare purple variety. Depending on the specimen the flesh may also be striped.
Trumpet Corals are native to the Indian and Pacific Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef, but they are also aquacultured in the United States and Indonesia. They have been found as deep as 30 meters but are generally found at shallower depths. In a reef tank, they do best when placed on an exposed piece of rockword in the lower half of the tank. While their stinging tentacles are fairly short, they are capable of stinging any nearby peaceful corals so some care should be taken. Because of their branching growth pattern they can grow quite quickly once established so should be given room to expand.
Like many LPS corals, Trumpet Corals prefer moderate levels of lighting and flow. They generally do best when placed in the bottom half of the tank but can tolerate higher light levels as long as they are properly acclimatized. Flow should be sufficient to keep them free from detritus but not strong enough that the flesh is blown around violently. If Trumpet Corals are placed in too high of a flow area they often will not expand, which interferes with photosynthesis.
Trumpet Corals are photosynthetic but also appreciate a weekly feeding of chopped squid or other meaty foods. They can also be fed LPS pellets. Feeding is not necessary, but will improve growth rate and colouration. Like most branching LPS corals, fragging is fairly simple. A head can easily be cut off with coral cutters and mounted to a frag plug, just make sure not to cut the flesh.
Like all hard corals, Trumpet Corals build their skeletons from sodium carbonate so it is important to monitor Alkalinity and Calcium levels in the tank and dose as needed. Trumpet Corals make an easy to keep choice for both beginner and expert level hobbyists and a great introduction to the world of hard corals.