Kenya tree coral are popular among beginner home aquarium caretakers because they adapt to environments more easily than other corals do. But what happens if your coral is suffering and isn’t opening as it should?
There are a few reasons why Kenya tree coral don’t open, including intrusions from tank fish, poor lighting/water conditions, or a lack of food. Further, if your coral are in too close to each other, they will sting each other, triggering them to close off for protection.
To learn more about the specifics of why Kenya tree coral struggle to open up, keep reading. We’ll explore tank parameters and coral care that you should pay attention to, as well as how long it takes for them to open back up. Now, let’s get into it.
Why Is My Kenya tree coral not opening?
In order to know exactly what you’re dealing with, let’s go over some of the identifying signs that a Kenya tree coral is closed for too long. These coral can withstand slightly less strict tank parameters than other coral, but they are touchy, as well.
Like many soft and hearty coral varieties, Kenya tree coral will periodically shrink or appear to “close”. This process is normal as long as they re-open in a day or two. When these coral shrink and expand, they are naturally cleaning themselves of stale water to absorb fresh water.
But pay attention to whether they stay closed for more than a few days and begin to show other signs of illness, such as:
- Sting marks or wounds
- Discolored particles floating around the coral
- Shriveling of the tentacles
Why is my Kenya tree not opening?
Now that you’re aware of some of the signs that your Kenya tree coral may actually be in danger when closed, let’s consider the reasons why. There are a variety of factors that negatively affect coral when they shift or change suddenly, especially in the delicate environments of home aquariums.
Namely, you need to keep an eye on the mineral levels in the water, the filtration quality, lighting patterns, water temperature, and the presence of other creatures in the tank.
Mineral and Nutrient Levels
First of all, Kenya tree coral are a creature that thrives on nitrogen. They consume it within the tank, and it usually gets there in the first place as waste from fish or other creatures.
Kenya tree coral also require the following levels:
- 0-10 ppm nitrates
- Zero ammonia, phosphorous, or nitrites
- 350-450 ppm calcium
- 8-12 dKH water hardness
- 8.0-8.2 pH (slightly basic)
- 1200-1350 ppm magnesium
Kenya tree coral need what is called “mature biological filtration” in their tank. This means that you should add some activated carbon to your aquarium’s filter. Also, make sure that the water flow is higher than average.
Most coral thrive on lots of light in order to consume oxygen, which is why your tank should have appropriate lighting tubes. These coral require medium lighting, which means placing them somewhere in the tank where they won’t get blasted with direct light at all times.
The warm marine environment of a coral aquarium needs to stay constant, but the exact temperature range differs among types of coral. Kenya tree coral thrive between 72-80 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives you some wiggle room, but if these temperatures are shifting on a regular basis, your coral might close up to protect itself from the disturbance.
Other Tank Life
Last but not least, we want to highlight the ways that other tank creatures – including other coral – can disturb Kenya tree coral. In some cases, these disturbances are enough to make them close up, refuse to reopen, and even fall sick and die.
Kenya tree coral are a semi-aggressive type of coral. This means that if you have them sitting too close to their own kind, their tentacles will touch and sting each other. This leaves behind wounds and causes them to close up.
To avoid this issue, you’ll need to carefully prune your quickly reproducing Kenya coral from time to time.
Furthermore, some aquarium fish are not good for Kenya tree coral, such as Angelfish. Stick to tank-safe fish such as Clownfish, Blennies, and Damselfish. But keep in mind that they may still become a disturbance to some of your coral and cause them to close up sometimes and refuse to open if the fish are too aggressive.
How long does it take for Kenya tree to open back up?
Kenya tree coral may periodically close to expel stale water and cleanse themselves. This isn’t a huge problem, as long as they begin to open back up and expand in about two days.
Note that when a coral first opens up in a new aquarium, it can take just a few hours or up to a couple of weeks in some cases. On average, though, coral only take a couple of days to open up.
If you notice that your Kenya tree coral has been closed for more than a couple of days, you probably need to assess its health. It may not be a lost cause, but since these coral reproduce quickly, it’s okay to cut your losses from time to time, because there are surely other clones within the same tank.
Examine the current tank parameters, making sure they’re up to par. You should also consider whether or not your coral is sick from nearby coral stings or lack of food.
Why has my Kenya tree coral closed up?
Again, Kenya tree coral close up for several reasons, but most likely, your coral is struggling to adjust to a new condition. Whether it’s the presence of finicky tank-mates, too much light, or water that’s too acidic, these coral will close into themselves as a protective mechanism.
Is your Kenya tree coral not opening? If so, you may need to adjust the water parameters and consider which tank-mates you’re subjecting it to. These coral do periodically close up and re-expand to cleanse themselves, but if they close for longer than a couple of days, they may be in poor health.