One of the most attractive and desired corals in the saltwater aquarium hobby is the Elegance coral. Often referred to as the Elegant coral, this LPS beauty is known to be a conversion piece that many people put on their must-have list.
The Elegance coral has long sweeper tentacles with tips that can appear in many different colors. The most common being purple and blue. Their impressive colors look great under actinic lighting and the polyps will extend during the day.
In its natural ocean environment, this coral can be found in lagoon areas with a sandy bottom. It is also known to live on rocks and sand beds in deep and shallow waters.
Its broad distribution range throughout the oceans makes it a hardy coral that can survive well in home aquariums.
The Elegance coral is a great choice for beginners and advanced hobbyists. For many years, this coral was known for being easy to care for and keep in reef tanks.
Some people will say that the Elegance coral should be kept by advanced hobbyists only due to a rare disease that these corals began to form sometime in the 1990s. Called Elegance coral syndrome.
This disease causes the oral disc of the coral to swell and it is deadly.
I have kept Elegance corals for many years and have never seen this personally. I have found that providing them the proper care and tank conditions that they need will keep them healthy. These corals are still readily available and commonly kept without issues.
Water parameters – tank conditions
To keep Elegance corals healthy, the following water parameters and tank conditions should be met.
These corals can grow to be quite large and should be provided plenty of space. A tank size of 90+ gallons is recommended.
Elegance Coral feeding
The Elegance corals are photosynthetic and get their food from zooxanthellae. Lighting is important and part of its diet comes from light. It’s also important to feed them certain foods on a regular basis. They will appreciate being fed a mix of micro-plankton and brine shrimp. Daily feedings are not required but a few times per week will be sufficient.
Lighting for Elegance Corals
Not only is proper lighting important as a food source, but it is needed for normal growth and overall health. The Elegance coral doesn’t need high-intensity lighting. A moderate lighting level of around 100 PAR is suitable for them. They can adapt to lower lighting and slightly higher. It’s important to acclimate them to your tank lighting over time so they can adjust.
A great light that I recommend is the Viparspectra LED. It is affordable and provides the right PAR and spectrum these corals need. They are available on Amazon here.
Read more about the Viparspectra in this article.
How much water flow?
As mentioned, the Elegance coral has longer tentacles that love to move in the water flow. They can be kept in low to moderate flow areas of the tank. They are not overly picky with respect to water movement but try to keep them away from any high flow areas as they are known to topple over and their tentacles may not open with higher flow.
Compatibility with other tankmates
The Elegance coral is an aggressive coral and is known to sting other coral tankmates. It’s important to provide plenty of space between other corals to avoid aggression. I recommend at least 6” of space in between corals. Not all corals will be a threat but it’s better to be safe and give them room. Also, avoid keeping them with fish that are known to be coral nippers. Some fish love to nip at tentacles and flesh of certain corals which can lead to the death of the coral.
Placement in the tank
The Elegance should be kept at lower levels of the tank on a sandbed if possible. They like to be placed between a couple of rocks where they have plenty of space. Also if kept lower in the tank, they won’t be subjected to high lighting. If you don’t have a sandbed for them, it’s possible to keep them on rocks, just try to simulate their natural environment as much as possible.
Elegance Coral growth rate
The Elegance coral can grow to be quite large and reach 10-12” in size. Although that size is more common in its natural environment, it can still reach impressive sizes. You can expect them to grow around 1-2” per year until full grown.
You can buy Elegance corals at various sizes. Small ones will normally sell for around $80-$90 and larger ones around $150.
Why is my Elegance coral not opening?
If you checked all your water parameters and everything seems to be normal but your Elegance is not opening up, there could be a few reasons why. Make sure that you don’t have too much water floor. High flow rates will cause them to keep their tentacles closed. Also if they are in areas of high lighting they may not open up as they normally would. Also if you have been treating the tank with a certain chemical, they may not open as they are sensitive to treatments. It’s also possible that another coral or fish in the tank is bothering it.
Can Elegance corals eat fish?
Yes, it is possible for a healthy Elegance to capture and eat small slow-moving fish.
If you are like many other reef tank owners, you have the Elegance coral on your must-have list. They are a showpiece coral that will do well in your tank providing the tank conditions and water parameters are met. They will provide your tank with plenty of color and movement. They can be on the pricey side but in my opinion, they are worth it.
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