Why Bubble Coral Not Inflating And Easy Solution To Them

Bubble Coral is one of the easy LPS Corals. But they need maintenance to inflate and survive. Sometimes Bubble Coral not inflating can be due to minor reasons like the flow of water or light conditions. But other times it can be severe.

The inflation of Bubble Corals indicates that it is healthy. If not, first take a look at the flow of water and light conditions. If those parameters are ok, it is time to check the level of nitrate and phosphate. Then move to check for nutrient deficiency and Brown Jelly Infection. 

Once you identify the reason it gets easier to move toward the solution. These are very easy to deal with. Here in this post, we tried to show you the problem with inflating in Bubble Coral and the remedy for them.

6 Reasons Why Bubble Coral Is Not Inflating And What To Do

Bubble Coral Wont Inflate

1. Too Much Brightness

Bubble Coral is one of those corals that tends to prefer low light in place of bright light. When these corals are placed in low lights they tend to get stressed and refuse to inflate their bubbles. 

Sometimes owners don’t understand and put the coral in bright light. This doesn’t only cause stress but can cause death too. 


It is important to note that Bubble Coral can’t tolerate light over 130 PAR. Its preference is 80 to 100 PAR. This means the shadier the place is, the more comfortable your coral will be. 

But it does need light for the photosynthesis process. As it is difficult to control natural lighting, it is wise to install light bulbs. Nowadays there are several T5 lights available in the market. These lights are specially designed for corals. You can set the time and all.

An alternative to buying lights is to place the coral behind anything that will protect it from direct sunlight. Also, direct sunlight can cause temperature rise that can stress the coral. 

2. Flow of Water

Bubble Coral doesn’t prefer a high flow of water. If the coral is placed just beside the wave creator it will stress the coral and will refuse to inflate. 

This problem usually arises when the other animals in the water prefer to have a heavy flow. Then it gets difficult to balance. The heavy flow hurts the polyps of the Bubble Coral. Sometimes it can even decay or tear up the polyps.

Thus if your Bubble Coral is not inflating, you must check the water flow.


If the flow of water is due to the water pump then you can use a water filter to balance the flow. But if the flow is necessary for other animals, then you will need to relocate the coral to a different place.

Try to place it at the lower level of the tank. If you can place it behind any structure then also it will lower the flow of the coral up to a moderate amount. 

3. Shortage of Nitrates and Phosphate

Nitrate is a very sensitive element for aquariums. It creates a situation where you need to be very careful about the level of nitrate. The higher level of nitrate creates a toxic environment for most aquatic animals.

Thus most aquarium filters are designed in such a way that they remove nitrates from the water. And in this procedure, the level of nitrate reduces extensively. And if you have Bubble Coral in your aquarium it will cause damage to the bubbles. Therefore it will not inflate properly. 

Similarly, when the water is too clean it reduces the amount of phosphate. Phosphate boosts cell development in Bubble Coral. And in aiming to clean water you will end up hurting the coral unintentionally. In one way or another, you can say that Bubble Coral is somewhat fond of dirty water. 


The solution to the excess clear water which lacks nitrates and phosphates is not that difficult. The first step in the solution is to measure the level of nitrate and phosphate in the water.

You can buy kits online that will let you measure the level of nitrate and phosphate. These kits give almost accurate results as they will come in a lab test.

Once you get to know the level of nitrate and phosphate you can decide whether to add them to your aquarium or not. You can add them as a medium of fertilizer or in liquid form. Just remember not to raise the level of nitrate suddenly. Do it in a slow process.

After adding the nitrate and phosphate it is important to adjust the filter. Set it at a moderate level. The level of nitrate and phosphate should be between 0.3 to 0.5. This level doesn’t hurt the aquatic animal and lets the Bubble Coral develop its cell. 

When the adjustment procedure is completed, give the coral some time to recover from the damage due to the lackings. This way you will have a gorgeous inflating coral.

4. Lack of Feeding

Polyplab - Reef-Roids- Coral Food for Bubble Coral

Sometimes due to adaptation procedures, Bubble Coral stops feeding itself. As a result, it lacks proper nutrients. Whenever that happens, your coral will give up and will not inflate in time. 

In other times, Bubble Corals are just being stubborn and stop feeding. This is the time when they don’t inflate to tell you to pamper them. 


The solution is quite simple. All you need to do is spot feeding. There are several containers of coral food available. They are specially designed for corals. You can also introduce shrimp and clam chunks.

Just put the food in the open vesicles. You can use a pipette, clumps, or Twizzlers to put the food. But be careful of overfeeding. You need to understand the amount by trial and error. 

If you see the coral throwing up the food then it is full. Do the spot feeding 2 to 3 times a week and you will have a healthy coral in your aquarium. 

5. Presence of Excess Algae

Like other corals, bubble coral also has allowed algae to live in its skeleton. They have built a cohabitation where Bubble Coral gives algae a place to live and in return algae provide energy.

But as the phrase goes, excess of anything is not good. Due to some environmental factors, algae might tend to grow in number in the aquarium. And when it does it will extend its habitation in the coral. They will grow in the polys, the bubbles, and the skeletons in an extensive amount. This will create a suffocating situation for the Bubble Coral.

The Coral will not be able to perform photosynthesis or other biological reactions to produce energy. Thus in no time, it will lack nutrients. Also due to the buildup of algae, the coral gets sticky and fails to inflate.


The only solution to the algae problem is to reduce the number of algae before it’s too late. For this, the first thing to do is to take the Bubble Coral out of the tank. And with a soft bristle brush clean the Coral to get rid of excess algae.

If the coral has algae buildup between the bubbles then clean the gaps. You can take the help of a Twizzler to take out the algae. 

Once you clean the Bubble Coral it is time to clean excess algae from the tank water. For this, you can use algae cleaner products. Also changing the water partially can be a solution. Excess amounts of byproduct in the tank’s water can also be the reason for excess algae. 

6. Infected Coral

Stressed coral means the coral is sick or got infected by some bacteria or fungus. These infections cause stress in the coral. In the beginning, the corals will just not inflate. But once you see the bubbles are punctured it is alarming.

If the coral is punctured due to any external harm or any environmental factor, then the microscopic organisms try to build their habitat into the coral. This causes severe stress for the coral and it denies it to bloom. 

Once you see such a condition then it is time to look for any infection. One of the most deadly diseases of Bubble Coral is Brown Jelly Infection. Bubble Coral not inflating is one of the first symptoms that the coral is about to die. 

In Brown Jelly Infection both fungus and bacteria participate together. Due to the infection, the coral forms a jelly-like texture. Slowly this infection expands all over the Bubble Coral and reaches the skeleton.


There is no treatment for Brown Jelly Infection. But over the years some of the procedures have shown effectiveness to get rid of the infection. Here are the steps that have shown the most effectiveness. 

Step 1: Take Out The Coral

The first thing to do is to take the Bubble Coral out of the existing tank. And keep the coral in a dry and low-light place for a few minutes. 

Be careful while taking out the coral. Make sure it doesn’t break any part or pop any inflated bubbles. Otherwise, the infection will spread more easily. 

Step 2: Get Rid Of The Infected Part

After taking out the Bubble Coral you will need to get rid of the infected part. Use a knife or scissors to cut the parts. Try to look deeper if there is any infection. In case there is, you will have to get rid of those also. 

Again don’t cut off any healthy parts. Otherwise, the part will get infected by other organisms. 

Step 3: Dipping In Iodine Solution

There are several iodine solutions available in the market for the sterilization of corals. Depending on the severity of the infection the concentration of the iodine will vary. You can also make iodine solution at home.

Dip the healthy part of the coral into the iodine solution. The average time is 15 minutes to 20 minutes. But if the infection is severe then the time of the dipping will extend to 30 to 49 minutes.

The dipping process helps to stop the spread of the infection. If any of the bacteria or fungus is left it will kill them up to an extent.

Step 4: Put The Coral In A Different Pot

After the iodine dip, put the Bubble Coral in a separate pot for a while. This gives the coral a recovery time and ensures the other corals in the aquarium don’t get the infection. 

During this period put the coral in low light and temperature. Provide proper nutrients by spot feeding. This helps the coral to recover fast by itself.

Step 5: Change The Water

Just sterilizing the infected Bubble Coral is not enough. You will also have to take care of the existing water in the tank. The first thing to do is to change 25% of the water. 

Then using filters clean the water and introduce proper nutrients for the corals and other animals. Also, reduce the number of algae. If there are other Bubble Coral in the tank make sure they are not infected and get a favorable condition. 

Step 6: Reintroduce The Coral

Once you see development in the health of the Bubble Coral you can reintroduce it to the tank. The best indication is that the bubble will inflate and glow.

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Do You Need To Feed Bubble Coral?

While Bubble Corals are zooxanthellate (meaning they get nourishment from the harmonious zooxanthellae in their tissues), they require supplemental feedings and will display much better well-being and development if effectively taken care of basically a couple of times each week.

How Long Do Bubble Corals Take To Open Up?

It takes a normal two days for Bubble corals to open up. Contingent upon the sort, corals can require anyplace between a couple of hours and half a month to open. Corals kept in an aquarium have such an alternate opening time because of elements other than their species. The essential ones are water quality and lighting.

How Do Bubble Corals Reproduce?

At times, the Bubble Coral has been known to likewise duplicate a-sexually. The tissue of the Polyps will expand outward and encrust itself onto adjacent substrates. On the off chance that the encrusting is fruitful, a bud will shape which, with extra time, will develop into a free Bubble Coral state.

Does Ammonia Affect Corals?

On one hand, ammonia is harmful to corals. Different ammoniaDifferent ammonia, at last, goes to nitrates which the coral’s harmonious alga needs. Assuming your test pack is showing alkali in the water, this will hurt your corals.

Are Bubble Corals Aggressive?

Bubble corals are especially forceful and need their own space with no different corals in actual contact. They don’t do well under brilliant light so it won’t be imaginable to house them with fish who need this to flourish.

Final Words

Bubble Coral is beautiful due to its inflating nature. And Bubble Coral not inflating raises lots of questions among users. These can indicate a lot of reasons. But here we try to address the most common ones and ways to deal with them. 

Whenever you decide to have coral in an aquarium, try to replicate as much natural habitat as possible. Especially for LPS coral. If you need them to bloom to their fullest, you need to take care of them likewise.

Howard Parker

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