Discussion in 'Reef Aquarium Discussion' started by melypr1985, Mar 8, 2017.

Beginner Coral: Candy Cane (Trumpet)

Candy cane corals are excellent for beginners! They are relatively fast growers and tend to be forgiving of lackluster water quality. They come in...
  1. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    Beginner Coral: Candy Cane (Trumpet)


    Candy cane corals are excellent for beginners! They are relatively fast growers and tend to be forgiving of lackluster water quality. They come in several colors and are easily fragged. Candy canes are mostly inexpensive as well so they are very attractive for new hobbyists since there is very little investment involved in this coral with potentially great rewards.

    Photo by: 143gadgets
    [​IMG]

    The candy cane coral (Caulastrea furcate) is an LPS coral, or Large Polyp Stoney coral. This means that it’s made up of a hard skeleton that, in this case, branches out and ends with a large polyp at the end of each branch. Each polyp has a mouth and small tentacles around the oral disk that come out when the coral is feeding. This coral grows by splitting a polyp into two identical polyps. This can happen with many of the polyps all at one time, hence the fast growth rate. As it gets larger, the candy cane forms itself into a large ball of polyps.

    Photo by: Mr. Ugly
    [​IMG]

    Lighting should be moderate to strong for best results, but moderate lighting like T5’s are just fine for the candy cane. I’ve even seen them grown under compact fluorescents without any trouble. Moderate flow with periodic feeding will aid in quick growth as well. Feeding is easiest when you use a turkey baster or similar feeding apparatus to put small meaty food directly into the mouth of the candy cane. Since the feeding tentacles come out after lights out, you’ll get better results if you wait to feed until the lights go out.

    Photo by: Wiz
    [​IMG]

    These corals are tolerant of mistakes like a dip in salinity or a temperature spike. They may look bad for a while afterward, but usually make a swift recovery from it. No matter how tolerant they are of mistakes, this is a good time to start monitoring your big three parameters weekly. Calcium (CA), Magnesium (Mg) and Alkalinity (Alk or KH) are important when maintaining a reef aquarium and should be monitored weekly to be sure you are maintaining the proper levels of each for the health of your corals. Each of these is used when an LPS coral builds its skeleton to grow. I don’t want to go into depth on the chemistry of it, but I do want to make the point that if you are wanting to start getting into harder corals to keep, the candy cane is a good one to practice on and is a good time to start learning about those elements in your tank water.

    Photo by: NanaReefer
    [​IMG]

    Fragging the candy cane is simple. Bone cutters or a band saw make quick work of it, though it may be easier to use the bone cutters when fragging a dense, large colony. Pick a branch on the outer edges of the coral to start with since it will be easier to access with the bone cutters. The bone cutters will partially crush what it cuts to make sure to make the cut far enough down away from the polyps so that they aren’t damaged. These frags can be glued to a small rock or a frag plug and traded or sold after a week or two of healing time. Even one or two polyp frags will quickly grow into a decent size colony before long.

    Photo by: geris
    [​IMG]

    The next time you are at the LFS check to see if they have any candy canes in stock. There is likely to be a good selection and since there are many colors available, you are likely to find something that appeals to you. From the striped candy canes, from which these corals get their name, to the solid blues, teals and neon greens, these are a beautiful addition to your tank!
     

  2. ReeferMaddness843

    ReeferMaddness843 Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Great article. Such a great starter coral for anyone wanting that sense of accomplishment for growth! I got 2 smaller 2 head frags when I first added coral. Here's a pic of it from a while ago, probably From October of last year. And a current shot next to the maxi mini of doom. IMG_5388.JPG
    IMG_7402.JPG
     
  3. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    That's excellent growth! thank you for adding these pictures. I think it's really telling for people to be able to see what they can accomplish without a coral taking over the entire tank :)
     
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  4. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    Nice little right up. On top of being a big fan of this coral. They are like a live coral test strip in your tank. They let you know when things are not right visually before the rest suffer. This is also a coral from experience that can bounce back from anything it seems. I had this one in the pic glued to a piece of live rock for about 6 months. Started off with 3 polyps. I went to transfer the fish out of the 20g to the 40B tank. So I pulled the piece LR with that still attached. Came unglued and down to the floor from 5 1/2 feet it went. Looked like someone ran over it. Maybe 3 weeks later it grew more and looked better! They eat everything from fresh sliced scallops, clams, mysis, brine, table shrimp, bloodworms, and blows up those bells wide when it is Reefroid day.

    20170217_182637.jpg
     
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  5. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I actually just picked up a striped candy frag last night. I have it about medium height in the tank and in an area with med/high flow. How can I tell if it is doing good in that spot?

    here is what it looks like as of tonight.

    sorry for poor photo quality... phone camera doesn't really help much haha
    [​IMG]
     
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  6. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    Right now it's all drawn in which can be a result of being unhappy, or because it appears to be nighttime in the picture. A healthy, happy candy cane will be fluffy and plump. :) Give it a few days or even a week in that spot, if he never puffs up for you, then try moving him down a bit and into a little less flow. You can slowly move him until he's happy.
     
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  7. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I have yet to epoxy the rubble rock to the main rock because I'm not sure if it likes this spot but snails have knocked it off twice now which really isnt helping anything
     
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  8. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    Yes, snails can cause trouble with new frags. can you wedge it into the rock a bit so that they have a harder time knocking it over? This way you can truly see if it's happy there.
     
  9. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    yeah I just put some rock around the edges to hold it in place. I'm home this whole week so I can keep an eye on it. My tank flow is a bit weird because when i put my pumps on random it has no way of controlling the max flow... so it both pumps are timed just right its over 2k gph for about a second or so... so I think this may cause some problems for this coral in the spot I have it at. however corals like my frogspawn and birds nest love it. I found putting my acans right on the sand bed in the corners help limit the flow to them but as for a candy cane I'm not sure where would be a good spot Its kind of hit or miss honestly
     
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  10. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    It might like it better over with the acans then if the flow really hits 2k gph. That's a lot!
     
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  11. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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  12. melypr1985

    melypr1985 totally addicted R2R Supporter R2R Excellence Award Article Contributor Expert Contributor Moderator Emeritus

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    I have next to no experience with jebao pumps. You'll do well with the guys over in the equipment section though. Maybe somebody there can help you figure it out. You can always call the reefsquad for more eyes on it too.
     
  13. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Alright I'll have to ask around a bit ^_^

    thank you
     
  14. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    I just picked up a jebao SW-4 this Saturday. It is just the new version of the PP-4/RW-4.
    40B. 3' Long tank. I have my candy cane up top 2 feet away from the power head. Wave 1, 3/4 nob turned up on fast, and 4 or 5 on the speed. Gives it a nice water agitation to keep in between the bells clean from detritus.
     
  15. Jisko

    Jisko Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    Yeah after I left this thread I worked a lil on my flow and moved them a tad bit. Also epoxied one side of the rock so the snails couldnt push it off but enough where if i have to i can snap the rubble rock back off to move it around. My candy is about 2 feet away from the left side powerhead and the right side cant really hit it because of how the rocks are setup

    the photo below shows my aquascape when it was first setup. the candy cane as of right now is a little below 2 in that lil W face outwards. Ill also add that the left side has a power head in the circle spot on the glass... my first pump died after few days so at the time of the photo a new one was being mailed to me ^_^

    coral.jpg
     
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  16. Fabianslit

    Fabianslit Member

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    Have you tried any of the other settings? I personally liked alternating between the two when I had jebaos
     
  17. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    This is where I find it likes it best. Those are the old powerheads. Just put the new one in yesterday. White arrows are the flow

    IMG_20170313_023456.jpg
     
  18. DracoKat

    DracoKat Valuable Member R2R Supporter Build Thread Contributor

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    I picked up a 5-headed candy cane at my club's auction for $5. Couldn't pass up a deal!

    Are there different names for each colors? This one is a different color than the one I already had, was curious to if they had names.
     
  19. Reef man 89

    Reef man 89 Valuable Member

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    Great article this was my first coral and it's been about 4 months and still has not split. I feed it once a week. I put a tiny be of krill on the mouth and it takes it in pretty quickly. During the daytime it seems to be nice a puffed up and looks great.
     
  20. 40B Knasty

    40B Knasty Valuable Member

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    Yup
    I know Kryptonite is one. They are very neon green.

    TrumpetcoralGreen.jpg
     
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