Bubble Coral (LPS) (Plerogyra sinuosa)

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Bubble Coral (LPS)
Plerogyra sinuosa
Bubble Coral (LPS) (Plerogyra sinuosa)
Name Bubble Coral (LPS)
Name Lat. Plerogyra sinuosa
Family Hammer Corals
Family lat. Euphylliidae
Order Stony Corals
Order lat. Scleractinia
Origin Indo-Pacific, Red Sea
Diet Autotrophic, planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-10 °KH
Lighting Low-medium
Current Weak-moderate
Behavior Aggressive
Keeping Solitary
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection CITES Appendix II; EC Annex B
Metric Units
Size Up to 100 cm
Temperature 24-27 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium 200 l
US Units
Size Up to 40"
Temperature 75-81 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

Plerogyra sinuosa belongs to the group of LPS (Large Polyp Scleractinia). Their range extends from the East African coast through Australia and the Line Islands to the East China Sea. They live there on reef slopes mostly between 9 and 15 meters, sometimes up to 35 meters depth.


It should be positioned at the bottom or at a lower place of the decoration with medium light intensity and weak to medium current. Only high-calcium, heavy metal-free substrates should be used as substrate. To ensure water quality, filters, skimmers and heaters are necessary, as well as pumps to simulate tides, swells and bottom currents. It is recommended that live stones be used to set up the aquarium. The bacteria living in the porous stones act as a biological filter. The lighting must correspond to the species-appropriate day-night rhythm of the animals

Salinity: 33-36 ‰ pH value: 8.1-8.4
Carbonate hardness: 8-10 °KH Nitrate content: 2-8 mg/l
calcium content: 420-450 mg/l Nitrite content: 0.0-0.05 mg/l
Magnesium content: 1.250-1.350 mg/l phosphate content: 0.01-0.1 mg/l

Regular addition of trace elements, especially calcium and strontium, is recommended. For salinity, an average value should be aimed for, which may only vary slightly by +/- 0.5 ‰. Ammonia and ammonium must not be measurable. Special attention shall be paid to consistently good water quality and water values.


Zooxanthellae, which are unicellular symbiotic algae, live in their tissue and provide them with assimilation products of their photosynthesis (light requirement). The zooxanthellae promote growth and provide additional food to the plankton and small particles that are collected in large quantities from the water current. Thus, in addition to the food produced in the aquarium during fish feeding (mysis, krill, Artemia, etc.), commercially available supplementary food in the form of phyto- and zooplankton should be offered regularly

Regular and varied feeding promotes health and prevents deficiency symptoms.

Behaviour and compatibility

They should not be kept with fish that consider their polyps food (e.g. angelfish or butterflyfish). Since they are very nettle-like and can expand very much, a sufficiently large distance to other corals must be maintained.

Reproduction and breeding

They are separately sexual. The developing larva is part of the plankton for several weeks until it attaches to a suitable site. Reproduction by forming daughter colonies (budding) and fragmentation is also possible. In the aquarium it can be propagated well by careful division.

Species protection

Species protection: WA Appendix II; EU Appendix B. The proof of purchase is the required proof of origin for the animal. Please keep it safe! Your pet store will be happy to provide you with further information.


The additional illumination with Actinic-Light (short-wave, violet-blue light) is very beneficial for their growth (zooxanthellae). For the necessary uniform supply of calcium carbonate and magnesium, a calcium reactor and a magnesium metering pump are recommended. They are particularly sensitive to contact. Too high temperature, insufficient lighting or flow as well as sudden change of water values can lead to tissue decay (RTN - rapid tissue necrosis). When purchasing, look for pressure marks or other tissue damage. Newly introduced animals must be acclimated slowly to the water in the aquarium

If different species are kept together, make sure that fish and invertebrates match each other in terms of water quality and temperature requirements as well as their social behavior, and that the setup meets the ecological needs of all species kept together. Further literature can be found in your pet store.


Text: Werner Winter; Image: petdata

Source: FOSSÁ & NILSEN (1995): Korallenriff-Aquarium Bd. 4, Birgit Schmettkamp Verlag; ENGELMANN & LANGE (Hrsg.) 2011: Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch