Bubble Coral (LPS) (Plerogyra spp.)

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Bubble Coral (LPS)
Plerogyra spp.
Bubble Coral (LPS) (Plerogyra spp.)
Name Bubble Coral (LPS)
Name Lat. Plerogyra spp.
Family Hammer Corals
Family lat. Euphylliidae
Order Stony Corals
Order lat. Scleractinia
Origin Indo-Pacific
Diet Autotrophic, planktivore
pH 8.1-8.4
Hardness 8-12 °KH
Lighting High
Current Moderate
Behavior Aggressive
Keeping Solitary
Care Level Moderate
Life Span N/A
Protection CITES Appendix II; EC Annex B
Metric Units
Size < 100 cm
Temperature 24-27 °C
Salinity 33-36 ‰
Aquarium 200 l
US Units
Size < 39"
Temperature 75-81 °F
Salinity 1.020-1.025 sg
Aquarium 50 gal

Distribution and habitat

Plerogyra spp. belong to the group of LPS (Large Polyp Scleractinia). These reef-building corals are widely distributed in the Red Sea, tropical Indian and Central Pacific Oceans. They occur in different colors according to their species and origin on rubble surfaces in the forereef and in calmed shallow water down to medium depths (15 m). The picture shows a Plerogyra sinuosa.


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: 8-12 °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. In addition to the food produced 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 heavily nettled and expand a great deal during the day and develop long tentacles during twilight, a sufficient distance from other corals must be maintained. They are sensitive to touch.

Reproduction and breeding

In nature, reproduction is sexual via marine larval stages. Reproduction by formation of daughter colonies (budding) is possible.

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 bubbles that form from the tentacles serve to increase the surface area for the zooxanthellae. They are very aggressive towards other corals. The additional lighting with actinic light (short wavelength, violet-blue light) is very beneficial for their growth (zooxanthellae).

A calcium reactor and magnesium metering pump are recommended for the necessary steady supply of calcium carbonate and magnesium. Too high temperature, insufficient lighting or current 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 accustomed 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: petdata; Image: Franz Lowak

Source: VERON (2000): Corals of the world, Australian Institute of Marine Science; ENGELMANN & LANGE (2011): Zootierhaltung - Tiere in menschlicher Obhut: Wirbellose, Verlag Harri Deutsch