• LIGHT: MODERATE (100-150 par) Lighting is best. It is easy to damage coral with too much lighting so in our opinion when it comes to lighting, less is often more for LPS corals. You can learn more about Lighting and it's overall impact on your reef tank in our article Lighting and your Reef Tank

  • FOOD: SPOT FEED. We have found Bubble corals do best with a once a week spot feed. Take a small amount of food using a turkey baster or other pipette and GENTLY release the food directly onto the bubble coral’s vesicles. You can learn more about Feeding and Filtration in our article Feeding, Filtration and your Reef Tank.

  • FLOW: LOW. Bubble Corals do best with low indirect flow. Less is better with these corals, but you need to insure there is still enough flow to bring food and nutrients while keeping their vesicles clear and clean. A gentle continuous movement of their vesicles is desired. Bubble corals have sharp skeletons and extremely soft/fragile vesicles that tend to inflate more with less flow. Often times when too much flow is provided the bubble coral will retract and remain deflated. You can read more about Flow and its overall impact on your reef tank in our article Flow and your Reef Tank

  • DIFFICULTY: ADVANCED. Unlike other LPS corals, the Bubble coral is not the easiest to keep. They tend not to do well long term in captivity, and there is a reason why there are not a lot of aquaculture specimens available. This difficulty is often reflected in the price. They are not the most expert level corals so we give them the advanced label. These corals can really thrive when the right combination of Food/Light/Flow and Filtration are achieved, but in our opinion requires a more advanced level of knowledge.

  • PRICE: MODERATE TO HIGH. Some of the typical varieties can be found on the moderate end of price. Still they are expensive corals that you often cannot find small frags of. Standard varieties include Pearl and Green. Depending on coloration and size of Bubble coral the price can be quite high.

  • COLLECTION ZONE: Indo-Pacific

  • SCIENTIFIC NAME:  Plerogyra sinuosa. They are a jelly-like species of the phylum Cnidaria. It is commonly called "bubble coral" due to its bubbly appearance.

  • AGGRESSION: Bubble corals can be fairly aggressive and large colonies tend to have large sweeper tentacles. We recommend placing 4-5" from other specimens and monitoring.

  • NATURAL TEMPERATURE: 82 °F / 28 °C  although most corals can adapt and survive in temps as low as 77 degrees and as high as 84 degrees. You can read more about temperature and how it affects your reef tank in our article Temperature and your Reef Tank.

  • PH: Recommend 8.0-8.4, we tend to run around 8.2-8.3 over 24 hours. You can read more about pH in our article pH and your Reef Tank

  • NITRATE: 5-10, try to keep stable. You can read more about nitrate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • PHOSPHATE: 0.05-0.1, try to keep stable. You can read more about Phosphate and our approach to maintaining it in our article Nutrients and your Reef Tank

  • ALKALINITY: Recommend 8-9 dKh. You can read more about how we maintain our alkalinity in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank

  • CALCIUM: Recommend 400-450. You can read more about how we maintain our calcium in our article Alkalinity, Calcium and your Reef Tank


Plerogyra sinuosa, commonly called Pearl Bubble coral is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral. Also known plainly as "Bubble corals," the term appropriately describes their retractable, circular, bubble-shaped polyps. Pearl Bubble coral polyps can be found in shades of white, blue, tan, and green. Colonies can grow to approximately 12 inches in diameter, but are usually smaller.

Pearl Bubble corals require lower lighting combined with low water flow. We recommend around 150 PAR. They prefer to be placed anywhere from the middle to the bottom of your reef as long as the lighting is not intense and the water flow isn't strong enough to damage their fragile polyps. 

Through their symbiotic relationship with a photosynthetic algae, known as zooxanthellae, Bubble Pearl corals receive many of their nutrients. They actually expand their bubbly polyps to permit more light to enter to aid this process. It is strongly recommended to provide them with additional foods like brine shrimp or krill as they require more nutrition. For continued good health, it will also require the addition of calcium, strontium, and other trace elements to the water. 

Although they are fragile, Pearl Bubble corals are aggressive and will use their long sweeper tentacles to sting corals that are too close. They also do not tolerate disturbances from other tankmates, such as hermit crabs that can easily damage them. Be sure to give them their space to grow and thrive undisturbed. Use caution when handling as they may release toxins that can irritate your hands.


Bubble coralCoralCoral care guideLpsPlerogyraReefReefchaserSinuosa

1 comment



I have had a bubble coral, pearl color for over 15 years in my 90 gallon salt water aquarium. It seems to be shrinking a bit. It is located exactly wherein should be re; lighting and pump flow. Any recommendations? It’s been beautiful over the years.
Thank you,

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